UNIT4 bid for automatic ERP
We were in Amsterdam in Unit4 Connect 2016, its global customer and partner conference, and we took a few product announcements and a big surprise. On the latter, which then very few of these knew that the work host the then CEO José Duarte would be his last assignment for the Dutch company, because just a week after the relay was confirmed in the dome, passing Stephan Sieber to be named new CEO with immediate effect.
Sieber was executive vice president of Global Sales and Unit4 had joined in 2014 six months after it did José Duarte, who came to command the unit of SAP in Spain and Portugal. In a terse statement, it specified that Duarte “is removed from his position as CEO to pursue other ambitions outside the management software market.”
But back to Unit4 ads, which the maker of business management software “people-centered” wanted to give a touch of revolutionary (and indeed are) and qualify as its most important realease in decades. In fact, they outlined the scenario of the digital transformation that will doomed all kinds of companies and organizations, including users.
We refer to Business Word On !, its main ERP now ready to operate from the cloud SaaS in portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, ready from May 2. A new automated applications PSA professional services, designed for the second half of 2016. Or the figure of the “absent manager” Digital Assistant that will change the way we interact with management software, and combining natural language techniques , pattern recognition and machine learning propose a new way of relating to the application that governs the core business.
“The idea is that intelligent recommendations help users cope with the most complex tasks safely and reliably, and worry of the most repetitive or low-value tasks that happen to be made almost automatically avoiding mistakes and oversights “we had Fernando García Varela, director of sales for Business Word Iberia and Latin America.
This is because as we announce, by using pattern recognition to understand user behavior, in combination with data from a number of sources, the digital assistant perform useful activities by itself. Examples of “self-driven” include categorizing bills according to the risk profiles, filling out expense reports and timesheets from historical data, or discount proposals based on the customer risk profiles. A promise that start to become reality during 2017.
“Imagine a company that sells professional services and carry out projects; only following the law 80/20, have a number of heads of very effective and efficient projects and a small proportion not so great; even the good, we must have are not going to give 100% all the time, and can also have their bad day or sidetracked in some cases, “he explains García Varela. “All activity takes into account the risk that measures precisely the weaknesses of each project. Now imagine if we had a program able to compare patterns of the various projects already implemented the most common, the most profitable, the most complicated … with which we open, and we could say how it is evolving, if it is diverting some item significantly, if you can apply best practices in some extreme, thus anticipating the risk go worse and can be corrected in time. Well that’s what you can already do Business Word. It is like a sponge that absorbs and spits data reports, and through the implementation of operational intelligence manages to eliminate repetitive tasks of routine workers. Just two weeks walk and is already saving 20% of the costs, because it is the best manager, which is not wrong ”.
The Spanish manager abounds in this fascinating subject. “Another example: some consultants have moved home client, to solve a problem. For mobile or tablet of the company detects that have arrived early in the morning, but some have gone to noon and others have remained until late afternoon at the facility, and the program can impute 6 hours or 10 or who have been to each consultant, so that the operator when I get home tired not have to do the part, and when I come back the next day at the office not make a mistake because he does not remember good of any data ” .
The time is gold
The digital assistant is built on People Platform Premium Edition, which is the basis of new technological solutions Unit4. The platform autoconducidas enhance the development of applications that will free users from routine tasks and allow them to concentrate on that really add value and innovation, which is what makes the difference in business.
“The new reality of the digital revolution is accelerating change in many areas: education, the e-campus and e-learning, everything is collaboration; in medicine, virtual operating rooms and remote diagnostics, operating inside and outside the hospital; in public administration, Citizen-as-a-Service concept where the citizen is king. Wherever you look, technology is leading to a new stadium the business world, “he claimed Jose Duarte in his keynote. “The technology base remains stable for a long time, and this is because the value is created in the part of the core. At the base also it innovates, but less, is rather to optimize processes and make more powerful infrastructure; however it is in the core where they really compete, where inspiration and new ideas can make a difference. The base is very similar for all, and accessible to anyone today. However, those who succeed have a differential vision based on costumer-centric ”.
And one last thought we left the now former CEO of Unit4: “The best software should be built for people, to help automate their processes, to help them give their best. The most valuable resources is time. Everything has a limit, the hours spent at work, housework, leisure, the rest of the day are finite … the more free time gives you a, sure it will employ better in the For rest this debate if it is digital one time murderer, or a liberator. And that is why we are so excited about this 2016, which will mean our new products. ”
Professional Services Automation (PSA)
This solution Unit4 plans to integrate during the third quarter of 2016, is designed to manage all core processes based organizations professional services with collaboration of project teams and the need to share knowledge and information about all processes, such as assignments roles, resource management, time management and expenditure, etc.
It is designed from scratch to run on Cloud and Mobile-first, available through the app Unit4Me. It also takes advantage of cutting-edge technologies, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, making them a safe business benefit, by creating user experiences autoconducidas. Create a unique workspace with a visibility of 360 degrees, intuitive dashboards and control of all project information and integrated employment of new collaboration tools Slack.com type, which allows the adoption of agile methodologies based Lean, Scrum or Kanban.
“How much percentage spend on administrative tasks and how many professional? Automated flows help increase productivity and reduce costs. There are many tasks in the particular life that can not do the same in professional life. Now teams can organize conversations in open channels related to a project, theme, or team specific customer, such as when they do in their homes, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency, “said Erik Tiden, CTO Unit4. “Designed from scratch to support the openness and integration, Unit4 PSA works with UNIT4 Business World ERP On! ERP and other software management. ”
And it is that as apostilla Fernando García Varela, “The advantage of our products is that they can integrate and work with third-party applications, such as a payroll program or CRM. The reality is that the management modules is done without much effort, but the integration work in the end is not as simple as making a plugging. However, we have native integrations with Oracle scale, Inform, SAP or Microsoft ”.
Publication of APIs
In addition, Unit4 adds to the trend of opening their guts and provide APIs for third-party manufacturers or users can improve their applications specific to your business interests functionalities. The People Platform Premium Edition will offer various technical capabilities such as a layer of open integration and development kit applications for customers and partners can build their own developments to facilitate new processes on top of applications Unit4.
“Unit4 also provides capabilities to build microservices works from the first level: create a form, integrating new processes, establishing analysis algorithms. We report a very high degree of self-sufficiency, in what most touched 80% what the user can do without knowing just code, “says García Varela. “It also influences the market to which it is intended, for example, in the most industrial code seems carved in stone, it changes very little. The company can be compared year to year, get a time-span, and know when is the most appropriate time to go into production, for example. But more services, whose business can change quickly in time, can always repurpose, as Business Word has a four-layer architecture to make it easier and more flexible intervene in the internal systems. ”
We spoke of four layers: “We have three dedicated to the front (display), the processing (cooking) and data (raw material); if you touch an item, you play in the other two layers. But if you have a fourth intermediate layer, can create and modify the data structure, which will not affect your modeling or presentation, “says Garcia Varela. “That fourth layer allows the ERP change to better adapt to our convenience or introduce new processes without touching code. I think this is the differential Unit4 ingredient. ERP for the manufacturing world are not intended to have to face very revolutionary changes, but those people as focus, should be able to adapt itself to each singularity. And we offer very oriented vertical macro-solutions, especially those for professional business services (engineering, banking, media, consulting IT …), to high education (private universities and business schools) and non-frofit (government, foundations and NGOs). ”
To conclude, a point that caught my attention the intervention of Ivo Totev, the CMO of Unit4. “Reviewing the investments made in 2015, we have tried to unify the Unit4 brand associated with all products, we have implemented a strategy of content scalable marketing, we have made a vertical approach in go-to-market, and we have opted for innovation the field of people-centric with the story-telling. We discovered that it was easier and more effective to build our brand based on the success of our customers and telling their stories. ” Without doubt, the best business card.
“In Europe we are the 13th IT company, and our goal is to become the fifth exceeding 1,000 million euros in turnover in 2020 (currently half 500 million). But if we compare, the ERP market is harder, is more difficult to compete with companies like SAP or Microsoft, they can offer a wider choice in various fields. We can offer a difference in the cloud, we do not share with anyone, and visibility that has our financial module to remain profitable, “says Fernando Garcia Varela.
And is that as said Ivo Totev, “the cloud is the future of every business, it is a fact, and only a matter of time.” In this sense, Unit4 has a strong strategic alliance with Microsoft Azure to provide first class services to its customers pass and IaaS solutions integrated with their management. “We have an agreement with Azure IaaS for provisioning, which is offered as our pure cloud. Our license is the most flexible, you can have it in property (with an annual payment), you can have it Subscription (with monthly payment), or you can have it in the cloud (in any of its three variants, pure, dedicated and shared). Right now we have about 70 customers Business World in Spain and cloud, our goal is to triple that number and reach 300. Today we are selling three times more cloud than licenses on-promise, so we have set a ratio of 60/240 at this time. ”