As the global recovery gets under way after the initial shock of the pandemic, a growing number of enterprise software vendors are pivoting their offerings as enterprise essentials that can help companies around the world jumpstart their businesses.
With its easy to manage Autonomous Database, popular Cloud applications and the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure all winning massive adoptions, Oracle is emerging as a software favorite to drive both online and physical communities to not just adopt new technologies for everything from video conferencing to enforcing new work rules, but also to help them navigate the arduous process of reopening their economies.
During its latest earnings call, CEO Safra Catz cited a series of actions that Oracle has undertaken over the past 90 days to help organizations like the Red Cross, US Health and Human Services, States’ unemployment agencies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention manage huge spikes in transactions and workloads involving Oracle Databases, Forms and Applications for financial management, human resources and payroll functions.
Catz said Oracle has been instrumental in “helping our customers with some of the challenges that have come with this pandemic, whether it was supporting systems for federal loan programs with partners or helping states get unemployment checks out.’’
It has been a daunting but vital task given the reach of Oracle. For years, state governments have been depending on Oracle applications (mostly PeopleSoft Enterprise) to run their ERP financial management functions. In fact, Oracle is the No. 1 vendor supplying such ERP applications to 24 of the 50 state governments in the US, achieving a whopping 48% market share, according to our Buyer Insight Master Database. The rest is splintered into a mix of vendors like CGI, Infor, Microsoft, SAP, and Workday. Of these 24 states including California, New York and Texas, Oracle also supplies HR and payroll applications to 20, again leading the space with a 40% share.
Catz added that more than 100 clinical trials being conducted around the world to help fight Covid-19 are using Oracle products including its life-sciences applications thanks to its acquisitions of ClearTrial, Conformia, goBalto, PhaseForward, Relsys, and others for drug discovery and clinical trial lifecycle management. For instance, goBalto, acquired by Oracle in 2018, was able to help Novartis reduce time spent by 30% to 50% in its clinical trials, especially during the study startup phase by strengthening its workflow and analytics.
Oracle Offers Enterprise Essentials
In order to help organizations bolster their business recovery efforts, Oracle is zeroing in on areas that it can make an impact. Gretchen Alarcon, Oracle group vice president of HCM strategy, said the vendor is making the Workforce Health and Safety module available to existing Oracle HCM customers free of charge, essentially providing an incident management dashboard for the HR department to compile and enforce safety checklists, virus exposure monitoring and reporting, in addition to carrying out other corrective and health compliance measures. She added that more than 100 customers have already gone live with Workforce Health and Safety since it became available in March.
The product is part of the Employee Care Package for the New Workplace, which also includes Onboarding or reboarding, Work Life, Digital Assistant, and HR Help Desk for employees to incorporate social distancing and mental well-being, reskilling, volunteering and giving back into the new workplace, as well as addressing personnel issues with self-servicing and automated tools that prioritize efficiency as much as safety.
Marc Seewald, vice president of Oracle EPM Product Management, said the vendor is taking Enterprise Essentials seriously because of their unique blend of data, workflow and business processes that could mitigate the risks facing any company in the post-pandemic world.
Case in point is Oracle’s Scenario Planning software application, which is being offered free of charge to existing customers of its EPM Cloud. The product enables key stakeholders, especially those in the finance role, to map and visualize the effects of a catastrophe like the pandemic through simulation and prepare for any outcome that may arise.
In lieu of long-term strategic planning, Scenario Planning becomes a tactical tool for the finance department to make assumptions based on a range of variables borne out of a crisis. Seewald said the benefit is to sketch and execute a plan that allows companies to emerge from the crisis in relatively good shape. “It’s saving up the powder to emerge better than before,’’ Seewald added. Oracle expects thousands of its EPM Cloud customers and users to deploy Scenario Planning to fortify themselves.
Cloud ERP and HCM Running Together
Oracle is also banking on increased adoptions of its Cloud ERP and Cloud HCM applications for their combined value. Larry Ellison, CTO and co-founder of Oracle, said it is parlaying its successes as the No. 1 Cloud ERP vendor to Cloud HCM since many of its customers are standardizing on both because of the importance of achieving productivity gains with enhanced visibility into their finance and HR functions simultaneously.
Despite mobility constraints due to the pandemic, Oracle was able to help its major accounts like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Mount Sinai Health System all based in New York(which has been hit hard by Covid-19 with a staggering death toll of more than 24,000) proceed according to their go-live plans with their Oracle HCM Cloud implementations.
Even with a nationwide lockdown in full swing in the 90-day period ended May 30, Alarcon said some 600,000 new users in North America were able to migrate from legacy software or access for the first time to Oracle HCM Cloud as Oracle Consulting and its partners raced to activate their Cloud HR systems under difficult circumstances, proving that remote deployment of Cloud applications is turning such Enterprise Essentials into realities for many on a large scale.
Oracle Autonomous Database, which is being touted as the next-generation database technologies with minimum amount of tuning, patching and intervention involving database administrators, is another product ideally suited for the new era of social distancing and remote working.
Ellison said the revamped Exadata Cloud@Customer plan now allows its on-premise customers to deploy Oracle Autonomous Database in their own datacenter, making the new database more readily available to its vast installed base that exceeds 250,000.
In one of our recent surveys of more than 350 implementations of Oracle Autonomous Database in Western Europe and the US, our research shows 75 have already gone live in the first five months of 2020, compared with 140 for the full year of 2019, suggesting that despite the pandemic there is still healthy appetite for and considerable need to activate new technologies – especially those that can help tackle essential tasks like transaction processing, data warehousing and other regular database workloads.
Zoom, 8×8 on Oracle Cloud
Then, there is the surging demand for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, which has signed up a number of popular cloud services like Zoom and 8×8, online video conferencing applications that have seen skyrocketing usage because of the shelter in place restrictions that force many employees to work from home.
As the number of regular Zoom users has exploded from 10 million to an estimated 300 million since the Covid-19 outbreak, performance of the popular video conferencing apps has suffered, as witnessed by its paying and free accounts.
In April, Zoom switched some of its workloads to OCI because of huge volume of online requests. Before Zoom started testing the use of OCI, it was primarily relying on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as its third-party IaaS providers, along with various co-located data centers around the world to deliver and manage its cloud services.
Similarly, 8×8, another essential video conferencing app, saw its monthly active users jumping to more than 20 million during the pandemic and decided to move its video meetings service from AWS to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for price and performance reasons, according to Mehdi Salour, senior vice president of Global Network and DevOps at 8×8, which now transfers 1.5 petabytes of data through OCI daily.
As with any seminal event in its 43-year history, Oracle has been able to bounce back and recover because of its long-lasting value for a wide range of customers that depend on its products to stay in business. This time, emphasizing health and safety adds a new wrinkle and more companies are likely to take a second look at Oracle because of those essential qualities that matter a great deal.
The post kicks off a series of interactive content and special reports focusing on products that are deemed Enterprise Essentials for the new era.
Similar to our signature market reports, Enterprise Essentials Top 500 will feature extensive profiles of at least 500 different software products – mostly apps at the SKU or software module level, but it could also include infrastructure and platform services that are considered essential for the current environment as well as the future operations of any enterprise.
The selection criteria are affordability, usage and usability(Zoom-like), disruptive impact on long-standing business processes, customer references, and that they are essential for enterprises of all sizes to manage employees, serve customers and run their physical and virtual operations continuously in good times or bad.
These will be mapped to our current taxonomy by function and vertical, but these products could also be highly differentiated with considerable think-out-of-the-box appeal.
Examples are contact tracing apps, digital signature, emergency response systems, logistics apps for grocery trucks(think grocery stores on wheels), and different scenario modeling and planning tools for an agile organization.
Feel free to send us your ideas and suggestions to [email protected] so that we can make Enterprise Essentials Top 500 one of the key enablers for global recovery.
Source: Apps Run The World, June 2020