During the month of March, Oracle has conducted two virtual customer and prospect events that have been focused on its Cloud based applications, including its Oracle Cloud SCM offerings.

In this Supply Chain Matters technology market education commentary, we highlight Oracle’s ongoing technology and applications strategies, the consistency of strategy and messaging and the consequent customer momentum.

 

Oracle Cloud Applications

Oracle Perfect Delivery Summit

An Oracle Perfect Delivery Summit event reinforced an overall theme that the best supply chains are the ones you do not get to see. It is the notion that customer order fulfillment processes work seamlessly with integrated information flows.

Two Oracle customers were featured, each describing the challenges they encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic and their experiences in deploying Cloud-based applications.

Tramontina is a family-owned Brazilian company that manufactures cookware, cutlery and home appliances offering its products in 110 countries. The company had determined that its existing supply chain and order management systems were not providing adequate visibility or order response times. Last year as the pandemic forced many to work remotely, learning to cook at home became a new passion, as was seeking the best cookware and appliances. The company’s sales volumes increased 40 percent, both from large retailers such as Costco and Walmart, but also end customer demand received directly online from the company’s web site which went live in June 2020. Tramontina had already transitioned to Oracle SCM Cloud and the benefits were specifically realized in the ability to support higher volumes of customers orders. Whereas prior systems could adequately support volumes of up to 2000 orders per day, the Cloud based process raised that level to upwards of 12,000 orders per day.

DP World is a global logistics provider based in Dubai. The company operates ports in over 60 countries and found itself with a challenge of having lots of on-premise systems supporting local facility operational and decision-making needs. The company elected to adopt a broad suite of Oracle Fusion Applications to increase operational efficiencies, provide value added services to customers and added operational flexibilities to support growth in added customer services. A further need was to eliminate siloes of information and be better positioned to support digital transformation opportunities across its network of ports and related logistics and other services.

Included in this operator’s Cloud based systems were Oracle Transportation, Oracle Trade Management and Oracle Logistics and Warehouse Management. The company’s Chief of Staff for Logistics and Technology spoke to benefits in the ability to better support 50 percent volume increases encountered by various ports, provide enhanced customer services, and better predictability.

 

Oracle Live Event

This week Oracle held its semiannual Oracle Cloud Applications Live event anchored by Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President, Applications Development. Like the last event held in September 2020, this was again a rapid-fire one-hour event to update listeners on the latest adoption trends.

The headline banner of this event was that over 750 organizations among multiple industries having gone live on Oracle Fusion Cloud applications during the past six months. The message being reinforced is that technology adoption occurs even amid a pandemic.

Looking back as to lessons learned, Miranda discussed common themes of having to conduct business from anywhere, including Oracle itself. In addition to protecting the health and safety of employees, he summarized consistent themes among Cloud applications customers. In supply chain, he confirmed that the focus has shifted to needs for agility and resiliency, as well as more scenario-based decision-making capabilities. In finance, it was needs to be able to support different business models including subscription or recurring revenue models. More accurate assessment and management of enterprise performance management and scenario-based assessments was a further theme.

Interspersed with themes were interviews with customers Marriott International, Broadcom and Vanguard Investments.

Each of the various senior vice presidents of application development for Cloud ERP and Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Customer Experience and Advertising provided their own summarized updates, including Supply Chain Management.

Readers can view the entire one-hour event by accessing this Oracle Live web link.

 

Oracle Cloud SCM

Rick Jewell, Senior Vice President, Applications Development for Oracle Cloud SCM indicated that there have been upwards of 150 go-lives of Cloud SCM in the past three months, a reinforcement of the messages delivered by Oracle Founder and CTO Larry Ellison during the last Oracle financial performance briefing to investors. There are now upwards of 3,300 Oracle Cloud SCM customers.

Oracle SCM Cloud’s quarterly innovation cycles continue with the latest updates in the version 21A and upcoming 21B functionality releases. The areas of update included those of friction orchestration, including areas of enhanced production scheduling, new order management and procurement support capabilities. In support of perfect delivery, Oracle has added new logistics and Internet of Things enabled fleet monitoring capabilities. There have also been added enhancements and innovations in product lifecycle management (PLM) and manufacturing operations.

Readers can view the full listing of these latest enhancements in this specific Oracle Cloud SCM press release.

 

Added Insights

This supply chain management technology industry analyst would like to share some added impressions and insights relative to Oracle’s discernable ongoing customer momentum.

In our prior commentaries specifically related to Oracle’s Cloud Fusion application areas I have stated that under the leadership of Steve Miranda, Oracle is clearly providing much more cohesion in applications strategy as well as clearer understanding of business process and technology solution needs in these unprecedented times of business and supply chain challenges.

This is a technology provider that is much more attuned to communicating the value proposition of combined capabilities of both Cloud based platform and data management infrastructure married to Cloud based applications, and what that implies for businesses.

More so than in the past, customer messaging is far more consistent, disciplined and evidence based, reinforcing market differentiating capabilities in a:

  • Complete collection of native Cloud offerings after a ten-year development effort. That includes more options for and quicker on-ramps to solution areas most in-need for customers. From the beginning of Fusion development efforts there has been the acceptance that Oracle Cloud technology can and likely will co-exist with the company’s older EBS, JD Edwards and other applications technology, as well as competitive vendor applications. The strategy has consistently been one of supporting transitional movement and upgrade efforts but unlike arch competitor SAP SE, Oracle has provided active customer listening and has maintained more customer control.

 

  • Cloud infrastructure platform pre-integrated with native Cloud applications with broad information integration and solid information security capabilities. This has been the least understood aspect of Oracle’s product strategy prior to COVID. It is now a principal driver of new customer interest because the pandemic drove the stark awareness that business and supply chain continuity is now highly dependent on private or public Cloud based systems and applications architecture.

 

  • Visible efforts to be a more services focused company, in addition to being an enterprise technology provider. That has included making the organizational changes required to achieve more unified product development and customer support strategies and placing more emphasis on supporting customer success needs. The introduction of programs such as Oracle Soar, to accelerate time-to-value needs is a part of this effort and came well before the SAP Rise That might sometime ruffle the feathers of partners and systems integrators.

 

 

  • Consistent quarterly release innovation cycle allowing customers to adsorb new functions at their own pace. There has been a more disciplined acquisition strategy, acquiring capabilities to fill-in customer needs as opposed to a strategy that leverages acquisition to try to dominate a particular market segment.

 

  • Concerted investment in a more modern user experience including Oracle Redwood, and additional emphasis on digital assistants and more conversational interfaces.

 

A final thought relates to supply chain management team consideration that Cloud adoption can and does provide businesses the ability to establish their supply chain digital transformation frameworks and adsorb incremental technology in manageable increments, with each providing measured benefits.  The ability to provide pre-integrated business process automation leveraging technologies such as machine learning, IoT, blockchain and advanced analytics is a plus, helping to accelerate time-to-value considerations.

When economies do improve, businesses will have made the investments to leverage this added technology enablement or have an established path that can be accelerated to broader process enhancement areas.

By our lens, that is why Cloud technology adoption directed at enhancing supply chain business processes is indeed on the uptick and will continue, during and after this pandemic.

Oracle is indeed gaining market interest and competitors will need to take notice.

 

Bob Ferrari

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 Disclosure: Oracle is an existing client of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group, the parent of the Supply Chain Matters blog.