by Aaron Lazenby
When I joined Oracle in (gulp) 2000, everyone here was talking about Oracle E-Business Suite 11i, an integrated assembly of enterprise applications that, according to the marketing material of the time, “eliminates the need for complex integration projects and allows enterprise data to be consolidated in a single database.” This was a differentiator for Oracle even 15 years ago, in an era when the standard IT strategy was to buy best-of-breed enterprise applications and figure out later how to connect them.
In 2012, I was at a cloud computing event where software as a service (SaaS) was being touted (rightfully) as the next revolution in enterprise IT. At that time—perhaps influenced by my time working on Oracle E-Business Suite—I had a critical question: If business managers are going to start buying cloud applications, but business processes span multiple organizations (and therefore multiple SaaS applications), how are these cloud applications going to talk to each other? I wasn’t given a satisfactory answer.
If you look at the stats outlined in the Data Watch infographic at the end of this magazine issue, you’ll see that the cloud is in the enterprise to stay. So this integration issue was one that had to be solved, and Oracle has addressed it in two ways:
Looking at the arc of Oracle’s application story over the past 15 years, we’ve been consistent in our approach. It’s a strategy that minimizes the integration stress—and favors the business user.”
Cloud integration service. Oracle has built integrations into its portfolio of SaaS applications. That can mean simply turning on new functionality in an existing cloud application (say, adding talent management service to an existing Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud instance) or using preloaded connections available through Oracle Integration Cloud Service to share data.
Platform as a service. As we were working on this issue of Profit, Oracle announced more than a dozen new products at the application platform layer, some of them designed to connect SaaS applications to new and existing enterprise systems. That can mean sharing data between a legacy on-premises system and a new cloud application or connecting SaaS functionality from two different vendors.
Looking at the arc of Oracle’s application story over the past 15 years, we’ve been consistent in our approach. It’s a strategy that minimizes the integration stress—and favors the business user. Indeed, it’s a very suite spot to occupy.
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