Tuesday May 14, 2013

Integrating the New Financials Apps in the Cloud with Your Existing Apps

A guest post by Joe Gum, Senior Director, Financials Product Strategy, Oracle Applications

A quick YouTube search will bring up hundreds of videos of thought leaders and happy customers talking about adopting the cloud. We’re seeing anecdotal evidence at every CloudWorld event that business owners and users are steadily moving in that direction. And we’re seeing the same progression in our cloud conversations (and signed deals) with our customers.

The cloud delivers business agility, increased storage, and cost savings -- all good reasons to embrace this new service. But at some point the question arises: will the new solutions integrate with my existing enterprise applications? And more specifically, will the new Oracle Financials Cloud Service integrate with my older enterprise applications?

I’m here to answer that question for you. Read on to learn how Oracle Financials Cloud Service can meet your integration requirements using Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF Services), ADF Desktop Integration, File-Based Data Import, and reporting tools.

ADF Services (commonly referred to as Web Services), provide a standardized way of integrating two Web-based applications through XML data exchange. A real-life example might be a banking Web service that has functions for checking an account, printing a statement, and depositing and withdrawing funds. These functions are described in a Web service description (WSDL) file that any consumer can invoke to access the banking Web service. The Web service consumer (using a desktop application) invokes the Web service by submitting a request in the form of an XML document to the Web service provider.

Oracle Financials Cloud Service uses Oracle’s ADF Business Components (ADF Service) to create its Web services, and all the available Web services are documented in detail in the Oracle Enterprise Repository.

Let’s move on to ADF Desktop Integration (ADFdi). It also is part of the ADF framework and offers Excel spreadsheet templates to provide validated entry of large volumes of data into Oracle Financials Cloud Service. The integration provided with ADFdi includes pick lists to search for valid values, validation during data entry, error messages, and immediate submission of transactions directly from Excel.

Next up is the File Based Data Import (FBDI) process. It is another option for getting information into Oracle Financials applications. External data can be extracted and formatted into a .csv source file and uploaded to the server for transfer into interface tables and import into Oracle Financials applications. All of the data is validated during import to insure its integrity.

Finally, reporting tools can be used to extract data and import into external systems via XML, Excel, or other file types. Oracle Financials Cloud Service has four reporting tools which can be used to extract data from Oracle Financials and import into your external systems.

  • BI Publisher delivers high-volume transactional reports, such as Invoice Registers or Trial Balance reports, that can be configured to extract the data in Rich Text Format or XML
  • Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence for Financials provides the ability to build custom queries on transactional data, and the output can be downloaded to Excel
  • Financial Reporting Center enables real-time reporting based on multi-dimensional general ledger balances. Reports can be produced in multiple output formats, such as HTML, PDF, Excel, and other MS Office products
  • Smart View is an Microsoft Office plug-in for financial users to perform ad hoc, real-time, multi-dimensional analysis on general ledger balances in Excel

Don’t let integration issues cause gridlock in your decision-making process to adopt the cloud for your financial operations. Any concerns you have about integrating to other systems can be met using the tools available in Oracle Financials Cloud Service. Please take advantage of this Oracle white paper on the same topic that offers a bit more detail and helpful diagrams. 

Wednesday May 08, 2013

EPM and ERP - Better Together

A note from John O'Rourke, Vice President, Product Marketing.

I recently had the pleasure to attend and present at the Collaborate 2013 user conference in Denver, Colorado. This event is run by three of the Oracle user groups – OAUG, IOUG and Quest and attracted over 5000 attendees this year. The conference included hundreds of sessions covering Oracle Applications, Database, and Middleware which were delivered by Oracle customers, partners and staff members. The EPM/BI/Data Warehousing track itself had over 130 sessions, most of which were delivered by customers and partners, and which were very-well attended. Conference attendees and members of the Oracle user groups can see the session list and gain access to the presentation content at this link: http://collaborate.oaug.org/education/search.

One of the highlights of the conference was the RadiOAUG live radio show that was broadcast from the exhibit hall during the conference. This was pretty interesting – as two professional radio broadcasters interviewed Oracle executives, customers and partners on a variety of topics that were in focus for the conference. I was interviewed on the topic of “ERP and EPM – Better Together”.




During this short interview I talked about the progress Oracle has made in integrating the Hyperion EPM Applications with Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Fusion and SAP Financials. I highlighted 3 specific areas of integration that Oracle has built out -- data, metadata, and process integration. We also discussed how EPM can help with ERP upgrades, through managing metadata like the Chart of Accounts, and providing a consistent planning and reporting environment while the systems are being upgraded on the back end. I finished by talking about the role our EPM applications can play in helping ERP customers extend their investments and improve their management processes such as Strategy Management, Planning and Forecasting, Financial Close and Reporting as well as Profitability and Cost Management. Here’s a link to a replay of my RadiOAUG interview: JohnO'Rourke.mp3.

Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

Everyone Does Not Speak English - Fusion Financials Addresses Global Markets

A word from Joe Gum, Senior Director, Fusion Financials Product Strategy 

Imagine trying to purchase a new phone, pay your bills, or book a cruise online if the software isn’t in a language you speak? As sophisticated users of the internet, we see a distinct increase in the number of multilingual users, as well as in the amount of Web content. E-commerce is growing in importance for the international market that lies at our fingertips.

Business owners can decide to ignore these issues and keep their businesses small and regional. Global companies don’t have that luxury, nor would they want to. These companies need enterprise grade software that can be used around the world. The software needs to have the flexibility to adapt to various languages and local business practices while complying with local regulations.

We designed Fusion Applications from the ground up with the global customer in mind. The suite includes essential internationalization functionality, translation and multilingual support, and localization features. For example, Fusion Applications supports multiple date formats, number formats, names, addresses, phone numbers, and currency symbols. It also supports unlimited accounting representations and statutory reporting needs—all on a single global instance using standard preferences and setup. This allows global customers to adapt their software for a specific region or language without requiring multiple installations of the product and without engineering changes or customizations.

No one should have to settle for less. Why select a Cloud service vendor who is halfway there when you can select one who can meet all your global and multinational needs? And, with the ongoing addition of new language support with every release, Fusion applications soon will support the world’s 22 most popular languages.

We also provide localizations in Fusion Applications. These are country specific extensions to meet local business requirements. China, for example, is a country with many different local and legal requirements. The Fusion payroll solution has extensions for China, as well as for Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States. For Financials, localizations also exist for China, plus United States, Singapore, France, and the European Union.

Even without country specific features, Fusion can be configured to support many local requirements, such as payroll and transaction taxes. You can depend on Fusion Applications to be easy and straightforward to operate in multiple countries. We designed it to help global companies be successful in expanding to new markets and locales. These localization efforts support general business functionality across all areas of the business process, such as financial management, supply chain management, human resources, etc. with country-specific tax and statutory updates. Fusion Financials Cloud Service information.

Monday Apr 22, 2013

Oracle Advanced Controls Uptakes W3C PROV Standard

Oracle product development is excited to announce that it has implemented the W3C Provenance (PROV) standard in the 8.6.4 release of Oracle Advanced Controls for E-Business Suite and Advanced Controls for PeopleSoft. This is a significant achievement for Oracle to implement this standard and demonstrates Oracle’s leadership position in the technology industry.  

 

This announcement is important because it allows Oracle’s partners and customers to quickly and easily integrate and connect their advanced control solutions with heterogeneous ERP systems.

 

According to Reza B’far, Oracle Senior Development Director, "Oracle has implemented various parts of the W3C Provenance standard to continue to enhance its support of auditing transaction and configuration controls temporally over heterogeneous environments.  W3C's Provenance standard has been implemented as a part of standard RESTful web services that the Oracle GRC Control Suite provides to its customers for integration."

 

There have been many substantial academic, government, and commercial organizations involved in the creation of the standard including University of Southern California (USC), Oracle USA, NASA, University of Oxford, University of Manchester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Southampton, Newcastle University, and others.

 

The W3C Provenance effort started with an incubator in 2009 and has continued to date, resulting in finalization of the first version of the standard in 2013.

 

You can follow the W3C Provenance Incubator Group on Twitter.

Friday Apr 19, 2013

See How ERP Cloud Service Can Transform Your Organization

Did you know up to 64% of IT budgets are spent running day-to-day operations? Imagine what you could achieve if these resources were focused on encouraging business growth and driving innovation.

A recent Tech Strategy article by Financial Executives International shows how you can transform back office operations, replace expensive, fixed capital investments with scalable, cost-effective solutions, and redirect resources to enhance operational efficiency and improve business performance.

To find out more – read the full article and explore a wealth of instantly-available resources showing how your organization can:

  • Reduce costs with fewer ERP systems and an Opex expenditure model
  • Improve operational efficiency and productivity with simplified business processes
  • Deploy enterprise-grade software quickly and simply
  • Extend functionality as needed to CRM, Human Capital Management and Supply Chain Management
Discover how you could refocus your IT spend on driving innovation.  Access article.

Monday Apr 01, 2013

Gartner TCM Report: Practical Guidance for Transaction Controls Monitoring

 

Gartner has outdone themselves with this excellent report that clearly and concisely explains transaction controls monitoring (TCM) and the related benefits. In Gartner’s “Transaction Controls Monitoring Can Improve Productivity and Financial Governance” report, the Analysis section is particularly effective when it talks about your ERP system controls and that:

“…the existence of these built-in automated controls does not ensure that they are turned on, that they are configured appropriately, and that they are not regularly overridden or bypassed — thus establishing the need for a solution that can monitor these controls.”

If you are in the market for a TCM solution, the report’s Selection Guidelines are particularly effective to help you make effective decisions.

Like much in the technology world, once you get a handle on all the acronyms, you are well under way to becoming a TCM expert!

Click here for access to the full report. As always, we welcome your comments and interesting stories about how you are using TCM solutions.

Wednesday Mar 27, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 is Here!! New Features. More Functions. Lower TCO.

Oracle's commitment to PeopleSoft continues. Building off a proven 25-year history of best-in-class solutions, PeopleSoft 9.2 delivers revolutionary innovation by creating an improved user experience that fundamentally changes how users interact with PeopleSoft. In addition to over 1,000 new features and enhancements that make it a robust solution and lowers the total cost of ownership, PeopleSoft 9.2 takes the user experience to the next level—with a more intuitive, easy-to-use interface that incorporates the consumer internet experience.

Don't Get Left Behind

Don't Get Left Behind

65% of PeopleSoft customers are using PeopleSoft 9.1. Protect your PeopleSoft investment—start your upgrade today.

A Whole New User Experience

PeopleSoft 9.2 users navigate effortlessly with a global, free text search and have the ability to act directly on the search results. Information is presented in the most visual manner possible, making it easy for casual users to navigate and work faster. Out-of-the-box WorkCenters help high frequency users dramatically boost productivity by consolidating user tasks, exceptions, alerts, links, reports, and queries into a single, secure, role-based, cockpit-style “command center” that can be personalized.


Over 1,000 Enhancements

In addition to an innovative new user experience, PeopleSoft 9.2 delivers comprehensive business and industry solutions designed to address the most intricate requirements in HR, financials, and supply chain management, including:

  • New mobile capabilities for requisitioning, inventory, and company directories
  • Smart HR template-based transactions
  • Mass GL Journal approval

Did You Know?

Did you Know
Launch the infographics

Reducing the Cost to Stay Current

PeopleSoft 9.2 transforms the maintenance process. PeopleSoft Update Manager helps minimize costs and disruptions associated with applying maintenance and maximize the impact of desired updates. With it, customers can:

  • Tailor the scope of maintenance to meet specific needs
  • Apply maintenance on their schedules
  • Get current regardless of prior maintenance levels

Invest in Innovation: Upgrade to PeopleSoft 9.2

Oracle is continuing to invest in PeopleSoft applications and technology to deliver value to PeopleSoft customers around the world. Don’t get left behind. Protect your PeopleSoft investment.

Tuesday Mar 19, 2013

Best Kept Secret How to Improve Your Organization’s Bottom Line

If your organization is like most, you have devoted enormous resources to optimizing business processes. From utilizing shared service centers, to automating workflow approvals, no doubt your processes are in great shape.

 

Less understood but even more problematic is process activities that negatively impact your organization’s bottom line. Affectionately referred to as financial or cash leakage, organizations are starting to realize that they are losing literally millions of dollars each year to cash leakage.

 

Financial leakage comes in three basic forms: 1) activities that directly impact the bottom line, 2) activities that indirectly the bottom line, and 3) activities that negatively impact cash flow and that impact on the bottom line.

 

Fortunately the word is getting out that Oracle’s GRC advanced control solutions are helping organizations of all sizes to dramatically reduce financial leakage. For example, duplicate vendor invoices are a major problem that directly impacts the bottom line. Advanced controls continuously monitor both supplier records and supplier invoices for potential duplicates, then alerts management about questionable invoices.

 

In future blog postings we plan to share intriguing ways that organizations are using their advanced control solutions to reduce financial leakage and improve their bottom line. In the meantime, we encourage you to provide comments with any use cases with your business peers.

Friday Mar 01, 2013

FASB and IASB Set Effective Date for New Revenue Recognition Standard: January 1, 2017

An update from our resident IFRS expert, Seamus.....The FASB and IASB met on February 20th and put the finishing touches to the new US GAAP and IFRS Revenue recognition principle, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.  As they say on their websites, all that remains is for the staff to begin drafting the final standard.  They decided on the effective date of the standard for new transactions: January 1, 2017

Both the FASB and the IASB are in agreement that early adoption will not be permitted. There are now three arrangements organizations can use during the transitional period, between now and 2017:

1)  Retrospective reporting, where each revenue transaction is tracked under both the old and the new in full
2)  Retrospective reporting exploiting the permitted optional practical expedients previously published
3)  Apply the standard to new post January 2017 initial revenue items, recognize the impact of the change as an adjustment to opening 2017 balance, and disclose the changes

It will be interesting to see how these options are explored by practitioners and professionals.  They have substantially updated the disclosure requirements, introducing some qualitative elements, eliminating the onerous obligation disclosure, and adding some assumptions and methods disclosure.

Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

Know a CFO using Oracle that deserves recognition at Oracle OpenWorld 2013?

Oracle's Leadership awards recognize exceptional executives who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and technology vision in the successful deployment of Oracle products and services to simplify IT, power innovation, and drive transformational change in their respective lines of business or entire organization.

Winners will be selected based on the impact of their leadership on a transformational IT project, the uniqueness of their business case, the degree of innovation in the solutions and change management methodologies employed, and the business benefits realized to their respective lines of business or entire organization.  An example includes CFOs using performance management or business intelligence solutions to identify new revenue or cost-saving opportunities. Award recipients from North America and Latin America; Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific will be honored at Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco 2013.

Nominate your qualifying CFO for the Leadership in Finance Award now at http://tinyurl.com/b8akwcu.

Thursday Jan 31, 2013

Searching for the Role of Finance Process Excellence?

As companies grapple with the aftermath of the financial crisis and a two-speed global economy, they want leaders who can act as agents of change, provide comfort and confidence in an uncertain world. With their unique combination of analytical, technical and strategic capabilities, CFOs are very well placed to provide that.  And, as the scope of CFO responsibility broadens to include oversight over IT, HR, Procurement, and other areas in the post-recession economy, many CFOs are becoming corporate catalysts for change, heading up transformational projects that increase efficiencies, lower costs, and improve business agility to better address ongoing economic volatility and uncertainty….all to achieve finance process excellence. Find out more by reading the white paper, The CFO as Corporate Catalyst: The Role of Finance Process Excellence, and discover the next catalyst for change in your organization.  Visit, C-Central, our website for CFOs, for more information on trends and challenges in the marketplace.

Tuesday Jan 29, 2013

Reap Significant Cost Savings during ERP Projects with Oracle’s GRC Advanced Controls

Are you planning an ERP upgrade in the near future? Or is your organization about to embark on an ERP implementation? In either case, did you know that Oracle’s GRC advanced financial controls can play a vital role in the success of your project? Whether your goals are to accelerate project activities, or achieve lasting benefits after the project is completed, advanced financial controls will improve your organization’s bottom line.

 

But don’t take my word for it. Instead, read the Optimizing E-Business ERP projects with GRC’s advanced financial controls white paper and then ask yourself whether it is worth the risk to not use GRC’s advanced financial controls. Our esteemed colleagues at PwC wrote this white paper and provide great insight into the many challenges that confront organizations during ERP projects. They also highlight some compelling case studies such as how one company leveraged GRC’s advanced financial controls to achieve an estimated 20-percent cost savings by accelerating their configurations during an Oracle upgrade. Click here to access the white paper.

 

If you know about one of the successful organizations that have leveraged Oracle GRC’s advanced financial controls during an ERP project, please share your success story with the Oracle community by posting your comments to this blog.

Friday Jan 18, 2013

Seadrill Automates Last Mile of Manual Spreadsheet Controls

Are you looking  to automate the last mile of manual controls?  If so, look to the advanced financial controls in Oracle’s Governance, Risk, and Compliance Application Suite just like Seadrill did.  Seadrill, the experts in off-shore deep water drilling, was managing their controls in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.  Realizing the need to automate their controls and achieve a high-level of global standardization, they implemented the Oracle GRC suite.  Their internal audit teams can now spend more time on analyzing and understanding results of their data instead of spending time on manual controls.  Hear their story.

Monday Jan 14, 2013

Moving Your Finance Operations to the Cloud – Join us at CloudWorld to Discover Why and How

Under pressure to change your financial business processes and not sure where to start? Is your enterprise resource planning (ERP) delivering on its promise to streamline core business processes or are you saddled with lengthy upgrades, legacy customizations, and complex integrations? You might be wondering whether cloud technology is a viable option – is it able to handle your security requirements for your financial data, your business complexities, and your specific needs for cost reduction. Is it really ready?

Yes, it is… Oracle cloud offers a broad portfolio of software as a service applications, platform as a service, and social capabilities, all on a subscription basis. It delivers instant value and productivity for finance professionals through functionally rich, integrated, enterprise cloud services.

With Oracle Cloud, you get enterprise-grade application services based on best-in-class business applications. Did you know that more than 25 million users rely on Oracle Cloud every day!!

Learn about the world’s most complete cloud for the enterprise at Oracle CloudWorld and in ONE DAY find out how Oracle can transform your organization! Don’t miss out, register for this FREE event today! 

Friday Jan 11, 2013

Join our London Seminar - Improving Business Performance with Advanced Controls

Come join Oracle, Smiths Medical, and PWC at this exclusive financial executive briefing.

What if you lost a tenth of a percent of your vendor spend to cash leakage?

It may not sound like much at first, but the losses quickly add up. Consider a firm that spends £1 billion and has a 5 percent profit margin. It would take an additional £20 million in incremental sales to recover cash lost due to leakage every year.

But what can you do? If you’re like most organisations, you’re already devoting too much time to manual tasks such as reviewing vendor invoices for errors, checking user access, and detecting unauthorised changes. Oracle recognises that this remaining element of manual controls presents an untapped opportunity for your organisation.

There’s a better way. Oracle offers advanced financial controls to help you:

  • Reduce cash leakage by automatically detecting duplicate vendor invoices
  • Improve working capital with insight into sales invoice exceptions and customer account write-offs
  • Ensure financial reporting accuracy by delivering consistent data to the consolidations process

Hear first-hand from Steve Ogilvie, Director, Governance and Security the benefits achieved by Smiths Medical from implementing Oracle’s GRC technology.

This is a must-attend event for finance executives who are ready to learn how they can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their process controls. And if you are considering an ERP systems upgrade, this is an even more opportune time to learn how advanced financial controls can improve your bottom line.

Date:
Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Time:
8:00 a.m. PST / 11:00 a.m. EST

Register now.

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Focusing on solutions for the Office of Finance, this blog will highlight key financial management market trends, events and other news of interest.

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