Sage Adds Mobile Enhancements to Canadian Portfolio
Sage North America, one of the leading providers of management software for small and medium sized businesses, recently announced two new additions to their portfolio of solutions in Canada, adding Sage 50c and Sage 300c. These c-line products are designed in particular to support the mobile workforce. By enhancing their on-premises systems with the mobility and online access made possible by the cloud, Sage continues to deliver on their mantra that, today it’s all about access to business data anytime, anywhere.
According to a report from Allied Market Research issued earlier this year, the global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software market is expected to reach $41.69 billion by 2020. This continuing growth can be attributed in large part to the ability of modern management systems to inform all operations and decision-making with real-time data across every aspect of a business. Of course, the more pertinent the data, the greater and more accurate the insights made possible by its analysis.
IBM Leverages Real Time Weather Data
IBM is expanding the universe of data being gathered for assimilation into their resource planning systems by adding sensors around the world designed to collect detailed data on the weather. If the relevance of that information seems dubious, consider the fact that the weather, with an estimated annual economic impact of nearly half a trillion dollars in the U.S. alone, is one of the largest external swing factors that currently impacts business performance.
With the ability to better predict the effect of changing weather events on production or buying habits, manufacturers and retailers can now adjust operational strategies when, as an example, a storm system is expected that will keep shoppers at home or shipments from arriving on time. In a deal that will combine the capabilities of the world’s largest commercial weather company with the leader in big data and analytics, IBM is in the process of acquiring The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties.
The Weather Company will shift its massive weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud and integrate their data with IBM’s analytics and cloud services. This partnership can deliver early knowledge of impending weather disruptions by analyzing the data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and millions of smartphones tied into the system. The Weather Company’s forecasting model ingests and processes data from some 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, resulting in more than 10 billion forecasts every day.
IBM enterprise clients will now be able to integrate weather data into their daily operations and long-term decision-making. In winter, retailers can leverage information from early weather forecasts to take proactive measures, like moving inventory before an approaching snow storm that will drive the inevitable spike in sales of groceries, shovels, sand, salt, and cold-weather gear.
Historically, businesses have always felt the impact of weather, but until recently, management has not had access to the kind of rich data analysis that can help them drive positive business outcomes. The combination of high-resolution weather forecasting with IBM analytics will make critical business systems even smarter.
Hollywood Casts SAP
One industry that can be critically impacted by the weather is film production. Southern California’s consistently sunny weather – averaging some 284 days of sunshine a year – was the key reason Hollywood became the center of the movie business. Film production involves hundreds of crew people and dozens of departments, all of which have to come together inside an unyielding production schedule. A rainy day can come at a very high cost, when cast and crew have to paid, even if nothing can be shot because the skies are filled with rain.
Of course, it’s not just the weather that can impact film production; any interruption in a shooting schedule can quickly make costs skyrocket. Accordingly, all of the major motion picture companies employ some kind of management software to keep track of every actor, every member of the crew, every prop, light, wardrobe element and microphone.
Hunger Games Production Tracked on Mobile ERP
With dozens of new films going into production every year, and their blockbuster Hunger Games and Divergent franchises currently filling theatres around the world, Lionsgate studios has to keep track of multiple projects simultaneously. To accurately manage the budgeting and planning processes at Lionsgate, every title in the studio’s extensive library has its own spreadsheet with updated revenue and expense numbers for the film. Lionsgate currently has over 12,000 titles in its library, and new titles are being added every month.
The systems to keep it all running were built using SAP’s BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, which can pull all of the current financial and production data out of Lionsgate’s SAP ERP, using Microsoft Excel as the front end. Lionsgate is currently mobilizing its SAP solutions onto Apple iPads for the studio’s sales force. Management at the studio believe that this will give their sales team a tremendous competitive advantage because the iPad and other tablets provide the perfect environment for clients to be able to see, touch, and experience their entertainment products.
Their ERP systems seem to be working very well; Lionsgate earned 55 Academy Award nominations and 10 Oscars over the past 10 years, more than any other independent studio.