The lengthy, complicated process of upgrading and integrating its financials and maintenance management systems has come to an end for Genesis Power.
The power generator and retailer’s need to upgrade its maintenance management application, Maximo 4i from Massachusetts-based MRO Software, was the main catalyst for moving to the next version of Oracle Financials — 11i.
Genesis spokeswoman Donna Baker says it was a major challenge integrating two significant applications. “These are two core components of our application portfolio and keeping the two in synch while leveraging the benefits of the latest releases has been problematic,” she says. “It exposed us to immature versions of the product [Oracle] and that caused issues that took a lot of planning and time to resolve.” Baker wouldn’t divulge the timescale of the project.
Prior to the upgrade Genesis was using Oracle Financials 10.7’s general ledger, accounts, accounts receivables, fixed assets and project accounting modules. One of the major objectives of the project was to reduce the level of customisation around Oracle’s applications suite. Baker says Genesis wanted to return to the standard packaged application as much as possible to have a standard interface with Maximo and also to leverage the benefits of the Oracle 8i database. This has largely been achieved, she says.
Although the fact that Oracle will stop supporting old versions of its applications suite in July 2003 was an issue, it didn’t count as a compelling reason to upgrade. Nor did the company upgrade to the latest versions in order to have web-enabled applications although these are seen as beneficial — for example, web-based reporting and queries.
Baker says the main benefits are improved functionality, security, deployment and integration and that the company is now able to manage the applications centrally and deploy anywhere.
The upgrade was performed using internal staff with the help of technical and project management personnel from Oracle systems specialists Theta Systems.
As part of the financial systems upgrade Genesis Power migrated the application to the Sun platform. For all other applications Compaq servers are used.