IT Leader Profile: Upgrading ERP During a Pandemic

Mukul Agrawal serves as world wide head of ERP and IT services at Vistaprint. Here’s

Mukul Agrawal serves as world wide head of ERP and IT services at Vistaprint. Here’s a appear at what he is performed and what he has been doing work on lately.

Engineering and business enterprise acumen are a frequent thread among IT leaders across all forms of companies. But how they use individuals systems and business enterprise procedures can be as individual as the organization or the human being. This is just one of an occasional series of IT leader profiles that requires a nearer appear at the people powering IT and the initiatives they are doing work on right now.

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The world wide head of ERP and IT services at Vistaprint, Cimpress United states, Inc. Mukul Agrawal has been climbing the corporate ladder at the organization for eight several years. Here’s a appear at his function and his recent concentrate for this business enterprise card and tailor made printing organization, section of the Cimpress keeping corporation that involves extra than a dozen other customization brands.

Mukul Agrawal

Mukul Agrawal

Describe your strategy

The technological innovation strategy I’m primary at Vistaprint is organized into three quite crucial pillars: technological innovation, individuals and course of action. The technological innovation pillar is targeted on setting up a system for a present day era that equips our business enterprise associates with the applications they have to have to drive value for their customers. Many IT leaders are often challenged in this regard, specially when IT and the business enterprise function in silos or when the business enterprise is not enabled to acquire full benefit of the technological innovation applications at their disposal. This section of our strategy is targeted on setting up this cohesive partnership amongst IT and the business enterprise, just one that allows the business enterprise to make significant selections that support close to- and extended-expression goals.

The second aspect of our strategy is targeted on individuals. Worker engagement is a significant driver of positive cultures and business enterprise overall performance. Your workers need to see that you are invested in their careers, enhancement and engagement as they support your mission. Our individuals have aided Vistaprint come to be the substantial-expansion organization that it is now, and we achieved this point by giving expansion possibilities for our workers and a obvious sense of function in our organization mission. 

The very last part is all about course of action, analyzing when and where we can simplify, streamline and greatly enhance. Are there needless silos that we can take away leveraging technological innovation? Can we make the course of action of recruitment or money reporting much easier for our workers with an integrated system? This is a sizeable section of our all round technological innovation strategy and will continue to be necessary as we grow further as a organization.

First job

I got my to start with job 20 several years ago, encouraging a tiny business enterprise in India grow their business enterprise by determining and engaging the right markets, customers and locations. This knowledge aided form how I strategy my recent job since I was capable to support a assortment of functions and get knowledge forming organization strategies. It also aided that I had the opportunity to meet and function with individuals with distinct personalities, perspectives and techniques to innovation.

Most crucial lesson you figured out from your mentor/a instructor/a manager

I’ve had the privilege to function with various remarkable mentors in my profession that gave me the guidance on how to create substantial-doing teams that are empowered to drive achievements without micromanaging. Individuals need to be authorized to grow in their roles and there are constantly extra than a couple of strategies to get a job performed.

The crimson thread in the guidance I’ve been given from mentors above the several years is that entrusting your teams with autonomy and flexibility can have long lasting impacts on your corporation and drive unbelievable value development. Rely on and accountability are some of the finest operating principles for leaders to instill with their teams.

Greatest challenge for IT organizations now

Keeping up with the rate of innovation going on day-to-day (and even hourly). If COVID-19 has taught leaders nearly anything, it is that electronic transformation is an ongoing course of action that need to be prioritized and, at situations, accelerated to setting up resilience and create possibilities to grow.

Innovation is necessary to setting up and retaining a competitive edge, and there is no this sort of factor as “I’m performed with innovation for this 12 months.” For this motive, value stream-dependent funding products are turning into extra and extra successful in contrast to standard job-dependent funding products.

Additionally, IT leaders need to be capable to remedy how just about every financial commitment will make their organization superior and allow expansion for several years to appear. With the acceleration of cloud and vertical marketplace options, IT leaders will be expected extra than at any time to constantly watch the latest improvements coming to the industry and identify where it tends to make sense to activate.

Image: totojang1977 -

Picture: totojang1977 –

Large job you are doing work on

We’re targeted on two huge efforts right now: knowing the value of the SAP S/4HANA implementation we just led and optimizing our details corporation in a way that tends to make assessment quick for the business enterprise. We just implemented SAP S/4HANA and are concentrating on value development across finance, analytics, production and source chain. We’ve presently seen early return on this job and now we are driving abilities making use of the alternative that we couldn’t do prior to, this sort of as highly developed warehouse administration. The second effort and hard work revolves all around details lakes — publishing our details so the business enterprise has extra authentic-time accessibility to insights and self-provider manage.

Greatest accomplishment of 2019/2020

The just one I’m most happy of is Vistaprint’s effective, world wide implementation of SAP S/4HANA all through COVID-19. We made the strategic final decision to carry out SAP S/4HANA as the spine of our electronic transformation journey and cloud strategy. What tends to make this amazing is that we correctly implemented the alternative in a quite small time period of seven months, controlling the creation cutover, stabilization, and modifications with a group of one hundred twenty-additionally associates and business enterprise associates — and all even though doing work remotely. You can find a significant misconception right now that huge business initiatives won’t be able to be effective in this remote function setting. In actuality, all it requires is collaboration and associates with knowledge offering virtual implementations. Many thanks to SAP S/4HANA, we’ve optimized our ERP landscape and are now capable to continue driving new improvements across our corporation.

Best book or on-line program you propose

Turn the Ship Close to by David Marquet. It tells the story of how Captain David Marquet correctly remodeled the USS Santa Fe from the worst-doing submarine to the finest of the fleet in a lot less than a 12 months. He offers a distinct strategy to leadership. His “leader-leader” design is interesting.

Information for newcomers or mid-profession IT pros

First, middle every thing you do and the initiatives you direct as an IT professional with the customer’s knowledge at the core. Put yourselves in the close user’s footwear and do not make assumptions about attributes and abilities that you imagine the client will react positively to. Include things like responses loops and don’t forget that your aim is to produce viable products and solutions that you can iterate further, not best options. Next, examine any and all possibilities to increase your encounters across the business enterprise. Just take on duties across source chain, finance, functions and extra that give you more perspectives.

Fascinating or unique passion

Cooking! I obtain it provides me an opportunity to hold discovering, unwind, experiment with distinct cuisines and make scrumptious food items.

Anything else you want to share

Just an observation about operating in this new setting. Primarily for IT leaders, 100% remote function environments are a challenge, but they can be performed quite well if you have the right technological innovation strategy in spot and the right attitude with regard to tradition. You can deploy collaboration applications to help your teams coordinate but it is really significantly extra about a positive, group-dependent tradition. Micromanaging is not a tradition. For case in point, constantly next up with your teams on where a certain ticket is will not help overall performance in actuality, it finally hurts retention and morale. Target on open up interaction, obtain strategies to optimize your collaboration (e.g. group conferences before in the working day) and supply flexibility to your group on how to get the job performed.

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Jessica Davis has invested a profession masking the intersection of business enterprise and technological innovation at titles which includes IDG’s Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology’s MSPmentor. She’s passionate about the useful use of business enterprise intelligence, … Check out Full Bio

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