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TEC Product Certification Report: Oracle E-Business Suite (12.1) for ERP for Services (Non-manufacturing)
ERP for Services
is also known as : Enterprise Resource Planning for Services
, Non-manufacturing ERP
, MRP Software
, MRP Services
, Non-manufacturing Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions
, Comprehensive Model of ERP Software
Flagship ERP Software Package, ERP Consulting, ERP Systems Development, Oracle E-Business Suite ERP, Extensive ERP Products, Oracle E-Business Suite Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP Industry, ERP for Non-manufacturing Space, Average ERP Product, Non-manufacturing ERP Solution, Non-manufacturing ERP Landscape, ERP Evaluation Center, ERP Services Application, ERP Process, Material Requirements Planning, Manufacturing Resource Planning, ERP Software Solutions, ERP Implementation, What is ERP, ERP Business, ERP Project, ERP Integration, ERP for Services Product, ERP Market.
Table of Contents
Oracle E-Business Suite (12.1) has been certified by
Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
Gabriel Gheorghiu, TEC Research Analyst
Demonstration conducted by
Balakrishnan Kumarapuram, Oracle Global Partner Demo Services, Director
Raphael Lallemand, Oracle Midsize Applications Programs, Director
Sandip Bagchi, Oracle
Ranjith Krishnamoorthy, Oracle
Sayan Chatterjee, Oracle
Anuj Saxena, Oracle
Degang Fu, Oracle
Narasimha Gabbita, Oracle
Saralikanth Potluri, Oracle
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) is pleased to announce that Oracle product, E-Business Suite (12.1) is now TEC Certified for online evaluation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions in the ERP for Services (Non-manufacturing) Evaluation Center. The ERP for Services (Non-manufacturing) Evaluation Center enables you to compare and evaluate functionality based on TEC's comprehensive model of ERP software. Data used in the Evaluation Center are obtained from the vendor's responses to TEC's request for information (RFI). Certification ensures that
- Oracle E-Business Suite product's capabilities have been demonstrated to a TEC analyst based on the responses it provided in its completed TEC RFI;
- A TEC analyst has analytically and comparatively reviewed Oracle E-Business Suite RFI data against known benchmarks.
There are many benefits to evaluating a TEC Certified product. To potential clients of a software vendor, TEC certification provides the following:
- Reassurance: You can be assured that the data TEC provides about its certified products conform to a well-defined standard of accuracy. When a vendor's product is TEC Certified, it means that a trusted, independent third party has seen the product up close.
- Better Communication with Vendors: TEC certification helps ensure that vendors understand and respond accurately to their clients' RFI criteria. Certification with TEC analysts provides the opportunity to clarify any issues with the RFI criteria. This ensures that the vendor is speaking the same language as its potential clients—and gives the clients an unambiguous specification of product functionality to inform their selections.
The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations that rely on the integrity of TEC's research services for assistance with their software selection projects. Organizations looking for a solution can be confident that they're comparing the product on an "apples to apples" basis with other, similar products.
Oracle E-Business Suite Market Data Summary
Oracle Corporation is one of the most-recognized global software companies in the world, and is a leader in information management systems and business applications software development, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems development, marketing, distribution, and deployment, along with related consulting, educational, and support services. Oracle E-Business Suite is its flagship ERP software package, and is positioned as an application for all types of businesses, of all sizes—from small entities to large multinational corporations. A few modules of the product have been on the market since the late 80s; it is now respected worldwide for its robustness, functionality, and scalability. The E-Business Suite can be successfully used by a business of any size—however; the software reaches its highest potential when it is used in midsized businesses and in large and multinational organizations with a wide geographical presence and a significant number of employees.
Being a global IT organization and the developer of one of the most extensive ERP products on the market, Oracle inarguably has all the necessary resources to develop and maintain the product, and in-depth knowledge of vertical industries for a long list of businesses and operation areas. The Oracle E-Business Suite application's customers include thousands of small, medium, and large multinational manufacturers, retailers and distributors, facilities, services, and governmental organizations. The company offers many preconfigured vertical solutions that are created by its partners around the globe, and that make the implementation process shorter and easier to manage.
Oracle E-Business Suite ERP is successfully used at businesses and organizations for whom the number of users ranges from dozens to as many as tens of thousands. The company delivers the software application translated into all major languages, and offers support in more than 145 countries. The on-demand version of Oracle E-Business Suite ERP is also available for companies that prefer hosted and managed applications.
Upon reviewing Oracle E-Business Suite ERP during the TEC certification process, TEC analysts determined that the application is very rich in functionality; it is a fit for practically any business model and any size of organization. At the same time, its user interface screens and menus are unified and consistent; the view and logic are visual and user-friendly. The layout of the screens makes the system relatively easy to navigate.
As far as the functionality of the Oracle E-Business Suite ERP system is concerned, the following are the highlights:
- Oracle's open architecture allows for integration of different systems between various departments and regions.
- This product is certainly very complex and sophisticated, and has many different applications, processes, and internal tools. This sophistication makes it likely that users will need to expend considerable efforts to learn and become familiar with all the available tools and features.
- Oracle E-Business Suite ERP system is a flexible and complete product in terms of the availability of multinational, multilanguage, multicurrency, and multisite functionality. The product is truly global and can be especially beneficial in this type of business environment.
- The system's user interface features the usual screen texts, menus, tabs, and combination thereof with graphical representation of information, such as embedded diagrams and charts. It allows users to work with information quickly and with a minimal number of errors.
- Oracle E-Business Suite ERP contains built-in search and select functionality—a very powerful and helpful tool that is not often seen in ERP systems.
- There are many types of customizable dashboards throughout the entire application that help managers and other users involved in their business processes to control functions.
- Operations that are similar for different business subdivisions can be centralized and unified to prevent data inconsistency and errors (e.g., the global tax engine, the centralized payments engine, the unified bank account model). Also, the whole back-office model can be copied from one operational unit to another.
- The system provides the ability to convert raw shop floor data into formats that can be further used by the business intelligence (BI) application to create analytics, reports, and dashboards.
- The master data management (MDM) application can centrally control all business processes associated with different physical locations (such as remote corporate subdivisions or customer sites), including integration with mapping and other third-party applications.
- Oracle Business Intelligent Publisher is a tool that provides easy creation and modification of documents generated by the BI application.
Despite all the software's features and advantages, Oracle E-Business Suite's level of functionality can be superfluous for some small businesses—sometimes exceeding their requirements. However, it must be noted that Oracle Corporation exerts significant efforts to make the application less complicated for small and medium businesses, by providing them with faster and easier configuration and implementation methods and tools. At the same time, complexity-as-a-weakness is also another of the system's strengths, which is the ability to support an expanding business and to support the future needs of a growing company. A highly scalable ERP system, by definition, does not limit a company in its increasing functional and technical requirements, and will remain adequate and efficient for any business scenario.
Based on four main principles, here is how Oracle E-Business Suite ERP fared.
Ease of Use
- Layout:A tier-one ERP system's interface is complex by definition, but taking this into consideration, the layout is straightforward and uncluttered. Information is arranged in screens, frames, and boxes, which allows for simple multitasking.
- Interface:The software has a fairly intuitive and logical interface which is highly configurable; its pattern and style are designed in Oracle's typical conservative manner, and are consistent throughout the screens of the system's major modules.
- Performing task:Tasks performed in any specific module are logically defined and accomplished. However, they do require that the user be trained on the application. The number of steps required to perform an average task was also reduced in the last release.
- Navigation:There are additional navigation tools and features available that make navigation easier and faster. Oracle E-Business Suite also supports touch-screen interfaces for information access and entering.
- Server: The solution can be deployed on the client's premise, or can be hosted and managed by the vendor.
- Information retrieval: The multiple querying, reporting, and auditing capabilities of the software allow users to search and track information they need. Often, users do not even need to run a report to obtain particular information; it can be easily obtained via a search-and-select function.
- E-mail notifications: Pre-built role-specific alerts and notifications are available, and their settings can be easily configured for particular users or user groups.
- Data export: Users can easily export data to Microsoft Excel and other third-party applications.
- Reporting capabilities: The solution offers extensive reporting and BI capabilities that are embedded into the software (for example: role-based analytical interface, dashboard tools, and multiple standard reports), or that are offered as a standalone application (Oracle Enterprise Performance Management).
Ease of Modification
- Setup: The user interface is highly configurable according to user preferences and needs. Many fields, buttons, tabs, and general layouts of screens can be easily created or modified as required.
- Flexibility: No hard coding is required for screen and user workspace modification; they can be reconfigured for the entire organization, at the department level (or for user groups), or at the user level.
- Integration capabilities: The solution offers seamless integration of core modules of E-Business Suite, and easy integration with other Oracle products or third-party applications using the flexible Oracle Application Integration Architecture and Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture Suite products.
- New features: In release 12.1, E-Business Suite Oracle offers many new technical and functional features that allow businesses to better organize data, increase efficiency, and improve the visibility and accuracy of the data. Many of these features are innovations with respect to the ERP industry as a whole.
- Security: Multiple-level access control technology allows various authorization settings according to user, group, or department, or by combined or segregated duties.
- Scalability: As evidenced by the vendor's marketing message, the application has superior scalability, from as few as 5 users to over 10,000 users. It offers the ability to set up multiple sites for different legal entities or remote subdivisions within the same company.
SAP with its ERP products is Oracle's principal competitor in the ERP field. However, other tier-one and major tier-two vendors such as Lawson, Microsoft Dynamics AX, and Infor often compete with the Oracle E-Business Suite application, especially in the mid-market niche.
Using the TEC Advisor decision support engine, we have prepared a few high-level graphs that identify this product's functional focus.
The TEC Focus Indicator (FI)TM
This TEC Focus Indicator (FI) tells you which types of functionality are most likely to differentiate E-Business Suite from other ERP for Service products. It includes three zones indicating the product's focus: Dominant zone, Competitive zone, and Not Competitive zone.
TEC's models of software systems are designed with a comprehensive breadth; generally, vendors will deliver a common base of functionality. While we believe in the necessity of knowing whether a product supports a base of common functionality, it's very helpful to understand how a product really differs from the crowd.
The bars in this FI chart represent neither the quality of the product nor an absolute quantity of supported functionality. Rather, the bars show support relative to the average solution.
The functional focus arrow indicates which modules of this product provide an equal or greater quantity of support than the average solution. Modules near the top of the functional focus arrow reveal where Oracle E-Business Suite is more likely to differentiate itself through breadth of functionality. The more concern you have for the type of functionality near the top of the functional focus, the more it's to your advantage to explore this product further.
Understanding the TEC FI Zones
The Overall bar on top shows the overall difference in supported functionality between E-Business Suite and the average solution. To understand how we calculate this difference, read Calculating the TEC FI section, which follows.
The Overall bar is a means of determining which modules fall within the Dominant zone. If a module's difference from the average is greater than the product's overall difference from the average, we label it dominant. These modules are responsible for pulling the Overall bar beyond the average.
Modules with values that do not extend beyond the Overall bar but still provide as much or more functionality than the average solution are labeled competitive.
ERP for services (non-manufacturing) is the area where Oracle E-Business Suite leads with outstanding results—four modules out of eight are located in the Dominant zone: Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management, Portfolio and Project Management, Resource Planning and Scheduling, and Knowledge Management, Collaboration and Analysis.
As it clearly shows on the graphs, Oracle E-Business Suite left its competitors far behind and demonstrates an excellent score close to 100 percent in the majority of the modules.
More details about the modules in the Dominant zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section of this report.
The area of functional focus within the green Dominant zone indicates two things. First, it indicates which of the most competitive modules contribute the most pull in raising the product's score above the average. Second, it indicates where the product has a significantly greater level of support for functionality than the average solution in this space.
This also may reveal how the vendor has focused its product development. These modules may or may not make up the bulk or even the core of the functionality within the product but if you require more than the average breadth of functionality from these modules, this product will stand a better than average chance of satisfying your requirements.
There are four modules of Oracle E-Business Suite located in the Competitive zone: Third-party Integration, Back-office Functionality, Financial Management, Budgeting, Costing and Billing, and Time and Expense Management.
In these functional modules, the difference between an average ERP for services product and Oracle E-Business Suite is lesser than the overall difference but the product still looks rich in functionality and demonstrates a perfect and stable result.
More details of the modules in the Competitive zone are available in the Functionality Benchmark section.
The area of functional focus within the green Competitive zone indicates where the product has a level of support for functionality that is somewhat greater or on par with the average solution.
In some cases, a module may be considered a commodity within the market and as a result many vendors offer the majority of the functionality, thus it is difficult to differentiate a product based on breadth of functionality. In other cases, a vendor may intend its product to compete on a level that satisfies most customers' requirements for certain modules; however its focus on the market requires that it differentiate itself through other modules.
Not Competitive Zone
None of the functional modules of Oracle E-Business Suite are located in the Not Competitive zone of ERP for services (non-manufacturing)—the product is definitely strong in the space.
The area in the red Not Competitive zone indicates where the product supports a lesser quantity of functionality than an average solution. Modules listed in this section are unlikely to be as important to the vendor's target market as the other modules. It may also be the case that the product is a newer entrant to the space. If the product has a lot of modules in the Not Competitive zone it signifies a more finely scoped target for its functionality than other products, which may be indicative of a point solution.
Even if a product has modules in the Not Competitive zone it may still be entirely capable of satisfying your requirements for this functionality, particularly if the average solution offers more functionality than you require. Nevertheless, you should be aware that if you require a greater than average breadth of functionality from a module in the Not Competitive zone, this product may not offer all of what you require. It's likely that you would need to review the product more in-depth to determine whether its functionality is sufficient.
Calculating the TEC FI
TEC defines an average solution using data about real software products available on the market. We calculate an average of the capabilities about which vendors recently provided us with information and that we've certified. We define these capabilities and assign numeric ratings representing various levels of support in our models of enterprise software. These models may be accessed on our publicly available evaluation centers. Typically, we use anywhere from a thousand to several thousand criteria to determine the average scores.
The average solution forms the benchmark from which we calculate the difference in functionality offered by E-Business Suite. We plot the average solution's capabilities at point zero on the x-axis.
Next, we determine the quantity of functionality supported by E-Business Suite for each module in our model. We assume that all criteria are equally important. In a real world situation of course, you would give a greater priority to criteria that are more important for your needs. However, for the sake of the TEC FI analysis, we want to understand something about the product's focus independent of any users' functional priorities. (Note: If you wish to prioritize and evaluate the product's functionality, you can do so online in our ERP Evaluation Center.)
We calculate the difference between E-Business Suite and the average solution, and we plot that value as a positive or negative distance from zero (the average solution's capability). If, for example, E-Business Suite offers a greater quantity of support for a particular module than found in the average solution, its line will extend to the right of zero.
It's important to note that a product isn't good or bad if it has more or less functionality than other products, In order to understand whether it will do what you need it to do, at a price within your budget, you must evaluate the product in-depth.
The following functionality benchmark graphs represent E-Business Suite's quantity of support for the functionality within each module identified in the TEC FI. The further the solid line extends toward the edge of the graph, the more functionality E-Business Suite supports. For the sake of comparison, you can see what you might expect from the average solution by viewing the dashed, orange line.
Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management
The rating for the Oracle E-Business Suite in the Opportunity, Contact, and Contract Management module demonstrates an excellent result for Contract Management and Creation, and Partner Management, where the score is equal to 100 percent. In other submodules, the rating is also very close to the maximum and varies between 95.29 and 98.5. As for Oracle's competitors, the graph shows the average is significantly lower—support level demonstrates a rating between 50.26 and 68.30. Thus, the differences in support levels between Oracle's product and ERP for services average are exciting and fluctuate from 27.22 to 48.24 percent.
Portfolio and Project Management
In the Portfolio and Project Management functional area, Oracle E-Business Suite performs well and entirely overplays its average rival. Oracle's product's rating is equal or close to 100 percent but the average solution output is much lower. While it is relatively high in Portfolio Management, Project Management, and Workflow Management with the rating around 80 percent, its rating is really low in such areas as Risk Management, Earned Value Management, and Idea Management. The differences in support levels between Oracle's product and the average solution are impressive and vary from 16.06 to 65.82 percent. This means that Oracle seems to be a one of few vendors on the market who offers such functionality in these fields.
Resource Planning and Scheduling
Oracle E-Business Suite is strong in Resource Planning and Scheduling, as it is demonstrated on the graph below. The rating numbers here are high and vary from 93.33 to 100 percent. The only exception is Chat Room and Discussion Forum functionality where Oracle's software provides a 76 percent support level. At the same time, the average solution rating does not look that appealing with its overall result of 60.16 percent. It must be noted that the total number of criteria for this module is not that extensive compared to other modules.
Knowledge Management, Collaboration, and Analysis
The rating of Oracle E-Business Suite's Knowledge Management, Collaboration, and Analysis Module is high—it is equal to 99.29 percent for Business Intelligence and Reporting, 100 percent for Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance, and 93.95 percent for Documents and Records Management. The average solution demonstrates remarkably lower results; only for Business Intelligence and Reporting does its rating reach the 84.42 percent level, for other submodules it only shows 62.32 percent and 50.08 respectively. Thus, the biggest gap in support level rating between Oracle E-Business Suite and the average is in Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance (37.68 percent), and Documents and Records Management (43.87 percent).
Oracle E-Business Suite demonstrates 100 percent capability of integration with Microsoft Project software while the average supports only 62.5 percent of these criteria.
The second submodule (ERP, Accounting, and Payroll) actually falls into two parts—integration features and list of major software products that the solution can be easily integrated with. In terms of features, Oracle's software is rated of 95 percent, and the average vendor demonstrates 82.95 percent of functional support.
The results for the second part—vendors—are lower as Oracle supports integration without customization with its own products only, while its competitors might be integrated with other systems as well. The rating here are 36 percent for Oracle E-Business Suite and 27.71 percent for the average product.
In all three submodules, Oracle E-Business Suite demonstrates a strong rating—99.03 percent of support level for Financials, 95.65 percent for Human Resources (HR), and 96.98 percent for Procurement Management. HR's results did not reach the maximum mostly due to the Health and Safety, and Workforce Management areas ratings.
As for the average competitor, its overall rating is still markedly lower with 75.18 percent. Despite the 37.47 percent difference between Oracle's software and the average competitor in Human Resource functionally, it isn't that impressive in Financials and Procurement Management with 12 percent and 16.66 percent respectively.
Financial Management, Budgeting, Costing, and Billing
In Financial Management, Budgeting, Costing, and Billing functionality Oracle's software remains a leader compared to the average solution. E-Business Suite indicates a 100 percent result for all six functional areas listed below.
Positions of the average rival aren't that strong despite its relatively good results in Budgeting and Transactions, Project Billing, and Invoice Generation functionality where it reaches 89.02, 91.3, and 94 percent accordingly. Underdeveloped areas of Project Costing, and especially Capital Assets and Resource Sharing lower the entire average. The difference there is impressive and equals to 17.64 percent, 44.64 percent, and 31.43 percent.
Time and Expense Management
Time and Expense Management functional area is the module with the lesser overall difference between Oracle E-Business Suite and the average ERP for services. The overall rating of Oracle's software is equal to 96.68 percent while the average competitor's rating is 79.36 percent, thus the overall difference is 17.32 percent.
There are two submodules here that break down this functional area—Time Management and Expense Management, and Oracle E-Business Suite wins in both of them showing fairly strong results—97.88 and 95.48 percent accordingly. The differences per submodules are 13.65 for Time Management functionality and 20.99 percent for Expense Management.
Oracle's E-Business Suite application demonstrates a lead role in all functional areas reviewed. Analysis of the graphs and software ratings clearly shows that this product is one of the dominant solutions on the market: it is mature, well-balanced, innovative, and comprehensive in functionality. Different types and sizes of businesses may benefit from Oracle E-Business Suite as either a core ERP system or as a selection of modules because of the product's flexibility and scalability, as well as the availability of a large number of vertically tailored solutions.
There is no single functional area of ERP for services where Oracle E-Business Suite offers less support level than the average ERP for services competitor. In all examined fields Oracle's product exceeds its average rival functional capabilities.
Based on TEC's product research during the product certification process, we consider this product to be well established, reliable, and suitable for companies that are dedicated to performance improvement and future development.
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) provides insight and expertise in offering impartial resources and services to minimize the costs, risks, and time associated with software selection. Over 3.5 million technology decision makers visit TEC's Web sites each month, to find information on hundreds of solutions, and to access articles, white papers, and podcasts. TEC's decision support system (DSS) and analyst data assist with the evaluation, comparison, and selection of enterprise solutions and services. TEC's offerings include in-depth research, detailed product information, and software selection services for any industry or company size.
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