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Celebrating the future of finance, one change agent at a time.
Every corporation has a finance organization, but not every CFO has a change agent in his or her organization dedicated to transforming it. We celebrate these unsung soldiers of finance with their very own awards program: The Oracle Change Agents of Finance.
BETTER TOGETHER AWARD— Park Hotels & Resorts—Darren Robb, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer
CRYSTAL BALL AWARD— Dropbox—Annie Ogata, Corporate FP&A Lead
FAST FINANCE AWARD— Caesars Entertainment—Michael Mann, Vice President of Transformation
SHARED SERVICES SUPERSTAR AWARD— Orange—Djamel Benallal, Head of Finance Group Solutions
FRUGAL FINANCE AWARD— WSFS Bank—Dominic C. Canuso, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
TOP TALENT AWARD— Beall’s, Inc.—Brian Crowley, Chief Financial Officer
MODERN CLOSE AWARD— National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC)—Lori Culp, Assistant Controller
ROLL WITH IT AWARD— Hilton—Anand Naimpally, Senior Vice President, Finance
BILLION DOLLAR STORY AWARD— Orange—Christophe Eouzan, Chief Accounting Officer
These finance heroes were nominated and selected by the Oracle Cloud for Finance community. Explore the award winners and their stories below.
For more information on the Oracle Change Agents of Finance program contact us at: CHANGE-AGENTS_US@ORACLE.COM
Recognizes fruitful integration of Oracle ERP Cloud with another Oracle Cloud solution.
Park Hotels & Resorts—Darren Robb, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer
Park Hotels & Resorts—once the real estate investment division of Hilton—spun off in early 2017. To eliminate any dependence on its former parent, Park wanted to move operations to its own financial system. It chose to implement Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS), Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS), and Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud Service (FCCCS).
The Oracle applications provide a single-platform solution to store data in a format that is easily accessible for reporting and can handle complex roll-ups and consolidations between its various hotels and REITs. Oracle ICS allows Park to pass data between Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle PBCS, and Oracle FCCCS Cloud and automates the orchestration of their integration files, removing the need for manual journal entries and manual file loading. In conjunction with Oracle ERP Cloud, Oracle PBCS and Oracle FCCCS Cloud will accelerate the period close process, giving Park the ability to accurately project budgets and forecasts—capabilities that provide essential visibility for a new company.
The integrated solution will move Park from manual to highly automated and standardized processes, maximize efficiency, and reduce risk, allowing Park and its employees to focus on growth. The robust reporting capabilities will allow for insightful decision-making, reduced risk, and enhanced internal controls. Efficiencies are projected in the following areas:
Park Hotels & Resorts’ Chief Accounting Officer Darren Robb is the project sponsor and champion. With Robb’s vision for Park’s financial operations, his ability to clearly and effectively communicate with stakeholders, his grace while managing the scope of this project, and his ability to collaborate with Oracle, Grant Thornton, and the implementation team, this project has been kept on time and on track for successful results. After being part of a multinational brand like Hilton, redefining a company as an independent entity takes leadership, dedication, and vision, all of which Robb embodies.
Recognizes financial planning and analysis professionals who leverage analytics to test business model and strengthen business impact.
Dropbox—Annie Ogata, Corporate FP&A Lead
Originating as a startup in 2007, Dropbox counted more than 500 million subscribers in 2016, operating multiple offices in the United States and abroad. To accommodate this quick growth, Dropbox hired quickly to staff new development and support functions. In the fast-moving technology industry, any implementation needed to be completed quickly, and functionality immediately usable. Implementing Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Workforce was the ideal solution to meet Dropbox’s most pressing needs. Dropbox also selected Oracle Financials Cloud for its new ERP tool, as the out-of-the-box integration between the two systems would help speed implementation. Dropbox successfully implemented Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud in approximately three months. Huron Consulting Group was the implementation partner. In contrast to prior forecast cycles, where all data was collected and manually aggregated in spreadsheets, taking approximately two weeks, aggregations of data now take less than 10 seconds and can be run on demand from any location. Standardized reports are built dynamically, allowing reporting at any level of hierarchy, across multiple dimensions. This improvement in efficiency amounts to a time savings of nearly one full day. Dropbox leveraged out-of-the-box workforce planning functionality, which allowed quick configuration to meet the go-live goal. The system was built to support multicurrency planning and reporting for 30 FP&A users. Focusing on targeted, tangible, short-term goals kept the end users engaged throughout the implementation.
Not every CFO has a change agent in his or her organization dedicated to transforming finance for the twenty-first century. It takes a special breed of finance professional who is able to capitalize on the cloud to identify the right digital KPIs driving value today; streamline and automate reporting for better, faster decision-making; and partner more effectively with the business to thrive during turbulent times. Annie Ogata, corporate FP&A lead, is that change agent at Dropbox.
Recognizes a fast and effective implementation of Oracle ERP Cloud or Oracle EPM Cloud solutions.
Caesars Entertainment—Michael Mann, Vice President of Transformation
With 47 casinos in five countries and US$8.4 billion in net revenues per year, Caesars Entertainment, the fourth largest gaming and entertainment company in the world, can’t afford to move slowly. When Caesars decided to implement Oracle Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud Service (EPRCS) as part of a multipillar transformation to the cloud, which included Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle HCM Cloud, Michael Mann, vice president of Transformation, wanted Oracle EPRCS up and running quickly. Not only was he eager for his properties and account balance sheet owners to be able to quickly access balance sheet information and reports, but Mann also wanted a fast implementation to ensure his teams had engaged and fully adopted Oracle EPRCS before Oracle ERP Cloud went live. Within 10 weeks, Mann and his implementation team, along with Grant Thornton, were able to scope the project, which consisted of six reporting packages, more than 100 doclets summarizing 47 properties, and more than 20 account balance sheet groups; train 100 users; and take Oracle EPRCS live by their goal date.
Understanding the impact a multipillar cloud transformation could have on such a large organization, Mann drove the rapid Oracle EPRCS implementation and championed intense training and user adoption prior to the ERP transition. In an organization as large as Caesars Entertainment, consistency and standardization can be difficult. Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to standardizing the organization’s financial results, the enhanced collaboration and decision-making capability that Oracle EPRCS could provide, and the need for rapid implementation adoption, Mann is a true agent of change and a cloud evangelist within the Caesars organization.
Recognizes a shared services organization using Oracle Cloud for Finance applications to develop digital capabilities to achieve best-in-class service delivery.
Orange—Djamel Benallal, Head of Finance Group Solutions
Orange, formerly France Télécom, is a French multinational telecommunications corporation offering both fixed and mobile services. It has 256 million customers worldwide and employs 95,000 people in France, and 59,000 elsewhere. Orange consolidated its financial systems using Oracle ERP Cloud to free its corporate finance people to do higher-level work in support of a companywide transformation initiative dubbed Essentials 2020. Orange Head of Finance Group Solutions, Djamel Benallal has been responsible for driving the implementation of Oracle ERP Cloud across the company, creating a shared services function to support its global finance operations. Orange has been live on Oracle ERP Cloud for financials and procure to pay processes since June of 2016, supporting more than 5,000 users in France, Belgium, and Poland. Thanks to the shared services environment and standardized processes, Orange will be able to quickly and cost-effectively add new countries to support across Europe and Africa, including Spain, Romania and the Ivory Coast.
This ERP Cloud implementation has become a showcase for Oracle customers looking to understand shared services best practices in the cloud. Large companies across Europe visit Orange’s shared services centers to learn and emulate its best practice approach. Benallal has been the change agent driving Orange’s success. Under his guidance, the French telecom leader has achieved the following benefits from its standardization and consolidation efforts in a shared services environment:
Recognizes dramatic cost savings using Oracle ERP and EPM solutions.
WSFS Bank—Dominic C. Canuso, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
WSFS Bank (Wilmington Savings Fund Society), parent to the oldest and largest bank in Delaware, knows that to achieve rapid growth, you have to be cost-efficient. Having undergone significant growth through acquisition in the past five years, WSFS managed its businesses with a mix of disparate systems and various manual and spreadsheet-driven processes. But CFO Dominic C. Canuso knew that for WSFS to meet its growth goal—to double in size—it needed to resolve the timing, data quality, and integration issues that made accessing critical information for business decisions difficult. WSFS selected Oracle ERP Cloud and expects the US$12M ROI to come from streamlining processes, optimizing resources, and the ability to make better decisions from real-time, accurate data. Not only is WSFS optimizing process-driven cost savings from Oracle Cloud, but Canuso has also been careful to keep implementation costs to a minimum without sacrificing the success of the project. WSFS chose to take a collaborative approach to implementation, reducing external resourcing costs by having a WSFS team working side by side with implementation partner Grant Thornton. While keeping costs down, this approach also maximizes knowledge transfer and ensures end user adoption. For an organization to thrive amid rapid acquisition, it requires a forward-thinking leader who knows how to grow the bottom line. For Canuso, creating full visibility into financials, streamlining work processes, and maximizing efficiency in the cloud is how WSFS will grow its bottom line and continue to expand.
Recognizes an effective combination of Oracle ERP and HCM Cloud solutions.
Beall’s, Inc.—Brian Crowley, Chief Financial Officer
Brian Crowley is CFO at Beall’s, Inc., a national retail brand that was seeking to transform its finance, planning, and human capital business processes to drive greater compliance and efficiency, and develop a platform for continued growth. As a high-growth retail organization expanding stores across the country, integrating finance and HR is imperative to Bealls’ business success. Beall’s, Inc. is experiencing double-digit store expansion nationally, with thousands of job requisitions being added to support this growth. The finance organization leverages Oracle EPM Cloud to model its national store expansion and workforce needs, and the HR organization uses Oracle Talent Management Cloud to attract, retain, and grow its workforce as well as find and place store employees. The Beall’s, Inc. team is using Oracle EPM Cloud to forecast workforce expansion plans. They have also introduced an internal talent management framework as part of this project, further defining career paths for their employee base, as they seek to grow and retain their most important asset, their people.
Crowley, Bealls’ CFO, was intimately involved with the Oracle ERP/EPM/HCM Cloud implementation project. In addition to his day job as CFO of Beall’s, Inc., Crowley was also the top business sponsor and executive sponsor for this project. He came into this Oracle Cloud project with a strong appreciation of what is required to make the deployment successful, and managed all facets of his organization in partnership with the DAZ Systems consulting team to successfully transform and modernize its entire business with Oracle Cloud. Crowley worked with the CHRO on the overarching organizational change management and adoption plan for the Oracle Cloud solution. Crowley stands apart with this nomination, as a top-level executive who has a holistic appreciation for both the finance and HR functions at a multibillion dollar organization, who drove this program to achieve the synergistic benefits of the combined solution.
Recognizes teams who have leveraged the Oracle Cloud for Finance solutions to decrease close times by a large percentage.
National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC)—Lori Culp, Assistant Controller
National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (NRUCFC) Assistant Controller Lori Culp led the Oracle ERP Cloud deployment, which started with a chart of accounts redesign that modernized its account segment structure to best support the company’s growing and expanding business. NRUCFC’s deployment included the Oracle Cloud Financials suite, including expenses, as well as Oracle Procurement Cloud. As a result of this implementation, NRUCFC accelerated data entry and subledger processing via Oracle Cloud spreadsheet loader, and improved cross-department collaboration with OTBI. Oracle ERP Cloud modern best practices, the streamlined chart of accounts, and financial governance process that Lori Culp put in place helped drive greater business insight across the finance organization and executive stakeholders, and delivered quantified value and cost savings to the business. By leveraging Oracle Cloud native capabilities, the company was able to optimize data inputs at a much more efficient rate (via the Oracle Cloud Financials suite and cloud integration framework), as well as drive significant improvements to the ledger close and consolidation process, with increased efficiencies, joint venture processing, foreign exchange calculations, and allocations/deductions. Such process improvements resulted in increased external reporting accuracy as well as a quantified reduction of almost 50 percent in the time to close the books (seven days prior; four days now with cloud). Culp worked with the DAZ implementation team on adopting Oracle modern best practices to drive process improvement and end user adoption. Since taking multiple Oracle ERP Cloud solutions live, Culp continues to drive Oracle Cloud adoption and business benefit across NRUCFC. She is actively leveraging OTBI to provide the executive team with richer business insights, and realizing increased ROI based on the efficiencies derived from Oracle ERP Cloud.
Recognizes significant increase in agility using the rolling forecast capability in the Oracle EPM Cloud best-in-class service delivery.
Hilton—Anand Naimpally, Senior Vice President, Finance
Anand Naimpally, Senior Vice President, Global Operations Finance at Hilton, is the executive sponsor for a project to completely re-engineer forecasting and budgeting for Hilton's more than 700 + properties. Previously, planners at the property level were using a legacy, custom-built application that could not scale globally. Planning methods were not uniform across locations, so analyzing key drivers or other metrics was difficult and time-consuming. Naimpally's team decided to implement Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud to addresses these issues. The project enhanced Hilton's operational planning, improving the experience for more than 2,400 users globally. Hilton is now able to more accurately determine the current state of its operations-globally, regionally and at the property level-and create accurate forecasts in a timely manner. SC&H Group was the implementation partner.
Recognizes industry pioneers who use Oracle ERP and/or EPM Cloud to deliver monumental savings using techniques such as process standardization and simplification.
Orange —Christophe Eouzan, Chief Accounting Officer
Orange, formerly France Télécom, is a French multinational telecommunications corporation offering both fixed and mobile services. It has 256 million customers worldwide and employs 95,000 people in France, and 59,000 elsewhere. Orange consolidated its financial systems using Oracle ERP Cloud to free its corporate finance people to do higher-level work in support of a companywide transformation initiative dubbed Essentials 2020. Orange Chief Accounting Officer Christophe Eouzan has been responsible for driving the implementation of Oracle ERP Cloud across the company. Under his guidance, Orange is on track to save a billion dollars in cost savings, thanks to the following benefits:
Oracle Procurement Cloud is being used by roughly 5,000 employees at Orange who make purchase requisitions, 500 accounting personnel, and 300 purchasing managers. While that’s only a small portion of the Orange employee base, those people are the financial backbone of the organization. And as transformation of the backbone goes, so goes the company’s overall transformation and modernization.