Transitions to the Oracle Cloud: Customer Responses
One of our clients, a large jewelry retailer on the West coast, recognized that it needed to improve its financial planning. To accomplish this goal, it ultimately decided to implement Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud alongside of E-Business Suite (EBS).
Challenges existed, however, particularly the retailer’s tight timeline—less than 13 weeks from project kick-off to go-live time—and its initial skepticism of this solution. We were, fortunately, able to implement what was needed in just nine weeks. Once the client saw the functionality of the Cloud-EBS implementation and integration, the options available through phased approaches, and the cost savings (especially when they saw how the costs could be spread across fiscal years), the client was fully on board. Plus, the shorter time to value benefit made this Cloud-EBS solution even more appealing to them.
Our change management efforts with this jewelry retailer largely focused on how EBS needed to be configured in a slightly different way. This relatively small configuration change improved the planning process by leaps and bounds, and our client agrees that the benefits are clearly worth the change management required.
From “If” to “When”
When the power of the Cloud was first available to companies, the question that executive teams were asking themselves was if they intended to move any applications to the Cloud, with only early adopters actually implementing the technology.
The early adopter phase for the Cloud is past now, with clients not feeling the anxiety they once did about getting started with or moving more applications to the Cloud. Companies that delayed making this transition are noticing the benefits that early adopters have gleaned from their use of the Cloud—and are largely now asking themselves when they can implement Cloud technology, rather than if it’s the best solution for their needs.Technology is clearly moving in that direction, and most companies recognize that as true.
Change Management and the Cloud
Cloud technologies are driving business transformation and, in our experience, companies transitioning to the Cloud must focus on two concurrent transition processes:
- Organizational transitions
- Individual transitions
With organizational transitions, questions that typically need to be answered as the enterprise transforms itself from the current state to the targeted state of the future include:
- What is our situation today?
- What does the solution look like?
- How much will our processes, organization and systems change?
- What new policies and procedures need to be designed?
- What is the plan to implement the solution?
As Oracle consultants, we guide and support the organization and its executive staff throughout each of these stages.
Individual transitions follow a somewhat different path, with employees typically starting out with the mindset of “I’m comfortable with and capable of performing my job.”
Then, as they learn of impending changes, their thought processes often go like this:
- Why are we doing this?
- What’s in it for me?
- How is my job changing?
- Will I have the skills/support I need to carry out my “new” job?
We find that if both paths are addressed through change management initiatives, the transition is typically a smooth process.
Plus, for the best implementation and integration, a study by Sidney Yoshida clearly indicates that front-line employees should be consulted early in the process. This study shows that, typically, top leaders are only aware of four percent of company challenges. When looking at middle management, nine percent of the problems are known.
To get to the crux, it’s best to consult front-line employees and their supervisors. The study shows that:
- 74% of company problems are known to supervisors
- 99% of problems are known to front-line employees
We’ve found this model to be effective as clients transition to the Cloud. Each element of the process is important and when a piece is missing, we consistently see certain challenges association with that lack.
For example, when awareness/desire is missing, problems that typically arise include:
- increased employee resistance
- employees repeatedly asking the same questions
- lower productivity
- higher turnover
- resource and information hoarding
- implementation delays
When there isn’t enough knowledge/ability, issues include:
- lower utilization of new processes, systems and tools
- incorrect usage of them
- greater impact on stakeholders and partners
- sustained productivity reduction
Finally, when reinforcement is missing or lacking, associated problems include:
- employees reverting back to previous ways of doing their work
- utilization is ultimately less than expected
- the organization creates a history of poorly managed change
Companies realize that the time for the Cloud is now. Our experience bears out what the Sidney Yoshida study indicates, along with the value of the ADKAR® model. When the Cloud transition process is thoughtfully analyzed, then implemented and integrated well with appropriate change management processes adhered to, companies are well pleased with the benefits of transitioning to the Cloud.
If your enterprise is ready to discuss how the Cloud can transform your business, contact our Oracle consultants online or call 1-800-814-7705. We can provide your company with
superior industry knowledge, exceptional customer service, and resource continuity as we transform your business to make you more agile, stronger, and more competitive.