How to Ensure a Successful Oracle Cloud ERP Implementation

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: June 11, 2018

Like most ERP deployments, Oracle Cloud ERP implementations are no easy feat. The software’s relative lack of maturity, shortage of existing customer references, and general ERP implementation pitfalls are just some of the things that can complicate these projects.

As with other ERP systems – such as SAP S/4HANA implementations – Oracle implementation success is no secret. It’s not limited to a secret recipe for implementation success. Instead, adhering to simple best practices will ensure that your Oracle Cloud ERP implementation is successful.

Here are practices and tips to ensure a successful Oracle Cloud ERP implementation:

Understand that Oracle Cloud ERP’s flexibility is both a blessing and a curse

Some of our clients choose Oracle Cloud ERP over SAP S/4HANA or other ERP systems largely because of its flexibility. Its Fusion middleware allows for easier integration to other Oracle technology and third-party systems. Its flex fields allow for easier analytics and business intelligence. And the flagship cloud offering leverages best of breed functionality from eBusiness Suite, JD Edwards, and other Oracle systems.

This flexibility can be a good thing as your business evolves and your needs change. But it can become a liability when it comes time to standardize operations or enforce standard business operations across global business processes. Just because you can easily change the software to meet your needs doesn’t always mean that you should. Be sure to limit customization and integration to legacy systems to situations that require it.

Develop a strong Oracle Cloud ERP project governance and quality assurance framework

Strong project governance is one of the best insurance policies you can buy to ensure a successful Oracle Cloud ERP implementation. Especially if you are a larger or more complex organization, these implementations can be difficult to keep on track. A proven project governance framework will help ensure that your project finishes on time, on budget, and delivers the expected business benefits.

Project governance and quality assurance identifies and mitigates risks before they become problems. The best QA programs look at a project from multiple angles, including project management, organizational change management, data, and other areas outlined in the graphic below. Consider leveraging the expertise of independent third parties such as Third Stage Consulting to help provide QA for your implementation.

Understand the scope of Oracle ERP Cloud compared to JD Edwards and other on-premise solutions

Even before finalizing your decision to adopt or upgrade to Oracle Cloud ERP, you will want to have a clear understanding of how much of the software is actually part of the flagship core offering. It may very well mean that you also need to leverage on premise applications or modules that have not yet been migrated to the cloud. It is important to understand what exact functionality you are getting and where you are getting it from.

And even though Oracle is doubling down on its cloud solution, don’t be afraid to consider more proven on-premise solutions such as JD Edwards. Some have predicted the demise of JD Edwards for quite some time, but its customer base is alive and well, with R&D dollars still being invested in a longer-term product roadmap. Be sure to get a technology-agnostic view of the best solution for your organization.

Invest heavily in organizational change management

Oracle Cloud ERP may be easier to implement from a technical perspective, but it doesn’t make employee adoption any easier. Business processes still need to be redefined and employees need to adjust to new operating procedures. In other words, most of the heavy lifting still needs to happen even though the technological deployment model may have improved.

A robust organizational change management strategy is still the most critical success factor for implementation success. Most Oracle system integrators don’t address this need well – as it is not typically their strength – so consider hiring independent organizational change management experts such as those at Third Stage Consulting to address the “people” aspect of your implementation.


Oracle Cloud ERP implementation success isn’t something that should be left to chance. Your odds of success increase dramatically by simply adopting these and other implementation best practices.

Learn more by reading our 20 Lessons from 1,000+ ERP Implementations.

Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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