FDI in retail sector

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Couple of days back, India had given green signal to FDI investment retail sector. We are seeing a mixed response on its impact in media.

I still remember early nineties when there used to be protest for introduction of computers in government sector and when a famous food joint opened its operation at Bangalore, but all these died down over period of time. Hence, these days, we find food joints like KFC, Mcdy's, Subways becoming common name in Indian market and co-exists with Indian restaurants. I don't think Indian restaurants had any impact, it only gave consumers more options and also probably, increased Indian restaurant quality in service due to competition.

Also, interestingly, FDI investment was allowed into real estate sector in 2005 and I do not remember any such protest when FDI investment was allowed in real estate sector in 2005. Considering, south east asian crisis, that happened in late 90's, real estate would have been the sector which might have required protection.

This being the case, I do not understand the point in keeping retail sector under protection. By opening up retail sector, I believe its going to provide more options to consumer. When we have accepted 'Washington' apples to be sold at mamaji's shop, what's the point in opposing 'Nagpur' oranges to be sold at MNC hyper market?

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Oracle EBS - To Upgrade OR Re-implement?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If its time to upgrade to next release of Oracle EBS, then depending upon the EBS footprint and complexity, the most likely question which comes up in one's mind is whether to upgrade or Re - implement.

Before, I try to put my answers, lets look at, what is Upgrade Vs Re-implement.

Upgrade : If you are earlier release of Oracle EBS like 11i and wish to move to new release of R12, you have an option of upgrading you application system / data base to higher version.
Apart from sequence of technical, functional steps that include DB and application upgrade, it might require upgrade or redevelopment of custom code unit.

The advantage is upgrade - planning and execution, can be performed at comparatively lesser time.

Re-implement: It is just like implementation of new version of ERP software, the only difference is the earlier version of ERP application is onsidered as a Legacy application.

So now, if you in older version of ERP system, the below listed details, could be the likely factors, which would favour re-implementation instead of upgrade,

  • If quality of master data in current Oracle EBS system is not upto expected standards, this means, data cleansing has to be carried out. The master data could be customers, vendors, items, COA etc.

  • Due to change in business, you wish to have your COA structure redefined.

  • Do away with customization and adopt standard modules / new features of R12.

  • There is a business process change / add more modules and you do not wish to add new modules to the existing business application due to above defined points.

  • If one is considering consolidation of two or more ERP instance, which may be a business decision due to business merger or acquisition.

Decision for upgrade or Re-implement might be significant, particularly if you are moving for major release. Normally from, Oracle EBS release 11 to 11i or 11i to R12, are considered as 'major release'.

The above list may not be exhaustive, there could be other inter dependent factors and hence it calls for a detailed study involving key stake holders of the business and based on the finding of the study, a decision could be taken towards upgrade or re-implementation of Oracle EBS.

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Cloud computing - Part 3

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This is in continuation of my part 1 and part 2 on cloud computing.

As we progress, we would well be moving away from ‘Silos’ based computer system and application. Cloud computing infrastructure would be residing in data centre, this would call for efficient use of hardware and more over manpower would need to support multiple servers or application. Optimization and effective control would play larger roles in infrastructure management of these data centre towards cloud computing.

As per National institute of standards and technology, US , some of the key characteristics towards cloud computing are,

Resource Pooling : The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources.

Rapid elasticity: Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time

Measured service: Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability1 at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

As this leads to a situation where, cloud computing needs to provide services wherein there is zero downtime and resources being shared, so naturally hardware for cloud computing is getting evolved, the technology related to Grid computing, clustering – RAC, Data Guard, better performing machines like Exadata has been increasing offered by vendor towards satisfying the characteristics of cloud computing.

A brief look at the terminologies and technology used,

A cluster consists of a group of independent but interconnected computers whose combined resources can be applied to a processing task.

A clusterware is a term used to describe software that provides interfaces and services that enable and support a cluster. The combination of oracle Clusterware, Automatic Storage management provides a unified cluster solution that is the foundation to Oracle real application cluster database.

Real Application Clusters allows multiple nodes in a clustered system to mount and open a single database that resides on shared disk storage. Should a single system (node) fail, the database service will still be available on the remaining nodes.

It might still require few more years before cloud computing matures and it might well re-define the IT outsourcing map.

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