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Wells Fargo Adapter Offers Clients Payments Automation

Wells Fargo Adapter product integrates clients' ERP systems with the bank's treasury systems to support payments automation.

As companies across the globe cope with evaporating resources, Wells Fargo is introducing a new treasury services offering that creates a more seamless interplay between corporations' enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the San Francisco-based bank. The Wells Fargo Adapter software allows the bank's business customers to integrate their Oracle or JD Edwards ERP systems with the bank's systems to gain more automation in their payments operations.

By integrating the Wells Fargo treasury tool with Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne financial applications, the bank's commercial clients are able to automate their payables, receivables, cash management and reconciliation activities, according to Brad Stewart, SVP and group product manager for Wells Fargo's wholesale Internet and treasury solutions. "Adapter knows how to 'speak' Oracle and Wells Fargo, and it translates between the two, taking that effort off the hands of the customer," he explains.

Stewart says Adapter augments the native Oracle capabilities with supplemental business forms to capture information Oracle doesn't normally supply. "For example, the customer can capture additional remittance information on a supplier," he relates. "This information isn't native to the Oracle E-Business Suite; the customers would have to build it themselves."

Adapter is targeted at businesses ranging in size from $50 million in annual revenue to more than $2 billion, Stewart adds. "Anyone [who is] using Oracle in the back office and wants to take paper out of their shop can use this."

The software sits between the corporate's ERP system and Wells Fargo treasury services. No additional hardware is required on the customer's end, according to Stewart. "Adapter has a light hardware footprint. The software can be deployed on the same server the customer runs its ERP application on," he says. "We try to be agnostic in that regard."

Adapter builds and transmits a single data file for all payment types to Wells Fargo ($1.4 trillion in assets), Stewart reports. The bank then sends specified payments and remittance data to the client's trading partners. Wells also transmits a single file of incoming payments, loads the receipts and uses Oracle auto-posting to apply receipts to open invoices or customer accounts. The software can also send a BAI file of previous-day or inter-day account activity, Stewart adds.

Adapter installs and tests in about one week and is fully supported by Wells Fargo, according to the bank. Wells Fargo takes care of the bulk of the maintenance, troubleshooting and updates to Adapter, creating less of a burden on clients' IT resources, Stewart says.

Affordable Automation

Though Stewart declines to comment on Adapter pricing structure, Tony Kender, SVP of Oracle's Global Accelerate Program Office, said in a podcast about the product that Adapter can enable more companies to achieve payments automation. The lengthy implementation time and significant costs traditionally associated with integrating with a bank's payments systems have been a barrier for midsize businesses to the type of automation supported by Adapter, he said.

The idea for Adapter, according to Wells Fargo's Stewart, originated as a result of meetings with the bank's customer advisory council and hearing the frustrations voiced by many of these clients around integrating and automating their payments systems. Currently the bank is running Adapter in pilot with two of its commercial clients using Oracle E-Business Suite 11i, with at least two more planned for the first quarter, he relates.

The next phase will begin in the second quarter and will include three clients running Oracle release 12. A third pilot will involve clients on JD Edwards EnterpriseOne; as of press time no date had been determined for that leg of the pilot.

Stewart expects the service to officially go live this summer. However, he says, the rollout might be phased in, depending on the version of the ERP system to which it will be tied at the client end.

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