Morpho Detection Looked to Cloud Services to Save Approximately US$500,000 with Rapidly-Deployed, Secure, Cost-Accounting-Compliant Enterprise Applications
 
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Morpho Detection Looked to Cloud Services to Save Approximately US$500,000 with Rapidly-Deployed, Secure, Cost-Accounting-Compliant Enterprise Applications

Morpho, a high-technology company in the Safran group, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of identification, detection and e-document solutions. Morpho’s integrated systems and equipment are deployed worldwide and contribute to the safety and security of transportation, data, people, and countries.

Morpho Detection Inc. (MDI), part of Morpho, is a leading supplier of explosives and narcotics and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detection systems for government, military, air and ground transportation, first responder, critical infrastructure, and other high-risk organizations. Morpho Detection integrates computed tomography, Raman spectroscopy, trace (ITMS), mass spectrometry, X-ray and X-ray diffraction technologies into solutions that can make security activities more accurate, productive, and efficient. Morpho Detection's solutions help to protect people and property the world over.

In September 2009, Morpho acquired an 81% stake in General Electric Company’s Homeland Protection business, which was later renamed MDI. This acquisition required MDI to build an entire IT department, including the network infrastructure to support 900 computers and 600 mobile devices. To accomplish this task, MDI worked with Oracle partner PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to deploy a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system using Oracle E-Business Suite On Demand hosted by Oracle Managed Cloud Services. The company went live with the implementation of this ERP system in less than five months, enabling it to ensure business continuity by establishing a compliant framework and to participate in the bidding process for several important government contracts

MDI counts the United States government among its most important customers. As such, the company must ensure that its enterprise systems meet not only stringent security requirements but also comply with government accounting and reporting standards.

With Oracle E-Business Suite On Demand, MDI met both of these requirements. Oracle Financials applications are cost-accounting standards (CAS) complaint, and they can track and report expenses for government billing and documentation at the lowest possible level―including 15- minute time increments. In addition, the new environment is stable and secure, which is essential, since MDI handles sensitive business and financial information for many of its clients. Further, by hosting its ERP environment with Oracle Managed Cloud Services, the company did not have to hire additional database administrators and other IT personnel to deploy and maintain the system, saving costs while ensuring consistent maintenance, disaster recovery capabilities, and streamlined upgrades for its future operations.

 
 

 
 

Challenges

A word from Morpho Detection Inc.

  • “Working with Oracle and being in the cloud has minimized the need to build a database infrastructure and support team to run our ERP system. With Oracle’s reputation, world-class security, and disaster recovery capabilities, I am able to entrust the management of a key asset and focus our efforts on other business priorities.” – Jeremy Avenier, Chief Financial Officer, Morpho Detection, Inc.

  • Develop a cloud-based ERP environment to manage key financial and order management applications to support the security and safety products business while minimizing investment and future support costs
  • Implement the new ERP environment rapidly to ensure business continuity after the company was acquired, and enable it to compete for several important US government contracts for detection systems
  • Reduce the number of customizations in the ERP environment, which numbered in the tens of thousands in the legacy system, to streamline upgrades, integration, and IT management
  • Ensure continued compliance with key government accounting procedures, such as CAS, as MDI counts the US government among its most important clients
  • Maintain strict security procedures, as the company delivers public safety equipment—such as explosives, narcotics, and chemical detection systems—to the US government and other clients, and possesses sensitive client financial and business information

Solutions

  • Saved approximately US$500,000 on capital expenditures and IT human resources costs
  • Implemented Oracle E-Business Suite On Demand in less than five months, which is 70% faster than the estimated time typically required for this type of initiative, by using Oracle’s managed cloud services—enabling the company to participate in the bids for several major US government contracts
  • Ensured and streamlined CSA compliance, making the process more efficient
  • Implemented Oracle Projects and made it the center of MDI’s ERP environment to ensure efficient financial information flows and facilitate capture of expense data at the lowest possible level―including 15-minute time increments―to support government contracting requirements
  • Replaced legacy systems that had manual compliance procedures with an automated solution to reduce potential accounting errors
  • Deployed a critical maintenance program to ensure information security and proper software certification levels, as the company handles sensitive, US government and public safety information, as well as credit card and other financial data for clients
  • Gained the ability to support very large projects and initiatives because Oracle E-Business Suite On Demand enables MDI to securely outsource some transaction processing to third-party partners
  • Achieved near-100% availability for the ERP environment
  • Reduced the number of customizations in the ERP environment by 70%, providing MDI with more flexibility and fewer technical obstacles, as it looks to expand or upgrade its IT footprint in the future

Implementation Process

Time is money when dealing with government contracts, and MDI had a six-month timeline to build out a new IT infrastructure. MDI and PwC established development modules to test the new solution without impacting the production environment and to ensure stability during the cut over to the new system. Ultimately, the implementation took less than five months to complete, with virtually no negative impact on operations.

Partner

  • Oracle Partner
    PwC

“PwC brings extensive expertise in government accounting compliance and Oracle solutions,” said Jeremy Avenier, chief financial officer, Morpho Detection, Inc. “It was imperative that our processes mirror government policies, so it was critical that our Oracle investment allowed us to match the government’s requirements. With PwC’s help, we deployed a project module that is CAS complaint in just a few months, which is a remarkable achievement.”