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

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October 22, 2018

Supply Chain Planning on Oracle Cloud for Industrial Manufacturers

 

Digitalization is changing our world in profound ways. Product development cycles are decreasing and delivery models are dramatically evolving. Software-enabled innovations are creating new service-based business models that are replacing existing products and re-ordering industry dynamics seemingly overnight. All kinds of industrial manufacturers have a common characteristic of globally distributed supply networks which is very complex. Process manufacturers these days are facing problems related to high fixed costs and a relatively inflexible manufacturing footprint. Discrete manufacturers also face challenges typically of high demand volatility and short product lifecycles. Therefore, all types of industrial manufacturers are feeling the heat and its imperative that they undergo a transformation to meet the requirements of the digital age.

Existing supply chain planning process of large industrial manufacturers is characterized by rudimentary applications that involve lot of manual data entry and number crunching is an even more tedious task. There is lack of transparency which leads to inconsistencies in data analysis and reporting. As a result, planners and users waste a lot of their time in trying to organize data in the format that's readable and actionable. This leads to increasing costs.

 

From the earlier disjointed planning systems which had Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Inventory Planning and Sales & Operation Planning operating separately, the need of the hour is to have all the planning systems on a single platform. The day in the life of a planner currently involves analyzing loads of data, modeling multiple scenarios and then acting on recommendations based on their analysis. This is a time consuming process and needs to be run on a single engine so as to assist the planner and make him more responsive. He should be able to simulate and run analytical models with a single click so that decisions can be made efficiently and faster.

 



Infosys over the years has worked with several Industrial manufacturers and currently many projects are still under way. Infosys consultants have years of experience across multiple client engagements. Infosys has the foundation in place and is ready to help clients navigate to their next. For industrial manufacturers the next step is to have an integrated suite of products with smart dashboards, Intuitive UI's so as to help the planner perform their day to day job efficiently and with minimum hassle of navigating across multiple ERP screens and applications.


 

                 Modern Best Practice

 



     Outsourced, In-House Manufacturing, Make-To-Order, Configure-To-Order and Make-To-Stock




The Infosys Industrial Manufacturing Solution is the first of its kind, fully integrated and configurable on Cloud which optimizes the day to day tasks and processes for a planner. It assists the planner to accurately do Demand forecasting and schedule the production plans effectively. The Demand & Supply Planning solution is fully configurable for Make-To-Stock, Configure-To-Order, Make-To-Order and OSP related workflows. This solution allows planners to quickly adapt and modify their production plans, sourcing details according to changing demand patterns. The In-built smart dashboards and analytical models help the planner to identify process-related bottlenecks, eliminate waste and optimize production. It operates on the lean principle of supply chain planning of minimizing waste. The Supply Chain planning on Cloud enables the planner to efficiently plan, simulate multiple scenarios with a single click and make decisions at a much much faster pace. Constraint based, capacity based planning can be easily modeled with the help of this solution thereby making other rudimentary applications redundant. For an Industrial manufacturer, the complex one to many bill of materials that is currently being configured across multiple warehouses can be easily modeled in Supply Chain Planning Cloud in the form of a Supply Network wherein multiple 'Make At', 'Buy From' and 'Transfer from' sourcing rules can be configured and assigned to the supply plan with the help of an Assignment set. Thus the configuration of the supply network and supply plan is also an easy task with the step-by-step task pane available. Demand Fulfillment dashboards, Demands-At-Risk and other custom exception messages can be easily configured in this Cloud solution, based on which planner will be able to make decisions faster and more efficiently. Supply Planning can help you simulate multiple business scenarios, be it capacity constraints or demand volatility or even shorter product lifecycles by making the plan flexible and agile..


The Kanban Planning, Min-Max based planning, Service parts planning are already planned to be rolled out in future releases of Oracle Cloud which will further enhance the flexibility of planning central cloud to other process and discrete manufacturers.




October 13, 2018

USE OF MULTIPLE BALANCING SEGMENTS IN FUSION GENERAL LEDGER

 

AS WE KNOW EBS  R12 HAVE ONE BALANCING SEGMENT ASSIGNED TO COMPANY SEGMENT. ORACLE FUSION GENERAL LEDGER OFFERS USE OF 3 BALANCING SEGMENTS AND THESE ARE-

 

  • Primary Balancing Segment
  • Second Balancing Segment
  • Third Balancing Segment

 

Primary Balancing segment is required whereas second and third balancing segments are optional and can be assigned to division or to cost center segment. With the help of these balancing segments, Fusion GL offers tracking of Financial transactions and results at a finer level of granularity compared to single balancing segment in EBS R12.

 

A balancing segment is a segment in chart of account structure. Whenever we define structure , we must choose one of the segment as balancing segment. Primary Balancing Segment is a Segment qualifier attached to company segment and helps to generate Balancing entries in receivables and Payables. By doing this , system ensures that journal entries are balanced that is- debits equal credits for each value of the balancing segment and journal entries are always balanced by company (since Company segment is chosen as balancing segment)

 

In Oracle Fusion General Ledger, we can use 3 segments as balancing segments. First one is called Primary Balancing segment and is a required segment (this normally represent Company or Legal entities). Values in this segment is assigned to legal entity when we configure accounting in General Ledger.

 

The other two balancing segments (second and third) are optional and can represent other parts of the enterprise structure, like divisions or cost center or line of business (LoB). Balancing segments helps to monitor company's retained earning or to track assets, Liabilities and Equity ie net balance sheet.

 

Advantange of using balancing segments are;

·         Balancing segment ensures that all journals balance for each balancing segment value.

 

·         General ledger automatically calculates and create balancing lines as required in journal entries.

 

·         By using Multiple Balancing Segments (MBS), it is possible to generate Financial Statements for each unique combinations of Segments.

 

·         This offers greater insight into visibility of operations to monitor and measure financial performance of a company. Multiple balancing segments ensures that account balance comes from journal entries where Debits equal Credits and financial reports are properly generated for each account combination across all the balancing segments. This helps users and company to get more granular reporting however this requires more resource and steps to achieve granularity.

 

 

Example:

Chart of Accounts contains Total 5 segments with 3 balancing segments: ( Company, Cost Center and Line of Business )

Segment

Company

(Balancing Segment)

Cost Center

(Balancing Segment)

Line of Business

(Balancing Segment)

Account

I/C

 

 

Values

 

00 (Clearing Company or any value not tied to a LE)

 

 

01

000

1001

1817 (I/C Receivables)

01

02

101

2001

2817 (I/C Payables)

02

03

202

3001

4817 (I/C Revenue)

03

04

302

4001

6817 (I/C Expense)

04

 

 

 

 

6110 (Office Supplies Expense)

 

 

 

 

 

2110 (Accounts Payable)

 

 

 

 

 

 

1899 Intracompany A/R

 

 

 

 

 

2899 Intracompany A/P

 

 

Scenario A: Company 01 receives a $1000 invoice for supplies that are used by both Company 01 and Company 04 across 2 different Cost Centers and Lines of Business for each company. Company 01 enters a journal entry for $1000 where they owe 60% against Cost Center 101 and Line of Business 1001. Company 04 owes 40% against Cost Center 202 and Line of Business 3001.

 

 

 

 

Step 1: Enter Manual Journal in General Ledger

Account Combination

Debit

Credit

Co

CC

LOB

Acct

I/C

 

 

01

101

1001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

600

 

04

202

3001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

400

 

01

101

1001

2110  (Accounts Payable)

 

 

1000

 

Step 2: System Automatically Generates Balancing Lines

Account Combination

Debit

Credit

Co

CC

LOB

Acct

I/C

 

 

01

101

1001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

600

 

04

202

3001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

400

 

01

101

1001

2110  (Accounts Payable)

 

 

1000

01

101

1001

1817  (I/C Receivables)

04

400

 

04

202

3001

2817 (I/C Payables)

01

 

400

Grand Totals

1400

1400

 

 Scenario B (Most Complex): Company 01 receives a $1000 invoice for supplies that are used by both Company 01 and Company 04. However, the following allocation of costs applies across the following Cost Centers and Lines of Business:

  • Co 01- CC 101- LOB 1001 = 20%
  • Co 01- CC 202- LOB 2001 = 30%
  • Co 04- CC 202- LOB 3001 = 40%
  • Co 04- CC 202- LOB 4001 = 10%

Step 1: Company 01 Enters Manual Journal in General Ledger

Account Combination

Debit

Credit

Co

CC

LOB

Acct

I/C

 

 

01

101

1001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

200

 

01

202

2001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

300

 

04

202

3001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

400

 

04

302

4001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

100

 

01

101

1001

2110  (Accounts Payable)

 

 

1000

 


Step 2: System Automatically Generates Balancing Lines

Account Combination

Debit

Credit

Co

CC

LOB

Acct

I/C

 

 

01

101

1001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

200

 

01

202

2001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

300

 

04

202

3001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

400

 

04

302

4001

6110 (Office Supplies)

01

100

 

01

101

1001

2110  (Accounts Payable)

 

 

1000

01

101

1001

1817  (I/C Receivables)

04

500

 

04

202

3001

2817 (I/C Payables)

 01

500

01

101

1001

1899 (Intracompany A/R)

00

300



01

202

2001

2899 (Intracompany A/P)

00

 

300

04

202

3001

1899 (Intracompany A/R)

00

100

04

302

4001

2899 (Intracompany A/P)

00

                       100

Grand Totals

1900

1900

 


 

 

September 21, 2018

Mobile First strategy with Oracle CX Mobile App to boost your Sales


In today's competitive world, organizations are emphasizing on building a culture of proactive sales with responsibility of identifying leads, new account openings and agility in closing deals. To enable this, organizations are looking towards recent technology innovations to equip sales team with accurate and anywhere, anytime access to information that would make them more proactive and productive.  

In recent times, most revolutionary change we have seen in technology world is Mobility. This has empowered sales persons quickly have the right information in their hands and enables collaboration with teams while on the move.

In this blog, would discuss about must have Mobile Use stories and capabilities that would imbibe a culture of agile Sales Organization using Oracle CX Mobile App.

 

 


Next Best Action: Upcoming Appointments and Due Tasks

Sales person typically start their day with checking of calendar for appointments and to-do list. An integrated view of appointments and due Tasks for the week would help them plan activities better and effectively.

Oracle CX Mobile App provides sales person calendar view that provides list of daily appointments and tasks with timely reminders. Using this mobile apps, Sales persons can directly capture the meeting notes, Call reports, debriefing and action items which can be immediately shared with the extended teams and synced back Oracle Sales Cloud for further actions.

 

 

Optimize Customer Visits


Sales persons often struggle to plan their customer visits in an optimally way and sometimes they miss to visit the customers because of not having the right details and coordinates of the customer meetings. This will lead to customer dissatisfaction and probably loss of the deal.

With the introduction of View map feature in Oracle CX Mobile App helps Sales Team to view and plan all the customer visits near to the same location in single trip. This feature considers, current location coordinates of sales person and displays the current deals in that vicinity. This will helps them to plan their trips effectively and avoid any back and forth trips to the same location and improves the sales team productivity in customer engagements

 

Manage Deals on the Go

Most of the times Sales person do not show interest to capture information in the application, reasons could be many ranging  from time constraints or cumbersome application to use, no network connectivity  or always on the move. This could lead to potential leak in sales person targets and organizations revenues.

With Oracle CX Mobile App, sales team can manage their Leads, Opportunities and Contacts data easily on the go, its simple and easy to use interface enables ease of entering data online as well as offline.  That allows the sales person to spend more time in client engagements instead of figuring out what to capture in the application.

Also Oracle CX Mobile App does offer voice navigation, works as a virtual sales assistant and interactively guides the sales team through common activities.

 

Collaborative Workforce

Sales person often struggle to get the right information to close the deal and this will lead to slippage of deadlines, moving targets and revenue loss which no sales organizations would ever want.

Oracle CX Mobile App breaks this silo by encouraging team collaboration using in built Oracle Social network tools. This empowers the sales team to collaborate with the various teams in the organization and get required information on time.

Point to be noted here is, present version of CX Mobile App, users would need to install Oracle Social network App for collaboration. We hope in future all of this will be in one app does all.


Analytical Insights

Gone are the days where business analytics and intelligence reports are accessible only in desktops or laptops and meant for Managers.  Being the front face of the organization, Sales person are responsible for mining and identifying the new deals, so they are constantly looking for Analytical tools which can help them access the customer information while on the move, sitting in the meeting room with customers with little or no dependency on the IT teams.  

Introduction of mobile enabled Business Analytics and Intelligence tools, Sales persons now can slice and dice the data based on the customer's historic trends, purchase patterns, products interested. With these Analytic tools at their disposal they can create a new up-sell opportunities on the fly and have the flexibility to offer something new to customers while on the move.

Oracle CX Cloud Mobile supports in build Analytics as part of the Oracle CX Mobile app which can help the Sales team to access the information and present to right forums at right times. After all, when it comes to closing the deals, the more reliable information sales team have, the better they will be able to achieve organization objectives/Close the deals.


       

Note: Figures courtesy Oracle CX Cloud documentation

Extensibility of Mobile UI

Tailoring the UI to meet various customer needs, CX Mobile App offers simple capability to change the UI to meet varying customer needs. 

Having said that Simplified UI or web UI remains the primary UI and Mobile is alternate UI, while designing the Mobile apps we need to keep in mind the form factor of mobile device and also carefully plan the priorities for sales team while they are on move.

Certain Short falls in existing Mobile App., which would like Oracle to incorporate in future releases

          • Integration with Instant messengers likes WhatsApp, WeChat or Telegram to foster Internal Sales Collaboration for quick responses

          • Integrated Business Card Scanning App- this would encourage contact sales rep to directly transfer contact data into Sales Cloud application.

          • Comprehensive Voice Chat Bot with Natural Language Support (AI), which would enable sales reps to record transactions on the go from creating Call Reports to updating activities.


          Conclusion:

          By choosing Mobile First strategy using Oracle CX Mobile app, organizations can reap the benefits by improving the sales person productivity, reduce costs, automate manual activities and increase the organization revenues with new deals and customers. After all, this is for the betterment of the organization who dares to say no. So get ready to embrace the Mobile First Strategy....




          September 7, 2018

          Leveraging Oracle Revenue Management Cloud System to Meet IFRS 15 Contract Cost Amortization Requirements

          Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Service (RMCS) - Introduction

          Oracle Revenue Management Cloud Service (RMCS) is an automated and centralized revenue management product that empowers organizations to comply with the ASC 606 and the Accounting Standard IFRS 15 requirements of revenue from contracts with customers. RMCS helps organizations in automating the identification and creation of customer contracts and performance obligations, their valuations, and the accounting entries through a configurable framework.

          RMCS is tailor made to meet the IFRS15 / ASC606 requirements including the transition requirements. Apart from this, RMCS also provides robust integration with third party applications including Oracle EBS (and other non-oracle systems) to fulfill the requirements of IFRS-15.

          Standard RMCS features enable organizations to recognize revenue from contracts with customers as per IFRS-15. However, the product does not offer features to amortize the contract costs as per IFRS-15. At Infosys we have extended the usability of RMCS to recognize and amortize Contract Costs as per IFRS-15.

          This document provides a solution overview on recognizing and amortizing Contract Costs in RMCS and the initial accounting setups which are required. The content included in this document is industry or organization agnostic.

           

          Recognizing Revenue from Contracts with Customers in RMCS

          The most striking change in recognition of Revenue has been the introduction of the new five- Step Model for recognition of revenue.

          View image

           

          The new standard impacts all the organizations requiring to report according to IFRS and US GAAP. Since, the change deals with revenue, and is expected to have organization wide impact.

          Sample case showing how Revenue is recognized as per IFRS-15 in RMCS: -

          Domain: Telecom

          Contract Period: 6 months

          Contract Start Date: 15.01.2018

          Contract End Date: 15.07.2018

          Plan: Telecom plan which include monthly fixed fee- $ 100 along with a handset at the start of the plan

          Say, X Ltd sells separately Handset at $ 300 for 6 months and the monthly fee without handset at $ 80.

          1.       As per IFRS-15, X Ltd needs to identify the contract (Step 1) which is a 6-month contract with the customer.

           

          2.       Then, X Ltd needs to identify all the performance obligations (Step 2) from the contract with the customer which is:-

          ·         provide a handset

          ·         provide network services over 6 months

           

          3.       Decide the transaction price (Step 3) which is $ 600

           

          4.       Apportioning the transaction price (Step 4) of RS 600 to each performance obligation based on their relative stand-alone selling price: -

          Performance Obligation

          Standalone Selling Price

          Allocated %

          Allocated Revenue

          Revenue Recognized

          Handset

          300

          38.46%

          230.76(600*38.46%)

          230.76

          Network Services

          480(80*6)

          61.54%

          369.24(600*61.54%)

          61.54(369.24/6)

          Total

          780

          100%

          600

          292.30

           

          5.       Recognizing the revenue (Step 5) when X Ltd satisfies the performance obligations:

          ·         Recognizing the Revenue from Handset, when X Ltd gives Handset to customer -$ 230.76

          ·         Recognizing the Revenue from Network Services provided for $ 61.54 monthly during the period of the contract which is 6 months.

          Expected Accounting entries generated in RMCS are as summarized below: -

          Period

          Description

          Amount

          Debit

          Credit

          Event

          T0

          Recognition of Contract Asset and Liability in relation to the Services and Handset

          Contract Asset

          600

           

          Initial Performance

          Contract Liability

           

          600

          T1

          Monthly Billing of Revenue 

          Contract Clearing

          292.30

           

          Performance Obligation Billed

          Contract Asset

           

          292.30

          T1

          Recognizing of monthly Revenue and its allocation

          Contract Liability

          292.30

           

          Performance Obligation Satisfied

          Revenue from Handset

           

          230.76

          Revenue from Network Service

           

          61.54

          T2-T6

          Monthly Billing of Revenue 

          Contract Clearing

          61.54

           

          Performance Obligation Billed

          Contract Asset

           

          61.54

          T2-T6

          Recognizing of monthly Revenue and its allocation

          Contract Liability

          61.54

           

          Performance Obligation Satisfied

          Revenue from Network Service

           

          61.54


          Accounting for cost as per IFRS-15

          IFRS 15(Revenue from Contract with Customers) is primarily a standard on revenue recognition, it also has requirements relating to contract costs. As a result, organizations may require change their accounting for these costs on adoption of IFRS 15.

          Prior to IFRS 15, there was no specific accounting standard addressing the accounting for costs, entities referred to a number of different standards and principles in accounting for various types of costs incurred. Existing standards IAS 18 Revenue and IAS 11 Construction Contracts contained only limited guidance, mainly on applying the percentage of completion method (under which contract revenue and costs were recognized with reference to the stage of completion).

          IFRS 15 introduces a new guidance on accounting for the costs related to contract: -

          View image

          Basic Configuration required to achieve allocation in RMCS

           

          1.                    Trading community source system: Source systems are uniquely defined in the system which is required to support all other setups.
          2.                  Source document codes: Source document code is base setup to define source document types.
          3.                 Source document types: Source document types are defined to indicate different lines of business. For example: if a business has manufacture line and service line then two type of source document types need to be defined.
          4.                 Revenue system options: Different types of accounts i.e. contract asset account, contract liability account, contract discount account, price variance account and contract clearing account are defined through revenue system options.
          5.                   Standalone selling price effective periods: Depends on pricing policy of the business and how frequently these changes helps to determine effective periods to define standalone selling price of different products.
          6.               Contract identification rules: Contracts are created in system based on the contract identification rules. Different contract identification rules are created for different source document types.
          7.             Performance obligation identification rules: These rules are created to define how different performance obligation lines will be treated for a particular contract. Different performance obligation rules are created for different source document types.
          8.           Pricing dimension structure: Pricing dimension structure are used to define different segments which are required in defining pricing dimension values.
          9.               Pricing dimension assignments: This setup assigns different source document types with different pricing dimension structures.
          10.                   Standalone selling price profile: This setup is done to define items in different standalone selling profile and to define standalone selling price. Profiles are created based on different pricing dimension assignments.

          Extending the Usability of RMCS to Costing Scenario

          In order to recognize Contract Cost as per IFRS-15 (If the contract period is for more than 12 months), organizations need to amortize contract cost over the period of the contract. In this scenario, Contract Cost should be debited and Contract Asset should be credited. But initially in RMCS, while recognizing revenue Contract Liability Account is debited and Contract Revenue Account is credited. Therefore, in order to achieve the accounting for Contract Cost we need to apply Sub Ledger Accounting in RMCS.

          Sub ledger Accounting supports multiple accounting representations concurrently in a single instance. We can create a particular set of rules for specific transactions and create accounting for the transaction with the accounting methods defined.

           

          Configurations Required for Sub Ledger Accounting to Meet Cost Amortization

          This is how best we can understand the relationship of the components used for Sub Ledger Accounting: -

          View image

          After completing basic RMCS configuration, below are the high level SLA setups required to achieve Costing Scenarios:

                  I.            Accounting Method: We need to create a new Accounting Method so for accounting treatment for each accounting event class, accounting event type for the Costing Scenario.

                II.            Account Rules: Account Rules enable us to define the logic of determining the segment value to be used for each transaction. We create different rule types to fetch Account combination, Segment, and Value Set.

          In order to create accounting entries for costing scenario, we need to create three different Account rules, namely: -

          a.       Contract Liability Custom Account Rule

          b.      Contract Asset Custom Account Rule

          c.       Contract Revenue Custom Account Rule

          Each of the above rules should have a condition to identify and alter the account for cost contracts.

           

              III.            Sub ledger Journal Entry (JE) Rule Set: Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Sets enables us to generate complete JE for an accounting event. This summary of the set of rules needs to be validated before it can be linked to the Accounting Methods for the sub ledger. The Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set can be assigned only to a Sub Ledger Accounting Method with the same chart of accounts. Before creating Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule set, ensure that the below subcomponents, if required, of Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set are correctly defined: -

          a.       Description Rules

          b.      Journal Line Rules

          c.       Account Rules

           

              IV.            Accounting Methods assignment: After creating Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set, assign the Rule set with the already created Accounting Method. The Status of the Accounting method defined is incomplete initially.

                V.            Activate Sub Ledger Journal Entry Set Assignments: In order to activate the accounting setups, submit the Activate Sub Ledger Journal Entry Rule Set Assignments process. The Status of the Accounting Method should be 'Active'.

          Expected Accounting Entries in RMCS for Costing Scenario: -

          Say, Contract Cost to be amortized -$ 2400 for 24 months

          Period

          Description

          Amount

          Debit

          Credit

          T0

          Initial Performance

          Contract Asset

          2400

           

          Contract Liability

           

          2400

          T1-T24

          Amortization of Cost

          Contract Cost

          100

           

          Contract Asset

           

          100

          Conclusions-RMCS with Custom Sub Ledger Accounting - A Game Changer!!!

          With Oracle RMCS and Infosys tried and tested SLA extensions, now organizations can not only recognize Revenue according to IFRS 15 but also recognize and amortize contract costs as per IFRS 15. This enables organization to have a single Oracle supported solution for meeting all their IFRS15 requiremnts.

          Please reach out to Infosys/authors for your organization specific requirements and to leverage the power of RMCS to ease your transition to IFRS 15 standard.


          September 5, 2018

          Customer Loyalty: Past Forward

          Back in the 80's when televisions were introduced to the households, the marketers made an easy entry inside our home and a new era of visually animated marketing begun. The trick was simple, "be visible be sold ". Suddenly TV took the centre stage for all the marketing and promotion. Every brand, premier or not, wanted to connect with its customers and engage them via attractive advertisements appealing to their physical or cognitive needs. Since we as customer were generally not informed about the market and its offerings, anyone who could educate us about our needs and show us an available product for it could successfully seal the deal. In short it was about educating -> engaging -> selling for a long time only till market was all levelled.

          Continue reading " Customer Loyalty: Past Forward " »

          August 27, 2018

          Oracle Cloud R13- One Time Payment Request

          Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud R13 offers functionality to import invoice and payment details as Payables Payment Request from external systems using a predefined FBDI template

          Supplier for the request

          ü  Not an existing supplier in Oracle

          ü  Entered as a Party

          ü  Cannot be queried at Manage Supplier page

          ü  Cannot be reused for standard invoice

          ü  Bank Details (Account Number, Bank, Branch) are required to be entered in the import data

          FBDI Template - Payables Payment Request Import

          ü  The 18A Template can be downloaded from below link

          Payables Payment Request Import

          ü   Key Template Columns 

          Column Name

          Details

          Transaction Identifier

          Invoice identifier to uniquely identify the OTP request

          Party Name

          Name of the Supplier/Party

          Party Original System Reference

          Reference information of party from the source system

          Party Type

          Supplier Type.

          Party type can only be Person, Organization, Group or Relationship.

          Location Original System Reference

          Source System Reference for location.

          Country

          Country of Party Address

          Address Line 1, 2, 3, 4

          Address Line 1, 2, 3, 4 of Party Address

          City, State, Postal Code

          City, State, Postal Code of Party Address

          Supplier Bank Details

          Account Country, Currency, Account#, Type, Bank & Branch #

          Business Unit & LE

          Business Unit and Legal Entity

          Source

          One Time Payments (This is defined at Payables Lookup, Type= Source)

          Invoice Details

          Invoice Number, Date, Currency, Description, Paygroup, Payment Term

          Payment Method

          Mode of Payment

          Liability Combination

          Liability Account Code Combination.

          If left blank, value of this field defaults from the setup.

           

          Mandatory Setups

          1.       Enable One Time Supplier feature for the instance (View image)

          2.       Add the OTP Code as Payables Source (View image)

          3.       Add the source at Trading Community Source System (View image)

          4.       Enter default Liability and Expense accounts at 'Manage Common Options for Payables and Procurement' (View image)

          5.       Enter default location at 'Manage Business Unit' (View image)

          Creating Payment Request Invoice and Payment

          1.       Prepare the FBDI template with Payment Process Request data (View image)

          2.       Generate csv and zip files from template (View image)

          3.       Upload the zip to UCM Server. Account- fin/payables/import (View image)

          4.       Run 'Load Interface File for Import' process to load the data to interface table (View image)

          5.       Run 'Import Payables Payment Request' process. Source: OTP (View image)

          6.       Invoice created (View image)

          7.       Payment can be made by selecting 'Pay in Full' from Invoice Action or Creating a new Payment at Manage Payments.

           1099 Reporting for Payables Payment Requests

          1099 reporting is not supported for One Time Payments. Assumption is that the source application generating one-time payments would handle any tax requirements.  If payments handled within Oracle Cloud Financials require 1099 then the supplier needs to be created in Oracle and paid by invoice.

           

          April 17, 2018

          Enabling CA Signed Certificate in Oracle JCS and On-Premise Weblogic

          Enabling CA Signed Certificate in Oracle JCS and On-Premises WebLogic (How To Series)

          Tools: KeyTool, Openssl (Optional)

          Introduction

          By default Oracle JCS server has self-signed certificate based SSL/TLS. For enhanced security and trust, we have to use CA signed certificates.  This document can be used for both On-premises WebLogic servers and Oracle JCS based Weblogic servers. Implementing CA signed certificate can prevent hacking attack like man-in-the-middle. Using CA signed certificates internal and external communications between services can be secured. Also environment access can be secured.

          Key Features covered in Document

          1) Brief about CA signed certificates and how chain of certificates are maintained.

          2) How to implement chain of CA sign certificate on WebLogic admin and managed server.

          Continue reading " Enabling CA Signed Certificate in Oracle JCS and On-Premise Weblogic " »

          March 31, 2018

          Blockchain & Finance - An Introduction for the CFO

          Have you heard about blockchain? Even if you have not heard about blockchain, you would surely have heard about bitcoin.  Bitcoins are not blockchain but Bitcoins use the blockchain technology.

          Why should a CFO concern about blockchain technology?

          The blockchain technology is a big game changer.  It can be used to solve many business problems. While some industries are hugely impacted, others might have minor impact. Also, since the technology is evolving and maturing new impacts are getting discovered every day. Ignoring the technology could mean loss of competitive advantage, inefficient process impacting shareholder value. As the guardian of the shareholder value, it is of great importance to the CFO to understand the technology in general and impact on finance function in particular.

          Before, we discuss how the blockchain impacts the finance function, let us understand what blockchain is, what its unique features are, what are its benefits.

          What's the name?

          The blockchain technology is also sometime referred to as DLT i.e. Distributed Ledger technology. While there are minor differences between the two, to keep things simple, we can assume both are the same.

          What is blockchain / DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology)?

          As the name indicates the technology uses blocks, chains, is distributed (i.e. decentralized) and ledgers (list of data). Basically DLT uses blocks to store data, the data is linked / chained to each other most likely using cryptology.  Apart from data storage / linkage, in DLT the complete data will be replicated (distributed). The data in the block chain is stored based on a 'consensus' rule and blockchain might also have smart contracts, which gets executed based on certain criteria.

          Blockchain / DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) - How does it help?

          Because of the above characteristics, a blockchain can help businesses

          • Speed up business processes - transactions taking days can be done in seconds.

          • Reduce costs - as it will enable direct peer-to-peer interaction without the need for intermediaries.

          • Reduces risks - as the transactions are immutable and cannot be changed ones created

          • Enforces and builds trust - all data is transparent and additions are through a consensus mechanism.

          Maybe the above discussions are very technical, let me describe a finance use case for better understanding of the technology and the benefits. 

          Trade Finance - Use Case - Using Oracle Cloud, Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service

          Trade finance is one of the areas where the blockchain technology is already in use. Let us imagine a typical bill discounting scenario.  The scenario will have the following participants - buyer (say 'ABC Electronics'), seller (say 'LG Electronics'), and financing bank (say HSBC).  Assume we are the buyers, using Oracle Cloud applications.

          ABC Electronics buys the goods from the LG, on receipt of the goods and the invoice from the LG, the details are sent (physical copies of invoice) to the HSBC bank. HSBC bank verifies the data and then releases funds to the LG based on the due date.

          Note the above process

          • Might take 3-5 days, probably more

          • The participants to the process, do not have a visibility of the status - Are the goods received by the ABC Electronics, is the invoice received by the ABC Electronics, has HSBC bank got the document, has HSBC bank verified the documents.

          • The invoices might get damaged, lost, tampered with - as they move between the different parties.

          How can Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service help here-

          With blockchain we can now build a solution whereby

          • The business process of sending goods, receiving goods, receiving invoices, sending invoices to the buyer, verification of receipts and invoices by the buyer, sending the invoice to the bank can be captured / shared  on the blockchain

          • The transactions on consensus gets added to the block chain and cannot be tampered with (immutable)

          • Additions to the blockchain can be done by automatic process / manual process. Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service offers REST API's to automatically integrate the Oracle cloud applications with Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service.

          • New data can be added based on an agreed consensus mechanism, which can be built using Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service.

          • Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service also offers a front end application, which help the participants to view the status of the transactions (data transparency)

          • The physical invoices need not be sent to the bank, the bank can directly connect via RESTAPI offered by Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, to verify the invoices captured by the buyer. ( eases and speeds up the process)

          • With Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service, a smart contracts can be built to automatic transfer amounts to the seller, on due verification of the invoices (process automation)

          Below is the pictorial representation of how data (block) gets added to each node after each business event based on consensus between all participants and the same view is available to all participants.

          With the above solution

          • The data is visible to all participants and is consistent across all participants.

          • Physical invoices need not be sent to the bank.

          • The correct invoice details are confirmed by all parties and cannot be tampered with (immutable). The ability is only possible due to the use of blockchain technology.

          • Smart contracts executed automatically to initiate supplier payments.

          • The time to process the payment to the seller can be done in few minutes instead of days

          Are there other Use cases - Impacts on finance function?

          While there is a big impact on financial services industry, crypto-currencies, the focus of this note is to discuss the impact on the finance function perspective, at a more micro level.

          There are many other use cases. As the technology matures, the way it is implemented is also evolving and new use cases are getting discovered.

          Oracle (in Oracle Open World 2017) while releasing the Blockchain Cloud Service solution, have listed a good set of questions which will help you determine the possible use cases for blockchain. Businesses need to check on below to discover potential use cases

          • Is my business process pre-dominantly cross departmental / cross organizational? ( think of intercompany reconciliation, interparty reconciliations)

          • Is there a trust issue among transacting parties? ( think of trade finance scenarios)

          • Does it involve intermediaries, possibly corruptible?

          • Does it require period reconciliations? ( think of intercompany reconciliation, interparty reconciliations)

          • Is there a need to improve traceability or audit trails? (think of bank confirmation letters, third party balance confirmation letters needed by auditors)

          • Do we need real time visibility of the current state of transactions? (think of publishing reports to various stakeholders)

          • Can I improve the business process by automating certain steps in it? (think of automatic payment, based on inspections by a third party).

          From above, we can see numerous opportunities for improving the finance functions. Let me try to list possible use cases by critical functions of finance.

          S Num

          Function

          Sub-Function

          Possible impacts

          1

          Financial Management

           

          Ø  Strategic Planning

          Ø  Annual Planning

          Ø  Rolling Forecasting (Quarterly / Monthly)

          Ø  Working Capital management

          Ø  Forex management

          An internal, permissioned blockchain can be built to get consensus on the plan, which is transparent to all participants and immutable.

           

          A permissioned blockchain can be setup to speed up the funds disbursement process for trade finance

          2

          Financial Reporting and Analysis

           

          Ø  Statutory and External Reporting (GAAP / IFRS / VAT etc.)

          Ø  Management Reporting (Scorecard, Dashboard)

          Ø  Strategic Finance (Scenario Planning. M&A)

          Ø  Customer and Product Profitability Analysis

          Ø  Balance Sheet, P&L ,Cashflows

          A permissioned blockchain can be setup for secured communication of reports which is secured, tamperproof, quick to publish.

           

          3

          Governance, Risk and Compliance

           

          Ø  Financial Policies & Procedures (Business Rules Management)

          Ø  Tax Strategies and Compliance

          Ø  Tax  Accounting

          Ø  Audit, Controls and SOX Compliance

          Ø  Enterprise and Operational Risk Management

          Ø  System Security and Controls

          Secured communication of reports to government authorities.

           

          A permissioned blockchain can be built to get consensus on the account balances for audit purposes.

          4

          Finance Transactions and Operations

           

          Ø  General Accounting

          Ø  Managerial Accounting

          Ø  Accounts Payable

          Ø  Credit and Collections

          A permissioned blockchain can be built which is transparent, immutable and consensus based to capture customer promises for cash collections.

          5

          Financial Consolidation

           

          Ø  Period end Book closure (monthly, quarterly, yearly)

          Ø  Currency translation and trial balances

          Ø  INTRA and INTER company transaction accounting

          Ø  System of records close ( COA,  GL, Sub-ledgers)

          A permissioned blockchain can be built to share and agree on intercompany balances.

           

          Any pitfalls? What should you check?

          There are many potential uses of this technology. As the technology matures and more Proof of concept projects get executed, new use cases are getting discovered and old use cases are also getting dropped.  As per Gartner Hype cycle, blockchain technology has passed the 'Peak of Inflated expectation' phase and is likely to enter in the 'Trough of Disillusionment' phase as POC's start failing before entering the 'Slope of entitlement' phase.

          Considering the hype, there is a risk of trying to force-fit blockchain in scenarios, where simpler, cheaper, faster options might work better. While blockchain are immutable, highly secure, there are few exceptions and special attention is needed to ensure the exceptions are understood and managed. The government regulation to manage blockchain contracts also need to be evolve. There are also concerns with data transparency, which might not always be a good thing.

          Conclusion

          Blockchain is a big game changer.  Its impact on the finance function is inevitable. As the technology matures, the technology will help the CFO automate, speedup processes, build internal controls even with third parties outside the organization.  The CFO organization should start discussion on discovering use cases. It is likely that new ways of doing processes might be developed, in a way never imagined before.

          The intention of the article is to give an introduction to blockchain, the impact on finance function and how Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service can help with build a block chain quickly.

          Continue reading " Blockchain & Finance - An Introduction for the CFO " »

          March 14, 2018

          Patching and Upgrade Planning for Oracle Financials Cloud

          Instance Patching and Upgrade is a way of life in Cloud world!

          Customers using Oracle Financials cloud are well accustomed to the frequent patching and instance upgrades.

          While the patches and upgrades overall improve features, performance and usability of application with enhanced functionalities; it can also create panic amongst financials users if not planned, tested and communicated on time.

          Here are some tasks to be performed before and after patching /upgrade for a seamless transition to new release.

          Pre-Activities: Before the patch is applied to instance or it is upgraded, following pre-activities should be completed:

          • Review the patch/upgrade Oracle notes and mark the ones impacting your current processes-- awaited bug resolution or new functionality.
          • Connect with Oracle by raising SR in case further explanation is require for any of the above notes. This will ensure no surprises when upgraded instance is handed over to users.
          • Compare the new FBDI templates with previous version and make a note of any changes. These changes need to be incorporated to the FBDI based Inbound interfaces.
          • Prepare and add the test cases for above points
          • Get the overall test cases reviewed by the functional team
          •  Inform the outage timings to users. Outage should include time taken to complete Post activities as well.
          •  Stop all the Inbound and Outbound interfaces to/from Oracle.
          •  As a best practice, patch/upgrade needs to be applied to the non-production environment first and tested/maintained with pre-post activities. Any issue faced during testing of Non-Production instances should be resolved before its applied to PROD. Some examples of such issues are:

          o    Access issues in case of custom security

          o    Formatting changes (e.g. page break ) to seeded reports

          o    Any other known Oracle bug

          These issues can be resolved with the help of Oracle team by raising Service Requests. The resolutions should be noted to be applied to Production as a post-task.

          • In case of any changes to FBDI templates, the inbound interfaces should be updated and tested in Non-Prod instance.

          Post-Activities: After receiving patching/upgrade completion notification from Oracle and before the instance is handed over to testing team or users, below listed tasks should be completed by Oracle Support team:

          • Run following processes:

          o    Import User and Role Application Security Data 

          o    LDAP Requests

          o    Update Person Search Keywords

          o    Synchronize Person Records

          o    Refresh Manager Hierarchy

          • Verify if the email notification is working (Notification on the Bell Icon) by either running a BIP report or changing a test person record. If its not working then an SR needs to be raised with Oracle to set the Notification Mode to ALL on SOA server and bounce the server afterwards.
          • Release the inbound and outbound interfaces to

          1.       Catch up on the data since it was stopped

          2.       Process as per regular schedule

          • Publish the active hierarchies to Essbase
          • Recreate the Essbase Cubes for active chart of accounts
          • Verify that Essbase is returning all Rules sets and Allocations in EPM
          • Activate the journal entry rule set assignments
          • Depending on the requirement, update the formatting of seeded report/s. E.g. Default Format, Page Break
          • Check for and Fix any subject area related error for OTBI reports.
          • Apply the fix for issues encountered during Non-Prod testing.

          While patches are applied to the instance either monthly or quarterly (as opted by the customer); upgrade frequency is lesser. The scale and impact of instance upgrade is higher; since functionality changes are major. Hence upgrade planning should start well in advance. The impact analysis of upgrade should be performed meticulously and elaborate test cases should be built.

          The Infosys Oracle Cloud team works with customers as trusted Support Partner and helps planning patching & upgrade transition; along with the regular production support activities like Period Close. The team tracks new features, presents to business and helps identify lag between new features & its adoption.

          The objective during patching or upgrade is to minimize the spike of support tickets from Financials users. The above mentioned pre and post activities help ensure the same and maintain a stable Production System. 

          February 19, 2018

          Chatting with Bots - More necessity than a science fiction

          In the age where there are multiple applications involved in supply chain process, the knowledge about the customer orders is distributed. It has become a walk on the tight rope to keep the customer updated about the process of their order Vs cost to provide the information to the customer via customer service team or a complex BI solution. This blog opens a possibility of cost effective and light weight solution by introducing the 'Chatbot'.

          The IT landscape involve multiple applications to fulfil every single order due to the nature of business, way the organization have evolved, number of business entities involved or due to the speciality of the applications. Below is the example of a manufacturing and retail organization

          Pic 1 - Typical IT landscape

          In this complex matrix, the traditional methods to keep the customer updated about the progress of their orders are as follows

          • Send text message or email about the status
          • Set up a customer service team to handle customer requests via call, text, email or chat

          But the drawback of these conventional methods are that there is no single system which holds the moment of truth about every order. In order to avoid the customer service team juggling between applications, a complex BI reports are installed to oversee all applications resulting in even more complex IT landscape.

          Alternative solution is that 'Chatbot'. According to Wikipedia, a chatbot is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Customers can chat with Chatbot to get the information about their orders. Let's see why the Chatbot solution is cool.

          Implementing the Chatbot:

          PIC2.png

          There are 2 main functionalities of Chatbots:

          • Receive and understand what the customer is saying, and
          • Retrieve the Customer information required

           In order to receive and understanding what customer is saying via chat, Chatbot uses Natural Language processing systems. Via artificial intelligence and machine learning, Chatbot is trained to understand the customer's request better. There are numerous cloud based chatbot development platforms can be leveraged to design, build and train the Chatbots. Oracle Cloud Platform or IBM Watson are examples of such Platform as a Service (PAAS)  solutions available.         


          Text Box:  
Pic 3 - Example of a chat conversation in mobile
For retrieving the information required, the Chatbot uses web services to connect with each application. For example Order management Cloud has an Order Import Web service which can be involved by using the retail order number. Similar order information web service can be created. The Chatbot will have to invoke the web service and find out the best status of all the application and publish it to the customer.

          Via these NLP and web services, implementing a Chatbot solution is easier than ever.

          These Chatbots are not too bulky and intrusive like traditional BI solutions. They occupy less space in server or can be easily placed in Cloud as well.

          Customer Experience:

          Customer Experience, in short CX, is a major focus area for the organizations. With referral customers giving more business than new customers, the organization want the customer to be handled with care. The Chatbot will give the customers an unparalleled experience just like chatting with a human.

          The Chatbot can chat in different language as preferred by the customer. In addition, Chatbot can be trained to reply on text or voice commends as well.

          The Chatbot can be used on computer, tab or even mobile to give customer an excellent convenience.

          Capex, What Capex?

           Setting up a multi-language enabled customer service team 24 x 7 or implementing a complex BI solution is far more costly for the organization. The cost and time to implement a Chatbot is far less when compared to the traditional methods. Readymade Chatbots are available which are already designed and built to a general extend. The implementation will be limited to involve the order information web services from various application and to train the Chatbots.

          capex.png

          The Chatbots can also be used for expediting an order if customer requires. Chatbot can send mails to the Production team in manufacturing facility with the chat history to ensure that the order is expedited.

          With the technical advancements, Chatbots are even helping patients who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and insomnia.

          To summarize, Chatbots are easy, simple and light weight applications that solve the major problem of keeping the customer engaged. So if you are chatting on a web site to know the status of your order, you may be chatting with a robot already!!!

          January 22, 2018