McDonald's opts for Oracle in global finance overhaul

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McDonald's opts for Oracle in global finance overhaul
Henry Shiner

Promoted CIO leads migration.

McDonald's will spend the next few years ripping out a proprietary, 20-year old finance system and replacing it with Oracle's E-Business Suite globally.

The fast food giant's former CIO for Australia and NZ, Henry Shiner, has been appointed to the new role of vice president, global financial transformation (IT) to lead the effort.

Shiner had served as the local IT chief for McDonald's for the past eight years.

During his time he undertook a review of the company's outsourcing arrangements, resulting in a shift away from IBM to Unisys for support, and developed and deployed a new governance model for IT, among other things.

He is now tasked with leading the "major refresh and retirement" of legacy financial systems - predominantly the proprietary platform in use in most of the company's jurisdictions - which is showing its age after 20 years in operation.

"We're moving to retire those legacy systems into a single instance Oracle platform hosted centrally in the world by McDonald's," Shiner told iTnews.

His role will focus on ensuring each McDonald's business has its needs heard, understood and addressed "so the transformation is a success".

The company has already started rolling out the Oracle platform in several smaller markets in Europe, and now has its sights set on Australia and New Zealand.

China and other Asian markets will follow, then McDonald's will revisit its remaining operations in Europe alongside North America. The whole process is expected to take around five years.

In tackling smaller markets first, Shiner hopes to be able to apply lessons learnt to larger rollouts, and potentially move from a staggered approach to deploying the platform in markets side by side.

"I think the challenge for us is how we get smarter at rolling out and migrating and onboarding our markets in parallel," he said.

"Our learnings [will] get fed back into the process - so rather than doing market after market, we can onboard and migrate markets at the same time."

Shiner expects the fast food giant will be able to better manage procurement contracts and eliminate rogue buying through the new platform.

"It gives us more visibility as to what is being procured - we can ensure that when contracts exist for procurement, that our purchasing is done within the contract, not outside it."

He declined to comment on the value or the length of the contract with Oracle.

Shiner will continue in his new role once the project is finished, and will start looking at improving other business processes that fall outside the finance suite, such as project costing, lease management, and broader analytics tools.

Removes CIO title

Shiner held the CIO mantle for eight years at McDonald's Australia, but his successor has not been bestowed the same title.

The company has appointed Scott Green to replace Shiner's functions as its new director of IT.

A spokesperson declined to provide detail on the title change, but said Green held the same position on the company's leadership team as Shiner did.

Green is a long-time McDonald's employee, having started work in 1985 on the fast food giant's shop floor in NSW.

He was appointed to the corporate office in 1993 and worked in a number of finance positions before joining the IT department in 2001.

Green moved out of Australia in 2006 to join McDonald's APMEA operations and was its senior director of IT restaurant solutions prior to his recent return to Australia.

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