By David F. Carr
As solution consultants in Oracle’s sales organization, Michael Gobbo and Jeff Jacoby have become evangelists for making enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise performance management (EPM) even more tightly connected in the cloud (see their blog post “Closing the Chasm Between ERP and EPM”).
As a result of their internal lobbying, plus feedback from customers, Oracle is in the process of delivering more EPM functions such as budgeting and planning as part of Oracle ERP Cloud. “We want to start thinking about these as a singular thing,” Gobbo says.
The historical reasons for the divisions do not matter to customers, he says. The Oracle Hyperion products at the heart of Oracle’s EPM suite were originally developed independent of ERP solutions from a company Oracle acquired more than a decade ago. Yet while some technology architecture distinctions persist, that complexity is invisible in the cloud, where Oracle manages the back-end systems and presents an integrated user experience.
“For the emerging business or the SMB [small-to-medium business], this is an opportunity to add value from the get-go,” Gobbo says, noting that today’s growing companies may never have to experience the pain of software integration. Jacoby notes that as an organization grows in complexity—for example, by adding international operations—company leaders may not realize what they’re getting themselves into. “But we do, because we’ve solved for that,” he says, adding that rather than merely treating the financial software as a repository for data and a way to produce reports, “the new way is to wield it as a competitive weapon.”
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