Engineering: leader della Digital Transformation

Engineering Enterprise Solutions

Five questions to...
Emiliano Girolami

The Head of the Global Network at Engineering Enterprise Solutions shares his experience and perspectives on the new evolving landscape of ERP, in a post-Covid-19 international context.

1.

BUSINESS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD HAS BEEN HARD HIT BY THE PANDEMIC. WHAT ARE THE MAIN COMMON IMPACTS THAT HAVE A PROFOUND EFFECT ON HOW INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES WORK AND ORGANISE THEMSELVES?

Improving business processes, embracing innovation and promoting sustainability through new models of production and consumption are the challenges that companies have been faced with almost two years after the arrival of Covid.

The greatest competitive pressures have been seen in companies in the manufacturing sector: their aim is to increase production by optimising their supply chains. The crucial direction to take is that of defining processes aimed at sustainable development: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign, Remanufacture, are the shared guidelines for achieving common goals. The trend is global, the processes are clear (just think of Sustainable Manufacturing) and Software Vendors are releasing solutions that accommodate these needs.

Digitisation and new business models are becoming critical for companies to be sustainable and ready for continuous change. Hence, there is a need to accelerate the migration to next-generation ERP that is able to meet the specifics of the pandemic and post-pandemic environment.
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2.

ERP HAS ALWAYS HAD THE REPUTATION OF BEING A SINGLE ENTITY AND NOT PARTICULARLY ADAPTABLE, WHILE IN RECENT YEARS THE WORLD'S LEADING VENDORS HAVE ADAPTED THEIR PLATFORMS. HOW HAS ERP CHANGED TO EMBRACE THE CHALLENGES OF THE NEW NORMAL?

The limitations of a traditional ERP, together with heavy customisation, have increased the level of complexity of all processes. This has not facilitated the necessary operational flexibility. Today, the solutions provided by Software Vendors allow a transition to an advanced ERP with innovative solutions and Cloud functionalities helping companies to face the challenges of digitisation and flexibility required by the new business models that are emerging.

At Engineering, in the competence centre Engineering Enterprise Solutions, we are able to help companies thanks to our extensive expertise on the major global players: Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and Salesforce. In this way, we have a complete vision of the technological evolutions, platforms and benefits that can support customers. To cite a few examples, Microsoft has made its product dynamic by combining ERP and CRM functionalities into an all-in-one solution creating Microsoft Dynamics 365; SAP has the Business Technology Platform, a set of solutions created to meet all kinds of needs, combining different functionalities and tools. The platforms are all data-driven, which makes the ERP timely, accurate and continuously adaptable, as it works on real time data and with business intelligence tools that organise such data for the various sectors of the company.

3.

THE MODULARITY AND SCALABILITY OF THE SOLUTIONS HAVE BECOME THE PILLARS FOR MEETING THE CURRENT NEEDS OF COMPANIES. HOW ARE THEY ADOPTED IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT?

Vendor platforms have been made more adaptable and more user-friendly to meet the needs of multi-channel operations. The result is to be able to work anywhere in the world, at any time, coordinating projects on a common technological ground and with processes that are increasingly flexible and tailored to requirements. The need for this has become apparent to everyone thanks to the rapid and 'forced' spread of smart working and Digital Workplace tools. This hybrid approach between platforms, which is the same as the one we adopt in Engineering, both internally and with our partners and customers, combined with the logic of best-fit technology allows business adaptability and faster project completion.

Especially in an international environment, a flexible, open and hybrid ecosystem is essential to embrace the need to adapt to various political and market-related changes. Through our Digital2Evolve approach, companies can adopt a new ERP-core that is as close to its standard functionality as possible, thus leveraging the right modular solutions to achieve a lean, API-based, cloud-ready architecture more quickly.

By appropriately combining the components of the various platforms, it is possible to follow the approach based on two concurrent and integrated modes:
  • The first allows for the quick and fast digitisation of established processes through the standard, implemented with stable solutions (core ERP) that do not change too much over time.
  • The second, which manages the unique aspects that the company brings to the market, is achieved through innovation-enabling, agile workflows. This makes it possible to compose specific modules (which can come from different technologies and manufacturers) that solve specific problems. The "bricks" can be changed or modified quickly following the logic of what we refer to as Composable Business.
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4.

WHAT ARE THE 3 TECHNOLOGY DRIVERS TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE NEW NORMAL?

The New Normal is something we will have to build together in the best possible way. There are truly numerous contemporary technological pillars, and among the many that are rapidly evolving and innovating in our business environment, we should certainly pay special attention to the migration to the Cloud, Cybersecurity and to Big Data and Analytics, which serve as the basis for strategic decisions in every business sector.

As Engineering Enterprise Solutions, we are part of the Stars Alliance, which today consists of five international companies that have decided to pool their expertise and the skills of over 3,000 professionals to help ensure that businesses are fully supported with both installations and maintenance services. The evolving technology and approach are shared and common, and dedicated to the creation of flexible solutions adapted to each international customer.

With specific reference to Global Enterprise solutions, technologies that make intensive use of Artificial Intelligence will certainly be considered as enablers. These include Process Mining, which is used to analyse operational processes, highlight areas for improvement and recommend ways of improvement.

Analytics, on the other hand, should be considered for observing phenomena from a broad perspective. Corporate data should be analysed together with external contributions from, for example, suppliers, customers, the market and all eligible sources (including those that may seem less relevant to the business).

The third aspect to be considered is certainly the Cloud as an enabler of integration, which is crucial for making the two previous drivers operational.

5.

HOW WILL DIGITAL ADOPTION SOLUTIONS SHAPE THE NEW NORMAL FOR CUSTOMERS?

The digital ecosystem is now becoming fundamental to building the New Normal. Customers around the world recognise the need to establish new business paradigms and new tools. Platforms and the Cloud will support them in this change. There may well be resistance, but it is the job of companies like ours, with a strategic, advisory and at the same time competent approach to new technologies, to support customers in implementing the solution that is right for them.

The creation of digital ecosystems to support the needs of each customer could really make a difference, especially as Europe moves towards digitisation with almost total coverage by 2030. The European Commission has identified an initial list of multinational projects, including investment areas such as data infrastructure, low-power processors, 5G communication, high-performance computing, secure quantum communication, public administration, blockchain, digital innovation poles and digital skills. Similar investments, albeit with a greater emphasis on environmental sustainability, are planned in the North American market. This will provide companies with an internal and external boost to their customers to improve their business in a new digital landscape.
Emiliano Girolami

Emiliano Girolami

With over 30 years of experience in the IT sector, Emiliano has worked in semiconductor manufacturing in the area of Equipment and Process Engineering in Europe, the USA and the Far East. Afterwards he occupied consulting and management roles in multinational software companies.

Today, Emiliano has the task of developing the business and coordinating the delivery of international projects for Engineering Enterprise Solutions competence center.

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