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Accelerating Oracle’s Ecosystem: Ever Faster Into the Real-Time Enterprise

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The cloud in and of itself is a huge opportunity that requires commitment and investment on the part of Oracle partners. “It’s natural for customers to be confused at first about their options when new technologies and solutions become available, and we are seeing that initial confusion among our user base,” said Dues. “But, Oracle’s increase in cloud offerings continues to provide choices to customers. Customers can now take advantage of a subset of cloud offerings—those that make sense for their business.”

In the process, the nature of Oracle’s offerings have shifted radically and opened up more opportunities for business users to build and work with solutions. Oracle “used to be deeply embedded in the realm of highly governed IT and engineering resources,” said Selfridge. “Access was tightly controlled for data ingested and even tighter for data extraction and reuse.” The move toward cloud, he said, has changed the game for Oracle and many of its counterparts, a major impact of which has been a dramatic shift in the customer base being able to use the tools and data.

ERP systems—well-known for their complexity and costs—are being usurped by cloud offerings. If anything, an ERP implementation a few years back “meant a huge capital expenditure on infrastructure, followed by exorbitant support and maintenance costs due to dynamic business needs that demanded re-implementation of many modules as business changed forms through strategic transformations,” said Krishnamoorthy. “Today, the world of cloud ERP has opened up to various organizations, irrespective of their size and spending capabilities.” Traditionally, business leaders have been used to budgeting transformation and implementation programs separately, she said. However, today, because of the embedded transformation in Oracle Cloud applications, a single investment justifies two objectives of strategically re-engineering business processes and implementing Oracle Cloud systems in parallel through a consolidated cloud adoption program, she noted.

Some offerings, such as Oracle’s Financial Accounting Hub Reporting Cloud Service (FAHRCS), are a boon to Oracle EBS sites, Jones said. “FAHRCS lets users dabble in the Oracle Cloud environment by coexisting with Oracle EBS, helping to solve financial reporting challenges,” he explained. However, a downside “is that you have to schedule or run on-demand concurrent requests to push updated general ledger balances to cloud financials, meaning it’s not a real-time solution. Also, as security is not shared with EBS, users must be re-created and separately maintained in FAHRCS, along with a new security profile.” This creates openings for third-party tools that can provide such insights on a real-time basis, Jones said.

Real Time

The increasing emphasis on real-time business is also a burgeoning area for Oracle ecosystem partners and represents another sea change in this market. Oracle’s primary platform for addressing this shift to real time is its in-memory technology, which enables processing of large datasets within the random access memory of servers and PCs. In-memory database technology “is accelerating the speed to process data and quickly deliver answers, in ways that touching disk absolutely could not accomplish,” said Peter Yared, CTIO and co-founder of Sapho. “In a lot of use cases, you want to synthesize that unstructured data into structured data that Oracle is very specialized at processing,” he noted. “Dumping a ton of unstructured data into a traditional database versus a Hadoop cluster is challenging” and is an area “for Oracle to grow” its capabilities.

The potential impact of in-memory computing is particularly being felt among solutions providers serving companies with high volumes of data and complex operations, said Dues. Global competition, the rise of the internet, and customer impatience are all driving the need for businesses to respond quickly in order to remain viable, she said. “In-memory technologies are one vehicle for helping the business side of the house respond quickly and innovatively to pressing business needs,” Dues said. With the greater need to parse large datasets, in-memory enables extreme compression and huge runtime performance gains for retrieving data much faster than before, she added.

The emergence of data on-demand, which has been a long-sought goal for many technology providers, is now possible through in-memory technology, as well. These advances allow business users to do end-to-end planning, testing, optimization, and implementation, and repeat it in hours or days versus weeks or months, said Selfridge. “The ability to rapidly prototype scenarios has led to huge leaps in the field and has created an entirely new area of data modeling in real or near-real-time that simply couldn’t have existed prior to advancements in in-memory technologies.”

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