ERP solutions are essential for enterprises as they offer services that can streamline business processes, significantly increase productivity, and radically improve decision-making. They also furnish enterprises with scalability and flexibility, which make them a valuable long-term investment.
But when it comes to ERP, large enterprises are left with two choices, either to go for customized software or to choose from off-the-shelf solutions like Oracle EBS. Off-the-shelf ERP solutions are pre-built software packages that are readily available for purchase and implementation.
While custom solutions often sound better to businesses, off-the-shelf ERP packages turn out to be more feasible considering the time, resources, and cost required by custom solutions. Furthermore, the latter is often crafted to be user-friendly and intuitive and at the same time, meet the requirements of a broad range of business sectors.
Oracle EBS is one such ERP solution that has served enterprises for over two decades and continues to do so while evolving itself with new features and functions to meet the demands of evolving business methods. But being an off-the-shelf solution, its implementation must follow certain practices, which we shall discuss here.
But before moving on to that, let’s take a quick look at the fundamentals.
WHAT IS ORACLE EBS?
Oracle E-Business Suite (Oracle EBS) is a set of business applications that help organizations automate and manage their business processes. It comprises a whole suite of integrated business modules that cover a range of functions including supply chain management (SCM), human resources, value chain planning, customer relationship management (CRM), and more.
Oracle EBS is designed to be a comprehensive and customizable solution for enterprises of all sizes, and it remains the most widely used ERP solution across industries, globally. It has been built on a unified data model that enables information sharing and process integration across different organizational operations.
This means that organizations can use Oracle EBS to restructure their business processes, reduce manual effort, and improve operational efficiency. It also offers real-time visibility into business performance, thus enabling enterprises to make informed decisions.
SCOPE OF ORACLE EBS
In the last two decades, Oracle EBS has incorporated technologies to exponentially increase its capability and agility. For instance, when coupled with Oracle Cloud, it becomes easy for enterprises to regulate changes and scale systems as per resources and requirements.
This, on the other hand, has also broadened its scope and expanded its application to a wide array of management processes. The core areas where Oracle EBS finds wide usage are:
– Financial management: It provides comprehensive financial management capabilities, which include modules like Fixed Assets, AP and AR, General Ledger, and Cash Management.
– Supply chain management: Oracle’s supply chain management EBS solutions expand across various industry verticals including automotive, consumer goods, and travel and transportation. Its solutions include app modules for procurement, inventory, order management, product lifecycle management, and logistics.
– CRM: Oracle EBS CRM is an extensive set of cloud-based solutions that assists enterprises in effectively managing their customers via modules for customer data management, personalized campaign management, and alignment of sales and marketing services.
– Project Management: Oracle EBS for project management consists of modules for project planning, costing, billing, managing contract and project resources, and analyzing portfolios.
Apart from the above-mentioned areas, Oracle EBS also provides enterprises with analytics and reporting tools that prove beneficial for organizations in getting real-time insights for monitoring their business performance.
BEST PRACTICES FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ORACLE EBS
Oracle EBS is a highly sophisticated system that contains piles of modules. When enterprises choose to incorporate it into their business processes, they need to undergo significant changes.
These changes largely impact the entire functional management of a business, which is why it’s crucial to adhere to the best practices because they ensure a smooth transition and accommodation of the system. Let’s take them one at a time.
– Pre-implementation Training
Pre-implementation training is imperative as it helps ensure that your team is prepared to use the system properly and efficiently. This involves in-depth learning and understanding of the basic navigation system, key modules, system configuration, and general troubleshooting.
Proper pre-implementation training can help reduce the risk of errors, minimize disruption, and prevent delays and other issues during its functional stage.
– Proper Technical Assistance
Oracle EBS implementation demands a high level of technical expertise. Proper technological assistance can come by working directly with Oracle-certified consultants or partnering with IT firms that can provide you with the necessary resources.
In either case, one needs technical assistance to ensure that the implementation is accurately executed and also to make sure that the business has the needed infrastructure like network bandwidth, hardware requirements, data storage capacity, etc, that are required for the software’s optimum performance.
– Thorough Integration Testing
Most of the time, Oracle EBS solutions are integrated with an enterprise’s existing system. Often, they even need to be merged with the services of other external systems like that of the Oracle Inventory module which often requires a custom interface with the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) feed of retail stores.
A thorough integration testing makes sure of two things; first, it ensures that enterprises are equipped with the necessary tools and technologies needed for proper integration. Second, it guarantees the efficient functioning of the merged modules.
– Impart Technical Training
Your company can have competent DBAs who are quite capable of handling the fundamentals of Oracle EBS. But owing to its large set of operations, the new integrated system can present specific challenges, especially for Information Systems management.
So it’s vital that your DBAs are imparted extensive technical training post-implementation to comprehend and handle the nuances of Oracle EBS.
– Security Controls
Since the key organizational operations are performed over Oracle EBS, it’s obvious that data security gets prioritized. During implementation, access controls should be exercised to limit access to sensitive data to particular users only.
Oracle EBS also supports data encryption, which can be achieved by using encryption algorithms like AES for data storage. Audit trails can also help with security controls as they can assist in identifying potential breaches via user activities.
– Testing Environments
Oracle EBS is a tried and tested product but after all, it’s a pre-packaged system with customization abilities. Since every organization is unique unto itself, it’s evident that it can have unique customizations of the solutions.
Therefore, having proper quality assurance with controlled testing environments is considered a good implementation practice. The testing environments make certain that the customizations work fine.
– Proper Auditing
Proper auditing during Oracle EBS implementation can weed out operational problems at early stages. These include collecting evidence for data loss, reviewing operational failures (if any), and assessing difficulties of downstream users.
Oracle EBS implementation can be quite crafty, especially if it involves integration with external systems or customization. But adhering to the best practices can help enterprises with a smooth transition while failing to do so can expose the systems to unseen troubles.
Also, following these practices enable enterprises to make the most of their ERP investment while mitigating risks of security breaches.
People Tree can help you with the implementation of Oracle EBS solutions. We have a team of certified, trained personnel who can effectively handle the complications and address the problems with proper support.