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Oracle dials up supply chain automation, adds ‘Grow’ to HCM

Oracle announces enhancements to Fusion for supply chain automation and employee experience, coincident with Oracle CloudWorld Tour in London

Oracle’s spring update to its cloud applications suite includes automation enhancements in supply chain management and additions to its employee experience platform.

Both will be announced today at Oracle CloudWorld Tour in London.

Ahead of the event, Steve Miranda, executive vice-president of Oracle applications product development, briefed Computer Weekly on what he sees as the significance of the updates.

In respect of supply chain planning, the supplier is building in artificial intelligence (AI) lead time estimates. These are said to help Oracle customers improve the accuracy of lead time assumptions by using machine learning to highlight variances based on actual performance.

On the HR front, the supplier is announcing updates to Oracle ME, its employee experience platform. These include Oracle Grow, an AI-infused system that is said to connect learning, skills growth and career mobility.

In a statement, Oracle said: “Organisations are struggling to understand the skills of their workforce, predict what is needed for future success, and close skills gaps. Employees are also struggling to adapt to changing business needs, often lacking transparency into what growth opportunities exist.”

Miranda told Computer Weekly: “AI is in the news a lot today and getting press for a variety of different elements. This isn’t just AI to write a high school paper or do a super simple search. This is AI applied to business metrics and business predictability, to help you operate more efficiently.

“During and post-Covid, we realised the old way of doing supply chain, of single sourcing things, has a variety of challenges [with] a variety of risks. Our AI tools in supply chain planning give predictions of lead time. You might go from a single source in a single location to multiple, giving you flexibility of pricing, and certainly some resiliency in terms of disruption. But then it also makes your supply chain more complicated, and this is where the AI kicks in, to optimise how you do that.”

“This isn’t just AI to write a high school paper or do a super simple search. This is AI applied to business metrics and business predictability, to help you operate more efficiently”
Steve Miranda, Oracle

The HR announcement addresses, he said, phenomena such as the great resignation and quiet quitting. “Working with a lot of our largest customers, we’ve developed a set of capabilities called Oracle Grow. This allows an individual to have self-directed career opportunities. The system tees up learning cycles and other skills development for employees to prepare themselves for their next role,” said Miranda.

“We’re hearing a lot from our customers about the battle for talent being very large for external hiring because there’s a tight job market. So, what our customers want to do is to understand who they already have. They are battling attrition.”

In support of the Grow product, Kim Kohlman, vice-president of HCM operations at media company Hearst, said: “Our employees want to grow their careers. And they want tools and job recommendations that are applicable to their specified roles. The consolidated view that Oracle Grow provides, with details on recommended learnings, developmental journeys and recommended gigs, allows our employees to broaden their network and achieve the experience they need to successfully grow their careers.”

Quincy Valencia, vice-president and research director for HCM technology at Ventana Research, added: “Some of the biggest challenges that exist in the market today are around having the right employees, keeping them engaged, and giving them tools they need to grow and succeed. Solutions like Oracle Grow that deliver on this in a truly personal way will be key to sustainable internal talent development. Not only can it help employees succeed on an individual level, but it can also give businesses the skills and adaptability to succeed in a time where the only constant is change.”

The supplier is also announcing user experience components, templates and services for HR, finance, supply chain and sales, so that customers and partners can build their own apps to complement Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications. These expand on the applications platform announcement the supplier made at Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas in November 2022.

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