AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 9, 2022 — Anaconda Inc., provider of the world’s most popular data science platform, today announced a collaboration with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to offer secure open-source Python and R tools and packages by embedding and enabling Anaconda’s repository across OCI Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Services. Customers have access to Anaconda services directly from within OCI without a separate enterprise license.
“We are committed to helping enterprises secure their open-source pipelines through the ability to use Anaconda anywhere, and that includes inside the Oracle Cloud,” said Peter Wang, CEO and co-founder of Anaconda. “By combining Anaconda’s package dependency manager and curated open-source repository with OCI’s products, data scientists and developers can seamlessly collaborate using the open-source Python tools they know and trust – while helping meet enterprise IT governance requirements.”
Python has become the most popular programming language in the data science ecosystem, and for good reason; it is a widely-accessible language that facilitates a variety of programming-driven tasks. Because the velocity of innovation powered by the open-source community outpaces any single technology vendor, more and more organizations are adopting open-source Python for enterprise use.
“Oracle’s partnership to provide data scientists with seamless access to Anaconda not only delivers high-performance machine learning, but also helps ensure strong enterprise governance and security,” said Elad Ziklik, vice president, AI Services, Oracle. “With security built into the core OCI experience, plus the security of Anaconda’s curated repository, data scientists can use their favorite open-source tools to build, train, and deploy models.”
Together, Anaconda and Oracle are looking forward to bringing open-source innovation to the enterprise, helping apply ML and AI to the most important business and research initiatives. For more information on how to use Anaconda in OCI, click here.
With more than 30 million users, Anaconda is the world’s most popular data science platform and the foundation of modern machine learning. We pioneered the use of Python for data science, champion its vibrant community, and continue to steward open-source projects that make tomorrow’s innovations possible. Our enterprise-grade tools are the leading solution for securing and managing commercial uses of Python, and enable corporate, research, and academic institutions around the world to harness the power of open-source for competitive advantage, groundbreaking research, and building a smarter, better world.
Oracle NetSuite is our pick for the best accounting software product that includes enterprise resource planning (ERP). NetSuite has been a leading brand name in the ERP space for many years. Your business can use it to keep track of your financial data and automate all of your accounting functions. But more importantly, you can use NetSuite’s full ERP solution to manage complex business functions on a global scale.
An established business with a lot of moving parts requires an advanced solution capable of managing complex processes, which is where ERP software can help. ERP refers to an integrated software solution used to manage business processes. Although finance and accounting is perhaps the most important part of ERP, other modules include human resources management, sales, marketing and supply chain.
Oracle NetSuite is one of the leading solutions in the industry for ERP. This multifaceted solution can expedite an organization’s financial transactions, such as accounts receivable and payable, as well as keep track of a company’s compliance obligations. It has many reporting, planning and billing features, and is designed to be used globally and with multiple currencies. It can be easily integrated with other software, including Oracle’s suite of business solutions. For these reasons and more, we’ve chosen Oracle NetSuite as the best accounting software with ERP tools.
Did you know? There are two types of ERP: on-premises ERP (manual installation) and cloud-based ERP (software as a service, or SaaS). Learn more in our article about ERP industry trends.
As an integrated software solution used to manage HR, sales, marketing and supply chain, NetSuite goes far beyond simpler accounting and bookkeeping software. Unsurprisingly, NetSuite was far more complex than mass-market solutions, such as what we found in our review of QuickBooks. Like most of the best accounting software solutions we reviewed, NetSuite displays key business metrics on the main dashboard. As shown below, it’s a very busy interface packed with tools and drop-down menus
We found that while NetSuite’s ease of use might eclipse that of other ERP solutions, it obviously isn’t as user-friendly as basic solutions geared toward small businesses. NetSuite’s complexity means that many business owners may need to consider hiring a consultant to help them navigate the software and make full use of its capabilities. That said, the steep learning curve belies extremely powerful tools and capabilities that you simply won’t get with cheap alternatives.
If you plan to use Oracle NetSuite as part of a larger ERP solution, you can integrate your accounting processes with other functions, such as inventory management, for a complete view of your business’s income and expenses. Here is an overview of the key features of Oracle NetSuite’s accounting solution.
NetSuite helps businesses design and implement financial processes with their accounting software. It provides the ability to seamlessly connect accounting functions with management systems. Managers have real-time access to their financial data, giving them the ability to create reports or address delays.
Its general ledger gives organizations the ability to input and monitor all of their financial data in a customizable ledger. Through the general ledger, users can report functionality, enhance audit trials and create support for new management.
NetSuite’s accounts receivable and payable features integrate all financial data into an easy-to-use system that functions automatically. They also have management programs for taxes, fixed assets, cash and payments.
If you have multiple clients, vendors or partners, NetSuite can streamline your billing infrastructure. It gives you control and flexibility over your billing process through a centralized framework that includes transactions, subscriptions and projects that go directly to the billing engine. The billing function also allows you to create and manage subscriptions and recurring billing.
NetSuite helps you comply with accounting standards to report financial results in a timely manner. The revenue recognition services enable you to schedule, calculate and report revenue on financial statements swiftly.
Through its planning and budgeting functions, NetSuite can help you plan for your business’s financial future. One really cool function is that NetSuite can use your business’s data to forecast revenue and what-if scenarios, as well as produce budgets. The system can also take your current data in future projections and generate reports.
Running your business internationally or introducing your products and services into an international market can present challenges. Through NetSuite’s financial engine, you can manage your business finances across your organization globally. We like that the software comes with multiple language interfaces that can help you bridge communication or language gaps.
NetSuite also offers a multicurrency management system that supports over 190 currencies. The software automatically calculates the exchange rate for real-time conversion. It also provides a variety of payment options to resolve international transactions seamlessly.
NetSuite helps organizations set up and monitor their systems so that they comply with their company’s government risk and compliance (GRC) programs. It provides the ability to change systems as your company scales and is audit ready so that any financial issues can easily be viewed and investigated. NetSuite complies with regulatory requirements such as ASC 606, GAAP and SOX.
The program can also transform your GRC program in real time by establishing a sustainable risk-management and compliance process. This feature can save businesses money in the long run, as it can predict major issues.
As an ERP platform, Oracle NetSuite offers seamless integration with all modules (accounting, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), human capital management, etc.) available on the platform. NetSuite integrates with many leading business software providers and offers open APIs for new integrations.
To integrate NetSuite with other business software, a dedicated implementation team is available for an additional fee. The team can also develop additional integrations and project management planning.
One unique feature is Oracle NetSuite’s warehouse management and fulfillment module, which helps businesses control inbound logistics, outbound logistics and warehouse inventory management. Using NetSuite, businesses can generate and send purchase orders to their suppliers. They can also set high-priority tickets to an “expedite” list for faster processing.
Outbound logistics tracks goods leaving the warehouse, which are shipped directly to stores or consumers. This tool includes a “pick, pack and ship” feature, which informs warehouse employees and distribution employees that a product is ready for transport. As an item moves through the warehouse, Oracle NetSuite updates its records to reflect the accurate number of quantities remaining in your inventory.
Did you know? “Supply chain distribution” and “logistics” mean two different things, although the two terms are often used interchangeably. Logistics is the process of planning how products will get to their destinations, while distribution is the actual process of getting them there.
Logistics tools are dependent upon accurate inventory management, which incorporates barcoding, batch and serial tracking to determine where items are located in a warehouse. We were especially impressed by how seamlessly the process fits together. When employees scan a received product into the storage facility, they move it from the loading dock to the appropriate lot, aisle and bin. Once placed, an item is scanned again, and Oracle NetSuite automatically updates its records with the location of the item and the date and time it was scanned.
Once an item is stored in the warehouse, Oracle NetSuite regularly alerts staff to perform “cycle counts,” or inventory audits. These audits reconcile the actual quantity of stock in storage with the records maintained by Oracle NetSuite’s inventory-tracking tool. Oracle NetSuite’s auditing features are also designed to streamline inventory audits by cataloging products based on their value, quantity and specific characteristics, like color, size, material and type.
The order-management tool helps warehouses ensure an adequate quantity of each item is always on hand without over-ordering and ending up with deadstock, or products that cannot be sold promptly. NetSuite automatically analyzes historical sales and logistics data to determine optimal reordering points for each product, replenishing stock to an optimal threshold when it runs low. NetSuite also accounts for lead times identified through the inbound logistics tools, factoring in how long it takes suppliers to fulfill new orders and adjusting the minimum quantity accordingly.
Oracle NetSuite also includes a multi-location management tool, which we found useful for a warehouse that supplies several locations. Through lot tracking, bin tracking and serial tracking, you can monitor the flow of goods across your entire business in real time, and NetSuite automatically adjusts optimal stock levels to support demand across all your locations.
Oracle NetSuite’s platform consists of inventory management, financial management, point-of-sale, CRM and employee management software. Depending on the specifics of your business – such as the size of your company, its revenue and the modules you require – the price can vary greatly.
To get an accurate price estimate, you’ll need to speak with an Oracle sales representative, who will prepare a custom quote for you based on your company size, industry and specific needs. Based on our research, the platform starts at approximately $99 per user per month plus a $999 monthly licensing fee. While this base price can be used as an estimate, your costs may vary significantly.
Oracle NetSuite may not be the best choice for small businesses with more basic accounting and bookkeeping needs. Midsize, scaling, large and international businesses are better positioned to benefit from Oracle NetSuite’s ERP platform. If you’re running a larger company, NetSuite’s integrated ecosystem can save you time and money that would otherwise be spent acquiring and integrating a hodgepodge of software solutions from a variety of vendors.
During our research into NetSuite, we found that onboarding isn’t the simplest process. As with pricing, you will have to contact Oracle NetSuite’s sales team for a free product tour. You can also view a variety of product-specific demos on NetSuite’s website. However, unlike most of the other software packages that we examined, NetSuite does not offer a free trial.
Implementing NetSuite as a brand-new user likely won’t be a walk in the park for most business owners. An entire cottage industry of consultants exists solely to assist businesses with implementing NetSuite and tailoring it to fit their needs. Although businesses that use NetSuite are generally larger and can probably absorb these extra costs, it’s something to keep in mind for anyone considering NetSuite.
Oracle NetSuite provides extensive customer service for all of its software, including accounting systems. It also provides education services, where users can learn about the software they’re using and get up to speed on any new features or versions of their products. These services come in the form of both documents and online classes.
Real-time support for industries, as well as individual users, is available 24/7. The chatbot on NetSuite’s website can provide users with simple explanations or connect them with a customer service representative.
If you are a smaller business or on a tight budget, consider investing in a dedicated accounting software solution that can be integrated with your other systems and keep track of your finances.
With such a comprehensive set of features, Oracle NetSuite’s major limitation is not so much the software itself. In our view, the drawbacks are the high price point and steep learning curve. Implementation is likely to take a very long time; it may take months, or even years, to fully master the software and its abilities. It is not the most user-friendly system, despite a very wide feature set. This means that Oracle NetSuite is not an appropriate choice for small businesses with limited resources, but it is a great choice for established businesses with lots of resources.
Small business owners with less complex needs might want to consider lower-priced alternatives for their accounting and bookkeeping needs. Aside from QuickBooks, our FreshBooks review found that software great for handling invoicing, while our review of Zoho Books revealed it to be a fantastic tool for automating processes.
Tip: Read our review of Xero to learn about an alternative software package that we believe is a solid fit for a growing business.
To generate our quantitative score and use case, we reviewed software features such as payment and invoicing capabilities, the number of integrations, mobile apps, report generation, supported user count, and customer service. We also assessed pricing and the availability of free trials. Sources of information included in this review were gleaned from the company’s website and software demos. Additionally, we studied user reviews for independent opinions on the software’s pros and cons. For ERP specifically, we focused on how the breadth of the product creates a unified system that will help businesses meet complex challenges.
Oracle NetSuite is an ERP platform with numerous modules to manage financials, HR, inventory, supply chains and more.
The Oracle Corporation acquired NetSuite in 2016; the software package is now formally known as Oracle NetSuite.
Potential customers will need to contact Oracle for a quote, although $99 per user per month plus a $999 monthly licensing fee is a ballpark figure.
We recommend Oracle NetSuite for …
We don’t recommend Oracle NetSuite for …
This is the preferred method of ensuring that your database is backed up on a regular basis.
Database Export (Windows)
The database user Aptare must have access to the export files stored in the directory:
Verify that Oracle user has read and execute privileges on these files before starting the database export.
Log into the Windows database server.
Ensure Oracle TNS Listener and Oracle services are running.
At the command prompt execute the script:
After successful completion, the export file aptare_scdb.exp is saved on the Windows database server in the directory:
Copy the file c:\opt\datarcvrconf\aptare.ks to c:\opt\oracle\logs folder.
This step is required only if database is exported from an NetBackup IT Analytics version of 10.5 or above.
To schedule the export task refer to the following.
See Scheduling the Export Job (Windows).
Database Export (Linux)
The database user Aptare must have access to the export files stored in the directory:
Verify that Oracle user has read and execute privileges on these files before starting the database export.
Log into the Linux database server and switch to user Aptare.
Ensure Oracle Listener and Oracle services are running.
Change to the directory:
Execute the command:
After successful completion, the export file aptare_scdb.exp is saved in the /tmp directory on the Linux database server.
Execute the cp /opt/aptare/datarcvrconf/aptare.ks /tmp command to copy the file aptare.ks to datarcvrconf folder.
This step is required only if database is exported from an NetBackup IT Analytics version of 10.5 or above.
To schedule the export task refer to the following.
See Scheduling the Export (Linux).
Next has apologised to staff for underpaying them because of the retailer’s implementation of a payroll system provided by Oracle, according to The Sunday Times, which broke the story.
Payment problems reportedly emerged in February 2022, affecting employees paid on weekly and monthly cycles. They have been underpaid by as much as £200 a month, according to The Sunday Times.
The Guardian, which has also published the story, reported that Next “usually designs its own software, but has struggled to make Oracle’s software work with its own. Instead, it has been forced to assign a dedicated team to try to spot errors and pay the missing money to workers every week”.
Payroll is widely seen, among HR software market watchers, as the cinderella of the sector. It has not had the investment attention from suppliers as have comparatively “sexier” areas, such as talent management, recruitment and continuous learning.
As Computer Weekly has previously noted, about one-third of medium to large-sized organisations are using on-premise systems to automate their payroll processes, while 34% have moved to the cloud. And a 2019 survey of 251 UK HR and payroll managers in private sector companies with more than 1,000 staff, conducted by Censuswide, revealed that 52% were still using spreadsheets as part of their payroll process, while just over one-third relied on paper-based timesheets.
For user organisations, payroll software is an area of high anxiety. Employees do not appreciate not being paid, and care less if their employer’s continuous learning software module misfires.
One longstanding Oracle customer, which became the first public sector body to adopt the supplier’s suite of business applications in the cloud, is Lambeth Borough Council. Hamant Bharadia, assistant director of finance at Lambeth Council, recently told Computer Weekly that when the council was looking, in 2017, at moving its applications to the cloud, Oracle came out ahead of SAP in terms of breadth and depth of functionality, especially in relation to financials, while Workday was still in its infancy.
However, even with Oracle, payroll was not yet there in the cloud, and in the end, it was the last module to be implemented, in May 2018, while everything else went live in March of that year. The council also experienced an initial glitch with payroll, which affected some senior managers as well as rank-and-file staff. Out of about 3,500 employees, 350 were not paid on the day they should have been.
Oracle dealt with the glitch promptly, and everyone was paid within two days, said Bharadia in a wide-ranging, forthcoming interview about the modernisation of the council’s applications stack.
Oracle declined to comment on the Next story when contacted by Computer Weekly. Next has yet to respond.
C is a beautiful language perfectly suited for development on low-power devices such as the 8-bit microcontrollers. With newer, more powerful ARM microcontrollers making their way onto the market and workbenches around the world, it was only fitting that Oracle got in on the action. They released a version of Java targeted at these newer, more powerful microcontrollers called Java ME embedded.
The new embedded version of Java has everything you would expect from a microcontroller development platform – access to GPIO pins, including SD cards and I2C devices. The new Java machine is designed for full headless operation and is capable of running on devices with as little as 130 kB of RAM and 350 kB of ROM.
As for the utility of programming a microcontroller in Java, it’s still the second most popular language, after spending the better part of a decade as the number one language programmers choose to use. The requirements of the new embedded version of Java are far too large to fit onto even the best 8-bit microcontrollers, but with a new crop of more powerful ARM devices, we’ll expect to see more and more ARM/Java projects making their way into the Hackaday tip line in the coming months.
Tip ‘o the hat to [roger] for sending this one in.
Vodafone is on a quest to pivot from being “just a Telco” to a “TechCo." The strategy includes revamping operations to reduce costs; digitally transforming the customer experience and service development processes; and developing a differentiated value proposition that leverages 5G, IoT, and edge investments and capabilities.
The company recently split the network infrastructure from digital functions with two closely aligned leaders. The reorganization sees Scott Petty step up to the group level to lead digital and IT operations, making him the critical leader in executing the plan to transform Vodafone into a cloud-first, data-driven 'TechCo”.
Before you stop practicing and move on to the following article because you are not in the telecommunications business – let me say that the Vodafone challenge is not unique. I would say that this story applies to any company with discerning customers who have a choice. Please read on if you must continuously evolve customer-facing applications and content to retain customer loyalty.
The front-end and back-end – mind the gap!
We know the front-end is what the users can see while the back-end is the infrastructure that supports it - both need to be in perfect harmony. In the Telco world, the back-end is the “crown jewels," namely the operations support system (OSS), which maintains network operations, and the business support system (BSS), which covers order capture, and customer relationship management (CRM) and billing.
Both front-end and back-end functions are strongly intertwined. When consumer applications change every week, and the back-end is updated every quarter, the "gap" will eventually impact the ability to execute.
As Vodafone built more complex e-commerce applications on the front-end, the need increased for the same cloud capability from the core transactional systems (high-transaction BSS/OSS apps). Vodafone considered several options, including upgrading technology in-situ, building a private cloud platform, or using other third-party clouds.
But, moving transactional systems wholesale to the public cloud is costly and complex, with the risk of performance and latency issues associated with maintaining those systems, which need to remain on-premises for legal or compliance reasons.
Oracle was unique because it offered to build a complete public cloud capability in the Vodafone data centers. Vodafone was able to take a more flexible approach to modernize and migrate the mission-critical systems— the most data-intensive/demanding or too costly/risky to move wholesale to the public cloud.
Way too many databases!
How many databases are too many? Vodafone has fifteen thousand (not a typo) and eight thousand associated applications. Vodafone will be deploying Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer to modernize those thousands of Oracle databases that support its mission-critical transactional OSS and BSS systems—including core functions like order management and CRM. This task could take several years to complete.
Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer is a complete OCI cloud deployed in the data center, providing a secure cloud platform to modernize existing infrastructure while retaining full control of data governance, meeting demanding data residency and security regulations.
Vodafone envisages a world in which half of the applications run in Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud and the other half run on the Oracle Cloud. The mix is likely to change over time. The work to modernize the “crown jewel” applications onto the Oracle Cloud might cause application ecosystems to move from AWS onto Oracle Cloud because it would be a more natural fit.
Pivot from running technology to building new services
Vodafone has embraced Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) in a big way, consolidating forty data centers that run core services for its entire European operations (13 countries) into three locations (Ireland, Italy, and Germany) running on OCI.
The Oracle implementation is a critical pillar in the pivot from ‘Telco to TechCo,’ providing the foundation for a common platform across the Vodafone Group. It will allow rationalization and consolidation of the IT estate while leveraging the cloud as a more efficient way of delivering and scaling new communications services.
Vodafone expects to significantly cut costs across operations and accelerate the development and time to market for new services. The Oracle platform will also bring automation to IT operations, enabling more IT staff to focus on the digital experience and the use of data to drive better customer experiences.
Ultimately, the end game is to redirect the IT organization away from building, integrating, and running technology to provide customers with new services and a better digital experience.
As an example, Oracle Autonomous Database is now a feature of OCI. Oracle Autonomous Database is a cloud database that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to automate database tuning, security, backups, updates, and other routine management tasks without human intervention. Database administrators (DBAs) can now focus on more critical tasks, such as data aggregation, modeling, processing, governance strategies, and supporting developers.
One unique, differentiated example is that the Autonomous Database is serverless and elastic. When an application is not running on the Oracle Cloud, there are no CPUs dedicated hence no charges. Additionally, it is instantaneously elastic, increasing or decreasing servers and cores as needed while the database is still running.
Quickly monetizing IoT services
The long-awaited convergence of the network with the cloud, IoT, and MEC will become the foundation for new service offerings. With expertise in IoT, MEC, and 5g, Vodafone is well-positioned to offer new scalable next-generation digital services.
OCI offers integrated applications for Sales, Service, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Supply Chain, and Manufacturing, plus Automated and Secure Generation 2 Infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database.
Vodafone is already monetizing IoT services using Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) which runs on OCI. For example, sensors in connected vehicles can enable services such as GPS map updates or infotainment, charged on a subscription or consumption basis. The solution runs on the high-performance OCI Container Engine for Kubernetes and is automated with OCI Resource Manager and Terraform across multiple Oracle Cloud Regions. Today it is no longer about connecting IoT devices but providing complete solutions for customers.
The 5G wireless broadband expansion promises an exciting future.
For example, virtual reality applications will power high-tech glasses that give instructions to workers in complex fields such as airplane maintenance.
As Vodafone takes advantage of 5G, architectural agility will be essential to monetize next-generation services quickly and efficiently. Oracle's Billing and Revenue Management solution is well-positioned to support emerging 5G-enabled use cases with its cloud-native compliant, microservices-based architecture framework.
Regular readers will know I have become impressed with Oracle's Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and have written several articles. That was not always the case. I was critical of Oracle Cloud V1.0, but Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud is an entirely new infrastructure developed from the ground up with no resemblance to its predecessor. The design goals were better performance, pricing, and—above all else—security. Oracle Cloud V2 is a significant improvement and more competitive.
As a long-time Oracle observer, I think it is incredible how the story around OCI is starting to resonate with customers. OCI as a single platform offering IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and data as a service (DaaS) capabilities is not that sexy. But, combined with technologies such as Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, and Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing, the result is a platform capable of handling large, data-intensive workloads with better security. For organizations like Vodafone transitioning from on-premises data centers to the cloud, OCI is an ideal solution.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.
Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and tech industry analyst firms, provides or has provided paid services to technology companies. These services include research, analysis, advising, consulting, benchmarking, acquisition matchmaking, and speaking sponsorships. The company has had or currently has paid business relationships with 8×8, Accenture, A10 Networks, Advanced Micro Devices, Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Ambient Scientific, Anuta Networks, Applied Brain Research, Applied Micro, Apstra, Arm, Aruba Networks (now HPE), Atom Computing, AT&T, Aura, Automation Anywhere, AWS, A-10 Strategies, Bitfusion, Blaize, Box, Broadcom, C3.AI, Calix, Campfire, Cisco Systems, Clear Software, Cloudera, Clumio, Cognitive Systems, CompuCom, Cradlepoint, CyberArk, Dell, Dell EMC, Dell Technologies, Diablo Technologies, Dialogue Group, Digital Optics, Dreamium Labs, D-Wave, Echelon, Ericsson, Extreme Networks, Five9, Flex, Foundries.io, Foxconn, Frame (now VMware), Fujitsu, Gen Z Consortium, Glue Networks, GlobalFoundries, Revolve (now Google), Google Cloud, Graphcore, Groq, Hiregenics, Hotwire Global, HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Honeywell, Huawei Technologies, IBM, Infinidat, Infosys, Inseego, IonQ, IonVR, Inseego, Infosys, Infiot, Intel, Interdigital, Jabil Circuit, Keysight, Konica Minolta, Lattice Semiconductor, Lenovo, Linux Foundation, Lightbits Labs, LogicMonitor, Luminar, MapBox, Marvell Technology, Mavenir, Marseille Inc, Mayfair Equity, Meraki (Cisco), Merck KGaA, Mesophere, Micron Technology, Microsoft, MiTEL, Mojo Networks, MongoDB, MulteFire Alliance, National Instruments, Neat, NetApp, Nightwatch, NOKIA (Alcatel-Lucent), Nortek, Novumind, NVIDIA, Nutanix, Nuvia (now Qualcomm), onsemi, ONUG, OpenStack Foundation, Oracle, Palo Alto Networks, Panasas, Peraso, Pexip, Pixelworks, Plume Design, PlusAI, Poly (formerly Plantronics), Portworx, Pure Storage, Qualcomm, Quantinuum, Rackspace, Rambus, Rayvolt E-Bikes, Red Hat, Renesas, Residio, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Semi, SAP, SAS, Scale Computing, Schneider Electric, SiFive, Silver Peak (now Aruba-HPE), SkyWorks, SONY Optical Storage, Splunk, Springpath (now Cisco), Spirent, Splunk, Sprint (now T-Mobile), Stratus Technologies, Symantec, Synaptics, Syniverse, Synopsys, Tanium, Telesign,TE Connectivity, TensTorrent, Tobii Technology, Teradata,T-Mobile, Treasure Data, Twitter, Unity Technologies, UiPath, Verizon Communications, VAST Data, Ventana Micro Systems, Vidyo, VMware, Wave Computing, Wellsmith, Xilinx, Zayo, Zebra, Zededa, Zendesk, Zoho, Zoom, and Zscaler. Moor Insights & Strategy founder, CEO, and Chief Analyst Patrick Moorhead is an investor in dMY Technology Group Inc. VI, Dreamium Labs, Groq, Luminar Technologies, MemryX, and Movandi.
Recently, Microsoft and Oracle announced the general availability (GA) of Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, a new service that allows Microsoft Azure customers to provision, access, and monitor enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).
Microsoft and Oracle have partnered since 2019 and first delivered the Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure,, allowing hundreds of organizations to use secure and private interconnections in 11 global regions. Now both companies have extended their partnership with the GA release of Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, which builds upon the core capabilities of the Oracle Interconnect for Azure and enables any customer to integrate workloads more easily on Microsoft Azure with Oracle Database services on OCI.
Through the Azure Portal, customers can deploy Oracle Database running on OCI with the Oracle Database Service. The service automatically configures everything required to link the two cloud environments and federates Azure Active Directory identities, making it easy for Azure customers to use the service. Furthermore, OCI database logs and metrics are integrated with Azure Services such as Azure Application Insights and Azure Log Analytics for simpler management and monitoring Azure Application Insights and Azure Log Analytics.
Jane Zhu, senior vice president, and chief information officer, Corporate Operations, Veritas, said in a Microsoft press release:
Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure has simplified the use of a multi-cloud environment for data analytics. We were able to easily ingest large volumes of data hosted by Oracle Exadata Database Service on OCI to Azure Data Factory where we are using Azure Synapse for analysis.
In addition, Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research Inc., told InfoQ:
It is remarkable as customers brought competitors together - and now Oracle is even better integrated into the Azure... practically making Oracle a first-grade citizen in Azure - operating the Oracle DB from an Azure console. This is how multi-cloud should be implemented - so customers win. And they must win......
Furthermore, he said:
Tacitly it is also the admission by Microsoft that the Oracle DB is better than MS SQL Server and by Oracle that Microsoft PowerBI is better than Oracle Analytics - at least for some customers... and Larry J Ellison is right - it is all about giving customers choices.
Lastly, there are no charges for using the Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, the Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure, or data egress or ingress when moving data between OCI and Azure. Customers will pay only for the other Azure or Oracle services they consume, such as Azure Synapse or Oracle Autonomous Database.
Lambeth Council has been modernising its business applications environment over the past few years, against the background of cost pressure, Covid, and now the rising cost of living crisis.
With a long history as a progressive borough, even a militant one, Lambeth has a culturally diverse population that has been economically under the cosh for many years. It has almost 330,000 inhabitants, is just over 10 square miles in size, and was known as a landing place for lambs in the Middle Ages, hence the name.
Hamant Bharadia, assistant director of finance at Lambeth Council, says it has learned to do more with less, and, in relation to IT, has pursued a cloud strategy that involves Oracle and Microsoft technology.
Lambeth Council became the first UK public sector body to adopt Oracle’s suite of business applications in the cloud, in 2018.
Bharadia says, in a video on an Oracle web page: “We are a £1bn business, with 3,000 staff providing 700-800 services to our businesses, residents and wider community. Over the last 10 years, our funding has reduced by 50%, about £250m. But the demand for our services has not changed and has become more complex.
“The reasons for the move to the cloud were to have a simpler and easier solution, to have nimble, anywhere, anytime access. That is critical for us.”
Lambeth has a long-standing relationship with Oracle, and was one of six London councils in a multi-year Oracle shared services partnership that started in 2012, and ran until March 2018.
Bharadia tells Computer Weekly that when it was looking, in 2017, at moving its applications to the cloud, Oracle came out ahead of SAP in terms of breadth and depth of functionality, especially in relation to financials, while Workday was still in its infancy at that time. There was also continuity in respect of the previous joint customer relationship with the other London councils, namely Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Lewisham, Havering and Croydon.
“The reasons for the move to the cloud were to have a simpler and easier solution, to have nimble, anywhere, anytime access. That is critical for us”
Hamant Bharadia, Lambeth Council
Bharadia has worked for the council for 32 years, and recalls having the ICL system, Lafis (Local Authority Financial Information System), as well as the shared Oracle partnership. “That [the latter] had its challenges – getting everybody to agree to the right kind of format, specifications, processes. We managed it, but it came to end of life.
“At that point, we’d already committed, as an organisation, that our future lay in the cloud primarily. We couldn’t justify occupying central London property to store databases. And then the other half about the cloud was about flexibility of working.”
The intention was to reduce the council’s property estate and get staff working flexibly, with a view that “data can be accessible from anywhere”.
It started its cloud migration, in 2015-2016, with a move to Microsoft Office 365. All post comes into a processing centre outside London, where it is scanned and delivered to council workers’ mailboxes digitally. “We’re trying to reduce paper as much as possible, on the basis that making as much information as possible online, available for analytics and decision making, is the way forward,” says Bharadia.
“We started looking at our options in 2017. We knew we wanted cloud. In 2017, there wasn’t much ERP [enterprise resource planning] in the cloud space. Oracle, with some of their products, but not with everything. Oracle Financials, yes, and they’d made good progress on bits of HR.”
Oracle came out ahead of SAP in terms of breadth and depth of functionality, he says, while Workday was still perceived to be less mature. However, even with Oracle, payroll was not yet there in the cloud, so it was the last module to be implemented, in May 2018, while everything else went live in March of that year.
Financial forecasting has improved for the council by virtue of the Oracle cloud applications for that. Previously, Bharadia says it was a scenario of “budget forecasting done on Excel spreadsheets, with lots of files being shuffled around the organisation, lots of meetings between accountants and budget holders”. The aim was for “budget holders to have sight of their budgets more routinely, and to be able to do their own forecasts so that they have control”.
The self-service model the council has moved to has developed from around 20-30% of budget holders routinely updating their forecasts to more like 70%. The finance team, of around 120 accountants, is now liberated, he says, to engage sooner with budget holders, playing a more advisory role with respect to activities like procurement.
In the HR function, with more self-service capabilities, the council has seen a 55% improvement in appraisal and performance reporting, allowing the HR team to allocate fewer resources to share a greater workload.
In the area of supply chain, the council has used the Oracle cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) product to streamline its suppliers, reducing the number of these by 19%.
One area that is still evolving is recruitment. It had struggled with Oracle’s legacy Taleo product and is now moving to Oracle Recruiting, which is part of the supplier’s Oracle Cloud HCM service. “We were experiencing a lot of incomplete applications, with people giving up halfway through. So, we were missing candidates,” says Bharadia. “From what we have seen, Oracle Recruiting cloud is a lot more user friendly.”
Putting together the Oracle implementation with its Microsoft estate, the council is aiming at a new vista of using data more effectively to serve its residents. Part of that has involved building a small data science team, which has been working on activities such as identifying people especially vulnerable to Covid-19, socially and economically, as well as medically. Now, in a similar vein, it is identifying people especially vulnerable to the rising cost of living crisis.
Hamant Bharadia, Lambeth Council
“The next piece we’re working on is data,” says Bharadia. “We’ve got all this data in Oracle systems, we’ve got a housing system that has data, and we have a social care system that has data. So, one of the things we’re now exploring is better use of data.
“We now have a data analytics team internally, that’s looking at those connections. They are using [Microsoft] PowerBI and other cloud-based products to bring together different datasets to target our services better.”
This team has existed for around two years. They could have done this kind of work before, but it would, he says, have taken a lot longer.
Another legacy of the Covid period is the council will not return to previous levels of office occupancy. “What we’re saying to staff and managers is come into our office buildings if you’re going to be collaborating, not as a matter of routine just for the sake of doing your day job.”
It is working to a ratio of six office desks for 10 people, and Bharadia says it might end up with more collaborative spaces rather than individual desks.
It is also freeing up office space for use by local businesses. “One of our buildings is entirely based on that model, for new and emerging businesses in the community,” he adds. “We also delivered lockdown support without taking on lots of extra staff. So, we were doing the vaccination centres, the food hubs, the additional support to our residents during the period, through a combination of remote working and some mobile working, where people were just out there in vans delivering things, getting stuff done.
“So, it is possible to have that hybrid model of working. That’s not to say it’s perfect. In either model, you are going to get some people who are not 100% contributing. But you get that currently anyway,” says Bharadia.
A Department of Veteran Affairs‘ senior health leader has said that delaying the rollout of its electronic health record system (EHR) at a Boise, Idaho location is part of the implementation process and is “not a setback” in an internal note to staff.
The EHR modernization rollout effort at the Boise VA Medical Center has been postponed indefinitely due to long-identified issues with the program’s reliability and safety that could put veterans in danger.
“I want to make it clear that this weekend’s decision is not a setback, but rather part of the process,” Steven Lieberman, Deputy Under Secretary for Health at the VA said in an email to staff on Wednesday obtained by FedScoop.
“Patient safety and burden on our medical personnel are foremost on our minds, and any adjustments to the go-live schedule reflect this focus,” Lieberman added.
The EHR system rollout issues at other VA medical centers like at the center in Spokane, Washington, caused major harm in which a veteran at risk for suicide did not receive treatment because records disappeared in the computer system.
The implementation of the VA’s new EHR system on an Oracle-Cerner developed platform to medical centers around the country will be delayed from its original estimates by at least one to two years and the system rollout is far behind where it was expected to be at the moment.
Lieberman said the VA will continue to work with Oracle Cerner to Boost the software of the EHR system and make it more stable.
Kurt DelBene, the chief information officer at the VA, said during a Senate hearing Wednesday that the Oracle-Cerner EHR system had major stability issues primarily related to change control and testing; challenges with increased capacity; basic functionality; its resilience design, and its response in last resort disaster situations.
When asked for comment on the positive outlook provided in Leiberman’s email despite multiple setbacks within the EHR rollout, the VA defended its decision for the Boise center.
“While there are many positive improvements since VA first went live with the new EHR in October 2020, in assessing Boise’s readiness for deployment this weekend, VA made the decision that, at this point, additional improvements still need to be made to ensure a safe and successful deployment,” said Terrence Hayes, Press Secretary Department of Veterans Affairs.
The VA’s next scheduled EHR software deployment will occur in January of 2023, in Saginaw and Ann Arbor, Michigan, Lieberman said.
“During this short interim, we will not be idle; there is much work to do as we prepare for future successful EHRM deployments in 2023,” he added.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that the rollout of its electronic health record system (EHR) at the Boise VA Medical Center and other centers has been postponed indefinitely due to long-identified issues with the program’s reliability and safety that could put veterans in danger.
The implementation of the VA’s new EHR system on an Oracle-Cerner developed platform to medical centers around the country will be delayed from its original estimates by at least one to two years and the system rollout is far behind where it was expected to be at the moment, a top VA executive said during a Senate hearing.
“Today we held what we call a ‘go no go’ decision with the Boise VA medical center using what we know in our checklist for what needs to be in place for it to be successful and safe,” said Terry Adirim, Executive Director of the Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office at the VA.
“It is a struggle, we are looking for ways we can achieve efficiencies and get the system to a place where core EHR and management activities can be taken across enterprise systems in waves much more quickly. Clearly we’re not there yet, we’re still just in an initial operating capability trying to make all the changes and enhancements to do that,” Adirim said during a Senate Veterans Affairs committee hearing on Examining the Status of VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Program.
The EHR system rollout issues have in some instances, including at the center in Spokane, Washington, caused major harm in which a veteran at risk for suicide did not receive treatment because records disappeared in the computer system.
Adirim said the EHR system rollout to bigger VA medical centers around the country would face longer delays because of ongoing system stability issues that could cause major issues within larger more complex VA medical centers.
Kurt DelBene, the chief information officer at the VA, said during the same Senate hearing that the Oracle-Cerner EHR system had major stability issues primarily related to change control and testing; challenges with increased capacity; basic functionality; its resilience design, and its response in last resort disaster situations.
Delbene added that he was working with Oracle to Boost the software of the EHR system.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-TN., accused Adirim during the hearing of painting a “very rosy picture” of the VA EHR rollout being successful and productive while the VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has torched the agency with over a dozen reports and over 68 significant recommendations in the past two years for ways to Boost the rollout.
Adirim pushed back saying that the VA takes the OIG reports seriously and admits it faces challenges in implementing the EHR rollout in a timely and safe manner but that it had some successes nevertheless.
“We’ve had what a lot of people would say are four successful [EHR] deployments, but we still have things to work on absolutely,” Adirim said in response to Blackburn.
Adirim added that the Defense Department also faced similar stability and performance issues with their EHR rollout and that the VA had tried to learn from its shortcomings but pointed out that the VA healthcare system is much more complex and care oriented than the DOD’s system.