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Pervasive AI at Oracle Open World

Emma Hitzke
Senior Product Marketing Director, Emerging Tech

Since joining Oracle earlier this year, I’d been hearing a lot about Oracle Open World (OOW) and how this year’s OOW was going to be quite different, and I am not just talking about the fact that the streets around Moscone Center were not blocked to the traffic!

While there were a lot of announcements and great customer stories to pay attention to, I want to take a moment to reflect on artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). More than 200 (!) sessions and demos made it clear that AI/ML is no longer hype. It’s here, it’s pervasive, and our customers are using it. While there’s so much to cover about AI/ML, I’m highlighting what caught my interest during a whirlwind week in San Francisco.

AI/ML is elevating everyday actions across customer businesses

Let’s start with the session “How to Turn Change into Opportunity with Oracle Cloud Apps“ led by Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President for Oracle Applications product development, who said: "Our Machine learning helps you become more efficient and realize data insights you may not even do before. Ultimately you have people still driving those organizations and business decisions. Every step of the way, adding Machine Learning into all your transactions to make them much more effective.”

I like this quote not only because it makes clear how people, even when interacting with AI, remain at the heart of processes and decisions, but also because it boils AI/ML down to true business benefits, and this is the level where Oracle has focused its development efforts by providing a dual path for adoption. Other technology companies either focus solely on AI-based business solutions or on custom development of ML models but Oracle offers both.

Oracle customers can speed time-to-value with AI-embedded applications that deliver optimized business recommendations; intelligent user interfaces that deliver more personalized experience; and digital assistants that extend the value of enterprise applications. Oracle customers can also build custom ML solutions by using our integrated PaaS and IaaS services. And at the infrastructure level, Oracle is embedding ML in its cloud services for improved customer experiences by offering recommendations to lower cost though automating maintenance, streamlining workflows, and improving security with automated patching and predictive security analytics.

Why have we taken this approach? Because our focus is on getting customers to the benefits of AI/ML faster—no matter their route or resources. I witnessed the power of this flexible approach when I spoke with Cammila Yochabell, CEO and Founder of Jobecam. She shared that “Oracle has changed our [company’s] life” with AI, digital assistant, better data security and storage, to support her vision: how to alter a person’s image and voice during video interviews so that unconscious bias is removed and candidates are chosen for positions on their merits alone. She even got a chance to share her story with Larry Ellison himself!

I heard another compelling story from Miranda Nash, Vice President of Product Management at Oracle. Miranda recounted how an Oracle customer had a major “a-ha” moment grasping the continuous transformative power of machine learning. The customer was attending a demonstration of AI Apps for ERP and realized that as the Accounts Payables team was completing tasks in the application, the intelligence embedded in the application was learning at the same time from the human decisions and was adjusting future recommendations and alerts. It’s like having two teams of people working at the same time, complementing each other, and jointly feeding improvement and efficiency back into the finance process.


Some takeaways from keynote and sessions

For anyone who has been to OOW, you know that there are so many great sessions that it’s hard to get to all that you want to attend. Here are some snippets from my favorite sessions and links to the recording or presentations:

  • Ask the right questions about AI: Senior Vice President of AI Apps Clive Swan’s session covered the key questions to ask when embarking on an enterprise AI project. Failing to take the time to answer them, and you may risk to feel the impact of "what does fast cost you?" He also warned of the traps of AI hype.

  • From Data Tsunami to Smart Data: "It has become impossible for humans to handle and interpret huge volumes of data. That's where AI comes into play," explained Melissa Boxer, Oracle VP Product Management, in her session about The AI-Powered Marketer.
  • Hungry for meaningful and accessible insight: Too many companies suffer from “data rich but insight poor” syndrome. "Tell me something I didn't already know" is the underlying promise of how emerging tech applied in HR can lead to new insights, predictions, and make work more human, according to Kai Petzelt, VP of Product Marketing HCM at Oracle. Applied AI/ML is already built into Oracle’s IoT apps to provide insights (e.g. anomalies, predictions, trend detection) and actionable recommendations. "Now you have data science in a box!" exclaimed Bhagat NainaniGroup Vice President for IoT and Blockchain Applications Development. For example, Titan International is an Oracle customer benefiting from the access to Oracle Cloud and advanced technologies to improve their inventory process and get on their path to smart manufacturing.

  • AI contributes to business agility within the finance function: "We are building AI and analytics into our EPM applications with regular updates to enable a more agile organization,” said Jennifer Toomey, Senior Director, EPM Cloud Product Marketing in her “Value Realization of EPM in the Cloud” session. Our customers can drive better decisions through analytic insights and automate manual processes.  Brian Pawlus, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle AI Apps, gave an overview of how AI and data-driven, ready-to-go applications for ERP help you manage supplier health, and build intelligent and self-learning dynamic discounting programs using trusted data sources, decision science, and a modern cloud infrastructure. Steve Cox, Group VP for ERP/EPM Product Marketing, challenged the audience to forget the 4.8 day benchmark for financial close, and aim for continuous close! By leveraging emerging tech into streamlined business processes, you can simply revolutionize the finance function.


But sometimes after hearing and talking about AI all day, you just want to unwind on a swing with a friend, play with a puppy, or admire a mathematical-pattern-inspired mural. Well, Oracle Open World had you covered!


Check out my next blog where I go over the AI-related product announcements at OOW.


For more info:

Oracle Open World on Demand:  https://www.oracle.com/openworld/on-demand.html

Oracle.com:  https://www.oracle.com/artificial-intelligence

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