An Interview with Ravinder Kulsari, Director, 1218 Global-APAC
This is the second in a two-part series of interviews with Ravinder Kulsari, Director, 1218 Global-APAC. The series provides insights into the new role of the ERP Consulting Partner in the Cloud Era and how ERP Consulting Partners such as 1218 Global help Clients transition their business from traditional on-premise systems to the efficiencies of Cloud technology.
Since joining 1218 Global in 2015, Ravinder Kulsari has delivered on the strategic corporate initiative to establish 1218 Global’s presence in APAC. Headquartered in Noida, India, 1218 Global-APAC provides superior technology implementations, upgrades, and managed services to Clients worldwide.
Ravinder is a seasoned professional and industry leader who has held key positions with KPMG, Hays, PwC, and HCL. He has led large-scale transformations and offshore projects for major Clients in India, UK, Australia and the United States. He specializes in finance transformation projects and has done multiple end-to-end implementations of Oracle Cloud, PeopleSoft, and Oracle R12 E-Business Suite across different industries.
Ravinder is an ICAI Chartered Accountant. He graduated from Hansraj College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and earned his Master of Science Consultancy Degree from Birla Institute of Technology.
Mr. Kulsari, does the Cloud Provider play an active role during Cloud implementation projects?
Typically, the Cloud Provider will assign their own consultants to the project to participate in key stakeholder meetings and decisions. For example, Oracle appoints the Implementation Success Manager and the Customer Success Manager. While these resources are primarily focused on strategy and best practices, they also work closely with both the Client and the ERP Vendor. They reach out to internal Cloud Provider technical teams to prioritize and resolve technical issues and provide the project team with alternate configuration options. The Cloud provider becomes a stakeholder in the project and a valuable project team member.
This is a big change from the past as decision making now involves not only the ERP Partner and the Client, but also the Oracle team. The ERP Consulting Partner interacts continuously with both the Client and the Cloud Provider throughout the project in order to achieve a successful outcome.
How extensive is post-implementation support for a Cloud product?
Oftentimes, Clients do not have a strong enough in-house team to deal with post-implementation issues. The ERP Consulting Partner, such as 1218 Global, has a major role to play in the post-implementation period, but it differs from traditional ERP support.
In a typical Cloud ERP implementation, both the Client and ERP Consulting Partner rely on the Cloud Provider for technical support, but system upgrades still need to be managed at the Client level and problems must be addressed and resolved quickly. This is another area where the ERP Partner makes a major contribution. Because technical issues are no longer resolved in-house, a primary focus of the ERP Partner is to help the Client interact effectively with the Cloud Provider support team and get things done. At 1218 Global, we understand our Client’s business and are in the position to provide guidance and clarity around issues and potential solutions that may not be as obvious to the Cloud Provider.
Our experience with Oracle Cloud has been very good. The latest Oracle Financials Cloud has provided a stable and robust solution for our Clients. From the infrastructure perspective, Oracle owns everything. In a normal scenario, the business can run without having any System Administrator or DBA in the support project. This definitely provides cost savings to the Client.
In which area do you think the ERP Consulting Partner will play the most critical role post-implementation?
The most critical post-implementation role has to be report development and integration & development between the Cloud environment and 3rd party products. There is a major shift in the skill sets required to work effectively with Cloud technologies such as PAAS platforms and delivered integration Cloud services. SAAS is unlike on-premise development where codes can be written from scratch and developers have an open playground to write programs. In the SAAS model, developers have to adhere to integration tool rules, APIs, and data fetching restrictions. An alternative will be to subscribe to PAAS to make custom bolt-ons and integrate with SAAS product.
How does 1218 Global assist Clients on their Cloud journey?
1218 Global has a broad service offering in Cloud verticals. We have a strong presence in Oracle Cloud, Salesforce, and SuccessFactors. I have been spearheading the 1218 Global strategy for Oracle Cloud development. We have modernized our implementation methodology and support model to provide maximum value to our Clients. In fact, we have also moved our own business infrastructure to Oracle IAAS Cloud. We are actively assisting our Clients in Cloud product selection, end-to-end implementation, and support. Our professional staff is highly experienced, effective, and cost-conscious. 1218 Global is uniquely qualified to help our Clients succeed. I will be happy to share my insights with companies who are considering a transition to the Cloud and help them with their Cloud decision-making process.