There was a rather significant announcement involving both Microsoft and Oracle in  the Cloud platform technology segment, one that should capture the interest of supply chain management functional, line-of-business and their associated IT support teams.

The joint announcement describes a “cloud interoperability partnership” that enables customers to run or migrate mission-critical enterprise workloads across both Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud platforms.

Noted is that businesses can now seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, to Oracle Cloud services including Oracle Autonomous Database. Providing for interoperability among these two Cloud platforms, including network and user identity operability can make lift and improve or system of innovation migrations less challenging.

From our Supply Chain Matters lens, it further provides opportunities for running interoperability among customer running select versions of Oracle software such as ERP or SCM running on Oracle Cloud and Microsoft software on Azure. The announcement notes a scenario of deployment of packaged Oracle applications (JD Edwards, EnterpriseOne, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Oracle Retail, Hyperion) running on Azure with Oracle databases (RAC, Exadata, Autonomous Database) deployed on the Oracle Cloud.

This partnership begins in a limited scale, with both companies forming a direct connection among Azure U.S. East and Oracle’s Ashburn data centers.  The plan is to rollout the interoperability at some current unspecified timetable.


Supply Chain Matters Initial Perspective

This announcement is significant from a few dimensions, not the least of which is that it can provide smaller, up and coming businesses a better means to migrate to Cloud applications with enterprise level functionality.

With the reality of many manufacturing and factory floor applications running on the Azure platform, and soon, Internet of Things (IoT) enabled business processes and services, the possibilities become rather interesting for moving operational Edge data and intelligence into business applications.

Another reality is that a healthy slicing of best-of-breed supply chain planning and business intelligence support systems are increasingly resident on Azure Cloud platforms leveraging Microsoft’s AI and machine-learning technology. The ability to seamlessly move such data into other front-end customer demand, B2B and product management applications provides rather interesting possibilities.

Make no mistake, to get two rather significant Cloud technology providers to form such an interoperability partnership required a common threat, which is Amazon Web Services (AWS), an ongoing juggernaut in the current Cloud platform market landscape.

Oracle itself has struggled to gain wider-scale recognition as a hosted Cloud platform and this alliance has the potential to change that perception with rather interesting customer migrations that leverage both platforms. An increasing reality is that businesses may have little choice but to adopt more than a single Cloud platform for various business strategy and business process support needs including omni-channel customer fulfillment, supply chain or line-of-business product management and support needs. A strategic partnership such as this opens the possibility of more seamless inter-Cloud interoperability partnerships.

This is indeed an area to watch over the coming months.


Bob Ferrari

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