Report from Collaborate 14, Las Vegas

David in a Suit
Talking Fusion Accounting Hub in a suit

Last month I attended and presented at Collaborate, the largest Oracle conference outside of Open World and one where the agenda is determined by the user community.

I was well organized this year; before I attended the conference I had downloaded the mobile App and started creating a conference agenda, I was a little bit disappointed that I had to manually add sessions I was presenting to my agenda, seems like a missing feature and it did not create the best first impression.  However, I then found the mobile app really good, a lot of discussions, the ability to comment on sessions and all the good social features you would expect.  When the conference got started the gamification they had added (a simple leader board of activity) helped to drive adoption and also caused some controversy, I’ll stay out of that but I would recommend reading Debra Lilley’s thoughts on it.

Throughout the week many people were talking about how several sessions they wanted to attend seemed to be scheduled at the same time. My first thought about this was that they were just making a polite excuse for not attending some of my sessions, but then I did observe the same thing myself.  It is hard having to choose between two or often three very interesting and useful sessions which are on at the same time, it is also tough when attendance at some sessions is lower than they deserve.  However, as I thought more about it, I feel it should be seen as a positive that the quality of the sessions and the presenters was very high.

My session on Fusion Accounting Hub and GLobal Charts of Accounts and Consolidation was on Monday and I had a decent crowd, got through a lot of material and had some really good questions (and I hope the answers were good).  I mentioned on my blog that FAH was the talk of the town based on the number of sessions that were covering it, I certainly spent  lots of time discussing it with people over the course of the conference.  We had a good GL SIG group meeting, I did a few minutes about the management segment and Data Access Sets in EBusiness Suite GL Release 12.  I was surprised that more people were not aware of this very useful feature, maybe I should blog about it (he says, adding it to a long to do list).  My third session was co-presented with Sangeeta Sameer from GE, I have asked Sangeeta to write a guest blog post introducing it, sharing the paper and announcing a webinar repeat of it – watch this space.

Exciting that all the things were, probably the part I enjoyed most was talking to so many people who had implemented or were implementing Cloud ERP Apps.  I had a chance to hear the positive comments and excitement that customers and partners had, but equally chat about where the y had suggestions for improvements.  We have a lot of very experienced, motivated and very smart partners out there and I enjoy every minute talking with them and learning from them, hopefully helping them out with a few tips too.

So next up for me is Open World, I did not make KScope this year, but one day I would like to go there, but for my particular field Collaborate is a must conference and if you have never been I would highly recommend you consider it next year, I will certainly be submitting a paper.

 

 

 

Collaborate 14 Paper: Balancing by 2 Segments

It is a very common requirement to automatically balance by two different segments of the chart of accounts, typically the Legal Entity and some sort of Management Entity (department, line of business, cost center, etc).  Fusion financials allows you to balance by up to three segments, which is always a well received feature.  However at Collaborate you can learn how one company built a custom to do this in EBusiness Suite.  I’m honored to have been asked to Co-present with GE on this topic, they have done some really good work here and I’m sure it will be of great interest to others too.  So come along and join us, you’ll get the specifics of what they did, the details are below:

Session ID: 13941
When: 10 Apr 11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Room: Level 1, Marco Polo – 801
Speakers: Sangeeta Sameer, General Electric (GE),  David Haimes, Oracle Corporation
Abstract: This paper describes the Custom solution that General Electric (GE) implemented in collaboration with Oracle to achieve Balancing by 2 segments in Release 12.1.3 of Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS). GE has the business need to Balance by both the Legal Entity (LE) and Management Entity (ME) segments in the Chart of Accounts. While Fusion Applications allow Balancing by 3 segments, Oracle EBS Applications do not have this Functionality. This paper covers the requirements and solution in detail for 2 Segment Balancing.

Oracle Ebusiness Suite Financials Books

I am often asked what book to read to learn Oracle Financials, there is no simple answer here.  If you get the concepts right everything else will drop into place much more easily than getting overwhelmed with specific details of how to configure every single feature click by click or what every single UI does in detail.  I have listed some of the books available below.  I have given some commentary, but I advise going to amazon and checking out the reviews there or looking in the comments of this post where I hope you will all share your thoughts on the ones you have read.

Oracle E-Business Suite Financials Handbook, Third Edition

I have the first edition of this book, it is very readable and goes over the concepts and major features of all the products in financials, a good starting point if you are new to financials.  It discusses how you would run an implementation project and does not concern itself with step by step guidance on how to set up specific features.  It’s a good book and well researched.

I have not read the third edition in detail yet, anyone who has please feel free to post comments on this post.

Oracle E-Business Suite Financials R12: A Functionality Guide

Oracle E-Business Suite Financials R12

Full disclosure on this one.  Firstly I was given this book free by the publishers to review, secondly I know the author Mohan Iyer, who is chair of the OAUG GL Special Interest Group.

This book is not going to make you an expert in Oracle Financials and ready to get started on a major implementation right away, it does not get into the detailed steps of how to configure all the modules and features. It simply introduces the modules in a way that a business user can understand, diving into a little more detail in some places. I think it is intended to be a guide for a business user considering or already starting an implementation, so they can understand some of the options and choices available and I feel it mostly meets that goal well.

The Oracle General Ledger guide

I purchased this book and I’ve read most of it. It seems to be very comprehensive and accurate on the details but is not adding the value I’d hope for over and above the online help or product documentation.  I would have liked it to see some more concise overviews of features and business cases for using certain implementation choices over others.  That said I’m thrilled to a book on GL and am sure many people will find it useful.

Oracle E-Business Suite Development & Extensibility Guide

Not had a chance to read this one, but it contains information that many, many people will care a lot about.  Let me know if you have read it.

Shining a Light on the Release 12 World

The Solution Beacon crew have produced a number of good publications and have a lot of experience, they focus on what is new in R12 and what is in it for you.  It comes with a recommendation from Floyd Teter, who is a respected friend of this blog.  I have not read this one myself.

If you have any of these books, or maybe you are one of the authors of these books please share your thoughts with the community in the comments section.

Advanced Global Intercompany (AGIS) takes on it’s own sound

At the moment I am talking a lot about AGIS with customers,
users and consultants. It seems it’s being used a lot and I have
had a few people asking me if I know any consultants experienced in
it because they have are struggling to fine experts to implement
it. What is interesting is how everyone pronounces it, “a-jis”
rather than how we always pronounced it in product development was
spelling out the letters AGIS or frankly we just call it
Intercompany. Just goes to show once things are out in the world,
they take on their own life and identity.

EBusiness Suite Legal Entity FAQ

I’ve been preparing these for a presentation at Oracle OpenWorld next week, they were mostly taken from the questions asked by Alyssa Johnson in her comment, but they are very typical questions that I get asked a lot.

What is the difference between the 11i GRE/LE and R12 LE?

  • GRE/LE is upgraded as an LE in R12
  • In 11i GRE/LE was often a dummy LE, not real LE structure and had little use
  • R12 LE has a more robust definition
  • R12 LE is used more by processes and reports across financials

Where does the LE impact R12 processing?

  • Short answer – Tax, Intercompany (AGIS), Global Features

Why should I assign BSVs to my LEs in the Ledger?

  • It is optional, if your BSV is your company code, you have an implied LE there in your GL
  • It helps with some LE derivation for transaction stamping
  • Allows you to run reports by LE
  • May make Intercompany rules easier to define

In 11i, the LE doesn’t really correspond to the true Legal Entities of the Organization (e.g. only one LE is setup even though there are multiple companies). What is going to break in R12 if I leave it that way?

  • Nothing will break if you do nothing and stay with one ‘dummy’ LE
  • You won’t get all the good stuff we talked about earlier

Is there a connection between the LE and the BU?

  • If you map LE to Ledgers / BSV, there is an indirect LE-OU relationship
  • There is a Default Legal Entity for an OU (Default Legal Context) which in some cases(1:1:1) it will be the only LE so it is a direct assingment

If you want to add anything to this, or have more questions then fine the comments section below…

Want more on Legal Entities?

I was perusing the statistics that wordpress.com provides for this blog and was interested to learn that the most commented on post, with a whopping 69 comments, is the classic from November 2007 – How do I define my Legal Entities? .  It has also received 18,449 page views which is the second most viewed post on this blog.  My conclusion is that people are interested in this topic and want to learn more, so I thought I would mention the OAUG GL SIG meeting at OpenWorld where I have been asked to make a short presentation about Legal Entities, essential details are:

 

Title: OAUG General Ledger SIG
Time Sunday, 04:00 PM, Moscone West – 3005
Length 1 Hour
Abstract: The OAUG General Ledger SIG is a worldwide community of professionals engaged in the use of record-to-report business processes. Group members are business users, consultants, and support members engaged in the use of Oracle General Ledger.

This session focuses on Oracle Fusion Financials’ General Ledger feature, the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12+ update, and the Oracle Financials release roadmap.

I have just started to think about preparing slides and I thought that rather than actually work on them, I would blog and see if anyone had ideas on the type of thing I should talk about (the hip crowd would call it crowd sourcing).  It’s been almost 4 years since that post, so let me know in the comments what more information you would like on Legal Entities in Oracle Apps.

The comments section is just down below, past all the widgets asking you to like the post and share it…

First Report from Collaborate 11

Last week week I attended Collaborate 11 in Orlando, Florida.  It’s the big Oracle technology and applications user group conference and  I was attending for the first time, invited to speak at the GL Special Interest Group (GL SIG), who go beyond GL and focus on the entire record to report business flow.  I presented at two sessions on the Fusion Apps Record to Report flow and did some demos of Fusion.

I was slightly surprised and mildly embarrassed that several people ‘recognized’ me from this blog, it good to here that people enjoy reading it and more importantly find it a helpful resource.  Many people asked when I would start blogging about Fusion, considering it has been discussed and talked about and shown extensively at Open World last year and again at Collaborate.  The answer is not yet, firstly I think most people are really interested in R12 right now given the number of people recently upgraded, in the process of upgrading or planning for an upgrade, secondly I’m not risking any issues regarding revenue recognition and other problems talking about things which are not released.

I did also attend and speak at some R12 sessions and for the AGIS session run by Alyssa Johnson I somewhat hijacked it during the Q&A but Alyssa did a great job and I’m hoping she will send me the slides.  I was impressed to see the knowledge around on R12 now and there are plenty of consultants with good experience sharing specific examples and giving advice to people who are in the process of upgrading.  This knowledge sharing inspired me to get back on this blog, so I am determined to try and get a few more useful posts out there and start some good conversations in the comments.  So watch this space.