Beverage maker Lion is “re-implementing” its financial planning and consolidation in Oracle cloud and revisiting underlying processes as it continues a large-scale technology transformation.
Enterprise services planning leader Swaroop Khekale told the recent Oracle Modern Cloud Day 2019 in Sydney that the company - owner of brands like XXXX, Toohey’s, Hahn, James Boag, Dairy Farmers Daily Juice and Yoplait - is in the process of moving from on-prem Hyperion to Oracle’s enterprise performance management (EPM) cloud.
“We haven't gone live yet with our cloud system,” Khekale said, noting the team was six-to-eight months into the “re-implementation” project.
The company is currently undergoing a large business transformation project that spans across its commercial, sales and marketing and supply chain operations.
“We're going through a massive transformation,” Khekale said.
“It was an opportunity for us to reinvent our processes as well.
“So we are not doing a lift-and-shift, we are actually re-implementing not just our [financial] planning solution but also our consolidation solution as well.”
Khekale said planning was as important as ever to Lion, given it operated in markets where new competitors were coming from all sides.
“In our industry, things change rapidly, and even before we realise it we have competition,” he said.
“Anybody can open up a small craft brewery shop and that's competition for us, so we have to be really up on our tools in terms of innovation.”
Khekale was at Lion when it put together its current Hyperion-based planning solution with the help of a consulting partner.
“We invested a lot on best-of-breed modeling and forecasting,” he said.
“Hyperion is still a brilliant solution [for us] and something that I was involved right at the implementation so I’m quite passionate about that particular solution, but that has given me a lot of heartaches and late nights as well because the capability was kind of restricted to my team … and we used to spend a lot of time on weekends to maintain the systems.”
The company is travelling somewhat of a worn path in “migrating from on-premises Oracle Hyperion to Oracle EPM Cloud”, judging from Oracle’s own documentation.
Lion will use Oracle’s Planning Budgeting Cloud Service or PBCS.
Its core functionality is described as being “the same as Oracle Hyperion Planning on-premises” - hence the migration path - and is touted as “the first Hyperion EPM product”.
“With the amount of change that's going on, CFOs nowadays realise the importance of not just having a finance office providing numbers but it's about insights,” Khekale said.
“With Oracle EPM [Cloud] and PBCS particularly, I do see predictive planning as something that is going to help our organisation, particularly from a group finance perspective.
“It's just going to provide that connected visibility from strategic planning down to operational planning.
“That's what's going to make our forecasting much, much swifter … and create a long-lasting impact.”
Khekale said he hoped Lion would make gains from quarterly updates to EPM Cloud by Oracle, and by using some out-of-the-box functionality in the platform, including for cash flow reporting.
He also hoped that shifting to the cloud would free up time otherwise spent administering the on-prem Hyperion platform.
“I [now] have to just focus on business partnering, engaging with the business partners and coming up with a use case for all the new capabilities that are getting released every quarter,” Khekale said.