By Tara Swords
Around the world every day, trillions of dollars in cash changes hands. Whether it’s in banks, retail stores, or casinos, even in the digital age, consumers still love physical money. Automating the counting, authentication, and processing of all those bills and coins is faster, more accurate, and more secure than doing it by hand, releasing time and resources to focus on customer experience. This is where Glory Global Solutions comes in.
In 2012, Japanese company GLORY Ltd. acquired the UK-based Talaris, rebranding it as Glory Global Solutions, to act as its sales and services arm. Glory is a company with roots dating back to 1918. The company originally repaired and manufactured lightbulbs, but in the 1950s when it developed a coin counter for the mint of Japan, it took the first step on the path to becoming a global leader in cash technology solutions.
Headquarters: Basingstoke, England
Industry: Cash technology solutions
Revenue: US$950 million
While the acquisition of Talaris opened up new markets, it also brought major infrastructure challenges. Talaris itself had grown through mergers and acquisitions and, having spent several years under private-equity ownership, had made only limited IT infrastructure investments. That led to a sprawl of 30 enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, 7 customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and a tangle of disconnected manual processes that were hindering the company’s ability to hit aggressive growth targets.
Now, upgrades, patches, new releases, and hot fixes are all pushed to us automatically. We can also monitor the environment with Oracle’s infrastructure as a service so we no longer have to say ‘Uh-oh, is Bob on holiday today?’ because something has gone wrong with a server and we need somebody to look at it.”–Glen Downes, IS Director, Glory Global Solutions
“The inability to share information across regions was a real roadblock,” says Glen Downes, IS director at Glory. “The company is trying to work collaboratively toward a common goal, but if the systems you have don’t permit that, you have to find workarounds to address the gaps. So you end up creating process after process.”
The problem: none of those processes were harmonized. What employees did in France was different than what they did in Singapore. Employees in the United States had different processes than employees in China. So when it came time for management to get a global view of anything—sales pipelines, financial performance, inventory, forecasts—it was a challenge.
“How does a global company manage to a standard set of key performance indicators [KPIs] when every ERP system manages the information differently?” Downes asks. “Finding a single source of truth was almost impossible.”
Length of tenure: 12 years
Personal quote/mantra:“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”
Many of the company’s other applications were outdated and unsupported, too, and there was no good way to link them up. If any of these apps failed, the team at Glory would have a hard time finding a solution.
That’s when Michael Williams, Glory Global Solutions’ CFO, created a vision supported by the entire executive team, for an extensive business transformation. For that, Williams and his team turned to Oracle to deploy a totally cloud-based solution that would give leaders an instant understanding of the company’s performance, help sales reps close deals faster, and make it even easier for the company to meet its service-level agreements (SLAs)—putting it on a path of rapid global growth.
With Eloqua, when people respond to our campaigns, if a sales rep doesn’t follow up within 24 hours, the system will remind them and their manager. ”–Joseph Gnorski, Vice President of Latin America Sales and Vice President of Marketing, Americas, Glory Global Solutions
Numbers You Can Count On
At the heart of the company’s challenges was the lack of a single, unified ERP system. Decision-makers were relying on data from multiple sources, manually compiled into spreadsheets. For example, preparing for a board meeting could take up to eight days of collecting numbers from people in different regions, putting them into spreadsheets, and presenting them in an intuitive format that clearly and quickly conveyed the critical information to board members.
“Even then, there would be this question about the numbers: are they completely accurate?” Downes says. “You’ve got a team of people doing their absolute best to try to get this information, but by the time they’ve managed to assemble the figures, the figures may be out of date. That data should be coming straight out of your ERP system into a dashboard.”
Williams pulled together a cross-functional team—including experts from marketing, services, finance, supply chain, and others—to choose a single ERP system to replace the dozens of disparate systems around the world. He headed the team with Matt Waters, who was previously head of service business development. He also brought in a new CIO, Alex Rammal, who had extensive, credible experience with global ERP implementations and modernization of IS functions. After short-listing several vendors, the team agreed that Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications on Oracle Cloud were the best choice for the business.
“JD Edwards EnterpriseOne scored highest across the various use cases we developed for our new ERP system. It is a stable, well-known, industry-standard solution, and we knew we’d be able to have it hosted entirely in the cloud using the Oracle infrastructure as a service,” commented Williams. “That, along with other modern, cloud-based tools, would give us the competitive advantage we were looking for.”
The fact that the new ERP system is hosted in the cloud doesn’t just make it a single source of truth; it also removes the cost of purchasing and managing physical infrastructure. Previously, Glory had to develop people to be in-house specialists on outdated technology. For example, the existing ERP systems required significant investment to maintain and had many, many customizations—and there were only a few people with the expertise to manage them. But by going from entirely on-premises applications to entirely cloud-based, Glory is aiming to significantly reduce its infrastructure costs.
“Now upgrades, patches, new releases, and hot fixes are all pushed to us automatically,” Downes says. “We can also monitor the environment with Oracle’s infrastructure as a service so we no longer have to say ‘Uh-oh, is Bob on holiday today?’ because something has gone wrong with a server and we need somebody to look at it.”
Oracle Customer Experience Cloud: An Easy Sell
To meet its growth goals, Glory needed to improve its back-office systems to match the quality of the products it sells. For that part of the project, the company relied on Gnorski. As the global workstream lead for sales and marketing—and today the vice president of sales for Latin America and vice president of marketing for all the Americas—Gnorski had been with the company since 2006 and experienced firsthand how the growth in the business was not matched by infrastructure investment in the sales and marketing systems.
In the past, we were very infrastructure-focused, but because Oracle is all cloud-based, we’ve moved into business relationship management. We’re now supporting something truly core to the business, and people are starting to recognize that.”–Alex Rammal, CIO, Glory Global Solutions
For example, the company’s seven CRM systems were all old and disconnected, making it extremely difficult for managers to understand the sales pipeline.
“It was like trying to do business today on a flip phone,” Gnorski says. “It works and it’ll make calls for you, but it’s not what the speed of business today demands to help you be successful.”
The applications looked and felt as outdated as flip phones, too. Reps had to access them via virtual private network (VPN). The user interfaces were clunky and required too many clicks to get anywhere. As a result, nobody wanted to use them. But because these apps were the only way that regional managers could have any hope of monitoring the pipeline, reps were forced to use them.
“This made CRM feel like Big Brother,” Gnorski says. “The only reason reps were putting info in there was to fulfill a management requirement.” They got limited value out of the process, viewed it as a waste of time and, as a result, weren’t likely to keep their data current.
Oracle Customer Experience Cloud (Oracle CX Cloud) succeeds in every area where the old systems failed. The user interface is modern and useful, guiding sales reps through an often complex sales process for deals that can be worth millions or tens of millions of dollars and take years to close. The price configurator alone will save time by automating the quote process based on predefined rules.
Now, reps can configure a solution and hit a button and an analysis with pricing and discounts will automatically be routed to the people who need to see it, analyze it, and approve it. When the customer agrees on the pricing, the system generates a contract, sends it to be signed, generates an order, and pushes the order directly into the JD Edwards ERP system.
The best part: the process removes the risk of human error at every stage.
Number of countries Glory Global Solutions sells into
Number of Glory employees globally
Glory solutions deployed worldwide
“Before, if you sent an order through and forgot to add a cable or software, you’d get to the customer site and realize that you’re missing parts,” Gnorski says. “Then it’s a mad dash to get the cable, and you’re probably not getting paid for it either—because now you’re just scrambling to get the installation done. The new configuration tool doesn’t let you configure something incorrectly. It automatically adds all the required elements.”
Oracle Marketing Cloud (formerly Eloqua) helps increase conversions by creating a standard process not just for marketing to prospects but also for handing off prospects to the sales team.
“In a manual lead process, things fall through the cracks. Maybe a salesperson was on a call that day and didn’t see the email, and suddenly it’s 72 hours later and the prospect has already bought from someone else,” Gnorski says. “With Eloqua, when people respond to our campaigns, if a sales rep doesn’t follow up within 24 hours, the system will remind them and their manager.”
All of these changes are leading to a dramatic reduction in the lead-to-sales cycle.
Fielding Service Requests with Ease
Approximately 50 percent of Glory’s revenue comes from servicing hardware at its customer sites. That’s why Oracle Field Service Cloud Service was such a big selling point for the company. Glory has strict SLAs with its customers, so getting the right engineer to the right place with the right parts—on time—is critical. Oracle Field Service Cloud Service provides intelligent route planning, SLA management, and smart allocation of resources, which leads to happy customers.
“There’s an algorithm within an optimized scheduling engine, and it can instantly assign the most-appropriate resource to a job, based on location, skill set, time, and SLA,” Downes says. “That means the system will know, for example, that Bob is the right person for this job and Fred is the right person for another job.”
Glory is also the first Oracle customer to integrate Oracle Field Service Cloud Service with JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. That means any information that service reps collect during appointments flows right back into the ERP system via their mobile devices, ensuring inventory and customer records stay up to date.
A New Role for IT Throughout the project, the IT department matured. That began with the way the project’s workstream leaders framed the program initially: they made it clear to everyone that this was a business transformation program, not an IT project. They felt that would ensure alignment with business objectives.
They were right.
“After this project, IT has moved from being a purely reactive function—fixing things that were broken—to enabling the overall business strategy,” says Rammal. “In the past, we were very infrastructure-focused, but because Oracle is all cloud-based, we’ve moved into business relationship management. We’re now supporting something truly core to the business, and people are starting to recognize that.”
Photography by John Blythe and Paul S. Howell