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


January 29, 2018

Excel to App - a journey beckoning finance world to the future of technology? A view from the Oracle Analytics Cloud Consultants' Lenses

Around last thanksgiving there were two interesting articles in Wall Street Journal both concerning the finance world, one mentioned the diktat given out by CFOs across companies to get rid of the spreadsheet-based finance analysis and reporting within the finance organizations, and the other from the finance analysts and planners rebuking that the Microsoft Excel continues to be their one powerful tool for analysis and reporting of financial numbers.

For an Oracle BI-EPM consultant like me implementing Essbase, planning and other technology solutions predominantly for Finance organizations of my clients both articles throw an interesting perspective on the transition that is imminent, from a conservative macro based analysis to the futuristic app based analysis, and I wanted to write about the possibilities that organizations can draw a balancing line with Oracle's latest offering in the cloud to ensure none of the goodies of spreadsheets are lost and at the same time an organization can plan to have a nimble, and efficient solution that can bring value to the CFOs table.

In the first article "Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staff.", Adobe Inc.'s finance chief Mark Garrett says that it takes days for his team to put together the job fulfilment report across the organization and to get the numbers to analyze the impact of salary on budgeting. Garrett wants his finance staff to focus more on the analysis than spending time on getting that data from disparate systems into the spreadsheets.

As a direct opposite to this view, the second article carried the view of Finance professionals who say "You'll Have to Pry Excel Out of Their Cold, Dead Hands". This shows the comfort level of maintaining and analyzing huge amounts of data for most of the professionals in finance as well as analyzing the data for insights following cumbersome ways without utilizing the features that modern technology solutions provides. The article opines that finance analysts spend a good amount of time trying to develop a Point of View (PoV) from the spreadsheet and carry a sense of pride around it and take ownership of the analysis.

There is technology supporting Spreadsheet

In FP&A systems specifically Oracle Essbase has gained so much user base due to its ability to combine the best of the worlds in terms of executing complex calculations using hierarchical data model and be able to showcase specific Points of View (PoVs) using Excel Add-in - SmartView. This tool has so much flexibility in the hands of the end users that it enables them to actually not worry about data or its integrity and actually gives ample flexibility for end users to perform business analyses needed for their organizations.

Excel is my favorite 

Despite the fact that a small formula error could lead to large differences in the value reported through spreadsheets, excel remains the favorite choice of analysts. One of the reasons that I think the reason behind this strong conviction is that all the business logic applied and all the calculations are visible to the analysts right in front and they do not get any surprises to say that logic was applied but the value came out wrong. Whereas, in a system there is a set standard as far as data entry, business logic configuration, and expected output. If junk is fed to the system, junk comes out. So, this encapsulation in a system in terms of backend data processing becomes a bigger hindrance in embracing such a system by financial analysts.

Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC)

Essbase in Cloud is perfectly suited to give best of the two worlds in terms of calculation performance and flexibility to end users as well as be able to define business calculations and dimensionality by the actual end users / consultants. It gives power in the hands of the right people. It does not stop at that, OAC perfectly aligns to the technological future state that top level executives across organizations are looking forward to, a tech savvy futuristic state where finance data is available along with insights and commentary at the "Hi" of a voice command and seamlessly across different types of corporate and personal devices for the financial analysts' of the millennial generation.

Transformation leads to Transition

Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) in my opinion will emerge as a fusion arena where it brings the solid features of being a PaaS offering combined with the SaaS features in the FP&A domain. In relation to the existing on cloud applications for financial planning and consolidation (EPBCS & FCCS), OAC comes up with a good packaging option along with PaaS advantages of performance, scalability, and to serve not only the finance community but also the ability to incorporate the needs of corporate reporting across the organization through its DVCS, Data Lake, and BI packages combined with power punching, number crunching Essbase.

What's ahead?

As transformation progresses from on premise to cloud, demand for app based, real time insights with commentary can be enabled through Oracle Mobile applications such as Synopsis, Oracle Mobile HD, and the uber-cool Oracle Day-by-Day is sure to transform the consumption of data from spreadsheets to insights on-the-go through futuristic apps in finance.

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 " »

March 22, 2017

***Chart of Account (COA) Design Considerations***

Chart of Account (COA) structure is the heart of an ERP implementation enabling business to exercise its day to day operations. This has very influence on how an organization wants to record monetary, contingent and statistical impact of different transactions taking place across the line of businesses, report it out to external entities to fulfil regulatory and statutory requirements, leverage it internally to gain insight on performance of different departments on both top and bottom lines. In order to be able to embark efficiently on these essentially require a modern chart of account mapped to different business modalities and dimensions that does not only takes care regular requirements as said but helps facilitate automation, rein in need of creating duplicate segment value pool, one segment does not override others i.e. maintains uniqueness of purpose mapped to each segment etc. Investing enough to lay down the foundation of COA structure would be the first step to lock down a successful ERP implementation and to drive innovation for businesses throughout the life of application. Note: Combination of segments (e.g. Company, Department/Cost Centre, Account etc.) forms a Chart of Account.

There are numerous essential characteristics including, but not limited to, below 5 that must be considered while designing COA structure:

Selection of business modalities/dimensions as segments of COA:

The selection of modalities as segments is not an objective matter but a very subjective in nature. While some are mandatory one irrespective of everything and anything but some are invariably vary based on types of industries, organizations and products or services offered, geographies where businesses have its operations, internal and external reporting needs, future considerations and volume of inter or intra company transactions etc. Each one of these are key drivers to design an idealistic, futuristic and holistic chart of account. For an example, manufacturing organizations may want to consider cost type as a segment to represent say fixed and variable cost in order to better assess contribution margin at the product level. They may look at a segment exposing sales destination location of a product to clearly articulate the strategy for multi-fold growth in determined geographies. In banking industry, companies may choose to introduce reference to a relationship manager/cost centre in order to measure performance at product portfolio level. In retail industry, looking at product categories instead of individual product can be the favourable option.

One segment should not override or make other ones redundant:

This is one of the vital discussion points while designing a COA structure in any ERP systems. While a thought leadership on this can offer long term benefits to organizations in account of easier maintenance, minimal master value pool for each segment, no duplication etc. On the other hand immature decisions, however, may erode the benefits eventually. A COA structure and value set for each segment should intelligently be designed in such a way that one segment does not make other one redundant, does not enforce introduction of similar type of values for a segment and most importantly they must be structured "relative" to each other. To understand it better, let's take an example of a COA structure that has 4 segments called Company, Cost Centre/Department, Natural account and Sub-Account. There are 3 companies COMP1, COMP2 and COMP3 and each company operates with its 4 own departments as Sales, IT, Purchase and Inventory. As a strategic and sustainable approach, a) one would recommend only 4 different cost centre value sets representing each of the 4 departments. These 4 can be associated with either of the 3 companies while actual transactions are taking place. On the other side as a poor design, b) organization can undoubtedly be enforced to introduce 12 different cost centre codes representing 4 departments working for 3 different companies. It is self-evident that option "a" firstly cascades the behaviour of relativity where Cost Centre is relative to a company and thereby does not lead to a redundancy and secondly avoids creation of duplicate codes for similar type of departments. This can further be well understood with postal code numbering system where it navigates through State, District and finally City. Here City is relative to a District and a District itself relative to a State for a given country. In regards to option "b", shortcomings are clearly countable as creation of duplicate codes while departments are of similar nature for each company, can't share segment values, certain to experience huge volume of cost centre values over the period of time etc.

Automation for Intra/Inter Company Transactions:

Organizations like GE who has leading business presence almost all over the world deal with huge volume of transactions b/t two or more internal business units. Transactions taking place b/t 2 business units ideally lead to inter/intra company transactions and that is where it is essential to consider a placeholder for inter/intra company segment in the COA in order to efficiently track referencing inter/intra company and enable opportunities for automation. ERPs like Oracle Application R12/Fusion Cloud offers an automation to create inter/intra company accounting entries by introducing pre-configured rules. For example, Oracle Fusion Financials automatically creates Intercompany Payable accounting entry corresponding to the Intercompany Receivable inter/intra company accounting entry by looking at the rules. Such entries have a counterparty reference in the COA code combination as in company (balancing segment) and designated inter/intra company segment.

Give meaning to each digit/character within a segment rather than just treat as code:

While a business meaning is tagged to each segment, a COA design can further be advanced by injecting an appropriate meaning to digits or characters within a segment. For example instead of just coding a company as COMP1 with no meaning to individual or set of characters, one can strongly advocate for "013060" where first 2 digits represents Country, next 2 region and last 2 State. Such logical combination may take away the need of an individual segment in a COA to signify location. This is additionally very helpful for easy reference.

Business Rules With Valid COA Code Combinations:

In regular business practice while creating different transactions, allowing only valid COA code combinations is usually the core business requirements. For example, although a COA code combination with Cash Account does not require any specific product code however the same would be needed while booking revenue. Thus, identification of such scenarios and implementing rules accordingly in the system is the key to rein in undesired code combination values.

Oracle Financial Accounting Hub (FAH) - A True Value Enabler

For any business organizations, recording accountings for its different transactions taking place with internal or external entities is an obvious objective. It is essential to measure the overall performance of the organization, gain insight to penetrate the new markets and to control cost expenses, fulfil the statutory and regulatory reporting requirements and so on. To efficiently support all these any modern organizations need a reliable, scalable, centralized fulfilling global and local accounting requirements, quick enough to implement a change and importantly economical solution. The answer is Financial Account Hub (FAH) and embarking on it is a first step to plant a foundation for innovation. FAH is an intuitive accounting engine that consumes business transactions' attributes interfaced from legacy systems, apply the accounting rules and mapping to eventually create accounting entries. For a better reference and understanding, it is similar to Sub-Ledger Accounting (SLA). While SLA is an accounting processor for business transactions originated from different sub-ledgers like AR, FA and AP etc within Oracle ERP, FAH is to deal with transactions originated from legacy systems and interfaced to Oracle ERP. Here are the 5 key value enablers that innately help drive organizations to inject FAH in their accounting solution footprint:


Centralized Accounting Solution:

In a traditional approach, consider a scenario where accounting entries are created for 10 different types of business transactions in 10 different front-office systems and finally interface it to Oracle where general ledger operation is supervised. This apparently counts some of the inefficiencies like:

a) Maintaining business accounting rules in 10 different systems

b) Requiring multiple resources with different product specific skills to implement accounting solution, change and support.

c) Lack of governance and control over accounting

d) Lost opportunity of reusing different components e.g. mappings and common accounting rules.

e) Have to invest on front-office applications for something which they don't primarily mean to do.

To overcome all these, FAH is one of the best options that offers centralized accounting engine empowers organizations cultivating a strategic roadmap to consolidate the accounting solutions lying at different places to just one at enterprise level.


Quicker and easier implementation:

Unlike Oracle EBS 11i and prior lower versions, both Oracle EBS and Oracle ERP Cloud offer front-end configurable capabilities to mimic business accounting rules on FAH setup components to eventually derive accounting entries for interfaced business transactions. Configurations are simply divided into logical groups likes Accounting Derivation rules, Journal Line Type rules (Dr and Cr) and optionally line/header descriptions rolling up starting from transaction, application, accounting method and finally to ledger. All these are configured corresponding to its relevant entity, event type and class model. An accounting solution for an interface can be ready in one month or so. 


Minimize dependencies on IT teams for maintenance:

Unlike custom accounting solution, most ongoing maintenance requests like capturing additional details to the journal line description can easily be achieved without even involving developer and a code change. Consider another scenario where there is a regulatory requirement to book asset expenditure to expense account instead of asset account for certain asset categories. Unlike in traditional back-end accounting engines where a medium size IT project may require, FAH can deliver it to business as part of the BAU processes without involving IT teams and notably in a quicker, easier and cheaper manner. In this particular case, accounting derivation rule will require a change to accommodate expense account for certain asset categories.


Capability to handle exceptions and complex mapping/rules:

While FAH is capable of handling most of accounting requirements with out-of-the-box configurable features, it also provides a powerful custom source concept where you can code your own accounting logic and link it to a custom source available for use in FAH. Consider a scenario where you want to derive BSV (balancing segment value) of COA based on the complex mapping and exceptions, a custom source can be defined for the same linked to a custom s/w code. FAH invokes the custom source at run time while interface processing to derive the BSV based on the logic coded in the custom s/w program.


Cost avoidance:

With FAH is in place for interface processing, organizations can avoid multiple licensing cost by eliminating the need of licenses for all front-office applications having its own accounting engine. It naturally avoids the salary costs needing for product SMEs with different skills set related to core legacy systems.

 Thus, FAH is categorically a strategic accounting hub be it Oracle EBS or Oracle ERP Cloud that offers agility extensively enabling modern organizations gain radical benefits of faster responsiveness to the regulatory and statutory accounting requirements, cost effectiveness, and importantly consolidation of accounting solution on a single platform.

March 20, 2017

Credit Bureau Reporting in North American Financial Services Industry

Financial Services Industry is all about risk and return. This is as valid for lenders as it is for investors.

A Lender(or) a Creditor is a person or a financial institution that have provided some financial amount to borrower(s) (customer), which may or may not be backed by a security / asset, based on the policies and business model of the lender. Lender expects to earn the interest income through these lending arrangements. A borrower could be either an Individual or an Organization.

As can be interpreted from above, the underlying framework of the 'Financial Lending' is Risk and Return.

While interest earned can be easily attributed to the 'Return' factor; it is the 'Risk' associated with a lending arrangement (and borrower, ultimately) which impacts the lending behavior of the lender.

To identify the risk associated with a borrower - performance of the borrower on past loans, borrower's payment habits and information about any specific activities which can be of concern are the aspects which a lender is interested in. These key factors about the customer help the lenders forecast / predict the future performance of borrower and assessing the risk associated with the lending arrangement with the specific borrower(s).

With the knowledge of forecasted performance, risk assessed and the risk appetite; a lender can decide what kind of borrower portfolio is manageable and sustainable, and accordingly, a lender can decide to allow or deny loan to an interested party.

The information to help perform risk assessment is invaluable & of enormous importance to finance business. It has to be accurate and a true representation of past behavior of the borrower/customer. Also, of relevance is to remove bias and subjectivity from this analysis and have the analysis done on a comprehensive dataset through Statistics, and ensure that it is standardized, objective and 'acceptable-by-everyone'. Thus, the need of a centralized credit agency managing these aspects, recognized by Government and other Financial Regulators in USA was identified. This led to establishing Credit Reporting Agencies in early 19th Century.

As per the World Bank, the official definition of Credit Bureaus1 is - "A credit bureau is one of the two main types of credit reporting institutions. It collects information from a wide variety of financial and nonfinancial entities, including microfinance institutions and credit card companies, and provides comprehensive consumer credit information with value-added services such as credit scores to private lenders. Credit bureaus are privately owned and privately operated companies. As privately owned commercial enterprises, credit bureaus tend to cater to the information requirements of commercial lenders. Though there is variation in the type and extent of information they collect, credit bureaus generally strive to collect very detailed data on individual clients. They therefore tend to cover smaller loans and often collect information from a wide variety of financial and nonfinancial entities, including retailers, credit card companies, and microfinance institutions. As a result, data collected by credit bureaus are often more comprehensive and better geared to assess and monitor the creditworthiness of individual clients"

These Credit Bureau Agencies collate the financial and personal data of individuals along with other data which could be of relevance to lenders/financing business. As in USA, there is a limit to gather the personal / private information on individuals, only the fields specifically required towards Credit Reporting are collected by these agencies. The same has been detailed out in sections below. This data is processed through pre-defined (obviously well thought off, based on best practices and regression tested) mathematical algorithm to produce an unbiased, near accurate Credit Rating of the individual (or) an Organization. This information is provided on need-basis to the lenders, for use.

This document details out the Credit Reporting process associated with the individual borrowers although at a high level, it touches upon a few aspect of Business / Commercial Entities related reporting.

Credit Bureau Agencies in the USA

·         In USA, Credit Bureau Agencies can be categorized on basis of the data class they are mastering:

o   Consumer level or

o   Business / Commercial Entities level


Functions of Credit Bureau Agencies

Aggregation of Data

·         As applicable for any Forecasting Model based on statistical analysis - the broader the sample size, more accurate is the forecasted behavior. The same is applicable in Financial Lending business as well and lenders strive to get correct and accurate information and information from as many sources as possible; so as to avoid or minimize risks.

·         While the sources of data can be enormous and different efforts / costs can be involved in extracting and processing the data, the Credit Bureaus have to identify the data sources which are most trust-worthy, have data on a wide variety of consumer and have been involved in providing credit to the borrower in past. These data sources are also knows as 'Data Furnishers'. 

·         In the U.S., following are typical Data Furnishers for Credit Bureau Agencies

Information / Data Type

Data Furnishers


Personal Information (Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Address) - Initial

Social Security Administration (SSA)

·         Typically, SSA office is the initial source of information for Credit Bureaus on individuals

·         This information is used by Credit bureaus to create a record for an individual using SSN, Name and DOB

·         However, on a stand-alone basis, this information is not of much use to Credit Bureaus as there is no financial information, payments habit here which can help prediction of future performance of an individual financially

Personal Information (Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Address) - On-going


Financial Information (loan amount, duration credit taken for, payment behavior, missed payments etc.)

·         Creditors

·         Lenders (Registered Financial Institution)

·         Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water) Companies

·         Renter Companies

·         Debt Collection Agencies (credit bureaus)

·         These data furnishers are the ones with whom the individuals have been in financial agreement or transaction in past or an on-going basis

·         These data furnishers provide some key information to credit Bureaus like:

o    Payment Rating and Payment History of the Customer

o    Loan/Credit Amount

o    Credit Utilization

o    Total Duration of Loan

o    Amount Paid

o    Balance on Loan

o    Delinquency (non-payment /payment misses) on account

o    Any derogatory action (like charge-off of loan, forceful repossession of asset etc.)

o    Ongoing Bankruptcy

Other Information of relevance

·         Social Security Administration (SSA)

·         Civil Courts (i.e. public records)

·         This information is used by Credit bureaus to consider changes to an individual's record in case of SSN, Name and DOB change

·         Public Access to Court Records (PACER) and Bankruptcy  courts give any information pertaining to filing of Bankruptcy by an individual to Credit Bureaus

·         These two sources can often provide information regarding Death of a consumer

Format for Data Acquisition

·         Due to the varied sources and to have a standard format for these Data Furnishers to report data; Credit Bureaus have laid down specified formats of Reporting. The formats being currently used are:

o   Metro

o   Metro 2

·         Metro 2 Credit Reporting guidelines and standards are the latest and most widely used format in which Data Furnishers provide their data to Credit Bureaus Agencies. It has been clearly defined in Credit Resource Guide and the same is updated on an annual basis to address common issues and any new updates. Use of these format(s) by the data furnishers ensures avoidance of inaccuracies in credit reporting, incorrect results and credit scores for individuals / consumers. 

·         Generally, data furnishers are supposed to generate the Metro 2 Credit Report every month accurately reflecting the activities of consumers with respect to their debt obligations and submit to Credit Bureaus.


Processing of Data

·         Credit Bureaus process the data through the set (internal) automated program to read the file and extract the data. Data about the specific individual from different data furnishers is compiled and ran through a standard pre-defined algorithm (proprietary to Credit Bureaus), the end result which is the generation of "Credit Score".

·         Typically, weighted average of these factors is considered for Credit Score calculation:

Captured below is a pictorial of typical factors considered in credit assessment of an individual


Figure 1: Factors used in Credit Score Calculation

Circulation of Credit Score and Other Credit Information

·         This resultant information computed by Credit Bureaus is available to requestors on a need basis.

·         Usually, the lenders who have been approached by consumer for a loan get a written consent from consumer for doing a 'hard inquiry' on their credit. Upon getting consumer's consent; the financing companies request this data from Credit Bureaus by passing on specific details of consumer including Name, SSN, and Address.

·         Individuals / consumers are also entitled to a free copy of their Credit Report from all Credit Bureaus (except Innovis) on an annual basis.


Other Aspects of Credit Bureau Reporting

This section enlists some of the other aspects related to the Credit Bureau Reporting which are of equal importance towards ensuring fair practices in Credit Bureau reporting industry and towards addressing consumer grievances.


Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)

The guiding principles for the Credit Bureau Agencies and the data furnishers in USA towards consumer protections, acceptable practices and general rules are laid down by different acts and laws like:

·         Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

·         Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)

·         Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) and

·         Regulation B

There are two regulatory bodies formed by government to ensure that Credit Reporting Agencies and data furnishers are adhering to the above mentioned guidelines / acts and practices. These are:

·         Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

·         Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC)  - specific to banks


The key principles through which all of the agencies / theories work are:

·         Accuracy and fairness of credit reporting

·         Reporting based on reasonable procedures which are fair, objective and equitable to the consumer

·         Utmost regard to be given to the aspects of confidentiality, accuracy, relevancy, and proper utilization of consumer information


Consumer Rights

It is recommended for consumers to review their credit reports on a regular basis or at least once every year.

·         Individuals are entitled to receive the Credit Bureau Report from Experian, Equifax and Transunion for free on an annual basis.

·         Apart from this, individuals have access to a lot of free websites which provide Credit Score information. These websites can be a good source for individuals to keep a watch on their credit score and any credit related alerts.

In case of any issue identified in their credit reports or any clarification required, individuals have the right to approach Credit Bureaus and seek clarification or raise dispute and get the correction done.


Credit dispute

There are different modes through which consumer can raise a Credit Dispute in case of any issues observed:

1)      Consumer can approach the Credit bureaus for getting clarification and raising dispute to get correction done

2)      Through external systems like e-Oscar, AUD or websites showing Credit scores like CreditKarma, Creditsesame, TrueCredit etc.


Typically, these credit disputes take a long time (2-3 months on an average and sometimes even 6 months!) towards resolution. A detailed follow-up is involved with the data furnisher and Credit Bureaus towards this. There are many instances where a consumer has sued the data furnisher or Credit Bureau upon identification of any inaccuracy in data or incorrect reporting of Credit Scores.

These lawsuits and very tedious and can prove costly for all the parties involve, so essentially, prevention is better than cure in these cases. This implies that, regular monitoring of Credit information is a key necessity from individual's perspective, to highlight any discrepancy as early as possible and get it corrected before any further impact happens due to this.

Skip Tracing

Skip tracing refers to gathering information about whereabouts of any consumer missing from a long time. Usually, the financing companies opt for skip tracing when they are not able to establish contact with a non-paying consumer through different means like:

·         Field Visit (leading to identification that consumer can no more be found on the addresses known)

·         Correspondences (leading to Return Email)

·         Phone calls (leading to no response or wrong phone numbers)

Many financial organizations take pro-active measures to keep the consumer information (home address, work address, home phone, cell phone, work phone and other details) up-to-date in their system of records. This avoids unpleasant scenarios like:-

·         Consumer skipping without making payments leading to charge-off of the account or

·         Consumer skipping while the asset couldn't be recovered / repossessed due to non-payment

Skip tracing services are a lucrative additional stream of revenue to Credit Bureaus who are gathering consumer data from multiple sources and thus creating a huge repository on individual's information.

Upon getting a skip trace request for specific individuals, Credit Bureaus can dig their databases and provide information regarding recent most addresses, phone numbers reported for the given consumers from other data furnishers. Having this 'probable' information on consumer's whereabouts can be helpful for Financing companies to "trace" the non-paying consumer and eventually secure their loaned asset or recover dues leading to minimization of losses.


Consumer credit information is not only a good tool to assess the credit worthiness of an individual; however, it also plays a significant role towards finalization of interest rates and other contract terms.  The credit reporting business is equally beneficial for Credit Bureau Agencies as well as financing organizations consuming the resulting information that can accordingly treat the consumer per the Credit History details and minimize the risk associated with the financing arrangement. Usually, the financing organizations consuming this credit information are also the data furnishers. Its benefits are not just limited to the Credit Bureau Agencies but for also Consumers with good credit history. Having Credit reports available and accessible to potential lenders; benefits consumers with better credit rating to easily avail loans at lesser interest rates. This benefit may have been lost without the existence of Credit Bureau Agencies

By having robust information-extraction and information-processing systems, financing companies stand to gain a lot in terms of better credit information which can help them take correct decisions and avoid potential credit disputes. 


1.       World Bank Definition of Credit Reporting Bureaus -

December 6, 2016

Oracle Fusion Opportunity to project integration

In most of the service organizations, internal resources are utilized while pursuing the proposal of customer (Opportunity) to get the new business from existing or new customer. However, the internal organization efforts are not tracked in detail level. If the organization tracks the indirect pre-sale effort / resources utilized for the opportunity, it can give more clarity on how to make use of these resources efficiently. It also helps to identify / track the indirect cost used for Opportunity. This could support organizations in budgeting and resource utilization.

Oracle Fusion Application provides integration between Oracle Sales Cloud (OSC) and Oracle Project Portfolio Management (PPM) to track and plan the indirect pursuit pre-sale cost for Opportunity also it will help to plan, budget, track and execute the delivery of opportunity once organization won the new business.

Following project types can be considered for Opportunity.

·         Pursuit project

It is an indirect project type, which tracks the pre-sale non billable pursuit cost of Opportunity, including staffing, travel, and other expense.

Project manager / opportunity owner creates corresponding pursuit project when the Opportunity gets created. He plans the budget according to the effort / resources / expenses required for the Opportunity. Opportunity owner raise the resource requirement for pursuit project which gets fulfilled by resource manager as per availability. Project team starts working on pre-sale work of Opportunity and charges the time sheet on corresponding pursuit project. All expenses are submitted on pursuit project. Every pre-sale opportunity pursuit costs like expense, procurement, and time card are collected on pursuit project. Opportunity owner / project manager executes the budget to actual cost analysis to review the project performance according to the budget and raises any change request if required.

Once the pre-sale activity of Opportunity get completed, corresponding pursuit project will get closed. So, no more cost will be charged on the project. Opportunity's pursuit budget to actual cost details provide better clarity on organization's indirect cost spending on multiple opportunities to plan it effectively for better outcome.



Pursuit Project.jpg


·         Delivery project:

It is a contract project, which plans and tracks the delivery / execution of opportunity with planning, staffing, budgeting, billing, and revenue forecasting.

Once the Opportunity won, corresponding Delivery project get created. Project manager plan the project delivery with effort/resources/expenses required and prepare the budget for the Opportunity delivery. Project manager will raise the resource requirement for delivery of project which will get fulfilled by resource manager. Project team will start working on delivery and will charge the time sheet on corresponding delivery project. Any expenses occur will get submitted on project. All the delivery cost like expense, procurement, time card will get collected on delivery project and revenue will get generated accordingly with customer billing as per milestone achieved. Opportunity owner/Project Manager perform the budget to actual analysis to review the project performance as per budget and will raise any change request if any staffing or budget changes required.

Once the delivery of opportunity get completed, the corresponding delivery project will get closed, so no more cost/revenue/billing get charged/generated on project. Delivery projects budget to actual analysis provide better clarity on cost & revenue details of opportunity to track project performance to plan it effectively for better outcome.


Delivery Project.jpg


The pursuit cost of all opportunities collected through pursuit project can be redistributed on multiple delivery projects at organization level.


Opportunity to project integration provides more clarity on Opportunity's pursuit and delivery activity. Pursuit project helps to plan the pursuit of opportunity in a better way with available resources and cost budgets. It also provides clarity on actual cost-budget, resource availability, and other details for pursuit activity performance evaluation at organization level for better decision making.

Delivery project serves to execute the delivery of opportunity in better way with in details planning including staffing with cost and revenue budget. It helps to track the real-time progress, which helps to take key decision for opportunity delivery. The project also provides clarity on actual cost and revenue to budget for reviewing financial performance of delivery project.

Opportunity to project integration helps to track the pursuit and delivery activity of Opportunity at granular level with better control.




December 1, 2016

Reinforce performance reporting with a process-driven approach - ePRCS

In the digital age, the quality of a report depends on the understanding of business areas you are working in and how far you would go with this knowledge. Accurate and intuitive reporting is essential for multiple audiences -- internal stakeholders looking for area of growth or concern, external stakeholders deciding to invest in your business, or regulatory bodies monitoring any data discrepancies.


Reporting challenges and requirements


Before an organization can decide and design a reporting solution for management and statutory reporting, it needs to finalize the following:

  1. Kinds of report
  2. Level of detail
  3. Level of personal involvement
  4. Hardware and software requirements
  5. Security and performance of report
  6. Ease of distribution

The reporting solution should be able to handle all user required External and internal reporting requirements with minimal cost and effort. Each report must answer the following questions:

Purpose of using ePRCS Solution

Oracle Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud (ePRCS) solution fits the bill perfectly for customers.

The solution is the latest addition to the Oracle enterprise performance management (EPM) cloud suite of applications, and helps organizations streamline their internal and external reporting. It provides a secure and process-driven approach for creating, publishing, and distributing report packages. User can access reports via the web or Microsoft Office.


 Benefits of ePRCS

Oracle ePRCS has multiple benefits that fulfills the needs of performance reporting. These include:

  • One solution for multiple reporting processes like management, compliance, statutory, and financial reporting

  • Faster deployment with minimal hardware cost. Backup and patch upgrades available with licenses

  • Reduced time frame for designing, creating, and distributing reports

  • Multiple levels of collaborative development and reviews. Continued visibility into progress and status of reports

  • Document lifecycle management: Controlled document check in / out with access permissions and multiple version controls

  • Role-based access so that data confidentiality is maintained and access is provided to authorized users only

  • Notifications on tasks that are due

  • Creation of report books and other books on management and financial reporting

  • Data integration with Oracle EPM, business intelligence (BI) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) data sources which provide 'one version of the truth' on a single reporting platform

  • Complete data traceability to validate that the numbers are accurate

  • Deliver faster, more accurate insights to all stakeholders, anytime, anywhere

  • Secured interface using Microsoft Office. User can create grids, charts, and reports using Microsoft Office tools

September 21, 2016

Integrated profitability analytics - The need, struggles and future



Banks have enjoyed relatively high profit margins for long time. But the recent trends in Banks profit margins have not been very encouraging.  The recent business developments like changing technological landscape, higher capital requirement on regulatory front and entry of newer payments and banking platform have led to significant decrease in profit margins and highly vulnerable customers.


To sustain, grow and compete with new fintech (finance technology) start-ups, financial services enterprises need to continuously evolve and provide more value to their customers at a much lower cost. This requires multidimensional profitability view across the enterprise at the most granular level and timely availability of analytics for key business decision.

Key focus of financial services enterprise

Due to the changes in business environment the focus on enterprise-wide profitability measurement has increased. The focus is more on managing information rather than accounting information - information which can be used to support business decisions based on the granular customer level analytics. This level of information helps to answer key business parameters like which parameters can be changed to increase profitability, how do a product and geography compare with other, which are my highly profitable customers etc?

Challenges on the road to achieving integrated profitability analytics

The key challenge is the complex landscape due to multiple systems operating in silos. This makes it very complex and time consuming process to bring all the data at the granular level together in same format without data quality issues. Other challenges include custom built solution which is difficult to maintain and change, static allocation engine which is very inefficient and cannot take dynamically changing driver data from multiple systems.

Therefore it is imperative to adopt the right solution which can produce the required information accurately and timely to support decision making. The solution should be able to provide a holistic view of profitability across the enterprise at an account and customer level. Typically, enterprises find it difficult to allocate indirect cost. This requires the solution to have robust and dynamic allocation framework adaptable as per business needs.

Infosys Approach for integrated profitability analytics


Infosys profitability analytics solution leverages oracle financial services profitability management (OFSAA) to provide integrated profitability analytics. This can be integrated with OFSAA analytics solutions such as enterprise, retail and institutional performance analytics to gain an in-depth view and ready-to-use dashboards. The enables institutions to gain an integrated and multidimensional profitability view across dimensions such as product, channel and even individual customers.

Business benefits of the solution

  • Incorporate risk into business decision making

  • Prioritize customers based on profits generated

  • Achieve a consistent view of performance across the organization

  • Get timely profitability insights for go-to-market strategy



With the ever changing business environment, intensified competition and increasing need for personalized products and services, the financial services industry would look for more detailed analytics. This would enable them to offer a bespoke product to cater to the specific needs of a customer. Infosys approach for profitability analytics solution helps enterprise achieve multidimensional integrated profitability analytics at the most granular level. The solution helps the management not only to evaluate and retain the existing avenues but also explore newer opportunities.

September 20, 2016

Coalition loyalty: Loyalty's new definition


Coalition loyalty - the next-generation loyalty that increases customer satisfaction through easy earn and burn points across businesses is gaining traction quickly the world over. Coalition loyalty offers incentives / rewards to customers of two or more businesses. Although not a new concept, it is gaining traction quickly, the world over.


A coalition loyalty requires an anchor who brings partners from various services or product domains onto a single platform and allows the points issued by one vendor to be interchangeably used with another vendor on the same platform. It essentially works as a Loyalty Sharing group between the participating partners.


Next-generation loyalty offerings are fast moving in this direction with customers reopening some of their inactive loyalty accounts, with the prospect of being able to use points beyond just one brand.


The success of coalition loyalty lies in the usage of a settlement system that helps in reducing the settlement time between earn & burn partners in addition to helping in reducing operational costs and preventing revenue leakage, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.


Infosys has implemented a solution for such settlement needs using Oracle's stack of products such as Revenue Management and Billing (RMB), Oracle BI Publisher (OBIEE) and Oracle Documaker.

  • Oracle's Revenue Management & Billing (ORMB) - rules based system for billing, payment and collections

  • Oracle's Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE)  - for management reporting needs

  • Oracle Documaker - for printing statements from ORMB



To read more about the need for Coalition Loyalty and understand the settlement solution from Infosys, please visit us at Oracle Open World 2016 to know more about this solution.


September 16, 2016

Banks Regulatory Reporting Compliance - The Challenges and the Solution



The economic stressed conditions which financial institutions have passed through, have led to increased scrutiny with stricter and more complex regulatory requirements. Regulators, besides shortening the time, have also doubled the information sought. With no compromise on data and reporting quality standards, these compliance requirements call for a cultural transformation with heavy implications for risk and finance data and technology.

Key Challenges in Regulatory Compliance

Currently most of the activities like data enrichment, lineage & reporting are handled manually and in silos, leading to an error prone and time consuming process. Other technical challenges are multiple jurisdiction regulatory requirements, huge complexity in data standardization in terms of managing the data granularity, data quality and consistency, completeness though reconciliations and adjustments and data validations. Siloes application results in inaccuracies of data aggregation and reporting and absence of integrated platform and advanced technologies worsens the situation.

Approaches to Remediation

For compliance, banks can either follow a focused approach or design an enterprise wide transformation strategy which would call for architecting data for all use cases. Some features that banks should look at when setting up an enterprise-wide framework include Integrated Platform to bring uniformity and consistency, scalable architecture, robust data quality framework to provide best in class quality checked data, strong controlled mechanism and automated flow to avoid errors of manual intervention

Continue reading " Banks Regulatory Reporting Compliance - The Challenges and the Solution " »

October 16, 2014

Oracle Financial Accounting Hub in Banking Industry


Guest Blog by Ashish Gupta  Principal Consultant FSORC


Oracle Financial Accounting Hub (FAH) is the latest buzzword in FSI Industry, especially in the Banking sector. Most of the banks, across geographies, are looking to replace their traditionally old accounting engines and are looking at Oracle FAH for the same. The banking industry is constantly evolving due to intense competition and increasing complexity of business; adapting to latest technologies is a must for survival.


FAH is an accounting platform that integrates with product systems to create accounting journals in general ledgers (e.g. Fusion, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft etc.). FAH standardizes accounting from various external applications and meets accounting standards and principles. FAH acts as a central repository of accounting rules for non-oracle sub-ledgers. Accounting journals are created with transparent rules, validated and stored in auditable format and in a single location. FAH increases the internal controls, makes reconciliations with product systems more efficient and meets diverse accounting requirements. This rules engine will convert transaction information from external applications to create precise, thorough and auditable accounting entries to meet Statutory Compliances, Accounting Principles and Management reporting needs.

Continue reading " Oracle Financial Accounting Hub in Banking Industry " »

December 24, 2013

Ad hoc Judgment to Comprehensive Fact Based Decision - OFSAA Profitability Management (Part 2)

Guest Post by
Imran Aziz, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

Having discussed the importance of profitability management for a financial institution and role of OFSAA Profitability Management (PM) in delivering the same in part 1. Now let us dwell little deeper into some of the vital features of OFSAA Profitability Management in this Part 2 of the two part blog series.

Continue reading " Ad hoc Judgment to Comprehensive Fact Based Decision - OFSAA Profitability Management (Part 2) " »

Ad hoc Judgment to Comprehensive Fact Based Decision - OFSAA Profitability Management (Part 1)

Guest Post by
Imran Aziz, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys

With growing competition, globalization and increased product variants around the globe, innovation has become imperative. Time after time Financial Institutions have to bring in new products or services to sustain and grow. Most common questions that run across any Chief Executive's mind are - How much should the bank charge for the product/ service? Which segment shall we target? What % of cost shall we pass on to customers and eventually; is this going to contribute to the organization's profitability!!! The bottom line as we all understand looks very simple i.e. Profit = Revenue - Cost.

Continue reading " Ad hoc Judgment to Comprehensive Fact Based Decision - OFSAA Profitability Management (Part 1) " »

October 10, 2013

How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-3)

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys


Financial institutions, today, look for enterprise "tool" that captures cost study results, manages cost drivers and analysis without manual intervention that can be leveraged for advanced analytics and Portfolio Management and Strategic Planning.

In the previous part, a comparative analysis of two applications in the space of profitability management from Oracle - Hyperion Profitability Cost Management (HPCM) and Oracle Financial Services Profitability Management (OFSPM) were evaluated on business criteria. In this part, the focus is to evaluate the products for key usage criteria.

Continue reading " How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-3) " »

October 7, 2013

How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-2)

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys


In continuation of our view on profitability measurement being one of the critical activities for Financial Institution to survive in today's volatile environment, let's focus on technology to enable better profitability management. 

Continue reading " How best to model profitability for financial institutions? (Part-2) " »

September 26, 2013

How best to model profitability for financial institutions?

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys


Five years ago, most financial institutions saw dawn ahead of them with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. The turmoil left few of them battling their way back, while few of the financial institutions having their basic C's - Cost management, Credit quality and Capital conservation, in right track have been able to sustain and grow in the financial markets.  Together, these factors are reflected in one key element - profits. The business model for any financial institution boils down ability to capture the market trends and ability to assess business impact, embed them in forecasting cash flows and measure consequences on profitability.

Continue reading " How best to model profitability for financial institutions? " »

How to approach implementation of Oracle Financial Accounting Hub (FAH)

Guest post by
Pravin Sekhani, Lead Consultant, Infosys


FAH allows organizations to centralize their accounting function through a scalable and user-configurable solution. The accounting engine in FAH uses transaction data and configuration in FAH as input and generates accounting entries as output. Though the concept of an accounting hub is not very new, many organizations have never embarked in a journey to implement this concept. We have implemented FAH for multiple organizations in different industries.  We have seen that the project stakeholders usually do not have much idea about the key decisions which they would need to make.   This blog will provide, such organizations and stakeholders, a perspective on some of the decision points in an implementation of FAH.

Continue reading " How to approach implementation of Oracle Financial Accounting Hub (FAH) " »

September 25, 2013

First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a large transformation ERP Program (Part-2)

Guest post by
Hemantkumar Nathu Lothe, Senior Consultant, Infosys


In the last blog, we have seen two important points to be considered for successful first period closure which are-

1. Period End Closure Mock
2. Period Closure with User Entered Data in UAT

In this blog, we'll take a look at other three recommendations.

Continue reading " First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a large transformation ERP Program (Part-2) " »

September 23, 2013

FATCA - Another legal binding - A boon or a burden

Guest post by
Shraddha Bafna, Consultant, Infosys


Another recent development in Legal regulation is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act - proposed and implied to restrain tax evasion by US persons through offshore accounts. As per this act, the Foreign Financial Institution needs to get into Inter Governmental Agreement (IGAs) with US to disclose the information of their American Clients to the Internal Revenue Service. Noncompliance of which would slam 30% as withholding tax on the 'withhold able payments' on the FFIs.

Continue reading " FATCA - Another legal binding - A boon or a burden " »

September 22, 2013

Infosys Finance Transformation Solution for Financial Services

Guest post by
Giriraj Somani, Industry Principal, Infosys


The FSI industry is under severe stress to achieve risk-weighted profitable growth, address changing regulatory compliance and accounting requirements, continue business growth by providing products at the right price and value to customers and enhance employee productivity through higher automation and simplified reconciliation.

Continue reading " Infosys Finance Transformation Solution for Financial Services " »

September 17, 2013

Leverage OFSAA to build cohesive data!

Guest post by
Bhuvaneswari Venkataraman, Principal Consultant, Infosys


Supervisors in financial institutions worldwide recognise the challenges in aggregating risk data during risk reporting.  To elaborate this further, let's take a simple scenario. During a Supervisory Audit in a Bank, the report 'Basel II controls for Corporate Lending' showed Loan balances and record counts at different points in a data flow, however the numbers were different at each point. The author of the report claimed that the figures were meant to be different at each stage, as data was transformed, aggregated and filtered.  However, there was no explanation for the calculations done during processing or for the items that had been excluded. There was no way to drill down to data elements that could be added back to match the totals in the aggregated data reflecting lack of confidence and difficulty in auditing the numbers.

Continue reading " Leverage OFSAA to build cohesive data! " »

September 16, 2013

Cloud Vs On Premise - Where do you go?

One of the most frequently asked questions by Enterprises all over the world today is - Should their Applications be on the Cloud or On-Premise?
My 3 part Blog series tries to answer this question by looking at various aspects of Cloud and On Premise solutions and then coming up with the best suited model as per Customer Business requirements.

In the first part of this blog series, we will be taking a deeper look into the features of both the Solutions.

Continue reading " Cloud Vs On Premise - Where do you go? " »

September 13, 2013

Embedding Risk factors to build Strategies for Higher Performance of Financial Services

Guest post by
Vandana Vasudev Nayak, Consultant, Infosys


In today's global financial markets, financial institutions are hard pressed to monitor and analyze performance data from multiple sources.  More essentially, the challenge lies in generating a combined view of risk and performance. The outlook of Financial Institutions in evaluation of performance is changing; both financial and non-financial aspects like risk are in focus. Financial Institutions are looking for a strong basis and approach that can drive performance smoothly with due consideration to associated risk factors.

Continue reading " Embedding Risk factors to build Strategies for Higher Performance of Financial Services " »

September 12, 2013

External Transactions and Automatic Bank Reconciliation

Guest post by
Kiran A. Mathew, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys


Lack of internal controls on reconciliation and estimation cash in your organization can lead to various issues like:

  • Lack of holistic view of cash position which impair management decisions
  • Misappropriation of Cash and other fraudulent activities.

Organizations always resort to bring in the internal controls in cash position analysis and reconciliation process to address these issues.

Continue reading " External Transactions and Automatic Bank Reconciliation " »

Integration Points and Challenges in Risk Transformation Initiatives

Guest post by
Sukruti Suresh, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys


Across the financial institution sector, banks and insurance providers are faced with changing regulatory environment. The need of the hour is to align the risk and finance systems to the changing business and regulatory conditions. In order to optimize the IT infrastructure, financial institutions are in the process of undertaking transformation programs to integrate the intertwined functions of Treasury, Risk and Finance. Traditional legacy General Ledger (GL) systems, reconciliation systems and Risk Management systems operate in silos.

Continue reading " Integration Points and Challenges in Risk Transformation Initiatives " »

September 11, 2013

Solutions to curb market volatility and support the falling currency

Guest post by
Surabhi Shah, Consultant, Infosys


With the fluctuating market trends and growing need for more foreign borrowings has changed the face of Indian economy significantly. Tracing the genesis back of the rupee-dollar relationship, rupee's journey has taken several folds since 2012.  The year 2012-13 has been a roller-coaster ride for Indian Rupee with rupee depreciating all time low to 68.80. As a stepping stone, RBI came up with continuous measures to tighten the liquidity in the economy and to support the depreciating currency. With India being a developing economy and sky touching inflation, the depreciation of currency was quite evident. However, to curb the scenario, improvement in local macro economic factors is the most fundamental variable to sustain appreciation of Indian currency and economy growth in medium term.

Continue reading " Solutions to curb market volatility and support the falling currency " »

September 4, 2013

First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a Large Transformation ERP Program (Part-1)

Guest post by
Hemantkumar Nathu Lothe, Senior Consultant, Infosys


For any transformational project, Go-Live is the ultimate goal. However, this is not end of the episode and the real action start during the first financial period closure. Most of the times, the period closure activity is being considered as the barometer for the successful implementation and hence it becomes imperative that the first period closure is as smooth and without surprises.

Continue reading " First Financial Period Closure Post Go-Live for a Large Transformation ERP Program (Part-1) " »

July 31, 2013

Challenges in implementing KYC norms effectively

Guest post by
Harshil Dave, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys


Close to 22 Indian banks were fined a total of Rs. 49.5 Cr. by the banking regulation authority Reserve Bank of India (RBI). These banks were found in violation of Know Your Customer (KYC) norms laid by RBI. The KYC norms that were violated were the ones aimed at preventing money laundering activities. KYC has 2 components Identity and Address, while Identity remains a constant, the address of customer might change over a period and hence banks are required to periodically update their records. Under KYC norms, all customers of the bank are expected to submit the PAN card details, address proof details and proof of identity issued by a government authority such as Passport authority etc. From recent events it seems to appear that these KYC norms have not been implemented and followed by several banks.

Continue reading " Challenges in implementing KYC norms effectively " »

Net Stable Funding Ratio - An indispensable parameter from Basel III perspective?

Guest post by
Sukruti Suresh, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys


Ever since Basel III regulations were introduced, inclusion of the parameter "Net Stable Funding Ratio" is a hotly debated topic.  Basel III Regulations aimed primarily at providing an outline for high quality capital, a well-rounded risk handling as well as build up reserves that institutions can fall back on in dire situations. This gave rise to the introduction of 2 standards of liquidity, which would enable banks to sustain the shocks due to sudden economic loss. These factors were the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) & Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR).

Continue reading " Net Stable Funding Ratio - An indispensable parameter from Basel III perspective? " »

July 19, 2013

Oracle Financial Accounting Hub (FAH): Multi Level Drilldown

Guest post by
Ashish Gupta, Principal Consultant, Infosys


One of the latest buzzwords in FSI Industry is Financial Accounting Hub (FAH). FAH replaces the legacy accounting systems/programs and provides a rule based accounting engine to generate accounting entries. FAH integrates the Product Systems to Oracle General Ledger (GL).

Oracle standard FAH provides linkage from GL to SLA Journals i.e. the standard drilldown works from GL to SLA. Users can drilldown from GL to SLA journal Lines that provides additional sub-ledger details like Event model details, Supporting References, Identifiers and Descriptions etc. These details are useful enough to reconcile the transactions/records between GL and SLA.

Continue reading " Oracle Financial Accounting Hub (FAH): Multi Level Drilldown " »

July 3, 2012

CRM to CXM to C3E - Innovation or Evolution?

While CXM (Customer Experience Management) was floated as a concept almost a couple of years ago, it seems quite recent in wake of the fact that CRM (Customer Relationship Management) has been the mainstay of enterprises worldwide for almost 2 decades now. Despite the fact that most of the organizations are yet to latch on to this, and the fact that the ones who have latched on are yet to mature the concept when implemented on ground, the industry is looking for something newer already. The new acronym on the block is C3E (Cross-Channel Customer Experience), and at least for now it seems to satisfy everyone's appetite for innovation.

Continue reading " CRM to CXM to C3E - Innovation or Evolution? " »

April 26, 2012

Basel III - Leading the way to herald a paradigm shift in Risk Management

Guest post by
Sukruti Suresh, Senior Associate Consultant, Infosys


The financial crisis of 2008-09 paved way for a regulatory reform that was revolutionary. The impact of this crisis was so severe that the losses it caused led to a near collapse of the financial system and crippled the economy to a large extent. Considering market sentiments, the need for a new set of reforms was at an all time high. This led to an intervention by the Regulators on a global scale. Slowly and steadily, the economy regained a semblance of stability. The next obvious step in the process of recovering and stabilizing was a detailed analysis of the cause of the unparalleled failure of the financial system the world witnessed. There seemed to be a collective failure of Banking, regulation as well as supervision. With massive amounts of the tax payers' money being pumped towards reviving or "bailing out" crumbling financial markets and institutions, finding the cause and solution for the problem was the need of the hour. This eventually resulted in a complete rework of existing regulations which included changes in capital management, liquidity, Governance etc. The events that transpired in 2008-09, led to the revamping of the Basel 2 regulations and paved way for the Basel 3 regulations.

Continue reading " Basel III - Leading the way to herald a paradigm shift in Risk Management " »

February 13, 2012

Overcoming Innovation Challenges in Banks: Need for Strategic Thinking

Traditionally it has been seen that that banks lag their peers in other verticals when it comes to deploying innovation in business. The reason often mentioned is that the pressure for short-term gains overshadows the long term strategy of having innovation led business practices. However, in the context of looming economic crisis, banks need to revisit their way of working and put greater emphasis on innovations to stay ahead of competition and survive the economic challenges in the environment.

One source from where banks can get idea of innovation is its own employees. It has been found that source of ideas mostly come from employees rather than from the top management. Banks hence need to create an environment to incubate these innovative ideas from all strata of the employees, nurture them and put into meaningful and profitable business processes.

The other important source is the analysis of consumer behaviour. Shifting consumer behaviour in the wake of economic downslide worldwide and rapid growth of non-banking financial institutions also pose an opportunity to banks to incubate the innovative ideas. Though this is potentially not so dominant in banks, a focused approach in this area can provide the banks an opportunity to access to many innovative ideas, a careful analysis of which can really do wonders.

The third source is the market dynamics and the competition. Shifting market preference, technology enablement and enhanced speed of doing transactions can also be birth places of innovations.

The fourth source lies in promoting a network of external partners like vendors, customers and even IT service-providers and thrive for innovation through sharing experiences, pain points and challenges across the industry.

However, the emphasis here for the banks is to create an environment to promote innovation both in products and services space aggressively by aggregating all the sources of innovative ideas and then carefully analysing and then promoting them into next level of deployment and adoption. Some of the important levers for enabling this environment are executive ponsorship, availability of funds, suitable incentive structure for employees to innovate, providing a framework to cushion against failures, identification and investment in right set of people, and most importantly, promoting an eco-system that encourages innovation in an appropriate manner, with systematic investment in a long-term strategy.

November 25, 2011

The last mile in financial reporting - The next big thing

Guest post by
Anand Balakrishnan, Principal Consultant, Infosys


ERP system have been adopted by over 90% of the global fortune 100 companies and 75% of fortune 500 corporates to handle the various facets of their operations. In the financial accounting space, while these companies have focused on the back office processing of records and generation of preliminary financials (P&L and Balance Sheets) a very small number of companies have any sort of automation in the last mile, namely generating the quarterly and annual financial statements that need to be submitted to varied set of external agencies including regulators, lenders and the street.

Continue reading " The last mile in financial reporting - The next big thing " »

January 3, 2011

Thin Chart of Accounts within OFSAA !

Guest post by
Bhuvaneswari Venkataraman, Lead Consultant - Banking and Capital Markets, Oracle Practice, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys Technologies Ltd.


In older version of Oracle Financials Service Application 4.5.xx (OFSA), considerable time was spent on designing the Chart of Accounts (COA) to bring out the optimum number of members under COAs. Now with new Oracle Financial Service Analytical Application 5.xx (OFSAA) leveraging its enhanced features like conditional assumptions system can assign any combination at run time instead of pre-defined only leading to thin COAs instead of thick in earlier versions.

Continue reading " Thin Chart of Accounts within OFSAA ! " »

December 27, 2010

Improvised dimensions and hierarchy in OFSAA 5.1

Guest post by
Suthersan Jayaprakash, Technology Analyst- Banking and Capital Markets, Oracle Practice, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys Technologies Ltd.


The dimensions and hierarchies form the base for operations in OFSA suite of products. Any business assumptions or processing parameters are built based on the dimensions. The dimensions in OFSA are nothing but various attributes of the business. Something like organizational structure, or the business offered by the organization, or the products and services that it offers.

Continue reading " Improvised dimensions and hierarchy in OFSAA 5.1 " »

August 25, 2010

Demystifying Legal Entity in Oracle R12 Architecture

Design of the Organization structure is the common issue faced by most business houses. The structure should not only be compliant from legal perspective but should also be effective from operational management and accounting perspective. Legal entity is the crux of the organization structure as this determines the statutory and country specific (local) reporting needs.

Continue reading " Demystifying Legal Entity in Oracle R12 Architecture " »

May 22, 2010

Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 3)

There are many ways to achieve Leaner ERP implementation, and I have discussed some of the strategic levers for it in my previous blogs Go Lean (Part 2) and Go Lean (Part 1) like senior management and executive sponsorship, robust decision making framework, effective change management approach, upfront planning for middleware and reporting platforms, solution design workshops, selection of appropriate edge products and leveraging localizations. However, there are many tactical and operational levers also available for enterprises to adopt, which are primarily part of implementation execution cycle. I am discussing here some of these levers and best practices to minimize customizations:

  • Boot Camp Trainings - Before initiating the solution design phase, organizations must seriously consider to conduct the boot camp trainings on chosen ERP to their key super users, business analysts and implementation core team, facilitated by System Integrator (SI). The intent for boot camps must be training to the team for vanilla features and functionalities of ERP relevant to their industry processes. This will enable them to bridge many gaps and requirements through seeded ERP functionality, and increase the overall fitment of the package application, leading towards reduced customizations.

Continue reading " Go Lean: Minimize customizations and reduce overall TCO in Oracle ERP implementation (Part 3) " »

May 18, 2009

CDI – Critical Path to Trading Community Dynamics

Mergers and Acquisitions activity is getting increasingly common and challenging in current business environment.  These dynamics in the trading community (Customers, Suppliers...etc) of an enterprise needs to be effectively managed. Any inflexibility in administering the dynamics would increase the risk exposure, loss of opportunity, lack of insight into customers, and revenue leakage. In cases where an enterprise is part of Merger or acquisition activity, lack of proper CDI strategy for any of the participant enterprises would make realization of intended ROI difficult. Read through this blog for more information.

Continue reading " CDI – Critical Path to Trading Community Dynamics " »

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