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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.

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...

Finance Topics & Trends

3 Big Digital Disruptors Shaping Finance: Blockchain

With the arrival of process automation, cognitive tools, and blockchain, finance organizations are facing the potential for major transformation. In the last of our series of three blogs, we’ll take a look at how blockchain is shaping the future of finance. By Girija Krishnamurthy, Deloitte Consulting LLP Part 3: How Blockchain is Disrupting Finance Many people know blockchain as the technology behind Bitcoin. The distributed ledger technology allows users to add blocks of information onto a chain of transactions, creating an immutable history of accepted, time-stamped and encrypted data visible to participants. Blockchain has proved to be a reliable and versatile platform for cryptocurrencies, which have thrived despite some well-known growing pains. Nevertheless, the ups and downs of Bitcoin and its offshoots made some risk-averse finance leaders a bit skeptical of this emerging disruptor. If CFOs look outside the walls of finance, they’ll see blockchain taking off in many directions. There are dozens of potential applications for blockchain in industries ranging from financial services and telecommunications to consumer products, health care and logistics. For example, a Fortune 100 logistics company is investing heavily in blockchain technology to provide greater visibility and efficiency in its freight business. This logistics company hopes that blockchain’s distributed ledger may likely enable it to track freight even when it moves to parts of the supply chain it doesn’t own, such as rail lines. Health care companies are now using blockchain’s digital encryption technologies to help make medical records more mobile and improve the traceability of drugs. And blockchain’s immutable transaction-recording system could make claims processing and dispute resolution more efficient. Even groceries are getting into the act. A growing number of grocery store chains are investing in blockchain solutions to track foods from the farm to the grocery aisle to the table. The distributed ledger provides a clear chain of custody as edibles from mangoes to chickens travel across global supply lines with multiple handoffs. Using blockchain, organizations will be able to trace bad food back to its source in seconds and perform a speedy recall—fast enough, perhaps, to avoid incidents like the romaine lettuce e-coli outbreak of earlier this year. Blockchain for Finance Yes, blockchain is coming to the finance function too. In a Wall Street Journal article, Deloitte’s Rich de Mole and Dean Hobbs explain how blockchain has the potential to reshape finance processes to deliver cost and control benefits. The authors point out that blockchain can be used to improve procure-to-pay, order-to-cash and intercompany transactions. When it comes to managing supply chains, for example, blockchain technology can enable an effective integration of finance processes including settlement, financing, insurance, and warranty. Other organizations are looking at use cases ranging from simplifying cross-border payments to streamlining stock trading. One of the many useful features of blockchain technology is the ability to create “smart contracts” that govern how transactions are processed. Once participants on a blockchain accept a contract, the terms and conditions can’t be changed, unless all the parties agree to modify them. The permanent nature of transactions recorded on a blockchain, together with its total transparency, can help reduce the possibility of fraud and errors. Hobbs and de Mole point out that finance organizations can use blockchain to control many kinds of transaction processes, including “self-validating” sub-ledgers for order-to-cash and procure-to-pay integration, revenue cycle management, and trade finance. Deloitte worked with one company, for example, to set up an intercompany blockchain to document purchase agreements, confirm receipt of goods and services, facilitate settlement, and process payments. Blockchain and ERP It’s no wonder that more and more ERP providers—Oracle among them—are integrating blockchain into their ERP cloud applications. Yet companies that pursue blockchain initiatives may want to reconsider changing their existing enterprise systems. As Hobbs explains, blockchain “simply shares data you select with specified parties so they can see the same information you’re seeing at the same time.” The more immediate challenge, he says, is establishing a sustainable group of trading partners bound together by smart contracts and clear rules of engagement. Deloitte, for its part, has been making significant investments in blockchain solutions. Deloitte recently launched a blockchain lab designed to accelerate development of a range of use-cases and empowering organizations to connect and exchange value in more dynamic, efficient and immediate ways. Starting small makes sense and can potentially reduce risk. Some finance organizations may want to get their feet wet by piloting blockchain for intercompany transactions with the goal of simplifying the sale of goods and services across legal entities. This can give companies valuable experience working with blockchain before extending the technology to include external trading partners. Organizations that start early on disruptive blockchain projects could gain a first-mover advantage that could propel growth and innovation. Does your finance organization have a strategy to harness blockchain technology? I’d love to hear from you.   Tune in to the joint Oracle and Deloitte Digital Finance webcast series to learn more about how automation, cognitive, and blockchain are disrupting finance. Girija Krishnamurthy is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leads the Digital Finance area of Deloitte’s Technology practice. Girija brings over 17 years of deep finance transformation and implementation experience for clients spanning North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. She holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering and an MBA in Finance and Information Systems. As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of our legal structure. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

With the arrival of process automation, cognitive tools, and blockchain, finance organizations are facing the potential for major transformation. In the last of our series of three blogs, we’ll take a...

Finance Topics & Trends

Banks Face Up to the Danger of Doing Nothing

What is the biggest competitive threat to today’s banking incumbents? If you asked many of them, they might say the biggest threats come from fintech start-ups, blockchain innovators, or some other new business model that no one has invented yet. But a new paper from American Banker argues that the biggest threat is coming from within banks themselves—in particular, their reluctance to move to the cloud technologies required to become a digital business. “The primary threat to any financial institution is therefore not external at all,” the authors write. “It is its own internal inability to nimbly execute on the digital imperatives necessary for success in the difficult-to-predict but most certainly lucrative future of finance.” CFOs can lead this charge towards a digital future, the writers argue, because the systems under their purview—ERP, ledgers and sub-ledgers, reporting, audit, etc.—hold the key to agility, efficiency, and innovation. Internal decision-makers depend heavily on enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise performance management (EPM) systems. They rely on these systems to understand what’s going on across the business; to optimize allocation of resources for maximum return-on-capital; and to keep within the institution’s acceptable limits of risk. Financial services companies have much to gain from cloud ERP and EPM systems, which are much more agile, efficient and innovative than their on-premises predecessors. The Gains to Financial Services from Cloud ERP There are a number of advantages that financial services institutions can gain from moving ERP and EPM to the cloud, including: Multi-dimensional insight. To make timely, fact-based decisions, managers and executives need ready access to historical, real-time, and predictive insights. Historical and real-time insights might be delivered in the form of traditional reporting and business intelligence; while predictive insights (looking towards the future) might rely on more advanced data science and visualization to help decision-makers predict trends in customer behaviors, operating margins, and product performance. Accelerated feedback loops. In a fast-paced, innovation-driven marketplace, it’s not just about making the right decisions. It’s about continuously re-evaluating those decisions based on empirical feedback and then quickly making adjustments—whether it’s a bit of fine-tuning or a wholesale change in strategy. In addition to delivering rich insight, cloud ERP must enable speed and frequency of change. Continuous cost alignment. Agility requires the ability to act quickly within the right cost parameters. Historically, that’s been a challenge for banks. With on-premises systems, new technologies required a sizeable investment in advance of returns (the “cap-ex” model). With cloud, banks can now quickly launch pilot programs at more sensible cost. If those programs succeed, they can scale them under an op-ex model that remains well-aligned with the income these new programs generate. If the pilots are not successful, the institution can exit with minimal loss exposure. Cloud ERP thus optimizes margins and mitigates risk, in addition to enhancing agility. Governance, Risk and Compliance in Cloud ERP Governance, risk management, and compliance mandates can often constrain the agility needed to compete in fast-moving financial services markets. Here again, the cloud can be of extraordinary value. Cloud applications are updated quarterly by the providers to help compliance with regulatory requirements, consumer protections and risk management—making it easier and less costly for banks to comply with new or modified mandates as they emerge. Banks can allocate their finite resources to high-value innovation—rather than to low-value compliance burdens. The future belongs to those who transform digital uncertainty from an institutional threat to a source of sustainable competitive advantage. In an upcoming webinar, American Banker will discuss why a digital advantage is critical for the future of banks. You’ll learn how to handle moving to the cloud, why it’s about more than just the technology, and how the choices you make can affect your business. Register now for the American Banker webcast.

What is the biggest competitive threat to today’s banking incumbents? If you asked many of them, they might say the biggest threats come from fintech start-ups, blockchain innovators, or some other new...

Finance Topics & Trends

Oracle OpenWorld Looks to the Business of Tomorrow

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Your company has a new product ready to launch. The product development team is eager to get it out to the market. Finance has run the forecasts, and the new product is going to be big: it has the potential to increase revenue by 19 percent in the first year, and 31 percent next year. But your company has supply chain issues at the Mexican plant that are causing delivery delays; and attrition on the design team is more than 40 percent; and the materials budget is off by 17 percent; and sales generates 75 percent of its revenue from older products. Your customers might be ready for your latest innovation, but your business isn’t. This is a perfect example of a business that can’t keep up with the pace of change. According to Steve Cox, Global VP of ERP EPM Product Marketing at Oracle, companies are constrained by yesterday’s technologies and operating models: aging IT infrastructure, manual processes, people and cultures that are resistant to change. In his Oracle OpenWorld session, “The Last Upgrade You’ll Ever Need,” Cox urged companies to immediately start looking at tomorrow’s technologies—cloud applications built on machine learning, chatbots, intelligent process automation and more—to immediately start automating as many functions and processes as possible. “Everything that technology can do, it will do,” Cox said, describing the current era as “the last mile of automation.” In the finance function, for example, half of a team’s time is spent on manual, mundane tasks: transaction processing, reconciling numbers, chasing and waiting for information. Yesterday’s ERP doesn’t provide the level of insight, speed or automation required to keep up with today’s pace of change. Companies need tomorrow’s ERP: built on emerging technologies to include features like expense reporting assistants, supplier recommendations, intelligent payments, and more. And because it’s in the cloud, tomorrow’s ERP is updated every 90 days with the latest functionality. “This is about making your organization future-ready,” said Cox. “You can consume innovation at a pace that was unheard of in the old, on-premises world.” A Connected, Intelligent Business Senior Vice President of ERP Product Marketing, Juergen Lindner, echoed the sentiment in the OpenWorld session, “Create Tomorrow, Today: Transform into a Connected and Intelligent Business.” “What makes the conversation about cloud meaningful is the access to innovation,” Lindner said during a panel discussion with Oracle customers and IDC. “When you compare the richness of functionality of cloud applications to on premises, it’s the secret sauce to future-proofing your business.” Lindner cautioned audience members about the “cloud hairball”: multiple point solutions from multiple cloud providers that aren’t integrated with each other. This not only hinders the flow of information from one system to the next, it prevents the process automation that companies are seeking to achieve. The Dangers of Disconnected Clouds IDC’s recent InfoBrief, “Technology Challenges Driving Large Enterprises to a Connected Cloud Suite” (sponsored by Oracle) found that only 5% of large enterprises have all their SaaS applications fully integrated with corporate-wide systems. In cases where applications are integrated, only 25% of respondents said the SaaS provider offers this integration. Instead, organizations rely on on-premises integration platforms (21%), cloud-based integration platforms (20%), custom in-house integration (16%), and systems integrators (14%) to build the integrations they need. “Many large enterprises have made repeated, disconnected cloud purchases that have left them with a complex portfolio of inconsistent and potentially incompatible solutions that are expensive, cumbersome and not easily leveraged as a whole for strategic advantage,” IDC writes. The firm advises organizations to reassess cloud vendors based on a proven ability to deliver full SaaS integration, as well as their ability to provide a head start with innovation and digital transformation. IDC's advice aligns with Oracle's approach. We offer a complete, connected suite of cloud applications, infused with machine learning, chatbots and other emerging technologies, to provide immediate innovations that you can begin using right away. “This is something that Oracle is in a unique position to provide,” said Lindner.  Learn more about Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Your company has a new product ready to launch. The product development team is eager to get it out to the market. Finance has run the forecasts, and the new...

Product News

Quantum Baseballs, Machine Learning, and How to Predict the Future

Using Newtonian physics to describe the behavior of quantum particles, according to physicist Brian Greene, is like pretending that photons are baseballs. Your predictions will come out wrong. Greene was one of the keynote speakers during the opening day of Oracle OpenWorld 2018. He dove into the heady topics of quantum entanglement, black holes and multiple universes with unbridled enthusiasm. The audience was standing room only, and they were just as riveted by the subject matter as Greene clearly was. For a cosmology enthusiast like me, it was the perfect way to kick off Oracle’s biggest annual event. Knowledge, understanding, and predictability are key themes, as attendees are hungry to understand emerging technologies like machine learning, blockchain, the Internet of Things and more. In particular, finance attendees are eager to understand how these new technologies can help make their businesses more productive and predictable. For those attendees, there were many exciting answers available. Oracle Turbo-Charges Cloud ERP Suite One of the biggest announcements this year is about the new capabilities available in Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud. Rondy Ng and Matt Bradley, who lead the development teams for these applications, shared how emerging technologies are providing new capabilities to finance teams, including: Intelligent Process Automation: Using machine learning (ML), rather than business rules, to automate and improve labor-intensive tasks. For example, rules-based image scanning might match 60 to 70 percent of invoices; that still leaves a lot of invoices to process manually. If an invoice is kicked out for review, ML learns from the manual entry and uses it to better recognize similar characters in future. Other processes that can be automated with ML include transaction matching, account reconciliations, and other activities associated with the financial close. Expense Reporting Assistant: A new chatbot assistant processes expenses with greater efficiency. Not only does this simplify expense reporting for end users, it improves accuracy and ensures that company policies are consistently enforced. Intelligent Payments: New artificial intelligence capabilities take advantage of in-the-moment supplier profiles and risk data to generate vendor-specific offers in exchange for early payment of outstanding payables. This helps organizations reduce costs and build stronger relationships with top suppliers. Supplier Recommendations: Combines your internal ERP data about suppliers, purchase orders, invoices, payables, and other details with external sources of data, to help you choose the best suppliers for your needs. Advanced Access Controls: Advanced Access Controls constantly examine all users, roles, and privileges against a library of active security rules—across general ledger, payables, receivables, and fixed assets—to help protect business data from insider threats, fraud, misuse and human error. In addition, embedded machine learning helps to identify patterns associated with fraud attempts that humans might otherwise miss. Intelligent Performance Management (coming soon): The ML capabilities in Oracle EPM Cloud can uncover hard-to-spot data patterns, providing meaningful insights to the right team members, at the right time, to help them make better, more timely business decisions—predictions that (unlike quantum baseballs) are much less likely to be wrong. A Better Way to Build Subscription Business Models Another big announcement for finance professionals is the announcement of Oracle Subscription Management. Designed to help companies quickly offer new subscription services, it helps organizations manage: Renewals, cross-sell and upsell Configure, price and quote Sales planning (CRM) Subscription contracts and billing Collection and payments Revenue recognition compliance with ASC606/IFRS15 This innovative subscription management solution helps organizations to: Support Subscriptions Across All Customer Touchpoints: Omnichannel support gives renewal specialists, service agents, sales reps and customers a consistent subscription experience. Increase Subscription Revenues Through Powerful Customer Insights: Rich analytics and reporting tools provide a full view of customer programs, with a single view of KPIs and powerful analytics to optimize funnel conversion. Continuous insights help agents drive new deal activity by initiating or upgrading customers. Orchestrate the Full Customer Lifecycle: Unified front and back office processes—from outbound communication to renewals and charges—provide powerful insights into new deal activity, opportunities and buying habits. The solution also supports revenue recognition compliance, calculates complex and recurring pricing models, and simplifies the management of mixed orders with recurring services and physical products.   The difference between Oracle’s approach to emerging technologies, and the way that other vendors approach them, is that we don’t just give you a toolset to develop finance applications and use cases. We use machine learning, blockchain, IoT and more to deliver these new applications and use cases to you, the customer, right from our cloud. And we upgrade our ERP and EPM Cloud every 90 days, so that you always have access to the latest, greatest features. With more than 5,500 ERP/EPM Cloud customers, Oracle’s approach to finance innovation appears to be winning over businesses around the world. Stay tuned for more this week from Oracle OpenWorld. Missed Oracle OpenWorld? Join us in Las Vegas for LIMITLESS, March 19-21, 2019. 

Using Newtonian physics to describe the behavior of quantum particles, according to physicist Brian Greene, is like pretending that photons are baseballs. Your predictions will come out wrong. Greene...

Finance Topics & Trends

Autumn is the Time to Raise the Curtain on Higher Learning

Fall isn’t just the time when college campuses come alive with activity. It’s also show time! Events and trade shows for higher education are ramping up, and the opportunities for learning are abundant. Starting next week, a pair of events for higher education will provide insight to finance and business officers looking to modernize their institutions, and for IT professionals seeking to support that mission. EACUBO 2018 The Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers (EACUBO) will be hosting its annual meeting starting Sunday, Oct. 21 in Buffalo, New York. The EACUBO Annual Meeting will focus on topics such as key financial and resource administration, change and strategic management, innovation, collaboration and leadership, and analyzing prudent risk taking. One session not to be missed is “Cloud Based ERP System Collaboration,” presented by Saint Michael’s College. Saint Michael’s is a partner—along with Champlain and Middlebury Colleges—in the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium, which is implementing a cloud-based ERP system for use by all three colleges. The presentation will outline the business drivers behind the project, as well as the methods used to share and standardize business processes. The session will also highlight the critical role of data governance models early in planning. William Anderson, CIO, and Mary Jane Russell, Director of Business Intelligence and Associate CIO, both of Saint Michael's College, will be the presenters. The session is on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 1:15 - 2:15 pm. Don’t forget to drop by booth #5 for updates on the latest on Oracle Student Cloud, as well as demos of other cloud applications for higher education. EDUCAUSE 2018 An even bigger splash will be made the following week at EDUCASE, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Denver, Colorado. The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference brings together the best thinking in higher education technology. Higher ed professionals and technology providers from around the world gather to network, share ideas, grow their skills, and discover solutions to today’s challenges. It’s the largest gathering of your peers throughout the year.  On Wednesday, Oct. 31, we’ll host a session on how to Innovate and Differentiate with Enterprise Cloud Services. You’ll hear from technology leaders at forward-looking institutions, including: Tonjia Coverdale, Vice President and CIO, Central State University Max Davis-Johnson, CIO and Associate Vice President, Boise State University Anthony Espinoza, CIO, Stephen F Austin University Frank Lever, CIO, Moody Bible Institute The panel members will discuss how they are embracing new technologies—such as chatbots powered by artificial intelligence, modern student systems, and cloud services such as database, integration, security and management. Together with Oracle Student Cloud, these institutions are creating dynamic, modern and personalized experiences for their entire communities. If you need help getting around the area, look for the Tesla cars branded with Oracle Student Cloud on the sides. Anyone with a conference badge can hop in for a ride to wherever you need to go. And be sure to visit the Oracle booth, #502, where you can see demos of Oracle Student Cloud, Student Financial Planning, Planning and Budgeting, Finance, Human Capital Management, and the Oracle Cloud Platform. We hope to see you at both events! Register now for the EACUBO 2018 Annual Meeting and EDUCAUSE 2018. 

Fall isn’t just the time when college campuses come alive with activity. It’s also show time! Events and trade shows for higher education are ramping up, and the opportunities for learning...

Financial Management & Reporting

What’s New for EPM Customers at Oracle OpenWorld?

By Jennifer Toomey, Senior Director, Cloud Business Group, Oracle As my colleague Anne Ozzimo recently wrote, “The role of finance is being disrupted… with finance operating models and skill sets evolving to support customer-first strategies and dynamic new business models.” New operating models, emerging technologies and skill sets will be a focus next week at Oracle OpenWorld, along with a wealth of information and customer stories for those involved in enterprise performance management (EPM). Where should you start? We recommend beginning with the big picture: the ERP/EPM keynote, “Thriving in the Age of Business Model Disruption” (Monday, Oct 22, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. at Moscone South - Room 153/155). Speakers from Office Depot, Dropbox, and Oracle will be discussing how EPM can help enable business model change and blaze the trail toward the intelligent enterprise. How Do I Move from On-Premises to Cloud? This year’s agenda is filled with case studies of customers who have successfully moved from Hyperion on-premises applications to EPM Cloud. Gather insights and strategies from other customers by attending our Customer Panel on Migrating to Oracle EPM Cloud. This practical session explores performance and migration considerations through two successful Oracle EPM Cloud migration and implementation case studies. Oracle Financial Consolidation and Close Cloud is ready for prime-time, and many customers are moving from Hyperion Financial Management (HFM). Hear the Avis story in Ride Along with Avis on Its Journey to Oracle EPM Cloud. The session entitled Oracle Hyperion Financial Management to Oracle EPM Cloud: Financial Close explores the process in detail with a customer case study and helps dispel the myths and uncertainty. On the planning side, hear how Hertz moved from Hyperion Planning to Oracle EPM Cloud and worked with Deloitte to build a depreciation engine for its entire fleet—something that would not have been possible in the on-premises world—in the session, Improved Business Outcomes: Moving from Oracle Hyperion to Oracle EPM Cloud. There are many paths from on premises to the cloud, and you can hear about a few of these at The Modern Office of the CFO: Shared Tales from On-Premises to the Cloud. For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan initially planned to migrate just its on-premises planning to Oracle Cloud and instead decided to improve processes including strategic modeling, financial close, and data management functions across the enterprise—and adopted other Oracle SaaS offerings. Dexcom approached its cloud journey as an opportunity to undergo a financial transformation: in addition to migrating Oracle E-Business Suite to Oracle ERP Cloud, Dexcom implemented Oracle EPM Cloud, including financial consolidation and close, account reconciliation, profitability and cost management, and enterprise planning and budgeting. What’s New with Oracle EPM Solutions? Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation are on everyone’s minds. When you’re making a major investment in EPM, you want to know what you’re getting, now and in the future. To get the long-term view, come to Emerging Technologies in EPM. In this session, experts discuss how emerging technologies are opening up exciting new opportunities in EPM. The presenters will provide a forward-looking overview of innovation and automation across the full spectrum of EPM business processes, including planning and forecasting, financial consolidation and close, process orchestration, account reconciliation, and performance reporting. For a more comprehensive overview, global VP of product management, Hari Sankar, will present the Oracle EPM Strategy and Roadmap. This session will cover functionality such as planning and budgeting, profitability and cost management, financial consolidation, financial close, external and internal reporting, and master data management. If you’re not ready to migrate your on-premises EPM solution, make sure to attend Overview and Update: On-Premises EPM Applications and Roadmap. This session explores in detail the strategy and solution delivery roadmap for EPM on-premises applications, so you’ll know what to expect from your continued investment. Got questions? Head to the Product Development Panel Q&A: Oracle EPM Applications. Here, the Oracle EPM Cloud development team will address your questions on product capabilities, release plans and roadmap, and related topics. What Stories Will Customers Be Sharing? One of the best things about Oracle OpenWorld is the opportunity to hear customers’ real-world success stories. This year we’re pleased to offer stories on virtually every topic area, in every industry. Want to know how Oracle's latest EPM cloud solutions support the needs of enterprise organizations in healthcare and beyond? Come to Modern Healthcare in Oracle EPM Cloud to hear how Harvard Pilgrim Health Care went live with an integrated reporting, planning, and allocation solution powered by Oracle EPM Cloud. If you’re in a government organization of any scale, get insight from Customers Present: EPM in the Public Sector. You can also learn about the City of Detroit’s experience of Improving Government Operations with the Cloud. Here how Hilton Grand Vacations recently went through a divestiture that resulted in the need for new and improved close and reporting processes during Journey to the Cloud: Enabling Oracle EPM Cloud for Hilton Grand Vacations. In another opportunity to learn from and with your peers, current Blackline users shouldn’t miss Case Study for Migration from Blackline to Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud. You’ll learn how Tribune Publishing increased efficiency and successfully migrated a highly complex transaction matching solution, as well as its overall close and reconciliation solution, from Blackline to Oracle Account Reconciliation Cloud. Finally, hear from customers about the newest EPM Cloud offering, Oracle Enterprise Data Management. Attend Customers Present: Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud Service to learn from Oracle Data Relationship Management and Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud Service customers about how they are solving challenges of migrating to or coexisting core information assets across hybrid, multi-cloud environments. Why Not Create Your Own Agenda? In addition to presentations, our popular Hands-On Lab sessions offer specific guidance on capabilities for financial close, enterprise planning, enterprise data management, account reconciliation, and more. Build your OpenWorld 2018 schedule and learn more here. Register now for Oracle OpenWorld 2018.  

By Jennifer Toomey, Senior Director, Cloud Business Group, Oracle As my colleague Anne Ozzimo recently wrote, “The role of finance is being disrupted… with finance operating models and skill sets...

Finance Topics & Trends

From Steward to Strategist: The New Role of the CFO

By Declan Tyrrell, Finance Evangelist, EMEA Sales Factory at Oracle, and Former CFO I’ve been in the world of finance for a long time. As a former CFO, I’ve seen the role evolve from one of financial steward, to corporate strategist. With the pace of business change now faster than it has ever been, the role of the CFO will be help build an engine to drive the business forward. Data will be the fuel for that engine, and sustainable profitability will be the destination. Data, Past and Present It is not unusual for finance to spend 90% of its time getting information into relevant business systems, validating it, and getting it out again for reporting—leaving limited time to interpret the data. By the time we generate and distribute management information (which can take in excess of 10 days), all we are doing is asking management to explain our current under-performance. This, in essence, has our management driving the business by looking backwards. From 12 Days to 14 Minutes Modern finance systems allow us to close our books faster. When I became CFO of a law firm, the first thing I did was to set a goal of closing the books at 5 p.m. on the last working day of the month, and generating reports by 9 a.m. on the first working day of the following month. Using automated workflows and automatic checks and balances, I reduced the month-end close from 12 days to 14 minutes. I overlaid the reports to management with a “traffic light” system (green, yellow or red) and automated commentary; this gave the information clarity and purpose. I continued to meet with the management teams mid-month, but instead of asking them to explain under-performance, I asked what actions they had taken since they received the information. This empowered managers to look forward, not backward, and take action. This approach led to a doubling of revenue over a three-year period and a tripling of profit per equity partner. Everywhere I have applied this approach, it has empowered management to take action and be forward facing. I have seen significant increases in profitability—as high as 250% in one organization and 400% in another. Using Data to Shape the Future As modern finance systems continue to evolve, the concepts of continuous close or real-time data validation are becoming a reality for more and more businesses. This opens up a world of opportunity for finance. Imagine not having to worry about the accuracy of your data—whether financial, internal or external. Imagine a finance “bot” that continually monitors the data, running scenarios and trend analyses to identify potential future issues or areas of opportunity. This would empower the business, and finance, to focus on the issues and opportunities rather than wasting time on ensuring data accuracy. Are You Profitable? Profitability is critical. You have to understand your profitability, and most organizations don’t. A typical scenario is when a company prices its products and services to win, rather than to be profitable. But once you’ve empowered your organization with the ability to easily see and analyze financial data, you’re able to figure out the formulas that drive profits. It’s not just costs. Maybe you’re losing money because processes aren’t efficient enough. Maybe it’s the discounts you offer. Maybe you’re failing to recover all the hours of work you put into servicing an account. With cloud-based profitability and cost-management, you can run what-if scenarios that will quickly tell you things like how to grow your margin from 4 to 9 percent—just by changing your discount rate from 15 percent to 10. Every CFO knows the key to growing profit margin is understanding the organization’s key performance indicators and how they impact profit. This sounds like a simple statement, but the complexity of multiple systems and siloed data can make this a nearly impossible task. We have always been good at organization profit measurement, profit by line of business or region, etc. The real power comes from understanding the component parts of the profit margin and how to tweak them. When I restructured the finance team at a law firm, they had no capabilities in place to easily analyze profitability by client. When I started to introduce profit analysis by customer, we discovered, unsurprisingly, that 80 percent of the firm’s revenue was coming from 20 percent of its customers. That’s not unusual, but we needed to dig deeper. It’s one thing to have a client that brings in $1 million a year, but how much of that income is profit? When we looked under the hood, we found the firm’s biggest client offered high-volume, low-value, fixed-price transactional work. And over the course of the previous four years, costs associated with that client had exploded because the staff doing the work had become more qualified and were being paid more. We knew we had to either increase the price we were getting for the work or decrease the cost of doing it—maybe both. We went to the customer to ask for more money for the work, which we received. Then, with the help of machine learning, we automated a lot of the work and pushed most of the rest to lower-cost employees. After only six months, this client became the firm’s highest value customer. You might be able to do this kind of analysis now, but how much effort does it take? Probably a great deal. With automation, you can conduct the analysis quickly and easily. Who Is Your Customer? With cloud-based finance applications, you’ll have accurate data in real time, and the ability to understand and share it. You’ll really start to understand who your customers are and how much value each one brings to the table. Maybe you’ll see more opportunities to cross-sell your products or services to existing clients. We all know it’s cheaper to sell new business to an existing customer than to win an entirely new client. With greater access to financial data and the tools to analyze it effectively, you’ll see opportunities to serve clients across multiple departments, not just one. You’ll also be able to roll data back two years, five years, a decade. Unlike traditional computing environments, cloud-based systems are designed to scale and accommodate all your data requirements, all the time. How many clients did you lose? Are there trends among those you’ve lost over a certain time period? Which clients grew during the same period? Which ones are entirely new? Can you identify sweet spots or hot clients? If so, can you share those hot clients with other departments and grow new lines of business with them? The Future is in the Cloud If you want this kind of analysis at your fingertips in real time—if you want to be able to use predictive analytics to know what’s coming around the corner—then it’s time to become the progressive CFO of the future. Today’s CFOs have an opportunity to be proactive contributors to innovation and growth. With access to real-time data in the cloud and machine learning-infused automation, finance leaders have more time and capabilities to drive profitable change by improving decision-making, automating non-value adding tasks, managing risks, and optimizing assets. If you automate all the transactional functions that go into closing the books, for example, you will always know where your company stands right now financially. And with cloud capabilities, you can share that information with key stakeholders quickly and easily. Then, as a team, you can work on getting your business turned around, facing forward, and growing profits. As Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said at the 2018 Modern Finance Experience, “CFOs are driving cloud migration because it just makes sense. It reduces expenses, increases efficiency, and creates more opportunity to truly innovate.”

By Declan Tyrrell, Finance Evangelist, EMEA Sales Factory at Oracle, and Former CFO I’ve been in the world of finance for a long time. As a former CFO, I’ve seen the role evolve from one of financial...

Finance Topics & Trends

Will Public Sector Accountability Get a Big Boost from Blockchain?

By David Haimes, Senior Director of ERP Development, Oracle At the UN General Assembly in New York last month, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari pleaded with his international peers to help fight corruption, which he said is an extreme threat to stability, peace, and economic security for millions of people in developing nations like his. Much of the corruption in Nigeria is tied to illicit financial flows, Buhari noted. During the same week, the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Dublin (population 42,346) was reviewing proposals for its history-making plan to become one of the first US cities to have a blockchain-based identity system for citizens. One discussed use is voting and monitoring of voting. Viewed together, these examples illustrate the widespread opportunity for blockchain to improve accountability in the public sector at all levels and in many vital functions, whether the organization in need is an emerging nation with complex problems or a small town that wants to be more open, efficient, and innovative. Government Applications of Blockchain Blockchain, also known as distributed ledger, is a type of software that documents and couples user identity and transactions, and creates linked blocks of those records so that anyone participating in the chain of transactions has visibility into all activities. Potential government applications include: Collecting and spending tax money Banking and capital markets regulation Asset traceability Delivery of services Voting Licensing Court records Law enforcement In the case of something like voting that requires anonymity, voters would be identified by a digital key, which means records are documented on the blockchain anonymously. The digital key concept is how digital currency is “owned.” The pure transparency and indisputable record of activity that blockchain provides can help prevent public corruption. Essentially, when transactions such as paying taxes, transferring money, and voting happen in a blockchain, a linked community of watchdogs is automatically created. It’s like having access to public records without having to go to a public facility to monitor them as activities are recorded. Blockchain also provides data-security benefits and works in real time, which improves a government agency’s ability to protect public data and keep records current. Access to a blockchain requires a digital key, and activity within the chain is documented immediately. How Governments Are Likely to Use Blockchain Governments in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are hot spots for blockchain at the national level because they are building up digital infrastructure for the first time. Because they don’t have embedded hardware and software systems as developed governments do, they can be faster with adoption. For these countries, blockchain could be a way to accelerate their emergence in the global economy. Qatar has committed to becoming an entirely blockchain-based government by 2020, and the country already is creating blockchain-based apps for citizens to access information such as food origin. Nigeria is considering different applications of blockchain, including using Oracle Blockchain Cloud to enhance customs-services operations. For developed countries and their regional and local counterparts, blockchain adoption will happen where it makes the most sense. If a digital system is in place and working well, government leaders probably won’t run out and replace it just to say they are using blockchain. If a digital system is in place but is not functioning well, is not secure, or is lacking a reliable checks-and-balances capability, blockchain-based applications could be the answer. One area that’s certain to be of interest is identity management. Right now, different public groups issue different forms of identify to prove citizenship or privileges, such as a state driver’s license, a federal health-services card, and a city ID for using city-owned amenities. That’s a lot of redundancy and multiple opportunities for fraud. Blockchain makes it possible to maintain one secure version of identity verification. Keeping Up with the Business of Blockchain Another aspect of government accountability regarding blockchain is economic development and empowerment. Blockchain is a transformational technology. It will forever change the way goods and services are delivered and exchanged, how markets and money transfers are regulated, how contracts are established, as well as many other aspects of doing business around the globe. Governments should embrace opportunities to attract and build blockchain knowledge in their communities and should use blockchain to make it easier to do business with and within their communities. Lots of large, public companies are investing in blockchain initiatives, but small, local governments such as Dublin, Ohio, are investing in blockchain, too. Gartner estimates blockchain’s business value-add will grow to just over $360 billion by 2026, and then surge to $310 trillion by 2030. Even though widespread adoption is years away, blockchain technology is easy to access and use today. Why not get started now? Not only will your government agency be preparing for tomorrow, but you will also be an early adopter of what’s sure to be a much more accountable era in public governance. On Wednesday, Oct. 24, I’ll be presenting other use cases for blockchain applications as part of Oracle OpenWorld 2018. If you’re planning to come to OpenWorld, I invite you to attend. Register now for Oracle OpenWorld.

By David Haimes, Senior Director of ERP Development, Oracle At the UN General Assembly in New York last month, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari pleaded with his international peers to help fight...

Finance Topics & Trends

Why Tomorrow's ERP Stands for Earn, Rest and Play

By Angela Mazza Teufer, Senior Vice President ERP, EPM, SCM Western Europe, Oracle When we’re young, we have very different notions of what makes us "super" people. We want to be Iron Man with his suit, Captain America with his shield or Wonder Woman her bracelets of submission. But as we become adults and come to grips with reality, our definition of what it takes to be "super" is completely different.    In fact, in business, we use "super" to describe leaders who are finding the right balance between work and life. Modern superheroes lauded in the media are those who are successful in their field while also making enough time for family and hobbies outside of work. Maybe that’s getting home in time to put the kids to bed, finding time to train for a marathon, or just putting in the hours to learn how to play an instrument. We’re in awe of these individuals not because of a tremendous feat of strength or heroic act, but because achieving a perfect work/life balance is one of the hardest things to do as an adult. This is where ERP cloud applications are delivering the power needed to be "super." ERP might stand for “Enterprise Resource Planning”, but let’s make it stand for “Earn, Rest and Play”—helping business decision makers find the right work/life balance and prove their true worth as modern superheroes. ERP, when bringing automation to the equation, can speed up manual tasks as well as eliminating time-consuming and costly upgrades. Focus can instead be dedicated to more strategic elements of the job. Recent Accenture research showed that finance staff spend an average of 60 to 70 percent of their time on tasks such as processing transactions, accounting, controlling, compliance and reporting; that’s a lot more time back in their day. We’re already seeing a couple of CFOs splitting their time more evenly between Earning, Resting and Playing, thanks to ERP: Umair Junaid, CFO at Access Power, was spending a lot of time manually pulling together the financial reports coming in from the company’s operations across many different countries. It was a time-heavy process given each region has its own regulations and accounting practices. Automating the process with an ERP cloud means he has a better handle on reports from across the regions and can use them to facilitate the organisation’s growth plans, but without needing to put in more hours at work.  Christophe Eouzan, Chief Accounting Officer at Orange, needed a way to free up both his and the wider corporate finance team’s time so they could focus on higher-level work that would be more valuable in supporting a company-wide transformation initiative. With an ERP cloud taking care of time-consuming, non-strategic tasks like requisitions, purchase orders, and vendor invoices, Orange has been able to free up finance back-office personnel. Now Eouzan can focus on more important, value-added tasks, such as forecasting, supplier transaction transparency and building a digital working environment. With businesses more reliant on data, CFOs need to be more than number-crunchers if they’re to maximise their earning potential and add value in the right places. Our market-leading ERP helps them achieve this, making them more productive and successful at work, while freeing up the time to "do it all"—dedicating attention to family, friends, hobbies, and their general well-being. That’s why ERP with automation capabilities is the real power helping business people become our modern day superheroes.

By Angela Mazza Teufer, Senior Vice President ERP, EPM, SCM Western Europe, Oracle When we’re young, we have very different notions of what makes us "super" people. We want to be Iron Man with his...

Finance Topics & Trends

Explore the New Role of Finance in the Customer-first Economy at Oracle OpenWorld

By Anne Ozzimo, Senior Director, Oracle ERP/EPM Cloud Business Group, Oracle In her new book The Inversion Factor, author and leading technologist Linda Bernardi argues that traditional product-centric business strategies are no longer sufficient to ensure business success. Bernardi advocates inverting your strategy away from designing products or services you hope customers will like, to an innovation strategy predicated on anticipating customer needs and fulfilling them in ways never before possible, from delivering groceries in a two-hour window, to selecting the perfect pair of jeans for your body type.    The role of finance is being disrupted as well, with finance operating models and skill sets evolving to support customer-first strategies and dynamic new business models. Emerging technologies like IoT, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and autonomous technologies are behind the shift toward customer centricity, helping humans sift through reams of data to understand their customers more intimately than ever before. But human acumen is needed as well, especially from the finance team, whose job has moved beyond interpreting data trends to proactively monetizing these insights with management to create new sources of revenue and growth.   The role of disruptive finance is one of the key trends being explored at Oracle OpenWorld this October 22-25, 2018 in San Francisco, with Inversion Factor author Bernardi among those speaking at the annual Finance Executive Networking Luncheon and CFO Workshop hosted by Oracle CEO Safra Catz and her finance executive team. These are just two of the many sessions at OpenWorld designed to help professionals network and learn about finance and technology trends, change management and implementation best practices, and share other strategies and methods to support finance modernization. Some not-to-be-missed sessions include: ERP General Session October 22, 2018, 11:00-12:15 pm, Moscone South Hosted by Oracle Applications Development SVPs Rondy Ng and Matt Bradley and available to all OpenWorld attendees, this session examines the dynamic and disruptive business models powering the shift toward a service-driven economy, and how upcoming releases of Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle EPM Cloud will support these new, recurring revenue streams. Among the highlights: new product demonstrations; a development expert panel focused on AI and UX; and an interactive discussion with Dropbox Chief Accountant Tim Regan and Office Depot Senior Director Damon Venger, who will share their business strategies and how Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud solutions are helping to power their business models. CFO Workshop: The Customer-first Economy October 23, 2018, 7:30-11:00 am Contact your Oracle sales representative for more information. The CFO workshop, hosted by Oracle Executive Vice Chairman Jeff Henley and Oracle EVP Doug Kehring, will bring together senior finance executives for an interactive session on how to lead in the customer-first economy. Inversion Factor author Linda Bernardi will share the six principles of inversive business models and explore those principles with finance executives at Instacart and Stitch Fix, two examples of true inversion. During the workshop, Oracle’s finance executives will team up with Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud customers to discuss how emerging technologies are reshaping finance processes to support customer-first operating models. Discussions will focus on: Intelligent Operations: Optimizing the Continuous Close, Procure-to-Pay and Record-to-Report Processes Predictive Guidance: Zero-Touch, Rolling Forecasts and Real-Time Management Reporting The Future-Ready Workforce: Digital Skills, Cross-Functional Teams, Strategic Mindset Finance Executive Networking Luncheon: Feed Your Need for Disruptive Thinking October 23, 2018, 11:30-1:15 pm Contact your Oracle sales representative for more information. A perennial highlight for finance executives attending Oracle OpenWorld is the Finance Executive Networking Luncheon hosted by Oracle CEO Safra Catz and her finance executive team. The luncheon brings together finance practitioners wanting to be inspired by the latest thinking on finance and technology best practices. During lunch, Safra will share her insights on why finance executives need courage, clarity, curiosity, and conviction to thrive in today’s nonstop economy. She will also give an update on Oracle’s own ERP and EPM Cloud journey, and the benefits Oracle is receiving by standardizing on a modern cloud. Joining Safra to share their stories are finance change agents at Instacart, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Beall’s, in an interactive session moderated by author Linda Bernardi and Chris Wood, VP of Business Transformation at FedEx.   Explore ERP Cloud at Two Focus Groups and Have a Meal on Us! Executive Focus Group Breakfast: Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 7:30-8:45 am General Focus Group Luncheon: Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 12:15-1:45 pm If you are considering an upgrade or finance modernization initiative, these two focus groups are just the ticket you need to get on the cloud fast track. Designed to debunk many of the myths around finance in the cloud, these sessions will answer all your questions or concerns in a confidential, interactive environment.  Beyond Cost: Cloud Innovation Benefits There are a number of other opportunities to get up speed on how Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud can benefit your organization, including these highlighted sessions open to anyone attending OpenWorld: Tomorrow’s ERP, Today: The Last Upgrade You’ll Ever Need October 22, 2018, 4:45-5:30 pm The leader for this session is Steve Cox, Group Vice President, ERP and EPM Product Marketing at Oracle. Steve will discuss the key findings of a survey of organizations that have implemented cloud ERP and EPM systems. These customers were drawn to the cloud for cost savings, but found that the innovation-related benefits are the more meaningful and longer-lasting gains. Attendees will come away with a vision of where their businesses need to go next to compete, grow, and thrive. Improved Business Outcomes: Moving from Oracle Hyperion to Oracle EPM Cloud Wednesday, Oct 24, 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Moscone South - Room 157 Moving to the cloud is not about simply lifting and shifting capabilities from on-premises to the cloud; it’s an opportunity to reinvent and transform your business processes. Attend this session to hear how Hertz successfully moved from Hyperion Planning to EPM Cloud, and in the process, worked with Deloitte Consulting to build a depreciation engine for each automobile in Hertz’s fleet, something that would never have been possible before the cloud. Oracle ERP Cloud and the $2 Trillion Productivity Opportunity October 23, 4:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Moscone South - Room 214 See how Oracle ERP and EPM Cloud are driving increased productivity and how finance teams can position their companies to take advantage of the huge opportunities that emerging technologies offer. New research from the Wharton School predicts the US GDP could grow by $2 trillion over the next 10 years—with the productivity boom being powered by emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning, IoT, and more, and the cloud services that deliver them. Attendees will hear from National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation and learn why CFOs are poised to lead this growth. Learn how to position your company to get ahead of the future of finance—realizing Tomorrow’s Finance, Today. Visit the OpenWorld session catalog to view the complete list of ERP and EPM sessions. Register Now for Oracle OpenWorld 2018.

By Anne Ozzimo, Senior Director, Oracle ERP/EPM Cloud Business Group, Oracle In her new book The Inversion Factor, author and leading technologist Linda Bernardi argues that traditional product-centric...