Message Image  

Vendor's Corner

Vendor's Corner

Is Your Back Office Holding You Back?
Here’s How You Can Build Resilient Finance & Operations Processes

Hemal Parikh, Sr. Solutions Architect, Nexinfo

Is Your Back Office Holding You Back? Here’s How You Can Build Resilient Finance & Operations Processes

You may know the feeling all too well: fear of the unknown as it relates to the adoption of new software. It somehow always seems easier and more comfortable to apply quick fixes to existing software and manage with what we have. Many organizations shy away from considering new software solely because they fear implementation a daunting and cumbersome task. But as the need to innovate and stay ahead in today’s digital world becomes an increasingly significant component of any organization’s success, adopting new technologies has become an imperative.

A critical area of software innovation for many organizations is Finance & Operations. Why? The reality is that an organization’s arcane back-office processes are often an inhibitor to growth. It is therefore essential that Finance & Operations are armed with technology designed to enable innovation, growth, and agility. Perhaps the most effective way to achieve these technology essentials is by adopting and effectively using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) on the cloud.

Adopting a state-of-the-art ERP and EPM system allows your business users to move away from handling mundane spreadsheet consolidation and reporting tasks and focus on analytical work. It further provides your management with greater visibility in real time.

Cloud Readiness

First, if your organization is not currently running its finance operations on the cloud, there are some key questions that will help guide you to determine your cloud readiness. It is important to understand how ready your organization is to adopt back-office cloud applications before diving in.

  1. What part of my organization is currently ‘system ready’?
  2. What part of my organization is open to adopting new technologies?
  3. How complex are the business processes in my organization?
  4. Are the business processes well defined?
  5. Which part of the organization has highest levels of customizations / integrations?

Addressing Cloud Business Challenges

Figure 1. Challenges and Recommendations

Why Oracle Cloud?

Designed to help organizations achieve best-in-class financial processes, Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solutions are two celebrated applications for helping organizations get ahead and stay there. Recognized as a leader in the ERP and EPM space and featured in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner, Oracle ERP and EPM cloud are designed to be configurable for a multitude of industries and can be configured to meet your unique needs without sacrificing the ability to be on the ‘best practice’ path and on a continuous upgrade path.

Top features of these Oracle Cloud applications include:

Figure 2. Top Features of ERP and EPM Applications

Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

According to Oracle, 76% of finance organizations intend to run their ERP in the cloud within the next two years. That means if your organization is not currently using an ERP solution or if your existing ERP solution has you facing challenges, you may be behind the curve. But you are not alone.

In a recent survey conducted by NexInfo Research Group (NRG), it was found that despite over 60% of survey respondents indicating they have systems or automated processes in place for ERP and 61.9% running on cloud-based systems, respondents still indicated significant ERP challenges and need for process improvement at their organizations. An eye-opening reality, 86% of survey respondents indicated their organizations currently use Microsoft Excel for ERP/accounting and/or ¬financial forecasting & budgeting processes such as back-offi¬ce fi¬nance, budgeting, or reporting.

Your current ERP solution may not provide you with the insight you need to quickly understand the impact of changing environments and determine the best responses. Also, using different solutions across the organizations may keep your enterprise from having the agility and cross-functional coordination needed to quickly respond and execute on plans.

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP gives you the power to adapt business models and processes quickly so you can reduce costs, sharpen forecasts, and increase innovation.

Figure 3. NexoInfo Research Group Survey

Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)

Cloud EPM solutions are adding tremendous value [to finance-led growth]. They offer an alternative to spreadsheets, traditional on-premise tools, and niche solutions that are insufficient when it comes to analyzing the impact of outlier events, such as COVID-19, and rapidly aligning (and realigning) plans not only across finance, but all lines of business.1

Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM helps you model and plan across finance, HR, supply chain, and sales, streamline the financial close process, and drive better decisions.

Key Considerations Your Finance Organization Should Make

Before you make the move to Oracle ERP/EPM Cloud, there are some key considerations your finance organization should iron out. These considerations include:

  • Standardize & simplify business processes across different entities
  • Streamline Chart of Account Structure for effective Financial Reporting
  • Electronic Approval Workflow across financial modules
  • Master data management (master data including customer, supplier, and inventory information must be cleansed and migrated to the new system, and organizations need to define how it will be managed in the future)
  • Integration capabilities to non-Oracle system
  • New ERP application should lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • Financial control (SOX Compliance) and security

Why Adopt Now?

Figure 4. Why Adopt Now

Adopting technology early provides you an edge over your competition and makes your employees more productive. Organizations that quickly adjust their processes to accommodate the latest technologies can disrupt their markets by addressing customer needs in new ways and outpace their competitors. Employees with better access to integrated data can make better decisions resulting in better growth for the company. As a result, those early adopters of technology experience substantially greater success.

The success these early adopters see goes across every industry while the impact to each industry is often unique. The impact of mobile technologies to the Financial Services industry has transformed how customers interact with their banks while the impact of IoT to the Transportation industry is transforming supply lines. In every industry, the adoption of early technologies in Finance and Operations organizations and the agility that comes with it is helping companies increase performance.

Getting Started

  1. Be Self-Aware – The first step in any implementation is always self-awareness, be it on a personal or on an organizational level. It is important to understand the different ways in which current back-office systems have impeded your operations and have boxed you into a cycle of running mundane data consolidation, data correction and report creation tasks just to keep the operations going. Once you have identified that your system needs upgrading, you can consider best-in-class applications provided by Oracle.
  2. Create Flows – It is always a good idea to create a business process flow and a system and data flow that allows your stakeholders to visualize the different bottlenecks and obstacles faced by the organization. It is optional to go further and document what you believe to be the requirements for an application that will meet your future needs.
  3. Evaluate Fit Next, evaluate the fit of the Oracle ERP and EPM systems to the needs documented. This fitment will help you make a sound decision.
  4. Align Your Organization – Next is extremely important to align your organization to meet the challenge of moving to and adopting a new system wholeheartedly. This calls for management mandates and messaging about how this adoption will help your organization.
  5. Get Advice – A good implementation partner can not only hand hold you through the entire evaluation process but also take the vision to completion and have you up and running on a state-of-the-art Oracle ERP and EPM system in very reasonable time.
“A recent Gartner® publication revealed that ERP strategy is often thought of as a one-time strategic software purchase from a vendor without careful consideration of the ERP applications’ impact on the business objectives. 2 The importance of a roadmap and working with a partner to understand the business impact of your Oracle Cloud ERP implementation is absolutely critical.”
-Arun Cavale, NexInfo CEO

Learn More

To learn more about how Oracle ERP and Oracle EPM can help you achieve agile, innovative, and resilient Finance & Operations, contact our experts at Interested in learning more about the client spotlight featured in this article? Watch how Trilogy Health Services successfully enhanced their back office reporting and tracking using Oracle ERP and EPM here.

Ascend 2022

Partner Marketplace