Oracle announced a series of new enterprise application efforts and innovation during its OpenWorld 2018 event, which wrapped up on Oct. 25.
Among the many announcements made by Oracle was a next-generation cloud infrastructure, updated Oracle autonomous database, Netsuite improvements, an enterprise blockchain service, ERP enhancements, HR application improvements and a deep level of machine learning and artificial intelligence throughout enterprise applications.
The new Digital Assistant is an evolution of the Oracle Chatbot and is a technology that enables organizations to build a more personalized helper for customer interactions.
Digital Assistant is enabled across multiple Oracle applications including HR, ERP, CRM and CX. The Oracle Digital Assistant can be enabled via its own voice interface, but is also extensible and can run on other platform such as Slack, Facebook Messenger and Amazon's Alexa.
"If I want to find out when I'm going to get paid, when I'm going to be reimbursed for a trip that I'm on or for a trip that I've completed or a business dinner I had, I can just ask Alexa," Oracle founder Larry Ellison said during his OpenWorld keynote. "We've actually had customers already using our mobile capabilities, our chatbot capabilities and our new voice interface to build new features and functions into their applications. If we can build voice interfaces on top of our applications, so can you."
Oracle is bringing new machine learning capabilities to its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise performance management (EPM) cloud platforms.
Among the new machine learning features are intelligence process automation, expense reporting assistant, supplier recommendations and advanced access controls.
Oracle Fusion Analytics Warehouse
Oracle's Fusion middleware suite is the core foundational platform for its enterprise apps. At OpenWorld 2018, Ellison announced the new Oracle Fusion Analytics offering, which provides an analytics platform for Oracle Fusion Cloud applications.
"We automate the creation of the data model in the warehouse. We automate the migration of the data in the data warehouse. It's the Autonomous Data Warehouse," Ellison said. "It automatically tunes itself. It adds indexes. It adds whatever it needs to run efficiently. It does all that automatically. You just press a button."
The new Oracle Blockchain Applications Cloud was announced at OpenWorld 2018 and provides a set of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications for specific industry use cases.
"Oracle Blockchain Applications make it easy for customers to create a trusted network of partners to improve the agility, accuracy, and visibility of their supply chain," Rick Jewell, senior vice president, supply chain & manufacturing cloud applications, Oracle, wrote in a statement. "These blockchain applications work seamlessly with existing Oracle Cloud Applications and are out-of-the-box ready with pre-built integrations and business network templates for common business processes."
Oracle Subscription Management
A common way of generating reliable, recurring revenue from applications and services is to have some form of subscription model. What hasn't been entirely common, however, is an easy way to manage subscriptions, but that's something Oracle is looking to change with its Subscription Management application announced at OpenWorld 2018.
"Today's consumers value freedom, choice, convenience and flexibility over permanence, stability and certainty," Rondy Ng, SVP application development at Oracle, stated. "This shifting value set is fundamentally changing buying behavior across industries."
"To help our customers successfully navigate these changes, we are introducing an end-to-end subscription management solution that builds on our strength in ERP and customer experience management," Ng added.
Oracle NetSuite is being updated to include enhanced marketing optimization and customer engagement capabilities. The new SuiteAnalytics features provides business analytics with a graphical toolset so users can understand and benefit from the data.
SuiteTax is a capability that will enable organizations to handle global tax management issues in a more streamlined way.
"We work with thousands of organizations from different industries to help them stay focused on successfully growing and scaling their business amidst all of the change," Evan Goldberg, executive vice president of development, Oracle NetSuite, wrote in a statement. "This gives us a unique understanding of businesses across all sectors, and we use those insights to continually enhance the NetSuite platform."
One of the lesser-known application families within Oracle's portfolio is the Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform, which is also being updated.
The new Bronto Marketing Platform updates include self-guided learning tools and a more intuitive user experience to set up campaigns. Bronto is now also integrating GDPR compliance features to help with automated customer consent and unsubscribe options from email marketing.
"Email remains the most powerful, profitable and popular marketing channel, and that’s why we continue to invest in making sophisticated email marketing easy," George Moser, GM of Oracle Bronto, stated. "The latest release of the Bronto Marketing Platform builds on this commitment with new innovations to help our customers grow revenue, save time and optimize resources."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.