Strategies to Implement Oracle Cloud ERP Better, Faster, and Cheaper

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: July 2, 2018

CIOs looking for ways to implement Oracle Cloud ERP better, faster, and cheaper often don’t know where to start. They may have heard the stories of budgetary overruns and rocky go-live events, but they often lack clarity on how to avoid those same mistakes.

Most organizations implementing this ERP solution are on the high-complexity side of the spectrum. They also have a certain amount of change inertia and inefficient business processes – which all increase the risk of a slow and costly implementation with suboptimal business benefits.

If you can create a solid implementation strategy, however, you will be able to implement the solution within a reasonable cost and timeframe. Here are a few strategies to make your Oracle Cloud ERP implementation more time and cost effective. These recommendations are also relevant in your discussions regarding SAP S/4HANA vs. Oracle Cloud ERP and other ERP systems.

1. Slow down and develop a solid strategy before the meter starts running on the expensive Oracle Cloud ERP consultants

The first thing to note is that the meter starts running the minute the army of Oracle Cloud ERP consultants show up. Cost overruns can often be attributed more to slow decision-making and lack of preparation on the implementing company’s part rather than the inability of the consultants and system integrator to move quickly. A more measured and deliberate approach will help mitigate this risk.

2. Create and validate a reasonable Oracle Cloud ERP implementation plan

Remember that your Oracle Cloud ERP system integrator is in sales mode when they present their proposed plan. Their proposed plan is also unlikely to include key activities that either a) you the implementing company or responsible for, or b) are critical to the success of your project. For example, data migration and organizational change management are two common areas intentionally omitted from Oracle proposals we see – even though both are critical to the success of your project. Begin by creating a realistic estimate for your Oracle Cloud ERP implementation plan and budget.

3. Define your level 2 and 3 business processes

Think of your desired, future-state business processes as a blueprint for your successful Oracle Cloud ERP implementation. A clear vision of how your business processes will look in the future will help provide direction to your system integrator and consultants. It will also help your organizational change team transition employees to the new operating model, in some cases even before new technology is implemented. Note that we do not recommend defining processes down to the more granular level 4 and 5 business processes since they will largely be determined by the software you implement.

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4. Develop a business case and benefits realization plan

A business case provides clear direction during the implementation and accountability after go-live. While it is also used to justify a project, it should also be used to make project decisions and define where you expect to achieve business benefits. For example, customization requests are a lot easier to accept or reject when you have clearly defined the business benefits and value you expect to realize from the software. And you will be a lot more likely to realize expected business benefits if you have translated business metrics into a more actionable benefits realization plan.

5. Mobilize your project resources

You will start your project on much better footing if you have your internal and external team clearly defined and mobilized. Roles and responsibilities should be clear, backfill plans should be in place, and they should be ready to commit to the project. Resource bottlenecks are one of the biggest risks that Oracle Cloud ERP implementations face, so it is important to mitigate those challenges early on.

These things alone won’t guarantee success, but they will help increase the likelihood of implementing on time, on budget, and delivering the business benefits you expect.

Learn more by downloading our exclusive report on 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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