It’s becoming increasingly challenging for companies to keep an accurate record of their intercompany transactions. Specialist technology, like automation software, can help but knowing they exist is only half of 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, like 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 the task of designing a solution that manages your intercompany transactions to an external specialist company, you’re able to have complete control over how it works. This is because you can have a solution created that caters precisely to whatever issues or requirements your company might experience or need.
This is particularly advantageous if you experience very niche, 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.
In contrast, outsourced 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
Choosing 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. Then, you’ll need to decide what features you want your solution to have and it needs to be designed. Next, your solution will require a series of tests to ensure it works the way you intended to, complies with regulations and is compatible with your host website - like 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, the point 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 don’t have a 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 a newer version or patches, you’re required to update your solution as well. If you don’t, your solution is likely to stop working properly, if 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 pressing “update now”. 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 can help, but only 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
Offers Huge Range of Functionalities
One major advantage of a bespoke solution is that it can be designed to cater your company’s needs, no matter how specific they are. But this doesn’t necessarily mean Virtual Trader 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, it includes a Business Rules feature where companies can enter their specific requirements and the VT software 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 who utilize developed solutions is the need to respond to changes in business evolution and regulations. VT, however, bypasses this with the Business Rules feature, which we touched upon briefly in the above point.
With the Business Rules feature, you’re able to edit these rather than needing to locate and change customized coding as you would with a developed solution. These rules can be edited and VT will change the solution accordingly. This means VT can grow seamlessly with your company and the changing industry, making this solution ideal for long term expediency.
As well as being able to edit Business Rules, VT also offers automatic updates. Because the software is independent of the version of Oracle EBS with which it’s operating, if EBS updates, VT will do too. You’re no longer required to manually change the coding, which is more efficient, convenient and helps to save resources.
Whole Life Support
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 have access to customer service, community forums, an extensive bank of helpful content and more.
Ultimately, You Need to Consider Which is Best for Your Needs
According to our comparison, Virtual Trader’s solution appears significantly more superior than the outsourced alternative. From its flexibility and superior automating abilities to whole life support, VT is far more preferable. But 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 to which solution you should choose that can automate and streamline your intercompany transactions.