Do I upgrade to Oracle R12 or wait For Fusion?

R12 vs Fusion Applications is a question often asked but never answered quite to the satisfaction of all. In fact, there really is no objective answer that would help one decide on the course of action to take. Typically, a dispassionate assessment effort is required that understands the business and technological needs of an organization and analyzes how those needs can be met by each solution. That being said, however, there are a number of parameters that can be considered to arrive at a decision that best suits your organization:

1. Business/Functional Processes or Modules implemented – Obviously, one of the first questions to ask is whether the new Fusion Applications can even meet the needs of the business as they exist today. Currently, Fusion Apps is limited to only a few modules and a very careful thought needs to be put into answering this question.

2. New Features or Long Term business needs – Which of the 2 provides better features or is better suited to adapt to the organization’s long term business goals all the while maintaining current processes

3. Direct Cost – How much would it cost to purchase and implement Fusion vs. R12

4. Indirect Cost – How much would it cost to purchase and implement the infrastructure that is necessary to support it. Fusion applications is built on cutting edge technology and consequently, the hardware required to support it needs to be that much bigger – big enough that it might pinch when combined with all other costs.

5. Internal Staff/Long term support – As mentioned above, fusion applications is built on cutting edge technology and requires the right expertise to be able to support it long term. Does that expertise already exist? If not, how long would it take and how much would it cost to build that support.

6. Data retention – What are the goals of the company in terms of the retention of the current 11i data? Does all that data need to be maintained in the new system or will this data be archived or will there be a cut-off that will determine what data gets archived and what data gets migrated? This might seem to be a very innocuous question to ask at this stage, but it should be understood that Fusion is a completely new architecture & way of working. This means that a straight-forward migration of data will not be available and one does not want to get caught unawares half-way into an implementation and realize that it is not possible to migrate some critical elements of data.

7. Early Adoption – While Fusion is generally available, it is still in a very early stage and only organizations that have the capability and bandwidth to provide extensive support are willing to act as early adopters. If you are not on R12 already then it is very unlikely your organization has the appetite to be an early adopter and so there is no real choice for you, the answer is to go R12. Fusion is a completely new architecture and way of working, it is not a straight forward either or choice.

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How to Ensure – Hassel Free ERP transition

The decision to transition to an ERP system and replace in-house or legacy business applications & processes is one of the toughest calls for senior management or any IT head. A glitch-free setup & proper business alignment will warrant drastically improved returns & process efficiency. But a few slip-ups and the whole process can fail even before you realize what went wrong. The entire process right from the selection of an ERP to the post-implementation phase has many pitfalls which are easy to spot & steer clear of, if checked in time.

Based on our years of experience with customers worldwide, here’s a quick guide.

ERP Selection

It is research and the know-how phase of ERP Selection where many small & mid market companies go wrong. Here is a quick checklist to avoid the most common pitfalls in ERP selection –

  • Involve Potential System Users:Make sure you take inputs from all departments who will be using the ERP Solution. Discuss & record process workflows and cross-functional needs in detail
  • Assess the extent of Re-engineering:Select the ERP which aligns smoothly with the existing supply chain or manufacturing process, requiring minimum process re-engineering and maximum process enhancements. Make sure you understand the extent of re-engineering work that will be required to set this new ERP system in place and replace your existing business processes
  • Dig deep before your purchase:Ask for credible references, capture the opinion of current users of the ERP system and compare the various solutions based on their inputs and take a well-informed decision
  • Choose the Partner wisely:Make sure that your requirements are properly communicated and understood by the partner/vendor. Select a vendor with seasoned consultants, matured implementation services and consistent post-implementation support

ERP Implementation

Once you zero down on a particular ERP vendor & the solution for your business, make sure you have the right internal practices in place–

  • Identify an appropriate SPOC:Choose someone with the authority to bring various departmental heads or managers together. Always have at least one full-time resource working on the ERP Project to steer through implementation roadblocks. This person should be able to dedicate his focus & time to ERP transition
  • Ensure Complete Process Documentation:Document the current state of business processes aka ‘As Is’ well before the re-engineering process. The ‘To be’ process plan should also be documented thoroughly to ensure the implementation team does not interpret your processes differently
  • Track Progress & Set Milestones:Tracking each step of the ERP implementation process will guarantee there are no schedule delays and will also help in raising alarms on certain concerns well in advance. Have tangible milestones in place to ensure optimum project costs & resource utilization

ERP Post-Implementation

So now you have succeeded in moving from legacy business processes to an ERP led re-engineered system. There might still be post-implementation hiccups which can derail the returns on your ERP investment –

  • Ask your vendor for Training and Support:Ensure that the users of the system are well trained and familiar with the capabilities of the modules. Lack of understanding of the ERP system will result in lesser efficiencies and will slow down the entire workflow
  • Timely Feedback & Suggestions:Feedback from system users and managers is equally important. This will help in fine-tuning the system to your needs or ask for system enhancements as required

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Should you opt for EBS R12 or Fusion Applications?

You have a decision to make: extended support for Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) 11i is going to end soon – should you opt for EBS R12 or Fusion Applications?

It’s easier for SAP users, who have one single core ERP product to choose from. But Oracle offers two viable options: upgrade to the latest Oracle EBS R12 (either 12.1.3 or 12.2) or switch to Fusion Applications.

Oracle EBS R12 vs Fusion
This has presented a real dilemma to quite a few organizations, as is also reflected in various online debates (such as this Oracle ERP group on LinkedIn).

Oracle experts have been called for consultation on this dilemma many times, so here’s our take:

The Benefits of Making the Leap to Fusion
It’s certainly tempting to move to Fusion. Here are some reasons why:

  •     It’s positioned as the next-generation Business Applications solution by Oracle
  •     It offers the best-of-breed from enterprise solutions acquired by Oracle
  •     It’s built on a service-oriented architecture and SaaS model.

All in all, it certainly isn’t a bad choice.

Now Why You Might Want to Consider EBS R12.x
Fusion is great but, if you’re using EBS 11i now, upgrading to R12 might be better as an initial step.

Here’s why:
* R12 offers significant improvements and advances over 11i
* It’s a direct upgrade – so making the shift is significantly easier
* You don’t have to switch to an entirely new system – like you would for Fusion Applications
* For most organizations, leaping from 11i directly to Fusion is too much to bite off in one go

And…One More Thing to Consider
R12 runs on Fusion Middleware – just like the Fusion Applications do. This means that you can upgrade to R12 and immediately enjoy some of the most advanced ERP functionality available, while also gaining a platform that is very similar at its foundation to Fusion. Your upgrade will be relatively painless compared to bringing in an entirely new ERP (especially if you use an Upgrade Automation solution), and you can then start bringing in aspects of Fusion Applications at a measured pace (such as Fusion HCM), getting just the parts of it you most want at first, and then eventually building toward a system that is completely Fusion.

Fusion may be the future of Oracle’s ERP offerings. It’s a future that many Oracle EBS “shops” should consider embracing in the foreseeable future, but you don’t necessarily have to make the leap immediately.  R12 gives you so much, not the least of which is a convenient entry point to Fusion Applications in an easy and controlled manner.

BrightStar Solutions Pvt. Ltd – http://www.bslion.in / info@bslion.in

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Support Servies for Enterprise Application

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BRIGHTSTAR Support Services Program consists of a dedicated team of Certified Oracle Professionals in the BRIGHTSTAR corporate headquarters in Pune, India and Nearshore office in Bucharest, Romania.

Advantages and Benefits of BrightStar Support Services

  • Expertise – The vast network of clients and field consultants keep BRIGHTSTAR on the leading edge of Oracle technologies. The BRIGHTSTAR collaborative culture places the collective knowledge of all BRIGHTSTAR professionals at the customer’s disposal. It is simply not possible to replicate this level of experience through internal staffing.
  • Flexibility – Customer support needs vary from month to month. With BRIGHTSTAR, support time can be utilized for a variety of different business needs – as support requirements grow or shrink, BRIGHTSTAR works with customers to structure the optimal contract.
  • Scalability – Support contacts can be matched to your exact requirements — task-based services, on-demand, fixed hours per month, or all-inclusive annual support contracts are available.
  • Accessibility – Support is available 24 x 7 and can be reached by phone, email, or through the web, a BRIGHTSTAR expert is ready to help.
  • Delivery Management – A dedicated Service Delivery Manager is assigned to each account. This single point of contact can be used for budgetary reporting, consultations, escalation management and delivery management. The BRIGHTSTAR Service Delivery Manager is a trusted partner that helps their customer proactively manage their organization’s Oracle footprint.
  • Cost and Risk Reduction – BRIGHTSTAR Support allows customers to control and reduce ongoing Total Cost of ownership, control and reduce support costs, enjoy guaranteed service levels, reduce operational risk of dependency on individuals, and reduce the need for in-house training or knowledge.

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BRIGHTSTAR – Full Service Cloud AMS

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The modern cloud provides an evolutionary approach that progressively generates value from your application investment. Trusting a leading partner like BRIGHTSTAR as a single source for Oracle Cloud reduces cost and complexity, exploits best practices, maximizes service quality and brings technology innovations that improve your business performance. BRIGHTSTAR Full Service Cloud AMS provides everything you need to take advantage of Oracle Cloud in a fixed, per employee subscription model.

Coming Soon ERP: Financials, Revenue Management, Projects, Procurement

All Primavera Products Jump To Version 15.1 – Here’s Why

Oracle Primavera has just released version 15.1 of it’s flagship project management & scheduling software Primavera P6.  But for the many who are users of Oracle Primavera software products, this release might come as a big surprise – especially since the last release (2014) was version 8.4.

But don’t fret, there’s a simple explanation to a seeming jump of 7 major software versions over the span of only 6 months.

The Primavera business unit is rebooting its software release numbering, starting with this release, labeled 15.1. The reasons, as Oracle Primavera explained on a recent broadcast, are focused on the increasing integration between the Primavera software products. The new numbering will hopefully allow for less confusion around what version of a given Primavera product will integrate with another.

So for example, if your company is a user of Primavera P6 EPPM software, and you are looking to implement Primavera Analytics reporting, then you will have to align both tools on version 15.x to allow for the integration to work.

Or perhaps you would like to take advantage of Primavera Unifier’s ability to manage costs alongside your project schedules in Primavera P6 Professional (windows). Then again you will need to ensure your company has the same compatible versions installed to achieve these 2 products working together in an integrated fashion.

Here’s a visual of the new strategy.

Primavera Version 15.1

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Based on this slide from Oracle, we can summarize the following:

What is Changing in Versions 15.1?

Oracle has stated that the jump to version 15.1 is identify to a minor update for their software. So, in the case of Primavera P6, jumping from 8.4 to 15.1 is the same as moving up a minor release to 8.5. There are no major platform or architectures changes as a result – it more cosmetic than anything.

Are There Other Implications?

This new approach to Primavera software releases will simplify the lives of large customers who are implementing many Primavera products with the intent to have them integrated and working together. Companies will have to simply align versions to get the benefit.

In terms of software development and support, it sounds like Oracle Primavera doesn’t want to focus much of its bandwidth on backwards compatibility of versions. The onus is on the customer to align versions. Customers who aren’t paying annual maintenance fees to Oracle, which grants them access to updates and new versions at no cost (some exceptions apply – I’m not an expert on this) may have to shell out additional capital to upgrade their existing Primavera products if they are striving for an integration.  However, that may be nothing new – many companies are slow to upgrade and tend to stay on a stable version of a Primavera product. However, adding backwards compatibility can often bloat an application and reduce performance as well.

Choosing the Right Global ERP System for Your Business

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As businesses expand into multiple countries, geographies, and subsidiaries, company leaders need to ensure that their ERP systems are able to support and enhance their new business models. This means identifying the system that is not only right for your business today but also which will be able to support your business as it grows—whether as an integrated global company or as a more distributed organization with regional businesses. In this article, we take a look at some of the fundamental questions informing this decision.

What kind of financial consolidation will we need?

Financial managers at corporate headquarters need consolidated financial information to provide the complete business overview that shareholder and financial authorities require. Multiple locations give rise to multiple sets of reports—all of which need to be consolidated. A global ERP system makes it easy to automate consolidation and mitigate the errors that inevitably creep in when reports pass through multiple hands.

To get the best out of a global ERP system for financial consolidation, executives need to consider how the system will support the business model. This could mean a fully integrated model where all locations and subsidiaries run a single instance of the ERP system, or a regional model where a number of regional businesses run their separate systems and provide consolidated financials to the head office on a periodic basis to be reconciled, or a hybrid of the two. However, the problem with the second scenario is the mushrooming of a plethora of non-standard solutions around the company which will lead to lost time and productivity and increased risk of reconciliation errors—thanks to manual data transfers across multiple local systems. Bottom line, a global ERP solution needs to be flexible enough to support the expansion model that fits your particular business needs whether your business is undergoing geographic expansion, product line expansion, new subsidiaries, new channels, etc.

How will the ERP system handle different currencies, taxation and legal frameworks?

When it comes to choosing a global ERP solution, another key consideration for any organization that operates internationally is whether the system can handle multiple currencies, tax regimes and legal frameworks. Currency exchange rates, for example, become a big factor as businesses cross borders. Transactional taxes, such as VAT and GST, apply differently in various countries. Financial reporting requirements vary from country to country. And changes to local legislation can have far-reaching consequences on international business.

The right global ERP system for your organization will have demonstrated success in the countries where your business operates (and also where you might likely operate in the future). It should allow for regional differences to be addressed automatically in a single instance and for updates to be rapidly deployed in response to changes in exchange rates, taxes and business regulations.

How much visibility will the system provide?

A need for effective financial consolidation as well as tax and accounting compliance often drives the move to a global ERP system. However, the benefits of such a system are not limited to financial management.

A global business management system can also help your business streamline and standardize operations from supply chain management and inventory control to customer relationship management and invoicing. More standardized processes will mean more control over operations and greater visibility into those operations from the head office.

The right system for your business will enable you to standardize processes where necessary while still allowing flexibility and decentralization.

What kind of customization can the ERP system provide?

It may seem strange to discuss customization in the same breath as standardization, but every implementation of your global ERP system needs to be customized to your specific business, your locations and your objectives. Local employees need to view dashboards and data in their own language and currency, and some local business workflows need to remain in place—without the delays and added costs that result from requiring headquarter’s IT support to implement all of those subsidiary changes. Eventually, however, you will need a seamless roll-up and consolidation to the global level.

Since every stakeholder needs a consistent view of the information, all calculations and consolidation should be performed using the same underlying database. The vendor of your global ERP system should be able to provide examples of successful implementations that involve multiple language, currency and business-flow customizations while also satisfying global reporting requirements.

Will the ERP system be able to scale as my business grows?

Scalability is all about how the global ERP system enables and supports your business as it grows. A centralized system, with customizable instances for each new business interest, makes it quicker and easier to establish business processes in new locations. Your ERP software should support the growth of your business, not constrain it.

Can my new ERP system coexist with an On-Premise ERP System?

Businesses have often invested heavily in local, on-premise ERP solutions. Therefore, it is imperative that any new ERP system you bring on to manage your global expansion co-exists with your prior headquarters system because, as you know, there is a lot of legacy data in the system which you simply can’t move into the new system overnight. A two-tier implementation enables such businesses to keep their existing systems while introducing more agile, cloud-based global ERP capabilities for new subsidiaries and divisions without disrupting ongoing operations. The right solution ensures complete synchronization between the two, ERP systems.

Conclusion

Moving to a global ERP system can appear daunting, but with the right solution and an experienced provider, it can help unleash your business’ true growth potential.

At BrightStar Enterprise Application Consulting –  we have a strong track record of providing flexible, reliable global ERP systems. Contact us at info@bslion.in or visit http://www.bslion.in to see how we help businesses everywhere make a smooth transition to a global ERP solution.