Saturday Mar 01, 2014

Are You Ready for Oracle Financials Cloud Release 8?

If you are an existing Oracle Financials Cloud customer, learn what's new in the upcoming Oracle Financials Cloud release by reviewing expanded discussions of each new feature and product, including capability overviews, business benefits, setup considerations, usage tips, and more. And for those of you considering whether the time is right for your organization to to move to the Cloud, get a first-hand look at all that Oracle has to offer.

With over 20 new features such as downloading credit card transactions to your mobile device and manager approvals of expense reports via your iPhone, users can get more work done that works for their schedule.  

Click here for more information.

Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

Cloud Financials, Enterprise Social Networks More Attractive to CFOs

Finance departments are ready to exploit today's potentially disruptive cloud, mobile, big data and social technologies to transform how they do business, in part by using social networks to collaborate more effectively. That was the message of "Empowering Modern Finance," a panel at the Oracle OpenWorld conference held last week in San Francisco.  If you missed the OpenWorld panel discussion, check out the summary published on TechTarget.  Read full article.

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

OpenWorld Attendees: Attend Finance General Session - Empowering Modern Finance

Attending OpenWorld 2013?  Don’t forget to add the Finance General Session to your schedule! Oracle teams up with Deloitte, IDC, and Curse, Inc. to share how disruptive technologies are empowering the modern finance organization. Empowering Modern Finance. (Session ID: GEN8986)

Add it to your schedule today!

Friday Jul 12, 2013

The CFO as Catalyst for Change

A guest post by John O'Rourke, Vice President Product Marketing, Oracle

Over the past few months, we’ve taken a microscope to the role of the CFO. The changing economic environment is creating new demands and opportunities for CFOs around the world. At Oracle, we are committed to helping CFOs navigate and succeed, and recently partnered with Accenture on a global research study, “The CFO as Catalyst for Change.”


As the Wall Street Journal’s CFO Journal summarized, the study highlights the evolution of the CFO’s role from financial overseer to corporate strategist and change agent. I discussed the main findings in a previous blog post, but wanted to share some great insights on the study from industry influencers.

InformationWeek’s Doug Henschen discussed the increasing role CFOs are playing in the technology department, highlighting the similarity between what has also been happening with CMOs. I think the CFO’s role in technology decisions can have a bigger impact and is worth noting.

Without a doubt, CFOs are taking technology seriously! CFO Magazine highlighted the skills perspective in their article on the study, pointing out that when asked about where CFOs could improve their skills and capabilities, technology knowledge was ranked second only to industry knowledge. Now, that’s saying something!

But they are not just focusing on ways to enhance their knowledge base -- CFOs also understand the importance of new technology. A Wall Street & Technology article on the study stressed how CFOs are increasingly citing disruptive technology as critical for success. In fact, 79 percent of respondents viewed access to information as a key driver of organizational agility, while 57 percent viewed investments in big data and analytics as a key source of competitive advantage.

The study shows that the role of the CFO has dramatically changed and it continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Now, CFOs must be catalysts for change and help their organizations transform and thrive in today’s global economy. 


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.

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.

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.

Friday Dec 21, 2012

Registration is now open for Oracle CloudWorld! Come see the Cloud in action in Los Angeles, CA - January 29th

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?

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! 

Wednesday Dec 12, 2012

Join the Cloud - Just Like Lending Club

See why Lending Club, the leading platform for investing in and obtaining personal loans, selected Oracle Fusion Financials to help improve decision-making and workflow, implement robust reporting, and take advantage of the scalability and cost savings provided by the cloud.

Watch the Lending Club video.

Additional Resources:

Friday Nov 16, 2012

Join our webinar: What CFOs Want From IT -- Unlocking Growth with Emerging Technologies

According to the 2012 Gartner-FEI research, big data, analytics, and new mobile, social & cloud computing platforms are increasingly on the CFOs radar screen because of their potential to unlock new growth opportunities.

Join Oracle Chair Jeff Henley, & Oracle's Reggie Bradford & Rich Clayton as they explore CFO strategies & best practices for driving real value from IT investments in these areas:

  • Why CFOs should get involved in big data and business analytics projects, and what best practices they can adopt to ensure their success
  • How CFOs are leveraging new mobile and cloud computing platforms to address enterprise demands quickly and cost effectively
  • How CFOs can partner with CMOs to maximize the value of IT investments in social technologies that can help create new growth opportunities

CFOs have more responsibility over IT than ever before.  Learn how Oracle unlocks the transformative power of IT to take your business to the next level of performance.  

Date:
Tuesday, November 27, 2012


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

Register now.

Tuesday Nov 06, 2012

Reminder: Oracle OpenWorld Presentations Available for Download

A little over 30 days ago 45,000 Oracle OpenWorld conference attendees stormed San Francisco to battle the heat in search of Oracle solutions to address their business needs. With so much activity from Keynotes, General Sessions, and Conference Panels to Meet the Experts and the Exhibit Halls, perhaps there was some Oracle Financials sessions you missed!  Keynotes and sessions are now available for download on the OpenWorld site. For a complete list of sessions and session IDs, view any of the Focus on Documents located on the OpenWorld site.

Thursday Aug 30, 2012

Drinking Our Own Champagne: Fusion Accounting Hub at Oracle

A guest post by Corey West, Senior Vice President, Oracle's Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer

There's no better story to tell than one about Oracle using its own products with blowout success. Here's how this one goes.

As you know, Oracle has increased its share of the software market through a number of high-profile acquisitions. Legally combining companies is a very complicated process -- it can take months to complete, especially for the acquisitions with offices in several countries, each with its own unique laws and regulations. It's a mission critical and time sensitive process to roll an acquired company's legacy systems (running vital operations, such as accounts receivable and general ledger (GL)) into the existing systems at Oracle.

To date, we've run our primary financial ledgers in E-Business Suite R12 -- and we've successfully met the requirements of the business and closed the books on time every single quarter. But there's always room for improvement and that comes in the form of Fusion Applications. We are now live on Fusion Accounting Hub (FAH), which is the first critical step in moving to a full Fusion Financials instance.

We started with FAH so that we could design a global chart of accounts. Eventually, every transaction in every country will originate from this global chart of accounts -- it becomes the structure for managing our business more uniformly. In conjunction, we're using Oracle Hyperion Data Relationship Management (DRM) to centralize and automate governance of our global chart of accounts and related hierarchies, which will help us lower our costs and greatly reduce risk.

Each month, we have to consolidate data from our primary general ledgers. We have been able to simplify this process considerably using FAH. We can now submit our primary ledgers running in E-Business Suite (EBS) R12 directly to FAH, eliminating the need for more than 90 redundant consolidation ledgers. Also we can submit incrementally, so if we need to book an adjustment in a primary ledger after close, we can do so without re-opening it and re-submitting. As a result, we have earlier visibility to period-end actuals during the close.

A goal of this implementation, and one that we successfully achieved, is that we are able to use FAH globally with no customization. This means we have the ability to fully deploy ledger sets at the consolidation level, plus we can use standard functionality for currency translation and mass allocations. We're able to use account monitoring and drill down functionality from the consolidation level all the way through to EBS primary ledgers and sub-ledgers, which allows someone to click through a transaction appearing at the consolidation level clear through to its original source, a significant productivity enhancement when doing research. We also see a significant improvement in reporting using Essbase cube and Hyperion Smart View. Specifically, "the addition of an Essbase cube on top of the GL gives us tremendous versatility to automate and speed our elimination process," says Claire Sebti, Senior Director of Corporate Accounting at Oracle.

A highlight of this story is that FAH is running in a co-existence environment. Our plan is to move to Fusion Financials in steps, starting with FAH. Next, our Oracle Financial Services Software subsidiary will move to a full Fusion Financials instance. Then we'll replace our EBS instance with Fusion Financials. This approach allows us to plan in steps, learn as we go, and not overwhelm our teams. It also reduces the risk that comes with moving the entire instance at once. Maria Smith, Vice President of Global Controller Operations, is confident about how they've positioned themselves to uptake more Fusion functionality and is eager to "continue to drive additional efficiency and cost savings."

In this story, the happy customers are Oracle controllers, financial analysts, accounting specialists, and our management team that get earlier access to more flexible reporting. "Fusion Accounting Hub simplifies our processes and gives us more transparency into account activity," raves Alex SanJuan, Senior Director, Record to Report Strategic Process Owner. Overall, the team has been very impressed with the usability and functionality of FAH and are pleased with the quantifiable improvements. Claire Sebti states, "Our WD5 close activities have been reduced by at least four hours of system processing time, just for the consolidation group."

Fusion Accounting Hub is an inspiring beginning to our Fusion Financials implementation story. There's no doubt it's going to be an international bestseller!

Corey West, Senior Vice President
Oracle's Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer

Thursday Aug 16, 2012

Financial Management in the Cloud: Is It Right for Your Business?

A guest post by Terrance Wampler, Vice President, Financials Product Strategy, Oracle

In a previous post, we explored the pros and cons of SaaS as compared to the traditional software delivery model. Now, here are some proof points to help you make the decision about moving to the cloud. Start by asking your IT department what they’ve done with cloud services. What worked, and, more importantly, what didn't work? If there was a problem, was it about service levels? Cost negotiation? Or was the provider not good? What they learned can help the success of future projects.

The second thing to consider is your governance model around acquisitions. Will you have to change your policies and your governance of IT procurement if you move to the cloud? Do you have to bring in other players besides IT, maybe a line of business, or is the governance model actually in the acquisition? Is there already a service provider you can leverage?

Here’s a piece that customers don't always think about: Do you have a company asset that you might be able to monetize with cloud services? Not only are you looking at how you acquire cloud services, but you might see cloud services as an opportunity to monetize some intellectual property that you have. You can work with the cloud services provider to make that available and give yourself a better negotiation edge and partnership.

Who will be measuring and monitoring your service level agreements? Do you need a revised process? Different technology? Will another organization do it? How will the results be communicated? How do you audit the process? A cloud service supplier needs to do more than say his service level is great ─ he needs to prove it to you.

Interestingly, the one question that most people tend to save to the end is: Does the product functionally do what I need it to do? Does it actually have good feature sets? It sounds obvious, but we see people missing that one.

When it comes to Fusion Applications, everyone knows that it can be deployed on premise, on demand, and in the cloud — whatever way you want it. The SaaS solution also can be part of a co-existence scenario. You can keep your on premise software, and then over time, move select components to a SaaS model.

As a cloud service provider, Oracle is very well known in the industry. We've been doing this for many years. We have large data centers running our services. We are very good about meeting our service level agreements and have excellent service renewal contracts for our SaaS business. Plus, the financial component of Fusion is a fully functional solution with all the capabilities you would expect it to have and competes well against the biggest ERPs.

At the end of the day, I believe that your evaluation of total cost of ownership is primarily an internal one. We’ve taken the need for comparing different products out of the mix. So think Fusion Applications when you have a strong business case for moving to the cloud.

Related Article: Five Ideas: Finance - What CFOs need to know about cloud and other technology solutions

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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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