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January 12, 2018

Configuring DAC

This blog covers how to configure DAC 10g, 11g - setting up the server and client, importing the repository to DAC, Configuring the Informatica service and database, Scheduling the load and Running a sample load.

After going through this blog user shall be able to Configure DAC and Run/Schedule loads.

Setting up the server -

To start up the DAC server please perform the below steps -

1. Start server by clicking on 'standaloneServerSetupPrompt.bat' under <DACInstallHome>/Oracle Business Intelligence Data Warehouse Administration Console 11g\dac


2. Select 'Enter repository connection information' by entering 1


3. Choose your connection type - 'Oracle< Thin>' in this case


4. Enter the service name -

5. Give the Database Host details -

6. Give the port name -

7. You can give the DB Driver and DB URL if needed

8. You can change the Table Owner name details -

9. You can change the Key -

10. Save the changes -

11. Now test the repository connection

12. Connection was successfully established

13. Exit

14. Click on 'Startserver.bat' under under< DACInstallHome>/Oracle Business Intelligence Data Warehouse Administration Console 11g\dac to start the server

15. Status will be changed to Green or Orange from Red

Setting up the client -

1. Start DAC client by clicking on 'startclient.bat' under <DACInstallHome>/Oracle Business Intelligence Data Warehouse Administration Console 11g\dac

2. Click on Configure

3. Select 'Create Connection' and click on Next

4. Give Name, Service Name, Host details, Port name and click on Authentication File

5. Choose 'Create Authentication File' and click OK

6. Give the name and save it

7. Generate the authentication key by giving the DAC details

8. Click on 'Test Connection' to validate the connection


8. Then click on 'Apply' and then 'Finish'

9. Now, login with the created connection and by giving Username/Password. Select Authentication Type as DAC

10. DAC client is started

Importing the Repository -

1. Click on Tools à DAC repository management à Import

2. Locate the Container, select the 'Truncate the repository tables' & 'Enable bulk mode' options and click OK

3. Give the captcha and click Yes

4. This would take some time depending on the size of the container, the process should be completed popping the below message

5. Select Tools à DAC Server management à Repository Configuration

6. Give the host, port details of DAC server and save it.

Configuring Informatica -

1. After logging into the DAC client click on Setup tab

2. Then click on 'Informatica Servers'

3. Now click on New to create a new Informatica connection

4. Fill-up all the details of Informatica repository

5. Click on Test Connection and see that the connection is successful

6. Similarly give the server details


Configuring database -

1. After logging into the DAC, navigate to Setup à Physical Data Sources

2. Now click on 'New' tab and give all the necessary DB details

3. After giving all the details click on Test Connection to see that the connection is successful


Scheduling -


1. After logging into the DAC navigate to 'Execute' à Scheduler

2. Click on New.
Name - give a name

Execution Plan - select an Execution Plan to be scheduled

You can chose to run only once or on a recurrence pattern


Continue reading " Configuring DAC " »

September 28, 2017

OBIEE: An effective tool for quality control in Credit Bureau Reporting by Auto-Finance Companies

Auto-finance Organizations in US have to report the credit data of their customers every month to Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) i.e. Experian, Equifax, Transunion and Innovis to comply with FCRA (Federal Credit Reporting Act) of US law. For this they have automated software programs in place which extract the account and consumer data from their source systems and transform/ load the data as per defined business logic into data warehousing tables before it is finally sent to CRAs in the format of Metro 2 files. This process is called 'Credit Bureau Reporting'.

Continue reading " OBIEE: An effective tool for quality control in Credit Bureau Reporting by Auto-Finance Companies " »

August 27, 2017

Modeling Centralized Procurement in Oracle Cloud Applications

Modeling Centralized Procurement in Oracle Cloud Applications

Benefits of centralizing procurement activity in a large or diverse organization are well known. It helps in achieving significant cost reduction and policy compliance. In this article, we will focus on understanding the key concepts for modeling centralized procurement in Oracle Cloud applications.

In Oracle Cloud, a business unit does not need to perform all business functions. The business unit model allows you to assign only relevant business functions to a business unit, while some other functions can be outsourced to a different business unit. Examples of business functions are Materials Management, Requisitioning, Procurement, Payables Invoicing etc. Note that not all functions can be outsourced; Procurement is a business function that can be. A business unit that has a procurement business function assigned is called as procurement business unit.

Many of us have the impression that procurement business units create purchase orders like requisitioning business units create requisitions. Well, this is just partly true and does not reflect the true essence of this model. In Cloud Procurement, purchase orders are created in context of legal entities. It is true that a purchase order is managed by the procurement business unit but it is issued on behalf of a particular legal entity (which is typically derived from the requisitioning business unit). Suppliers see the name of the legal entity as the buying organization and not the name of the procurement business unit. In fact, Procurement business unit name is not even included in the printed purchase order PDF. Secondly, all the accounting impact that a purchase order has, is absorbed by the ledger of the requisitioning business unit. Procurement business unit does not even need to have a ledger setup done.

Confused?? .... You might be thinking, what a procurement business unit is and what it does? Well, we need to understand the idea of Procurement business function the way Oracle has conceptualized it. Let me explain. In Oracle Cloud, Procurement business function encompasses following activities:

Supplier relationship management: A supplier is a global entity, but supplier sites are created in context of Procurement business units. A single supplier site, can be leveraged by different business units through site assignments. Also note that Approved Suppliers List (ASL) entries are created and maintained at procurement business unit level.

Supplier Qualification management: Initiatives, Assessments, Questionnaires are created at procurement business unit level.

Sourcing: All negotiations are created in context of procurement business unit; and a single negotiation can carry item requirements from multiple requisitioning business units.

Pricing and Policy Determination: Blanket and Contract purchase agreements that define your purchase prices and terms and conditions, are created in context of Procurement business units. These agreements are rolled out to requisitioning business units through Business Unit access control.

Procurement Catalogs Management: Catalogs, smart forms, punch-outs are all setup at procurement business unit level and rolled out to requisitioning business units or to specific users through content zones.

Purchase Order Management: Buyers that manage the purchase orders are setup as procurement agents at the procurement business unit level. Purchase order header carries an attribute for Procurement Business unit, however the ownership and the liability lies with the Legal Entity.

None of these activities have any accounting impact. And all of these can be centralized, meaning that a centralized department can offer all these as services to the different business units of the organization. Moreover if you notice, all of these are strategic business activities on which organizations want their buyers to focus on more aggressively apart from the routine activities such as following up with suppliers for delayed shipments and invoice mismatches.

For centralizing procurement, it is advisable to setup a separate (or dedicated) business unit and assign it only procurement business function. And then create the service provider relationships with the requisitioning business units which will be able to utilize the services of the centralized procurement business unit. It is like plug and play setup; when a new business unit gets configured (for requisitioning) we just need to setup the service provider relationship and then roll out specific agreements or other catalog content as needed.

Before closing this article, I will like to emphasize on the fact that a business unit which only has procurement business function does not need any accounting setup (chart of accounts, ledger etc.). This means that, for customers who are implementing only sourcing or supplier qualification, there is no need to do any accounting setup at all.

I hope this article proves useful for you to understand the 'Oracle Cloud' concept of centralized Procurement. Thanks!!

Continue reading " Modeling Centralized Procurement in Oracle Cloud Applications " »

August 5, 2017

Living IT transformation

Couple of decades back, most of the organizations were building information systems and were in need of massive workforce to construct IT infrastructure and surrounding systems. Now, we have moved to next phase wherein almost all organizations have basic information technology system in place to perform daily business and constantly looking forward to digitally transform business in order to achieve competitive edge. Infosys has emphasized on new and renew strategy to tackle this IT transformation journey and I believe that we need to align ourselves to goal of the organization.

Change Mindset
Accept that change is constant in IT. There is no other choice. IT profession is isolated from rest of industries wherein you gain knowledge about some process, plant and next few years you follow the process to run the business. IT is all about adopting change and keeping pace with technology and add business value with innovation. The moment you choose IT field, you need to adopt with technology upgrade.

Niche skills
Flashback to late mid of 18th century - Yellow Metal was first discovered in California! As the news spread, people from all over country rushed to rip benefit out of it. New colonies were built. Colleges, railroads, streets and infrastructures were built. The first person to take advantage from this event was not a miner. A person working as retailer who has seen the great opportunity and it wasn't in mining for gold. Instead, he supplied the picks, shovels and related instruments that miners use to find yellow metal.  This retailer eventually became as one the biggest beneficiaries of the California gold rush. Another visionary merchant was Levi Strauss. Levi responded to the gold-rush need with suitable miner's clothes. Levi switched to tough denim cloth and had it dyed in uniform indigo. Rivets and bolts were used to keep denim pants in place. The new pants were relatively cheap and durable. By the 1870s, Levi Strauss' blue Jeans were daily wear for miners, farmers and construction workers throughout the North America. Even if you aren't knowing history of the gold rush, we all are familiar with Levi Strauss's blue pant aka "JEANS".
Bottom-line is that you need not be in mainstream area. For example, cloud market gathered space recently, spin off opportunity from cloud is requirement of integration systems. SOA and specifically real time integrations has huge scope. With increasing number of cloud systems customer is raising concerns about security, robust security is need of hour. Data is growing day by day opens opportunities for analytics and data scientists.

Bring out the best in yourself
Aptitude tests help you get a better look at who you really are and how you can grow. We need to choose domain and technology which suits us best. It will bring in best out of us. Do not attempt to learn new technology just for sake of market demand. I've seen that scaling of functional domain expert person into technical area did not work at all even if we gave ample time and trainings. Experienced people can easily figure out their liking and areas of expertise. Juniors needs to retrospect and talk to experienced people in order to find the way forward.

Shifting paradigm of Management
Even Management work is not constant in IT as it got changed from traditional Waterfall to agile, DevOps.
As per leading industry statistics, 80 % projects would be in "Agile" mode and agile will be primary mode of executing projects. With adoption of cloud, Agile will be more relevant.

Boiling Frog Syndrome
Small incremental changes often are neglected and go unnoticed. This is extremely powerful phenomenon known as Boiling Frog Syndrome. If you throw frog into pan full of boiling water, he will immediately jump out of it however if you put frog in a pan with room temperature water and slowly increase temperature, he will be cooked to death. Therefore, need of hour is to adopt ourselves to IT transformation.

March 23, 2017

CPQ for Professional Services Industry

Professional Services Industry (e.g. software services, training and certification industry etc.), sales process aligns to standard Sales process of a CRM application. The products and services sold are not too complex in terms of product structure and rules around it. However, every organization has different way of pricing and providing discounts to customers. CPQ Cloud offers a solution to meet the pricing calculation needs through configuration and customization options. Professional Services sales flow also ends with project creation to track the activities based on Services sold to the customer. This can also be supported via the CPQ cloud.  

Let us look at the Lead to Quote to Project Use case for a Professional Services organization:

 


For most of the Industries, Quote to Order flow works well and hence CPQ Cloud integration with Order Management modules is readily available. However, there is no prebuilt integration between CPQ Cloud and Oracle EBS Projects. It needs to be established for this Industry specific use case.

In order to simplify this integration and determine what details will flow from CPQ Cloud to EBS Projects, we need to design the product such that all required inputs will be captured for subsequent project creation.

 

While a Service Offering is setup as a Product in CPQ, it captures attributes for Service Module, Role and against each role, details about location, rate, effort etc. Once a Service Offering is configured for a customer, it may have various modules that have several roles. Once all these details are captured against each role and activity, price can be calculated directly or Commerce process can be configured to apply pricing logic by reading other parameters like Customer rates etc. which may override manual entries or retain edits post calculations are done.

Once the quote is finalized and approved, the quote line item details for role, duration and effort can flow in specific format to EBS Projects to create project line items/activities for roles.

The solution provides the following key benefits:

Improved Quote Accuracy - A Quote may go through multiple iterations due to changes to various parameters. E.g. a role is expected at onsite for some duration, an activity duration is revised etc. CPQ Cloud automates pricing impacts to be calculated automatically for all these changes and maintains the Quote with accurate price as per planned resources for the project. Each time quote is reconfigured and submitted, it may require similar steps for pricing approval. CPQ Cloud can be configured to have approvals triggered for each change automatically.

Reduce Quote and Project data mismatch - As generally the Sales data is maintained in a separate system which may not be integrated with the project management system, it causes lot of problems due to data mismatch between what was quoted and what is planned for the project. The integration between CPQ Cloud and EBS Projects eliminates problems of data mismatch for activity durations, resource roles, rates etc.

Streamline Quote Revisions - It is a very common process to have some change request or amendment to the contract after the project has been initiated. CPQ Cloud offers Quote revision process to meet requirements for any amendments to existing project. With enhanced features like subscription ordering available now, CPQ cloud can be extended to manage change requests quote process for a project.

Here is a view of flow for amendments and change requests.