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FreeBalance and Samsung SDS Partnership – Backgrounder

 

August 16, 2012

What is the need for GRP in emerging economies?

Government Resource Planning (GRP) software enables governments to improve development results. Governments in emerging economies leverage GRP software to improve governance and fiscal discipline. Good governance is considered a prerequisite for improving government effectiveness. Good governance is positively associated with poverty reduction, education and health improvements.

What is Public Financial Management (PFM)?

Public Financial Management is the discipline of effectively managing public finances using commitment accounting to ensure that budgets are not overspent. This includes all laws, processes and tools necessary for financial and linked non-financial functions such as accounting, tax, procurement, payroll, budget planning, audit and transparency.

PFM is a key discipline for good governance. GRP is software used to improve PFM.

How is Government Resource Planning different from Enterprise Resource Planning?

ERP is designed for private enterprises where profit is the key concept.

GRP is designed for governments where budget is the key concept. Government Resource Planning is budget driven. GRP covers the public sector budget cycle. Budgets are the legal embodiment of government objectives.  GRP enables government decision-making, fiscal discipline, government performance, transparency, and accountability.

What is the “holistic” approach to GRP?

The traditional model of enterprise software selling, implementation and support assumes that customers have significant Information Technology capacity.  The approach used by Samsung SDS and FreeBalance is more holistic in nature by addressing capacity building and change management adapted to the country context. The purpose of this approach is to make GRP systems financially sustainable by emerging economy governments by building self-reliance.

What are the success rates for ERP and GRP for public financial management?

ERP software is often used in government with mixed results – late delivery, over budget and high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). ERP software is designed for multiple vertical markets. This often means that governments have to customize ERP to meet national regulations. This customization typically means that software code has to be changed or adapted. Governments must maintain this code through multiple software upgrades. Emerging economy governments are often reforming public financial management processes rapidly meaning further customization.

GRP software is designed for the government context and rarely requires customization. The use of parameters for all functions in GRP makes it easy to adapt to unique government requirements and progressively activate to support reform. GRP does not require customization because the software was designed for a single market: government.

What is the combined FreeBalance and Samsung SDS GRP portfolio?

The FreeBalance Accountability Suite augments the Samsung SDS GRP portfolio. This combined portfolio provides end-to-end GRP functionality for all levels of government including:

  • Public Expenditure Management such as e-procurement, procurement, purchasing, grants and contract management
  • Government Receipts Management such as income tax and customs administration systems, utility billing and government sales
  • Core Public Financials such as commitment accounting, assets, inventory and project systems
  • Civil Service Management such as human resources, payroll and pensions
  • Government Treasury Management such as bank, investment and cash management
  • Government Performance Management such as budget preparation, performance dashboards and reporting

What is the combined FreeBalance and Samsung SDS E-Government portfolio?

The FreeBalance Accountability Suite augments the Samsung SDS e-government portfolio. SDS provides custom e-government systems. The combined e-government portfolio includes e-passport, e-village, home tax service, online patents, resident registration, cadastral, e-procurement, e-recruitment, results, open data and transparency portals.

What are Samsung SDS Services for government?

Samsung SDS provides a broad set of professional services for government information technology including Enterprise Transformation Services, Infrastructure Reliability Services and Engineering and Convergence Services. These services enable Samsung SDS to be a complete service provider to governments.

What is the value to emerging economy governments of the Samsung SDS/FreeBalance partnership?

The Samsung SDS/FreeBalance partnership reduces risk to emerging economy governments. The partnership provides reliable and proven solutions and the ability to deliver small to large projects around the world. Both Samsung SDS and FreeBalance are committed to ethical governance and social responsibility.

Where is the Samsung SDS/FreeBalance installed base in emerging economies?

Samsung SDS and FreeBalance have installed GRP and E-Government solutions in: Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Mongolia, Panama, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Uganda and the West Bank.

How will the Samsung SDS/FreeBalance alliance enable cloud computing for government and shared services?

The partnership provides complete cloud and shared services solutions. Cloud Computing provides software applications via the web through private or public data centres. The use of private clouds for governments is often called shared services. The software provided by Samsung SDS and FreeBalance can be hosted on public or private clouds. Unlike traditional enterprise software, the FreeBalance Accountability Suite Version 7 is completely web-based and designed for shared services. Samsung SDS provides data centre and cloud design and deployment services for private clouds and hosting for public clouds.

What is the Samsung SDS and FreeBalance commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility?

FreeBalance is a For Profit Social Enterprise (FOPSE) where Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is core to the company mandate: providing robust Government Resource Planning (GRP) technology to accelerate country growth. FreeBalance also has a strong CSR program in emerging economies and developing countries.

Samsung SDS has a strong corporate citizenship program with ten community service bureaus and 300 volunteer teams.

What does the partnership entail?

Samsung SDS and FreeBalance have agreed to a business development, sales and project implementation partnership. Samsung SDS and FreeBalance have joint business development activities to many emerging economy governments and International Financial Institutions (IFIs). Samsung SDS and FreeBalance management have worked together to identify countries most likely to benefit from the joint offering. This is a global partnership.

FreeBalance is training and certifying Samsung SDS staff in the FreeBalance Accountability Suite and FreeBalance i3+qM methodology.

There is staff dedicated to the Samsung SDS and FreeBalance partnership that includes a collaborative portal.

Will FreeBalance and Samsung SDS continue to partner with other vendors?

Both FreeBalance and Samsung SDS will continue to partner with other vendors. Some of these vendors will be invited to participate in joint Samsung SDS/FreeBalance proposals to government.

Why do Systems Integration (SI) Firms Like Samsung SDS Partner with FreeBalance?

[complete overview]

It’s a Good Business

Systems integration vendors are attracted by the growth potential of partnering with FreeBalance. It’s a good business that helps generate more revenue from:

  • Government IT Opportunity:  The FreeBalance Accountability Suite, designed for government, increases the SI product portfolio enabling system integration firms to compete for more opportunities in this lucrative market.
  • Emerging Economies Opportunity: The FreeBalance Accountability Suite gives systems integration firms products designed for high-growth emerging economies in mind that enables technology leapfrog.
  • GRP Opportunity:  The FreeBalance Accountability Suite is a new class of software makes system integration companies a better and more compelling story of sustainable success for governments.
  • Competitive Edge: Analysis shows that FreeBalance turnkey proposals to government is priced, on average, much lower than competitor offerings.

It’s a Business that “Does Good”

Many systems integration firms recognize that the right solutions for developing countries creates stability, reduces poverty and improves health and education. First with strong CSR programs are particularly attracted to working with FreeBalance.

  • Good Governance:  A recent FreeBalance government government customers perform, on average, much better in PFM reform than countries with higher capacity. Systems integration firms can augment CSR programs through a partnership with FreeBalance.
  • Responsibility Marketing Impact: FreeBalance is a socially responsible firm as a for-profit social enterprise. Systems integration partners can leverage our business model and good practices to improve responsibility. Good corporate responsibility is good marketing and lead generation.

It’s a Sustainable Business Opportunity

Much of the CSR discussion is about environmental sustainability. Financial sustainability is as important in developing countries. (There is, of course, a linkage between the two and developing countries are on the front line.)  Governments are likely to buy more products and services if the current systems are environmentally and financially sustainable.

  • Focus on Customer Success: FreeBalance is a GRP practice leader.  Systems integration firms can leverage FreeBalance good practices to make GRP more financially sustainable by governments to help generate additional revenue.
  • Building Growth: This is especially the case in the global GRP market where there is significant word-of-mouth. That’s why some systems integration firms are leveraging FreeBalance software to develop trust with government organizations in developing countries. This trust relationship enables systems administration firms to grow through providing more valuable services for government customers.
  • Competitive “Secret Sauce”: FreeBalance implementation success rates are much higher than Tier 1 or Tier 2 ERP vendors. Systems integration firms are attracted to solutions that are more successful that reduce risk of cost overruns in fixed price contracts.

 

 

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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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