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EBS R12 Roadmap: A Global Retailer’s challenge in picking the optimum upgrade solution approach to R12 with an existing Oracle product portfolio

On the EBS R12 Roadmap, retailers with an existing Oracle product portfolio and operating globally across multiple business units and having multiple oracle instances face the everlasting dilemma whether to Upgrade for achieving the new package benefits at a relatively lesser cost versus - to Re-Implement a fully re-engineered R12 based solution bringing in maximum benefits but probably at a relatively higher cost.

At a high level the key features of going for an Upgrade based solution for any retailer would be:
 •Lower cost, shorter timeframe option
 •Suited when the ‘latest version’ is the driver
 •Scope to review business processes
 •Key areas like Org Structure, COA generally untouched
 •Organization wide processes, procedures and data unaffected
 •Minimal Change Management
 •Minimal involvement of Users
 •Higher application downtime at cutover
 •Any existing business pain points may continue

Re-Implementation based solution would have the following features:
 •Suited for business transformation and instance consolidation
 •Scope to review major decisions and limitations of the past
 •Longer timeframe, relatively more expensive than an upgrade
 •Lower cutover risks – no downtime, easier rollback
 •Higher adoption risks – Impact on Organization structure, Change Management, Data Migration, History of Data
 •Higher amount of ownership (solution) with Client

Overall for an R12 based transformation initiative, a retailer needs to consider other important factors as well if it operates globally across multiple business units and has multiple oracle instances. Two of the important ones being Single Instance versus Multiple Instance approach and Big-bang versus a Roll-out approach.Some of the key features of the same are listed below:
Multiple Instance:
 •Suited for local needs , But not directly scalable for growth
 •Simplified Application Change Management , But Duplication of development components
 •Instance Stability and Lower Application downtime due to independent nature, But Changes   affecting multiple  instance take longer to apply
 •Better performance with similar infrastructure, However needs higher overall infrastructure
 •Consolidation and reporting takes more time

Single Global Instance:
 •Suited for Global standardization
 •Global Enterprise Management through best in class processes
 •Enables shared services business processes and support, Productivity Enhancement
 •Global Enterprise Visibility
 •Consolidated reporting across the Enterprise
 •Responsive to business changes and Growth
 •Economies of Scale, Reduced Cost of Maintenance & Infrastructure
 •Application Downtime, batch processing

Big Bang:
 •All 11.5.x or previous versions instances upgraded or re-implemented to R12 at the same time
 •Quicker achievement of end state but higher risk of failure
 •Higher concurrent requirement of personnel and resources make it prohibitive
 •Intensive change management effort due to simultaneous change across the organization
 •Lesser interdependency with other initiatives

Rollout:
 •Staggered implementation/upgrade of all instances
 •Focused execution
 •Impact of change lesser due to staggered change
 •Longer timelines at incremental costs
 •Potential for other organization wide initiatives to impact execution – Freezing change

Concluding, it’s always a challenging decision based on a combination of objective considerations (parameters where decision can be relatively easily made) and subjective considerations (parameters which vary in importance depending upon client’s particular business issues and the significance of the factor for any given situation). Actual decision making should be based on the business case prepared by an exhaustive analysis of all factors and their weights as applicable per the Retailer's scenario.

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