More4apps Ensures High Quality Data is the Foundation for Move to ERP Cloud | More4apps

More4apps Ensures High Quality Data is the Foundation for Move to ERP Cloud

We caught up with Ringo Jouhal, a Data Migration expert with 20-years’ experience, and Scott Sherrin, an Oracle Cloud (ERP) Finance Project Manager, to find out how More4apps is currently helping a major council migrate high quality customer data to Oracle Cloud.

Company

Brent London Borough Council

Industry

Public Sector

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The Client:

A local council authority in Greater London, England was faced with a major migration of customer records to their new ERP system Oracle ERP Cloud. The Borough is home to around 335,300 residents with the population expected to rise by 2041 – translating to around 3,900 extra residents per year. The Council is using More4apps to manage all their data cleansing prior to moving to the Cloud.

The Challenge

By the time staff at the Council heard about More4apps they had already contracted a third-party company to extract and load their master data to the Oracle Cloud ERP.  An area of concern was the quality of the data they would migrate into the new system. They knew that it was important that the data they started with was as up-to-date and as accurate as possible as it would provide the foundation and starting point for their system.

The Requirements

  • To migrate only active suppliers and customers to Oracle Cloud, i.e., they needed to identify and disable all non-current suppliers and customers and remove duplicates.
  • To cleanse their existing data: Address details, Descriptive Flexfields, Customer classes, Supplier Tax reference numbers, address purpose etc.,of any errors
  • To ensure that all information was standardized (formatting of phone numbers/naming conventions etc) to ensure consistency across the database

The Potential Solutions:

They considered a few options before selecting More4apps:

  1. Undertaking a manual review of supplier and customer accounts
    This would have been very time-consuming and particularly prone to errors particularly in regard to human error such as typos so this option was quickly abandoned.
  2. Employing a third party to write specific routines to identify which suppliers and customers should be deactivated
    According to Ringo, “there would inevitably have been bugs in the first few drafts and, if we needed to make changes, each one would have cost us time and money. Whereas More4apps gave us the flexibility to do exactly what we wanted to do ourselves.”
  3. Contracting a specialist data cleansing Company to handle the address cleansing project
    It would have been a time-consuming and expensive option having a third-party company review and update their address details. “If we had used such a company, there would no doubt have been a lot of back and forth, answering questions such as: “When it says “Nottingham” on address line 3, do you want us to move it to the City field?” If I were reviewing it, I could just move “Nottingham” to the correct field straight away.”

“90% of the reason we opted for a product like More4apps was to minimize the amount of coding required to be done by the System Integrator (SI) and to keep the migration as simple as possible. We basically cleaned up the source system ourselves and had the SI write some very simple code to migrate the data, thus greatly reducing the inherent level of risk of this process.”

The More4apps Solution

“The organization calculated that using the Wizards resulted in a 98% reduction in the time taken to complete the master data deactivation project compared to performing this task manually. They estimated that it saved 4 or 5 months over the period of the project...”

Deactivation Project

The Council used More4apps’ ‘Custom Query’ functionality to determine which customers and suppliers had not been active for 3 years or more and then confirmed that these had no open transactions. They then defined additional rules to identify other records to be disabled.

When this process was completed, they performed a full review of the selected records and made any required adjustments.

The final selection amounted to 15,000 customers and 17,000 supplier sites: these were all quickly disabled using More4apps Wizards. They calculated that using the Wizards resulted in a 98% reduction in the time taken to complete the master data deactivation project compared to performing this task manually.

They estimated that it saved 4 or 5 months over the period of the project, covering the entire process: selection of the suppliers and customers to deactivate and update in Oracle EBS. 

Another significant benefit to the business is that the finance team knows that it can rely on the customer and supplier data in the Cloud being up-to-date when the migration is complete.

Cleansing Project

In addition to deactivating suppliers and customers, the Council also wants to use More4apps’ Wizards to correct and standardize details against their customers and suppliers before migrating master data to the Cloud. This cleansing project is still in progress for the Customer master data.

“When you have 100,000 customers or suppliers with address details to review, it’s much easier to do that using the spreadsheets provided by More4apps than it would be to do it in the application, one record at a time.

You can copy and paste and use standard Excel functions against the data, like vlookups in the spreadsheet to analyze it much quicker than you could through the front end of the application.”

For the Council, it was important to make the tool as easy to use as possible as it would be the end-user that was inputting and amending the data. The idea that this could be done in the familiar environment of a spreadsheet made sense as end users are responsible for cleansing all customers and suppliers prior to the migration. Here are a few examples of what they are currently using More4apps Wizards for:

  • Customer and Supplier Address details: Making sure the address details are mapped to the correct fields (city in the city field for instance).
  • Supplier tax reference numbers: They realized recently that Oracle is expecting a specific format for this field on the Cloud. They updated supplier tax reference numbers, so they all have the correct format for the Cloud.
  • Remittance advice delivery method: They use More4apps custom query to retrieve all customers with an email address, then update the field ‘Remittance advice delivery method’ to “Email” for all suppliers with an email address.
  • Customer profile class: They are changing the names on the Cloud so they are updating the customer classes before migration.

The team is convinced that More4apps is helping them speed up their migration to the Cloud while mitigating the risks, as Scott mentioned “We are moving less data and cleaner data.”

The only regret for Ringo, who is about to retire, is that he hadn’t encountered this tool earlier in his career!

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