Oracle updates cloud applications as SaaS sales builds momentum

Oracle's ERP Cloud, HCM Cloud, SCM Cloud and CX Cloud are all getting more sophisticated functionality, including more machine learning-powered features.

Oracle on Tuesday announced improvements to its suite of cloud applications, including the Oracle ERP Cloud, HCM Cloud, SCM Cloud and CX Cloud. With these updates, Oracle's customers will see more sophisticated functionality, including more machine learning-powered features.

The enahncements are being announced at the Modern Business Experience conference, where Oracle will showcase the wide variety of customers using its app ecosystem.

"The point is not just the number of customers but also the breadth," Steve Miranda, EVP of applications product development at Oracle, told ZDNet. Across applications, he said, Oracle will tout both large and small customers, from multiple industries and geographic regions.

Oracle also highlighted the range of customers using its applications last week, with the release of its third quarter financial results. Oracle reported that its apps ecosystem is growing at 7 percent, amounting to more than $11 billion in trailing 12 months revenue.

"We continue to grow revenue faster than market and we have an enormous opportunity ahead of us in ERP and HCM," CEO Mark Hurd said.

Within the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud, Oracle is adding new machine learning-based tools. These include an expense reporting assistant, a project management digital assistant, advanced financial controls such as continuous analysis of transactions, and project-driven supply chain management with Oracle DataFox integration.

The Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud is getting updates that help organizations create personalized and on-the-go experiences for all users, including candidates and recruiters to HR professionals, managers and employees.

For employees and managers, the HCM Cloud will offer new chatbot and self-service capabilities, as well as digital assistant services available via desktop or mobile devices. The digital assistant services will help them get answers to common HR questions.

Recruiters, meanwhile, will get new features in the HCM Cloud like streamlined interview scheduling and the ability to create multiple career sites that target specific candidate pools like students.

The Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud is also getting a series of artificial intelligence and data science innovations for sales. This includes integrations with DataFox, bringing in contextual company data and signals to identify new prospects. It also includes new AI-powered tools to optimize sales planning and forecasting, a new task-based user experience and adaptive search functionality, as well as a smarter Sales Assistant that features new SMS and Voice skills.

The Oracle Marketing Cloud is getting updates to Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Responsys, Oracle Infinity and Oracle Maxymiser.

Meanwhile, the Oracle SCM Cloud now connects customer service and field technicians and improves the orchestration of vendor-managed inventory.