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Edge Business Solutions Framework

October 28, 2012 Leave a comment

EDGE has been structured to handle specific enterprise workflows addressing access control, content management, intellectual property and security requirements. EDGE enables the enterprise to harness the power of Web 2.0 to drive customer loyalty, drive marketing and product management, as well as provide collaborative environments for promoting ideas that drive continuous innovation.

Web 2.0 has transformed the way we look at online community behavior and the possible implications of collective, collaborative knowledge management models. The power of the model has been universally recognized. However, the implications for enterprise adoption suffer from a lack of immediate consensus.

Jesu Valiant – The Major Service Industry Trends

With the above trends shaping the services industry; there is a need to address the ever-increasing gap with a solution from a technological and logical perspective that would stand to evolve with the dynamics of the service industry. We tend to get attracted to terminologies in the services industry ‘use case’ like KCS, Social Media, Collaboration, Analytics, etc., forgetting that these idea bundles do not have a tested platform with observable data that can be adapted in similar environments, providing the same yield. With such a dearth of proven solution models; here I am looking at replicating the models of successes and to present the entire solution in a concise logical framework for global comprehension.

Introducing the Edge Business Solutions framework; I address the technology components, logical functions, ongoing support and evolution to the ‘services’ business dynamics. This is a working  solution model adapted by a few organizations; there is a mapped platform, defined process set, metrics & measurements and a visible ROI.

The Edge Solution Framework

Jesu Valiant_Edge_Framework

Edge new market solutions are designed to address a wide range of challenges and help users increase performance levels and streamline operations. Lean is in Edge Solutions DNA, this DNA ensures that we structure and deploy specific enterprise workflows addressing access control, content management, intellectual property and security requirements. EDGE framework enables the enterprise to harness the power of BPA-BPM and Analytics like never before; having a direct bearing on ROI. Solutions help drive customer loyalty, drive adoption and better product management, as well as provide collaborative environments for promoting ideas that drive continuous innovation. Edge Solutions have helped transform the way we look at Business Process Management and the possible implications of collective, best practice models.

Key Solutions:

  • Knowledge Systems
  • Data Collection & Capture
  • Online Collaboration
  • Learning Management
  • Social Media Solutions
  • Document Management
  • Enterprise Wiki
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • Analytics + Reporting Dashboards
  • Scorecards & KPI Management
  • Self help / DIY Solutions
  • Survey Management
  • Process Tracking & Scheduling

The range of Edge solutions and services are powered by a native Edge applications framework also named Edge; structured to handle three challenges: the intensive deadlines, the stringent checklist of flexibility & security, and a predefined set of functional classes written by experienced Web developers. Edge application framework lets us build high-performing, thoroughly flexible, deeply secure, elegantly designed, Web applications quickly.

Edge web application framework is a high level PHP framework that encourages rapid, expandable,  inter-operable, web applications. There are predefined modules addressing core functions of workflow, charting engines, access controls and the likes that augment any build and deploy scenario rather quickly.

For more information please feel free to reach to me at my business email address at jesu.valiant@csscorp.com.

Copyrights – Jesu Valiant 2012

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Service [TAC] oriented Knowledge Engineering – Framework & Process

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Knowledge Engineering for Services [TAC]

All the data that is being gathered over every possible transactions reside in the databases. These transactional data amassed over time has the potential to yield a lot of intelligence and provide key insight into the major four areas of Business.  [a]-Product Analytics, [b]-Customer Analytics, [c]-Process Analytics.

Technology manufacturers need to evolve their strategy every time and stay competitive, they desperately need to understand the perspectives from a VOC – Voice of Customer.

TAC Centric Knowledge Engineering will make use of a varied a host of ‘technology and product BI companies’ and ‘BI as a service companies’.
There are three types of BI as a service offerings:
1. Generic BI platform capabilities (for example, online analytical processing [OLAP], reporting, analysis, data mining)
2. Application-specific offerings (for example, Web analytics, fraud analysis, risk analysis, benchmark analysis)
3. Combination of both application BI services & product specific analytics with a expert recommendations and consulting  [KE].

Knowledge Engineering will supply the all essential human expertise to build the knowledge analytics architecture based on the business case / SWOT and  conclude recommendations.

From a Services Industry perspective; I recommend pursuits be set over three specific areas. 1. Customer Analytics, 2. Product Analytics, 3.Process Analytics. This can help accelerate service excellence and optimize operations.

Product Analytics: Solutions that allow them to analyze across a series of product performance dimensions ‘end to end’ in the product’s lifecycle. Analytics over Product reliability, third party environments, bug impacts, causes to resolutions, escalations and factors, time to resolve, and maintainability requirements, while all the time focusing on lowering support lifecycle. Product analytics will bend the traditional value chain into a “feedback loop”; evolving into product intelligence.

Customer Analytics: Customer intelligence visibility, customer satisfaction RCA & recommendations, customers and prospects, customers’ likes and dislikes, cases history and trend, as well as future wants and needs, by consolidating customer information currently in multiple silos and mining information.

Process Analytics: Business Process Analytics provides drill-down and slice and dice capabilities from various perspectives for extensive process analysis and reporting. Derivations of general and specialist advisory based on analytics rendered over  historic and real-time data.

Knowledge Engineering Framework:

JesuValiant_KnowledgeEngineering_Framework

JesuValiant_KnowledgeEngineeringFramework

Knowledge Engineering – What it takes?
•    Enumerate, analyze, catalog, and suggest improvements to the core and support processes of the business unit.
•    Ability to assimilate and correlate disconnected and and articulate their collective relevance.
•    The ability to visualize and create high-level models to extend and mature the business architecture.
•    Technical knowledge over technologies covered in the product stack.
•    Importing, cleaning, transforming, validating or modeling data with the purpose of understanding or making conclusions from the data for decision making purposes.
•    Presenting data in charts, graphs, tables, designing and developing relational databases for collecting data.
•    Information management, relational database design and development, business intelligence, data mining or statistics.
•    Utilizes data analysis techniques or best practices and draw inferences and present comprehensive analysis.
•    Critically evaluate information gathered from multiple sources, reconcile conflicts, Decompose high-level information into details, abstract up from low-level information to a general understanding.
•    Prepare reports of findings, illustrating data graphically and translating complex findings into written text.

Do you have a pain point today and are you a technology product manufacturer? Reach out to me @ jesu.valiant@csscorp.com.

Thanks for reading.

Copyrights – Jesu Valiant 2012

*Logos in the Framework diagram belong to the respective owners. Here its to highlight and recommend adoption of these systems and tools to perform Knowledge Engineering.

CRM’s in 2011 – What the Market needs?

April 14, 2011 4 comments

CRM applications have traditionally helped in issue tracking, tasks management, accounts management and have all their product feature appreciations over the decade. All such enhancements have addressed feature extensions and few rare cases of interops with other applications. In today’s scenario the CRM features are being looked at from multiple perspectives with the advent of newer engagement models and transaction channels. The market does have its share of feature packed systems but features have only looked at addressing the legacy use cases and have not looked at widening the visions over next generation market needs and emerging solution areas. With a late awakening we now see an activity spree in the market that does signal that product companies are trying to make the most, by way of new pursuits and with a load of investments.

Here we take a look at ‘What the market needs today?’, the product stacks prescribed by analysts and how they hold good against the needs.

Gartner in its MQ for 2010 lists the following set of product companies.

Leaders & Challengers per GMQ 2010
-Oracle Siebel
-Salesforce
-Microsoft Dynamics
-RightNow
-Pega Systems
-SAP
-Amdocs

Lets see what are the overall Gaps that are abound in these products with regards to the realities and engagements of today and tomorrow.

1. Integrated E-Support:
With high levels of adoption over self service modules and real-time on-line support systems growing in demand, many CRM’s in the market have not the ability to provide an integrated E-Support Module. E-Support will be the set of functions or features that will help in rendering real time support that will be part of the CRM, i.e., an extension. The functionalities does not end with ‘Incident Tracking’, ‘Data Captures’ and ‘Account details’ but goes on to provide a real time engagement console with the transactions being recorded. Features like ‘Create my Case’, ‘Chat now’, ‘Click to Call’, etc are opportunities to be pursued by CRM companies. There however has been few market leaders who have built capabilities on these lines but much of the market needs here remains to be addressed.

2. Process Automations & Management:
Every Product TAC, Sales & Marketing Teams, Engineering & Design Teams, and almost all the functional arms of any product company plays host to a wide variety of processes and procedures around the tracked CRM entries. There are numerous processes that are covered manually with the reports that are extracted from the CRM databases. CRM here typically functions as a storehouse of data and performs case captures, beyond that all processes are manually managed by the varied functional units within and organization. They have Excel based macros that process data outside CRM, they have audit screens done over third party applications, they utilize web based tools to automate other process and work-flows complimenting the data capture done by the ‘expensive’ CRM.
Here is an opportunity to fill the Gap and make available process / work-flow management functionality as part of the CRM to position product as a market differentiator.

3. Social Web Interoperability:
The last couple of years have seen the emergence of Social media, with direct identification of the individual profiles and engagements globally, this new medium demanded immediate attention from all of the enterprises and corporations. In the wake of Facebook, Twitter, third party forums & wikis, Collaboration platforms, there was an immediate need to listen, manage, engage, analyze these data streams that are out there. The negative impact that can be caused due to mis-management of this medium with its virality over comments and posts posed a very high risk proposition. Many CRM’s today fall absolutely short of capabilities to address this widening gap, however there are a few market leaders who have in the past months frantically went on an Acquisition spree or a partnership spree to add this strength. Salesforce & Raidan over Service Cloud 3, Lithium acquisition of Scoutlabs are few of the attempts made to address this gap.

4. Social Analytics:
With much said and more done over Social media on providing tools capable of listening, capturing, monitoring, engaging of conversation over the Social Web and third party portals and forums, there emerges the strong need to analyze these in line with the few key business cases and identify, get insight,  pursue opportunities, [Social Media Analytics features]. This key feature set is not offered by many in the market. There are only a few product based solutions that currently have tried to build capability here, this area is yet to evolve and the critical aspect of providing Business Intelligence over Social Media is an open opportunity for all the CRM’s out there. With the complexities and lack of analytical cases to pursue and render value there is whole lot of ideation and product features that sprout here with no comprehensive solutions. Again a very strong opportunity for CRM product manufacturers to set their pursuit on.

5. Data Reporting & Analytics:
Much of the CRM’s data reporting revolves around volume driven reporting and rule engine based reporting. Across all the CRM’s that are being adopted there exists a huge gap over data analytics and advanced reporting. We have modules on CRM today that provide the advanced users the ability to query the backend data stacks to procure reports and a very low level slice and dice capability. This gap here to run Analytics and Engineer Insightful details is a Grey area. Although the reporting capabilities have matured, the gaps are huge and every CRM user community over all the product pursue a separate MIS and Data analyst functions outside the CRM process. The market will lap up opportunities here and this can be a huge market differentiator for CRM product companies if they address this glaring gap.

6. Integrated Knowledge Solutions:
Based on an analysis performed over enterprise technical support customers, I could see exponentially at least 15% of customers demanding DIY kits – Self help systems for them to drill down into the solutions. There is also the tremendous gap between the product and its relative documentation that can be ‘called upon’ even by agents who work on incidents and tickets. Both for the customer to assist in better adoption of service or product and for the engagement teams to arrive at a solution to help in better and quicker closure the backend process of Knowledge creation, management, references, knowledge pushing, archiving, etc., remains much to be desired even with the market leaders and the challengers. Solutions over this can be a tremendous value.

Jesu Valiant

Technical Analysis in Stock Trading

Current stock market trading demands a lot of understanding to ensure that the trader does not end up risking his investments. Interest in stock market trading has grown in the leaps and bounds, there is a lack of proper analysis to reduce the risk percentage. Trading without any expert guidance and proper analysis is more than a gamble and adds a huge risk to the investor. There are a lot of professional trading bodies out there in the market who assist and provide the consulting for any market investor; in the background they use data analytics techniques shaped over decades and advice investors reducing the risk. This share and stock related analytics is called Market Technical Analytics.

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating securities by analyzing the statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices and volume. First cases of Technical analysis were developed by Homma Munehisa during early 18th century in Japan and it was the very first of candlestick techniques, this technique is still under utilization today. With the advent of information age and the standardization across the globe of the stock market data as OHLC, there have been numerous decision support systems that have been attempted and built. Today there are many sophisticated software packages intended to make the OHLC data into into graphics and analytics output.

OHLC Chart:


In the Information Technology domain data analytics using Business intelligence concepts and tools have reshaped the entire landscape, there are better products, better services, best of breed competition negators thanks to this analytics. In the financial market analysis however there is no magic bullet and there is a heavy dependency built over human resources as consultants and analysts.
Moving away from the comprehension basics, time we look at the solution sets available and address the market needs.

Types of Analysis:

There are two distinct analysis foundations the Technical analysis and fundamental analysis. Technical analysis is used for a trade, whereas fundamental analysis is used to make an investment. Fundamental analysis of a business involves analyzing its financial statements, organizations management and competitive advantages, its competitors and markets. Technical analysis is the forecasting of market prices by means of analysis of data generated by the process of trading.

Understanding OHLC:

Open-High-Low-Close charts are widely used in the stock trading market, they are highly useful in analyzing the variations in the stock over a period of time. The OHLC provides the data volume and helps identify the Short-, Mid- and Long-Term Trend, and Volume predicts Market Trend Reversals. There are a host of analytic logics and rules that can be applied over these data stacks to help in decision support and render predictive analytics.

How a Technical Analysis software helps?

A comprehensive technical analysis application helps reduce the complexities and reduces risks to almost 98%; this risk assessment and protecting insulates the users against any bear slugs. Today in this space there are many players and only few offer a comprehensive solutions, so how do we evaluate and identify these? well.. there is no straight answer. However there are some best practices that needs to be bundled with these application, the analytics and logics, the charting systems with multi referenceability and factoring, etc., OHLC based analytics will always have the earlier system predicted trend along with the actual trend and more less the deviation the higher the value. The following are some of the analytics components that ought to be present in the applications like Candlestick patterns, Elliott waves, Darvas Box Strategy, MACD, GAP, GANN, EOD & Intraday modes, Line Studies, etc.,

Jesu Valiant

Open Source for Business Intelligence

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Gartner attributes the main challenge in deploying a Business Intelligence solution as the cost factor that is associated with the application products. With the minds of CIO’s focused on capex and opex optimization on one side of the balance but also needing to ensure that the competitive advantage grows. The economic downturn has in a way driven home the need to “Do more with less” across the Business Intelligence spectrum. The Business Intelligence workforce across the globe now is evolving into a lean, high yield, innovative, technology adopting, best practice mapping community. AMR Research says “The battleground for IT spending in 2010 is BI”. There certainly is a need for efficient churning out Business Intelligence and the parallel need to keep the cost of deployment and adoption under control. In the next posts we would look at the TCO of deploying Business Intelligence systems and services.

There has always been the existence of Open Source applications; the challenge however has been the flexibility of these applications complimenting the disparate blocks of a BI cycle. Even in the proprietary market there are only a few product companies that provide a high degree of flexibility, feature richness and an integrated solution stack. Looking at the Gartner’s MQ 2010, the way MicroStrategy has edged into the competitive ‘leaders’ landscape is note worthy, their huge advantage has remained their flexibility and comparative cost advantage in this fierce competitive landscape among Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAS, IB sharing the space here. Going back to Open Source, enterprises have always found it difficult to pursue adoption in this space owing to lack of skill, less management buy-in, security threats, lack of central governance, system integrations, application complexity, lack of support & professional services, etc.,

There however has been this trend in Open Source where micro bodies within enterprises have invested and integrated solution stacks to address the complexities. The pursuit of “enabling” open source BI is more rewarding than an early adoption of a proprietary system running into high ground. The ROI over this Open Source pursuit as personally experienced in setting up BI / KE systems for me has been quite a discovery. With Open Source BI applications maturing every day and as more enterprise drive towards this emerging arena, I take a look at the stack involved in BI / DW, tested and do prescribe few of the best options available as below. Adoption of these systems lowers your TCO and helps achieve vendor neutrality.

Jesu Valiant ~ enterprise.ke@csscorp.com

Jesu Valiant – 2011

Enterprise Collaboration & Knowledge Management

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

In a focused [or] applied environment i.e., [domain specific and task intensive] where the core function revolves around a knowledge intensive processes, there is a strong need to invest efforts in Capturing, Processing, Leveraging knowledge. Our products, services, and environment are more complex than ever before. Workforces are increasingly unstable leading to escalating demands for knowledge sharing / consumption. Knowledge management best practices are evolved after continuous exposure to a whole assortment of challenges addressing varied communities and supporting the end to end ecosystem of businesses. With new genre frameworks and process controls engineered in-house, we do see an opportunity across the industry spectrum to build knowledge management process that addresses the knowledge workflows, knowledge structures, knowledge categorization, content management, content evolution, instructional design, and a whole host of process blocks. With a robust knowledge base and a matured process, businesses get the opportunity to evolve a strong benefit stack.

Global economy has migrated from an Industrial Economy [Commercial Products] to a Knowledge Economy [Expertise based economy]. With new services and expertise that are in high demand in the marketplace, any organization needs to cultivate within its employee base a practice of Knowledge Sharing and collaboration. Every organization needs a logical long term plan for the intellectual assets, people are skilled and they address it as a commodity when walking in for an interview. This valuable commodity needs to be captured, it can be from individuals, groups, domain teams, etc.,Knowledge Management practice attempts to create strategies to ‘source – classify – warehouse – analyze – leverage – reuse’ knowledge with communities. Knowledge management and collaboration completely depends on the community and hence community leaders within the organization are key to drive this practice. With rewards, recognition, learning, sharing, collaborating opportunities; we would have woken up to a new reality.

Successful collaboration and strong knowledge management structures are essential to any well-functioning business enterprise, and information technology has become one of its key enablers. For establishing and enabling collaboration within the layers of organization or community there are methods and process centric, application suites structured over web 2.0 standards pre configured to handle specific enterprise workflows addressing access control, content management, intellectual property and security requirements.

Accelerating journey towards Enterprise 2.0

> Integrated social media solution for businesses that enables organizations to build communities.
> Encourage Interactions, monitor reactions, take feedback and comments, process solutions.
> Promote Information Exchange from among communities or between organization layers & community.
> Knowledge accumulation and usage is a key to business success.
> Create thriving online spaces that deliver measurable value.
> Separate your company from the competition by giving yourself tremendous credibility.
> Presents a free, fair, open & transparent culture; helps gain value.

A Product recommendation:

CSS Corporation presented the EDGE collaboration and knowledge management system.

http://www.csscorp.com/news&events/news-read.php?NID=139

Email:
enterprise.ke@csscorp.com

Web 2.0 has transformed the way we look at online community behavior and the possible implications of collective, collaborative knowledge management models. The power of the Web 2.0 model has been universally recognized, however, the implications for enterprise adoption suffer from a lack of immediate consensus. The CSS EDGE platform creates a working model for transforming the enterprise support function by providing a governance model for integrating internal and external communities or groups.

EDGE has been architected using open source components, configured to handle specific enterprise workflows and enables the enterprise to harness the power of Web 2.0 to drive customer loyalty, drive marketing and product management, as well as provide collaborative environments for promoting ideas that drive continuous innovation.

Jesu Valiant

Unified Communications – Solution Opportunities

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

The Unified Communications landscape is defined by two major evolving fronts 1. The Voice Communications leaders and 2. Application [Desktop] Communication leaders. What the opportunity one can have in a domain thats already has seen the fiercest of competitions in the landscape and competitions in the billions across multiple logos and strategies that change every day? Well.. thats the opportunity. There is a huge spectrum of varied products & solutions, but there is a lack of services that to address the complexities. More than two decades have gone by since IPFX – NL came up with its presence solution but nothing major has changed the UC landscape. There is yet to be any full fledged ‘solution’ that can sweep the market.

UC Implementors: Many seek to cater to this service and drill deep in this massive market, seeing the opportunity within and around. There are already a huge assortment of services companies who have jumped into this fray to make the most of it. Data indicates that enterprises are preferring to buy their UC services from Telco’s or Network Providers rather than IT Services Companies. The reality contrasts as most of these Telco’s and Network providers have their Service partners who run the regional errands; having to focus more on the core competency they seldom undertake ‘service’ ventures. These errand companies are mostly a Tier 2 player in that region.

Challenges: There are a host of core technical issues and market issues that hound this practice of Unified Communications. With hounds abound in the form of Interoperability issues, Storage issues, Security issues, Challenges in deployment, Challenges in FMC. With these issues in the open, companies get  something if not everything, muting the true experiences of unification.

Selection of a UC Services player: Only a few IT Service Companies are well placed to address this Gap; these companies are either Technical Support, Managed Support  partners, Professional Services partners to 1. The Voice Communications leaders and 2. Application [Desktop] Communication leaders who ‘field’ the collection of skills from the skills reservoirs.

Ushering the “Open” wave: The steady growth of Open Source has brought in a range of Open API’s and bridge bundles that users in betterment of the choice for the market. From IP telephony, conferencing, IM, UM, the stacks have challenged may proprietary products. Seeking strengths on this area whilst searching for a true type services company will further augment strength of the solution you want to implement.

An Approach: 1. Any company wanting to adopt Unified Communications needs to understand their landscape and the proposed, 2. Identify areas of Technology convergence and bucket the product stack they stare into at, into these categories, 3. Services are expensive and not all address our specifics; hence identify the right IT service providers who may be Technology Partners, Solution Partners, Professional Services Partners with credibility [Case Studies, Best Practices, etc.,], 4. Ensure strip bare competition for varying bids among the best identified and always settle for the expertise rather than cost.

Jesu Valiant

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