Alyssa Johnson, OATUG Board Member and Vice President of Enterprise Applications at Keste, got together with Team OATUG to talk about the “hot topics” coming up at COLLABORATE 20 in Las Vegas on April 19-23, 2020.
OATUG: With so many educational topics, trainings, demos, and insights taught and shared at COLLABORATE, what stands out for attendees and followers of Oracle applications and technology to be most aware of in 2020?
Alyssa: The Cloud continues to be a big topic, of course. People are still working to understand, “What are our options?” Many users of EBS, when trying to decide whether to go “software-as-a-service” or the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), want to know the benefits and drawbacks of each option. “Move and modernize” is one approach. One use case is those moving from 12.1.3 who need to go to 12.2. Maybe the time is right to make a move. “Should we go to the Cloud entirely or not?”
Some manufacturers may not be ready to move everything over to Cloud. They may have some customized functions that would not be as easily available to them if they make a move. On the other hand, at some point, making the move to the Cloud may be required, because from a cost perspective it turns out to be net neutral or even cheaper to move to the Cloud. For example, if a manufacturer would need to replace hardware to maintain healthy operations along the way, that might cost more in the long run than to make the move now.
On the other hand, some companies may want to modernize and go to ERP Cloud, SCM Cloud, CX Cloud, or HRMS, which offer specialized functionality for different aspects of business operations. So that is another option—to update segments of the business to the Cloud without moving their entire infrastructure over. Or, they can go to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) where the ability to build the entire business operation in the Cloud is wide open.
At COLLABORATE, educational sessions will talk in depth about implementation, tips and tricks, user cases, and success stories, all in one place. How ERP Cloud has been integrated around the world will be talked about in detail, with training, demos, hands-on labs—there will be so many different ways to learn about all the options, led by EBS product managers…how to perform a one-click clone of a database, is just one example.
OATUG: A one-click clone of an entire database is awesome. That helps takes the fear out of change, doesn’t it…What are some of the other key trends that you expect will be central to those gathering for COLLABORATE in April?
Alyssa: In sharp focus these days for any business is “Customer Experience.” That goes for both internal and external customers. We all understand that better customer experience drives revenue. Subscription-based management is a huge trend. What I mean by subscription-based management here is all the businesses that have been forced into a sales model that relies on repeat orders through customer subscriptions. From a fashion company like Stitch Fix to food delivery services like Fresh Direct, product-based corporations are facing stiff competition from disruptors like Amazon. Brick-and-mortar shops are folding, and to remain viable, there must be a new way of delighting the customer—that’s products delivered straight to your door, and repeatedly. Even Ace Hardware is following this trend. Sophisticated, data-heavy computing becomes more and more necessary to make that happen.
OATUG: That leads to data as a major part of a corporation’s asset base, and how to manage increasing volumes of data, doesn’t it?
Alyssa: Absolutely. A data revolution is in progress, and EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) is all about data and analytics. People want to see a 360-degree view of their business, and they want to see as much data as possible—including all the analytics and the tools that go with them. In the EPM space there are Oracle Analytics Cloud, OBIEE (Oracle Business Intel), Hyperion Suite for financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation, and more…COLLABORATE will be such a great opportunity for companies to dive into the world of data in a really effective way. Attendees will be able to go away with the essential information required to make some transformative decisions for their businesses.
OATUG: What about artificial intelligence and machine learning?
Alyssa: AI and IoT (The Internet of Things) have already been around for a while, and now, whether people realize it or not, AI is already in operation in so many industrial environments. For example, at a manufacturing plant with multiple production lines, if one machine goes down, AI can forecast how likely it is for the same malfunction to apply to all the other identical machines. That provides the manufacturer with the ability to preempt a plant shutdown from more malfunctions happening in the future on the other production lines. Repairs can now be made ahead of time and prevent costly down-time.
OATUG: How exciting, because these are topics that affect almost every business around the globe in one way or another. We appreciate you sharing time with us today.