Oracle picked the opening day of chief rival SAP's SAPPHIRE conference to tout a new program to encourage Oracle business application customers to move to the cloud faster.
Oracle's Soar program also signaled a new, more aggressive tack by the company to get its customers to shift from legacy, on premise E-Business Suite (versions 12.x and above), PeopleSoft (9.x and above) and Hyperion ERP applications.
In his remarks announcing the news, at a live event in Silicon Valley and via webcast, Oracle CTO Larry Ellison seemed to take some shots at the difficulties Oracle customers have with Oracle’s on-premise products.
"We have made it much easier to move from on premise ERP into the cloud," he said. "It's now actually easier to upgrade E-Business Suite on premise to Fusion ERP in the cloud than it was to migrate from [one] E-Business Suite version to another."
Clearly this is nothing new to current Oracle customers, many of whom are months if not years behind in their updates and patches of Oracle databases and applications, as CEO Mark Hurd has said on several occasions.
The cloud versions of Oracle applications and database solve many of those problems, as Oracle can upgrade and patch everything to the latest version automatically using the so-called autonomous functions being built into the database and apps.
Oracle is adding to that capability today with the new program to automatically migrate users of those applications from on-premise versions into the Oracle Cloud.
Included with the service, by working with Oracle service and support organizations, is the Evaluator tool, which scans E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and Hyperion for any customizations or integrations; a Configuration Analyzer, an Auto Configurator, and an Auto Data Migration tool.
Oracle is also providing the Integration Accelerator, which includes a library of Fusion tools to connect Oracle applications with SAP, Salesforce or other business applications. Oracle also promises that it can reduce customers' reliance on custom extensions by making sure that standard Fusion ERP features will be able to accomplish the same task.
Oracle includes 120 days of post-migration support and a year of extended support for the migration, which can take as little as 20 weeks.
Ellison also touted some of the new functionality users can expect once they migrate, with the ERP Visual Builder, which includes support for mobile apps, chat bots, and a voice interface. The latter was demonstrated with the Amazon Echo speaker using Alexa digital assistant, which was able to approve a time-off request.
Behind the scenes, the Oracle Cloud applications include the same automated security that is built into the Oracle Autonomous Database, along with automatic threat detection and patching without downtime.
With 4,000 customers live with Oracle cloud applications now, Ellison said, there is still a lot of room for Oracle’s cloud business to grow. “Once you are in the cloud,” he said. “It will be the last upgrade you ever need.”
Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.