Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

How to Cloud: First Steps to a Successful Oracle ERP Cloud Project

Joyce Boland
Vice President, Applications Global Marketing

CFOs, VPs, and other leaders are showing increased interest in using cloud applications: 76% of respondents to Oracle’s 2018 ERP Trends survey said they have plans to run ERP in the cloud within the next two years.

What’s behind this shift? The cost of keeping on-premises, legacy applications running has become unacceptable. As Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said at Collision 2018, “The bigger part of this movement to the cloud, which I think is an irresistible movement, is driven by the fact that customers can’t afford to keep spending the money they’re spending. They’ve got to go back to simple, go back to easy.”

Some finance teams are packing light and taking small steps, putting a single process in the cloud. At the other end of the spectrum are end-to-end migrations, moving all finance applications and processes to the cloud. But how do you take that first step, and on which path? This two-part blog series will provide a five-step guide to a successful Oracle ERP Cloud implementation project.

Step 1: Plan

The planning phase is where you will create a project definition, form teams, lay out project design, roll out the project, and launch the project’s communication strategy. It’s important to understand that IT and finance have to act as true partners in the project. Among finance leaders, 73% said closer CIO/CFO alignment has become critical to achieving finance transformation.

During Step 1, expect to realize benefits faster than you would for on-premises projects. Smaller cloud projects—particularly hybrid efforts—move much quicker because there are no capital expenditures that require multiple approvals. And the cloud eliminates many of the tasks that are built into on-premises application projects, such as hardware requisitioning, software installation, and custom code testing.

Step 2: Implement

Once the preparatory work is done, the implementation phase kicks off with five core activities, collectively referred to as CIDER: configuration, integration, data, extensions, and reports. This represents most of the project workload, but tapping into Oracle resources lightens the load and paves the way for a smoother transition.

  • Oracle Cloud applications all share the same data model and are designed to work together seamlessly. However, for third-party systems, Oracle Integration Cloud eliminates barriers between business applications through a combination of machine learning, embedded best-practice guidance, prebuilt integration, and process automation. Oracle Integration Cloud is unique in the market and provides an extensive library of adapters to Oracle and third-party SaaS and on-premises applications that enable you to deliver new business services faster.
  • Oracle Cloud Marketplace functions as a shopping center for prepackaged connectors from partners that allow you to enhance and customize your cloud experience with everything from artificial intelligence and ecommerce capabilities to security, blog, and app integration.
  • Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud simplifies data environments to streamline the transfer of data from on-premises systems. This allows you to flexibly manage enterprise data while maintaining integrity and application alignment.
  • Oracle Platform as a Service is pre-integrated with Oracle Cloud applications, which streamlines the process of extending applications or developing complementary capabilities.

The biggest psychological impediment to cloud migration projects usually manifests during the implementation phase. Typically, organizations have spent a great deal of their resources on customized code. Letting go of the need to customize can be difficult. But that custom code comes with big costs—both in dollars and in impeding flexibility. By following best practices, organizations can get what they need with just small tweaks.

Step 3: Verify

Once the project is implemented, you will need to check the accuracy and completeness of the work against project requirements. Testing should confirm:

  • Data quality, including cleanliness, conformity, concurrence with the predetermined period pull, and correctness
  • Data archiving for data that’s not migrated, and preserving it with read-only access
  • Workflows to ensure that they are connected to drive business performance
  • Security, which requires thoroughly testing CRUD: copy (download), read (view), update (alter and change), and delete (erase) access to system logins, sensitive data, etc.
  • Roles and responsibilities to make sure roles and titles are properly identified and implemented, and that you have defined work activities and tasks.

When the project team is satisfied with the verification, present the project to the key stakeholders, business units, and executives identified in the project plan, and get sign-off. It’s vitally important to engage the business process owners at this stage, because they can become champions for best practices as you move forward.

Counting down to cloud launch

A great deal has been accomplished in the first three phases, and now it’s showtime. In the next blog post in this series, we’ll discuss the Prepare stage, where you get ready for production, and the final Delivery phase. Be sure to invite us to the optional Party phase that follows.


Want more details? Read our ebook, “How to Cloud: A Five-Step Guide for Successful Oracle ERP Cloud Projects.”

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