Oracle Cloud: Frequently Asked Questions

February 16, 2016

Last week we had a highly attended webcast on a hot topic: Oracle Cloud. Our experts set out to explain 10 Myths vs. Reality about Oracle Cloud, but there were far too many questions from our audience for them to answer live. As promised, today we bring you the pending answers. If you missed the webcast and would like to review its recording, you can download it here.

Our systems integrator implemented Oracle HCM Cloud and now our users are lost. Is this a common issue?
Yes, this is a common issue. Since Cloud software products are cheaper and have the brand new UI, a lot of organizations are skipping the change management part. Oracle provides some great help materials with UPK, but many customers don’t even know they are there. And in any case, it’s always better to have a good training strategy – if only to adapt those materials to the realities of each organization.

We have different operation centers all around the world and are looking to expand our EBS with Cloud HCM. Would you recommend this? We hear that it does not have globalizations.
The globalizations are things like “in Switzerland you have to collect the religion for each employee, while in the US that’s illegal”. The other things are localizations, which vary from one country to another, like VAT integration in Brazil, asset reporting in India – those need to be considered on a case by case basis.

In EBS today we can implement custom reports and batch processing peer concurrent manager – there does not seem to be an equivalent in Cloud.
Well, here we have mentioned FAHRCS, which can be integrated to EBS and extend your reporting capabilities – we definitely recommend this. But in terms of Cloud reporting, there are many flavors – you have transactional business intelligence, BI Publisher, there are multiple ways to tailor your reports in the Cloud. Any end user can schedule any batch process or report, and also the data models are simplified so you don’t have to know the table, field name and etc. – your average end user can build an ad-hoc report much easier than before.

How do we go about connecting the on-premise application servers to the hosted Cloud?
There are multiple ways to connect these. For more information – contact us to schedule a follow up call based on your current environment, usage and technical footprint.

We’re running EBS and we want to move it to the Cloud, but we don’t want to spend money twice.
The approach here would be creating a step into the cloud to expand your applications. If you want to continue using EBS Supply Chain on your EBS, you’d be creating the Cloud for the processes that you are running and with that you can embrace the whole suite as it becomes available on the Cloud.

Rumors were HCM was more mature – has financials caught up?
Form a financials perspective – 95% of what you can do in EBS you can do in the Cloud. So we would recommend Cloud if it’s purely a financials implementation. If you also need for instance Order Management, Manufacturing or Supply Chain, we would go for a coexistence approach.

What about existing on-prem EBS for corporate parent, but Cloud for a smaller subsidiary, acquisition, etc.? Is this a viable option?
This is a strategy to leverage the cloud. Especially when the subsidiary has a different business model than the corporate the ability to have a flexible setup makes a difference rather than trying to make the subsidiary fit into the corporate model.

I am presuming during transmission all encrypted?
Security is one of the biggest concerns among CIOs and CTOs and the integration between Oracle Cloud and on-premise applications has its challenges.  Let’s review some of the more important concepts when integrating Private Cloud with Oracle Cloud.  You have multiple options.

The second area of connectivity is for on-premise with application adapter, Web service, FTP, database, and file system support. And finally B2B connectivity leverages XML and EDI based business protocols as well as industry specific such as healthcare collaboration. Connectivity is a key strength of Oracle due Oracle providing expertise not only in the integration platform area but by also incorporating application developers into the integration development process. In the case of Oracle E-Business Suite integration, the deep introspection of metadata was developed by the Oracle E-Business suite developers for Oracle SOA Suite.

Moving up a layer, we see Service Virtualization & Mediation. The Oracle Service Bus, Oracle SOA Suite’s Enterprise Service Bus, provides this portion of the solution. By service virtualization, I mean the service consumer doesn’t actually call a back-end service. The call is made to this layer and this layer calls the actual service…in other words, the service is virtualized. This is key to providing “agility”. If you want to swap out the back-end application, not need to change how the service is called. Likewise, “Mediation” provides this middle layer as the “separation” we so often hear about when speaking about SOA.

Moving up another layer, we see “Orchestration”. Lets say I want a self-service app to be able to call the Service Bus, which calls a service to get a customer’s balance. If that amount exceeds $10,000, we then need to check to see if this is a “VIP” customer before providing the refund. If yes, the money is sent, if no, human exception management is required. This is “orchestration” and is provided by the BPEL Process Manager. BPEL stands for Business Process Execution Language, which is the industry standard for integration-based process orchestration.

And finally, with all of this data passing through the infrastructure, you have the opportunity to make sense of the data and publish it to Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) dashboards. When you hear about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), these BAM dashboards provide the ability to publish these on a role-based approach. And finally, “Event Processing” lets you make sense of a large volume of data passing through your infrastructure so you can detect trends before they become issues or discover new business opportunities. For example, a product is launched shortly before the Christmas holidays and volumes are very high to manually track and over time, the events are processed to detect a growing number of defect claims for a specific component. On an individual basis, each claim would simply launch a process (“orchestration”) to fix each individual issue but event processing would detect this as trend that may be far too soon after product launch allowing for the problem to be fixed well before it became a crisis.

When it comes to data migration tools, what options do we have?
As we mentioned in the webcast, there’s no upgrade tool provided by Oracle that does the migration of setups and data automatically. Some Oracle partners such as IT Convergence, because of their experience transforming business processes of several customers into Cloud had developed accelerator tools that allow a rapid and secure migration from legacy systems, such as Oracle E-Business Suite into Oracle Cloud.
If you’re planning to migrate from Oracle E-Business Suite HRMS to Oracle Cloud HCM, we invite you to let the IT Convergence’s experts demonstrate the accelerator tools so you can see how secure, fast and reliable could be your Cloud implementation project.

Has Oracle thought about delivering industry specific versions of Cloud offerings to handle what we consider customizations? Telecommunications companies are different than widget companies.
It depends on the pillar. For Sales Cloud Oracle has already begun releasing industry specific solutions. For ERP, they are currently relying on partner solutions, but longer term Oracle will offer industry specific solutions and accelerators.

Is Oracle Cloud prepared for Federal Financials EBS? Are they FedRamp certified?
Oracle Public Sector Cloud is aligned with the most stringent security standards, including NIST, FISMA, FedRAMP, ISO, and HMG Security Policy Framework requirements

There seem to be different integration tools required (ICS, SOA suite) depending on what you need to do in a hybrid configuration. What is your experience?
In our experience working with Oracle’s integration tools is faster and more reliable because they’re industry standards and have been tested within the different teams among Oracle Development. Our recommendation would be working with Oracle integration tools, but we’re not strictly working with Oracle products. We’ve worked with a big tech industry organization on an integration project using WSO2.

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Begin your path to the Cloud by downloading the “10 Myths vs. Reality on Oracle Cloud” webinar recording here. Visit our website for more information on our Cloud Services, or schedule a call with our experts.

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