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Keeping Score with Sportable Scoreboards

Thirty three years ago, Mike Cowen was sitting in the bleachers watching his son’s baseball game, when he noticed the diamond didn’t have a scoreboard. In fact, many of the places where his kids played sports lacked score-keeping devices. As a self-professed data geek, Cowen decided to invent a battery-powered, portable contraption that he could bring along to games. And with that, Sportable Scoreboards was born. From its start in a California garage to today’s 40,000 square foot facility in Murray, Kentucky, Sportable Scoreboards is home to 60 dedicated employees who are eager to see exciting numbers on the board. Their commitment to the company’s success has propelled Sportable to become one of the major players in the youth and high school market over the last three decades. To continue this momentum, Cowen, now chairman of the board, recently challenged his team to double its growth over the next five years. Sportable manufactures 6,000 made-to-order scoreboards each year for every indoor and outdoor sport imaginable. By doubling its production, Sportable hopes to positively impact twice as many communities across America. “There are hundreds of thousands of young people that are able to compete on an athletic field with a scoreboard that validates their experience and says ‘what you’re doing matters,’” Mike Daniel, Sportable’s president explained. “And quite frankly, that tells us that what we’re doing matters as well.” Sportable’s customers are our country’s communities. They are high school athletic directors and coaches with limited or non-existent budgets. They are parks and recreation departments who rely on government funding for their sports programs. They are parents and Little League officials who put on bake sales and car washes to raise money for a scoreboard. So how does a business plan to double in size in a market that may not be able to afford the product it sells? Sportable takes pride in meeting its customers on their own playing fields. To do so, the company created a Score Rewards program that helps schools sell advertising space on their scoreboard to offset costs. They also implemented a long-term finance program for more expensive models. But in order to double down on growth, Sportable realized it had to transform the way it operated, in hopes of finding efficiencies and cost savings that it could pass on to its customers. “We had to make radical change and radical improvements to get from where we are currently to where we want to be,” Daniel said. “We don’t want incremental change, we want to transform the way we address our business very fundamentally. There are inefficiencies, there are opportunities, and there are ways for us to reach our customers that we’ve never focused on before.” Sportable Scoreboards Grows and Transforms with Oracle SaaS Sportable recognized the need to up its game. Its front and back office software was outdated. The company was maintaining a dozen disparate, legacy systems that didn’t talk to each other. Costly to manage, the customized integrations between each weren’t sustainable for future growth. Each line of business was operating with duplicate records, process inefficiencies, and manual data entry. Cowen’s challenge to take Sportable to the next level led the company to retire its on-premises systems and overhaul its entire business – from marketing, sales, quoting, and customer service to finance, accounting, procurement, and order management – in a move to Oracle Cloud. “Our owner and leadership team decided that it was time for us to make a bid toward growth, and what we were seeking was a single source of truth,” recalled Micah Sugg, director of IT. This data transparency and accuracy has had an immediate impact at Sportable. By integrating Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Engagement Cloud, website traffic increased and sales reps are pursuing higher quality leads. Order precision improved with Oracle CPQ Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud, reducing waste and required man power. Oracle Order Management Cloud, Oracle Manufacturing Cloud, and Oracle Supply Chain Cloud help ease order fulfillment, shipping the right product to the right customer, quickly. For the first time ever, accounting and financial teams can access the same data as their colleagues in sales and service with Oracle Financials Cloud, eliminating confusion caused by thousands of duplicate records. Sugg’s IT department is also reducing costs, no longer relying on a third party for server maintenance and set-up. Freed from the day-to-day business system maintenance, Sugg’s team is increasingly focusing on product development, exploring IoT-enabled scoreboards among other emerging technologies. Additionally, this single source of truth enables Sportable’s management team to quickly generate reports for strategic planning. “We’ve really freed up time to be more intentional about where we’re going and what we’re going to do, because that intentionality takes time,” Sugg explained. Sportable has also transformed its customer experience, removing the barriers and complexity of finding a product that meets its customers’ unique needs at an affordable price point. The company can now guide each school or parks director through a simple quoting and order process, shipping a scoreboard–configured for lights, horns, and team colors–to the field or arena in just 10 days. (Its competitors take twice as long to deliver a product.) Should the customer encounter any issues with set-up or maintenance, Sportable’s service department is on hand 24/7 so the inquiring coach or parent can get back to what’s really important–game day. At the end of the day, there’s no higher priority than Friday’s hockey game or Saturday’s soccer tournament. A scoreboard is just one part of that experience, but it’s a profound one. “There's nothing better than going past a football game on a Friday night and seeing our scoreboard in front of thousands of people,” Cowen said. “We’re united by the fact that we all love kids, we love sports, and we want the best programs that we can offer. Sportable is a part of that. We feel very proud about that.” Learn more about Sportable Scoreboard’s business transformation amidst a growing youth sports market on Forbes.    

Thirty three years ago, Mike Cowen was sitting in the bleachers watching his son’s baseball game, when he noticed the diamond didn’t have a scoreboard. In fact, many of the places where his kids...

Finance Topics & Trends

Oracle vs. Workday: 5 Things You Need to Know

By Jennifer Toomey, Adriana Smith and Nick Stankovic, Oracle Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You have great plans for your business, and there are myriad opportunities in front of you. You want to move quickly to take advantage of them. But your IT systems are holding you back. Your sales team is using CRM from a vendor that doesn’t sell much else. Your finance team uses on-premises ERP for accounting, and does planning, budgeting, and analysis using spreadsheets. Meanwhile, human resources is managing payroll using an outsourced provider that doesn’t integrate with your on-premises HR system or your ERP system. Then along comes a cloud provider like Workday that promises to simplify all of it for you. They vow to give you a single, seamless, highly usable solution. Over the past year, however, we've seen the line between promises and reality come into sharper focus. It's important to keep looking at what Workday can actually offer across its business applications and compare how these offerings stack up against Oracle Cloud. This turns out to be a big topic, especially when you get into detailed, hard-fact comparisons. We thought it would be useful to distill all of this into five things every potential customer should know as they weigh the merits of Workday versus Oracle for finance, reporting, planning, HR, supply chain, and other business applications. 1. Innovation Matters, Especially Today Over the years Workday has talked about “the Power of One,” meaning a single system for both finance and HR. Innovation plays a huge role in this story: The best way to maintain a single, seamless user experience is to invest—heavily and consistently—in building an in-house R&D and technology innovation pipeline. However, the reality is that Workday mainly uses acquisitions instead of in-house R&D to drive its innovation pipeline. Rather than working on truly unique and innovative capabilities, Workday is fighting a long, hard, uncertain battle to integrate a grab-bag of inconsistent, incompatible acquired offerings. The cost of that fight is clear. On the cutting edge, Oracle's artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) capabilities are driving high-value innovations such as digital assistants, powerful new mobile apps, built-in machine learning capabilities for end users, and advanced controls. Oracle's internal innovation engine has enabled more than 1,200 enhancements and features for Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud alone. Workday, by comparison, is betting that it can integrate acquired applications (like Adaptive Insights, for planning) to gain functionality that Oracle Cloud already offers. Even if those bets pay off—and these types of integration efforts are almost never an easy task—Workday is still playing catch-up. As Oracle keeps the pedal down on its own innovation engine, industry analysts have noted that Workday’s portfolio of applications is not completely comprehensive, that Workday has functional gaps compared to other HCM vendors, and the extent of support for use cases for emerging technologies such as adaptive intelligence, machine learning, or digital assistants, is not as strong as competitors like Oracle. 2. Your Business is Unique In the world of cloud applications, customizations are the enemy of innovation. One of the biggest benefits of software-as-a-service is that the cloud provider updates the software on a regular basis. If you’ve changed the underlying code, an update can cause your painstaking customizations to break. Yet businesses invest a fortune to stand apart from competitors. Your business applications should support those efforts—not undermine them. Rather than customizing your cloud ERP or HCM applications, you can extend them using platform-as-a-service (PaaS). With PaaS, you can build new capabilities that live outside of your core applications, meaning you can upgrade your SaaS environment without affecting your extended functionality. Oracle offers its own cloud platform to let you build extensions for your Oracle Cloud applications. Workday’s platform is still in limited availability; until it is generally available, customers who would like to expand their Workday applications must use a set of third-party integration tools. 3. You Can't Run a Business on Slideware and Solution Gaps Analyst reports reveal that Workday is missing some mainstream capabilities that Oracle offers today—and, in many cases, has offered for years. ERP users looking for quote-to-cash, order management, or inventory valuation tools won't find these capabilities in Workday; neither will HCM users looking for HR applications with complex scheduling requirements, HR case management, HR Help Desk, Advanced HCM Controls, HR Risk & Compliance, or work-life solutions. From financials to planning to supply chain, working with Workday means living with solution gaps—or, if you're lucky, with incomplete functionality and partially integrated acquisitions. Again and again, customers have a choice: Get the capabilities they need from Oracle Cloud, or settle for the possibility that Workday will eventually move this missing functionality from slideware to software. 4. You Need to Be Ready for Future Growth As your business grows and scales, existing technology and business needs will change, and new ones will emerge. Some firms will need to integrate external data sources; others will need access to cloud platform and infrastructure capabilities. Still others will want more flexible cloud deployment options and contracts. Workday’s focus is on finance and HR software. For lines of business such as sales, marketing, customer service, or supply chain, you’ll need to connect Workday to systems from other providers. Eventually, you’ll end up with an IT hairball that’s nearly impossible to untangle. In contrast, organizations can (and are) running their entire business on Oracle Cloud: finance, HR, customer experience, supply chain, and more. Oracle Cloud Applications all run on the same data model and use the same interface—so that both the data and the user experience are consistent across lines of business. Oracle PaaS lets you extend these capabilities if and when you need to—something that smaller cloud providers can’t match. And we offer Data as a Service (DaaS), so that you can combine anonymized third-party data with your own data to discover unforeseen trends and insights. As business needs change, companies can add new capabilities with Oracle—without developing a cloud hairball that ties up growth in knots. 5. One Fact Is Worth a Thousand Promises It's increasingly clear that Workday has a lot riding on its future roadmap—about capabilities, completeness, and giving customers a clear path to scale, compete, and succeed. Maybe Workday will deliver on that roadmap—or maybe it won't. Either way, when your business runs on Oracle Cloud, you can stop betting on a vendor's promises, and start depending on hard facts: Oracle offers nine pre-configured payroll localizations—while Workday offers just four. Oracle offers a complete ERP, EPM, HCM and analytics solution, using the same data model across the entire cloud. Workday has a separate data model for planning (Adaptive Insights) which can lead to mismatched data and reporting.   Oracle Cloud includes a full set of line-of-business offerings across Supply Chain, Sales, Marketing, and eCommerce. Workday does not. The examples go on and on. It simply comes down to this: Oracle delivers. Workday is incomplete. Organizations running their businesses in the Oracle Cloud have streamlined processes, empowered their employees, made their teams more nimble, increased customer satisfaction, and fueled growth—just take a look at our thousands of success stories and analyst reports across the domains of ERP, EPM and HCM. We can’t think of a more ringing endorsement than that.    

By Jennifer Toomey, Adriana Smith and Nick Stankovic, Oracle Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You have great plans for your business, and there are myriad opportunities in front of you. You...

Finance Topics & Trends

How to Move from PeopleSoft to Oracle ERP Cloud

Don't Let Customizations Get in the Way By Paul Laverty, Oracle Americas Practice Leader, DXC Technology Early on in the evolution of cloud technologies, many PeopleSoft customers were resistant to adopting cloud because they were burdened with heavily customized applications. Since SaaS applications are based on standardized processes, many companies found this to be a point of resistance. However, the standardized processes are based on best practices, which means that most companies don’t need as many customizations as they previously required with on-premises solutions. If a customer has a mission-critical customization now and there’s no other option than to customize, that functionality can be rebuilt using Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS) and easily integrated with the Oracle SaaS application. As Oracle Cloud technologies have evolved, we’re able to remove barriers, including the “lack of customizations” argument as an inhibitor to moving PeopleSoft applications to the cloud. In fact, with nearly every PeopleSoft upgrade project in recent years, customers have been moving away from heavy customizations. Or, they’ve been looking for SaaS applications that can co-exist with their on-premises solutions. For example, if a company has been using PeopleSoft Financial Management, they can migrate some of the functionality to the appropriate finance modules of Oracle ERP Cloud as a way to make their path to the cloud less daunting. My point is that with today’s Oracle Cloud solutions and tools there are many, many different roads to the cloud that can eliminate the traditional barriers for migration. Overcoming the Challenge of Customizations When working with PeopleSoft customers who are delaying a cloud migration because of customizations, we drive a series of steps to help them understand that moving to Oracle ERP Cloud really does make sense for their business. Starting with a fit-gap workshop, we walk through the features and functionality of the latest version of PeopleSoft to show them that they don’t really need that many customizations anymore. Then, we highlight similar functionality in Oracle ERP Cloud as an alternative to an on-premises upgrade. If necessary, we create a business case to illustrate to the customer that they can actually save money by moving to a more standard cloud application versus continuing to use so many customizations. The main objective is to demonstrate to customers that they can realize significant cost savings and a better TCO when they move away from multiple customizations and migrate to Oracle Cloud. In addition, customers find costs savings from lower support and maintenance costs and a streamlined upgrade/testing process since that burden shifts to Oracle. Ready to Migrate: Getting There Quickly Once a customer is ready to migrate from PeopleSoft to Oracle ERP Cloud, even with numerous customizations, the process for a cloud application migration can run quite quickly. We use native Oracle tools and other intellectual property, like our project management process and integrations, to accelerate the migration. For example, we conduct a full assessment to understand the customer’s goals and whether they want to move all or just some of their functionality to Oracle Cloud. Next comes an analysis of their overall architecture using the PeopleSoft toolset. Then, we use Oracle Cloud Manager to help us plan their path to the cloud. We focus carefully on mapping networking and security components, like IP addresses, servers, and firewalls, to ensure that all elements integrate properly. With a full regression test, if the customer has deployed PeopleSoft Test Framework and built test scripts, that can also be used to speed the testing. Also, leveraging the record-and-build tool, the customer has the ability to record test scripts and reuse them. If you use Oracle development products and a fine-tuned project management process, it will speed the deployment and testing of cloud solutions—which helps get Oracle Cloud Applications up and running in days instead of weeks. Customer Perspective: Migration from Legacy PeopleSoft to Oracle ERP Cloud A Florida-based mid-sized investment and financial services company was facing an end-of-life situation with the underlying hardware for its on-premises PeopleSoft Financials applications. With a major upgrade looming, the company evaluated and ultimately deployed an Oracle ERP Cloud solution as a modern alternative to its legacy application. With a concerted effort to avoid customizations, the company opted for a “vanilla implementation” to make use of the best practice functionality and ensure that the twice-a-year upgrades would be as low-impact as possible. According to the project manager, “We’ve had to change our mindset to adopt the SaaS application functionality as it’s packaged. We use some of the functionality that’s available with each release, but we don’t always use all of it. And that’s okay for our organization. With that said, the big benefit is that we always have the latest and greatest functionality when it hits the market. I find that once our accountants get comfortable with the regular tasks that they perform every month, their comfort level improves, and in turn, our user adoption rises.” DXC Technology is an Oracle Platinum partner with a long-standing Oracle partnership and successful track record for delivering high value to clients. DXC's deep industry, systems integration and managed services expertise, coupled with Oracle Cloud technology, ensures organizations continue to compete in the digital world. Did you know? Cloud delivers 3.2x more ROI than on-premises applications. Get the research.

Don't Let Customizations Get in the Way By Paul Laverty, Oracle Americas Practice Leader, DXC Technology Early on in the evolution of cloud technologies, many PeopleSoft customers were resistant to...

Finance Topics & Trends

How to Be an Innovator on Campus

Institutions of higher learning see themselves as incubators of great ideas. From scientific research to medical trials to archaeological digs, faculty and students are on a continual quest to uncover new knowledge and innovations. But when was the last time your campus did something innovative to boost student recruitment? Make better financial decisions? Or improve student retention and success? When it comes to campus technology, many institutions of higher learning are far behind the times. While students interact with each other on their mobile devices via SnapChat, Twitter or Facebook, they struggle to get the same ease of use with their course calendars, student finances and transcripts. Make no mistake: innovation in these areas is on its way. I’ll give you one example: technology experts are already looking at the tamper-proof security and permanence of blockchain as a way to store and share student records. When someone sets up a student record blockchain, will your institution be in a position to join? Will you have the right technology in place to get access? This is where cloud applications begin to show their value. Unlike on-premises systems (with which most institutions are burdened), cloud applications are updated regularly by the provider with the latest technology innovations—including emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, blockchain and more. Cloud gives your institution the freedom to innovate using technology that’s always up-to-date. Not All Clouds are Created Equal Most providers only offer one piece of the cloud puzzle: marketing, or student services, or finance, or some other stand-alone system. These disconnected clouds require significant integration efforts for services to flow smoothly from one department to the next. This slows down IT efforts and gets in the way of innovation. Success requires an entirely new kind of student system—one built from the ground-up on a single platform, with a game-changing financial aid module, real-time insight and collaboration tools, powered by AI, and updated quarterly by a cloud provider that values research and development as much as you do. We invite university business officers to join our webinar to see Oracle Student Cloud in action. Register today and learn how to: Optimize enrollment Improve recruiter productivity Track student interactions Improve student engagement Easily manage financial aid packages Deliver student success Register now to see how Oracle Student Cloud gives you the freedom to innovate.

Institutions of higher learning see themselves as incubators of great ideas. From scientific research to medical trials to archaeological digs, faculty and students are on a continual quest to uncover...

Finance Topics & Trends

Soar to the Cloud with Oracle

Moving to the cloud just got a lot easier—and faster. On June 5, Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison announced the “Soar to the Cloud” solution, the world’s first automated enterprise cloud application upgrade product. What does that mean for Oracle’s on-premises customers? It will enable them to reduce the time and cost of cloud migration by up to 30 percent by leveraging a complete set of automated tools and proven methodologies. And, it’s the last upgrade they will ever need, as Larry stated during the launch event. I was excited to be a part of that event—but I’m even more excited to be a part of Oracle Soar. It will drive a fast, predictable, and cost-effective cloud journey because it applies the same power of automation that is infused in every Oracle Cloud application. As a result, Oracle customers can quickly enhance their finance, HR, and supply chain applications—and take advantage of machine learning. It’s the combination of tools, methods, and people that makes Soar work. I’m proud that many of those people are part of my Oracle Applications Consulting team, and they are intimately familiar with the tools and methodology that drive Soar. The solution includes a discovery assessment, process analyzer, automated data and configuration migration tools, and rapid integration tools. Guided by a dedicated Oracle concierge service, the Soar automated process is fueled by True Cloud Method, Oracle’s proprietary approach to support customers throughout the cloud journey. True Cloud Method is the underpinning of every Oracle Applications Consulting implementation project. So, we know that it ensures a rapid, “no surprises” migration that aligns with industry modern best practices because we’ve proven it time and again. One of the coolest parts of the Soar solution is the fact that customers can monitor the status of their cloud journey with a mobile application that includes a step-by-step implementation guide. The intuitive app lets customers know what needs to be done daily to ensure the project stays on course. And without a doubt, staying the course will be driven by an experienced Oracle launch team. The people behind the development, direction, and deployment of Soar represent the best in the business. I’m thrilled to call them colleagues and friends. Oracle Applications Consulting is excited to dig into the work of catapulting our clients to success with the hottest cloud technology on the market. Are you ready to Soar to the Cloud with Oracle? Your launch team is ready for you. Learn more here.  

Moving to the cloud just got a lot easier—and faster. On June 5, Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison announced the “Soar to the Cloud” solution, the world’s first automated enterprise cloud...

Finance Topics & Trends

How Bots Will Change the Way Finance Works

By Steve Cox, Group Vice President, Oracle ERP EPM Product Marketing How many times have you visited a company’s web site, only to be greeted by a small pop-up window asking, “How can I help?” Such a greeting is becoming more and more common. Often, it’s our first interaction with an organization, and can influence how we perceive their customer service. But that helpful greeting is rarely given by a human being. It’s nearly always a chatbot.   So we’re on the same page: chatbots are text-based (we’re counting emojis as text) and designed to work within a single-purpose application (like Slack, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or a web site). There are also virtual assistants (like Amazon’s Alexa), which are voice-activated and generally connect to a mobile device. We’ve been so comfortable with the QWERTY (or AZERTI) keyboard that we’ve maybe forgotten that they were designed to slow humans down (because we type too fast). Bots can make it easier for us to interact with software—to move us into the fast lane when it comes to transaction processing or decision-making. Today, companies like Oracle are embedding voice bots into business software, to help with tasks like recommending suppliers, filing expense reports—even advising which invoices to pay first. We don’t have to double-click or tap anymore; we ask a question and get an immediate answer. Bots Can Automate the Mundane Soon you’re going to see bots help your organization speed period close, manage budgets, and perform financial forecasting. You’ll use these intelligent assistants to eliminate redundancy in work previously performed by people, liberating your team to use their knowledge and experience to provide insights and enable better decisions across the entire business. Imagine, for example, being able to ask, “What is customer X’s credit status?” and receiving a response instantaneously. Or, think about when your company makes a new hire; that person will need a laptop. In the near future, all they’ll have to do is say, “I need a laptop.” The voice bot will check the employee's profile and respond with something like, “Employees performing your job function generally choose this laptop.” The bot might next suggest another accessory or two needed for the laptop, and the new hire will say, “Great, let me purchase the laptop and the two accessories you recommend.” The transaction will complete automatically, the bot will generate a purchase order, manage any approvals needed, and advise the new employee of the laptop’s arrival date. A function that could consume hours will take just a few minutes.  In finance departments, bots can perform similar functions to automate repetitive processes that consume employee hours—time that could be better spent on higher-level tasks such as faster decision-making and architecting a new financial strategy. Bots will be able to provide an immediate and informed answer to a question like, “How much have we spent on travel and expenses this year?” Then, a manager can instantly determine if there is room in the budget to send employees to an overseas conference. Oracle Is Ahead of the Curve At Oracle, we are embedding intelligent bots into our products and applications. At this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, we introduced an array of new AI updates to our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and  Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud offerings—including a bot that serves as an expense reporting assistant and intelligent algorithms that recommend suppliers and vendor-specific discounts. We’re also building bots into Oracle Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Cloud for more efficient task assignment and tracking. It wasn’t that long ago that getting insights from financial data was a massive task requiring hours, if not days, of a financial analyst’s time. With intelligent chatbots and voice bots, it will be possible to get those insights from real-time financial data without information overload. The Future of Finance Is Here We expect that bots will soon be able to automate the entire financial close, only asking a human to step in when an exception arises. Increasingly, finance employees will be freed from performing rote tasks, and will be able to spend their time on truly challenging and critical work. This isn’t just good for the business in terms of having more minds working on long-term financial strategy; it’s also good for keeping employees engaged, challenged, and enthusiastic at work. Intelligent bots will be a critical part of unleashing the power of people in the organization to do amazing things. Learn more at Modern Business Experience, presented by Oracle. Register now.

By Steve Cox, Group Vice President, Oracle ERP EPM Product Marketing How many times have you visited a company’s web site, only to be greeted by a small pop-up window asking, “How can I help?” Such a...

Finance Topics & Trends

3 Advances in Finance That You Can’t Ignore

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Siddhartha Agarwal, Group Vice President, Product Management and Strategy, Oracle Cloud Platform, and Steve Cox, Group Vice President, Oracle ERP EPM Product Marketing, for the second podcast in our “Tomorrow’s Enterprise, Today” podcast series, where we are discussing how organizations are embracing cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to drive rapid and continuous innovation to better serve their customers, employees and partners and the different strategies and paths of technology adoption experts are seeing today. AI will undoubtedly change and influence the future of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and the finance industry, and will no doubt have a decisive impact on the business of the future, regardless of industry or if you are a small-to-medium business (SMB) or a larger business. But in order to gain value from the new technological advances, SMBs need to revise their current technology strategies and be prepared to change and adapt to the developments. In this podcast, Siddhartha and Steve cover the three advances the finance industry is experiencing with regards to emerging technologies and discuss how you can take advantage of these to achieve digital transformation. Tune into the podcast "Three Advances in Finance That You Can’t Ignore Anymore" and the rest of our "Tomorrow's Enterprise, Today" podcast series to learn how Oracle can help your SMB with its journey to digital transformation.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Siddhartha Agarwal, Group Vice President, Product Management and Strategy, Oracle Cloud Platform, and Steve Cox, Group Vice President, Oracle ERP EPM...

Financial Management & Reporting

Making the Case for Enterprise Performance Management in the Cloud

Cloud services are not only a way of economizing operations and making efficiency savings; they are the foundations upon which a more innovative approach to business can be built. By Jennifer Toomey, Senior Director, Cloud Business Group, Oracle In today’s unpredictable business environment, your organization needs to put technology at the heart of its growth strategy. An important aspect of that strategy is developing agile forecasts, and operating on a platform that enables you to get ahead in the digital economy by meeting your customers’ demands and expectations. Moving to cloud applications will not only transform the way your organization works but can also facilitate its growth. Each business will have its own set of challenges and objectives, and assessing the value of cloud can appear to be difficult—and sometimes even puts businesses off taking their first steps. At Oracle, we are here to help you visualize, plan and take the next steps on your journey. What is cloud worth to your business? The Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud tool can help you to estimate the potential savings and revenue increases that your organization could realize with Oracle Cloud. By simply entering a few details about your business’ current size and performance, the tool will calculate your potential savings. Taking into account your industry and location, the tool will offer recommended improvements that can be made in each of the following areas: Improved planning staff productivity Improved reporting productivity Reduced working capital costs Improved decision-making profit margin Improved analysis quality to drive revenue You can fine-tune the input information to adjust the results of the tool and increase the accuracy of the data returned. In addition to the recommendations, there are a number of resources that can be explored, including eBooks and videos detailing stories from Oracle Cloud customers. Click Here to Calculate Your Benefits Further to the immediate results shown by the tool, by submitting your details you can receive an in-depth, personal report on how Oracle can make savings across your business. Breaking down each of the focus areas above, the report goes into greater depth on the potential benefits your business can reap by moving to Oracle EPM Cloud. Savings and revenue improvements are provided across a range of criteria, allowing you to identify the areas in which you can expect to see the greatest returns and where to focus your attention. Drilling down into specific aspects of Oracle EPM Cloud, the report will demonstrate how connecting your business will enable you to lead with confidence, cut expenses and labor-hours, and develop agile forecasts. Supplementary resources including blogs, videos and demos can also be accessed via the report, providing further information and references from Oracle customers. When you are ready to begin your journey to cloud, Oracle and our partners will help to guide your path by sharing modern best practices and driving your business towards measurable results that will allow your organization to thrive leveraging the latest innovative technologies. Make the case for EPM cloud in your business. Calculate the benefits and get your personalized report.

Cloud services are not only a way of economizing operations and making efficiency savings; they are the foundations upon which a more innovative approach to business can be built. By Jennifer Toomey,...

Finance Topics & Trends

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd Promotes Cloud ERP Solutions for Global Business Parity

Eight of the ten fastest-growing companies on this year’s Forbes Global 2000 Growth Champions list are not headquartered in the United States. The same is true for 70 percent of the 50 fastest-growing companies on that list. These companies are based in China, Spain, and Vietnam, among others, and they serve a wide range of industries, from real estate to telecommunications to software development. There’s no one reason why so many non-U.S. companies are outperforming America’s brightest businesses, but equal access to world-class business software is likely a major contributing factor. A decade ago, the majority of companies using enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems were based in North America or Western Europe. These systems were bulky and complicated suites of software installed to corporate data centers and employee machines, requiring regular updates and maintenance. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd observed “most of these applications… [have] all been very monolithic. They typically haven’t integrated cross-application. They’ve been highly customized to the processes that our customers have had, and those processes were automated 20 years ago.” It’s true that the high cost of ERP adoption and upkeep prevented many companies based in developing countries from adopting on-premises solutions. However, it wasn’t just the high cost of on-premises ERP systems that often prevented their implementation in the developing world. Differences in culture and language were barriers to adoption as well, particularly in many Asian countries, which have a different approach to workplace management than most enterprises in the Western world. For example, an ERP system coded by developers from North America to address problems common to North American companies needed extensive customization for deployment in Asia. Even customization didn’t guarantee that a product designed in the West would properly serve the needs of a Chinese company or a Brazilian startup. A mismatch often arose when the ERP systems available weren’t localized to accommodate Chinese laws and language or if there weren’t enough technology professionals with the right skills and language fluency to help Brazilian companies navigate their ERP journeys. The cost, complexity, and cultural incompatibility of legacy ERP systems has been largely addressed with the advent of cloud ERP. Not only do cloud ERP systems offer a more flexible cost structure and easier implementation than on-premises ERP systems, they’re often more effectively localized. Cloud computing requires data centers in strategic locations around the world, which, in turn, requires localized tech talent. The need for local top-tier developers simply didn’t exist for on-premises ERP deployments. The companies that used on-premises systems were responsible for building out their own infrastructure and maintaining the local tech talent to keep it running smoothly. Software localization and customization were more likely to be the responsibility of a local contractor or employee with no direct relationship to the ERP developer. When top-tier coding talents emerged in the developing world, they were often lured to Silicon Valley, where they adopted the style and practice of Western developers coding for Western audiences. On the other hand, a regional data center for cloud software can serve as a hub for talent as well as business development, encouraging people around the world to build the skill sets that later expand that software’s reach and adoption. Prototypical versions of this localized tech hub can be seen in several Indian cities, such as Bangalore and Hyderabad, which established business-friendly technology zones several decades ago and now host the campuses of many multinational technology companies. Earlier this year, Hurd told Forbes that Oracle’s build-out of additional regionalized data centers is “really about extending our global reach. We have customers in countries all across the world... Having local capabilities is clearly a distinct advantage.” The end result of having access to cloud ERP software, particularly software that’s been properly localized, is that businesses in developing nations can effectively use the same fundamental technology tools that companies in North America and Europe have used for years. These cloud ERP systems are more affordable and offer more utility than ERP systems developed in earlier years, which were designed for on-premises implementations by a team of programmers based in Silicon Valley. Last year, Mark Hurd spoke to Recode’s Kara Swisher about the opportunities this access offers: “Bimbo, for example, has moved to cloud ERP... you see a lot of innovation down in Mexico, a large desire to take advantage historically. Remember, in Mexico, like Latin America, one of the biggest issues has always been the lack of available skilled resource, which in the old on-premise world really hurts you. So, when you needed people that could write and extend and customize code, you didn’t have the talent... the IP that’s running at GE is the same IP that’s running at Bimbo... The opportunity now for companies in Latin America to get absolute leading-edge IP that you couldn’t get before has changed dramatically.” Easier and less-expensive access to integral business software such as ERP systems frees companies in developing nations from the burden of creating their own software. Once deployed, a properly localized ERP system can give tech personnel more time to innovate. It also allows high-level users to focus on strategic initiatives instead of monotonous administration and manual data-entry work. When more companies around the world can start on the same solid technological foundation, the result is a stronger worldwide competitive business landscape.

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