In today’s business world, you can’t get information fast enough. When you don’t have accurate, up-to-the-minute data, you lose your competitive advantage. However, many ERP systems prevent you from getting exactly that. Oracle’s E-Business Suite claims to remedy that problem, though its design adds further obstacles.
How can you extract real-time data from Oracle E-Business Suite quickly and easily? Oracle reporting tools can only get you so far. Business performance reporting solutions deliver the timely information you need when you need it most so that you can maintain your competitive advantage.
Oracle Reporting Tools
Over the years, Oracle has retooled its E-Business Suite. Changes to this ERP system were supposed to improve EBS reporting tools. It would seem that just the opposite has taken place, though.
In his report for Bloor Research, Philip Howard notes that Oracle E-Business Suite R12 introduces a new set of reporting challenges. R12 has a sub-ledger accounting layer (SLA). The SLA adds powerful flexibility when it comes to assigning multiple sub-ledgers for the improved differentiation of accounting activities. However, Oracle hasn’t added built-in reporting to support this functionality.
Without integrated Oracle reporting, there is no faster reporting solution other than putting in a request to the IT department to run a report. Once IT fulfills this request (which could take days), users are forced to analyze data in static spreadsheets. Static spreadsheets have some clear drawbacks: They’re labor-intensive and rife with errors (research has shown that up to 90 percent of spreadsheets have mistakes in them that affect their results).
Howard adds that in order to easily create reports from EBS data, you need additional products. He recommends that companies consider an integrated Oracle reporting solution with short time-to-value, a low total cost of ownership, and high functionality.
Another issue is that in June 2017, Oracle discontinued support for Discoverer, its toolset for ad-hoc querying, reporting, data analysis, and publishing for its database environments. Using an unsupported tool is a risky move; if there’s a glitch, you can’t fix it. It also means that Finance and HR don’t have access to real-time information.
Streamlined Business Performance Reporting
To get the most out of EBS, you need integrated reporting for your ERP solution that is not only a faster reporting solution, but one that offers real-time Oracle reporting. What are your options? We’ll look at what one organization chose.
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global body for professional accountants. It has 178,000 members and an additional 455,000 students in 181 countries. Several years ago, ACCA implemented Oracle EBS 11i.
Oracle EBS 11i created a headache for ACCA; it lacked reporting capabilities. To run reports, Finance had to turn to the IT department. This situation created a burden for both teams: It could take up to an entire month for ACCA’s IT department to create a report. Moreover, Finance didn’t have much in the way of drill-down functionality, and there was virtually no flexibility or agility in the process, making month-end and quarterly reporting a significant challenge.
The ERP system couldn’t cope with ACCA’s need for real-time reports; Oracle’s real-time reporting was anything but, offering read-only access to a database that was refreshed every 24 hours. Running ad hoc reports for executive-level inquiries was difficult, and ACCA’s previous methods of extracting data were too restrictive.
ACCA chose Hubble’s solution because it is highly reliable and provides security, drill-down functionality, GUI, and flexibility. Also, its database isn’t read-only, which is a huge advantage over Oracle’s so-called real-time reporting. The speed of the implementation allowed ACCA to hit the ground running.
Paul Slowey, financial systems accountant at ACCA, commented, “The benefits for us were immediate and the solution quickly proved its reliability.” After implementing Hubble, ACCA saw an 80 percent time savings when creating reports. Reconciliation went from taking half a day to taking half an hour.
Suddenly, the Finance department was able to create custom hierarchies, tailor templates within tables to fit their needs, and allow calculations in certain modules which were available across the company. Hubble’s three-way drill-down capabilities permitted complete access to Oracle modules without presenting any security issues. Thanks to Hubble, end-users at ACCA were empowered to use data how they wanted, when they wanted.
The lack of a reporting system within EBS doesn’t have to be a constant source of frustration. An integrated reporting solution gives you quick access to real-time data so that you can keep running at the speed of business. To learn more, download our report on Financial and Business Reporting for Oracle.