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3 Software Tools for a Remote First Working Culture

During the lockdowns in the US and India due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our employees across all our delivery centers in the US and India had to start working from home. At Value Global we strive to be a business strategy partner that provides IT Optimization services onsite and remotely. 

While Value Global has always provided clients with the option of having a remote working team, it became imperative that we move to a 100% remote first working culture so that our client service levels continue to remain the same as before Covid-19. 

In this article, we share our experience of transitioning from a Work Office Culture to a Remote First Culture.  We hope that by sharing our experience we help you make better decisions and get an idea of the Do’s and Don’ts of moving to a Remote First Culture.

Getting Work Done and Keeping Employees Happy!

For us as a company, we are very concerned about keeping employee engagement high as it is directly correlated to both employee productivity and customer success.  Commute times to and from office are certainly a big factor for every employee that works in large cities such as Houston and Chennai.  Our challenge though was manyfold – how to keep employee morale high, how to keep them interested, how to help them collaborate and how to continue to have our team leads engage and mentor their teams and maintain service levels for their customers.   

We decided that we will need to engage the team leads to effectively guide, mentor and communicate with their team members as they would have done in an office setting.  The remote first does not necessarily change the structure that we had put in place which worked perfectly. It however required fine tuning of the processes to ensure the same level of effectiveness. 

Preparing for a Remote First Work Culture.

The big question for us then became: Are We Ready to Work from home?

For the management, there were four major areas where we had to be ready. Our systems had to be ready to support our employees. All processes should be in place for the smooth flow of communication. In addition, the delivery of solutions and services need to happen in a secure environment. 

People Readiness – Many of our employees were not new to working from home but they did it in exceptional circumstances.  Since we are planning to transform ourselves into a Remote First culture, we knew it was important to understand the concerns of the people in our organization. We started sessions where our  HR and Operations team worked together with the employees to understand their concerns and ability to gear up to a remote first culture.

Process Readiness – We have tools such as G Suite for Business, Zoom and Google Hangouts  which many of our employees have used in the past. However, we have started training employees on the same considering not everyone is used to Asynchronous communication.  We started instituting processes on usage of these toolsets to optimally support delivery of our services. . In addition, we also revised some job descriptions and KPIs for our employees considering the changed situation.

Security Readiness – Security on infrastructure used by the team needed to be validated to ensure that security patches and antivirus/malware softwares are up to date.  Our cybersecurity preparedness already includes a secure communication/VPN and file sharing platform which secures the client environments and data being supported by our employees. 

System Readiness – Being a cloud first company, our existing infrastructure was already being supported in a hybrid cloud model which allowed us to transition seamlessly to a Remote First model. It has become important to build additional stand-bys and redundancies for the technical infrastructure used for supporting customers from homes. The operational processes needed to be put in place to support this level of redundancy.

At the same time we needed the software tools to help our projects move smoothly.  Here are three software communication tools that became the foundation of our transition:

1. G Suite Business Solutions – Google

Google Drive

At Value Global, we extensively use G Suite of products starting with Google Drive for storage of documents and project files.  Google Drive is a cloud-based storage solution that allows you to keep your project files in one centralized location. Anyone in your team can upload files, create directories, and share these with other team members who might need them for their own set of tasks.

Google Drive comes with a powerful set of office tools that let you create and edit documents, spreadsheets, and slides. You can track the edits made by team members in real-time, accept and reject suggestions, and tag people in comments and notes.  This feature becomes super useful where the documents can be worked on asynchronously by team members.

Gmail and Google Calendar

Gmail is our go to tool for email communication.  From scheduling our meetings and other deadlines our company practice is to share Google Calendar with our colleagues. The privacy settings allow our employees to choose who they want to share the schedule with.

Google Calendar also allows us to add notes in the description to elaborate the agenda of the meeting.  For e.g. “I’d like to book this meeting to discuss the marketing newsletter. Let me know if this time doesn’t work for you.” 

Google Hangouts

Another Popular software for virtual meetings and conferences at Value Global is Google Hangouts.  One can join a meeting on Google Hangouts directly from Google Calendar. Not only that it makes it easy for users to share their screen for enabling quick troubleshooting.  We also use Google Hangouts to make phone calls, initially the call quality was not that great but over the last year the call quality has certainly gotten better. Video conferencing through Hangouts is an amazing tool, after all a picture is worth a thousand words :-). 

2. Zoom

For communicating with Clients, we use Zoom.  Zoom is another easy-to-use, popular video conference software available on desktop and mobile app that allows us to schedule, launch, and record virtual meetings.  Clients can join meetings through a computer, smartphone, or by voice via a dial in phone. During Zoom meetings, we can also share our screen with clients so they can see our work or presentations.

3. WhatsApp

A popular chatting platform WhatsApp allows group calls to have small meetings. The software is also available on desktop. We predominantly use it for quick communication. One of the problems we are anticipating with Remote First is employees feeling lonely or socially detached when working from home or any remote location as opposed to working from the office. That is why we have also started creating separate interest groups such as knowledge sharing, healthy lifestyle, and current events for our employees where they can chat about topics other than those related to work. Our customers also find that they can connect and work with our teams through the chat platforms. 

Employees are our biggest assets and at a time when they are extremely concerned about their own and their family’s health, the decision to allow them to work from home was an immediate decision for us.  We know that happy and healthy employees deliver excellent results and we will make every decision to make them happy, healthy and safe. We know many companies are contemplating moving to a work from home policy and shrinking their overall spend on the office infrastructure.  Has your company moved to Remote First yet? If yes, we are eager to know the tools that helped you transition and the challenges you face. 

“Value Global is a Houston, TX based company with technology and remote support centers in India.  We provide Application and Infrastructure Managed Services to Global Fortune 500 customers. Our mission is to provide agile, scalable, and cost-effective information technology solutions that drive your business forward.”

About the Author: Kumar Nadar is the Managing Partner at Value Global, a leading managed services provider to Fortune 500 Companies.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kumarnadar/ Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/kumarn

Information Technology

Managed Services Providers: Partners, Not Replacements

Technology is advancing is so quickly that it seems like there are not enough qualified tech professionals to go around, creating a growing IT skills gap. Lacking IT personnel can impede day-to-day business operations, overall company goals, and, ultimately, the bottom line. According to a ChannelPro Network article, CompTIA researchers found that eight out of 10 business executives are concerned about the IT skills gaps within their organizations. This skills gap can create heftier workloads and hinder employee satisfaction. In addition, when in-house teams lack key resources — including enough staff members — their abilities to innovate wane. Insufficient resources can also create a pattern of reactivity, forcing in-house teams to put out more fires because they’re unable to take proactive measures with limited time or skills. Plus, having fewer skilled professionals available can make an already expensive and competitive hiring landscape even harder to traverse, putting increasing pressure on today’s tech leaders.

Gaining additional resources

In response, many chief information officers (CIOs) and other IT executives are turning to managed services providers (MSPs) in efforts to bridge the gap. MSPs can alleviate many stresses by identifying areas ripe for improvements, implementing the technology necessary to make those changes, and offering ongoing monitoring and support. However, there is a common misconception that mistakes MSPs as in-house IT staff replacements rather than partners.

In reality, MSPs are often responsible for ensuring day-to-day functionality such as data backup and security. For example, MSPs can help IT executives assess their cloud application readiness and provide strategic support during data migrations, tasks their in-house teams may neither have the time nor appropriate resources for. This can take pressure off in-house teams, enabling them to focus on bigger-picture tasks like meeting strategic project goals, improving user experiences and customer satisfaction, as well as meeting or exceeding business objectives.

MSPs can also augment their partners’ IT and staff setups with shared services, a diverse pool of resources available on an as-needed basis. This empowers tech leaders to scale personnel support and technology resources only when necessary, helping to lower costs while achieving project goals. Just remember: Not all MSPs are created equal, so it’s important to be selective.

Ensuring valuable partnerships

When choosing an MSP, tech decision-makers can often feel pressured to use shrinking costs as key criteria for bringing on MSPs, especially during times of economic downturn, according to the CIO article. It’s important to partner with MSP experts who not only understand their technology but also their clients’ specific industries and businesses.

An effective partnership keeps business — not just technology — at the forefront of all planning. Many seasoned MSPs have existing relationships with vendors, which often means they can secure good rates and fast responses on products and services for their clients; MSPs can also leverage these relationships to renegotiate vendor contracts if necessary.

Over the years, significant demand for MSPs and their services has spurred more strategic partnerships. The MSP’s role has evolved from simply offering services to being a true consultant and business partner to clients. For some tech leaders, an MSP’s technical support and services are enough to help in-house teams bridge the skills gap. Increasingly, however, more IT executives are turning to MSPs for customized experiences and specific expertise as they adapt their strategies to meet changing customer needs. Overall, it’s essential for any business leader planning to work with an MSP to remember that MSPs are not replacements — they’re partners!

At Value Global, we offer industry-specific customized IT solutions for those within the eCommerce, software, and oil and gas industries. If you’re looking to partner with professionals at an MSP who view your successes as their own, contact the experts at Value Global today.
Information Technology

Is Automated Agile Testing Right for You?

Quick, continuous, and collaborative — these are three words that characterize agile software development. IT experts have used the agile software development method to revolutionize company workflows and enhance project management since its conception in the early 2000s. At its core, the agile method contains two key principles: a teamwork philosophy and responsiveness priority. These qualities are fundamental to the emerging field of agile testing as developers aim to validate client requirements and rapidly complete projects via iterative development. Regular software testing is essential to any project’s success, and consistent communication is inherent to agile workflows.

With proper implementation, agile testing offers a variety of advantages over other methods like the waterfall workflow. In fact, projects developed using agile workflows have greater success rates than their waterfall counterparts — with 42% and 14% being successful, respectively. Through concurrent development promotions and testing throughout project life cycles, agile testing can ease developers’ stress from time constraints and reduce the costs of software changes. Furthermore, due to its inherent short-term goals and frequent inspection points, agile testing reduces project delay risks and failures. Like other project management tools, agile testing has its share of benefits — and also its share of challenges. Overall, many tech leaders are finding that automated testing can be advantageous for software development agility.

Automated testing

Automation can improve project efficiencies, decrease errors, and reduce costs across industries. As clients’ needs change regularly, agile development teams are better suited for quick, successful adaptation. And by automating testing efforts, software developers can free up their workloads to focus more on innovation and less on redundant tasks.

But testing automation benefits stretch beyond saving development team members time and effort. Automation can also promote more exhaustive testing. More important, as developers automate and perform additional tests, end-user confidence levels in agile systems are likely to improve as fewer errors occur. In other words, more frequent and comprehensive tests often lead to higher-quality results.

Unfortunately, incorporating automation into agile development is not without complexity. Two noteworthy automated agile testing challenges include personnel skills gaps and changing software functionalities. It’s already difficult enough to find testers and developers with the right skill sets and agile-ready systems in place; finding those with automation expertise only exacerbates the challenge. Software development teams may also grapple with changing functionalities in iterations. By identifying and tracking constants before test design, developers can prevent rework, especially in cases that include application volatility. Not every test should be automated, however. Testers must know what’s ripe for automation and what they should leave to manual processes. If you’re unsure whether your software development testing could benefit from automation or you’re lacking vital in-house talent and infrastructure to optimize your testing efforts, it could be best to partner with an objective third-party vendor. The right partner can offer the insight and analysis necessary for smart decision-making and effective collaboration.

Considerations

As testing automation tools improve, more organizational leaders will likely adopt agile workflows into their software development processes. Here are some considerations for tech leaders planning to implement automated testing:

  • Test frequency — Are you running tests more than once? If so, are you running them regularly? If the answer is no, you should not automate these tests.
  • Cost — Is it prohibitively expensive to run the tests manually? Do certain factors make running the tests impossible without automation? These are good candidates for automation. If it’s one-off test, however, you also shouldn’t automate it as it wouldn’t be cost-effective to build a framework for a single test.
  • Error — Does the test succeed in correcting errors in the most problematic areas, such as those where manual testing would falter? Automate these, but keep in mind that short testing suites should have no more than 5% automation defects.
  • Time — Is the test prohibitively time-consuming due to many data combinations or outputs? These tests could be candidates for automation.
  • Measurement — Are the results you expect constant between tests? Do you have an acceptable margin of error for variations? Do you have a consistent measurement system for test results? Establish these parameters prior to automating testing.

Despite some challenges, those looking to increase development agility often look to automated testing. This process can help bring out the best in your team members by complementing their skill sets and simplifying much of their workloads. With the right preparations, you can make the most of automated testing, saving time and money as well as ensuring optimal software development.

The agile approach involves quick, continuous, and collaborative testing efforts. Partnering with a trusted IT solutions provider like Value Global can help you make your tests more effective than ever. Visit us online today to learn more.
Information Technology

Get the Best of Both Worlds with a Hybrid Cloud

Every IT professional knows — in this world of shifting expectations, markets, and technologies — the key to maintaining a competitive advantage is leveraging cloud computing. Since the advent of the cloud revolution, business executives have adjusted their strategies to take advantage of flexible cloud functionality. Although many tech leaders are accustomed to utilizing public or private cloud services to fulfill their data needs, a different approach to cloud computing on the rise could be “the future of enterprise IT”: the hybrid cloud.

Best of both worlds

Both public and private clouds come with inherent benefits and drawbacks. For instance, public cloud providers can help IT leaders save money they’d otherwise spend on maintaining and operating dedicated servers; however, working with a public cloud provider also forces these decision-makers to trust their data with a third party, which can jeopardize security and data quality. On the other hand, private cloud users experience more control, but private clouds also come with greater costs and more day-to-day upkeep. Although some IT leaders use both, a siloed combination can result in inefficiencies.

Enter the hybrid cloud, which consolidates the best parts of each platform into a customizable, hassle-free design. Business executives can pick and choose which information they store on each platform level, offering the security and control of a private cloud while outsourcing much of the resource load to a public server. Of course, specific hybrid cloud architectures and their impacts depend on company priorities and size. IT experts may implement a combination of cloud resources and models, such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

Although the ways in which tech leaders implement hybrid clouds vary, the potential benefits are consistent and wide-ranging. Hybrid cloud flexibility allows IT designers to employ new solutions quickly no matter where they are in their clouds, adjusting server capacities as-needed to provide peak support for systems. For business teams, hybrid clouds offer comprehensive views of what’s running at each project level and the financial effects of each action or change. In short, implementing a hybrid cloud offers the advantages of public and private clouds in a faster, more flexible, and more cost-effective package. And, according to an ITProPortal article, the hybrid option “puts control back in the best hands – the hands of the company that understands their customers’ needs.”

Deployment considerations

Of course, to gain a competitive advantage via a hybrid cloud, those in your company must craft a clear, tactful strategy. Here are some essential considerations for leaders of organizations with hybrid cloud platforms coming down their pipelines:

  • Agility and flexibility — Prepare for periods of high demand by ensuring the cloud you choose will be able to meet your customers’ resource needs. How capable is your cloud of remaining fully operational during peak traffic times?
  • Security and control — Determine how protected your data should be. Is your data safe enough under lower security levels? How will you access your cloud infrastructure? Are you meeting security requirements — for customers and for compliance?
  • App complexity — Make sure your IT team is prepared to adjust to new forms of application management. What kind of apps will your IT environment need to support? Will you be managing serverless applications on your hybrid cloud?
  • Integration — Hybrid clouds may offer the best of both worlds, but it’s up to you to integrate their tools and services with your existing enterprise systems.
  • Costs — Hybrid clouds can be more cost-effective than their alternatives, but only for those who plan ahead. What are the costs of deploying and managing a hybrid cloud infrastructure? How do they compare to your existing system expenses?
  • Company size — Your priorities when deploying a hybrid cloud may depend on your company size. For example, those in larger organizations might prioritize operational costs and security whereas those in smaller organizations may prioritize flexibility and agility. Consider these factors when planning your deployment.

Implementing and managing hybrid clouds may seem challenging to some. Fortunately, you can make the process easier by working with a managed service provider (MSP). The right MSP can relieve you and your IT team members from some of the pressures and responsibilities in a manner complementary to your cloud strategy. You can outsource certain IT processes to your MSP while staying in control of your infrastructure and services. In short, an MSP can act as a membrane between your enterprise and the cloud — allowing you to stay in charge and save money.

Success with a hybrid cloud requires patience, careful planning, and the right balance of responsibilities. Get the best of both worlds by partnering with a trusted MSP like Value Global. Visit us online to get started.
Information Technology, Oil and Gas

Data Analytics: What Does the Oil and Gas Industry Stand to Gain?

Big data and data analytics are changing the game for nearly every industry, and oil and gas is no different. Although some are resistant to change, some experts argue the only thing holding them back is they resist cultural change — in other words, an attitude of “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” What this means, however, is companies whose leaders do take the leap are at a significant competitive advantage. For example, some oil and gas executives are harnessing Master Data Management (MDM) solutions to begin organizing and removing data from silos, putting them on a path to more mature data analytics. These leaders are harnessing data analytics to help boost production capacity, and, in some cases, are seeing ROI multiplied by as many as 50 times.

For oil and gas companies, big data is about more than just high data volumes. In addition to traditionally structured data, industrial operations generate unstructured data, which may be disjointed and nearly impossible to use without advanced analytical software. For instance, those inside some geophysical firms use unstructured seismic data to locate oil deposits while others use data for predictive analysis, which can help these professionals avoid or prepare for accidents or disasters.

Using these and other big data analytics applications is already proving essential for helping company leaders decrease costs, increase efficiencies, and reach maximum production potentials. Companies like BP equip their wells with cloud-connected sensors, each “dumping” roughly 500,000 data points every 15 seconds into a software program.

GE and BP leaders aren’t the only ones noticing big data’s advantages. A 2015 survey by Accenture and Microsoft Corp. reported that nearly 90% of respondents in the oil and gas industry believe they could increase their businesses’ values by improving their analytical capabilities. And that number will likely increase as AI and machine learning continue evolving and disrupting the oil and gas industry. But how can company leaders successfully employ data analytics and stay ahead of the curve? According to a McKinsey & Company article, here are five factors business leaders should consider:

  • Data availability — Most leaders of major oil companies have vast amounts of unstructured and structured data already at their disposal; the question now is how they can best harness it since many are underutilizing this valuable resource. In fact, according to a Master’s in Data Science article, oil and gas information “streams in from a dizzying array of sources – exploration, production, transportation and distribution,” but industry insiders often struggle to organize and leverage it.
  • Infrastructure — Many analytics tools are easy to access, and plenty of services are available to help business leaders get started on big data analytics, even in these early days of oil and gas industry implementation. According to the McKinsey & Company article, “today’s powerful tools use a combination of state-of-the-art engineering, data science, and computing power to identify superior solutions to complex production optimization problems.”
  • Analytics skills — It’s essential oil and gas executives employ skilled data scientists, creating a foundation of analytics excellence for their companies. Data team members should understand the connections between business problems and analytics solutions.
  • Redesigned work and governance — It’s also important for company leaders redesign their work processes to increase efficiency and optimize production. When it comes to analytics, they should consider end users to achieve the best results. According to the McKinsey & Company article, one North Sea operator employed data scientists to find major bottlenecks by analyzing data, pinpointing key areas ripe for process improvements.
  • Business-driven agility — IT infrastructure designers should not do everything all at once. Instead, they should build momentum for advanced analytics programs via short, metrics-driven pilot projects. From there, designers and company leaders can develop a long-term vision for how analytics can reshape their business.

While change can be costly and the unknown met with hesitation, the potential costs of production losses and operational expenses for those without smart data is too great. Savvy industry experts who invest in modern-day technologies to make optimal decisions and streamline efficiencies are already proving big data’s worth. It’s time for oil and gas leaders to embrace this transformation to not only stay ahead of the curve but also help their companies thrive.

There’s no doubt about it: Analytics are an industrial game changer. To keep pace and maximize your competitive advantage, you need to work with a trusted IT solutions provider. Visit Value Global online or contact us today to get started.
Information Technology

How Can You Make Your Smart Data Smarter?

There’s no denying savvy company leaders rely on data for optimal decision-making in nearly all aspects of their business. From consumer preferences to industry trends and future forecasts, smart data is taking business intelligence (BI) and interactive analysis to “sophisticated” new levels. But buyer beware: Not all data is smart data.

Information quality

One could compare effective data analytics to sifting sugar. If you don’t sift your powdered sugar, you end up with lumps in your frosting. If you don’t sift your data, it “clumps” bad data with good data, giving you poor analytic results. By sifting all your data first, you can put only the good data into your program, avoiding clumps to get the results you need. While the rise of data discovery and access to multistructured data are disrupting the traditional throw-it-all-in model, sifting through and determining the most meaningful data still presents problems for many. According to the press release, Gartner Research Vice President Rita Sallam stated, “Data preparation is one of [the] most difficult and time-consuming challenges facing business users of BI and data discovery tools, as well as advanced analytics platforms.”

Existing business data analytics models face a common problem: analytic sprawl, “an inconsistent or incomplete use of data, capricious development of metrics and formulae, and either too-restrained or unrestrained sharing of results.” And with company leaders facing information overloads, they face greater risks for drowning in a sea of uselessness and noise, overlooking what’s really important. Efficiently utilizing data without falling victim to these problems requires business leaders to identify two key factors: what information they need and how to capture it.

Determine what you need — and what you don’t

The definitions of smart or useful data types can vary based on company needs. However, many methods for determining important data are universal. Business analysts should consider what insights and information are most valuable, where or which systems store them, and why any existing analytics models have hindered data collection thus far.

For instance, ask what information will help pinpoint customer retention factors or otherwise further business goals and objectives. Analysts also recommend developing a maintenance plan. As analytic tools improve and standards change, analysts must equip systems that handle big data to adapt to those changes.

Business analysts should also consider wide data. Wide data derives information from more than just traditional sources. It may incorporate social media information, customer behavior, and IoT data.

Although certain solutions are one-size-fits-all, it’s important to keep in mind that changes analysts make to existing systems can also present limitations. Reconfiguration can be costly, especially when accounting for analytics training: Separated and scrutinized databases can cause latency, and certain analyses can slow down systems. In short, growing data types and uses have forced professionals to fundamentally rethink how they handle their data.

smart-data

Smart data, smart tools

Once company leaders understand what information they need and identify any limitations that may develop, their challenge becomes information acquisition. Luckily, according to the Gartner press release, the growing number of smart data discovery tools company leaders can use to obtain data are also getting smarter, helping users better identify key information while reducing complexity and time-consuming analysis. Analytic strategies must align with business strategies, meaning the process requires consistent communication between all parties involved.

One key process for handling big data is de-duplication, the identification and removal of duplicate records from a data set. Although removing redundant data may seem like an obvious step, it is perhaps one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of data systems must sort through. According to the IoT Agenda article, another key step is to understand and properly sort structured and unstructured data as data arrangements are integral to those using different system types. Some systems are powerful for handling unstructured data, especially with some structured data, but not for analytics. Machine learning-enabled programs are proving very useful for sorting data and analytics. For instance, these programs can not only sift through data but can also offer valuable insights such as patterns and statistics to help analyze the data quicker and more efficiently.

The smarter your business intelligence is, the greater your ability to make savvy business decisions. Don’t assume all your data is smart. Be mindful in the ways you collect, analyze, transform and implement your actionable information — and ditch the rest.

The only constant in IT is change, and that includes the tools available to capture, filter, and interact with smart data. Contact Value Global online to understand how can you derive most value from your data.
Information Technology, Uncategorized

Solve Your Resource Management Woes with As-Needed Services

The IT industry landscape is constantly changing, and with that comes increasing expectations and demands. Due to a range of obstacles — including economic downturn recovery and resource mismanagement — IT department personnel are experiencing resource strains, forcing them to cut costs in vital areas while also maintaining high innovation standards. Today’s IT environment has stretched teams thin, creating expectations that these professionals must do more with less. In many cases, these “minimalist operations” cause productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction to plummet.

As a result, one major challenge IT leaders face is efficiently allocating resources. To accomplish this, more IT leaders are turning to “as-needed” or shared service providers to better augment their in-house IT services with a diverse pool of resources available as they need. Skill augmentation is a major advantage: By utilizing shared services, company leaders are able to outsource specialized business functions and harness new technology without having to hire full-time employees. In other words, IT leaders can obtain the support they need when they need it.

Different models for different needs

The breadth and versatility of shared services makes it a difficult concept to summarize. Many shared services models entail a wide range of engagement options designed to fit specific business or industry needs. For example, some offer models for clients who require resources only when they need them. In fact, a Time and Material model features no down payment and makes services available as necessary while Block Support models typically require small down payments and include discounts for blocks of hours as well as support available for a specified period after contract receipt. Look for options that complement these services such as customized support teams, regular communication, and flexible plans to fit any budget.

Although the full potential of shared services is still emerging, many benefits are already clear. Information management (IM) shared services, when implemented as needed, can bolster company leaders’ abilities to make decisions by improving organizational responsiveness and identifying healthy business opportunities. When accompanied by well-coordinated IT services, such as infrastructure management and quality assurance, these shared services may help business leaders solve many of the aforementioned resource management problems they face.

Align solutions to your strategies

Be sure any shared service solutions you’re considering align with your overall business strategy. This requires managerial support as well as regular communication with supervisors and clients to help ensure employees are using assets responsibly, feel confident and clear in their roles, and are executing projects on time and as planned. Throughout the process, request clear and frequent reporting, quality assurance checkpoints, and ongoing resource management surveys to smooth integrations between shared and existing IT services.

Some company leaders have encountered pitfalls when organizing their shared service implementation plans — pitfalls which often mirror the very problems they aimed to solve. They may underfund teams in charge of shared services, making expectations difficult to meet. In other cases, they might underprepare for change management challenges associated with adjusting to shared services.

Others respond to IT challenges by outsourcing services entirely. The cloud revolution has disrupted traditional outsourcing practices, enabling cooperation and collaboration among outsourced IT workers and as-needed service providers. Service level agreements (SLAs) between IT providers and their clients define which services providers offer when clients need them. No matter your approach, implementing shared services can be beneficial when you have the guidance of an IT solutions provider with expertise in flexible as-needed services.

In short, the key to implementing shared services is to allocate time and resources responsibly and ensure that all team members involved are adequately prepared for processes changes. Balanced, careful approaches to shared services will likely result in greater rewards for business leaders than hasty approaches. By providing services as needed and offering on-demand project assistance, company leaders can save on staffing costs, increase efficiencies, and improve client satisfaction.

At Value Global, we offer customized IT solutions for a variety of clients and projects, including as-needed IT services. Visit Value Global online to learn more.
Information Technology, Uncategorized

Value Global Managing Principals Talk Company History and Passion

Value Global is known for enterprise services and custom, client-centric IT solutions. Founded on a consulting background, experts continue to offer innovative approaches to client services. Those at Value Global balance clients large and small on a variety of projects. Their solutions encompass managed and support services to keep users operating efficiently and business leaders seeing greater returns on their investments.

An interview with two Value Global Managing Principals, Kumar Nadar and Shree Sannabhadti, pulled back the curtain on the company’s history and the industry as a whole in the last decade.

Shree Sannabhadti founded Value Global in mid-2006 with the goal of solving issues he perceived in enterprise resource planning (ERP).

“What bothered me was that ERP was the same for over 20 years with no progress,” Sannabhadti said, “but we could see the world move from phones to smartphones and laptops.”

A customer-centric history then, now, and moving forward

Kumar Nadar

Kumar Nadar, Managing Principal

“We were very focused on providing solutions to customers from a consulting background,” said Nadar, who joined the company in early 2007.

As Value Global and the services its people provide continue to grow, adapting to a decade-plus of change, Sannabhadti and Nadar remain committed to working on the customer side. Today, they’re working to optimize client solutions that offer coverage to all aspects of business — not just tech. They note the cloud revolution’s impact on those not only within Value Global but also across the entire industry. The cloud allows for more optimized solutions and services; thus, using the cloud can shrink project time to completion in a timely manner.

“What we’re seeing are changes across the board,” Sannabhadti said of cloud-based services. “We can do a lot of things very quickly that were impossible before.”

Shreedhar Sannabhadti

Shreedhar Sannabhadti, Managing Principal

“The biggest change has been how business functions as a service,” Nadar added. “Most IT functions used to be all in-house, but now companies are able utilize additional resources from outside providers as-needed … eventually what will happen is you’ll see IT — and everything else — become a service. We differentiate ourselves in that we can leverage [services] and enable you to access the service as required.”

To date, cloud integration and resulting cloud solutions are perhaps the biggest changes Sannabhadti and Nadar have seen in terms of service expansion and offerings. However, the principals plan to incorporate other tools like machine learning, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and more technology surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT). Although — Sannabhadti admitted — there’s still work to be done, they’re proud of the innovative, highly focused ways they map out solutions for their customers.

“Other companies rarely try to understand their customers — and their customers’ customers,” he said. “With data analytics, we are able to support our customers with actionable insights into their customers’ patterns and preferences as well as other valuable market information.”

Driven by innovation and passion

The Value Global name is built on its employees’ commitments to reliable and customer-centric solutions, and the managing principals ensure their passion for their work shines through. Nadar enjoys being client-focused, learning about challenges with customers, and working together to find solutions. His drive, he said, is based on getting to know different groups of people and areas of business, then creating customized solutions to meet their current and long-term needs.

“I like supporting customers by helping them scale their businesses from start-up modes to successful companies,” Nadar said.

“To me, the key thing is to ‘wow’ customers,” Sannabhadti said. “Not just happy, but to say ‘wow, these guys have done something out of the ordinary.’ The end goal is to give them what they want … and to take them to the next level.”

He attributes much of Value Global’s success to employees’ client-centered focus and relationship-building efforts. Most customers have worked with Value Global experts for nearly a decade, which he says helps them leverage their business as a team.

“There are different aspects of the work that I love, so to pick a favorite project is like asking which kid you love the most,” Sannabhadti said.

When reflecting on a particular client he said, “They had to build an application to handle near-misses; we took some data and by the second week had a solution. Their eyes lit up … some of these solutions feel like giving eyes to the blind and, to me, that is very satisfying.”

In the end, Nadar and Sannabhadti agree that Value Global is first and foremost about building and nurturing good relationships while staying innovative. It’s clear these two, along with others at Value Global, are not only dedicated but also passionate about helping their clients and providing innovative solutions. From their early days of consulting to providing their own highly innovative range of tech and business solutions, those at Value Global look forward to continuing their growth for years to come.

Throughout the company’s entire history, those at Value Global have been committed to innovation, collaboration, and customization. Today, they help businesses by applying industry expertise to develop client-centric solutions across a range of technologies. Visit Value Global online to learn more.
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