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For Data-Driven Companies, Oracle Expands Its ‘Integrated Cloud’

Blog: Oracle BPM

Companies want to make better decisions, informed by their data. And at a lot of companies, the data to make those decisions lives in Oracle systems, whether in a cloud finance or HR application or an Oracle database.

“Your Oracle workloads are the crown jewel of the enterprise, and we know that,” Oracle CEO Safra Catz said during her keynote on September 17 at Oracle OpenWorld

The growing value of that data helps explain why Oracle is so focused on creating an integrated cloud, so that everything from infrastructure and databases to applications and analytics works together. 

During the keynote, product leaders from across Oracle’s technology stack shared their integration strategies, as well as efforts to connect with other cloud providers and outside data sources. Below is just one example from each of those five development leaders, illustrating the benefits companies will get from an integrated cloud. 

Infrastructure: New Partnerships

Companies want to access all of their data, of course, and that requires what Oracle Senior Vice President Clay Magouyrk described as “horizontal integration”—between Oracle’s cloud and those of other providers. Two new Oracle partnerships, with VMware and with Microsoft, show that integration.

Under the VMware partnership, IT teams can move their on-premises VMware workloads into Oracle’s Cloud without modifications. Using the new Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, companies can keep all of the investment and processes they’ve built around VMware while moving to the cloud.

Under Oracle’s partnership with Microsoft, organizations can run workloads that draw on both Microsoft and Oracle clouds, thanks to new high-speed links between the companies’ two clouds. For example, a team could integrate its Azure Active Directory with Oracle applications and databases that run on both Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, or move Oracle on-premises applications such as Oracle PeopleSoft or Oracle E-Business Suite onto Azure with an Oracle Exadata cloud back end. 

“There were many workloads [companies] just couldn’t move to the cloud without this type of partnership,” Magouyrk said. 

App Dev: Blockchain Features in a Standard Database 

Developers want to build the next generation of data-driven apps, but the tools they’ve used to date won’t be good enough to deliver capabilities such as machine learning insights and blockchain security. Oracle Executive Vice President Juan Loaiza laid out eight cutting-edge database technologies from Oracle to let people “build dramatically better next-generation applications.”

One example is blockchain capabilities built directly into Oracle Database. Companies like the security and collaboration features of the blockchain distributed ledger technology, for example, but “it’s very complicated to build an app with blockchain technology,” Loaiza said. Oracle is developing a database technology, scheduled for release next year, that will let customers insert rows as a crytopgraphic chain, whereby users can sign and validate the data, helping customers detect fraud or altered data.

“Blockchain technology is built directly into the database, making it very easy to use,” Loaiza said.

Data Management: An Autonomous Platform

The good news is that your company is going digital and becoming a data-driven business. 

“The bad news is that this data is out of control,” Oracle Executive Vice President Andy Mendelsohn said. “It’s all over the place. It’s on premises. It’s in filing cabinets. It’s in public clouds, private clouds, multiclouds. …And your data scientists and business analysts can’t get the data they need to make you a real data-driven company.”

Oracle is managing all this with Oracle Autonomous Database, which lets analysts and data scientists easily launch and run an Oracle Database. The next phase will be an autonomous data platform that will let analysts look over their data options, pick and choose what they want for analysis, and Oracle behind the scenes will handle tasks like ETL (extract, transfer, and load) and data movement. Building on the success of low-code development tools such as APEX, the goal is to let analysts and data scientists “build really sophisticated applications without writing any code, or very small amounts of code,” Mendelsohn said.

Applications: Turning All Apps Into Recommendation Engines

Oracle has a full suite of transactional applications—finance, HR, marketing, supply chain, manufacturing, and more. Applying machine learning to all of that data will change the role that those apps play in a company, Oracle Executive Vice President Steve Miranda said. 

“What we’re doing is transforming applications from ‘input-and-accept-and-validation’ into ‘recommend’ applications,” Miranda said. For example, a marketing application might start with the traditional elements of how you market to a customer. Then, by adding real-world, third-party information about that company, and applying machine learning to that, the app might recommend different promotions or offerings to reach that customer.

Such recommendations are happening already, said Miranda, who cited the more than 600 million machine learning-driven recommendations in Oracle’s field service application and more than 50 million in its Commerce Cloud.

“And because of the nature of machine learning and data, as we give these recommendations to our customers, as those customers utilize the recommendation, the machine learning algorithms get better and better, those recommendations get better and better,” Miranda said.

Analytics: Built on App Expertise 

Starting with Oracle ERP Cloud, the Oracle Analytics team will use its understanding of how people use ERP in order to build prepackaged enterprise analytics for Fusion ERP users. 

“We’ll give you out-of-the-box reports, dashboards, KPIs, you name it,” Oracle Senior Vice President T.K. Anand said. “And then you can use the power of the Oracle platform to extend and customize the solution. You can bring your own additional data into the data warehouse.”

Oracle will extend this analytics concept across its application suites, Anand said. “The idea here…is we want to take out the majority of the human effort involved in building these data-driven analytics solutions,” he said.

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Some integration examples