Stephen King (Author)
45 days in the top 100
Release Date: June 4, 2013
(Visit the Best Sellers in Books list for authoritative information on this product's current rank.)
While many big-box businesses can afford expensive, complex solutions, your business can stay connected for a fraction of the price.
Look into new and emerging technologies to help you maintain all your necessary communications without breaking the bank.
Previous generations of small business owners were caught in a telephony catch-22. The phone systems they could afford didn’t have the professional-grade features they needed, whereas the systems with the features they needed were drastically out of their budget. This dichotomy was eased with the introduction of keyed and hybrid phone systems, and made obsolete by business VoIP phone systems.
By transmitting and receiving your calls digitally over an internet connection, you can take advantage of features like auto attendant, call transfer and forwarding, and multiple phone lines at a fraction of the cost of analog PBX systems.
Related: VoIP Is Going Social
When your employees are out of the office or on the road, they don’t have to go incommunicado. Between mobile apps and cloud software programs, your mobile team can be just as connected across the state as they are when they’re across the hall.
Running a small business can be an exercise in juggling – you need to keep costs down while still maintaining effective business processes. Mobile and business VoIP, as well as chat programs, web conferencing software, and cloud-based systems, can help you keep in contact with your business partners, clients, customers, and vendors without putting a strain on your monthly budget.
If you’re staying on top of the news or watching the technology radar then this observation is not going to take you by surprise. In a recently published survey by BRW and the Australian Communications and Media Authority there are now more than 8.5 million or 49% of the adult population using smartphone. This figure is quite telling given that only a couple of years ago it was 38%. What is more interesting about this figure is who was targeted in the survey. Adults although more affluent then their younger counterparts are not typically the technology adopters or advocates. This means that the culture, cost and ease of use barriers have been surpassed, with the real focus at hand now on reaching out to the mobility enabled marketplace.
In part one of this article we focus on three key touch points to managing a successful mobile strategy:
1) Anywhere anytime
Studies by InMobi have shown that adults in Australia spend on average 100 minutes per day on their mobile devices. In itself this might appear to be an interesting figure, but add to that the periods they do this, then we find that there’s actually little downtime where a device is not in reach. People are using their mobiles to fill in gaps of time for example when waiting for someone, going for a walk or even watching TV while sending tweets, e.g. The Voice. Research from Telstra found that Saturday morning showed the only real dip in usage and that was attributed to attendance during sporting events for their children. With this in mind we can open up our reach and depending on the time of day potentially tailor the message.
2) Mobile devices offer unique interfaces
Cameras, movement capabilities and location tracking are just some of the technologies that provide a point of differentiation to traditional web marketing, especially when delivered on a mobile device. The technology enhancements on the device provide the perfect call to action component when marketing to customers. Cameras are a gateway to personalised experience and how often have we seen campaigns where users try and trump one another to grab the limelight. Accelerometers that measure movement open up the possibility to add some fun to the campaign. Recently I saw some people at the pub waving the phones up and down. I couldn’t help but ask one of the patrons at the bar what was going on and learned that a beer company had created an app that emulated a strong arm competition, similar to the one at a fair where you try and ring the bell. If it went off they received a free drink. The vendor might have given away a few beers but the real focus was on the brand.
3) Design a tangible benefit for the customer
Taking off the preverbal marketing hat for a minute, what can we offer our customers that provides a unique benefit, drives the brand message and creates potential advocates? For example, I’ve seen where a fitness clothing retailer provided a workout monitoring app. This free app enables the individual to record their exercise routine and keep track of their progress. In a subliminal way it promotes the brands value proposition and drives clients to engage with the company regarding their technical clothing. Sharing experiences is just one of the methods being adopted in social media shopping and creates brand advocates through trustworthy references.
In part two we look at digital advertising, traditional emailing and digital loyalty.
It’s often been said that 80% or more of ERP implementations are considered failures. In fact, one of the findings of our 2013 ERP Report is that most ERP projects take longer than expected, cost more than expected, and fail to deliver expected business benefits. In addition, in our 2013 ERP Report: Organizational Change and Business Process Management due out next week, we find that 41% of organizations experience some sort of material operational disruption at the time of their go-live.
While the fact patterns may suggest that ERP implementation challenges may be more common than any of us would like to admit, there is no clear definition of what constitutes ERP failure. One of our blogs published last week focused on how to define ERP success for your organization, so we thought it would only be fitting to explore the other side of the coin by describing what constitutes failure.
First, it helps to explain what ERP failure is not. Although cost overruns and project delays are frustrating and more common than they should be, they do not in and of themselves necessarily indicate project failure. Instead, they are more often symptomatic of unrealistic expectations. ERP vendors and system integrators often oversell and oversimplify the ERP implementation process, which commonly leads to these project overruns.
In other cases, implementation delays and budgetary overruns can be caused by poor project management, inefficient focus on organizational change management, and lack of attention to business process reengineering. In these situations, it is the actions of the implementing organizations and their ERP consultants that contribute to the delays, so it could be argued that these are failures.
However, the more cut and dry definition of ERP failure is related to overall business benefits and return on investment. Since most executives are responsible for safeguarding company assets and ensuring a positive return on investment, it is hard to argue that the executive or project team that leaves millions of dollars of unrealized benefits on the table hasn’t failed in its ERP implementation. Just as executives are typically held accountable for realizing overall corporate revenue and cost targets, so too should executive success or failure be determined by optimizing the return on investment of ERP implementations.
The even more commonly accepted (and troubling) definition of failure is related to operational disruption. In our study of nearly 200 ERP implementations across the globe, we found that 41% realize some sort of operational disruption – such as not being able to ship product or close the books – at the time of go-live. This type of business interference is much more measurable and conducive to results that can commonly be agreed upon as failure.
It is interesting to note that most operational disruption and implementation challenges are not caused by the software itself or other technical challenges. In fact, as our report to be published next week will show, most companies find this to be the relatively easy part of an implementation. It’s all the other stuff that creates problems.
For example, about three years ago, we helped a mid-sized client evaluate and implement a leading Tier II ERP system. As is the case with any rollout, there were hiccups along the way. In particular, the client’s engineers and sales reps were having trouble getting comfortable with how the product configuration processes would handle their relatively complex engineer-to-order industrial products. Our ERP consultants recommended delaying the go-live by 30 days to give the organization additional time to adapt to the new business processes, but the client instead opted for a “Hail Mary” flick of the switch. In other words, they essentially rolled the dice that this decision would not affect their business.
Unfortunately, this gamble did not pay off. The client did not build enough safety stock to account for a potential disruption to its supply chain. In addition, these critical engineering processes weren’t fully defined or understood at the time of go live, so the company experienced lost revenue of more than $2 million as a result – even though the extra 30 days would have only cost them an additional $70,000. This is just one instance of some of the mistakes and lessons we’ve seen in the industry over the years that inevitably lead to failure.
The good news is that most failures are avoidable. Organizations with the right focus on project governance, business process reengineering and organizational change management more commonly succeed in their ERP implementations, even against the backdrop of the statistics outlined above. However, they need the right expertise and methodologies to ensure that they set their projects up for success.
Learn more by watching our free, on-demand webinar, Lessons Learned from Failed ERP Implementations.
Business Process Reengineering ERP Consultants ERP Failure ERP Implementation Organizational Change Management
Many of the highest-rated businesses have found that the key to finding and keeping good employees lies in offering prospective employees the benefits that they want the most.
Providing generous benefits packages improves employee retention rates and keeps your employees happy, healthy, and loyal.
The U.S., on average, offers the lowest number of holidays and sick days of nearly every industrialized nation. The EU mandates that workers receive at least 20 days of paid leave per year, while the average American worker takes only 12 (Time). (Tweet this stat!)
However, some US companies have placed greater emphasis on paid leave, to positive effects.
The Family and Medical Leave Act enables eligible employees to take 12 workweeks of leave per 12-month period in order to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, or seriously ill family member. This leave is unpaid, but some companies offer a better alternative for their employees.
Changes in health care law has made insurance more accessible to millions of Americans, but many more are dependent on their employers for assistance with health benefits. Starbucks and Trader Joe’s lead the way in providing full health benefits to not only full-time, but to their part-time employees as well. Employees who work at least 20 hours per week receive full health insurance.
Many companies encourage their employees to save for retirement by offering a 401(k) savings plan and matching a percentage of employee contributions. US employers, on average, matched 3.95% of employee contributions in 2011, but some went much farther (Forbes). (Tweet this stat!)
In addition to the many benefits outlined above, many companies offer additional perks like tuition reimbursement, travel grants, scholarship programs, and employee discounts. REI employees receive a 50-75% discount on apparel, free equipment rental, and an annual gift of gear. Starbucks employees receive free while on shift and a pound of coffee to take home each week. If you are interested in expanding your employee benefits, consider these best practices to ensure that you attract the best talent and earn their loyalty.
It is very common on ERP projects when consultants make big promises to transfer software knowledge to their client. For example, we often hear the preverbal statement: “One of our goals is to work ourselves off the project, by teaching you the new system!” Yet once a project is over, many clients are clueless when it comes to making software configuration changes, and may even struggle with performing basic transactions in the system. So what gives?
No doubt, in some cases the client is more than partly to blame for lack of software knowledge. But even when they are serious about learning the new system, unfortunately many consulting firms have no real strategy to make knowledge transfer more than just a promise.
For any company, implementing ERP is a huge investment of time and money. Are we now saying it does not matter if anyone knows how to use the new tools? This is similar to consultants building a spaceship to take you to Mars with the understanding we will not plan the return trip until after we get there. There are consequences for assuming knowledge of the system will automatically cross-pollinate. The issues listed below can cost your company plenty.
Software Knowledge as a Project Management Thread
The successful transfer of software knowledge from the consultant to the client does not necessarily happen by chance. Furthermore, it goes beyond initial project team training, training “on the fly” during the project, and even end-user training. Also, in order to achieve consistent results, the techniques applied should not be left up to each consultant that happens to be working on the project.
Similar to other key areas of project management, such as issue management, technology management, etc., knowledge transfer should be viewed as a “project management thread” that runs throughout the implementation cycle. This means there should be “knowledge transfer deliverables” within each project phase. When done correctly, these deliverables enable the project team to crest software learning curves early on and then accelerate learning so the team can be productive and fully engaged during the implementation.
Steven Phillips is an ERP professional with over twenty-seven years of implementation experience. He is the author of the book “Control Your ERP Destiny” available at Amazon, Google Books, Barnes & Noble and through many other international booksellers. The e-Book version is supported by Kindle and Nook readers, and is also available on Apple, Android, and Windows devices when using the free Kindle, Nook or Google Play apps
On a Federal level, penalties can include back wages, fines, interest, and liquidated damages.
In addition, employers with incorrectly classified workers may also be subject to penalties imposed by the state(s) in which their business operates.
The Department of Labor is responsible for the administration of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. Shown below are three recent settlements obtained by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL. These settlements may seem small, but it is important to note they are for local companies. Larger corporations such as Walmart have amassed penalties in the millions for various wage & hour infractions over time.
The Fair Labor Standards Act defines specific criteria for each type of employment classification. Both classification categories are governed by a set of requirements every business owner should be familiar with.
To qualify for the exempt administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:
The first requirement implies that the employee has authority to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction or supervision. Factors to consider include, but are not limited to whether the employee:
This refers to the level of importance or consequence of the work performed. An employee does not exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance merely because the employer will experience financial losses if the employee fails to perform the job properly.
It is imperative to know if the state(s) your business operations in have their own requirements/tests to determine exempt vs. non-exempt status. For example: California has a much higher minimum salary required for exemption, which is currently $33,280 annually; the Federal requirement is $455 per week which on an annual basis is $23,660. You may have positions that meet the Federal requirements but do not meet the State requirements.
Bio: For over 30 years MMChr has been a market leader in the HR Outsourcing & Business Consulting Industry. MMC provides solutions to improve business performance, reduce risk, and better position your company for success. Contact MMC at email@example.com
Successful marketing teams are using email to reach new subscribers, encourage upsells, and reengage customers who have been missing out on new products or services. One metric that really matters to email marketers is the open rate.
Is your email marketing program performing as well as it should or as well as it could? As you look to improve your email marketing efforts and open rates, consider taking these three steps forward.
Related: Get a free quote for email marketing
The subject line and introductory paragraph of your email can make all the difference in open rates. If you’re offering a discount, limited or exclusive trial, or running a promotion, make sure to include that information in your subject line and/or intro. In the latest bi-annual report from Knotice, the digital marketing agency reported that 41% of commercial emails are now opened on mobile devices (Tweet this stat!). Subject lines and a brief intro are all that’s visible. In such a small window, you need to ensure your subject line and introduction quickly attracts the reader and engages them so they open the email.
Related: 5 Secrets to Email Marketing Success
A 2012 report from Informz points out that emails sent in the morning result in the highest open rates. After analyzing more than 600 million emails sent by over 700 large and medium-sized enterprises using its platform, they found that morning emails saw an average open rate of 39.2% (Tweet this stat!), ahead of those sent mid-day (33.9%), in the late afternoon (32.1%) and during the evening (32%). Testing your optimal send time is crucial. From day of the week to a specific three-hour window, improving open rates starts with getting the email to land in a customer’s inbox at the right time.
Customers want to feel a connection. They don’t want to be just another name, email or face in the crowd. Personalizing emails is a great way for your business to increase its open rate. A case study conducted by MarketingSherpa reported that by adding personalization into its newsletter emails, C Spire Wireless was able to increase its click-through rate by 92% and its open rate by 537%. Eloqua found that in their sample of over 200 million emails, the best-performing emails include subject lines personalized with the recipient’s name and an additional data point, like location. Custom personalization in an email subject line can lead to a nearly 10% greater open rate (Tweet this stat!).
Email marketing is a key component of both B2C and B2B marketing strategies. As customers’ inboxes become flooded with massive amounts of businesses, how do you ensure yours stands out? A great subject line and a touch of personalization within an email sent at the right time are where you can get started ramping up your email marketing efforts and open rates.
How does your business manage customer experience? Is customer experience even a priority? According to Forrester’s report, “The State of Customer Experience Management, 2013,” most businesses are failing at tracking, assessing, and managing their customers’ experience – despite knowing how important it is for their future success.
In order to win at CX, you need to put your money where your mouth is. 92% of businesses claim that customer experience is a “top strategic priority” – yet only 47% provide a dedicated budget for CX management. Those businesses who actively prioritize CX in their budget, business operations, and culture have already reaped the benefits of CX management. These businesses include:
Although the majority of businesses claim to prioritize CX, 86% also claim that managing CX isn’t providing any value to them. What can explain this discrepancy? The truth is, most businesses are failing at adequately implementing the basic elements of CX management – and as a result, those efforts that they do make are failing as well.
The quality of your business’s customer experience has important ramifications for the lifetime value of your customers and the future success of your business. If you truly want to win at CX, you need to not only prioritize it in your overall business strategy – you need to back it up with forthright efforts to sufficiently track and analyze CX data, prepare for the effects of your business decisions on CX, and actively engage your customers about their experience with your business.
ERP NEWS – As companies become increasingly complex, finding an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that meets all needs may be as likely as finding a unicorn. Indeed, in today’s global mobile environment, organizations are looking for an ERP system that does more than integrate with a legacy system.
However, with so many solutions on the market, how do you choose the software system that’s right for your enterprise, that your different business groups will actually use?
To help you increase your odds of finding and deploying an ERP solution that will benefit your organization (and to help you cut through all the marketing hype), CIO.com queried dozens of ERP experts. Their top 11 suggestions on how to choose and deploy an ERP system successfully appear below.
1. Document Business Objectives and Come Up with an Implementation and Support Plan
“Successful implementations are all based on a well-assessed and scoped out business problem,” explains Bernd Weidenmueller, vice president, ERP, Avanade, which provides enterprise business technology solutions and managed services.
“The better the business problem is defined the more likely it is that the ERP system can address the problem,” he says. Make the challenges you want the software to solve “as specific and as measurable as possible and tie them to your company’s overall objectives.”
“Gather a list of your most mission-critical requirements, including functional; workflow; systems integration; governance, risk and compliance (GRC); data migration/conversion; business intelligence and reporting; and training,” says Greg Pierce, vice president of Concerto Cloud Services, Tribridge, a CRM, ERP and IT services consulting firm.
Next, he says, “define your implementation approach and timeframe. How complex will your data migration/conversion be? Are you looking to migrate summary vs. transaction detail? How ‘clean’ is your data today? Are you looking to get started with a core group of functions and expand functionality down the road?”
And don’t forget about your IT team when selecting a solution. “Do you have a well-defined ERP IT plan?” he asks. “What IT skills do you have in-house today versus skills you need help with?” By answering these questions, you will have a much better handle on what you need in an ERP system and be better positioned for success.
2. Decide on a Delivery Model
“Ask yourself ‘What ERP delivery model is right for my company?’ says John Hoebler, managing director, MorganFranklin Consulting. “The three primary options are on-premise ERP, hosted/managed service ERP and cloud ERP solutions,” he says.
“Traditionally, on-premise and hosted ERP solutions provide the most flexibility to tailor packages to meet organizational needs, but they’re also costly. Feature-rich cloud ERP solutions with robust development tools are rapidly emerging.” But before you invest in a cloud-based solution, make sure it meets your needs and that your data will be safe (properly backed up and secured), he says.
3. Compare Solutions
“There are multiple ERP vendors operating globally,” explains C.V. Leela Krishnan, project director, SAP practice, Hexaware, an enterprise solution and IT services provider. “Each ERP may not satisfy 100 percent of your organization’s requirements.”
Therefore, it’s important to “prioritize and create a matrix of functionalities required by the business and rank different ERPs with this matrix,” he says. By doing so, it will be easier to “choose an ERP that provides the maximum number of required functionalities and also gives the expected ROI.”
Adds Jon Duncan, senior director of Product Management, Antenna Software: “Enterprises should consider flexible platforms that … integrate with other back-end systems to provide workers with critical information while offering a rich mobile experience” (assuming mobility is important to your organization).
Similarly, it’s important that the ERP solution is configurable. “Configurability doesn’t mean re-coding solutions to suit your needs,” explains Tim Garcia, CEO, Apptricity, a customer-service oriented ERP and asset management company. “It means having the ability to change settings within the solution so that it fits your organization like a tailored suit. You should be able to define the user interface and how the information is displayed and what data pops up in certain scenarios.”
4. Carefully Vet Vendors
“When selecting an ERP vendor, do your homework,” advises Vajira De Silva, CEO of attune Consulting, a global business and technology solutions provider. “By engaging with industry analysts, user groups and other advisors, and by taking a look at other company installations of the ERP system, you will get a strong indication of the vendor’s true strengths and weaknesses.”
In addition, “Take the time to learn which ERP vendors are staying on the cusp of these trends and are investing in emerging technologies,” he says. “It’s not enough to solve your business pain points today. The ERP vendor should be able to demonstrate a longer-term growth strategy that can help you stay competitive into the future.”
Finally, “ask vendors to provide one or more customer references that share your specialty and business size,” says Derek Singleton, the ERP analyst at Software Advice. “When you talk to these references, dig in deep. Ask what challenges they faced with the system; ask how the vendor responded; and ask what they would change about the software if they could.”
5. Focus on the Essentials
“Avoid shiny object syndrome,” warns Hoebler. “Instead of building rich dashboards or automating unwieldy or poorly documented processes, tackle the basics: financials, HR/payroll, supply chain processes and reporting,” he says.
“Create a foundation from day one that keeps the business running and forces data standardization. Pie charts and scatter plots look great at board meetings, but not with incorrect data. Establish core processes and data as a foundation for additional functionality and enhancements,” he says.
6. Don’t Go it Alone
“Many organizations find that involving outside ERP experts is instrumental in making the ERP initiative successful,” explains Steve Litwin, president, Litcom, an IT solutions provider. Just make sure if you do hire a third-party ERP consulting firm that it understands your business and your organizational objectives as well as the ERP system you are deploying.
“The partner your company chooses to work with is the most important decision you will make during an ERP implementation,” argues Mike Oswalt, president, Algorithm, an IT solutions, services and support provider. “The software partner should be knowledgeable about your industry and fully understand your business” — and work closely with you throughout the ERP implementation process.
7. Invest in Training
Before you roll out your new software company-wide, or even to a couple of departments, “it is worth it to invest in a core team of users and train them on the tool, even though it may take team members away from their core job function,” advises Gail Snider, Marketing Director — Microsoft Relations, enVista, a supply chain consulting and IT services firm.
8. Focus on Data and Change Management
“Most ERP delays today can be traced back to lack of focus on getting master and transactional data ready in time, or a lack of alignment around new business processes and its impact to the end user community,” explains Brad Little, vice president, North America SAP Service Line Leader at Capgemini.
“Even if you build a perfect system, your go-live may not be successful without quality data and business users ready to embrace the new solution. Start early on both of these fronts to avoid unwelcome surprises,” Little says.
9. Avoid Over-Customizing Your ERP Solution
While some customization is essential, too many organizations over-customize their software, to the point where “years later, they can’t upgrade the system without losing all of this custom work,” explains Dustin Wells, CEO, Headspring, which specializes in custom software development and consulting. “You can avoid this by reducing the amount of customizations made by your ERP vendor, or by having them written in a sustainable (vendor-neutral) language upfront.”
10. Measure Results
“Define metrics to determine how well the system delivers on your defined business objectives, then track progress and continue to measure — even after implementation,” says Erik Kaas, vice president of Product Management for software solutions provider Sage.
11. Keep Your Software Current
“Make sure and stay up to date with the periodic software patches and releases your ERP vendor provides,” says Little. “Getting out of date will make your system harder to support over time and will drive up your cost of ownership. It will also make it more difficult and expensive to upgrade to the next major release.”
Jennifer Lonoff Schiff (CIO (US))
While this is a great moment for your business, you need to be careful. Don’t make the common mistakes novice business professionals are faced with when attending their first overnight event. One wrong step can hurt your business prospects and alienate potential clients, customers, and business partners.
It’s important to know your schedule before you even start packing. Know how many formal business meetings, informal happy hours and professional dinners you will attend. A good staple piece for your wardrobe is a plain black blazer. Why? Because you can wear it multiple times without raising eyebrows and it goes with everything!
No one wants to carry around all of their technology when traveling – phones, music players, laptops and tablets. On the other hand, no one wants to be without anything they may need. So what’s the solution? Consolidate.
Carrying around an unnecessary amount of technology can look excessive, especially when you can access everything you need from one device. Look practical and well-put together by having everything you need in one easy-to-access place.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than showing up to a restaurant with a client you’re trying to impress and the hostess tells you they’re booked for the night. Chances are you knew about this dinner meeting ahead of time, so why didn’t you make a reservation? Your time is valuable, and so is your client’s. Respect that.
If you know that you don’t function at 100% without a full night of sleep, don’t take a redeye flight, or a long, early drive. This is your time to shine! Yawning in someone’s face or falling asleep during a presentation does not look good.
Just because your business is footing the bill doesn’t mean you should ignore costs. Have restraint. Join a Business Discount Travel Programs – like Hertz’s Business Rewards Program. By using your company’s unique CDP to book your rental car, you will not only book at a lower rate, but you’ll earn your company free rental days.
It’s easy to get carried away when it’s your first trip as a business owner. Don’t lose out on opportunities by making rookie mistakes. Give off the impression you’d like to stick with your business, and keep in mind that perception is reality!
Bio: Breanna Wilson is the Director of Marketing at Allied Business Network, a business membership group that offers businesses travel discounts on hotels, car rentals and more from the leading travel companies in the US. Breanna is a travel thought leader who offers a unique perspective on the best ways to travel. She welcomes anyone to reach out to her on Google+ or Twitter.
I've MOOCed, have you?
MOOCs, in case you don't follow the latest trends in education, are Massive Open Online Courses.
There have been many recent articles in mainstream media about MOOCs and the impact they are having on higher education. When you pick up the airline magazine in the seat pocket in front of you on a plane, and there's an in-depth article on MOOCs, you know it has gone mainstream.
In this blog, I'll give you a brief history of MOOCs, describe my personal experience taking a MOOC, discuss current issues, and end with my thoughts on what this means for ERP education.
The "M" in MOOC stands for Massive. Here's why. In the Fall of 2011, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford professor, offered an Artificial Intelligence class, online, at no charge. Within weeks 160,000 students signed up. That was the game changing event that put MOOCs on the map.
Before reading the rest of this blog, take a look at the range of courses one MOOC provider has on tap right now. Really, take a look. It's incredible, and it's all free! Go ahead and sign up for a class...I'll wait for you to get back here in a few minutes....Did you sign up for a class? Doesn't it feel great to be back in school again? Let's meet after class at the Student Union for a beer!
I had a great time taking my first MOOC. I like mathematics, so I signed up for "Introduction to Mathematical Thinking", taught by Keith Devlin, a Stanford professor, and NPR's "Math Guy".
Every Monday a new course lesson was made available online. A typical lesson usually included a high quality 10-20 minute video of Keith talking and writing on a white board, explaining the concepts for that lesson. Every few minutes there would be an opportunity to reinforce the learning by answering a question that popped up on my screen. After the video, there would be multiple choice homework exercises which could be done later. When I submitted the homework, I would get instant feedback on how well I did, with details on why my answers were right or wrong.
There were also interactive forums, online, which students could participate in. Many students asked questions about the course content, and others would answer. Sometimes a graduate teaching assistant would pop in to help steer the conversation. Occasionally, Keith would email everyone to clarify a point that came up in the forums.
Sadly, I did not finish the course and take the final exam. Taking a MOOC is a real commitment--requiring 10-20 hours per week to keep up and really learn the material. No excuses, but I did stop watching the lectures and taking the quizzes part way through. Almost 90% of all registered students do not complete MOOCs.
MOOCs have started to change the face of Higher Education. Schools are starting to figure out how to give college credit for MOOCs--some are requiring proctored exams to be passed if you want credit. Some courses are being monetized by being sold to Universities to offer to students on campus. MOOC content is typically viewed outside of class, and classes are used for discussion and synthesis of the concepts.
This last concept is similar to what I see being done with end user training at JDE clients--the end users watch the videos (UPKs, for example), on their own, and the in-person classes are used to present overall business process concepts that help the end users synthesize the online content.
Many of us believe that MOOCs are game changers for Higher Education. However, MOOCs are so new that no one can say for sure how the game will be changed.
Now, how is all this going to affect ERP education? I don't think anyone that works for an ERP software company's education division is trying to figure out how to make all their classes be free. But, I do believe that they all are trying to figure out what content should be free. It won't be long before everyone is offering a free "Introduction to XYZ Software" course, styled as a MOOC offering. And there will be some in-depth courses offered, but only when the ERP vendor feels that educating customers is a justifiable sales expense in its efforts to market new software modules.
This is already happening. SAP has free, MOOC-style courses on HANA--its in-memory data platform. In less than three weeks, nearly 20,000 people have registered for these two free classes.
Can Oracle be far behind? Not likely. I'm sure there's a small group working on an Oracle MOOC behind closed doors at Oracle University. What will the subject be of the first Oracle MOOC? I won't be suprised if it's Fusion Applications. Or Exalogic/Exadata.
Have you MOOCed? If so, please leave a comment, below, about your experience.
The Grandaddy of 'em all: Khan Academy
MOOC ERP JDE Oracle SAP JDE Education JDE Training Oracle University ERP training
All organizations demands staffing requirements to execute numerous enterprise actions in order to perform smoothly. Resource management necessitates synchronization and management of staff, tools, processes, and systems that offer incident managers with timely staff and ideal assets throughout an event allocated. One can underdstand management of resources by the following the approaches given below:-
These qualities would come with performing group meetings, learning human behaviour, overseeing prospective source of downturn, creating and reducing conventional agreements, establishing contracts, creating ready-to-use consumer data layouts and training the functionality.It offers numerous features that should be tackled with an ongoing time frame without delaying it further. The HR administration accounts for keeping track of all these routines, as well as for asking for the Disaster Supervision Overseer contact to call for a conference if demanded.
The fundamental concepts of controlling any venture will probably be joining and merging with co-workers during venture, supplying possibilities for management, participating in group query, and coaching. The administration enables organizations to review, focus on, and perform long-term job targets. You may create a proficiency platform, in addition to a powerful growth approach concerning particular selection, instruction courses, and activities to aid your own progress. Controlling staff progress is really a wide task which range from yearly job interviews by means of talent and management teaching, to assessing genuine improvement. It requires an appropriate strategy to create a primary team performance effortlessly while in the undertaking of any project.
Individual improvement and personnel protection is a couple of ultimate tactical qualities of HROs. In today's competitive modern society resource management performs an essential part; possibly for a company, residential house, business or nation. It's observed in every facet of existence. The actual end result could possibly be even more difficult if some things are certainly not taken into account. The supervision is inadequately performed anybody can encounter a significant problem with weak management. It's especially crucial throughout the early stages of the event. Errors created at this time might substance and confuse all additional measures. For almost any business to have successful capacity to expand and progress human resource administration is really a crucial role.
The truth is, no enterprise or organization can occur or function effectively without having the assistance of proper and well-trained management team. Consequently the answer to this is certainly to comprehend the steps to be taken up to resolve the challenge. A company operation needs to understand its potential effort requirements and alter accordingly its workforce preparing and improvement programs consequently in order for foreseeing disaster. HR is definitely a fascinating and broadening industry, perhaps probably the most interesting and gratifying prospective career opportunities. Additionally, no matter what your long-term profession ideas are you will often be associated with administration concerns as a possible people and also as a boss, going for job interviews, carrying out and analysing overall performance, coaching and currently being skilled. It's something we all need to discover within us.
HR deals with variety of task at the office and is particularly a life and demise issue for every single corporation today. The answer to an effective administration is fairly simple; create powerful personal computer expertise, acquire internship in recruiting, create demonstration abilities and turmoil quality capabilities via training and actions, develop powerful logical abilities and inter personal skills, be prepared to begin within an entry-level recruiting, acquire a scholar diploma like Master of business administration, experts, or laws to achieve the best level of human learning operations. An effective instruction includes an array of understanding, abilities and behaviour such as marketing communications, problem-solving, situational consciousness, making decisions, and working together.
HR administration can also be referred to as staff administration or effort administration. Despite the fact that most task supervisors never need to take their existence at risk for task achievement, but they also are presented with the process in efficiently dealing with their people today accountable for success. The truth is, oftentimes undertaking administrators intensely depend upon sketchy reviews providing incorrect information from the readily available expertise around the common as well as in the area which result in inaccurate accessibility and consumption rates. In fact, challenge executives have nominal exposure into specific functionality analytic of their total assets outside a number of peers they've experienced direct realistic awareness in the sector with. Therefore, effective challenge centred situations realize that a properly planned source operations technique is required to make sure that they're able to get the best from their people accountable for the achievements of their assignments.
resource management software resource planning software resource scheduling software
One of the interesting takeaways from our 2013 ERP Report released earlier this year is the apparent confusion between the perceived success and actual results of ERP implementations. While most ERP projects still take longer than expected, cost more than expected and fail to deliver expected business benefits, our research indicates that most organizations are still generally satisfied with their ERP implementations.
This begs the question: how can companies experience such dismal implementation results yet still feel a sense of success at the end of the day? Our experience with hundreds of ERP implementations over the years suggests that there are a number of reasons for this dichotomy. First and foremost, most organizations don’t have a clear definition of success. Assuming the new ERP system provides at least an incremental improvement to their business operations, chances are that executives and employees are going to feel at least somewhat satisfied with their ERP system once the transition pains have subsided.
Below are three things that will help you and your project team achieve ERP success:
1. Clearly define success. We hear it all the time: for some organizations, anything is better than the ERP system they currently have in place. However, most organizations also aren’t spending millions of dollars on new ERP software just to realize an incremental improvement. Instead, most are looking for a tangible return on the investment in that software, just as they would expect from an investment in an acquisition or any other major capital investment. The problem is that executives generally don’t clearly articulate to the organization what exactly they expect from the new ERP system and how they will determine whether or not the implementation is ultimately successful. The business case should be an important mechanism to not only justify the investment in the ERP system but also to define what will constitute ERP success.
2. Articulate expected process improvements. Similarly, expected business process improvements should be clearly defined and articulated to the organization. It’s not enough to simply suggest that the software is going to make business processes better. Those process improvements should be clearly defined and documented for employees so they can enable some of the process improvements. Your people – not the ERP software – will ultimately determine whether or not the process improvements stick, so rather than assume people won’t revert back to their inefficient manual processes and spreadsheets, it is much more effective to define the expected business processes and communicate changes to employees accordingly. This will also make your organizational change management activities much more effective in the long-run.
3. Conduct post-implementation audits. Even in a perfect world, measurable business goals and process improvements aren’t going to happen overnight. Beginning 60 to 90 days after implementation, your team should conduct a post-implementation audit to ensure that actual results are measured and compared to expected business benefits. In addition, these audits identify where process improvements are breaking down or presenting additional opportunities for improvement. Although it can be a harrowing exercise since it will inevitably reveal organizational issues and business process deficiencies, it is an important way to identify and correct root causes for the benefit shortcomings. Typically, these audits will reveal low-hanging fruit that can be remediated with relatively simple prescriptions, such as refresher training or tweaks to business processes or software configuration. After spending millions of dollars on an ERP implementation, these investments in post-implementation optimization are relatively immaterial in the grand scheme of things.
Post-implementation is arguably the thing that organizations struggle with the most during their ERP implementations, which is a key reason why so many implementations fail to deliver expected business benefits. In fact, most project teams are so relieved to finally finish their ERP implementations that they never get to the post-implementation audit phase, but it’s nearly impossible to optimize business benefits without doing so.
Learn more by downloading our white paper, Ten Tips for a Successful ERP Implementation.
Business Process Reengineering ERP Implementations ERP System Organizational Change Management
Thanks to the infinite diversity of human beings and the unique ways in which we all go about things, there is always something to set one company apart from another.
Because of this, premiums for business insurance are rarely going to take a one-size-fits-all approach – and can be just as varied as the businesses themselves. With public liability insurance, however, there are a few factors that, in general, will always affect a policy’s premiums.
The key to understanding your policy’s premiums is in understanding how that premium is calculated – and what changes you can make in order to reduce your liability insurance costs.
The cost of your policy scales according to the size of your business’s workforce and volume of customers. The reasoning behind this is if you’re doing more business and you have the capacity to do more trade in general, then you are increasing the risks of inviting a public liability claim.
What trade or profession you work in can have an affect on your premium. The public liability risks presented by a construction company are different from a freelance PR consultant for example. As a result, the premiums of your policy will adjust accordingly depending on the general risk of your industry or market.
Some trades will trigger little alarm bells in the heads of underwriters and they’ll want to ask a few extra questions to get an idea of how risky your business processes are. Most tradesmen, for example, are asked if they work at heights or with heat to determine the risky nature of the work.
One of the other general factors that can affect your premiums is the amount of time your company has been trading and the average amount of experience held by its directors, partners and principals. If you’ve been in business for a while, underwriters will consider it more likely that you know what you’re doing and are therefore less likely to cut corners, presenting less of a public liability risk.
Related: Make It Your Business to Be Insured
If you have received a quote for your public liability insurance and it’s a lot higher than you were expecting, any decent broker should be able to give you a rough indication of why it is so high. It can be worth enquiring about, because they might have access to a policy more appropriate for your business’s budget.
Remember, the cost of business insurance should scale with the stage that your business is in, so if something seems wrong, check with your broker before spending money that you don’t have to.
Bio: David Hing writes for YOUR Insurance, a specialist broker that understands the importance of public liability insurance for small businesses.
ERP Education; Selecting the BEST ERP System; How long does it take to implement