By Cara Vollmer, Senior Content Strategist, Oracle
A Chicago-based manufacturer of off-road tires took a leap to the cloud recently, and shows no signs of turning back.
The company operates on every continent except Antarctica, supporting industries as diverse as agriculture, mining, construction, and earthmoving equipment. They are in the midst of a strategic initiative to optimize back-office operations, drive greater efficiencies, profitability, collaboration, and improve transparency across global operations.
But when looking for solutions, senior executives soon learned that not all cloud ERP providers are up to the challenge. The manufacturer was using Infor Lawson, which led to poor visibility, high IT costs, and a lack of control across the business, according to the company’s CFO. They considered SAP as a replacement, but found that S/4HANA would still require expensive customizations and lengthy upgrades—a model the company wanted to get away from.
Instead, the company chose to replace Infor with Oracle ERP Cloud based on Oracle’s extensive cloud roadmap and commitment to innovation. Rather than rewriting on-premises applications and hosting them off-premises, Oracle delivers software as a service (SaaS) solutions that are built, from the ground up, to run natively in the cloud. The company is implementing three Oracle ERP solutions: Financials Cloud, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud, and Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud.
The manufacturer’s CFO sees three big benefits in having connected processes and intelligence across finance and supply chain:
In an Aberdeen Group study, 72 percent of companies surveyed said they have more than one ERP system, and 48 percent have four or more ERP systems to manage. Yet they recognize the need for change; standardization onto a single system was the number-one reason cited for making a move to cloud-based ERP.
“Companies don’t want a hodge-podge of older technologies connected through middleware to multiple integration points. They want a single provider with a complete solution developed for the cloud,” Aberdeen writes in the study.
The time spent connecting and supporting multiple, disconnected solutions kills efficiency, slows decision-making, and drives up costs.
By eliminating the number of ERPs the company manages—and the support costs associated with that globally—the CFO anticipates his company will eliminate up to 50 percent of IT costs.
Another benefit of a single, connected ERP cloud: Real-time visibility into processes and data company-wide.
Ernst & Young recently included collaboration as one of three priorities for CFOs of the future, based on their survey of nearly 800 finance leaders. Finance’s technology strategy, says E&Y, should include systems and tools that enable disparate teams to communicate.
Oracle ERP Cloud empowers departments across the company to share information and see what is happening throughout the business, in real-time. That, combined with the automation of routine processes—a key benefit of the cloud—will lead to faster, better decision-making.
In fact, Oracle ERP Cloud customers have achieved impressive results, including:
Oracle’s $6.1B annual R&D investment (versus Infor’s $489M R&D budget) was a key factor in the manufacturer’s decision to move to Oracle ERP Cloud, as was Oracle’s commitment to embedding emerging technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) into its ERP cloud solutions.
According to Aberdeen’s research, companies are making it a priority to modernize their business systems, realizing “technology is the engine for success in all other areas.”
Some cloud providers offer new technologies as add-ons that are isolated from other applications, meaning users must spend time and money on system integrators, consultants, and even their own data scientists. Oracle has natively embedded IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, intelligent process automation, and blockchain capabilities into its cloud applications. The result: immediate access and instant business value, from day one.
With automatic updates to Oracle ERP Cloud several times a year, customers always have the latest features, capabilities, and best practices. The most recent AI updates enable more intelligent process automation, simplified expense reporting, smarter procurement, advanced data security, and more.
The company plans to take advantage of the innovative technologies that Oracle offers, including IoT and blockchain. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to take Oracle IoT into our shop floor and be able to understand our costs inside the plant, and then compare that against our many facilities all over the world,” says the CFO.