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Modern Best Practice

Explained
Steve Cox
Vice President, Cloud Business Group, Oracle
steve.r.cox@oracle.com

Enter
Copyright 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
About The Author
Steve Cox
Vice President, Midsize, Cloud Business Group

Steve Cox is Vice President of Midsize, responsible for go-to-market and global
demand-generation activities for Midsize.
Mr. Cox joined Oracle in 1997. Prior to joining the Oracle Midsize team in 2003, Mr. Cox held
various management positions within the Oracle Consulting and the Oracle Development
organisations. Mr. Cox holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Bath.
In 2014, Mr. Cox authored Modern Best Practice Explained, an eBook articulating the next
generation business processes needed by organisations embarking on digital transformation.
A keen runner of marathons and ultra-marathons, he resides in the U.K.

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Foreword
Thank you for downloading this, the 2nd edition of Modern Best Practice Explained. The new edition has
an easier to follow layout and useful links.

Since the original publication of this eBook, and over a thousand of downloads later, much has changed.
Not the least, the creation of www.oracle.com/modernbestpractice where you can find all of the latest
definitions of Oracle Modern Best Practice to help your business transformation.

At the time of writing, the modern best practice part of oracle.com is one of the fastest growing in terms
of popularity with more web visits every month and one of the stickiest.

Inside Oracle, we have developed a rich pool of expertise on Oracle Modern Best Practice and digital
transformation. Many of our teams carry all of the modern best practices on their tablets along with
demos and assets to show what can be achieved with a concept that is remarkably easy to adopt. Our
partner ecosystem has embraced Oracle Modern Best Practice extremely quickly and many of our partners
have their own experts who can not only articulate how modern best practice can help your organization
achieve radically superior results but also demonstrate how quickly and affordably Oracle solutions based
on modern best practice can be deployed.

I am indebted to the team of luminaries inside Oracle that urged me to write this book back at the end of
2013. Notably Larry Simcox and Rod Johnson without whose enthusiasm, support and insight, Oracle
Modern Best Practice would have remained just an idea.

Steve Cox, July 2016

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Content
1 What is Best Practice?

2 Why Adopt Best Practice?

3 Modern Best Practice

4 The Enablers

5 Examples: Modern Best Practice Illustrated

6 How Oracle Can Help Your Organization Embrace


Modern Best Practice

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What is Best Practice? 1
Wikipedia: A best practice is a method or technique that has
consistently shown results superior to those achieved with
other means.
2

Wikipedia goes on to say that best practice is used as a benchmark and, in 3


addition, it can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered.
Its the evolution of best practice to modern best practice that were going
to cover in this short guide. 4
Heres where our (re)definition of best practice and Wikipedias diverge:
In our view, best practice evolves as improvements are discovered, as the 5
organization and requirements change and as new technologies become
available.
6
Best practice evolves as improvements are discovered, as the
organization and requirements change and as new technologies
become available.

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What is Best Practice? 1
Best practice is frequently visualized as a business
process diagram
2
But of course, it could be a dashboard with KPIs, an email template Having done this, our new best practice can be
or a set of written standards used to standardize our operations, that is the new
way we do things around here
3
The important thing is to show how the best practice is better and
why versus the traditional approach though well be careful to standardize on modern 4
Best practice needs to be simple to understand and easy to adopt best practice that preserves both competitive
advantage and our unique identity and culture
Because the typical organization will have multiple business
functions, our best practice needs to cover the relevant ones. And
5
because multiple people are usually involved, we need to show
who will be executing each component 6

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What is Best Practice? 1
Lets say we want the best way to manage requisitions:
How People Buy Stuff 2

Heres our Requisition-to-Receipt process. 3


Looks simple doesnt it?
But the devil is in the detail and well explore the detail later on.
4

Create Manage
Raise a Approve
Issue a
Approve &
Receive
Approve for
6
Sourcing Suppliers Purchase Goods and
Requisition Requisition Distribute PO Payment
Specification Responses Order Services

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Why Adopt Best Practice? 11
A Google search on best practice generates 845,000,000 results
spanning content from mobile phone networks, trade association,
newspapers, government agencies, consultancies, healthcare
2
bodies and many others. This tells us its a popular subject for
research, but whats in it for your organization? 3
Best practice in itself articulates how you execute to achieve
consistently superior results. Evidence abounds to show that
4
standardizing on best practice can deliver both top line benefits
(to sales revenue) and bottom line savings (to costs). 5
its standardizing that matters. Standardizing on a common
set of best practices across the organization helped Oracle 6
achieve $1 billion improvement in its profit margins1

Source: (1) http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/investor-relations/financials/q1fy01-079227.html

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Why Adopt Best Practice? 11
Lets explore how Oracle customers have benefited from
standardization on best practice 2
Silicon Valley YMCA Reduces Number of Days to Close1
This non-profit took a lean accounting approach to reduce the number of days to close 3
form 15 down to 3 with support from integrated Oracle Cloud solutions for ERP, EPM and
Sales. With plans to double growth, they look to Oracle to grow and evolve with them.
4

5
Thomson Reuters Decreases Quote Time from Days to Minutes2
The company decreased its customers quote time from an average of 3-7 days
down to 30 minutes by standardizing on Oracle CPQ Cloud to automate processes 6
while eliminating the need for manual quotes.

Source: (1) http://medianetwork.oracle.com/video/player/4286362321001


(2) http://medianetwork.oracle.com/video/player/3299014954001

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Why Adopt Best Practice? 11

Organizations become winners by spotting


2

3
big opportunities and inventing next practices.
CK Prahalad, HBR column Best Practices Get You Only So Far1, April 2010
4

We agree. Though we prefer the term modern best practice. 5


Modern because not only is it new but because its
immediately achievable.
6

Source: (1) http://hbr.org/2010/04/column-best-practices-get-you-only-so-far/ar/1

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Modern Best Practice 11
Modern best practice is flexible, supports growth
and innovation and enables new ways of executing to 2
achieve radically superior performance.

Exploiting new capabilities made possible by cloud 3


computing, mobile, analytics, social, the Internet of
Things (IoT) and big data, modern best practice
enables organizations of all sizes to achieve more, 4
faster and with fewer resources.
5

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Modern Best Practice 11
Equally, modern best practice recognizes the need to
maintain uniqueness and competitive advantage. 2
Modern best practice keeps pace and evolves with
growth and changes in a fast moving market. Its local 3
and global, seeking to enable and deliver the best results
across departments, borders, languages, fiscal and
physical domains. 4

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Modern Best Practice 11
So how does your organization move from best practice to
modern best practice? 2
Some examples of modern best practice are included in the The enablers well use for our examples are:
following section but the approach is simple:
Cloud Computing (The Cloud)
3
First, we examine the existing business process, dashboard, Mobile
method, policy, operating procedure or approach and optimize it:
Analytics
4
removing redundancies, ensure its lean, checking the outcomes
are as intended and that its relevant to todays requirements. Social
5
Then we review the process against the enabling technologies The Internet of Things
the enablers as well refer to them from now on. Big Data
6

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The Enablers 11
The cloud, a mobile-first philosophy, intelligence driven by analytics,
the promise delivered by pervasive social networking inside and 2
outside the whole organization, the benefits of the Internet of Things
and big data cant be overlooked but
3
the purpose of this brief guide isnt to go into detail on these enabling
technologies but to explain in simple terms the impact these enablers have on
your business and how they help you generate an increase in top line revenue, 4
better productivity, lowered costs and improved compliance.
On the next few pages well explore each of the enablers and provide you with
links to more information.
5

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The Enablers 11

2
The Cloud Mobile Analytics
3
The cloud enables you to purchase A mobile-first strategy enables your How is your latest project performing?
software and IT resources as a service, organization to securely access powerful What could you change to lower costs?
shifting the burden of capital expenses to a analytics and forecasting tools, customer To increase profitability? What are the 4
flexible, pay-as-you-go model. It resembles and supplier insights, real time information latest market developments that could
a utility that supplies water or power on sales opportunities, inventory, financial affect your business? Analytics (also known
users are able to access business data, marketing campaigns and much more as Business Intelligence) provides you with 5
applications at any time from multiple when and where you need it. this information in the form of dashboards
locations, track usage and scale capacity showing your KPIs and metrics in real time.
without large up-front costs. 6

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The Enablers 11
The Internet 2
Social of Things Big Data
3
A naturally collaborative social work The Internet of Things delivers significant Big data is a collection of data from
environment seamlessly connects users and opportunities to generate value from the traditional and digital sources that when
content, no matter where your people are data collected by devices and things. harnessed, can transform your business. It 4
located or which devices they prefer to use. Examples include smart meters to manage includes data from your own systems plus
Social capabilities are embedded directly energy bills, remote patient monitoring to data from devices, data streams, blogs,
into modern cloud-based business processes deliver high-quality care and telemetry for social networks and more. It offers an 5
so its easier to share information. car safety. opportunity to gain insight, quickly test new
ideas and change business operations.
6

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Examples: Modern Best Practice Illustrated 11

Though we could examine dashboards and 2


written procedures, for our examples well
take two common business processes:
Close & Process
Current
Generate
Reserves,
Reversals & Revalue
3
Period Close-to-Financial Reports Reconcile Period Journal
Suspense Balances
Sub-ledgers Transactions Entries
Entries
Requisition-to-Receipt 4
Youll recall Requisition-to-Receipt as we
mentioned it in section 01 but lets first look
5
at Period Close-to-Financial Reports.

Reconcile
Adjust Translate
Consolidate
Close Period 6
Journal Currency & Generate
Accounts Ledgers
Entries Balances Reports

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Examples: Modern Best Practice Illustrated 11
For our non-accounting audience, lets illustrate this with a story Lets explore how this might look with
focusing on a journal entry adjustment. modern best practice: 2
Youre a CFO. Your new CEO has asked for a review of all inventory on hand Over coffee, the red icon on your tablet indicates a mail
believing that much of the stock on hand will be obsolete by the end of the from the CEO 3
financial period and ought to be revalued. Youve sent a mails out to your You create a social conversation regarding the inventory
team, VP for Manufacturing, the VP for Sales and the logistics team to review and add the relevant team members
request the amount of inventory in each of your locations. After 20-30 mail
As each team member reports, they attach links to the 4
exchanges, you have a clear assessment and approve the necessary
current inventory status
journals. A year later youre asked by the auditor to provide detail to
You review the social conversation and update it with
support the journal entry adjustment.
approval of the journal entry adjustment required
5
All good. The books balance and you found the mails for the auditor. A year later, during a routine audit, youre asked why the
adjustment was made. You then share the issue,
the conversation and the adjustment with the auditor
6

Click here to
read more

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Examples: Modern Best Practice Illustrated 11
By socially enabling Period Close-to-Financial Reports,
executing it in the Cloud, making it accessible on mobile 2
devices and incorporating analytics, we achieved fast
resolution with a robust audit trail. 3

Click here to
read more

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Examples: Modern Best Practice Illustrated 11
For our second example, well look at Requisitions are raised by the production team on the
factory after checking stock levels
Requisition-to- Receipt and the transformative potential 2
of The Internet of Things, Analytics and Mobile. Once the requisition is submitted, its reviewed and
approved by buyers and distributed to suppliers
Youre again the CFO. Your purchasing process is good but youre The supplier then delivers the goods or services
3
aware that production is sometimes disrupted by late delivery from
your suppliers. The receiver confirms the goods are as ordered
4
The suppliers invoice is received, matched and a
payment authorized
5

6
Create Manage Issue a Receive
Raise a Approve Approve & Approve for
Sourcing Suppliers Purchase Goods and
Requisition Requisition Distribute PO Payment
Specification Responses Order Services

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Examples: Modern Best Practice Illustrated 11
Our new modern best practice features sensors on each
storage rack that indicate when priority items are close 2
to the minimum safety stock levels

A requisition is triggered and an alert is sent to the production line


3
supervisors smartphone
Due to the expense of the item, the supervisor visually confirms stock 4
level and approves the requisition
The dashboard on the supervisors phone now shows updated data for
stock on hand and ordered 5
Workflow routes the requisition to the buyers tablet for approval on his
morning commute
A purchase order is sent via email to the supplier who responds likewise
6
The goods are delivered, checked as usual and placed on the storage Click here to
read more
rack which senses that stock levels are now at the required level

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Examples: Modern Best Practice Illustrated 11
In creating a modern best practice version of
Requisition-to-Receipt 2
We harnessed The Internet of Things, Mobile and Analytics
to fundamentally speed up the process, remove delays 3
caused by manual intervention and deliver the information
needed to the right people.
Opportunities exist to review every process, procedure,
4
policy, dashboard, report, campaign, sales approach and
make improvements to leverage the enablers weve
mentioned.
5
In the next section, well explore what to do next and how
Oracle can help. 6

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How Oracle Can Help Your Organization Embrace
Modern Best Practice 11
In this brief guide, weve explored best practice Starting your journey to standardization
and its successor modern best practice. is easy and the good news is, you dont 2
need to do everything at once. You can
Weve also covered in just a little detail, the six
take a modular approach. Addressing
enablers of modern best practice: 3
your immediate business challenges with
The Cloud simple to adopt Oracle solutions.
Mobile 4
We know youll want to know more and
Analytics the Oracle sales team is ready and waiting
Social to assist you.
5
The Internet of Things Call us now.
Phone: +1.800.633.0738 6
Big Data
or visit oracle.com/modernbestpractice

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11

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