Bring More Mobility & Connectivity to Tasks and Roles

Jan 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM

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Good news for companies using, deploying, or planning for ERP: Solutions are advancing to be more flexible and more closely targeted to the specific requirements of businesses and users; to support mobile, anytime, anywhere usage scenarios; and to connect people and resources for better productivity. To-Increase is incorporating those trends in its solution development. These positive ERP developments help us bring greater value to your business and the industries we serve.

Specialization and task focus replace complex, all-in-one ERP

When businesses invest in ERP systems, they traditionally expect to acquire a large, complex solution that provides them with capabilities to manage all or most of their activities. Implementations of these systems have to be well-managed to ensure the result meets business needs. Employee adoption depends on thorough familiarization and training in addition to the usability of the ERP solution’s functions. However, the ice of this traditional ERP model is thawing as solution providers like To-Increase change the way they design and build software to support the tasks businesses find most valuable and important at a given time. There is still an ERP system at the core of the business management infrastructure—it serves as a platform that can flexibly support business entities, processes, task loads, and development of vertical or specialized solutions. Businesses that deploy, for example, To-Increase Discrete Manufacturing will be able to take advantage of such specialization to choose which capabilities they want to use and add others as their requirements demand. Over time, you may still end up with a large, all-encompassing ERP solution, but that will be so because that is what best fits the business, not because it’s the only thing available.

As a consequence of this modularity, the costs of acquiring new technology become far more manageable. When well-designed, modern software facilitates very specific tasks and processes, users tend to adopt instead of resisting it, and you can shorten the time to generate benefits from technology. Without the disruption a business-wide ERP solution can cause, change management in this organic approach becomes a relatively minor, manageable task.

Business data meets role requirements

Business requirements will not just determine the software functionalities companies use, but also determine which information and decision-making capabilities are available to an organization’s roles. Instead of applying analytical tools to a database or a data warehouse, employees have access to business information as their jobs and accountabilities demand. Role Centers and dashboards in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions bring meaningful BI content and metrics to a company’s key decision-maker roles. To-Increase integrates with the Microsoft Dynamics role centers and makes information even more actionable and relevant by delivering data for the specific roles in the vertical markets we serve, including manufacturing and construction.

Mobility supports users anywhere

One good example for where we see ERP going with rich, yet simple applications is our new Product Engineering App. For field engineers and product managers, it connects with Microsoft Dynamics AX through the Microsoft Azure bus to enable BI-enhanced decision-making regarding engineering change requests (ECR). The app serves a specific audience in performing an important task with role-optimized data. As you may know, the app runs on a Windows 8 tablet and supports a user group that is almost exclusively mobile. Other mobile solutions from To-Increase connect PDAs with the ERP system, like Data Collection Studio does. Through Data Collection Studio, you can also have access to a warehouse dashboard (based on HTML5) from any connected device. In supporting mobility, ERP systems and industry solutions will by and by shed any device requirements, allowing users to perform their tasks on the hardware they prefer. The deployment of ERP solutions in the cloud will only accelerate device neutrality. As many businesses rely at least partly on mobile and distributed workforces, ERP and industry software follows to meet users where they are.

People, technologies, and resources connect

Connection will continue to be a main theme for ERP solutions. More and more companies move their ERP solutions and other business-critical applications to the cloud, where it becomes much easier to connect ERP with other technological capabilities, specialized services, and business processes. To make these cloud-facilitated connections reliable and valuable, ERP systems need to incorporate standardization and automation to a high degree. In the cloud, To-Increase works on the Microsoft Azure bus to serve as a stable, resilient, scalable foundation for evolving applications and changing business needs. As we reduce the complexity of solutions and their implementation through the task-based approach we mentioned, it will become much easier for businesses to link their people, processes, and resources. In addition, To-Increase Business Integration Solutions can help them connect their technologies and gain more value from them.

ERP systems and vertical solutions also need to evolve to support social sharing and collaboration among individual users, teams, business groups, and organizations, within the same software environment. To-Increase is creating technology to enable social productivity. Field and product engineers using our Product Engineering App, for example, who record and update ECRs, can connect with their colleagues through such social channels as Yammer or Twitter, or send email messages to them.

As you see, these ERP developments are very closely related and complement each other. We will continue to explore them by means of our innovation as well as here in the blog.

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About Author
Luciano Cunha

Luciano Cunha

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) For Luciano, being responsible for To-Increase’s global sales and marketing means unleashing the company’s insight, innovation, and creativity to tell our story and help customers achieve their goals. On the road much of the time, he travels the world to meet with customers, understand their challenges and ambitions, and find the most effective ways to help them advance. Luciano develops and mentors our marketing and sales team, and creates strategies to help the To-Increase worldwide partner channel thrive and grow.
Making Customer Needs the Main Business Driver Luciano and his team have daily conversations with the To-Increase research and development organization to bring customers’ requirements and concerns into the road maps and design of our solutions. Luciano brings his insight to the marketing group to make sure the company’s communications resonate with customers and speak directly to their experience.
“I’m awed by customers’ innovative spirit in taking business management technology past its limits and by their generosity in letting us participate and empower them. I hope to transform our organization to become even more customer-centric than we are today. That means making more resources available to spend productive time with both our customers and partners, so we can ensure that we place into customer businesses effective solutions that fit the evolutionary stage of their operation and the way their people and processes work.”
Empowering a Global Channel
Because To-Increase only sells through partners, readying the channel to be successful in helping customers is a business-critical effort. Luciano aims to meet partners where their interests are. Partners who consider the relationship with To-Increase strategic can rely on our industry specialists to work with them as they plan their growth and serve customers. If partners prefer a less collaborative relationship, they still receive the rich To-Increase expertise and resources to ensure they win the business, perform a successful deployment, and retain a satisfied customer. In working with partners and their customers, Luciano brings to bear his experience of many years of creating successful, customer-focused business development and marketing strategies in many of the world’s countries and regions.
Enabling Customer Success in Challenging Business Environments
Looking into the near future, Luciano expects that customers will continue to expect To-Increase to help them make business sense of unfolding trends and technologies. For example, the internet of things (IoT) will thoroughly revolutionize manufacturing, engineering, and supply chains. Big data will be meaningful and valuable when decision-makers can use technology solutions to transform it into actionable business intelligence that supports key roles and business processes. Mobility will help companies become digital enterprises and move business processes forward from any location, at any time. Team To-Increase harnesses innovation to help customers translate the promise of these technologies into business results.
Before his current role, Luciano for several years was one of To-Increase’s global industry directors, responsible for our industry solutions. His experience also spans more than 17 years in IT and manufacturing management roles. These positions took him into various areas at IBM Brazil, serving as product manager for several software development companies, and included working in senior management at a manufacturing organization in the U.S.
Luciano is married with two young children. Away from work, he enjoys participating in a soccer class together with his son and daughter as well as taking relaxing walks in natural environments with his family.

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