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Modern ERP for Modern Finance: The Oracle view point

Enterprise IT News (EITN) talks to Bernard Solomon, Head of Applications, Oracle Malaysia, about modern finance.

EITN: You recently hosted a Roundtable about Modern Finance and even talked about use of RPA/automation for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). What are the top ERP functions that finance would appreciate being automated, in your opinion?

Bernard: Based on my conversations with customers, here are some areas that finance would appreciate being automated.

Insight into financial performance

Accounting software and enterprise solutions have transformed how companies create budgets, track income and expenses, and reconcile accounts. But increasingly, companies are turning to automation to help them provide better and more timely context about performance. Automation can help companies generate and manage narrative reporting, thereby offering greater insight into the quality and sustainability of financial results, streamlining a critical stage in reporting.

Contracts, procurement and logistics

Automation, when used in conjunction with ERP, can have a profound impact on how companies manage their supply chains, make procurement decisions and negotiate terms with suppliers. Once automation is in place, companies can use machine learning to optimize freight, payment terms, working capital, and more. By managing costs and orders in a predictable way, companies can take a more proactive approach to managing their supply chains and renegotiating contracts.

Compliance and risk management

Automation is revolutionizing how companies think about risk by analyzing vast amounts of data and spotting potential problems in real time. It offers an efficient way to analyze patterns and make predictions.

Automation is more important than ever, as companies deal with ever-changing regulatory landscapes. Now, organizations can quickly analyze and adjust for changing regulations, and apply different rules across different jurisdictions, both domestically and globally

EITN: Please share the TOP benefits of cloud enabling ERP application.

Bernard: Recent Accenture research showed finance staff spend an average of about two-thirds of their time on tasks such as processing transactions, accounting, controlling, compliance and reporting. Equipped with cloud-based ERP applications that add automation to the equation, CFOs can speed up manual tasks and eliminate time-consuming and costly upgrades from their routines. Time, instead, can be dedicated to focusing on the more strategic part of their jobs.

This is important as, for CFOs, their job is more than being good with numbers. It means getting ahead of any uncertainty and equipping themselves with the power of future-gazing, being able to look ahead and have reliable insight over future scenarios.

Organizations are changing their business models to become more agile, and the CFO is expected to be the driving force behind that. As businesses become more and more reliant on data, CFOs need to be more than number-crunchers in the workplace if they are to maximise their earning potential and add value in the right places. ERP can help them to achieve this, making them more productive and successful at work, while freeing up the time to “do it all”

EITN: Can your ERP adapt to current workplace trends in organisation ie. quick fail?

Bernard: For more than 25 years, enterprise resource planning software has helped companies manage all aspects of their operations, from procurement and manufacturing to financial reporting. Now those old, complex systems are giving way to a new generation of cloud-based ERP applications that offer companies big advances in automation, ease of deployment, and artificial intelligence-based analytics.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and pattern recognition, Oracle’s ERP is not only able to automate routine financial management tasks – the automation results in better, more timely reporting and fewer resources spent on the data integration required for custom reports. This automation enables customers to rapidly adapt to changing business demands and workplace trends, and achieve a competitive advantage by increasing productivity, reducing costs, creating a single source of the truth, and driving end-to-end business innovation.

Cloud ERP paired with machine learning can help users identify “next best actions”. For example, the cloud service might help a business leader answer the question, “Where do we grow next?” Increasingly, business leaders see ERP cloud services and new capabilities such as AI as a way to take some of the pressure of security and compliance off their shoulders, so they can focus on business opportunities and execution, and put it on the shoulders of cloud vendor experts

EITN: What are the unique advantages of Oracle’s cloud ERP solutions?

Bernard: As a leader in the cloud ERP market with over 40 years history in collating and processing data, Oracle is uniquely positioned to help customers connect data and processes across the entire organization to drive better business outcomes. Our focus on delivering immediate business impact from the latest innovations gives customers a significant competitive advantage.

Oracle ERP Cloud helps organizations of all sizes quickly and easily take advantage of the latest innovations in artificial intelligence, digital assistants, natural language processing, blockchain, and the Internet of Things to enable enhanced productivity, reduced costs and improved controls.

EITN: What is Oracle Cloud ERP enabling your customers in this region, to do?

BernardMore than 5,500 organizations in 85 countries and 23 industries have selected Oracle ERP Cloud to provide a complete, innovative, and secure financial platform for their organization. Today, more than 3,000 customers are live on Oracle ERP Cloud, including Grab, Serba Mulia Auto, Cuckoo International and RedMart. Growth and agility are often key reasons why customers choose the Oracle ERP Cloud.

As ride hailing app Grab expands rapidly into new markets and products, they need to handle the highest transaction volumes with speed, handle payment complexity with process automation and have an auditable system of records. The Oracle ERP Cloud empowers Grab’s business and finance as they grow.

Likewise, Cuckoo International, a mid-sized company that distributes household appliances in Malaysia, implemented Oracle ERP Cloud in order to keep up with their growing business across the region. Oracle ERP Cloud provided Cuckoo International with accurate insight, which led to informed decisions on what was doing well and what wasn’t.

RedMart, Singapore’s leading online supermarket site, was also keen to continue its rapid growth trajectory and identified business agility as a key enabler. RedMart was looking for a solution that could provide accurate and complete financial book-keeping, deeper insights for decision-making and more efficient internal operations across all aspects of the organisation. Working with Oracle, the company brought all its financial, supplier management and procurement capabilities together on one platform. Oracle ERP Cloud allows RedMart to collaborate with suppliers over a common platform. This gives RedMart the ability to cut down the amount of time for financial book-keeping into less than half, and further reduce costs in the long term through better, more efficient negotiation and compliance processes.

An automotive dealer and financial services company based in Indonesia, Serba Mulia Auto opted to place its ERP applications in the cloud. As part of the project, the company integrated the back-ends of its various business functions such as accounting; for a streamlined process which will serve as a unified base for future cloud solutions.

EITN: Do you have anything to add about how your cloud ERP can help an organisation jumpstart their Industry 4.0 journey?

Bernard: A large part of Industry 4.0 is ensuring that your organization as a whole is future-ready and no one gets left behind in the digitization journey. Additionally, there is growing recognition among business leaders that the on-going buildup of IT complexity is not only difficult to manage, but also a drain on resources that companies could otherwise use to invest in new technologies in support of business innovation.

Data is the backbone of the next generation of businesses. With over 40 years of experience collating and processing data, Oracle is helping its customers leverage these transformational technologies through a complete software suite – where the front (customer facing) and back office operations (finance, HR) are integrated via a common user interface and the ability to support data flows across a business.

Oracle ERP Cloud helps organizations automate core business processes, integrate disparate systems, and streamline financial business processes and technology requirements. This enables customers to rapidly adapt to changing business demands and achieve a competitive advantage by increasing productivity, reducing costs, creating a single source of the truth, and driving end-to-end business innovation.