Monthly Archives: August 2013

Why Starting a Business Analytics Initiative with a Cross-Functional Team Will Save Your Implementation…and Maybe Even Your Marriage

August 28, 2013

For those of you that have gone through a business intelligence (BI), business analytics, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) – or any other type of financial systems implementation – the following dialogue may sound familiar:

Act One:
Finance“I bought this software; please install it.”
InformationTechnology“What is it?”
Finance“A tool that will help us do our budgeting, forecasting and reporting more efficiently.”
InformationTechnology“OK, What are the system requirements for this software?”
Finance“What does that mean?”
InformationTechnology – “I think we better schedule a meeting to discuss.”

It is usually at this point that a meeting gets scheduled for a few weeks into the future; this typically includes the budgeting and forecasting team (Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis, perhaps the Controller and a few financial analysts) and Information Technology (Chief Information Officer / Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of Financial Systems, and a few system administrators).

Act Two:
Finance“Hey, while we’re waiting for that meeting, can you just install this thing for me so I can play around with it?”
Information Technology“Fine, I have an extra server machine sitting around; I’ll throw it on that for now.”
Finance (a few days later) – “Thanks for taking the time to install that for me.  Why is it so slow?”
Information Technology“I don’t know!  You didn’t include us in the sales process, so I have no idea how this thing works.”
Finance“OK, I’ll see if I can figure it out.”
Information Technology“Fine, let me know how it goes.”
Finance (yet a few more days go by) – “I’m not sure what’s happening, but I can’t even log in to the system now; I just get a weird error message that says the database is corrupt, and to restore from backup; can you do that for me?”
Information Technology“We don’t have any backups; as I mentioned a few days ago, you didn’t include us in the sales process, so I have no idea how this thing works.” 

This usually goes on until the meeting takes place, everyone is brought up to speed, and starts making informed decisions.  A cross functional team, when created in the infancy of a business need, or even before the need arises, can prevent issues from ever occurring, or can catch them early on.

Why not rely on a team that is made up of people with different functional and technical expertise, as well as varying amounts of experience?  You will all be working towards a common goal; working smarter, and spending some quality time at home.

Here’s a sample of what a cross functional team might look like.  It should help you get started!

Blogging pic - JETKIN

 

Author: Jonathan Etkin, Performance Architects


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

So What is Endeca, Anyway?

August 7, 2013

If you’re anything like the normal person in the greater Oracle end user community, you may be wondering what exactly Endeca is. Is it a company? A faceted search technology? An unstructured data management product? A web commerce product? A business intelligence solution? The answer is yes to all of the above. This post is to help clear up the confusion.

Some basic factoids on Endeca summarized from a helpful Wikipedia entry:

The term “Endeca” comes from the German word entdecken, meaning “to discover.” Endeca was a software company that was founded in 1999 in Cambridge, MA that offered a variety of e-commerce, enterprise search and business intelligence (BI) solutions. The company went through several rounds of funding, backed by the likes of SAP, Bessemer, Venrock, and Intel until it was acquired by Oracle in October 2011 for $1.075B.

Now, the term “Endeca” relates to various Oracle Endeca solutions that provide functionality across a range of Oracle application categories:

Oracle Endeca Commerce.

According to Oracle, this is part of the Oracle Commerce Solution (which merges together functionality from the Oracle ATG Commerce and Oracle Endeca Customer Experience platforms), and “enables your company to deliver a personalized, consistent customer buying experience across all channels – online, in-store, mobile, or social.” Products you may have heard of in this area include Oracle Endeca Experience Manager to “create, deliver, and manage content-rich, cross-channel customer experiences” and Oracle Endeca Guided Search to allow “customers to dynamically explore your storefront and find relevant and desired items quickly.” These offerings were formerly branded as Endeca’s “InFront” web commerce offerings.

Oracle Endeca Information Discovery (EID).

EID is “a purpose-built data discovery platform for exploring information from any source, enabling them to draw new insights, come to meaningful conclusions, and to innovate faster than ever before.” It is considered part of the Oracle Business Intelligence tools and technology solution offerings. This offering was formerly branded as Endeca’s “Latitude” software offering.

Oracle announced on July 1, 2013 that E-Business Suite (EBS) Extensions are now available through EID. This means that EBS users can access a “complete data view, key performance metrics, advanced visualizations, and instant search results across organizations and flexfields.” These span various EBS product areas including Asset Lifecycle and Service; Financials and Projects; Human Capital Management; Procurement; and Supply Chain Management. A solution brief about these offerings is available here and the Endeca OAUG SIG has an upcoming webinar on this topic on August 21st.

If you’re interested in getting more involved in the Endeca community, please consider connecting with the Oracle Applications User Group’s Endeca Special Interest Group (SIG) on the OAUG web site or on the Endeca SIG LinkedIn group.

Have additional questions? Post them below and we’ll try to answer them as quickly as possible!

Author: Kirby Lunger, Performance Architects


© Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog, 2006 - present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Performance Architects, Inc. and Performance Architects Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.