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Be a Hero – How eprentise Software for Oracle EBS Helps Information Technology Teams

IT1Set up test environment.

IT2Run our software = no coding or manual intervention.

IT3Result: Complete, consistent and correct data without reimplementation.

Bring your project in under budget, get the job done quickly, and have time to spend on more interesting things that provide more value.

You’ll be using state-of-the-art technology – the only commercial software that is risk-free and adapts to any environment without any coding – to make changes to your existing EBS and to get the results you need.


  • eprentise software allows any change in Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), whether it is consolidating multiple EBS instances or changing configurations, cleansing data, or creating subsets of data. The user defines the target data structure (i.e. a new instance, a new organization unit, a new calendar, a new flexfield, etc.) eprentise software analyzes the difference between the source and target and automatically generates code to copy, filter, change and merge the source data into the target structure. An underlying eprentise engine (Metadata Analysis) analyzes the data structures, relationships and other database objects.

    Once the Metadata Analysis is complete, rule templates are used to generate the code required to copy, filter, change or merge the source data to the desired target data structure. In the process, the source and target may be compared, standards may be applied, duplicates identified and resolved and differences in business processes reconciled.

    eprentise software automatically identifies and resolves gaps between the source and the target in the correct sequence to maintain the data integrity, resulting in complete, consistent and correct data that are aligned with the business processes.

    With eprentise, the user can revise the rules as many times as needed until the desired results are achieved. Since the software can be re-used and it retains all learned rules in a knowledge base, it offers the possibility of replicating results in other contexts or business units of an enterprise at minimum cost and in minimal time.
  • eprentise and FlexField software enables you to give the business the results it needs quickly, aligning IT with the business and aligning the business with the constantly changing global business environment - within budget and on time.

    Benefits include:
    • Increased efficiency reducing project timelines, costs and improving accuracy of outcomes.
    • No reimplementation, no migration scripts and no loss of history.
    • Enforcement of data quality, elimination of redundant data and processes.
    • Reduced database footprint resulting in improved performance, improved ease of maintenance and less risk in the event of a recovery..
    • Reduced operating expenses including hardware, licenses and maintenance.
    • Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of your Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and increased Return on Investment (ROI).
  • FlexField software provides a low risk, low cost way to make rapid changes to the accounting flexfield.

    eprentise Consolidation software merges two or more database instances by automatically resolving database structures, data differences, and differences in business processes.

    eprentise Divestiture software facilitates the divestiture process by creating two separate Oracle E-Business Suite instances – one for the parent company and one for the divested company – while retaining all key information assets of each.

    eprentise Reorganization software allows companies to make a variety of major configuration changes to better reflect their business structure and operations in their Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS).
  • Avoid a Reimplementation

    Oracle has told you that the only way to solve your problem is to reimplement.

    Problem

    Over time, businesses undergo major changes — reorganizations, mergers, or divestitures. They develop new lines of business, set up global operations, or work in different ways to comply with new statutory and regulatory requirements. Similar to many of the companies that use our software, this global security software company was always going through major changes. They had acquired several smaller companies, sold about 15 different divisions, and in general, didn’t have the same business as they did when they implemented Oracle E- Business Suite 12 years ago. The problem is that as their business changed, their EBS was stagnant. In order to keep up with the changes, the security software company maintained thousands of spreadsheets, implemented a data warehouse, and used a middleware product to integrate a variety of systems. There were literally hundreds of people trying to determine what parts of their business were profitable.

    Solution

    At first, the company was told that their only choice was to reimplement their EBS. They were told that a reimplementation would take two years and about 50,000 hours of consultants. They didn’t like this option both because of the time involved and the costs. They were worried about the skill levels of the consultants, whether they would be able to accurately create what their future state would look like, and the project generally going over budget with the scope continually changing as the business changed. Instead, they decided to purchaseeprentise Reorganization software to reorganize their existing EBS, resolve duplicates, and as an ongoing solution to accommodate the ongoing changes of their business and the resulting underlying changes to the setup of the EBS environment. eprentise produces software that reliably enables organizations to adapt existing systems to meet ever-changing business conditions. At the heart of the eprentise solution is a rules-based engine containing actions (copy, merge, filter, and change) and built in integrity rules that can be combined to affect changes to a relational database environment. The eprentise software provides testable, repeatable, rules-driven results, without custom coding.

    By allowing applications to be changed to meet your changing needs, eprentise provides the ability to recognize the financial rewards of business and technology initiatives quickly and reliably.

    Consolidate Multiple Production Instances of EBS Into a Single Instance

    You want to go to a central data center and consolidate your Oracle E-Business Suites into a single instance.

    Problem

    A manufacturing company had 7 different implementations of Oracle E-Business Suite. Each application instance was configured at the plant level and had different product numbers structure, and different business processes that were implemented in their application. They could not consolidate their inventory into a single warehouse because of the different structures. The customer wanted to standardize all products and consolidate the databases into a single data center. They determined that they would save maintenance costs and license fees by having a single global instance, resolve business process inconsistencies, and save operating expenses when all the data resided in a single data center. The instances and the set-up decisions from their initial implementations were not well documented.

    Solution

    The company used eprentise Metadata Analysis to identify differences among the systems. After defining the target instance, the company used FlexField software to implement a single chart of accounts. Finally, the client used eprentise Consolidation software to identify and resolve configuration differences, other flexfield differences, and resolve duplicates across instances before merging all seven instances into the new target environment. They were able to quickly determine common customers, suppliers, and product lines so they were able to streamline their operations, understand their customers better, and leverage common business practices across the enterprise.

    Clean Up Your Data Before Upgrading to R12

    Problem

    After years of running E-Business Suite 11.5.9, a global company was planning an upgrade to R12 but realized that it would be difficult to utilize the additional functionality of R12 without cleaning up the data first. While they previously had several sets of books to accommodate different statutory and regulatory requirements as well as different currencies, they wanted to use the subledger accounting features of R12 and use a single primary ledger along with multiple subsidiary ledgers that would handle the local requirements.

    Solution

    The company used FlexField software to change the accounting flexfields in each set of books to the same chart of accounts and put its accounts in clean logical ranges, standardizing the accounting structure and making consolidated financial reporting easier. They then used eprentise Reorganization software’s MS Sets of Books module to consolidate the different sets of books into a single set of books to prepare the instance for subledger accounting with a single primary ledger in R12.

    Integrate Your E-Business Suite with an Acquired Suite

    You have just acquired a company who also uses Oracle E-Business Suite.

    Problem

    A global manufacturing company running Oracle E-Business Suite recently acquired a smaller competitor who also uses OEBS. They needed to Standardize Oracle Financial and Manufacturing Applications from both companies so that they could operate as a single company. They needed to quickly identify the differences in data between systems, standardize and consolidate data from the merged company, determine common customers, suppliers, and product lines so duplicates can be resolved, and obtain an accurate view of current and future operating requirements.

    Solution

    The company used eprentise Consolidation software to consolidate the two systems. eprentise Metadata Analysis generated a report listing all the differences in database objects and in the set-up data. The parent company’s E-Business Suite was identified as the target. After changing the chart of accounts and the calendar for the acquired company, the business users decided how the data was to be merged into the target. The company standardized all configuration data and resolved duplicates for all master data using eprentise Data Quality software. All transaction data from the acquired company was synchronized with the cleansed master data and moved into the target database. The history from both companies was preserved. There was no coding, and the instances were merged and went into production within 180 days of the acquisition.

    They identified the benefits as being able to operate as a combined entity quickly. They captured the economies of scope and scale and leveraged the combined information resources, reduced the cost of internal support services, and achieved process efficiencies and business synergies quickly.

    Comply with Regulatory Requirements

    Problem

    A prominent manufacturing and distribution company needed to change their chart of accounts a few years back. They followed Oracle’s recommendation, set up a new set of books with a new chart of accounts and used Oracle’s financial consolidation to consolidate their general ledger. However, when their auditor came to assess their Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, he said that since their history and their subledgers did not use the same chart of accounts for their detail transactions and it was difficult to drill down on their accounts, they were non-compliant. Since Sarbanes-Oxley’s inception in 2002, the company had complied by using third-party reporting tools, but management had finally made the decision that it would be more efficient to change the way they accounted for certain parts of the business at the source, the accounting flexfield. They were told that in order to make the changes they wished to make, a re-implementation of their E-Business Suite would be necessary, but they did not want to spend the time or the capital to get involved in a process that would likely last over a year. They needed a quick way to make fundamental changes to their accounting flexfield without the need for a re-implementation.

    Solution

    The company used FlexField software to restructure their accounting flexfield in a way that enabled them to save multiple millions of dollars in personnel and third-party software license costs over the next 3 years. Because their reporting, drill down and the transaction history was transparent (it looked like they had always used the new chart of accounts), the auditors and their compliance officers were pleased.

  • What is eprentise software?

    eprentise hd_suite is a family of functional modules used to manipulate the data in Oracle E- Business Suite (EBS) while maintaining consistent and correct data. For many solutions, it runs one time, propagating all changes throughout your existing EBS data and then is removed from the EBS instance. It gives you the ability to make changes to your EBS that used to be available only through a reimplementation.

    In what kind of situations would I use eprentise?

    Consider eprentise in situations like these:

    • A merger or acquisition where both parties run E-Business Suite.
    • The set-up of E-Business Suite is more than 3-5 years old and doesn’t support the business.
    • There are inconsistencies in different parts of the organization.
    • The business is supporting several different instances of E-Business Suite.
    • Business reorganization, shared service center, and IT consolidation scenarios.
    • The database is very large and different subsets of data are needed for testing.
    • There is a lot of duplicate data (suppliers, customers, products).
    • Divestiture or spin off of part of the business.

    This M&A scenario is an example.

    • Company A sells its Division M to a competitor, Company B. Both companies, A and B, run E-Business Suite. Company A runs eprentise Divestiture to split off a copy that contains all of Division M’s business (but none of A’s confidential information). Company A continues to run its main instance, which retains Division M history. It gives the new Division M instance to Company B.
    • Company B may choose to run Division M in a stand alone manner until the end of their fiscal year. The instance is functionally complete, consistent, and correct. One optional change would be to run our FlexField software to transform the Division M instance to use the Company B Chart Of Accounts (COA). That would make it easier to consolidate the financial reports between Company B’s main instance and Division M.
    • Next, Company B would run eprentise Consolidate to combine the Division M instance into its main instance. They would add all of Division M’s history and open business transactions, setups that define how Division M transactions work, plus other data like Division M’s customers, suppliers, and employees into Company B’s E-Business Suite instance.

    How much does an eprentise project cost? How long do the projects take?

    We suggest that our customers plan from one to six months for most projects, depending on the complexity. Consolidations are usually complex and will typically take between six months and a year. We welcome the chance to talk with you about the type of project you are contemplating. After a few discussions we will create a project profile which will include the estimates of the schedule, costs and required resources. It usually takes a few weeks of discussions and discovery for us to create and present a proposal.

    What database version, operating system, or hardware does eprentise require?

    eprentise runs on the same platforms as the Oracle E-Business Suite. eprentise is browser-based. You will run the install script on the same server as the E-Business Suite, and then use any browser to access the software.

    What kind of development, implementation, and testing environments are needed?

    The eprentise software contains its own framework for project administration and use of eprentise. It connects to and works with multiple E-Business Suite instances through a web browser. As with many E-Business Suite projects, you will set up clone instances of your production environment and these will be the test environments. You may also set up a target environment and temporary work areas. We will work with you during project planning on the specifics.

    What training do you provide?

    All projects will include custom training according to the customer and project requirements. The customer team, which may include third party consultants, is expected to have adequate knowledge and skills related to E-Business Suite. The training is about how to run the individual eprentise operations such as: create project, administer project, analyze metadata, analyze configuration, use rule templates, create rule, and execute rule. The eprentise team is available to help your team run your eprentise project and to help you go into production. Product usage training and transformation support is included in your eprentise license support fee.

    Will Oracle Support continue to provide support for EBS after I use eprentise or FlexField software? What is Oracle’s policy or position regarding your eprentise software?

    There are no statements from Oracle employees or in cited Oracle publications that support would be (or had ever been) denied to EBS customers due to making changes to accounting flexfields.

    This is consistent with the Oracle Support Policy which is analyzed in Analysis of Oracle Software Technical Support Policies: A Legal Review of Oracle’s Contract in Relation to Third-Party Software.

    Additionally, please click here for an analysis of Oracle software technical support policies.

  • “Show Me the Money: Reduce the Costs of Running Oracle EBS Before Upgrading to R12” (white paper)

    Show Me the Money - Reduce the Costs of Running ERP

    Download PDF Download Excel
    Reducing costs is the major strategic focus for most companies. An often-overlooked cost is the general operation of financial operations. This paper details a methodology for calculating the costs of running financial modules in ERP systems.

    The costs are compared against both internal and external benchmarks. After calculating the costs, the paper shows how to reduce costs in two ways: first, by eliminating work that is duplicated across different business units or divisions, and second by determining which operations that are currently distributed across the organization can be consolidated into a shared services center. Together these changes, both to the organization and the ERP system, can generate significant cost savings.

    The paper discusses how a $4 billion company using Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) consolidated its distributed accounting departments, one for each European country, into a shared services organization supporting all European operations.  The cost savings realized and the streamlining of operations prepared for the organization for a major ERP software upgrade.



    eprentise E-Business Suite Cost Savings Calculator (Excel)

    eprentise E-Business Suite Cost Savings Calculator

    Download File
    Reducing costs is the major strategic focus for most companies. An often-overlooked cost is the general operation of financial operations. Also see the white paper “Show Me the Money: Reduce the Costs of Running Oracle EBS Before Upgrading to R12”.



    “Adding Business Value to Database Consolidation” (white paper)

    Adding Business Value to Database Consolidation

    Download PDF
    The consolidation of IT assets, particularly databases, has garnered considerable interest in recent years, and the general concept of IT consolidation – migrating multiple, heterogeneous systems to run on a single hardware and/or software instance – is relatively well-understood in the market. The typical rationales for IT consolidation, largely centered around cost reduction, improved operational efficiency, and the development of more responsive, dynamic, and customer-centric IT systems, are also familiar in the literature, and are fairly well-understood.

    In the vast majority of cases, IT consolidation – and in particular database consolidation – while providing some value, falls far short of its potential to positively impact the business side of the enterprise.

    According to research carried out by Enterprise Applications Consulting (EAC), most examples of database consolidation focus only on the benefits of the technical aspects of consolidation: With the consolidation of database licenses, a reduction in personnel and hardware costs are the predominant results. These examples ignore the benefits of a business consolidation – one that goes beyond typical technical consolidations by consolidating current and historical data and business processes – that could deliver significant value to the business side of the enterprise as well.



    eprentise Overview (PDF)

    Overview of eprentise

    Most industries are seeing a need for their ERP systems to be more flexible than they are today. Companies running Oracle E-Business Suite (OEBS) have particular challenges when they “upgrade” their business at a macro level and want their Oracle instance or instances to follow and support the new “release” of the business. The table shows the “Upgrade” scenarios and solution operations.

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    FlexField Datasheet

    FlexField Datasheet

    FlexField’s built-in knowledge base of Oracle E-Business Suite provides a low-risk, low-cost way to make rapid changes to the accounting flexfield. Businesses can change their Chart of Accounts and bring in all transaction history over a weekend while maintaining relational integrity. Users also can model potential business initiatives in order to gauge the financial impact ahead of time.

    Download


  • We are very pleased with the product and the overall project. I’d recommend the product to anyone.
    eprentise customer