BFaaS solution helps ASIL arrest CAPEX

by Darinia Khongwir    Jul 17, 2013

Cloud computing

Advance Surfactants India Limited (ASIL), one of Asia’s largest Surfactants manufacturers was looking to transform itself from a people-driven organization to a process-centric market Leader. They needed to gain visibility across processes, enhance the efficiency of operations, reduce costs, and ensure effective decision-making. However, challenges with non-integrated systems, outdated processes and age old IT environment were straining their growth. At the same time, leadership within organization were spending too much of their time managing non-core business operations.

With streamlining and automation of all business functions and processes as a top concern, company’s leadership team set out to evaluate various business process management solutions and companies with expertise in providing end to end business process and IT. After a prolonged search they came across Emkor Solutions Limited that offered the concept of Business Function as a Service (BFaaS).

“ASIL, being a small to mid-corporate house, we cannot afford very high tech business process solutions. But at the same time we are also growing at a pace and speed where we need competitive advantages and competitive edges to go past the very crowded space and emerge as market leaders. At a very early stage, we decided we will try to use IT and IT-enabled services as one of these cutting edges. We needed a Business Process Management suite at prices and cost of ownership that makes sense for a mid-enterprise. This is what led us to evaluate Emkor’s BFaaS solution as a very lucrative and attractive proposition,” said Aashish Mahindru, Director, ASIL.

Value for subscription

The reasons for choosing Emkor’s BFaaS solution were varied, the primary one however, being that is it is subscription-based. “As a cloud solution, you pay as you go, which is a big motivator for organisations that work with thin margins and does not have resources at its disposal all the time. The value addition does not end purely on the subscription-based solution. What you get in return in the bouquet of suites that are on par with what a large organization would have access to when they hire IT giants like IBM or PWC or TCS. The subscription-based proposition really helps organizations of our size to be able to get cutting edge IT-enabled services on a par with larger organizations but the value proposition is not limited to just the pricing. We are also getting state-of-the-art services based on the latest softwares and best of the industry practices using the same platforms that many large organizations must be using,” said Mahindru.

The need arises

Most businesses don’t function without having BPM systems in place. But at ASIL they had a host of remote and disconnected manual and semi-automated systems. ASIL had its financial packages and smaller SAP-based ERP packages, which were handling only one of the modules of the entire business process. With BFaaS business function from Emkor, it covers a much larger area of the business.

“We are a manufacturing unit and we have six plants spread across the country. The biggest challenge for a manufacturing facility in multiple locations and regional factories operating at the same time is real-time connectivity and data centralization. And then control over the manufacturing activity along with the financial activity. For example, stock reports, sales and production data and management of sales and production on a day-to-day basis; managing the inventory levels in real time in automated manner, having min and max order levels; tools, which make an enterprise run more efficiently in an automated manner without the need for people to drive the business all the time. So the business process management that we brought after Emkor was of a much larger scale than we had earlier,” explained Manhindru.

Easy deployment

ASIL has been using the service for six months, which also includes the implementation time. The implementation was done in a matter of four months by working closely with all the teams and taking all the data and implementing the systems and training all the users, even remotely via video conferences and teleconference rather than visiting all the plants and offices one by one and deploying resources at different levels.

“Emkor was able to give us implementation on the fly. We have seen in the past that implementation duration can be real deal breakers and the cost of failures in many small and mid-corporations. And the traditional model of implementation, which spreads over six to 12 months, does not enable users to carry on with the momentum from changing from certain kind of business management philosophies to new ones. If it happens faster, people are able to see the changes in front of their eyes and use it tangibly. It really keeps the momentum going and the implementation has a higher success rate,” said Mahindru.

Benefits galore

HadASIL done a traditional implementation based on outright procurement of the software packages and licences and implementation partners, we would have had to invest something to the tune of Rs 3-4 Crores, which is a big amount for a mid-corporate that works in commodities. “With this solution, there were no upfront, prohibitive charges that stumped us. There were the initial deployment costs but after that, it is all about the monthly subscription and the number of users. The whole package that comes along with this BFaaS solution from Emkor includes not only ERP packages but also the IT systems and hardware and networking-based computing system that we had not deployed earlier. Our users are now connected to the internet and cloud. The data is not segregated in local servers. It is all centralized in very state-of-the-art datacenters in different centers so that the data is secure from hazards. We get a very good computing environment that is up-to-date with the latest in the industry. Our users can log in from anywhere. This gets translated into zero investment in IT hardware and infrastructure at our end,” said Mahindru.  

“What we would have spent then including finance cost spread over three years and what we are doing now with th Emkor solution spread over the same number of years, we can foresee at lease 25-30 percent cost savings over the three years. The Total Cost of Ownership that is being projected from this cloud-based BPM tools is substantial and attractive,’ he added.  

Future deployments

We are in the process of deploying more Emkor solutions, which are some of the Business Outsourcing Processes solutions that includes accounting and financial services. They will be able to outsource of our non-core activities. All these will be cloud-based solutions. All this can be accessed from anywhere, not only from the workstation. We are pushing for more BYOD reforms and these solutions are BYOD-friendly. It saves on infrastructure for us. The solutions are robust and data security is reserved. Besides the SLAs are as stringent as possible.