Thursday, November 06, 2014

Ramco Systems launches ERP on wearable devices

Chennai based ERP software company Ramco Systems today unveiled a set of cutting edge initiatives that take ERP solutions to next level of convenience, accessibility and cost savings. I had the chance to attend their press conference and get first hand experience on their innovations.

CEO Virender Aggarwal
Press conference began with RAMCO CEO Mr Virender Aggarwal explaining company’s improving financials and emphasizing that dependency on India market is coming down as more and more global companies are buying RAMCO’s products and solutions. Company made a modest profit of half a million compared to half a million loss last year and revenue numbers grew 12.4% QoQ, 42% YoY. I will skip further details of RAMCO’s financial results, as my readers aren’t likely to be interested in it much. I will jump straight into the interesting part of the press conference.

ERPs were traditionally seen as computerizing data that were captured on paper, not many ERP solution providers have demonstrated what true potential could be. RAMCO team has gone one step ahead and have identified many usecases where application of ERP can be extended beyond computers, on to smartphones, smart watches, other wearable devices such as Google Glass, drones and so on. While these ideas are in its initial stage and are often limited by devices limited battery life and other infra woes, the potential is huge.

We were given a demo of how Ramco’s ERP extended to Google Glass can be put into use in an Aircraft maintenance scenario. If pilot reports an issue, ERP can assign the issue to specific engineer, who would get all the details right infront of his eyes, in Google Glass. He can see that there’s an issue reported, he will be told exact part number he might have to carry, he can be directed to aircraft using GPS, video of how to replace a part can be played to him, he can enter his timesheet that he’s started working on it and much more.. all on the move, while doing his primary job- that is fixing the aircraft. He doesn’t have to spend time infront of a computer keying in things, there’s no chance of picking a wrong part from warehouse and realizing it half an hour later. All these time saved- every minute counts- ensure that aircraft can be back in the air much earlier than what it takes today to fix a defect. More time in air means more money for the airline company. 
Ramco staff demonstrating ERP on Google Glass
We were also told that a Singapore based courier company has gone live with Ramco’s solution, which ensures the courier company a promising pickup time of less than 2 hours. Ramco ERP is capable of dynamically adjusting itself for several factors that keep varying (such as current location of closest courier pickup person, is there space in the vehicle for more parcels, various cut off times etc) and gives live instructions to the person on the ground where he should pickup/drop off next package. This is way different from traditional ERP solutions where a field executive plans his day based on information available in the morning. Any changes during the day doesn’t always get factored instantly. Advantage of the intelligent ERP is obvious- more work/business with less time & resources.

After the demo, I got a chance to check out the Google glass. My first experience with the device. Since I wear spectacles to correct my vision, I had to wear it on top of regular spectacles for proper visibility. I tried and took some pictures using google glass and navigated around using tap and other input methods. Given the super small screen size, it can’t show extreme details, but it serves the purpose of reading some big font texts. The challenges with wearable devices, such as short battery life, overheating, high cost etc should be resolved over time. Ramco having a robust ERP background and innovative solutions can keep it ahead of its peers.

Other solution to bring ERP on smart watches. Approvals can be given on the go without even opening the phone.

A drone was also on display, though it couldn’t be flown indoors for the risk of hitting someone. Though drones don’t talk to ERP, they could be operated manually to send small items, take pictures, videos etc. They cost over a lakh rupees. 
Got to meet a few other bloggers and business journalists at the event. Journalists asked a few questions to the CEO, answers to which were worth noting:
  • RAMCO is cash positive today and isn’t looking for investors right now.
  • Ramco hasn’t got large orderbook for ERP on wearable devices yet, but they are optimistic, including possibility of tie up with a major airline as Innovation Partners
  • Ramco believes in a Google like employee culture. Information like revenue per employee, revenue per department etc are shared with everyone in a transparent way. Approval mechanism is abolished to large extent where everyone is empowered to take right decisions for themselves, instead of relying on their bosses to say OK.
  • Ramco got good response in a Delhi campus visit recently, where over 200 students opted to join as freshers. This is a good improvement over previous years when Ramco brand was not well known and people weren’t eager to join
  • Ramco is now also hiring from IIM, ISB etc.
  • Ramco has revamped its sales & marketing team with people who are confident of handling CxO level people and large corporations. Because of this overseas revenue has been constantly increasing.
  • Ramco today doesn’t shy away from partnering with others. While Ramco focuses on core product, they often work with system integrators and other product companies when needed.
Experiencing Google glass
One journalist asked  “What work recently hired freshers are doing?”. A smart answer was given “They are working on enhancing some functional aspects of the product”.

We had lunch and left. Couple of hours well spent. It was good to know how an Indian company is thinking cutting edge and expanding globally. Best wishes to RAMCO.

More details on Ramco website

First photo from press kit. Last photo courtesy Sandeep Varma. Other photos are mine.

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Siddhartha Joshi said...

Pretty cool!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Sid

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Sid

Destination Infinity said...

That is an elaborate article. My article, in my tech blog, is short. Good to meet you at the event. Please keep in touch :)

Destination Infinity

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sure. Nice meeting you at the event.

Best wishes

elanthendral said...

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