Questions on Rolling Out Oracle in Latin America

Last week we had our webcast: Customer Success: Equifax’s Journey to Oracle R12 in Latin America, where Daniel Moffet, VP of Financial Systems and Reporting at Equifax, shared how this Financial Services company rolled out Oracle E-Business Suite R12 in 5 countries in Latin America. Today we bring you a transcript of the questions he took live from our audience.

How did you distribute the testing cycles considering the project was done in multiple countries at the same time?
The Equifax team supported this project from the very beginning and we had the onsite kickoff sessions in Lima, Peru, where we set the expectations for the whole project. So for each section we defined a local venue (e.g. for Uruguay, Chile and Argentina we worked from Argentina) doing the testing for the different modules. Everyone from both sides were aware of what needed to be tested and when. We moved the people to only one country leveraging costs.

While that was a bit more expensive in terms of travel costs, having everyone in one room for the testing and training, the functional leads, was invaluable. There was no way for us to do it remotely as it’s difficult to hold people’s attention and more so if they are only doing it part time and have to partition their time between their daily work and this project.

How did you manage local legal requirements and minor changes required by users?
One of the overriding project objectives was to manage expectations and local requirements. That is something we started communicating early on to each of the countries, so in terms of local requirements we would only be entertaining those related to statutory requirements. So if the local process was different, the local process would have to change in order to be aligned with the Equifax global module.

We were very successful in this – of course we went through some tense moments where people were bent on introducing changes or customizations, but we held our ground. Trying to contemplate future upgrades of the application, we were set on keeping the system as vanilla as possible. Although there were many CEMLIs here, we had very productive sessions for gathering requirements in which were able to differentiate clearly what was mandatory and what “nice to have”. So these sessions helped us present a well-founded gap analysis that everyone felt comfortable with, and it helped us keep the application as out-of-the-box as possible.

Why did you decide to go to R12.1.3 instead of R12.2?
When we began our upgrade in 2013, EBS 12.1.3 was the latest generally available release, while R12.2 was still on the horizon. At the time we did not think it was important for us to be pioneers in that respect. For this reason, we decided to get on a release that was stable and had been supported for a while. We do have on our roadmap to upgrade to 12.2, when we have a window we will begin the preparations that need to be done before we tackle the upgrade.