A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant


Monday, September 20, 2004

Oracle OpenWorld DEMOgrounds visit – Internal Controls Manager

On Tuesday 7th September 2004 I paid a visit to DemoGrounds at Oracle OpenWorld and took a look at Oracle Internal Controls Manager, here’s a summary of my findings.

I have to say I quite like this product as well as the idea and concept behind it. Internal Controls Manager (ICM) has been developed so that it can assist organisations that are trying to ensure they comply with the new requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 as well as increased adoption of International Accounting Standards (IAS). Internal Controls Manager comes standard with 11i10 but not 11i9 (you have to patch up a standard 11.5.9 install to get ICM working).

According to the demonstrator there are only about 160 people implementing it and most of those customers are in the USA. The various brochures, fact sheets and documentation I was given to read indicated that Oracle was one of the first ERP Vendors to come out with a product like this. A product flash leaflet I was given at the DEMOgrounds entitled An Ounce of Prevention - Oracle Internal Controls Manager by Scott Tiazkun of IDC had the following to say: -

The product of work with customers and design partners PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte and Touche to give it that user-tested and partner-approved feel, the Oracle application is aimed specifically at facilitating compliance with Sections 302 and 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley. Section 302 requires particular employees to state that their internal controls are effective. Section 404 requires them to attest that a company attains standards similar to those set by The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO), a Congressional commission subcommittee on internal controls. This is in addition to the external auditors certification and review of the same issues.

Oracle ICM is used in conjunction with Oracle Workflow, a modelling tool already in the E-Business Suite that allows users to design internal business processes and store them in a repository. Oracle ICM monitors these processes to ensure they are performed as designed. If deviations occur, automatic alerts are sent to designated personnel. Oracle ICM allows users to catalog and track risk factors that might impact financial statements and includes Oracle Tutor to document policies and procedures. The product also uses iSurvey as a mechanism to conduct questionairre-based assessments and also to support anonymous feedback to provide "whistleblower" support. The application provides users with an auditing portal-type work screen, where users can submit audit findings and issue audit reports, manage process documentation, document business process variations, and review compliance status of financial statements, reconciliation status and overall enterprise compliance status.

The Oracle Internal Controls Manager Home Page

The Oracle Internal Controls Manager Home Page

In a nutshell the Controls Manager allows you to take a look at the processes within your organisation, determine the risks at each point within a process and specify controls which should mitigate the risks. Oracle has integrated ICM very well into the E-Business Suite and this is the beauty of the product. Firstly ICM links with Oracle Projects so that if you are going to conduct an audit you can treat it as a project which is appropriately costed and allocated the right resources. Secondly it integrates with Tutor in a manner that allows you to import your Oracle Tutor process documentation into the module. Lastly, where you don’t have any process documentation prepared in Tutor, an interface is available with Web ADI that provides you with templates where you can capture process, risk and control information for subsequent import into ICM.

I’m hoping to have a chance to implement this product in the future and would certainly be interested in receiving contributions from readers or implementor’s relating to this module.

Some comments on Oracle OpenWorld London

This post contains some general comments on Oracle OpenWorld London recently held at the Excel Conference and Exhibition Centre.

I had the pleasure of attending Oracle OpenWorld London which took place on the 6th - 8th of September 2004. On this site over the next few days, I will be discussing some of the things I did and saw at the conference. One of the first things that always intrigues me when registering is the conference bag. It’s kind of like those lucky dip packets you get from Father Christmas when you’re a kid - lot’s of goodies in side. I’m amazed at the different types of goodies and gadgets they come up with every year (most of which serve no useful purpose) as well as the different designs and types of conference bags that are distributed. I’ve been attending these conferences for many years now and I have a collection of about 6 or 7 bags in my cupboard - not one of them is the same! These bags tend to be nice for carrying laptops but my existing laptop has a 17 inch monitor and won’t fit in any of them. Still I always manage to find some use for them.

The Oracle OpenWorld Conference Bag

The Conference Bag for this year's London Oracle OpenWorld Conference

The conference was held at the ExCel Conference and Exhibition Centre, which is in the heart of the London Docklands on the East side of London. The conference centre and the facilities were really good. This Conference centre is quite similar to the San Diego Convention Center where I have attended various Oracle Appsworld and OAUG conferences - the feel of these two centres is very much the same since the SCC is right on the San Diego Harbour and the Excel Conference Centre is right next to the Thames.

The entrance to the ExCel Exhibition and Conference Centre at the London Docklands

The ExCel Conference Centre where Oracle OpenWorld London was held

The Millenium Dome and London Docklands as seen from the Excel Exhibition and Conference Centre

The London Docklands and Millenium Dome right next to the Thames River on the East side of London

The first thing that struck me about this conference was the sheer size of it as the attendance at the conference was very high. I’m not sure of the actual numbers but think I can safely say there were more than 5,000 people in attendance. I thought I would certainly bump into people I new, but finding people in the sea of faces proved to be very difficult. The speakers at the sessions I attended were really good (will be doing write-ups on these sessions in a day or two) and the DEMOgrounds and Exhibition Hall had some interesting stuff to take a look at. You can download conference presentations and white papers which are organised according to the following Focus Areas: -

  • Industries
    • Automotive
    • Communications
    • Financial Services
    • Healthcare
    • Pharmaceuticals
    • Professional Services
    • Public Sector
    • Retail
    • Trade and Wholesale
    • Transportation Utilities
  • Line of Business
    • Business Intelligence
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    • Financials
    • Human Resources
    • Manufacturing
    • Projects
    • Supply Chain Management
  • Oracle Services
  • Small and Midsize Enterprises
  • Technology
    • Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing
    • Oracle Application Development Tools 10g
    • Oracle Application Server 10g
    • Oracle Collaboration Suite
    • Oracle Database 10g
    • Oracle E-Business Suite Technology

If you missed the conference and are interested in seeing some snapshots of the event you can find them here. Keynotes can also be viewed online.

Room for improvement

It’s always useful to compare an event with other’s I’ve attended. Being an avid Internet surfer and having a laptop with in built wireless support means I like to use this feature as often as I get the chance. All the big conferences I have attended in the States had wireless hotpots and you could essentially access the Internet from anywhere within the conference building. This did not hold true for the London Conference - I could pick up a few wireless networks but access to them was restricted. To access the Internet you had to stand in a queue to have get on to a PC - hopefully it will be different next time. I also felt the DEMOgrounds were a bit small, it was really difficult to get to see anything as there were so many people wanting to take a look at the new stuff coming out (despite this I did get a chance to take a look at Internal Controls Manager which I will be doing a write-up on shortly).

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Oracle OpenWorld - London Conference

I’ll be attending Oracle OpenWorld London and this post contains details of the sessions I will be attending and preparing write ups on.

I’m moving to the UK permanently on the 5th of September and was lucky enough get a Full Conference Complementary Pass for Oracle OpenWorld London, which is running at the ExCel Centre from the 6th - 8th of September 2004. I’ll spend my first 3 days in the UK having job interviews and also attending OpenWorld which is a rather nice way to spend my first days there. If any readers would be interested in meeting at the conference and chatting then fire a mail my way.

I’m hoping to provide comprehensive coverage of the conference on this blog by preparing write ups on the presentations and uploading some pictures and video clips - time permitting. I’m planning to take a look at a lot of the new features and products on offer in Oracle Applications, like 11i10 (11.5.10), Internal Controls Manager (ICM), Enterprise Planning and Budgeting (EPB) and Daily Business Intelligence (DBI). For the first time in my life, I’ve used the conference schedule builder provided on the OpenWorld web site to ascertain which presentations I would like to attend as I’ve decided to try and be a bit more organised this time around. My programme is looking as follows: -

Monday 6th September 2004
  • Keynote: Utility Computing - are we there yet? - John Manley, Director, Application Services Department, HP Laboratories Bristol and Peter Hindle, Enterprise Solutions, Business Manager, HP UK
  • Session 7648: Financials Best Practices - Steve Miranda, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7646: Increasing Control: Centrally Managing Statutory Requirements and Corporate Policy Compliance - Michelle Maden and Olivier Arthus, Oracle Corporation


Tuesday 7th September 2004
  • Keynote: Protecting Your Assets: While Spending Less and Storing More - Tim Pitcher, Vice President, Northern Europe & Middle East, Network Appliance, Inc.
  • Session 7606: Beyond E-Government - Iain Campbell and Ian Watmore, Oracle Corporation.
  • Session 7396: Lean Asset Lifecycle Management - Robert Brown, Georg Reindl and Kenneth Mitchell, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7226: Customer Data Hub and Oracle Information Architecture (OIA) - Steve Miranda, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7995: Oracle Application Implementation Methodology (AIM) and EMC Proven Solutions - David Clarke, EMC Corporation


Wednesday 8th September 2004
  • Keynote: Transformation of Industry through Technology - Tom Garrison, Director of Enterprise Marketing, Intel EMEA
  • Session 7650: General Ledger: Improve the Transparency and Auditability of Your Corporation - Rob Zwiebach, Oracle Corporation
  • Session 7652: Revenue and Receivables Management: Instill Strong Corporate and Fiscal Discipline - Fred Studer, Oracle Corporation

Mmm… I notice Larry is not giving a keynote, he must be going sailing 😊

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Oracle User Group Feature - the New Zealand Oracle User Group (NZOUG)

This post contains a review of the New Zealand Oracle User Group Website and also highlights key presentations and white papers from their 2004 conference which are available for download.

According to their site,

The New Zealand Oracle Users Group was founded in 1989. In our early years we were part of the Australia New Zealand Oracle User Group (ANZORA). But in 1997 we decided to sever the ties with Australia and we are now a separate group.

This group is for all Oracle users and is a forum to share ideas and interests. We are always open to new ideas about how we can improve the NZOUG so please email through your ideas to a member of the committee.

The most recent User Group conference ran from 25-27 May 2004 and papers were presented according to the streams of Executive, Applications, Technology and Training. I’ve taken a brief look at some of the papers that are available for download and the quality seems to be quite good. As and when I get a chance to take a detailed look, I will write up a detailed review on this site. Highlights from the applications section are as follows: -

Thanks to Gilbert Leblanc (who has an Oracle ERP Blog in French) for pointing me in the direction of this site.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

UK Oracle User Group Conference Agenda now available

This post contains a link to the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) Conference agenda and highlights the key presentations that an Apps consultant might want to attend.

At this site you can read the detailed Agenda for the UK Oracle User Group Conference which is taking place at the Birmingham International Conference Centre (ICC) from the 1st - 3rd of November 2004. The site lists the presentations by categories of Applications, Business and Management, Oracle Partner, Technology Other, Technology DBA, Technology RAC/Grid and Keynotes. You can also read the presentation abstracts as well as create a personalised conference agenda. If you’re planning to attend, mail me and we can make a plan to meet and chat.

Personally I will be delivering two papers, the details of which are as follows: -

Session Title:

Audit Considerations for your 11i implementation.


1st November 15:55 PM, for 45 minutes.

Presentation Abstract:

In any ERP implementation, review and audit is an inevitable part of the implementation process. This is particularly true today with the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and other worldwide initiatives to enhance corporate governance. This presentation identifies how to implement 11i in a manner that meets the control requirements of your auditors, both internal and external. Initially I will examine the reasons for auditing such systems and will then look at common problems encountered during audit and review exercises. In answer to the problems experienced the high level Oracle solution will be outlined and we will then take a look at specific auditing and review features embedded in the 11i E-Business Suite.

Session Title:

The beauty of Oracle’s web enabled applications.


2nd November 9:00 AM, for 60 minutes.

Presentation Abstract:

Demand for web services is growing and Oracle has adapted to and even pre-empted this requirement by web enabling their entire range of software. This presentation highlights what web offerings are available for Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI), Oracle Financial Analyzer (OFA) and Oracle Discoverer. It will also explore how these products interact with each other to provide sophisticated query, analysis and reporting functionality on organisational information.

The architecture of these web solutions will be discussed followed by the steps involved in setting up and configuring the web interface for each of these products.

Lastly, the single sign on functionality will be examined.

Conference Presentation Highlights

I’ve highlighted some of the presentations that you might want to attend if you are an Apps consultant with a functional orientation like myself. Most of these presentations are from the Applications and Business & Management categories. At the moment it represents my shortlist although it will obviously have to become a lot shorter. I intend to be doing write-ups and reviews on this blog for all the presentations I will be attending. Looks like it will be frantic on Monday and Tuesday whilst things will slow down on Wednesday on the functional side. If any readers are attending and would like to also contribute to this blog presentation reviews and comments I would very much appreciate this. I’m also going to try and get some of the presenter’s to publish their papers on this site so hopefully I will have fairly comprehensive coverage of the conference.


Monday 1st November 2004
  • Approvals Management Within Your Enterprise - Bill Kerr, Oracle Corporation
  • Automating Integration with your Supply Chain/Trading Partners - Adam Boczkowski, Reuters
  • Catalogue Content - experiences and the way forward - Andrew Douglas, Oracle
  • Oracle Tutor in a Multi Lingual Environment - Jay Dunford, Sopra Group
  • Completing the paperless buy to pay process - Anthony Woods, Edenbrook
  • Why IT Projects Fail – and How to Avoid It - Sten Vesterli, scott/tiger
  • Developing Advanced Business Intelligence Applications with Oracle OLAP
  • Oracle Configurator - Ravindra Vitankar, Capgemini UK PLc
  • Big IT Projects - Christopher Frost, EDS
  • e-procurement in the 21st Century: A case study - Catherine Murphy, Version One Limited
  • Quote Management Systems using Oracle Quoting - Kirit Goyal, GE Capital
  • Converting Data Conversion – Minimising risks and costs - Sarah Keeling, Edenbrook
  • Leverage features of Encumbrance Accounting in Oracle e-Business Suite - Tarun Wasan, Accenture
  • How do I cut and paste that into Excel? - Simon Goldsmith, Edenbrook
  • Set Up a Successful Reporting Solution with Oracle Discoverer & Other Tools - Evan Schulz, Noetix Corporation
  • Bespoke Oracle eBusiness Suite – Unnecessary evil or a way to real business benefits? - Kevin Saunders, Freelance


Tuesday 2nd November 2004
  • Managing E-Business Suite Configuration and Environments - Andy Harriss, Compelsysao
  • Achievable No PO No Pay – I don’t believe you! - David Golding, Edenbrook
  • HRMS Administration using Web ADI - Alison Venner, Compelsysao
  • Advanced Pricing : some business examples - Mike Turner, Unilog Ltd
  • Breaking Down The Functional Barriers: Shared Data At The Heart Of ERP - Marcus Glover, Vodafone plc
  • ORACLE TREASURY 11.5.9 – Real Implementation Experience - Mark Skilton, Edenbrook
  • Why Oracle Process Manufacturing? - Gary Figgins, Sopra Group Ltd
  • Linux in the Enterprise - James Morle, Scale Abilities Ltd
  • Oracle Integration
  • Enterprise Planning & Budgeting (EPB) - The Real Deal - Ian Hayman, inGroup
  • VAT Reporting - Tom King, Unilog
  • Does Oracle Financials Really Provide Business Intelligence? - Gary Horrocks, Teamsolve Ltd
  • Thales Missile Electronics eliminates profit erosion with Mestec’s Manufacturing Execution System - Jeremy Harford, Mestec Ltd
  • Oracle’s Enterprise Project Management Solution - Jim Snelson, Oracle Corporation UK
  • Automate Intrastat reporting with Inventory Movement Statistics - Shelly-Ann Scott, Deloitte Consulting

Now here’s an interesting one - Midge Ure of Ultravox (an 80’s band) will be giving a motivational talk. I just bought the Ultravox Greatest hit’s CD for US$6.50 at our local music store (about a third of the normal price) so I’ll definitely be making an effort to attend this presentation.


Wednesday 3rd November 2004
  • Custom Reports Vs. Discoverer Queries - Identifying the appropriate reporting tool - Louise Shaw, Edenbrook Solutions Ltd
  • CPM - Dream or reality - Jon Page, Oracle
  • Oracle Balanced Scorecard – From Monitoring to Management - Chris Hett, Fujitsu

Page 4 of 5 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 >