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Cloud Computing

Forward Momentum

Oracle provides multiple options for customers to move ERP solutions to the cloud—at their own pace.

by Aaron Lazenby

August 2015

Rondy Ng has just one simple goal: to provide the #1 enterprise resource planning (ERP) cloud solution on the market. “I want to make Oracle ERP Cloud the de facto choice for enterprise-level customers,” says Ng, senior vice president of application development at Oracle.

Ng and his team are well on their way: in June 2015, more than 1,000 customers had signed up for Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning Cloud (Oracle ERP Cloud), including companies across 22 industries and 58 countries, an increase of more than five times over the prior year.

Here, Ng talks to Profit about how Oracle ERP Cloud helps customers streamline their businesses, and why Oracle’s offering just keeps getting better.

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Profit: What is driving the move to ERP in the cloud?

Ng: I have spoken to more than a hundred CIOs and CFOs over the past couple of years. There are generally four main drivers we have observed for adopting Oracle ERP Cloud.

First is operational efficiency. Real savings come from eliminating redundant systems, streamlining business processes with standard best practices, and even moving to the shared services model.

Second is supporting growth. Fast-growing midsize businesses often find existing ERP systems lack the workflow automation, scalability, and finance functions needed to support projected growth. Expanding businesses need sophisticated multicurrency, multilingual, multientity, localized tax, payments, and other compliance capabilities that only enterprise-grade ERPs can deliver. Frankly, there were no such options until just two years ago when we came on the market.

The large multinational enterprises want to expand into new lines of business and new countries, and perform rapid M&A. In many cases these expansion plans don’t have complex requirements, but they do need a low-cost and fast deployment model. Again, Oracle ERP Cloud is starting to see excellent traction in these cases.

Third is digital evolution. ERP solutions are no longer just for processing transactions. Sophisticated, embedded, multidimensional analytics are critical for decision-makers because they receive real-time business insights any day during the month, rather than just a post close cycle consolidation view.

Fourth is mitigating risks with scarce skilled IT resources. CIOs are concerned about their dependency on the few skilled workers who truly understand their highly customized legacy systems.

Oracle ERP Cloud is based on the lessons and best practices from more than 30 years of core subject matter expertise in building and implementing the best ERP on-premises systems.”

Profit: Is IT still in charge of making the decision?

Ng: I have definitely seen more involvement from the line-of-business owners. They are involved in initiating the research or putting the demand to the IT organization. Business users, especially some of the younger workers, get excited about our cloud solution and the technology it promises, compared to the dated systems they use.

CIOs tell me that for an ERP system—even for a subsidiary deployment—they are still ultimately in charge of evaluating the solution and making the decision to buy. It’s not like CRM [customer relationship management] solutions, where you see a lot of departmental purchases.

Profit: What is unique about the Oracle ERP Cloud offering?

Ng: Sometimes it gets lost that Oracle ERP Cloud is based on the lessons and best practices from more than 30 years of core subject matter expertise in building and implementing the best ERP on-premises systems. We bring a lot of intellectual property to the table in Oracle ERP Cloud that others cannot match.

Oracle Cloud Platform customers can integrate and extend existing on-premises IT systems with cloud services, so business transformation and modernization can happen faster. With simpler and cheaper IT, businesses can shift applications to the cloud, innovate faster, and take advantage of new markets. In this way, we really become an extension of our customers’ IT organization.

At Oracle, security is really the highest priority. We have 19 data centers across the globe, and all employ a very strong governance model. At the product level, we offer virtual tenancy, which ensures complete data isolation. There is no way a user with access to one environment can tamper with anything outside of that virtual machine boundary. In addition, all the data is encrypted over the wire and encrypted in a backup, so the database administrators can’t even see the data.

Another unique aspect is that Oracle ERP Cloud has built-in features such as social collaboration, contextual business intelligence, role-based dashboards, and mobile applications, embedding innovation and productivity into the user interface. Real-time reporting and actionable insight increase the effectiveness of decision-making and drive innovation.

With the cloud model, we are able to provide new functionality in two to three releases every year, with generally hundreds of features each time, which allows our cloud customers to get the benefit of seeing the new functionality right away.

Photography by Shutterstock