SAP has an ambitious goal: reaching a billion users by 2015. Due to their large customer base, public service organizations (PSOs) in BRIC countries are an important component of helping to realize this target. It is a win-win situation: by using SAP’s innovations PSOs enhance their efficiency and provide better service, while SAP acquires a huge new user base.
SAP experienced a recent success in this regard, namely with India’s postal system. The government-operated Department of Posts (“India Post”), the world’s largest postal services network, recently chose SAP solutions to strengthen responsiveness and reliability across more than 155,000 post offices. With this implementation, the organization aims to deliver faster and more efficient services to the citizens, government, and private organizations of India.
India Post to improve automation of core processes
With annual revenues of more than EUR 1.1 billion and more than 474,000 employees, India Post is the most recent of more than 30 postal customers globally to choose SAP solutions with the goal of making mission-critical and customer-facing processes more effective. India Post will use SAP solutions to reengineer its business processes and increase its engagement with the Indian population via more customer interaction channels. SAP software will help the organization improve automation of core processes, including postal counter automation, track and trace, logistics post, e-commerce and customer interaction channels.
Next page: India Post: more than just a post office
As the backbone of the country’s communication, the 150-year-old India Post plays a crucial role in the nation’s socio-economic development. It delivers more than six billion articles every year through its vast network of offices and touches the lives of Indian citizens in many other ways, for example by accepting deposits through small savings schemes, providing life insurance products, and providing retail services like bill collection and sale of forms.
India Post will rely on SAP applications including SAP ERP, SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM), and SAP Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM) to help increase process efficiencies and meet its business, social, and financial inclusion goals. It will also implement SAP solutions for streamlining internal processes in the areas of human resources, payroll processing and finance and accounts. In addition to running core and back-office operations, SAP Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise, SAP Sybase IQ, SAP BusinessObjects, and SAP Data Services will offer India Post the data warehousing and business intelligence (BI) needed for its entire operations system.
SAP in Hindi: a top solution
English is often the business language in India. However, the Indian government has mandated that communication across central government offices shall be supported in both Hindi and English. With its “SAP in Hindi” offering, SAP has demonstrated that India Post can enable business partners to conduct transactions through SAP software in either Hindi or English, creating a more inclusive IT environment. Suprakash Chaudhuri, Managing Director, SAP India, said “This is a defining win for SAP India in the Indian Government services sector, and our Hindi language capability was critical in positioning our solution as one with a difference.”
While the business benefits of this success are obvious, there is a larger social perspective surrounding the partnership with India Post. Urbanization, increased demand for financial services, increased funding by the government for the rural sector, and similar trends have opened up new opportunities for India Post, necessitating development of new processes and supporting technology.
India Post acts as an agent for the Government of India in performing various services for citizens such as wage and pension payments. The government also intends to use India Post’s vast network for its Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, which aims to cut down corruption, target beneficiaries better, and speed up the transfer of benefits to eligible individuals. Workers across India, especially those in rural areas, will be able to take advantage of Direct Benefit Transfer by using their existing savings accounts in post offices.
SAP and India Post form a part of India’s growth
Thus, through this deal, SAP also becomes an integral component of India’s growth engine. “With SAP, India Post shall address the challenges of increasing competition, technology obsolescence, and process reforms by delivering best in-class customer service, offering new services, and improving operational efficiencies. The reengineering of business processes using SAP solutions will enable the Department of Post to increase its engagement with the Indian population,” predicted Mathew Thomas, Vice President – Strategic Industries, SAP India.