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Best Practices from Oracle Development's A‑Team

Learn How to Be the Best at Fusion Applications Cloud Multi pillar implementation

Bala Mahalingam
Consulting Solution Architect A-Team

Required reading time: < 15 minutes

Introduction

In continuation of my blog on Fusion applications cloud instance strategy and Global Single Instance guidelines, I wanted to share my experience on Fusion Applications multi-pillar implementation.

As Oracle's Fusion SaaS applications cloud is built on a single unified data model with a consistent user and developer experience that connects end-to-end business processes across modules (Human Capital Management (HCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Projects & Portfolio Management (PPM), Customer Experience (CX) and Supply Chain Management (SCM)), you may plan to implement multiple modules together or incrementally in a phased approach based on your business requirements and priorities.

This blog will provide you with key guidelines to help your Oracle Fusion applications cloud implementation planning.

Implementation Approach

In addition to implementing Oracle Fusion applications, many customers will also deploy other Oracle applications, such as Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Configure Price Quote (“CPQ”) Cloud, Service Cloud, Field Service Cloud, Integration Cloud, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services. Here are the two deployment approaches that customers have used successfully to deploy Oracle Fusion cloud applications based on their business priorities and requirements.

  1. Sequential approach
    • Start with one/fewer modules or business processes of Oracle Fusion applications cloud and incrementally add additional features
      • For example, start with HR/Financials, then add Project Management, Customer Experience, Supply Chain, and others. This approach is suitable for customers who want to start the cloud transformation with a module and expand incrementally.
  2. Parallel approach (Big Bang model)
    • Implement multiple modules of Oracle Fusion applications cloud at the same time
      • Examples include multiple modules – HR, Financials, Project management, Customer Experience, Supply Chain, and others. This method is suitable for customers who are migrating their legacy applications to Oracle cloud for the transformation.

While both implementation approaches can support multiple/phased go-lives based on your priorities, common scoping considerations that are critical to be addressed are given below.

  1. Change management strategy on your cloud transformation
  2. Business units for deployment (Regional vs. Global)
  3. Data Set (Selective vs. Full) including historical data requirements
  4. Instance strategy: One production vs. multiple production instances
    • Note that for a global organization, this is a very critical decision to make based on your compliance, legal, business operating model, data ownership, security, local/regional rules, performance, availability, and disaster recovery requirements.
  5. Data Integration strategy: Data conversion, Inbound/Outbound integrations, batch versus real-time, one time versus ongoing, data export
  6. Program governance and release management
  7. Resources (System Integrator, your Business, and Technical resources)
  8. Validation strategy: Functional, data conversion, integration, regression, automation.
  9. Reporting requirements within Fusion applications cloud
  10. Training model

Implementation Guidelines

When you are planning to deploy multiple modules of Oracle Fusion applications cloud, irrespective of the implementation approach, the key areas to be focused on multi-pillar implementation are categorized as Application architecture, Instance strategy & provisioning, setup & configuration, integration, reporting, and program management.

Application Architecture

  • Identify commonly/shared foundational data objects, and understand the functionalities, dependencies, usage, attribution, and extension capabilities in every module thoroughly.

    • For example,

    • Enterprise structures are shared across modules

    • Third-Party Organization in HCM, Supplier in Procurement, Prospect/Account in Sales Cloud, Customer in ERP will be created as an Organization with different usages depends on the module.

    • Address / Site / Location, Contact, products are also commonly used across modules

  • Consider designing your enterprise structures, shared data objects, users, roles & responsibilities design for your enterprise focusing on all modules required to be implemented.

    • For example,

      • Compare your existing organization’s structure and align with Oracle Cloud’s roles & responsibilities

      • Reference data & mappings

  • Plan to design your hierarchy (Customer, Supplier) requirements and understand the functionalities and usage of hierarchies within Oracle Cloud.

  • Carefully plan on configuring extension objects, attributes, and how they will be used based on your business requirements. Each module will have a slightly different option for configuring extensions.

    • Understand the Page Composer and Application Composer capabilities
  • Perform a gap analysis on the functionalities, objects, and attributes requirements to identify the model extensions required.

    • Analyze and explore the options available for application extensions options such as extensions within Fusion applications cloud, leveraging Platform, and Infrastructure cloud services.

    • Explore the Visual Builder Studio option to extend Oracle applications as application extensions.

  • Understand the capabilities, and configuration options available for data enrichment/verification

    • For example,

      • Address Verification versus Vertex Tax verification

      • Phone numbers, email address verification

      • Dun & Bradstreet, DataFox, or other 3rd parties

Instance strategy, provisioning & environment management

  • Plan the tasks carefully for co-ordination between different project teams during monthly maintenance, quarterly upgrade, patch management, environment usage management, and additional testing as needed.

  • Environment refresh is one of the key requirements during the project lifecycle and needs to be planned well in advance. Consider data masking options of different pillar data and data security on Personally Identifiable Information during environment refresh requests. Plan any additional tasks required for configuration and testing after the environment refreshes.

  • Oracle application cloud will be provisioned based on your subscription. It is recommended to review the sizing with Oracle in your early stage of the project.

Setup & Configuration

  • Understand the configuration & extension options, capabilities, and limitations well in advance to help you plan your implementation. Typically, different development teams could configure different modules that require tighter communication, collaboration, and governance.  For more details on configuring & extending Fusion Applications Cloud refer to Best Practices for Configuring and Extending Fusion Applications Cloud.

Data Integration

  • Data Integration such as initial/ongoing data migration, batch versus real-time integration plays a critical component. Explore different options available and choose the right one based on your requirements.

  • Avoid using object level SOAP / REST API for initial and large volume data migration/conversion. For example, creating high volume customers using web services  / SOAP will be very slow compared to file-based batch/bulk data load.

  • Understand the batch data import and export capabilities/options of specific modules and plan your data migrations. If you are deploying the Product Management module, refer to the integration patterns best practices. The import/export across modules can be different as every module provides additional capabilities.

  • Explore the options available to be configured (in some cases) for enabling the pre-built integrations and synchronizations of data between the modules. For example, synchronizing product data between Product Management and Sales Cloud.

  • Define your requirements for data migration clearly by considering open transactions, balances, status, compliance, and historical data requirements initially in the project lifecycle.

  • Define & design your data migration automation requirements carefully. Avoid unnecessary automation of data load/conversion processes if they are not going to be reused or called several times. Analyze the effort and decide based on your needs.

  • The most important task that is missed out during large implementation is data quality, business resources required for data issue resolution. Plan considerable time in your plan for iterative data preparation, migration, and the issue resolution process. Refer to the article Options for migrating clean data to Fusion Applications Cloud and Prepare your data using Enterprise Data Quality for cloud transformation.

  • Do not miss out on the effort required on tuning and optimization of data loads and integration during development, testing, and go-live. If there are any extensions or configuration changes made, that could significantly impact the data load and integrations. Make sure that you have a governance process designed for configuration and extension changes throughout the project lifecycle.

  • Analyze the integration requirements and identify required REST API’s / SOAP services for your integration. For example, some of your requirements might need a combination of REST & SOAP services.

Reporting

  • Understand the reporting capabilities and available reports in Online Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI) and BI Publisher (BIP) within Fusion Applications Cloud on every module.

  • Consider your compliance, and legal reporting requirements and plan the reporting tasks.

  • Avoid writing custom BIP reports for your reporting or real-time integration uses. This will cause performance and scalability challenges and will affect the user experience.

  • Explore options for your enterprise reporting requirements using Oracle Analytics Cloud and custom reporting across modules including your on-premise/3rd party applications.

  • Consider leveraging BI Cloud Connector (BICC) for large volume data extract from Fusion applications cloud. BICC supports both initial and incremental data extracts.

Program Management

  • Thoroughly plan the task project and business team collaboration, communication, and coordination throughout the project which is the critical success factor.

  • Set clear expectations on the goals and vision between the system integrators especially when multiple project teams are involved.

  • Plan to document the dependencies, extensions, processes, and configurations for shared data objects and functionalities centrally and define governance.

  • Define Data security and compliance requirements well in advance for the functionalities that are shared across pillars.

  • Leverage the implementation methodology recommended by the system implementers for implementing Oracle Fusion Applications Cloud.

  • For applications cloud implementation, it is highly recommended to follow solution-driven requirements gathering than the traditional requirements gathering. This will help to set the expectation for business and speed up your implementation with a better return on investment.

  • If you have Break-Glass requirements, plan your tasks for configuration, enablement, testing, and approval requirements for technical support requests.

  • Training business users in the large transformation itself is a separate stream of work. Explore the training options and plan the training sessions throughout the project lifecycle rather than doing it prior to user acceptance testing.

Conclusion

Oracle Fusion applications cloud provide you with the flexibility to implement based on your business requirements. Pre-built integrations across modules with configuration and extension abilities enable you to speed up your implementation. Understanding the key dependencies, cross-module functionalities and capabilities will play a critical component in your implementation. The first step in implementing a multi-pillar solution is to design and configure the enterprise structure and shared objects. 

I hope the guidelines discussed in this blog will help your organization to plan your multi-pillar implementation.

References

Note: Always refer to the latest documentation.

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