One of Oceania’s largest adult beverage companies adopts Oracle Cloud EPM in a big-bang, virtual approach, with integration to SAP on-premises ERP.
“The move from Hyperion to Oracle Cloud EPM was so smooth that we were able to close our books as fast as we had before, in just a day and a half, and with no disruption or loss of data integrity and quality. The embedded best practices for planning, financial close, and enterprise data management make our lives easier, helping us to continuously simplify our processes and free up time to really think about how we can help our business partners improve our customers’ experience.”—Swaroop Khekale, Enterprise Planning Leader, Lion Pty, Ltd.
Lion manages many of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most beloved beer and adult beverage brands, some of which are over 100 years old. The company’s more than 5,000 employees take this stewardship to heart, with a commitment to championing sustainability and the well-being of their customers.
Lion’s leadership must continuously fine-tune the company’s product offerings, business processes, sustainability practices, and sociability commitments to align with consumer preferences within its rapidly evolving markets.
This need to remain agile prompted leadership at Lion to embark on a massive finance transformation project in 2016. During that time, the finance and IT teams sought to simplify finance and operations wherever possible. This included reducing the company’s number of legal entities from 300 to 50 and adopting a single chart of accounts.
In 2020, Oracle’s Cloud was selected to establish a next-generation cloud platform for financial performance and data management activities that would replace Oracle Hyperion, which had not been upgraded in years and had, consequently, become highly configured. The motivations for this move were to reduce system maintenance costs, eliminate custom configuration and take advantage of new capabilities as soon as they are released. Also, of significant importance was the need to make sure financial management data was perfectly synchronized with core information from the company’s SAP on-premises ERP to ensure data quality and integrity. Once Oracle Cloud EPM was selected, the project team was faced with the challenge of implementing the solution virtually, due to the pandemic, in a big-bang approach across multiple areas of finance.
Lion’s finance and Enterprise Services teamed with third-party consultants James & Monroe and Oracle Development, creating a highly effective partnership that worked in harmony to go live across planning, financial close, and enterprise data management, on time, at the end of August 2020. The project’s immediate success was evidenced by the fact that the month-end and quarterly books were closed that month as fast as before, not missing a beat.
By moving to cloud, the costs of purchasing and maintaining servers were eliminated, along with the time and expense associated with maintaining the hundreds of personalised configurations that had accumulated over the last five years within their outdated Oracle Hyperion Financial Management solution. System calculation time has been reduced by an astonishing 93%.
Familiarity with Oracle’s Hyperion Financial Management helped facilitate effective change management in the cloud, as Lion’s finance and Enterprise Services staff were able to establish a reliable self-service model for end users. Employing Oracle’s universal adapters, the integrations between Lion’s SAP ERP system and Oracle Cloud EPM were established without disruption.
Oracle Enterprise Data Management provided data enrichment and integrity capabilities to establish unison between the Oracle and SAP solutions. As a result, end users immediately trusted the data they were seeing.
By adopting the best practices in Oracle Cloud EPM, and with innovation delivered in monthly updates, finance and IT have not broken their stride in their commitment to continuous process improvement. The aggregate impact of all these results is that staff is now freed-up and empowered to spend more time and mindshare on consumer behavior analysis. For example, there has been a long-term shift from beer to wine by Australians, exacerbated by the decline in draught beer sales due to COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants and breweries. Lion’s finance team now has better tools to analyse the impact of such a trend, enabling them to provide enhanced guidance to operations.
Why They Chose Oracle
Lion’s selection team considered enterprise performance management offerings from SAP, Anaplan, and Workday Adaptive Planning. Oracle Cloud EPM was selected by the virtue of being the only complete suite, which made it easier for a big-bang deployment approach and the related change management. Since continuous process improvement is part of the DNA at Lion, a lift-and-shift from on-premises to cloud was not acceptable. The best practices in Oracle Cloud EPM enabled the organization to immediately automate manual processes, which had been established over time, while also not losing momentum for their transformational efforts. Additionally, users’ existing comfortability with the frameworks within Oracle Hyperion Financial Management served to accelerate adoption and facilitate change management.
“In the very first month after our go-live, my key stakeholders told me that they have absolute trust in the numbers we are providing them. They’re not fighting over whether the data is right or not. That was really heartening and very satisfying to get that kind of feedback.” —Swaroop Khekale, Enterprise Planning Leader, Lion.
J&M specialises in the design and implementation of Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. J&M employ the largest dedicated EPM and BI team throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Since 2004, J&M have provided Advisory, Solution Design and Development services for project implementations, together with Application Support and Education services to both government and private sector customers. With offices in Auckland, Melbourne, Mumbai, Wellington and Sydney and over 70+ full-time product-specific experts employed across the company, J&M can provide size, scalability, depth of experience and cost-efficiency.
J&M is the implementation and support partner for some of the largest and most complex EPM and BI implementations in Australia, New Zealand and India. Our client retention rate reflects not only on our technical abilities but also on our professionalism and the effort we put into our client relationships.
J&M look to build long term partnerships with our clients and this is reflected in our approach to both implementation projects and support. Client’s staff are encouraged to be actively involved projects – from the initial design through to post-delivery support and training. J&M then continue to work with clients, post-implementation, to help them maximise the value of their investment.
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