Astute Business Solutions Delivers Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise Applications

An Oracle partner, Astute Business Solutions is an agile consulting firm specializing in Oracle PeopleSoft Human Resources, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, CRM, Financials, and Portal applications. Founded and headquartered in Hacienda, the company has offices on the East Coast, in Europe, and in Asia. Its staff consists of highly qualified former "Big 4" consultants, Oracle PeopleSoft architects, business analysts, developers, and industry subject matter experts.

"We are dedicated to providing innovative solutions that address our clients' unique and industry-specific pain points," observes Astute's Sweta Ganatra, the firm's ERP Practice Lead and an Oracle Certified Human Capital Management Specialist. "We specialize in extending the out-of-the-box functionality of enterprise applications using our seamless add-on solutions that allow our clients to avoid the typical burden of messy and difficult-to-maintain customizations."

To illustrate what the firm does, Ganatra describes one in a universe of "hundreds of different scenarios," an example from the HR arena. Small companies often start keeping their HR records in spreadsheets, she explains, but eventually they hit limits on how much information they can store, especially as they grow and add complexity. Information required to comply with HR regulations ranges from date of hire, emergency contacts, and changes in family status to the full scope of career development-not to mention every detail about time, attendance, vacations, and so forth. "If no effective solution is in place, we would demonstrate PeopleSoft enterprise-wide Human Capital Management and show how it offers all the things a business needs today - payroll, medical benefits, automatic calculations, etc.-in one solution," she says.

Either Oracle or Astute can initiate the sales cycle, depending on which entity uncovers the opportunity. If Astute takes the lead, it engages Oracle in the process to execute the licensing agreement.

Before a client deployment kicks off, Astute prepares a statement of work defining the project scope, which will determine the size of the implementation team. The team starts gathering business requirements, obtains approvals, and begins to design the solution. If a special skill is needed, Ganatra turns to her network of recruiters to find the talent. Local candidates are preferred, but sometimes team members are called upon to travel or relocate. "It's a very dynamic model," she comments.

Several variables influence the duration of the project. "To implement base benefits, for example, it's a short time, but if it's enterprise-wide we could have people onsite for six months." Astute's clients are often large and have "many, many business requirements" to accommodate, such as the presence of unions or the use of multiple languages and currencies.

Astute prides itself on the extent of its repeat business, which comes from "consistently delivering an on-time, on-budget project," Ganatra notes. Its small size allows the firm to "hand-pick" its resources, one of the factors that contributes to its ability to work to very tight expectations. "We have to make our customers happy enough to want to work with us again," Ganatra concludes.

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