I've been busier than an ant at a sugar convention lately, working with lots of clients and potential clients in the various stages of implementing Oracle E-Business R12 (actually 12.1.2, but I was never any good with numbers; that's why I went to law school). Most of the companies I meet these days are small or medium size enterprises, which means they're very interested in Oracle Business Accelerators ("OBA").
I like the idea behind OBA - reduce the cost of application implementation by adhering to basic "best practices" and sticking with to the basics: minimal configuration, no data conversions or interfaces. OBA is a solution-driven implementation - here's the solution, make it work for your business. It's a powerful value proposition in the SME marketplace where every day and every dollar counts. OBA promises a less expensive implementation and a quicker transition from legacy systems to Oracle Apps.
How quick and how fast? Most of my work over the past decade has been for large companies implementing the E-Business Suite: implementations that run 12 months or more, with implementation costs running anywhere from $500,000 up, depending on the scope of the implementation, the level of customization, and the organization's ability to absorb change. With OBA implementations, we're looking at schedules of 8 weeks and up with costs running as low as 20 - 25 percent of what I've seen for requirements-driven implementations.
Of course, OBA has it's own limitations. SMEs often try to squeeze even more out of the cost and the schedule, which usually leads to a low-quality solution (haste makes waste…even an OBA implementation can only go so fast). Other SMEs plan for an OBA implementation, then want to tailor "just a few things" - which opens the flood gates to scope creep, which in turn leads to longer schedules and higher costs.
The trick with an OBA implementation seems to be managing client expectations and keeping a tight control on the project scope. The big benefit - it scales the cost and schedule of an apps implementation down to the point that SMEs can get into the game.
I've had pretty good luck taking the OBA approach recently at a couple of client sites; seems to work well when it's done right. Something for the SMEs out there to think about.
I wonder if we'll see an OBA approach for Fusion Applications?