UK Oracle User Group

10 ways Oracle uses its own technology for business success

21 October 2014

Oracle has a broad portfolio of products so it's interesting to see the extent to which the company is able to point to its own business as validation of the recommendations it makes to its customers.

Here are 10 areas where use of its own portfolio has significantly helped Oracle: 

  1. Let's start with Cloud, and, more significantly, Cloud Migration. Like many of its customers, Oracle is on a journey to migrate from on-premise core business systems to cloud-based solutions to benefit from greater agility and cost efficiencies. A specific example is the migration from on-premise human resources systems to Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud to more agilely manage human resources, optimize talent recruitment and development, and reduce costs. This has been a major project, involving several Oracle Cloud services, among them Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management Base Cloud Service, Oracle Fusion Talent Management Base Cloud Service, Oracle Fusion Talent Review and Succession Management Cloud Service and Oracle Taleo Learn Cloud Service.  Managers now have a 360-degree view of employees and their movements through the company, across functional and geographic areas. Further, Oracle gained greater visibility into how talent ranks, based on potential and performance, improving its ability to optimize development and deployment and increasing its overall competitive advantage. 
  2. Let's add Big Data to the Cloud mix. Oracle understands that performance, scalability, reliability, and security are the cornerstones for success in the cloud market. The company is using big data principles and technology, including Oracle Database, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Big Data Appliance, to deliver new levels of security and performance to Oracle's Managed Cloud Service. Further, Oracle is using big data to improve cloud environment performance and ensure service-level-agreement compliance, which includes latency of less than one second. For example, it can now rapidly and effectively track and analyze how Java Virtual Machines in Oracle Public Cloud are using heap memory. If a trend emerges, Oracle can dig deeper and determine the best path forward before performance is impacted.  
  3. You can begin to see the extent to which Engineered Systems underpin Oracle's Public Cloud offerings. Many of our large enterprise customers have been cautious about migrating their business-critical enterprise systems to the cloud due to concerns about scalability, availability, and security. Oracle is addressing these concerns head on and changing the game by building its cloud offerings on its own robust, highly reliable, available and secure technology stack that spans hardware, database, middleware, and application layers. Specifically, Oracle is using engineered solutions, including Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, and Oracle Big Data Appliance, which are optimized to work together and can deliver the scalability and performance that today’s enterprise cloud customers demand. For example, when Oracle acquired Taleo and migrated its cloud-based systems from an HP environment to Oracle Exadata Database Machine, it saw a 2.5x performance improvement.
  4. Lets turn now to another Engineered Systems story. Oracle's use of SuperCluster and Oracle Exadata Storage Server improved performance of Oracle’s Oracle E-Business Suite Environment and Oracle Database global single instance, eliminating I/O bottlenecks. Implementing the system in just three months, Oracle achieved 4x performance gains, cut licensing costs by 50%, and reduced data-center floor space requirements and utility costs. Among other benefits, the company saved more than US$250,000 over a four-year period due to significantly reduced data-center floor space requirements, and lowered utility costs for the GSI environment
  5. Here's an example of how Engineered Systems can underpin a consolidation exercise which leads tobetter business planning. Oracle, as a large global organization, had many disparate data repositories across lines of business as well as functional areas. Users looking to analyze data and create reports often had to download information from individual applications, which was time consuming and introduced additional load to the company’s global single instance (GSI) Oracle E-Business Suite environment. Looking to improve visibility into business operations, streamline and accelerate reporting, and reduce IT complexity and management costs, Oracle built an enterprise business intelligence (BI) data warehouse using Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware components. It runs on Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, and Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine. The data warehouse consolidates data from multiple transactional systems, including GSI, customer relationship management (CRM), and support systems, to support global reporting. Today, the company has a true analytical warehouse environment - with 15 TB of data - that enables more than 900 enterprise data warehouse users and 550 data-store users to quickly and effectively query, report on, and analyze data from the company’s GSI and customer relationship management environments—using a single platform. The enterprise data warehouse averages more than 19,000 reports each weekday. 
  6. Oracle's capabilities have had a critical role to play in the success of its own business transformation,  a classic example of which has come from Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010.  Clearly this represented a huge change in business model as Oracle expanded into the hardware sector. As such, the company, which was previously focused primarily on software development, gained significant manufacturing and service parts operations that it had to manage effectively and efficiently to ensure high levels of customer service and business performance. Sun was using various supply chain planning solutions, including Oracle and third-party applications. Oracle looked to its Oracle Value Chain Planning Suite, which encompasses Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s Demantra applications, to help it improve and optimize sales and operations planning, supply chain planning, and manufacturing operations; ensure on-time delivery of hardware and engineered systems; and boost operational efficiency. Today, Oracle uses Oracle Value Chain Planning applications to forecast and effectively manage manufacturing and materials planning and requirements for production of its engineered systems, servers, and storage systems. The integrated solutions help Oracle to avoid delays associated with supply chain management issues and disruptions.
  7. Improving Supply Chain efficiency was a critical part of the business transformation catalysed by the Sun acquisition, and, as you can imagine, Oracle Value Chain Planning played a critical role here, too. Deployed on Oracle Exadata and oracle Exalytics Engineered Systems, this enable more precise supply chain planning and management as Oracle entered the technology hardware sector. Multiple benefits accrued from this. For example, the company was able to reduce work-in-process inventory by US$100 million, cut finished goods inventory by 10%, reduce back orders by 50%, and achieve 100% on-time shipments of servers and storage systems. 
  8. Integration is a key part of such a business transformation. As Oracle began to integrate operations from Sun Microsystems after the acquisition, it faced several formidable challenges. As well as managing the expansion into the hardware manufacturing sector discussed above, a big challenge was that of integrating with Sun’s myriad systems, including interactions with 45 of its business-to-business (B2B) partners. These B2B integrations were needed to support order management and fulfilment, field service, as well as payment processes with banking partners. Oracle used Oracle Fusion Middleware components, including Oracle SOA Suite, to ensure a seamless end-to-end experience for vendors and customers. For example, Oracle uses its middleware component to ensure that customers have access to My Oracle Support as soon as a contract is finalized in the company’s Oracle E-Business Suite environment. Previously, this was a batch process, which delayed access.  
  9. Security is, to quote Larry Ellison "Job One at Oracle". Oracle uses Oracle Identity and Access Management Suite as the foundation for its vast identity and authentication environment that enables more than 120,000 employees to seamlessly, yet securely, use single sign-on to access more than 1,200 applications. This infrastructure also provides more than 24 million external users, including hardware and software customers, prospects, IT partners, and more with convenient access to Oracle applications and content - using a single identity and password. 
  10. This secure infrastructure is a key part of Oracle's employee collaboration.  As well as business communication tools for over 120,000 employees, Oracle needed to enable employees around the globe to collaborate effectively, efficiently, and seamlessly with each other, clients, vendors, and partners across multiple channels. The company deployed Oracle Beehive to create a fully integrated platform for all content and collaboration across Oracle, boosting productivity and streamlining IT infrastructure throughout the technology company’s global operations. In doing so, it gained a highly scalable platform that can effectively support more than a billion database transactions daily, including 4.4 million e-mail messages, 4.1 million instant messages, and more than 110,000 calendar events.
There are many more examples of how Oracle's own portfolio has been instrumental in ensuring the company runs efficiently and that it can swiftly rise the transformation challenges, remaining agile in the face of a rapidly-changing tech industry environment. But the above are some great insights into exactly how effective hardware and software, engineered to work together, can be when deployed to help a business survive and thrive.
Source: Oracle EMEA Corporate Communications

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