Best-Practices for Planning Oracle EBS (E-Business Suite) R12 Upgrades

In order to have a successful upgrade, you must first start with a clearly defined project scope and a well-detailed project plan based on the output of the upgrade evaluation.  The definition of scope needs to include the objectives of the upgrade, details of the new features & functionality to be implemented, any potential changes to business processes, the impact that the upgrade can have on interfaces or customizations in your current environment, and system downtime.

The plan should include the processes, tools and people required to manage the entire project and assure quality and any benefits expected. Additionally, the plan should identify requirements for project team members and clearly define their roles. Typically, an upgrade team consists of a combination of both internal resources as well as consulting resources. Technical staff familiar with customizations & interfaces should be included in the project, along with business users adept at using current Oracle functionality within their business processes. Oracle consulting resources from Inirus, LLC will provide the expertise in project management, supply knowledge of new technical and functional enhancements, and bring experience of upgrades undertaken by other clients.

In order to be successful, it is imperative to maintain communication with the key stakeholders in the upgrade plan. Key stakeholders include everyone in the company that will be affected by the upgrade, from the accounts payable clerk or shipper/receiver right up to the executives approving expense reports. Generally, people do not like change – they may even be afraid of change. If you begin communicating the benefits of the upgrade immediately, this can help to ease those fears. As the project progresses, send out the training plans and encourage everyone to participate.

Detailed upgrade planning should begin once the high-level technical decisions are made. DBAs should download & review the Oracle Application Upgrade documentation &  product release notes for their chosen upgrade path. They should also review any additional documentation for database upgrades, Middle Tier, etc, to understand which steps need to be performed and which steps are deemed out of scope.
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What are the standard industry rates for Oracle ERP consultants?

Many hiring managers and project managers have upcoming Oracle implementations and upgrade projects that will require ramping-up resources to be able to accommodate the coming workload. When considering which staffing & consulting firms to contract with, you should be aware that hourly billing rates for Oracle ERP consultants can vary widely based on a number of factors.

One factor affecting Oracle ERP consulting bill rates is geography.  Speaking specifically to the USA, geographical location can impact rates as much as 20% – 30% depending on the region.  For example in San Jose, CA (located in Silicon Valley), as well as other parts of the Bay Area, demand is high and supply is low-moderate.  The cost of living is also quite high in Northern California.  Therefore rates will be higher here than many other parts of the country. However, in cities such as North Carolina or Georgia, the cost of living is much lower and there is also sufficient supply to keep up with demand, thus bill rates are lower in these areas.

Below is a list of typical rate ranges for both ends of the spectrum (low – high)

San Francisco Bay Area – hourly bill rates:

  • Oracle ERP Business Analyst: $70 – $150
  • Solution Architect: $90 – $250
  • System Analyst: $70 – $200
  • Project Manager  $85 – $250
  • Program Manager: $70 – $300
  • Developer: $70 – $220
  • DBA: $60 – $200
  • QA: $60 – $110

North Carolina:

  • Oracle ERP Business Analyst: $55 – $120
  • Solution Architect: $70 – $200
  • System Analyst: $65 – $200
  • Project Manager: $55 – $240
  • Program Manager: $55 – $120
  • Developer: $55 – $180
  • DBA:  $55 – $160
  • QA:  $50 – $90

Another reason for vast differences in rates is the size of the company that is offering the service.  For example, one can typically expect rates at the higher end of the spectrum from the larger consulting firms such as IBM, Deloitte, PWC, etc.  Here are some pros and cons to this option… One of the  pros to working with these larger firms is their global capabilities.  Another is their vast enterprise expertise.  Of course one of the biggest cons is the price tag.  Small to mid-sized companies really don’t need source resources from these larger firms as the enterprise expertise is not exactly relevant to their particular business.

Smaller companies are usually much more competitively priced, due to much lower overhead as well as other factors.  There are also pros and cons to working with smaller consulting firms.  One of the biggest pros is the significant pricing advantage, often 50% – 75% less than their larger competitors.  Another pro is the fact that the resources are just as qualified as those from the big firms, and in fact many times these consultants have previously worked for these larger firms in the past.  One of the biggest cons can be the lack of a vast supply of qualified consultants with the specific expertise needed.  Larger firms charge higher fees and can afford to keep a larger “bench” of qualified consultants.

One final factor that I will note here is that rates can vary significantly based on a specific combination of skills that are expected.  For example, if a manager requires a QA tester with Selenium expertise, this specific combination of skills is more rare and thus demands a higher bill rate.  The same goes for Embedded technologies combined with other skills such as Java, C++… or a DBA with PERL experience, etc.

If you are looking for staffing and consulting firm that can provide low rates combined with deep Oracle ERP expertise, contact Inirus LLC.  We have a large pool of consultants with both small-mid sized business experience as well as SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) with enterprise-level experience, Click here to send your requirements or request a quote.