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Integrating HR and Finance Systems in the Cloud

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Lynne Sampson, Managing Editor of Oracle’s The Modern Finance Leader, wrote about how a gaming-entertainment company recently leveraged Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle HCM Cloud to combat manual processes, customizations, and legacy systems that were preventing them from operating more efficiently and effectively. Moving to these Cloud-based applications allowed the company to begin streamlining best practices by integrating HR and finance systems in the Cloud.

The Business Problem

Today’s large gaming companies don’t just operate casinos – they span multiple industries including hospitality, dining, theater, and conventions. For many, legacy systems can’t keep up with evolving business requirements. One diversified gaming-entertainment company, in particular, was managing its financials using a legacy on-premises Infinium system from Infor, Excel spreadsheets, and cumbersome manual processes. On top of that, its ERP system was customized to a degree that made updates a nightmare.

To combat these issues, the company turned to Oracle’s Cloud-based ERP and HCM systems to streamline its processes, reduce IT overhead, ensure high-level data security, and free up resources for strategic initiatives.

Achieving Digital Transformation Through People, Processes, and Technology

For this highly diversified organization, digital transformation and a transition to integrating HR and finance systems in the Cloud meant embracing a new role for the finance function – enabling business agility for the organization’s management and development. This meant:

  • Adopting applications with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) built in
  • Establishing centers of excellence to support multi-disciplinary teams
  • Starting to use advanced data analytics for planning and other decisions
  • Encouraging strategic awareness of digital opportunities

However, digital transformation is not limited to technology. To stay ahead of competitors, the company reset on every aspect of the organization, including people, business processes, and technology.

People

In many ways, people represent the greatest challenge for change agents. If you do not lead them through the digital transformation, it is unlikely to succeed.

The company recognized that it is critical to communicate how integrating HR and finance systems in the Cloud will improve the everyday life of employees and how that fits into the strategic goals of the organization. The transition to Oracle ERP Cloud represented a shift from antiquated, green-screen technology, bare-bones functionality, and a lack of real-time reporting. Users had limited ability to run financial reports or analyses. They couldn’t drill down from financials to journal entries or AP details. Training aids and standard operating procedures (SOPs) were all but nonexistent.

With Oracle ERP Cloud, users are now working in a familiar, user-friendly system and have access to data via tablets and smartphones. Reporting is done in real-time for all users, and they have drill-down functionality for transactions. Current SOPs and training are readily available. In addition, Oracle’s embedded social collaboration tools mean that people can work together more effectively.

Processes

Efficient, standardized business processes are a highly beneficial outcome of the organization’s digital transformation. By reducing time and resources spent on repetitive and disconnected processes, companies can redeploy their workforce to take on higher-value strategic work.

The gaming company’s legacy system was filled with manual controls and lacked clear workflows. Systems were not fully integrated and did not offer critical functionality, so they required customization and supplementation with other products. This created complexity, data silos, and opportunities for error.

Once the company implemented Oracle ERP Cloud, the finance function had new tools to help streamline and automate processes using artificial intelligence (AI). The team soon created a bot that now conducts one of the company’s audit processes. The fully integrated system – encompassing GL/AP, fixed assets, and project accounting – offered a single source of truth, reduced data-entry errors, and provided stronger internal controls around data management, chart of accounts, and system access.

Technology

The organization often found itself restricted by the limitations of its outdated technology. The on-premises infrastructure required extensive IT resources to maintain, and the business had to rely heavily on IT for the timing and implementation of system updates.

After migrating to Oracle ERP Cloud and integrating HR and finance systems, the business – rather than IT – that owns the solution. The ERP system remains current thanks to quarterly updates from Oracle that require minimal downtime or IT intervention. This saves the gaming-entertainment company millions in annual IT costs.

Instead of complex customization, the Oracle solution provides advanced out-of-the-box functionality with extensive configuration options. Perhaps most surprising of all, the deployment itself took less time than expected. The company was able to implement the reporting module of Oracle EPM Cloud in just 10 weeks – allowing the finance team to engage and fully adopt the solution before Oracle ERP Cloud went live.

Conclusion

This gaming-entertainment company continues to realize its vision of a fully integrated HR and finance system in the Cloud, which positions the company to respond more quickly to customer needs and an ever-changing environment. Leveraging Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle HCM Cloud allowed the company to streamline best practices across finance and HR functions, real-time reporting, and in-depth analysis to support decision-making. Having a solution that remains up to date ensures that the IT team will never find themselves having to upgrade a 20-year-old ERP system again.

Additional Resources

For more Oracle HCM Cloud resources, case studies, best practices, etc., check out Quest’s Oracle HCM Cloud Content Center. There are resources and training available for all aspects of HCM Cloud, including payroll, analytics, recruiting, and more!