Oracle ERP Cloud is one of the most common and well-known ERP systems in the marketplace and has helped a variety of businesses achieve digital transformation. With all that being said. What exactly is Oracle ERP Cloud? Let’s find out.
Oracle ERP Cloud is currently number two in market share behind SAP S/4HANA, and is commonly used by Fortune 500, Fortune 1000 organizations. Oracle has been around a long time and is an established industry. However, many organizations still don't have a suitable understanding of what exactly Oracle ERP Cloud is.
We will be discussing some of the strengths and weaknesses in a way that'll help you determine whether it's worth considering for your organization.
Oracle ERP Cloud is a relatively new entrant to the ERP space. Oracle itself is a legacy software company, but this is their newer flagship product in Oracle ERP Cloud. Now, while the product itself is newer to the market, much like SAP S/4HANA and Microsoft Dynamics 365, it had a head start over a decade ago in development, and that product was called Oracle Fusion.
Oracle had spent a lot of time and money trying to develop the Oracle Fusion solution. At the time, Oracle took a lot of flak for the fact that they never really released Oracle Fusion. They were having trouble with technological development. Now, fast forward 10 years now, and Oracle is getting the last laugh because Oracle Fusion was a perfect starting point on their cloud flagship product.
While SAP and Microsoft and others are catching up and just now making that transition to the cloud, Oracle had a decade of R&D. Talk about a 10-year plan…
Oracle is also a company that started off as a database company. It's worth noting now that Oracle databases are a key part of Oracle Fusion and Oracle ERP Cloud.
Oracle ERP Cloud is not the same as Oracle NetSuite. Oracle NetSuite is a product that Oracle acquired several years ago and NetSuite focuses on small and mid-market companies, mostly smaller organizations.
All in all, It's a software as a service multi-tenant cloud solution. This essentially means that it’s a subscription-based solution that's less flexible than Oracle ERP Cloud. It's important to know that Oracle Fusion, Oracle ERP Cloud, and Oracle NetSuite are all different solutions with various strengths and weaknesses. Today, we are focusing specifically on Oracle ERP Cloud.
Cloud maturity is something that's on the top of mind for a lot of people evaluating potential enterprise technologies. What cloud maturity means and alludes to is the fact that this newer cloud solution as Oracle ERP Cloud has not been around as long as, say, E-Business Suite, which was Oracle's legacy product. Another legacy product that Oracle owns is JD Edwards. Those are two examples of legacy, on-premise solutions that have a lot of maturity behind them.
Oracle is now undergoing a massive transition to the cloud. What this means is two things:
The reason this is so important is because if you're looking to implement Oracle ERP Cloud within your organization, you want to recognize and understand any weaknesses.
We have a few clients, for example, in the manufacturing space that create complex make-to-order or engineer-to-order products. We ultimately found that these processes really test the Oracle ERP Cloud system and stretch many of the functionality that existed in E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, or some of the older Oracle products. These capabilities have not yet made the transition to the cloud. Not because Oracle doesn't plan to do that someday. They just haven't brought all that legacy functionality over yet.
When evaluating Oracle ERP Cloud, it's important to delineate between what the product is today and not confuse that with what their plans are for the future. The reason is because what we find is a lot of organizations get stuck with the limitations of that cloud maturity of the product.
In general, Oracle has typically provided products that are very flexible. There's more tools and abilities to change, tailor, and customize the software to best meet your business processes and needs.
This is mostly a good thing however, there's a dark side to consider. Just because you can change the technology doesn't mean you necessarily should. Having said that in with the pace of change of technology, evolving business models, and business processes - it's nice to know that you have a flexible product. A bendable technology that can adapt along with your business is one of the main strengths of Oracle ERP Cloud.
Historically, Oracle has been extremely strong in data, analytics, financial consolidation, et cetera, anything related to enterprise performance management. Part of this is because of its history as a database company. By definition, it's a company that builds technology to capture data, provide reports, and analytics coming from that database. The other reason is because Oracle acquired another company in the early 2000s called Hyperion, an enterprise performance management tool. While a lot of organizations claim to have that same strength, Oracle has taken this asset to another level with AI and machine learning.
ERP vendors, for example, are talking about machine learning and AI, but Oracle has the foundation to enable artificial intelligence and machine learning because of that data-oriented, enterprise performance management background.
When we think about how machine learning and AI can be used within our organizations, it can relate to your financial close process and automating some of those processes.
EPM can provide predictive analytics for your CRM, sales team, and machine learning for your supply chain. It's really taking that actionable data Oracle captures and providing the next level of machine learning, predictive analytics, and artificial intelligence through their products. If emerging technology is important to you as an organization, this could be a main reason Oracle ERP Cloud is a good fit.
Oracle ERP Cloud is meant to service large complex diverse organizations. This causational relationship leads to the product itself becomes complex. This does not necessarily mean it’s harder to use, it is simply more complicated in the fact that it can do so much. The main consideration is, implementing Oracle ERP Cloud could be a lot more difficult than implementing a smaller, more focused solution.
This complexity typically leads to increased time and cost during implementation. There is so much that needs to be configured and set up for the system to work when we look at end-to-end processes.
The downside is that it can be overkill and too much complexity or cost for smaller organizations. But, if you're a larger organization or if you aspire to be a larger organization, it's going to provide the breadth and robust capabilities that you're maybe looking for.
Even if it does cost you a bit more, as a larger organization, that may be an investment you're willing to make to scale your organization. When thinking about Oracle ERP Cloud, it's important to think of it in the context of the complexity and costs relative to other solutions in the market.
Now, unfortunately, one of the dark sides of Oracle ERP Cloud is that there is a track record of failures of companies that have tried to implement the solution unsuccessfully. I would say that this has less to do than the product itself than the nature of the types of organizations that are generally trying to implement the solution. By definition, because of their target audience and market, are more complex organizations.
Keep in mind, larger organizations are more likely to fail in their implementations just simply because there is more opportunity for breakage.
It's not essentially something that points directly to the software, other than the fact that you want to make sure that you understand the maturity of the product. As a part of the evaluation process, all weaknesses and risks should be considered. Beyond that, most of the issues that organizations have or seem to have with implementing the products trace back to the types of companies or cultures rather than the product itself.
I hope this overview has been a helpful introduction to Oracle ERP Cloud. If you're looking for more information about different types of ERP systems beyond just Oracle ERP Cloud, I encourage you to download our 2021 Digital Transformation Report. This annual report provides software rankings and reviews, as well as other digital transformation best practices designed to help you through your digital strategies.
I hope you found this information useful, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if you have any questions regarding Oracle ERP Cloud. I am happy to be an informal sounding board and adviser as you move through your digital transformation journey.