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.
Fast Finance Award—Alex Lee, Katie Eure
Better Together Award—Shawnee State University, Elinda Boyles
Modern Close Award—Aguas y Saneamientos Argentinos (AySA) Jorge Fernandez Ripoll
Crystal Ball Award—Western Alliance Bancorporation, Andrew Boucher
Top Talent Award—Caesars Entertainment, Keith Causey
Roll with It Award—Hilton, Kristen Stampe
Frugal Finance Award—Hilton, Renee Thomas
Procure to Payday Award—GE Digital, John Mageropoulos
Shared Services Superstar Award—GE Digital, John Mageropoulos
These finance heroes were nominated and selected by the Oracle Cloud for Finance community and had their achievements celebrated at Modern Finance Experience 2017.
For more information on the Oracle Change Agents of Finance program contact us at: CHANGE-AGENTS_US@ORACLE.COM
Explore the award winners and their stories below.
Recognizes a fast and effective implementation of Oracle ERP Cloud or Oracle EPM Cloud solutions.
Alex Lee—Katie Eure, Finance Director
Alex Lee implemented Oracle ERP Cloud in a rapid phased implementation, starting with the general ledger Eure worked to get the business teams from both the Lowes Foods and MDI lines of business to get on board and adopt the change. It went live in four months and the company has moved on to tackle the accounts receivable and accounts payable functions in their second phase. Eure kept her team focused and on track for successfully going live. She is an undeniable leader, an Oracle ERP advocate, and a visionary with an amazing ability to get people to follow her and build consensus among many different lines of business.
Recognizes fruitful integration of Oracle ERP Cloud with another Oracle Cloud solution.
Shawnee State University—Elinda Boyles, VP of Finance and Administration
In response to a mandate from the Ohio governor to lower the cost of education, Shawnee State University searched for the best technology to modernize and optimize internal operations. After merging Oracle Student Cloud, including service, social, marketing, and sales, with the full Oracle HCM Cloud platform, and at the same time as Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud for budgeting and procurement, Shawnee State predicts its overall planning and budgeting processes will increase in efficiency by roughly 30 percent. Integrating all of the processes also helps the university focus on its highest priorities: improving student recruitment and retention, acquiring top talent, and streamlining HR processes. All while gaining operational efficiency, reducing IT workload, lowering total costs, and increasing student satisfaction. This was a major project for a small public institution with limited resources. The project incorporates organizational change management initiatives due to the magnitude of the process and service changes being impacted. The implementation of Oracle Student Cloud took only three months and the other implementations are expected to be completed in about nine months. Dedicated to preparing students for future success, Shawnee State is always looking forward—utilizing advanced technologies, exploring emerging ideas, and continually growing to meet the needs of current and future students.
Recognizes teams who have leveraged the Oracle Cloud for Finance solutions to decrease close times by a large percentage.
Aguas y Saneamientos Argentinos —Jorge Fernández Ripoll, CFO
Aguas y Saneamientos Argentinos (AySA) a state-owned water and sanitation company, needed to expand and improve its finance processes in order to control and integrate cash transactions, bank operations, and investments to generate traceability between departments. AySA set out on a mission to implement Oracle Cloud for Finance applications including cash management, which allowed the company to improve the integration, tracking, and control of cash operations, banks, and investments to ultimately decrease close times by a large percentage and achieve better cost exposure. In addition the bank reconciliation processes were automated for speed and efficiency. The sources of information are now integrated into the same Oracle system without having to open different programs to search for information thus improving the work of the analysts. In addition, they developed a daily cash flow model which allows differentiation between the budget and GL account structures. This solution also enabled the display of income and expenses grouped in a predefined organizational chart used for generating management reports without having to perform a detailed breakdown.
Recognizes financial planning and analysis professionals who leverage analytics to test business model and strengthen business impact.
Western Alliance Bancorporation —Andrew Boucher, VP Financial Planning and Analysis
Western Alliance Bancorporation (WAL) a commercial bank based in the Southwestern region of the US, has over $14 billion in assets and 1,400 employees. It relies heavily on Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS) to support its acquisition strategy. For example, during WAL’s acquisition of Bridge Bank in 2014, PBCS allowed the company to double the size of their chart of accounts for an acquisition of a bank that was approximately a seventh of its size. It provided employees with the ability to evaluate WAL’s last two acquisitions to see if it made financial sense from both a profitability standpoint and a capital and risk management standpoint. PBCS also allowed WAL to accommodate the controllers’ purchase accounting request to segment the purchased portfolio vs any post acquisition growth in Bridge. Andrew is responsible for forecasting for WAL over the next three years, that involves both capital planning and an annual budget. PBCS is used to get an aggregate consolidated corporate view into the forecast. With PBCS he defines his own dimensions for planning, and also to support the bank’s management reporting, SEC reporting, planning and forecasting needs. He also uses it to look at the nature of the origination expenses and what drives those expenses. The implementation took 4 months with one FP&A analyst and an Oracle partner for development – It went live in February. Since then, Andrew has pushed the envelope on what PBCS can do, exploring new capabilities such as operational KPIs and also up taking Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service. Andrew is helping Western Alliance Bancorporation realize its growth goals by using the Oracle Cloud solution to drive a successful M&A strategy.
Recognizes an effective combination of Oracle ERP and HCM Cloud solutions.
Caesars Entertainment—Keith Causey, SVP and Chief Accounting Office
Caesars Entertainment, the fourth largest gaming and entertainment company in the world, doesn’t gamble when it comes to business transformation. When it was time to modernize, it selected Oracle ERP Cloud (general ledger, AP, cash management); Oracle HCM Cloud (core, talent acquisition, performance, goals, succession, career, compensation management); and Oracle Enterprise Performance Reporting Cloud Service to replace its end-of-life Infinium application and integrate readily with existing on-premises Hyperion products. The integrated cloud solution is enabling Caesars to build a single cloud that spans across business functions, providing streamlined processes encompassed in invoice to pay, record to report, core HR, talent acquisition, talent management, and compensation management. The single data model allows for faster more efficient approvals for financial transactions and reconciliations that previously spanned multiple systems and required email approval. It also keeps the system up to data as employees move to different parts of the organization. Other benefits include process standardization, greater efficiency, reduced support and maintenance costs, robust reporting capabilities for insightful decision-making, reduced risk, enhanced internal controls, and the ability to appeal to tech-savvy talent pools. In an organization as large as Caesars Entertainment, change can be painful. Moving from dated, on-premises systems to a modern, cloud-based solution is quite an undertaking and requires a dedicated and present project champion. Demonstrating excellence in leadership, Causey is the cloud evangelist and agent for change within Caesars, driving the team toward a modern, process-efficient organization. Given the number of properties impacted, Caesars owns and operates 40-plus locations around the globe and the antiquation of Caesars’ legacy applications, change management was critically important to the success of this project. Causey supported the concept of introducing a champion network across the corporate office and property locations to act as an extension of the core team to deliver messaging, communications, and training at individual locations.
Recognizes significant increase in agility using the rolling forecast capability in the Oracle EPM Cloud best-in-class service delivery.
Hilton Worldwide—Kristen Stampe, Vice President, Finance Operations
Recognizes dramatic cost savings using Oracle ERP and EPM solutions.
Hilton Worldwide—Renee Thomas, Senior Director of Ops, Finance Tech, and Planning.
Recognizes successful transformation of the P2P process using Oracle Procurement Cloud.
GE Digital—John Mageropoulos, VP, ERP Cloud
GE Digital set itself the target of moving its finance processes onto the cloud in four and a half months for the US and Canada entities. It took a phased approach, allowing the buyers the opportunity to become familiar with cloud applications, while reducing the risk of a big-bang global deployment. It implemented the Oracle Cloud solution for procure to pay, covering self-service procurement, purchasing, payables, and inventory. This innovative approach allowed GE Digital to start realizing the benefits of cloud applications early on, taking the lessons learned from the early stages such as stronger focus on data conversion and integrations to make subsequent phases more successful. This reduced disruptions to front-end requesters and downstream buyers. As a result, they were able to reduce staffing for buyers from 4 FTE at the start of the implementation project to 1.5 FTE by the end. It was not an ordinary ERP implementation, but it’s also a business transformation involving the parent company carving out several entities from existing business divisions to form a new business entity. Mageropoulos and the team’s creative approach solidified the moral of this success story: Experience is the most productive of teachers.
Recognizes a shared services organization using Oracle Cloud for Finance applications to develop digital capabilities to achieve best-in-class service delivery.
GE Digital—John Mageropoulos, VP, ERP Cloud
With several acquisitions comes a myriad of complex systems. GE knows this all too well. After the company’s host of acquisitions, it was left with a few dozen different ERP systems around the world. GE wanted to simplify and standardize on just a few systems, eliminate the costs and complexities associated with maintaining so many different customizations, improve decision making, and close their books faster. They also wanted to modernize the finance function and introduce employees to an intuitive consumer grade user interface, which helps in attracting younger talent. Innovation is core to GE and they wanted access to drive innovation via consistent and frequent SaaS release cycles. The company worked with Oracle to do a proof of concept for their Latin America corporate shared service center, and in only 48 days, it delivered a successful model for how it could quickly migrate to cloud. The company was also successful in implementing a full instance of ERP Cloud in GE's Canadian shared services center in just 7 months, reducing total cost of ownership and providing a platform for growth. Overall, the company is looking to move 70% of the software it runs in house today to the cloud over the next 5 years and to modernize and optimize key financial processes. They are now looking to expand by moving GE Digital, their fastest growing business unit (expected to reach $5-15B run rate), to Oracle ERP cloud, and are actively implementing project portfolio management and innovation management at GE Appliance. Here’s an example of a company that accepted the challenge of embracing ERP Cloud with no customizations, and become a cloud success story.