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Computing at the core

Gunjan Trivedi | July 29, 2008
Only one word describes the state of the IT team of Aztecsoft, which is trying to manage this disparate IT infrastructure: nightmare.

BANGALORE, 28 JULY 2008 - Picture this: a 2,400-user software engineering services company, which started from a mere 200-users workforce in last five years and is poised to scale up to a 10,000-strong organization quite rapidly. The company deals with as many as 25 disparate applications across its multiple departments. Most of the applications work in silos, with data being synchronized across, most of the time, manually. With different applications claiming to own different set of data, the organization is plagued by data duplication and sanity issues. Users not only stumble their way through multiple user interfaces of different applications routinely but also have to deal with a multitude of authentication IDs and passwords.

Moreover, business is seeing rapid growth and is carrying out relevant organizational restructuring. Only one word describes the state of the IT team of the organization, which is trying to manage this disparate IT infrastructure: nightmare.

It was this nightmare that forced the IT function at Aztecsoft, led by its CIO, Nataraj N., to reconsider the enterprise's IT infrastructure and bring some method to madness.

About a year back, the IT team of the Bangalore-based global software engineering services organization decided to plan out an IT restructuring blueprint and embark on a journey to integrate the disparate applications across a number of its departments, bring sanity to its data and gain significant operational efficiency.

Nataraj and his team chose Microsoft's ERP offering, Dynamics AX 4.0, to help Aztecsoft meet its objective of having an integrated information technology ecosystem, by collapsing about 25 applications into mere six, and enable the enterprise to scale up to 10,000 users and beyond.

Mapping Business

Aztecsoft, as a business, provides full life-cycle product engineering, independent testing and professional services to its clients that include software product vendors, business and consumer portals, and mobile and wireless companies. The organization is broadly categorized into three functional areas, which the internal IT team primarily serves as its function. Most of the applications that are deployed at Aztecsoft, span across these three major categories: the development and testing function, the senior management and the sales force.

The development and testing teams work across geographies under the offshore and onsite business models. They need to interconnect well with relevant applications and systems deployed to aid their work. Top management needs to be empowered with information and data to take decisions, even while on move. And third, the sales force requires seamless in-roads to the enterprise business systems to not only connect to mails but also to their relevant functions such as lead pipeline and sales workflow management etcetera.

Serving these three major functions in the organization, were about 25 disparate IT applications. Nataraj and his team set out to draw an IT blueprint mapped to business processes to figure out the best way forward to optimize the IT infrastructure and have improved operational efficiency. They wanted to get away from an enterprise that ran complex, disparate solutions with a lack of seamless information flow because the data resided in silos and was not being automatically synchronized.

 

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