Tuesday May 07, 2013

The Growing IT Labor Shortage Post 3: United Streetcar: America’s Only Streetcar Manufacturer is Back On Track

by Jim Lein, Programs Management Senior Principal, Oracle Accelerate Corporate Programs

Managing Finance and IT Under One Roof

Streetcar (tram) systems are gaining popularity in the United States and worldwide, often as a key component of urban revitalization. Potential investors and residents can be assured that development plans are more than just dreams if a city is investing in an appealing transportation infrastructure. In 2005, Portland-based Oregon Iron Works (OIW) spun off a subsidiary, United Streetcar, to embark on the vision of becoming America’s only domestic manufacturer of streetcars.

Oracle’s Profit magazine featured United Streetcar in the August 2011 Profit Oracle’s JD Edwards Special Edition. However, achieving full production mode was delayed by months, partly because the Federal Transit Authority (FTA) was still actively developing access and safety standards.

Today, United Streetcar is back on track. Late in the evening on January 21st, 2013, it delivered its first production streetcar to the City of Portland. A second streetcar was shipped in April. There are some great pictures on its Facebook page.

Last week, I had a conversation with Don Hutchison, Director of Finance at United Streetcar, to see how things were going. He played a role in the company’s decision in 2009 to deploy the Oracle Accelerate Solution for Manufacturing from local Oracle partner Jibe Consulting.

“We selected Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne because of its capabilities for mixed mode manufacturing and because we knew it would be the best solution to help us build a new 100% domestic supply chain for streetcars,” says Hutchison. “And we chose Jibe because they are local and have a great reputation in implementing Oracle solutions at many Portland-area manufacturing companies.”

Hutchison has a diverse background in finance, IT, consulting, and operations. He supervises the finance and IT functions at United Streetcar. For this blog series on The Growing IT Labor Shortage I asked Hutchison about his approach to managing both.

“If done correctly,” observes Hutchison, “finance should be able to provide operations with meaningful and actionable information. That’s what we need to do. An income statement and a balance sheet are interesting but—as I often remind my team—we are a manufacturer-not an accounting firm.”

Hutchison’s IT strategy for United Streetcar reflects an increasing trend amongst growing midsize companies to adopt a hybrid sourcing plan for IT roles and functions. Infrastructure support duties—primarily server management—for both United Streetcar and OIW are shared by three IT staff and one or two contractors from an outside firm. Hutchison has just one part time sub contractor supporting the Oracle’s JD Edwards applications. He meets with Jibe once a week to review open issues and pulls them in as needed.

With most production barriers now removed, United Streetcar is now actively bidding on multiple streetcar projects. Hutchison says the capabilities in Oracle’s JD Edwards give United Streetcar an advantage over big foreign competitors. “90% of streetcar design is the same from city to city,” he says, “with minor variations to things like seating layout, HVAC, and communication systems requirements as well as the cosmetic look of the front and back ends. As we engage in new bids, we can leverage Oracle’s JD Edwards to more quickly and accurately do an evaluation of how any variations will impact our bid. This makes us better situated to meet the needs of the US market which requires bidding on short runs of maybe 6 cars instead of 50-200 cars as is common in Europe and Canada.

 More in this series:

 Post 1: The Growing IT Labor Shortage: Are You Feeling It?

Post 2: Want to Hire and Retain the Best Talent? Leverage Your Employees' Social Media Networks

Thursday May 02, 2013

MarketSphere Achieves Oracle Business Accelerators Qualified Status for Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

Find out how powerful, cloud-based rapid implementation tools enable MarketSphere to speed delivery of Oracle Applications for customers.

Click here to read the press release.

Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

NEWS: Oracle Business Accelerators Enable Growing Companies Around the World to Adopt Modern Business Applications Quickly & Reliably

See how customers and partners leverage Oracle’s cloud-based implementation tools with embedded best practices to swiftly realize benefits of Oracle applications.

Click here to read the press release.

Friday Apr 26, 2013

New Oracle Midsize InDepth Newsletter

Read the Oracle Midsize InDepth Newsletter to find out when midsize organizations should consider upgrading their ERP, how to simplify IT with Oracle Database Appliance X3-2, the top five benefits of Oracle Optimized Solution for JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, customer and partner successes, and more.

Click here to read the newsletter.

Friday Apr 19, 2013

New Oracle Business Accelerators Video

Watch this video to see how to deploy Oracle Applications fast with Oracle Business Accelerators, cloud-based rapid implementation tools, developed and maintained by Oracle, to get customers up and running on a wide range of Oracle Applications quickly and reliably.

Click here to watch the video.

Friday Apr 12, 2013

PL Developments Utilized Oracle Business Accelerators to Quickly Implement Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 and Fuel Rapid Growth

PL Developments is using the Oracle E-Business Suite to support growth and streamline operations for its rapidly growing manufacturing business. PLD’s implementation partner, and Oracle PartnerNetwork platinum-level member KPIT, utilized Oracle Business Accelerators, which are powerful, easy-to-use, cloud-based rapid implementation tools developed by Oracle to get customers up and running on a wide range of Oracle Applications, both quickly and reliably.

Click here to read the press release.

MedicAlert Foundation Identifies New Services and Offerings with Help from Oracle Applications

· Working with Oracle PartnerNetwork platinum-level member DAZ Systems, and leveraging Oracle Business Accelerators, MedicAlert Foundation implemented the Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1 in less than seven months, five months faster than anticipated. With its new technology platform and the assistance of eVerge Group, a platinum-level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork, MedicAlert has been able to open up new business opportunities and extend partnerships.

Click here to read the press release.

Thursday Mar 14, 2013

Attend COLLABORATE 13 - April 7-11 in Denver, CO

COLLABORATE 13: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community

COLLABORATE 13 is co-presented by three user groups - the IOUG, OAUG and Quest, to bring you the best practices and user-driven training that each user group offers. Plus, COLLABORATE attendees have access to the greater Oracle community — more exhibitors, Oracle representatives and other Oracle users.  Learn more by attending Collaborate13!

Register here: http://www.collaborate13.org/

New Video - Continuous Access to Innovation: Oracle E-Business Suite

Check out this video about Oracle’s investment and recent innovations in Oracle E-Business Suite now available via Oracle Premier Support.

Click here to view the video.

Friday Mar 08, 2013

Learn the strategic direction for Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and JD Edwards World

Join us at an event near you for an exclusive briefing with an Oracle product development expert, including lunch, networking and resource fair. Click here for details.

Wednesday Feb 06, 2013

AppCast: Learn Why Midsize Companies Buy Oracle to Grow

Over 290,000 midsize companies run Oracle. Listen to the 10-minute AppCast with Steve Cox, Vice President - Oracle Accelerate Global Programs, to “Learn Why Midsize Companies Buy Oracle to Grow”

Click here to listen to the AppCast.

Thursday Jan 31, 2013

How can your vendor make implementation easier?

Technology Evaluation Center explains how Oracle Business Accelerators, cloud-based rapid implementation tools, prove to be helpful in the implementation process.

Click here to read the article.

15 partners created 22 new Oracle Accelerate solutions over the past six months to help midsize organizations grow their business

Oracle Partners Introduce First Oracle Accelerate Solutions for Oracle Fusion Applications

New Partner Produced Rapid Implementation Solutions Help Growing Businesses Quickly Adopt Powerful, Innovative Oracle Applications.

Click here to read the press release.


As LinkedIn grew from a startup to a post-IPO market leader, they relied on Oracle applications to support transformations

Click here to read the Profit Magazine article.
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