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When we talk about the automated enterprise applications, we are talking specifically about data-centricity and continuous innovation on a real-time intelligent core. In the automated enterprise, there is one standard across the enterprise—storage, network, processes, databases, and more – that enables this dynamic environment.

What is an intelligent core?

The core has changed. Over the last 20 years, automated enterprise applications were developed for environments with disparate systems for transaction processing, planning and reporting. This was partly due to limitations in hardware and database technology. Now, due to advances in technology, the core integrates operations and development to create a more agile, intelligent core.

What is the benefit of the intelligent core to a business?

There are three main benefits of an intelligent core.

  1. Improve an existing process or re-imagine the process.
  2. Improve usability and employee productivity. Every enterprise user including the core back-office function, needs a smart, mobile-friendly UI.,
  3. Be ready to exploit new advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. As our former chairman said, “If the jumbo jet is going to land, keep the runway ready.”’

Why is that so important?

Accelerate your business through automation. Look at a couple of examples that demonstrate what the new core can do. First, manufacturing organizations can now run material requirements planning (MRP) multiple times a day if needed – a far cry from the overnight runs of the past.

Second, as organizations move toward allowing orders of any size, there will be a proliferation of orders, invoices and payments. Matching payments to outstanding invoices could become a nightmare. Machine learning can now automate this process and do an 80 to 90 percent match.

What is the difference between an on-premises core and a cloud-based core?

You can be an automated enterprise irrespective of whether the core is on-premises or in the cloud. The trade-off is usually between time to market and cost.

Historically, the core has been on-premises, allowing both greater perceived control over data and security and with the flexibility to customize, which has been the bane of most implementations. Cloud-based cores allow for faster implementations because there is less flexibility to customize. For example, we completed a financials implementation in only 12 weeks because there is almost no internal infrastructure and, therefore, limited customizations and less capex.

The choice depends on the specific circumstances of the enterprise.

Why isn’t everyone running cloud-based ERP?

It sounds compelling so why hasn’t everyone made the move? There are two main reasons:

  • Functionality: Cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) is still catching up with the functionality of the on-premises versions simply because they are newer products with a different architecture. Expect the gap to close fairly quickly. In 18-24 months, we should see a much higher adoption rate.
  • Security: Now with new legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enterprises want to be very sure that their security measures are compliant.

Does it matter which cloud platform an organization is running?

Most intelligent cores are supported by the three major public cloud platforms: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google. The Mindtree SAP practice is accredited to deploy on all three and has an especially close relationship with Microsoft.

At Mindtree, our mantra is: “Think big, start small, act now.”

What are the “start small” and “act now” activities that organizations should consider? If you “think big,” – for example, converting a large on-premises system to a cloud environment – you must first “start small, act now.”

What does that mean? You may have heard this before: “It’s a journey.” Before you start any journey, you prepare. Cloud-based ERP is no different. To meet your end goal, you start by picking a business process or a geography or a small subsidiary for a pilot. You start small and you do it now.

Your journey has a better chance of success if you have a clear roadmap. Deciding on the roadmap is a very important exercise and something that we can help with – we have the experience to guide you on your road to success.


About the Author

Arun Rangaraju
Global Head of Enterprise Applications Solutions

A desire to be at the forefront of technology is a driving force in my career. From influencing my decision to move into the SAP world two decades ago, to inspiring me in my current role as SVP and Global Head of the SAP business at Mindtree, my key passion is concentrating on the opportunities digital transformation can offer enterprises.

As SAP’s focus turns to SAP HANA, cloud and mobile, Mindtree  is uniquely positioned as one of its go-to innovation partners. We advise and deliver solutions to enable enterprise customers excel by collaborating to create leaner, more agile versions of their former selves.

I recognise that people make a company, so it’s crucial that we encourage the consulting mindset within Mindtree  and allow our talent to flourish.

Outside of work, my interests are wide and varied: from family to sport to theatre, not forgetting music (my lucky neighbours have the pleasure of listening to me jamming with friends on a weekend!)

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