This week, Oracle announced the introduction and availability of Oracle Cloud Applications Release 13, a further effort to extend broad functionality in a public or private based Cloud platform.
As outlined in prior Supply Chain Matters blog commentaries, Oracle’s supply chain management focused development teams have established design goals to eventually provide availability of all existing on-premise SCM support application to Cloud-based offerings. The new Cloud-based offerings now being released include an emphasis on exceptional user experiences, more seamless upgrading for future Cloud application releases, and are being designed to include far more leverage of analytics, business rules orchestration and workflow management.
Within this new release are further enhancements to Oracle SCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud, many of which were premiered at the Oracle Open World Conference held last fall.
Release 13 of Oracle SCM Cloud provides more than 200 added features and six added applications that now include Demand Management, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Planning, Quality Management, and Maintenance.
The release of Oracle Demand Management Cloud builds on the capability of Oracle Demantra. In addition to the ability to Sense, Forecast, Manage and Predict supply chain product demand, Release 13 provides the availability of pre-built integration between Demand Management and other Oracle SCM Cloud applications including data related to customers, sales orders, or other master data needs. There is added support for integration of external data sources as-well.
Newly released is Oracle Sales and Operations Planning Cloud, described as a complete S&OP planning application to align organizations to an integrated operating plan and to meet strategic business goals. Oracle designed this new Cloud-based S&OP application to support the full process spectrum from detailed analysis to high-level Executive- level S&OP reporting, avoiding the need to constantly generate augmented summary reports for S&OP review meetings. What impressed this author in prior software demos was the ability and flexibility for users to configure analytics and planning dimensions in a variety of screen-based modes including planning dimensions and hierarchies, or tables for multidimensional data analysis. Users can run quick product demand or supply simulations or compare various operating plans. This application further supports the ability to not only integrate data from internal Oracle applications but external data and application sources such as multiple ERP systems including SAP, by way of flat-files. This represents Oracle’s newest response to existing ERP and best-of-breed software providers offering dedicated S&OP support applications.
For Release 13, Oracle product management provides for the transition for Oracle Planning Central Cloud to the combination of Oracle Supply Planning Cloud and Oracle Demand Management Cloud. Existing Planning Central plans are automatically available for viewing, editing and supply planning, along with a comprehensive listing of supply planning functionality including the ability to plan for multiple customer fulfillment strategies.
Oracle Quality and Maintenance Cloud is described as supporting an end-to-end quality management system, something that Oracle has not offered previously.
Oracle ERP Cloud, is essentially a financial support platform, but further includes baseline supply chain management support capabilities including those involved in Order-to Cash and Procure-to-Pay process flows. Cloud ERP includes Oracle’s support for sourcing and procurement business process and analytics needs. As-such, ERP Cloud can be viewed as an entry-level application toward total Cloud adoption, with migration to SCM Cloud as a consequent next step. Release 13 builds on Public Cloud functionality particularly in procurement process support, adding enhanced user experience and functionality capabilities for strategic sourcing support, supplier management Coverage for manufacturing based industry is enhanced in this latest release. Supply Chain Matters will feature additional blog commentary related to the procurement support needs at a later date.
In prior commentaries, this analyst has expressed the view that Oracle SCM Cloud represents one of the broadest, end-to-end supply chain business process and full-featured Cloud-based offerings. Release 13 significantly adds to this dimension.
Earlier this year, Oracle indicated that over 1000 customers have already embarked on SCM Cloud adoption. We suspect that by the end of this year, and now with the availability of the assortment of new applications and added functionality in many different areas, that adoption numbers will likely be somewhat higher.
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