The Professional Golfers’ Association of America hits a hole in one

With next-generation Oracle Fusion Applications supported by powerful IBM technology

Published on 05-Jun-2013

Customer:
Professional Golfers’ Association of America

Industry:
Media & Entertainment

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Enabling Business Flexibility, Enterprise Resource Planning

Overview

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America is the world’s largest working sports organization, comprising more than 28,000 golf professionals. Founded in 1916, the PGA serves millions of people across the United States through 41 sections, which work on a local level to enhance the skills of professional members and expand playing opportunities for the general public. Both the PGA and each of its sections are comprised of multiple operating companies, with their own executive director and board.

Business need:
The PGA wanted to streamline accounting and reporting processes in its shared services center, to provide decision-makers with rapid access to detailed financial data.

Solution:
The PGA chose to become an early adopter of a broad suite of Oracle Fusion Applications, and has selected high-performance IBM® Power Systems™ servers to host the next-generation enterprise applications.

Benefits:
Will help to boost efficiency by tightening integration and eliminating manual processes; will support better decision-making by delivering near-instant access to detailed financial information.

Case Study

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America is the world’s largest working sports organization, comprising more than 28,000 golf professionals. Founded in 1916, the PGA serves millions of people across the United States through 41 sections, which work on a local level to enhance the skills of professional members and expand playing opportunities for the general public. Both the PGA and each of its sections are comprised of multiple operating companies, with their own executive director and board.

Keeping accounting operations on track
To help support smooth running of its extensive operations, the PGA operates a shared accounting services center at the corporate level. This center provides a range of financial services for the PGA parent company and 31 PGA sections.

In total, the shared services center handles accounting for 283 companies, representing 77 separate legal entities, and operates 32 ledgers, two charts of accounts and five different accounting calendars.

Managing such a complex accounting environment is a considerable effort. Not only does the shared services center need to ensure that core finance and accounting processes are handled quickly and efficiently, it must also offer comprehensive reporting services, so that monthly and quarterly financial information can be made available to decision-makers across all parts of the organization.

Moving to a more integrated, reliable solution
For many years, the PGA has relied on a number of Oracle E-Business Suite applications to standardize and integrate processes in its shared services center. To accommodate the unique needs of its different sections, the organization has worked to customize these applications using a third-party solution for financial reporting.

While this high degree of modification gave individual sections the flexibility they wanted, it also limited the overall integration and ease-of-use of the Oracle applications. When the manufacturer of its existing reporting tool withdrew support for the product, the PGA looked to move to a more reliable, standardized solution.

Early adoption of Oracle Fusion Applications
The financial systems team quickly homed in on the Oracle Fusion Applications suite to run its financial operations. The PGA became an early adopter of a broad range of Oracle Fusion Applications, including Oracle Fusion Financials, Fusion Financial Reporting Center, Oracle Transaction Business Intelligence, Fusion Procurement and Fusion Project Portfolio Management.

For PGA Finance Management, the ability to manage financial and reporting operations from an integrated platform that featured embedded business intelligence was a key advantage.

Solid IBM backbone
Continuing on its pioneering path, the PGA chose to host the new Oracle applications independently, making it the first organization to run Oracle Fusion Applications on its own infrastructure. Recognizing that this first-of-a-kind implementation represented a hugely ambitious undertaking, the PGA knew that selecting the right infrastructure technology would be crucial to the project’s success.

To deliver the high levels of performance and reliability needed to get the most out of its Oracle Fusion Applications, the PGA selected IBM Power Systems servers, running the IBM AIX® operating system, as the hardware backbone for its application suite, deploying an IBM Power® 740 and one IBM Power 750 server.

The organization had evaluated a number of alternative hardware platforms, but determined that IBM Power Systems servers could help to run its Oracle Fusion Applications faster and more responsively. With IBM POWER7® processor technology delivering optimum performance, the PGA can also get more power with fewer processors, resulting in lower per-core software licensing costs.

With Oracle Fusion Applications the PGA is moving to a new level of financial planning and business intelligence, and wanted a technology platform that could match the solution. This is why the organization chose IBM Power Systems servers, which offer the flexibility and resilience that the PGA needs, at a cost-effective price.

Migrating in multiple stages
Taking a multi-stage approach to the migration, the PGA first went live on the beta release of Oracle Fusion Applications before moving to pre-release Fusion v1.0 and subsequently to the official product release, Fusion Applications v1.5.

As an early adopter and the first organization to host Fusion Applications on its own systems, the project was uncharted territory for the PGA. The IBM team provided strong support, helping to ensure that the migration process went smoothly as the PGA worked with Oracle through the different versions of Fusion.

Process automation and rich, real-time reporting
Running Oracle Fusion Applications on IBM Power Systems servers will help the PGA to boost efficiency by automating a number of manual business processes, such as invoice approvals, expense reports and requisitions. While, previously, these kinds of documents had to be scanned and tracked manually, Oracle Fusion Applications will eliminate many paper-based processes, and streamline what were once time-consuming tasks.

With Oracle Fusion Financial Reporting Center and Oracle Transaction Business Intelligence, the PGA will be able to take advantage of multiple reporting methods and provide executives with self-service reporting against real-time accounting information. The solution features multi-dimensional balances, so users can easily drill down to any level of detail within accounting data, which is delivered in near real-time.

Oracle Fusion Financial Reporting Center eliminates the need to manually update general ledger balances. Real-time updates go straight to multi-dimensional balances embedded in the general ledger architecture, so staff can get up-to-the-minute reporting results. This will help to boost business agility, giving executive directors near-instant access to the latest information, so they can react quickly to developments and make informed decisions.

PGA management believes that IBM Power Systems will help the organization to get the best performance out of Oracle Fusion Applications, and is confident that the combined IBM and Oracle solution will provide a solid platform for the future.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Hardware:
Power 740 Express, Power 750

Software:
AIX

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013. IBM Corporation, 1 New Orchard Road, Armonk, New York, 10504-1722. Produced in the United States of America. June 2013. IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, AIX, Power, POWER7 and Power Systems are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at: www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify the operation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. Oracle Fusion Applications are not an IBM product or offering. Oracle Fusion Applications are sold or licensed, as the case may be, to users under Oracle’s terms and conditions, which are provided with the product or offering. Availability, and any and all warranties, services and support for Oracle Fusion Applications is the direct responsibility of, and is provided directly to users by, Oracle.