How EU Rollouts Differ from US Rollouts & How UPK Can Rock Them!

When planning an EU rollout the initial focus is often centered on how the business functions can be improved while simplifying complexities. Some examples of these primary considerations include:

Business Processes

  • How can the rollout support new business objectives?
  • In what ways can this new system increase our competitive edge?
  • Which EBS modifications need to be made to support our global business efforts?

Functional Complexities

  • Multiple currencies & fluctuating rates
  • Evolving taxation policies
  • Varying statutory reporting / requirements
  • Legal intricacies

5 Key Points to Consider When Implementing Oracle E-Business Suite in China

Oracle E-Business Suite can be an invaluable asset for organizations who are looking to set up business in China, or who want to streamline their operations in the region. However, implementing Oracle EBS is a project that does not come without challenges.

Today IT Convergence’s China practice team is bringing you 5 key factors to be taken into account when implementing Oracle EBS in China. Although this piece is specifically written on Oracle E-Business Suite, you will find that much of the information is useful for other ERP systems as well.

The first consideration is what type of legal entity you will be operating. China splits foreign companies into 3 categories:

  1. Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises (WFOE): in these companies set up in China, investment is 100% provided by the foreign investor without any Chinese partners 
  2. Processing Trade Firms: import all or part of the raw materials from abroad in gold. Then re-export the finished product, which was processed by Chinese enterprises
  3. Representative Offices (RO): these are set up by a company who conducts marketing and non-transactional operations. They are easier to establish than branches or subsidiaries, and because of their non-transactional nature, they are also less regulated by the government.
Another point to consider is that there are a number of localizations that could pose a hurdle to companies looking to rollout Oracle EBS to their China practices. One of the most basic requirements that must be integrated into the Oracle E-Business Suite setup is language support, since all local supplier documents need to be in Chinese. 

Besides language requirements, there are a number of statutory regulations to take into account. Unlike tax laws in the US, China uses a value added tax (VAT) system for business transactions. This is a circulation tax levied on the added value of each phase of a products typical life cycle, and exacts the deduction phase by phase so that the final tax is equal to the sum of the taxes on each production phase.

Financial statements must also comply with government regulations and be in Chinese currency (RMB). An asset report also needs to be prepared for local government auditing purposes, according to local regulations. All these reports must be in Chinese.

Another issue to consider is time differences across your global instance. For example, if the application server is located in a different time zone than that of China, the date and time that users in China see will be that of the server location and could cause a problem in work calendars, work shifts, and other time-sensitive data.

Finally, there are also a number of other legal requirements that affect specific industries (which can also be embedded in Oracle to meet the obligations). For example, manufacturing firms must be aware of bonded and non-bonded material tracking. Materials and parts imported as bonded must be re-exported after processing, and enterprises may not sell their bonded.

Join our webcast on implementing Oracle R12 in Korea and Japan on July 23rd, 2015. Register here.

Oracle Discoverer: It's Time to Move On QA Session

A couple of weeks ago we had our webcast on CloudIo: "Oracle Discoverer: It's Time to Move On" and we had more questions than we had time to answer live. Today we bring you the Q&A session transcript from the hands of CloudIO’s CEO and Founfer Sreenivas Thammaneni. If you missed the webcast and would like to download a copy of the recording including a live demo, click here.

Does CloudIO work on 11i and what's the impact on upgrading to R12 or future releases?
Yes, the platform can work on all EBS releases, starting from 11i to the latest R12.2.4 release.  The entire configuration is outside of Oracle EBS so it doesn’t impact the upgrade of Oracle and we don’t touch Oracle’s standard APIs.

Is it connected directly to the EBS application database to run the report underlying queries?
Yes, it is. There are two options. All these reports are real time against Oracle EBS. If you’re logged in as an administrator, you can actually see the query, so if you go to Recent SQL you can see the exact query. It’s very developer-friendly, so you can just copy this and use it in a developer tool if you want to troubleshoot.

At the same time we do have a Cash-in feature, where you can ASK to yield the query based on a schedule you set, it can be hourly, every 6 hours, monthly etc. It will perform the query and store the data in the cash. This way all the summary information can be scheduled so that when the user accesses it, it’s much faster. Queries that would take minutes take milliseconds with this feature.

Can you provide some insight on the high level architecture?
At a high level, it’s a standard J2EE application, so it can be deployed on top on any J2EE container like Tomcat, Weblogic, JBoss, any Java container. And it can reside on the same … as Oracle middle tier. In terms of technical components, CloudIO is built 100% using Java and Google web toolkit. There isn’t any proprietary technology used, it’s all open standards and it supports any modern browser.

How fast is it to migrate discoverer BA into CloudIO?
It can be as fast as 5 minutes to maybe a few hours; it depends on how complex the reports are. If we’re talking about reports with multiple sheets, in Discoverer there’s an option to export in XML, so the time to create the report is much less than uploading the XML, it’s pretty fast. Once you have the reports, you can open de CloudIO designer and on the left side you’ll have the complements and in the middle the properties and it’s extremely easy to make changes, rearrange views, edit the layout, etc.

How does the licensing work?
We sell enterprise licenses, so it’s unlimited on users and unlimited on servers.  It can be deployed in any number of servers and accessed by a number of users. The architecture is highly scalable, so you can add server to increase the number of users. One single server, let’s say one Tomcat, will support approximately 2,000 users.

Can Discoverer report templates be imported to CloudIO or will there be a need to rebuild the templates?  Will we be able to utilize the custom views currently used on Discoverer reports?
Yes, there is an option to export the Discoverer template as an XML and import it to the Reporting WorkCenter. There is also another option where you can migrate the Discoverer reports directly by selecting the reports. These are all database views, so we could generate reports from those views.

How's the End User Layer migrated from Discoverer? Or what’s the data model needed?

We have our own data model for reports, so you don’t have to worry about migrating the data model. Since this is going on top of Oracle EBS, you only have to migrate the end user layer.

Can you avoid end users from changing reports? Can they save their own version?
Yes, end users first of all don’t have the right-click option to go to customize page to alter the reports, they can only customize the views they can see, and even this can be disabled. It’s 100% configurable. As a Super User, Admin or Developer you can have total control over your reports.

Why CloudiO over OBIEE/OBIA?
It’s basically a matter of price and ease of use.

My users do heavy building of ad-hoc reporting on top of Discoverer reports (for example - adding new parameters) what will be the process here?
CloudIO Designer is 100% browser based and all the reports built on CloudIO are 100% metadata driven. Users with little training can customize the reports from within the Browser.

Are the licenses limited to CPUs?
No.  Current licensing is based on Enterprise level, unlimited users.

Does the Discoverer XML import work 100% in regards to formatting, subtotals etc.?
The import would bring in most of the formatting and it's very easy to do any additional formatting if need be. In the process the report will be more interactive and modern looking on CloudIO.

Don’t’ forget to register for our next webcast on surviving open enrollment season: “Open Enrollment 2016: Invest Now or Pay Later?” on July 16th. Reserve your spot here.

Maximize Your ROI with UPK's Knowledge Center - QA Session

User Productivity Kit
This week we had our webcast:  Maximize your ROI with UPK's Knowledge Center. Today we’re bringing you a transcript of the Q&A session that followed the presentation. If you missed the webcast and would like to download the presentation, click here.

Are the names of the headings customizable?
Yes, the headings are fully customizable; you can do so by specifying directly in the field.

Is there a quick way to migrate current training content from various software platforms into UPK? ie. Microsoft Word
Yes, there are couple of different tools within UPK that can help with this, one being packages, they are documents in the UPK developer that host external content, ie. PDFs, MP4s, PPTs, etc. you can embed these external content to concept pages or introduction pages to enhance your topics.

Top Questions on 3 B’s of Testing Answered!

Our webcast “The 3 B's of Testing: Basics, Best Practices and Best Strategies” was held last week and it brought out many questions about testing best practices and strategies. Today we bring you the QA session transcript and the answers by our experts.

How long does it take to build a Testing Center of Excellence?
Well, for a Testing Center of Excellence you have to walk before you can run. So you have two options:  you can build it internally or you can outsource it. Many organizations, like recently State Farm in Indiana and Illinois choose to outsource this function. This was a service center of nearly a thousand people, huge effort. This project took a year and a half to stand up, and about six more months to stabilize.