Oracle BrandVoice: COVID-19 Has Made Quarterly Cloud App Innovation More Important: 4 Examples

One of the best things about using cloud-based applications is that, every few months, your apps get better. App users get new features on the fly, with no fuss.

Never has that innovation engine been more important than since COVID-19 hit.

“COVID-19 has taken a number of areas that were nice-to-have or maybe thought of as things we should do and made them must-haves,” said Steve Miranda, executive vice president of Oracle Fusion applications development, kicking off a September 29 Oracle Live online event.

It used to be nice for salespeople to have the option to hold a Zoom call with potential customers, for example. Now Zoom meetings are the main way some companies keep revenue flowing. That’s why Oracle just announced that it will integrate Zoom into its cloud apps for sales, service, and marketing teams.

The most successful companies are those that can quickly grab new technology like this and put it to use.

“The organization is able to not just come together once a year or once every several years to do a big project and a big transformation, but instead have an organization that’s set up for incremental change, incremental improvement,” Miranda said.

Oracle has been releasing quarterly updates of its integrated Fusion suite of enterprise cloud apps—for finance, HR, supply chain, marketing, sales, commerce, customer service—for years. Each release adds hundreds of enhancements, which companies adopt at their own pace.

Below are four examples of new capabilities in the latest round of Oracle Fusion Cloud applications—just a sliver of what’s available but typical of what Oracle adds every quarter. Given the business disruption created by COVID-19, it’s worth looking at these four features through a new lens: Is my organization embracing new technologies and capabilities every few months? Do my apps give me this pace of innovation?

1. Zoom video built into marketing, sales, and customer service apps. For example, thanks to integration between Zoom and Oracle Eloqua, part of Oracle CX Marketing, it’s much easier for marketers to collect and analyze data from webinars. Companies are leaning much more on online events to connect with customers—look at the Oracle Live series, which this year replaces the company’s in-person Oracle OpenWorld event. Similar Zoom integrations will help customer service reps (in Oracle CX Service) and salespeople (Oracle CX Sales).

2. Guided instructions for processes such as returning to the office. Using Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM, HR leaders can now create “Journeys,” step-by-step instructions for a particular employee experience—whether it’s a new challenge like returning to the office or factory amid the pandemic, or a timeless one like taking maternity or paternity leave.

3. A supply chain you can chat with. Using what’s dubbed the Oracle Logistics Digital Assistant, supply chain managers can ask questions, by voice or text, and get real-time information on order status and shipment tracking on their phone without having to navigate through the Oracle Transportation Management app.

4. Better finance tools for spotting the unexpected. Oracle Fusion Cloud EPM now includes something called Intelligent Performance Management, which helps companies find hard-to-spot patterns and correlations in their financial and operating data, providing insights to help them make better decisions. This feature is among a number of new planning and monitoring capabilities in the Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP and EPM suites that finance teams—many of whom have been working remotely for half a year, executing a couple of quarterly financial closes already—can easily access from their home offices.

To learn more about each of these areas from Oracle experts and customers, scroll through Oracle Live event replays.

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