Oracle eBusiness Suite - why you should have it on your evaluation list of ERP solutions
April 07, 2015

Oracle eBusiness Suite - why you should have it on your evaluation list of ERP solutions

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

11i / R12

Modules Used

  • Oracle iStore

Overall Satisfaction with Oracle eBusiness Suite

Oracle eBusiness Suite (or simply EBS) is the primary software platform on which our organization's business runs and is used across the whole organization by almost every department.

The different modules within EBS used by our organization include (but are not limited to):

  • Manufacturing - used to accept incoming orders, schedule manufacturing jobs and accept returns (Return Material Authorization).
  • Shipping - provide transit-time estimates and interface with third party shippers to enable real-time shipment tracking.
  • Supply Chain - forecast demand, manage warehouse stocking and determine manufacturing lead times.
  • Sales Representative/Customer Service - interface with customers and provide detailed information on their orders via various tools/modules in EBS.
  • Finance - manage payables and receivables organization-wide.
  • Human Resources (HR) - manage salary payments and tax/deductions/additions for employees.
  • Oracle iStore - provide customers with the ability to place online orders.
  • Support for doing business across various geographies - Oracle eBusiness Suite enables strong support for doing business internationally by providing multi-language and multi-currency features. Once a module is implemented, rolling it out to use in a new country/geography, in most cases, involves setup changes to translate messages and text in the new language. Currency conversion happens by default and can be linked to a third-party provider for up-to-date rates. For countries (e.g. Brazil) with specific regulatory and government reporting requirements, Oracle eBusiness Suite provides custom modules that can be used to achieve compliance with local laws and regulations.
  • Support for modules dealing with Financials - Oracle eBusiness Suite provides comprehensive support for financial transactions and reports for both Receivables and Payables. Within Receivables, support for various payment methods include credit card payments, ACH, invoice and cash. Pre-configured features allow integration with third-party payment processors that include leading financial institutions (Chase, BofA etc). Integration with new payment processors is well-defined with a list of steps that that need to be performed to achieve this. The eBusiness Suite also allows the organization to asses customers in terms of their financial health and manage risk accordingly.
  • Within Payables, abilities exist that allow the organization to manage suppliers, setup custom payment terms, manage purchase orders and match with receipt.
  • Similar to Receivables, payments can be made to suppliers/vendors using a variety of payment methods including credit cards, cash, ACH and other methods.
  • Strong cross-module integration - Oracle eBusiness Suite modules integrate very well with each other and can provide a top-bottom view of activity in an organization.
  • For an order placed by a customer, the flow looks like this: Online orders, via Oracle iStore, feed into Oracle Order Management (OM). OM is used by customer service representatives to track orders from the point of being booked to delivery. Manufacturing uses incoming orders to schedule work orders and updates the order status to reflect this. Shipping picks up the order when it is ready to ship and updates the order to reflect this. Finally, Accounts Receivable, invoices a customer when the delivery of an item is made at the customer location.
  • Support for mobile apps - The support for getting mobile-friendly information remains limited although Oracle is slowly releasing apps that address different modules. The released mobile apps address information availability in a piecemeal manner versus the integrated view that say, Oracle Order Management, provides on the desktop. Competitors (like SAP) have an dedicated mobile platform that offers users the ability to extend existing apps and even build custom apps that integrate into their ecosystem. In this day and age, the level of support for mobile applications from Oracle has a lot of room for improvement.
  • Heterogeneous technologies - The many modules with Oracle eBusiness Suite uses a mix of technologies ranging from PL/SQL to Forms to JSPs to SOA.
  • For an organization to effectively make use of the features offered and be able to customize it as per their needs, it will require the use of development staff that can work with all the different technologies that come with eBusiness Suite. While out-of-the-box integration id well engineered in Oracle, building custom integration points between different modules, particularly when it involves a new module versus a much older module (akin to a legacy system), requires the use of developers/analysts that need to workaround the intricacies of integrating legacy systems.
  • Support for user-requested features from Oracle Corp - In using the eBusiness Suite, Oracle offers a support plan that includes the ability for organizations to log change requests for new features that they would like to see in a particular module. While customization is an option that can be used to achieve desired functionality in the eBusiness Suite, Oracle does not support and/or offer development advice or custom functionality. The change request process can yield varying results possibly depending on how many users have requested a particular feature and how "critical" the feature is deemed to be based on Oracle's point of view. I general, the change request process (to add new features) appears to take time our organization has come to rely on customization as the primary manner in which new functionality within an eBusiness Suite module is achieved. I count this a weakness since this gives the impression that Oracle is less nimble in responding to changes in the eBusiness Suite.
  • Overview of business activities - Oracle eBusiness Suite (EBS) has definitely helped us in providing a end-to-end view of our business activities and how they correlate to performance.
  • From customer management onto orders and onto payables realization, EBS has helped connect the dots and allowed us to make our business process more efficient.
  • For customer service, this has meant that representatives are able to tell exactly what is happening with an order at any point in time and keep customers informed and up-to-date when there are questions.
  • Data for Analytics - A huge advantage of the inter-module integration built into Oracle eBusiness Suite is the amount of data that is available for analysis and reporting.
  • Over the last year, the Supply Chain department has been able to cut the lead time for key items to over 56% by mining data from different channels including planned orders, online (unplanned) orders, sales leads and surveys.
  • The addition of an online ordering system that comes as part of Oracle eBusiness Suite has helped in reducing load on personnel dealing with call-in, email and fax orders. Two years after implementing the online sales portal, around 20% of all orders come in via this channel and offers customers the ability to order 24X7. In addition to the ordering capability itself, the online portal provides real-time order information and variety of account/preference management features that would have earlier been accomplished via customer service.
Per my experience, the key questions when considering a product like Oracle eBusiness Suite would be:

  1. Do I truly need a full-fledged enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?
  2. Does my business operate across different geographies/countries?
  3. Is my organization willing to invest a considerable amount of time (up to a year during initial setup) and resources in setting up Oracle eBusiness Suite, especially when there are multiple modules involved?
  4. Am I willing to hire and maintain staff that will provide the ability for me to customize Oracle eBusiness Suite as dictated by changing business requirements and market conditions?
  5. Am I willing to continuously upgrade Oracle eBusiness Suite as major updates come from Oracle? This is important since Oracle tends to de-support older versions eventually.
  6. Am I willing to maintain a yearly support license since this provides the best value for making use of Oracle eBusiness Suite?
  7. As business expands and/or mergers/acquisitions happen, am I willing take on the implementation tasks that come up with incorporating a new entity onto my existing eBusiness Suite system?

Oracle eBusiness Suite Feature Ratings

Accounts payable
Accounts receivable
Inventory tracking
Automatic reordering
Not Rated
Location management
Not Rated
Order entry
Credit card processing
Cost of goods sold
Pay calculation
Benefit plan administration
Not Rated
Direct deposit files
Not Rated
Standard reports
Custom reports
API for custom integration
Not Rated
Role-based user permissions
Single sign-on capability
Not Rated