As conventional supply chain operations are being revolutionized by increasing volatility and heightened competition, cloud applications present an opportunity for companies to gain the visibility and agility required to make faster, more profitable decisions. So, what’s the best path to start or expand on a journey to supply chain management (SCM) in the cloud? At Oracle’s Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018, Ninja Subramanian, Oracle Consulting Senior Director, discussed in this interview three trends he sees in deployment models for companies looking to take their SCM applications to the cloud.
Deploying SCM in the Cloud
1. Innovate Around the Edges
Ninja noted that supply chain management is a prime target area for customers planning a journey to the cloud. “When we interact with customers across different industries, we see opportunities that exist in specialized SCM domains like logistics, PLM [product lifecycle management], and S&OP [sales and operations planning],” he said. “There we see what we call the ‘strategy to innovate around the edges,’ and it’s a common model for customers moving to the cloud.”
2. Pilot a Prototype
When a company has a smaller business unit or acquired entity, they often target those areas for an initial SCM cloud implementation. Ninja noted that Oracle Consulting often recommends that companies start that smaller business unit “as a prototype, put it on the cloud, and then migrate the parent enterprise into the cloud as well.” Establishing an SCM cloud application pilot enables the company to establish best practices and define operational parameters that they can subsequently scale to a larger implementation.
3. Build a Cloud Platform for the Future
Customers who are already using Oracle on-premises SCM application products often look to establish a standard around Oracle Cloud as a platform to grow their business to the next level, Ninja shared in the interview. He added, “Customers are leveraging some of the disruptive technologies and digital trends that we have to offer at Oracle and are building the solution for the future based on our cloud platform.” For example, Oracle IoT Production Monitoring Cloud can be extended across Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service to support full traceability of a product to its raw material source.
The Role and Vision of Oracle Consulting
When implementing Oracle Cloud Applications for clients, Oracle Consulting is inherently invested in the success of the project. “Oracle Consulting is part of the Oracle ecosystem, and we carry the Oracle brand, so we take pride in specializing in and implementing Oracle Cloud Applications,” Ninja said. “We want to be the best in terms of Oracle expertise. That’s all we live and breathe by.”
Key to Oracle Consulting’s strategy to deliver client success is co-existing with partners. “We want to put the best solutions in front of customers, and that is our overall prerogative that we drive toward,” Ninja said. “And as part of the journey, we work with partners in the same ecosystem to leverage Oracle applications and technology for the best fit across industry verticals.”
Working with partners means that Oracle Consulting also shares best practices throughout the network. “Since we are both part of the Oracle ecosystem and parent company, we are usually the pioneers in some of the emerging technologies,” Ninja said. “For example, with the digital supply chain applications, we want to be on the leading edge, deploy it, take the learnings from the different customers we work with, and share it with our partners for the betterment of the overall Oracle ecosystem. That is a strategy that we are consciously implementing right now in the field. With SCM Cloud Release 13, there are a lot of emerging apps. We want to be at the forefront to make our customers successful.”