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CIO Review >> Magazine >> January - 2016 issue

Ambit Software- Digital Transformation with Cloud ERP & CRM Solutions

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Costing anywhere from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, and requiring hundreds of man hours to implement, the ERP software market is one of the fastest growing markets in the software industry. As predicted by Gartner, the impact of cloud and emergence of postmodern ERP will relegate highly customized ERP systems to "legacy" status by 2016. So with cloud becoming mainstream, fast-growing companies have started adopting cloud based ERP solutions very rapidly. But while a successful ERP implementation can aid an organization streamline workflow and cut costs, a poorly planned and implemented ERP rollout can severely cost organizations in terms of lost productivity and delays. So in order to reap the benefits of an ERP solution, some critical issues like commitment from top management, reengineering of the existing processes, integration of the ERP with other business information systems, and training of employees on the new system, must be considered carefully.

Partnering with pioneers in cloud ERP to enhance growth rates of companies is Pune-headquartered Ambit Software (www.ambitsoftware.com) that renders solutions to accomplish successful ERP implementations. With offices in Mumbai - India, Orange County - USA and Dubai - UAE and delivery centers in Pune and Navi Mumbai, Ambit has been working with over 200 customers across the globe since its inception in early 2001.

With clients spanning across Fortune 500 companies to successful SMEs and ISVs, Ambit is delivering value to organizations like Blue Star, The World Bank, Reliance Capital, Thermax, Alfa Laval, MCX, NCDEX, Saint Gobain, Pulse Secure, Pubmatic, Sagitec, Premji Invest, Amagi Media, etc. The company partners with leading ERP & CRM companies such as Netsuite, Infor, Microsoft, SugarCRM and Salesforce.com to help organizations across industries like Manufacturing, Banking& Financial Services, Retail,Logistics, Insurance, Real Estate, and Consumer Goods to achieve their business goals through effective use of digital technology.

Going Digital
While we have been “digitally transforming” for decades now – transforming manual processes into 0s and 1s, the transformation provided by ERP systems as they aged has petered out and these systems have morphed into legacy systems. The fifth wave of IT (after Mainframes, Minicomputers, Distributed PCs and Internet PCs) is being driven by billions of devices connected to the web (think IOT Sensors and Mobile), exabytes of data, collaboration and a shared multi-tenant architecture (or the cloud) together being called ISMAC (IOT/Sensors, Social/Collaboration, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud). This is what is being commonly referred to now as the “digital age”. New generation companies are creating business models built on the ISMAC backbone (or at least part of it) and existing companies are evaluating how they can leverage this wave and change their business models to survive and thrive in the digital age.

Ambit is at the forefront of these technologies and helping its clients through a combination of strategy, design and technology services to digitally transform their enterprises or create new digital driven business models. For example, for one of the leading industrial equipment companies that Ambit works with, it has connected its customers’ equipment to the company’s CRM system (also implemented by Ambit). Information sent out by sensors on the equipment is analyzed in short intervals and support cases are created and assigned automatically when threshold levels are detected for maintenance. This has helped a 50-year old business to grow its service division manifold in the last 1 year.

Industry and Domain Specific Solutions
Ambit caters to its customers with best-of-breed industry-specific solutions across several domains and accomplishes services around products like Netsuite, Infor LN, Infor SyteLine, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce.com, Salesfusion, Timelinx and SugarCRM to name a few. “Ambit’s dual experience in building software products for Independent Software Vendors and implementing Enterprise IT solutions givesit unique advantage to cross-leverage experiences and cutting-edge innovation in delivering successful projects across domains like ERP, CRM, BPM, BI, HRM, Project Management and eMarketing.” says Jenit Ramaiya, CEO & MD,Ambit Software.

For manufacturing companies, Ambit is providing digital solutions that are enabling its customers to grow even in an industry that is contracting. One of its clients that is a leader in the air-conditioning industry is leveraging IIOT (Industrial Internet of Things) to grow its business - their consumers can use mobile apps to switch on/off or control their room air-conditioning while their corporate clients are ready to pay a premium for higher service levels (a resultant of sensors integrated with the company’s CRM system). The sales force (for whom Ambit has implemented Infor CRM) is using mobile sales automation technology to capture and update sales data and management is able to help them reduce their cycle times for new orders.

Even in the case of the sluggish real estate industry, Ambit identified that two of the major challenges that real estate developers face are cost control and effective marketing/client engagement. Ambit has built costs management systems into products like Netsuite ERP that allow the developer to manage his budgets, vendor management, procurement, contract management and billing processes. This system enables developers to monitor planned vs. actual costs and help minimize these costs at a project level on a real time basis. Ambit has also built templates for marketing and client engagement into products like Infor CRM and Bpmonline that allow for capturing demand real time and adjusting the supply accordingly.

The logistics industry which typically operates at wafer-thin margins can leverage efficiencies with Ambit’s solutions in the sales process (using mobile apps to create a quote for a customer) and delivery process (leveraging sensors to track shipments). Ambit’s mobility apps and sensors integration with ERP systems helps logistics companies to drive not only efficiencies but differentiate themselves in the market.

Ambit helps consumer products companies and ecommerce companies with mobility solutions integrated with their back-end ERP, supply chain solutions and front-end web stores. Its CRM solutions deliver real-time information on promotions, inventory and customer data and empowers the salesforce to validate retail execution, judge the effectiveness of promotions, and gain market insights. Its distribution management solutions built on the Netsuite cloud, help companies create an efficient supply chain and improve operations.

Multi-country rollouts
As enterprises across the world are growing their geographical reach, they cannot rely on legacy ERP systems to help them as these roll-outs can take months and even years in some cases. Companies, frankly, don’t have the time or resources to wait for such rollouts as business dynamics are changing rapidly and technology used would be redundant by the time of go-live. Such rollouts require managing financial consolidation for multiple subsidiaries/group companies, handling different currencies, languages, taxation rules and reporting requirements.

“With cloud-based ERP products like Netsuite, we are able to complete such roll-outs in 3-6 months. Taxation rules and reports for most countries across the world are already pre-built. Multi-language capability is also pre-built. Workflows once built for 1 country roll-out can be easily deployed/tweaked for other countries. The user interface of such systems is very easy resulting in high user adoption and customers are able to see immediate benefits from their investments” says Purushottam Adav, Head – ERP Solutions, Ambit Software. Ambit has recently helped a private equity and finance company complete a Netsuite rollout across 14 subsidiaries within 4 months.

Interoperability
The rapid proliferation and usage of ISMAC is creating a new challenge for enterprises – how do you make these systems talk to each other and leverage the benefits they offer. The next big thing in this domain is therefore inter-operability, i.e. an enterprise integrator to connect the dots and ensure seamless data flow amongst them. Ambit has built a platform called “Zwisch” that is a framework for allowing companies to integrate their various systems.

“We already have a number of templates for integrating various products including sensors, cloud-based analytics and social collaboration platforms and are continuously working on adding new ones” claims Manish Patwa, VP Delivery, Ambit Software. “The ISMAC stack is evolving every day and having a fabric that is open-ended yet flexible enough to allow you to quickly integrate new technologies is becoming crucial for enterprises as different components in the stack have a multiplier effect when they are made to work together” adds Manish. He cites the example of how Ambit helped a project and service management ISV leverage Zwisch to pick up sensors data on one end, pushing it to the mobile devices of service engineers, analyzing the effectiveness of service engineers with the help of geo-coordinates and running this entire systems in the cloud.

Innovation and Integration in the Digital Age
In the continuing quest for business growth, most companies are turning to digital technology as it is essential for two compelling means of growth: innovation and integration. Innovation is not only developing new generations of products, services, delivery channels, and customer experiences but also designing new business processes and models. Integration is making the multiple divisions, functions, and locations of the company as well as the partner ecosystem to work together to optimize the supply and demand chain performance, lower cost structures, and discover opportunities for improvement. While most ERP vendors have a limited focus on lowering of cost structures, Ambit views itself as an “Enterprise Catalyst”, a company that can aid enterprises with both Innovation and Integration.