Williams ready for a future of energy innovation with Oracle Cloud
The energy company uses its extensive Oracle Fusion Cloud applications—from ERP to procurement to supply chain—to modernize its finance and operations processes.
“Now that we have an Oracle Cloud foundation to build on, we have tools available to do things we couldn’t do with our previous systems.”
One of the largest energy infrastructure organizations in the US, Williams believes in the role of natural gas in the clean energy future. The company handles 30% of the natural gas in the US that is used every day to heat homes, cook food, and generate electricity, and is committed to making clean energy a reality. The company does this by being the best-in-class operator of the critical energy infrastructure necessary to support a clean energy future.
Williams used more than a dozen legacy, on-premises applications, including Oracle Hyperion and E-Business Suite, to manage finance, procurement activities, and project lifecycle tracking. As a result, it lacked project visibility and control and relied on outdated business processes.
The company sought to replace aging technology to drive down IT costs and enable decisions based on better data. It also needed advanced capabilities to manage joint ventures, because that is an integral part of its risk management and growth strategy. Accomplishing all this would allow Williams to focus on innovation in an increasingly competitive, volatile, and evolving industry.
Oracle exceeded all my expectations throughout the life of the project. The senior leadership was very engaged. If I picked up the phone to say we were having an issue, they immediately worked to address it, to hear our point of view, and to listen to our feedback.
Why Williams chose Oracle
Williams selected Oracle because of its vast experience in asset-intensive industries such as oil and gas. It also recognized that Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications offered a complete suite of SaaS solutions, including financials, planning and budgeting, supply chain management, procurement, enterprise data management, and more. Oracle was also willing to address the company’s need for a joint venture management solution, committing to collaborate as it developed that capability in Oracle Cloud ERP.
Williams worked closely with Oracle to design a business transformation journey to a single platform. Today, Williams tallies millions in savings annually and hits key industry benchmarks such as finance spend as a percentage of revenue and operating margin. The company also cites improved innovation management, project delivery, an enhanced sourcing and procure-to-pay process, and reduced IT support and maintenance costs among the financial benefits realized.
Decision-makers can now rely on real-time and reliable data to understand the impact of business decisions, enabled by the alignment of enterprise data using Oracle Enterprise Data Management (EDM). Moving to Oracle Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) eliminated data discrepancies and allowed the company to reduce its reports from more than 2,000 to about 400.
Automating financial processes improved month-end close timeframes. For example, allocations were previously performed manually, which was labor-intensive and prone to human error. Using automation to pull the appropriate data, Williams has reduced its time to complete allocations from five days to one hour.
Williams also uses the Joint Venture Management (JVM) solution in Oracle Cloud ERP. As a result, Williams has automated its joint venture projects’ financial management, compliance, and reporting to the non-operating partners. “JVM is a big part of our strategy moving forward and will be key for us for years to come. It meant a lot to the team and our executives that we were able to have a voice in development and assurance it aligns with our requirements,” says Brian Letzkus, CIO at Williams.
Using Oracle’s Innovation Management application gives Williams a structured process to evaluate projects based on a consistent set of criteria. This allows the company to manage ideas and projects in one system so that managers can make the right financial investment decisions faster and ensure that capital is being used most effectively.
Finally, Williams improved its supply chain, product information, and inventory management processes. The company previously worked with about 80,000 suppliers. Using Oracle Cloud SCM, it consolidated to approximately 25,000 active suppliers, which allowed it to manage project spend, reduce costs, improve visibility, and avoid duplicate purchases. Creation of standard inventory and product information management processes provides clear line-of-sight into on-hand inventory across the entire company and helps Williams standardize its product data.
The energy industry expertise of Huron Consulting Group was an important catalyst for Williams’ success.