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    Why Utilize 3rd Party Managed Services for JDA WMS?

    Executive Summary

    JDA WMS Customers go through the pain and tribulation of getting the WMS installed and live.  However, it is quickly discovered that the application needs a steady care and feeding.  On a daily basis, there are Integration errors, messages reported on the floor, or business process challenges that continue to burden the staff and pull them away from their core responsibilities. JDA Support is designed for product support only and does not get too much into the specifics of the business process.  Furthermore, if the client has customized any code, it further complicates what JDA can and cannot look into under the “Support” umbrella. Thus, combining the daily burden on existing staff for handling the WMS issues and lack of prompt servicing from JDA Support requires the need of 3rd Party Managed Services that can dedicate staff specific to the Business Processes of the Client, and only be focused on resolving issues faster and provide quality of service at the same time.

    Differing Business Objectives

    JDA is a Software and Technology company.  With the larger customer base, the organization is not built for individualizing the support experience for each customer.  Furthermore, it becomes very difficult for the software vendor for continuing to support older versions of the software with the same quality and zeal as the newer versions. With third-party managed services providers, the support is an integral part of their success and business model.  Of course, revenue growth and profitability are important.  But third-party providers, like Oracular, are laser focused on quality and value of service.  Profits are promptly reinvested to improve service quality and breadth with new consultants, added training regiments, better equipment, and most importantly, development of tools that can improve the service quality and delivery. Third-Party support providers want to ensure that the customer loyalty and progress is earned on a daily basis, based on the quality of service being provided.  The nature of the contract ensures SLA-based goals that allow for measurables and options for improvements. Simply put, JDA customers can get superior software support to complement their top-notch software and realize immediate savings in personnel cost, as well as an improved level of efficiency.

    Personalized Care

    The centerpiece of JDA support is the self-service portal.  The customers are encouraged to look for solutions in this portal, and the customer is hoping that another customer may have had a similar issue and they can leverage that solution.  Furthermore, when the ticket needs to be escalated to a support person, a lot of information needs to be added to the ticket, most importantly a trace file.  Getting a quality trace file is not always feasible, and often times prohibitive based on the type of issue being faced. If the trace file happens to show custom code, then JDA support will question the validity of the issue being on Standard Product. Many times, the issues are data related, and cannot be reproduced within JDA development sandbox.  This requires connecting to the client infrastructure and trying to replicate the issue. When it comes time for delivering a solution, JDA will most likely point to a Hot-Fix that should be applied and rarely would provide a surgical solution for the issue being faced. Third-Party support providers deliver highly personalized support.  It is a completely different approach and philosophy.  Every Oracular customer gets a dedicated Support Lead (a senior battletested consultant).  After going through a support transition phase where the team undergoes a detailed analysis of the infrastructure, environment, business processes, and customizations, a team is assigned to the client.  The number, hours, and strength of the ream depend upon the needs of the customer.  So, a Global 24X7 customer will need a qualified team that can manage all shifts adequately. Every ticket is managed through a Support Portal with SLA-based escalations.  This provides clear visibility to the client and a KPI for continued evaluation of the relationship. Each issue reported by the client is taken to resolution, even if a hand-off is needed between shifts.  This allows a 24-hr. work period for resolving issues and again shows up as value for the customer by achieving faster time to resolutions. Simply put, a customer will not have time to deal with trace files and explaining the business model when a truck that needs to be dispatched is stuck because of a -1403 error.  At this time, from the customer’s point of view, it is all hands on deck and it is not important that the issue is within JDA software or a 3rd Party interface.  The issue needs to be solved fast so the truck can leave.  Utilizing third-party support that is embedded into the client’s processes allows this result to be achieved much faster. 

    Service Issue Ownership

    JDA Support infrastructure is not designed for cross-functional teamwork for issue resolution.  Product-based support resources, no doubt very knowledgeable, work in silos.  Reaming across products, technology stacks components, interfaces or non-JDA products are very difficult.  Don’t even bother to ask JDA to work in your customized code for troubleshooting and fixing the issue.  Support engineers are instructed to stop working service requests until customers can prove that the issue is not caused or impacted by the custom code. Oracular Support does not care where the issue originates: application, technology stack, standard code, custom code, interface etc.  We share in the ownership of our customer’s issues and are helping resolve many issues that occur outside of the base application code; in customizations or integrations. Oracular Support structure is designed to leverage specific experts in technology stack, security, integration, and any other specifics of the client.  This allows for a one-stop issue resolution from the Client’s perspective and again improves the service quality and time to resolution. When customers adopt the Oracular Managed Services paradigm, it is mind boggling how many open tickets we absorb; issues that had been languishing for months are resolved and at the same time opening more time for the Client’s personnel to focus on their jobs. Oracular Support owns the issue, no matter where it originates.  We don’t blame custom code or a 3rd Party connection.  We get to work and bring in experts as needed.  Our scope remains wide, and is narrowed as more diagnosis starts to paint the proper picture.

    Key Performance Indicators

    Oracular’s core business is consulting.  This allows us to have a talent pool that is well versed in technology as well as business practices.   These learned lessons from various projects over the 30+ years of Oracular have been put into our Managed Services Practice.  Thus, Oracular values our customers and proudly shares the KPI metrics to continue winning the customer on each renewal cycle.

    Customer satisfacion rating

    The score based on service quality, functional knowledge, technical expertise and customer’s willingness to recommend is always high.

    Issue response rate

    Average response time for picking up an issue and working towards a solution is always within the SLA limits. The high priority tickets are given immediate attention with a live personal call, and in most cases a conference bridge is established till the issue is resolved.

    Mitigating Repeat Issues

    An important aspect of Oracular’s Support model is mitigating a future occurrence of the same issue.  When an issue is resolved, a recommendation is made to the client for safeguards against a reoccurrence of the same issue.  Which can be revised training, or in many cases patching the code.

    Performance Monitoring

    All applications are data based, and over time the database performance can languish.  Oracular support is designed to continue to monitor database performance and provide recommendations for improved query paths and data purging/ archival as needed.

    JDA Toolkit for optimization

    The long tenure in JDA consulting for Oracular has allowed for many tools to be developed that aid in continued health of the product.  Oracular shares these tools with our support customers for a better experience and allowing Oracular in reaching issue resolutions faster.

    Conclusion

    Oracular has a long history of providing quality consulting services to our clients.  Oracular has always been at the forefront in learning and adapting to new technologies and helping to improve our Clients’ business processes with great insight.  Oracular brings the same intensity and fervor into our Managed Services portfolio.  Each support client is treated as a steady long-term consulting engagement, and none of the project based business practices are ignored.  All issues go through a standard lifecycle of Report, Investigate, Fix, Test, Document and deliver.  The Support Consultants are rotated between consulting engagements and support activities so they remain current with technology and latest business practices and options.  This provides improved service to our clients because their support representatives are allowed to think and recommend beyond the scope of the ticket.  Our customers often engage our support consultants in a “What-If” analysis before recommending any improvements. In the end, we recognize that the JDA WMS system that you go live with is already old the next day.  You will be embracing new business challenges, new integration needs, and new personnel into your warehouse.  It is only justified to say that your investment into your JDA WMS continues to grow with you and remains as efficient and streamlined on the nth day, as it was on day 1.  What we don’t want is the client adapting to more and more process based solutions with the fear of changing the application to their needs.

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