Monday, 11 April 2016

The Urban Myths of Oracle Cloud Implementations – The Epilogue

The articles I wrote a couple of months ago in relation to the many urban myths around Oracle Cloud have generated so much interest that I have been approached online, at conferences and even in the street! – Famous or what he laughs! Anyway such has been the interest and the intrinsic value of a shared conversation I thought I would post part III, an epilogue of sorts to address the two questions that I have been constantly asked since publication. So for those who are interested please find my views on these subjects and in the spirit and words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the 19th Century American Lecturer and Poet “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”.

#011 – Is Coexistence Real? Can You Integrate with On-Premise Systems
Oracle can support coexistence and you can integrate and exchange data between on-premise systems and the Cloud. Some basic examples do exist but for the more complex scenarios nothing does exist directly out of the box except the standard tools and you have to design and build the integration required yourself. Getting data into the cloud is straight forward so if your integration is one way going into the Cloud then it’s easier, however if you want two-way real time integration then it’s much more difficult.

CHALLENGE: So yes it can be done, anything can be done for a price. However please be warned it could be expensive in-fact from our experience it may be more expensive than just going for a full Cloud implementation. The Implementation Partner needs a number of skills so find one who has done it before and knows what they are doing as they need to know the source system; the Oracle Cloud; the tools provided by the Cloud (e.g. HCM Data Loader / HCM extract); and know how to design and deliver integrations supporting business processes. Also keep in view integrations need to be maintained and the Cloud is changing currently twice yearly therefore there is going be the ongoing cost of ownership to consider as well. Remember one of the reasons for adopting the Cloud is low cost of ownership.

So the lesson here is simple, try and do it on the cheap or find an inexperienced partner then get ready to write a hefty cheque.

Personally unless it is absolutely necessary we always advise to consider going full cloud, we always have. However in saying that we do recognise that this may not always be possible.

#012 – Business Change is Minimal
We need to be clear and differentiate between business change and training. Implementation of Cloud is transformational. The system is so intuitive that end users need little to no training especially if they are millennials. The older demographic can be served by using short contextual “youtube” help style videos and using standard functionality to embed these into the system at appropriate points. As for Professional Users we have taken a millennial intern (age 17) given them 2 hours teaching and training and then had them flying around the system doing payroll testing! I am not saying it’s always that easy but it really is not that difficult in terms of system user-ability. (equally I am not saying here we created a payroll expert in 2 hours!)
But we need to be clear the business change effort does need to be undertaken you can’t just “wing it”. If the business is not engaged, then the implementation will fail from an adoption perspective.

CHALLENGE: Cloud is transformational and therefore you change for good. You need to understand the long term impact that Cloud brings on your business, so find a partner that can articulate the future "service" offering in such a way to win "hearts and minds".  To do that you need someone that understands the business operation and the underlying subject matter.

The ongoing challenge is the constant stream of Oracle innovation means that some organisations struggle with the amount of change coming at them. Hence moving to a place mentally where the system is constantly changing and ensuring that employees are comfortable is key. Maintaining constant awareness, engagement and adoption are the watchwords here.

From our experience the most common challenges we see organisations face in turning to the Cloud include, but no means limited to:
  • Industry best practice, means streamlined processes and automation of transactions – The impact being is that your Central HR and Finance departments may need different personnel with a different skill mix as their role becomes "value add" especially as the embedded management information means the focus is on insight and informed decision making – this  means organisational change; especially where HR and Finance are involved together
  • The rate of change of innovation and the capacity of the organisation to consume change alongside business as usual – this means you need a mechanism for dealing with sustainable business change
  • Determining effective mechanism’s for driving and sustaining user adoption The “What’s in it for me?” question needs a compelling answer
The bottom line is don’t under estimate the effort involved if you want to be successful. Remember you only get to transform once.

Epilogue
Regardless of implementation partner a client chooses we want all implementations to be successful. So writing this article isn’t just too merely demonstrate Certus knowledge and experience with the Oracle ERP & HCM Cloud it’s to provide enlightenment and insight to prospects and clients alike in the hope that this series of articles will, and continue to, steer them down the path to success. As Benjamin Franklin said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” – so join the conversation and share your experiences…