IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

Exclusive interview: Oracle on ERP, AI and the CFO

By Patrick Martlew
Mon 6 Nov 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Oracle is undoubtedly one of the ERP powerhouses in international and local markets today, and they’ve certainly been making further developments in recent times within their Oracle ERP cloud.

We sat down with Wayne Goodall Oracle senior director for cloud applications development and ERP for Asia-pacific and Japan (APJ) to find out how cloud is changing ERP and how it’s being implemented.

Goodall also talked about the AI and machine learning craze, as well as the changing nature of the CFO.

How has cloud changed the ERP landscape?

In terms of the businesses that we’re engaged with it’s definitely a change in ethos for what they do. The traditional business looks at managing systems, environments and IT infrastructure in terms of making those elements perform as the need to perform.

With the evolution of the cloud, there has been a very central, business practice focus, with standardised business practices in the back office, which is what ERP obviously does. This basically allows a further focus on what they’re actually in business to do, rather than managing systems.

While there has been a big change in mindset for organisations, there has also been a change in their ability to roll out innovation faster and take advantage of emerging technologies more proactively.

ERP is just one pillar in a bunch of different business application pillars, but it has certainly got scale now and we’re seeing volumes of customers convert.

What are some of the advantages that cloud deployments have over on-premise?

The rate of returns is certainly a big one. It is quicker to get value from that systems and deploy it, and because it's standard practice and there's no customisation they’re adopting what’s there already so it’s a short configuration. Implementations become more about data migrations and change than they do about the software themselves.

It really changes the way people think. When you allow people to customise, you can guarantee that they will,  but when you don’t allow that customisation, then they have to make sure that they adopt what is there already, which has been already been tried, tested and utilised, especially in the back office. We do allow customisation through the PaaS layer, but the SaaS layer will not be touched.

With cloud deployments, how are customer expectations changing?  

Some expectations are unrealistic. I’ve seen customers that think they’re going to get everything that they have with their current solution with a cloud deployment, which there are good reasons why they wouldn’t. It’s definitely a change in how they deploy and utilise the system, but using the best-practice process allows people to switch off from that mindset.

The ultimate strategic goal is to get the required information to make strategic decisions, how we get there is largely irrelevant. With emerging technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, mundane processes that used to occur are being done by automation or robotics, allows efficiencies through an overload of manual processing, which is part of why the platform can be more useful for clients.

Do you see adoption rates of automation exponentially increasing going forward?

Without a doubt, and  I think process efficiency will dictate the automation side of things. ERP is traditionally a back-office function, being finance procurement and project related tasks and it’s labour intensive. In the old days we collected information and fed it into the system, and it was only at the end that we were able to start analysing things that occurred.

Now we’re shifting that to be probably half a day at the beginning of the week and the rest of the time we can look at analysing and making strategic decisions, modelling innovation and changing the way customers think and deploy their goods and services.

In our roadmaps, we see a lot of growth in touchless processing that will occur at some point. We see all that starting to come into the application, and that’s only helped by things like AI and robotics process automation.

How will automation change hire patterns of large organisations?  

There is a definite shift in automation, which we saw through the industrial revolution machinery and things like that, where tasks are being taken away from human interaction, and there's no doubt about that.

What we’re saying to customers though, is that it is about re-deploying those people who already understand your business to be more of a stakeholder in your business. What I mean by that is, rather than someone who just transacts or something like that, they’re focused something that could impact the business going forward.

So it’s changing the mentality of the office per-se and it’s moving them to be more critical to the survival of the company.

Cloud-based ERP used to be a differentiator but is now becoming standard practice. How can companies continue to innovate with ERP?

The best way to differentiate yourself in the market is simply to focus on what you do. Traditionally people within the organisation have been responsible for managing systems to get information for what they need, in the future - or now realistically - you have someone else managing your systems. This essentially means you’re less focused on the process of getting information and more focused on your own innovation.

Companies today have to innovate in both goods and services. People used to more commonly stick with products all the way through it’s lifecycle because it’s the product they know and it’s a brand. Brands are going out of business because they’re not innovating, so to move away from managing systems and be more focused on your own business and your own innovation, that gives a massive advantage for customers. That’s what SaaS and our ERP-cloud products are about.

How do data-driven business models change the role of the CFO?

It does change massively. Modern CFOs now are generally coming out of millennial timelines, and they’re more trusting of data, whereas your traditional CFOs aren’t as trusting. Older CFOs would be more concerned with the reconciliation of the data and making sure checks and balances are in place. New CFOs focus on what they can do with data and how they can change the path of the organisation.

I think we’re armed with information and it’s almost considered as a natural resource like gold and oil. Data is the way forward I think, and it gives us the power to make strategic decisions. With trust comes that strategic decision making, and allows us to model the future.

This is evidenced by tools like the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) suite and cloud, which allows us to make financial model decisions. It’s the stylistic decision making that allows CFOs to drive the ship in the right direction, and look at beating their competition. Any competition that focuses on themselves and their IT, will sadly lag behind.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Hawaiki Cable
BW Digital completes acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable
BW Digital has completed its full acquisition of Hawaiki Submarine Cable, with all applicable regulatory filings and approvals now received.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
SaaS
Atturra partners with Focus HQ to support Aus organisations
Atturra has executed a partnership agreement with Focus HQ, to resell and support the company's Australian developed SaaS-based portfolio management platform.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ANU and Seeing Machines to use AI to improve driver safety
The Australian National University and Seeing Machines have won a grant to develop AI systems monitor human behaviour while driving.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
Power / Energy
Keysight Technologies introduces new next-gen DPT solution
Keysight Technologies has announced its new next-generation Double-Pulse Tester (DPT) with the PD1550A Advanced Dynamic Power Device Analyser.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Mobility
Hands-on review: STM laptop bags
The advent of hybrid working has meant we need laptop bags. We got our hands on two of the most popular laptop bags from STM.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ThoughtLab reveals 10 best practices for cybersecurity in 2022
The benchmarking study reveals best practices that can reduce the probability of a material breach and the time it takes to find and respond to those that happen.
Story image
Storage
Energy storage demand momentum continues, says BYD
BYD has announced an expansion of its production capacities and will deliver 250,000 units of its energy storage system, BYD Battery-Box Premium.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
Kodari Securities (KOSEC)
NFT trends and opportunities: expert reveals all
The NFT market is growing at an exponential rate, with unprecedented liquidity. Here we explore how businesses can profit.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Manufacturing
HINDSITE wins Aerospace Xelerated Pitch Challenge with solution to support Boeing
Brisbane-based startup HINDSITE was the winner of the first ever Pitch Challenge organised by Aerospace Xelerated in partnership with Queensland XR Hub. 
Story image
Data
Aussie data & analytic execs not confident in data strategy
Less than half of Australian data and analytics leaders are confident in their data strategy as siloes and lack of culture prevent innovation.
Story image
Wireless
SmartCIC, BICS partner to expand wireless service options
SmarCIC has partnered with BICS to increase choice for organisations using fixed wireless services, expanding existing carrier relationships for its CELLSMART division.
Story image
Wasabi Technologies
Wasabi opens new cloud storage in Australia with Equinix
Wasabi Technologies has opened a new hot cloud storage region in Sydney, Australia, using Equinix services. This is the company's 12th global storage region.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Physical security systems guide the hybrid workplace to new heights
Organisations are reviewing how data gathered from their physical security systems can optimise, protect and enhance their business operations in unique ways.
Story image
Employee Retention
Company values increasingly important in post-pandemic world
New research released today reveals that company values are the new currency when it comes to employee retention in a post-covid economy.
Story image
Training
HubSpot launches 'The Great Upskill' week to inspire learning
Brands across APAC including Google ANZ, MessageMedia, Meltwater, Seismic and Aircall, will give their employees a full workday to dedicate to upskilling.
Story image
Jabra
Jabra investigates what makes an ideal hybrid work model
“The way we work has changed forever and the current state of knowledge work requires access to digital platforms and technologies to be successful."
Story image
Avaya
Avaya OneCloud sees 118% ARR growth for second quarter 2022
Avaya Holdings has reported $750 million annual recurring revenue (ARR) for its OneCloud offering, up 21% sequentially and 118% from the same period last year.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Databricks strengthens AWS partnership with new Lakehouse offering
Customers will experience faster onboarding and unified account administration to make building a Databricks Lakehouse on AWS easier.
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Veryfi
Veryfi announces Mobile Receipt Capture for D2C marketing apps
Veryfi has announced a new enhancement to its portfolio, with Mobile Receipt Capture for direct-to-consumer marketing apps.
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Power / Energy
SmartCIC report reveals top five 5G carriers in the world
The Global Cellular Performance Survey also found that 5G networks are delivering high download speeds but lagging in upload speeds.
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Story image
Ransomware
Ingram Micro Cloud adds Bitdefender solutions to marketplace
Ingram Micro Cloud has announced the expanded availability of Bitdefender solutions on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.
Story image
BitTitan
Why tenant consolidation is critical to cloud success
Consolidating tenants can improve cost management, security and engagement after a flurry of reactive activity following the widespread shift to remote operations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap.