Yesterday, enterprise technology provider officially unveiled its cloud-based technology offerings, technology that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison claims to have taken seven years to develop. The Oracle Public Cloud service currently consists of about 100 applications and promises to heat-up the cloud computing wars among vendors for months to come.  Enterprise vendors such as IBM, NetSuite, Salesforce.com, SAP and others have all been positioning in this space either through acquisitions or internal development, with the goal of increasing their revenue bases and incorporating more recurring revenue models.

Business media reporting has been quick to point out that CEO Ellison was once a skeptic to enterprise vendors making money with cloud-based systems but has rather dramatically changed his perspective.  The reason should be somewhat obvious, customers want additional options in the manner they acquire certain technology.

Supply Chain Matters had the opportunity to view various applications included in this cloud-based suite at the Oracle Industry Analyst World event held in April.  Our three commentaries included:

Dispatch One– provided general impressions of Oracle’s current direction in technology and support for customer IT needs.

Dispatch Twoprovided impressions and an information update related to Oracle SCM applications support.

Dispatch Three– summarizes highlights of Oracle’s transition to Fusion powered SCM, the ability to provide core SCM applications in a cloud or SaaS environment. Readers are welcomed to re-visit this commentary since it provides our perspective of what to expect in supply chain business process support within the Oracle Public Cloud.

To re-iterate, the supply chain focused applications that will be deployed on the cloud-based technology stack are introduced by a phased rollout strategy over the next 12-18 months.  Some applications are already in co-existence mode while others will be re-architected or introduced in a cloud offering. Oracle executives are quick to note that customers are not asking for a “big-bang” rollout, but rather an evolution over time which IT and functional organizations can absorb. The deployment strategy is also industry targeted, with high tech and consumer electronics as the initial objective, followed by other manufacturing and service focused industries.

The most interesting takeaway for Supply Chain Matters in April was the summation of certain Oracle customer feedback forums that indicate the readiness to consider some deployment of SCM support applications in a cloud or hosted environment if certain service and uptime conditions are assured. This reinforces a new and different deployment phase that can well manifest itself in the one, two or possibly three year time horizon. This is a significant threshold for supply chain technology and Oracle, and a definite area to watch over the coming months.

Bob Ferrari