Oracle HCM/SCM AI and Automation Updates

The Six Five team discusses Oracle’s HCM/SCM AI and Automation updates.

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Daniel Newman: Let’s talk a little bit about some updates. This week you had the chance to talk to executive vice president Steve Miranda at Oracle about some exciting AI focused updates in their supply chain management and in their HR focused tool. What’s going on there, Pat?

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, it was a great conversation last week I had with Steve. And so, as just some background here, Oracle has a suite called Fusion. It’s an end-to-end enterprise SaaS offering, which connects the front end to the back end. Daniel, I put that in just for you.

Daniel Newman: Thank you.

Patrick Moorhead: And it has a quarterly update, which if you follow enterprise SaaS market, that is just what they do. And I think the highlight here was, and again, no huge surprise here. Oracle is adding AI and automation capabilities to its HCM, to human capital management, and SCM updates, supply chain management. And we have been talking about on the show for years the value that AI can bring. And it’s not just bringing AI for the sake of saying we’re AI. It’s solving real customer problems. So one of the examples I thought was super interesting was the ability to have higher accuracy in terms of lead times.

And if you’re a manufacturer, that is a big deal, because many times, if you have a diversified supply chain, one of your attributes is going to be, how quickly can I get that product, right? And what this capability does, it cuts through the BS to get to a higher probability of theory becoming a reality. And I think that is super important. So, it also helps in planning upfront as well, not just kind of reactionary, I need the goods. The second part where they added it was in HCM where HR’s monitoring skills and looks at gaps across teams. The organization identifies the skill needed to complete a project, to achieve a business objective, and automatically adds these skills to every employee’s profile. So it’s not only helping you figure out who might be best for, let’s say a project or a team, but also adding those capabilities to the database to have a much better idea.

It’s not like you can rely on your employees to have perfect LinkedIn profiles talking about every project that they ever worked on. And one of these big modules inside of Oracle HCM is called Oracle Grow. And that cuts across talent management, learning, succession planning, employee growth. And this employee Grow gives employees even a clear vision of skills that they need. So I like this because it gives a 360 degree perspective to the employer and to the employee on the skills that are required to be successful, either in a project or overall in a job. So my final thought here is, no longer are we talking about Oracle Fusion updates, can customers take it? That is somewhat fading to the background from its customers. And I attribute that in part to how low the risk has been to do this. And I kind of relay this to the good old days of even desktop operating systems when it’s like, wait, wait, wait, wait, you’re going to update this on a consistent schedule?

I have to test this thing for a year. So no longer are we seeing those massive debates out there. The only weird chatter, and it’s to be expected, is those people who just never wanted to go to Fusion, they’re okay using a piece of software that’s 10 or 15 years old, probably picked up from one of Oracle’s acquisitions. I get it. But Oracle cannot, does not put the center of their investment on that. They’re really doing this on the future. So I had a good conversation with Steve on, how do you pick the futures that you put in there? You can read that in a Forbes article that I’ll probably publish next week.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, you hit this pretty well. I mean, look, it’s all about continuous improvement in the apps ecosystem, Pat. If you’re a business leader owner and you’re not looking at your critical tools, your ERP, CRM, HCM, SCM to optimize right now using things like automation and AI, you are likely to be missing a massive trend that could give your business a competitive advantage. Now, the key is going to be, in the competitive landscape, is that these companies need to be rolling these out to not basically expose themselves to attrition. So if you’re a smart business leader and the types of capabilities that you’re looking for are not being improved utilizing the capabilities of AI, ML, and automation, that’s going to be opening the doors for people to look for other solutions. And lift and shift is painful, but it’s even more painful to know that the business tool that you have doesn’t match the capabilities.

So what I like is that the company is really focusing on a number of iterative and important updates where ML and AI can be applied to make things better. Subscription management, quote to cash, configuring price, order management, and of course the overall ERP. Fusion has been sort of well known, and Oracle’s kind of touted for how quickly it’s able to close its own books on a quarterly basis, because they basically apply the tool themselves in their business. So the application of AI based upon the company’s current dataset is a pretty substantial and meaningful set of data, and it’s an opportunity for companies to keep improving and keep delivering better outcomes in their businesses through the implementation of these capabilities. The Oracle Me stuff, the HCM side of the house, was even more interesting. You and I have talked a lot about upskilling and how people can enhance their careers, re-skill based around current business priorities.

It’s very hard as a manager when you’re often doing a job because very few managers are just managing people. Generally speaking, you have a job, you’re a player and a coach in most companies. So it’s having the time to sit down with employees, figure out growth opportunities is something that is really difficult. But the tools and technologies that can give visibility into this and then help companies find ways to enable their employees to grow and improve and find career paths inside of companies is something that I think people will be looking very closely at. So the utilization of AI and ML to support this to me is really exciting. I think there’s more opportunities longer term with AI to even help make better hiring decisions up front, finding profile matches and persona matches across a database. Using anonymized data that a company like Oracle has probably could help other companies, even if they don’t have the same exact sets of experiences. That’s going to take more time to play out.

I did ask Steve about it. That’s not a focus right now, but what they’re doing right now, I think, is going to be very, very valuable, like I said, especially because it’s not another product, but it’s just the continued improvement of the product that exists. So good set of updates from Oracle.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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