Oracle as part of a major upgrade to the Oracle Cloud Applications portfolio announced today it is now turning its attention to supply chain management (SCM).
Liam Nolan, vice president of cloud applications development for ERP at Oracle, says Oracle SCM Cloud Release 13 adds over 200 features to a suite of existing SCM applications that span every aspect of the supply chain. The most significant of those new features, adds Nolan, are all centered around the level of collaboration Oracle is now enabling across multiple organizations that comprise a supply chain.
Combined with other updates to Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM), the latest instance of Oracle Cloud Applications also all sports a new CX user interface that Nolan says makes navigating the entire portfolio of applications much simpler. In fact, Nolan says that common UI is a key element of Oracle’s overall strategy to blur the line between where one enterprise application begins and another one ends, at a time when IT organizations have grown weary of the time and expense required to integrate these applications themselves.
“Organizations are moving away from best of breed applications,” says Nolan.
The reason for that shift, adds Nolan, is because IT organizations tasked with integrating those applications are now exercising more influence and control over the purchasing process. Previously, line of business executives drove purchasing decisions around individual cloud applications. But as the cost of managing and integrating all those applications has increased, Nolan says, IT leaders are determined to rein in those costs using applications designed from the ground up to let one record permeate across multiple applications.
Going forward, Nolan says, IT organizations can also expect Oracle to incorporate advanced machine learning algorithms and blockchain technologies into the portfolio. The first instances of blockchain technologies, says Nolan, will manifest themselves as an application running on top of a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment. After that, Oracle will integrate the ledger developed for its ERP application with a blockchain based ledger, says Nolan.
There is clearly no shortage of options these days when it comes cloud applications. At the same time, it’s becoming harder to justify on a features basis why one application might be far superior to another. Given that reality, the financial case for standardizing on one set of cloud applications often simply becomes too compelling to ignore.