Many organizations have become “numb” to the errors in their quoting and selling processes, chalking it up to the “cost of doing business” and building loss into every transaction. This blind acceptance of costly inefficiencies is chronically limiting business outcomes.  

Attend our virtual customer panel event on Thursday, June 3 at 1 PM CDT to learn how you can achieve a synergy of strategy and strength with AST and Oracle Configure Price Quote (CPQ) Cloud. 

Our guest speakers, who are first-hand users of the solution, will detail their experiences, from the struggles endured before implementation, to the process of modernizing sales operations, and how Oracle CPQ Cloud is transforming the manufacturing industry.   

  • Manish Khot, Project Manager for Commercial Technology and Analytics, Ingersoll Rand 
  • Arjun Sagaram, CPQ Practice Manager and Architect, Ingersoll Rand 

Attendees will hear directly from these professionals about how they have achieved:  

  • A streamlined quote-to-order process 
  • Decreased time-to-quote 
  • Reduced costs  
  • More data for analytics  
  • Increased revenue  

Discover the key to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty with shortened sales cycles, improved order accuracy, and lower operational costs.   

Join us to discuss the intersection of strategy and strength:  AST’s best-in-class, 360-degree thinkers, combined with the force multiplier that is Oracle CPQ Cloud, providing a powerful synergy for manufacturing success. 

As an Oracle Cloud Apps user, have you ever thought, “What’s the deal with these quarterly updates?  Why are we spending so much time on this and what are we really getting out of it?” 

 You’re not alone.  In fact, most Oracle Cloud users feel like they’re spending way too much time manually testing their applications for each monthly or quarterly release, leading to inefficiency across the organization and increasing waste of time and money. 

 Attend our interactive user panel discussion on Thursday, May 6 to get straight to the source and hear how our customers are drawing true business value from new releases with AST Autonomous Cloud Testing.  We’ll be joined by the following professionals from across industries: 

  • Michael Jamison, Deputy CFO at the City of Detroit, MI 
  • Ross Ballendine, Director of Information Technology at Calfrac Well Services 
  • Raheem SeecharanDirector of Information Technology at the City of Hollywood, FL 

Attendees will hear these real users of the solution tell us about: 

  • What life was like for them before automated testing 
  • What the process was like to stand up the automated testing solution 
  • The cost and time savings they’ve realized since automating previously manual testing 
  • What their resources are doing for the organization now that they’re not spending time on manual testing activities 
  • Any advice they would give to those evaluating an automated testing tool 

The implementation of a single, but powerful tool will accelerate your release cycles to a matter of hours (not weeks!) and lead your organization to realize: 

  • Greater user adoption of new features and updates 
  • Increased efficiency with users able to refocus their attention to high-priority tasks 
  • 90% faster detection of defects 
  • Reduced costs 
  • Maximized ROI for Oracle Cloud Apps 
  • Accelerated digital transformation across the organization 

Don’t take it from us.  Let our customers tell you how AST’s Autonomous Cloud Testing solution has become force multiplier for productivity and modernization across their organizations.   

 Register today to reserve your spot! 

Tagged with: , , , ,

How’s it going with your current version of Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)?  

Many organizations that use Oracle SOA Suite have discovered that their on-premise versions have accumulated complexity and may no longer be supported, resulting in increased risks, high IT maintenance & administrative costs, and stalled Cloud services adoption. 

Sound familiar? 

Join us on Thursday, April 22 to learn how you can transform your architecture into an efficient, scalable, and cost-effective solution with Oracle’s iPaaS options. 

Our team will illustrate the process, methodology, and technology involved in moving Oracle SOA Suite to the Cloud with AST’s proven Transcend methodology, which has been used to modernize integration platforms for dozens of customers across industries. 

We’ll be joined by one of our customers who will discuss their ‘How it started vs. How it’s going’ story with SOA.  You’ll hear about their recent migration to Oracle SOACS, why they chose to migrate to the cloud, what the process involved, and the tangible benefits the organization is already realizing with the solution. 

Attendees will gain an understanding of: 

  • Oracle iPaaS (SOA Cloud Service, Oracle Integration Cloud, and more) 
  • How Oracle’s iPaaS options can reduce IT maintenance & administrative costs 
  • Migration patterns and security 
  • Lessons learned 
  • A no-risk migration approach to the cloud for Oracle SOA customers 

Stop imagining your ideal digital transformation and learn how you can make that a reality with a Transcend to Oracle SOA in the cloud.   

Reserve your spot today! 

AST India is honored to announce that we have been awarded the distinction as a Certified Great Place to Work for Best Small and Mid-Sized Organizations in India. Great Place to Work® institute is a global research and consulting firm that helps organizations analyze their culture while recognizing organizations that are a great place to work.

Every year, over 10,000 organizations across 60 countries apply for the certification, with only a fraction of them gaining the distinction. The results are determined from a third-party Employee Engagement Survey with a rigorous data-driven methodology to quantify workplace culture. The certificate is considered the “gold standard” in identifying and recognizing great workplace cultures.

“Our people make AST such a great company, and I’m honored to be on a team that is committed and passionate about working together to help each other, innovate and strive for excellence every day.  To be recognized as a Great Place to Work further recognizes our people and the strength of our inclusive, One Team culture at AST. Thank you to everyone on the Team!”  Said Justin Winter, CEO at AST LLC 

At AST, our people are the center of everything we do! We foster a culture of inclusivity and innovation at every level of the organization with our leadership tenets to guide us: Teamwork, Trust, Accountability, Integrity, and Resiliency. All doors are open, and everyone’s ideas matter, giving our people the ability to quickly understand our customers’ needs and translate those needs into action. The results reveal our strengths and reflect the Core Values AST operates on Quality, Innovation, Leadership, and Customer Success.

“Our corporate culture is our competitive advantage! At AST India, we are more than a team; we are a family that collaborates, innovates, and grows together. Through championing the AST’s Core Values and Leadership Tenets, we work hard and play hard. A big shout to the team for everything you do! This is award is a well-deserved recognition for all your contributions in making AST, without a doubt, a Great Place to Work!” stated Vidya Khedekar, Senior Vice President of Global Delivery Center at AST.

The Great Place to Work® certification recognizes AST as a company that develops and empowers our team to perform to its fullest ability. 89% of AST employees believe that AST is a great place to work due to putting our people first, competitive compensation, and engaging culture. Opportunity is endless at AST; 87% of our workforce agrees instead of only 74% of employees at similar-sized companies in the IT Industry.

“Our employees are at the center of everything we do as an organization. We will continue to provide the best possible experience for our employees to create an inclusive and engaged culture to empower the AST workplace of the future,” pledged Teresa Stanula, Vice President of Global Human Resources at AST.

 

Great Places To Work

Many organizations struggle with a lack of visibility into finance functions, as well as inefficient use of resources due to manual task repetition within antiquated back office systems. 

If this sounds familiar, join our panel of experts on Thursday, February 11, for a lively discussion about how modern organizations are accelerating their move to a cloud-based finance and accounting solution, and elevating their ERP Cloud with AI-based finance automation 

Learn how you can optimize your investment in cloud-based solutions, improve your cash performance, and efficiently scale your shared services teams by leveraging AI and modern automation techniques.  Our team will discuss and answer your questions on how to increase your finance teams’ speed, accuracy, and productivity to automate, analyze, audit, and collaborate across finance organizations with cutting-edge AI, Cognitive RPA, NLP, and ML technologies.   

This session will focus specifically on innovation built for Oracle’s industry-leading ERP applications, including Oracle NetSuite and Oracle ERP Cloud. 

As an attendee, you will experience a live customer testimonial about their experience automating their Cloud ERP solution, as well as discover 

  • How best-in-class companies scale for growth using automation 
  • How to supercharge your ERP Cloud solution with AI-based bots 
  • How to accelerate and optimize cash performance using AI and Predictive Forecasting 
  • Why removing friction points in the back office unlocks massive productivity gains 

Get the most out of your investments in ERP with Cognitive Automation for Finance and Accounting, and make 2021 the year that you modernize your finance back office with AI-based automation.  

Register today to reserve your spot!

We know that disparate systems create data quality concerns and reporting inconsistencies across the enterprise. Data governance is more important than ever, as many organizations choose to keep some systems on-prem and move others to the cloud.

Attend our webinar on February 18th  at 1 PM CST to learn how to effectively manage and govern your enterprise metadata with Oracle Enterprise Data Management (EDM).  EDM provides a collaborative and intuitive data governance tool that allows the most complicated reporting hierarchies to be easily shared across different systems to provide timely, accurate, and consistent reporting across the enterprise. 

With EDM, Oracle has surpassed its on-premise predecessor, Data Relationship Management (DRM). So, what can you expect from Oracle’s next-generation cloud solution? 

In this webinar, our experts will answer the following key questions: 

  • Why isn’t data management a top priority for many organizations?  
  • Why are most organizations’ typical processes for dealing with change management inadequate?  
  • Shouldn’t all change management happen in ERP?  
  • How do industry leaders manage metadata orchestration across systems and what is the associated impact on their users, systems, and business functions? 

Oracle’s EDM Cloud is different in many ways from all other solutions on the market. It allows applications across the hybrid cloud ecosystem to subscribe to a centralized repository where data stewards can govern both applications’ specific and organization-wide changes to metadata definitions and hierarchies for operational and reporting usage. These applications benefit from centralized workflows and business rules that enforce consistency. 

With EDM, you have access to the richest metadata management feature set available in the cloud, including: 

  • Application and Master Perspectives 
  • Simplified User Interface 
  • Request Driven and Recorded Actions 
  • Change Visualization 
  • Hierarchy Management 
  • Change Audit

Don’t start your new year using antiquated systems! It’s time to manage and govern your data appropriately.

Register today to learn how you can secure your confidential information.

New functionality and architectural improvements are inherent with the adoption of Oracle Cloud Applications, allowing you to continuously modernize and improve your business processes.  These periodic updates require careful planning, rigorous testing, and the efficient deployment of new functionality to ensure user adoption and maximum ROI.

Monthly and quarterly Oracle Cloud Application testing requirements are time consuming when performed manually, have a high turnaround time for completion, and organizations often have inadequate testing coverage across business functionality, custom security roles, and complex integrations.

Relieve the burden on your business users of manually performing ongoing testing of Cloud Applications and enable your users to leverage new features more quickly, delivering greater ROI from your cloud investments.  Our unique Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) offering, powered by AST Autonomous Cloud Tester (ACT), accelerates releases, patch deployment, and upgrade test cycles across the breadth of Oracle Cloud Applications and beyond.  Our user-friendly, subscription-based solution allows you to plan testing, automate execution, and generate test results with accurate defect logs within a matter of hours.  

Join our webinar on Thursday, January 14, 2021 to learn how AST’s TaaS solution:

  • Reduces your Oracle Cloud Application testing cycle times from 2 weeks to 6 hours
  • Frees up business users’ time to focus on critical tasks or enhancements, rather than repetitive manual testing efforts
  • Encourages increased user adoption of cloud applications
  • Provides automatic updates and maintenance to test script documentation
  • Enables risk-free production deployments
  • Facilitates change management and training activities

Attendees will experience a demo of the solution, hear client success stories, and learn from our experts how proper patch impact analysis, planning of test data, test environments, and automated test execution ensures the quality, scalability, and availability of your cloud applications.

Our expert team offers more than just isolated testing of your applications.  Because we implement end-to-end transformational solutions for our clients, testing comes naturally.  We know your solution inside and out, which allows us to provide the right level of testing coverage and deliver true business value from your investments in Cloud Applications.

Take your business transformation to the next level with autonomous testing for Oracle Cloud Applications.

Register today!

Tagged with: , , ,

In the age of data visualization, the presentation of data in a consumable format is critical to effectively communicating information and driving action. Accessible data is imperative in sales and service applications as sales personnel interact with customers in a variety of settings. Map integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems makes it easy for users to locate customers or assets without any ambiguity.

Mapping customer data can also boost sales territory management. By enhancing customer data and integrating with data enrichment tools (e.g., Data Fox) to include prospects, senior management can determine the true value and quotas of a sales territory in order to plan marketing and sales efforts accordingly.

Presenting data in maps provides intrinsic business value, such as route planning, service coverage area representation, geographic impact on service or support, and the overall value of a strategic location for better brand perception and increased exposure.

Typically, opportunity pipeline and lead status reports are presented in static, tabular formats. However, for industries such as oil and gas, banking, real estate, urban planning, and public services, transitioning data from reports to maps provides significantly enhanced insights into sales and service organizations. Mapping customer support site visits and company assets on maps also helps organizations with service center resourcing and location planning.

Here are a couple of examples in which AST has successfully integrated CRM and CPQ applications with existing map APIs.

Example #1: A media company that manages online databases for real estate firms

Integration with maps has helped to streamline search capabilities for agents.  With map integration, an agent can now view premium properties (or another defined category) in a specific city, with accompanying details such as property percentage availability, map location, median property rate, or historic data.

Our team also implemented other visualizations as part of this project, such as enabling a map to display available properties in a specified zip code.

map 1

Example #2: Local government services

Our expert team enabled easier monitoring and deployment of resources in the case of a public health emergency by locating pandemic hotspots with map integration.

map 2

The mapping allowed the client to evaluate the services available in the specific area (highlighted in blue).

g3

Map integration has also helped the government to better manage contact tracing efforts.

g4

These capabilities enabled by map integration can be employed in any public service department to enhance government and citizen services, including fire departments, public event planning and coordination, and others.

Contact us to learn how modern map integration can transform your business and deliver value through enhanced service applications.

Is your government organization struggling to manage its Assessment Appeals processing? Will you be able to effectively manage the wave of appeals that is predicted due to recent times of uncertainty? 

County and City governments across the United States are burdened with manual, paper-based, and extremely time-intensive processes for property tax assessment appeals. Additionally, property owners who wish to reduce their tax burden with an appeal or exemption are faced with the same complex procedures and antiquated systems and a lack of visibility into the process and inefficient communication with the appropriate government office. To make matters worse, a wave of property tax assessment appeals is predicted to reach County and City governments across the U.S. in the coming months due to the economic upset related to COVID-19.   

Are your office, staff, and systems prepared? 

On Thursday, October 29, attend our webinar to learn how AST’s Assessment Appeals and Exemptions solution provides municipal governments the missing pieces to the appeals management puzzle – automation, efficiency, and centralized, accurate data. Our experts will discuss how the solution, built on the reliable and secure Salesforce cloud platform, provides a template for counties and cities to allow their citizens to apply for tax assessment appeals and exemptions entirely online! This informative session will discuss how our solution: 

  • Supports automated online and semi-automated paper business processes 
  • Provides accessible 24/7 self-service applications, amendments, postponements, and withdrawals 
  • Delivers automated workflows to help ease processing by city or county staff 
  • Centralizes appeals data 
  • Enables seamless back-end processes 
  • Integrates with electronic signatures (DocuSign) 
  • Enables automatic case creation 
  • Provides robust analytics and reports for city and county staff 

Comfortably ride the wave of property tax assessment appeals and exemption requests by eliminating inefficient, manual paper processes, and adopting completely remote assessment appeals and exemptions. 

Register today to secure your spot!  

 

The manufacturing process is replete with complexities. Its operations involve numerous partner organizations, forecasting, complex quoting/pricing rules and inventory management, and post-sales support. The implementation of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is critical to successfully managing these processes, ensuring accurate data entry and flow through the process stages, and increasing operational efficiencies and transparency.

AST is a leader in the CRM implementation space, with expertise in the Manufacturing industry and proven capabilities to streamline and enhance your business processes. In this article, our experts explain the business value that a quality CRM solution brings to a manufacturing organization.

Partner / Distributor Management

Working with partner organizations requires that your partner portal integrates with a global trade management system to screen all vendors, partners, suppliers, and customers. The distributors’ involvement in warehousing and logistics necessitates an outlet to empower your distributors to sell your products by registering deals, negotiating prices, and maintaining product inventory. Choosing a scalable CRM solution with an advanced partner relationship management system, that also provides restricted access to your organization’s data, streamlines the management of relationships with external parties.

Forecasting 

Robust tracking of the opportunity pipeline, combined with a strong reporting and forecasting module in your CRM solution, is critical for accurate sales forecasting and essential for all industry types.  CRM becomes even more critical for the Manufacturing industry in leveraging sales pipeline to help with demand forecasting, operations planning, and increased accuracy of inventory orders from suppliers and vendors. Enabling distributor and sales partner access to this information enables all parties to meet business objectives.

Quoting and Pricing

A CPQ (configure, price, and quote) system complements CRM to provide the flexibility to quote and price products based on your industry and organization’s downstream manufacturing processes. Having a CPQ system ensures standardized pricing and quotation output across the enterprise. A CPQ system integrated with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution allows organizations to incorporate item inventory or manufacturing constraints into the quoting process. Additionally, CPQ can provide multiple views of the same product configuration:  A sales bill of materials (BOM) will allow sales to configure based on customer specifications; a manufacturing BOM supports your manufacturing procurement processes as it acts as an intelligent translator to eliminate errors in order fulfillment. CPQ can even go further and extend itself to initiate the orchestration and sequencing of the manufacturing processes.

The flexibility of the CPQ system allows for the incorporation of manufacturing restrictions into the quoting process, ensuring that manufacturing lead times and batch limits are presented to the customer in the early quoting stages. Similarly, support and warranty agreements can be built into your quoting process, based on the level of support and period of warranty suitable for the customer.

Quoting and pricing strategies vary, depending on the type of manufacturing process employed.

 

  1. Make-to-Stock (MTS) Repetitive manufacturing, Mass manufacturing, and Batch production

Repetitive and mass manufacturing organizations typically employ customer-based price agreements and volume step pricing. Volume step pricing is a strategy in which customers are given additional discounts based on order quantity thresholds. It is crucial to track quoted quantities versus actual orders because of the broad range of product volumes and extended duration of contracts.  

Since repeat business is common in high-volume manufacturing, capturing historical information regarding pricing and order volumes enables the identification of trends and determination of the appropriate pricing strategy. This data can be leveraged by CPQ to generate AI-driven pricing graphs and indicators during the quoting process.  

  1. Assemble-to-Order (ATO) or Make-to-Order (MTO) Job Shop Manufacturing

Upon the acceptance of a quote or signing of a contract in which multiple subcomponents are manufactured, CPQ triggers the ERP system to initiate the manufacturing processes in the correct sequence.

  1. Engineered-to-Order (ETO) Project Production

Quoting for project production can be extremely complicated. Providing users with the ability to select preset models and configure them further helps to simplify the process and reduce errors in data entry for downstream systems. Revenue and expense/margin rules can be built into the system to decide if a project is worth pursing during the quoting process. Project production typically requires approvals from various stakeholders and design/production departments. In this case, the CPQ system can facilitate routing the approvals through the appropriate departments, based on rules defined by complexity, price, and other determining factors specific to your organization.

 

Customer Service 

Exceptional customer service is critical in the manufacturing industry, where long-term customer relationships are common.

A solution that tracks all products and services sold to a customer, along with service and warranty agreements, helps to understand the level of support required. The unified tracking of all service tickets, customer escalations, and communications in a single system provides the organization with a holistic view of its customers.

In today’s fast-paced, digital world, customers expect service via multiple channels and short response times to requests. Choosing a CRM that provides omnichannel customer support and contact center capability is imperative.

While selecting and implementing a CRM solution for your manufacturing business, consider partner relationship management, quoting and pricing, and service modules, along with a trusted and experienced implementation partner to provide a smooth digital transformation journey. 

Contact us to learn how we have helped Global Fortune 500 Manufacturing companies like Carmeuse, Velan, Inc., and Keysight Technologies adopt CRM and CPQ to streamline their Quote-to-Cash processes.