#digitaltransformation

Excellence in Sales Order Entry – From Document to Digital

digital sales orders

Sales orders, the documents with the odor of company success attached to them! Physical (or electronic) proof that your company sells products that your customers like. Proof that you make money and create and retain jobs. So what could there be that is not to like about sales orders? Well, the question here is: Are your sales orders solely creating value and financial success for your company? Or are they also costing you money? Are they slowing down your business? Maybe even creating conflicts with your customers? Fully digital sales order process – why? In a digital world, you should consider automating your sales order entry process from beginning to end. The digital sales order process should start the minute a sales order enters your company, from document to digital. This should be independent from your input channel – whether your sales orders reach you via EDI, email, fax or paper document, make sure to digitize your sales orders when they first touch your company. Many of our customers have EDI in place for 60 – 80% of their sales orders. However, the remaining 20-40% slows down their business, preventing them from having full insight and transparency of the status of ALL sales orders. The impact When our customers started to capture the data also from PDFs, emails and paper documents, they realized how valuable a fully automated a digital process is. With their model from document to digital they turned the sales order process into a fast, customer-friendly and fully transparent process. They now have full insight into the status of any sales order. If a customer has a request referring to a sales order, they can answer it within seconds, independent from its input channel or process status. Reporting and transparency have exponentially improved. Management is now able to track the performance of the sales order process across countries, from month to month or year over year. Now, even the performance tracking task is a simple activity, too. It is fast and it is accurate. Not only for the electronic input channel, but for all sales orders. The information extracted is also proof that with the new integrated sales order automation, customers have been able to cut sales order cycle time in half by also automating the remaining 20-40% of sales orders. Customer relationships have also improved because disputes over orders and invoices or wrong deliveries have reached an all-time low. The analysis of sales orders allows making purchasing recommendations to customers from evaluating other customer orders – those who regularly order specific products in combination with other products. These cross-sell opportunities are well-received by customers as they create value and often help to meet their core business needs. Have you identified a need to further digitize your sales order entry process? Take a look at how OpenText™ Business Center for SAP Solutions helps to improve the sales order process and much more.

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Lucky Number 13

experience

I have never been the superstitious type; full moons, cemeteries, ghosts, vampires, etc., just don’t bother me. Werewolves, on the other hand are a different story, but that is childhood trauma that I will save for another day. So when it came time to participate in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management, I didn’t put much thought into the notion we were shooting for our 13th consecutive report positioned as a leader, because I like to deal in facts, and that fact is ECM is more important today than it has ever been, and our offering is again recognized as a Leader. As avid ECM practitioners we all know the importance of content and if you are like me (old),then you have seen how the role of content had evolved over the years. This evolution has not been lost on us, over the last 13 years we have constantly enhanced our ECM portfolio so our customers can address their current and future ECM needs. ECM used to be about how organizations take control of their content and while it is still a basic tenet, it’s not where we believe customers will receive the most value. We released LEAP because it is clear to us that the future of ECM is heading away from the notion of a single massive repository to a place where heterogeneous ECM systems work together to support the needs of the business; where purpose built applications that address different use cases, yet share a common API, can leverage content irrespective of where it lives. Fundamentally, the focus is on business outcomes and customer experience, where content apps seamlessly integrate with enterprise apps and enhance the experience of both customers and employees. Both LEAP and our solutions portfolio have key strengths making people way more productive, improving business outcomes and enhancing customer experiences, as demonstrated through the following apps: LEAP Courier – a new way to power business processes that depend on structured document exchange across organizational boundaries, providing a consumer-grade user experience for secure and structured document exchange, validation and tracking LEAP Snap – automatically captures, categorizes and organizes documents and related document information in real-time, turning unstructured content into actionable digital business information LEAP Concert – enables the creation of documents in a collaborative but controlled environment with the ability to identify and assign work to be done, and the use of simple review workflows that allow review and approval LEAP Express – easily browse, access, search and approve all content, no matter where it lives, on multiple form factors including web, tablet and mobile LEAP Focus – allows for fast, yet detailed reading and reviewing of business documents on mobile devices, eliminating “pinch-to-zoom” functions by automatically reformatting the document It is little wonder then, that we believe LEAP and our solutions portfolio are viewed as key strengths by our customers, partners and the industry at large. After all, these strategic initiatives make people way more productive, improve business outcomes and enhance customer experience, but perhaps equally important is the fact that our vision provides customers with a roadmap that enables their Digital Transformation initiatives. Much has been written about Digital Transformation and its disruptive impact to incumbents and while there is massive potential for disruption there is also massive potential for innovation. In the Digital Transformation era customer expectations are at an all-time high and successful organizations will need to address these expectations. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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Follow That Car!

digital disruption

Has anyone noticed that things are speeding up? A week or so back, I visited London for a conference. I’d not been there for a few years, and noticed a new system of bicycle lanes throughout the city. Great for the cyclists, but a real congestion headache for car traffic and cab drivers. Norman, my driver from the airport, knew the streets like the back of his hand. He’d been driving cabs for the last 3 decades and bicycles were featured prominently in his list of complaints. I was amazed at his knowledge of the London labyrinth and the way he was able to intuitively duck and weave in all directions as soon he spotted traffic or other obstructions while keeping the conversation going the whole time. Back in 1979, a year many of my colleagues now refer to as “the olden days”, I remember watching a TV movie called “The Knowledge” with Nigel Hawthorne, a personal favorite. “The Knowledge” told the story of a fledgling cab driver who had to prepare for the notoriously difficult exam to get his cab license. This test required instant recall on addresses, streets, points of interest and directions between all. Every cab driver had to meet that standard and invest as much as two years of study to qualify, with the aid of several volumes of (paper) reading materials.  “If you’re a genius it might take you a year. On the other hand it might take you two, or even or ten. And if it looks like it’s going to take you longer than that I should chuck it in and take up ballet dancing instead.”                                                                                                                               -Mr. Burgess, The Knowledge In the mid ‘80’s I worked in Australia for a large public utility.  One of the teams I collaborated closely with was the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) group. Over several years they developed a platform and digital map of Sydney. This was used to plot the addresses for the 1.3 million customers they had at the time, as well as define the location of the city water supply system and waste-water systems. The GIS data was populated through a number of proprietary sources and their engineers and was used by us to calculate the shortest possible distances one would have to walk to read all the meters in a neighborhood. Many other uses of this system were possible, including impact analysis for construction of new water mains, maintenance, emergency services and more. It was a great example of digital transformation in the ‘80s.  However, this was a significant investment, one that few organizations could afford at the time. Looking Forward My long trip back from the UK to the US (picture a T-Rex typing on an iPad) gave me a chance to reflect on where we’ve been, and maybe what’s coming just around the corner. Norman, with his “Knowledge”, is something of an oddity these days.  Most cab drivers (apart from London black cab drivers) seem able to navigate only with the aid of Apple or Google Maps, which, incidentally, also powers Uber. “The Knowledge” seems inconceivable to most of us now, as much as floppy disks or stage coaches seem to my kids. We have democratized maps to a large degree (digital divide notwithstanding), and made location services free, though with catches. We’ve taken “The Knowledge” from our own data centers (heads) and moved it to a cloud provider. New developments across all sectors of technology can now be woven together in a fabric of services that can then be combined to enable new business models and new consumer experiences.  These advances provide us with a radical set of possibilities that Norman (or we ourselves)  could never have imagined back in the “olden” days. What if : I had a self-driving car, that dropped us off to dinner I didn’t have to worry about parking. The car could drive itself to the nearest charging station and come back to collect us when we’re ready I could order that extra bottle of wine, and the ride would be safer than if I’d not had any in the first place! While I was involved with something completely engrossing, I could send the car to pick up crackers and cheese from the store, another lightning headphone adapter for my iPhone 7, and then pick up my son from his swim practice without leaving the comfort of my La-Z-Boy recliner. Who needs errands? I didn’t have to buy a whole car. Perhaps I could share ownership with a group of friends or even a pool of strangers for under $40 a week When we weren’t using the car, it could generate revenue by being deployed as part of a fleet of self-driving cars, delivering other people, packages or fast food to different locations. I could even sell the data generated by my vehicle Or, instead of buying the car at all, I could just be a customer of a roving fleet of vehicles. My son loves this idea! These are no longer far-fetched ideas and they all seem possible, if not today, then just around the corner. It’s great news for us as consumers, but maybe problematic at a societal level. But what about businesses that have not considered potential downstream implications these trends have among industries? For example: Current competition threatened across travel and logistics/delivery services, including Norman and his colleagues As driving becomes safer, auto insurance (a $200B industry) and auto-repair providers Assuming the number of purchased vehicles decline, auto manufacturers and auto financing services That’s the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Digital disruption is real, and in case you haven’t noticed, it’s accelerating and getting cheaper to accomplish. Whether change is prompted by your customers, competitors, employees, or by regulations – innovation doesn’t just happen by accident. Survival and sustained market dominance will depend on deliberate actions – your organization’s ability to recognize and react to potential disruptions and how you seize on the opportunities to create them! Have you assessed your company’s digital maturity recently? Come to Momentum Barcelona 2016 and find out more.

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3 Reasons You Can’t Miss This Year’s Momentum Europe

Momentum Europe

It seems hard to believe, but October 31 is just a little more than a month away. Our team is busy putting the finishing touches on Momentum Europe and we are preparing to welcome both business and IT decision-makers from across a number of different industries and from around the globe, including Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and beyond. After a four-year hiatus, we’re excited to bring you all the activities you’ve come to expect, as well as some exciting new opportunities for you to engage with other customers, partners and the ECD team, and to get hands on with our technology. With so many interesting events and sessions to choose from, it seems there’s no good reason to miss this event. However, in case you need some additional motivation, I thought I’d share my top three reasons why, wherever you may live, you’ve got to attend this year’s Momentum Europe: The content and information management markets are hot again! According to MarketsandMarkets, the ECM market size is expected to grow from USD 28.10 billion in 2016 to 66.27 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.7% during the forecast period. At Momentum Europe, you can learn why there’s growth in these and other areas from IDC analysts, and get sound advice on how to be prepared for what’s on the horizon. You’ll find out how you can tap into the power of new approaches that work better together with your existing solutions. And, you’ll hear from our partners who have new solutions to address new challenges. The more, the better. We’ve packed more into three days than you can imagine. More customer sessions and panels, more keynotes, and more technical deep dives. We’ve also expanded our Hackathons, Hands On Labs, product and solution demos, and “Genius” time with our Services organization. And, this year, we’ll share more information on digital transformation, and explore new business and IT strategies that will help your organization to become more digital, more quickly. But it’s not just about quantity; it’s also about quality. We’ve listened to your input and requests and, this year, we’ll bring you even more of what you’ve been looking for. The future is bright. Now, more than ever, you need to know about our vision for what’s next, both for the ECM/EIM markets and for our Enterprise Content Division. IDC analysts, ECD executives and our special guest speaker, Muhi Majzoub, Executive Vice President, Engineering & Information Technology for OpenText will be on hand with information to help you shape and accelerate your business. Beyond attending our information-packed sessions, learning more about exciting market opportunities, and charting the future of our division, if you still need a reason to attend Momentum Europe, it’s this…it’s in Barcelona – an enchanting seaside city with a fabulous culture, unbelievable architecture, and an unbeatable combination of history and innovation. So, please, register today and don’t let FOMO haunt you. My colleagues and I look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

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The Electric Impact of the Cloud, Have you Plugged in?

Cloud

Have you ever considered, when switching on your coffee machine in the morning, where the electricity comes from? I’m guessing not. You probably only expect it to work so that you can have your tasty Colombian coffee. I don’t know where the electricity I use at home is coming from. Last year Spain imported electricity from France. At the same time Spain also exported electricity to Portugal, Andorra, Morocco and…surprise, also back to France. I can’t imagine anyone in Portugal wondering whether the electricity to charge a smartphone comes from Spain, is produced in France and sent to Spain, or is sent from Spain to France and bought back again. Electricity has no accent. It doesn’t matter from where it comes; only that it is always there when you need it! A few years ago, I started to work with customers planning their journey to the cloud. I’m talking about private cloud. There were many questions about the where, the who and the how of the process. It was an incredible cultural change and many people were against it, especially the security guys. It reminded me of 15 years earlier when I was working for an engineering company. We deployed a Document Management System, Documentum, to improve visibility, collaboration and productivity while reducing costs moving to the digital world. But even after a several years, many of the engineers were still locking their drawings in their own personal “map cabinet”. While customer goals were to reduce costs, improve performance and reduce the IT complexity, it was security and compliance that were the main concerns for most. They were changing their IT strategy and facing a cultural barrier. At that same time I was fortunate to meet with another company, one part of a large group, that was very focused on their business and margins. This business had a completely different strategy than its mother company and were eager to consume services rather than build and maintain them. By transitioning to the private cloud using our PaaS offering, the company achieved some things the mother company didn’t attain after 10 years using the same technology: Time to value. The company went on production in less than 1 month, far more quickly than the group average of one year. They were able to enjoy the benefits of the technology almost immediately after they made the decision and not a year later. Elasticity to manage the unpredictable. The business was able to increase resources, as well as add new products and services to support their needs when they needed them, instead of weeks after. High performance without complexity. From the first day and through several years of using the service, I’ve never heard a single complaint. In addition to all of these benefits, the organization dramatically reduced operational costs and achieved unprecedented cost predictability compared to their mother company. Using the same technology but a different strategy, they secured superior results. This proved, once again, that it’s not about the technology, it’s about the strategy. The private cloud is primarily about moving second-generation platforms to the cloud. It is about shifting the workload and the complexity to the vendor. It’s about reducing the cost of operations, enabling customers to free up IT resources to focus on activities with higher impact on their core business. When I talk to these customers now, they recognize they had worry about where data centers were and whether security measures were in compliance with the EU data privacy laws and their internal policies. However, once these issues were settled, they didn’t care if the service was provided from Spain, Germany or Netherlands. Only that it’s always up and running. Just like we all are with electricity. Today I’m more focused on public cloud offerings like LEAP, content apps for the digital era provided under a SaaS model. The more companies I speak with, the more I see not only these same obvious expectations regarding the private cloud, but also many additional that focus on end user productivity and expectations, and their impact on the new business models being rapidly developed in every industry. The cultural change in the last three years has been great. There are many companies already consuming important services like email, ERP, CRM in the cloud. Now they are ready to consume any other always that can justify their business case. Today’s information requires flowing as freely as electricity, and being accessible when it is needed. It is the dynamic digital enterprises that have realized that plugging into the cloud is virtually as easy and secure as plugging into an outlet. Are you using any private or public cloud service? If so what are your key motivations and concerns?

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Winning Without Migration in a Digitized World

Content migration

An executive is scheduled to travel to a customer meeting at the last minute. He quickly makes flight arrangements, books a place to stay with Airbnb and makes sure the Uber app is on his mobile phone. Then he does one last thing. He finds a big box and stuffs it full with his all the information he’ll need for his meeting. He tapes it closed and lugs it to UPS shipment across country. The story is a little preposterous, isn’t it? With all the technology available, the idea of users hauling physical data around is from a previous age. We leverage all the advances that digital-focused companies offer, yet, while various access tools are available in this new era, many organizations still accept limitations in managing their own content. Uber doesn’t require you to bring your car with you to use its service. Airbnb doesn’t need your furniture. Why should a business need to shuttle around its content in order to use it? Despite the claims of some industry vendors, the hybrid world of content will thrive for many years. Organizations continue to store and access content of all types, including files, media and more, using both on-premises and cloud repositories. However, to create real business value, this content has to be brought to life and used in a way that solves key business challenges like invoice processing, loan processing, claims processing, employee onboarding etc. Two fundamentally different approaches can address this goal: The first option is to shuttle all content into a single repository, hand over the keys to the content kingdom and then pray that it’s secure and meets all compliance and regulatory requirements. There can be advantages to migration, including in the ease of managing, indexing and sorting content. However, in order to achieve this result, an often time-consuming and costly migration process is required (migrating meta data, roles, schemas for billions of objects is not an automated task – it does require PS and a few aspirins on hand). In addition, a single repository solution can both create a choke point that may lead to security and compliance issues and effectively render data that has not been stored or updated into that sole location as virtually useless to a business. Companies who offer this sort of solution have, to their credit, realized these limitations and attempted to develop supporting products to ease the forklifting of data to their specific repository. But this really serves as not much more than a Band-Aid option, eventually requiring the additional steps of classifying incoming documents, indexing them, maintaining the meta data models and relationships and toiling through the arduous job of getting security and compliance certifications on an ever changing content set – not just at the infrastructure, but also at an application level. The second option is to manage the content in place without migration and develop context of the content via a smart access service built on top of all repositories.  Today’s users don’t care so much about where the content they need comes from. A field worker in an energy company doesn’t care as much as where the SOP (standard operating procedures doc) comes from – but rather that he can access it on his mobile device, review and approve it and let his manager know that he has done the job. Content for this simple, but very frequent use case can reside in many different repositories. Why move the content from all those repositories when you can manage it in place?  With our open approach of repository flexibility, whether using Documentum, SharePoint, SAP, Google or even call center operations or email marketing software content can remain in place and be located and leveraged without the complex, time consuming step of migration. We understand that as the world changes around us, repositories will become table-stakes. They can be anywhere. They are simply a means to an end. The key for success will be rather to provide value on top, with solutions such as collaboration across content, easy review and approval of tasks requiring documents from across locations. The heavy lifting of connecting with these repositories is done behind the scenes, enabling customers get an out of the box way to connect all repositories to purpose-driven apps that solve specific business problems. This is what we have accomplished with LEAP.

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The Importance of Data Democratization for the Digital Enterprise

Data Democratization

Democratization in business means more transparency and fluidity in the workplace. Formerly defined roles of the subordinate and the executive are becoming more fuzzy and malleable especially in the age of millennials. And in no area of business are these changes more apparent than in the area of data and content – our Digital Information and Assets. Data democratization in the digital age is an interesting and important anomaly that should be embraced rather than combated against. In the new digital age of business, everything that was traditionally known and done in the business world has been called into question. Back in the days before the digital age, the hierarchy within a business was very pronounced with clear levels and discernment regarding what each participant in a business could do and have access to. The digital age has turned this former monarchical hierarchy on its head leading to an age of data democratization in the business world. More Data and Content Than We Could Have Imagined Once upon a time, the data that a business collected was limited and had to be carefully mined, sought out, and processed and managed. Only a select few people had access to that data including the uppermost executives and the analysts who processed and gathered the data. The rest of the employees in a company were kept largely out of the loop. However, with the rise of computers and the digital age, businesses are faced with an entirely new working environments. Today, businesses have access to more data than they could have even imagined in the past. The vast amount of information available at any given time is quite simply mind-boggling and demands data democratization. Because so much information is so readily available, there is also more of a need to include staff members outside of the select few elite that would have previously been allowed to access the information before. Transparency and democratization has become more important in the business world than ever before, and many “old-school” executives may have a hard time with this concept.   However, it is vital to understand the importance of data democratization for the digital enterprise so that you can learn to embrace this change rather than fight against it. There is a notion that if more of your staff and employees have access to the vast amount of data available, that they will not know how to properly interpret or use the data in the context of their job function within the company. Greater Access to Digital Information is an Advantage Fears that your employees may misinterpret the data or apply it incorrectly can lead you to try to limit or control access to a select few. This decision, while understandable, will only lead to frustrations within your organization as people who need access to information may not be able to get it and is against the principles of data democratization. What you can do is provide employees with gradually building levels of access to the data based on their needs and levels of training and competencies in the interpretation of data. Implementing brief training programs and providing easy-use analytics tools to sift through and filter the digital data available will help your staff to be able to do their jobs more effectively and feel as if they have fair access to business information within the firm. The democratization of data in the digital age is something that should not be feared and should not be cause for counter-measures. Instead, it should be embraced as a part of the inevitable changes that the digital age has brought about in the business world. The key is to ensure that you have eliminated your legacy data silos, provide user focused and flexible access to your data and content and a well-trained staff that is capable of using the available data to your business’s advantage.

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Yes, We Really Mean Change – Case Study in Digital Transformation

digital transformation

When I think of digital transformation, two quotes come to mind: “the light bulb was not invented by continuously improving the candle,” and Henry Ford’s famous statement, “if I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” While these two sayings are simple, they are profound in the sense that they show how change requires out-of-the-box thinking and strong leadership with a clear vision. Digital transformation is a business-led transformation that ultimately targets the underlying business model of an organization. True transformation, to me, is really a horizontal play that means significant change across all verticals or industries. Internally within organizations, its impact is equally broad, affecting multiple lines of business and divisions. From my perspective in the enterprise content management world, it is content that can make or break digital transformation. Poor content hygiene, the inability to share customer information amidst data isolation, and enterprise-wide data dumping are just a few content issues that can hold companies back from transformational change. I’d like to share four thoughts on approaching your digital changes, by grounding them in sound content management practices. Setting Objectives In a report published a year ago, Bain & Company stated that the insurance industry has “been slow to adopt digital tools and business models, relative to other industries.” Competition is relentless, and the industry is changing with increased activity by opportunistic start-ups. For one of our insurance customers, new competition drove the focus of their digital transformation, centered upon the experience of their customers. Leveraging advances in analytics, mobility and social media, this customer has already seen a change in how its own customers interact with their services and people. In their case, they defined several transformation objectives to guide what aspects of people, business and IT would need to be addressed. Objectives included directives like “drive growth through lifetime relationships with customers and acquisition of new customers,” and “drive efficiencies to improve customer value and margins.” Clearly defining your objectives is a solid first step. As we all know from the content management world, it’s not one sudden big bang change that is most impactful, especially for enterprises with heavy legacy investments. Digital transformation success is driven by prioritizing what matters most to the business, then setting objectives that responsibly change everything else to center upon reaching these objectives. Finding a Use Case When we look at business drivers for digital transformation, these can include improving your customer experience, refining your operational processes, and adapting new business models that meet the market requirements of your industry. For this customer focusing on improving customer experience, they started by gaining a better understanding of their customer specific wants and needs. A key step was to define a use case for customers. They identified prospects who want to educate themselves about financial plan options, and who need help choosing between different offerings their company provides. These users expect to resolve their questions by visiting the company Web site from any digital device, and interacting with company representatives and content across different channels. Starting with this use case view ensured the technological shifts required would tie back nicely to overall objectives. Defining a use case overall helps decision making to avoid what AIIM President John Mancini calls a “digital landfill.” Content starts to become prioritized based on who will use it, how, and most importantly, why. Drawing from ECM Experience The next part is exciting for me — helping customers apply our 25 years of industry leadership to bring their use cases to life. This is when our enterprise content management (ECM) frameworks provide the strategy, governance, and steps that are the “secret sauce” to making transformation successful. For this customer case, through our experience set and tools, we homed in a few pragmatic principles: Make ECM Transparent Connect Content and Process Fuel Adoption by Delighting Users Securing Sharing with Outside Users Your Own Pace of Change to Improve Operations What’s important to note is that no single recipe fits everyone. It is a known fact that the pace of digital transformation varies from company to company. This is largely attributed to the pace of change and level of maturity within an organization from a digital perspective. That said, new agile development practices and mobile app designs can help any enterprise trial prototypes faster to find the right solutions. Some companies are still doing the basics, and others have already transformed various aspects of their business. An assessment of your digital maturity is critical to clearly map out a path for your transformation. Working with experienced professionals can expedite and simplify your transformation, as well as help you leverage investments you have already made in existing infrastructure or technology. What are your digital transformation objectives? Where does content fit to enable those objectives? Share your feedback below.

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In Energy, it’s Time to Transform Digitally

transform

Several weeks ago, we explored three key ways that Energy companies are able to take advantage of technologies to transform themselves digitally. For this blog we’ll explore one of these areas in more detail. Digital Asset Management enables organizations to more effectively use asset information, data, and analytics to predict asset performance, identify changing conditions, and evaluate investment options. By creating a complete, 360 view of all asset information, an organization can better understand how an asset is performing, gain more detailed insight into increase its efficiency through predictive maintenance, and ensure more accurate operations and maintenance of the asset. But why now? What is happening today that is driving organizations to invest in better ways of managing asset information? Let’s look more closely at three key drivers: Holding on to Knowledge The reality today is that workforce disruptions are draining organizations of key subject matter experts. In the oil and gas industry, the lower price of oil is driving many organizations to reduce their workforces but across the energy industry, experienced workers are approaching – or surpassing – their retirement. With this expertise leaving your organization, it’s more critical than ever to make sure that you aren’t reliable on individuals to operate your plant. By creating a single source for all of your asset information, your teams will rely upon these reliable systems rather than “the old guy” to get as-built specs and engineering drawings or to understand the latest procedures. This allows you to not only insure that your information survives the next retirement announcement but also improve reliability in the process. Timing is Everything Because of today’s lower oil prices, most oil and gas companies are reducing capital investment. This actually gives many of these companies the opportunity to take a breath and invest in improving their operational efficiencies. In fact, we see a large number of organizations across the energy industries investing in Operational Excellence programs. While the benefits of operational excellence are very well understood, the reality is that when profits are high and opportunity is abundant, organizations quite understandably focus on taking advantage of these opportunities. As long as operational inefficiencies don’t impact the bottom line, there just isn’t the time or bandwidth to invest in improving productivity. But as profit margins narrow and investment slows down, priorities can finally shift to running the business better and focusing on digital transformation. Transform the Bottom Line In the energy industry, shrinking margins driven by competition and new sources of energy are forcing an increased focus on improving operational efficiency. While loose operational procedures may still result in profitability when market conditions are good, today’s lower prices and increased competition mean that absorbing sloppy maintenance and dealing with unplanned downtimes is simply not sustainable. To maintain profitability in these market conditions, organizations must look more closely at their operating costs and at a minimum, focus on driving results in two areas: Improving accuracy and timeliness of operational and maintenance procedures to improve plant productivity and reduce unplanned downtime Ensuring consistent plant operations to safeguard against safety incidents and compliance violations We will continue this discussion in the coming weeks, looking at steps that energy companies can take to transform themselves digitally and improve their operational excellence in the process. Where are you at with your digital transformation journey? Let’s discuss it here.

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