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Moving to the Cloud: Oracle’s integrated approach makes systems work better together

Investing in cloud technology can help businesses become better versions of themselves, but making the move to the cloud is a significant undertaking for any business. As your organization begins its journey to the cloud, it is important to think about the big picture – specifically when it comes to how your enterprise technology works together – to ensure you’re getting the maximum return on your investment.

Selecting software that interacts seamlessly with one another is key to achieving further efficiencies for your organization. One major benefit of using one software platform is many major business processes span across different applications. If you have a point solution strategy, business processes become clunky and segmented with complex and expensive integrations. Some of the most impactful benefits come from the ability to easily set up automation between these integrated modules without integrations being in the way.

Comprehensiveness and compatibility are just a few key benefits of using one cloud platform like Oracle Cloud, one of the leading SaaS platforms. Advisory and research firm Gartner named Oracle as a leader in the 2021 Gartner®Magic Quadrant™ across business pillars including financials, procurement, enterprise performance management (EPM), risk management, supply chain management (SCM) and, of course, HCM. Within the Oracle cloud platform, business processes such as Lead to Cash, Hire to Retire and Procure to Pay are all seamlessly performed without integrations and easily reported on in real time. [see image – Oracle’s Complete Cloud].

Oracle's Complete Cloud

For example:

ERP and SCM: “From inventory management to procuring new inventory to paying for that inventory” can be a long journey for many businesses, but automation can help speed up the process. In Oracle Cloud ERP & Oracle Cloud SCM, your organization’s policies can be baked right into the platform. For example, automating the many small purchases an organization makes can ease the administrative burden to leaders who have an inbox full of approvals for negligible purchase orders. This is not only cumbersome for leaders, but also wastes time and money for small purchases that could have been leveraged for value-added activities. With Oracle Cloud you can automate the approval of purchase orders that fall under a company-set limit, both freeing up your employees’ time for more strategic initiatives and reducing the timeline to receive the order.

HCM and SCM: Today, employee experience is everything. Many new hires say they know within their first 48 hours if they will stay at that company. This means onboarding is one of the most critical activities an organization needs to do well. Day one of onboarding is often when a new hire receives the computer and phone they will use in their new role. In Oracle Cloud, they can log into onboarding tasks, go directly to the procurement portal and select preferred equipment. The system might even recommend models based on something pre-determined, like their job description. To make the experience seamless for the employee, the system can even automatically create the purchase order, which can even be executed on their mobile device via a digital assistant!

Saving time, making employees’ lives easier and shifting work from more mundane to strategic tasks all result from these types of automation. They also illuminate the thought and planning that must go into customizing the cloud platform for each business. Here are some tips about how to think about cloud migration and to build a transition roadmap for your business.

Getting started

Deciding which Oracle Cloud modules to implement and when, are among the variables to consider at the onset of the project and differ for every business and situation. Every move to the cloud is different to meet the unique needs of each organization, so there is no single road map to follow in making the shift. Building that road map is part of each project. Below are a few of the most common approaches:

  1. “Inside Out”: Most implementations fall in this category, where organizations slowly move from in-house software to a new foundation in the cloud. They typically include core systems such as financials and Core HR.
  2. “Outside In”: This approach is somewhat less common, where business with a specific pain point or challenge, begin by moving the targeted process to the cloud. One benefit of this approach is that focusing on a specific challenge can show a quick ROI.
  3. “Big Bang”: This type of implementation we see the least across a full ERP, SCM, HCM transformation. Oracle modules are deployed across multiple business pillars like procurement, financial, risk, supply chain and human capital management all at once. That approach makes sense for some, such as those that have a large dedicated project team, but relatively few clients can – or want to – make that leap.

The Baker Tilly approach to Oracle Cloud implementation

Since there is no cookie cutter, one size fits all way to implement these transformative projects, Baker Tilly has developed a rigorous approach to Oracle Cloud migrations. Key elements include calibrating the project with a core team of an organization’s leadership, sharing demo playbacks of how business processes will look early in the project, beginning change management on day one and strategizing with the finish line in mind.

Calibration: Moving to the cloud typically consumes many resources and takes a lot of work from stakeholders across many different lines of business. Calibration is like tuning up an orchestra: it makes sure everyone is playing to the same music sheet. In this phase Baker Tilly works with the client to make sure we understand the who, what, when and why are answered. All of these impact the implementation.

  • WHO – Who will be the client resources? Will they have the proper capacity to allocate to the project? Do they have day jobs?
  • WHAT – What is the proper scope for this customer and their needs?
  • WHEN – What is the proper roadmap for this unique customer based on the resource capacity, the pain points they have and the driving timeline factors such as legacy software agreements?
  • WHY – Why is the organization doing this? What is the vision? What are the KPIs of how we are going to measure success?

Harmonize: Once we kickoff the project, we move into our Harmonize phase. This is where we leverage all that we learned in the Calibrate phase to start to build what the future state will look like, while incorporating cloud best practices and global common models. The Harmonize phase is full of iterative playback sessions where we demo how the business processes will start to look in the future state, so the business can react. Most people are visual, so seeing these demos helps them provide feedback in order to fine-tune the new processes so everyone is on the same page. Implementation is more than just translating existing methods to the cloud; the end goal is to help the business to become an even better version of itself.

Change management: Change management begins day one, not after go-live. It needs to be forward-looking to help companies prepare for quarterly software updates. These updates are a key element to Oracle Cloud systems that differs from legacy on premise applications. As an organization gets their new system up and running, it’s important to help them prepare for ongoing consumption of new releases, whether they plan to manage the updates themselves or engage an organization in a managed service contract.

Moving your organization to the cloud is truly a journey. Ensure you’re setting your organization up for success, by doing the proper work up front. Get your business on the path to greater success today – contact us to learn how we can help your cloud technology work better together.

This article is based on a presentation Brad Fisher, Director – Baker Tilly Digital, gave at Ascend 2021, an Oracle user conference presented by Oracle Applications & Technology Users Group (OATUG) and Oracle HCM Users Group (OHUG), on how Oracle Cloud modules help organizations manage back office processes across multiple business pillars.

Watch the full presentation below.

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