Sponsor Spotlight: OATUG Interview with Udit Shah, Director of Product Management, insightsoftware


By Deborah Grant posted 10 days ago


Periodically, OATUG highlights the companies that provide products or services to enhance Oracle Applications and Technology. Recently, Udit Shah, Director of Product Management of insightsoftware, spoke with OATUG’s Editor-at-Large of Insight Magazine & International Liaison, Deborah Grant, about their Angles for Oracle product line.

Deborah: It’s a pleasure to speak with you today, Udit. I’m excited to hear more about your company, insightsoftware, and your Angles for Oracle product.

Udit: Great to talk with you, too, Deborah. Yes, I currently work at insightsoftware, which is a company with about 2000 employees. Previously I worked at Magnitude Software, which was acquired by insightsoftware late last year.

Deborah: Tell me a little about yourself.

Udit: I've been in the tech industry for many years. I have a small family, and my personal passions include video games and playing cricket. My hobbies take up most of my time beyond being with my family.

Deborah: Yes, and as we were preparing for this interview, I discovered you especially like Japanese video games. And I shared that I grew up in Japan and lived there for 25 years. I am an American, but Japan is like a second home. It’s a fascinating culture, isn’t it?

Udit: Yes, I’m even studying Japanese, but it’s an uphill battle.

Deborah: I understand. I probably never would have become a fluent Japanese speaker unless I’d grown up there. Japanese is a difficult language to acquire as an adult.

Udit: It surely is, but I keep working at it little by little.

Deborah: Now let’s talk business...tell me more about Angles for Oracle.

Udit Angles for Oracle provides business users with a way to extract data from any Oracle ERP or Oracle OCA (Oracle Cloud Application) platform in a fast and scalable fashion.

We're the only product in the world that allows you to do this with the speed at which we offer it, the breadth and depth of content that we offer out-of-the-box and with complete data accuracy.

Deborah: Can you give me an example of how Angles for Oracle would be used for a customer who comes to you with a particular problem?

Udit: Sure, Deborah. Most of the customers who approach us are mid to large sized enterprises that have used Oracle ERP and are starting to invest in their cloud platform. They want an easy way to report on insights that the data provides.

The Oracle ERP landscape is complex and requires years of domain knowledge and institutional knowledge to extract data accurately and correctly from the ERP. Our product uses its ERPSmarts to find and extricate the information that the user seeks. Next, that information is presented in simple, easy-to-use views or replicated tables, depending on the need of the business user.

Angles for Oracle is a platform that integrates with any Oracle EBS or Oracle Cloud ERP and gives you a scalable way to access data.  Without any modifications to your ERP, you can gain insights in near real-time. It's the only product in the market that provides depth and breadth of content based on years of experience.

We've been doing this for 20 plus years. The near real-time nature of It, and the type of content that we provide, is unprecedented in the industry. That's why our customers love us, and they've been loyal customers for many years.

We have close to 250 customers, and they're very committed to growing with us as we grow in the Oracle ecosystem and support various teams’ graceful transition to the cloud.

Deborah: With this ability to pull data, customers have a customized way of creating a wide variety of views, is that right?

Udit: That's a great question. We offer out-of-the-box capabilities to provide different business views based on the Oracle EBS or the OCA systems. And the business user can access those views directly to build the data and the insights that they want to drive out of it. These views account for all the customizations that exist within the Oracle ERPs, and users can extend them as well.

The IT teams can extend these views so they can be more targeted to the needs of the business. So, if you have a technically savvy business user, for example, they can work directly with it. Our Angles for Oracle product is very easy to use.

Deborah: Can you give me an example of a company that started to implement your system, and with this capability of real-time views suddenly were able to open things up to make their business more profitable?

Udit: Recently, we held a OTUG webinar with TaylorMade, the manufacturer of golf clubs and golf gear, one of our customers. They presented an example of how our product helped them with their increased spike in demand for their product.

With the pandemic, they saw this sudden spike in sales, and they had to react quickly. They were able to use our data to find out what the spikes were in real time, move with the market, and make sure that the business needs were met so that customers were not seeing empty shelves or lacking access to their products.

Deborah: That would be a major supply chain improvement. This answers a big challenge for many companies these days. If you can solve supply chain problems by shortening the time for understanding how and when companies should increase inventory, you’re talking about a simple and practical solution.

Udit: Yes, correct.

Deborah: In the ecosystem of many companies that offer solutions for Oracle or that interact with Oracle as either integrators or apps providers for customers, how do you like to position yourself? Is it the speed by which you can deliver a result?

Udit: That's a great question, Deborah. We see ourselves as the fastest way to get insights out of any Oracle ERP system (Cloud or Otherwise) in the market, and we're the only product that can provide that level of speed with the depth of content, out-of-the-box.

I know our competitors claim a lot of the things that we do, but the reality is that we're the only team that can achieve the kind of depth, flexibility and speed that is needed for a complex ecosystem like most of our customers have.

Deborah: Is there an example you can give on the type of speed you're talking about? Can you talk more in depth about why speed so important? Is this a second-by-second, minute- by-minute, hour-by-hour kind of speed, or what is the quality of the speed?

Udit: The speed is real-time, and I say near real-time to be conservative. But the reality is that it's real time.

We solve it with our own approach to it. And the reason speed is important is that supply chains can change radically within short time periods in this era, especially in this day and age of changing market demand due to Macro Economics factors.

With the recent pandemic, things change rapidly, and businesses must respond quickly to these changes. Traditional BI tools were designed for historical reporting and require a long period before they can supply the required insights. Those approaches worked in the past, but nowadays, when things are literally changing by the hour, insights don’t surface correctly on time. If the BI tools don't surface the insights correctly in an efficient fashion, there's a huge risk of folks missing out on a trend or a change in market demand.

And personally, being a BI professional for a big portion of my career, I saw my own team grappling with challenges related to getting data as quickly as it was needed. It can create a terribly high stress environment for workers.

We take that stress away. We offer a way in which you can just go into our product and quickly open our Angles Hub and get insights on what is happening in your ERP without having to worry about how the ERP is structured or how the data is structured, and so on.

Deborah: That’s impressive. How do you prepare a customer when they're making a transition to start using your product for the first time?

Udit: We are a low touch product. We don't expect a lot of infrastructure. We have different ways of deploying the product. If customers are used to traditional data warehousing, we have a way in which we can move data into a traditional warehouse. But if they don't have that in-house, we can leverage the existing Oracle ERP infrastructure and extend it, using highly optimized business views, without impacting the ERP in any significant way to get the insights needed.

For real-time data, the warehousing side of it takes a lot of time, skills, and resources, so using business views is a quick way to get data out of it on the spot. And really when I say data, its insights, data is the raw form of it. But what we supply is the insights and the content.

So not only do we offer speed, but it's also the content that we bring to the surface, which is unprecedented.

Deborah: Give me an example of some of the features and content you’re talking about.

Udit: We support every module within Oracle from an ERP standpoint to get reports out of them. Whether it's financial, supply chain module, or your HR data; if it's in your Oracle system, we have the content for it.

This is content that has been developed over many years with professionals who've been with us for a long time. Our team has professional with ten plus years of experience building our product, and they understand Oracle systems, and that is what we take pride in. We provide a way in which customers can get data out of Oracle in a consumable fashion in real time, and using this content, they can make decisions and move forward quickly.

We take the stress out of gaining insights from Oracle ERP and make it a lot easier for users.

Deborah: Back to the implementation of Angles, and shortening the cycle of problem solving, tell me a little more about that process.

Udit: Well, often customers will come to us and say, "Hey, we've been talking to vendors, and they give us this weeks-long implementation cycle to get us the reports we need. What do you guys have?”

And we'll tell them, “Well, no, we don't work that way. Our cloud product can just sit on your ERP, and we'll just click a few buttons and then, there you have it. You have all your content, and you can get what you need with it. You can export this content to a Power BI or a Tableau or .csv and start using the data. It's very simple in that regard. And that's the beauty of what we do.

It's because we focused on the problem that people don't focus on, which is the content. Most people consider this to be a very difficult problem.

You need resources, you need domain knowledge, and you need people who have been with you for a long time. And we have all of that.

We're fortunate enough to have an excellent team in India that has been working on this problem for several years, and we've been able to retain our talent and that creates something that is very unique and valued by our customers.

And every time I talk to a customer, I walk away with a smile on my face because we've solved a real problem in the industry that very few can. Then we let customers talk and go gaga over what we do for them.

Deborah: That’s the best kind of promotion, right? Finally, let's go a little lighter as we wrap up. What is working at insightsoftware like?

Udit: Our company has a very transparent culture, and the entire company comes together on a periodic basis. There’s a very open exchange of information within the company, where the company is headed, what we're working on and what the key initiatives are. The leadership gives us very deep insights on what they want to do and achieve. So, everybody stays aligned.

If I'll say anything about Insightsoftware, I think it's literally the monthly town halls and the people. I think interacting with everybody within our group is so gratifying. Our people are grounded and accomplished.

Successful people get to work in the morning with a smile on their face. I think that's what insightsoftware is all about. It's about getting up in the morning with a smile on your face because you look forward to solving the next problem. And I think that is reflected in our engagement with our customers. If we're happy, our customers will be happy.

Deborah: Wise words, Udit. insightsoftware sounds like a great place to work. Thank you so much for your time today. This has been so informative.

Udit: Thank you, Deborah, it was my pleasure.

To learn more, be sure to attend  Maximizing the Value of Your OCA Data, presented by Udit Shah June 23 at 1 p.m. ET. Everyone is welcome to attend the free live webinar.