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Oracle ERP Cloud move from EBS a fast job for concrete maker

For Irving Materials, a maker of ready-mix concrete based in Greenfield, Ind., moving three divisions from E-Business Suite to Oracle ERP Cloud turned out to be a quick-setting, 12-week job.

But because Oracle provides no direct migration path from E-Business Suite to Oracle ERP Cloud, the job involved significant integration and data-management challenges -- made easier with help from the audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG.

Spokesmen for both companies described the project in a video interview conducted at the recent Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

"We were essentially upgrading because [E-Business Suite] 11i was being 'de-supported,'" Chad Kelley, the controller at Irving Materials, said. "We'd been on the 11i platform for roughly 12 years, and we were at a point where we could no longer stay there."

Josh Scheumann, a director in advisory services at KPMG, emphasized the importance of executive support. "Chad championed the project, but then he also had the complete support of his executive management." Scheumann said he has worked with Jerry Howard, Irving Materials' vice president of IT, for 15 years, including on the original E-Business Suite implementation. "He reached out to us. It was time to either do the upgrade or explore other options."

The suite couldn't be migrated in its entirety to Oracle ERP Cloud, but configurations and business processes could.

"Even though there's no direct upgrade path, it is still Oracle to Oracle," Scheumann said. "Since we know all the table structures very well in E-Business Suite, we were able to map all of those configurations out of E-Business Suite to [Oracle ERP Cloud], which for financials is actually very similar." Scheumann said Oracle's built-in rapid implementation tools helped expedite the process.

Scheumann said the main integration issue involved making sure an existing content management system that Irving Materials used to scan invoices into accounts payable would still work in Oracle ERP Cloud. He said KPMG's cloud-integration framework helped to redevelop the existing interface for the cloud.

Converting financial data, such as open invoices and general ledger balances, was a major task that went more smoothly because of the templates that Oracle now provides, Scheumann said.

Irving Materials is happy with the now 100% cloud-based Oracle ERP system, according to Kelley. "Every day we feel more and more solid in our decision that this was the right solution." 

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