Oracle rolls out improvements across SaaS applications

The updates come as enterprises rethink their longer-term business strategies, months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Oracle on Tuesday announced the latest updates to a series of cloud applications, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Supply Chain Managment (SCM), Human Capital Management (HCM) and its Customer Data Platform (CDP). The updates come as enterprises rethink their longer-term business strategies, months into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Part of Oracle's message is "the importance of cloud as an enabler to come out of this and recapture the next decade of growth," said Juergen Lindner, Oracle's SVP of product marketing for cloud ERP and supply chain applications. "Now is not the time to slow down, quite the contrary -- it's time to double down and hopefully come out at the better end of this as a stronger company."

Particularly within the category of ERP, which grew 33 percent year-over-year in Oracle's last reported quarter, "customers feel the same way," Lindner said. "They want to invest right now." 

While revenue growth was strong, so was the number of go-lives, he added. "We did not necessarily expect customers would be as decisive in their investment strategy but in their implementation strategy as well." 

In the ERP space, the updates focus on adding more automation, predictive planning and more capabilities from digital assistants. The specific improvements include: 

  • Intelligent Process Automation to simplify financial close and account reconciliation. Oracle's Fusion Cloud ERP uses configurable and intelligent rules to recognize and handle patterns. 
  • Intelligent Account Combination Defaulting automatically predicts and inputs code segments for invoices not associated with purchase orders, reducing the need for routine data entry. 
  • Automated Tagging of Regulatory Reports, such as 10Ks and 10Qs, using the customer's SEC XBRL taxonomy. This feature uses advanced language processing and pattern recognition. 
  • Intelligent Performance Management to help customers analyze the impact of financial and operational decisions. This feature finds hard-to-spot data patterns to help customers understand hidden correlations. 
  • Business Continuity Management helps finance teams quickly assess potential security risks to the business, document and approve recovery plans, and keep executives informed of plans. 
  • Digital Assistant Project Time Entry predicts project time entry, simplifies tasks and expenses, and reconciles month end processes for project professionals. 
  • Digital Assistant's Expanded Reach now lets customers use Oracle's digital assistant with all common platforms, including SMS, Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Improvements to Oracle's Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (Oracle Cloud SCM). focus on increasing collaboration across supply networks, proactively managing supply chain assets and implementing long-term planning:

  • The Oracle Logistics Digital Assistant provides real-time supply chain information, as well as order status and shipment tracking, through a conversational interface. 
  • The Oracle AI Planning Advisor uses AI to offerrecommendations to optimize new product introduction (NPI) and help customers respond to production disruptions. 
  • Multi-Tier Supply Chain Collaboration delivers improved visibility into upstream supply to increase overall supply chain responsiveness.  
  • Planning for Project-Driven Supply Chain optimizes supply planning for project-specific material requirements and execution of purchase orders, transfer orders, and work orders.  
  • New Channel Revenue Management Capabilities help organizations to create, resolve and settle claims for deductions and overpayments. 

Meanwhile, Oracle's Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) is getting updates to help both HR teams and employees:  

  • Personalized Employee Journeys offer a step-by-step experience for employees as they go through complex processes like re-boarding upon a return to the office, or managing their physical and mental wellness with resources provided by their organization.  
  • New career development products include an Opportunity Marketplace to help employees discover opportunities within their organization and learn new skills. The new Open Jobs for My Career flags new and relevant roles for employees.  
  • Oracle Payroll Connect brings all necessary payroll information onto one platform, streamlining processes with key payroll partners.  
  • Oracle Anytime Pay lets employees get paid for time worked in advance of their pay cycle, which will help with contract workers and gig projects.  
  • Connected People Analytics deliver enhanced analytics for enterprise-wide visibility into diversity and inclusion.

Oracle also updated Oracle Unity, its customer data platform (CDP), with updates for B2B customers and new integrations:

  • New B2B capabilities include B2B data schema, support for accounts and contacts, and integration with Oracle Eloqua.    
  • Deeper integration with Oracle's Data Management Platform (DMP) enables the categorization of unknown website visitors by interest.  
  • New integrations with Sourcepoint and OneTrust to help organizations maintain consent records and comply with privacy and security laws.
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