Friday, August 14, 2015
From years of experience in Retail Banking systems, I have seen that one crucial business process is the Collections Process; the function through which the banking institution tries to collect overdue claims from its customers, while keeping the process simple, automated and with a high return rate. Obviously, there is a necessity for a System to support this process. Over the years, many software vendors have focused on that area, developing Collections-specific software and offering it “on the side” of the core banking system. Carefully designed and monitored collections processes have been implemented in banks, then in insurance companies and then in other areas of the economy, too.
But, I have yet to see small and medium sized businesses implement well-documented Collections processes, to manage their Accounts Receivable; especially in cases where sales are usually done “on credit” or the business model is not “cash-and-carry”.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
In this time and age where Social Media have become an integral part of our lives (private and professional), there is an ongoing discussion about Social ERP (sERP), social CRM (sCRM) and other “s-prefixed” systems. In this post I’d like to contribute my own definition of the “Social” tag and discuss how this could be served by web-based systems and even enhanced by SaaS communities (I use the term “SaaS communities” to show that users working on a cloud Service (public or private) form a new “closed” community which – like any other community – chooses to open up to certain other teams (a.k.a. other users) under certain restrictions and rules (a.k.a. authorizations).
Friday, March 13, 2015
In the previous post I commented on some attributes or characteristics of Software as a Service that may assist organizations shift to an ITSM delivery model. The general point of entry is that SaaS eliminates many of the technology headaches that the organization may be facing, thus giving space to more customer-oriented processes to be developed, rather than just managing the technology stack. And in this discussion, the corporate user may also be considered as an “internal customer”.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
ITSM (“Information Technology Service Management”) is generally defined as the shift from managing the technology stack inside an I.T. Department (or in the enterprise, in general) to addressing real-life business issues that generally come down to Customer Service. In other words, according to ITSM methodologies, I.T. must no longer focus on managing the technology; instead it must set its goals towards aligning with the rest of the business and be an equal player in the effort (design, contribute) towards generating value-added services both for the business users and directly for the customers.
Monday, November 10, 2014
The advantages of the cloud and specifically Software as a Service (SaaS) are very well known. Everybody’s talking about them all over the net, at forums and in the pre-sales calls of the cloud companies. People are talking about financial benefits that SaaS brings in their P&L, several cost saving factors, security, portability and access etc. One more advantage that is less frequently discussed is this of the agility that SaaS brings in the entire I.T. function, structure and governance. In this post I’d like to focus on this exact point, thinking that maybe it is usually understated.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
In this post I’d like to approach the issue of whether and how Software as a Service (delivered of course through cloud technology – don’t let them tell you otherwise!) can assist an organization implement an IT chargeback / showback strategy. For those that haven’t heard the terms before, IT chargeback is the methodology or strategy that applies/allocates Information Technology costs on the business unit that is actually using an I.T. resource (be it software, hardware, professional IT services etc.) Chargeback can go as far as internal expense management where the business unit actually experiences cash outflow (or budget consumption) in order to implement an IT function. In other cases, there is no actual cash movement; all calculations are done on reporting level only in order to have a clear image of the costs incurred by each business unit to the organization, for planning and budgeting purposes. This is called “IT showback” where numbers are “shown” but are not actually “charged”.
Friday, April 18, 2014
So, you’ve decided to move some of your apps to the cloud. The next question that you need to answer is “public or private?”. Each direction has its pros and cons and you’d better look at all possible Performance Indicators before you decide where to lean. Every problem has its solution and every solution has its cost. The term “cost” is usually translated in monetary terms but this is not the whole truth. The “cost” can be compromises that you are willing (or not) to make in terms of security, availability, scalability etc. The “cost” can also be the downside of what today seems inexpensive (for example, the cost of a SaaS application that is quite low to begin with, but requires extensive customization on your existing software to integrate).