Oracle WebCenter Imaging: Avoid the Accounts Payable Zombie Apocalypse

Author: Jane Shirley, Senior Business Analyst for Aurionpro

A World without Oracle WebCenter Imaging
The Client’s Situation: Living an AP Nightmare

“I’m going to have nightmares about this for the rest of my life.” That’s what our client said as she described the company’s paper and spreadsheet-based Accounts Payable (AP) process. Her department processed about 10,000 invoices a month and employees were beginning to resemble the cast from a horror movie – complete with zombie-like AP processors shuffling through cubicle aisles in search of active invoices.

The Issues:

1) Zombification does not support ROI goals or process improvement…
Thankfully, the Aurionpro WebCenter team got to her in time!  We met our client during her company’s financial transformation planning process and spent time with her and the team analyzing requirements and prioritizing processing needs, providing insight on additional ROI realization, and identifying areas for process improvement.  While we found some opportunities for modifications, we kept the client’s Oracle WebCenter Imaging implementation timeline to a bare minimum in order to accelerate the transformation process and reduce development time.

“All implementations require at least some level of configuration and modification,” we explained.  “The trick is to identify the areas where customization is truly required that support a faster time to ROI and make the most sense for the client’s business. As for other aspects, while still important, we recommend putting them into a “Phase II Brain Fungus Antidote” that inhibits the zombification of the project and driving processes. This proven approach helps organizations get the biggest bang for their buck. 

2) Zombies have no requirements (and are usually missing a limb or two…)
We’d advised our client that all of us needed to understand the company’s existing AP System before getting started.  The Aurionpro team’s first step is always requirements gathering. This part of the process has three key objectives:
  • Train the Financial Transformation team in the details of WebCenter Imaging both through system demonstration and generic workflow presentations.
  • Understand the client’s business requirements and document those verbally and visually with reconfirmation
  • Confirm our understanding of the client’s goals.  We’ve learned the most important part of requirements gathering is ensuring that we heard our client’s concerns and expressed them accurately.
3) People who live in zombie societies hide at night and barricade themselves in…
Aurionpro understood that team leads like to do things their own way. For our client, she wanted to be left alone to contemplate things and assess whether the plan was going to get the job done on time and on budget.

“I just like taking the documentation home and studying it,” our client said. “The matrix format that Aurionpro provides allowed me to sort and re-sort the individual requirements so I could understand how each one fits with our goals and also our budget. I could even send the functional flows included in the requirements to my change management team so they could start their part of the process.”

4) Zombies can only be killed with proven methods…
All of our clients have given high praise to the matrix format that Aurionpro services teams use to ensure that requirements are clear and that focus is maintained consistently throughout the lifecycle of the project.  Our deployment methodology allows our clients to literally check-off each item on their original requirements list so that they have a visualization of how they’ve come full circle from idea to reality!  Our post-UAT development then covers the team by ensuring that any post-development adjustments are made possible. Lastly, the Aurionpro implementation process for WebCenter Imaging supports companies through the “go-live” period and works to ensure that any zombification of their process are completely resolved.

5) Shufflers have no clear roadmap …
“You made it so much easier to support my progress reports to my senior management,” the client told us after the project was complete.  “The weekly status reports that Aurionpro provided gave a crystal-clear snapshot of our project status against the overall timeline.  I always knew where I stood and what was going to happen next. What was a very scary process for me became quite manageable, or at least less terrifying,” she concluded.

The really good news was that once she had her Oracle WebCenter Imaging solution in place, our client’s nightmare world receded and the zombies morphed back into accessible, productive, and engaged colleagues.

About the Author:
Jane Shirley is a Senior Business Analyst for Aurionpro. She has worked in the Oracle WebCenter space on both the customer and the consulting side for large corporate enterprise-wide implementations. After serving time as a Marketing Manager, she spent several years managing invoice processing for a Fortune 50 company. She can be reached at jane.shirley@aurionpro.com.

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