It’s becoming increasingly challenging for companies to keep an accurate record of their intercompany transactions. Specialist technologies, such as automation software, can help — but knowing they exist is only half the solution. The other half is knowing which type of software best aligns with your needs and thus is most suitable for your company.
One of the biggest debates is whether an outsourced solution is better than an Oracle-hosted configuration, such as Virtual Trader. Here’s a comparison of the two to help you decide.
The Pros of Outsourced Development Work
You Have Total Control — Particularly over Niche Issues/Needs
When you delegate to an external specialist company the task of designing a solution that manages your intercompany transactions, you’re able to have complete control over how it works. This is because you can specify a solution that caters precisely to whatever issues or requirements your company might experience or need.
This is particularly advantageous if you experience unique issues or have a specific way of running your company. Your solution will be specifically designed to handle your company’s needs, which is something you may struggle to find in a predesigned off-the-shelf alternative.
It Can Help Save Time and Money
If you choose to keep the development of your intercompany management solution in-house, you might be preventing your employees from focusing on other vital business projects.
For example, if they’re not experts in intercompany issues, they’ll require additional training, which consumes time and money. Then they will need to develop the solution, test it to make sure it works and is compliant with regulations, and implement it. Again, this consumes resources.
By contrast, outsourcing development work means the mapping, designing, and testing of your solution will be carried out by an external company. In addition, this company will already be experienced in such an area, so there’s no additional training needed — nor will your own employees and your company’s overall productivity be disrupted.
The Cons of Outsourced Development Work
It’s Typically Time Consuming
Making a decision that the development of your solution will be outsourced is a time-consuming commitment.
Firstly, you need to choose the right third-party company to work with. Next, you’ll need to design your solution and decide what features you want it to have. Once coded, your solution will require a series of tests to ensure it works in the way you intended, complies with regulations, and is compatible with your host website — such as Oracle.
Even after all of that, it still won’t be ready to be implemented. Your staff will likely require additional training unless they’re all experts in using the solution. You might even need to restructure the way your entire company (including your subsidiaries) is organized, from your staff to the processes they follow. After all, when you have a bespoke management solution, there’s no guarantee that it will be compatible with all of the systems you originally had in place.
In conclusion, an important consideration is that outsourced development work isn’t a quick fix.
Lack of Support
Because your solution is bespoke, there will be a significant lack of support if you encounter problems. There will likely be no community, such as forums, or customer service to fall back on if your solution experiences malfunctions.
Additionally, once the external company has designed and implemented your solution, they are unlikely to be responsible for its maintenance or provide support if you have no clause in your contract with them that covers this aspect.
This can make handling issues and troubleshooting incredibly challenging.
Updating Is Expensive, Complicated, and Time Consuming
Outsourcing the development of your bespoke solution isn’t the only complicated process. The same drawbacks apply to the maintenance of your solution; for example, when it needs to be updated. This is a recurring issue for organizations that produce and rely on customized solutions.
When your host website releases patches or a newer version, you’re required to update your solution as well. If you don’t, your solution is likely to stop working properly — if it even works at all. Alternatively, regulations might change, and you’ll have to update your solution so your company processes still adhere to compliance rules.
As a result, you’ll need to keep up to date with the original developer and regulations so you’ll know if updates are ever released.
Then there’s the issue of actually updating your solution. It’s not as simple as clicking the “update now” button. You’ll need to update all of your customized coding and test the solution to check it still works. The whole process can be very time consuming. The company you outsourced to develop your solution will be able help, but only for as long as your contract states they’re responsible for such a task; otherwise, you might need to handle it by yourself.
The Pros of Virtual Trader (VT)
It Offers a Huge Range of Functionalities
One major advantage of a bespoke solution is that it can be designed to cater for your company’s needs, no matter how specific they are. But this doesn’t necessarily mean VT can’t match this. On the contrary, VT is a mature product of almost 20 years. In that time, the product has significantly evolved to offer huge flexibility and breadth of scope.
Although it’s a configuration designed to enhance the way Oracle works, VT includes a Business Rules feature where companies can enter their specific requirements, and VT can be adapted to their unique needs. Its functional evolution has been largely driven by client needs, meaning that VT is a comprehensive intercompany solution that is suitable for a huge range of business needs.
It Grows with Your Company
A major issue faced by companies that use developed solutions is the need to respond to changes in business evolution and regulations. VT, on the other hand, bypasses this with the Business Rules feature, touched upon briefly in the point above.
With the Business Rules feature, you’re able to make edits rather than needing to locate and change customized coding as you would with a developed solution. When these rules are edited, VT will change the solution accordingly. This means VT can grow seamlessly with your company and industry changes, making this solution ideal for long-term expediency.
As well as being able to edit Business Rules, VT also offers automatic updates. Since the software is independent of the version of Oracle EBS with which it’s operating, when EBS updates, VT will too. You’re no longer required to manually change the coding, so this approach is more efficient, convenient, and helps to save resources.
With outsourced development work, you may or may not have access to support, depending on your contract with the external company. Even then, you’re unlikely to have access to comprehensive support because there won’t be a community to help out with troubleshooting. In most cases, the responsibility for troubleshooting will rely entirely on you.
In contrast, Virtual Trader offers whole life support via a renewable annual contract. This means if you ever encounter issues with your VT solution, you'll have access to customer service, community forums, an extensive bank of helpful content, and more.
Ultimately, You Need to Consider Which Solution Is Best for Your Needs
According to our comparison, Virtual Trader’s solution appears significantly more superior than an outsourced alternative. From its flexibility and superior automating abilities to whole-life support, VT is far more preferable. When it comes to choosing an automated solution to help streamline your intercompany management, it’s important you choose the right one for your company’s requirements. These two options aren’t the only ones you can choose from.
We’ve created a guide that compares four of the most popular and well-known options. Download it below, and find out which solution you should choose that can automate and streamline your intercompany transactions.