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IT Convergence, Inc. (ITC) is a global, Oracle enterprise solution provider that offers comprehensive consulting, education, development, enterprise cloud, and managed services. The company’s clients look to IT Convergence to deliver world-class solutions and service so that their investment in Oracle improves business performance.
The Oracle partner was expanding and opening offices around the world in rapid succession, including four offices in the United States. It was clear that the company was quickly growing from a family business to a corporate enterprise. Its business systems, largely reliant on spreadsheets, however, were not keeping pace with the company’s transformation.
As IT Convergence struggled to obtain global visibility of operations and resources, it quickly came to an important realization. “If we implement world-class software for our clients, why don’t we follow suit at home and realize the same benefits from these solutions for our own rapidly expanding organization?” said Gustavo F. Gonzalez, chief technology officer, IT Convergence, Inc.
In 2004, IT Convergence began to implement Oracle technology and applications to create a unified, highly available IT infrastructure that supports the delivery of world-class enterprise resource planning (ERP) consulting, support, education, and development services to clients around the globe.
Using Oracle has helped IT Convergence to better manage its global staff of skilled functional and technical Oracle consultants. Oracle has also given the company the tools it needs to streamline back-office operations and effectively manage international cost centers and cash flows. This will allow IT Convergence to continue its technological evolution and to provide top-notch services and solutions to its clients well into the future.
IT Convergence wanted to standardize, automate, and optimize its business processes—from financial management, human resources, project management, and more—at its locations around the world. It looked to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, running on Oracle Application Server and Oracle Linux, as the means to this objective.
With Oracle E-Business Suite, the organization was able to retire its spreadsheet based systems and processes and achieve near-real-time visibility across the organization, from finances to resources expended on specific projects. As important, it introduced best-practice business processes and automated workflows that drive new levels of efficiency and information accuracy.
Specifically, IT Convergence consolidated financial and accounting information with Oracle Financials, standardizing accounting procedures in all subsidiaries across various countries. The solution’s multicurrency capabilities support international operations and facilitate and automate conversions for an accurate picture of the company’s financial position. For example, Brazil and India have particularly complex tax structures, and Oracle E-Business Suite enables IT Convergence to run payables and receivables that can accommodate these complexities.
Oracle Projects modules, along with Oracle Time and Labor, enable IT Convergence to better track the actual cost of projects and ensure on-time and on-budget completion. For example, with Oracle Time and Labor, it automates approvals for hours allocated per project, including consulting, support, and development of IT projects, reducing inefficient manual processes and the potential for human error.
The company also has benefitted from Oracle E-Business Suite’s flexibility. At the time of the company’s Oracle E-Business Suite implementation, it did not have a purchasing department, which made it difficult to standardize and control procurement processes. Using Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 best practices, the company introduced a model to enable each line-of-business manager to create requisitions that are routed through the workflow to the department head and then to finance—enabling better fiscal control and giving finance the ability to cross-reference purchases across the globe.
In 2008, IT Convergence was an early adopter of Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, as part of a planned upgrade. The company was creating a shared services center in Argentina, and the new solution was well suited to the environment: for example, by allowing agents to enter billings for various countries on a single screen.
The experience of upgrading to Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12 had an added benefit for IT Convergence, as it gave the team first-hand experience with the product and process, which they could then apply directly to their clients’ upgrade plans and rollouts.
The company also is planning to begin rolling out Oracle Fusion Applications, including Oracle Fusion for Human Resources and Oracle Fusion for Financials, which will coexist for a time with Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.
Like many organizations, the first phase of IT Convergence’s enterprise-application initiative focused on automating and standardizing processes and workflows as well as gaining enterprisewide visibility. It then looked towards gaining true insight from the information it was aggregating.
With this goal in mind, IT Convergence deployed Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition and Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, and it saw their value the very first day. The company relies on the dashboards for critical insight into consultant skill repositories and assignments. These enable managers to understand which skill sets are currently assigned to a project, track when they will be available again, and determine where there may be resource shortages or capacity that can be applied to another project. For example, with the solution, the company can quickly see that it has bilingual resource in Latin America that can travel to support US-based projects. The company previously managed this process via a spreadsheet, a challenging and inefficient model for an international organization.
“We now have insight into our global workforce, which enables us to move faster than other firms in optimizing our consulting staff, globally,” Gonzalez said.
“Today, we have one source of truth for all operations information, regardless of where information comes from within our operations. We also can provide our executives with visibility into each business area, whereas before we had to rely on spreadsheets, which often report information differently between files. And, our line-of-business managers, as well as department managers can see the information they require, thanks to the role-based configuration. The entire company can base decisions on consistent metrics and accurate and timely information,” Gonzalez said.
“We have benefitted greatly from the business intelligence applications’ prebuilt dashboards, which have improved our ability to shorten the time to realizing value. We’ve implemented quickly and do not have a large maintenance burden, which decreases the cost of ownership. We had it up and running in just six months across the company,” Gonzalez said.
In 2010, IT Convergence faced the need to replace servers and began to consider moving from a physical server environment to an internal cloud. Once again, Oracle provided a solution for virtualization software, with Oracle VM, which enables IT Convergence to accelerate enterprise application deployments and simplify lifecycle management with fully integrated support from physical to virtual servers, including applications. The company achieves additional benefits, thanks to the product’s application-driven architecture, which provides benefits beyond simple, server consolidation, directly addressing data center costs.
With Oracle VM, the company has consolidated 13 physical servers into 4 virtual servers running multiple virtual machines and reducing costs for hardware maintenance and server monitoring. It also allowed IT Convergence to optimize IT resources through streamlined management and reduce energy costs by 11% and the physical space required in the data center by 7%—while maintaining 99.99% availability for critical systems and applications.
“The truth is, that when you make the decision to purchase business software, you evaluate it from many different perspectives,” Gonzalez said. “We have a strong partnership with Oracle, and we implement its products for our own customers. It works for us and works for our clients.”
“As former Oracle employees, we know what the investment is and how Oracle takes care of its clients. And, Oracle’s structured best practices enable us to introduce proven business processes into our organization along with our software,” Gonzalez said.