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Five Options for Hosting Legacy Oracle E-Business Suite Data

What do you do with data in your Oracle EBS environment when you migrate to SaaS?

This is the second installment in a series detailing what to consider when migrating from Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS). This article will discuss what to consider when determining your hosting needs.

Contemplating a shift away from Oracle E-Business Suite systems signifies a substantial transformation in how businesses oversee their processes. The advantages of enhanced efficiency, security, standardization, scalability, and cost management underscore the critical importance of transitioning to a cloud-based solution.

Whether opting to migrate the existing Oracle EBS to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Software as a Service (SaaS), there are multiple pathways available, as elaborated in our eBook, “6 Steps for Accelerating the Core of Your Enterprise.”

Let’s explore the key considerations your enterprise should keep in mind if choosing to migrate from Oracle EBS to Oracle Cloud ERP (SaaS):

1. Legal Requirements for Data Retention:
Data security is a top consideration for any business; keeping your customers’ data secure is essential. Before beginning any migration or transformation endeavor, ensure you understand the compliance requirements and legal obligations regarding data retention.

2. Data Protection Regulations:
Over the last decade, several landmark data protection regulations have been passed. It’s imperative that your solution be compliant with these, as you could face legal backlash otherwise. Verify that your solution aligns with local data protection regulations such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) without compromise.

3. Reporting Needs and Historical Data:
In part one of this series we briefly addressed considering your reporting needs and what that means for data migration. Most likely, you will not migrate 100% of your data from EBS to Oracle Cloud ERP; you may elect to only move the last three to five years. Consider your monthly and annual reporting needs and how much historical data is required to fulfill them. You will still need historical data to maintain comprehensive insights on how your business is performing, but a 1:1 data transfer may not be practical.Later in this series, we will discuss specific reporting measures you can implement to still access the past data that you may not migrate.

4. Data Access and Security Requirements:
Once you’ve assessed the legal, protection, and reporting needs of your legacy EBS data, you must consider the access to that data and the security requirements that go along with it. Who within your organization will have access to the historical data? Will they have read/write access?

Again, planning is essential in this type of migration. It may be helpful to map out who within your organization will need to work with this data and begin to build a matrix for access. Remember to confer with legal to stay within your security requirements.

5. Staff Skills:
At Apps Associates, we identify the three essential pieces of any implementation as people, process, and technology. The ‘people’ aspect of the project is a huge driver of success. You must assess the technical and functional skills of your staff as part of this migration or transformation project. Are they adequately skilled to maintain the Oracle Cloud ERP, or will they require more training?

Think of how your current on-premises team, like database administrators, will adapt to the new SaaS needs. Assess your teams’ skills and consider creating a skills matrix, paying close attention to where the gaps exist.

You can complement your experience gaps by working with a managed services provider like Apps Associates. We provide ongoing maintenance solutions for your SaaS and IaaS needs.

6. Migration Efforts:
Together with assessing your staff’s skills, it’s important to accurately assess the migration effort associated with hosting your current ERP on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (IaaS).

You may consider using a partner for some – or all – of the migration. A partner like Apps Associates has a team of certified technology professionals that can guide you through this transformation. Our team is not only trained in Oracle products but also in fundamental areas like Change Management

4 Options for Your Legacy E-Business Suite Data

Now that you understand the key considerations for hosting your EBS data, let’s review a few options. We’ve identified four common options for hosting legacy EBS data and listed the pros and cons for each one. Each business has unique requirements and decision-making processes, so be sure to identify the key stakeholders and review the options thoroughly before making final decisions.

Option 1: Host E-Business Suite On-premises
In this option, all of your legacy EBS data and applications are hosted on-premises. You can enable the EBS system with ‘read-only’ access after the migration to the cloud.

Retain all EBS data and access the data in read only mode after cut-over to cloud. Ongoing maintenance of EBS (OS, DB and Middleware security patching).
Retain existing EBS forms and reports capabilities. Needs in-house hardware.
Use existing EBS tools for data obfuscation and purge/archive capabilities. Requires EBS Applications and DBA skills.
There is no need for additional user training. High level of effort to setup “read only” access responsibilities and update of user assignments
Consideration of your Oracle SaaS contract shelving language for legacy EBS licenses.

Option 2: Move E-Business Suite to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (IaaS)
In this option, your EBS historical data and applications move to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). You would still enable the EBS system with “read-only” access after the cut-over to the cloud.

No need for on-premises hardware to support EBS system. Requires EBS Applications and DBA skills.
Retain all EBS data and access the data in read only mode after migration to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (IaaS). Requires ongoing maintenance of EBS (OS, DB and Middleware security patching).
View transactions via EBS user interface and retain reporting capability on historical data. Level of effort to setup “read only” access responsibilities and update of user assignments.
Use existing EBS tools for data obfuscation and purge/archive capabilities. Consideration of your Oracle SaaS contract Shelving language for legacy EBS licenses.
No need for additional user training.
Oracle Support Rewards for technology licenses: Cloud Support Rewards | Oracle.
Automate backup of apps and database to Object Storage

Option 3: Host the E-Business Suite Database only On-premises
In this option, your EBS historical data only – not any EBS applications – would be hosted on-premises. The database could be on any hardware platform or operating system. This allows you to build selected inquiry reports on top of the database data as needed for the purpose of data retention, inquiry, and reporting using existing tools.

Retain all historical EBS data. May need IT staff to develop additional reports on preferred tool.
Use APEX reporting tool to build custom reports on top of EBS historical data. IT staff must understand table relationship for historical data to build additional reports.
Standard database management. Can’t use existing EBS tools for data obfuscation and purge/archive capabilities
No need to consider your Oracle SaaS contract Shelving language for legacy EBS licenses since applications are removed. Your team will have to build the reports.

Option 4: Move the E-Business Suite Database only to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)
In this option, you would migrate only your E-Business Suite (EBS) database to OCI.  You would not migrate the EBS application to OCI so there would not be any front-end EBS screens, there would only be the EBS database in OCI.

The EBS data would live in the EBS database and would not be combined with Oracle Cloud SaaS data.  In this option there is also no front-end reporting tool that is put in place – so querying the data in the EBS database will require involvement from IT or from an EBS super user familiar with the tables in EBS.

This option is best for scenarios where the need to access historical EBS data is very infrequent, is mostly limited to inquiries from Tax or Regulatory authorities and there is no specific formatting requirement for the resultant report (e.g., export to Excel would be fine).

Get a jumpstart for Oracle Cloud ERP data analysis with Oracle Fusion Analytics prebuilt applications Effort to build reports for EBS ERP historical data, as there are no standard reports available.
Both EBS historical data and Oracle Cloud ERP data can be available for combined analysis in a data warehouse, such as Oracle Analytics Cloud Platform. Oracle Analytics Cloud Platform does not support binary data such as attachments.
Extract and load EBS historical report summary for P&Ls and Balance Sheets for year-on-year comparison to a data warehouse as a customized data set.
Extract and load EBS ERP historical transactional data to support your management reporting needs.
Oracle Support Rewards for technology licenses : Cloud Support Rewards | Oracle.
PaaS services for OCI means minimal database administration.

Option 5: Move the E-Business Suite Data to a Data Warehouse – Combine with Ongoing New Data from Oracle Cloud SaaS
In this option, you would move your historical EBS data to a data warehouse in the Oracle Cloud and combine it with ongoing, new data from Oracle Cloud SaaS.

This option makes the most sense when there is a regular, recurring operational need to report and analyze historical EBS data in combination with Oracle Cloud SaaS data.  In addition to a data warehouse, this option includes the use of a reporting and visualization platform like Oracle Analytics Cloud.

Note that this option can be used in conjunction with Option 4 for a hybrid approach where only some historical data is extracted from the EBS database on OCI and loaded into a data warehouse for regular reporting combined with Cloud SaaS data (and the rest of the EBS historical data remains in the EBS database on OCI for infrequent, stand-alone access).

Lastly, please also note that this option can work using either Oracle Fusion Analytics as the data warehouse and reporting front end or by using stand-alone Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) and Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) as the data warehouse and reporting front end respectively.

Enables reporting and analytics across historical EBS data and Oracle Cloud SaaS data. Combining EBS historical data with Oracle Cloud SaaS data will take some design and modeling effort (e.g., might be necessary to map EBS data into a new chart of accounts).
Leverages an easy-to-use end user reporting platform so IT does not have to get involved (i.e., Fusion Analytics or OAC). Unless regular, frequent reporting by end users of historical EBS data is required, this option would be overkill.
Supports drill down analysis to transactional detail across both EBS historical data and Cloud SaaS data.
Enables organizations to leverage historical EBS data in a seamless manner for decision making after they begin using Oracle Cloud SaaS.
This option is flexible – can execute in two parts – first bring EBS data into data warehouse and second only combine EBS data with Cloud SaaS data where needed.
Minimal administration and maintenance are involved with either Fusion Analytics or OCI PaaS Services (ADW/OAC).
Makes EBS historical data readily available for use in machine-learning based predictive analytics.

As you can see, there are a lot of considerations and options for hosting your EBS data. As with any technology project, we recommend thorough analysis and consideration before choosing which route to take. For more information on What to consider before your E-Business Suite (EBS) migration, check out our reference guide.

If this all feels overwhelming, you may consider a partner like Apps Associates that specializes in advisory services. We can help identify your key objectives and challenges, and work with you to create an attainable, actionable roadmap to meet your goals.

For more information, contact Apps Associates today.