The five change management stages for successful Oracle SaaS adoption

Many organizations experience challenges with their move to Oracle Fusion SaaS, Oracle’s cloud-based software as a service, even though they have used Oracle’s legacy applications for decades.

Why? They don’t spend enough time evaluating their legacy environment and don’t allocate sufficient time to identify the business changes or the ultimate impact on people and processes that Oracle SaaS adoption brings. Instead, they tend to focus on the implementation of the last “upgrade they will ever do” and the quick wins, such as license cost reduction.

It’s critical that there is confidence that Oracle SaaS is the best solution for the business, especially after decades of using customized Oracle on-premises applications. Take an ISV agnostic view first that focuses on business outcomes.  Start from your business priorities and pain points and use an existing ISV agnostic business process framework to identify gaps in your processes today and how they can be filled through Oracles Modern Best Practice business processes. Then, plan from the start to extend the Oracle SaaS solution with Oracles PaaS capabilities or third-party solutions - but only do this to meet strategic imperatives and not to merely facilitate end user acceptance.

Oracle SaaS adoption without an organizational change management strategy significantly minimizes its benefits and creates high-impact risks for any organization. This paper provides our advice about how to implement a smart organizational change management strategy in your organization.

Stage 1: Communication

Why do we need to implement Oracle SaaS?

Creating awareness of the need for an Oracle SaaS implementation goes beyond announcing it. Identify all key stakeholders upfront and ensure that they understand and agree with the justification for the switch to Oracle SaaS. It’s essential to target key performance indicators for improvement and monitor them through the SaaS implementation. For instance, popular KPIs for Oracle EPM SaaS projects are the elapsed time to produce, approve, or consolidate organizational budgets. You also should focus on those KPIs that impact on stakeholders’ daily jobs.

Providing the opportunity for stakeholders, and possibly an even wider audience, to provide feedback about the intended change is critical. By welcoming opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of the move, as well as discussions on current pain points within the existing workflow, you’ll give the team a broader knowledge base from which to draw insights as well as identify needs that may not have been addressed in the initial plan. Based on the feedback there may be a need to change or adapt the scope of the implementation.


  • Logistically, collecting feedback in a structured way, such as via Microsoft Forms, will make tracking items and any associated actions easier in the long run.
  • Asking for feedback from the broadest possible audience identifies stakeholders you might not have initially included.

Stage 2. Benefits.

What’s in it for me?

Just because end users understand why the implementation of Oracle SaaS is needed doesn’t mean that they want to adopt the associated changes to their working routine. Like most things in life, building a real desire for change gets back to answering the “What’s in it for me” question.

Designate change champions who can naturally connect to all people affected by the implementation. Have them articulate to those folks how their daily lives will improve with Oracle SaaS, which will go a long way in encouraging acceptance and even eagerness for the change.

Using the example of an Oracle EPM SaaS project, these champions might advocate the benefits of the narrative reporting functionality. Oracle EPM’s Narrative Reporting centrally manages the qualitative commentary on collected numbers, saving the time spent gathering comments from the business and leaving more time for finance users to do extensive analysis. Champions might also highlight the new simplified user interface which provides the same user experience in any device including mobiles, a major improvement well overdue for many legacy application users.

Change champions likely will detect resistance to the intended implementation, of course. Record every reason for resistance and perform a root cause analysis on it. Then address the identified root causes.


People’s fears about job loss or lacking the skills they need to work with the new SaaS are often root causes for change resistance. The latter is addressed by training. Fear of job loss needs to be addressed head-on by direct managers and HR. If jobs become redundant, they must provide a clear and advantageous career-path for all impacted persons.

Stage 3: Knowledge.

We’ve got it, now what do we do with it?

Early in the implementation process is the time to focus heavily on providing knowledge to employees about using the new Oracle SaaS within the context of your organization.

At the end of each sprint during the build phase of the project, the design team uses showcase conference room pilots (CRPs) using the Oracle SaaS application. Once the design is stable, the CRPs may be enhanced and used as training for a targeted team of users. Too much change can be threatening to some, so it is encouraged to be selective in choosing individuals to attend. Invite only those in the current organization with relevant roles to the content of the CRPs.

Self-guided training may be an option for the team as well as, or in place of, traditional or virtual classroom sessions. Self-guided training functionality is integrated in the SaaS application; it can be added to the Oracle subscription which can tailor to the appropriate context for a team.


Getting users' eyeballs on the SaaS application at the start of the implementation is key.  It's a good idea to have Oracle or one of its partners conduct a dedicated training session for key users on the base Oracle SaaS solution.

Stage 4: Test Drive.

Is everything – and everyone – working well?

Ability is different from knowledge. Even if you theoretically know how to do a task, you need to build confidence in your own competency.

So, hands-on-training is critical. Giving teams the opportunity to test drive the new SaaS before rolling it out is by far the best way to achieve this. Once the user acceptance testing is finished, the same scripts can be used to train the end users by having them replay the test cases in a dedicated test environment. Oracle SaaS allows you to easily create a dedicated training environment in the Oracle cloud.


Standard Oracle SaaS subscriptions contain two environments: staging and production. Negotiating an additiona environment with Oracle for training is best done at the start of the subscription.

Stage 5: Sustain and enhance.

How can you improve your Oracle SaaS solution?

Re-enforcing new workflows must be done post go-live to avoid end users reverting to their old way of working, misusing or circumventing the new SaaS solution.

A good way to handle this is by monitoring the KPIs targeted for improvement Break them down to new activities in the application. Publish a leader board of people using these new activities or find any other way to celebrate those who contribute to KPI improvement.

Oracle will upgrade your SaaS application every quarter. Upgrades are smaller, mostly on an opt-in basis, and usually non-intrusive, but the release upgrade is mandatory. Oracle wants all their SaaS customers to run on the same code base. Organize in a professional and sustainable way for these upgrades. There are only a few weeks between receiving the new release in the staging environment and its move into the production environment.

Designate a team of Oracle SaaS cloud-caretakers to understand the content of the new release as soon as it is announced by Oracle. A cloud-caretaker’s tasks are to communicate the impact,  if any, of the new release on the existing way of working and, more importantly, prepare and execute the change management process for any opt-in features that improve the performance of the business.


Given the quarterly upgrade cadence you need to be able to automatically regression test the mission-critical interfaces between your Oracle SaaS and the rest of your application landscape.  Include the development of these automated test scripts in your implementation project.


Change is always difficult. The organizational change brought on by an Oracle SaaS implementation is no exception, even when upgraded from a legacy Oracle on-premises application.

These 5 stages provide a starting point for change management to implement Oracle SaaS and subsequently survive in the Oracle SaaS cloud. A detailed change management approach and sufficient resources to execute it are required. Not many organizations have sufficient people with the necessary skills to facilitate that on their own. So, seek out that support externally, either from the Oracle SaaS implementation partner or from independent change management advisory providers. Always look for practitioners that have a track record in achieving tangible business improvements by application implementation-enabled change.

How DXC can help

Looking for support with your Oracle SaaS adoption? DXC consultants help you achieve your business outcomes by implementing or extending your Oracle SaaS solution.  DXC, a global system integrator and an Oracle global OPN partner for more than 30 years, as well as an Oracle audited Cloud Service Provider, delivers an average of 15 successful “go lives” of Oracle SaaS across the globe every quarter.

Organizational change management is an integral part of the DXC Cloud Right™ implementation methodology, including Oracle SaaS implementations.  It is a key success factor for all our customers.



About the Author

About the Author

Gert Vermeyen runs the global Oracle Cloud Applications offering of DXC Technology. He is a member of the DXC practice for Oracle and has been helping customers to improve their business by using Oracle Cloud Applications since many years.