Aptworks Solutions Private Limited

header photo

Aptworks transforming Customers from Smart to Badass!

Reach Us: +918019280375 /

The art of embedding intelligent technologies into new products, services, and ultimately business models to achieve an intelligent enterprise@Aptworks

If we can make system users (customers) feel like they are "Badass"/Experts with the ERP system deployed, then they would look awesomely SMART leveraging these intelligent systems..

Innovative technological capabilities are used to improve and refine existing processes consisting of many repetitive, manual tasks with more automated and adaptive ones leveraging RPA tools. This drives down costs and leads to temporary competitive advantages, however, it neither changes the "thinking-different" factor nor brings about any innovation. Today lot of companies are ignorant of this fact and are unintentionally mis-lead by RPA evangelists. Aptworks believes that the winners in the era of the intelligent enterprise  will be those companies that utilize intelligent technologies  to come up with new intelligent business models.

How Aptworks transforms your orginization from Digital to Intelligent Enterprises
While companies are still very busy to become fully digital in terms of:

  • The processes they use,
  • The products and services they offer, and
  • The customer experience they create,

We observed that they are already confronted with the next wave of "disruptive" change needed called "the intelligent enterprise". We ensure that the intelligent enterprise utilizes connectivity (between things, people and enterprises), big data, cloud applications, algorithms, and advanced analytics (instead of hard-coded rules and rigorous procedures). This enables enterprises to come to the right decisions with minimal human involvement even in dynamic, fast-changing environments. To free-up knowledge workers from repetitive and mundane tasks, that a machine can do as good or even better, a combination of technologies is needed to collect and process the data (such as IoT and cloud applications) and artificial intelligence.

The best case we observed for this change is the area of customer service where automation is increased by bots. This ranges from simple mail bots that assign incoming mails to the right agents over chat bots that enable customers to help themselves concerning standard issues such as a password reset or to comprehensive voice bots that communicate with customers to resolve the vast majority of issues that come up in a typical call center. In addition, the remaining human workers in the contact center get support from artificial intelligence-based applications to find quickly the best solution for highly complex issues based on historical data. 

Aptworks believes that an intelligent enterprise when liberated passes on a completely new customer-experience, partner-experience, and employee-experience that is seamlessly embedded in intelligent business models.

Think of a typical case of complex machines and plants sold to a customer. In the past, the manufacturer would design, engineer and build them, then there was a tough part post delivery and installation, and in many cases the OEM lost track their machinery during its long life into operation and maintenance. They had no insights concerning conditions and performance or which spare parts, extensions, or services could be offered. Similarly, the operation team, maintenance staff and it's service providers had no clue about what the manufacturer could contribute in terms of tailored improvements and optimization. Today, a set of new technologies are available through these intelligent  ERPs: the IoT to collect data from running equipment, use advanced analytics to create insights about the performance, and with machine learning predict failure and optimized maintenance cycles, and finally cloud platforms optimally share the data and insights across all affected parties. 

Aptworks observes that successful business models mainly consist of two elements: lower entry barriers and smart lock-in mechanisms. Intelligent technologies nowadays must create a business case to invent intelligent business models with substantial ROI. To benefit from these opportunities, all that is needed is a systematic approach.

Business Model Design – A craft Aptworks mastered

On using a pragmatic approach for business model design, it is clearly evident that business modelling is a craft rather than an art. Take the ‘Business Model Development & Innovation’ approach as an example, then the underlying principles of such an approach are quite simple:

  • We use suitable frameworks for the documentation of the business model, e.g. the business model canvas and a network view.
  • We start with a baseline of the business model. This is either the business model that is currently used or (for a greenfield approach) the model that people would use, if they would have to go to the market immediately.
  • We develop the business model in a strictly an "Agileiterative approach. The first iteration turns the baseline into an improved version and then you continue with further iterations until an appropriate business model to commercialize the new offering or business idea. In the end, the right choice and sequence of the iterations is key for the success of the approach.

There are 4 distinct types of iterations we execute diligently:

  • Analyze & Improve: During this iteration, the parts of the business model are analyzed in more detail to improve the business model based on the gained insights. One example could be to analyze competitors and improve the value proposition based on new insights to strengthen unique aspects.
  • Challenge & Change: If there are valid triggers, typically opportunities or threats, it makes sense to challenge the current business model. These challenges will inspire ideas for the design of innovative extensions or completely new business models.
  • Test & Validate: New business models are based on several assumptions that imply risks if they turn out to be wrong. Thus, testing and validating these assumptions as early and as cheap as possible is crucial. Usually, these assumptions concern mainly customers’ needs, and wants, as well as their ability to pay.
  • Evaluate & Decide: To figure out which of the different business model options are most promising, one has to assess them. Furthermore, towards the end of the project the optimal business model is evaluated in detail to provide the decision makers with a solid foundation for further planning or investment decisions.

This way to develop and innovate business models in a systematic manner has proven to work "aptly" for all sizes of enterprises.

The Role of Intelligent Technologies for Business Model Design
Aptworks believes that intelligent technologies can inspire all the described iterations in business model design. The technologies themselves might be analyzed in detail to understand how they could optimize certain elements of a business model like channels or key activities. We use these technologies to test an assumption in a smarter manner (think about running campaigns is social media to validate the assumed pain points of certain customer groups). Nevertheless, the main role of intelligent technologies is to inspire the creation of new, more intelligent business models that replace those that are challenged by the market. So, the task at hand is about turning capabilities of intelligent technologies into new ways to offer value-adding products and services and to embed them into business models that facilitate intelligent value capture.

To challenge existing business models with new technologies, it makes sense to reflect which disruptive effects new technologies can have. They could make:

  • Offerings fundamentally cheaper
  • Take away customers with better product-market fit
  • Reconfigure the value chain provide access to idle resources
  • Enhance customer experience, employee experience, or partner experience

Based on these considerations and through understanding which technologies become relevant for the industry, opportunities and threats can be collected and challenges for the existing business models can be formulated.

These challenges can trigger ideas for new business models. To inspire the ideation process beyond classical brain storming, Aptworks advises to leverage the following methods:

  • The first approach to link new technologies with business model innovation is a very systematic way – like a morphological box that is used in product development. Think about the elements of a business model canvas, such as the value proposition or the channels that were mentioned before. Now, take a set of new technologies, such as IoT, big data analytics or cloud platforms. For every combination of a specific business model element and a specific technology, all known or imaginable new options are collected to figure out how this element could be improved or even re-invented. In a subsequent step, new business model elements can be combined and implications to existing parts of the business model can be considered to come-up with consistent future options for innovative business models.
  • The second approach is to use so called business model patterns. Re-combining existing concepts is a powerful approach to generate ideas for new business models, that could be rather disruptive. 
  • A third approach is to look out for existing, real-world examples of new business models. The most obvious variant for this approach is to look at peers and competitors. However, it might be more inspiring to look at other industries with similar challenges (in particular, if they were hit by these challenges earlier) and to analyze if there were successful ideas to tackle these strains. Last not least, in might be very inspiring to check what start-ups are doing to leverage new technologies or to tackle known challenges in completely new ways.

Business models for the Intelligent Enterprise
Coming back to the machinery and plant industry. For the first time, new technological capabilities, like cloud platforms and IoT allow to let the vision of a full product lifecycle management come true: a seamless digital representation of an individual product through its entire lifecycle from "inception to commissioning" and maintenance with the digital twin. Even better, the twin can collect real-time data, allows for analysis and prediction, and last not least everything can be shared among all affected businesses. From the manufacturer's point of view, it is obvious that the operation of the own machines and plants becomes much easier, less risky, and more efficient. And this forms the foundation for all types of equipment-as-a-service as well as output-based revenue models. One might argue that this is not completely new, however, now these business models can get out the niche and become mainstream. The digital twin (utilizing the IoT as well as predictive maintenance algorithms) and the business network around it enable many other innovative business models as well. Think about platforms that bring together supply and demand for maintenance and repair services or for spare parts and used parts as well as consumables. Manufactures who are on ERP are in a key position to set-up and operate these platforms and benefit via new revenue streams and increased customer satisfaction. In addition, the digital twin is also a step towards tailored offerings for software updates and value-adding services or even feature selling. Alternatively, the operators could sell data back that is relevant for an improved design and engineering of new machines.

For those machines that are ultimately designed for consumers like household appliances, the advancements of the IoT offers opportunities to eliminate the layer between OEM and end consumer, i.e. the retailer or service providers. For the first time, the consumer gets a name and location for the OEM when the appliance is registered in the network. Afterwards, the OEM gets data how the machine is used and about its health status and now can start to offer services like predictive maintenance, new features like higher performance due to firmware updates or even physical products like complementing ware parts, vacuum bags or detergents. This is a classical reconfiguration of the value chain from B2B to B2C.

Getting data directly from consumers on a massive scale enables other data-driven business as well. While the insurance offerings based on mileage and driving behavior are already partly established, other industries tab into this opportunity as well. As an example, a spice company has started to leverage data from questionnaires and ratings of food or restaurants to create a taste profile and to offer a recommendation service for recipes and products. The insights are also shared with commercial partners to tailor their digital offerings to consumers.

Aptworks believes that the direct connect to the customer can also bring up new options in B2B industries. Think about a logistic provider, that offers everything from highly standardized services up to very complex and customer-specific offerings. For the low-end applications, the customer can use a self-service portal to configure the service, and the system provides prices and dates immediately (based on intelligent algorithms and availability checks). The system can offer additional services and information (e.g. about customs duty and regulations in certain countries) depending on the data entered, and the contract signage and payment require no paper work. This is not just about lowering costs due to the fact that human operators are now only needed for more complex requests, but also about offering a new customer experience and real time business. Global track and trace can be an additional element in this scenario to facilitate real-time monitoring directly for the customer. In addition, the customer can see the historical data about past business transactions at any time.

Another superior way of customer experience is mass customization. Not a totally new concept if you think about the automotive industry. However, when it comes to low value products this was a no-go due to disproportionate effort and costs in the past. With the latest generation of intelligent and high-performance enterprise systems this is feasible for the cloths and apparel industry and even for the food industry. This is especially remarkable since these industries continue to do their regular mass production business in parallel. Same applies to the media industry that can run various business models in parallel from paper-based daily newspapers to tailored content management for online consumers.

In the context of mass customization, 3D-printing or additive manufacturing offer the basis for new business models as well. For certain business contexts it becomes relatively simple and cheap to offer configured products and even individual pieces. Beside this aspect, 3D-printing allows for new ways of distribution or even totally new channels and partnerships, e.g. in the area of spare and ware parts supply.

From Business Model Design to Business Model Innovation
The fact that innovation consists of inventing and implementing something new is well-known. Nonetheless, only the invention part is in the focus most of the times – simply because the implementation is the less fancy, but more time-consuming and tedious part. Nevertheless, it is extremely crucial for the success, in particular in larger enterprises where the existing (still successful) business models create a climate that tends to kill emerging business models, often called corporate immune system.

In order to mitigate the risk where innovative business models are discouraged right away, Aptworks strongly believes that it makes sense to do ‘business model road mapping’ exercise, that slices the change in a series of smaller "value-added" steps that are easier for acceptability/change management and reduce the risk since they incorporate a commercial testing or validation step. In addition, if one wants to really understand the impact of a new business model in a organization, it is imperative to understand the current business model portfolio and to carry out a detailed ‘delta analysis’ to figure out which elements of the business model are really new or even in contradictory to the current practices. The knowledge of all existing business models also enables the team in charge of implementing the new model to look for synergies and smart re-use of existing processes and capabilities.

The ‘ability to innovate’ of a large enterprise consists of various dimensions from leadership, over strategy alignment, employee innovativeness, organizational setting, co-innovation and networks to innovation assets, processes, and practices. Each dimension provides drivers that can be systematically influenced to create an environment that increases the likelihood of success with business model innovations for the intelligent enterprise dramatically.

Aptworks partnered with ACADEMIA ERPIFS ERPEnvecon

IFS ERP Solutions for Aigle Business combines best-of-breed solutions with a complete suite of component-based ERP software. IFS Applications 10 provides one complete solution for global businesses that manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets and manage service-focused operations. It is a leading enterprise software solution that, with its compelling user experience, enables you to define and deliver on your next chapter, whatever that may be. Unlike competitive offerings that are too often generic, IFS Applications 10 provides industry-specific functionality that enables you to create a competitive advantage.
Connect to the future with IFS software that offers:

  • Deep industry functionality within a broad suite that also includes financials, human capital management and customer relationship management
  • A more engaging and enjoyable work experience through IFS Aurena, its intuitive user interface accessible from any device
  • Choice of cloud service models, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or IFS Managed Cloud, or running on-premise
  • Support for global operations and greater transparency in business processes, bringing all parts of the company closer together
  • IoT technology and real-time data capture for predictive maintenance and service
  • Low cost of ownership, proactive quality management and continuous innovation through a regular update cadence plus a Layered Application Architecture (LAA)

No business operates in isolation. We are all affected by what’s coming next. IFS Applications combines leading technology with an understanding of your industry to help address trends including the Internet of Things (IoT), digital transformation, servitization and individualization. It offers last-mile functionality to optimize your operations here and now, and an outstanding digital experience to engage everyone inside and outside your organization.

IFS EAM is an applications that offers user the freedom to implement as much supporting functionality as need to meet asset management and other organizational requirements, maintenance scheduling, work orders and other functionality necessary for reliability-centered maintenance.

IFS EOI lets executives and managers review and orchestrate processes that align with their business strategy. This allows them to ensure process execution delivers that strategy software drives these processes into endusers' desktop functions. The EOI solution also provides endusers with a complete understanding of which functions deliver real customer value, those that are less effective, and those which waste both time and resources in terms of delivering the organizational goals.

IFS Field Service Management
IFS Field Service Management is a best in class, end-to-end solution that provides service organizations with the most complete, connected field service on the market.
IFS Field Service Management supports end-to-end service lifecycle management, including contact center, contract and warranty management, knowledge and project management, planning and scheduling optimization, mobile functionality, customer and partner portals, billing, service parts inventory and returns and repairs processing. With embedded IoT capabilities, IFS FSM is the most complete, connected field service solution on the market. IFS FSM also enables seamless integration with existing ERP and CRM platforms.

Product Overview
IFS Applications is an integrated suite of solutions that handles a wide variety of business functions. The solutions are: Financials, Human Capital Management, Engineering, Projects, Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Maintenance, Sales & Service, and Business Enablers. Each solution has many different components.
IFS Applications is an agile solution, meaning it can quickly adapt to a business or industry’s changing needs and technology. Companies can have the software customized with the modules they need rather than purchase different software. They can also decide to add new components over time as their business needs change.
IFS Applications can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premise. Its cloud solution is delivered on the Microsoft Azure platform, and companies can benefit from anywhere access and no worries on maintaining servers. For companies that want the security of hosting their own data, IFS offers Managed Cloud services with the perpetual licensing model.

In mid-2018, IFS announced a new version called IFS Applications 10 that includes new features and enhancements. One of those features is the IFS Aurena, a browser-based intuitive interface to help increase user engagement and productivity. It also employs artificial intelligence functionality via the Aurena Bot, where users can give voice or text commands for tasks such as checking vacation leave balance. The Aurena Bot is accessible by IFS Aurena, Skype or Facebook Messenger.

Each IFS Applications solution has many components. We’ve focused on the key ones below:

  • Financials – The Financials solution includes features such as invoicing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, business planning, cash flow, project finance, fixed assets, and general ledger.
  • Human Capital Management – Features in this solution are self-service, payroll, time and attendance, recruiting, expense management, health and safety, training, and employee development.
  • Engineering – Features include project deliverables, engineering change management, comissioning, and product data management (PDM) configurations.
  • Projects – This solution include features such as risk management, project reporting, project management, planning and scheduling, project budgeting and forecasting, and sales contract management.
  • Manufacturing – The Manufacturing solution has features like materials and resource planning, visual planning and scheduling, project-based manufacturing, discrete manufacturing, batch process manufacturing, and shop floor reporting.
  • Supply Chain – The supply chain solution’s features are demand forecasting, inventory, shipment management, sales order, and warehouse management.
  • Sales & Service – Some of the features in this solution are customer relationship management (CRM), web store, call management, field service with mobile functionality, service contract management and what-if scenario explorer.
  • Maintenance – We’ve covered the Maintenance components in our CMMS review, but features include work order, preventative maintenance and equipment tracking.
  • Business Enablers – The Business Enablers solution includes mobile functionality, data management, configuration and API access. There’s also an IFS Streams app that provides users with an information stream of notifications, workflows tasks and saved chat conversations.

IFS offers cross-functional features, such as document management, accounting rules, enterprise operational intelligence, reporting and analytics, and quality management.

  • Accounting
  • Business Intelligence
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Human Resources
  • Inventory Management
  • Product and Purchase Planning
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Target Market

IFS Applications serves many industries such as manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, construction, and energy and utilities. It doesn’t publicly release its customer names. Please contact them directly if you’re looking for customer references.