Wednesday Jul 30, 2014

Oracle’s Midsize Partners Publish 47 New Solutions for Oracle Applications Cloud

During Oracle's fiscal year that ended on May 31, 2014, 40 Oracle Partners launched 47 new Oracle Accelerate Solutions for Oracle Applications Cloud.

The 47 new industry and geography specific solutions launched by partners in Oracle’s fiscal year 2014 span the range of Oracle Applications, including Oracle Financials Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud – both part of Oracle CX Cloud, and Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud.

New Oracle Accelerate Solutions Help Midsize Organizations Adopt Modern Best Practices

Business today demands modern best practices founded on the enabling technologies of Cloud, Social, Big Data, Mobile, Analytics, and The Internet of Things. Modern best practices are flexible, support growth and innovation and enable new ways of executing.

To meet demand for flexible, modular, and enterprise grade applications that scale with growth, Oracle partners have developed new solutions that help new and existing Oracle customers realize fast time to benefit from Oracle Applications Cloud.

  • To help shorten time to hire, increase employee engagement, and streamline performance appraisals- Oracle Partners eVerge Group, Certus Solutions, Presence of IT, CSolutor, Grant Thornton, and KBACE Technologies have developed Oracle Accelerate solutions for Oracle HCM Cloud. The new solutions, offered in Australia, Europe, and the United States, are designed to enable human resources organizations in many industries and types of organizations to better acquire, manage, and nurture talent.

  • With many fast growing companies needing to replace spreadsheets and off the shelf accounting packages- DAZ, Inc., Frontera Consulting, and Inoapps created new solutions for Oracle Financials Cloud that provide midsize companies with enterprise grade financial management solutions.

Additionally, Oracle partners continued to develop new solutions tailored to the unique business requirements within industries and global regions:

  • UK partner BPI On Demand created new Oracle Sales Cloud solutions for Engineering and Construction, Insurance, Telecommunications, and Business Services

Here’s What Our Partners Are Saying

“We launched our Oracle Accelerate solution for Oracle Financials Cloud based on the insight we gained adopting it internally. Our customers want a modular, fast-track, approach to rapidly reduce costs and boost efficiency, business agility and ROI via cloud.” –Phil Wilson, Business Development & Alliances, Inoapps

“The KBACE Oracle Accelerate Solution highlights how KBACE embeds modern best practices and delivery accelerators into a proven, risk-focused, and quick time-to-value implementation methodology. The KBACE Oracle Accelerate Solution, including the Oracle HCM Cloud software, enables high-performing organizations to further differentiate themselves in the marketplace.” –Mike Peterson, President & COO, KBACE Technologies

“We adopted Oracle Financials Cloud because it gives us Tier 1 multi-language, multi-currency, and integration capabilities without the investment in hardware and infrastructure. With our Oracle Accelerate Solution, we now offer those same benefits to our customers.”—Deborah Arnold, President, DAZ Systems, Inc.

“Our customers are increasingly excited about the value of Oracle ERP Cloud with embedded analytics as well as packaged solutions such as Oracle Accelerate.” - Sean Moore, Principal. C3Biz

“We know that one of the primary benefits for customers implementing Oracle Cloud HCM is to reduce both the cost and time to deploy the applications. eVerge Group’s Accelerated Solution for Oracle Cloud HCM ensures that our customer implementations are done as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.” - John Peketz, Vice President, Marketing, eVerge Group

Oracle Releases 57 JD Edwards Mobile Applications

by Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize

I read a press release the other day announcing that, since the first of the year, Oracle has released 57 new JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 mobile applications optimized for smartphones and tablets. 57! That sounded like a pretty big deal to me so I called up Bob Monahan, Senior Director of JD Edwards Product Management to make sure it wasn’t a typo.

“You read it right,” said Monahan. “These are all new, purpose built or role built companion applications to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne core applications.”

Monhahan went on to explain that mobile applications feature subsets of functionality that users have licensed for a desktop or a laptop. Instead of trying to take everything you would do on a desktop or laptop and squishing it down to fit on a smaller display, Oracle had developed these applications displaying a smaller set of functionality that enables a mobile workforce to do very specific tasks on a specific device—a tablet or smartphone.

“We all know the world is moving to more mobile applications whether it’s consumer or business,” says Monahan. “But our customers don’t want or need to do everything on their mobile devices that they can do at their desktop or laptop. They want to be able to perform very specific tasks that are practical when they aren’t sitting in an office. You’re not going to walk around a warehouse with a laptop to look up inventory availability. Plus Mobile apps can leverage device properties such as camera, GPS, scratchpad, phone and voice to provide additional functionality and business value not available on a traditional desktop application.

Some examples of new mobile capability include allowing managers to quickly perform reviews and approvals , field maintenance staff can review and complete work orders on-site, and construction supervisors can enter time for employees to a job, and update the job status on the site rather than going back to the trailer to do so.”

Equally important, new technology in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.1 greatly simplifies how customers can quickly deploy the applications. They can download them from the Apple or Google stores. Then, IT just provides a URL that points users to an enterprise server with all their standard JD Edwards security.

Simple and practical. I like that.

Go to JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Mobile Solutions for more details on what these applications do.

Jim Lein

I evangelize Oracle's enterprise solutions for growing midsize companies. I recently celebrated 15 years with Oracle, having joined JD Edwards in 1999. I'm based in Evergreen, Colorado and love relating stories about creativity and innovation whether they be about software, live music, or the mountains. The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Monday Jul 28, 2014

7 Questions for Tony Kender, Head of Oracle North America HCM Sales

Tony Kender, Senior Vice President, leads Oracle’s sales operations for HCM solutions in North America, including an organization dedicated to the unique needs of midsize companies.

Q: What is the most exciting thing happening with growing midsize companies and HCM solutions?

Kender: Midsize companies are often ahead of large enterprises on the technology acceptance curve in terms of HCM cloud. Oracle offers cloud solutions across the entire applications footprint, including ERP, Supply Chain, EPM, and CX, but what I’ve seen is that HCM is often the first cloud application adopted by a midsize company.

Q: Why are midsize companies ahead of large enterprises in adopting cloud applications for HCM?

Kender: Generally, larger enterprises are not quite as agile as midsize businesses and take longer to make the move to a new platform. Often, they have big investments in existing HCM processes—a lot of inertia with people and systems around it. Midsize companies are lighter on their feet due to the way they need to operate. They’re eager to adopt HCM cloud technology because it lowers their cost, helps them innovate faster, and helps them focus on core competencies which are usually not HR and Payroll.

Q: Are midsize companies adopting HCM cloud in a piecemeal or suite strategy?

Kender: We’re seeing that midsize companies want the entire suite, not a piecemeal approach, whereas large companies are more open to a piecemeal approach. Midsize companies don’t have time to deal with three, four, or five vendors across HCM. What they want is a complete solution. If a company looks at some of our competitors across the midsize space they won’t see the full breadth of the solution spanning the whole HCM suite. For example, maybe one has a great core HR but a weak talent product. It takes years to develop a really, really strong recruiting suite. Oracle is unique in that we offer the best of breed functionality that companies require across the entire HCM lifecycle.

Q: Why is Oracle HCM Cloud so popular?

Kender: It’s simple. Oracle is driving new HCM innovation and product functionality faster than anyone in the HCM market. We have an amazing amount of investment in the development of cloud HCM founded on the experiences we’ve gained via our JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Oracle E-Business Suite HCM customers. We have the knowledge and experience of what an HCM system should do and we combine that with the best cloud technology.

Q: Why are growing midsize companies choosing Oracle HCM Cloud?

Kender: First, midsize companies have the same complexity as large companies but they don’t always have the same amount of resources. Oracle HCM Cloud offers the best, most innovative HCM solution, and eases customers’ worries about upgrading software or hosting it and all the IT expenses related to that. Second, we have a dedicated organization focusing just on the needs of midsize companies—marketing, sales, implementation, consulting, and training. Third, we make it easy for midsize companies to move to cloud by offering incentive programs like Customer 2 Cloud where customers can potentially redirect some of their investment in Oracle HCM on premise solutions to Oracle HCM Cloud applications.

Q: How are changing demographics of the workforce impacting HCM innovation?

Kender: Recently, I had a customer at a midsize company tell me, “If my millennial workforce can’t use this system and aren’t comfortable with it they won’t use it at all. I need the user experience to be easy and impactful. They can’t go through training.”

The Oracle HCM Cloud user experience is designed to be like using a popular social network. You don’t take a training course. You turn it on and use it. It’s like Larry Ellison said in his keynote at Oracle HCM World, “There are no classes for Facebook.”

Q: What price do midsize companies pay by not adopting an innovative HCM cloud solution?

Kender: Now more than ever, people are the key to success in midsize. And midsize companies are competing with large enterprises for talent. The ability to source the right people with capabilities like social sourcing can put a midsize company on the cutting edge of finding top talent. Often times that gives them an advantage over the recruiting practices used by larger, more established companies. Conversely, if you are still sourcing people like you did in the ‘90’s you risk losing out on the best talent. Oracle HCM Cloud helps them win the war for talent.

Then, once talent is hired, midsize companies need modern best practice for learning, development, and succession planning. You have to keep them excited, comfortable, and engaged by providing a fantastic user experience. That’s what today’s worker expects and demands and you need all that to reduce turnover because turnover is expensive and disruptive. With Oracle HCM Cloud, midsize companies can have the sophistication that large companies enjoy along the entire continuum of the HCM experience—the features and look and feel that today’s workers expect—minus the cost and complexity of on premise systems.

Learn more:

Infographic: Get Ready for a New Era of HR

Harvard Business Review Global Modern HR Survey: The Age of Modern HR

Modern HR for Dummies

Is Your Human Resource Management System Attracting a Modern Workforce? 

Oracle HCM for Midsize Companies

Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

Granite Rock: Ahead of the curve, On the road, & in the (private) Cloud

by Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize

The construction industry is known to be at or near the bottom of the rock pile when it comes to technology spending. However, there are signs that construction professionals now are looking to emerging technologies—cloud, mobile, social—to improve project productivity and profitability, enhance customer services, and gain competitive advantage.

Unlike many of its competitors, 113-year old California-based Granite Rock has leveraged technology for decades to stay profitable and competitive. Steve Snodgrass, CFO and CIO, has been with Graniterock about as long as the company has been an Oracle JD Edwards customer—more than 21 years.

“I can’t think of any piece of information that our operations managers need to run their business that we haven’t been able to get them,” says Snodgrass. “That’s information across all the lines of materials we carry and tracking costs down to the work order level.”

Flipping the Switch on a Long Overdue Project

This year, Snodgrass launched a technology upgrade project—to the newest version of Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne solution for Construction—that is long overdue. The project was set to go several times but postponed each time for compelling reasons; including how hard the global recession hit the construction business.

Up until now, Snodgrass has provided information to operations via a complex combination of JD Edwards applications, bolt on solutions, and expensive custom applications.

“Back when we first implemented the current system, none of the technology vendors had all the pieces we needed,” observes Snodgrass. “There’s also mentality within the construction industry that, once you install a piece of software, you’re done. It just doesn’t work that way in reality.”

The upgraded system will continue to be hosted in a private cloud by Oracle partner Velocity’s Managed Applications Services. Snodgrass and his team are looking forward to the benefits the upgrade will bring.

  • Additional functionality—20 years of enhancements

  • An more intuitive user interface

  • User Productivity Kit (UPK)—to provide more consistency in end user training.

  • Consolidating to a single data base

“We’ve been like kids standing outside the candy store window looking at all the things we can’t have,” says Snodgrass. "You might say we entered that store for a package of Life-Savers and now we realize that there are many other pieces of candy to choose from. We're very interested in exploring JD Edwards' mobile capabilities once we've completed the upgrade."

Serving Dual Roles

It’s not often you’ll find one individual that wears both the CFO and CIO hats.

“Sometimes IT guys can lose focus,” says Snodgrass. “I’m always looking at technology like, ‘If we’re going to this project is it cost effective and how is it going to benefit the company? What is the return on this? Will we sell any more products?’ That discipline works pretty well when I talk to my guys. Generally it works.”

Snodgrass and his team keep tabs on the solutions being offered by vendors catering to the construction industry. Oracle JD Edwards continues to be their first choice, both for its functionality and its ability to provide a solid technology platform for everything they do.

“JD Edwards and Oracle grew up around mechanizing processes,” says Snodgrass. “They have this deep understanding of all the business processes. The JD Edwards model works for me pretty well wherever everything is so tightly integrated. That’s really where the strength is.”

Read more about Graniterock’s technology upgrade in this Oracle Profit magazine feature, “Rock Solid”.

Jim Lein

I evangelize Oracle's enterprise solutions for growing midsize companies. I recently celebrated 15 years with Oracle, having joined JD Edwards in 1999. I'm based in Evergreen, Colorado and love relating stories about creativity and innovation whether they be about software, live music, or the mountains. The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.



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