How Accion Breeze helps enterprises use advanced technology for change
Traditional technology applications like ERP, CRM, Supply Chain management and HR were designed to implement efficient internal business processes. The architecture of such conventional business applications was monolithic, and the applications were BUILT TO LAST. Though most such applications were customized for each enterprise, these customization’s were effort intensive, expensive, time consuming and hence done infrequently and only when unavoidable. Changes were expected to be done once, and then the applications were expected to be used without changes for an extended period of time - typically several months if not years.
Today, digital native businesses are very different. They thrive on being flexible, are extremely agile and can adopt changes very fast. They are able to handle changes in all areas of their businesses - in changing customer expectations, sales processes, marketing collateral, delivery models and quick response customer support.
What enables such digital native business to be so nimble and ready to change is the way they leverage digital technologies. Their business processes are implemented using architectures that are not monolithic and difficult to change. Their applications are built for the cloud, using loosely coupled components that can be modified to implement changes quickly without impacting quality of service. These new digital applications are hence BUILT FOR CHANGE!
Digital native businesses like Netflix, Uber, Google and Amazon have created new architecture and technology platforms that provide the foundations for such new digital applications. Many of these platforms and technologies are either available as online services or as open source platforms. This allows conventional enterprises to adopt such new architectures and technologies, so as to leverage the benefits that they provide, and Digitally Transform themselves.
However, implementing such digital applications requires significant effort and skills in multiple areas - UI/UX, Mobility, Microservices and API enablement, Big Data and Predictive business analysis, AI/ML, Conversational interfaces using NLP, Containerization, DevOps and Automation… and the list keeps increasing! This makes it extremely challenging for conventional enterprises who are used to traditional technologies that were BUILT TO LAST to suddenly change into these new platforms that are BUILT FOR CHANGE.
Accion Labs has been fortunate to be involved in re-engineering several conventional business applications to leverage these new digital technologies. In that process, Accion Labs has created blueprints and components in the form of Accion Breeze.
Breeze helps accelerate the implementation of such digital applications, allowing conventional enterprises to reduce their dependence on conventional applications like ERP, CRM, Supply Chain management and HR and create a new layer of digital applications that use the conventional applications merely as a system of record, and adds the required flexibility, agility and responsiveness that is required to move closer to being BUILT FOR CHANGE.
Typically, enterprises are structured around their core products or services. The Supporting IT applications or ERP systems as they are often called are designed to support all the tightly defined business processes around the core products/services offerings.
Some of the characteristics of such a structure are:
The core products/services are often designed internally and offered to customers thereby making them rigid in terms of offerings.
The mediums that are used for offering these products/services are generally traditional in nature. Digital experiences are usually missing.
The customer experience is very crude and sometimes also frictional to some extent.
ERP systems always focused on optimizing and automating internal business processes for the purposes of increased operational efficiency. This worked quite well until the explosion of the Internet and Web 3.0. However, in the digital era, while efficient internal business processes are a given, the customer experiences can no longer be ignored.