Oracle continues to show momentum in the cloud

Oracle continues to show momentum in the cloud, and it recently held a series of online events to present its cloud strategy, whose motto is “The Time Is Now—Recapture Growth with Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications”. During several online sessions, Oracle leaders emphasized their main assets in each application area: ERP & EPM, CX, HCM, and SCM.

Oracle has built a native cloud apps portfolio from the ground up, and today, it offers a complete cloud applications suite. Fusion Cloud Applications is engineered to work together and with a modern user experience and continues to innovate via quarterly updates across the business functions: finance, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, sales, customer service, and marketing.

The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the main topics in each application area, focusing on customers that have carried out transformation programs to achieve resilience and smoothly continue their operations during these difficult times (MGM, lululemon, Office Depot, McDonald's, LA Administration, etc.). Oracle Cloud HCM plays a major role in supporting customers with shifting from on-premises to working from home in the cloud while ensuring the best possible employee experience during this period.

Integration is another key message that featured in all the sessions, highlighting the importance of a unified platform – uniform security features, unified set of information about customers across processes. Oracle showed how customers could run all apps on the same Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), leveraging innovation, control, and data management services. The single platform view is very much facilitated by Oracle’s ISVs, which bring their knowledge and service offerings to the Oracle platform.

The customer experience has become increasingly important over the past few months as customers' interactions with their providers have been all but limited to digital channels, which has also prompted companies to speed up their digital transformation.

The unified platform that Oracle promotes allows customers to connect front office and back office, use a common data model across ERP, SCM, CX, EPM, and HCM, and to use guided experiences throughout their systems. A unified platform ensures better security, as well as a single data source for reporting, drives efficiency and simplifies the operation of the entire system. The guided experiences integrate machine learning and can use digital assistant functionalities. Oracle presented its own experience gained from internally using such features for its sales teams.

Another important message is the unification of B2C and B2B capabilities in the CX area. For some years, companies focused on CX mainly in interactions with consumers, less so in B2B relations. Oracle recently announced Oracle Unity B2B support, which allows companies to use CX features similar to those for consumers, such as customer clustering.

Although industry solutions were mentioned from time to time, there was no strong vertical message related to its cloud strategy overall. In CX the vertical strategy is more visible, but still there is room to increase the vertical cloud approach. Oracle has an extensive industry-specific portfolio for many verticals, and it should push vertical cloud solutions, as its largest competitors (e.g. SAP, Salesforce, Infor, etc.) have been moving in this direction.