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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

The Coming Boom in Process Oriented Enterprise Software

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Functional Management was THE Management Science for the 20th Century!

For the 21st Century we need Process-Based Management Science and consequently we need a new generation of Enterprise Software that enables automation of business processes end-to-end, rather than automation of Functional Management Islands like Finance, Marketing, Sales, Warehousing. Logistics, Manufacturing, etc.

And it is coming, and promises to be an unforeseen but very welcome boost to technology and software product companies, technologists and others! And it's about time!

Let me explain. Functional Management was born from the brains of people like Robert McNamara and Alfred Sloan. Robert McNamara was at Ford and Alfred Sloan was at General Motors. They developed Functional Management by dividing responsibilities in companies into Product Planning and Design, Manufacturing, Finance, Marketing, Sales, etc. Companies found a rational way of dividing up the responsilibilities in a company and doing them very efficiently and effectively.

During the fifities and sixties, you have the rapid growth of computers and computing in the enterprise.

Enterprise Software companies came up with Financial Management Software, Sales Management, Sales Accounting, Manufacturing, Warehousing and Logistics software packages to automate the transactional aspects of all these functions.

With the rapid adoption of the Internet and networking across the globe in the 80's, you start seeing the birth and adoption of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) and integration of these functional systems with one another. Once the islands were automated, they needed to talk to one another and exchange data without re-entry of data from one system to another.

The 90's saw organizations like E-Loan that had totally integrated Loan Processing Software that automated the entire Home Loan Processing cycle. If you were to look at how traditional home loan processing was done before that, you would have seen many small islands of software in a bank that did the same work but were all not integrated.

Companies like Dell integrated all their internal systems, and even Third-Party companies that assembled Dell Computers, into one single system that handled the entire Order-to-Cash-Customer Service business process cycle.

You did your research on what to buy, online at Dell, you configured, and tailored your system, placed an order on that system. A third party assembler, or a Dell factory elsewhere, picked it up from there, assembled it and shipped it to you and updated UPS or Fedex automatically. You then tracked the package on UPS systems online.

It is now one business process oriented system!

Companies do not have much use for Finance, marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Warehousing islands, as far as they are concerned. To them it is one single company where they ordered what they wanted and got what they wanted!

I think that increasingly in the 21st Century, organizations and companies are moving more towards these kinds of business processes, and portends a huge new market for a new generation of software that are more Process Oriented than Function Oriented.

It's needs are already being filled with SOA kinds of approaches, but sooner or later they will morph into a new generation of software that breaks down the walls between these functions completely rather than just build SOA bridges between them. They don't work as well as they used to, middle of last century. The technology and the speed with which business processes move have changed drastically. They need a new generation of software that mirrors how business is done in this century!

It's coming, and could be a big boost to Technology Companies and technologists worldwide!


The old order changeth, yielding place to new - Alfred Tennyson



Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .


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