The most valuable features for us are the abilities it provides for us to generate our financial statements and to develop our own customized reports exactly how we want. We've found it to be very, very good for a government entity or public-sector company. We do things a little differently from most private sector companies, and most EBS solutions, except for the Oracle product, are really focused more on private industry than public. So we really need that customization capability, and it's able to be customized for a functional-level user, which is ideal for our group.
Room for Improvement
I'd like to see the reporting improved. Right now, we do not own any of the hub or any of modules for financial reporting. We use this archaic thing called Discover. Discover is fine for a tech-finance person to handle, but a functional user doesn't understand it. It's not really used very well. The reports are not very pretty because we have to do a lot of extra formatting and publishing in order to do our annual reports. We actually have an additional outside system to do our annual reports. That's how bad it is.
Use of Solution
We were early adopters. In 1998 is when they went to 11i and then they upgraded in 2012 to 12.1.3.
We've had no issues deploying it.
It has been consistently stable because when we implemented it, we basically kept it vanilla. We have no customizations, and it's fully supported by a hosted Oracle group. We didn't have to do much in that instance, because we kept it vanilla.
We're the city, so there's not much growth, it's more like volume of transactions. We are one of the largest cities, or the largest city, in Virginia, so we have a lot of transactional information that we have to do on a regular basis, and being able to track that in our unique, public-sector way is very important. They have been able to sustain us for this long, and we've been fairly content with it, but we have not taken any advantage of all the automation that could be used in that product.
Customer Service and Technical Support
One of the things is the timing is very, very slow for turnaround of most things. We get handed off to different people. We do not keep the same person who started researching the problem usually following up with us. We usually feel like we have to start over every time we get somebody new to figure out what's going on. If we had somebody from start to finish, we think we probably would have gotten resolution quicker and been able to keep that knowledge base of what's happened in the past. A group, or a smaller group of people, would have been more ideal.
The initial setup was simple and straightforward because we kept it vanilla with out-of-the-box functionalities.
We implemented it with our in-house team.