Implementing Oracle Cloud ERP together with Ivalua can improve your organization’s supplier on-boarding management, sourcing and RFx, contract redlining, and provide an intuitive marketplace for procurement. However, that functionality comes with a significant amount of complexity and dependencies that we experienced while executing the complex data migration process for both Oracle Cloud and Ivalua at one of the nation’s premier hospital systems.
If you plan on implementing Oracle Cloud ERP and Ivalua, the following best practices will help guide your journey:
1. Recognize that not all cloud infrastructures are the same
Like Oracle Cloud, Ivalua also rests on a cloud infrastructure. However, Ivalua’s cloud model is different from Oracle. Ivalua is highly configurable, and more closely resembles a typical on-prem structure, with the capability to customize data migration load templates that are client-specific.
For example, this hospital system converted legacy contracts to Ivalua, which were then migrated to Oracle Cloud via a BPA (Blanket Purchase Agreements) interface. One of the hospital’s unique business requirements was that contract priority be converted to Ivalua. Even though Ivalua does not have such a field out of the box, we were able to quickly create a new custom field, add it to the Ivalua load template, and integrate it into an existing Oracle Cloud field.
2. Adapt your load approach for each system
As an all-encompassing ERP, Oracle Cloud enforces data integrity validation and structural crosschecks that will prevent invalid data from loading, which consequently requires longer loading times. In contrast, Ivalua’s focus on specific modules enables faster data loads.
For this hospital’s implementation, during the second System Integration Testing (SIT2) cycle, a new Ivalua scope requirement unexpectedly came up which required the team to purge previously loaded data and reload contracts according to the new requirements. The entire contracts purge and re-load process was able to be completed within 48 hours (the load itself took less than 1 hour).
3. Understand Inter-dependencies
When implementing Ivalua alongside Oracle Cloud, consider the common conversion elements between the two data transformations. For example, when converting procurement elements into Ivalua, it is critical to maintain a focus on Suppliers, Items, and Manufacturers that are also being converted to Oracle Cloud. A consistent scope and deduplication strategy should be implemented in Ivalua and Oracle Cloud, and common keys will need to be referenced in both systems. One final area worth exploring could be using your existing Oracle Cloud to Ivalua integration to replace some of the Ivalua migration work.
To help us handle these complex interdependencies, we used a data conversion tool – Applaud – to maintain a shared data repository across these data sets. This made it possible to report against the entire data landscape and keep key values synchronized between Oracle Cloud and Ivalua. Applaud also accelerated deduplication of supplier data in both Oracle Cloud and Ivalua, resulting in optimized business outcomes after go-live, related to a single view of suppliers, total spend, corresponding volume discounts, etc. Finally, we were able to rely on existing integrations between Oracle Cloud and Ivalua to replace several supplier conversions, saving the hospital tens of thousands of dollars in the process.
4. Establish a program-level plan encompassing both Oracle Cloud and Ivalua
It is important to view things at a program level, not just at the individual Oracle Cloud and Ivalua project levels. For example, on this hospital’s implementation, supplier data was initially being reviewed, loaded, and validated by separate teams for Oracle Cloud and Ivalua, which caused inharmonious data to be loaded to the two systems. By moving to a common team performing a common sign-off, data quality was vastly improved, and the amount of rework was reduced.
Additionally, Oracle Cloud load failures can have a major impact on Ivalua data conversion. Even a handful of suppliers falling out from the Oracle Cloud loads have the potential to significantly impact downstream Ivalua loads. For example, during the SIT2 cycle, one of the suppliers that fell out from the Oracle Cloud loads corresponded to dozens of contracts and thousands of contract lines. Without performing a delta load of this supplier to Oracle Cloud and Ivalua, thousands of item prices would be missing from Ivalua.
The steps outlined above give you a framework to understand the Ivalua and Oracle Cloud systems relative to one another and accordingly plan your conversion effort. Having a common team with a common data migration solution to work on both Oracle Cloud and Ivalua gives you visibility into all the inter-dependencies mentioned above and potential breakdowns.
IT Transformations that involve multiple technologies can be daunting, but the payoff is that your organization will have a best in class solution that addresses your unique needs. I wish you luck on your implementation and if you have any questions about data conversions for Oracle Cloud and Ivalua, please contact me at email@example.com.