Accelerating Global Digital Platform Deployment Using The Cloud: A Case Study Of Schneider Electric’s BFO Program


The business of Schneider Electric had majorly shifted from the operations of a safe energy in every office, home, machine and infrastructure to a form of value based proposition within the business market. They have combined the technologies based on energy with the help of information technology services in order to develop a new sector, which is known as Intelligent Energy. The company was mainly founded in 1836 that was the main producer of steel and iron (Aoun 2013).

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With the high form of innovation within the company, Schneider Electric had achieved a major position within the market with the help of a high form of acquisition strategy, which was helpful for more than two hundred companies and various brands to be added within their portfolio. By the year 2009, the company had changed their major strategic landscape. The leaders within the business had transformed the face of the company from a manufacturer based company to a major provider of various forms of integrated solutions of energy management. They have moved to a platform of renewable energy and have hence introduced the solutions within their business (Pauley 2013).

With the implementation of the Salesforce technology within the CRM systems of Schneider Electric, the IPO (Information, Processes and Organization) had been facing with various kinds of challenges based on the development of the plan of the project. This was meant for configuration and deployment of the plan of the project. The bridge Front Office (bFO) initiative had helped in the implementation of Salesforce and a global based design process that had mainly focused on the initiation of the Solution Opportunity Management module. The IT infrastructure within Schneider Electric had applied two kinds of guiding principles based on the design, delivery and the models of deployment of the bFO initiative. This kind of initiative follows a lean or agile methodology in order to configure and thus deploy the limited form of functionality in a quicker process. The fast form of functionality would be helpful for enabling the IPO in order to gain many form of early feedback from the users (Sebastian et al. 2017).

 Schneider Electric also created a form of Network based on Excellence for including many key users within their business operations. These new users were mainly trained on the infrastructure of bFO with the aid of a trainer based approach that was mainly coordinated by the IPO. The primary users were extremely knowledgeable and had vast ideas about the intended design process of the business and thus could also enable the bFO platform. They had also conducted the training of bFO based on their colleagues. The IPO based data migration was mainly considered as a most critical activity. The team of the project had made a critical form of decision based on the integration of real-time systems in addition to the local systems, which could not be included within the critical path of the project. This would considerably help in delaying the deployment of bFO and the various efforts of adoption (Ross et al. 2016).

Schneider Electric’s bFO initiative

During the entire process, the IPO based data migration is mainly considered to be a critical activity. The entire team of the project had made a quick and conscious decision based on the integration of real-time and other kinds of local systems. Though the module of Salesforce Opportunity Management was deployed in a full developed version in the year of 2013, the transformation journey of Schneider Electric was on an ongoing process (Serbest et al. 2015). The major form of ongoing challenge that was faced by leaders of bFO technology was based on balance of standardization and the process of customization. Although the bFO had provided facilitation of collaboration and cross-selling, some of the people had felt that there were was major form of transformations that had been made. Some of the examples of these kind of works included most of the operations of Schneider Electric in order to work in an effective manner with the help of new form of processes and standardized systems. Some of the North American based leaders had felt that these form of standardized processes were not based on an aligned process with the higher volume of business based transactions. Some of the business processes did not fully engage in the management of opportunity that have been defined by the standardized processes. The initiative of bFO had provided enough forms of functionality and severe kinds of processes for those kinds of businesses (Chalencon and Mayrhofer 2018).      

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A second kind of challenge would be faced was the prime form of reluctance based on the sales engineers for the purpose of sharing of the data of customer opportunities with the additional information of operations and other sales engineers. The problems of hoarding of data was mainly prevalent in several countries such as China where the employees were less collaborative based on their style of work. Additionally in certain geographical aspects, the middle level of managers were much resistant in the process of adoption (Rosic, Novak and Vukmirovic 2013).

The third form of challenge in the bFO initiative was the problem of maintenance of the quality of data that was majorly hampered with the duplication of data and the severe forms of complications based on the cleaning of data. The elimination of redundant form of customer records and their related accounts was very much essential for the purpose of achieving of an all-round view over the customers. This proved to be extremely difficult in order to maintain the filter of the re-duplicate records in such kind of useful process that the details of the customer would not get lost. Although there was a growth of technological problems with the passage of time, the creation of a duplicate or partial based overlapping records would remain to be a risk.

The main drivers of these kinds of initiatives was the cloud based platforms. They had majorly helped the Schneider Electric in their ongoing process of transformation based on segregated product based company to an integrated form of energy management based Solution Company (Alejandro et al. 2014).   


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Aoun, C., 2013. The smart city cornerstone: Urban efficiency. Published by Schneider electric.

Chalencon, L. and Mayrhofer, U., 2018. Do cross-border mergers-acquisitions in mature and emerging markets create similar value?. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 31(4), pp.944-958.

Pauley, J., 2013. Do Businesses Really Need Standards?. ASTM Standardization News, pp.34-35.

Rosic, D., Novak, U. and Vukmirovic, S., 2013, June. Role-based access control model supporting regional division in smart grid system. In Computational Intelligence, Communication Systems and Networks (CICSyN), 2013 Fifth International Conference on (pp. 197-201). IEEE.

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Sebastian, I.M., Ross, J.W., Beath, C., Mocker, M., Moloney, K.G. and Fonstad, N.O., 2017. How Big Old Companies Navigate Digital Transformation. MIS Quarterly Executive.

Serbest, S., Goksen, Y., Dogan, O. and Tokdemir, A., 2015. Design and Implementation of Help Desk System on the Effective Focus of Information System. Procedia Economics and Finance, 33, pp.461-467.