BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam limited), a telecom giant in India, is currently providing telecom services to almost 55,140,282 people across the nation. It provides other services such as internet, leased lines and datacom, ISDN services etc. The organisation has offices in almost every state of the country and co-ordinating all the work among all the offices is necessary. But using the traditional way of maintaining papers and files has made this task very cumbersome and difficult. Realising this need, BSNL now has gone digital by implementing various systems and to co-ordinate all these systems BSNL has introduced ERP.
Enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) are used for automating various business processes across the firm. The information which lies segmented with various departments can be integrated with the help of ERP and hence better coordination among all the departments can be achieved.
ERP AT BSNL
BSNL carried out a pilot project of ERP implementation at their Gujarat circle. The observed benefits were reduction in cost, labour work, better co-ordination among all the departments, increase in overall productivity and better information flow. Hence BSNL then decided to implement ERP system for all its offices. The systems implementation is done by HCL info-systems. The cost for implementing ERP system is approximately Rs.400 crore which also involves setting up of data centres for the whole system near Hyderabad.
ERP SPECIFICATION AND PLATFORM:
The system used is SAP ERP R/3 which is having 3 tier architecture. The 3 tiers are presentation tier, logic tier, data tier. The presentation tier is responsible for user interface (front end), the logical tier carries out all the data co-ordination and processing and the data tier is responsible for data storage and backup.
The system can operate on platforms such as Microsoft windows or UNIX system.
DATA MIGRATION INTO ERP SYSTEMS
For the ERP systems to work efficiently all the data from each department needs to be incorporated in the system. Hence data from all the legacy systems of BSNL has been transferred to ERP systems. For data migration into ERP systems all the sources of data are recognized the data is then extracted, filtered, validated and then is finally fed into ERP system.
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ERP system is mainly used for Data integration at BSNL. The data should be stored such that any module which is permitted to have access to specific data should be able to access that data without any difficulty. Also being a huge organisation BSNL has to maintain tremendous amount of data. For all these reasons BSNL has set up data centres. These data centres store all the data used by BSNL. The main data centre is located at Hyderabad and the backup data centre is at Pune.
ERP MODULES AND FUNCTIONS:
The different modules of the ERP systems co-ordinate various processes and they are responsible for the following
Human resource Management
Finance management and controlling(FICO)
Sales and marketing
Contract management module
Customer relationship management
Efficient Billing systems
Real estate management
Human resource Management:
This system keeps track of all the employees, trainees of BSNL. It holds the basic data of a particular employee. Every employee is given a username and password. And when the employee logs in he is connected to the main system where daily programs for different departments are put up. So employee can get access to main system due to implemented ERP. Earlier plan for each department used to be given on papers and change in the plan could not be communicated instantly to each department. But now once the changes are incorporated in the system, all the departments can see the changes. This has resulted in faster information flow, reduced paperwork and reduced cost.
Finance management and controlling (FICO):
The revenue generated, budgets for different projects, tax management, maintaining records of all the financial transactions, keeping record of all the expenses and other finance related tasks are recorded and co-ordinated by this module. A particular department makes a plan for a given project and this plan is then communicated to finance module through ERP. The finance module then allocates budget to this project. If any other transaction takes place which may cause the change of other allocated budgets then the given budget to the department must be revised. Hence Finance module is also integrated with contract account.
Since finance requires integration with almost all the departments, ERP plays a very critical role of integrating all the departments with finance.
Sales and marketing:
Sales campaigns creation and then sending it via emails or SMS to all its customers and employees is possible with ERP integration of customer accounts, HR accounts and marketing systems. All the customer data is imported from other modules and mass messaging is done for marketing new schemes.
Contract management module:
When giving contract for developing any project the details of contract are maintained in this account. If any transaction from any department results in change of contract data then the changes can be reflected in the system directly by co-ordinating all the modules. This is possible only with ERP.
Customer relationship management:
Customer accounts hold all the customersâ€™ personal information eg. call log, call duration and other parameters are also recorded. The different recorded parameters are then sent to respective department automatically by using the system for further processing. Processing customer data with different departments and issuing of schemes and incentives to them can be done only when customer accounts are integrated (using ERP) with different departments. For better customer relationship management other software such as CDR (call data record), convergent billing systems are also integrated within the system.
These systems record all the data regarding calls, messages, and utilisation of other BSNL services by the customers. The bills for all the customers are prepared and then they are sent to customer accounts where they become available to respective customers. Earlier monthly data for services utilised by each customer used to be prepared and this data used to be captured on hard disk drive and then transported to billing centres. But now instead of transporting the data physically from one place to another BSNL is using ERP system which directly communicates all the data to respective departments.
Keeping track of all the inventory details and then accordingly planning programs for different departments is possible by integrating and processing data from inventory management with other departments. All the departments communicate with this module to input their requirements, the module then plans for the purchase of given inputs and receives its budget from finance module.
Real estate management:
Human resource managementBSNL staff quarters management and other sites information is stored and processed. The staffs who are using BSNL quarters have to pay quarters allowance which is directly deducted from their salary by integrating finance module(FICO) and real estate management records. Also it gives data about quarters which are utilised and which are empty. It handles data of network towers and their maintenance. The budget required for maintenance of network towers is again communicated with Finance module (FICO)
Sales and marketing
Customer relationship management
Real estate management
Finance management and controlling
The system is divided into 3 layers:
This layer is mainly responsible for user interface through which inputs are fed into the system and outputs are displayed to the user. It presents data in such a way that it can be understood by the user.
This layer is responsible for logical processing of the data. The data is input by the user and some commands are given. According to the command given by the user the data is processed at this layer. It passes data from presentation layer to data layer and vice versa. It is also responsible for integration of all the modules which forms the basis of ERP systems.
This layer is responsible for storing all the input data, retrieval of the data as needed by the system and then again storing the modified data.
Implementation of ERP systems has definitely improved the working standards at BSNL. It has also reduced the required man power and hence resulted in cost benefits. Hence BSNL has given the responsibility of upgrading their ERP systems and addition of some new modules to HCL infosystems. Implementation of this new project will surely take BSNL to a new level of working standards. BSNL being such a huge Telecom giant requires digitization of most of its processes for maintaining its customer base. And ERP systems will certainly help BSNL to reach their goal.
Fig 1: ERP system and its modules
Fig 2: ERP system Architecture
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