Oracle is one of the leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions for the business finance and professional services industries. The brand offers specific financial services software for banks and other institutions in the industry. There is a portfolio of targeted systems available, which include the Oracle FLEXCUBE, a full product suite that provides functionality in the corporate, consumer, retail, investment and asset management sectors.
The software provides powerful analytical functions for measuring capital adequacy, enterprise risk management, customer insight and enterprise performance management. Many believe that it is the finance industry's most powerful and comprehensive software solution for compliance management and financial crime, including fraud detection, anti-money laundering and trading compliance.
In the front-end, the software also allows wealth and portfolio managers to service their most valuable or affluent investment customers by providing in-depth and targeted portfolio views and analysis. On the retail side, Oracle allows financial institutions to offer their full range of products and services in the online space to customers, via phones, tablets and other online devices.
For insurance companies, Oracle software offers advanced risk profiling, customer segmentation and behavioural analysis, pricing modelling and routes to greater customer engagement and servicing.
Certainly, the Oracle suite of products is second to none and successful implementations have offered both public and private organisations highly measurable benefits in their business transformation journeys. ERP has helped organisations trim costs, become more efficient, communicate more effectively with customers, improve service delivery, cut waste and carbon and deliver a more satisfying level of customer engagement with a subsequent increase in retention and loyalty.
Where problems creep in
No technological solution, no matter how good it is, will compensate for poor business strategy, poor management skills and a lack of coherent leadership. Organisations that experience less transformative results from their ERP implementations often fail to be clear in their vision and objectives for the software's use. They often fail to engage staff and adequately communicate the work programme. Expectations can be unrealistic because they don't always fully work with the implementation team to understand where aligned process improvements need to be made within the organisation to allow the new ERP intelligence to operate at its most effective capacity.
Opportunities and challenges for practitioners
However, both the private and public sector are waking up to the transformative capabilities of good ERP implementations and are setting aside budgets to begin engaging with these services. This offers great recruitment prospects to Oracle and SAP professionals alike, particularly in the project and contract work sector.
Wise professionals will put themselves in the best position to secure the most attractive jobs by broadening their skill base to encompass a range of additional capabilities alongside their technical qualifications. For example, although the technicalities of ERP implementation are crucial to success, along with project management and business consulting, softer skills such as communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills are often key to success. In fact, they are often the defining difference between an ERP project implementation that achieves its objectives and one which fails to fully realise its potential.