WatchDog Diagnostics

The Oracle Diagnostics Tool that Quickly Identifies Improvements in E-Business Suite
SmartDog’s WatchDog Oracle Diagnostics tool set was designed to automatically scan an EBS environment (11i and R12) and identify key business conditions that can undermine operational effectiveness of the system.

These diagnostics tools were developed out of the SmartDog’s Oracle Solution Center as an extension to our applications optimization services. Our team noticed that many customers had similar issues with configuration, processes and data, so we developed the programs to automate the discovery of high impact areas that are easy to address. WatchDog Diagnostics can conveniently and quickly identify answers to questions such as:

• Am I paying my bills too quickly? • Am I overpaying certain vendors? • Do I have transactions “stuck” in the system? • Are my sales people changing pricing after the order has been booked? • Do I have any employees who can setup customers and print checks? • Am I using all of the Oracle licenses that have been assigned to employees?

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How it Works SmartDog works directly with the customer to run the WatchDog Diagnostic tools to identify the areas for improvement. These areas tend to fall in one of three general areas: • Configuration weaknesses – Companies typically set tolerance levels and constraints upon the initial software implementation yet they are seldom revisited. Inappropriate settings can have a significant impact on a company’s business performance. • Broken business processes – Process breakdowns can have a negative impact on a company’s health, yet many companies do not leverage their EBS environment to monitor their company’s performance. Making early payments to vendors or creating false supply via open POs are just two examples of common errors that can result in poor cash flow and untimely order fulfillment. • Transactional issues – Technical failures can cause transactions to error-out or remain in-complete infringing on the timeliness of business processes or work flows. We then work with the customer to research each high-impact item and prepare an “Action Plan” which provides a recommendation for remediation. What you can expect from SmartDog SmartDog is a full-service Oracle implementation firm that has been working with Oracle customers since 1991, and has been specialized in optimizing EBS environments since 2005. We have a complete EBS solutions center in Austin, Texas that can handle a wide variety of functional, development and infrastructure service needs for customers that need help in improving their EBS environments.
Customer Examples
The WatchDog reports contains over 175 business process specific diagnostic programs which automatically look into your E-Business Suite environment (11i or R12) to find key conditions which affect the performance and efficiency of your applications. SmartDog has been providing these Oracle diagnostic tools to our customers since 2008, so we have a lot of experience looking into customer’s systems to find specific ways they can find quick improvements. As you can see from the examples below, these improvements can be related to the software, the configuration, or the way that it is being used.
This customer has been paying their bills too fast. We recommended that they establish internal payment procedures or that they implement “Payment Batches” in Oracle, they can save thousands of dollars a year. We have one customer that in one year, had paid over 100M an average of 22 days early! This customer has a history of allowing sales people to override pricing in the system. While this practice is supported by Oracle, we recommended that the customer keep an eye of override activity and setup a manual procedure internally to make sure that the sales people are not getting carried away.
oracle diagnostics tool
When Oracle was originally implemented, the customer/consultant set the Invoice Price Variance (IPV) to 10%, a number which resulted in overpayments to vendors of 141K in the past year. To remedy this situation, we recommended that they change the IPV parameter to 1%, and that they collect from the venders that had overcharged them. This customer’s business has grown, and as a result, they are “snail” mailing thousands of invoices each month. We recommended that they implement the SmartDog catalog offering which emails invoices, and logs receipt automatically. Emailing invoices can speed up DSO by 7 days and provide a better audit trail for your accounting team and for your customers.
This customer has a number of valuable (and expensive) Oracle licenses which are not being used. We recommended that this customer develop internal procedures for system administration for managing user setups and license consumption. This customer has system-level errors in the database that can lead to application problems, data corruption and other system anomalies. We recommended that this customer research these objects, and use Oracle’s built-in tools to correct the database objects and eliminate the application errors.
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This customer has a number of employees who have the ability in EBS to perform duties that would normally be segregated according to SOX standards. Since this was a small company whose employees must perform multiple roles, we provide the details of this analysis on a quarterly basis and recommend that the customer review periodically with their auditors.