Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is one of the leading Enterprise Technologies in the space today. Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP has the potential to deliver a huge amount of value to organizations but there's also a huge amount of risk that comes along with these implementations. What exactly are those risks? That is exactly what we want to talk about today.

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Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is Not A Legacy Replacement

The first thing to be aware of when you're deploying Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is that it's not the legacy cloud solutions that you might be accustomed to. There are a bevy of ERP customers out there that prefer legacy systems like JD Edwards, PeopleSoft or their Oracle E-Business Suite or one of the other legacy solutions that Oracle provided in the past. Oftentimes, there is a misconception that shifting to Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is going to be a simple lift and shift, in fact, many system integrator's in the Oracle ecosystem sell it as such, a lift and shift. The reality is, it's largely a re-implementation and it's a re-implementation of a solution that doesn't have the same capabilities as some of the older on-premise systems.

For example, in the world of JD Edwards, a lot of manufacturers used and still do use JD Edwards for their manufacturing operations but they find that some of those manufacturing mature capabilities that they found in JD Edwards are not available yet in Oracle Fusion Cloud ER. These are options that are either currently being implemented or are future implementations that Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP may offer but currently, dont.

Before you embark on your Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP system integration, you should make sure you understand what kind of business you are and additionally what you are and are not getting in terms of capabilities and functionality. Furthermore, what it is that you might be expecting when you compare Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP to SAP S/4HANA, for example, which is Oracle's biggest competitor in the Enterprise space. Oracle is generally considered a bit more flexible than SAP s4hana. 

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Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP Implementation Risk

You may be wondering how this is an implementation risk when it would be considered by most to be a strength to have that flexibility. It actually can create problems during implementation because the software flexibility can create a false sense of need for that particular flexibility. Just because a platform has tools available doesn't necessarily mean you should leverage every single tool for your business. Occasionally,  it can mask or cover up the root cause of resistance to change. In other words, people may be prone to seeing additional tools as a way to attempt to leverage Oracle in a manner that resembles their previous legacy systems, when in reality, Oracle just doesn't function in the same manner. This can lead to bottlenecks in your systems and doesn't solve the original  issues you had prior to implementation.

Again, flexibility is generally a good thing, it provides you a certain amount of agility that you may need to run your business but if you take it too far it can actually hide a deeper problem, which is a resistance to change. The more you change and tailor the software, the more risk you're introducing into the implementation, which could lead to more time, cost and overall implementation failure vulnerability. When embarking on an Oracle implementation, just be aware of this risk as you plan.

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP Implementation Methodology

Oracle provides a proprietary implementation methodology that it encourages its customers and its technical implementation partners to use as part of their deployments. There are a couple different names that the methodology has had over the years and a couple of different iterations of these methodologies. Two examples would be AIM or Applications Implementation Methodology and the other one is OUM, which is Oracle Unified Methodology.

Regardless of what the methodology might be called today, you want to make sure

that you understand that while this is a good starting point for an implementation methodology, it's not complete. This methodology can be more focused on deploying technology but less focused on deploying a complete business solution that adds value to your organization. This is a subtle but very important difference. We recommend that you use the Oracle implementation methodology as a core starting point but you also need to augment that methodology with other

things that are not captured well within the methodologies. For example, organization change management, organizational design process, improvement process, re-engineering data migration and data integration these functions generally need to be added into the Oracle implementation methodologies to ensure that your project is ultimately successful.

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP Implementation Complexity

Over the last few decades, Oracle has developed and acquired a number of different competencies and capabilities within its technology stack. This gives Oracle a great deal of robust and sophisticated capabilities that can benefit larger organizations. This can lead to a high degree of complexity as well. In other words, because of the broad capabilities of the technology, it imposes a degree of complexity into your organization and into the implementation that you need to plan for. This is why having a realistic implementation plan in place is so crucial. This gives your organization and your team time to work through these complexities. Both on the technical side but more importantly on the business side of things. It's imperative that you have a realistic plan going into your change, so be sure that you factor in implementation complexity as part of your overall roadmap and plan for your Oracle ERP implementation.

The complexity of the Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP software can lead to unrealistic expectations in  the implementation. Additionally, like we mentioned previously, many Oracle Partners will sell the solution as a sort of lift and shift and that's simply not the case .

These are just two examples of how unrealistic expectations oftentimes get set early at the beginning of an oracle implementation. Additionally, we talked about how the methodologies are generally incomplete and need to be augmented with other work streams and other tool sets to ensure that the overall transformation is successful. These are activities that will add time and cost to your overall implementation, so, the key here is to recognize that most Oracle customers start with unrealistic expectations.

Many organizations fail to recognize and anticipate the risks that come along with some of the other challenges that we've discussed regarding Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP. Oftentimes, risks and challenges percolate under the surface and don't get recognized by the implementation team, including the technical implementation partner, until it's too late. It's vital that you have a trusted technology advisor that can help you through the process to anticipate those risks along the way so you can ultimately mitigate them and course correct before it becomes too late. 

Many organizations fail to realize the value or the potential business benefits of Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP. This isn't a reflection of the software itself because the software itself has plenty of capabilities that can automate, add efficiency, increase revenue as well as a bevy of other benefits. The problem is they don't implement the solution in a way that delivers on that value. This gets past the technology and looks more at how have you implemented the technology, how your business processes working within the technology and how are your people using the software to leverage that technology to realize those business benefits. 

A successful implementation has less to do with the technology and more to do with how you manage organizational change, how you've defined your business processes and how you've pivoted throughout the implementation to ensure that you're realizing the business value. This is another big risk, organizations spend a lot of money on Oracle implementations but don't get the business value the they should if they had managed the implementation more efficiently.

These are a few of the high priority risks to be aware of as you embark on an oracle Fusion Cloud ERP implementation.

If you need help in your planning for or in a current Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP implementation, don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. You can contact me here. 

ryan.glisan@thirdstage-consulting.com

Be sure to download the newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report to garner additional industry insight and project best practices. https://www.thirdstage-consulting.com/reports/2023-digital-transformation-

Author:
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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