In late 2018, Oracle announced they would run their business in the Oracle Cloud to gain a better insight into the challenges and needs of their customers.

What did Oracle learn from running in the Cloud?

Oracle discovered that customised processes can lead to greater complexities further down the line. For them, the multiple levels of approval needed for contract sign-off and the complexity of the contracts themselves were big barriers to efficiency. These were all quickly removed once this was identified. Salespeople can now view individual customer requests and the appropriate contract terms, and present to clients in half the time. The efficiency of this streamlined process is enhancing the customer’s experience.

A similar concept has been applied to the expenses system, where they had originally added a series of functions to the expenses submittal process that benefited the finance department. Feedback from Oracles’ own employees quickly showed that this greatly complicated the process for users, so these changes were rolled back, and submitting expenses now takes only a few seconds.

After learning first-hand that streamlining processes is the way forward, Oracle now releases about 100 optional features on a quarterly basis, instead of offering customised functionality. As well as greatly derisking changes by removing or reducing customisations, Oracle users need only worry about change management – communication and user training is key.

What’s new since moving to the Cloud?

During the OOW 2019, co-founder and CTO of Oracle Larry Ellison announced the enhancements made to Oracle Autonomous Database, their “self-driving” database technology that runs in Generation 2 Oracle Cloud.

The enhancements include a dedicated deployment option that provides the highest level of security, reliability and operational control for database workload and the availability of Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, which enables customers to migrate on-premises VMware environments to Oracle Generation 2 Cloud Infrastructure. Oracle’s latest technology is based on machine learning that automates upgrading, patching, and performing tuning tasks, eliminating human error and manual tuning.

Oracle also announced a new release of Enterprise Manager, a tool to manage Oracle database that provides expanded support for Oracle Autonomous Database.

Our favourite takeaway is however the latest AI-trained voice with Oracle Digital Assistant, a technology that Oracle claims can understand the context better than other AI assistants such as Alexa or Siri. The Digital Assistant analyses enterprise and domain-specific vocabulary and integrates with human workflow and business processes without any coding required, allowing enterprises to build conversational experiences. This next-generation assistant applies AI in natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU) and custom machine learning (ML) algorithms.