Working as a Business Intelligence (BI) practitioner during the 90s and early 2000s drove home how decisions are made across areas of businesses and what information is required to make them. It also brought into stark contrast the various siloes of data in organizations and the difficulty of bringing it all together in a way that speeds and improves decision-making quality.
Fast forward 20 years… most organizations still have disconnected systems that lead to a lack of timely visibility to critical information across their business and supply network. We often measure data latency hours, days, or even weeks, and when things change as frequently as they do today, guiding the organization with that kind of information is like looking in the rearview mirror to drive a car forward.
To address these challenges, companies have shifted focus from operational data stores to custom-built data warehouses and data lakes that become increasingly abstracted from the underlying systems used to streamline business functions, processes, and workflows. People need more than transactional history to make effective decisions–they need to combine different types of data to effectively leverage that information. And it’s imperative that they not only quickly make significant decisions together, but also collaborate across the value network to enact them, monitor their impact, and course-correct as necessary.
At Oracle, we’ve taken a unique approach. It starts with a unified data model for Oracle Fusion Cloud applications, combining customer, operational, product, and machine data. That same data is used to drive integrated business planning and aligned execution of those plans. This is crucial for CFOs and Supply Chain leaders as they decide about investments of cash and working capital given the portion of cash invested in their supply chain operations. Consider inventory… does your organization have full visibility to all of your inventory, whether it’s raw materials, work in process, finished goods, in transit, in a distribution center, or on store shelves?
But it’s also important to support decisions made every day by supply chain professionals across the spectrum of product and service innovation, planning, sourcing, making and moving goods–not just senior executives. We embed insights directly into the processes and workflows to help people monitor, manage exceptions, and streamline execution.
We’ve built in artificial intelligence and machine learning throughout Oracle Fusion Cloud to generate predictions, recommend and guide resolutions, and ultimately, to drive better, faster decisions. For example, by using machine learning with data using Internet of Things (IoT), we deliver new insights for connected logistics, predictive maintenance, smart manufacturing, and connected worker safety. In addition, by leveraging technologies like blockchain, customers gain multitier visibility, issue detection, and the ability to pinpoint trends in their supply network.
And now, we’re delivering advanced capabilities with Oracle Fusion Analytics, including real-time access to packaged business application analytics and best-practice KPIs across areas of the business. Built on Oracle Analytics and powered by Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, this enables all types of users to access unified company data to collaborate and make accurate decisions together. We’ve already delivered these packaged analytics across HCM and ERP, and plan to expand into SCM starting with Spend Analysis later this calendar year.
The bottom line for me—and our customers—is that in over 30 years in this industry, I haven’t seen such a rich collection of capabilities built into and around business applications that serve the needs of leading companies around the globe. It’s exciting to see Oracle address the issues related to data siloes, latency, and bringing together all the information required to help our customers drive better, faster decisions with insight and collaboration.
But don’t take my word for it… In the words of Steve Phillpott, CIO of Western Digital, “Moving to Oracle Cloud has helped WD address complex supply chain issues such as sourcing strategy, bringing on new manufacturing sites and completing extensive integrations with automated shop floor equipment. Most importantly, cloud provides visibility into global operations, which enables implementations of flexible sourcing, agile manufacturing, and intelligent track and trace into transportation management”.