Oracle OpenWorld kicks off this morning. I am not going this year but I checked in last week with Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President, Oracle Applications Product Development about what we can expect to hear about applications.
I did not go this year because applications often get very little play in a conference where infrastructure and database dominate. After talking to him, I think I should have gone.
Steve: There will be three main themes. The first, we're going to try to showcase and highlight just a ton of customer success in our cloud. In every keynote, apps keynote/general session--mine, Chris Leone, Rondy Ngs, Rick Jewell, Rob Tarkoff--we have at least two customers on stage with us, live customers, talking about their business benefits.
When we say customers, I've tried the best we could to actually mix it up with big customers, small customers, global customers, domestic, etc., different industries. Frankly, this time, we've got a lot of name brand customers. On stage with me will be Cummins talking about their HR cloud implementation and the business benefits they have achieved. We have Juniper Networks using our marketing and configure-price-quote talking about their benefits and transformations there. I have Federal Express on stage with me talking about their financials conversion to cloud and, now that they've done some acquisitions, talking about expanding that to their newly acquired product and really moving to a single instance cloud financials. Hopefully, the biggest part that you'll get is name brand, very successful customers running all parts of the suite in the cloud.
What we're going to make a particular point to emphasize is the readiness for really the vast majority of our installed base in a couple different dimensions. Number one is, we're at the stage now where, with few exceptions, but just about anybody you are, were we have a customer who has gone live from the cloud, so that's whether you're global or domestic, whether you're HR, CRM, or ERP, whether you're a back office Siebel, PeopleSoft, or E-Business Suite, whether you're a telco, a bank, or a manufacturer. Then you put that matrix together so it's almost impossible to have everything but, just about every matrix, we have a referenceable customer who has already done it, part one.
Part two, over the summer, as you know, we introduced our Soar program together with Oracle Consulting, which is an automated set of utilities, which help customers take the risk and cost away from the conversion and the move to our cloud.
Then the final part. This has been a long effort of not just introducing financials, but then adding supply chain, adding manufacturing, adding globalization, adding HR, payroll, adding globalizations, etc. But, at this stage, again, for the vast, vast, vast majority of our customers, we think that the completeness of our suite is there.
Part one is going to be all about customer success and how we think more customers are taking advantage of the success. Part two is going to be about brand-new products that further expand the suite. We're introducing a new public sector product around permitting and licensing to supplement public sector, state and local, in their traditional finance area. We also introduced a brand new customer data platform in CRM, so a centralized customer data store and repository to sit right in the middle of our CX product suite.
Then, of course, we've expanded our higher education offering. Earlier in the year, we did an acquisition of a company called Vocado, which is a student financial aid system. Added that to brand new offerings we have in our student system that we've built organically here, which tightly integrates with financials and other parts.
Then in financials, we added another product called Subscription Management. More and more customers are offering services, so we added subscription management for the billing, collections, AR part, which is supports organizations across industries.
The third area we're focused on is the technology innovation and that's all going to spiral around machine learning. Machine learning, you'll see it take part in three different flavors.
The first is kind is brand new apps, if you will, or mini-apps or features. Next best offer, we have customers live on, next best action and service, things you would expect, but also things we've talked about in the past: auditing capability in finance, payment optimization for payments, suppliers, kind of a cash management, machine learning application, and then HR candidate matching, so better candidate matching, candidate sorting for candidate ranking, not candidate selection because the potential with bias there, but using machine learning towards that as well. That's one area, again, across all three pillars.
The second area that you're going to see improvements in is what I'll call our traditional HCM UI. Using machine learning to improve defaulting of parameters, to improve general usability and predictiveness of how the UI works. Think of it as your phone. You do text messaging, and it uses machine learning to do autocorrect and suggest next words. That machine learning gets better and better over time.
Probably the final part, and this is where you're going to see most of the demonstrations, is we've added a number of bots that take advantage of our bot platform, machine learning, which are front-end agnostic.
The key here is not just the voice to text, the bot capability to process transactions, but it's the machine learning to allow you to have some intelligence with the transactions. In other words, when you're submitting the expense reports, you can take a picture and send it. Of course, there is character recognition, the machine learning on the character recognition but, also, it's things like policy enforcement or policy suggestions, so not just a bot that processes a transaction, but actually gives you suggestions either on the approval side, what you should approve or not approve, warning signs to say, "Hey, you're submitting this expense report, but it's out of policy." A little bit more using configuration and algorithms of the machine learning to do more than just process a transaction but, actually, give input to the end user.
In summary, it’s all about customer success, new traditional apps coming out, and then machine learning across the board and across channels via bots.
Let me pause there until I get into some commentary to see if that makes sense, but that's the 9 minutes and 42 seconds version of OpenWorld.
Steve, that's excellent. A couple of questions. You mentioned a few verticals. Is there another forum where utilities and telecoms, all the other industries that you guys have strength in, not necessarily in apps, is that going to be covered at Oracle OpenWorld, or is that a different event?
Steve: No, we have different sections within OpenWorld that focus on the GBU apps. Like you said, it's more of a broader look than just ERP apps because that wouldn't be enough to cover a vertical.
Steve, one final comment. You have so much in the apps area. You should think about an apps focused event. You have so much that is not known to the world.
Steve: Historically, we've had HCM World, Modern CX, the Supply Chain Summit here, and Modern Finance In 2019, we will be bringing finance, HR, and supply chain management together under one roof in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay on March 19-21 in a conference called Limitless, Presented by Oracle. At the same time and in the same place we will co-locate our Modern CX conference. We are making things very easy and very convenient for our applications customers and prospects.
Great. Send me that information closer to the time.
Steve: Hey, Vinnie. One more thing, if I may. You have been covering us for a long, long time, on this path to the cloud. I think what gets lost in the individual conferences and what we're extremely proud of is this has not been an overnight journey, but the maturity and the time cycle and the readiness of the solution is all now there, I just hope it doesn't get lost because of one conference. This is not an overnight thing.
As much as people get hung up on things Oracle did, said in the past, we've been at this for a long time. Hopefully, that credibility gets recognized because it certainly seems to be coming through with our customers and we're quite happy with it.
Steve, I'm extremely pleased to see you say application customers are going to be on stage. With Oracle, often the messages come through in different ways. I'm glad you're bringing varied customers on stage. It makes your point "Look. We're not Johnny Come Lately. We've been at this for a long time, and we have broad coverage."
You can watch here Steve’s keynote today at 9 am and Larry Ellison’s at 145 pm and his second one on Wednesday 2 pm, all times Pacific.