Modern
Business Magazine

Growing businesses that prove anything is possible

Entrepreneurs
and Intrapreneurs

Your Cloud Awaits

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ENTREPRENEURS AND INTRAPRENEURS YOUR CLOUD AWAITS

Thanks to the cloud, what today’s entrepreneurs can achieve with a few thousand pounds, dollars or euros and a back room would have taken a fully-staffed data centre and vast amounts of start-up capital just a decade ago.

iCabbi steps on the gas with Oracle Cloud

Take iCabbi, for example – a dynamic provider of dispatch software to forward-thinking taxi fleets that were ‘born in the cloud’ in 2010. The fledgling business had plenty of vision but lacked the internal resources to get to market at sufficient speed. As iCabbi’s Senior Business Analyst, Ian McDonald, recalls “by taking advantage of Oracle’s cloud and partner network, we took just twelve weeks from kickoff to seeing value. Today, we have huge flexibility in terms of the infrastructure we use, and the freedom to develop and deploy innovative features.”

“If you have an idea for a new product or service, the barriers to entry have never been lower – you can gain affordable access to the enterprise grade infrastructure you need at a very early stage. You can try innovative things in a safe environment, fail fast and iterate quickly. Once you’ve validated your market, you have the tools to build and scale rapidly,” McDonald continues.

Analytics provide the knowledge to drive success

Like any digitally native businesses, iCabbi generates a vast amount of data that can be exploited to plot the direction of the business, spot trends and uncover opportunities. That’s where Oracle Cloud Analytics comes in.

iCabbi analyses the customer data flowing through its software, including passenger, driver and operational information, to create business and customer value. A dashboard puts real-time insights at customers’ fingertips, such as what channels they are using to take bookings, the profitability of their accounts, and even who their best- and worst-performing drivers are.

“We are able to analyse exactly how customers are using our solution, which then feeds into our ongoing fine-tuning and development activity,” McDonald explains.

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Cloud for upstarts as well as start-ups

You don’t have to be part of a lean, young start-up to seize the advantages of Oracle Cloud.

“For intrapreneurs within larger, well-resourced organisations, the same benefits apply”, says McDonald.

“If you have an idea, you can get the tools you need to try something new and win big – the cloud removes many of the traditional challenges associated with getting innovation off the ground and puts you in a very privileged position in the IT sector,” he concludes.

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Automotive
Supplier Finds
an Extra Gear

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AUTOMOTIVE SUPPLIER FINDS AN EXTRA GEAR

Promata is the go-to specialist marketing support supplier for some of the world’s biggest car manufacturers, including Ford, Mazda, Jaguar, and Land Rover. The agency plans, coordinates, and executes complex marketing and sales campaigns, incentivising thousands of individual reps, at hundreds of dealerships, across multiple global territories.

Managing over 300 projects, involving some 265,000 vehicles and around 650,000 individual documents every year, Promata is responsible for budgets in excess of $1 billion.

And due to increasing client demand, campaigns were becoming ever more complicated, needed to be executed ever faster and reports ever more detailed.

Promata’s dedicated, externally-hosted IT infrastructure was no longer able to cope with these increasing pressures. Modifying, expanding, or adding new functions was too difficult, too costly, took too long, or simply wasn’t effective. To preserve and grow its longstanding relationship with clients, the agency needed an IT infrastructure with power, speed, flexibility, and scalability. And it needed it to be cost-effective, secure and easily accessible by auditors.

Powering up

By turning to Oracle Cloud, Promata was able to migrate over 200 applications and around 1.5 terabytes of data. At one stroke, the storage, visibility, access and processing of all projects, was more efficient, more flexible, and faster.

Runtimes of individual batch jobs were reduced by 37.5%, and campaigns could be added or adapted, within minutes, with no additional resource or compromising existing projects.

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Security was tightened substantially. With Oracle Database 12c, sensitive data is now fully encrypted – previously impossible on the old system. This not only increases protection against cyber attack and data breaches, but also fulfils the requirements of auditors that all projects are secure, fail-safe and error-free. In fact, Promata’s error rate is now extremely low (0.1% max), in an environment that’s exceptionally stable, and with no instances of downtime since the change of technology partner.

And with no need for large, one-off hardware investments, external IT service costs were reduced by an astonishing 30%.

Life in the fast lane

Promata is living proof that in today’s environment, there’s no room for complacency. Whether you’re new to market or a market leader, the needs of your customers are ever changing and ever more demanding. That means not only do you need to be constantly alert to change, but you need to be able to respond fast and effectively. Discover how life in the cloud can mean life in the fast lane.


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The General Data
Protection Regulation

How Oracle security solutions can help

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THE GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION - HOW ORACLE SECURITY SOLUTIONS CAN HELP

GDPR – an evolution of the 1995 Data Protection Directive

Organisations are scrambling to understand the impact of the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy.

Addressing GDPR compliance requires a coordinated strategy involving different organisational entities including legal, human resources, marketing, security, IT, and other departments. Successful GDPR compliance cannot be achieved without a seamless and secure information strategy across the various entities.

Organisations should comply by May 25, 2018.

GDPR and requirements for security

It’s clear that both encryption and pseudonymisation (data-masking for example) are presented as strong candidates to implement. However, customers must work out what is appropriate and if something goes wrong e.g. a data breach, there needs to be a high probability their interpretation of what was appropriate aligns with that of the supervisory authority.

How Oracle solutions can help address GDPR

Oracle enables the encryption of any sensitive part of Oracle databases. Customers should use this to encrypt personal data, at-rest on disk and when sent over communications to and from the database. There is a facility within the database to ensure that database administrators and other users do not have excessive access, for example in relation to changing personal data.

There is an industry wide category of solution for protecting public cloud services called CASB (Cloud Access Security

Broker). All organisations who are subject to GDPR should strongly consider deploying a CASB solution

Oracle CASB uses machine learning to help maximise protection of cloud services. It can be used as a preventative and detective measure.

There are additional solutions that can be used across hybrid cloud (Oracle and non-Oracle cloud). These more advanced solutions can be layered on top of CASB to provide modern tooling for a security operation centre to detect and respond to cyberthreats against personal (or other sensitive) data.

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Next steps

If you’d like to learn more about GDPR compliance, what it means for your organisation, and the tools that can help you achieve it in a way that’s right for you, listen to our on-demand webcast.

We’ll explore the security solutions available in greater detail and explain how a blend of the right security tools can help you simplify GDPR compliance and protect yourself, your organisation, and your customers against the damaging impacts of a security breach.


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GDPR Has Arrived

Learn how to keep staying compliant

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GDPR HAS ARRIVED - LEARN HOW
TO KEEP STAYING COMPLIANT

GDPR has finally arrived, and doubtless you’ve done all you can to be ready. But the story doesn’t end there - true compliance is about staying proactive, frequently reviewing your systems, and looking for opportunities to simplify processes relating to data. Ensure you continue to stay compliant by following these five action points.

1. Explore the latest tools

From data management to automated enforcement of security measures, tools have been developed - and are still being developed - that can greatly assist with certain areas of GDPR. As advances are made in automation and AI, these tools are only going to get more sophisticated, meaning you should constantly be on the lookout for technology that can help you stay compliant.

2. Ensure accountability and traceability

Transparency when handling data is one of the key tenets of GDPR. Being able to demonstrate how you manage data, and show the measures you’ve taken to process it securely,

are essential for compliance. Going forward, you need to make sure you document every decision you make, ensuring you have put the correct tools in place to investigate breaches when they happen.

3. Set access controls

Your data security could be best-in-class, but without putting in place measures to limit who can access data, your business is still open to threats. To mitigate risk, it’s vital to reduce user privileges to the minimum number of people needed to complete tasks. It’s also important that systems are able to authenticate the identity of everyone requesting access.

4. Keep your systems up to date

No one likes the downtime that system patching causes. But when you consider out-of-date software is one of the biggest causes of data breaches, staying on top of updates becomes critical. Be as diligent as you can ensuring your systems are fully up to date, and use management tools to simplify patching and maintain maximum uptime.

5. Use IT to ensure data security

IT can add significant value when it comes to compliance, and with GDPR establishing the protection of data as a human right, few areas are as important as data security. Going forward, you should be mobilising IT teams to be constantly assessing security risks, and ensuring appropriate measures are put into place to prevent and detect threats.

The penalties for failing to comply with GDPR can be serious. Going beyond potential fines, non-compliance could result in compensation following a data breach, and even bans on data processing. It’s therefore critical that as your company evolves, you’re able to simplify processes and build new systems around GDPR, ensuring continual compliance into the future.




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Like Riding a Bike…
That Pedals Itself

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LIKE RIDING A BIKE…
THAT PEDALS ITSELF

If you’re starting to feel inundated by today’s deluge of data then it’s hardly surprising-but there is a way you can calm the storm to transform your outlook for clearer times ahead.

Mass mobile device adoption and the internet of things have made data ubiquitous. Whether structured or unstructured, there is now more data being collected, from more sources and in more formats, than ever before. It all has to be stored securely, managed efficiently and analysed intelligently-to

give your business the best possible chance of finding those crucial insights that will help it to transform its insights and gain an edge.

From confusion to confidence

This can all seem like an uphill struggle where you’re pedalling frantically to add and integrate new data sources at one end, and deliver something meaningful to your business at the other. Fortunately, the world’s first truly autonomous data warehouse service can help you power through the challenges.

Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud (ADWC) makes data management as easy as riding a bike, and one that pedals itself. It’s so effortless to use you can create new data marts in less than 30 seconds-enabling you to get down to business quickly, analyse new segments of your data in new ways, and address new objectives. That means faster insights, and a different, potentially smarter view of your business and industry.

Game–changing performance

Indeed, Autonomous Data Warehouse has been proven to offer up to 10x faster performance than Amazon Redshift, at up to 14x less cost. So don’t just move your data warehouse to any

cloud, hoping it will solve your scalability and management challenges, move it to the best performing cloud possible.

Oracle’s unique solution uses the latest machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver truly autonomous data warehousing that’s simple, fast, elastic and secure:

  • Self-driving: handles its own patching, upgrades and backups- and applies them in a rolling fashion across multiple nodes in a cluster while they’re running-so you don’t have to worry about human error or downtime
  • Self-tuning: manages its own performance and compression, enabling it to deliver outstanding query speed
  • Self-scaling: can grow and shrink to match your changing data storage and workload requirements, instantly and independently
  • Self-securing: automatically administers enterprise-grade security to ensure the risk of data compromise is kept to an absolute minimum at all times

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Additionally, Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud is self-repairing and will automatically recover from any physical failures, at both the server and data-centre levels. The latest AI-driven diagnostics detect anomalies in the data warehouse’s operating data as problems arise, and the platform either prevents or immediately fixes the problem, analysing its root cause.

Save on costs, surpass current expectations

According to IDC, as much as 75% of the total cost of database management can be attributed to labour*. So Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud delivers major savings to customers by automating database tuning and problem detection, and by dramatically reducing downtime.

Yet the real, unprecedented business value will be in how it helps you to transform the insights it can help you uncover from all your disparate sources of data, however large they grow.

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* ‘Oracle’s Autonomous Database: AI-based automation for database management and operations’, IDC, 2018. [http://www.oracle.com/us/products/database/idc-oracles-autonomous-database-4497146.pdf]

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Next Section

Financial
Management

In a League of its Own

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT IN A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN

There’s no doubt that ERP systems deliver significant horsepower for running a business, but not every organisation has the resources or appetite for a monolithic, multi-year on-premises project.

That said, growing businesses inevitably reach the point at which they need to simplify their landscape to eradicate the bottlenecks and profit-damaging blind-spots caused by working across a patchwork of accounting software, spreadsheets and systems.

The cloud, however, has broken down the barriers to accessing the proven, industrial-strength ERP capabilities that larger enterprises have been relying on for years. “ERP 2.0”, delivered as a service, is designed to be implemented quickly, with no capital outlay, and provide the flexibility to meet changing business needs and increasing user numbers at speed.

This makes it suited not just to growing businesses but also established enterprises looking to modernise their ERP foundation with a clean-sheet strategy based on the latest best practices.

Now, ERP is simply for everyone. Take Real Club Deportivo Espanyol, a Barcelona-based football club in La Liga. Under ambitious Chinese ownership that is propelling the club forwards on the global stage, RCD Espanyol needed to enable its back-office staff and foreign investors to track operations and financials.

The Club’s implementation of ERP 2.0 in the form of Oracle Financials Cloud took just four months, including design, preparation and execution. Now, all its financial data is unified and accessible in real-time, from anywhere. Automated reports and analytics have halved reporting time, and allow staff to dig into the financials at the most granular, transactional level as well as see the bigger corporate picture.

Watch the video to learn how a La Liga football club benefits from the best integrated ERP cloud solution.

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By automating and digitising redundant, manual processes, the club has reduced invoice payment processing times by 80%, reduced errors by more than 25% and improved billing cycle time by 100%. By moving to Oracle Financials Cloud, the club also eliminated the need to manage its old accounting software, freeing up resources to focus on more strategic concerns.

It just goes to show that ERP 2.0 really can enable any organisation to meet the requirements of the digital economy and compete in the first division.

Find out for yourself how to simplify modern finance with Oracle Financials Cloud, or indeed any of the Oracle Cloud ERP suite. Read the full story here.

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Next Section

Oracle Helps
Revolutionise Services
and Transform Lives

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ORACLE HELPS REVOLUTIONISE SERVICES AND TRANSFORM LIVES

Businesses in the private sector are investing in evolving their digital interactions to improve the customer experience. The not-for-profit sector may have some very different drivers from these firms, but can benefit from the same technologies to manage information about the people they work with and build strong bonds.

For four decades, the Prince’s Trust charity, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, has provided practical and financial support to disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

Its programs help 11-30 year olds – in or leaving care, facing homelessness or mental health issues, or who have been in trouble with the law – to help stabilise their lives and move into education, training or employment. In 2015, the charity recognised the need to change the way it interacted with its constituents, to make it easier for young people to access services online and, in particular, via mobile devices. Its existing website wasn’t mobile-friendly and its complicated enquiry forms made it difficult for users to find what they were looking for. Thus “Project Insight” was born, a three-year digital transformation program with the goals of reaching more young people and delivering more effective services to those already enrolled.

The Trust partnered with Oracle, a long-time supporter of the charity, to deliver its digital transformation, including the launch of a new website, CRM application and reporting solution, all powered by Oracle Service Cloud.

The responsive online portal is designed for ease of access and navigation, with improved web enquiry forms to make it easier for young people to request help and locate information about the charity’s various programs.

The website is integrated with Oracle’s CRM application, dubbed “Frontline”, enabling enquiries to be passed directly to the Trust’s outreach team, who can now respond faster to requests and match young people with the right programs for their needs.

Using Business Intelligence tools, the charity can better track young people’s progress from the moment of initial enquiry through to their move into education, training or work, providing a complete view of the customer journey. The solution also automates data collection and management, releasing the Trust’s employees from time-consuming, manual processes to focus efforts on working directly with clients.

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The Dash reporting system enables the charity to more easily evaluate the success of individual services, helping it to build a stronger case for support from external partners or highlighting programs that need to be remodelled or dropped.

The results speak for themselves. In the first six months following the launch of the new solution, over 28,000 enquiries were processed through Frontline, with 62% of enquiries immediately signed up for a program or assessment, and two-thirds of assessments successfully matched to a program.

The Trust’s website saw a 14% uplift in page views, 9% more submissions via its ‘Get in touch’ form and a 40% increase in mobile usage over the same period of the previous year. As one of the few charities to undertake such a radical transformation, the Trust is now better equipped to reach, understand, communicate and foster relationships with the young people who need its support.

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Next Section

4IR: The
Revolutionary’s Guide

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4IR: THE REVOLUTIONARY’S GUIDE

4IR is here. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. It wasn’t announced, and although it didn’t happen overnight, the speed of change is such that it can sometimes feel like it. And that change is radical. From the way products are designed and tested, to the way they’re manufactured, delivered and maintained.

In case you missed, or have long forgotten your history lessons, the first Industrial Revolution was around the turn of the 19th century, when the invention of steam power enabled mechanised production of goods. The second, in the

early 20th century, capitalised on electric power to create mass production, while the third, in the latter 20th century, used electronic technology to automate production.

Currently, the fourth is sweeping aside everything we thought we knew about the industries we operate in. Limitless connectivity, processing power and information sharing, combined with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and machine learning has brought us to an era without precedent.

To give you a place to pause, survey the 4IR landscape, and start to plan your journey through it, we’ve created an interactive guide, The 4th Industrial Revolution: Plan your Path to Success. It’s designed to help you see the wood through the trees and give you some pointers on how to approach the new world.

First, foremost, and perhaps most reassuringly, in a world of unprecedented change, one fundamental business principle remains constant: everything starts with the customer. So any 4IR strategy should start with an analysis of:

  • What your customers are striving to achieve
  • The role your business can play to help them achieve it
  • Their current experience of your business

The guide goes on to explore two different approaches when taking your business forward. Firstly, step change, where 4IR technologies are helping companies make exponential improvements to existing processes to improve business results. Examples include mass customisation, hyperefficient logistics, digital twinning and rapid innovation.

Secondly, there’s business model change. For many, this involves a shift from a product business to a service business. For instance, subscription, pay-per-use, predictive maintenance, distributed manufacturing, and Product as a Service.

Peppered throughout with stats and case studies, the allows you to step off the rollercoaster for a moment and reassess your business priorities. Then get right back to being the revolutionary you were meant to be.


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What’s new and improved
in the world of HR

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WHAT’S NEW AND IMPROVED IN THE WORLD OF HR

HR’s ability to adapt will be crucial over the coming months, as will the way they think, work and communicate with the rest of the business if they are to bring employee’s experience to the top of the company’s agenda. Let’s look at some of the trends pointing to upcoming changes in the year ahead.

1. HR enters the post-engagement age

Resulting from the competitive job market, employee engagement has become a buzzword in HR circles. While this has placed pressure on HR, the results have been positive. However, they must now do more to address how team dynamics and emotional climates make up the entire employee experience. People want to feel a sense of belonging and seek employment that can provide both professional satisfaction and peace of mind.

2. Hiring for competence instead of confidence

The interview process has become a marathon of meetings and personality tests, and often this results in companies hiring a certain candidate profile or hiring for confidence over competence. Companies need a more accurate way

to measure aptitude and increasingly use recruitment systems to analyse a person’s work experience, interview performance, social media profiles and digital footprint, allowing them to deliver more rounded and accurate candidate profiles.

3. Balancing man and machine

Software, and recently robots, have taken on a growing number of repetitive tasks, but it’s unlikely that every industry will be able to adapt fast enough. It’s therefore important to map out a path to automation that serves the company’s financial goals and allows teams to thrive alongside new technologies. HR leaders need to work with managers to develop suitable automation strategies for their teams and create effective training programmes to help people work alongside machines.

4. Gigging hard

People want flexibility in their work, and with contract employees soon to be as common as traditional nine-to-fivers, how can HR maintain a healthy pipeline of talent with the right skills and deliver high quality work? The best approach varies based on each company’s needs, but HR will need to ensure full-time, parttime, and contract employees collaborate effectively.

5. Rethinking reward

Crucially, HR need systems in place to track how employee experience programmes affect each person’s physical and mental health and ensure their positive impact. It demonstrates that they are invested in the wellbeing of their people. Non-financial reward has always been HR’s domain, but never has it been so crucial to attracting, retaining and inspiring people.

Keep ahead of the curve

Currently the employee experience is the hottest topic out there. To stay ahead of the game read the full report.


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Finance and HR:
The Cloud’s New
Power Partnership

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FINANCE AND HR: THE CLOUD’S NEW POWER PARTNERSHIP

With the ever-increasing volume of data in finance and HR systems, it has become imperative to improve the internal collaboration between the two departments. While finance has the forward-looking guidance, management needs to capitalise on the next market opportunity, HR provides the talent to execute digital strategies and enable a change ready culture.

To gain valuable insight into how companies have improved collaboration between HR and Finance by moving to a unified cloud platform, Oracle commissioned new research by MIT Technology Review Custom.

It’s not the journey, it’s the destination

Research has shown that many companies are not agile enough to make a transition into a digital business model. Seizing market opportunities during times of disruption requires continuous transformation, simplified business processes and strong leadership.

Using a single, unified cloud-based system provides important insights into how change impacts budgets, forecasts, talent, resources allocation and much more. Once companies migrate their finance and HR function to the cloud, roles are recalibrated, and relationships redefined, while enhancing enterprise wide agility.

Seeing a change in the cloud

Change is never uniform. However, once in operation, the study reveals that according to 39 percent of finance and HR executives whose companies have fully integrated into

the cloud, the payoff has strongly exceeded expectations. Additionally, 46 percent reported that the cost of transition was lower compared to what they had originally forecasted.

This results in not only a cost effective, quick and easy way to integrate finance and HR, but over time, all manner of departments. By allowing them to collaborate, businesses become more agile, results are seen quicker, proving it a strategic necessity rather than just a cost reduction exercise

What happens to IT when it’s freed by the cloud?

Alongside the increase in productivity and accelerating innovation, there are many other benefits driving migration to cloud based systems. Most notably, is the skills shortage required to run existing systems. Post deployment, 56 percent of C-level respondents report that IT has significantly improved, as cloud-based systems have freed them up to contribute more to the company’s strategy. Another 52 percent of C-level respondents judge IT relations with finance and HR to be better than expected because of the unified cloud platform.

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What happens now?

The roles of finance and HR have always been intertwined, but today they are truly converging. CFOs are taking a far more active role in business strategy, requiring a thorough understanding of the company’s talent and resourcing needs.

To get a more comprehensive view on the role HR and finance can play together in a unified cloud, read the full white paper from Oracle and MIT Technology Review Custom.

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Manufacturing 4.0:
Reimagining
Your Business

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MANUFACTURING 4.0:
REIMAGINING YOUR BUSINESS

Yes, Manufacturing 4.0 is about technology-driven business improvement, but making the most of it means so much more. True innovation means corporate reinvention and learning to become a digital enterprise just as much as a manufacturing enterprise. Investing in the right technology is important, but ultimately the path to innovate successfully has to start with defining a new vision-around which you can build your transformation roadmap, processes and structures.

Innovation, step by step…

While innovations like AI and machine learning are truly transformative, every company is unique-both in terms of their current maturity, and their ultimate vision of where they want to be. Spending vast amounts purely to have the latest technology is neither necessary, or recommended.

Manufacturing 4.0 can empower your business through new choices. You can pick and choose from the technology that’s best aligned to your transformation goals. Better still, you can scale your spending, starting with small amounts to test the waters, before increasing your investment when you’re ready.

Rethinking your company’s structure

It’s not just what technology you use, but how it is implemented that is key to delivering maximum value. The innovations you invest in need to be wrapped around your internal processes, and fully integrated into your business to fulfil their potential.

Many businesses also find they have to go through structural changes to accommodate new technology. One of the key principles of Manufacturing 4.0 is being able to connect and share information. This requires a culture built around collaboration, with teams that don’t traditionally work together being able to share data and insights. Joining up siloes, taking away power bases and spreading responsibility may come as a shock to some businesses, but the value delivered through a flatter, more transparent structure can be huge.

These changes extend throughout the whole business-and that includes leadership. Many business leaders feel they aren’t ready to embrace Manufacturing 4.0, and so may be reluctant to invest in the technology that’s enabling other businesses to innovate. To keep up, it’s vital that leaders can take on board new ideas, and redefine their vision of how their organisation operates.

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A future of innovation

Reimagining your business for Manufacturing 4.0 may seem like a big challenge. Bearing in mind the changes will affect every part of your company-from products and operations to culture and leadership-being cautious is only natural.

Even so, with 89% of manufacturers recognising the huge opportunities new technology brings, it’s clear which way the industry is heading. Once you fully embrace the future of manufacturing, you’ll find the ability to innovate and improve how you operate is well worth the effort.

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Three Key Tactics
to Transform CX
with Technology

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THREE KEY TACTICS TO TRANSFORM CX WITH TECHNOLOGY

How do you choose the best new technologies to transform and improve your customer experience? It might sound like a simple enough question but there are many issues to consider depending on your business, its objectives and the particular challenges you face.

Achieving CX transformation

Indeed, according to Anne Marie Forsyth of industry body, CCA Global-a leading authority for customer contact operations-deciding on your customer experience technologies raises numerous issues. There are time pressures that arise from the need to transform your CX to deliver the most beneficial services, and to do so before your competitors. There are internal timing complexities where different parts of your business may need time to align with your proposed initiative, or where deeply siloed parts may need to be integrated more fully.

Of course, you also have to have a clear vision of what kind of customer or user experience you’re aiming to deliver in the first place. Even when you’ve resolved all these challenges, actually achieving customer experience transformation in today’s 24x7, always-on, service-first climate is a major undertaking.

Stake out your project

Anne Marie points to three important steps to transform your understanding of which technologies can help your organisation drive better customer experiences. Firstly, you

should identify all the different stakeholders that need to be involved and gain a strong consensus about the best way forward. Digital transformation is no longer just about the IT department, and customer experience isn’t the exclusive responsibility of the marketing team. Everyone with a relevant interest should potentially be given a role to playfrom line-of-business managers to system administrators, customer service professionals to end-user groups, customer groups and many others.

Listen to the voices

Next, and closely related, you should build the voice of your end-user audience into your digital transformation plans. It could be that your so-called customer is an internal group-in the case of delivering a new sales CRM platform for example-so it might be relatively easy to act on their feedback. Where the customer does, indeed, refer to an external audience, then it’s essential that you establish ways of recording, making sense of, and acting on their input.

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Take action

Finally, it’s essential that you actually do something. If you decide to wait until everything is in place in ideal-world conditions, then you probably won’t do anything or will be too late to market for it to matter. Digital transformation is about identifying where you can have the biggest impact and then making as much of a success of it as possible without fear of failureand where, if you do fail, you can fail fast, learn the lesson quickly and move on.

So the best new technologies are perhaps those that you can implement within a relevant time-frame to transform a targeted CX challenge for particular user groups within your business. Cloudbased tools can help you solve those specific challenges and also create an integrated technology ecosystem that enables you to transform business value over time.

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Look Deeper-Drive
Engagement
With Precision

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LOOK DEEPER - DRIVE ENGAGEMENT WITH PRECISION

Your HR people may already claim to understand how to grow employee engagement. Almost everyone across your organisation would probably say they know what an engaged employee looks like. And most would confidently tell you how to grow engagement-it’s about pay and motivation. Oh yes, and leadership.

But the fact is, while everyone has a strong idea of the importance of employee engagement and what factors most likely play a part, there’s no real, solid understanding of the theory behind it. At least, not until now.

As part of a far-reaching initiative to develop a scientific model for understanding employee engagement, Oracle commissioned interviews with almost 5,000 people in major companies across 20 countries, considering factors such as culture, performance, rewards, development, technology and more. The result is a concise and elegant model for employee engagement-probably the first of its kind.

Far more than money

Engagement is driven by a close and complex relationship between what individuals are willing to put into their job, and what they receive in return. It’s a deep relationship based on the closeness of the fit between employer and employee, and is founded on opportunity, values and culture.

Each of the three factors that have a direct influence on employee engagement - role, reward and progression - are, in turn, driven by various other constituents, and in complex

ways. It’s therefore critical to understand the nature of all these relationships to get a complete picture of engagement.

For example, it might surprise you that strong performance doesn’t necessarily make an employee more engaged yetwhere it leads to greater job satisfaction, more pay, or bothit can have an impact. Similarly, good leadership doesn’t directly impact engagement, but can inspire performance improvements and also promote wellbeing, which strengthens employees’ commitment to their roles.

Role, reward and progression

How effective and well supported people feel in their roles is the first direct driver of engagement. Good leadership, structured performance appraisals, wellbeing and commitment are all key factors here.

A belief that they are being paid fairly for the job they do is also essential for people to feel engaged. The research also found that most employees do not believe they are compensated fairly, and pay-rises increase engagement for only a short period - which suggests people gradually return to feeling underpaid. The lesson is to clearly and transparently link pay with ongoing performance.

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The opportunity for effective learning and development is also a direct driver of engagement. This will be increasingly important, over time, as technology continues to dramatically change the nature of work for many.

Culture and technology

Today’s workforce is much more concerned with personal identification to a business than ever before. The young, especially, are motivated to perform best for employers that can offer personally rewarding work and a good fit for their ethical and cultural preferences.

Finally, technology is transforming how organisations manage to grow closer to their employees and deliver internal experiences - coherent HR services are now an essential part of this and must be accessible via smart devices, social media and collaboration tools.

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