Tuesday Oct 20, 2015

Why Finance Needs to Be More Social


Guest post by David Haimes, Sr. Director, Oracle ERP Cloud Development

Picture this: You’re a controller in a finance group that prides itself on following modern best practices and not being just a bunch of bean counters. On Friday, your boss sent you an email with a spreadsheet listing amounts that potentially need to be written off as bad debt. You forward it to your team, asking for updates and supporting documentation.

First thing Monday, you pull up your email and there are 35 emails in response to your Friday email—‘Fwd: Fwd: Re: Re:’. It’s a complex thread and many of the responses have multi-MB attachments for documentation. It’s a mess, especially maintaining version control for that spreadsheet, but you sort it out by the end of the day. The good news is that homeward bound traffic is light at 7 pm. On your drive home, you replay the day and think there’s got to be a better way.

There is.

The better way would have been to log into your finance system, pull up the bad debt transactions, and then securely share each as a social object—an attachment—directly to your company’s private social network. There, you would tag a list of the right reviewers, provide guidance, and ask them to review the transaction as necessary. Conversely, if you’ve participated in a conversation on our social network, you can preserve that as documentation by attaching it to the appropriate record in the finance system.

On Monday, you would have logged into that social conversation and seen that everybody had provided their input using that one object as a single version of the truth and provided documentation as attachments to the conversation. No version control required. No emails clogging your inbox. You would have made it home long before the Monday Night Football kickoff.

It really can be that simple.

Shedding the ‘No Social for Finance’ Stigma

Deservedly or not, finance departments often gain reputations for being set in their ways—skeptical of newfangled methods of doing their business. But at Oracle we believe that finance should be free to exploit enabling technologies—cloud, social, mobile—just like the folks down the hall in sales, marketing, HR, and the like.

A good social network complements the most stringent finance practices and regulations and is just as secure—maybe even more secure—than your email system.

Social Supports the Way Finance Works Today

Everyone knows that teenagers and Millennials won’t use email unless they’re forced kicking and screaming to do so. If I need to contact one of my kids, I don’t call or email. I text or send a message on Facebook Messenger. (No SnapChat for me yet).

Well, I hate email too. Most likely you do too, irrespective of your generation. Many working groups within Oracle have adopted a no-email policy. All collaboration is conducted through our Oracle Social Network (OSN). Users love its capabilities and can’t imagine going back to the old ways of emails and workspaces.

When adopted and embraced, with leadership buy-in, an internal social network can:

  • Enable finance departments to collaborate within a secure business environment
  • Accelerate decision making with real-time information access via web and mobile
  • Involve the right people in the right decisions at the right time, and
  • Make conversations available for review and audit from the business object.

For example, in the scenario I presented above, let’s say it’s a year later and the auditor says, “Where’s your documentation for your bad debt journal entries?” With the old way, you’d stand on a chair, reach up on a shelf, pull down a big fat report binder, rifle through it, and eventually find the right stuff. All the time, you’re hoping that you remembered to print out the email chain generated during the review process and put it in the report. Yes, problem solved but it makes me tired just thinking about it.

Wouldn’t you rather simply click on the social conversation from within the finance system and show it side by side with the corresponding record? And, by the way, you could click on that object and drill down into the finance application if additional context is required.

Feel free to imagine all the scenarios, keeping in mind that Oracle Social Network:

  • Extends contextual collaboration within finance to any employee(s) across all job roles and functions
  • Is fully integrated to our Financials Cloud user experience, and
  • Is (of course) fully mobile across a full range of devices.

When you add someone to a conversation, they have instantaneous access to the entire history of what’s been going on. Everything that’s been said; every document in its latest iteration. They can pick and choose what they need to review to get up to speed based on their unique, individual background, skills, and familiarity with the topic.

Social (Network) Security

Email security varies based on what you use, so I don’t know how secure or not your system is. But if you’re sending sensitive information via email, what’s to keep someone from sharing it—maybe even accidentally—with others outside your company? As with all Oracle Cloud applications, Oracle Social Network is designed to meet corporate demands for security, privacy, and information protection by providing each customer and their users with an independent and private instance for collaboration with configurable retention and audit policies for traceability. I know this sounds like technical jargon but what it means to you is that your information is kept separate from other customers’, protected with embassy-grade security, and you’ll always have the audit trail you need.

Within Oracle Social Network, you define and control who shares and collaborates on available information, but within the restrictions placed upon them by your company’s uniquely-defined enterprise security policies. No company is better than Oracle at providing enterprise application security to their customers.


How To Make Social for Finance Happen

Whereas the majority of your finance team may yearn for social, it’s not going to happen until the person at the top says so.

A couple of years ago, I posted our Oracle OpenWorld Demo Grounds finance booth schedule to OSN. I flagged everyone by announcing, “The schedule is posted here. Please review it and let me know if you have any conflicts. If I don’t hear from you, I’ll assume we’re good.” I had 100% success rate in having my team review the schedule. No excuses like, “I missed your email. My daughter has a piano recital that day. Is it too late to change?”

I guess what I’m saying is that this is stuff people want and have been waiting for. They just want the endorsement and guidance of leadership.

Summarizing the Beauty of Social for Finance

Oracle Social Network is fully available and free to all Oracle Financials Cloud users (Release 7 and beyond). The value proposition for social in the finance function is clear. It supports the way people want to work. It eliminates roadblocks and errors associated with the email flood. It simplifies life in finance.

When it comes to internal collaboration, I can’t imagine a scenario where email is better. Whether it’s for status updates, project management, meeting notes, or you name it. It just works better. And, the game changing benefit with Oracle is the ability to drag and drop a social conversation directly to business objects in your Oracle Finance Cloud and our other ERP applications.

Finance professionals seeking to adopt Modern Best Practice don’t try and figure out how to make 20th century email work better. They stifle the flood at the source. They exploit enabling technologies, not so much to make life easier, but more so to increase efficiency and reinforce the strategic value of the finance organization.

Learn More About Oracle Social Network

Monday Oct 19, 2015

29 Intimate Touchpoints between Finance and HR: Modern Best Practice

Whether or not their parents’ approve—finance and HR are in a long-term relationship. Shouldn’t they be on good speaking terms?

In the past, HR systems have often been the poor relations when it comes to IT budget allocation. But with the courtship for top talent heating up, cloud-based solutions for attracting, managing, and retaining the best people are becoming more popular.

Unfortunately, passion can cloud reason and sometimes decisions are made to adopt HR systems that don’t talk to finance. Think about—every time you make a change to an HR policy, there is a reciprocal impact on finance.

Now, I’m no Dr. Phil but I know that communication is the key to a long and happy relationship. If your HR system is not talking to finance and vice-versa, it’s a problem that could fester and ultimately blow up and cause big trouble.

HR and Finance should have no secrets. That’s why we've just published Modern Best Practice for Finance and HR where we list the top 5 ways that, for better or worse, finance and HR are connected.

And, since modern relationships can be complicated, we've identified 29 Intimate Touchpoints between HR and Finance and other ERP suitors: 

Modern Best Practice for Finance:

1. Budget To Approval Organization Change Impacts Budgets – your company has decided to add sales reps to capitalize on new products they've just launched into the market. New departments and budgets will need to be created and approved.
2. Asset Acquisition to Retirement Organization Change impacts Asset Management – your company is on an expansion path. You need to plan acquisition of assets such as furniture, real estate, and computer equipment to accommodate your growing organization and how best to handle depreciation.
3. Bank Transaction to Cash Position Organization Change impacts Cash – your company has decided to setup branch offices and production facilities in new countries to better serve the expanding local clientele. Cash reserves in local currencies have to be setup to meet the new payroll requirements and accurate HR personnel data is key to effective cash allocation.
4. Expense Report to Reimbursement Policy Change Reduce Expenditures – the office of the CFO found travel costs to be considerably over budget after an analysis of expenditures. Adopting a new travel policy across the entire organization which requires video conferencing first or a travel justification and management approval second will reduce unnecessary travel.
5. Supplier Invoice to Payment Organization Change Impacts Supplier Payments – the office of CFO decided to consolidate supplier payment activities to the regional level instead of cutting checks from the local offices. Payments to suppliers are maintained during the responsibility shift so the company does not lose any discounts.
6. Daily Close to Financial Forecast Organization Change Impacts Approvals – a regional CFO is promoted to a global responsibility. It's important from Day One that the new Global CFO has access to dashboards that cover the entire operation. Simultaneously, the regional CFO replacement gains access to appropriate dashboards and approval privileges that reflect their new role.
7. Period Close to Financial Forecast Organization Change Impacts Closing – it is the first quarter-end close incorporating the financial reporting from a recent acquisition. Accounting staff from the acquired company need to have access to data and reports to resolve the open transactions for speedy resolution and better consolidation.

Modern Best Practice for HR & Talent (Impact from Finance):

8. Recruit to Onboard Business Objective Impacts Recruiting – your HR department needs to advise business managers on their budgets, bring in the right candidates for vacancies, and streamline on-boarding process. Your company is building a new team to focus on promoting and selling through digital channels. HR utilizes social media to source candidates and conducts initial screenings using video conferencing. The new hires go through an on-demand orientation process and gain access to company systems on their starting day.
9. Benefit to Payroll Business Activities Impact Benefit – HR needs to support business activities by offering competitive pay and benefits.
10. Payroll to Payment Business Activities Impact Payroll – your organization decides to an office in a new country office to serve the growing clientele. HR needs to make sure the payroll process is compliant with local regulation.
11. Time Collection to Payroll Processing Business Requirements Impact Time Reporting – as employees are assigned to a project, the project information should be available for time recording. To prepare for the busy season, your organization reviews past time cards and overtime costs to determine the number of seasonal workers needed. These seasonal employees are granted access to time reporting so they can record their time from their start date.
12. Goal Setting to Appraisal Business Objective impacts Goals & Appraisals – your organization targets midsize companies for the new product. The performance goals for the sales staff is adjusted to encourage more selling to the midsize segment.
13. Career Planning to Performance Management Business Requirements Impact Performance Measurement – your organization decides the key to winning new customers is to influence them early in their decision making process. You work with the head of marketing to add 'online media competency' into the performance measurement of the marketing staff.
14. Talent Review to Development Business Needs Impact Talent Requirements – your organization decides that digital media is key to reaching your target customers. HR reviews the talent profile of the marketing, sales, and service employees and tailors on-demand learning offerings on this topic for different roles and responsibilities.
15. Termination to Payroll Employee Termination Impacts Requisition Approval – when employees leave your organization, requisitions in their approval queues need to be rerouted to substitute a next-level approver based on business rules.
16. Absence Planning to Productivity Improvement Business Needs Impact Absence Planning - your organization works on better scheduling of vacation time in the groups supporting critical customer activities. You implement an approval rule for vacation time requests from these groups that must be submitted ahead of time and go through managerial approval.

Modern Best Practice for Procurement:

17. Insight to Smart Sourcing Organization Change Hinders Contract Negotiations – to reap the benefit of smart sourcing, there are many departments involved: purchasing, subject matter experts, contract specialists, and accounting. Any personnel/organization changes in these departments can hinder the effectiveness of negotiations. Up-to-date organizational records allow review and approval routing to be executed without a hitch.
18. Requisition to Receipt Policy Change Impacts Compliance – all purchases of a certain category, e.g for contingent labor, must be subject to VP level approval within the accounting function. If HR and Finance are in sync, the policy is immediately reflected in all the appropriate workflows without the need for human intervention.
19. Contract Creation to Spend Compliance Organization Changes Impacts Approval – any revision of or deviation from standard terms and clauses requires approval. The speed of approval can impact contract negotiation because often you have to respond within a timeframe.
20. Supplier Registration to Supplier Performance Organization Change Impacts Supplier Management – a new hire in the purchasing department has access to dashboards for collaboration with the right people with the right knowledge: recipients of purchased goods and services for feedback on supplier performance, subject matter experts for qualification criteria, and production managers for purchase order distribution. The configured approval and workflow is synchronized with HR so they will be sure of reaching the right people.
21. Supplier Return to Settlement Organization Change Impacts Supplier Settlement – new employees can view return orders on their dashboards to work on follow-up actions.
22. Supplier Invoice to Payment Organization Change Impacts Approval – resolving disputes quickly and paying suppliers on time allow organizations to take advantage of any payment discounts and lead to favorable terms for future contacts. New employees in the payables department gain access to dashboards and necessary approval privileges to resolve disputes and process payments.

Modern Best Practice for Projects:

23. Initiation to Project Plan Resource Capacity Impacts Project Decisions – to put together a proposal, a project manager needs to know the skill sets and availability of the staff. They need to know whether new staff or training the existing staff on new skills are needed to meet the project commitment.
24. Resource Deployment to Utilization Organization Change Impacts Project Resources – when resourcing a project, the manager needs access to detailed talent profiles to determine best suited project staff. This real time status of talent in the organization is critical to project staffing.
25. Project Execution to Control Personnel Change Impacts Project Execution – It is not uncommon that team members are reassigned or replaced during a project. New members need to gain the right system access to perform project tasks and record status to reach full productivity as soon as possible.
26. Project Expenditure to Cost Control Organization Change Impacts Project Costs – project members need access to systems to record project activities and status for an accurate reflection of project costs.
27. Grant Award Funding to Closeout Organization Change Impacts Award Distribution – The composition of a project team may change the direction of the project and how the project is funded. Award administrators need to adjust funding accordingly.
28. Project Contract to Revenue Personnel Change Impacts Revenue Recognition – the project administrator is on a leave of absence. Access to dashboards is available to the new assignee to ensure milestones and work completions are recognized for revenue reporting.
29. Analysis to Project Optimization Accurate HR Data is Vital to Project Analysis – the CIO reviews reports from the latest projects and discovers that many projects use a database administration service provider on a part-time basis. After reviewing the current talent pool and staffing requirements in the pipeline, the CIO decides to hire a shared database administration resource in house and directs HR to start recruitment.

Best wishes for a long and fruitful future for your ERP and HR systems.



Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Friday Oct 16, 2015

Modern Best Practice Live—the Mobile CFO: Oracle OpenWorld Session


We launched Modern Best Practice (MBP) at Oracle OpenWorld 2014. Today, MBP is booming. We now have published 73 MBPs—free and accessible to anyone. We’re adding more all the time.

Our follow up session this year, Modern Best Practice Live: Transformational Cloud Strategies for Today’s CFO and CIO (Monday, Oct 26, 1:30 pm, Moscone West—3007), at Oracle OpenWorld 2015 will be hosted by Steve Cox, VP, Oracle Cloud Business Group.

The session will feature demos by three Oracle partners:

  • Modern Best Practice for Intelligent HR—Inoapps
  • The Mobile CFO—DAZ Systems Inc.
  • Modern Best Practice for the Digital Sales ProfessionalBizTech

Spotlight on: The Mobile CFO

I chatted with Leslie Draper, Solution Consultant at DAZ Systems Inc. In this session, she’ll be demonstrating how easy it is for finance professionals to get what they’ve always wanted—robust financial applications with real time, personalized reports and analytics at their fingertips wherever they may go.

“Analytics and reporting are built in to Oracle Financials Cloud,” says Draper. “And the capabilities are ready to use simultaneous to going live on the core financial applications.”

Cloud-based Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) is accessed by simply clicking on the Financial Reporting Center tab which is a mobile ready URL.

“The out of the box analytics are fulfilling the needs of most of our customers,” Draper says. “They’re looking at the bottom line and want to see exceptions that require action, whether it’s during a financial period or after closing.”

OTBI presents the views and end users can easily build out their dashboards. Draper says that any CFO can personalize their dashboards but acknowledges that they’d probably delegate that to someone in the finance group. After all—they are the CFO. The point being, however, is that no technical setup support is required.

Sunbursting: the Smile Generator

I asked Draper what she likes best about OTBI.

“Sunbursting,” she answered. “We take a dashboard and show customers how they can look at it so many different ways based on the dimensions of their organizations. We see a lot of smiles and get a lot of comments when we do that.”

An example would be to start with a dashboard view of total revenue and then drill down to revenue by territory or store or however else you want to analyze it. The appeal is being able to easily navigate from a summary to more detailed views.

“Mobile finance in the cloud makes my job much more exciting and fun than is used to be,” says Draper, reminiscing about her 14 years as an implementer and pre-sales consultant. “Five years ago, it would have been much more complicated, expensive, and time consuming to get to this level of real time reporting. Oracle Cloud makes this happen for all our customers, big and small.”

Plan Your Oracle OpenWorld Experience

Modern Best Practice Live: Transformational Cloud Strategies for Today’s CFO and CIO [CON8424], Monday, Oct 26, 1:30 pm, Moscone West—3007

Session Description: Business change and disruption are no longer news: they are the norm. How do you use best practices to manage and thrive in this environment? Which end-to-end business process is the right best practice for you, and how can it help you flexibly adopt new enabling technologies for business transformation? Join this session for insight into Oracle Modern Best Practice and to see a live demo of Oracle Modern Best Practice in Oracle’s cloud products.

View Focus on Oracle Midsize to identify more great sessions to fill your schedule.


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Tuesday Oct 13, 2015

Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Releases More Cool Stuff

Now available, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Applications Release 9.2 & JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Tools Release 9.2

What’s New?

Oracle previously announced the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Internet of Things (IoT) Orchestrator with Tools Release 9.1.5.5.

By reading this whitepaper, I learned that:

With the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne IoT Orchestrator, JD Edwards is delivering a solution that integrates the operational with the information side of technology by providing the mechanism and processes to receive and aggregate the data from various types of devices, integrate and secure those data, and then to pass them to JD Edwards ERP applications for analysis and action.

Newly released are Prebuilt JD Edwards EnterpriseOne IoT Orchestrations to address common use cases for the asset - intensive, manufacturing, and agribusiness industries. Companies can leverage the prebuilt, out of the box orchestrations as models to design and implement custom orchestrations. Read a list of the orchestrations now available in the release announcement.

What Else is New?

  • More JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Mobile applications, with more than 80 now available and Apple’s App store, Google Play, and as archives on the update center. Read more about JD Edwards EnterprisOne Mobile Solutions here.
  • New strategic products for the projects, consumer goods, and manufacturing/distribution industries. Click on the appropriate industry tab on the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne home page to learn more.
  • Advanced Job Forecasting, delivering key capabilities for project-focused industries, such as E&C and construction.

But Wait…There’s More

Learn more about what’s been released by reading the JD Edwards Attitude @Altitude blog post, Announcing JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Release 9.2


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Sep 30, 2015

Modern Best Practice Explained in 3 Minutes: Video

Actually, make that 3 minutes and 3 seconds.

Modern Best Practice enables organizations of all sizes to achieve radically superior results fast, and with fewer resources.

We've now published 73 Modern Best Practices across key business areas:

to name a few and have started adding industries:

And, we're adding more every month or so.

Microwave some popcorn, grab your beverage of choice, and settle in for an entertaining 3 minutes. And 3 seconds.



Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.



Monday Sep 28, 2015

Fire Up Your Innovation Engine With ERP Cloud: Oracle CEO Mark Hurd


To be clear…I’m not Mark Hurd. With that said, and from my perspective, digital transformation of business is the biggest game changing technology development since the ‘invention’ of the internet. Yet, even as almost all organizations strive to digitally transform, they’re not being given extra money to do it. Not like the massive surge of funding so many companies coughed up to cover the whole Y2K thing.

How can your company fund digital transformation?

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd recently addressed this question during his opening keynote at the Oracle CFO Summit in Paris.

“There’s a strong need to redo IT, but not a lot of money to get it done,” Hurd said. “That means companies will have to take advantage of lower-cost IT innovations such as software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) to improve their ability to plan quickly and shift gears as needed.”

Hurd went on to point out that, when our customers buy Oracle ERP Cloud, they’re actually getting more than just software. They’re getting an, “innovation engine”.

It’s what you do with cloud that counts

Companies are moving to cloud-based technology solutions, not because they do cloud for cloud's sake but because that deliver model helps them lower costs, become more agile, and support the way people work and do business.

Read the CliffNotes version of Hurd’s keynote, Cloud Is 'Innovation Engine' For CFOs: Oracle's Hurd


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Sep 23, 2015

Rod Johnson, Oracle GVP, on Cloud ERP: When is it time to dump your ERP?

As I reported in a previous post, Playing Catch Up With Cloud?, cloud is now truly driving business transformation.

Rod Johnson Analyzes the Timing for Moving to Cloud ERP

Rod Johnson is global vice president of go-to-market strategy for Oracle Cloud applications. He will be a featured speaker at the upcoming Modern Finance Experience conference along with Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

Rod just published in Forbes OracleVoice, Cloud ERP: Should I Stay Or Do I Go Now? He acknowledges that breaking up is hard to do sometimes, especially when you've invested a lot of time and money in your legacy systems:

“It’s tough to walk away from a long-standing relationship, especially one in which you’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and (very likely) money. That’s the dilemma companies face when trying to answer the question: Should I break up with my ERP system?”

Johnson also presents a decision matrix that just might help you make a decision:


Read his post for more insight and guidance: Cloud ERP: Should I Stay Or Do I Go Now?


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Tuesday Sep 22, 2015

Webinar: What is Modern Best Practice? Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:00 PM EST

Oracle launched Modern Best Practice about a year ago at Oracle OpenWorld.  We now have published 73 Modern Best Practices spanning key processes and a few recent additions for industries-Professional Services and Higher Education. We've many more in the queue.

The First Step: Self-Guided Review of Modern Best Practice Resources

I write this in almost every post-

Oracle Modern Best Practice enables organizations of all sizes to consistently achieve radically superior results faster and with fewer resources.

The journey to adopting Modern Best Practice often begins with your self-guided research of all the resources we provide on the web pages.

The Next Step: Engage With Oracle or Our Partners

Partners are as important as they've ever been, for guidance, deployment expertise, and setting expectations.That's why I'm happy to share information for an upcoming webcast by BizTech. They get Modern Best Practice.

Register for the Webinar:



Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Thursday Sep 17, 2015

The Logical Next Step: Oracle Announces Oracle Applications Cloud for Midsize Companies

It’s no secret that small and midsize companies love cloud. And why shouldn’t they? Lower costs, faster deployment—all those value levers we’ve come to know and love. Small and midsize organizations are top consumers of Oracle cloud solutions but not just for those widely-known reasons.

But we don’t tell our customers that 'cloud' will fix every challenge they have

Oracle and our partners help customers understand that it’s not just about deploying cloud for cloud’s sake. Cloud is an enabling technology—not the complete solution in and of itself. There are actually bad cloud solutions!

Oracle's cloud-based business solutions help our customers adopt Modern Best Practice which exploits enabling technologies—cloud, social, mobile, big data, analytics, IoT—to achieve radically superior results faster and with fewer resources.

More about what we’re announcing, from the press release:

Oracle Applications Cloud for midsize companies are new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings designed to deliver a consistent user experience for accessing a single version of the corporate truth. They are simple to deploy, secure, and intuitive while enabling midsize organizations to adopt modern best practice, increase business agility, reduce complexity and costs, and succeed in a digital world.

These solutions span critical business functions across ERP, CX, and HCM

Customer: “Oracle’s Customer Experience Cloud solutions have transformed T H March’s business so we can grow quickly and differentiate ourselves from our competitors. We have been able to increase new sales by implementing Oracle’s CX solutions for Sales, Marketing, Service and Social.”—Neil McFarlane, Managing Director, T H March.

Oracle Development: “Midsize companies are adopting cloud technology to drive product and business model innovation, and improve customer acquisition and loyalty.”—Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President of Applications Development, Oracle.

Analyst: “Oracle Applications Cloud for midsize companies provides business applications that can grow and scale as their businesses mature. I’ve been impressed by Oracle’s deepening commitment to Cloud solutions and the customer momentum seen in the past 12 months in this hyper growth area.”—Christine Dover, Research Director, IDC.

Read the full press release:



Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Sep 16, 2015

Oracle Publishes Modern Best Practice for Professional Services

Competition for top talent—people—is a well documented high priority spanning all sizes and types of organizations. But what if your business is people? Does that make securing and retaining the best people mission-critical? The Numero uno challenge?

For Professional Services organizations, the answer is, “Heck, yea!”

That’s why Professional Services is one of the first industry Modern Best Practice we’ve published.

But It’s Not Just About the People: It’s Also About Enabling Them With Tools and Processes

Modern Best Practice exploits enabling technologies-cloud, social, mobile, analytics, Big Data, IoT-to help organizations of all sizes achieve radically superior results faster and with fewer resources.

Modern Best Practice for Professional Services covers not just HR and talent but also:

  • Finance
  • Projects
  • Service
  • Sales
  • Marketing

Explore Modern Best Practice for Professional Services:


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Thursday Sep 10, 2015

A No-Brainer: Lumosity Chooses Oracle ERP Cloud


Admit it. You’ve tried it.

I’m one of the 70 million+. In fact, I was completely and hopelessly addicted to Train of Thought.

A Company Created Via The Internet of Things

The big brains at Lumosity transformed a laboratory concept into a hugely adopted consumer product that could only be made accessible to the masses via internet technology—IoT.

For Lumosity, Oracle was the right choice. The company is rapidly expanding, with localizations in 9 languages and an increasingly global subscriber base.

As Tyler Chapman, Director of Finance at Lumosity, points out in this new video, the company’s growth required them to move to a robust, scalable, and integrated technology platform:

"To support that level of business we needed to have a finance organization that was a lot more robust—systems in place, team in place, and a more formal process around doing things so that we are able to get that information back to management so that they can make decisions.”

Integration of finance, HR, procurement, and expenses and the depth and breadth of Oracle ecosystem were major factors that influenced the decision making thought process.

Watch the video (2:18):


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Tuesday Sep 08, 2015

Back to School: 7 Proven Strategies to Fuel Transformation to a Modern Agile Campus


Congratulate me: my wife and I are now have two kids in college at the same time. Let me know if you hear of any high paying weekend jobs. 

On an unrelated note…

Oracle just published a briefing, 7 Proven Strategies to Fuel Transformation to a Modern Agile Campus. It features practical advice from Selim Burduroglu, Oracle’s Global Innovation Evangelist and Solution Architect for Higher Education. Selim has over 24 years of software industry experience, primarily focused on Higher Education.

“Becoming a modern, agile campus isn’t easy,” writes Selim. “Embracing the four foundational principles of institutional excellence—simplification, standardization, centralization, and automation—is a good place to start.”

He adds, “But simply embracing these principles is not enough. To be successful, institutions must define the right strategies to makes these initiative sustainable.”

Click here to read the full briefing.


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Thursday Sep 03, 2015

Us vs Them: What to Do When New Rivalries Emerge


To paraphrase a timeless saying, “Business opportunities make strange bedfellows”. The post-recessionary economy has compelled some companies to contribute to their arch rivals’ earnings in order to capitalize on opportunities or better serve their customers. For example, Salesforce and SAP pay Oracle a LOT of money as Larry Ellison points out in this Business Insider article.

But New Rivalries Are Much More Fascinating

Fast Company spotlights 5 Developing Business Rivalries To Keep Your Eyes On. My first reaction is wow—didn’t’ see that coming. Granted, the 10 companies mentioned probably did. HBO vs Netflix: As a consumer, I didn’t anticipate how popular original content from nontraditional sources would become, e.g. Amazon Prime’s huge hit Transparent. Wal-Mart vs. Whole Foods? Surely you’re kidding… Slack vs Gmail? That makes a lot of sense to me. I hate email.

How Can You Ready Your Business for New Rivalries?

Emerging technologies—cloud, social, mobile, Big Data—have radically changed business as usual. But, hey! 1) There is no such thing now as ‘business as usual’, and 2) they and their offspring (e.g. wearables) will continually disrupt ‘business as unusual’.

Adopting Modern Best Practice helps keep your organization future fit. It recognizes that the technology is NOT the solution: it’s the enabler. Adopting practices that keep your organization fluid and nimble keeps you open to new opportunities and ready to battle new rivalries by exploiting new technologies as they come along.

Explore Modern Best Practice: 


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Friday Aug 28, 2015

Webcast: Ride the Digital Wave or be Swept Underneath It

Digital disruption is changing business as we know it, yet many organizations think they'll get by on the same old strategies and technologies. 

On Thursday, Sept 17 @10am PST, join Oracle and Ventana Research to learn how to stay on top of change and ahead of the competition. Ventana CEO Mark Smith will share findings from their recent study, exploring 7 digital technologies that are vital for growing companies. 

Gain insights to help you: 

  1. Improve business performance with analytics
  2. identify new opportunities through Big Data
  3. Save time and money in the cloud
  4. Engage your workforce through collaboration
  5. Enable 24/7 customer access with mobile
  6. unlock the value of social media for business
  7. Drive efficiency with wearable computing

Register for the webcast HERE

The Ventana whitepaper, Modernizing Business with Digital Technologies: Best Practices in Business Transformation will be made available to registrants following the webcast


Thursday Aug 27, 2015

Oracle’s Jeff O. Henley: CFOs Should Have Much to Say on the Matter of Cloud Computing


Not that he needs me to establish his credibility…but I know for a fact that Henley has personally met with thousands of CFOs from organizations of all sizes, types, and global locales during his tenure as Oracle’s CFO, Chairman, and now Executive Vice Chairman.

In this month's Oracle Profit Magazine, Outside In, he share's his firsthand observations on how the CFO role has evolved.

CFOs in Midsize and Growth Oriented Companies Are Not Just Bean Counters

Yes, they still are responsible for counting the beans. Somebody has to do it. But the customer CFOs I typically interact with now are responsible for finance, technology, and HR. With such a vested interest, it would be crazy for them to not have a say in cloud computing decisions.

Transition to Cloud: Hybrid ERP is Commonplace

As CFOs and their peers make those decisions, they’re likely to be challenged with crafting a strategy for hybrid ERP. Unless you’re a startup, you’re going to have to decide where cloud makes sense first and how cloud systems are going to talk to both existing on premise systems and future cloud acquisitions.

As stated in PWC's Strategy& report, Beyond ERP: New Technology, New Options, “Hybrid ERP takes many corporate functions out of the core ERP system”. The report shares three trends driving Hybrid ERP adoption:


What Can CFOs Do to Prepare For Those Conversations? 

Oracle shares a free library of Modern Best Practices to help CFOs and their peers plan cloud and hybrid ERP deployment strategies. Organized by business area-finance, sales, procurement, etc.-these process flows and supporting resources to help organizations exploit enabling technologies to achieve greater results with fewer resources.


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle. 



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