Alcor is now a Great Place to Work® – Certified Company

NOIDA, July 22, 2021 /BusinessWire/ Alcor is now a Great Place to Work® – Certified Company
Alcor, a leading global partner in the digital transformation space and provider of cloud solutions, security, and implementation services has been certified as a Great Place to Work® in India region. Having a global presence, Alcor is a Great Place to Work® – Certified organization in the US and Canada region as well. This certification is a testament to Alcor’s continuous efforts and commitment to create a High-Trust, High-Performance Culture for employees, customers, and partners.

 Great Place to Work Certification™ is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition. It is the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience – specifically, how consistently they experience a high-trust workplace. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience.

“Alcor’s corporate values are the foundation of all we do. Since its inception, Alcor has fostered an inclusive and collaborative culture, focusing on enhancing workplace culture, innovation, and employee experience. We are fortunate to work with a team that goes above & beyond to embrace Alcor values and share a positive work relationship. We congratulate the team on earning this certification and becoming change-makers in this challenging world.” said Amit Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Alcor Solutions, Inc.

“We are delighted to be a Great Place to Work® certified organization. This certification speaks volumes about the employee-friendly and value-driven Alcor culture, making it a great place to be! This achievement will further boost our dedication to building credible and transparent work culture. We will always seize the opportunities to become best people-centric organization and come up with creative ideas to empower our employees. said Deepti Negi, Manager – HR & Operations at Alcor Solutions, Inc.

For more information on Alcor Solutions, please visit our website at www.alcortech.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

About Alcor
Alcor Solutions, Inc. is a San Francisco, California based company that provides global cloud advisory and implementation services to clients in multiple geographies. Their clients include global Fortune 500 as well as leading organizations in multiple industry verticals. Founded in 2008, Alcor Solutions Inc.’s focus has been building strong competency on cutting edge technologies and advising clients in implementing them. They are passionate about their thought leadership and believe that successful IT implementations result equally from good strategy and technology excellence.

Alcor is an Elite ServiceNow® Partner, AWS Consulting Partner, Oracle Partner, and works with several other technologies including Microsoft, Salesforce, FireEye, and more.

Alcor Enabling Cloud™ is a registered trademark of Alcor.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ Alcor is now a Great Place to Work® – Certified Company

Alcor, a leading global partner in the digital transformation space and provider of cloud solutions, security, and implementation services has been certified as a Great Place to Work® in US and Canada region. This certification is a testament to Alcor’s continuous efforts and commitment to create a High-Trust, High-Performance Culture for employees, customers, and partners.

 

The Great Place to Work® survey reported that “100% of employees said that Alcor Solutions, Inc. is a great place to work compared to 59% of employees at a typical US-based company”. In addition, “97% of the employees said that you are made to feel welcome when you join the company”. These remarkable statistics speak volumes about the empowering Alcor culture, making it a great place to be!

“Alcor’s corporate values are the foundation of all we do. Since its inception, Alcor has fostered an inclusive and collaborative culture, focusing on enhancing workplace culture, innovation, and employee experience. We are fortunate to work with a team that goes above & beyond to embrace Alcor values and share a positive work relationship. We congratulate the team on earning this certification and becoming change-makers in this challenging world.” said Amit Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Alcor Solutions, Inc.

“We are delighted to be a Great Place to Work® certified organization. This certification is an acknowledgment of Alcor’s value-driven and people-centric culture where the most talented and creative minds create a difference every day. This achievement further strengthens our commitment to build a credible and transparent workplace culture that unites the leadership and the workforce, driving Alcor towards a common vision.” said Lisa Clinton, Director, Human Resources at Alcor Solutions, Inc.

Great Place to Work Certification™ is the most definitive “employer-of-choice” recognition. It is the only recognition based entirely on what employees report about their workplace experience – specifically, how consistently they experience a high-trust workplace. Great Place to Work Certification is recognized worldwide by employees and employers alike and is the global benchmark for identifying and recognizing outstanding employee experience.

For more information on Alcor Solutions, please visit our website at www.alcortech.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

About Alcor
Alcor Solutions, Inc. is a San Francisco, California based company that provides global cloud advisory and implementation services to clients in multiple geographies. Their clients include global Fortune 500 as well as leading organizations in multiple industry verticals. Founded in 2008, Alcor Solutions Inc.’s focus has been building strong competency on cutting-edge technologies and advising clients in implementing them. They are passionate about their thought leadership and believe that successful IT implementations result equally from good strategy and technology excellence.

Alcor is an Elite ServiceNow® Partner, AWS Consulting Partner, Oracle Partner, and works with several other technologies including Microsoft, Salesforce, FireEye, and more.

Alcor Enabling Cloud™ is a registered trademark of Alcor.

Evolution of HR Technology

HR Domain and Its Functionality with Technology Evolution

Human Resources is constantly evolving along with its workforce. The digital revolution has brought with it, innovative technologies which are being leveraged by the industries to find talent, hire, train, support, and retain them.  Human Resources are moving away from the traditional ways of conducting business to opting for new technologies to work faster, more efficiently, and meet organizational goals.

The HR space has been greatly influenced by technology in the last decade. This has significantly improved different aspects of HR functions in various industries. They have come a long way from balky technology and manual inputs to streamlined unified platforms that are user-friendly and covers an array of HR functions.

HR Tech Rapid Evolution

The core function of human resources has majorly been a human connection in a business. Traditionally, the role of HR was viewed as administrative, non-innovative, and paper-intensive functions that mainly consisted of managing organizational structure and end-to-end recruitment solutions. However, with the advent of technology, HR functions have progressed to assisting organizations by reducing manual work, automating administrative activities, thus leaving more time to focus on different HR aspects.

Impact on HR Domain Across Industries

HR technology has dramatically opened several opportunities in the HR industry. From end-to-end recruitment to managing requests, real-time performance assessments, performance appraisals, employee appreciation and more have been automated with the use of HR technology.  Technology has become a macro force in pushing forward the HR domain away from the traditional work, where everything was carried out manually.

Following are the emerging technologies that have played a major role in the Human Resource Industry:

Automation: HR professionals are required to handle onboarding and offboarding candidates, tracking employee performance, handle job postings, expense claims, leave requests, and more in multiple locations as well as those working remotely. Automation of the HR workflow not only makes all these tasks easy and less time-consuming but also ensures efficiency and errorless results. Automation fast tracks HR processes, which ultimately enhances employee engagement with HR.

The HR Automation features are:

  • Visual-rich dashboard and reports to speed up the decision-making process
  • Synchronize data through API integrations
  • Omni-channel access for easy access to information
  • Risk mitigation to enable 360-degree visibility
  • Automated alerts to keep track of employee’s tasks

Augmented Data Analytics: Augmented analytics is one of the latest HR technologies that is being popularly used by human resource professionals to analyze large volumes of their workforce’s data. Combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Analytics leaders analyze a wide range of datasets to track significant metrics. The software enables HR to capture employee data right from their joining to the exit of the enterprise. It equips the HR leaders with actionable information and data that empowers them to apply in different areas such as hiring, retention, engagement, upskilling, and diversity.

The HR Augmented Data Analytics features are:

  • Machine learning is leveraged for augmenting data preparation, profiling, and more
  • Improves accuracy in finding talents with the required qualification and experience
  • Provides actionable insight to HR by putting together employee data
  • Enables analysis of employee experience through their data
  • Explains new trends in the organization without analyzing dashboard or spreadsheets

Virtual Agents: Enterprises are always on the lookout for talents, and they must be recruited efficiently, effectively and streamline interview processes. While automation and AI allow HR professionals to shift through a large number of resumes quickly, virtual agents help in scheduling the interviews and conducting them. The HR domain has shifted from the process of hiring and has changed from manual work to more automated, which saves a huge amount of time.

The Virtual Agents features are:

  • Provides the candidate with accurate and instant responses quickly
  • Consistent communication with every individual without engaging manually
  • Enhances credibility by gathering feedback of the candidates
  • Provides insight into the behavioral patterns of candidates through video interviews
  • Improves employee retention by creating a consistent experience with HR

Blockchain: With blockchain technology, organizations can connect with vendors, contractors, third-party distributors. Blockchain candidates applying for a job to exchange information in a digital environment through a trusted network. Resources can be given access to information in relevant steps during the process of recruitment all the while securing the data.

The Blockchain Features are:

  • Creation of smart contracts for temporary or contractual workforce allowing automatic payment release.
  • Employee records such as performance history or medical conditions can be encrypted and shared when required in tokenized form.
  • Blockchain enables compliance and regulations which ensures employees’ control over their personal data.
  • Blockchain enables reliable payment processes without intermediaries like banks.

Alcor’s HR Technology – Thought and Built to Suffice the Need of Today and Tomorrow

TalentRun: The evolution of HR technology has allowed easy recruitment of the workforce. Alcor has automated the HR process with TalentRun. It is a full-stack 360° automated environment built on the robust yet fast, single view, machine learning capable Cloud platform. In the TalentRun environment, Applicant-Employer privacy and confidentiality are maintained.  TalentRun users saved an estimated $42,600 annually in a recent Return on Investment (ROI) study done with an average of 250 employees’ organization

High5: Alcor has created an intra-social platform called High5, which allows employees and colleagues to appreciate and recognize each other. It is a fully automated, seamless, and collaborative platform that makes the employee appreciation and recognition process easy. This solution is aimed to create appreciative workplace culture, improve morale, unite employees and teams, retain employees’ long term, and motivate them to accomplish more.

Reflective: Going through every employee’s work record, their performance had traditionally led to a huge volume of paperwork and time consumption. With HR tech, organizations can now have a paperless, secure & collaborative 360° employee appraisal review system.  With Alcor’s Reflective, the performance appraisal system has been automated which reduces the cost and time they spend on manual HR planning and processing. Reflective reduces HR-related costs for an organization by 40% Year on Year. The efficiency and productivity of your HR team increase by nearly 35%, giving them more time to focus on complex tasks like talent forecasting, and pipeline succession.

Technology’s Future Influence in HR Domain

The human resource industry will witness technology playing a bigger role in aligning the workforce and connecting employers with their employees. With machine learning, automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence, the future expects to see a partnership between HR professionals and technology for carrying out crucial HR tasks. With the development of technology in the future, the industry can expect a more efficient and seamless business process.

Oracle EPM, Incorta, Power BI, and Tableau

Analytics in Today’s World

Businesses today are using analytics to increase efficiency, revenue and bring informed transformation in their enterprise by leveraging data. Through the process of Business Analytics, enterprises are making significant improvements by gathering data and analyzing them. Data analytics plays a key role in this digital world for creating new business frameworks and identify new and better opportunities. Irrespective of the size of a business, AI, data, and analytics services together enables them to deliver value to their customers by providing them intuitive and agile processes.

The analytics tools that are used by businesses today are quite advanced. They have the capability of executing analytics processes right from data collection to report preparation. These reports will enable predictive analysis based on which businesses can create strategies to manage capital loss and risks.

Benefits

Enterprises must understand the important role analytics play for their enterprise. Following are some of the benefits that enterprise can avail:

Data Leverage: Any feedback or opinions presented by customers on social platforms or business websites is a form of data. Using this, enterprises can have a better understanding of customer’s requirements.

Optimize Operation: Using Analytics, businesses can optimize their business operation. From understanding demand surges to maintaining supply enterprises can offer sales, discount and price products based on their shortage or peak.

Visualize Data: Visualization of the business data using analytics makes it easy to design reports and set goals. This also allows better exploring of the information, analysis them, and create an action plan.

Strategy Forecast: Analytics enables businesses to get an insight into their customer’s behavior for a certain period. By making an observation of these repetitive behaviors, enterprises can forecast strategies that will fit with their client’s needs.

Alcor’s Capabilities

With data growing faster than ever, businesses are looking for better ways to analyze business data and drive informed and quicker decisions. The certified functional and domain cloud analytics experts in Alcor’s team hold expertise in delivering agility and analytics solutions with the following tools:

 

Oracle EPM:

Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud is a highly configurable business process—that includes industry best practices, features, and usability—to align with the customer’s strategy with execution. Oracle EPM is an analytics platform that has a high capability of data modeling which provides businesses with reliable and standardized data reporting. It also offers agility to perform data preparation, data integration, and reporting.

Capability:

Oracle EPM Cloud assists enterprises to adapt to the changing compliance and business requirements by offering faster delivery, improved controls, and accurate insights to the stakeholders of the enterprises. With this platform, businesses of all sizes can manage their data flexibly. This enables data management and agile business transformation.

 Features:

  • Provides roadmaps of analytics of the future-state in a value-added manner using Oracle Analytics and EPM
  • Enables interactive browsing of data and multi-scenario comparison with dynamic reporting
  • Provides analytics in dashboard-style using modern graphics such as map layouts, tiles, and waterfalls
  • Facilitates reporting of volumes of business data such as historical analysis over multi-years.
  • Leverages details of business data for predictive forecasting.

 

Tableau

Tableau is a leading analytics tool that can take in any type of raw data and transform them into an understandable format with speed and ease. The visualization created by this tool is very easy and therefore it enables even a non-technical individual to customize their dashboard. This helps in building data culture in enterprises.  The intuitive interface of Tableau is capable of complete high-end analytics projects rapidly.

 Capabilities:

Tableau allows segmentation with simple drag and drop. From creating product categories to projecting sales over a financial year, everything can be featured on the dashboard. In addition, Tableau promotes intuitive flow as well as flexible and rapid cohort analysis. The flexibility of Tableau’s front-end can be leveraged for input capabilities, modifying calculations, and test various scenarios. The platform has a strong calculation language which enables augmenting analysis and manipulation of complex data.

 Features:

  • Tableau’s offers an easy option to collaborate with different users and share data securely using, sheets, visualization, and dashboards.
  • With the availability of several formats and layouts, users can get a wholesome view of their data.
  • Through a secure connection, users can tap on a plethora of data sources to fetch data such as spreadsheets, data warehouses, cloud data, and big data, etc.
  • The Mobile version of Tableau gives users the option and flexibility to operate from their smartphones.
  • Tableau’s robust security helps in securing data for user access and data connection.

 

Incorta

For businesses looking for agility with less roadblock, innovation, and insight, data analysis technology Incorta is the answer for them. This platform offers data experience while giving its users the means to find, analyze, enrich and act on their business data with simplicity and speed. It allows users to have a deeper and detailed understanding of their business thus arming them with the knowledge to make accurate decisions.

 Capabilities:

Incorta consolidates analytics function and essential data together for data storage, data acquisition, data visualization, and data exploration. In addition, users can connect with data sources and build a data store that is compact versatile, and caters to several workloads. By unifying data pipelines, data analytics and data science users are able to process huge volumes of data. In addition, Incorta offers personalized dashboards and consolidated connections to several data sources.

 Features: 

  • Incorta provides a responsive dashboard for data visualization which users can edit, add information, and share.
  • The platform’s security parameter offers encryption of data. This allows users to share data without leaking out any information.
  • Incorta offers direct mapping of data wherein, it draws data from the source and aggregated them under one source, ready for analysis.
  • Data visualization can be presented in a different graphical manner which makes it easy to identify trends and patterns of the enterprise.
  • The pluggable architecture of Incorta allows its users to add data from cloud applications or any other source.

 

Power BI

Power BI is a data analysis service that is cloud-based. It is an assemblage of connectors and applications that work together to transform unrelated data sources into visually immersive, coherent, and interactive insight Irrespective of the data present on the cloud, data warehouse, or a spreadsheet, Power BI allows its users to connect with their data source and extract information assets.

 Capabilities:

Power BI makes it possible for users to see all their data on a single platform by creating an analytical environment for managing data and sharing reports. Their live dashboard provides performance indicators based on the enterprise’s data both locally and in the cloud. This largely benefits businesses as they can get an understanding of the progress of their business, its profit- and loss-making areas. Based on this information, businesses can make strategies.

Features:

  • Real-time dashboards that allow visualization and supports updating of data at the same time.
  • Customized schedule updates of data for keeping data sources and Power BI data synchronized locally.
  • Machine learning integration in Power BI allows users to visualize machine learning algorithms by simply a drag and drop and connection of data modules.
  • With the application of advanced algorithms, users can get an interesting insight into their business data.
  • Through Power BI, business users can get their data from different locations and manage them.

 

Conclusion

Irrespective of the type or the size of the industry, everyone is leveraging data and data technologies to improve the functionality of their business create solutions for their customers that will impact them in every conceivable manner. The science of data analytics is being used across various industry verticals including Agriculture, Retail, Banking, Government and Public sector, and more. Data Analytics provides enterprises the insight for their performance improvement. It adds to their knowledge about the target audience they are catering to, personalize their content, develop strategies, assess their ad campaigns, and their budget. With the use of Analytics tools, enterprises are unleashing the full potential of their complex data and gain the ability to store, model, manage, and maintain data at scale.

AccessFlow – Bringing Visibility to all Accesses on a Unified Platform

AccessFlow – Bringing Visibility to all Accesses on a Unified Platform

In a complex ERP environment, keeping a track of internal access and permissions is one of the major challenges faced by modern organizations. With constant onboarding and offboarding processes of resources, promotions and high turnover rates happening daily, it becomes quite hard to keep a tab on access management. It is therefore of utmost importance to ensure that the right people in an organization have the right access to the ERP environment for the appropriate amount of time.

Automating this end-to-end ERP access authorization process using a compliant Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution not only avoids time-consuming and resource-intensive activities but also simplifies the entire process by reducing manual intervention and human errors.

AccessFlow

AccessFlow is an automated, self-service access management system built on the ServiceNow platform. It offers seamless integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) environments –

  • On-Premise Oracle EBS from R12.x version onwards
  • On-Premise SAP S/4HANA and future versions

AccessFlow is the Enterprise Access Management Solution that connects your active directory or any IAM tools to CMDB, for requesting access.​ It maintains and protects Enterprise Access, Privileged Access, Role-based access, Access both on-premises and on cloud, Manual or scheduled access review/attestation, Owner accountability, Authorized approval process, Dashboards and reporting.

In addition to simplifying access management to ERP environments and improving visibility, the key differentiators of AccessFlow are:

  • Centralized Access Management
  • Enhance business productivity and save cost
  • Stay Compliant
  • Deliver Superior User Experiences
  •  Seamless mobile support

Key Features of AccessFlow

  1. End to End Integration with ERP Package – Oracle EBS and SAP S/4HANA On-Premise​
  • Account Management: Create/Deactivate, SAP/Oracle accounts from AccessFlow ​
  • Add/Remove Entitlements: Permissions for the SAP/Oracle user accounts can be added/removed.​
  • Account Reconciliation: Automatically reconcile the permissions added from SAP and Oracle side to AccessFlow
  • Custom Integration with Cloud ERP can also be offered to clients. For more details, please access the deck
  1. e-Signature ​: The organization can enable the digital signature feature on its configuration catalogue, which means that if access for any users needs to be approved/attested, an additional authentication mechanism will be used. This will help the organization to comply with 21 CFR Part 11 regulation​

 

  1. UI Changes for Better Usability
  • Changes in the Navigation Bar
  • Improved Access Request Page
  • Reduced the number of clicks on Review & Approval page
  • Few Catalogs added/removed

Business Benefits of AccessFlow

  • Process efficiency
  • Compliance
  • ERP integration
  • Cost saving
  • Centralized data
  • Efficient onboarding and offboarding process
  • Increase employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Reduce IT risk
  • Dashboards and Reporting
  • Reduce admin tasks and human errors

Cost Benefit Analysis

ERP Framework is complex in nature, and it requires a specialized skill set to manage the system​. Integration of ERP and other IAM systems necessitates both the tool licenses and additional integration costs​. AccessFlow not only helps to bring down the cost but also makes it easy to access, even for those with no knowledge of the ERP framework

  • Streamlined approach: AccessFlow capabilities change into a streamlined approach that offers improved agility, scalability, and efficiency, all at a reduced cost. This enables the business to support current and future projects while still addressing the challenges raised by user interface demands.​
  • Application from the store: If you have a basic ServiceNow license for AccessFlow, you can download the Application from the store. Though the integration work is not free it is much lower than other tools in the market.
  • Automates the access request: It is a self-service portal that automates the access request process without requiring manual intervention from the system administrator. This in turn saves a huge amount of money.

When compared with the annual support fee, integration cost, and license cost of other tools in the market, AccessFlow offers a 90% reduction in the cost. This enables 90% increase in efficiency of the process.

Segregation of Duties

Segregation of Duties have been implemented to ensure that preventive internal control mechanism has been enforced to help organizations in meeting mandates. This will assist in reducing potential malicious behavior for high-risk and sensitive tasks that are distributed across several authorities in a corporate ecosystem. The implementation of SoD will be beneficial in three major ways:

  • It will prevent data theft and fraudulent activities carried out intentionally
  • Maintain Regulatory Compliance
  • Gain 360-degree visibility into the riskiest access and access combination

Process efficiency and Productivity

Integration can improve the efficiency and productivity of processes. You obtain real-time data and the ability to see who has access to which modules. This ensures you will still be up to date on the status of access requests, and you will be able to revoke access quickly if necessary. AccessFlow provides a centralized report that automates the admin task, thus eliminating system administrator and reduces human error.

When dealing with any typical tool, new employees or individuals seeking access to the ERP system requires 7 to 10 working days. In addition, there is a long list of personnel required for the process such as – HR, Reporting Manager, Department head, System admin, CIO/ERP heads and System Admin, etc. With AccessFlow, the complete process can be done in one or fewer working days.

Register here for a free demo now and explore more on Alcor’s IAM offering to bring your access management to life!

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Alcor

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! At Alcor, we are proud to uplift and celebrate the cultural diversity and valuable contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) employees that have enriched the cultural fabric of Alcor and the world beyond.

Meet Ziying “Magic” Tan, Senior Principal at Alcor Solutions, Inc.

We are dedicated to building a culture of diversity and inclusion and would like to take this opportunity to recognize the contributions of our Asian-American Senior Principal Ziying “Magic” Tan who has been an integral part of the Alcor family for more than a decade now. Magic is a great leader who brings in years of business expertise and strategic and critical thinking. He is someone who sees the big picture, creates a future vision, and works towards that vision with utmost dedication. He inspires his team members to be equally passionate about achieving the final goal. His humble, positive, and never-give-up attitude makes him a true leader. We are very grateful to have him on the team!

Amit Singh, Chief Executive Officer at Alcor Solutions, Inc. says, “Magic is an excellent leader, leading with empathy and by setting an example of positivity, inclusion, and hard work. With an amazing Can Do attitude, Magic is one of the pillars of Alcor and it is indeed a joy working shoulder to shoulder with him, as we scale Alcor to greater heights.”

Here’s an insightful tete-a-tete with Magic.

1. What has been your experience at work, here at Alcor?
Alcor is like an extended family to me! It’s exciting and rewarding to work with a group of like-minded people, who share the same passion as you. Some of the great things about Alcor include:

Resilience – Just like any other organization, we have had challenging situations along Alcor’s journey to success. Alcor not only would show extreme resolution in overcoming the challenges but would always emerge stronger, transforming into a better version of itself. In a fast-changing environment today, this aspect of our organization is critical to our success.

Trust and Transparency – There is a high degree of trust and transparency across the organization. Employees at different levels are entrusted to make decisions – that are best for customers and Alcor. Everyone at the organization is welcomed to have their opinions and thoughtful disagreement is encouraged. The leaders in this company mostly serve as advisors and enablers for team members who are closest to the situation to make decisions.

Entrepreneurship and Self-Motivation – At Alcor, we have set up our organization to encourage entrepreneurship and self-driven initiatives at all levels. Business innovations are not only driven at the company and practice level but within each practice – aligning with business demands. Organizational COEs and disciplines are organically set up and driven by highly skilled individuals.
Alcor’s product development arm encourages employees to come up with ideas and makes sure to invest in outstanding ones. Following all the research and implementation stages of new product development, these ideas are transformed into the best-of-breed product offerings.

Diversity – At Alcor, we are committed to encouraging a culture of diversity and inclusion. We celebrate diverse cultural traditions within the company on a regular basis and enjoy a sense of global community. Inputs from every individual, every background are heard and respected.

2. Who is Magic? What motivates you and demotivates you?
I am extremely driven – once I am able to internalize a mission, I will go through anything to achieve it to its fullest extent. I am motivated by being surrounded with people who share my excitement and believe in achieving success together. What gives me the most joy is seeing my colleagues and customers being as passionate for a cause as I am. On the other hand, having and spreading negative sentiments when challenges arise is what demotivates me.

Motivation

3. What are your hobbies?
Obviously, playing and watching a basketball match is what makes my day. I still have sleepless nights when my favorite hometown team has a bad loss😊. I am a person who likes being outdoors – I enjoy hiking, camping, and anything that brings me closer to nature. Witnessing the beauty outdoors, listening to sounds – are such exhilarating experiences!

4. How has your heritage shaped the person you are today? Why are you proud to be an Asian-American?
I grew up observing the nitty-gritties of my family business of manufacturing, back in China. That, plus the education I received in my early years taught me to be humble, have a high level of work ethics, possess the strength to overcome extreme adversity in work and life, and willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the greater good – These values reflect who I am today. I am proud to be an Asian- American for being able to cherish the beauty of different cultural elements and able to make an impact in such a diverse country with endless possibilities.

Parents are my strength

5. What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
It means this country values and celebrates my rich heritage, cultural diversity, background, growth, and experiences. It gives me the motivation to continue to excel and contribute to the community.

Thank you for your great contributions towards Alcor’s success, Magic! Cheers to many more accolades!

SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ Alcor announces the extension of their product, AccessFlow for bringing complete visibility to all accesses on a unified platform

Alcor, a leading global provider of cloud solutions, security, implementation services and helping organizations with digital transformation has extended their product, AccessFlow for bringing complete visibility to all accesses on a unified platform. AccessFlow is an automated, self-service access management product built on the ServiceNow® platform that now offers seamless integration with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) environments – Oracle EBS and SAP S/4HANA.

Built to improve visibility and simplify access management to ERP environments, AccessFlow enables businesses to:

  • Centralize Access Management: Seamless integration with major ERP environments ensures true governance and offers a single source of information with consolidated reporting and dashboards. This enhances visibility to all ERP accesses in one single place and assists stakeholders in faster and better decision making.

  • Enhance business productivity and save cost: The secure, user-friendly, and self-service portal of AccessFlow eliminates manual intervention, significantly enhances process efficiencies, and substantially reduces cost. In addition, AccessFlow’s extensible and efficient architecture allows easy modifications and upgrades, making the process more agile and scalable.

  • Stay Compliant: Automation of the entire access management process assist in maintaining data integrity and extends audit support. In addition, the e-signature feature of AccessFlow provides an additional authentication mechanism and helps businesses comply with 21 CFR part 11 regulation.
     
  • Deliver Superior User Experiences: Customized and intuitive workflows that require little to no specialized skills for managing ERP access offer an always-on user experience. Seamless mobile support offered by AccessFlow enhances employee satisfaction and empowers them to stay connected anytime, anywhere.

“The new release of AccessFlow takes access provisioning to a new level by offering seamless integration with SAP and Oracle. It is better and sharper with cutting edge UI, efficient search, brand-new e-signature feature, and improved on-the-go mobile features.” says Padmapriya Ravishekhar, Senior Architect at Alcor Solutions, Inc.

Rajashekar Rao Kambla, ERP Practice Director at Alcor Solutions, Inc. adds on the AccessFlow integrated with ERP launch: “We bring the newest AccessFlow version with a real-time plug and play interface with the top ERP providers. This unified integration with Oracle and SAP will reduce time, effort, and cost up to 90 percent.”

Alcor is hosting a webinar “AccessFlow – Gain visibility to end-to-end ERP environment access provisioning and compliance.” on April 29 at 11 am PDT.

To join the webinar and discover how AccessFlow can reduce cost, increase business productivity, and improve overall user experience, please register here: http://www.alcortech.com/webinars/accessflow-gain-visibility-end-end-erp-access-provisioning-compliance/

For more information on Alcor Solutions, please visit our website at www.alcortech.com, follow us on  LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Alcor Solutions, Inc. is a San Francisco, California based company that provides global cloud advisory and implementation services to clients in multiple geographies. Their clients include global Fortune 500 as well as leading organizations in multiple industry verticals. Founded in 2008, Alcor Solutions Inc.’s focus has been building strong competency on cutting edge technologies and advising clients in implementing them. They are passionate about their thought leadership and believe that successful IT implementations result equally from good strategy and technology excellence. Alcor is Elite ServiceNow® Partner, AWS Consulting Partner, Oracle® Gold Partner, and also works with several other technologies including Microsoft, Salesforce, FireEye and more. Alcor Enabling Cloud™ is a registered trademark of Alcor.

Recognizing Employees Every day – A little appreciation goes a long way!

Employee recognition has long been a cornerstone of an effective management. It not only amplifies corporate culture but also improves employee productivity and reduces turnover.

“As per a recent survey, 63% of employees who feel appreciated and recognized said they are very unlikely to switch job in the next 6 months.”

So, the question is – why restrict it to only certain occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, employee appreciation day, and annual reviews? Why only March 5 and not every day can be celebrated as an employee appreciation day? Why not build and promote a culture of appreciation where managers can appreciate their team members and employees can praise their colleagues every time they want?

At Alcor, we understand that these small gestures of appreciation from managers or teammates goes a long way! It helps in building and promoting a culture of recognition, happiness, and motivation across the organization. Most significantly, employee experience is elevated far beyond and they truly feel valued! That is why, we believe in choosing the right recognition strategy, the one that aligns with our business goals.

We empower our teams to create an appreciative workplace culture by using an amazing employee appreciation platform. It is a modern solution and provides a user friendly platform to amplify connections and build great work ethics among employees.

It allows presenting and receiving points to and from peers with the flexibility to choose gift cards or cash redemptions. More than just a “Thank You” note, it offers the excitement that employees look up to! With this solution, personal milestone celebrations such as birthdays and work anniversaries have become a lot easier. Employees can offer a desired number of reward points to the relevant employee on single click of a button. Not only this, employees can also share how they feel.

This platform binds employees from different user groups and has a direct impact on the most crucial aspects of our day-to-day business including productivity, morale, and purpose. It is always good to have your employees feel fun and motivated at the same time.

If you would like to learn how Alcor’s home-grown solution, High5 – a solution built on the ServiceNow platform can be a game-changer in elevating your employee recognition and appreciation policy, contact us today at information@alcortech.com

Discover What’s New in ServiceNow HR Service Delivery (HRSD)- Playbooks

In business terms, a playbook is defined as- A plan which consists of process workflows, standard operating procedures that outline a consistent response. It reflects an approach defining predetermined responses to a given business process well ahead in time.

Imagine a scenario, an HR professional from the onboarding team (using HR Agent workspace) is performing the daily activities of onboarding new hires into the organization. HRSD dictates onboarding process will have multiple activity sets like Preboarding, Day 1, Day 30, Day 90 “milestones” and corresponding activities to complete these milestones. Putting this time-consuming activity into just 3 lines in a blog is really undermining the time, cost, and business value sensitivity of doing things correctly and at the correct time.

Elaborating the same example, a little further consider the major milestones in onboarding a new hire:

Infographic 1: Example of onboarding steps in an organization

Challenges:

  • Prioritize your teams’ work
  • View progress of activities across different departments
  • Having a central repository of all SoPs and forms
  • View all completed activities
  • Next activities in scope

Wouldn’t it be great to have a single pane solution that an employee can use to see the workflow of associated tasks and steps to resolve/complete it? Here, I would like to introduce “PLAYBOOKS” from ServiceNow. A playbook takes a workflow and breaks it into multiple stages. Each stage includes:

  • A list of activities or steps that the agent needs to perform.
  • Status indicators that display the current state of each activity or step.
  • Check-boxes and counters that indicate where an agent is in the workflow.

As an HRSD consultant, you would think this concept is familiar, taking a workflow and then breaking it down into activity and activity set… This is a LIFECYCLE EVENT!! And you would be spot on! Playbooks can be created using the Process Automation Designer platform feature, a similar feature available in HRSD under Lifecycle events. The only catch here is to integrate this playbook into the HR Agent workspace so that we get a single pane, one-stop solution, I was talking about earlier. The playbook can have multiple activity sets in a lifecycle event case that also contains multiple activities, being able to view all aspects. Using an accordion button, the HR agent can expand, or collapse activity sets to view the activities within. Within an activity set, tasks are displayed with details like state, owners, and can act.

The below screenshot looks at the basic structure of a playbook. It resides in the HR Agent Workspace as a TAB on the Life Cycle Event case. This TAB is visible only once the LE case is Ready or WIP. It gives detailed insights on the Lifecycle Event, Activity Set and Activities:

Screenshot 1: Playbook screen (Source: ServiceNow Product Documentation)

Features of Playbook are:

  1. The Assigned agents can log their comments and work logs into the playbook activities
  2. Check and work on the HR case/task on the same windowpane
  3. Manage and/or Refer to the help aids, training videos, and catalog items in the same playbook activity stream
  4. Cancel and revert work done in a lifecycle event case

By the way! Do not like the Out of box (OOB) default playbook experience? NO PROBLEM! Service now is here with its customized HR Playbook Experiences. This is a really great feature to tweak and customize these documents based on your organization’s needs! These are as simple as changing a few configurations and setting up activity overrides so that the final playbook will look different from what OOB pre-configured playbooks.

Infographic 2: Components of HR Playbook Experience

To conclude, playbook is a powerful feature introduced by Service Now to apply their motto “WORKFLOW IT”! It aids the users to complete complex multi-team, multi-process tasks by providing step by step guidance and integrates it with HR Lifecycle event cases to manage the life cycle of specific customer process requirements.

P.S: I mentioned HR Agent workspace a lot in this blog. This is also a great feature introduced for the HRSD module in the Paris release, but discussion on that is for another day! 😊

About The Author:

Manas Chafekar is a Senior Consultant at Alcor Solutions, Inc. with 9 years of IT experience. He has extensive knowledge of ITSM, HRSD, FSM, ITIL- Service Operations and Continuous Service improvements.

Discover “What’s New” in ServiceNow HR Service Delivery (HRSD)

Providing the right message to the right audience at the right time (3Rs) is critical to any organization. The usual way for this type of engagement is to send out emails, put in information periodically on different channels, and follow up to ensure the success of your message. This is really time-consuming, challenging, and requires extensive planning. To ease your journey, ServiceNow can help you package your content into campaigns and deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

You may now probably ask “Why would I require to utilize this feature from ServiceNow HRSD”? Well, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish from your campaign. You may want to Deflect, Drive Action, or communicate something to your employees. Let us take an example. In your organization, you would like the employees to use Virtual Agent (another awesome feature from Service Now, FYI!) to reduce the incident count for repeated, low priority IT issues. You can set up a campaign (periodically) to send out top rated message content to drive this behaviour. Another example will be to enrol for health insurance or 401 K benefits. Here, the HR team can set up a campaign exclusively for this and display your content on portal, mobile UI, etc. in one go. An organization-wide event is coming up and you want people to know about it across platforms? Well, you guessed the right tool to use- CAMPAIGNS it is!

ServiceNow lists a few features for its Campaign Application (called Content Automation) on its Production documentation page (link: https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/paris-hr-service-delivery/page/product/human-resources/concept/campaigns-hr.html), such as:

  • Utilize HR criteria and flexible time windows to alleviate inappropriate communications
  • Enhance employee engagement
  • Reduce dependence on email
  • Augment employee experience and deflect cases by pushing content

Let us dive deeper into the process of implementing a campaign:

Stages of implementing a Campaign in an organization:

Layered Campaign Structure:

Based on the information we have; we can now design a functional flow of a campaign HR wants to run for an organization. This campaign is for their Annual HR meet (all Virtual, of course!):

An example to explain the concept of Campaign:

As a closing note to this blog, content automation and campaign is a powerful tool that will help the HR communications team utilize the power of portals- desktop and mobile to effectively communicate their messages. It is ideal for organizations that have started leveraging the power of portals or the ones who are struggling to manage their communications via emails and other manual efforts. It makes the communications appear structured, professional, and can truly lead to better employee experience and behavioural changes intended by the management of the organization.

About The Author:

Manas Chafekar is a Senior Consultant at Alcor Solutions, Inc. with 9 years of IT experience. He has extensive knowledge of ITSM, HRSD, FSM, ITIL- Service Operations and Continuous Service improvements.

The Process is More Important than the Tool

How many times have you heard “We need a tool to fix “X”? This happens very often, and we, IT professionals are the worst offenders – we are all enamored with the bright and shiny tool. We listen to the sales executive pitching the tool and promising that all our issues will go away and it will offer us an experience of rainbows and unicorns.

But the story changes after implementation!
It’s not exactly fixing what was promised, but the challenges now start creeping in.
What happens rather relates to the quote “putting lipstick on a pig”.

So, it’s not a tool that can fix the broken processes. Instead we, IT professionals need to take the time to understand our processes.

You cannot do this in a silo

Wondering where to start from? You must have people who are closely involved in the process – They clearly understand how it works. Connect with them and map out the process to identify where does the breaking points lie. There are probably more than one. This can take time and investing in that time is well worth the cost.

The next important thing to have is a Process Map. I have heard many times “We have it mapped out. It is in some drawer or SharePoint site”. That is great, but does everyone follow it? How many people know it exists? I would guess probably no on both counts. Creating a process map is backed by good intentions, but what happens next? – people adjust the process to fit different issues. Soon after, the map is out of date. If the process is not followed and measured in time, then it is as good as not having one.

You may ask, how do you keep people from deviating from the process and keeping documentation up to date? One way is to create Standard Work Sheets. These sheets explain the steps necessary to do the work and should be followed. The sheet should also explain why each step is important so that new employees understand why the steps are important. If a change is necessary to the Standard Worksheet, a change process for updating is necessary so that the owner of the process is aware of the change. This is very important to keep things up to date.

Now speaking of analysis, how can you improve your process if you are not measuring it?
Without tracking metrics is like driving your car blindfolded, you have no idea if you’re on the right road. You don’t know if you’re improving the process or causing it to be worse. Thus, it’s important to understand Metrics – whether you’re winning or failing during the process. So, spend some time and figure out what metrics are important for your project.

Saying it again!

The problems that follow poor process management gradually impacts efficiency, user experience, productivity, and business revenue. So, the process is more important than the tool. Take the time to invest in it, document it, and create a change process to keep it up to date. In the long run, it will save you both money and time.

About The Author:

Clay Johnson is a Senior Consultant at Alcor Solutions, Inc. with more than 35 years of IT experience. He has extensive knowledge of ITSM, ServiceNow, Lean and Process Improvement leadership.

Accelerate Your Cloud Migration with Alcor’s Cloud Catapult

Alcor’s Cloud Catapult is a set of Tools to automate your cloud migration from Oracle EBusiness Suite (EBS) to cloud. It is a low cost, rapid and an accurate Cloud Migration tool. It is built for Oracle’s E Business Suite ERP, HCM and CRM Cloud Migration.

Alcor’s Cloud Catapult consists of: Assessor, Configurator and Auto Data Migrator

  • Assessor:

Automated Assessment tools help evaluate your current E Business Suite instance. Alcor’s Assessment tool will retrieve existing Set ups, Profiles, Flex field structures, Ledger structure, Organization structure , Reports, Customizations and Personalization so that assessment is done quickly and cloud migration Impact analysis is seamless.

  • Configurator:

This tool help in EBS to Cloud process mapping. Process to Process mapping is done from EBS to cloud, so that process configurations can be moved to cloud using auto Configurator, thereby saving time and efforts for configuration.

  • Auto Data Migrator:

Automated Data Migration tool migrates EBS Data to Cloud. It encompasses pre-built scripts to Extract, Transform and Load using Auto Data Migrator. Alcor’s Data Extraction and Migration Scripts extracts data from EBS Covering Masters, Transaction Data and Set Up Details. This would significantly reduce time for data migration ensuring accuracy and enhanced efficiency.  Alcor’s Automated Reconciliation Scripts will reconcile migrated data with source data ensuring precision.

Cloud Catapult Effectivity

The use of Cloud Catapult will reduce the Cloud Migration cost by 30 % – resulting in significant savings of time and money. Alcor tool makes Cloud Migration possible in just 14 weeks.

Structure Change advisory

If you would need to change Multi Org access control and Key structures while migrating to cloud, Alcor would provide advisory services on the impact of either Multi Org access Control Change or Key Structure Changes so that appropriate decisions could be made.

Contact us at information@alcortech.com to leverage automated tools and accelerate your journey to cloud migration.

About The Author:

Rajashekar Rao Kambla, Oracle – Director at Alcor Solutions, Inc. has more than 21+ years of experience on Oracle Applications on both E-Business suite and Oracle Fusion cloud Applications and Oracle Analytics (EPM).

ESM Migration – Moving Custom Content Guidance

ESM Migration – Moving Custom Content Guidance

Getting ready to transition legacy solutions, including current ServiceNow instances – ServiceNow Paris, Quebec, Rome, San Diego and Tokyo? You’re not alone. Enterprises that are looking to drive digital transformation across business applications often realize it’s the best way to improve agility, performance and save cost and effort.

However, migration to ServiceNow can be tedious due to lack of implementation expertise or knowledge gaps within the current staff and service providers. This series of blogs will share global transition experience from platform owners, outsourcing transition experts and architects across technical, solution and platform to help Enterprise Service Management (ESM) Platform owners, sourcing advisors and contract negotiators gain practical insights to simplify the migration process. There is a lot to cover, so this post is divided into six parts.

Lets’ Start

This is part 1 and will provide considerations for migrating legacy code and data into out-of-the-box (OOTB) ServiceNow tables. Current licensing for ServiceNow restricts the number of custom tables that can be created.  Custom tables lead to more testing and possible impact when upgrading ServiceNow.  New capabilities are added twice a year – each release may allow custom work to be replaced by out-of-box capabilities. Alcor has experience assessing legacy systems and in the ServiceNow data schema including the Common Service Data Model now at version 3.0

Alcor has migrated legacy transaction and foundation (user, company, groups) data into ServiceNow many times. However, Alcor does not recommended this approach. It is difficult to retain legacy relationships i.e. CI records, group records, user records, and previously submitted incidents from inactive employees.  A strong consideration should be given to a Greenfield implementation where only active data is brought into the ServiceNow instance (such as that discovered by tools or that is loaded as new records for only open transactions)

Consider the following to 1) minimize the effort and 2) maximize the business value of moving any code or data from a legacy system into a new fresh installation on the latest version (major release) of ServiceNow.

The actual effort will depend on the amount of customization and technical debt in current tables; client production ServiceNow instance field name changes, choice list modifications, new fields, field data type changes, and field format. The full effort will include exporting the data and then configuring the import into ServiceNow. Most often the System Import utility will be used which may require pre- and post- import scripts in addition to a transform map along with small sample tests to assure success. See “Import Sets” in docs.servicenow.com to learn more.

If all data is migrated this may include importing data that has no business use such as records

1) past the data retention period

2) closed tickets

3) configuration items (CIs) no longer being used

If OOTB tables are loaded with transaction records from other systems this may require addressing systemIDs to assure they are unique and using legacy data types which may differ from the previous system. Global Unique Identifier (GUID) often must be retained or synchronized with ServiceNow identifiers making the import data mapping a larger effort.

Migrating to OOTB tables will require about 75% more effort than migrating the data to custom tables.  This is based on actual experience migrating the following tables of data from existing ServiceNow legacy production instance into tables in a new out-of-the-box (OOTB) ServiceNow production instance.

  • Incident
  • Problem
  • Change
  • Request Item
  • Approval

If all records including users, groups, CIs, categories and choice lists in the client instances are brought into the new ServiceNow production instance this effort will increase. Finally, the assumption is made that CI relationships will not be migrated but rather discovered by tools integrated with the new ServiceNow instance.

Greenfield Definition – A project that lacks constraints imposed by prior work. The analogy is to construction on new land where there is no need to work within the constraints of existing buildings or infrastructure. In software development, a greenfield project is started on a new fresh install of the latest software on the latest infrastructure and the SDLC is progress by cloning up from Dev to UAT to Production only until the first Go Live.  All integrations are established new to this greenfield SDLC set.

It’s Time to Get Going!

In this blog, we determined what to do with the solution design and data in legacy tools especially when the desired state is to migrating into a new ServiceNow production instance.

Next in this series, we will consider:

Part 2 – Migrating into an existing ServiceNow instance
Part 3 – Migrating record history including comments
Part 4 – Migrating legacy system date to an external data source
Part 5 – Impact of Moving Data from One Table to a Different Table
Part 6 – Audit considerations

Contact Alcor Solutions, Inc. at information@alcortech.com for Managed Services for your ServiceNow-centric Platform, Multi-Vendor Management, Service Reliability or more targeted advisory services, implementation, and operational support. Alcor can accelerate or augment your efforts to fully utilize ServiceNow as the center of a powerful corporate platform. How are you progressing? Provide us your own experience, questions and comments below.

About The Author:

Brent J Knipfer is a Chief Architect at Alcor Solutions, Inc.
ServiceNow Platform Architect since 2009
Remedy Solution Architect since 1998
Global Service Transition Manager
Global Service Desk, CMDB and Service Catalog Product Manager
20+ Years of Solution Design and Outsource Migration Experience

Priyanka is Alcor’s Employee Of The Month | Congratulations!

Priyanka is Alcor’s Featured Employee for June 2020! Priyanka Kumari, Project Coordinator at Alcor Solutions, Inc. is passionate about staying on top of industry trends by accelerating her learning curve and implementing the knowledge gained to solve complex business problems. Priyanka is a mom of a 6 year old and her family is her lifeline. She loves doing experimental cooking, watching horror movies and surfing the internet in her spare time.

James Turner, Director – Managed Services – Alcor Solutions, Inc and Priyankas’s manager says, “Priyanka (aka PV) has been focused on the Project Record & Resource Plan maintenance, Invoicing (for several Practices) and recently assuming the BSA role for our production instance. Her diligence and push forward attitude bring many pieces together in finance, resourcing and project components seamlessly. She is always upbeat and willing to go the extra mile for any person or team. She is a great asset to Alcor, and we look forward to her continued efforts, meeting presence and laugh! Glad to have her on the team!”

Priyanka Agrawal, Service Delivery Manager – Managed Services, adds “PV (as we all address her)  is a key resource  in handling and coordinating   most of the project management activities related to Resource Plans, Project records, invoicing and billing for all projects across Alcor.”

Here is an insightful tete-a-tete with Priyanka:

  1. What has been your experience at work here at Alcor – please elaborate on self-motivation, team dynamics, people strengths etc.

Alcor is a fantastic place to work, comprising of transparent leadership and incredible company culture. The focus on work-life balance is remarkable here and I can’t imagine myself working anywhere else. People at Alcor are great – willing to help, passionate and really caring about what they are doing. It is so much fun to work with people who are committed to accomplishing business objectives and aligned to achieve the company’s vision. Each day here brings a new and exciting challenge – a journey worth treading!

Senior leadership team at Alcor always puts employees first and care about their overall wellbeing. The managers are always willing to help and take time out of their busy schedule to motivate teams and offer a helping hand as and when needed. I’m a big fan of detailed training processes at Alcor, I feel this is what help employees excel at jobs and be confident of what they’re doing.

The positive workplace culture at Alcor is a great driving force and motivation for me to stay productive. I love my job so much so that I look forward to coming to office every single day.

  1. Why do you feel proud to be an Alcorian? Alcor feels more like a family than just a bunch of employees. We’re friends at work and outside of work, irrespective of the regions we are working in. I just love being surrounded by enthusiastic and skilled people. I feel like this is a great workplace to boost your career path and personal development.

Leaders are easily approachable, they treat every employee equally, and stay true to their word. After completing two years at Alcor, I still feel that the message conveyed to me on the very first day of my joining holds true to this date – be it respecting your feedback, offering opportunities to work on exciting projects and travel for work, or expanding learning horizon.

Every employee here is heard and respected for what they have to say. Active and open communication channel between employees, teams, and superiors is what helps Alcor stand out.

  1. What’s been that one defining moment for you at Alcor where you felt happy, successful and motivated?

My journey with Alcor began two years back and since then there have been countless such moments. Getting great opportunities to prove myself at work and enhance my learning is truly motivating for me. I am happy to explore my strengths and capabilities.

Initially involved with only the MSP team, I now support three teams  – MSP, ITOM and team responsible for one of our premier clients. I was elated when I was given an opportunity to work as a consultant for ITSM and I loved being part of those projects.

Getting constant encouragement from leadership to complete relevant certifications is very rarely seen in our industry. I still cherish the day when I was appreciated to clear my very first ServiceNow Service Admin Certification (CSA Snow). That was the day when my passion to get relevant certifications really got pumped.

  1. Who is Priyanka? How can you best describe yourself? What motivates you? What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?

I would describe myself as a confident and adaptable person who loves communicating with people and discussing solutions to business problems. I feel satisfied and joyful while working, analyzing complex business data, and drawing clear and simple conclusions that simplify work.

My family – an inseparable part of mine – holds the utmost importance in my life. A mom of a 6-year-old girl, I would say that being a mom feels wonderful. It’s what gives me a purpose to do better today than what I did yesterday and fills my heart with joy and affection. In my spare time I love doing experimental cooking, watching horror movies or series, and surfing the internet to learn more about various software and latest project management articles.

A zeal to enhance my knowledge base and skills keeps me motivated. I thrive on challenges and constantly set goals for myself, so I have something to strive towards – it could be a certification or training course. Too tough a person to get demotivated, I only get discouraged when I’m unable to match my own set of expectations for a particular task.

5.When you hear the word, Alcor- which 3 words strike you?

Nimble – Agile and adaptable, Alcor has a constant willingness to course-correct and rethink strategies, processes, and approaches.

Collaboration – Employees across multiple geographies work seamlessly with one another, within and between departments.

Innovation – Always seeking new ways to stay a step ahead of the industry and open to pioneering feedback and ideas!

Thanks for talking to us, Priyanka! You are truly an Alcor star! We are wishing you many more accolades ahead!

SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ Alcor announces the launch of High5

SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ Alcor announces the launch of High5 – Employee Reward and Recognition Platform built on ServiceNow™

Alcor, a global digital transformation services company, advising leading businesses on Cloud Platforms, Digital Workflows, Technology and Robotic Automation, Enterprise Service Management, HR Solutions, Integrated Risk Management and Data & Analytics, announced the launch of High5 – the first, fully automated, seamless and collaborative Employee Reward and Recognition platform built on ServiceNow™ and available on the ServiceNow™ App Store.

High5 supports organizations streamline their employee appreciation process and connect all employees on one user-friendly platform, making the process of recognition and appreciation of employees very easy. It helps create appreciative workplace culture, improve morale, unite employees and teams, retain employees’ long term, and motivate them to accomplish more.

High5 allows employees to show appreciation for the great work done by their colleagues, as well as celebrate their personal milestones, such as birthdays and anniversaries, by giving High5 points. If sponsored by the organization, these points can convert to tangible rewards that can be redeemed in the form of gift cards, cash redemption and more on High5’s e-commerce store. High5 reward redemption store features an extensive amount of vendor gift card options for rewards redemption, including donations to charities.

The High5 Basic and Premium plans with competitive features and pricing become a great solution for improving corporate culture of appreciation for organizations of all sizes and needs!

Sunita Gulia, Manager – Product Development at Alcor Solutions, Inc., commented on the High5 launch: “The organizational spent on employee reward and recognition programs has shown tremendous growth recently, and it will continue to witness an outstanding growth for the next ten years! With the High5 product, we cover the entire HR lifecycle on the ServiceNow Platform and make it easy for organizations to implement such a program seamlessly on Service Now while making it affordable for them.”

“We are very proud of launching High5 product and helping multiple organizations get to a new level of appreciation, while building up their corporate culture and achieving corporate goals. The timing of this launch is perfect. In the light of recent events, staying united with your teams and recognizing colleagues on their successful efforts is more important than ever.” says Anna Alferova, Sr. Marketing Specialist at Alcor Solutions, Inc.

Learn more about High5 product benefits by visiting the product page and watching an interactive video about High5.

For more information on Alcor Solutions, please visit our website at www.alcortech.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Alcor Solutions, Inc. is a global digital transformation services company based in San Francisco, CA. It is serving Fortune 500, Government Agencies, and other leading organizations in multiple industry verticals across US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and India. Alcor advises leading businesses on Cloud Platforms, Digital Workflows, Technology & Robotic Automation, Enterprise Service Management, HR Solutions, Integrated Risk Management and Data & Analytics. Alcor is a ServiceNow Elite partner, AWS partner, an Oracle Gold partner and works with Azure, Salesforce, FireEye, Tanium & several other cutting-edge technologies. It also provides business process consulting to capture, re-engineer and improve processes that can easily be automated to deliver real value. The Alcor consulting team are experts in Business strategy, Cloud Technology and Organizational Change Management. Learn more about Alcor Solutions at http://www.alcortech.com. Alcor Enabling Cloud™ is a registered trademark of Alcor.

SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ Alcor Announces the launch of AccessFlow

SAN FRANCISCO, May 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ Alcor Announces the launch of AccessFlow – Identity and Access Management Platform built on ServiceNow™

Alcor, a leading global provider of cloud solutions, security, and implementation services, has announced the launch of its new product – AccessFlow.

AccessFlow is Identity and Access Management (IAM) Platform built on ServiceNow™ and available on the ServiceNow™ App Store. It automates enterprise Identity and Access Management and compliance. With Accessflow, organizations can define access management blueprint, authority, access renewal and ongoing operations. It maintains enterprise identities, accounts, entitlements, and roles along with documented approvals, owner accountability, access reviews and dashboards for all functions.

AccessFlow provides competitive advantage to organizations by not only improving their productivity and employee satisfaction, but also providing process efficiencies and cost savings due to its efficient open architectural design.

“AccessFlow is designed to be truly a one stop shop for all access management needs across the IT access management lifecycle. It is based on data driven workflows & integrations, has an open architecture and embodies a great UX with a low code/no code philosophy so it is intuitive, quick & inexpensive to roll out and manage. If you are a ServiceNow™ user and have multiple security, authentication & identity management applications, AccessFlow acts as the perfect glue to give you a seamless user access management experience.” says Amit Singh, Alcor Chief Executive Officer.

Monisha Singh, Alcor Founder and Principal, Product Development and Strategic Alliances, commented on the AccessFlow launch: “We went through extensive research to gather voice of customers to build AccessFlow. Efficient architectural design, user-friendly self-service portal, agent workspace and mobile experience, as well as chatbot make AccessFlow an exclusive product in the marketplace. I am very proud of our team that developed this product and got it certified on the ServiceNow™ App Store in record time”.

Alcor is hosting a webinar on AccessFlow business benefits on May 14th at 11 AM PST:

To join the webinar and discover how AccessFlow can reduce costs and IT risk, increase business productivity, and improve employee satisfaction, please register here:

http://www.alcortech.com/webinar-attend/webinar-detail/

For more information on Alcor Solutions, please visit us our website at www.alcortech.com, follow us on  LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Alcor Solutions, Inc. is a San Francisco, CA based company that provides global cloud advisory and implementation services to clients in multiple geographies. Their clients include global Fortune 500 as well as leading organizations in multiple industry verticals. Founded in 2008, Alcor Solutions Inc.’s focus has been building strong competency on cutting edge technologies and advising clients in implementing them. They are passionate about their thought leadership and believe that successful IT implementations result equally from good strategy and technology excellence. Alcor is Elite ServiceNow™ Partner, AWS Standard Partner, Oracle® Gold Partner, and also works with several other technologies including Microsoft, Salesforce, FireEye and more. Alcor Enabling Cloud™ is a registered trademark of Alcor.

Thomas Gibson joins Alcor as Managing Director

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Alcor Announces Thomas Gibson Has Joined the Company as Managing Director

Alcor, a leading global provider of cloud solutions, security, and implementation services, has announced that Thomas Gibson has joined the firm in the role of Managing Director. In this role, Tom will be reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and will be responsible for driving new client acquisition across multiple practices. He will be an integral part of the leadership team helping to build out the overall strategic roadmap and comprehensive Automation strategy.

“Alcor is focused on digital transformation through digital workflows, robotic, technology automation and doing business analytics on cloud. We are pleased to add Tom Gibson to our leadership team and believe he will accelerate the growth of our business and drive tremendous success delivering large scale value-based outcomes to clients and his background with SAAS and Cloud based platforms aligns well with our direction,” says Amit Singh, Alcor Chief Executive Officer. 

Tom Gibson brings over 20 years of experience in the technology industry with a balanced focus on consulting, outsourcing, application development, security, AI and Machine Language. At his last firm, he was focused on AI and Machine Learning and driving new growth both direct and through strategic partnerships. Tom has been a leader and innovator working for iconic brands like McDonald’s and Xerox. While at Xerox, Tom was part of the leadership team that launched the Xerox Cloud. He was responsible for Business Development, Alliance Partnerships and Solution Architecture. Tom is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and resides in Chicago.

“The timing on joining Alcor could not be better. Organizations are facing entirely new business challenges with multiple digital transformation projects already underway. Organizations are redesigning IT infrastructure and integration so they can better scale to support their clients, employees, suppliers, and partners.  Alcor leverages automation to empower clients to take advantage of the cloud to scale in a secure and flexible way. I’m thrilled to join the Alcor Team and be part of a culture that will enable digital transformation to meet the needs of the new economy,” noted Tom.

For more information on Alcor Solutions, please visit our website at www.alcortech.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Alcor Solutions, Inc. is a San Francisco, California based company that provides global cloud advisory and implementation services to clients in multiple geographies. Their clients include global Fortune 500 as well as leading organizations in multiple industry verticals. Founded in 2008, Alcor Solutions Inc.’s focus has been building strong competency on cutting edge technologies and advising clients in implementing them. They are passionate about their thought leadership and believe that successful IT implementations result equally from good strategy and technology excellence.

Alcor is Elite ServiceNow™ Partner, AWS Consulting Partner, Oracle® Gold Partner, and also works with several other technologies including Microsoft, Salesforce, FireEye and more.

Alcor Enabling Cloud™ is a registered trademark of Alcor.

Tino Features In Alcor’s Employee Success Feature | Congratulations

Tino Solis is Alcor’s Featured Employee for March 2020! Tino, IT Manager – Consulting at Alcor Solutions, Inc. evaluates his own success by the success of his team and loves solving business problems that incorporate people, process, and technology. A total family man and a goofy dad at heart, Tino is also an avid outdoor cook.

Ziying Magic Tan, Principal – Alcor Solutions, Inc says, “Tino has brought great consulting skills and leadership to our team from day one and is spearheading one of our fastest growing ITSM offerings. His team first attitude has influenced everyone around him and made a huge impact on Alcor’s success with our strategic customers. During this trying time, he continues to demonstrate leadership and commitment to excellence in everything he does.  We are grateful to have Tino on our team and look forward to a fruitful journey ahead together”.

Pamela Morris, Senior Manager, Consulting adds, “Tino has been such a committed and reliable partner on all the initiatives of which I’ve had the pleasure of working with him. He has the ability to not only handle multiple roles from Engagement Manager to writing detailed documents all while building a great team culture among his peers and those working for him. He can handle intense deadlines with grace as demonstrated when he recently moved across country with complete dedication to a very strategic client and then shortly after had twin babies! I’m so happy to see Tino recognized for his dedication and quality; he truly exemplifies the Alcor culture!”

Here is an insightful tete-a-tete with Tino:

  1. What has been your experience at work here at Alcor?

My experience working at Alcor has been amazing! From great leaders and cooperative colleagues to pervasive team-first culture and plenty of opportunities to grow, there are multiple reasons that make Alcor a perfect workplace. The Leadership team here offers the best working environment and possesses great qualities of leading with vision, commitment, and empathy. I hope to acquire these leadership abilities to lead the people on my team. Talking about team dynamics, I just admire how everyone here works as a team rather than an isolated individual contributor. Every employee in this company, regardless of role, has been an absolute pleasure to work with as they understand the concept of a team mentality.

  1. Why do you feel proud to be an Alcorian?

At Alcor, we have a quality of product and a quality of people that I love being associated with. I’m proud of the solutions that we offer our client base and the value we provide to each other, even amidst the chaos. It is highly commendable how Alcorians are always prepared to create a difference and help other team members to a degree that is worthy of being called quality work.

I feel blessed to be a part of this team and would say that – Anyone can offer Service management, but to make those service management efforts successful it takes the right partner that’s backed by honesty, integrity, and authenticity – and that’s who we are!

  1. What’s been that one defining moment for you at Alcor where you felt happy, successful, and motivated?

Well, there are actually quite a few. The one that stands out most in my mind would be – when I showed interest in the Elanco project and it was taken seriously. It motivated me because my leadership team was listening, which is perhaps one of the most understated skills out there. As we’re in the business of listening, seeing my leadership listening to me, taking my interests, my background, and my expertise in mind, it felt really good.

Another similar situation when I felt motivated and even flattered was when I was allowed to take a step further into leading a  SIAM team – for which SIAM is a potential new line of business. The ability to contribute to product creation and an Alcor offering is very fulfilling and rewarding for me. It’s like wow, my leadership trust me and listen to what I’ve to say.

  1. Who is Tino? How can you best describe yourself?

Professionally, I’m a Service Management Consultant who loves to solve business problems that incorporate people, process, and technology. Personally, I’m a total family man and a dad to the core – a goofy dad at heart, you can say!

I get motivated by being surrounded by people with an open mindset, people who listen, and people who encourage open communication. Other little things that motivate me are – little tokens of appreciation, be it just an email from somebody or a conversation. On the other hand, the demotivating factor for me is the closed mindset – when people aren’t taking what you’ve to say seriously or are just listening for the sake of responding as opposed to listening to the message I’m trying to convey.

Outside of being a goofball dad day-to-day, I’m an avid outdoor cook. I like to smoke meats, I like to barbeque, I smoke vegetables – I love all things cooking outside. Besides that I’m also passionate about spending time on Wikipedia. When traveling, cruise ships are my place to be because they allow me to go everywhere and at the same time go nowhere.

  1. When you hear the word, Alcor- which 3 words strike you?
  • People – The value add of our brand
  • Authenticity – Pervasive in our culture
  • Organizational Self Awareness – Spearheading with self-awareness of who we are as an organization and a belief that tomorrow we will be better than what we are today

Thanks for talking to us, Tino! Wishing you many more accolades ahead!

Steps to Deploy Python Flask & MySQL application on AWS Elastic Beanstalk

If you’re a developer and want to deploy your Flask based application on AWS Cloud without lots of manual intervention, then AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an easy-to-use service. It helps in deploying and at the same time scaling of web applications and services developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker on familiar servers such as Apache, Nginx, Passenger, and IIS. In addition, we need not pay any additional charges for using Elastic Beanstalk –as we pay only for the AWS resources required for storing and running our applications.

Flask is a lightweight web application framework build on top of python. It can be integrated with a large number of extensions. Here are the some of the biggest sites created using the Flask framework: Pinterest, Twilio, Lyft, Patreon,etc.

Let’s see this in action:

In this blog, we’ll deploy a Flask &MySQL based web application. For that, we’ll create two environments – Development env. i.e. Cloud9 and Production env. i.e. EB.

Case 1: Deployment on Development Environment (Cloud9)

Cloud9 is a cloud IDE that is used for writing, running, and debugging code. First deploying our application on Cloud9, we need to launch our Cloud9 machine from the AWS console, as shown in image 1.

Then, after providing the configuration settings, AWS will spin up an Ubuntu-based IDE instance, as shown in image 2.

Once the IDE is running and you’re able to access it, it’s time to upload your application code in it (You can choose to build an application from scratch or take help from one of the open-source Github repositories). Instead of uploading your code, you may choose to zip your application code and drag and drop your folder, as shown in image 3. With Cloud9, you can run commands on the terminal and, at the same time, see your folder structure on the left to start development.

As our application is database-driven, it’s time to launch our RDS MySQL database, as shown in image 4. You can create a non-publicly accessible database and launch it in the same VPC where your Development Environment is running.

Now,though not a good practice, but to simplify the entire process, you can directly enter your database credentials within your code. However, in production environment,it is always advised to store your credentials in system variables and pass them within your code.

If you’re using Mysql with Flask, always declare a cursor class because that’s how you are going to fire queries. The cursor will hold records within the memory &Dict Cursor is a Cursor class that returns rows as dictionaries.

Before we proceed to test our application, we need to install certain packages. As we’re running our application on Ubuntu, below commands should meet our needs.

> pip3 install flask

> pip3 install wtforms

>sudo apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev

> pip3 install flask_mysqldb

> pip3 install passlib

Also, let’s define the host and post for our application:

if __name__ == ‘__main__’:

application.run(host=’0.0.0.0′,port=8080, debug=True)

As you can see,the port of application is 8080 but Cloud9 & Elastic Beanstalk can do port forwarding. So, now we can access our application from Port 80 i.e. HTTP.

We’ll openup our application.py file and click on the Run button. From the Preview, we can goto our application landing page, as in image 6.

The final results after deployment looks as in the image 7.

Great! Now let’s login to our application and see if our database was configured correctly.

Case 2:Deployment on Production Environment (EB)

Now that we have successfully deployed our application on the Dev environment, it’s time to deploy it over EB.But before that we need to take care of a few things:

We need to create a requirements.txt file and list all our application libraries. Thanks to the Pigar, which can generate requirements for the project.As shown in image 8,we need to run below commands on our Dev environment from the project root directory:

>pip3 install pigar

>pigar

Now that our requirements.txt has been created, let’s see what other prerequisites we have:

Elastic Beanstalk is able to find our application’s code very easily when we select application.py as the filename and enter a callable application object(in this case, the Flask object,). EB looks for an ‘application’ callable by default.That’s already been taken care of.

If you face 500 internal error, just declare a secret key below your application callable, as seen in image 9.

That’s all we need to do.Let’s download our application from Cloud9 environment& zip it in the root directory level. For that, we just need to select our files and child directories, and zip them.

Now it’s time to launch our Elastic Beanstalk instance.In the window that appears, just select Python as a platform, upload the code, and click on create an environment. As our application can communicate with our database, which is in the same VPC, no other configuration is required.Environment creation takes about 5 minutes and,finally, our application is up and running, as seen in image 10.

Let’s hit its URL!

As seen in image 11, this will open a browser window using the domain name created for your application. You would be able to see the same Flask website that you created and tested locally.

Hurray, you did it! In case you get stuck somewhere, start afresh – follow all the steps again and voila you’ll get the desired results.

References:

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk/latest/dg/create-deploy-python-flask.html

https://github.com/bradtraversy/myflaskapp

About The Author:

Mayank Singh is an Oracle Developer, accredited certified technical professional who has excellent ability to develop & implement technical solutions for any size of business and believe in learning each day. He loves to bring cloud automation, and his favorite automation tools are Terraform and Ansible. He is also an AWS Solutions Architect Professional. Besides, he is a big fan of Crayon Shin Chan and Marvel and DC movies.”

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