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Feb 13, 2019

Top 5 ERP News and articles: Week 2019-7

Disclaimer: The articles in this blog post are those that I found interesting and relevant to the topic of ERP and broader technology. I have no commercial association with any of the entities mentioned in this article. I may be subscribing to a few news letters,  following a few of these entities on LinkedIn and even some of these entities may be on my LinkedIn or Social Media network. These articles are selected purely based on their relevance to the objective of this blog, to promote ERP.

Theme for this week is Industry 4.0 (I40). The articles selected equips you to better understand the complex area of I40. Three of the articles are conceptual in nature and are meant to provide overview. The first article talks about I40 (It is a post from this blog), second gives an overview of IoT and third gives an overview of AI. Fourth article details a few use cases of I40 Technologies

The Short URL for this Post is  https://goo.gl/jNWE7g

1. Industry 4.0: A Primer:

 http://erp-consultancy.blogspot.com/2018/03/what-is-industry-40.html#more

Industry 4.0 (I40) refers to the fourth stage in the evolution of manufacturing industry. Phase one was characterized by Steam Energy, two by electricity, three by computerization and IT and Industry 4.0 envisages the integration of cyber physical systems, big data, modern technologies - AI, ML and IIoT and cloud computing that is set to transform the industry.

I40 is driven by four technology disruptions, rise in data volume and computational power, augmented analytic capabilities, new forms of human - machine interaction like touch and AVR (Augmented Virtual Reality) and digital to physical integration like robotics and 3D Printing.
I40 factory of the future will be Self aware, will self-predict, self-compare, self-configure, self-maintain and self-organize.

'Customerization', producing a batch size of one, is the major benefit of I40. Customer will truly become the king. Customer will be able to drag and drop features that they require and the system will produce plan for and produce it to meet the specific requirements of individual customer.
The detailed article (from my blog) shows the challenges and opportunities of I40 and closes with a brief description of how an ERP system can become I40 ready.
There are many references at the end of the article that can add more value to the reader.

2. Getting started with Internet of Things (IoT)  

https://www.sas.com/en_us/explore/resources/getting-started-iot.html?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=iot-global&utm_content=GMS-81562

 I love it when I open a website and find that the contents are laid out in a logical order and in a design that is pleasing to the eyes. Scanning the website, one gets a mental sitemap of what it is about. It makes me very excited to explore the site. The website on IoT maintained by sas.com has material to learn everything about IoT. Their structured approach to IoT consists of five conceptual steps,  identify challenges, determine goals, put your goals into action by developing a monetization plan, engage the ecosystem and reflect on your IoT journey and take the next steps. For each of these steps, the site has provide with collateral like articles, whitepapers, podcasts and videos. 

I will summarize the article on 10 common mistakes organizations make with IoT endeavours. The ten mistakes are:
  • Lack of preparation - preparation will take time and money, 
  • Inaccurate problem statement - this leads to excessive and redundant data collection and the mistake of treating all data as equally important (some data is more important), 
  • Not asking the right questions - data ownership, data quality, how to handle adhoc analytics etc, 
  • Failing to anticipate the complexity - not anticipating data volume and not planning for scalability, 
  • Tight restriction on data exchange between technologies and applications, 
  • Skipping compliance best practices - compliance processes like GDPR and others detail best practices for collecting, storing and disseminating data. They should be adhered to, 
  • Underestimating security and privacy implications - IoT demands additional security and privacy demands. When everything is connected, everything is at risk, 
  • Taking data platforms and people skills for granted - take a hard look at your infrastructure, company culture and policy and employee skills and see if they are sufficient to meet the demands of IoT., 
  • Complacency - do not assume that the product vendors and consultants have all the answers, they come with their own agenda that may not match yours
  • Waiting until every relevant information is available - get involved, execute, learn and improve
Excellent article. Excellent resources.

3. An executive's guide to AI  

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-analytics/our-insights/an-executives-guide-to-ai

This is an awesome, visual treat of a site that gives you a very solid grounding on the key concepts relating to AI - AI itself, Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL). Delivered by McKinsey Analytics team, the site is divided into three sections. Each section covers definition and additional details. This site also describes detailed use cases of both ML and DL. Under AI, it covers definition and a timeline that tells you why AI is in the vogue now. The article identifies algorithmic advances, high volume of data and increase in computational power as the drivers for AI. Algorithmic advances started in 1805 when Legendre published the least square method for regression which laid the foundations of Machine Learning. In 2010 the world wide IP traffic exceeded 20 exabytes and in 2011 IBM Watson won Jeopardy!

Machine Learning provides predictions and prescriptions. Major types of ML are Supervised Learning, Unsupervised Learning and Reinforcement Learning. Each of them is defined briefly. For example RL is defined where 'Algorithm learns to perform a task simply by trying to maximize rewards it receives for its actions'.

Deep learning can process a wider range of data resources, requires less data processing by humans and can produce more accurate results than traditional ML. It uses 'Neural Network' that can process vast amounts of input data through multiple layers that learn increasingly complex features of the data at each layer. There are two major DL models, Convolutional Neural Network and Recurrent Neural Networks

There are many use cases discussed for each type of ML and each model of DL.

If you are interested in AI, you cannot afford to miss this site. Thank you McKinsey for this awesome site.  

4. AI in ERP: Quest for the fourth generation platform  

https://it.toolbox.com/blogs/erpdesk/ai-in-erp-quest-for-the-fourth-generation-platform-073118

Industry 4.0 expects new advanced technologies to work with the existing technologies to automate manufacturing processes. AI is one of the new technologies that are expected to work seamlessly with ERP to add value to the repository. In fact AI is going to have transformation impact on ERP Development and could lead to 'Post Modern' ERP, or Fourth Generation ERP. Some of the use cases of AI include the use of Chatbots and Virtual Assistants that work with ERP releasing time for employees to do value added work on ERP. Advanced Analytics using AI will add 'meat' to the 'data skeleton' provided by ERP. In the area of UX, Another use case for AI is that it helps add 'Voice Interaction' capabilities to ERP. 

5. 10 Trends shaping the IoT Landscape: McKinsey.com

https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/ten-trends-shaping-the-internet-of-things-business-landscape?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck&hlkid=4594adde5e744a7a983d6c9f94a92f27&hctky=2565821&hdpid=1117bc77-3cf1-44f3-a5b5-6d0292addfc0

The article places the IoT trends into three buckets, Company Level, Market Level and at the Technology / data level.

Companies no longer views IoT as an IT initiative. They have come to realize that IoT and business processes are closely interrelated. For example, by attaching sensors, a machine will inform you of the pending predictive maintenance. However, that output is useless unless it is linked to maintenance planning and spares procurement. Also, companies gain the maximum value from their IoT investment when they execute multiple use cases. To add to above, IoT is slowly enabling more subscription based business like 'compressed air by the hour', but consumers, especially at households are still resistant to the subscription model.

At the market level, heavy machinery and discrete manufacturing is slowly extending the IoT usage to bring about significant cost benefits. In addition, Amazon and Google have attained critical mass in connected devices. The upshot will be that manufacturers will position their products to work with these appliances. The emergence of Chinese IoT companies is another trend that will act as a headwind to the overall IoT industry worldwide.

At the Technology and Data level, the authors of the article expect four trends. Data integration between connected devices is still a challenge and businesses are not yet able to get the full value of IoT. The emerging scenarios in data sharing will depend on industry. Some industries like aircraft will encourage data sharing while some industries would like to keep tight ownership of data to differentiate their performance. Another trend will be the closure of debate relating to whether cloud of 'Edge' is the best option to host IoT data. 'Edge' means servers near to the place where data is generated. The decision will depend on data transmission costs and if the company has a number of mobile and / or remote assets. If the transmission costs are high and company has many remote assets, saving IoT data on Edge will help faster analytics. Another trend is that 'Cybersecurity' is not a barrier to IoT adoption. The final trend is that AI and ML are catching up with IoT and are capable of doing about 60% of the tasks that IoT does. This could lead to a situation where they replace IoT in the investment priority.

Nice article.....Do read. Do subscribe to McKinsey, if you have not done already.  

Additional Reading

Feb 6, 2019

Top 5 ERP News and articles: Week 2019-6

Disclaimer: The articles in this blog post are those that I found interesting and relevant to the topic of ERP and broader technology. I have no commercial association with any of the entities mentioned in this article. I may be following a few of these entities on LinkedIn and even some of these entities may be on my LinkedIn or Social Media network. These articles are selected purely based on their relevance to the objective of this blog, to promote ERP.

(The short URL for this post is https://goo.gl/RnBRRn)

1. Four real world use cases for Blockchain  There are articles that give you an 'Aha' moment, when you realize that you have never thought of this point before. That is what I felt when I read one of the use cases of Blockchain that is described in this article. Companies can take the verified invoices from their ERP Systems and raise cash quickly by bill discounting with the banks or selling the bills to the factoring services.

Feb 2, 2019

Top 5 ERP News and articles: Week 2019-5

Disclaimer: The articles in this blog post are those that I found interesting and relevant to the topic of ERP and broader technology. I have no commercial association with any of the entities mentioned in this article. I may be following a few of these entities on LinkedIn and even some of these entities may be on my LinkedIn or Social Media network. These articles are selected purely based on their relevance to the objective of this blog, to promote ERP.

1. The Supply Chain Trends in 2019: Steve Banker:  This is an excellent article that will add significant value no matter what profession you are in. These are the kinds of article that I wish I could write.
Mr.Banker identifies four trends for 2019 and beyond. These are Global trade, tariffs and FTAs, Logistics labour shortage and automation, Digital supply chain and Machine Learning (ML). Global trade challenges including US China tariff war and Brexit will cause significant supply chain disruptions mainly to companies using JIT processes to manage their inventory requirements.

Jan 29, 2019

ERP Trends for 2019

The year 2019 has already started and it is time to anticipate what the customers will want from ERP as well as what vendors are going to provide.

Introduction
As we enter 2019, the focus has shifted to #DigitalTransformation and ERP is just one of the components, albeit a key one, in the overall IT / Digital strategy of the Organization. The explosion of new technologies and the focus on Industry 4.0 has upended the digital strategy. From an incremental technology upgrade as the Organizational Digital Strategy, the CIOs of the future are exposed to a plethora of technologies, each promising the moon. The information availability and requirement has exploded and ERP, which used to be the information repository of the Organization of yore, now finds itself wanting in many areas.


Jan 28, 2019

Top 5 ERP News and Articles: Week 2019-4

Disclaimer: The articles in this blog post are those that I found interesting and relevant to the topic of ERP and broader technology. I have no commercial association with any of the entities mentioned in this article. I may be following a few of these entities on LinkedIn and even some of these entities may be on my LinkedIn or Social Media network. These articles are selected purely based on their relevance to the objective of this blog, to promote ERP.

Friends, even though this is an ERP Blog, I have taken the liberty to focus on #DigitalTransformation as the blogging theme for the week. In my opinion that is going to be the technology theme for the next few years. You will agree that it is worth focusing on. Let us look at it in a structured way, shall we?

1. What is #DigitalTransformation: When you have a question that starts with 'What is', where else to go but to our good old Wikipedia. Wiki says that to understand anything clearly, we need to define it first. To me the best definition of #DigitalTransformation is "Digital Transformation is not about technology, it's about the fact that technology, which is digital, allows people to solve their traditional problems and they prefer that solution to the old solution". As you can see, the transformation is defined by its effect on the behaviour of the people. 

Jan 22, 2019

Top 5 ERP News and Articles: Week 2019-3

Disclaimer: The articles in this blogpost are those that I found interesting and relevant to the topic of ERP and broader technology. I have no commercial association with any of the entities mentioned in this article. I may be following a few of these entities on LinkedIn and even some of these entities may be on my LinkedIn or Social Media network. These articles are selected purely based on their relevance to the objective of this blog, to promote ERP.

Here are the top 5 ERP news and articles for the Week # 2019-3.

The science of cloud ERP utilization: By Brett Beaubouef: How do I know that my company is ready for ERP? How do I know which ERP features that I should implement immediately? Which ones should be implemented later? What could be the potential roadmap? Anyway I am investing in ERP, so why not implement all the features at one go and get it over with?
These are not theoretical questions. Many Organizations fail to realize that implementing ERP calls for evaluating many aspects. ERP calls for change. There are many aspects to change. Let us consider process changes that almost every ERP application expects. The word process change implies that the existing processes are documented and base-lined. If you don't know what to change, what will you change? Every organization is not ready for process changes. Availability of documented processes is a pre-requisite for process change.

Dec 11, 2018

#Sangam18 Day Two: Experiences,Observations, Learnings and Photos

Sangam2018, the annual conference of All India Oracle Applications User Group (AIOUG) was held at Hotel Oterra, Electronic City, Bangalore on the 7th and 8th of December, 2018.

I attended  both the days. Here are my observations from Day Two of Sangam 2018.



This was the day 2 of Sangam. In the morning, as I got up, I was very flustered. I wanted to do everything very fast and reach Sangam Venue at 8.00 A.M. I woke up at 5.30 A.M, finished the initial work and rushed to the community hall to do the Soham Meditation and Varna Pranayama.


Dec 10, 2018

#Sangam18 Day One: Experiences,Observations, Learnings and Photos

Sangam2018, the annual conference of All India Oracle Applications User Group (AIOUG) was held at Hotel Oterra, Electronic City, Bangalore on the 7th and 8th of December, 2018.

I attended  both the days. Here are my observations from Day One of Sangam 2018.




Today was day one of Sangam18, the Oracle conference organized by All India Oracle user Group (AIOUG). It was a very professional event very well organized. The leader of the event and the president of AIOUG is Sai Janakiram Penumuru. An amazing guy, Sai. Very energetic and dynamic.

Nov 11, 2018

How do you peel an onion in an ERP Implementation: Requirement Gathering

There are two similarities between peeling an onion and eliciting customer requirements during an ERP Implementation. One, the deeper you go, you reach the core, the most important customer requirements and two, unless you peel the outer layer, elicit and close the requirements mentioned in the outer layer, you will not have access to the core, the critical requirements.
As you peel each layer, the issues identified will become more complex and more relevant to the customer. The earlier in the ERP implementation you peel the outer layers, you close the peripheral requirements, the earlier you will come to know of the real requirements that will add value to the customer. And you will see that the level of people who give requirements go higher as you peel each layer. Let me illustrate with some examples.

Oct 15, 2018

So what does an ERP Consultant do?

I often get this question, 'So what do you do?'

'I work as an ERP Consultant Implementing ERP for customers', I reply.

'What is ERP?' is the invariable next question.

'ERP stands for Enterprise (wide) Resources Planning', I answer

What does ERP do?