With origins dating back to 1886, Ladbrokes is a widely recognized brand and a leader in the global betting and gaming market with gaming services available through retail, online and telephone operations.
Challenges accessing meaningful data
Ladbrokes had been on Oracle E-Business Suite (Oracle EBS) version 11i since 1999 but users had struggled to access meaningful data and answer their own business questions with standard Oracle reporting tools. Finance relied on IT to create a combination of inflexible Financial Statement Generator (FSG) and Discoverer reports and then would use multiple spreadsheets to cleanse and reformat the data. This resulted in delayed business answers. The company had complex data in over 20 ledgers and supported 17 currencies all with very different tax rules.
“Ladbrokes had only limited in-house FSG expertise, and since we did not implement with Multiple Reporting Currencies (MRC), getting information across sets of books and currencies was especially difficult,” Daniel Weiss International Financial Controller at Ladbrokes states.
The company identified a goal of extracting information more efficiently from Oracle EBS and began to look for a solution. Ladbrokes chose Hubble's reporting solution. With Hubble, users can build their own inquiries and reports in minutes using live data. “Demos showed immediately that Hubble is very easy to use and our users liked the user interface,” says Daniel. “Because our team can create reports for distribution that are easy for non-power users to run, Hubble provides efficiencies across many areas of the business. Hubble has contributed significantly to the efficiency and accuracy of the monthly financial close processes at Ladbrokes.”
Hubble replaces FSG and Disco reports
“We implemented Hubble, and as a consequence, FSG and Discoverer reports were almost immediately phased out. Previously, users tried to access the same information, but because of the inconsistent reporting methodologies used across the company, they often got very different results. We now have a single version of the truth and as a result Finance spends more time answering questions than manipulating data in static spreadsheets. Hubble provides the exact level of detail required by the business,” said Jason Conroy, Group ERP Systems and Reporting Manager at Ladbrokes.
OBIEE for dashboards with high-level analysis
Ladbrokes also implemented OBIEE for its dashboard functionality and its ability to deliver summary detail data to their 3,000 shops. Ladbrokes was originally told that OBIEE would be the only reporting tool needed to meet all the company’s reporting requirements. Ladbrokes soon realized that OBIEE wouldn’t help them with their day-to-day reporting. “OBIEE is a good way to distribute a large volume of data to users outside the world of Finance. It’s great for pretty dashboards with high level analysis for management teams, but it’s not helpful for reporting over real-time transactional data,” continued Conroy.
Ladbroke’s Finance team is using Hubble's prebuilt templates to report over all their financial modules. For reporting on anything outside the standard templates, nontechnical users on Jason’s team use Designer Express to easily create custom reports over any Oracle table. This includes VAT returns for the 17 different currencies they support across each multi-ledger.
"We now have a single version of the truth and, as a result, Finance spends more time answering questions than manipulating data in static spreadsheets. Hubble provides the exact level of detail required by the business," stated Conroy.
Seamless re-implementation to R12
When the time came for Ladbrokes to re-implement to R12, Conroy knew he could rely on Hubble to report over both the old and new instances of Oracle E-Business Suite. With a ten-man project team, they were working to a nine-month timeframe that included the UAT testing process and all data integrity checks. As part of the project, Ladbrokes also implemented Project Accounting, a notoriously difficult module to report over without the correct tools.
“The great thing about Hubble is you can continue to report over 11i and then map another connection to R12 during the UAT testing. Because of this, users never lost access to their data during the nine-month project and we were able to easily switch over to the new system on our planned go-live date. Hubble allowed for a seamless migration with no downtime. In fact, it was the only reporting tool we needed throughout the upgrade project”, concluded Conroy.