How Infor Cloudsuite can support your path to SaaS ERP

on Aug 19th, 2016 in Cloud, Lawson/Infor, Uncategorized, | Comments Off on How Infor Cloudsuite can support your path to SaaS ERP

In challenging economic times, any solution that can lower total cost of ownership and operations is worth considering. Implementing a SaaS ERP solution to transfer the responsibility of managing day-to-day IT to an outside organization, accomplishes both. This approach can also improve the effectiveness and efficiency of IT operations, production support, and lifecycle maintenance activities.

Organizational decisions to move to cloud-based systems reduce complexity and costs. Cloud software adoption is here to stay — and expanding quickly. Research studies show that cloud, or software as a service (SaaS), is the way forward for all businesses in any industry — from basic office applications to traditional edge applications like human resources to those mission-critical applications.

Streamline your systems 

Beyond helping IT better manage the breadth of its portfolio, SaaS and Cloud can also reduce capital expenditures. The option of cloud delivery reduces the need for internal infrastructure. Using the cloud allows software and infrastructure experts to constantly monitor application performance, ensuring the proper maintenance and continuous system updates. Quality service providers render end-user support quickly and accurately. SaaS licensing reduces future upgrade costs and effort.

Ciber services for Infor software can:

  • Manage your whole system’s life cycle from initial planning all the way through daily operations
  • Provide you direct access to a dedicated team of Ciber/Infor experts to ensure your organization makes an easy transition to our services
  • Using industry best practices, adapt the services to meet your unique business needs or organizational requirements

Through Ciber’s continual investment, our team consistently maintains our Infor certifications so our clients do not have to. And our resources and deep experience allow customers to focus on strategic initiatives. Ciber’s Infor Cloudsuite support solution delivers guaranteed-up time, and we provide an extensive network of redundant data centers.

Ciber is a recognized expert in Infor software and applications. Our partnership with Infor began in 1995, and our innovative approach to client support has been growing ever since. Ciber won the Values Award for Service Partners, the Alliance Partner of the Year for the last two consecutive years and, recognizes us as the partner that most closely aligns with Infor’s vision, mission, and execution expectations. Ciber has been awarded Infor CloudSuite specialization. In addition, Ciber is a certified micro vertical partner for local government and K-12 Schools.

Are You Planning to Attend GFOA

on May 23rd, 2013 in Uncategorized, | Comments Off on Are You Planning to Attend GFOA

Are You Planning to Attend GFOA?

GFOA’s Annual Conference will be held in one of my favorite cities, San Francisco, June 2-5. The meeting will be at the Moscone Center North. You can view conference details and register at http://www.eventscribe.com/2013/GFOA/

Ciber is attending and you can visit with us in the exhibitor’s area, booth location 637. Our Infor and Oracle Consulting Practices would like to visit with you and your colleagues. In the true GFOA tradition, Ciber Cats are available as is other collateral for you to take away from the conference.

We can also show you how to transform the way you serve your constituents by:

  • Maximizing the effectiveness of an ever-shrinking budget with integrated business systems and processes
  • Replacing disparate systems and inaccurate data with consolidated, automated solutions
  • Gaining administrative efficiencies, transparency, and accountability through best practices
  • Using business analytics to turn data into to intelligence you can use in real-time
  • Attracting and retaining top talent, as well as well as emerging, career-minded new talent
  • Preparing for the workforce retirement surge

Our Public Sector experts have worked with more than 600 state and local government clients in all 50 states to help them streamline processes and achieve results.

Downloads:

  • City of Boise Video – See how Ciber helped the City of Boise with its ‘process re-engineering’ to make their systems more effective.
  • White paper – “Are You Ready For ERP? Gaining Full Value from ERP Implementations in the Public Sector.”

Not going to GFOA? Visit our website to learn more about Ciber’s Public Sector Solutions, or contact me directly for more information. And don’t forget to stop by Ciber’s booth (#637) to get your Ciber Cat.

ERP Implementation for the City of Boise – As Good as it Gets

on Feb 7th, 2013 in Uncategorized, | Comments Off on ERP Implementation for the City of Boise – As Good as it Gets

We all know that an ERP selection and implementation project is a about as large as a project can get. Costly, time-consuming, stressful, and burdensome are just a few of the adjectives often associated with this undertaking. On the other hand, a successful ERP implementation can be rewarding in many ways. It can bring organizational efficiencies, more accurate information, better decision-making, reduced operating costs and strong return on investment result when done well.

Hats off to Boise, Idaho for completing Vision 2020, a comprehensive and well-integrated ERP solution supporting finance, human resource, and procurement. A strong city team supported by Ciber implementation services completed implementation of Infor/Lawson technology late last year. The system is already beginning to provide excellent dividends.

One of the strongest motivations and a primary goal of a new ERP implementation is improving systems integration. Garry Beaty, CIO at the city of Boise, ID states, “I’ve always said I’d favor integration over functionality, the best-of-breed approach is interesting, but it’s hard to do right, as I think a lot of people have proven.” As Idaho’s largest city, government officials were looking to replace a costly and poorly integrated system with a seamless software approach. “The new system improves current business processes and enables better decision making citywide,” adds Beaty. “We will save money and have instituted operational improvements, which positions us for the future and ultimately improves services to our residents.”

Now that the implementation dust settles and the city’s departments are in alignment, Beaty said he is looking forward to rolling out some new initiatives externally. “I’d say the past focused on baseline systems, but now we want to turn our attention to the citizens,” he said. “This ERP implementation will last 10 or 15 years. We’ve changed things up internally, and now we want to focus outward.”

From the beginning, well before the formal procurement began, the Boise team focused on all the right elements. Change management, business process analysis and recalibration, training needs, and executive involvement provided the foundation for the Vision 2020 project. After forming a core team, the city invested in formal change management training, solicited lessons learned from other organizations, established a strong governance structure and secured executive commitment. Boise did it the right way, they will continue to reap and compound benefits as the return on investment grows. This achievement is as good as it gets.

For more information about this project, please visit:

City of Boise Saves Millions by Implementing Infor Software with Help from Ciber

City of Boise Video

With ERP Integrated Platform Doesn’t Always Mean Integrated Data

Business Process Transformation – Maximize your Software Investment

on Dec 11th, 2012 in Enterprise Integration & IT Strategy, Lawson/Infor, | Comments Off on Business Process Transformation – Maximize your Software Investment

The implementation or upgrade of an enterprise financial and/or HR system (commonly called ERP) is a significant technology change. There are several measurable reasons for doing so; such as technology obsolescence, maintenance or support costs, and functional requirements.

However, the investment required to change the technology provides the greatest return of benefit when business processes are streamlined and optimized during an ERP implementation project. Certainly, today’s software technology design includes so-called “industry best practices”. While this is true, often the software technology can be configured to suit individual organizational needs. These needs include workflow, reporting, organizational culture and other unique attributes of any enterprise.

The companies with 20/20 vision at the start of the change journey are those that will travel well and arrive at the destination of successful, profitable benefit from the project. Well-executed strategic visioning mitigates the risks of initiating changes that sacrifice past experience, significant sunk costs, employee morale, and the company’s internal sense of identity.

For a time, the approach to software implementation and configuration was Business Process Re-engineering (BPR). The idea was to start with a clean slate, look at the end objective of the process, and then redesign from the ground up, creating a “process revolution.”

Business Process Transformation (BPT) is an end-to-end methodology to create the best fit of software functionality with the unique needs and processes of the enterprise. This means an evolution, not a revolution. The BPT process involves six steps within our overall implementation methodology:

1. Establish the vision, a clearly articulated description of the desired future state of the enterprise; we document measurable objectives and strategies as part of our Strategic Visioning (SV) exercises.

2. Documentation of the current (As-is) process and workflow; for this we utilize our Brown Paper Process (BPP) documentation technique

3. Identifying where and how the new software can enhance the performance of the process, and defining the future workflow utilizing the new software (To-be).

4. Development of business process scripts or scenarios utilizing the Conference Room Pilot (CRP) technique

5. Integration testing and User Acceptance Testscripts are iterative refinements of the CRP scripts.

6. End user training maximizes the ability of the end users to understand and utilize the new system is the ultimate focus for project success. Implementation teams need to develop an end user training matrix at the planning stage of the project. How many users? Who are they? When do they need the training? What facilities will be required? Then develop customized training materials utilizing educationally sound training techniques and methods template.

Following the steps above will require some effort. The reward will be commensurate with it.

Next Generation Networks in Government

on Oct 8th, 2012 in Uncategorized, | 1 comment

I have been working closely with Local governments and related public sector organizations for over 32 years now. Those from the generations succeeding the Baby Boomers might have difficulty understanding the pace of communications technology advancement. I remember when police departments just began to implement radio communication in squad cars. Only Dick Tracy had a “Wrist Radio”.

Online processing of data was still done with character-based transmission protocols. The advent of Cathode Ray Terminals (CRT’s) was state of the art. We have come a long way, as I have heard.

So where are we going? The newest network technologies possess native intelligence, enabling them to be aware of the services they deliver. They have the ability to respond dynamically to the needs and priorities of their users. Mobile user access to integrated data, voice and video information delivered by a reliable and secure network is changing the foundations of how individuals, society and government interact.

Education, Public Safety, Healthcare, and citizen interaction with all levels of government are undergoing fundamental and perhaps revolutionary change. In my previous writing, I discussed some aspects of government use of social media. Intelligent networks are a step beyond those thoughts.

Government has long been the builder and maintainer of major components of public infrastructure. It must now step up to develop and support today’s most critical infrastructure component, the public sector network infrastructure. Governments are beginning to utilize intelligent networks for next generation 911 and 311 services, real time traffic management and public communications, smart utility metering and consumption, and many other improved constituent services.

These services and applications do not exactly sip bandwidth from a straw; they guzzle it. Bandwidth demand continues to soar, strains current capacity, and constrains performance. Government enterprises face the challenge of delivering these services within budget while utilizing a mixed bag of technologies.

Fortunately, technology seems to be keeping pace. Network evolution, expansions and enhancements are enabling innovative solutions to existing problems and creating benefits for citizens.

Social Media in Government

on Sep 4th, 2012 in Uncategorized, | Comments Off on Social Media in Government

How do you build an effective social media program for a city or county government? That question sounds a little daunting, right? Here are some thoughts that may help.
First of all, I believe that it is vital to encourage interaction, and embrace what social media is — a two-way dialog between government and constituents. Platforms like Facebook can be viewed as a communications tool to enhance local government services. Secondly, the most important key to success is coming up with an effective vetting process for who creates and updates the content that is posted. Generally, postings have something to do with promoting city programs, services and events. Staff members in charge of the accounts attached to city departments should be encouraged to communicate regularly, but not to the level of spamming.
Here are 5 tips for effective social media engagement.
1. The social media pages need to be social. In other words, let people post to your walls and encourage two-way dialog and interaction.
2. Monitor daily and post fresh content 2-4 times a week. Whether posting internal content or taking advantage of automated feeds from website content, keep your social media pages active and interesting.
3. Involve all the key players. Key decision makers and your attorney need to be involved when creating social media policies.
4. Develop policies over time. Begin with pilot programs and focus on what generates interest and responses.
5. Be patient, it takes time do develop the best approaches to disseminate information about services and pertinent facts about the organization. Some negative comments are to be expected. Respond directly and highlight the positive.
Many municipalities, school districts, counties, and states now have their own Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels. You should be considering social media for your organization in order to reap benefits such as:

  • Publicizing official government information and programs
  • Creating brand/service awareness and loyalty
  • Portraying a positive image
  • Providing up-to-date information about services
  • Creating a forum for discussion

No doubt there are many other tips and techniques that can prove valuable in this endeavor. Please comment with your thoughts.

Lessons in Leadership – It’s that Time Again

on Aug 14th, 2012 in Uncategorized, | Comments Off on Lessons in Leadership – It’s that Time Again

Every four years, citizens seem much more interested in public elections, for obvious reasons, I suppose. I hope everyone has the opportunity and takes the time to vote. Voting is all it is said to be, a privilege, a right, and an obligation. Moreover, I believe a vote deserves and requires strong thought and consideration before it is cast.

One of the key considerations, I believe, is the candidates’ leadership ability and skills. Many times political position may be hard to pin down. Leadership traits are pretty obvious if you just look. Consider the eleven principles of leadership as defined by the U.S. Army in 1983.

  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement – In order to know yourself, you have to understand your be, know, and do, attributes. Seeking self-improvement means continually strengthening your attributes. This can be accomplished through self-study, formal classes, reflection, and interacting with others.
  2. Be technically proficient – As a leader, you must know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’ tasks.
  3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions – Search for ways to guide your organization to new heights. And when things go wrong, they always do sooner or later — do not blame others. Analyze the situation, take corrective action, and move on to the next challenge.
  4. Make sound and timely decisions – Use good problem solving, decision making, and planning tools.
  5. Set the example – Be a good role model for your employees. They must not only hear what they are expected to do, but also see. We must become the change we want to see – Mahatma Gandhi
  6. Know your people and look out for their well-being – Know human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your workers.
  7. Keep your workers informed – Know how to communicate with not only them, but also seniors and other key people.
  8. Develop a sense of responsibility in your workers – Help to develop good character traits that will help them carry out their professional responsibilities.
  9. Ensure that tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished – Communication is the key to this responsibility.
  10. Train as a team – Although many so called leaders call their organization, department, section, etc. a team; they are not really teams…they are just a group of people doing their jobs.
  11. Use the full capabilities of your organization – By developing a team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities.

These are powerful principles that should apply to the selection of leaders in all organizations. Too often, seniority, personality, sometimes just luck of the draw are deciding factors when leaders are chosen. This should not happen to us as voters. We need and can elect leaders, not just bosses.

Thank You, Government Financial Officer’s Association (GFOA)

on Jul 31st, 2012 in | Comments Off on Thank You, Government Financial Officer’s Association (GFOA)

The Government Financial Officer’s Association (GFOA) held their annual meeting in Chicago at McCormick Place this past month. Over 6200 delegates, exhibitors, and guests attended making it the largest conference in several years. Over 1000 folks visited our exhibit and many were eager to share their views on technology trends in state and local government.

Some of the major strategies we discussed were:

  • Cloud Computing and Hosting
  • Managed Services
  • Replacement of Aging Systems
  • Installed Systems Optimization

Many jurisdictions are making numerous changes to their information systems in order to gain efficiencies, provide improved transparency to constituents, and to reduce costs.

I was fortunate to attend one of the educational forums, “Gaining Efficiency through IT Governance.” This was a fascinating panel discussion moderated by Nancy Zielke, Senior Director at Alverez and Marshal. The participants were Phil Bertolini, CIO, Oakland County, MI and W Patrick “Pat” Pate, Assistant City Manager at the City of High Point, NC.

This discussion described, told through Phil and Pat’s experiences, how finance and technology staff can work together to identify the most appropriate IT investments and size and maximize budgets and efficiencies in order to enhance the value of IT spending and activities. I tip my hat to these folks for a job well done.

You can access the presentations and session materials at http://online.myiwf.com/gfoa2012/. You can even order a CD, recorded in MP3 format, to refresh your experience or listen for the first time to some very enlightening materials.

Thanks again, GFOA. What a great experience!

Inforum Review

on Apr 26th, 2012 in Lawson/Infor, | Comments Off on Inforum Review

Congratulations, Infor, on the success of Inforum 2012, which closed Wednesday. With almost 5000 participants, this successful conference marked the first gathering of Infor and Lawson Software customers since both companies combined. CIBER is proud to have been a Diamond* Sponsor as well as a participant.

We are Lawson’s largest service partner outside of Infor’s own professional services organization. And no other company has completed more successful Lawson implementations, upgrades, and integrations across all industry verticals than CIBER. During the conference, we talked with hundreds of Infor customers and hosted more than 90 client strategy meetings. Our Lawson professionals shared their insights on leveraging Lawson investments for the greatest possible gain, and they highlighted their M3 and S3 expertise, Lawson Talent Management, and managed services and hosting solutions.

Throughout the conference, CIBER emphasized a number of client successes including recent work at the Northern Colorado Water Conversancy District (Northern Water, www.northernwater.org). This implementation follows our successful assessment of Northern Water’s technological capabilities as well as our planning and design of the ERP system. Once CIBER completes the implementation of Lawson ERP software for Human Resources, Financials, and Supply Chain Management/Procurement, this large supplier of irrigation and municipal water in Colorado will see dramatic improvements in workflows and decision-making capabilities. Along with automating processes, our implementation will support rigid reporting requirements and facilitate more accurate, accessible data to support business insights and timely billing of the many municipal water providers served by Northern Water.

CIBER has been a Lawson partner since 1995. Now, as one of Lawson’s largest partners, and with more than 2 million consulting hours, we support full-scale business transformation projects through business process calibration and change management, as well as functional and technical services around Lawson technology. We deliver Lawson solutions that support budgeting, financial processes and analysis, human capital management, sales order processing, and manufacturing systems solutions. And we offer expertise in several of Lawson’s targeted vertical industries: healthcare, public sector, food and beverages, general manufacturing, and other services-oriented businesses.

*My apologies for incorrectly identifying CIBER as a Platinum Sponsor in my previous writing

Inforum – Day 1 Recap

on Apr 24th, 2012 in Enterprise Integration & IT Strategy, Lawson/Infor, | Comments Off on Inforum – Day 1 Recap

Infor’s Inforum opened Sunday in Denver with a grand reception for the more than 5000 participants. CIBER, Inc., the event’s only Platinum Sponsor, hosted a preliminary event for Lawson’s Public Sector and K-12 Community.

Monday morning, Infor’s CEO, Charles Phillips, and other senior executives began the meeting with their insights on how the third largest business software company is revolutionizing the software market and making a difference in how customers buy and deploy technology. They shared the company’s vision and strategy, provided a preview of the latest innovative technology developments, and introduced customers who are leveraging these solutions.

On Monday afternoon, Infor announced the availability of Infor10 Lawson Talent Management. "Infor10 Lawson Talent Management delivers actionable information about talent in support of business strategy, positioning companies to make calculated business decisions to help maximize the value of staff," said Amy Ihlen, industry strategy director, Talent Management, Infor. "We took valuable feedback from our customers and have invested heavily in creating a talent management product that presents actionable information at every turn, enabling users to spend less time administrating and more time developing and strengthening talent."

In conjunction with Infor’s Infor10 announcement, CIBER presented Talent Management – The New Normal. This interactive presentation builds on CIBER’s recent popular five-part webinar series, featuring Lawson Talent Management (LTM) Solution modules. Topics include Global HR Foundations, Goal & Performance Management, Compensation Management, and Talent Acquisition. To watch replays of the LTM webinar series, visit www.ciber.com/webinars.

If you are attending Inforum, stop by for CIBER’s booth for a visit. And while you’re there, schedule your Strategy Session with our experts. We will assist you (both our existing clients as well as prospective customers) with a strategic roadmap based on your specific needs. During the individual Strategy Sessions, you and CIBER’s experts can discuss:

  • Lawson Talent Management (LTM)
  • Implementations and Upgrades (S3 or M3)
  • How to leverage your Lawson investment
  • Managed Services / Hosting
  • Other Lawson Topics of Interest

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