Cloud Computing

How Hero MotoCorp is leveraging the cloud to enhance collaboration

by Jasmine Kohli, InformationWeek, June 5, 2013

Adoption of subscription-based Microsoft Windows Azure solution has enabled the company to collaborate across geographical boundaries with ease and flexibility

Hero MotoCorp, a leading two wheeler motorcycle manufacturer based in India has huge focus on operational efficiencies and customer relationships. Hero MotoCorp has a strong IT base and is a pioneer in adopting leading edge technologies.

The technology landscape in Hero MotoCorp has been under transformation phase since the last few years and it has been a continuous effort to leverage technology to innovate and bring about positive business outcomes. In all these initiatives, cloud is a major thrust area. 

“We extensively use public cloud service offerings for hosting and sharing of information with our partners — using offerings under ‘Infrastructure as a service’. We have also used niche security services / monitoring services — using offerings under ‘Security as a service’; Social Media Analytics where we use big data analytics as a service and monitor various KPIs — using offerings under ‘Analytics as a service’ and now we are exploring various other areas where we can use specialized software/ applications — using offerings under ‘Application or Software as a service’,” says Vijay Sethi, CIO, Hero Motocorp.

Hero MotoCorp has opted for a Microsoft Azure solution customized by PC Solutions, which has helped it collaborate across geographical boundaries with ease and flexibility. Various technical and design teams of Hero MotoCorp are based out of Europe, North America and India. Since these teams have to work in coherence with each other and often work together on different assignments, their work needs to be shared with the teams at other locations. While collaborating with each other, care had to be taken that there was no potential threat to the Intellectual Property being developed while sharing was happening. 

“We had a decentralized team working from different geographical locations and needed to collaborate in a secure manner. We were earlier using a cloud solution, which posed a lot of security and tracking challenges in the documents being shared. To cater to these challenges, we developed a solution based on the Microsoft Azure platform, which provided a reliable, secure platform where storage, service support and security issues were being taken care of as per their business requirements. With Azure we have created a separate data collaboration and content sharing portal,” states Sethi.  

The subscription based Microsoft Windows Azure provides the firm a platform to develop a customized tool, which is meeting its requirements perfectly. At the same time, it protects business communications and sensitive information by meeting internal and regulatory compliance requirements and guarantees 99.99 percent uptime, while simultaneously reducing backup and storage risks.

The built in disaster recovery and geo replication that is available with Microsoft Windows Azure ensures that there is no data loss on the cloud from the data center even in the case of any physical issues at the data center. Hence, there is no need to take manual backups and maintain on-premise storage of the data that is already being replicated on the Azure Cloud.

Other major initiative in the area of cloud computing, which the firm has undertaken is the Dealer Management System (DMS). Hero Motocorp was confronted with the DMS communication challenge or challenge of micro managing of multiple point of contact with dealers vis-à-vis tracking customer information, sales and service trends, defect analysis. To tackle this, a DMS that connects all dealers on a cloud model, was implemented.

“The need to put dealers on a single platform was due to multiple processes being carried on between dealers and Hero MotoCorp,” says Sethi. For example, the Hero MotoCorp’s sales and marketing team interacted with all their dealers separately. Secondly, manual inventory or sales updates implied greater chances of errors in inventory management at both Hero MotoCorp and the dealer. Also, the biggest pain point was prices being updated on a real-time basis and keeping up with products and spare part prices was a task. To address these issues, the firm decided to put all the company’s dealers on a single platform. 

DMS is a community cloud hosted by Hero MotoCorp where the application hosted by Hero is accessed by all its dealers. “By adopting the cloud route, we have significantly reduced the time for deployment and overall costs. This is one of the largest community clouds in the country with all our dealers being part of it today,” says Sethi. 

The DMS aims at making uniform the processes at all its dealerships — be it in terms of sales, spare parts, service or others. “Today, our DMS connects all our channel partners through an integrated system with the primary objective of enhancing our customer’s buying and after-sales experience, resulting from the standardization of customer facing processes at our dealerships. The system is running at all our dealerships (more than 700) now,” says Sethi. 

Post implementation, Sethi says that the firm has replaced ‘Customer Satisfaction’ with ‘Customer Delight’ and the firm has achieved this by bringing in uniformity in customer contacts and ensuring a single version of truth in terms of information and ensuring availability of information real time — all keeping the customer as the focal point

About Author

Jasmine Kohli is a Mumbai-based Principal Correspondent at InformationWeek India. She has an experience of five years in reporting and conducting interview with industry delegates. She writes on emerging technologies.

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