Is Your Job At Risk Of Automation?

Last week I blogged about Automated Accountants, which was discussing chatbot use cases rather than full automation of a person. However the concept of automating what knowledge workers do today to the point were we really do have a fully automated accountant is something I have been researching too.

I had a twitter discussion with Vinnie Mirchandani (@dealarchitect) about automation as he is authoring a book on the subject.  I agree with him that dirty and dangerous jobs are the first candidates for automation, but I also believe knowledge jobs are good candidates too and it will happen faster than many expect.  In the world of finance we have seen continual adoption of technology to move us from paper based Ledgers to highly automated cloud accounting software with integrated reporting, social networks, mobile etc. I think the pace of change will accelerate because new technology is now so easy to adopt in the cloud and innovations are rolled out faster than ever before.  So automation will happen quicker for those corporations that are already adopting these cloud based business applications.

I came across an interesting article on the BBC entitled Will a Robot Take My Job? which has some nice tools to let you search for your job and determine how likely it is to be automated and despite my earlier assertions I was surprised that accounting professions were so high on the list of those that would be automated.  You can see my summary graphic below

automation

The full report from Oxford University’s Martin School is worth a read as it goes into a lot of detail of skills that are hard for a machine to replicate and those that are easier so you can understand the reasoning behind the ratings.  My profession in software development has a pretty low chance of being automated, I have to come up with original ideas and negotiate and these are things it is harder (at the moment) for machines to automate but it might just be a matter of time.

This will not happen in one shot, but over time more and more tasks will be automated, which is good because it will give is some time to think about the much bigger issue; what do we do now so much of what we as a workforce do is automated?  The common wisdom is the workers will gradually move to work on higher value tasks that cannot easily be automated and drive greater and greater value.  There is a lot of evidence to support this, but that discussion probably deserves a blog post of it’s own.

Oracle OpenWorld 2016 My Cloud ERP Sessions

  • oow-logo-2015

    OpenWorld is this month, so time to start planning your agenda.  I’ll be presenting at a few different sessions this year with a focus on Financials Cloud (Part of the ERP Cloud) and E-Business Suite.

    I’m busy preparing for the first two sessions, hope to see you there.  Check out the content catalog for more details and to add them to your agenda.

    How Oracle E-Business Suite Customers Have Achieved Modern Reporting in the Cloud [CON7313]

    David Haimes, Senior Director, Financial Applciations Development, Oracle
    Sara Mannur, Financial Systems Analyst, Niagara Bottling
    This session discusses how to leverage powerful modern reporting tools with no disruption to your existing Oracle E-Business Suite implementation. You will learn the steps required to start using the cloud service. Customers who have implemented Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service share their implementation experiences and the business benefits they have realized.
    Conference Session
    Tuesday, Sep 20, 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Moscone West—3016

    Oracle ERP Cloud UX Extensibility: From Mystery to Magic [CON7312]

    David Haimes, Senior Director, Financial Applciations Development, Oracle
    Tim Dubois, Senior Director, Applications User Experience, Oracle
    The user experience (UX) design strategy of Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud (Oracle ERP Cloud)—including financials and product portfolio management—is about simplicity, mobility, and extensibility. Extensibility and admin personalization of Oracle ERP Cloud experiences include a range of tools, from a simplified approach for rebranding the applications, to match your company culture and image to page-level admin personalization and extension, to building your own simplified cloud application in platform as a service using the UX Rapid Development Kit (RDK). In this session, learn about RDK code samples, wireframing tools, and design patterns. Get a view into the RDK roadmap and where Oracle is going next. .
    Conference Session
    Thursday, Sep 22, 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Moscone West—3001

    Meet the Experts: Oracle Financials Cloud [MTE7784]

    Do not miss this opportunity to meet with Oracle Financials Cloud experts—the people who design and build the applications. In this session, you can have discussions regarding the Oracle Applications Cloud strategy and your specific business and IT strategy. The experts are available to discuss the value of the latest releases and share insights into the best path for your enterprise, so come ready with your questions.
    Meet the Experts Session
    Wednesday, Sep 21, 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Moscone West—3001A

What is FAHRCS?

FAHRCS (pronounced farks) is the de facto acronym for the officially titled Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service.  It Stands for Fusion Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service, which is quite difficult to say.  I have got pretty good at saying F.A.H.R.C.S quickly, but I think “farks” is probably the easiest.

If you are wondering what FAHRCS actually is, you can follow @FAHRCS on twitter, or check out https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/accounting-hub-reporting-cloud for official documentation.

I’ll be presenting about it at the Higher Education User Group Conference, Alliance16 in March and again at OAUG Collaborate16 in April.  So I hope to see you there and help you learn more about FAHRCS.

Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service

SunburstSo what is this new service and why was it such a big focus at Oracle OpenWorld this year?

  • It’s a very exciting opportunity to experience the powerful Financial Reporting innovations in our Cloud offerings without disruption to your existing ERP investments.
  • It’s a way to take advantage of the Simplified Financials Report Center, optimized for easy access to reports on your choice of mobile device
  • It includes the sunburst data visualization tool, which was my killer demo last week at OpenWorld (see screen shot)
  • It’s a way to move to cloud in an incremental manner, realizing business benefits quickly without disruption to your existing business processes and systems.
  • It has a companion EBusiness Suite feature (available on 12.1.3 and 12.2.4) that will push all your set up and GL Balances to your cloud service and generate reports automatically for you.  Giving you a zero configuration reporting solution for you EBS GL Balances data (watch out for more detailed posts on this soon)
  • It has web services to load General Ledger data from PeopleSoft, JDE Edwards or any other ERP system.
  • It’s a way to get your hands on the Oracle Social Network which is part of the platform our Cloud offerings are built on.

That’s a decent list to start with, but there are a few things that it isn’t which I should call out

  • It is not(yet) the Accounting Hub Integration Platform with all the rule based accounting transformations provided by Subledger Accounting Architecture (SLA)
  • It is not a new name designed to confuse you when we already have Financials Accounting Hub and Fusion Accounting Hub.

Look out for future posts going into more detail, or you can look at the cloud service page, which has important details such as pricing.

Socializing the Finance Department

I have been doing a presentation called ‘Socializing  the Finance Department‘ within Oracle and to our customers and partners for over a year.  It is a way to explain the business benefit of Oracle Social Network being part of the applications platform in our ERP Cloud service and I am finally getting ready to start blogging on this, it will probably be a theme I focus on quite a lot, because it is such a game changer in the way people use ERP applications and get their job done.

In this first post I want to set out by what we mean by social in this context.  We do not mean sharing details of our business process on twitter, or sharing pictures of our babies on facebook.  We do not mean more office parties or chatting about football around the water cooler.  We do mean collaborating with the right people, wherever they, are in the context of my transaction to complete my job.  We do mean having real time visibility into the collaboration happening to complete a business process.  We do mean have an audit trail of the conversations, supporting documents and decision making process that supported transactions in our system, right there embedded as part of the transaction or business process.

In my experience, all of the above benefits tend to resonate very well with customers and they want to see more.  Below is a screen shot from the desktop Oracle Social Network showing the period close process, it should give you an idea of what is to come.

OSN Period Close

Now the pressure is on me to get more blog posts out on this topic.  Comments welcome below…

Oracle Cloud Marketplace

If you are an Oracle Cloud customer or a partner, or are considering becoming one, or if you are just interested, you should check out the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.  It follows the type App Store type model that you are probably familiar with, but this is for cloud based enterprise apps.

oracle cloud marketplaceI am always inspired by the innovation that comes from the Oracle partners, it drives me to try and keep innovating in the products Oracle produces and that is how the ecosystem should work.  I see a lot of content on their already and I plan to try out some of the free apps over the next days and weeks, maybe I will do reviews of anything I find particularly interesting.  However you shouldn’t wait for my reviews, get over there now and check out the content, post in the comments to discuss what you find.

Catch me at Oracle OpenWorld 2013

Just a quick post to list out the sessions I’ll be involved in presenting this year at Oracle OpenWorld.  I will also be active on twitter as we approach the conference and during the week itself, look for the #OOW hashtag and follow me.

Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud Service and Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub [CON9815]  – Wednesday, Sep 25, 1:15 PM – 2:15 PM – Marriott Marquis – Foothill F

This is part of the Partner Network Exchange, I am pretty excited about it because I firmly believe we can enable partners to provide fast, and high quality implementations for customers with our Rapid Implementation tools and the ERP Cloud service.

Get up and running on Oracle Fusion Financials at the speed of the cloud with the Oracle Fusion Financials rapid implementation tools. Upload tools enable you to upload repetitive entries such as the chart of accounts directly from Excel to Oracle Fusion Financials Cloud Service. Oracle Fusion Functional Setup Manager guides you through the essential steps for setting up and configuring your applications, using the most-common features and best practices considerations. Also discover how Oracle Fusion Accounting Hub addresses common problems such as integrating accounting from Oracle as well as non-Oracle applications. All of this will enable your customers to reap the benefits of Oracle Fusion in the cloud or on-premises faster than ever.

Oracle Fusion Applications: Social Collaboration and Mobile for ERP [CON9553] – Tuesday, Sep 24, 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM – Moscone West – 3022

Social and mobile are areas where the enterprise software industry is seeing some exciting innovation that drives productivity and business benefit.  I’m presenting with John Killen and we want to show you how your organization can make best use of the features in Fusion ERP suite.  We have a lot of product to show, so there will be more demo and less powerpoint, there will be no snoozing in this session.

Learn how Oracle Fusion solutions for social networking and mobile can help ERP organizations boost user productivity and increase user adoption. Oracle Fusion ERP applications are optimized for today’s collaborative, hyperconnected, mobile workforce and enable new levels of productivity and collaboration for finance, procurement, and project portfolio management teams. This session highlights the ways your company can increase performance and alignment across ERP organizations and related business processes.

I will also be talking on Sunday at the OAUG GL SIG meeting, the topic will be the upgrade to Ebusiness Suite R12 Subleger Accounting (SLA).  Which is a hot topic whenever I talk to customers, there is a lot of power in SLA and I think people are pretty excited about it and realizing some quick gains from it’s power.

I’m going to be pretty busy preparing for these presentations, but I’d like to find time to blog about some of the other things I’ll be attending or I think are interesting to followers of this blog.  Watch this space.