Duane Hardacre, Managing Partner
These are hard times for CIOs across industries. With budgets shrinking and bottom lines becoming harder to maintain they still need to find ways to leverage newer technologies to support the demanding business end-users. Moreover, as traditional outsourcing destinations become level playing fields and increasingly lose their low-cost advantage, pushing away operational activities no longer remains a favorable option. Cloud technology can very well be the panacea under such circumstances. However, there is one issue. In a bid to sell their proposition, many Cloud solution providers project the Cloud as an easy plug-and-play affair. While it is true that Cloud technology has come a long way, positioning Cloud this way and dropping solutions on users often renders underutilized applications and unmet ROIs because, in reality, Cloud isn’t simple plug-and-play and nor are dynamic business environments of today. Operations such as that of Supply Chain are highly complex and so are its underlying processes and the data generated. “One needs to leverage technology in ways that define business advantages and ROI; while continuing to focus on the people, processes, and change management to help define the proper scope of that technology and make the most out of it,” says Duane Hardacre, Managing Partner at AVATA.
In terms of Cloud technology, most would agree that many companies are slow to adopt primarily because of two key reasons: They have already invested significantly in on-premise assets and, while lessoning, the security concerns tied to customers putting sensitive data in the Cloud. However, sooner or later market requirements would dictate every business to find a place in the Cloud and AVATA brings a strong value proposition through its experience, tools, and methodology for assisting companies on this journey in the Supply Chain and Manufacturing space.
From developing the strategic roadmap to executing the implementations and providing on-going managed services, AVATA helps organizations determine the right path based on capabilities of current on-premise applications, business challenges, paint-points, company objectives and priorities, and ultimately ROI. Due to those large on-premise investments, we are seeing a trend in the supply chain arena to move towards a path of hybrid solutions (combined on-premise and Cloud) that address high value business challenges while often eliminating expensive customizations due to gaps in on-premise solutions. These “edge” Cloud applications integrated with on-premise solutions not only offer a significant business advantage for companies to migrate to Cloud based on value and at their own pace, but it can also provide IT with budget relief by moving these types of projects from capital expenditures to an operating expense. Moreover, with AVATA’s managed service offering, IT organizations can maintain resource levels while still supporting these new Cloud solutions and stabilizing IT budgets while still having the ability to scale as needed.
While AVATA’s Management Consulting practice provides a number of strategic and operational supply chain services, they are not a pure strategy player due to their experience as a system integrator. “This combination provides a broader, deeper, and higher value to our customers” says Hardacre, “due to the fact that we don’t simply configure software, we provide true transformational engagements that focus on the people, processes, and metrics to meet the business objectives while leveraging technology as an enabler—‘From Strategy through Execution.’ AVATA’s technology is focused around Oracle’s on-Premise and Cloud solutions. Their unparalleled level of expertise and partnership with Oracle has been a differentiator for the firm.
The company was one of the first to extend Oracle’s on-premise supply chain solutions and provide them to users in a subscription model in the Cloud. This combined with being a Cloud co-development partner of Oracle has allowed AVATA to deeply integrate with Oracle’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud. As a leader in that space, AVATA has developed several supply chain solutions that are preconfigured, best practice industry solutions utilizing Oracle’s Cloud applications such as S&OP in the Cloud. Other AVATA solutions are complementary to Oracle’s SCM applications such AVATA’s Scheduling Board, Trade Promotion Management Express, and Enterprise Supply Chain Simulator. The firm also recently launched eLync–AVATA’s Enterprise Integration Platform which addresses the key hybrid integration and data management/quality needs in the industry.