A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant


Thursday, April 14, 2005

SAOUG 2005 Conference - call for papers now open

I recently stumbled across the announcement that the call for papers at the South African Oracle User Group (SAOUG) Conference is now open. This post contains details of the conference and paper submission guidelines and advice.

I was interested to see that this year the South African Oracle User Group Conference is being held at Caesars in Johannesburg. In all the years I’ve been implementing Oracle the conferences have always been held at Sun City so it’s nice that they’ve changed to a different venue this year.

According to the conference page on the SAOUG site, this years conference theme is ‘Mind The Gap’, which is much more than just a warning about the ‘gap’ between a carriage and the platform that you will hear at the London underground, in this case it also refers to the ‘gap’ where failure to integrate IT systems into the organisation’s culture is proven to be extremely dangerous.

The site also states: -

The theme and focus of this year’s event will be on:

  • Aligning business strategies with IT
  • How to bridge the gap from strategy to implementation
  • Closing the gap between Business & IT
  • Closing the gap between Oracle functionality and application in the business environment

Paper Submission Guidelines, Advice and Examples

The call for papers closes on the 6th of May 2005. You will find that the SAOUG requires more detailed abstracts than other conferences, like the UKOUG. This year, the paper submission requirements are as follows: -

  • An abstract of 200 - 300 words to fit on one page (For use in selecting presentation)
  • A précis of approximately 40- 50 words. If selected, the information will be used in conference promotional literature and the conference brochure
  • Speaker biographical information 40 - 50 words
  • Concise details of previous speaking experience
  • Signed and completed application form
  • If selected, a colour photograph of the presenter(s) will be required
  • Your presentation must be of benefit to the Oracle user and not used for marketing purposes
  • Presentations on site should be in PowerPoint format or similar. No presentations based on Overhead projector slides will be accepted

I spoke at the SAOUG Conference in 2003 on Designing an effective Chart of Accounts Structure with Oracle Applications and below I’ve given below an example of 2 of the 7 abstracts that I submitted to the conference organiser’s. You can also download my full listing of abstracts for this conference on my personal site. If you’ve ever spoken at an Oracle conference and are reading this post I would certainly be interested in posting your abstracts on this blog so that other readers can benefit by seeing a variety of examples.

Designing an effective Chart of Accounts Structure with Oracle Applications

An abstract of 100 – 250 words to fit on one page

This session will cover why an effective chart of accounts should be designed and then looks at how the unique capabilities of the Oracle Applications system enable the organisation to achieve an effective chart of accounts design.

The speaker will propose that a 3-step process be used to design your chart of accounts. Firstly generic design issues should be considered. These are issues that would normally be considered when designing charts of account irrespective of the system type. The main idea presented here will be that the reporting requirements of the organisation should drive the design of the chart of accounts design and not the other way around.

Secondly specific organisation, industry and country factors should be considered when designing the chart of accounts. Different types of organisations will all use different chart of account structures as a result of varying reporting requirements. There may also be within certain industries standards that are generally accepted and practised. Government regulations within certain countries can also dictate how accounts are to be structured.

Lastly, a large portion of the discussion will focus on the functionality that Oracle Applications offers to users and how this meets the business requirements. Topics of discussion will be the set of books and segment structure, security rules and cross validation. Advice and examples will be disseminated to attendees’ throughout the presentation based on implementation experiences.

A précis of approximately 40 words

An effective chart of accounts design can have a significant impact on the success of any applications implementation. This presentation covers why an effective chart of accounts should be designed and looks at how the unique capabilities of the Oracle Applications system can enable organisations to achieve an effective chart of accounts design.

Implementation Guidelines and Best Practises for Oracle Public Sector Budgeting

An abstract of 100 – 250 words to fit on one page

Oracle Public Sector Budgeting is a proactive management application designed to support the unique requirements of public sector entities. In this first part of this session the speaker will present a conceptual framework and set of best practises for budgeting in the Public Sector Organisations. This will entail a presentation to the attendees of the processes for each “business” area and the relevant people who should be involved at each stage.

The second half of this presentation will identify how the unique capabilities of the Oracle system should be utilised so as to achieve implementation success. Here a high level overview of the Oracle processes for each module will be mapped against the set of best practices outlined in the first part of the presentation. At each stage of the presentation new product features will be outlined and implementation examples and experiences will be related.

A précis of approximately 40 words

The first part of this session will present a conceptual framework and set of best practises for budgeting in Public Sector Organisations. The speaker will then highlight how these practises can be attained using the unique capabilities of the Oracle Public Sector Budgeting System.

Speaker Biographical Information

An example of the biography I submitted is as follows: -

Richard Byrom is an Oracle Applications Consultant with RPC Data Ltd., an Oracle Certified Advantage Partner located in Botswana. He has seven years of experience consulting for various professional firms within the Southern Africa Region. Richard has designed E-Business Strategies as well as performed Executive Information Systems, Business Intelligence and ERP implementations within a number of different industries using several different software products and platforms.

An accounting background has enabled him to understand the complexities involved in implementing financial systems. Richard has also presented papers at numerous national and international conferences and contributes to leading journals. He can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Concise details of previous speaking experience

This is an example of how I specified what my speaking experience was: -

Organisation: Oracle

Presented the following papers in January 2003 to Appsworld San Diego, California: -

  • Get More Out Of 11i With Oracle ADI
  • Designing An Effective Chart Of Accounts Structure Using Oracle Applications
  • It’s Month End, Now Comes The Reconciliation Crunch!

Organisation: UK Oracle User Group

  • Published Article in March 2003 issue of Oracle Scene “Enhance your project documentation process with AIM.”
  • Paper in 2002 – “Designing an Effective Chart of Accounts Structure with Oracle Applications.”
  • Published Article in December 2002 issue of Oracle Scene “It’s Month End, Now Comes The Reconciliation Crunch!”

Organisation: RPC Data (Oracle Certified Advantage Partner)

  • Pre-Sales Presentations for Oracle Discover, Applications Desktop Integrator, Oracle Financial Analyzer and E-business Suite
  • Paper in 2002 at the 13th check seminar in Botswana – “Oracle General Ledger Interface with Human Resources”
  • Paper in 2002 to the members of the Botswana Institute of Accountants – “How ERP systems add value to the Procurement Process”
  • Training Courses for Oracle E-Business Suite

Organisation: PricewaterhouseCoopers

  • Presentation of Financial Consolidation system to the Management of TA Holdings Zimbabwe
  • BaaN Financials presentation to the management of Anglo American Head Office Zimbabwe
  • BaaN Cash Management and Financial Statements presentation to the management of Mazoe Citrus Estates Zimbabwe.
  • BaaN Financials presentation to the management of Zimbabwe Newspapers
  • Training Courses for BaaN Financials in all Financials Modules

Organisation: Deloitte and Touche – Business Development Services

  • Executive Information Systems presentation to the Divisions of Delta Corporation in Zimbabwe
  • Executive Information Systems presentation at the Delta Management Development programme in Zimbabwe
  • Training Courses for Executive Information System

Thursday, March 31, 2005

UKOUG 2005 Conference - call for papers now open

I got an e-mail from Marios Chrysanthou (Events Organiser for the UKOUG) a couple of weeks back informing me that the call for papers at the UKOUG conference is now open. I was hoping to write a post on the conference then but have only just got around to it now. This blog contains details of the conference and paper submission information.

This year the conference theme is Navigate your way with Oracle and the conference will be running from the 31st of October to 2nd of November 2005 at the Birmingham International Convention Centre (ICC). According to the conference website: -

The UKOUG aims to provide it’s members and the Oracle community with the highest quality conference. Over 2,000 delegates attended 200 presentations, panels and workshops at last year’s event, and with your assistance and contribution, we aim to make UKOUG 2005 an even greater success.

The conference organisers have also opened their arms to participants from J.D. Edwards and Peoplesoft - hopefully this means we will see some presentations which indicate what technologies and procedures will be used to merge these products into the Oracle eBS.

Important Deadlines

For those submitting planning to submit papers these are the most important dates to remember: -

  • Abstracts to be submitted by: 22nd April 2005
  • Accepted Presenters notified: mid June 2005
  • Full presentations submitted: 14th October 2005

Oracle Conference Paper Abstract Examples

I thought it would be useful to readers if I gave some examples of conference paper abstracts. I know that when I first started making submissions to conferences about 4 years back I tried to get a hold of as many examples as I could so that I could get an idea of the terminology used in paper abstracts. Below I’ve documented the submissions I made for the UKOUG Conference in 2004 of which two were accepted, namely The Beauty of Oracle’s Web Enabled Applications and Audit Considerations for your 11i implementation. You can also download these abstracts as a word document from this link on

If I’m submitting papers to a fairly large conference like the United Kingdom Oracle User Group (UKOUG), I normally make at least 10 different submissions - I work on the principle that the more times you try, the luckier you get. Obviously, your chances of getting accepted to speak are not very high if you only submit one or two papers. When I first starting submitting papers for such events I used to submit one or two and would be quite disappointed when I wasn’t accepted. However, I soon discovered that one of the secrets to being accepted (especially if you are an unknown) was having a large number of varied abstracts i.e. don’t just cover one particular area or module of Oracle. If you only know one module or area then try and write abstracts that look at the different areas of that module or product.

For the UKOUG Conference you will typically be required to submit an abstract which is about 200 words in length. I’ve found the best way to get your abstract this length is compose it in word and then on the file menu choose properties and select the statistics tab - this tab will tell you the exact number of words you have used for your submission. By the way, if you would like me to present on any of these topics to your organisation then contact me and we can set up a meeting time. Here’s the abstracts: -

Enhance your implementation process with Oracle Applications Implementation Methodology

Demands for faster and better implementations are continuously increasing. This presentation will show how Oracle Applications Implementation Methodology (AIM) meets the demand for quicker, more efficient business system implementations. While traditional implementations make it difficult to realise business benefits quickly, the use of AIM’s core and optional tasks automatically define the fastest route by focusing on those tasks that are most relevant to the implementation. By eliminating any unnecessary tasks from your project, you reduce the implementation time frame.

Ensuring the implementation process is appropriately documented is also important – AIM provides generic project management document templates as well as templates specific to Oracle Applications implementations. The presenter will illustrate this by highlighting key deliverables and documentation templates the AIM software provides as well as giving practical advice based on implementation experiences.

It’s month end, now comes the reconciliation crunch!

This presentation emphasises the importance of performing reconciliations for your financial and operational systems on a regular basis. Setup issues that impact an organisations ability to reconcile as well as pertinent reports and tools that can be used in the reconciliation process will also be demonstrated.

A three-step approach will be taken. Firstly we will look at what should be reconciled, why we should reconcile and how effective reconciliations can be performed. Secondly, we will look at how setup issues within the General Ledger and Sub Ledgers can have an impact on the reconciliation process and factors to consider when setting up that could impact your ability to reconcile. Lastly, relevant reports will be highlighted to users based on the presenter’s experience in systems reconciliations.

In conclusion, the importance of performing month end closing procedures for your system will be emphasised and suggested approaches for doing this will be outlined.

Get more out of 11i with Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI)

Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI) is a fantastic tool with a wide variety of features usable by many 11i modules. This presentation discusses the account hierarchy editor, security model, and Web ADI components of the product. Although the account hierarchy editor is not widely used, the speaker will demonstrate the account hierarchy editor’s potential for graphically creating, maintaining, and reviewing account structure hierarchies.

With ADI’s increased proliferation across the organisation, security should be a concern. Hence the session also addresses how your organisation should use and set up functional and profile security.

Lastly, the presenter will examine how Web ADI broadens the software’s functionality by leveraging the Internet Computing Architecture (ICA). With this being the main focus of the presentation, the speaker will highlight how Oracle is improving ADI’s functionality by web enabling various components of the product.

Maximise your Return on Implementation Investment with Oracle Tutor

The corporate functions of any business consist of Commerce, Knowledge Management and Business Operations. This presentation will identify how implementing Oracle Tutor adds value to each of the functions mentioned, hence increasing the Return on Investment for your implementation.

Firstly, the standard Tutor procedure documents and business forms will be analysed and discussed. Secondly, the ability to customise procedure documentation and to create personalised training material will be shown. Lastly, the use of the Authoring tool to create customised help will be discussed and demonstrated. At each stage of the analysis the presenter will highlight new functionality that has been introduced to the product as well as provide advice based on implementation experiences.

Successful methodologies for effective data take on

Without a structured approach to data take on the implementation is likely to run aground. This presentation will outline a three-step approach to taking on data. Firstly, the take on should be appropriately planned. This entails understanding the take on tools to be used, the data types involved and the timing of the take on exercise.

Secondly the infrastructure of the modules should be designed and implemented to cater for the data take on (main area of focus). Here, various setup options which affect the taking on of master and transactional data will be considered.

Lastly the actual data should be taken on using an Extract, Translate/Clean and Load process – here the presenter will look at non-technical data take on methods including the use of Oracle Applications Desktop Integrator (ADI) and DataLoader.

The beauty of Oracle’s web enabled applications

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.

Keys to building effective Property Management solutions in 11i

This presentation demonstrates how Oracle Property Manager provides a comprehensive real estate management solution which automates and enhances properties definition, space utilisation management and lease administration. It will highlight how Property Manager effectively supports lease execution from both the owner and leaseholder perspectives as well as how it integrates with Payables and Receivables.

Also discussed will be key implementation considerations and the latest features introduced into the module.

Audit considerations for your 11i implementation

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.

Take the pain out of Public Sector Budgeting Implementation Setups

Oracle Public Sector Budgeting is a proactive management application designed to support the unique requirements of public sector entities. This presentation will highlight the key setup steps in a PSB implementation for both Position and Non Position Budgeting. Procedures for configuring the Excel spreadsheet interface will also be outlined. Practical solutions and workarounds will be provided based on implementation experiences.

Enhance your organisations budgeting process with Oracle Financial Analyzer

This session will teach how OFA supports the budgeting process within an organisation. Specific consideration will be to the OFA web interface and Excel Spreadsheet Add-in. The GL write back functionality will also be looked at for instances where OFA is implemented on top of Oracle Applications.