Oracle Extends Reach and Scope of App Portfolio

    Oracle at a Modern Business Experience event announced a series of updates that embed a range of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities across its applications portfolio.

    In addition, Oracle announced updates to its supply chain management (SCM) application to enhance collaboration within the application while facilitating integration between field service and customer service representatives.

    Finally, Oracle announced it has integrated Oracle Customer Experience Cloud with Slack collaboration service and updated its human resources (HR) application to make it possible to customize the application using a low-code tool in addition to enhancing the recruiting and workforce planning modules provided.

    The AI capabilities Oracle is adding come in the form of digital assistants that are being embedded in the company’s expense reporting, project management and human resources applications, as well as machine learning algorithms that are being infused into the company’s financial management software and access control modules.

    Oracle also announced it has integrated its supply chain management, customer engagement and marketing automation software with DataFox, a provider of a managed service for prepping data to be consumed by machine learning algorithms that Oracle acquired late last year.

    Juergen Lindner, senior vice president of SaaS for the Oracle Cloud Business Group, says that while Oracle continues to offer individual applications, it is increasingly focused on enabling organizations to unify disparate business processes across an application portfolio that all share the same underlying database technology. Interest in achieving that level of integration is on the rise because more organizations are trying to drive digital business transformation initiatives that span multiple business processes, says Lindner.

    As businesses begin to incorporate multiple business models, Lindner says they quickly realize that isolated software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications have become a major obstacle.

    “We call that a cloud hairball,” says Lindner.

    The Oracle approach makes it simpler to unify business processes around a common data model that serves to democratize decision making across the organization, adds Lindner. As part of that effort, Oracle also announced it has launched an Advanced Customer Success Services concierge initiative.

    It’s unclear to what degree the rise of digital business transformation will ultimately drive organizations to standardize on an application portfolio from a single vendor. But Oracle is clearly betting that as the cost of integrating all those processes and applications continues to rise, there will come a day soon when senior business and IT leaders conclude that integrating disparate best-of-breed applications to achieve the same capabilities provided by an integrated suite of applications might not make the best use of the limited IT resources.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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