Choctaw Nation cuts complexity and costs across its operations with Oracle Cloud

The tribal nation uses Oracle Cloud ERP and HCM to support growth plans while reducing manual processes, bolstering security, and lowering costs.


The choice we made to go with the Oracle Fusion Cloud platform says a lot about what we are anticipating in terms of growth and prosperity moving into the future and the need to have systems that that would support that success.

Terry LongExecutive Director of Procurement, Choctaw Nation

Business challenges

With 22 casino properties, three resort hotels, dozens of restaurants, 17 travel plazas, 32 medical facilities, and numerous lines of business, including manufacturing operations, tourism, and over 60,000 acres of ranching and agriculture enterprises, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma represents a diverse and expansive operation.

The first native tribe to walk the Trail of Tears in 1831, the Choctaw Nation now occupies the southeastern corner of Oklahoma after ceding its traditional homelands in Mississippi to the United States government during a tumultuous period of displacement and resettlement. Overcoming generations of adversity, the Choctaw Nation now operates as a fully functioning sovereign government and is the third-largest federally recognized tribe in the US.

For its more than 200,000 tribal members, Choctaw Nation also manages nearly 150 programs that mirror those provided by a typical state or federal agency, delivering education, healthcare, housing, fire, police, and legal services through its 12,000 full-time associates. However, the organization never wants the complexity of its operation to get in the way of its mission.

“We’re known for being a tribal government that takes care of its tribal members,” says Terry Long, executive director of procurement for the Choctaw Nation. “That's the heart of everything the Nation does.”

Significant growth in Choctaw Nation’s various businesses over the last 10 years provided more resources and opportunity, but managing that growth became increasingly complicated. The organization relied on a highly customized JD Edwards implementation for human resources and finance that was reaching end of life.

Within HR, Choctaw Nation needed a system that could meet some very specific personnel and regulatory needs, such as managing current or potential employees who held a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB), which is the documentation used to prove an individual possesses a specific fraction of Native American ancestry of a federally recognized native tribe.

“Some of the HCM solution providers that we were working with in prior years just were not flexible enough to execute contracts with us that protected the sovereignty of the Nation,” says Long. “And so, we began to look for solutions in the HCM world that would support everything we needed—aggressive recruiting goals, onboarding, new associate training, just the full suite of HCM activity.”

On the finance side, Choctaw was dealing with gaps in role provisioning in financial processes, leading to frequent human errors during data input, such as employees erroneously making multiple payments for the same invoice.

In addition, Choctaw Nation was hindered by the lack of integration among its various on-premises systems, which led to too many manual processes and created cost inefficiencies. To support its growth and aggressive expansion goals, Choctaw Nation needed to secure its sensitive data, reduce manual processes from across disparate systems, establish ways to better identify and manage tribal member data, and establish one source of truth across HR, procurement, and financial systems.

Choctaw Nation had too many manual processes, and too many opportunities for human error.

Why Choctaw Nation chose Oracle

Considering the complexity and diverse businesses within its organization, Choctaw Nation was concerned that upgrading to an integrated cloud platform would be too difficult. The organization evaluated systems from Oracle, SAP, and Workday, and also considered a reimplementation of JD Edwards.

After engaging with experts from Oracle Consulting, Choctaw Nation chose Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications, including Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) and Oracle Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The tribal leadership chose Oracle Cloud HCM for its core HR capabilities and ability to provide self-service functionality for the first time to Choctaw’s 12,000 employees. Choctaw Nation also selected Oracle Taleo, part of Oracle Cloud HCM, for its recruiting functionality, including helping it identify, recruit, and hire tribal employees who possess a CDIB card.

Choctaw Nation reduced manual HR and payroll processes by more than 80% in the first month after adopting Oracle Cloud HCM.


Implementing Oracle Cloud HCM and ERP gave Choctaw Nation one version of the truth across HR and financials. With that, the nation now has a flexible and secure system that enables better reporting, tighter controls over the business, and a massive reduction of manual processes. Since implementing Oracle Cloud HCM and ERP, Choctaw Nation has eliminated 25% of manual steps and realigned processes to track the cloud application’s built-in best practices. The organization reduced manual HR and payroll processes by more than 80% in the first month.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, in spring of 2020, we had to close the casinos, yet we were able to continue to pay all of our employees while we were closed,” says Jennifer Jones, director or program operations for Choctaw Nation. “I do believe that we would not have been able to do that on the old system. It simply wasn't flexible enough to allow us to do that.”

Choctaw Nation also launched new self-serve HR capabilities for employees and managers, including online access to paystubs and W4s, benefits and life event registration, HR information update forms, and workforce management. The organization also revamped recruiting processes to support CDIB identification, making it easier to find tribal members for open roles.

Using Oracle Cloud ERP, Choctaw Nation has also significantly improved financial and procurement processes with new levels of standardization and unprecedented control over spending. For example, the nation previously experienced excessively high costs to process a purchase order, and now those costs are aligned  to industry standards, Long says.

Choctaw Nation also gained the ability to automate security provisions, thus providing access to specific roles only as needed for a business function. This change improved system controls and largely eliminated a common practice of changing approval processes to accommodate specific needs for different organizations.

“We've now been able to standardize and create an understanding of the requisitioner’s role, and the approver’s role,” Long says. “Because of the way we implemented security and approval routing, we've very much simplified the approval process.”

Choctaw Nation has also significantly improved its procure-to-pay processing time and reduced backlogs in accounts payable using Oracle Cloud ERP. A new enterprise project management office (ePMO) is working on further enhancements for procurement, such as supplier qualifications, supplier portal access, and enabling greater efficiency and accuracy when processing requisitions.

“That ePMO team has become the shining star within the integrated services division of Choctaw Nation,” Long says. The team and the Oracle Cloud systems that support it have helped provide procurement and finance more confidence in controlling spending, approval routing, data accuracy, and system security.”


Working with Oracle Consulting, Choctaw Nation first implemented Oracle Cloud HCM and 10 months later went live with Oracle Cloud ERP. The organization credits a close partnership with Oracle Consulting with helping it overcome adoption roadblocks and drive a broad technological change.

“That is an area where Oracle Consulting was extremely helpful. Even when we were experiencing some challenges along the way, we certainly never felt alone,” says Jones.

Published:October 14, 2022

About the customer

Choctaw Nation is a sovereign tribal nation encompassing 10,864 square miles and 10 counties in Southeastern Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation supports its mission statement, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family, and culture” by providing tribal members and community partners with opportunities for growth and prosperity.