In continuation to our blog series on Oracle Procurement Cloud, this week we will share our opinion on approval management. You can read our earlier blogs on go-live, implementation speed, structural flexibility, setup, support, user experience, BI and Supplier management here.
Imagine yourself that not Trump but you were elected as the new President of the United States of America. Now imagine your first day on the job. Someone is showing you around the White House, your new home for the next four years. They show you where to eat, bathe and sleep. Next, they show you the most important part of the White House – THE Control Room -, the place where all the magic happens. The central place in the house filled with all kinds of new technologies, where you can monitor everything and anyone. You suddenly notice a big red button with a text next to it ‘DON’T push this button!’. Ask yourself; what would you do? Would you push it or not? Well at least you want to know what it does right?
Being surrounded with all kinds of new technologies which you have to master can be a minefield sometimes. Especially if you don’t entirely know how it works yet. I can already tell you one thing; your biggest learning will happen when you mess things up. Simply learning by doing.
This describes a bit how we became ‘approval management masters’ in Procurement Cloud. As you might know approval management has been turned upside down in the Cloud. You can still recognize the mechanism and the steps in setting it up, but the technique has completely changed.
Before it was called AME in eBs, that has now shifted to AMX. For me, the biggest change is the complete shift to Oracle BPM which is THE new technique underneath the AMX engine and as mentioned earlier we had to learn a lot about it. Although the technique is easy to learn and looks quite innovative at the start, we must say the ‘devil is in the details’. You will soon be up and running by just doing the basic stuff and standard setup. However, if you want to stretch the boundaries, see what it can do and if you want to use its full potential you might want to scratch yourself behind your ears a few times.
We pushed the red button to test and measure the extent of the boundaries. As consultants, we consider learning a new technique is our duty. Here’s what we did.
AMX comprises of different stages and within one stage you can do the normal setup as you might be familiar with from AME. We however decided to play around with these stages to check what we could achieve. We never thought that by deleting a stage we would run into massive problems. The issue even got the Oracle development team thinking on how to resolve this since it never happened before.
Luckily, for us we could undo the action of the red button by restoring the complete AMX engine to a previous version. Although we did learn a lot this is truly one of those statements that you’d normally say, ‘Don’t try this at home!’.
The good thing is that Oracle also realizes the dangers in exposing the new techniques directly to end users. In upcoming releases for some of the new techniques Oracle is building a user-interface on top of the application to avoid similar issues. Next to AMX we also see this happening on the security side where with Oracle Identity Management and Oracle Authorization Policy Manager you are running into the same problems.
So a word of good advice next time you want to push the red button; before pushing it, please check if there is someone else who has already pushed it before you. This might prevent you from making the same mistake!