​Oracle aims to put voice interfaces on Fusion ERP, HCM apps

"We've developed these new technologies, machine learning, voice and mobile, so we could voice-enable all of our applications," said Oracle CTO Larry Ellison.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Oracle CTO Larry Ellison said that the company is enabling its Fusion ERP and Fusion HCM interfaces to support voice services such as Amazon Alexa.

You know Alexa for Business is going to loom large in the enterprise when Ellison, who is a tad obsessed with beating Amazon Web Services, is mentioning the digital assistant. Consider the recent Alexa developments:

Speaking on Oracle's fourth quarter earnings conference call, Ellison said the company has just about completed an effort to meld all of its software-, platform- and infrastructure-as-a-services in one data center.

"This consolidation of all 3 categories of cloud services, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, into a single standard data center, allows us to share assets while giving significant -- while giving a significant economies of scale. As a result, we expect continued expansion of our cloud margin," said Ellison.

What will customers get? Ellison said putting SaaS, PaaS and IaaS in the same data center makes it easier to deliver new integrated capabilities to customers. Oracle's competitors are mostly focused on SaaS or IaaS. Ellison continued:

We recently demonstrated how one of our customers use our mobile service, our cloud global service, our cloud voice service and our cloud machine learning service to extend our Fusion HCM system with an Amazon Alexa voice interface for vacation request and vacation approval.

We've developed these new technologies, machine learning, voice and mobile, so we could voice-enable all of our applications. And we're putting those voice systems, a combination of chat bots, voice, all machine learning-driven, we're putting those voice interfaces as the next generation of our UI for Fusion ERP and Fusion HCM. The technologies that we use to add to voice interfaces to Fusion HCM and Fusion ERP are available as PaaS services in our cloud to our customers. So if there's something they want to add to Fusion ERP or HCM, they could do it using the same tools we use to build the applications in the first place.

Ellison's take is likely to snowball among enterprise software players. These vendors are going to aim to voice-enable all of their applications. If voice is truly going to be the new user interface, the process may just start in the enterprise.

SEE: Cheat sheet: Alexa for Business TechRepublic: Amazon AI: The smart person's guide | How to become an Alexa developer: The smart person's guide

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