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In my role at BTRG, I speak with a lot of clients that are either planning on evaluating their Cloud options or have already pulled the trigger and purchased Oracle Cloud Applications due to the steep discounting provided by Oracle in Q4. I explain to many of them that while the selection of the right implementation partner is pivotal, it’s just as important to plan and begin what I call the “preparation phase” in advance of a true project start. Spending time preparing before the implementation partner begins goes a long way in reducing risk and potentially saving money. I believe there are four main areas where this preparation phase will pay off. Dedicating effort on Product Awareness, Implementation Logistics, Reporting, and Security will put you on the right track to a successful project kick off.

Educating yourself and your staff in advance on how Oracle Cloud Applications differ from your on premise applications will provide a smoother transition during the implementation project and after go-live. Oracle Cloud Applications deliver a more intuitive interactive experience that streamlines the way your employees will do their job and interact with the data they need to be productive. Before beginning your implementation project, resources should take some time to investigate and learn how the new application works and how it will impact their job. Oracle (and others) have done a great job of making this training information accessible and easy to find. We suggest starting with www.cloud.oracle.com but quick YouTube or Google searches will deliver a plethora of useful information. Another change is how your organization will interact with Oracle to resolve issues by submitting Service Requests (SR’s) and planning ongoing improvements via patching and upgrades. Get familiar with the processes so there are no surprises. Your implementation partner can guide you through these changes however it’s a good idea to research the processes in advance.

When your implementation partner kicks off the project, they will undoubtedly ask for information that could have been done (at least started) in advance. Take some time to document your internal project resource constraints. Who will be involved? Outline their roles and responsibilities split between internal staff and partner. Document your organization’s Enterprise Structure. How will Finance, HCM and Supply Chain co-exist and work seamlessly together? Designate a project governance structure and who will be participating in the executive steering committee. Begin your data migration plan. What data and how much needs to come over to the new cloud system? Lastly, begin to outline a Change Management plan and plan activities. Gathering and thinking about this information up front could cut weeks off your project duration.

If you’re like the majority of BTRG’s clients, you have many, many reports. Most of which you probably have no idea where they came from and when the last time they were actually run. This is a good time to review your report library to decide if you really need them. As you’re reviewing your existing reports to clean them up, ask Oracle or your implementation partner to provide a listing of reports that are delivered via the Cloud Reporting Center. Use that understanding of what’s delivered along with a review of your current reports to begin to finalize a picture of your future reporting requirements. Also, begin to familiarize your team with the Dashboards delivered in the Cloud product that are tailored to specific job roles. The information that may be on your dashboard might eliminate the need for some reports as well.

At the epicenter of Oracle Cloud Applications are roles and the security that’s assigned to each role. Make an effort to document each role within your organization and what specific data each user needs to have access to. This effort needs to be done early in the project lifecycle to speed project ramp-up time. Oracle delivers a Cloud Security Matrix to track and build out future security/role needs. Ask BTRG or Oracle for a copy and begin the process.

Moving your organization to a modern cloud application should be an exciting time… and maybe a little scary for some. Taking the time to prepare before the start of the project will:
• Create a better understanding of what you’ll be implementing
• You’ll know what’s expected before you begin the project
• You’ll have the prep work done before your implementation partner asks for it saving a substantial amount of time and money
• You’ll get to the finish line faster and with less risk

Reach out to me, or BTRG if you’re interested in starting a cloud conversation.
tvillemaire@btrgroup.com

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