What You Need To Know: Oracle EBS V.S. Cloud ERP Pt.1

Thu 8 Dec 2022 posted by Project Partners


For years, Oracle EBS has been the driving solution for project-centric organizations. Over 25 years ago, Project Partners’ founder paved the way as the Chief Architect of Oracle Projects, designing and delivering this suite of applications used by hundreds of thousands worldwide today to help manage and deliver their projects across industries. However, as client needs evolve, requirements expand, and a need for real-time data emerges in the projects space – technology has also begun to mature to meet upcoming and ever-demanding expectations.

In this two-part blog series, our experts will uncover the critical differences between Oracle EBS and Oracle Cloud ERP and whether you should continue to utilize your current technology ecosystem or migrate to the Cloud. In this blog, we will discuss the differences and similarities so that you can make a reliable decision.

What is Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS)?

Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) is the legacy version of Oracle’s Cloud ERP offering. It’s a collection of software applications developed to help project-driven organizations manage CRM, ERP, and SCM.

What’s the critical difference? EBS is an on-prem model which is easily extendable and customizable to meet specific business process requirements. However, patching the system is controlled by the customer (you), which can lead to gaps in functionality if patching and upgrading are not complete within the timeframe provided by Oracle. In addition, this can lead to rifts between processes and technology, impeding your team’s ability to complete project tasks with the latest feature functionalities if your IT staff has not adequately managed, analyzed, and configured them.

Why has Oracle EBS been among the top choices for Project-Driven Organizations?

Oracle EBS has been a top choice based on its robust standard capabilities, extensible functionality, and native integrations with other Oracle Applications (PO, Manufacturing, Field Service, etc.), which provide an unparalleled solution offering for companies across the industry spectrum.

What is Oracle Cloud ERP?

Oracle Cloud ERP is Oracle’s best practice, process-driven suite of SaaS Applications that support HCM, Financials (GL, AR, AP, FA), Projects (Execution & Financial Management), OTL, and Supply Chain Management – to name a few of the available applications.

While EBS looks pretty similar, Cloud ERP is automatically updated quarterly to ensure all customers are on the latest version of the product. It also provides some of the latest modern technology advancements, including analytics that allows your teams to react to market shifts in real time, AI to automate manual business processes, and the ability to modify your business models quickly to refine and scale your market approach.

Gartner states that: by 2024, the ERP market will forecast a mix of 24% on-premise and 58% cloud, with 70% of this focused on service-centric ERP (including industries such as Healthcare, Professional Service Organizations (PSOs), Software, Media, Real Estate and others). To learn more, read the report.

If I am using Oracle EBS, what is the rush to move to Cloud ERP?

As more and more companies evaluate their technology spending factors, such as infrastructure, maintenance, and upgrade-related costs, these are improved upon by moving to Cloud ERP. Companies adopting this model no longer have to worry about maintaining servers, managing patches, and upgrading, as Oracle’s Hosting and Quarterly Patching address these functions.

From a functionality perspective, while there may be gaps between what is standard in EBS and what is in Cloud ERP, there is improved functionality (note: this will be addressed in part 2 of this blog series). User experience as the product offers a web-based look and feel that is improved over EBS.

Can I configure Oracle Cloud ERP to my existing business configurations in EBS?

In most cases, yes. There will be differences due to Cloud ERP being business process-based and setup steps being different due to functionality differences. Some of the key differences are as follows:

  • Enterprise Structures
  • Security
  • Project Contract-driven revenue recognition and customer invoicing
  • Client Extensions for Projects

Is Oracle Cloud ERP so much more advanced than Oracle EBS that I must migrate to keep up with industry trends and standards?

When comparing Oracle Cloud ERP and Oracle EBS, the comparison should be holistic rather than focusing on specific changes within your given industry. A holistic comparison considers ALL facets of an ERP – not just specific industry functionality. Here is a few basic questions that you should start asking before considering migrating to the Cloud:

  • Is the solution best practice driven?
  • What is the effort required by the customer to maintain the system (this should look at the costs of maintenance and personnel needed to support the system)?
  • What is the upgrade process to ensure customers are always on the latest ERP product release?
  • Can ERP support user access from any number of devices (laptop/mobile)?
  • Will Cloud ERP meet the majority (80-85%) of my functional requirements?

But how do you come to a conclusion with these unanswered questions? An internal approach can oftentimes leave you with more questionable obstacles than originally anticipated, especially if you proceed without gaining the impact perspective across all departments that have a hand in your project lifecycle. The best way to determine the answers to the above questions is to perform a Cloud Readiness Assessment.

Will the migration to Oracle Cloud ERP be a financial burden, and will I see immediate ROI?

As with any technology investment, there will be financial considerations that will need to be evaluated as well as a migration/implementation approach. In the past, a Big Bang model was frequently deployed to deliver the solution all at once. With Cloud ERP, there are opportunities to migrate in a phased manner to realize ROI sooner rather than later. However, to make a clear determination of the approach, a Cloud Readiness Assessment is highly recommended to improve the outcome of your investment. This Assessment will provide two functions:

  • Assess Change Readiness
  • Assess Business Processes to identify areas for improvement and measure against the Cloud ERP standard

It cannot be stressed enough that the quality of the Cloud Readiness Assessment is directly proportional to the experience of your Implementation Partner. There are a couple of key factors to consider when selecting an Implementation Partner:

  1. Experience level of personnel leading Assessment effort
  2. Experience level of your Implementation Partner actually using Oracle ERP Cloud.

Does Oracle plan to officially sunset EBS, and what does that mean for my organization?

At present, Oracle has the end of life for EBS in 2032. However, Oracle does update this date based on the latest product development information to ensure the product will be properly supported.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series, where we will outline which features Oracle Cloud ERP does not currently support that EBS does and provide a side-by-side comparison of the benefits of each.

About the Author

Bruce Maghan is Project Partners Senior Oracle Applications Consultant with 14+ years of experience implementing and using the Oracle Projects Suite of applications. Combines this experience with a 13-year Project Controls background in the Power, Marine, and Construction Maintenance industries to possess a full understanding of business processes and the ability to apply technical solutions.  

Bruce’s experience includes: Oracle Applications releases 11 & 12, Oracle Fusion/Cloud Project Portfolio Management training, business process design improvements, Functional Lead over all Projects modules, custom SLA rules design, multi-org implementations, multi-ledgers implementations, multi-currency implementations, and contract services integration between Purchasing, Payables, OTL, and Projects.