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Day in the Life at Apps Associates – Jim

I’m a Managing Principal Consultant at Apps and recently celebrated my 6-year anniversary with the company. Prior to Apps, I came from an IT background and made the transition to consulting 16 years ago. My current role with the company is Financials Functional Lead.

My first project at Apps was at a company that was the biggest builder of inland barges in the US. Shortly thereafter I was asked to work on Apps’ very first Cloud project at a popular Magazine. The company was very successful in the mid to late 20th century, when televisions didn’t have remotes or online guides, and you actually had to get out of your seat to turn the TV channel selector to one of 12 available channels. The good old days!

Before the first Cloud project, I had 17 years of experience with Oracle E-Business applications. I didn’t know Oracle Cloud or the underlying Fusion application platform. But our Apps’ Vice President was confident that I could do the job. Because of his support and the support of others from management and our development team, we were able to implement and deliver Apps’ first Cloud implementation.

After my second assignment with Apps, I’ve been involved almost exclusively in Cloud projects, primarily for the biopharmaceutical industry, working for clients in the Cambridge area – start-ups, pre-revenue as well as larger more established companies.. Most of the projects have been multi-pillar and have included Supply Chain, Procurement, Projects, and HCM, in addition to Financials. 

Successfully executing large-in-scope projects requires cross-functional and development teams working together effectively. At Apps, we lean on each other to resolve project issues, to share knowledge, or to assist in cross-pillar functional tasks. There have been a number of times where I’ve helped other consultants with issues they’ve encountered, and they in turn, have assisted me as well. This culture at Apps has enabled the company to experience continued growth and become an employer of choice.

My responsibilities as a Functional Lead, for the most part, involve partnering with Finance organizations to determine their future Cloud enterprise structure and chart of accounts, and business requirements for all financial applications. Cloud applications are configured to meet those requirements. I then demo application functionality with the customer, confirm their requirements, while answering their questions and concerns. A lot of the discussion centers around how their business processes will change as a result of transitioning to the Cloud. Ongoing project work includes the building of any required custom processes and reports, the execution of test cycles, and transition to a production environment. I also review new functionality available with each application release, with the customer, and determine if they can take advantage of the new features to improve their current business processes.

In working with Finance organizations over the past 20+ years, I’ve found that while there may be various methods and different ways business processes are executed to meet their corporate objectives, organizations share a common set of processes. Customers are invoiced, receipts are collected, suppliers are paid, accounting entries created, and financial statements generated.  

In addition to my responsibilities as a Functional Lead, I also manage a staff of awesome consultants that I mentor to increase their knowledge in Cloud applications and to become more consultative in their current projects. Part of the goal at Apps is to grow talent that will at some point, be able to take on functional leadership roles. 

Working at Apps Associates has provided me with the opportunity to advance my consulting career. The project experience has been excellent in terms of working collaboratively with other team members, both onshore and offshore. There’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new.