As transformational IT has increasingly become a business imperative, implementation partners have been looking to strengthen their value proposition for their customers. To differentiate themselves from transactional service providers, the more proactive partners are evolving their offerings and approaches, thereby becoming more strategic than they had been in the past.
While IT leaders can maximize the opportunity arising out of this shift by leveraging the partners’ strategies and advanced capabilities, it’s important for them to maintain focus on the risks. Here’s a look at how implementation providers are evolving and how CIOs should approach partnering with them for mutual success.
There is a perceptible change in the way implementation partners are now approaching their clients as compared to earlier, and it is all about becoming a strategic partner for transformational change.
“A partner now enters an account with a broader area of engagement in mind. The discussions may be around a specific project with a CIO, such as implementing a typical solution like Oracle or SAP ERP, but the partner’s core agenda is to bring about an extensive and comprehensive transformation of the client’s IT infrastructure,” says Harnath Babu, CIO at KPMG.
“As the project progresses, the partner discusses the CIO’s pain points and what could alleviate them. This could invariably lead to the partner’s scope getting expanded into, but not limited to, managing emerging technologies, enhancing cost and operational efficiencies, bringing about automation, application development, or improving the system of records,” he says. “Implementation partners are clearly moving from the earlier point approach to a transformation approach.”
Sharing an example of this as it unfolded at KPMG, Babu says, “We engaged with a system integrator to help us with L1/L2 support. In a short time, we scaled it to L3. We found that we could also leverage the partner for managing our infrastructure. Next, we asked the partner to help us with POD development as it was a big challenge to find skilled resources,” says Babu. “So, what started as an L1/L2 service engagement, eventually led to infrastructure management and resource augmentation.”
The POD, or product oriented delivery, is a software development model that entails building small, self-sufficient cross-functional teams that take care of specific requirements or tasks for a project.
Takeaways for CIOs from this trend: Leveraging one partner instead of many frees up CIOs and their teams from more boilerplate deployments, allowing them to focus on what is core to the business. “An implementation partner looks at the total value generated from an account. Therefore, if a CIO gives value to the partner, the latter will reciprocate. This will give CIOs the confidence of having a strong partner behind them. There can then be a project director to manage the project on a day-to-day basis and the CIO can intervene only when there is budget or strategy involved,” says Babu.
With the aim of adding value to their customers, implementation partners are increasingly realizing the importance of building technological expertise.
“To keep pace with the market and stay relevant, implementation partners are building on human capital and expertise. For instance, most partners lacked competency in cloud as there wasn’t much requirement related to it in the past. However, as cloud is gaining a strong traction, they have also upped the ante,” says Subramanya C, global CTO at business process management company Sagility (formerly HGS Healthcare).
So, when Subramanya decided to move the company’s SAP, SharePoint portal, intranet, and other applications to the cloud, he roped in a partner who had a Center of Excellence on cloud and 12 to 15 subject matter experts (SME) on the technology.
“Partners with such capabilities were not seen in the past,” he says. “More than 100 servers had to be migrated in a few weeks. Immense planning, resources, and mitigation of risk were involved in the project. However, the partner’s strong technical expertise, which formed the basis of the center of excellence, made sure that the project got completed smoothly and as per the scheduled plan,” says Subramanya.
Takeaways for CIOs from this trend: Although implementation partners can provide deeper expertise than they could in the past, IT leaders should not be complacent when enlisting it. “For complex projects, like ours, strong governance is required from the enterprise technology leader’s end,” Subramanya says. “IT leaders can outsource a task or an activity to a partner and their SME, but they can’t outsource their responsibilities. Therefore, we ensured a strong governance framework was in place while implementing this project. We also had our own SME working in close collaboration with the partner’s experts.”
The evolution of technology, driven by modernization of applications and services, is catalyzing collaboration among system integrators.
As Archie Jackson, head of special initiatives, IT, and security at digital transformation company Incedo says, “I have seen system integrators coming together to offer solutions, a trend that wasn’t visible in the past. Today, products don’t work in silos. One product has multiple linkages with other products, and it orchestrates and expands into other areas. For instance, a security solution today is not limited only to the network. It is connected to end point and applications, too. Therefore, one project could spill over to another. A partner, however, may not have the expertise or the bandwidth to execute everything, which leads to collaboration with other partners.”
Incedo was in talks with a partner some time back for implementing managed links for connectivity. The end-to-end managed service would have offered remote connectivity to access corporate network from anywhere in the world.
“During the conversations, the partner suggested he could bring another implementation partner to enhance the cybersecurity of the links. It came across as a logical fit because the links had to be secure, but I had not seen a partner collaborating with another one like this in the past,” says Jackson. Takeaways for CIOs from this trend: One implementation partner bringing another partner may help a CIO, but it could also increase the cost of the project. “This is a good option only if a CIO wants to build capability. The primary partner will build his margin into the project for which he is getting the second partner, thereby increasing the cost for the CIO. If CIOs have the capacity to architect a solution more efficiently, they should do so in-house,” says Jackson.
ST. LOUIS, October 17, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Perficient, Inc. (Nasdaq: PRFT) ("Perficient"), the leading global digital consultancy transforming the world’s largest enterprises and biggest brands, today announced it will showcase its Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) expertise in a breakout session during Oracle CloudWorld 2022, taking place October 17-20 in Las Vegas.
In order to remain agile and maintain visibility into business systems, enterprises must standardize their processes and establish governance and accountancy controls. For more than 20 years, Perficient and Oracle have partnered to help clients institute efficiencies across the organization while empowering them to regain accessibility and authority of their information.
"As an organization’s data grows exponentially, business leaders need powerful analytics and visualization techniques to help them better leverage that data," said Joseph Klewicki, general manager in Perficient’s Oracle practice. "By deploying the right strategy and business intelligence integration, decision makers can have more accurate and timely data available at their fingertips. We are excited to share our expertise and showcase the power of Oracle Cloud at CloudWorld 2022."
Hear How Perficient Leveraged Hybrid Oracle Cloud to Achieve Cross-Platform Migration
Perficient and a multi-national hospitality group will deliver a breakout presentation at Oracle CloudWorld 2022 about how they implemented a cross-platform migration of three critical financial systems to Oracle Cloud. Representatives from the two organizations will discuss how they leveraged the organization’s existing Oracle applications and modernized its business intelligence platform with OAC and OCI.
Meet with Perficient’s Oracle Experts at Oracle CloudWorld 2022
Perficient’s Oracle subject matter experts will be on-hand at booth 372 in the Finance Community of the CloudWorld Hub ready to discuss how Perficient can drive end-to-end digital transformations with Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Human Capital Management (HCM), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), and Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics solutions.
"Decision makers from a cross section of industries will convene at Oracle CloudWorld to learn how they can utilize digital technologies and cloud capabilities to meet their needs," said Santhosh Nair, vice president, Perficient. "We are eager to gather with the Oracle global community to meet with business leaders to share how our expertise with Oracle platforms can solve problems and transform their business."
Perficient has two decades’ of experience successfully deploying more than 3,000 client implementations using Oracle technology. With 15 Oracle specializations, an education center in Houston, and integrated IP assets, Perficient has delivered strategy and implementation for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid solutions to meet unique business needs.
For more information about Perficient’s Oracle expertise, subscribe to Perficient’s blog, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Perficient is the leading global digital consultancy. We imagine, create, engineer, and run digital transformation solutions that help our clients exceed customers’ expectations, outpace competition, and grow their business. With unparalleled strategy, creative, and technology capabilities, we bring big thinking and innovative ideas, along with a practical approach to help the world’s largest enterprises and biggest brands succeed. Traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, Perficient is a member of the Russell 2000 index and the S&P SmallCap 600 index. For more information, visit www.perficient.com.
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Connor Stieferman, Communications Manager
Offering helps organizations with accelerated, risk averse transformations by providing access to Oracle products, implement and support for a predictable monthly fee
NEW YORK, Oct. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte today announced the launch of its Oracle MyCloud ERP offering that can help fast growth and private clients accelerate business transformation enabled by Oracle's modern integrated SaaS Cloud platform. Backed by Deloitte's proprietary industry accelerators and methodologies, the offering helps organizations to get up and running quickly on an Oracle Cloud platform while eliminating the barriers of talent constraints and high upfront costs, which are often associated with ERP implementations. The bundled subscription offering allows organizations to access Oracle Cloud products as well as Deloitte implementation and support services for a consistent monthly fee. This enables companies that are focused on growth to manage their cash flows and to continue to allocate their limited time and resources toward expansive activities.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to use Deloitte intellectual property and knowledge to serve growth and private clients as they scale and drive their businesses forward. This offering demonstrates our commitment to this market and our desire to assist the leaders of tomorrow," said John Steele, U.S. Oracle offering leader and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
For those interested in exploring Cloud ERP™ further, the starting place is a TruNorth Assessment. A quick, collaborative and effective approach that takes approximately three weeks. Deloitte helps prospects to envision the desired future state, identify transformation opportunities, and develop strategies and roadmaps for the journey.
Experience Deloitte's MyCloud firsthand
Deloitte is pleased to be the Global Sponsor of Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas, Oct. 17-20, 2022. This new global conference will bring people together to share ideas, develop in-demand skills and learn about cloud infrastructure and applications. Connect with Deloitte professionals at the CloudWorld Hub and attend a theatre presentation on MyCloud ERP enabled by Oracle Cloud.
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 private companies. Our people come together for the greater good and work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's approximately 415,000 people worldwide connect for impact at www.deloitte.com.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by certain ("DTTL"), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as "Deloitte Global") does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the "Deloitte" name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.
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SOURCE Deloitte Consulting LLP
As your business grows, you may invest in a greater number of software solutions to keep your operations moving forward. Businesses that reach this point often find it’s easiest to streamline all of their systems ‒ including accounting and financial management ‒ into one convenient enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform like Oracle NetSuite.
|Invoicing and bill pay||2.0/2.0|
As part of its robust ERP offering, Oracle NetSuite offers an intuitive cloud financial management solution that allows businesses to track their financial data and automate many essential accounting functions. Like any highly-rated accounting software, it offers reporting, planning, and billing features and easily integrates with other software, including Oracle’s suite of business solutions. It can also be used seamlessly with multiple currencies, so it’s a great option for growing companies with a global customer base.
If your business wants to expedite its accounts receivable and payable, accelerate deal closings, and keep up with financial compliance obligations, while taking advantage of a full suite of powerful business management features, Oracle NetSuite is an ideal accounting solution within an ERP platform.
|Base price||$999 per month|
|Invoicing and payments||Yes|
|No. of clients supported||Unlimited|
Because they can perform a wide range of complex business management functions, ERP platforms are typically priced on a custom basis. Factors such as business size, annual revenue and desired features all affect the cost of the software. Oracle NetSuite is no different, and to get an accurate price estimate, you’ll need to contact an Oracle sales representative. The sales rep will walk you through all the available features of the platform, including inventory management, financial management, point of sale, customer relationship management (CRM) and human capital management software
Based on our research, Oracle NetSuite pricing includes a $999 monthly licensing fee, plus a per-user fee that starts at $99 a month. While this base price can be used as an estimate, your costs may vary significantly depending on your specific business needs.
Because of its high price point, Oracle NetSuite is likely not well suited for a smaller business with simple accounting and bookkeeping needs. However, if your business is growing internationally and you anticipate needing an ERP platform to manage everything, this can be an excellent accounting solution that sets you up for financial success as your company grows. Thanks to NetSuite’s integrated ecosystem, you can save time and money that would otherwise be spent managing multiple software solutions from different vendors.
Key takeaway: Oracle NetSuite’s price varies depending on the different software modules required, the size of your business, its annual revenue and the number of orders your company processes.
Oracle NetSuite’s financial management solution offers a wide range of useful accounting features. Here’s more about how NetSuite can help growing businesses:
With Oracle NetSuite, your business can seamlessly combine its core finance and accounting functions with strong compliance management. This ERP’s financial management solution offers real-time access to your financial data to help you drill into important details, resolve delays, and generate compliance statements and disclosures for your stakeholders.
NetSuite provides the following basic accounting functions to streamline and simplify your financial processes:
Whether your business operates on a transaction, subscription, usage-based or hybrid model, Oracle NetSuite can help you manage your billing operations. It fully integrates into the platform’s advanced revenue management and compliance functions.
Businesses with financial reporting obligations can use NetSuite to easily comply with accounting standards, including ASC 605, 606 and IFRS 15. Using the platform’s rule-based event-handling framework, you can easily automate numerous revenue management and reporting functions, such as forecasting, allocation, recognition, reclassification and auditing.
NetSuite’s planning, budgeting and forecasting functions allow your business to plot out its financial future based on real-time analytics. Use your business data to forecast revenue, plot out what-if scenarios and develop accurate budgets. Oracle’s powerful reporting and analytics tools also allow you to gain a more complete picture of your business at any time to make better informed decisions about your finances.
If your business plans to expand its borders and go global, you need a financial management solution that helps you manage your international transactions and compliance obligations. Oracle NetSuite’s powerful financial engine gives you maximum transparency and visibility into your business across countries and in real time so you can manage your operations at the local and global level.
To make it easier to run an international business, NetSuite offers a variety of language interfaces to overcome language barriers and a multicurrency management system that supports over 190 different forms of currencies and automatically accounts for the current exchange rate for real-time conversion.
With Oracle NetSuite, your business will always be audit-ready. This ERP platform supports your company’s governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programs so you can handle increasingly complex regulatory, operational, and compliance challenges as you scale.
The platform can also establish a sustainable risk management and compliance process for your company so you can anticipate major risks before they happen.
Oracle NetSuite offers seamless integration with all its ERP solutions and integrates with many leading business software providers. If you use other vendors to manage your operations, you can use NetSuite’s open APIs to introduce new integrations.
To take advantage of these integrations, businesses can hire a NetSuite dedicated implementation team for an additional fee. The team not only helps set up the ERP platform itself, but also assists with any additional integrations and project management planning.
Want to use Oracle NetSuite as part of a larger ERP solution? Your financial management processes will integrate seamlessly with Oracle’s full suite of products. This is helpful if you’re trying to gain a more holistic view of your business’s financial transactions, budgets and forecasts.
Here are a few additional useful functions you’ll find within Oracle NetSuite.
Stay on top of your warehouse ordering. This solution helps you ensure ideal quantities of each item you sell by automatically analyzing historical sales and logistics data. NetSuite can determine the best reordering time frame for each product and replenish stock to an optimal threshold when it runs low.
NetSuite helps companies with every sales or work order while providing real-time visibility into every step of the production process. This ERP’s end-to-end manufacturing software solution can help you run your entire business and make better-informed decisions.
NetSuite helps you seamlessly manage each point in your supply chain, regardless of where your physical product is manufactured or stored.
NetSuite helps businesses with inbound logistics, outbound logistics, and inventory management, streamlining your warehousing operations and helping you minimize costs for on-time delivery. The built-in warehouse management solution enables you to manage your distribution operations using customized user-defined strategies and advanced real-time updates and integrations.
With Oracle NetSuite, it’s easy to purchase goods and services for your business quickly and at the best prices. Real-time information helps you better understand your company spend and vendor performance while automation and workflow integrations deliver a more accurate procure-to-pay process.
Manage your team and your human resources processes with NetSuite’s HCM solution, SuitePeople. This solution allows you to streamline employee onboarding and information collection for new hires while also giving visibility into your workforce operations.
Did you know? Oracle NetSuite offers several key tools that are critical for financial management, including basic accounting functions, billing, revenue recognition, planning and reporting, GRC, and more.
For growing international businesses, Oracle NetSuite offers a robust, all-in-one ERP solution that puts your most valuable business data into a single platform. NetSuite’s full product suite allows your organization’s various departments and systems to operate harmoniously and in real time so every person in your company is always up to date.
Key takeaway: Oracle NetSuite provides just about every feature you could want in an ERP, allowing for a seamless single solution for managing all your operations.
In terms of accounting software, NetSuite may be prohibitively expensive for smaller businesses. Additionally, it may offer far more functionality than your business needs at this point in its growth, and you don’t want to pay for features you’ll never use.
Ultimately, NetSuite is ideal for midsize and large businesses operating a complex operation, as this ERP solution performs best when all of the modules are used in conjunction with one another.
Tip:The high price tag of Oracle NetSuite may be too much for small businesses with less complex financial management needs.
Oracle NetSuite delivers top-notch customer service across its entire ERP platform, including its financial management solution. The company’s educational resources give users the opportunity to learn about NetSuite’s full range of products and stay updated on any new features or capabilities.
NetSuite offers 24/7, real-time support for industries via phone, email and a built-in chatbot on its website. The automated chat functionality can answer simple FAQs or connect you with a customer service representative.
Key takeaway: Oracle NetSuite’s customer service is on a par with what you would expect from a world-class ERP solution, so you can count on being able to find answers to your questions and concerns.
Oracle NetSuite held its annual confab in Vegas recently. It was very well attended by both customers and partners. In fact, the place was abuzz with activity, side meetings, etc. Everybody wanted to talk.
Of course, diginomica had several folks covering the event on the ground and some doing so virtually. As conferences go, the coverage was quite comprehensive and clearly indicated that travel to user conferences is moving back to pre-pandemic levels.
I’ll provide a brief recap of the relevant coverage below before I dive into the more subtle, underreported observations: you know the things you can’t get virtually but can pick up on in the hallways, expo floor, meals and numerous hallway interactions.
I kicked off the coverage with a pre-show piece in August. I thought I did a nice piece covering several new capabilities attendees would see at this month’s show. It’s actually a good, quick read on several items Oracle focused on. In particular, there was a discussion on the analytics warehouse functionality:
NetSuite customers will be able to probe externally sourced or internally generated datasets for all kinds of insights, many of which will be displayed via graphical means. This is important as mid-sized firms I’ve visited often possess mountains of ‘dark’ data: the data that they or their machines generate but no person or system looks at this information. The insights within this data are ignored as mid-sized firms often lack the tools, skills, computing power, integrations, visualization tools or ML tools to make sense of this.
Madeline picked up on the analytics warehouse and described how one customer, Studio McGee was using it:
Studio McGee is using NetSuite Analytics Warehouse (NSAW) to support its move into a new 325,000 square feet fulfillment center, which includes robots for picking and packaging that are integrated with NetSuite. The firm is combining its NetSuite and Shopify data in NSAW, and will be able to add information from Google Analytics and other systems.
Derek covered the main product announcements in this piece. Oracle NetSuite had big announcements in the areas of Accounts Payable (AP) automation, Configure Price Quote (CPQ), Ship Central and Workforce Management. There’s actually a fair bit to unpack in those announcements.
Madeline filed an Oracle NetSuite customer story re: a UK startup firm and a study NetSuite has on this subject. Madeline also penned a piece on NetSuite customer Thread. That story focused on Thread’s use of NetSuite to support expansion of its brick-and-mortar business. About Thread, she writes:
Going from a $30,000 Kickstarter startup to a $15m+ revenue organization, the firm realized it needed a more advanced platform to run its business and turned to Oracle NetSuite for its ERP and analytics. This was crucial for advancing plans to expand Thread’s wholesale business and brick and mortar stores, while still continuing to grow its direct-to-consumer business, which has been the largest revenue earner.
I spoke with a number of customers, software partners and implementers at this event. It’s what I do. I was surprised at the complexity of the businesses these NetSuite customers have. In fact, many of the customers possessed several of these factors:
If you thought NetSuite was an SMB only solution – it’s not!
The product line is deeper, wider and uses many advanced technologies (e.g., machine learning) it can get from parent company Oracle. Sure, NetSuite used to be this small, scrappy financial cloud solution called NetLedger that principally served small, straightforward businesses but that’s not necessarily the entirety of their customer base anymore.
No, NetSuite may be considerably more upmarket, more functionally capable as a mid-market product. I can’t decide if Oracle should market it more for the mid-market specifically (a space its JD Edwards and Fusion products serve) or as some sort of cloud product line that exists to help companies scale easily from startup to mid-size. This solution, in my opinion, is not a competitor to QuickBooks. It’s much, much more.
For example, global regulatory compliance functionality continues to grow in the NetSuite product line. NetSuite is also expanding the number of global cloud data centers that host the NetSuite application solutions.
So, I suspect most customers, partners, etc. at the event see or feel a lot of this phenomenon, too. They know the product line is more global, more capable and more functionally advanced than ever before. And, if they’re paying attention, they’ll wonder what’s going to happen next? Will NetSuite:
To sum up this section, without anyone addressing the growing upmarket capabilities on display at the show, it was clear that the NetSuite product line is more capable than ever and must be considered in more up-market deals.
AKA Hire more people or get new technology
While all kinds and sizes of businesses these days seem to be struggling with the ability to attract and retain talent, small and mid-sized firms often face even more difficult challenges in the war for talent. These firms may not have the recruiting talent or resources to develop relationships with prospective jobseekers let alone get them hired or onboarded successfully.
This is important as small and mid-sized firms may never be able to offer the career paths and compensation that larger competitors can. So, the best approach for some of these smaller in stature firms may be to automate as much work as possible so as to minimize their dependency on an expensive, hard to source, develop and retain workforce.
Efficiency and low friction themes seemed to permeate the event and NetSuite executive messaging. NetSuite Founder Evan Goldberg flat out stated that NetSuite wants customers “to be as cost-effective as possible”.
NetSuite executives seemed to believe this to be a winning strategy for SMBs. This is why they are focusing much of their development energy on the use of advanced technologies in their applications. These technologies could include: artificial intelligence, chatbots, smart analytics, RPA, big data and more. They hope that these technologies could help in areas like process automation so that a process could become almost fully automated. This could significantly help reduce personnel needs in some process areas.
One example of this focus on highly efficient processes is the new Accounts Payable Automation functionality. These enhancements are part of Oracle/NetSuite’s broader strategy of “Optimizing Cash & Profits” for customers. It uses a number of technologies (e.g., process automation, exception handling, etc.) to make Accounts Payable processes extremely automated and efficient. NetSuite can support automated 2 or 3-way matching of vendor invoices. NetSuite partnered with financial services firm HSBC for some payment service options should a customer want to avail themselves of this.
One NetSuite customer using this new AP Automation capability reported going from having 45% of invoices being automatically processed to having 95% of invoice processing automated.
AKA Staff Scheduling
The scheduling optimization capability within the new Workforce Management tool should be a very welcome bit of functionality for retailers and health care organizations as it helps firms do a better job of scheduling workers. Why is this important? If you ask HR leaders in those industries what contributes to numerous Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting problems is that workers who genuinely want to work are being assigned hours that cause them personal strife or are insufficient in quantity for them to make a livable wage. And, operations leaders often struggle to put together a schedule using paper, spreadsheets and other less-than-optimal methods.
Nurses, for example, value the ability to influence their schedule more than most any other retention factor. In retail, employees want to maximize their hours. Both groups want to work close to home and each may have young children or older parents to care for. The best scheduling tools remember what hours or days a person can work and which ones are off limits. The best tools also have mechanisms to help employers manage total payroll costs, minimize overtime, etc. A great scheduling tool is like a multi-variate optimization tool and an automated tool may be the best solution for such a complex and dynamic management problem. Why? The automated tool could handle hundreds of different variables simultaneously and solve the schedule problem in seconds compared to a sub-optimal solution that a manager might struggle with for days.
The scheduling optimization tech has its origins in a company called Adi Insights and will now be called SuitePeople Workforce Management. That deal was described as:
On May 6, 2022, Oracle announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Adi Insights. Adi Insights is a leading provider of workforce management solutions. The acquisition will bring overtime management, time capture, demand forecasting and shift scheduling capabilities to SuitePeople, NetSuite’s human resource management solution. The transaction is now closed and the Adi Insights team will join the Oracle NetSuite organization.
NetSuite has a number of partners. Some provide complementary applications while others offer integration technology, BPO (business process outsourcing), implementation services and other capabilities.
Given how critical partners are to completing the Whole Product (a Geoffrey Moore term) functionally, implementing the solutions, introducing the customer to NetSuite, etc., NetSuite would, obviously, want to stay on the good side of its partners. Great partners drive outsized net-new revenue, reduce customer acquisition costs, help in selling many add-on products, and more.
Several analysts at the show wondered how NetSuite’s new advanced Accounts Payable automation technology would be sold and would that cause channel conflicts with some of their partner firms who have been selling competing solutions to NetSuite customers for years.
More specifically, how will this product be sold since several other firms offer software that also provides AP automation? One NetSuite executive indicated that this is a huge market (after all NetSuite has approximately 32,000 existing customers) and NetSuite will only focus on selling it to customers/prospects that currently lack an AP automation solution. NetSuite will not be targeting the customer base of any of its automated AP solutions partners. And, a NetSuite executive also stated that they will respect whatever decision a customer makes re: AP automation whether they choose NetSuite’s or a partner’s product. Bottom line: NetSuite doesn’t want to antagonize any of them.
Mid-market software buyers often possess many of the same business complexities of their larger competitors but don’t have the people, capital or other resources to match. My shorthand for this is that mid-market tech buyers have champagne tastes and beer budgets.
To make a mid-market buyer’s implementation a success, a great software solution must:
One approach NetSuite previously rolled out to help with this was SuiteSuccess. SuiteSuccess was announced a couple of years ago. Its purpose is to help new customers get implemented in a timely but successful manner. The program is about more than just implementation speed though as customers can access configurators that include pre-supplied best practices.
I pressed a couple of NetSuite executives on the ‘success’ of this program. Evan Goldberg discussed how NetSuite doesn’t do product demonstrations vanilla anymore as they want to show the prospect how the software will look and behave with the most useful/relevant configurations (that are in the SuiteSuccess kits) already in place. That way, prospects can see exactly how the software will behave in their industry/company/function.
I’m very cautious re: programs like SuiteSuccess. The story is one many of you want to believe but many vendors conflate success with rapid implementation. These terms are not synonymous. In the rush to get a product implemented quickly, the vendor or systems integrator may simply map old data into the new system without taking the time to clean up bad business practices, reengineer poorly performing processes, clean up the chart of accounts, or, transform the mundane into something that delivers outsized competitive differentiation. In these rushed jobs, business value can get sacrificed in the quest for speed. Success should not be an either/or decision to make.
NetSuite, I can report, has these pre-built accelerators and they have also taken steps to remove friction throughout the sales and implementation process. At one point in the user conference, I asked a NetSuite senior executive to join me in the hall and we discussed the NetSuite contracting experience in detail. I had my contract redline notes from a pre-pandemic client gig handy and challenged him as to what they’ve done to mitigate earlier issues.
Time did not permit us to go through everything but I was convinced that the company did, in fact, shorten, simplify and made more reasonable its contracts. The company, for example, now has a third kind of licensed user: one that needs full access to only 1 or 2 modules but not every module. Previously, you could only be a full, all module access user or a read-only access user. Apparently, embedded links are mostly gone and the overall length of the contract is less than a dozen pages. All of this is good news as the typical NetSuite customer does not possess the budget, internal talent, etc. to mount an exhaustive contracting process with a software vendor. It costs too much and simply sours the prospect on a vendor.
I previously mentioned that Derek covered the new CPQ functionality in the NetSuite product line. This tool allows manufacturers and customers to use many of NetSuite’s existing manufacturing and web commerce applications to create a product whose needs exactly match a customer’s while also ensuring the finished product will have all needed components and that these will interoperate with each other. After the product is configured, the software components will inherit pricing and other attributes and these will flow into a price quote for the customer.
CPQ functionality has been a big deal in the MRP and web commerce space in exact years and this should find a lot of adoption within NetSuite’s customer base.
The CPQ (configure price quote) tool we saw at the show was clearly oriented for manufacturers although a couple of vendors on the expo floor were showing some CPQ tools for services firms, too. CPQ capabilities are definitely different for manufacturing versus service firms but many design capabilities can be shared. We’ll have to see when/if NetSuite wants to expand its CPQ functionality to the services arena. Personally, I’d expect them to either build or buy a solution here as they already possess a major PSA (professional services automation) product and a CPQ solution seems like a very logical and valuable product line extension for them to pursue.
I also chatted with some of NetSuite’s larger and more complex customers. These customers confirmed the applicability of NetSuite software in larger, growing entities. They also were users of several of NetSuite partner solutions (e.g., MineralTree, RFSmart, Curo, etc.).
Some of the conversations were notable as the companies are growing in significant organic or inorganic means. One of these companies is over 125 years old and not only navigated the pandemic well but also grew their firm and added new sales methods. Another firm continues to acquire new firms to add to its portfolio. As it does so, it implements NetSuite in these entities, drives process improvements and tries to implement shared services for the member firms. The product is definitely scalable.
We know some NetSuite customers fared well during the pandemic but how did NetSuite do? NetSuite founder, Evan Goldberg, mentioned that NetSuite actually does well during recessions. Companies realize during an economic downturn that they must become more productive and efficient. Old technology, paper/manual systems, spreadsheets and out of date processes are rarely ever desirable but can be toxic to a company during lean times.
Even if these customers were reluctant to share their financial results, you could deduce how much they’ve grown via other tells. For example, one executive discussed how his firm has upgraded its management team several times as it has traversed a couple of thresholds. His firm is good at knowing what every executive’s “Best Used By” date is and bringing in a more capable player at the right time.
Another interesting conversation Topic with these leaders concerned the growth in data these firms are experiencing. These businesses are acquiring new smart machine tools, capturing web metrics, using third party databases and installing sensors/meters/cameras everywhere. These devices are throwing off a lot of dark data: that is, the kind of data that a company has but isn’t using yet. These companies know this information could be a real asset of their firms but they’re not fully capitalizing on it just yet. This could be a real opportunity area for NetSuite as well.
It’s interesting to see the NetSuite product line growing in functional sophistication and module breadth. This is what enterprise-class vendors do. They add in more functional complexity to help their solutions move up-market.
Simultaneously, NetSuite is making it easier for prospective customers to do business with them via simpler contracts. They’re also making the product implementations more likely to deliver value the first time. These are things you often see when a vendor is trying to go down-market.
So, NetSuite appears to be bringing the best of the small business market/product/implementation world to an ever more sophisticated and powerful up-market solution. In effect, NetSuite is broadening its potential market opportunity. Too bad, its competitors do just the opposite (e.g., make simple products more complex to buy, implement and use).
There may be real value to this strategy. Value that’ll accrue to customers and Oracle shareholders alike.
The Veterans Health Administration's rollout of its Oracle-Cerner EHR system will not continue until patient safety concerns are addressed, according to Sept. 26 reporting in FedScoop.
VA Secretary Denis McDonough confirmed the news Sept. 26, responding to questions at an event hosted by the Defense Writers Group. Mr. McDonough confirmed that the VA is working through an implementation checklist with each hospital setting up the new EHR system.
The rollout was paused in June after a federal watchdog alleged that a flaw in Cerner's system caused harm to 148 veterans at Spokane, Wash.-based Mann-Grandstaff Medical Center.
"I think we've been clear that we have to be confident that these risks to patient safety are addressed before we go live. So we're not just focused on the passage of time between now and next year; we're focused on improving the system," Mr. McDonough said.
Becker's has reached out to Cerner and will update this report if more information becomes available.
“The government had immediate, urgent problems that had to be addressed during the pandemic,” says Peter Still, Oracle senior principal product strategy manager. “But the government also has a modernization agenda, and I don’t think that agenda has inherently changed.”
This paper outlines how social services agencies can take a modular approach to modernization to automate key business processes underpinning assistance programs — from personalized advice, the application process, and eligibility verification through payment — to drive lasting transformation.
LESSONS LEARNED, ONGOING NEEDS
Social services agencies faced two critical needs as the pandemic spiked in early 2020. The closure of government offices sent employees to work from home, at times without access to the systems or telephony needed to ensure continuity of services. At the same time, there was an unprecedented surge in constituents needing government services, with call center volumes increasing tenfold or more in some cases. “The massive spikes in demand flattened already impaired systems,” Still says. “A convergence of these two factors meant the government just wasn’t able to function normally, and manual services broke down.”
Social services agencies and their technology partners rapidly stood up solutions, scaling cloud-based contact centers and creating one-off fixes to address gaps in business processes — for example, quickly publishing online forms to apply for benefits after in-person offices closed. That in and of itself represented a sea change for many social services agencies, which tend to be risk-adverse in terms of technology adoption, according to Still. The volume of traffic to these solutions also confirmed that constituents’ willingness and ability to access online solutions, while not universal, was much higher than anticipated, particularly among low-income populations.
However, these new solutions brought with them additional challenges. “Because it was an emergency situation, some point solutions cut a lot of corners, and governments can learn from this,” Still says.
Many weren’t fully integrated with existing systems. For example, an online application form stood up by one agency generated PDF documents “that piled up in a queue waiting for manual data entry,” Still says. “They hadn’t integrated the new application process into their eligibility flow, which contributed to further downstream delays.”
Fraud and errors — often intentional, some the result of uncertainty about program rules and eligibility — also proved a significant challenge. This was particularly pronounced in unemployment systems, where several states reported double-digit percentage rates of fraud.1 But a wide range of social services programs also experienced fraud, which highlighted the importance of building rigorous eligibility checks and verification steps into social services systems.
Moving beyond the pandemic, many social services agencies are recognizing the need to reconfigure solutions to support longer-term goals. Governments “need to automate and digitize government service, advice to constituents and other processes,” Still says. “These organizations needed urgent assistance to meet an immediate demand. Now, it has to be delivered in a way that will support an end-to-end business process and organizations’ medium- to long-term goals.”
A MODULAR APPROACH TO MODERNIZATION
As they seek to address longer-term goals through modernization, social services agencies are recognizing the potential benefits of broader shifts in technology implementation.
“We did see a new sense of urgency driven by the pandemic to not only start implementing new approaches, but also to get away from the monolithic projects that take many years and millions of dollars to implement,” Still says.
As in other areas of government, social services agencies are now evaluating a phased approach to technology modernization. Such an approach, Still says, is characterized by “starting small, having off-ramps in case requirements change, and doing something with immediate impact that serves as a stepping stone toward overall modernization instead of Band-Aids to single issues.”
This modular approach can help address some of the greatest barriers to expanding access to social services and benefits in equitable ways. Too often, programs remain reliant on manual processes — such as requiring individuals to apply for benefits in person or complete multiple applications for similar or complementary programs. The friction in these processes is exacerbated when language barriers are involved.
“It’s not just COVID emergency solutions that are under scrutiny here,” Still says. “If we look at health and human services and other social programs, why are any of these programs so manual to apply for and interact with overall? Governments often assume constituents know the programs and how governments are organized — but we shouldn’t expect constituents to be experts on government.”
Modernization can help automate and simplify these processes for constituents. By taking a phased approach with modular components, social services agencies can also move away from complex multiyear projects by focusing on their greatest needs and building on their existing capabilities.
Many social services programs have similar business processes, each of which can be addressed by modular solutions. They include:
“We can decompose any of these programs into different units that work together and can get much more rapid outcomes by taking a modular, phased approach,” Still says. Doing so involves recognizing that “each of these stages is part of the vision, but they can stand alone.”
Agencies can begin modernization in this way with small projects. For example, an agency could quickly implement a modular intake solution that offers automated guidance to constituents and routes them to the appropriate benefits and programs — which would then be processed using existing workflows and systems. Such a solution “can cut out the delays and bottlenecks right at the start by providing an immediate and personalized experience,” Still says.
But for longer-term transformation, agency leaders should identify desired outcomes and develop a road map to reach them. “If you break out the business outcomes, it’s then very easy to target the technology to the outcomes, spend less on technology and implement faster,” Still says.
“This can help agencies think about their social solutions in a less monolithic way,” Still says. “Every organization’s journey will be different, but they don’t have to commit to everything at once, and they can choose their starting point.”
Technology modernization can Excellerate accessibility to, and equity of, social services programs by ensuring more people apply for — and receive — the benefits to which they are entitled. At the same time, applying rigorous eligibility checks and leveraging the power of modern data analytics can help address fraud across multiple stages of the benefits process.
However, taking a phased approach to modernization will require social service agencies to rethink their tactics for transformation. “Historically, there’s been a strong culture of custom building in human services,” Still says. “But agencies are recognizing they don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.”
That’s because modular solutions are built around the common building blocks of social services programs — including case management. As a result, they can add different components to create end-to-end solutions over time. But the real potential, says Still, comes when agencies recognize the common links between different benefits and programs.
“It’s very common for a social services organization to have many different programs and systems which are connected but still siloed,” Still says. “They don’t have a good idea of who the constituent is or a 360-degree view because all the data is trapped in these silos.”
A common data platform can provide the opportunity to add not just the different business processes involved with a particular program, but also to integrate multiple programs to ensure constituents receive the right services from across the social services spectrum. “It’s important to have a platform broad enough to absorb as much of the business as you want to put into it,” Still says.
Ultimately, the decision about what to integrate involves business priorities, according to Still. “It’s very common for agencies to get caught up in technical detail at the expense of the business outcomes, but for all of these social programs, the outcomes are really important,” he says. “IT projects can be very technocratic, but if you focus on human outcomes that governments strive to deliver, you can ensure government assistance goes to the right people as quickly as possible and help them return to self-sufficiency in the shortest time frame.”
This piece was written and produced by the Governing Content Studio, with information and input from Oracle.
2. State And Local Disbursements, January 2020, PYMNTS.com.
Tech conferences are back! And my team and I are looking forward to hosting our Fusion Applications community at Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas – our first live event in three years! It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to reconnect, learn from each other, discuss what’s new in our solutions, and, most importantly, work to solve some of the hardest business challenges together.
So much has changed since we last got to be together in person. We are all navigating our lives and our businesses through what suddenly feels like a very uncertain terrain. It’s impacting everything from who we decide to trust to international trade, and while we all steer through this complex web of challenges, stakeholders are holding organizations to higher standards on everything from the experiences they offer to their environmental and social impact.
Faced with all this change, customers need an integrated approach that is complete, unified, and open across every element of the value chain, but that’s just not possible with outdated and disparate systems that suffer from siloed processes and data.
We believe that there is a better way. At CloudWorld 2022, we’ll showcase how organizations can solve their most complex and strategic business and industry challenges and unlock new opportunities, with stories from partners and customers like JP Morgan, FedEx, Heathrow Airport, and many others. We also look forward to sharing all the latest from Fusion Apps, including announcements about B2B commerce, new tools for enterprise developers, healthcare innovations, and other new enhancements across the Fusion Cloud Applications Suite.
Everything you need. Not all clouds are created equal. We believe a complete cloud solution spans both the applications and infrastructure to optimize business. With our apps running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, we believe this is a combination that delivers the performance, security, and reliability customers need for mission critical business operations, along with the monitoring required to continually Excellerate the performance of systems.
Perhaps that’s why almost 14,000 customers, in every industry and region of the world, run their critical business operations on Fusion Applications, spanning every business function from finance, HR, supply chain and manufacturing to sales, service, and marketing.
Innovation that matters. We’ll be showing off innovation that we believe matters to our customers and to the world at large – not just innovation for the sake of innovation. Whether it’s healthcare solutions managing inventory or scheduling critical staff, transforming B2B commerce, focusing on hybrid work environments to increase worker engagement, or helping sales teams hit their numbers with a re-engineered B2B selling experience, our goal is to help customers transform their business in ways that make an impact.
Committed to customer success. At Oracle, we know that our success is built on our customers’ success. We work to earn, and re-earn, our customers’ trust through every step of the cloud journey—from onboarding, implementation, adoption, through to success. We’re fostering a community of cloud advocates that can influence our product and their peers, many of whom will reconnect next week at CloudWorld 2022. Oracle Cloud Customer Connect is a community of more than 348,000 members representing customers and partners sharing best practices and highlighting Oracle expertise in more than 200 topic-specific discussion forums.
Join us at Oracle CloudWorld to learn more. We are living in challenging times and our vision is built on an understanding that there will always be disruption, and that organizations need applications that are designed for change. We believe our complete suite of cloud applications and infrastructure provides a strong foundation to be successful in this changing world. I hope you are able to join us at CloudWorld – either in person or online – to meet the people that build and use them.
Join us at CloudWorld!
Open MySQL databases are the workhorse of data processing and analytics, with performance and cost benefits rivaling all the major cloud platforms.
But while traditional MySQL databases offer reliability and cost-savings, they suffer from limited reporting and analytics capabilities, low automation potential and zero machine learning ability. Database administrators have overcome this by adding on separate services in a “right tool for the right job” approach. It’s a method certainly employed by other cloud giants, where a smorgasbord of database options is fast becoming the norm.
Oracle Corp. chose a different path. With the popularity of its market-leading Oracle Database showing a very slow, but steady, decline as cloud databases started to pick up share, the company challenged convention by converging all database functionality in its MySQL HeatWave fully managed database service.
“We see Oracle, which is taking the Swiss Army Knife approach, converging database functionality, enabling analytic and transactional workloads to run in the same data store, eliminating the need to ETL, at the same time adding capabilities into its platform like automation and machine learning,” stated theCUBE industry analyst Dave Vellante in a CUBE Power Panel on the database market.
Vellante dug into MySQL Heatwave’s rapid evolution during a CUBE Conversation this week with Nipun Agarwal (pictured), senior vice president of MySQL Database & HeatWave at Oracle, and Kumaran Siva, corporate vice president of strategic business development at Advanced Micro Devices Inc. They discussed how in-database machine learning is becoming essential to provide the performance levels that modern analytics demand.
There are multiple reasons that Oracle chose to integrate ML into MySQL HeatWave rather than take the specialized database approach chosen by AWS and other competitors, according to Agarwal. First is security.
“Customers don’t need to move the data. And if they don’t need to move the data, it is more secure because it’s protected by the same access-controlled mechanisms as the rest of the data,” he explained.
Also, a single database is faster and let’s users avoid dealing with multiple services. Plus, they don’t have to pay for external ML services, according to Agarwal. Another differentiator is that Oracle has automated the ML training process within MySQL HeatWave. This removes the need to hire ML experts, as no specific parameters need to be provided, just the source data and the task on which the ML is to train.
“This is something which is very important to database users, very important to MySQL users,” Agarwal said. “They don’t really want to hire data scientists or certified for doing training.”
Automating ML training speeds up the process, which makes more frequent retraining possible and enables models to be kept up-to-date.
“And, as a result of the models being up to date, the accuracy of the prediction is high,” Agarwal added.
Customers can then run inference to obtain actionable insights from the models. And, in what Agarwal said is “the most sought-after request,” they can obtain explanations for any model generated or trained by MySQL HeatWave ML.
MySQL HeatWave’s impressive performance statistics were discussed by Agarwal and Siva in a previous CUBE Conversation. And when it comes to MySQL HeatWave’s ML performance, Oracle provides numbers that come with bragging rights. Citing a comparison between MySQL HeatWave and AWS Redshift ML, the aggregate performance of HeatWave ML on 12 data sets for classification and six data sets on regression was 25 times faster than Redshift ML at 1% of the cost, according to Agarwal.
Research conducted for Wikibon, SiliconANGLE Media’s sister market research firm, by analyst Marc Staimer put MySQL HeatWave ML up against the competition. Results showed that in the total cost of ownership/performance, MySQL HeatWave beat Amazon Redshift ML by 82x, Azure SynapseML by 85x and GCP BigQuery ML by 88x.
“There are many techniques that we have developed specifically for machine learning,” Agarwal stated. “[These] give us the better performance, better price performance, and also better scalability.”
This performance comes not from the more powerful Graphics Processing Units, as most would assume, by the less-energy-intensive Central Processing Units. This is enabled by AMD’s EPYC processors that power the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
“What you see in the AMD architecture for EPYC for this use case is the balance and the fact that you are able to do the pre-processing, the AI, and then the post-processing all seamlessly together — that has a huge value,” Siva said.
With MySQL HeatWave ML, inference, explanation and training all use the CPU in the same OCI infrastructure. Using the same infrastructure results in better TCO, as well as better performance because “you’re bringing the data to the computation,” according to Siva.
“The in-database HeatWave ML puts Redshift ML and Snowflake on notice,” Ron Westfall, senior analyst and research director at Futurum, said in the CUBE Power Panel. “Are these solutions more like yesterday’s tech in terms of engineering, performance and cost? Because they’re slower and more expensive, chances are the answer is yes.”
Here’s the complete video interview, one of many CUBE Conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of enterprise technology, digital transformation, and cultures of innovation: