Spend Classification and More — A Spend Management Oracle Update (Part 1)

Earlier this week, I had the chance to catch up with a number of folks from the Oracle procurement product management team, including the individuals responsible for Oracle's new spend classification product. We had time for a quick demonstration as well. Although we did not have enough time to do the application justice, it did provide a basic flavor of its capabilities, giving me enough to go on to discuss it in high-level comparison to other providers. Next week on Spend Matters, based on these discussions and my own analysis, I'll be featuring a detailed update on the product announcements and enhancements to come out of Open World.

This Oracle mini-series will include looking at Oracle's new spend classification capability which provides a completed software- and user-driven (vs. third-party labor) approach to spend classification (priced at only $40K per seat -- a relative bargain). I'll also talk about what Oracle is up to in regards to supplier information management, delivering a new Supplier Hub that appears to have many of the same capabilities of competing solutions on the market (and besting arch-rival SAP in being the first ERP provider to come to market with the type of supplier management capability that goes significantly beyond a basic supplier registration portal). I'll also plan to briefly discuss a few enhancements Oracle has made in the contract management department (in both the public and private sector) as well as their evolving capabilities in the total cost management arena for trade and procurement.

But the most important announcements of all -- at least in my view -- that I'll be discussing is Oracle's embracement of the On-Demand deployment approach (delivered either by Oracle or other hosting partners). Unlike SAP -- which deploys hosted SRM only through partners and even with providers like Hubwoo and IBX -- Oracle is also delivering hosting services itself (with a variety of payment and revenue models, providing greater licensing flexibility to customers). They will also allow users to deploy the latest version of Oracle's procurement applications in a cloud or hosted environment without requiring a back-end forklift upgrade -- a key advantage Oracle would appear to have over SAP at the moment, which requires customers to upgrade to ECC 6.0 as their core ERP back-end to take advantage of many of the key capabilities in the software.

Stay tuned. There's a lot of Oracle news to discuss.

Jason Busch

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