By Mike Saslavsky, Senior Director, High Tech & Manufacturing Industries, Oracle
Informatica serves as a strategic partner and trusted advisor for its global customer base, providing the technology and services required to support critical cloud migration and digital transformation efforts. Informatica is the only proven Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader that accelerates data-driven digital transformation, enabling companies to fuel innovation, become more agile, and realize new growth opportunities—resulting in intelligent market disruptions. Over the past 25 years, Informatica has helped thousands of customers unleash the power of data, including 85 companies in the Fortune 100, in 82 countries around the world.
Recently, however, Informatica faced a technology challenge of its own: an on-premises PeopleSoft implementation that was well into its second decade of active service and well past the end of its vendor-supported lifespan.
For several years, according to Informatica Corporate Controller Vilma Ranoy, the company decided to maintain its on-premises ERP with internal resources. Eventually, however, it became clear that the cost of staying with its existing solution—in terms of wasted resources and user frustration—was becoming unacceptably high.
"Working with our existing ERP system had become very painful and very costly," Ranoy said. "Our only option was to use our internal IT resources for support and maintenance." But with so many custom functions and reports to support, the costs continued to rise and, in some cases, it wasn't possible to fix the issues.
The on-premises ERP system also delivered a subpar user experience. "Our reporting capabilities [with PeopleSoft] weren't nearly as robust as we would have liked," she stated. "You couldn't simply create a new report. You had to get IT involved, go through the change request process, development, testing, and so on."
Finally, the system was ill-suited to handle multinational accounting, reporting, and other financial functions—a big problem for a company that operates in more than 80 countries. "There was no flexibility," Ranoy stated, noting that an activity as simple as running the same report using US and local currencies required her team to create two custom reports. As a result, Informatica was running more than 200 custom reports with its on-premises ERP—a major administrative and IT burden.
Informatica is no stranger to Oracle; the two companies have partnered on multiple data management offerings over the years, and its on-premises PeopleSoft ERP system was part of Oracle's 2005 PeopleSoft acquisition. Even so, Ranoy said that the implementation process for Oracle ERP Cloud, using a preconfigured instance from integration partner KPMG, was surprisingly easy and simple.
"Working with KPMG meant that we didn't have to go through many of the steps in a conventional implementation process—like requirements gathering or fit/gap analysis," Ranoy stated. "We could focus on our unique requirements because they had a prebuilt solution that we could use."
The best measure of an implementation process, however, is its outcome. "During the first month [in production use] and our first close, we didn't have a single critical issue," Ranoy said. "None of us expected to get through such a huge implementation so easily."
A nearly trouble-free implementation process was one of the first benefits of Informatica's move to Oracle ERP Cloud. But it certainly wasn't the last.
"The best feedback that I got from our business users was for the mobile functionality," Ranoy said. "They can work from anywhere now, at any time—and now they can approve requisitions and purchase orders via mobile or email, which is a huge improvement."
The Oracle Cloud solution has also transformed Informatica's financial reporting capabilities. “We have to include a lot of countries in our accounting and reporting," Ranoy stated. "They use a number of accounting standards: US GAAP, local GAAP with specific adjustments, and so on. Oracle helped us design a system that is very flexible and easy to maintain."
As a result of these changes, Informatica was able to reduce its reporting by 75 percent—replacing virtually all of its custom reports with flexible, easy-to-use dashboards. More broadly, adopting Oracle Cloud enabled Informatica to standardize global processes and its application footprint in 31 countries where it operates, which represented a game-changing step toward simplifying and streamlining its finance operations.
"And with Oracle Cloud, business users are able to create their own reports," Ranoy said. "Our users feel great about that—there's no need to rely on IT," Ranoy said. "The reporting functionality is very robust; you just drag and drop the fields you want, and the system creates the report."
With its initial implementation goal accomplished—including general ledger and fixed asset functionality—Ranoy said that Informatica recently completed its phase two work, including procurement, cash management, and accounts payable. Looking ahead, Ranoy plans for Informatica's phase three ERP work to include implementing Oracle's revenue management cloud services, along with invoice-to-cash capabilities.
"It has been great working with the Oracle team," Ranoy stated. "Our users feel enabled by the changes, and we're all very happy with the results."