EC Manage Betting on Efficiency Competency
Date: Monday , August 31, 2009
“When we approach a client, we do not sound as just another SAP and Oracle Applications services provider. We work on core of the products as we have the team with deep expertise, few of which are worked before in development of these applications, which is our key value proposition to the client,” claims Rabi Chakraborty, CEO of Fremont, CA based EC Manage. The 10-year old IT services company, incorporated in April 1999 provides SAP application services; offshore development; outsource development; and workforce management services to companies in the life sciences, retail, financial services, telecom and media, and utility/energy industries. Interestingly, the company has also indigenously developed few applications which SAP and Oracle doesn’t offer and could seamlessly work hand-in hand with larger frameworks like SAP and Oracle.
It was during 2002, when Chakraborty, an Oracle veteran, and his team decided to bestow a whole new outlook for the company, which was till then working on web technologies, Java, J2E platforms, and providing consulting services apart from developing several small extension of products. “We found applications services would be the preeminent area to work as we believed that in coming times businesses need to pursue the business applications in order to survive and be efficient and hence we began with offering Oracle, Peoplesoft applications services. In 2004, we started on SAP applications services as well. In 2006 we started on development of our own frameworks, like eMed Report, a health records management solution and eWork Bench, a workforce management solution which are hugely appreciated by our customers,” says Chakraborty.
With hundreds of ERP solutions vendors and service providers floating around, it is interesting to note that why EC Manage stands out from the crowd. On the one hand, you have big firms who threw bodies at implementation projects and clocked big time fees, and on the other hand you had these small-to-big players who were finding immigration loopholes and building body shops. Despite all these, as a competent team firm off the street, EC Manage has been betting on their core expertise and domain knowledge.
“Our consultants in the company pride themselves with their successful stints on projects on technology domain solutions such as SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, Java, and mainframe/legacy systems. We follow a framework that allows us to approach a much broader client sector. We recognize that each organization has its own way of doing business and as such may require a custom fitted solution that is technically precise and form fitted to their business needs,” explicates Chakraborty. To make this happen, EC-Manage, which is now grown into over 692 people organization globally, deploys a wide range of technology professionals including developers, business analysts, subject matter experts, specialists in database, networking, and others, interestingly, all having average expertise of over five years.
Focusing On $50-$500 Segment
Today, most industry experts agree that the large enterprise market for SAP and Oracle solutions is nearing saturation. There is also a general consensus among experts that the market for selling SAP and Oracle solutions to small and midsize companies is nearing an inflection point and is poised for rapid growth. However, though EC-Manage maintains a long history of project delivery for its Fortune 500 clients all over the U.S., since the beginning, the company’s focus has been the category of companies who fall between $50-$500 million in revenues, of which Chakraborty calls as “$50-500 segment”. Total addressable market in this segment is estimated as over $2 billion.
That’s why as a nimble, mid-sized organization with a deep talent pool, proven capabilities, Chakraborty believes EC Manage can build competence quickly and price more competitively than its competitors or big players in the market, whose diverse portfolio of services creates inefficiency with SAP/Oracle and whose high overhead often prices them out of the “$50-500 segment”. “We are efficient people. We are not looking at cheap way of executing things. Our focus is fulfilling client’s need, which should be done in an efficient manner,” explicates Chakraborty. He claims that the company provides over 30-40percent cost advantage compared to its competitors, depending on case to case.
And that is the reason while many of the SAP and Oracle application services providers in the market are floundering without a viable business model, EC Manage has managed to grow, and grow steadily. As on July 31, 2009, the company has registered consolidated global revenue of $72 million. Today the company has big names like Accenture, Cognizant, Synopsys, IBM, which is the latest acquisition, as some of its key clients. The company has its presence in the San Francisco, San Diego, and Dallas. Internationally the company has offices in the London, Toronto, and Canada along with specialized Global Support Centers in Hyderabad and Bangalore in India.
Other key reason for EC Manage’s sustained year-over-year growth since its inception, according to Chakraborty, is the firm’s steadfast focus on building deep expertise implementing, customizing and maintaining, and upgrading SAP and Oracle solutions. “We’re well known for our SAP and Oracle experience. It is why they put faith and trust in EC Manage. We get the job done right, on time and on budget,” says Chakraborty. Another differentiator is that the company’s customers, not EC Manage, own their SAP/Oracle Applications licenses. This helps the company develop the superb working relationship with SAP/Oracle that could keep their consulting practice and customer support so strong.
Challenges and the Road Ahead
Despite all these, journey may not be smooth either. There are few challenges as well. Particularly, since the company is focusing on “$50-500 segment”, Chakraborty fears of uncertainty in this market segment, as there have been the instances of delay in decision-making and implementing solutions and abrupt termination of projects by the companies. Not only that. Overall availability of capital in the market is limited as most of the companies in this segment are run by internal accruals. Another key challenge he perceives is that with the current hue and cry surrounding the H-1B visas, the flow of immigrants into U.S. may get affected, which might create scarcity of good manpower for the industry.
Well, till date, the company has been managing the business with their internal accruals. However, going forward, the company’s top priority would be to growing the top line. “We also intend to create separate entity to market our product portfolios in the near future. And most importantly, the company is actively looking for technology level partnership with SAP and Oracle. “As we stepped on our 10th year in the IT consulting services business, we embarked on a remarkable Quality Journey to prepare itself in achieving SEI-CMMI Maturity Level 3 certification by the year’s end. Our executive team is aware of the challenges that await the company, but the team is fully committed to deliver only the best services to our company,” states Chakraborty.
Though the global industry landscape was drastically changing with ongoing difficulties affecting key business players, the company is seeing vast opportunities which is yet untapped. Currently, the company is strengthening its SAP practice in preparation for new challenges and opportunities in this ever-changing business climate. For the next decade, EC-Manage aims to position itself as a choice SAP application services provider to leading SAP partners in the West Coast. Certainly, with EC Manage being focused on its goal of becoming key solution provider in the space rather than just a service provider, it is well prepared, and well led to achieve its growth goals.