Infosys’ blog on industry solutions, trends, business process transformation and global implementation in Oracle.

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March 31, 2015

Unlocking the Organizational Change Conundrum

Managing Change - Lessons from the Ground

Being an avid supporter of one of the biggest football club in the world, I was reading an article by a former club captain the other day. The article dealt with the trials and tribulations of the club post the retirement of the manager, someone who had become the spirit of the club in his more than two decades of service. The article went on to describe the past glories and how the leaving of key figures had led to lost ground in the battle for footballing supremacy.

Drawing parallels to the corporate world the current situation of the gives us a great opportunity to look at how change in leadership can be managed best after a prolonged period of magnanimous success. It starts with all stakeholders having to let go of the past and accept the situation and plan for the future. The basis to the philosophy being discussed were four key words Form, Storm, Norm, Perform.

When you "form" you bring in new parties. The coming together of key new personnel, partnerships, new ideas are what is expected during this phase.

The storm is the chaos point. After years of doing business a certain way, process becomes culture. The coming together of so many new entities results in a cultural shock and with it a lot of chaos. New 'formations' are tried resulting in a period of patient foundation building till one is identified which provides the desired results.

Norm means the new structure, bedding in. The initial shock is slowly driven away and acceptance sets in. The 'formation' best suited for the dynamic environment is built on top of the foundation established and new structures start taking shape reflecting a change in the way business is done.

Perform is the last stage where all the ground work and structure building creates an environment for all to optimally deliver their best.

Technology Enabled Organizational Change Management

To enable Organizational Change Management in todays leading business houses, Oracle specifically offers its OCM (Organizational Change Management) Services which look at enabling change through technology. By improving communication, OCM builds on stakeholder commitment to new technology and enables the business users to take full advantage of the new system.

The benefits expected are smoother transition to new technology, increased adoption and ROI through enhanced communication. This further results in higher productivity and performance, an increased stakeholder involvement and reduced risk.

March 24, 2015

Fusion BI Apps and Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence

Introduction to Fusion BI Apps and Fusion Reporting

Fusion Business Intelligence Applications is an Out-Of-The-Box reporting solution that comes packaged with Fusion Applications having pre-built data models, Extract-Transform-Load processes, Key Performance Indicator's, Metrics, Reports and Dashboards. They cover varied business functions viz.

  • Oracle Procurement & Spend
  • Oracle CRM
  • Oracle SCM
  • Oracle Financials
  • Oracle HCM
  • Oracle Project Portfolio Management

Closely integrating the reporting solution for Oracle Fusion with the transactional systems it provides seamless interaction of reports in Fusion transactional screens. This provides a common platform and also allows the triggering of business workflows from the reporting application.

The components comprising Fusion Application Business Intelligence are as follows

  • Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence - real time self-service reporting tool sitting directly on Fusion Apps data
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Applications - pre-built data warehouse enabling historical analysis and deep-dive into specific business areas with strategic insights
  • Specialized Domain specific Analytics package - built on Essbase technology which includes financial statements, Project Performance and sales territory planning
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher - catering to pixel perfect and highly formatted reporting requirements within Fusion applications

Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence

Built on ADF and OBIEE technology, OTBI is a new component for online analytical reporting provided with the Fusion Edition. From a reporting perspective OTBI allows for the expansion of coverage providing new KPIs, reports and dashboards. OTBI provides a real time window into the transactional systems where business users can create their own reports using pre-built functional metadata.

OTBI vs OBIA: At A Glance

Any organization wants the best return on their investments and so is true for an organization while making an investment into BI. The lack of understanding of functionality provided by BI tools and limited technical capability generally leads to misguided investments and question marks over the effectiveness of the BI infrastructure. Some key areas one needs to look into while deciding whether to use OTBI or OBIA for the organizational reporting needs are discussed below.

OTBI and OBIA use conformed dimensions based on a single common semantic data model. While looking at a solution to a business problem we first need to ascertain whether it would employ analysis of historical data or whether the current state analysis of transactional data would be enough. If the former is true, OBIA is the preferred way to go whereas OTBI fits right in for the latter scenario. Another key aspect is the actual business process requirement from the reporting platform. OTBI is preferred by Operational users for tactical reporting while OBIA for strategic reporting by Managers and Analysts. OTBI on the one hand enables real-time reporting providing data views at the minutest level with no data movement involved while OBIA on the other is based on a data warehouse model with using an ETL tool for data loads with the data availability being determined by the frequency of the ETL refresh.

Although there are no standard rules for selecting the perfect Business Intelligence reporting tool for an organization, the criteria's discussed above certainly do help in deciding the best fit.

March 5, 2015

Manage Projects by Exception Using Fusion Project Portfolio Management

For an organization to remain competitive it is essential that the right portfolio of projects is selected which would ensure current and future profitability. Projects are selected based on the fitment with the strategic goals of the enterprise. During the initial stages of the project, the project manager's key responsibility is to prepare and present the business case to showcase the projects fitment against the long term strategy of the organization. Only after approval from the key stakeholders the project is selected for execution in the organization.

However, during execution of the project often the project team decides to monitor progress using a new set of parameters like margin percentage, revenue, and Schedule Variance, Cost Variance and quality standards.  The link is lost with the organization strategic objectives the very reason project was selected. The best practices in project management suggest a uniform set of parameters during the entire project life cycle from Project Initiation to Project Closure.

Fusion Project Portfolio Management bridges this gap and provides the corporate, portfolio and project manager with a dashboard to monitor the portfolio progress on a real time basis based on uniform set of parameters across the organization - Key Performance Indicators (KPI's). The dashboard provides a snapshot of projects which are On Track, At Risk and Critical. The portfolio managers can immediately focus their attention on projects which are at Risk and Critical thus enabling them to manage projects by exception.

For example, a KPI can be defined that non-billable costs should be less than 10 percent of the overall project cost. The user will be able to immediately identify the projects in the dashboard which do meet the criteria and for a detailed analysis can drill down to the project transactions to analyze the reason. The applications come with embedded analytics that would help the user to identify the potential reasons. In this scenario it might be possible that the field users on the projects have not submitted the timecards for last week and once the timecards are submitted the project will be back on track. The project manager's observations can be captured as a note which can be viewed by all the stakeholders.

Projects are no longer managed and executed in silos. To ensure profitability and sustainability of organization, portfolios needs to be managed dynamically and PMO should be able to derive reports and trend indicators with a click on button in the modern application. Fusion PPM also helps the portfolio managers to suggest corrective action to bring the non-conforming projects back on track and make a rationale decision to terminate projects based on current and historical KPI's.

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