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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Oracle Business Accelerators (OBA) for E-Business Suite

Towards the end of last year I blogged about the Oracle Accelerate programme. The first step required to participate in the programme is to complete the Oracle Business Accelerators for Oracle E-Business Suite Accelerators Overview Course available on i-learning. The purpose of this course is to:

  • Provide an overview of the Oracle Business Accelerators
  • Familiarize you with the Accelerators Online Portal 
  • Mandatory for all users of Oracle Business Accelerators
  • Gain Access to online portal after successful completion

According to the course, the goal of Oracle Business Accelerators (OBA) is to use industry targeted leading practice business flows to rapidly get to transaction testing and go live.

How do the Accelerators work?

  1. Using the Accelerators Online Portal capture information from Customers and generate configuration instructions
  2. Within E-Business Suite - download configuration instructions and load setups to instance

Essentially, Accelerators allow you to generate your systems configuration instructions based on a series of questions presented to the Customer that pertain to their industry. Once the configuration instructions are generated they can be loaded onto an Oracle instance to create the setups. In essence,  the setup of an Oracle instance is faster as there is now more automation involved. There are varying access levels for the accelerator online portal and these are outlined below. For each level courses have to be taken to gain access.

Level 1 Browse

This gives you access to the following:

  • Datasheets
  • Solution Footprint
  • Process Models
  • Sales Pitch
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Functionality Overview
  • Industry Business Case
  • Videos and FAQ
  • Project Implementation Guide
  • Setup Guide and Video
  • Setup Tool Save Mode Off

To attain level 1 status the following courses have to be undertaken:

  • Overview - 30 minutes
  • How to Position - 30 minutes (optional) 
  • Industry Business Case - 30 minutes (optional)

Level 2 Browse

This gives you access to the following:

  • Includes Level 1
  • Implementation Guidelines
  • Setup Questions
  • Key Assumptions
  • Testing Sequence
  • Setup Tool Save Mode Off

To attain level 2 status the following courses have to be undertaken:

  • Implementation Overview - 30 minutes

Level 3 “Project Workspace” (per industry)

This gives you access to the following:

  • Includes Level 2
  • Test Scripts
  • Setup Tool Save Mode On

To attain level 3 status the following courses have to be undertaken:

  • Implementation Details - 60 minutes
  • Common Setups - 60 minutes
  • Industry Implementation - 40 minutes (per Industry)

Setup Loader Utility for DBA’s

  • No other levels included
  • Setup Loader Utility is Mandatory for Setup Tool Downloads

To attain the loader utilities, the following course has to be undertaken:

  • Installation Training for DBA’s - 60 minutes

Following successful completion of the Oracle Business Accelerators for Oracle E-Business Suite Accelerators Overview Course an assessment exam can be taken which gives you access to the Accelerators Online Portal. The exam is a 20 question exam for which the pass rate is 95%  i.e. 19 questions right. There doesn’t seem to be any time limit on the exam but it should really only you take you 20 minutes i.e. 1 minute per question. I managed to pass on the second attempt and my advice to anyone taking it is take notes on the overview course and have them as a reference point when writing the exam.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oracle Accelerate for Small and Medium Businesses (SMB)

In October 2006 Oracle launched their Oracle Accelerate Program, according to their Accelerate page

Oracle Accelerate delivers a complete set of applications, rapid implementation tools, and an industry-leading partner ecosystem, allowing companies to maximize their limited budgets and achieve unlimited possibilities.

Oracle Accelerate provides:

  • Product: Pre-packaged and affordably priced bundles tailored to meet the needs of your business within your industry.
  • Delivery: Oracle Business Accelerators help reduce the time, cost, and complexity of implementation by building in industry best practices, business flows, and configurations.
  • Partners: Work with partners who are knowledgeable about your industry and region.

Industry specific accelerate solutions are available for over 20 industries on the R11 platform whilst 12 industry specific solutions are available for R12. Industry solutions available for R11 are as follows:

  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Automotive - Supplier
  • Business Services
  • Communications
  • Chemicals - Commodity and Specialty
  • Consumer Products - Consumables: Health and Beauty, Homecare
  • Consumer Products - Food and Beverage
  • Engineering and Construction
  • General Business
  • Healthcare - Provider
  • High Technology - Complex Electronic Equipment
  • High Technology - Consumer Electronics
  • High Technology - Electronics Contract Manufacturing
  • Industrial Manufacturing - Engineer to Order
  • Life Sciences - Medical Devices
  • Life Sciences - Pharmaceuticals, Biotech
  • Local Government
  • National Government - US Federal Government
  • Process Industries - United Kingdom
  • Professional Services - Consulting/Management Services

Oracle Business Accelerators are only available via certified approved partners and can only be utilised on new implementations. I’d be interested in hearing comments from readers as to whether similar products and solutions are available for competing ERP systems. Since I work for an Oracle Partner we’ll certainly be looking at utilising Accelerate for new customers and I’ll be writing on my experiences with learning and implementing this program.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Better Learning Environment (ABLE) at Harvard University

This post discusses the Harvard University systems support site and the use of Oracle 11i and Peoplesoft at this institution.

A Better Learning Environment (ABLE) is a support site for users of Harvard Universities systems. More specifically, the site provides support for Financial Applications (Oracle), HR Applications (Peoplesoft), Reporting Applications (Financial and HR) and for Harvard’s Central Administration Staff.

The resources available at the site include: -

  • Forms
  • Policies
  • Rates & Schedules
  • Work Instructions & Processes

Of particular interest is the section on Chart of Accounts (CoA) which outlines the account structure they implemented at Harvard.

For Financial Applications Harvard runs Oracle eBS and you can read about their upgrade to 11i from 11.0.3 in January 2003 here. According to the newsletter the upgrade introduced a new look and feel, new login techniques, and a new method of navigation for Web Voucher, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Budget Tool, AWS2, HUDINI, and Applications Administration.

In November 2004 the University upgraded from 11.5.5 to 11.5.9 which you can read about here.

The Universities Administrative Systems e-news is an interesting insight into how ERP systems are run and maintained. According to the site:

The Office of Human Resources publishes a semimonthly electronic newsletter for users of University financial, HR, and reporting systems, policies, and procedures. It contains:

  • Updates on projects underway to build or improve University administrative systems
  • Information about new University financial, HR, and reporting policies, procedures, and forms
  • Reminders about upcoming deadlines and cutover dates
  • Tips and tricks for working more easily or productively

On the e-news site you will also find back issues of the publication as well as a useful index by topic.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Enabling Timezone feature in Oracle 11i

Timezone (with day light savings!) feature is available in Oracle 9i Release 2 onwards. This post attempts to describe the steps required to enable Timezone functionality in Oracle Service module.

Recently I was at a client site and the client is desperately looking for this feature mainly to handle increasing number of client calls from multiple timezones. When customer support personnel attend a client call, it is important to know the client’s timezone and talk in terms of their timezone. It is also helpful to see all the date/time information in local timezone to better perceieve about the actual start time or scheduled start time for any activity. The database timezone is setup as GMT but the user wants to setup their own timezone based on their work location. This is exactly what Oracle 11i provides ( with Oracle database 9i Release 2 onwards).

After playing with the setups for few hours with some help from the dba I was able to make the timezone feature work in the client’s test instance (11.5.9). We also noticed that new functionality has been added in the calendar popup window to convert date/time into a different timezone. Here is how the new calendar window looks:

image


The following are the setup steps:

Oracle Environment variable Setup ( DBA Setup)

Please make sure that timezlrg.dat file exists in the database $ORACLE_HOME directory.

[1]. Add ORA_TZFILE environment variable in SID_hostname.env file present in database and application $ORACLE_HOME directory.

Example:
a) enter the following command in Unix:
ORA_TZFILE=$ORACLE_HOME/oracore/zoneinfo/timezlrg.dat
export ORA_TZFILE

b) save the SID_hostname.env file in the in the database $ORACLE_HOME directory

c) shutdown and restart the database.

[2]. Run the following query in Sqlplus to verify that the v$timezone_names view is populated:

>select count(*) from v$timezone_names;
COUNT(*)
—————
1286
The number of count should be increased due to new environment variable.

[3]. Try to login to Applications again with the client timezone set.

System Profile Options( Apps sysadmin setup)

Responsibility: System Administrator
Navigation: profile > System

Client Timezone : (GMT -06:00) Central Time
Enable Timezone Conversions : Yes
Server Timezone : (GMT +00:00) GMT
Service: Default value for Service Request Timezone type List Item:  Agent

image

User Preference( User setup)

Navigation : E-Business Suite Home > Preferences

image

  • Friday, November 12, 2004

    Basic Vs Advanced Pricing

    A very common frequently asked question about Oracle Advanced Pricing is: “What are the additional benefits of Oracle Advanced Pricing over the basic Pricing that are included with Order Management ?”. I will try to list down the additional features that Advanced pricing provides. The list is probably not comprehensive but will cover the major differences. Any suggestion/comments on this list for missing features are welcome.

    Due to some technical difficulties in putting tables wider than 520 pixels here I moved the comparison table here.

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