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Vivo Energy is the Shell licensee in 16 countries in Africa. To support the Finance Transformation program, the fast growing company implemented an integrated landscape with business planning, consolidation and integrated reporting. Implementing four different applications at the same time called for a structured approach to align the applications.
Oracle – Vivo Energy
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PBCS at Vivo Energy
“We are a young and ambitious company; currently we are in the middle of a Finance Transformation program,” says Jan Timo Rebisch, group controller Vivo Energy. The Shell licensee is a joint venture between Vitol (40%), Helios Investment Partners (40%) and Shell (20%). “One of the main elements of the finance road map is processing the actuals and planning in an integrated landscape that connects both worlds.”
The right foundation
From the start of the program, the business was involved in the finance road map. “A finance organization has two roles to play; compliance & governance as well as business partnering. For the business partner role you need the right foundation: the right processes and teams as well as the right systems,” explains Jan Timo. “We needed to make sure that within our processes we can report accurately and in time. At
the same time, we wanted to integrate the important KPI’s that drive our business for the internal management reporting.” Therefore the design of the model was based on business requirements that were acquired from the business itself.
“FDMEE is aimed at supporting the integration of planning in the cloud as well as on premise solutions like HFM and Demantra”
Integration is key
“In order to achieve the goals set in the Finance Transformation program it was essential to align the requirements over the full landscape in an early stage,” says Jan Timo.
Vivo Energy chose Oracle HFM for consolidation, Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) for business planning and Oracle Demantra for operational planning. “As JD Edwards was already in house, it was a logical choice to integrate more Oracle products like Demantra, HFM and PBCS,” says Roy Piek, Finext Performance Management.
To support the integration, the role of FDMEE is key. “FDMEE is the latest version of financial data management, aimed at supporting the integration of planning in the cloud as well as the on premise solutions like HFM and Demantra,” explains Roy.
As any international organization, Vivo Energy has to deal with different cultures in different countries. “This is achievable if you have the earlier mentioned right processes standardized, the right teams in place and the right systems implemented,” says Jan Timo. The international environment played a key role in defining the application setup. “We have to consider our virtual organizational structure and environment, and ensure that not only the system landscape but also the network is capable to support the chosen approach.”
To support the international program, Sonum International, a sister company of Finext specialized in international Performance Management implementations, played a role as well. “In my view this is working very well. Both teams are working closely together to find the best solutions for HFM, PBCS and JD Edwards. They are very experienced and know exactly what is needed in the other tools. They make sure that it is the best solution for an integration, rather than the best solution for separate silos,” says Jan Timo. “Integration is never easy, but combining the teams makes my life easier.”
Another sister company, Swap Support, also participated in the program. “Swap Support helped with the technical installation and supported the parts of HFM that were already implemented,” says Timo. “We wanted to split forces for support and the project.” The comprehensive package of Finext as implementation partner, Sonum International for the international experience and Swap Support as support partner
was one of the reasons to choose this combination.
A structured approach
Different applications were implemented at the same time. “We are a fast growing organization, which requires a very fast implementation. Different parts of the organization needed different applications to achieve the goals of the finance transformation,” continues Jan Timo. “It wasn’t a dilemma, but certainly a challenge and integration was even more important.” “Because the alignment was of such importance, we
structured the project in a way that requirements from one part of the application were shared with the other teams as well.
Communication between the different stakeholders was essential both within the project as within the business of Vivo Energy,” explains Roy. This called for a structured approach. “We always went back to one core principle: JD Edwards is the foundation. If a change is done, it is done there first. The same goes for the actuals; they are leading. We use the definitions for the actuals for the other parts. The dimensionality of the model in HFM and PBCS are identical where possible. We need this ‘backbone’ of metadata and dimensionality to
achieve the goals of the integrated landscape and to make support as easy as possible in the future,” explains Roy.
Even though phase 2 of the implementation program has not yet been completed, Jan Timo already sees results. “We can already see how it supports us; in the automatic flow, in analyzing numbers and also in data integration. The data quality is improving, and it will be even better when we have finalized phase 2.”
The feedback from the business is also positive. “Our colleagues really appreciate these tools. Smart View is clearly a strong tool,” says Jan Timo. “It is user friendly. Furthermore, both the ad hoc analyses and pre-defined reports books are very useful.”
An added benefit is that the integrated approach also aligns the processes. Roy: “Every country in the organization now uses the same reporting book during the closing. At the same time they have the flexibility to analyze their numbers using Smart View. All based on the same source of data.”
“Standardizing processes and systems makes life much easier for any organization,” agrees Jan Timo. “ As you standardize, it is easier to analyze and integrate your information. This foundation is freeing up time and sets the basis to play the business partnering role you need to play as a finance organization.”
“Every country now uses the same reporting book, with the flexibility to analyze their number within Smart View”
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