Technology played a drastic role in changing the landscape of the industrial age enterprises to Digital enterprises. With the kind of innovations that are happening and the rate at which yesterdays technologies are being turned obsolete today, we are entering the age of intelligent enterprises. At JDSoft they believe in creating intelligent enterprises where technology gives the power to humans to deliver value while the muscle work is taken care of it by it.
In a candid talk with Mr. Joel Pandian, Director – Data Analytics and Value Management at JDSoft, let’s discover more about their journey since the inception and their range of offerings
What inspired you to start JDSoft?
I have always been fascinated by mathematics since my school days. Solving small math problems was a hobby at first then I found that developments in technology can greatly be combined with my hobby to deliver solutions to real-life problems. I got pretty hooked by it and decided that’s what I want to do for a living. It was amazing how the “inside” of software operates and I wanted to create my piece of work! Around this time I also stumbled upon the term Enterprise Resource Planning and fell in love with its concept of optimizing business processes.
After having acquired the business experience working for leading organizations, and having developed the intricate details of the processes I understood that there is a gap of analytical insights for informed decision making out of the well-optimized business processes that were generating enormous data that can be leveraged for business profitability. This opportunity helped me to make a transition from my hobby to a profession.
What were the initial challenges and struggles?
I thought having a great business idea and a workable business plan will make me a successful entrepreneur, unfortunately, I learned it a hard way that it was not enough. Walking away from a promising, steady long-term job for something unpredictable was scary and it came at a very high cost both in managing the family as well as JDSoft.
I had to work up to find the cash to run the operations and still not go broke and added to that is the doomsayers around. Apart from funding, the other challenge was hiring the right people who believe in my vision and share my passion. Lack of connections for customer acquisition, limited scalability are the other major challenges that we faced during the initial years of the business.
What are the products and services of JDSoft? Can you tell us about some of your key products?
- JDSoft is primary a SAP focused technology consulting company. In the SAP suit of products our consulting services are focused on SAP’s latest intelligent enterprise services like SAP HANA, SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Leonardo, SAP Data Intelligence, SAP Cloud Analytics, SAP HANA Analytics.
- JDSoft have a very strong data intelligence consulting practice wherein we provide Data Analytics services which include Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. For providing these services, JDSoft uses SAP Leonardo, SAS, Statistica, R Programming and Python.
- The product division of our company has developed a scalable and technologically advanced ERP for educational institutes of all levels, whether be of a small school or a massive university like Cromwell UK. Our product is trusted by more than 300 clients in 27 countries globally.
How do you focus on making data processing easier?
SAP has a very strong scalable cloud platform and provides readily usable intelligent services through SAP Hana, SAP Leonardo, and SAP Data Intelligence. So for clients who are already in the SAP platforms, JDSoft brings in our expertise to make the job looks easier for them.
This is a costly affair and hence smaller companies are shy of the investments that they need to make, say in software like SAP or SAS. Further, undertaking a data intelligence and data analytics project is very risky due to the costs involved as well as the kind of resources that needs to be deployed and developed. Most of the analytics projects in the market are exploratory or research-oriented that only big companies can afford.
The unique thing that is happening in JDSoft is we have a laisse fair work culture i.e. people can work from anywhere, either from the office or from home or even from a bar.
At JDSoft, since we have enormous capabilities acquired over a decade of doing what we do, we have patented templates and methodologies that help us in delivering the projects with clinical precession. JDSoft is a mathematician who understands business and our passion for solving problems drives our business model. So, in many cases where the development is exploratory, we undertake the project on an ROI sharing, conventionally profit sharing basis.
In this model, JDSoft does not bill the client for the full project but a very little percentage of the estimated manpower cost upfront and will share the benefits of the project with the client. These benefits may accrue with a reduction in cost, an increase in revenue, or optimization of time taken off the processes, etc. This model has worked well for our smaller clients.
What are the advantages of SAP over its competitors?
An ERP acts as the brain of the organization’s technology infrastructure which combines every feature of a business, including finance, manpower, product development, production, marketing, and sales. So it is important to have the right one that fits the organization. SAP has a clear advantage in this for the following reasons.
- SAP is suitable for any size of business i.e. from small to large size companies. SAP provides a lot of flexibility for growth, and due to this, small businesses achieve significant benefits from it. It also offers functions and competencies required by the world’s largest companies. Nearly 80% of fortune 500 companies are using SAP.
- SAP does not provide any redundant functionality.
- SAP is perfect for any business. Its industry solutions accommodate the complex dimensions of that particular industry to its intricate details. So the requirements for customizations are very minimum and a faster GTM is possible.
- SAP provides a shorter implementation time and the fastest financial payback. As compared to other ERPs SAP requires fewer customizations.
- SAP has a clear roadmap and it has been evolving continuously. They continuously provide new versions and upgrades based on the latest trends in the market.
- SAP uses industry best practices and case studies this confirms that organizations stay equivalent to the opposing organizations in the industry. The utilization of industry best practices for reference affirms that there is a decrease in cost, risk as well as in time.
- A scalability feature is a prerequisite in software solutions to achieve success. SAP ERP solutions are primarily designed to enhance with the business, which means that as the size of the organization rises their capacity also increases.
Why would you prefer SAP over others?
SAP has been continuously evolving and has been very quick in adopting the latest technologies with business scalability and reusability as the primary goal. It is one of the ERP technology companies to adopt big data and data intelligence in their ERP service offerings with off-the-shelf use cases that can be deployed quickly. The SAP HANA technology is a game-changer and along with SAP VORA and its Intelligent Enterprise solutions provides complete big data analytics solutions to the companies that can be adopted without much redundancy of the legacy system. Further, SAP is the leader in this field with more than 80% of the fortune 500 companies running on the SAP platform.
With technology taking strides, what do you think are the new challenges?
Advances in technology can be empowering, progressive, and enriching. History has shown this across civilizations and societies. But it has also shown, and the present and future will continue to show, that it is foolish, risky, flawed and folly without us raising our individual and collective consciousness and mindfulness to accompany it – to ensure we use it shrewdly, kindly, and wisely.
Data security and data privacy are prima facie the biggest challenges the industry is facing right now. The new technological innovations and rapid redundancy of the technology increase the cost to the organizations to adopt newer technology on a scale. The revolutions in Big Data, cloud computing, edge computing, and the internet of things, etc while enabling us towards better life also pose the biggest challenge in a way that any small compromise on data governance may prove very costly. This is where companies like us help our clients to stay current at the same time to tackle these challenges with the years of experience that we have in managing them.
How do you propose to build a strong team? What makes it unique?
In JDSoft we are a very small but very powerful team that works as a family. JDSoft’s team shares the vision on which the company was built and for us, the job that we do is our main hobby and we are getting paid for what we want to do always. Every member of our team knows what exactly they are expected to do and what their goals are. JDSoft do not have something like a manager/ subordinate role of a traditional organization. JDSoft celebrates the success of and shares the failure of everyone.
The unique thing that is happening in JDSoft is we have a laisse fair work culture i.e. people can work from anywhere, either from the office or from home, or even from a bar. JDSoft has only workbenches and meeting rooms in the office where people have to book a place if they do decide to work from the office. Our preoperatory HR systems, which we call HATS manage almost everything from employee performance management to compensation.
So no one will have any ambiguity of what they are expected to do as everything i.e. KPIs, salary forecast, performance forecast, etc are in HATS and is something like earn as you go. The unique thing about this is that no one even fixes your compensation, you fix yours and if you are efficient enough you earn that.
Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
After finishing my mechanical engineering I joined GAIL as an Engineering Trainee and was responsible for operations. Out of my interest in mathematics, I continued pursuing my higher studies in maths and have applied a lot of mathematical laws within my area of operation in GAIL. This had led to the changing nomenclature of LPG that resulted in revenue of more than 2400 cr. With these successes, I was moved to IT where we used to undertake data analytics in the fields of Exploration and other functions of Oil and Gas. From then on I moved on to head the IT divisions of major companies like Marg, Tecpro Systems, etc. Finally decided to launch on my own in 2009.
During these two-decades-long quests to quench my thirst I have worked on major IT projects in ERP implementation, Management reporting, and analytics.