Oracle ERP: How to overcome local hurdles in a global implementation

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The corporate world becomes a global village as many companies expand their business and offices around different countries and even continents. And this number keeps increasing. This globalization raises interesting questions, such as: how should differences between the employee’s cultures be handled? And what is the best global marketing strategy? When you take a look […]

The corporate world becomes a global village as many companies expand their business and offices around different countries and even continents. And this number keeps increasing. This globalization raises interesting questions, such as: how should differences between the employee’s cultures be handled? And what is the best global marketing strategy? When you take a look at a global organization and its IT, questions need to be answered, for example:
– How can the global IT strategy match the local IT strategy?
– Can we make IT more flexible to act more agile on business changes?
– In what way can globalization of IT add value to the whole organization?
When an organization is globalizing, it should carefully consider these kind of questions. The organization doesn’t want to become fragmented because of local processes, different ways of working and multiple IT systems. Instead, the goal of the global presence is to create synergy as one organization. Yet the specific character of one unit is operating in a country should be maintained, because every country is different. This dilemma should be carefully considered in every decision. A uniform organization on one hand, without losing the specific character of a country on the other.
One way of making the IT global and uniform, without losing the specific character of the different countries is to implement a global ERP solution. One source of truth, real time, for the entire organization, while the different rules for specific countries can be maintained. When implementing a global ERP solution, it is not just the IT that is being standardized, also the underlying business processes in an organization. The organizational side of the ERP implementation is often underestimated. It requires involvement from all levels in the organization to create a strong fundament for the global roll-out. Capgemini recognizes this and puts a lot of effort in and focus on getting the organization aligned to move to one global ERP solution, which harmonizes processes, reduces the number and diversity of IT systems, makes reporting a lot easier and brings support costs down. Next to that, it opens up opportunities for Shared Services Centers, 24-hour across the world support on low cost locations in several time zones and it provides insight in global figures and processes, such as global supply chain visibility. In this blog we give insight in Capgemini’s 3 point Global ERP Implementation Strategy.
Capgemini Oracle’s Global ERP Implementation Strategy
Our Oracle Global ERP Implementation strategy incorporates the following key characteristics:

  • Think Global, Act Local
  • A Vanilla Approach
  • Accelerators

Think Global, Act Local: Focus on the global solution but keep the local requirements in mind. By thinking as a global company and acting local at the same time we have built significant experience in specific international finance, logistics and human resources ERP implementation topics such as:
• To combine multiple accounting principles and currencies within one Global ERP instance to meet local regulations. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) often vary from country to country and by jurisdiction. Organizations must record and report their operations according to local accounting requirements as well as by corporate rules, which are often dictated by another national jurisdiction and might require that other accounting principles be applied. For example, local rules might require that you keep your local books open for a longer period than the corporate rules and perhaps prior period adjustments are handled differently.
• Setup of VAT including required invoice layout. Fiscal authorities in throughout the world require a periodic VAT declaration from all fiscal entities established in the region. Although the countries have a common system of VAT, the VAT is implemented in each country by national law controlled by a local fiscal authority. Our Oracle specialists have implemented, and are familiar with, the VAT (reporting) rules of multiple European and Asian countries such as France, Belgium, Czech Republic, China and Japan.
• The Human Resources global design will need to take into account the “Safe Harbor” rules for moving/accessing data in different countries from origin. Our HR Oracle experts are familiar with these rules and system configuration.
We will bring the experience of translating local requirements into a global solution by carefully balancing local and global requirements to ensure to best possible global Oracle ERP design to support the business processes. All to obtain the best result.
A Vanilla Approach: First get the basis right by sticking to the Oracle standard functionality, as much as possible, and enhance the system stepwise in a waved approach, but keep the benefits in mind.
Accelerators: The Capgemini team brings a set of tools, methodologies and experiences focused on effort reduction and to build consensus regarding the global ERP solution.
a. Accelerated Solutions Environment (ASE) for achieving group consensus
b. Rapid Solution Workshops (RSW) for acceleration and buy-in
c. Conference Room Pilot (CRP) sessions to involve the key users.
Accelerated Solutions Environment
The ASE is an environment which enables a large number of people from different backgrounds to come together in pursuit of a common goal. It creates an intense atmosphere designed to foster creative thinking and collaboration, delivering workable solutions weeks or months ahead of conventional approaches. In the ASE a team of facilitators facilitates a group of 15-80 people to design the solution for their complex problem or challenge.
The ASE sessions are structured around the Scan, Focus, Act process.
The scan phase is about building the foundation for a high performance team. We do this by sharing information, uncovering issues and assumptions, and exploring new out of the box ideas.
During the focus phase you create the building blocks of the end solution. We generate ideas, test ideas, evaluate options, and prototype solutions.
In the act phase group alignment is created by having open and intensive discussions. Through parallel processing all aspects of the solution are defined. During this phase action plans for the different aspects are created.
Rapid Solution Workshops
To allow that the Oracle functionalities are shared as much as possible on a global level, Rapid Solution Workshops (RSW) will be held at the start of each project.
These are intensive workshops with the key user community, designed to accelerate application design by bringing relevant parties together on one location to collaborate on the application design. This enables the key user group to address issues, build consensus, and reach decisions in real-time, thus condensing the project timeline.
Specific workshops are held that will cover the global business process, such as the group/local accounting principles and intra- and intercompany transactions.
In each of these workshops Oracle ERP specialists will cover the complete system, which is in scope of the project. This approach will allow that the design of the whole system is looked at from a business process view. With each business process, the different requirements of the countries are to be provided, verified / challenged and, in terms of solution, discussed and agreed upon. The approach will then be reflected in designs and configuration workbooks.
By involving the key users from the different countries in the Oracle ERP design decisions, commitment and agreement on setting up functionalities on a global level and identification of shared functionalities and processes will be achieved. Commitment and understanding of the use of ‘shared/local’ Oracle ERP functionalities is key for a successful global implementation.
Conference Room Pilot
The CRP is a formal process checkpoint to experience key working functionality as designed in the RSW. Capgemini normally schedules two CRPs during a lifecycle of the implementation. The first CRP is scheduled during the later part of the design phase as a checkpoint for business process and base configuration and the second CRP is scheduled during the late part of the build phase so that the users can experience a more functional system.
The goal of a CRP is to engage the users to provide feedback and confirm development and configuration so that the appropriate action may be taken. It is also part of the change management process to educate users on the system and processes prior to implementation, so that they can assist with future change management tasks such as training and other cutover activities.
The objectives of a CRP include:
• Verification that the base systems configuration meets the business needs and works according to specifications.
• Verification that the customized objects are developed and work according to functional design.
• Verification that the system can handle core business process scenarios.
• Identification of any gaps of configuration, development or processes prior to finial testing efforts
These accelerated methods and techniques help the organization to focus and to create the organizational support that is required for a global ERP implementation
Bram Martens – Senior Consultant Oracle ERP
Johan Medel Espinoza – Managing Consultant Oracle ERP

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