Archive for 'Business Process Management'

Oct
2013

Upgrading to next level of examination marking

Paper based summative assessment is the standard approach adopted by educational bodies for assessing candidates. Every year millions of candidates appear for examinations organized by education boards and universities globally, creating a complex process of examination marking for providing time bound results to candidates. The reliability of marking depends on the degree of consistency with which the examiners mark the answer scripts. In the current scenario, the number of students appearing for exams is increasing at a rapid rate, while the number of examiners remain limited. This leads to examiners being under pressure to mark more scripts in limited time which inadvertently translates into sub-standard examining of scripts. Quite naturally, this can be detrimental for candidates and their progress as well as impact reputations of educational/examination bodies.

In India too, this problem is commonplace especially due to a high population rate and a skewed up examiner to examined ratio. To counter this challenge the Supreme Court of India has issued directives to disclose answer scripts under India’s Right to Information Act (RTI). Educational / examination institutions to comply with this mandate and also to make the whole examinsation process more transparent have begun providing candidates the facility of ‘Verification of Marks’.

Candidates can now get copies of their marked answer scripts for scrutiny on payment of a nominal fee. This facility however, increases the work load for these institutions, burdening their already limited human and operational resources. Also, any error found by candidates during verification can lead to degrading of an institution’s image and dilute trust among various stakeholders. Institutions therefore need to adopt proactive methods to address such issues.

Newgen’s On-Screen Marking System is one such effective solution that can help educational/examination bodies by proactively identifying issues and discrepancies right at the very beginning. This helps them save a lot of resources and effort along with building stakeholder’s trust in the system. By utilizing process based methodology, the solution transforms the way examination marking is done today. Built on a robust ECM and BPM platform, Newgen On-Screen Marking System promotes paperless and computer-based evaluation of summative examinations, helping streamline the entire process of examination marking through smart and operationally effective processes.

Newgen’s On-Screen Marking System improves the accuracy and efficiency of marking remarkably. In this electronic marking system, answer scripts are scanned and the images are uploaded on a server, which enables an examiner to evaluate the answer scripts on the computer with the help of rich and intuitive tools to assist in marking. It eradicates administrative errors like incorrect totaling, unchecked questions and incorrect awarding of marks. It increases the quality and consistency of entire examination process by making it more secure and transparent in a highly cost effective manner.

*Supreme Court of India Ruling: http://cic.gov.in/SC-Rulings/CBSEAndAnr-Vs-AdityaAndOrs.pdf

Name: Sharad

Web Site: http://www.newgensoft.com

Bio: SME for Government and Education Vertical at Newgen Software

Sep
2013

Finance & Accounting Transformation – A Leap Forward…

In today’s challenging economy, financial professionals see their responsibilities shifting from recording various aspects of a corporation’s financial health to joining top executives in a success driven partnership, a trend accelerated by the financial crisis. The emergence of distinct business models, a trend pushed by globalization, shared services, cost control and the economic rise of Asia, is also forcing financial professionals to re-examine their roles.

But the trend towards value-added roles for the finance function is apparent worldwide, there is a gap between the extent to which finance professionals in the east and west are heading in that direction. The west is moving ahead of the east. The question arises why and how.

To deeply analyze and answer the above questions, Newgen is organizing a F&A focused event covering the global challenges, needs and top priorities of the F&A industry. The event will include industry the following leaders who will share their views on the emerging F&A and shared services global trends and the way forward:

Gaurav Gupta - Sr. Director Deloitte

Gaurav Gupta - Sr. Director Deloitte

Mathew George - Vice President, Core Finance & Head of Shared Services, HCL Technologies

Mathew George - Vice President, Core Finance & Head of Shared Services, HCL Technologies

Gerald Sun - VP Commercial Products, APAC & MEA, MasterCard Worldwide

Gerald Sun - VP Commercial Products, APAC & MEA, MasterCard Worldwide

S Sriram - F&A-Subject Matter Expert, Newgen Software

S Sriram - F&A-Subject Matter Expert, Newgen Software

The event will enable attendees to get a fresh perspective on the latest trends from though leaders, learn from the experiences of finance heads of leading organizations, listen to end-user experiences, see the latest technology innovations in F&A domain, identify which technologies are suitable to help them gain the maximum ROI, and last but on the least, network and share knowledge with industry peers.
Apart from the thought sharing sessions by the leaders, event will also have a Panel Discussion on “Maximizing ROI from F&A Automation”. This platform will enable attendees to openly share their questions or challenges of their organizations with the thought leaders.
The event is scheduled on Friday 20th September, 2013 at Claridges, Aurangzeb Road Delhi. Aspirants can easily register for the event at below link.

Register Now!

Aug
2013

BPM sustains because- it is a journey and not a destination

Fascinating mail from Microsoft CEO was sent to all the employees, which conveyed the message very loudly, that evolution was the past as well as the future of Microsoft. The vision of Microsoft- they have changed the world and they will continue doing so. This is the true vision of the IT software – be the change and bring the change. It’s a vision which is difficult to be transformed into a roadmap and yet more difficult to follow.

But only this holds the key to the success and sustainability of IT software. There are not many IT traits today which have survived and evolved through ages. More often than not, a new technology overrides the older one and makes it sink into oblivion.

Business Process Management (BPM) is one of the few IT traits today which has its roots back in 80’s. And, still it’s growing, evolving and spreading. There must have been something significant, something extra-ordinarily different from the other technology tools. BPM must have done something very right that the others couldn’t. If we start thinking and unraveling the mystery, the first thing we would think of is- innovations that happened around BPM in decades. No one can deny that R&D is a key contributor for the long existence of BPM. However, innovation alone will fail to answer our question. There are examples of IT tools and traits which were innovative and disruptive in the market but became obsolete in time. For example: pager replaced by mobile, Orkut by Facebook, Symbian by Android, etc. So, other than innovations, BPM must have done something very right over the ages. Let’s try to find out what that could be.

Thinking of fundamentals of BPM, the key reason for BPM’s success is – illustrating a vision along with a roadmap even before the implementation kicks off. All successful BPM vendors throughout the world would certainly agree that the success of a BPM program in any organization, depends a lot on what the organization thinks of BPM. Organizations, interested in adopting a BPM tool may or may not be aware of the full capability of a BPM tool. In organizations, the need of a BPM tool usually comes for the automation of a single process or to address the business specific needs of a particular department. This is a beginning of something new but it starts with a narrow vision. If the organization starts BPM adoption with this vision in mind, they are restricting themselves with limited BPM capabilities and the project will soon come to a hopeless end. So the proper planning for BPM adoption is very crucial. For so many years, BPM vendors have been doing exceptionally well in taking a lead role in the planning phase of BPM adoption. Successful BPM vendors ensure the following things prior to embarking upon the BPM implementation phase:

a) BPM should be a CXO initiative: To involve the CXOs in a BPM initiative is a must. It should be kept in mind that the true benefit of a BPM solution can be realized only when it is adopted organization-wide and not just in few departments. That means, eventually in the future, all the departments of the organization will have to use BPM tool. If the BPM initiative is not on the CXO’s agenda, it is almost impossible to implement it organization-wide. So, BPM vendors always involve CXO-level people in discussion from the very beginning even though it may be a small initiative from a particular department.

b) Present the Roadmap to the CXOs: Long term vision is something the CXOs crave for and hardly misses their eyes. So, the BPM vendors create the BPM adoption roadmap and share it with the CXOs. The roadmap typically captures all the milestones of BPM adoption and how much time it takes to reach those milestones. The roadmap further clarifies what kind of BPM benefits, the CXO can expect in different BPM maturity levels along the curve, and in how much time it will be realized. The procedure to measure the tangible benefits and how to comprehend the intangible benefits also becomes a part of an elaborate roadmap. If the CXO has multiple business objectives in mind, prioritization of those is also very important in this exercise. Because, based on the objective priority, the BPM implementation roadmap will be defined. In other words, the CXO must know what he is going to get and in how much time from the BPM initiative. For so many decades, BPM successfully projected and achieved the CXO level objectives, and this is undoubtedly one of the key reasons for BPM’s glorious existence today and in the future. The expectations and the business benefits of a BPM initiative have changed over the years and for that reason, BPM also evolved itself in innovations through decades. But the important thing for BPM has always been how to fit in the CXOs vision of his organization’s future.

c) BPM gives benefits to all: The users of As-Is business have to agree and appreciate that the advent of BPM in organizations, is not a threat but an opportunity for all to improve and perform better. Now, conveying this message to the future BPM users, is as important as involving CXOs in the BPM project. It is very common in users to be reluctant to changes and more particularly when the changes come with a looming threat of headcount reduction and being monitored all the time by business stakeholders. In other words, bringing automation means, all the users are susceptible to job insecurity and losing control of their daily operations. And this tends to lead them to reject the BPM project. For so many years, BPM vendors have successfully preached all level of users- how BPM will help in their day-to-day activities, make them more effective and probably help them get a promotion. And most importantly, BPM vendors have convinced the users that- the automation brought by BPM only ensures restructuring of the organization by changing user assignments in different roles and certainly not by reducing headcounts. A typical example could be, re-assigning more users in customer facing roles rather than in back office for improved customer delight.

d) Defining the BPM maturity level benefits: BPM in different maturity levels exhibits different kinds of benefits. In generic, organizations are made aware that they will observe the following benefits in different maturity levels.

Level 1- Cost optimization and operational excellence: This is the basic benefit, an organization observes immediately after start using the BPM solution.
Level 2- Adherence Regulatory Compliance mandates
Level 3- Monitoring and continuous improvements: A CoE can be formulated at this level which takes care of new process roll-outs and improvement of existing processes
Level 4- Aligning organization strategy with BPM: This is the phase when the CXOs start tuning the organization-wide BPM architecture to achieve the highest priority business objective. This is the time for CXOs to look back at the BPM roadmaps and how the business objectives were prioritized earlier in the planning phase. For an example, a bank’s top priority business objective could be- improved customer delight and satisfaction for competitive edge, in other words customer centricity is the highest priority.

At this level, BPM must ensure that all the customer facing bank processes like – New customer on-boarding and KYC, Customer Request Management, Customer Correspondence Management, Loan Request and processing, etc. are leading to customer delight. These processes are effectively helping in getting new customers, retaining old customers, and cross-selling & up-selling products, to the right customers. Revenue generation using BPM solution is possible when the business strategy gets successfully aligned with BPM.

After this level, there comes the enhancements, modifications and the need to assimilate evolving market trends like cloud, mobility, social media, etc. For example, a bank might have successfully automated its Customer Request Management process earlier, and now needs to integrate the same process with social media for even better customer delight and service management.

So, we can say that, the reason behind BPM’s long sustainability is the philosophy it brings in any organization with its adoption. An organization adopts BPM with at least 7-10 years of vision in mind and slowly BPM becomes the backbone of their IT infrastructure. Then, it can’t be replaced, but only improved, as all the mission critical business processes are running on BPM. And, this is why, for an organization, the journey with BPM will not end, because there is no final destination, there is only moving from one business objective to another. BPM is a journey. Sit back, hold tight, and enjoy it.

Bio: Sandipan Chakraborty is part of the Marketing Team at Newgen.

Feb
2013

Mobility – Ensuring Business Success for Insurers

Driven by the rise in penetration of mobile phones and tablets, in the past few years, it has become ineluctable for every business, to embrace mobility. Especially any business, for which success depends largely on customers’ service experiences, must have a sound mobile strategy, in alignment with the changing customer preferences.

While mobility finds its applicability across all industries, it can play an essentially critical role in the success of an insurance organization. When leveraged across the insurance value chain, mobility can yield real business value, in terms of enhanced customer satisfaction, simpler processes, and reduced cycle times and administrative costs.

Insurers can use mobile technology to establish virtual offices for their field staff, allowing them ‘anytime-anywhere’ access to relevant information, such as customer details, new policy features, policy quotes, etc. This would result in faster sales cycles and improved revenues. Using mobile applications, insurers can enable sales agents to capture customer information at the point of contact, transfer it to the central processing office in real time, and initiate the processing of applications instantly.

Customer self-service is another area where mobility can add immense value. Today, mobile phones have become a norm, and the proliferation of smartphones is witnessing unprecedented growth rates. In such a scenario, in order to retain and expand its customer-base, it becomes imperative for an insurance organization to offer self-service tools, allowing customers to access their policy information, locate agents, pay premiums and apply for claims over their mobile devices.

Owing to the benefits that it promises to insurers, the case for adoption of mobile solutions is very strong. However, before an insurer invests in mobile solutions, it is important to outline a sound mobile strategy based on its specific requirements, in order to maximize the benefits of mobility.

Bio: Garima is Manager - Marketing & Communications at Newgen Software.

Oct
2012

Think Big Data

It took me exactly a day to write this blog. In the same time the following happened.

1. 1 billion pieces of content were added to Facebook.

2. Zynga processed 1 petabyte of content for players, a volume of data that is unmatched in the social game industry.

3. More than 1 billion searches were performed only on Twitter

4. More than 2 billion videos were watched on YouTube

That is not all. According to IBM, every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. That is a unit of data I never thought existed even in the dictionary and for me an Urban Legend so to speak. The amount of data created each day has increased to such levels that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data is big data. An understatement to say the least.

Big Data will be of no use till the time it remains Data. The Big Data needs to be converted to Big Information.

The term Big Data is used to describe voluminous amount of unstructured and semi-structured data a company creates — data that would take too much time and cost too much money to load into a relational database for analysis.

So how do we manage the so called “big data“? What is the objective of managing it? What is the expected outcome of this extremely tedious exercise? The massive size of Big Data goes beyond the ability of average database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze them effectively.

Bill Hoggarth, speaker at the ITWeb BPM Summit, says “Unlike any other IT catchphrase, big data is here to stay because it’s being led and sponsored by business thought leaders.” From a BPM perspective, he also adds “It’s not so much how BPM helps with addressing big data, but rather how big data helps to address BPM challenges”. As companies shift towards more customer-centric approaches to managing their business, they are looking for frameworks to manage their business processes that can actually predict customer behavior.

Organizations have increasingly started thinking in terms of business processes rather than individual applications. The combination of BPM and advanced analytics tools that have ready access to massive amounts of data creates intriguing possibilities that could serve to automate any number of business functions.

Senior Management want businesses run on data-driven decisions. They want scenarios and simulations that provide immediate guidance on the best actions to take when disruption occur, disruptions ranging from unexpected competitors or an earthquake in a supply zone to a customer signaling a desire to switch providers. Management wants to understand optimal solutions based on complex business parameters or new information, and they want to take action quickly.

Of course, many business executives have been reluctant to attempt to automate many of the processes for fear that the data those decisions are being made on is either incorrect or incomplete. But as the volume of data for those decisions increases, the confidence in those decisions increases because the level of extrapolation being made based on the available data is significantly less.

It’ll be interesting to see what impact Big Data ultimately has on BPM adoption or vice versa. It is of utmost importance they complement each other to contribute to the growth of the organization. It is not just a matter of what came first – The egg or the chicken.

Name: Swapnil

Bio: Swapnil is part of Newgen's Presales team, working for the company's Regional Office in Mumbai.

Apr
2012

From Banks to ‘Financial Supermarkets’-The Alternate Perspective

In my previous article, titled ‘From Banks to Financial Supermarkets’, I have mentioned about the strategies banks are following these days and projecting themselves as financial supermarkets- one stop shop for all financial needs; be it opening of CASA, home loan, personal loan, credit card, bank assurance, or mutual funds.

There is one more way of looking at the term “Financial Supermarket”. The word Supermarket signifies multiple products from multiple brands made available under a single roof. Now let’s see how the concept of Supermarket translates to Financial Services. A Financial Supermarket means all financial products from different vendors made available under the same roof. Today’s customer is very aware and makes his financial decisions after evaluating several options. He may want a credit card from one bank and an insurance solution from another. In such a case to get a complete control of a customer’s portfolio or to create a loyal customer base, a bank can tie up with other Financial Services vendors and earn huge commissions. For e.g. XYZ, a leading bank in India, that offers all banking products ties up with ABC Insurance Company and adds ABC’s products also in its portfolio. Following a similar approach, a bank can tie up with several financial services vendors. This will not only add variety to the banks portfolio but also result in increased revenues.

However, to adopt this concept of Financial Supermarkets, banks need to have a very strong back office, or a ‘Process Factory’- BPM platform above Core, which can take the entire processing load from the front office staff, thus giving them an opportunity to concentrate on sales and customer service.   

Name: Neeraj

Bio: Neeraj Koli is part of the Global Business Development team at Newgen, and is responsible for the APAC Banking market.

Mar
2012

“Case Management” includes usage of content, collaboration and support for dynamic work allocation

Traditionally, small parts of a process (work-step/s) have been performed by different workers who add some value at each work-step. However, increasing automation has led to reducing of the repetitive work and work-steps involve very little value addition from each worker. To keep work interesting and meaningful for a knowledge worker, and to enhance efficiencies, each knowledge worker is expected to perform the task end-to-end. This requires knowledge workers to collaborate in both structured and ad-hoc manner depending on how the case shapes up. Typical “case management” application areas include a benefits claim processing, an investigation by a government agency or a loan request processing.

Case Management” includes usage of content, collaboration and support for dynamic work allocation. Within such cases, exceptions are unpredictable and rather become the norm. Such “ cases” can only be visualized and modeled into a process after they are completed. Therefore, to successfully manage the “Case”, along with the Content Management tools, the information worker also requires social/collaboration tools for the ad hoc work, and tools like BPM, and business rules for managing structured work.

Bio: Rohit Thakur is Senior Manager-Marketing, at Newgen Software

Mar
2012

BPM – A Key Enabler for F&A Transformation

The demands on the Finance and Accounting (F&A) function in business organizations are significant, with constant pressures to achieve process compliance and increase business efficiency and agility, while also driving down transactional costs.

As a result, finance operations demand a transformational approach with higher automation, better process visibility and enhanced business agility. A Business Process Management (BPM) solution is the right tool for finance functions seeking not just cost savings but also process efficiencies and compliance, as well as improved management reporting. BPM enables business organizations to model, automate, manage, and optimize their F&A procedures.

Newgen’s BPM-based F&A solutions help clients overcome the problems posed by manual systems, by enabling continuous streamlining of processes in order to improve efficiency, control, compliance, and risk mitigation, to meet the challenges of a highly volatile business environment.

Newgen’s BPM suite has been recognized by top analyst firms.  Two Newgen clients- Unilever and Future Group were declared winners of the 2011 Excellence Awards for Finance & Accounting (F&A) Transformation through Shared Services. While Unilever Shared Service (erstwhile Indigo) was recognized under the category of Excellence in Servicing Clients in the Sub-continent, the Future Group Shared Service won the award for Excellence in Strategy towards Financial Transformation.

Newgen’s solutions are designed to automate a wide range of F&A processes, such as accounts payables, receivables and fixed assets, general ledger and policy owner servicing, etc. Newgen helps clients to improve operational effectiveness while allowing them to leverage their existing technology investments. Business benefits delivered to the client by Newgen’s F&A solutions include:

  • Better monitoring and control over F&A operations
  • Reduced ongoing F&A costs
  • Real-time process visibility due to comprehensive MIS reporting
  • Reduction in human errors due to image-enabled data entry
  • Improved and measurable productivity
  • Scalable solution to allow for future growth and continued improvements

Bio: Garima is Manager - Marketing & Communications at Newgen Software.

Mar
2012

Digitization and Process Automation in Government Departments: Need of the Hour

With increased focus on transparency, compliances and better services within a specified period of time, more and more government departments are realizing the need for investing in their IT Infrastructure.  Government departments, specially the customer centric ones, such as Transport, Health, Passport, and MNREGA, are constantly faced with an uphill task of managing huge volumes of documents and processes. These departments need a system that can help them deliver citizen centric services to the people at a faster pace, with improved transparency and accountability.

Large public sector enterprises have already taken steps towards embracing e-Governance and Digitization. There are examples of organizations such as DMRC – very recently they have adopted a SaaS-based Document Management System, seeing digitization as the need of the Hour.

There are multiple other examples where Newgen has helped organization such as Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Gujarat Industries Power Company Ltd, Madhya Pradesh Transport Department, Estate Office Chandigarh, Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals, LIC of India, and many public sector banks to realize their objective of a ‘Less Paper Office’ through its award winning end to end document management and process automation solutions.

If technology has enabled us to go paperless and achieve better governance there is no reason why organizations should not go with it. 

Name: Neeraj

Bio: Neeraj Koli is part of the Global Business Development team at Newgen, and is responsible for the APAC Banking market.

Feb
2012

“Banking Transformation Needs Smart Automation”

Last night I participated in a webinar titled “Banking Transformation Needs Smart Automation”. The webinar highlighted BPM and ECM as catalysts for financial services transformation and how business benefits could be accrued from their implementation. The speakers included Derek Miers, Principal Analyst of Forrester Research and Mridul Sharma, Senior Vice President, Solution Delivery Team, IndusInd Bank and Ritesh Verma, Head, CoE Banking Practice.

Mr. Derek Miers talked about “Driving Transformation in Financial Services.” He began by stating that most organizations today are in the midst of one of the most disruptive shifts in economic history. The shift has been from producers and those who hold capital to consumers. Consumers he said had a plethora of choices today and even more so in the finance and banking industry. He went on discuss the gradual transition from the way banking services were delivered on paper to the 360 degree approach that is followed today. He stressed on the fact that since customers had so many choices, the greatest differentiator was how customer experience was delivered to customers. If customers were dissatisfied, they would invariably jump ship. To keep in tune with customer needs, organizations had to evolve and transform themselves. Mr. Miers spoke about how processes were at the center of this transformation from Traditional Line Management to Processes and Services Management. He argued that this did not warrant a Band-aid approach where specific systems or parts of the organization were changed but more like a “Wellness Program” which brings overall vitality, rejuvenation and business transformation. He felt that customer centricity should become the default behavior of the organization and especially its front line.

This approach reminded me of the term “Big Process” that I read in an article by Connie Moore titled “Embrace Big Process Thinking” where she said, “Big Process is when senior-most business and technology leaders embrace business process change by shifting the organization’s focus from isolated BPM and process improvement projects to a sustainable, enterprise-wide business process transformation program that is then supported and driven by top executives.” I think this aligns perfectly with what Derek was trying to explain.

Derek went on to elaborate on how organizations should build their transformation plan by focusing on outcomes and working backwards to the processes it needs to deliver that outcome. He concluded by highlighting that organizations should look at this as an opportunity to shine and take the lead rather than waiting for change to happen.

Mridul Sharma then took the speaker’s role and discussed how Newgen’s BPM solution helped the bank to improve processes, reduce turn-around-times, foster transparency and lay the foundation for a paperless and green office.

Ritesh Verma concluded the presentation session by discussing Newgen’s capabilities in BPM and ECM and stressing on how Newgen is in the business of transforming banks. He went on to point out how Newgen has become a key enabler for fast growing banks. He also enumerated the company’s achievements in the BFS industry and its pedigree of 850+ installations across 45 countries. He concluded by showcasing the number of clients Newgen has worked with and how it has helped 119 banks across the globe to achieve their business goals.

The webinar was wrapped up by a Question and Answer round where participants interacted with the key speakers.

Name: Imroz Adeeb

Bio: Imroz is Associate Manager - Corporate Communications at Newgen Software.

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