Accenture Dealer Management System

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1 Accenture Dealer Management System The Advantages of Modernizing on the Microsoft.NET Platform

2 To take advantage of new functionality and the flexibility of Web-based and mobile applications, it might seem the answer is to undertake wholesale replacement of existing technology. Not so. Many executives are instead achieving high levels of business performance through legacy application renewal. Why application renewal? And why migrate to the Microsoft.NET platform? A modernized Microsoft.NET application architecture provides a platform designed to leverage functionality that works well with the existing Dealer Management System while enhancing it with new functionality based on dealers business and technical needs. A new.net platform enables improved usability, new channels for interacting with customers, and web services that can facilitate improved integration with OEMs, suppliers, customers, and value-added modules of dealers choice. With the modernized Accenture Dealer Management System (ADMS), Caterpillar dealers have the opportunity to increase business agility, enhance the customer experience, improve marketplace responsiveness and gain technology flexibility all at the lowest possible cost and risk. 1

3 Delivering Concrete Business Value The ADMS modernization supports dealers goals and enables new capabilities that add real business value in a number of ways: Reduced Capital Investment and Total Cost of Ownership ADMS offers real value in a costeffective, flexible, and low-risk manner. ERP replacement options can be five to six times more expensive than application renewal solutions. In addition, business disruptions and the risk of not implementing on time further increase replacement costs..net also reduces the total cost of ownership through a reduction of application instances, and leverages lower-cost software and tools. In contrast, migrating to Java would entail rewriting all code, a lengthy and costly process. Dealer-Focused Functionality The core solution (Parts, Finance, Service, EMS) in ADMS delivers what dealers need. By leveraging what works with the core solution and modernizing it, dealers benefit from a solution lower in cost and lower in risk than a new system. Specific functionality planned for ADMS includes multi-currency to support the global marketplace and multicompany capabilities to meet the demands of the increasingly diverse business of Caterpillar dealers. Improved Customer Experience Applying leading practices for dealer activities to develop supporting functionality, processes, and tools will allow dealers to better serve customers. Improved access to data alone can enhance dealer service decisions and execution, and ultimately the customer s experience. In addition, ADMS also incorporates workflow improvements that streamline processes, drive efficiencies and create a more retail like experience for dealers customers. Dealers can also benefit from an online customer portal included in the core ADMS solution. This feature allows customers to interact with dealers electronically, thus providing another channel for dealerships and customers to interact. These capabilities provide additional opportunities to make the dealers easy to do business with and as a result, can increase customer loyalty. Allowing customers to find the information they want on their own also allows for opportunities to reduce internal spend while increasing sales. Risk Mitigation ADMS on.net delivers new functionality and benefits without the risk of business disruption from extensive changes to the dealer s core transactional system. Enhancements and new value-added capabilities can be added incrementally over time, at a dealer-driven pace based on specific business needs and objectives Risk is mitigated in other ways with the.net platform..net interoperability enables access to data and integration, leveraging existing assets in new ways and supporting continuity across the dealership universe. Language independence of.net enables a smooth transition to a modernized architecture while preserving DBS logic and behavior and enabling multiple languages to run side by side. In addition, the proven integration with Caterpillar remains intact, which allows dealerships to focus on strategic efforts and not rebuilding the IT stability historically experienced by dealerships. Streamlined Solution The comprehensive functionality of ADMS can be used by dealers to run all parts of their business, thus eliminating the need for dealers to purchase and run different systems, or manage non-integrated applications. It can also enable mobile and direct, web-based customer-interfacing solutions, such as mobile applications and customer portals. With ADMS, dealers also drastically reduce the need to train and maintain staff for multiple systems. In short, ADMS will be easier for employees to use and improve their efficiency making each dealership easier for customers to do business with. The.NET platform provides dealers with the ability to easily integrate additional functionality and collaborate with Caterpillar, other OEMs, and customers. It also provides dealers with considerable flexibility to incorporate complementary IT solutions delivered in a wide variety of market-available technologies. Agility, Speed to Market A modernized ADMS should enable dealers to be more agile in performing system enhancements, adding new software and delivering new business capabilities, thereby enabling dealers to respond more quickly to changing customer demands and marketplace conditions. Minimized Change Management Leveraging existing dealer-specific business functionality minimizes organizational impacts to the dealership. This means training is minimal as current business processes are maintained. Also, impacts of change to technical staff maintaining the application code are reduced. These advantages lay the foundation to enable dealerships to react quickly to changes in the marketplace or new regulations. 2 3

4 Tom Murray on the Advantages of Microsoft.NET Thomas Murray, V.P. of Information Technologies at HOLT CAT, is a strong advocate of ADMS on the Microsoft.NET platform. For more than 10 years, the dealer community has been adding functionality to DBS through third-party products; however, these products are not fully integrated with DBS, forcing dealerships to perform extensive integration on their own and/or generally make do with oneway integration. This long-running approach means a number of laborintensive, costly interface solutions and midrange software utilities have been and need to be developed to download and upload data into and out of DBS. Processing is cumbersome and security risks grow. This overall environment requires more IT staff time, maintenance and training. At the same time, finding high-quality talent in AS400 is increasingly difficult. Murray is a member of the Customer Advisory Board (CAB), a group of 16 CIOs and CFOs representing 16 dealers from around the globe that reviewed and selected the best technical path forward for Caterpillar dealerships. Migrating to a.net environment would provide a number of benefits, but three key benefits are: Eliminating the need to purchase a large roster of third-party products, which can amount to significant dollars savings. Gaining enormous efficiency from a common SQL Server with user interface tools, thereby eliminating the need to develop or purchase customized middleware software utilities and reporting tools that connect DBS to various other applications by uploading and downloading data. Making it easier to find programming talent. Murray has a number of projects on the Holt DBSi enhancement list. Migrating to a.net environment will enable Holt and the entire dealership community to realize cleaner, more efficient functionality to perform a long list of tasks. Holt looks forward to advancing desired enhancements that include more secure master price list access, implementing a standard jobs module within ADMS instead of the current outside RBOM software, enhancing and streamlining CRM capabilities, creating an easier environment to perform credit card processing within the parts document process, performing smoother and faster lock box processing, and enabling easier tax exempt transactions with third-party bureaus. A key point is that applications can be converted to read live data in a.net environment rather than having to move data back and forth between systems. Dealerships will benefit from much improved ability to integrate applications, more robust functionality, enhanced customer capabilities, the ability to take advantage of SQL Server reporting and analytical tools, more flexibility, tighter security, and lower maintenance costs and IT costs. In addition, with ADMS on.net approach, dealerships will have the advantage of using value-added modules certified by Accenture that are completely integrated with the core of ADMS, as well as gaining greater ease in integrating other third-party products of dealerships choice. DBS: A Good Candidate for Modernizing Accenture Application Renewal, a technology-independent, dedicated business, analyzed the DBS application and determined that DBS is an excellent candidate for modernizing. Some key reasons: DBS is a large application requiring a high degree of risk and cost to rewrite or replace. Modernization harvests the business logic and extends the significant investment already made in the application, while delivering a greatly enhanced solution. Code complexity is low, making it testable and maintainable. Code quality is good, the amount of dead code and redundant business logic is small, requiring little code clean-up and mitigating long-term maintenance considerations. The core transactional system of DBS is designed to support the specific needs of a dealer business. A modernized and enhanced ADMS leverages the functionality that works today and focuses dealer investments on the new capabilities that create value for dealers rather than ERP selection, purchase, and deployment. This approach provides dealers with new and enhanced capabilities at a lower total cost of ownership than alternatives available in the marketplace. Implementing ADMS on the.net platform increases the speed in which dealers can respond to customer needs, provides economies of scale for product investment and support, facilitates sharing of experiences and best practices, and maintains tight integration with Caterpillar. Accenture Application Renewal Accenture Application Renewal helps transform enterprises and harvest the value of existing applications through the use of Accenture s industrialized assets, specialized skills, and global delivery capability. Application renewal addresses remediation, replatforming, and migration for businesses that have applications with redeeming business value, but are trending toward technology obsolescence or are preventing new business growth. Accenture Application Renewal works with companies to extend the business life of current IT assets while also creating greater application flexibility and supporting growth. Accenture Tools for Migration (ATOM) Asset For ADMS, we are using demonstrated tools and methodologies such as the Accenture Tools for Migration (ATOM), a simple and effective solution that enables automated migration of largescale, enterprise-wide applications from legacy environments to the Microsoft.NET environment. We also use these tools and capabilities to assist dealers in migrating their individual code to the ADMS platform. 4 5

5 Steel Producer Gerdau Application Performance Optimization and Renewal After a number of acquisitions, steel producer Gerdau was spending too much time keeping its order entry system going with emergency patches. Poised to begin a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) development project to replace the legacy system, Gerdau chose to postpone its multimillion dollar investment in an ERP system as the economy declined and the steel market weakened. Looking for help to bring its order-to-cash system back to health, Gerdau turned to Accenture for its proven capabilities in renewing applications and raising their performance to optimal levels. Accenture performed a two-week analysis of the order-to-cash system to develop recommendations for extending its useful life and mitigating the risks of its fragility. From among the recommendations, Gerdau selected the proposed clean and shine operation for the application coding. This operation will involve taking out all dead code, removing hard-coded values and standardizing code as well as integrating, consolidating and standardizing data. At the same time, Accenture will optimize the processes and tools used to support the system. These activities will help Gerdau lessen the complexity of the application, reducing the time and resources needed to manage and modify it. Accenture is also focused on improving the experience of the system s end users and streamlining processes. Separately, to help confirm that ongoing enhancements to the system meet user expectations, Accenture has developed a reusable, comprehensive test approach for the system. With the ability to identify potential failures before the modifications are put into production, Gerdau will have the capacity to reliably meet performance objectives. In addition, given that acquisitions are an important part of Gerdau s growth strategy, Accenture is building an interface architecture that will allow for the quick integration of the systems that come with new acquisitions. Together, Gerdau and Accenture are bringing new life to the company s order-to-cash system as the two organizations mitigate the risks of the application s fragility: Coding improvements are expected to make the system more agile and scalable so that it can support future acquisitions, additional steel mills and new products. Enhancements that increase ease of use and end user satisfaction are raising the credibility and worth of the IT organization within the business units. New capabilities to support post-merger integration will allow Gerdau to move ahead with its growth-through-acquisition strategy aggressively and with confidence. Gerdau IT staff has more time to focus on delivering value to the business as a result of putting the application maintenance and enhancements in the hands of Accenture. To date, this work has also helped Gerdau achieve considerable cost savings: Capital investment of about $100 million was avoided as a result of renewing the application rather than replacing it. Execution costs have been reduced by about 35% as a result of outsourcing and using the Accenture Global Delivery Network. With the transformation of the system into a rationalized, cost-efficient asset, Gerdau is accelerating toward high performance, even in today s economic climate. 6 7

6 About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 181,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, Its home page is For more information, please contact: Brian May Global Client Partner Caterpillar To learn more about how Accenture can put your dealership on the path to high performance, please visit 8

7 Copyright 2010 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture.

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