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May - 2010 - issue > Top 10 Most Promising Tech Companies
Serus Managing Outsourced Operations Intelligently
Vimali Swamy
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
A leading graphic card designer, Nvidia has partnered with several manufacturers to which it outsourced the manufacturing of its graphic card. Although the company had an efficient ERP system, it was not able to keep up the information from flowing to and fro updated at real time. Due to the disconnect between all its partners and suppliers, the company suffered in providing manufacturing specs at real time thereby increasing the error and supply cycle.

In order to solve the crisis, Nvidia approached Serus, an upcoming company that provides intelligent management solutions. Serus, deployed its solution on top of Nvidia’s existing ERP system and connected it to all its outsourced manufacturing partners and suppliers, effectively allowing it to share the manufacturing specs and collaborate on other occasions. With in a few months of deploying the new solution Nvidia saw the margin of error reduce from 70 errors a week to zero errors now. Serus also helped it decrease the supply cycle time from 2 days a week to 2 hours.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Serus provides enterprises with Intelligent Operations Management solutions. "What we do is provide a cloud based B2B solutions for enterprises to manage everyday operations for outsourced manufacturing companies helping them align with thir numerous partners and suppliers," explains Indu Navar, CEO, Serus.

Serus' configurable software helps global organizations integrate business processes and rule drivers among trading partners to achieve common production goals. Its real time technology provides instantaneous automated transactions, co-managed inventory, and performance measurements across a company's worldwide value chain.

The company’s technology, domain, and operations experience has led to the development of a solution that is helping operations managers and executives at semiconductor companies, contract manufacturing organizations and high-tech OEMs within Fortune 500 and mid-market companies meet the demands of their market more efficiently. In short, it helps one with unprecedented insight into one’s business and aid in making better financial and operational decisions Indu founded the company in 2001 and bootstrapped it with some of the early clients that includes Cisco, Spansion and a few others, who adopted the company’s services. Today, with a global clientele that includes AMD, Cisco, Flextronics, Serus has firmed its foothold in three major business verticals — Semiconductors, Hi-tech Electrical manufacturers and medical devices, especially the first two.

"What we do is help companies manage their operations by running our solution on the existing ERP systems, be it Oracle or SAP, to work out side the four walls and collaborate with their extended outsourced partners," explains Indu. When a company deploys Serus’s solution, it addresses an organization’s three main pain points, operations, finance and IT. In operations management and IT, Serus helps in executing everyday tasks like providing day to day information product specifications, testing scripts and sending other project information to the partners, managing all the inventory information that goes back and forth, over its product platform. Further, it manages all the financial information like the actual cost or the invoice that is paid to the outsourced manufacturers and collaborates it with the systems at the partner and supplier site.

The company’s flagship solution is Intelligent Operations Management (IOM) that includes data aggregation and content management, including facilities for data cleaning and error resolution, combined with collaboration across the extended enterprise. Our customers recognize that IOM removes the need for large, complex spreadsheets that are difficult to maintain and audit, and that it includes a set of modules for business functions on a platform that supports advanced reporting, decision-making, and action-taking.

The entire product of the company deploys cloud computing there by making it private and public as per client requirement. Having a cloud based solution also adds and edge to the product as Serus is able to manage everything from deployment to upgrading from a remote site. "It allows us to take way is the way to take responsibility for everything that is happening in the customer site. This is unlike the old school software mode where there is no feedback loop and the ownership and partnership is missing," says India.

Though the company is almost a decade old, the company has not found any serious competition as Indu believes that Serus is the only company to provide subscription solution with end to end footprint for its customers to manage their outsourced requirements. The only company that she experiences time to time is when companies try replicating the solution in-house. "A majority of the competition comes from the clients trying to create an IP or upgrade system internally but I find it a no brainer. While with Serus one not only gets a solution that is cheaper and cost effective but also productized with in 4-6 weeks as opposed to an internal project that takes 6-9 months to start on," India explains.
Since the company delivers its solution on cloud, it has found that the pay per use option as most attracting to its clients, small, medium and large organizations, likewise. But the most challenging aspect of being in the business Indu feels is making organizations realize the importance of operations management solution. But the recent recession has brought a silver lining for Serus. Since the downturn, most organizations are striving to be lean while increasing their profit margin.

Analysts too have recognized Manufacturing Operations Management as a $4 billion market and this is just in the semiconductor, hi-tech electrical manufacturer and medical devices sector alone. This opens up a vast opportunity for Serus. This is why the company plans to hire 20-25 more people by year end. At present it has 50 employees in the U.S. and 10 in India.

Since, incorporation, Serus has been on a momentum of high growth. The company has already raised $19 million in two rounds of venture funding from OBC ventures, Samsung Ventures and Diamond Head.

Indu is very optimistic about the future for, Serus is in a unique position because the market it is in is only going to grow in near future. With most companies giving up their manufacturing facilities and opting for outsourced manufacturers, Serus is confident on riding the growth wave.

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