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28 May 2020
Virtual quiz winners, PPE stock control, post-COVID budget forecasting, new data centres and much, much more…
Adjusting to the ‘New Normal’
The Progressive Team - Teams, VOIP and Friday Quiz
In the last couple of months, we have rapidly transformed our ways of working with our clients and with our scattered team; embracing cloud technology such as Microsoft Teams and a new VOIP telephone system. Thanks to these technologies, we were able to accommodate the new working from home regime very quickly. Though we all miss meeting our colleagues and clients face to face, we are finding our productivity levels have not been adversely affected. To help keep us connected, the individual Finance, EAM and IT teams are having a short virtual meeting to kick off each day and Beth has turned our Friday afternoon “Fika” meetup into a virtual coffee break, with the addition of a fun quiz – last week Laurent managed to finally end Alexandra’s winning streak!
Our Clients –Remote User Support, Workshops, Training and UAT
Most of our clients across the world have also moved to home working where possible. We are all becoming more accepting of the challenges of intermittent internet connectivity issues and more mindful of the demands of family life - where necessary, making meetings shorter to fit around child care needs. We’ve enjoyed seeing a few of our client’s children in the background during video meetings!
We don’t want the current situation to slow down the momentum of client projects. We are all delighted to see how well our client training and workshops are continuing remotely, with the help of MS Teams. Jon is currently preparing for the remote User Acceptance Testing phase with an African Oil & Gas E&P client as part of the roll-out of their Infor EAM system. Please see Progressive TSL’s initial response to COVID-19 back in March.
Managing PPE through EAM
Our client’s Supply Chain Management teams have been using the inventory management facilities within their Infor EAM and Maximo systems to prepare for the current pandemic. This meant that when the virus, unfortunately, hit the countries where their operatives were based, they could fully understand their live PPE stock levels. The procurement workflows within the EAM system will ensure that all stock levels are carefully monitored, and new equipment ordered as necessary, recognising lead times etc.
Alison and the Bus Dev team have really missed meeting face to face with our network across the wider industry community. While we would usually be in the full throes of conference season, we have been very impressed how well the organisers have also adapted, taking the events online so we can continue the conversation – learn more about the virtual conferences we attended this spring.
Finance Team Update
The Finance Team have been working very hard as always. Here’s some of the latest news from our Finance Lead, Alexandra.
- As we reached the end of another quarter, well done to our clients for submitting the latest round of MTD VAT returns on time. Many of our clients used our PAMTD solution for Infor SunSystems and needed no additional assistance from Progressive to process through. For a few clients, the team provided support to help get their MTD returns over the line in time.
- Many companies have now released their annual results and have been turning their attention to improving some of their current financial processes. Some of the recent enhancements to Infor SunSystems we have been working with our clients on have included enhancing internal controls, in particular journal approval processes with supporting documentation. These enhancements take advantage of complementary applications such as Infor Ming.le and Infor Document Management.
- The current climate has necessitated the need to focus a lot of attention on financial scenario planning, forecasting and re-forecasting. We have been supporting our clients with this, running new budget forecasts through SunSystems and reviewing the impacts.
EAM Team Update
Progressive are always looking for ways to enhance our solutions to meet the needs of our clients. The EAM Team have continued to show full commitment to our EAM client projects across the globe. In addition to this, the team, led by Laurent, have been working on some exciting enhancements to EAM including:
- Vendor Management – this new extension to Infor EAM will enable 3rd party suppliers to fill in supplier request forms, where appropriate, including the necessary certification. This information can then automatically feed through to EAM following a new workflow approval process, ensuring data quality and integrity.
- Travel Management – this new extension to Infor Ming.le will provide greater control of travel budgets, analysis of travel requirements and travel expenditure approval. Expense estimates can then be reconciled with invoices and receipts. Pre-arranged discounts with hotels, car rental companies etc. can also be managed through this new solution, providing greater automation and full integration with the finance platform.
- Data Management - The team have just completed an interface between Sphera’s MRO software for spare parts and material master data management, (previously spareFinder) https://sphera.com/master-data-management/ and the EAM platform for an African mining client. We anticipate there will be a lot of interest in this development for many of our clients, particularly those in the Mining and Oil & Gas industries.
Well done to Laurent and his team for their hard work on these enhancements to our continually evolving EAM based solutions.
IT Infrastructure Team Update
Finally, here’s the round-up from our IT infrastructure team, led by Chris:
- As mentioned above, we are all very grateful to the IT team for getting us up and running in MS Teams and the new 3CX VOIP system so quickly and painlessly when lockdown struck.
- We are also delighted to announce the completion of the migration of our client’s cloud systems (based on the Progressive ProEther platform) to an entirely new infrastructure within the NDG datacentre, https://www.nextgenerationdata.co.uk/. This new home provides improved levels of resilience, which will protect our clients during the current crises and into the future against power outages and other environmental issues. This migration project is the culmination of 6 month’s work by the team with less than 2 hours of total impact on the users of our systems.
Life is always busy at Progressive TSL; however, we always welcome a call from both our clients and new contacts to explore how you too can benefit from these new advancements and make sure you are getting the most out of your Finance, Asset Management and Supply Chain systems. Please contact us - we’d love to hear from you - even if it’s just over a video call for the time being.