This content is part of the Essential Guide: Oracle ERP software implementation tips and trends

Using Oracle Business Accelerators could speed up ERP deployment

Oracle Business Accelerators require midsize companies to work with a partner, but may ease some ERP deployment pains.

Midsize companies that want to implement Oracle enterprise resource planning (ERP) software might benefit from Oracle Business Accelerators, a set of cloud-based tools aimed to speed up application deployment. Oracle Business Accelerators combine product-specific technology with industry expertise to streamline planning and setup and reduce risks during deployment. Based on region- and industry-specific best practices, Oracle Business Accelerators may allow midsize companies to quickly implement ERP without sacrificing functionality or incurring enterprise-size deployment costs.

The world of Oracle Business Accelerators

Traditionally, midsize companies have been at a disadvantage when installing ERP due to necessary time and resources. Oracle Business Accelerators may help fix that.

Oracle Business Accelerators merge standardized best practices with a configuration tool that helps you implement an application instance according to your organization's needs. Each accelerator defines the scope of functionality that applies to your specific industry and region. As a result, you can configure Oracle applications in a shorter amount of time, with fewer errors and more predictable results. Oracle has built and tested a wide range of accelerators and offers them for free through the company's qualified partners.

Oracle has about 1,200 accelerator models for various products, including E-Business Suite and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. For each product, Oracle has developed numerous region- and industry-specific accelerators. For example, Oracle currently provides accelerators for EnterpriseOne in more than 20 countries, and for each country, you'll find accelerators specific to vertical industries, such as engineering, construction and industrial manufacturing of durable goods.

Each accelerator covers a range of business functions across numerous application modules. For instance, the EnterpriseOne durable goods accelerator specific to the United States covers functional areas such as financials and procurement, and in each area you're provided with a set of specific functions. For example, in financials you'll find financial reporting and employee expense management, among other functions. The accelerator also incorporates application modules such as Expense Management and Project Costing.

A closer look at the Oracle Business Accelerator

At the heart of each accelerator is a cloud-based configuration tool. You work with an Oracle partner to provide the tool with the information necessary to configure the application by answering questions about your business. The goals are to compress implementation project timelines and eliminate project scope creep.

To kick off the Q&A session, you must first select the processes required to run your business. Each process represents an end-to-end transaction across multiple business functions, such as finance and purchasing. You can think of a business process as a workflow made up of numerous steps. For example, the requisition-to-receipt business process includes steps such as managing the requisition, authorizing the requisition and issuing the purchase order.

The business processes are then incorporated into the configuration tool, where you'll find a flow diagram and video showing the business flow in the Oracle application. The tool also includes other process-related documentation, including an Oracle User Productivity Kit simulation that lets you compare the process with business requirements. In addition, each accelerator provides training assets, testing scripts and how-to guides.

After you've selected the applicable business processes, the configuration tool generates more questions. You then work with your partner to answer these questions. Note, however, that your responses can be modified at any time or supplemented with additional data.

Once you've answered the questions, the configuration tool determines a configuration for the software and makes that information available to the accelerator's setup wizard. The wizard automates the application's delivery, resulting in a functioning Oracle application instance ready for testing.

An application implemented by an Oracle Business Accelerator is no different from a regular instance of the program. It is not a pared-down version of the software. It is the same software you would be working with if you had configured the application without the accelerator, except that the setup would have been quicker and specific to your needs. By using the accelerator, you eliminate lengthy iterative scope definition processes, while mitigating some of the risks associated with implementing enterprise-class software.

About the author:
Robert Sheldon is a technical consultant and the author of numerous books, articles and training material related to Microsoft Windows, various relational database management systems, and business intelligence design and implementation.

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