On 06/09, we had our webcast: “EBS Financials vs ERP Cloud: Key Functional Differences”, which focused on the functional differences between the two ERP suites. Today we bring you a quick transcript of the questions we took live from the audience and the chance to watch it in case you missed it.
What is your assessment of other modules such as Supply Chain, Procurement and Manufacturing?
Procurement is phenomenal. Supply Chain is pretty good, what I’ve seen in manufacturing seems very good, but I’d be hesitant to be in the first release – if you’re going to do that, you need to be sure you have the right business case. A year from now we will see a lot of customers adopting the Manufacturing piece.
What is the biggest benefit for customers adopting the Cloud?
The first one is functionality, there’s also the part of skipping the hardware investment and hardware maintenance resources, and there’s also the part of being in the cutting edge of technology, always receiving the latest functionality and enhancements. We speak to many customers who have not updated their Oracle since 2003, and think of how different your business was at that point – this is one of the best advantages of the Cloud.
Looking at the roadmap, what item should we most be looking forward to?
Look out for the Cloud equivalent of receivables – the functionality it will carry is by far the most exciting one.
Are Financials easier to implement in the Cloud or in EBS?
Oracle has gone out of its way to make implementation easier in the Cloud – think rapid implementation sheets. Last week we were at a customer kicking off a Cloud project, and we got 70% of the modules implemented in 2 days, just working through the spreadsheet uploaders. It’s very easy to go and do that, and in the latest release, Oracle has even simplified what they had simplified before.
The Financial Reports Center reports shown in the presentation are out of the box or customized?
Oracle provides about 180 standard financial reports – all subledger type reports. The Financial Reports Center reports need to be built as part of the project as every customer has its own Chart of Accounts structure. Typically you work with your implementation partner to build those, it is a custom piece of the implementation.
Is AP Invoice scanning included or an additional product? Is Advanced Collections a separate module?
Those are both separate modules. Advanced Collections is separately licensed, about $150 per month, with a 5 user minimum. AP Invoice imaging list price is $3,000 per 1,000 invoices. Very cheap versus the on premise investment.
Is iSupplier still in Cloud ERP or is it part of Payables?
There is, it’s called the Supplier Portal now, it’s easier to use and better looking. We will cover it soon when we do our webinar on Procurement.
Is the Excel option in a browser or workstation? Do we need a MS Office license?
Yes, you need a license for Microsoft Office. Bear in mind that SmartView does not run in Macs, you will need a virtualized Windows machine.
Does Oracle iExpense Cloud only work with American Express?
No, you can build the integration for other credit cards – Diners, Visa, whatever you need.
Is there a web API for AR invoices?
Yes, for AR and AP both.
What is lacking in the multi-period accounting functionality when comparing EBS and ERP Cloud?
Let’s say you have an expense that comes across for $1,200 and you want to recognize that in a 12-period (in the first $100, $1100 deferred) you can set that up automatically in EBS. This capability is not there yet in ERP Cloud. You can still do it with a workaround; it’s just not such a straight forward process.
How easy would it be to keep a hybrid model?
Well, you can have HCM or Sales on the Cloud, but splitting your ERP between Cloud and EBS modules adds a lot of complexity, so the ROI would not really make sense. It’s a hard sell when looking at the costs of implementing and supporting such a model.
What are the differences between the Purchasing and iProcurement modules?
The functionalities are very similar; we will cover them soon when we do our webinar on Procurement.
How do clients typically manage migrating customizations to the Cloud?
Because there are no customizations to the Cloud, you have to make decisions – the ultimate one being: “Is this customization important enough to us to be developed outside?” If you need to keep a customization you will need to use the Platform as a Service and create an external app that integrates it. What we’ve seen is that from 20 customizations, 16 are covered by standard functionality. There’s usually only one that customers need to really decide on, and then it’s a matter of ROI. In financials, what can you really be doing that is different at the end of the day? Pay, bill, revenue, reports… is it really driving the business value? It’s all about the analysis.
Is Mobile expenses app available in EBS from what version?
It’s Oracle R12.1.3 and afterwards. You can start using them now, the fusion apps modules are free.
Can you tell me more about invoice imaging in Payables?
If it’s a PDF someone sends you, you see about 90% accuracy; for a physically scanned invoice, it’s somewhat around 80 to 85% accuracy. You set it up and you can configure how it is routed. Your user comes in, sees the invoice, clicks on it, it pops up and they validate. If it’s a PO, you can even run the matching program against it. Then it automatically attaches that to the invoice, so from a cost and ROI perspective, it’s the best ROI from all the financial modules.
How long would a full migration from EBS to ERP Cloud take?
It really depends. For quick books, we’re doing an 8 week project. Others range from 12 to 16 weeks. The timeline is so much shorter (especially if you do not have a lot of countries) because you are not dealing with customizations. The implementation itself takes barely 8 weeks, but the integration and data conversion add the extra weeks.
In your experience, are customers going for the full Cloud migration or coexistence model?
Most customers go all the way in.
Can you tell me more about Fusion Revenue Management addressing IFRS revenue recognition?
Fusion Revenue Management is a module that supports multiple element arrangements, VSOE, etc. Oracle has been tweaking it for the past two years, and it’s waiting for the rules to be finalized and make sure it works properly, but it allows your sales team to sell bundle products and apply the true revenue recognition behind there. They are targeting December 2017 but it has not been finalized yet.
Are you able to modify the logic for workflow approvals?
Yes, there’s a UI to modify the existing workflows and create those you want. I have not seen that being an issue for any customers, but you can do that.
For the data migration, how the initial master data move is done? Does Oracle have integration points out of the box?
Yes, there’s the Oracle Enterprise Repository, which lists all of the integrations, a combination of file uploads, web services, all of the pieces.
How successful are integrations with asset management systems? Does it have a similar cost accounting model for long term capital projects as in Oracle EBS?
Yes, in PA there are a lot of similarities for handling capital projects and being able to capitalize from there.
How does Cloud support customizations like Personalization, 3rd party interfaces, etc.?
Personalization and branding are outstanding in the Cloud. Each user can personalize their user experience. For third party interfaces, Oracle provides the Enterprise Repository with all of the various details for interfacing to and from the Cloud application.
Can we have Financials on Cloud an Manufacturing on-premise EBS?
You can leverage FAHRCS to provide this type of model by giving you Cloud reporting.
Are Request Sets available in ERP Cloud?
There is not direct request set functionality, but any user can schedule any batch process.
Oracle comes with various integration API out of the box. Can I develop my own API?
No, the data model cannot be changed, but if you have the need to have an API that is not available you can work with Oracle development. We worked with a customer who needed a Webservice for contract integration. Oracle got the Webservice into the next release for them.
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