Development Dimensions International Gains Efficiency at Lower Cost by Upgrading Enterprise Applications and Adding Imaging Solution
 
 

Development Dimensions International Gains Efficiency at Lower Cost by Upgrading Enterprise Applications and Adding Imaging Solution

Since 1970, Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI) has been helping hundreds of organizations around the world―including half of the Fortune 500 companies―close the gap between where their businesses need to go and the talent they must have to take them there. With associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the company’s expertise includes designing and implementing employee selection systems and identifying and developing talent, from front-line workers to executive leadership.

Just as DDI helps its clients to develop and optimize their resources, the company is focused on doing the same within its own organization, including enabling effectively gathering and sharing information across its enterprise. A shared services model and paperless office environment are an important part of that strategy.

To advance this objective, the company upgraded its Oracle E-Business Suite environment to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1, and rolled out Oracle Internet Expenses globally, as well as deployed a new imaging and document capture solution—Oracle WebCenter Content. The implementation enabled DDI to lay a foundation for expanding its shared services center of excellence environments across North America, Europe, and Asia; accelerate expense report review and approval processes; cut the costs and labor associated with managing paper-based expense transactions; and eliminate the need to photocopy, fax, and courier paper documents. It also reduced physical document storage requirements and costs, and enabled DDI to accelerate client-billable expense processing and invoice creation.

Further, the company achieved platform consolidation, reducing IT complexity by eliminating third-party legacy document management systems, and the cost of supporting them. DDI has now standardized on Oracle to further simplify its infrastructure, and it seeks Oracle solutions first when launching new initiatives.

 
Reducing IT Complexity

A word from Development Dimensions International

  • “We are very pleased with the way Oracle WebCenter Imaging enabled us to achieve process efficiencies by capturing receipt images up front and making them accessible to managers and other approvers all along the workflow. We also like that we can retrieve images not only from Oracle Internet Expenses, but also from Oracle Payables, as well as within Oracle WebCenter Imaging itself.” – Mike Fieldhammer, Corporate Controller, Development Dimensions International

DDI is working toward implementing a paperless office environment that will optimize efficiency and reduce administrative expenses across the enterprise―from invoice and expense processing in accounting, to employee on-boarding and benefit enrollment in human resources, to contracts in the legal department.

The organization realized that an imaging solution and expense management system that was integrated into its enterprise resource planning (ERP) environment was critical. DDI started this initiative with an imaging solution that tightly integrated with Oracle Internet Expenses to enable employees to create and managers to approve expense reports as quickly as possible to enable them to get back to activities that make DDI successful and profitable. Such a solution would also support DDI’s financial audit and transparency requirements.

The company previously used a third-party system to manage employee expenses, a solution that was extremely complex to maintain, as it was not built on a standards-based architecture. It also required complex integration with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1, including 17 custom interfaces. Any upgrades required significant time and IT resources to complete.

As DDI continued to grow, it experienced escalating costs associated with searching, storing, and recreating critical, expense-related documents for its operations around the globe. Every year, employees spent thousands of hours and the company expended significant financial resources distributing client-billable expense receipts across several departments globally. This largely manual system delayed employee reimbursement and client billing and prohibited the rollout of shared services centers, designed to elevate efficiency and customer service.

 
Charting a New Course

 
Realizing Immediate Benefits

 
 

 
 

Challenges

  • Advance DDI’s global, shared services strategy to help it to reduce costs, improve administrative efficiency, and expand its ability to deliver world-class talent acquisition and development services
  • Enable the company to more efficiently capture and process employee expenses, eliminating manual processes and accelerating reimbursement, as well as customer billing
  • Reduce IT complexity and management costs by eliminating custom integrations between the company’s business-critical applications and systems

Solutions

  • Upgraded to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 and deployed Oracle Internet Expenses and Oracle WebCenter Imaging to create an IT infrastructure that can support a global, shared services environment and a future, paperless-office model
  • Replaced a third-party, expense-management system that required 17 custom interfaces with Oracle Internet Expenses, which features out-of-the-box integration to Oracle E-Business Suite modules, reducing IT complexity and management costs
  • Accelerated the expense report creation, review, and approval process for employees and managers, improving productivity and enabling employees to focus more time on core responsibilities, including the delivery of innovative staffing and talent development services
  • Reduced costs associated with photocopying, faxing, and courier services associated with expense reporting and client billing
  • Reduced paper storage requirements and the costs associated with them
  • Improved ability to rapidly locate documents, thanks to Oracle WebCenter’s advanced indexing capabilities, saving time and accelerating customer invoice creation

Why Oracle

When it came time for the organization to select a new expense management system, it conducted due diligence and looked at available options. Oracle prevailed for several reasons, according to Bill Koch, vice president and chief financial officer, Development Dimensions International. 

“Reducing integration complexity was one of our fundamental drivers for these initiatives,” Koch said. “As such, prebuilt integration between the Oracle solutions, coupled with their strong functionalties, factored heavily into our decision process. In addition, Oracle’s stability as a partner and vendor was also important.”

“Today, what we're really trying to do is have a standard-technology platform methodology, worldwide. Oracle will enable us to execute on this vision,” said Sunthar Tharmalingam, enterprise lead, Oracle technologies, Development Dimensions International. “We have had a great partnership with Oracle for almost 20 years. Today, if we need a new business application, we look at Oracle first to determine if it has a solution that complements our environment.”

Implementation Process

DDI was the first organization to integrate Oracle WebCenter Imaging and Oracle Internet Expenses Release 12.1.3, and worked with Oracle Partner All Star Software Systems.

The project involved multiple phases, beginning with the upgrade to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 and Oracle Internet Expenses deployment, which began in June 2011. The company ran three pilots for its Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 upgrades, as it changed its code block midstream.

DDI began to prepare for its Oracle WebCenter Imaging deployment in October 2011. The implementation went live on time.

Partner