The Cloud is the Limit

SmartDog Services Helps Ignite Restaurant Group Quickly Implement Oracle ERP Cloud to Gain Extensive Capabilities for Their Business.

Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc.


Oracle Environment:
Oracle ERP Cloud

Benefits Achieved:

In the first month of going live on Oracle ERP Cloud, Ignite leaders reported numerous positive payoffs. Along with using traditional general ledger and fixed asset accounting features, Ignite personnel now can send electronic payments to banks and automatically reconcile bank accounts. Also, they are using the Projects module for new location build-outs and remodeling, and they are taking advantage of built-in BI and reporting features. The IT staff appreciates that the Oracle ERP Cloud system will always be up to date; no IT resources will have to be devoted to patches or updates. Looking ahead, Ignite executives are so encouraged by how quickly and cost-effectively they implemented Oracle ERP Cloud that they are now considering what other company operations may be a good fit to move to the cloud in the near future.

Cloud Software Benefits:

  • Cost-effective cloud-based ERP system implemented in a matter of months
  • A single architecture that offers an extensive footprint, including business intelligence (BI) and reporting capabilities, as well as optical character recognition (OCR) capabilities for automated invoice processing
  • Complete outsourcing of all IT ERP infrastructure
  • Efficient “best in class” business processes built into the software
  • An always-current ERP system with limited IT resources dedicated to maintenance, patching, or updates


Ignite Restaurant Group Inc. (Ignite) is a diversified restaurant company, headquartered in Houston, Texas, that owns and operates two well-known restaurant brands: Joe’s Crab Shack (Joe’s) and Brick House Tavern + Tap (Brick House). Founded in 2008, the company has approximately 139 Joe’s and 21 Brick House locations in 36 states and employs around 10,000 people.

Business Challenges:
Like many other companies in the restaurant, hospitality, and retail industries, Ignite is a very location-heavy business with multiple brands—and it does not specialize in information technology. All these factors made it difficult to manage a single ERP solution across all operations. For several years Ignite leaders outsourced the majority of ERP-based back office financial operations to a third-party company, including supplier set-up and managing payables. However, outsourcing carried a very high price tag, so in 2014 Ignite executives started to explore new options. They needed to move fast to get a new ERP solution in place because their outsourcing contract was up for renewal in just a few months.

Project Challenges:

  • Need to quickly bring costly outsourced ERP processes in-house
  • Need to build internal competencies on back office practices.
  • No systems infrastructure and limited IT competencies in-house.

Solution: Oracle ERP Cloud – General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Fixed Assets, Expenses, Project Accounting and Document Imaging and Scanning.

Company leaders considered traditional software solutions, but soon discovered cloud-based ERP would be a good fit. Not only had the cloud ERP market recently matured with new feature-rich solutions, but the solutions would be more cost-effective than outsourcing and could be implemented very quickly. With these benefits top of mind, Ignite executives selected Oracle ERP Cloud as their new ERP platform. And, based on a recommendation from another SmartDog Services customer, Ignite decided to work with SmartDog to coordinate with Oracle and implement the new cloud-based ERP solution. SmartDog would also provide training to help Ignite personnel adopt new workflow processes and become accustomed to the new software.

In early 2015, SmartDog team members began working with Ignite experts. Like all ERP implementation projects, the Ignite project included assessment, design, prototyping, testing, and implementation phases. However, assessment was largely streamlined since Ignite had few existing business processes to evaluate with operations having been outsourced. SmartDog consultants were able to help define the most efficient business workflow processes that coordinate with the way Oracle ERP Cloud functions.
Design went quickly, too, because using Oracle ERP Cloud meant that Ignite could take advantage of out-of-the-box functionality rather than focus on customization. In fact, the SmartDog and Ignite IT experts were pleasantly surprised that 80- to 90 percent of the features and functions required were available as standard in Oracle ERP Cloud, including full-scale OCR capabilities for automated invoice processing, as well as extensive BI and reporting capabilities.

When it came time for prototyping and testing, the combined Ignite/SmartDog team made extensive use of knowledge, and advice from their dedicated Oracle Customer Success Manager. He was involved with status calls at least twice a week—and sometimes daily. With his guidance, SmartDog and Ignite experts were able to navigate the subtle differences in how certain features were implemented in the cloud versus Oracle’s traditional on-premise ERP systems. In addition, the team was able to successfully provide a few critical software extensions, including interfaces needed for electronic banking.

Mid-project, the SmartDog team learned that Ignite needed to sell off one of its biggest brands. Divestment activity slowed the project for about a month, but thanks to SmartDog’s experience with ERP projects, consultants kept on track. End to end, the project took just five months and Ignite went live as planned on Oracle ERP Cloud on June 30, 2015.