Glocent Product Overview
Glocent was developed to offer an alternative to the generic, less flexible and out-dated solutions promoted by the majority of the software vendors purporting to provide modern-day compensation management applications. It also provides a cost-effective alternative to the expensive, unpredictable and difficult to maintain custom solutions commonly built by large software development houses. By leveraging decades of experience in software development and incentive management consulting, Glocent set out to build a packaged application that would accommodate the most complex product offerings, incentive plans and sales structures without the uncertainty inherent in custom solutions, while still providing the flexibility necessary to meet the dynamic nature of modern competition.
The result is a system that delivers:
- An application that requires no software modifications during implementation or subsequent to installation.
- A user interface that eliminates dependence on the IT department for modifications.
- A consistent, and often immediate, Return on Investment.
- A solution supported by a track record of success and satisfied customers.
Functionality and Performance
Glocent’s robust, modular design allows its users to create and modify product definitions and commission rules with ease, perform business analytics, accurately track historical data and customer behavior while ensuring a quick implementation and fixed pricing. By structuring commission plans and products around a modular configuration that is controlled by the end user, Glocent supports the introduction of rules at multiple levels from a variety of sources. In some cases a rule may be applied at the plan level. In another case, the rule may be applied at a component level and used in a variety of plans. Remarkably, commission rules may even be established as part of a product definition. This provides incredible flexibility, not just in creating commission rules, but in maintaining them as well. Although past experience suggests that opportunities to improve and simplify commission rules will result by deploying Glocent, its design will allow it users to leverage even the most complex business rules when incentive objectives require a high degree of complexity.
Glocent’s functionality is matched by its performance. Capable of calculating commissions involving millions of sales transactions in just minutes, Glocent dramatically reduces processing time as well as maintenance requirements. One of Glocent’s current clients, a large cable services provider, with millions of subscribers and thousands of sales reps, reduced the administrative overhead required to process a combination of monthly, bi-weekly and quarterly commission cycles, from fifteen people to just four commission administrators. More important, the new efficiencies created by Glocent have allowed this company to develop more strategic, profit-oriented incentives.
Accommodates Every Type of Sales Channel
Recognizing that businesses utilize a wide variety of channels in which to sell their products, Glocent was designed to accommodate every sales channel or arrangement imaginable. Glocent will calculate commissions for direct sales forces, in-bound and out-bound sales, customer service, collections, retail agents and channel partners. Hierarchies can be strictly enforced or structured to accommodate virtual organizations, where split commissions and inter-team sales and promotions require structural flexibility. Whether companies pay managers through sales roll ups or wish to incent them on a variety of considerations, Glocent will calculate management commissions based on any variety of factors. Commissions can also be calculated for service technicians, collections, or any other revenue, or task-based activities. All that is required is a data source that will feed the desired information into Glocent’s proprietary data loader. Since Glocent supports multiple input data sources, a combination of sales data and quantifiable performance measures can be used to calculate commissions.
The modular approach to building products and commission plans allows Glocent to consider virtually any entity for commission payments. If sales are made by a third party agent, but revenues are collected by the vendor, the third-party entity can either be considered as a single sales agent or each sales representative within that entity can be set up within Glocent. This approach allows the vendor to view the affect of incentives being passed on to the sales force through the third-party entity.
Calculates Commissions Using a Variety of Variables
Given the emphasized focus on quality sales and customer retention, Glocent allows sales managers to incentivize people with one-time, residual or recurring commissions. It can also pay out periodic bonuses based upon customer retention or account activity. Glocent’s flexibility also offers a greater opportunity to incentivize a sales force based upon profitability rather than just the standard or easy sale. Unlike other systems that focus on paying commissions based on a percentage of revenue or performance against quotas, Glocent expands upon these standards and can actually pay commissions based upon a wide variety of variables like: product combinations, dependencies or exclusions, geographical and territorial considerations and many others. Glocent also detects zero-sum sales that reflect artificial activity. This prevents commissions from being paid on sales that do not generate new revenues for a company.
Simple and Transparent Maintenance and Upgrades
Two fundamental principals governing the creation of Glocent are transparency and simplicity. Although incentive compensation management is highly complex in nature, Glocent understands that no system will provide sustainable value if it is too complex to use and maintain, or if it is not easily understood by its user. With that in mind, Glocent was created as a stand-alone product with simple interfaces. This allows easy maintenance of the system without impacting existing configurations or data and seamless upgrades to new releases. In conjunction with this philosophy, Glocent recognizes that product support and improvement is critical to Glocent’s value to its users.
Plan and Product Configuration
Structured or Dynamic Hierarchies
By leveraging its dynamic, user-oriented design, Glocent bases its product and rule definition process upon a standard of achieving flexibility through simplicity. A solution may offer infinite flexibility to a user; but if it is too difficult for the user to manage or to navigate through the system processes, the solution is of little value.
Glocent accomplishes this objective through a design that was formulated with business anomalies in mind. Any experience in the incentive management arena, helps one appreciate the dynamic nature of sales forces. In order to simplify the inherent complexities found in sales force incentive management, Glocent uses a combination of structured hierarchies and plan-specific participants in order to accommodate what could be referred to as “virtual” sales organizations. This supports the common situation of management roll-ups, split commissions, promotion or campaign specific team structures and incentives created from cross-selling or referrals.
Glocent can be configured to allow plans to be shared by multiple organizations within a company or eliminated from use by any entity other than the one that created it. Additionally, products can be defined to have universal application throughout a company; or, they can contain department or campaign-specific elements. Using the “create from” functionality, an unlimited number of versions of plans or products can be used to support company wide plans or sales rep specific incentives.
Tracks Data for Non-monetary Incentives
Another consideration given to the development of Glocent was the emerging trend to compensate sales forces with non-monetary incentives. That contributed to the decision to base incentives on the elements of a transaction, beyond the sales price. Recognizing that sales price may not always reflect the true revenue benefit to a company, Glocent can also track and calculate transaction elements and activities that can be used by sophisticated sales organizations to motivate sales forces to achieve strategic objectives. One limitation of other systems purporting to support ICM is their decision to base calculations on sales information that is often summarized. These applications are often termed “on-demand” or Sales Performance Management (SPM) tools. These applications limit a client’s ability to effectively assess the quality of sales as well as what kind of incentive should be attached to that sale. Glocent’s transaction-based calculations focus on every element of a sale, allowing for virtually all types of sales incentives.
Accurate Calculations and Output are Critical
Unlike other vendors who try to compensate for weaknesses in their calculation engine by tempting potential customers with reporting bells and whistles, Glocent believes that a report is only as valuable as the information contained within it. Hence, if reports are based upon information that is limited by the technology behind the results, they are really of little value. One recent Glocent user reported that the previous system she used based commissions and customer tracking on data collected from utilities written for a data warehouse system. This system output consisted of summarized sales revenues and a flag indicating whether or not the sale involved an “in, or out of” territory sale. Because the commission system could not accommodate and evaluate the actual transaction data, two things occurred: 1) the summarized data was incomplete and actually paid commissions on artificial activity; 2) higher commissions were paid on “out of territory” sales. Not only were sales representatives being overpaid; but the reports management used to formulate its sales strategy were leading them to act counter to company interests.
Glocent reports are guaranteed 100% accurate because its calculations are 100% accurate. Unlike manual processes that lead to human error and improper data manipulation, or standard automated systems that fail to capture all the elements of each transaction, Glocent’s primary focus is to capture business activities that reflect reality. Some Glocent users have replaced data warehouses or billing databases with Glocent’s database as their source of record because they are confident of its accuracy.
Use Glocent’s Reporting Tool or Your Own
Depending upon a potential customer’s current reporting process, Glocent can feed into existing tools or produce reports of its own. Glocent has found that many of its customers already have reporting tools and prefer to continue to leverage them rather than use multiple tools. Glocent’s database can be exposed to any of these tools in order to provide reports requiring input data (billing, performance, sales force tracking tools) and all calculations performed within Glocent. If a client wishes to use Glocent’s “smart reports” reporting tool, Glocent will provide a set of web-based, standard reports as part of the initial implementation and additional reports either as part of the maintenance agreement or under separate work orders. An advantage to Glocent’s reporting tool is that reports can be viewed on line immediately after each commission cycle completes. Management and Sales Reps view reports, for which they have access, via the internet regardless of location.
Flexible and Varied Pay Periods and Reports
Additionally, reports can be made available on line as often as commissions’ cycles are run. Another Glocent user opted to increase the commission cycle frequency to motivate its sales force. Although payments were still paid on a semi-monthly basis, by providing the on-line reports on a daily basis, sales representatives saw the fruits of their labors more regularly. Glocent supports the daily calculation of commissions. Glocent can be configured to match virtually any business objective for this area; but only after Glocent analysts properly understand the objectives for doing so. Some Glocent clients actually provide daily reports to their sales forces to encourage greater competition among their sales teams.
As a stand-alone system, Glocent was designed to keep interfaces with other systems as simple as possible. Glocent’s data input module can import from a number of sources including mainframe systems, relational databases, XML, text files or any ODBC compliant data source. Target systems can integrate with Glocent using the same technologies.
Glocent’s architecture accommodates a limitless number of transaction records. All calculations are done at the database level using the calculation logic contained within the application. As an example, one Glocent installation involves processing over 20 million transactions each day, calculating commissions based on hundreds of plans, thousands of products and product bundles, and supporting thousands of payees.
Scope of Implementation
Seamless and Transparent Maintenance and Upgrades
It has been Glocent’s experience that once a client comes to understand the power and flexibility of Glocent, it discovers more efficient and effective ways to manage its compensation process. Until a client begins to use the system, however, it has difficulty evaluating the system’s potential. Taking this into consideration, Glocent will commit to mirror existing commission processes as part of the acceptance criteria. We also know, however, that once the commission’s analyst and the decision makers begin to see better ways to incent their people and manage the system, they want to begin moving to the new paradigm. Glocent stands ready to support its clients in this transition; and can often provide a seamless process for doing so. Since commission plans and products are effective dated, the new plans and product definitions can be gradually activated as business needs dictate.
The incorporation of new plans and product considerations is possible because Glocent was built to support historical data while adapting to new objectives. Plans and products are, therefore, not deleted but retired. That allows for the reuse of data codes that may represent different values at different times. Without this consideration, historical reports would not be accurate. This approach makes transitioning from one incentive management approach to another much easier.
Glocent Takes Ownership of All Implementation Phases
Glocent presently conducts all phases of the implementation itself. This ensures the quality and success of every implementation. This is best accomplished when Glocent oversees the entire installation process.
Each installation’s level of effort is dictated by the effort needed to collect the transaction import data, the number of sales people that will be supported by Glocent, the number of products needing to be defined and the number of plans contained in the incentive management system. Using this matrix, Glocent determines the time it will take, provided it has timely access to customer resources, for the analytical and configuration phases. Based upon past implementations, a system designed to accommodate a sales force of five hundred to five thousand, with 100 plus commission models and approximately 20 million transactions per calculation cycle would require an implementation period of approximately sixteen weeks.
If Glocent’s project staff have reasonable access to the commission administrators and IT department during the analysis phase, this can often be completed within three to four weeks. At the conclusion of the first phase, Glocent will provide a report reflecting its understanding of a client’s current process and how it will be adapted into Glocent. Once sign off is obtained on the analysis, configuration of the application, database and systems interfaces begin. In most cases, the analysis will reveal opportunities to combine or improve upon present commission models. Until, the analysis is complete, however, the time to completely configure the system is difficult to determine. If there is a core of standard plans with several iterations of each plan, the configuration would be completed much sooner than if there were hundreds of unique plans with no common basis.
Once configuration of the system begins, it is inevitable that additional clarification will be needed regarding business processes, hierarchies, and product definitions as they are incorporated into Glocent.
Provided there is effective communication between Glocent’s project staff and client staff, configuration of the application can be completed in less than three weeks. This, again, could be prolonged a few weeks if the initial analysis reveals that there is little reuse of basic plan or product structures.
Following the configuration and deployment of the system, Glocent will provide training to an agreed upon number of client personnel. Those trained will receive user handbooks and several hours of hands-on instruction. This facilitates the reconciliation process.
The last phase of the implementation is reconciliation. It is recommended that a client run a minimum of two to three parallel runs using the current and Glocent systems. Since not all plans are necessarily included in every commission cycle, it is critical that enough parallel cycles are run to ensure that adequate reconciliation between systems occurs. The time this takes is dependent upon the client’s commission schedule. If cycles are schedule every two weeks, it is possible that this phase could be completed in a month and a half. If, however, cycles are scheduled monthly, it would take twice as long. If periodic bonuses are involved, Glocent can either demonstrate it’s accuracy using mocked up data in a test mode; or, provide on-site support after the implementation is complete for those runs involving the less used quarterly or annual plans. This would be determined in the support and maintenance agreement.
License or Lease
Glocent offers two purchase options. The first is the standard software license agreement (SLA), which includes support and maintenance. The second is a subscription model. In both options, Glocent provides regular maintenance and support to its clients. Under the SLA, the level of support will be defined. Clients can choose a general plan that provides for support during standard business hours or full personal support that is available twenty-four hours, seven days a week. The same options are included under the subscription plan as well.
Components of Maintenance and Support
Although Glocent’s current clients have experienced no technical problems to date, the support staff is also available to assist client personnel with user questions as they continue to learn the system after it is in production. As it is with many people, change can be unsettling. This is particularly true with software. Since Glocent’s minimum objective is to ensure that all its clients are fully satisfied, support is a key
element of its business strategy. Referring back to a previous statement, a system that is not understood or effectively used by a customer brings little value to a business relationship. Glocent has maintained high satisfaction levels with all of its customers.
The elements of Glocent’s’ maintenance and support services are outlined in detail in the support agreement. In general they include:
- Every new system installation or upgrade includes full priority support and free upgrades for the duration of the contract – all at no additional cost. This means that you are always running the latest release of our software without the need to renegotiate the cost of the product or request the new release.
- Priority Support: Two-hour response time to voice messages and e-mail
- All bug fixes for the duration of the contract at no cost.
- If provided VPN access to the Glocent application, remote problem analysis and assistance during normal business hours
- Free system configuration at the time of an upgrade if it includes only a direct cut over to the new release.
- Support for routine installation, upgrade and usage questions
- A customer’s phone call, FAX, or e-mail will reach a qualified and experienced support Tech to answer their questions and help find solutions. Many telephone questions can be answered immediately, and 90% of all inquiries are satisfied completely within 24 hours of the first contact. Regardless of the issue, a customer can expect a personal acknowledgment within 2 normal business hours, and frequent progress reports thereafter.
- You designate up to four people to maintain contact with our Help Desk.
- Normal business hours – 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM CET Monday through Friday except published holidays.
- Extended support hours: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM MST.
- For international support, either the Denver office or Munich office will designate technical support for clients needing support beyond the extended support hours.
- Discounts on training and consulting services.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Glocent was founded on July 11, 2001. In spite of the crippling impact September 11, 2001 had on the US economy and businesses in general, Glocent secured several well-known and respectable clients. Glocent has assembled a client base, which includes: Time Warner Cable, Canpar (Canada), Boyd Corporation, Keystone Group Holdings, Foundation Partners, Crosby-Forsyth (London), I.H.S., and Epana Networks.
After two years of development, Glocent was installed at Time Warner Cable New York in September of 2003. It has been in production since that time without any disruption. Following the first implementation, Glocent further improved the application to include functionality enhancements that expanded upon its flexibility and user interface.
One year following the first implementation, after proving its production-level quality, Glocent began marketing the application. The system is now installed in multiple locations, including multiple vertical markets across multiple countries, with additional ongoing projects.