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Oracle Outsourcing: How A Utility Puts The Power Back In Erp

To help overcome market challenges, a utility company located in the northeast turned to Oracle outsourcing for help

. The utility provides state-wide regulated electric transmission and distribution services and operates over 380 miles of transmission lines and 1,700 circuit miles of distribution lines. The utilitys goal is to transmit reliable, economical electric power and meet the expectations of its 35,000-plus residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The Utility Companys Challenge

Market volatility is a mainstay for utility and energy companies. Regulatory changes, customer demands and competitive pressures create constant hurdles. To address these market dynamics, utilities must continually evaluate business strategies, operating performance and technology effectiveness.

The utility originally turned to Oracles eBS application to help in managing their business and focus on overcoming market challenges. The company deployed modules for financials, inventory management and procurement. Although the Oracle eBS application improved business information for decision-making, application performance issues began surfacing. To address these performance issues, the utility began evaluating Oracle outsourcing solutions.

Specifically, systems were slow and several reporting functions were not running properly. The utility selected Oracle outsourcing as a way to address applications issues and to fix the ongoing problems.

Oracle Outsourcing Solves Performance Issues

To stabilize the utilitys application environment and ensure all application components were operating as expected, the utility brought on-board an application management provider. The outsourcing provider analyzed the situation and provided several suggestions for improving the performance issues.

The utility required top-notch system performance to manage constant regulatory scrutiny, efficiently meet customer demands and support the companys long-range strategic plan. To meet these requirements, the Oracle outsourcing provider proposed an application upgrade. Although the proposed upgrade would be complex, the utility and outsourcing provider believed it would solve the current performance issues for good.

During the development process, the Oracle outsourcing provider thoroughly tested the application in development environments. The upgrade created a more stable environment. The project fixed existing problems, enhanced system performance and provided the best cost-benefit ratio for the utility.

With the right partner, Oracle outsourcing can improve operational efficiency, streamline internal procedures and create a solid foundation for implementing the long-term strategic projects. Given the complexity of the Oracle applications, companies must ensure they select an outsourcing partner with the right credentials. A partner must be an expert in Oracle application management, have a verifiable track record and offer numerous customer references managing similar environments.

The utility company not only stabilized its ERP environment and improved performance levels, but they benefitted in many other ways as well. The utilitys end users provided higher satisfaction marks as a result of the improved performance.

Specifically, the utility logged the following improvements:

Before Oracle outsourcing, certain report processing would take one-to-two hours to produce. These same reports are now completed within 15 to 20 minutes.

Project accounting processes take 20-30 minutes instead of more than one hour.

Response time decreased from 10-15 seconds to three seconds.

Data query time fell from five minutes to 30 seconds or less. Now, users navigate the applications and retrieve data more easily. By combining multiple forms into one, data retrieval and reconciliation became a straightforward process.

Like the utility, companies can improve application performance with Oracle outsourcing. An experienced outsourcing provider can host, manage, upgrade and maintain Oracle applications. And, companies can leverage these applications to improve business processes, reduce costs and provide better support for management decision-making.

by: Chuck Vermillion
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