The transformation of back office solutions in companies running Oracle applications is the topic of a research project PAC and Fujitsu have conducted in EMEA. Our goal was to find out how the digital transformation drives the evolution of Oracle applications towards cloud solutions in organizations in the EMEA region.
Oracle customers need to assess whether Oracle applications remain the best option to support their future business requirements, and specifically if and when to implement the vendor’s cloud-based application. Oracle is clearly building its roadmap around its cloud offering.
Companies striving to digitize – and with it their IT – should consider both customer facing and employee facing solutions. A sales person obviously needs a powerful sales system at the front-end, but also an efficient back office for a seamless order entry.
The transformation of back office solutions in companies running Oracle applications was the focus of a research project we in cooperation with PAC have conducted in EMEA. Our goal was to find out how the digital transformation drives the evolution of Oracle applications towards cloud solutions in organizations in the EMEA region.
To this end, we interviewed 200 companies that are based in EMEA countries including the United Arab Emirates, and run Oracle applications in their organizations. Half of the executives taking part were business managers in areas such as human resources, procurement and finance, the other half were IT managers.
Willingness to deploy cloud applications
One key finding from our research was that among the Oracle customers interviewed there was a willingness to deploy Oracle cloud applications. 68% of Oracle customers surveyed are already in the process of implementing Oracle cloud applications or are planning to do so within the next 12 months.
These companies expect benefits such as greater automation of business processes, more agility and flexibility regarding the adaption of the systems as new requirements pop up – functions they seem to be missing in their current solutions. We believe that another benefit provided by the cloud applications is the embedded analytics features. Topics such as improved financial control, real-time data access and improved decision-making are all related to analytics. Our research suggests that these are features Oracle customers specifically expect from the cloud applications.
HR and Finance move to the cloud
The maturing of the Oracle cloud app products, particularly in HR and Finance, has led to much larger organizations planning for or implementing multi-pillar and often multi-country solutions. And these migration projects are much shorter than traditional ERP implementations.
Fujitsu itself has conducted such a project internally. The new core HR solution utilising an Oracle cloud application platform was implemented in less than 9 months. One guiding principle of the approach was to change business processes such to adopt the standard way of working that the solution has to offer. The configuration capabilities of the system were fairly flexible, for example, Fujitsu’s requirement for 188 separate absence rules was met using standard configuration options.
However, even though the implementation of cloud solutions might be less complex than traditional application deployments, companies still face a number of challenges, the major ones being a lack of internal skills to carry out the migration as well as insufficient internal know-how. Lacking migration skills and knowledge as well as the challenges associated with the complexity of the existing solution landscape can be solved by including external service providers.
As digital initiatives are not purely technology-driven, service providers should be able to support companies on both the technology and the business level. It is important for companies not to underestimate the necessary change management that is associated with this transformation. We believe 70 percent of the journey is about changing the way people work, while only the remaining 30 percent is about the implementation of solutions. And the go-live of a new solution is not the end of the journey. Companies must not forget that transformation is an ongoing undertaking.
A white paper from PAC and Fujitsu about the findings of our EMEA-wide survey can be downloaded here: PAC Trend Survey – Oracle Cloud Application Strategies in the EMEA Region on Slideshare
A recording of the joint Fujitsu/PAC webinar on the topic can be found here: