Quadra

Connecting Technology and Business.

If you thought managing Financial Capital was difficult, how about Human Capital?

Bain’s Macro Trends Group estimates that global financial capital has more than tripled over the past three decades and now stands at roughly 10 times global GDP.

Indisputably, finding Financial capital is easy these days. It is superabundant. As its supply is far more than the demand, it is cheap. Skillful allocation of financial capital is no longer a source of sustained competitive advantage for enterprises. There is a scarcer resource that business owners don’t focus much on or track in their annual balance sheets but which invariably has a greater impact on the businesses - Human capital.

The assets that are in short supply at most companies are the skills and capabilities required to translate good growth ideas into successful new products, services, and businesses—and the traditional financially driven approach to strategic investment has only compounded this paucity.

“Unemployability is a bigger crisis than unemployment”, said an India Labour Report a decade back and this still continues to be the challenge for the country which has launched into the Make in India mode lately.

A country-wide survey found that only 25% of the Indian professionals are considered “employable” by multinationals and the difficulty of employers in India to fill job vacancies had increased to 67% in 2011. The situation has only worsened ever since.

What exactly are employers looking for? Personal attributes like a positive attitude: a ‘can do’ approach, good work ethic and willingness to learn, good personal presentation, honesty and integrity, reliability, timekeeping and personal organization, team working, collaboration and co-operation, flexibility, commercial awareness and customer focus are considered as essential skills. Other skills include, communication – oral and written, numeracy and computer literacy/IT skills.

While acquiring human capital is a drastic challenge today, there is an urgent need for managing effectively the available human capital if enterprises intend to lead from the front. Unfortunately, unlike Financial capital where metrics like ROA, RONA, ROIC, ROCE, IRR, MVA, APV etc. are available for measurement, there are no significant measureable metrics to gauge the value, growth or decline of Human capital.

Broadly speaking, human capital is the sum total of the time, talent and energy of the workforce in an enterprise.

Technology to the rescue - Office365 MyAnalytics

Microsoft MyAnalytics, can provide detailed reviews of how we use time. 

MyAnalytics is an application that analyzes data gathered from user activities within Office 365 to provide users with an insight into how they use their time dealing with email, attending meetings, and interacting with key contacts. It is an information discovery and knowledge tool to track your time, because that’s the valuable resource you have.

The concept underpinning MyAnalytics is that by observing and understanding how someone interacts with the components of Office 365, you can build up a picture of their day-to-day activities. You can also compare how they spend their time against an anonymized set of data drawn from other tenant users.

Based on data drawn from across Office 365, Microsoft knows that the average office worker spends up to 20 hours per week working with email while senior managers will be glued to their keyboards for between 40 and 70 hours. Your data might vary!

All of the data used by MyAnalytics is available to users if they care to look. For example, it is possible (but tedious) to count the number of messages you create and send. You can also figure out how much time is taken to respond to other people within your company by looking at the timestamps in message headers and calculating the difference between when a message was sent and when a response was generated. The same is true when it comes to analyzing the number of meetings you attend, who also attends, the topics discussed, and the outcomes. You can assess whether meetings were effective, ineffective, or just so-so.

MyAnalytics is included in the Office E5 plan. MyAnalytics is also available as an add-on for the E1 and E3 plans.

- based on some articles in HBR and another article in IT Pro Windows

Cooking up a storm with the cloud!

A cloud kitchen or a digital restaurant is a fast growing trend that has quickly established itself as a formidable restaurant format. Internet-first restaurants are stepping on the gas and companies such as Zomato, Swiggy and Fresh Menu have already started grabbing a slice of this fast-growing sector.

So what is cloud kitchen a.k.a Internet-first restaurant?

A cloud kitchen is basically a restaurant kitchen that accepts incoming orders only through online ordering systems and offers no dine-in facility. They just have a central kitchen that delivers food at customer’s doorsteps.

 

The primary source of revenue for these internet restaurants is through the various food ordering platforms, such as Swiggy, Food Panda, Zomato, etc. Critical to their business model is a Point of Sales software that accepts orders from multiple sources. 

Food, at the click of a button

Digital technologies are reshaping our daily experiences as consumers and businesses, and these cloud kitchens are no exception. They have the potential to redefine the contours of the restaurant business. For example, take Swiggy, the trending food delivery app that has its roots in Bengaluru. It was the first among the crowd in the cut throat market to venture cloud kitchen in India. Swiggy has set up ‘The Bowl Company’ in Bengaluru joining hands with the popular restaurateurs to offer a wide selection where the restaurant need not have a physical presence.

 

Following this, Zomato has opened its first cloud kitchen in the suburb of Delhi, Dwarka as a pilot for its new project, Zomato Infrastructure Services, in which they provide their partner restaurateurs with 300 square feet of space and kitchen equipment. So, an aspiring chef has to just walk in and cook on gas while Zomato takes care of the rest. This could be a great opportunity for budding chefs and entrepreneurs.

The secret sauce!

Inexpensive access to pervasive computing power via cloud and mobile technologies is the secret sauce. Market reports indicate that Swiggy’s technology stack comprises of Amazon (EC2, RDS, Cloudfront and Route53) while Zomato’s technology stack also includes Amazon Route53.  With cloud and mobile technology facilitating online ordering, cloud kitchens suddenly seem like the only rational thing to do to manage the high rentals and poor margins in the F&B industry.

Why is this restaurant stuff important for my business?

Just as cloud and mobile technologies are redefining a traditional industry, the ramifications are just as huge for any other business. It’s no longer about “technology has no role to play in my business”. Chances are, if you don’t know how technology can impact your business, your competitor already does.

 

With a plethora of services provided by cloud, every business can benefit - from SMBs to large enterprises; from education to hospitality.  The cloud is like this huge switchboard where anyone can plug in and use it when they want to but they don’t have to carry the switchboard, they just use the “service”. Gone are the days of expensive, complex IT infrastructure which deterred many businesses from taking advantage of technology.


The cloud allows you to focus on what you do best - run your business. You can move from being a reactive business to a proactive business that offers transformational products and services. The cloud is also highly resilient, especially during these trying times.

 

For instance, during an unprecedented natural disaster like Cyclone Vardha, which shut down many businesses, or even during a watershed day like Flipkart’s Big Billion Day, the cloud has played knight in shining armor through its various features like instant scalability, disaster recovery, backup & restore and many more. A survey says 60% of SMBs pull the plug after a disaster but with the advent of cloud technology, they could surely turn the tables and cope up equally with large businesses in this uphill battle.

Your technology GPS

At Quadra, we can help you plan and prioritize your cloud journey by helping you formulate well defined business objectives, along with a business and risk analysis that considers multiple dimensions such as long term cost savings; data criticality, security and privacy concerns; audit and assurance; and regulatory norms, right down to service provider agreement review.

 

Our job is simple – we put the cloud to work for your business, and free you from the complexity of choosing and managing multiple vendors. We aim to let you do what you do best – run your business!