1. The economic crisis determined the private companies and even the public sector to significantly adjust and to look for efficiency solutions. How have the IT&C sector in general and SAS Romania in particular, contributed to the efficiency increase?
As ANALYTICS is in our DNA, efficiency topics are natural to SAS and we have always been preoccupied with developing software that helps our clients manage their problems.
The utilities industry is investing heavily in large-scale smart meter implementation projects, creating a new flood of data that must be harnessed, converted into information and used to build more efficient operations. The deluge of data will offer utility forecasters many new opportunities to optimize resource allocations, predict future growth and deepen insight for the utility planning process. The ability to predict the volume, magnitude and location of demand – along with improved revenue projections – will bring significant financial rewards to companies that successfully glean predictive insight from their data.
Our competence has helped our customers both in the commercial area and in manufacturing quality.
In the commercial area, we offer Demand Forecasting, which helps harness the power of the data coming from investments in AMI and Smart Grid to improve forecasting. Moreover, it enables the user to sense demand signals, shape and predict demand more accurately. To this purpose, we provide solutions for Finance and Operations, Asset and Operations Optimization, Marketing, as well as Energy Trade and Risk Management.
A second very important area for us is Manufacturing Quality. Quality has many definitions, but the most important one is not conformance to specifications, the extent to which a product provides superior service, or the features included in the product. When it is time to make a purchase decision, the customers' perceptions trump all of those definitions. In an environment where product recalls, government intervention, and lawsuits are front page news, customers are starting to question brands that seemed to have been beyond reproach. We are enhancing our partner’s ability to monitor, measure, and manage those perceptions that have significant impact on the ability to detect field issues, differentiate products, and increase profitability. In this respect, the solutions we offer are: Customer-Driven Quality, After-Market Service and Service Revenue Optimization.
2. Is the Romanian public administration aware of the need for IT&C solutions in order to increase the efficiency of long-term expenditures, as well as of short-term results? What are the indicators/ tendencies for this? Please detail.
Yes, the Romanian public administration is aware of their need for IT&C solutions. The majority of Romanian customers use traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools that are extremely good at tracking raw transactional numbers like sales or collection figures. What they fail to adequately address are the root causes, or drivers, of trends in those numbers. Moreover, they are typically able to tell what happened – but not explain why (unless it is evident in some other numeric data), let alone alert the business as a change emerges. Executives will gain advantage by moving beyond simply knowing what happened to preemptively understanding the forces acting on their business, and further real time decision will play a bigger and bigger role.
Answering questions like – What is causing a delay of payment from our largest customer? Why are sales/ collection in the southwest region down? How is user sentiment impacting our newest product? – with the average BI tool is challenging: at best, it takes a great deal of time to gain even one additional level of insight. The cost of these investigations is often high. Large numbers of IT staff must collaborate to extract, transform and load the data into a warehouse, update data dictionaries and then reconfigure the layers of OLAP, summarization, reporting and dash boarding.
To provide greater value, information access tools must evolve in two ways. They must enable users to answer deeper, sometimes ‘fuzzier’ questions about the enterprise. Then they must make it possible for general business users to easily obtain information.
Deeper questions require more thought than usual. In the enterprise, more thought translates to more content. So the first challenge is to gain access to more information – including unstructured content like emails, documents and PDFs – breaking down digital silos throughout the enterprise and integrating the content together. The downside is that this is a challenging activity because mapping unstructured data into structured storage can be exhausting. A combination of entity extraction, automated sentiment analysis and social network analysis might just turn up the problem account, internal resource or impossible customer requirement. The structured data leads the way, identifying the transactional problem, complemented by the unstructured data, which fills in the underlying cause.