Mr. Kaushik Mitra, Senior Director, Cloud ERP, Oracle India, recently spoke with CXOToday about how cloud-based ERP and EPM solutions are assisting organisations in finance, HR, supply chain, and sales to make better decisions. He also discusses Oracle’s ERP and EPM offerings, as well as their extensive experience with organisations across industries and the benefits they are achieving through their cloud investments.
- Please give an overview of the capabilities of the cloud-based EPM and ERP solutions and their evolution over the past few years.
Cloud computing and applications have grown tremendously and have established their potential across business processes. Specifically, talking about the capabilities of cloud-based EPM and ERP solutions, on a broader scale they have the ability to coordinate resources, activities, and tasks across multiple departments and teams. EPM solutions offers modern Capabilities for Financial Consolidation & Close, Account & Transaction Reconciliation, Tax Reporting, Enterprise Planning & Budgeting, Profitability & Cost Management, Narrative Reporting and Enterprise Data Management.
These solutions fundamentally alter and improve businesses’ entire internal core operations, allowing them to model and plan across Finance, Manufacturing, HR, Supply Chain, and Sales, as well as streamline the financial close process and drive better decisions.
Although ERP systems have been in use in the business domain for some time. However, in today’s world, the ERP and EPMs systems have evolved, they are now primarily cloud-based. Furthermore, businesses are utilising the ERP and EPM systems in conjunction with the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The use of cloud based mobile applications has increased and hence most ERP solutions are now mobile-friendly. Cloud has improved accessibility, and cloud-native ERP solutions can now be accessed from remote locations via web access and a mobile or laptop.
- What are some of the benefits that cloud-based EPM and ERP solutions offer organisations? What are the fundamental processes that these solutions optimise?
As mentioned earlier, cloud-based ERP and EPM solutions consolidate all the core business operations and align it with a single source of data, hence integrating these solutions with the business operations helps organisations manage every department under one single database. This allows businesses across industries to streamline all their processes without having to implement separate solutions and databases for each function. More importantly, by leveraging the capabilities of ERP and EPM solutions, businesses gain agility, and CIOs, and CEOs gain the insights they require to outperform in any market condition. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is used by organisations to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. Furthermore, enterprise performance management optimises the entire financial process; it aids in the planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting of an organization’s financial results.
Cloud ERP and EPM include pre-built modules that can be used to meet the planning requirements of the business. Finance and operational planners can both use the modules. They can also be used in their entirety or in conjunction with configured processes to provide immediate value to the planning process.
- How are cloud applications assisting CFOs in making data-driven decisions as their responsibilities grow in today’s highly volatile and dynamic business environments?
The role of CFOs has changed dramatically in recent years and more prominently after the pandemic. Continuous digital advancements have given CFOs and finance teams the opportunity to become true strategic leaders across the business—but they have also raised expectations and created new challenges. Today, CFOs are playing an instrumental role in not only overseeing financial management but also performance management. In a nutshell, CFOs are responsible for stabilising businesses and preparing them to thrive in volatile market conditions.
CFOs must make forward-looking decisions based on past performance and market conditions, and cloud applications play a strategic role in this regard. CFOs can leverage the power of data to derive insights and make data-driven decisions with inbuilt cloud capabilities like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics. This, in turn, assists them in critical business support functions such as risk management, financial risk assessment, and future proofing their business through the intelligent use of data. Hence, cloud applications are serving as channels for CFOs to adapt to the digital world and strengthen their role as strategic planners.
- How is the cloud redefining customer engagement, and what role do ERP and EPM solutions play in assisting the CXO with customer servicing functions?
Customer engagement as we know has altered and evolved over the past decades, the last couple of years have seen some significant changes. Customer expectations have surged because of the pandemic, and businesses were forced to shift the majority of their customer interactions to digital, resulting in an influx of customer data. Hence, businesses are sitting at mountains of data and must analyse this data at length to provide the best experiences to their customers. While ERP and EPM solutions are deployed to enhance the internal processes through the multiplier effect they have on the entire business functioning, this definitely help CXOs to enhance the customer service functions.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to stay ahead of customer trends and emerging competitors. It’s easier to identify and launch new business models with cloud ERP solutions—and to monitor results in real time so CXOs can constantly refine their approach.
Cloud based ERP systems connect a variety of business processes and allow data to flow between them. ERP systems eliminate data duplication and provide data integrity with a single source of truth by collecting an organisation’s shared transactional data from multiple sources. When combined with machine learning insights such as customer churn, CXOs will be able to predict and avoid problems before they cause harm. Hence, cloud encourages CXOs to make intelligent and efficient use of data to understand the dynamics and act strategically.
- What are the stress points that Oracle’s customers have been able to resolve by leveraging Cloud EPM and ERP solutions?
Oracle has been collaborating with various leading industry players from economic sectors to address their various challenges, ranging from flexibility to automation to scalability to user accessibility and mobile enablement, among other things. If we look at different SaaS vendors, we will realize that not all clouds are created equal. Oracle is the only vendor who can provide businesses with everything they need to run a true cloud business, including complete end-to-end solutions, modern business processes, and the flexibility to change.
For example, Apollo Tyres, a leading tyre manufacturer in India and one of our key customers were able to create smart, transparent, and streamlined supply chains using the Oracle SaaS platform. Then there’s Safexpress, a leading logistics company in India that uses our ERP to fine-tune their operations, as well as our OTM (Oracle Transport Management Solution) to quickly and efficiently onboard their customers. Another leading manufacturer, Hindalco, implemented an Oracle EPM solution to streamline its financial management and regulatory reports in a cost-effective manner by leveraging data and smart automation.
Through our Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP Solution, we are assisting our BFSI customer SBI General Insurance in becoming a digitally empowered organization. They used our Digital Procurement Module because it allowed for quick implementation and the ability to ‘pay as per actual usage’. We are also engaging with customers in the healthcare sector like Indira IVF, they are leveraging our Oracle Fusion ERP with the EPM solutions to provide meaningful insights on their various customer offerings and to round out the core platforms. Cloud-based ERP solutions enabled them to reduce operational costs while providing superior patient experiences. In addition to these, we have customers like Mphasis, Omega Healthcare and Aurobindo Pharma working across IT and Healthcare and pharma sectors who are leveraging the capabilities of our ERP solutions to enhance their internal business operations.