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Oracle Supply Chain Software Review

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Oracle Best Fit and Alternative Software

Oracle Sweet Spot
Short list Oracle in the following Supply Chain software scenarios:

  • Oracle’s existing base of customers using any of their ERP solution suites.
  • Large global enterprises with multiple operations around the globe.
  • Customers wanting to achieve economy of scales with centralized controls and integrated global planning and sourcing.
  • Large organizations with sophisticated global trading requirements with supply chain partnerships that vary from transactional to outsourcing to joint ventures.
  • Large organizations with complex supply chain planning and integrated processing needs.

Alternative Software Solutions
Conditions where IT buyers may be best advised to consider alternative supply chain system products:

  • SAP is Oracle’s closest match, with a full featured Supply Chain Management software suite and resources to address the service needs of customers with global operations.
  • Other major supply chain planning software suites with competitive offerings are sold by JDA, Oracle, Logility, and Infor.
  • Retailers have alternative options from SAP, JDA, and Island Pacific.
  • Top tier Warehouse Management Systems are sold by Manhattan Associates and RedPrairie; second tier offerings are sold by Oracle, HighJump Software, Accellos and IBM.
  • Another top tier Transportation Management System is sold by JDA; Manhattan Associates, RedPrairie, LeanLogistics; IBM and SAP sells second tier TMS solutions.
  • Microsoft partners with a broad range of vendors that add industry specific value to their Dynamics offerings for small to mid-size companies. Microsoft Dynamics AX is generally considered the strongest supply chain software solution among the four Microsoft ERP products.

Concluding Remarks

With six different suites of ERP / SCM offerings (EBS, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, JD Edwards World, Oracle Retail and Oracle Fusion Applications) plus a plethora of other Oracle business application offerings, there are short and long term challenges that must be carefully considered. So far Oracle is handling the immediate challenges, and keeping their growing customer base intact. In the short and mid-term, Oracle needs to keep each of the business application offerings current with changes in technologies and business practices. For the long term, the new Fusion Applications suite needs to be “SAP like” (one suite with fully integrated and robust functionality), without compromising the capabilities in their current offerings. The other long term challenge is providing a migration path to Fusion Application without an adverse (financial or technical) impact on their growing customer base.

So far, Oracle is building out their current offerings to be competitive, meeting evolving best practices, and successfully communicating their short and mid-term vision to their customers. Oracle’s long term strategy is getting more complicated as Oracle continues to acquire more companies, including acquisitions of Sun Microsystems and BEA Systems. These acquisitions add additional complexity to their Fusion Middleware (which is critical to the Fusion Application design) and their marketing message as they evolve from a software company to a software + silicon company.

Oracle owns many of the technologies used to develop and enable their business application software, as well as business application offerings from their competition. The Oracle technologies are comprised of hardware, operating system, middleware, and development software. Oracle is in the process of integrating their broad range of technologies from their many acquisitions. Some of the unanswered questions, that each customer needs to weigh when making long term commitment to Oracle’s ERP and SCM suites are:

  • Is the future Fusion Application suite going to meet your future business system needs?
  • Does Oracle’s migration path to Fusion Applications make sense for your business needs?
  • Does Fusion Application become so dependent on other Oracle technologies that your IT needs to change; i.e. technology infrastructure, skill sets, culture, outsourcing and vendor relationships?
  • Once Oracle has more deeply integrated their technologies and business applications, how will Oracle compete with IBM, Microsoft, HP, SAP and Others?
  • Will Oracle behave more like Microsoft and SAP, only supporting their narrow view of IT services and products, and relying on third parties to support their customers?
  • Or does Oracle become more “IBM-and-HP-like” competing on the bigger picture of providing a total solution that includes products from their competition. To accomplish the later, like IBM and HP, Oracle needs to make a big investment in a larger consulting services division that focuses on their customer’s business needs first, then the technologies to accomplish the business needs. End

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