Stay In Control With Invenio Content Financials

In the whirlwind world of media content creation, money is at the centre of everything. Unfortunately, the current systems in place for financial directors make it almost impossible to effectively manage budgets, control overspend and make effective, quick decisions for what could be the next big thing. But what if there was a complete, end-to-end solution out there that could help media companies control content budgets and drive efficiencies up, instead of down? Well, now there is – Invenio Content Financials.

Faster, Improved Decision Making

In any line of business, it is important to have all information available to you before you make any financial decision. However, in the media industry, gathering all the data you need to make an informed decision, such as profit and loss, cash flow forecasts and budget estimates, can be a lengthily process. In fact, it often takes so long that the information you need has become outdated in the time it took to reach you. This means that financial managers are not only wasting time chasing useless data, but they are unable to make quick, efficient decisions. Invenio Content Financials provides a simple and sophisticated system for financial departments to take control of spending and budgets, thanks to integrated, centralised data management. With every department using the same systems to record information, it is simple for financial directors to pull up spend reports, budgets and more in seconds, allowing them to make better, strategically sound decisions.

Greater Transparency

The media world moves extremely quickly, so one of the biggest challenges financial directors face is making quick financial decisions in order to maximise the lifecycle of their content. Without transparent access to information, this can be incredibly challenging. The Invenio Content Financials solution is built on SAP technology, providing an agile and crystal clear view of the financials from conception to release. Thanks to its cross-departmental integration systems and in-built document automation, it allows financial directors in the media industry an unprecedented level of transparency into every level of spend in the content process. Expenses are recorded centrally, with an automated approval process that compiles all data a real-time financial reporting module, which gives greater visibility and detailed cash flow forecasts.

Improved Control Saves Time And Money

In any industry, one of the biggest challenges for financial directors is control of spending. But in the media industry, this is amplified by the fast-paced nature of the business, which leaves financial directors struggling to control production budgets and manage overspending at every level. A lack of financial forecasting means expense control is almost impossible, with no controls in place for spending. But Invenio’s Content Financials solution pairs strict spending controls with automated approval and real-time reporting, to provide a much greater level of financial control at every stage of the content process. This essential step means that all other departments know exactly what their budgets are at all times, which in turn results in less overspending and less time wasted trying to generate reports and manage spend.

If you are a financial director, CFO or even a manager in the financial department of a media production company, this solution is for you. Not only will this solution address a number of frequent issues you face on a daily basis, but it will reduce total operating costs by creating a single, cross-departmental solution. This ground-breaking solution will be officially launched at SapphireNow, the premier SAP and ASUG conference in Orlando, so if you’re there please drop by the Media demo station in the Industries Campus and you will find us at booth IN167. For more information about Invenio Content Financials, get in touch with our sales team today, and we would be happy to arrange a free demo.

Future of Broadcasting Industry

Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. What’s next in the broadcast industry?

Radical transformation has taken place over the last decade in the broadcast industry with technology now delivering content to consumers in a “whatever, whenever and wherever” experience.

The Future is Digital

Over The Top (OTT) is the delivery of film and TV via the internet without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service. OTT is central to the recent major digital disruption of the broadcasting industry. Video is now driving mainstream broadcast strategies and it’s inevitable that the future of broadcasting will be digital.

SVOD players such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. are emerging from outside the traditional TV ecosystem and they were the pioneers of innovative business models to engage with consumers through video services.

So what’s Actually Changed?

In the digital era, broadcasting companies should strategically reinvent their offerings to move ahead of the massive shifts happening across the industry. To stay focused and competitive, it is  important to understand how the digital era has changed the key process of the broadcast industry such as consumers, technology, programming and advertising.

1. Consumers

As consumers like to view the content on-the-go and mobile continues to grow, the average consumer is watching 4 more hours of mobile video weekly than they did 4 years ago. The shift is partly because viewers prefer individually tailored content experiences, but also due to the increase in quality content created for smaller screens. Due to higher bandwidth of network and advances in technology, traditional scheduled TV watching is no longer the norm. Instead, OTT video accessible anytime and anywhere is now the mainstream. Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. That creates challenges for the industry as it looks for new ways to meet consumer interests.

2. Technology

People are watching more television, consuming more videos, but the key divergence has been the viewing experience, which has expanded to multiple screens. As screens get both smaller and larger, the consumer experience is key to survival. As OTT rises, it’s no wonder that smart TV and connected TV video streaming devices continue to lure audiences back into the living room.

The impact of pay TV providers is broadband, which continues to provide higher profits than video. Broadband home growth driven by OTT gains, is helping to offset the higher programming costs and the decline in video revenue caused by cord-cutting. Mobile data traffic is increasing everywhere due to rising amounts of videos and users. In the future, broadband and wireless will continue to influence the content bundle with faster data speeds, lower device costs and more connected screens.

As Virtual Reality ( VR ) technology moves into the consumer space, the industry is extremely interested in its potential impact on storytelling, audiences and revenue. Media companies such as Paramount Pictures and Disney have applied marketing campaigns creating interactive forms of media. Content produced for VR permit the audience to view the entire environment in every scene, creating an interactive viewing experience. Live events and games will help pave the way for VR adoption.

3. Programming

The consumer movement across platforms has created a major change in how content is made, distributed and monetised. Hit content has become a major differentiator and an increasing source of leverage. To free-up resources to create big-budget content, networks have begun to trim selling, general and admin expenses.

Live sporting events, hit content and original, niche programming continue to generate strong viewership and rates while middle tier entertainment networks are falling behind.

4. Advertising

The ad industry continues to be dynamic and volatile. Spending on digital media has increased in social and video formats, but the technology to deliver advertising in the online TV ecosystem lags behind usage. Consumers access content through subscription based, ad-free, video-on-demand services and as these services have become popular over the years it has led to a decrease in adverting spending.

Broadcast and cable networks have been the target for advertisers because of their capability to deliver a massive number of viewers in real-time. But advertisers can now aggregate viewers of similar size instantaneously through OTT videos. Online players are developing innovative ways to entice advertiser’s interest, to reach large and different digital viewers. And these platforms benefit from real-time bidding, with better demographic targeting at a more efficient cost.

Conclusion – Understand your Market and offer Outstanding Content

Factors such as high speed internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure, smartphones and live streaming apps, social networking and cutting-edge technology have transformed the television experience from linear to an era of “whatever, wherever and whenever experience”. As OTT becomes part of consumer’s everyday life, there are new methods and opportunities to drive growth and revenue in the broadcast industry.

To stay competitive in the digital era, broadcast companies should be strategically focused to understand market dynamics, content consumption patterns, audience interests and advertiser responses. Many new forms of multimedia services become possible with the introduction of digital delivery.  One thing is undeniable –  attractive content is certain to be the key factor to stay successful in the digital era.

Leveraging Predictive Analytics for Finance: The why and how.

No one can capture and analyse data from the future. However, there is a way to predict the future using data from the past. It’s called predictive analytics, and organisations do it every day.

What is predictive analytics?

Predictive analytics can help CFO’s to use the existing data and identify trends for more accurate planning, forecasting and decision making. By using predictive analytics your organisation can predict outcomes, identify untapped opportunities, expose hidden risks, anticipate the future and act quickly.

Every company wants to see into the future. How much will a product sell next month or will the demand drop off? How much will the business have to spend on manufacturing, distribution and other overheads? Does the business have a “next best offer” for a product or an estimated revenue for a newly launched product? Predictive analytics techniques are used to help answer all these questions and to create a better understanding of possible variables to aid smarter decisions.

Gain valuable insights

One of the biggest developments in SAP’s Predictive Analysis Tool has been its integration with SAP HANA. HANA provides remarkable output possibilities by using complex and heavy algorithms run on the in-memory platform.

Big Data which is the large volume of unstructured data from data sources such as external financial reporting systems, RFID sensors, Twitter, Facebook and other social media, can now be used to its advantage by using this powerful tool to forecast future performance and drive strategic decision making.

There are several routine processes that can be improved or enhanced using predictive analytics, including:

  • Target more profitable customers: By analysing the customers it is possible to identify small customer segments which are highly profitable.
  • Cash forecasting: Cash flow management is a key aspect of business to plan its future cash requirements to avoid a liquidity crisis. Leveraging data insights, financial professionals can look at trends to identify slow payers, detect and address system issues and improve receivable management.
  • Detection of financial risks: Financial departments can leverage predictive analytics to establish baseline criteria that makes it easier to identify outliers before they can damage overall company performance.
  • Demand planning: Predictive analytics can be used to forecast the sales over a period determining the demand of the product. This will help reduce returns from the customer and scrapping of the product, increasing the profitability of the company.
  • Company performance risk management: Predictive analytics can also help finance professionals get a forecasted “sneak preview” into the financial mid-period to avoid surprises.
  • Receivables aging: Finance professionals can optimise receivables aging processes and collect overdue amounts faster by setting alerts when customers deviate from past payment patterns.

SAP Activate – the innovation adoption framework for SAP S/4HANA

What is SAP Activate

With the launch of S/4HANA, SAP has undoubtedly delivered a ground breaking next generation platform for digital transformation. But with so much talk of S/4HANA, the adoption accelerator SAP Activate deserves a share of the limelight too.

SAP Activate is a content rich and agile methodology for implementation and/or upgrade of SAP solutions across industries and customer environments. It sets out an innovative adoption framework that expedites SAP S/4HANA implementations.

Agile Methodology for a Smooth Transition to S/4HANA

In my opinion, SAP Activate is an essential and greatly anticipated refresh by SAP to incorporate agile delivery concepts in different SAP Project scenarios.

The agile methodology employs an incremental approach with much more focus on users by incorporating Scrums, Sprints for Delivery and more effective documentation while keeping the quality framework intact.

I feel the most important benefit of SAP Activate is the built-in ability to ‘fail early in order to correct the course of action’. In the previous waterfall method, a long business blueprint phase was followed by another long phase of build and test, before the solution was released for user acceptance. In many cases customers rejected the solution as it wasn’t what they expected which inevitably incurred high failure costs. With SAP Activate, this risk is eliminated as the solution is delivered incrementally and user involvement in Sprints ensures that users are in constant touch.

The Customer Journey to SAP S/4HANA using SAP Activate:

SAP Activate Methodology

The phases of SAP Activate provide support throughout the project lifecycle with value delivery and quality checks to make sure that the solution delivers the expected value.

Invenio’s adoption of SAP Activate

At Invenio, we have built our expertise on SAP Activate in two ways.
1. Our project teams are being certified through SAP courses on SAP Activate.
2. We are using the Activate methodology for SAP S/4HANA migrations for our internal SAP systems. While writing this blog, we are in the process of running multiple SAP S/4HANA implementations.

Please contact us for a personalised assessment of your SAP S/4HANA adoption journey from our experts.

Invenio Business Solutions Signs Partnership Agreement with SAP in the USA

Invenio Business Solutions, a SAP Gold Partner in the UK, announced today, in conjunction with SAP USA, that Invenio Business Solutions is now officially an approved partner of SAP in the USA and part of the SAP PartnerEdge Programme, the USA.

The addition of Invenio Business Solution to the partner programme of SAP USA will enable customers in the USA to engage SAP’s solutions along with Invenio’s award winning business systems expertise in Media and Entertainment, the Public Sector and Manufacturing sectors. Invenio will also provide SAP support, value-added business solutions, upgrade, enhancement, and maintenance of SAP’s suite of solutions across SAP’s portfolio of business applications and analytics software; SAP HANA, SAP ERP, SAP Business Suite, SAP Business Intelligence; SAP Mobile Solutions, and SAP Hybris for Commerce.

Invenio Business Solution Inc. President Partho Bhattacharya said, “SAP customers in the USA, can now  gain access to our delivery team of over 350 business consultants, with deep experience in the delivery of business solutions in our chosen industries. Our philosophy is to collaborate with our clients, in the delivery of customer-centric solutions, that address their ongoing business needs and objectives.

Our recent, re-certification, in Europe, as a SAP Partner Centre of Expertise (PCOE), for the third time in a row, is a demonstration of our commitment to the continuous enhancement our knowledge of the SAP portfolio. Our continued investment in the development of high-performance delivery teams, through the certification of our consultants and solutions managers, keep us at the leading edge of innovative solutions, especially in Media industry.”

 

About Invenio Business Solutions 

Invenio Business Solutions is an award-winning Business System Provider, headquartered in Reading, UK. The company supports customers in the government, media, and manufacturing sectors, in areas that include industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) focussed on SAP tax and revenue management, IS-Media, SAP business intelligence & big data, SAP mobility, Hybris eCommerce, CRM and Enterprise integration services. Formed in 2006, the company has subsidiary offices in India, Germany, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the U.S.A. Throughout its history, Invenio has grown rapidly, organically and profitably. Invenio is a constituent of The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Invenio is a SAP Gold partner and recipient of numerous awards from SAP, including EMEA Regional Partner Excellence Award 2014 in the category “Database & Technology” for its work with SAP HANA®. The SAP consultancy is accredited for SAP’s global partner quality program and is certified for ISO 9001, a quality management system based on the principles of a customer focused, process approach and continuous improvement.

 

About SAP

SAP SE, formerly AG, is a provider of application and analytics software for enterprises in mobile enterprise management. SAP is an enterprise cloud company. As of December 31, 2014, the Company has more than 282,000 customers in over 180 countries. The Company offers solutions-based on its SAP HANA platform combines database, data processing, and application platform capabilities in-memory.  It also provides capabilities, such as predictive text analytics, special processing, and data virtualisation.  The Company offers application software to around 25 industries in six industry sectors and 12 business lines, including consumer, discrete manufacturing, energy and natural resources, financial services, public services and other services. Through Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Ventures invests in global capital funds, as well as early-stage venture capital funds in enterprise and consumer technology.

 

Media Contact USA

Glennis Spieker,

Vice President Sales

6303 Owensmouth Avenue, Suite 1059

Woodland Hills,

CA 91367

United States

glennis.spieker@invenio-solutions.com

Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference 3-5 June, Orlando, Florida

We invite you to be part of our group at Sapphire Now and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida from 3 – 5 June 2014, stand 1807.

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Get the latest technological vision, actionable insights you need to drive profitability and growth, and influence future SAP offerings at this 3 day action packed event.

Join senior executives, line of business and IT decision makers and business managers from across all process, technology, and industry areas.

  • Meet current business challenges and gain efficiencies
  • Learn from others who have integrated the same SAP solutions
  • Get the most out of your SAP investment
  • Make connections
  • See technology in action
  • Gain a rapid and significant return on investment
  • Enable future growth strategies and maintain a competitive
  • Shape the future of SAP solutions and services
  • Experience faster software implementation without disruption

This event is not to be missed so register now! the full programme can be seen here, take a look at this action packed event.

Do you know of others who would be interested in such a fast paced and interactive event? Don’t hesitate to pass this on.

Let’s keep up to date and make progress and cost savings happen! We look forward to welcoming you in Orlando from the 3-5 June.

Warm regards,

Christine Cockerton
Marketing Manager

Casting a Wider Net

Profitable overseas expansion

‘Traditional’ trading partners in the US and the Eurozone make up the majority of British overseas trade – which today stands at some 64% of total exports. But developing economies may provide an as-yet untapped source of revenue for many British manufacturers. The potential (and the reluctance to invest in these markets) has been the subject hot debate in the past few months, with many industry commentators weighing in with their opinions…

Jim O’Neill, the economist accredited with coining the “BRIC” acronym, told the EEF manufacturing conference in March, that while Europe will remain Britain’s biggest export destination, the country could not “afford” to maintain these links at the expense of emerging markets. He said “While our position with EU and Eurozone is of number one importance, we should not get blindsided as that being the key thing for our export future. Our big future for exports this decade… is going to be other parts of the world, particularly China.” Mr O’Neill said he believed that western economies still “underestimate the scale of the growth” of the BRICs together with the next big four emerging markets of Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, South Korea. He concluded: “This decade, those eight countries will contribute as much to the dollar value of world GDP as that of the US and euro area put together, twice.”

It seems however, that British Manufacturers are making a few tentative steps into these markets, with The Independent reporting that British companies have more than “doubled their exports to the fastest growing emerging nations in a bid to cash in on the rapid expansion in the developing world”. Figures released by The Office for National Statistics showed that exports to Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa more than doubled from £12.7bn in 2007 to £27.1bn in 2012. This means that the BRICS now account for 5.56% of total UK exports, compared with just 3.34% in 2007.

What’s holding us back?

Manufacturing firms are reluctant to invest in emerging economies is another point for debate. A viewpoint put forward by Martin Weale, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, is that businesses have been suffering from “heightened uncertainty” about the economic outlook which may have been “putting them off” making investments in overseas markets. In a speech at the Warwick Economics Summit, he argued that a lack of confidence has been blamed for the relatively low levels of business investment since the end of the recession, and this explanation could be extended to manufacturers’ overseas ambitions. He says “The costs which need to be incurred in entering new markets are a deterrent, not because businesses expect new sales not to be worthwhile he said, but because … at a time of heightened uncertainty, the risks involved may be putting them off,” he said.

Despite this reluctance to invest, the recent flurry of positive news stories coming from UK Manufacturing sector means that overseas growth is firmly back on the agenda. The EEF Executive Survey 2013 puts “Increasing Demand for products in Emerging markets” at number 2 in their top 5 of manufacturing opportunities – just behind “the commercialisation of new technology and product development”.

Preparing for expansion

Of course any company considering entering a new market must not only ensure that they there is the right level demand for their products, but that the business has achieved a level of operational readiness that allows them to fully exploit new market opportunities. Preparing the company from an operational perspective is something that can be ably supported by the implementation of robust ERP system designed handle the demands of a truly global operation.

One recent success story is that of SPP Pumps – a manufacturer with British heritage – who are making it big on an international stage. SPP Pumps is a multi-award winning engineering firm who design and manufacture industrial pumps for a global client base and their equipment is found across all continents – covering a diverse range of industries. In 2008, the company opted to implement SAP, with the firm’s Managing Director, Graham Terry saying: “A defining characteristic of SAP is that it supports a global, growing business. Companies that are seeking to develop new service lines or explore new markets will find that SAP gives them the scope and the flexibility to do this”. Since the SAP implementation SPP have cited numerous benefits of SAP within a global context including:

  • Improved financial processes with “Up-to-date financial information combined with extensive reporting and drill-down capability gives us a fast, comprehensive view of what’s happening across the global operation”.
  • Improved business planning: “A clear – and often overlooked – benefit of SAP is its potential; we can confidently plan our future knowing we have the supporting systems in place to facilitate international growth”.
  • Improved productivity and expansion without adding extra headcount: “The implementation of SAP means that we can now effect major international expansion without having to increase operational headcount to cope with the additional volume of work.”

With the right technologies in place you can equip your people with the tools needed to support international business growth. For a deeper understanding of how technologies such as SAP ERP can increase your chances of success when competing in a hypercompetitive global market please contact us.