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Cloud Computing

Trends in Cloud Computing: The Rise of SaaS and PaaS

Organizations are gaining a number of benefits from Oracle Applications in the cloud.

by Debra Lilley


Oracle ACE Director January 2015

Cloud has proven to be the adoption platform of choice for Oracle Applications customers. Companies can still implement them on-premises, but CIOs really need to think hard as to why they wouldn’t choose cloud, as the benefits are so compelling.

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Here are some trends I’m seeing in relation to Oracle Cloud Applications:

Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud has been really popular, and that will continue. The simplified user interface of Oracle HCM Cloud means that users get to their information easily. Managers can take the formality out of managing talent—for instance, using a tablet to record appraisal comments whilst sitting next to an employee during a performance review rather than going back to their PC to enter them afterwards or even worse sitting behind a PC during the review. Likewise, employees can find the information they want about areas such as pay, vacation, and benefits easily, on the move and without needing to be trained in an IT system. I recently attended a human resources (HR) conference, and everyone to whom we showed Oracle HCM Cloud was really impressed. These were HR professionals who want mobile and immediate access to all employee information and equally want employees to have a simple way to view and update their personal information.

Oracle Cloud Applications have opened up the market to midsize companies. In the past, the base cost of infrastructure and implementation often meant Oracle Applications were more suited to large enterprises. With cloud taking that ownership away and selling usage of the system at a simple per-user cost, Oracle systems are now more appealing to smaller companies. This growth in the market is introducing a new dimension to the kind of implementations first seen. I am seeing new customers to Oracle Applications who are for the first time adopting best-of-breed functionality at a cost affordable to their size. I have no doubt the customer base will continue to grow in 2015.

I predict that, in 2015 and beyond, PaaS for SaaS will emerge as the de-facto way to extend Oracle Applications in a safe, manageable, and cost-effective way.”

The adoption of Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) in the cloud is also building momentum. I expect to see more of this. Some organizations will replace their existing ERP systems entirely, because the user experience of ERP is so great. However, I expect to see most customers make additions to their existing systems, especially Oracle Fusion Financial Reporting & Analytics. This introduces the Oracle Hyperion Essbase technology to existing ERP systems. Put simply, all your financial data is aggregated dynamically. This means that not only are great analytics delivered as part of the solution, but you can also ‘slice and dice’ the data in different ways. Oracle’s technology hasn’t changed the way we account—this has stayed the same for hundreds of years—but it has disrupted the way we consume the results. It enables processing a single source of financial data in many ways, immediately. This is very compelling to customers.

Another cloud product I expect to see a lot of customers adopt in the Financials space is Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud. When Oracle acquired Hyperion, this budgeting solution proved very successful and popular with both existing and new customers.

For many people who are content with their existing on-premises investment in Oracle Applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle’s PeopleSoft Applications and and Oracle’s JD Edwards Applications, adding the cloud solutions Oracle Planning & Budgeting at the start of the cycle and Oracle Reporting & Analytics at the end takes a robust investment of yesterday to a future-proofed winner of tomorrow. And implementation isn’t a long project—it’s a matter of weeks.

More customers are creating extensions that can be called out from the main application. As the customer base grows with Oracle Cloud Applications and they grow more comfortable with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), I see more people talking about what they would like to add—normally enhancements for their unique proposition or industry, such as additional selection criteria in particular industries for people assignments, or additional data attributes on customers and vendors.

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Debra Lilley is an Oracle ACE Director and vice president of Certus Cloud Services at Certus-Solutions.

The unique design principles of Oracle Fusion Applications enable the creation of extensions that can be called out from the main application. However, cloud SaaS gives you the core product, and allows for many configured extensions, but you cannot access the technology below it to develop these extensions. The introduction of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solves this problem. You get the development platform, write your extension, and call it from your SaaS. I expect to see many more extensions being created in 2015, especially by partners who can create extensions and then deliver them as their own SaaS through Oracle Cloud MarketPlace. This is the impetus for the final trend.

PaaS is growing in popularity. I predict that, in 2015 and beyond, PaaS for SaaS will emerge as the de-facto way to extend Oracle Applications in a safe, manageable, and cost-effective way.

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