I’ve always believed that Oracle provides the kind of system and tools that can benefit small- to mid-size companies. With my accounting background, I often found myself working with smaller companies that were “just getting by” from an accounting perspective. What I mean is that while users were dedicated, they may not have had degrees or were simply overwhelmed by a system that was very labor intensive (i.e. journals done on paper, approved, sent to management, and then manually entered into the system). Or, in the case of one company, if I wanted to know the AP Liability, I would have to have the Payables Clerk 10-key her invoice inbox. If she entered the invoice, it would automatically get paid with the next check run due to a lack of proper term calculation; so instead of entering invoices when they came in, she waited until payment.
Once I learned and implemented Oracle, I knew it was a great system that could make life a lot easier for the end user. Unfortunately, for most small- to mid-sized companies, the cost to install and maintain Oracle EBS system can be prohibitive. Happily, now there’s Cloud. (Caveat I have not implemented and seen it in action, but based on what others have told me and the education I have taken, I am writing this post).
While Cloud is quite a bit different for a consultant to configure and implement, its web-based applications—and the IT technology of being in the Cloud (with Oracle Support managing the database and keeping up the performance and patches and security)—take away a huge part of the cost for modestly sized companies. Cloud does not need an in-house DBA; and for Super Users, it does not require a lot of technical staff. It is consistent with its processes (no more heavy customizations), so good solid users can maintain the system.
I’m excited about what this version of Oracle Financial Applications can offer users. Yes, I am very comfortable with GUI and other Oracle forms, but with Cloud—and the ability to upload Excel spreadsheet, balance entries, standard Intra- or Intercompany processes, and beneficial applications like Advance Collections in the web—life can be so much easier for so many companies.
I would like to work on a Cloud project for a University or service organization, to help bookkeepers and accountants better perform their day-to-day and month-to-month tasks. As an OnPlan consultant, that’s always my end goal—to make Oracle a tool that can help end users do their jobs more efficiently.