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Meeting Challenges Hand in Hand

Acuity Brands Lighting handles relations with Oracle Consulting with ease.

Acuity Brands Lighting, the world's largest manufacturer of lighting fixtures, credits its long-standing relationship with Oracle Consulting as one of the compelling reasons the company has been so successful with its system implementation, upgrading, and maintenance decisions over the last eight years. The company first took advantage of Oracle's consulting services when it purchased Oracle Financials in 1999, and now the firm is looking to the future and Oracle Fusion, which Acuity believes will offer critical extensibility and functionality.

 

Recent acquisitions of Siebel and PeopleSoft mean that the Oracle Consulting team is working to train customers to manage their own systems and to implement, maintain, and update their own software. However, the team will still provide traditional consulting services. Acuity's strategy mimics the same plans and goals by emphasizing a real understanding of Oracle functionality and becoming self-sufficient.

Acuity made a decision in 2001 to purchase Oracle E-Business Suite, standardize on it, and convert all its businesses, platforms, and application suites to Oracle. Now, the firm is in an excellent position to benefit from the possibilities inherent in Oracle Fusion.

Very few businesses can look back over eight years of system implementation, upgrades, and maintenance and feel confident that they made all the right decisions, but the Lighting division of Acuity Brands can do just that. Acuity Brands Lighting, in Atlanta, Georgia, is the world's largest manufacturer of lighting fixtures, and it operates the most advanced supply chain management and sales fulfillment processes in the industry. The company's relationship with Oracle began in 1999 when they purchased Oracle Financials.

"One of the compelling reasons for going with Oracle wasn't just the software; it was also the consulting services that we were going to get along with it," says Pat Quinn, Acuity Brands Lighting's vice president of information systems and technology.

Changing Times

In the past, when a company brought in consultants, the engagement was often very long-term, the consultants seemingly becoming fixtures at the customer site. For Oracle, that model has changed, partly as a result of financial considerations—after all, maintaining a team of consultants onsite is an expensive proposition. But it has also changed because the goal of Oracle's North America Consulting team has changed. While continuing to provide traditional consulting support, Oracle's consulting teams are now tasked with bringing the customer base to value as quickly and efficiently as possible: to get in, complete the assignment, and get out. And they do this by training customers to implement, maintain, and update their own software and manage their own systems.

 

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