Scottish Natural Heritage
Sharing our Oracle E-Business Suite
Donella Steel
Patrick Haston
Scottish Natural Heritage
Today, we will cover:
 Who we are
 What we are doing
 Why we are doing it
 How it’s going
 Some lessons
 Q&A
Scottish Natural Heritage
Health Warning
 We’re here to tell you the whole story
 The good, the bad and the ugly…
 Health Warning - Oracle employees may wish to leave
the room!
Scottish Natural Heritage
Who we are
Scottish Natural Heritage
Who we are – Scottish Natural Heritage
 We are a non-departmental public body, advising the
Scottish Government.
 We look after all aspects of nature and landscape
in Scotland – “All of nature for all of Scotland”
Scottish Natural Heritage
Our objectives
High quality nature and landscapes that are resilient to
change and deliver public value
Nature and landscapes that make Scotland a better place
in which to live, work and visit
More people experiencing, enjoying and valuing our nature
and landscapes
Nature and landscapes as assets contributing more to the
Scottish economy
Scottish Natural Heritage
Who we are
 Donella Steel – Programme Manager
• Previously SNH’s Head of Finance
 Patrick Haston – Technical Manager
• Previously SNH’s Software Development Manager
 SNH is lucky to have a strong EBS support team, backed
up by skilled developers and DBAs
Scottish Natural Heritage
What we are doing
Scottish Natural Heritage
What we are doing
 Sharing our instance of the Oracle E-Business Suite
 Finance, HR, Payroll, iProcurement, iExpenses
 Working in partnership
 Single support team
 Sharing as much of the configuration as possible
 No current plans for sharing functions such as
Payroll/Accounts Payable
Scottish Natural Heritage
Why we are doing it
Scottish Natural Heritage
Why we are doing it
 Save money
 Improve the service
 Future opportunities
 For our partners, it’s a relatively quick, low-cost way of
getting a great ERP supported by an experienced team
Scottish Natural Heritage
How it’s going
Scottish Natural Heritage
How it’s going
 Changing Partners
 Oracle Licensing Challenges
 Resourcing the Programme and Projects
 Achievements
 Next Steps
Scottish Natural Heritage
Changing Partners
 Since Donella first suggested this several years ago…
 We started with Visit Scotland and Historic Scotland
 Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands
Enterprise expressed an interest
 Historic Scotland stepped back while they completed
their merger with RCAHMS
 Highlands and Islands Enterprise decided to retain their
current applications for the medium future
 The Scottish Legal Aid Board had to upgrade their
Oracle Finance instance to R12 and decided to merge it
with HR
 We’ve also talked to several other organisations…
Scottish Natural Heritage
Changing Partners
 So who are our partners?
 Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Legal Aid Board are
actively implementing the eBusiness Suite
 Visit Scotland are members of the programme board
and are looking at options for implementation during
2015 once Homecoming 2014 is complete.
Scottish Natural Heritage
Oracle Licensing Challenges
 Oracle agreed to us using BPS licences for the partners
 The changing partners and their different requirements
meant constantly revising the quotes
 It seems that every quote needs to be signed off
internally in Oracle back in the US.
 Scottish Legal Aid Board wanted to move from perpetual
to BPO licences, but Oracle insisted that they pay 125%
of current costs
Scottish Natural Heritage
Resourcing the Programme and Projects
Programme team not set up until the Programme was initiated
Struggled to initiate the Programme without a dedicated team in place
 Eventually Programme Manager appointed to initiate the
 Programme team positions open to partners
 Partner project roles have been identified and resources are being
allocated to these roles
 We have awarded a contract for specialist support and advice
Scottish Natural Heritage
 Programme initiated – November 2013
 A series of webinars to demo Oracle – January and
February 2014
 Combined analysis workshops with all partners – March
and April 2014
 Requirement specifications issued – May 2014
Scottish Natural Heritage
Next steps
 Design work due to complete at the end of June
 Scottish Legal Aid Board
Build begins in July
User Acceptance Testing begins in September
Parallel Run 1 in October
Parallel Run 2 in November
Go Live in December 2014
 Scottish Enterprise
Build begins in February 2015
User Acceptance Testing begins in April
Parallel Run 1 in June
Parallel Run 2 in July
Go Live at the end of July 2015
Scottish Natural Heritage
Some lessons
Scottish Natural Heritage
Some lessons
 Be patient
 Getting started took absolutely ages – no-one would commit without
knowing the costs and timescales, yet without their commitment
SNH wouldn’t release people to work on a project that might never
happen. You need a senior manager prepared to take a leap of
 Believe in yourself
 Oracle is one of the best ERPs available. It’s not perfect, but it’s a
good product. You have configured it to work well for your
organisation. If you can find another organisation similar to
yourself, then there’s no reason your configuration won’t work for
them too. You can do this.
Scottish Natural Heritage
More lessons
 Oracle Licensing
 Be determined. Keep pushing for the best deal. The bigger the
volume of business you can put Oracle’s way (ideally on the same
invoice), the better the discount the local sales team can give you.
 Staying Legal
 In the public sector we have to adhere to some complex EU
procurement rules. We got legal advice to make sure that we did
everything we could to minimise risk to ourselves and our partners.
We ended up publishing a VEAT notice (twice) to announce our
intentions so that we would know of any challenges before we
Scottish Natural Heritage
More lessons
 Working in partnership means giving up control
 We’re not entering into a customer/supplier relationship. We are
setting up a joint steering board to make decisions collectively. This
means we won’t be able to do as we please with the system without
the approval of our partners. We don’t think this has fully sunk in
yet within SNH.
 Look for opportunities
 We were delighted when the Scottish Legal Aid Board came along
because they have been Oracle users for even longer than us.
We’ve already learnt a great deal from them and we hope to learn
more. We’ve also been open to reviewing our processes where the
partners have better ones.
Scottish Natural Heritage
More lessons
 Senior Management backing
 Without the support of our Senior Managers, all the way up to CEO
level, this couldn’t happen. We wouldn’t have been able to propose
the compromises required to bring the organisations into alignment
(technically and business processes). And Donella would not have
been released to initiate the programme.
 Getting people’s time
 Everyone has been very enthusiastic and up for change. But few
people have been released from their day job, so scheduling
meetings and workshops has been a challenge. With a large
project like this you’re going to bump into busy periods like financial
year ends, and it’s going to be hard for some key people. There’s
no easy answer, so build in a contingency for this.
Scottish Natural Heritage
More lessons
 Technical alignment
 Because we’re all using the same instance, we’re using exactly the
same version. Some of the patches we’ve applied are specific to
certain versions of Excel, for instance the Web ADI patches. This
means that we all need to be on similar version of Excel (Excel
2010 + 64 bit).
 Joining networks
 We’ve discovered some hidden dependencies on joining our
networks. Once SWAN arrives things will be easier, but at the
moment every time we join our network with another, the people
we’re already connected to need to be consulted. This has taken
time we hadn’t planned for.
Scottish Natural Heritage
Your Questions
Scottish Natural Heritage
Donella Steel
[email protected]
01463 725131
Patrick Haston
[email protected]
01463 725103

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