Sticking with an IT solution that is no longer supported by the vendor is risky business. Even the slightest change to your environment, such as a browser update, can wreak havoc on access and availability.
Are You Still Using Oracle Discoverer?
This is particularly acute with a product like Oracle Discoverer, which is used by so many companies to house vital data, including financial information and employee records. Extended support from Oracle for the product has ended, so it’s not a matter of whether but when you’ll lose access. And if you are a public company, you’ll soon be at odds with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002 following a string of high-profile financial scandals at large companies. The law seeks to protect shareholders and the general public from accounting errors and fraudulent practices, and improve the accuracy of corporate disclosures. Sarbanes-Oxley affects both finance and IT departments because the length of time certain records must be stored is a critical part of compliance with the law.
So in the case of an unsupported product like Oracle Discoverer, you will ultimately lose access to records that you need to abide by Sarbanes-Oxley.
Oracle Discoverer Replacement
When looking for a replacement for Oracle Discoverer, it’s a good idea to find a reporting solution that is deeply integrated with your ERP. Too many reporting tools rely on extrapolating data from the ERP where employees then manipulate it manually in static Excel spreadsheets. These static spreadsheets are often distributed around the business and can easily be tampered with (intentionally or not). From a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance standpoint, it is far safer to implement a reporting solution that has native integration with your financial data. In doing so, you’ll rest assured that reports reflect real-time, accurate data. Using your ERP as your single source of truth also makes sense from a pure performance management standpoint. For example, a cut-and-paste error in a static Excel spreadsheet that was not detected cost a large North American power generator firm $24 million, wiping out 10 percent of the company’s profit that year.
Sarbanes-Oxley compliance continues to be a primary source of concern for many companies; fines and imprisonment aren’t exactly high on the list of corporate goals. When searching for a solution that will keep you compliant (and that is heavily supported) look for a solution that has:
- Deep integration with your ERP
- Flexible real-time reporting and ad hoc query
- Guaranteed data integrity and security
- Immediate return on investment
- Self-service reporting managed by end users
- Easy drill-down to meaningful data