A Federal Civilian Agency’s business center was set up as a Federal Shared Services Provider. In September 2014, it was awarded a contract to on-board multiple Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies into their shared Oracle Applications Solution. The first three agencies are scheduled to be on boarded in a staggered release, over the course of three years.
Oracle E-Business Suite v. R12
- General Ledger
- Federal Administrator (budget execution and agency reporting)
- Fixed Assets
- Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)
- Project Accounting
- OBIEE Reporting
DHS currently operates an existing 11i Oracle Applications solution for financials, procurement and asset management. The current solution is highly customized, outdated and no longer meets best practices or regulatory requirements. It has a high maintenance costs caused by frequent data fixes and delayed patch applications. This situation makes an upgrade undesirable.
The main challenge of this project is to meet the client requirements with existing features of the standard Application to the largest extent possible, and avoid the path of “customizations” wherever practical. Avoiding a large scope of customization pays off over time as patches can be applied more readily, vendor support can be leveraged more effectively and upgrades will then be more technical in nature and therefore run more smoothly.
To overcome the challenge, the Prime Integrator for this project turned to The Squires Group, Inc. (TSGi) to deliver a local team of Oracle experts with the knowledge and skills that would be capable of leading all tasks in the following functional areas:
- Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Extensions and Workflows (RICEW)
- Technical Infrastructure support, e.g. Oracle Database Administration (DBA)
- Technical initiatives, e.g. Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) and Single Sign-On (SSO)
- Training development and delivery.
To avoid the complexity of a heavily customized solution, the Squires Group team was able to meet the unique client requirements by utilizing RICEW components. These components are being developed in compliance with the vendor development guidelines and industry best practices listed below:
- Reports are developed with the Business Intelligence (BI) XML Publisher, as it is best able to quickly deliver formatted output once data templates are defined.
- Interfaces’ interactions with Oracle Application consists of public APIs and documented interface tables. Parallel processes using bulk transfers are best able to cope with high volume of data.
- Conversions are best implemented as a combination of public APIs and interface tables with database – level editions for deployments without downtime.
- Extensions to the user interface are implemented as Forms Personalizations, custom libraries or new forms, as per the complexity of the requirements.
- Workflows are well suited for custom routing of approvals for purchase Orders, Invoices, etc.
TSGi supported this effort by identifying the right talent with Oracle R12 experience along with extensive experience with RICEW development and ability to support multiple instances.
While the project is ongoing, The Squires Group consulting team, in partnership with Prime Integrator is consistently delivering the required work products throughout the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). These include:
- Validating the requirements provided by DHS
- Delivering Functional and Technical Designs
- Developing Code and Configurations (BR100CRs)
- Creating Conversion templates
- Designing Training contents
- Preparing and Executing Test Plans
This consistent delivery continues to contribute to a successful DHS implementation. Just recently, the first DHS agency successfully passed their User Acceptance Testing (UAT) effort on schedule. Our team is actively working on bringing more DHS agencies on this Shared Services model.