Well over 100 people registered for IT Convergence’s latest webcast “COEXIST: Deploy an ERP Solution Running Oracle Fusion and EBS Side-by-Side.” The webcast lasted a full out, and there were lots of questions.
As is our custom, we are happy to present the complete Q and A transcript here:
Q. When IT Convergence moved to Oracle Fusion Applications was it a clean install, with or without the coexistence parts? ¬
A. The installation phase is one of the most challenging portions of the entire Fusion Applications’ project. For our team it was quite a good learning experience because we based on installation on an Oracle VM-bare metal instance which give us a first hand introduction into both the new technology and the concept behind the software’s architecture.
The last bare metal installation, as I mentioned in the Webcast, was performed in 10 days so that can tell that after the training and experience we can say that the installation is a clean process.
In terms of coexistence, selecting the right approach and developing an exhaustive test plan are two keys to a successful implementation.
Q. Did IT Convergence’s Oracle Fusion implementation include migration of any data from Oracle R12? If so, how did ITC manage this? Did you use any data migration automation tools?
A. The Oracle Fusion implementation included migrating data from Oracle R12, such as General Ledger balances and HR information. In the inception phase of our project plan we defined a mini project, which included some, changes to the organization structure to better accommodate the needs of our key Finance and HR users. Once the new definitions were done, our functional team performed the new setups in Fusion Applications Functional Setup Manager. The next step was to work on each of the modules and define the scope of the data to be migrated. For instance, in GL we only migrated the historical journal entries for one of our subsidiaries. On the other hand we used FBL for our EBS HRMS information.
Data migration from Oracle EBS to Fusion does have its down challenges, but the processes are well documented and our team was able to get a strong knowledge of each of the tasks involved on it.
Some of the automation tools available are: open interfaces, smartview (Microsoft Excel addin), and the different options presented at this webcast.
Q. How does the IT Convergence’s existing OBIEE platform (11g) integrate with the Fusion Applications reporting technology?
A. Thus far, we have not integrated our existing OBIEE platform with our Oracle Fusion Applications suite. Our OBIEE implementation uses Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, pulling information from multiple E-Business Suite modules (Projects, Financials, and HR).
In this current release, OBIEE within Fusion Applications (OBIA and OTBI) does not allow users to add additional sources. Having said that, we’re evaluating integrating our existing OBIEE platform to with some information pulled from Fusion Applications, but we’re working with Oracle on the roadmap just to avoid duplicating the effort in the event that Oracle is planning the allow full business intelligence within Fusion Apps. Ideally, you want to access and manage information from a single tool and single location.
Q. Which family of E-Business suite and Fusion products/modules did ITC implement into its footprint?
A. IT Convergence’s master plan includes adopting Fusion Applications for all the modules in order to support our global operations footprint. That includes Financials, HCM, Projects and Procurement. We started on a phased, coexistence approach with EBS and the plan includes the adoption of Fusion HCM which will replace our Oracle E-Business Suite HRMS application March 2013. In terms of Financials, we started with a subsidiary and it will be the base for our global roll-out on the rest of the legal entities globally.
Q. What can you tell us about the experience in terms of being an early adopter?
A. IT Convergence has been an Early Adopter of multiple Oracle products. Starting with E-Business Suite R12.0, which we went live on 01/01/09, Oracle Business Intelligence Applications and now with Fusion Applications. That means it is not a bad experience at all since we continue doing it!
When you select an enterprise solution, you’re selecting a strategic partner for your organization and in our case-by being an Oracle partner delivering services around Oracle products- is even more important because it gives us the chance to gain skills and expertise with these new solutions, and more importantly, get a first hand, “been there, done that” perspective that we can pass on to our clients.
Specifically with Fusion Applications, we’ve been working since the product was Generally Available and the support from Oracle has been outstanding.
The services that Oracle offers to participants of EAP are:
• Oracle Product Development monitoring of service requests: Users service requests will be monitored by development team
• Special training of system integrator and enterprise personnel: Development will host a kickoff meeting for the project, and is directly involved in training customer and system integrator resources.
• Oracle Product Development vetting of customer use cases: Oracle development staff directly takes part in will be directly involved in reviewing the customer’s envisioned use of Oracle Fusion Applications to ensure that the customer’s requirements can be met.
• Customers have the chance to make direct input to Oracle Product Development – as customers go through the implementation, they may find some functionality does not meet their specific requirements, and they are able to have direct input back to product development to address these issues. However, this is more suited to detailed functional issues, not major functional areas.
• Oracle Product Development monitors customer’s system both before and after go-live.
Q. You’ve talked about how ITC is currently adopting the coexistence model. Long term is ITC planning to move 100% to the Oracle Cloud/SaaS model?
A. IT Convergence will continue running some business process within the Oracle E-Business Suite and gradually adopting Fusion Applications until we reach full adoption. It is a long road and we a detailed road map detailing each and every planned phase, which will allow us to mitigate risk.
ITC has been diversifying out applications strategy, adopting Google for Applications for our email service since 2010, rolling out Salesforce.com also in 2010. Although our experience with these and other Cloud computing applications has been positive, in the case of Fusion Applications we will continue to have it as an on-premise model.
Q. Does IT Convergence have experience using the File Base Data Loader for historical data?
A. Yes, we have been doing multiple tests and it is actually how we’re uploading the E-Business Suite Oracle HRMS data into Fusion Applications HCM. Feel free to reach out to us via our Contact Us page and let us know if we can help you through the sales team.
Q. What other business areas can be supported by Oracle’s coexistence strategy (i.e. CRM)?
A. As you can see in the chart, these are the different business areas that are supported out of the box by Oracle Fusion Applications.
In addition to what you see above, we’ve doing some pilots integrations between Salesforce.com and Oracle Fusion Applications in addition to interfaces with other components within E-Business Suite that are not out of the box. The big advantage is that Oracle Fusion Middleware architecture allows you to leverage SOA to integrate 3rd party systems with Fusion Applications.
Q. Do you have matrix or listing of potential Oracle E-Business Suite / Oracle Fusion coexistence options, either by pillar or across pillars? And if so, is that list detailed enough to help the ERP community understand which coexistence options are available for intra-pillars business options if available?
A. A lot of what we’ve covered in the answer immediately preceding spoke to this, however feel free to contact IT Convergence for details of specific coexistence options and/or if you’d like to talk to us about performing a Oracle EBS-Fusion pilot.
Q. Since BI is part of Fusion does that mean that reporting is done in real time? If this is the case then we are talking about accessing data directly from Fusion tables and not from the Data Warehouse? Finally, if data is access directly from the Oracle Fusion tables, what kind of an impact does that have on performance?
A. One of the biggest advantages of Fusion Applications is the different tools available to report the information in multiple ways. In many of my presentations related to EBS, I always say that EBS is a great software to record information but very hard to take the information out and if you lack of a reporting strategy you end up having multiple reporting tools which creates a chaos.
Fusion Applications has many components, such as: Financial Reporting Center, SmartView, BI Publisher and two Business Intelligence components: OBIA (using a data warehouse and periodic refresh) and a Transactional Business Intelligence (reporting live information from the Fusion Apps Database).
We haven’t done a stress test on OTBI with big amount of data but based on conversations with Oracle Development they are confident about the architecture and model adopted to support a minimum impact on performance.
Q. If I go with Oracle Fusion HCM alongside my existing Oracle E-Business Suite solution, what does Oracle provide in terms of out of box to Integrate Vs client to build on their own to accommodate our Extensions and customization– and how easy or complicated is that?
A. The different options presented during the webcast are showing the out-of-the-box approach. There’s a repository of technical information of Fusion Applications (https://fusionappsoer.oracle.com/oer/index.jsp) where you can check the information related to open interface and different objects that are available to define your extensions or customizations.
Q. What is Oracle ADFdi?
A. It is the acronym of Application Development Framework desktop integrator. It is a feature that works with your Microsoft Excel application that helps you to extract or upload data within Fusion Applications. Here’s a link where you can find more information:
Q. Thanks for the information. Do you know the latest from Oracle E-Business Support plans? Is there a definitive Oracle EBS 11i/R12 desupport plan published?
A. Oracle made two important announcements at Oracle Open World 2012. One is the E-Business Suite 11.5.10 sustaining support exception & 12.1 extended support to December 2018. It is the note id: 1495337.1 in My Oracle Support.
You can also check Steven Chan’s blog entry regarding this topic: https://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/entry/ebs_11i_and_12_1
Q. How feasible is an Oracle coexistence strategy for mid-size companies (less than 1000 employees, less than $500 million revenue)?
A. In the webcast I referred to the different options of Fusion Applications and I’d like to emphasize the fact that mid-size companies have the option of doing a SaaS implementation of Fusion Applications – without making the upfront investment on hardware and the integrations are even more cost effective than integrating old technology because you can find more vendors being able to deliver that type of work.
I’d recommend selecting the right partner with a good background on Fusion Applications though.
Q. Does IT Convergence offer its clients an on-line Vision Instance of Oracle Fusion Applications that its customers can access?
A. There’s no “Vision Instance” of Oracle Fusion Applications available yet. IT Convergence has created some sample environments for demo and testing purposes that are available for internal use. If you’re interested on a demo feel free to reach out to us via our Contact Us page.
Q. You’ve talked a lot about Oracle EBS-Fusion coexistence from both functional and technical stand points, which is good. However, how are Oracle Fusion Applications licensed out to those users who are already paying for Oracle R12 or Oracle 11i licenses?
A. Oracle has for Fusion Applications’ licensing a “like-to-like” model. That is you can migrate your EBS licenses into Fusion Application licenses. You need to be careful since Fusion Applications has many modules, so you need to understand the functionality that you’ll be migrating depending on the license agreement you have with EBS. For example if you have an EBS Professional User which has bundled many modules, then you’ll have to select from Fusion Apps which modules you’ll be migrating and that might have you incurring in bigger support costs.
I’d encourage you to contact your Oracle Sales Rep or let us know if we can help you to determine you needs in terms of licensing and migration path.
In the event that you missed this webcast but remain interested about Fusion and/or Oracle’s Cloud Computing options, fear not.
Our next webcast, to be held on December 19th 2012 at 8:00 am Pacific/11:00 am Eastern is titled: “Laying the Foundations of the Cloud: A Primer on Oracle SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS Options.” You can click here to register for this webcast today.
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