Azuka partners with internationally acclaimed Sisense, to deliver bespoke business intelligence platforms to the African market
Streamlined data analysis and business intelligence drive effective business operations.
In the last decade, major technological changes combined with financial and legislative demands promoted a shift in business operations and how it interacts with data and business intelligence.
VVM, a business process outsource (BPO) provider specialising in receivables management, experienced these changes first hand. VVM provides service, process and technology leadership in the receivables management and debt collection industry and supplies products and services to various business sectors.
"Real-time, always available, easy-to-interface sharing of information" became the norm, rather than a best practice standard which only a few exceptional organisations have to adhere to.
In order to stay the pace, organisations had to deliver specialist knowledge across all operational stages in an effective and cost-efficient manner. This, in turn, placed an increased emphasis on the business process outsourcing (BPO) provider. BPO providers are able to develop specialist knowledge, aggregate services and technology and generate efficiencies across multiple clients.
In this new business landscape, the BPO is required to provide leadership in the industry - be more transparent, productive and efficient while consistently achieving results through the effective use of technology, data and information on both an operational and strategic level.
According to Lior Woznica: "VVM focuses on developing a unique service suitable to particular business issues while maintaining high productivity and efficiency through the aggregation of specialised capabilities, the development of synergies and technology utilisation."
"With the market changes, we soon realised that we had to extend our technology utilisation in the data management arena in order to maintain our industry leadership position."
Following careful evaluation of its business processes, the company embarked on a course to implement business intelligence solutions which could help it make sense of the vast volumes of data generated.
"It was critical that the solution should be able to handle large data volumes and integrate these streams of data across multiple platforms to form a usable and cohesive knowledge resource to key internal and external stakeholders," explains Woznica.
"Our goals were lofty, but on ground level we had to adhere to hard business and financial principles."
VVM aimed to mitigate operational and financial risks whilst achieving early implementation results. In this endeavour, VVM committed key resources to support the business intelligence extension project.
VVM was running digitally advanced systems in each of its operational areas with some integration in functional clusters. These systems were delivering results, but the data had to be correlated and integrated to achieve successful business intelligence outputs.
The company investigated the capabilities of various enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with business intelligence capabilities. However, the majority required large capital expenditure with high implementation costs and extensive specialist human resource involvement. The existing solutions required adaptation to current successful business processes which may have resulted in a full restructuring of operations. Value would only start to trickle through in the medium term with extended high costs being incurred in the long run. This increased the risk of unanticipated results and failure in terms of financial exposure, operational impact and human capital dissatisfaction.
"Reviewing the risk factors, VVM's executive team resolved to search for alternative solutions," continues Woznica.
On its path to simplify complex data management, VVM launched Azuka Telecoms. Its aim was to lead the investigation into business intelligence solutions and to custom-design simple, user-friendly analytics and data management platforms to meet diverse industry needs.
"In its investigation, Azuka was introduced to the Isreali-based business intelligence company, Sisense who stood a cut above the rest and ticked all the boxes on VVM's list of requirements," says James Guthrie, CEO of Azuka.
Internationally, Sisense is a top-ranked business intelligence operator. It was recently named a visionary in Gartner's 2017 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms.
It was immediately apparent that a partnership between Sisense and Azuka would offer all the desired benefits to VVM, the revenue collection industry as a whole, and to most other sectors of the economy. Thus, at the end of last year, Azuka was launched as the sole distributor of Sisense products in the southern African region.
In partnership with Sisense, Azuka was now able to offer VVM shorter lead times to implementing its business intelligence solution; at a lowered capital-, human resource- and operational cost and with a resultant decrease in risk exposure. "Our investment ultimately enhanced decision making at all levels and across all functions in the organisation," says Woznica.
"This solution was able to consume multiple large data streams and integrate these to make cross-cutting views visible to decision-makers. In addition, the easy-to-use interface made it possible to sensibly work with the information in real-time.
"Fortunately, the Azuka/Sisense-initiative did not become an IT department pet project. Today, this business solution is widely used in our organisation and we are reaping the benefits.
"Access has been extended beyond IT specialists to all employees who are now able to extract their own reports in real time - managers can take full control of their portfolios and access relevant information when required. Our specialist unit has been freed up to focus on finding deeper insights. Communication amongst the VVM team has improved significantly as information is presented more effectively to facilitate a shared understanding. Decision-making is based on factual data and trends rather than on broad assumptions. Our clients and our bottom line directly benefit from this streamlined approach," says Woznica.
Following the VVM pilot project, Azuka is now set to roll out these improvements and advances to other stakeholders and industries.
"Intelligent innovation keeps business nimble in a fast-paced and demanding environment," ends Woznica.