Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

AI, Predictive Planning, and Software You Can Talk To

Lynne Sampson
Managing Editor

Oracle OpenWorld kicked off yesterday with the first of two keynotes from Oracle founder and chief technology officer Larry Ellison. The big news coming out of that keynote was the “world’s first truly autonomous cloud,” intended to automate many of the manual patches that often leave an organization’s data vulnerable to a breach. Today, the focus was on Oracle’s cloud applications with a keynote from development EVP Steve Miranda. The audience heard from such iconic companies as Hearst, Ferrari and Hilton about their successes with Oracle’s ERP, HR, supply chain and customer experience applications.

But the big news for finance professionals came from the ERP/EPM keynote, presented by development leaders Rondy Ng and Matt Bradley. The latest product and machine learning updates to Oracle ERP Cloud can help organizations take advantage of innovations in artificial intelligence, digital assistants, natural language processing, and the Internet of Things:

  • Digital Assistants can reduce the effort required to submit and review time sheets, track the status of projects and escalate time entry and project management issues. Users can interact with the assistant via a conversational user interface for a more natural user experience and improved business efficiency.
  • Intelligent Document Recognition can help reduce or eliminate manual invoice entry. Using self-learning capabilities, the system recognizes and processes supplier invoices, adapting to changes in invoice formats over time for superior accuracy, faster access, and a reduction in manual entry errors.
  • Predictive Planning in Oracle EPM Cloud helps customers identify trends and patterns in financial and operational data. The new “Auto Predict” capability improves the quality and timeliness of planning decisions; it helps customers access predictions at data load time, see prediction and forecast variances, identify variance patterns and make plan revisions on the fly.
  • IoT Monetization with Subscription Management helps customers drive new revenue streams by feeding IoT data through usage meters. Integrated with Oracle Cloud Applications, users can bring usage-based monetization models to market, creating flexible new upsell and cross-sell offers with consumption-based charging—while seamlessly managing billing and revenue.
  • Lease Accounting with IFRS 16 Support improves insight into lease renewals by providing a single repository for all lease contracts, automated lease accounting, and disclosure reporting in compliance with IFRS 16, ASC842 and GASB87 accounting standards.

Other new capabilities include industry-specific finance functionality for higher education, healthcare, public sector, and oil and gas.

A Vision of Insight-Driven Organizations

Continuing its aim to transform organizations into data- and insight-driven experts, Oracle also announced availability of its first Oracle Analytics for Applications offering, designed for Oracle ERP Cloud. And it unveiled AI voice for the enterprise, which brings conversational AI to the corporate environment. Oracle Digital Assistant makes voice and user interactions more expressive by processing complex queries and providing answers from enterprise applications, such as ERP, CRM and HR systems.

Other news of the day included customer success stories from Titan International, TrueBlue, Textron, and Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IBVI), plus the announcement of an end-to-end planning offering for finance and supply chain.

“Oracle continues to extend its lead in the Cloud ERP market with powerful new innovations to support the changing demands placed on finance and operations teams,” said Rondy Ng in a recent press release. “Integrating intelligent assistants and machine learning capabilities into Oracle ERP Cloud enables customers to reduce the number of mundane—but important—tasks for their employees. This improves productivity and accuracy, enhances business insight and decision making and helps free up employees for strategic, creative and fulfilling work.”

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