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Oracle Procurement Contracts Cloud: Vendor Analysis, Analysis and SWOT

ERP vendors aren’t always known for their deep functionality, where best-of-breed solution providers rule the roost with specialized technology features. For example, contract lifecycle management (CLM) is such an area. While best-of-breed providers are going deep into AI for contract analytics and building sophisticated contract modeling, most ERP vendors have rudimentary capabilities that are often scattered across different modules in the ERP suite. Oracle’s Enterprise Contracts functionality is used in its Oracle Procurement Cloud suite solution (which itself is part of Oracle’s ERP Cloud suite), however Enterprise Contracts is a slightly different animal and can mostly hold its own in many areas against deeper solutions, including the CLM modules within the top source-to-pay (S2P) suites in the market.

Oracle’s Procurement Contracts Cloud is an offering that stems from the enterprise/ERP functions, and it is the focus of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction, which offers a candid take on the Procurement Contracts Cloud and its capabilities.

The Vendor Introduction includes an overview of Oracle’s solution set, a perspective on what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis and a selection requirements checklist for organizations that might consider the vendor.

Oracle Procurement Cloud: What Makes It Great (Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

Enterprises have numerous choices for procure-to-pay solutions today. But only one vendor offers a fully unified, single ecosystem of business applications that span not only e-procurement and invoice-to-pay processes but also financials, supply chain collaboration and HR.

And that vendor is Oracle.

As it has patiently migrated all of its solutions to the cloud, Oracle has maintained a “slow and steady” approach to its long-term technology strategy. That doesn’t mean its cloud applications have developed at the same pace, though. Perhaps surprising to some, Oracle’s P2P solution has in recent years leapfrogged other providers in the procurement technology market. Today it ranks among the top solutions for P2P, as our comparative SolutionMap benchmarks illustrate. And continued investments in areas like user experience, early payments support and artificial intelligence (AI) stand to only strengthen the mega vendor’s downstream capabilities.

But where does Oracle stand out most and help “set the bar” in P2P, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Oracle is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Oracle Procurement Cloud Update — The Sleeping Giant is Waking Up

Spend Matters attended Oracle’s recent OpenWorld conference to see the latest developments in its cloud ecosystem, especially within Oracle Procurement. Oracle continues to make progress in its strategy of transforming from a technology and products company to one of cloud services. It was a decision that has taken time to develop, but without a doubt this vision is beginning to crystallize as a unified solution within the Oracle Cloud (aka Oracle Fusion) technology platform.

In this Spend Matters PRO article, we will discuss:

* Oracle’s overall cloud strategy and its relevance to procurement
* Latest Oracle procurement product updates and plans
* Analysis of Oracle’s methodical progress in a dynamic market, and what it can teach SAP Ariba (and vice versa)
* Opportunities and emerging progress in platforms and “business networks”

Application-wise, Oracle is a slow and steady provider of cloud-based procurement applications, with a strength in P2P (as evidenced in its performance in our most current P2P SolutionMap ranking). And it’s making progress in its strategic procurement application areas — especially in contract management, where its solution is surprisingly strong relative to non-best-of-breed CLM players. But the game in the market is shifting beyond applications toward open platforms and ecosystems.

Can Oracle seize the opportunity? We’ll discuss...

Artificial Intelligence Meets Payables and Dynamic Discounting: Oracle Cloud Vendor Analysis Update (Part 3)

In recent years, Oracle has transformed itself from the inside out, from a procurement solutions perspective, putting its full force behind building a suite of applications designed for the cloud — rather than behind the firewall.

It has reinforced this product development and go-to-market effort with strong incentives to existing customers to migrate from E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards to its Cloud solutions line. And it has successfully been targeting new procurement customers — some of which do not have an Oracle back-end.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides a recap and summary of Oracle’s Cloud procurement applications, shares insight into roadmap direction for the suite and explores recent investments in artificial intelligence and other enabling technologies. Organizations wanting a primer on Oracle Procurement Cloud can read our Vendor Snapshot series: Background/Solution Overview, Strengths/Weaknesses and Summary, and Competitive Overview/Recommendations.

Artificial Intelligence Meets Payables and Dynamic Discounting: Oracle Cloud Vendor Analysis Update (Part 2)

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With its new Intelligent Payment Discounts solution, Oracle is bridging the worlds of procurement and finance together in a unique way that unifies procurement, accounts payable and core financials.

In Part 1 of this research brief, we offered a detailed overview of this new, AI-based solution, providing an introduction to its different components for organizations that might consider it.

In today’s installment, we will conclude our analysis, exploring Oracle Intelligent Payment Discounts’ strengths and weaknesses related to other early payment solutions, either as an extension of invoice-to-pay or on a standalone trade-financing basis — and provide a user requirements checklist to help companies prioritize if the solution is the right fit for them.

Our analysis includes a perspective on the advantage that Oracle has in selling this solution compared to other early payment and financing solutions (e.g., C2FO, Prime Revenue, Taulia, etc.) and procure-to-pay/invoice-to-pay (e.g., Basware, Coupa, Ivalua, SAP Ariba, etc.) outside of feature/function capability alone based on its unified architecture with Oracle Cloud Financials. That is, for companies migrating, upgrading or switching to Oracle Cloud — not those on legacy E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft or JD Edwards solutions.

Artificial Intelligence Meets Payables and Dynamic Discounting: Oracle Cloud Vendor Analysis Update (Part 1)

At the recent Oracle Modern Business Experience event, artificial intelligence figured prominently in many of the mainstage and breakout sessions. Not surprisingly, AI is working its way into Oracle’s procurement suite of cloud capabilities.

Oracle’s investments in AI are centered across several areas leveraging a range of underlying algorithmic approaches (e.g., semantic analysis, neural nets, deep learning, etc.) that individually or collectively serve to enable different business use cases centered on what Oracle calls pattern recognition, smart recognition and smart prediction.

Within its procurement suite of cloud solutions, Oracle has released two AI-driven applications: intelligent supplier categorization (think spend classification) and intelligent payment discounts.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to the intelligent payment discounting module. For an introduction to the Oracle Procurement Cloud, see our previous Vendor Snapshot coverage (Overview and Introduction, Strengths / Weaknesses and Recommendations/Competitive Alternatives) and Comparative SolutionMap ratings as part of SolutionMap for Q1 2019 for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay.

Part 1 of this research brief provides a description of capabilities and review of the solution itself — what it does, how it works and how AI makes it effective. Part 2 explores the strengths and weaknesses of the solution and provides customer recommendations.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Procurement Cloud Analysis (Part 2)

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This Spend Matters PRO series examines the catalog management capabilities (within e-procurement) of some of the top vendors. Most of the leading solution providers featured in the E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps areas can handle many of the nuances required of search and catalog management. For all the gory detail of what comprises catalog management and why it matters as part of an e-procurement system, we encourage PRO subscribers to start here:

The first research brief in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis, provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. It also provides an analysis of Tradeshift’s catalog management capabilities — and how it stands out in the area through its many-to-many approach.

Today, we turn our attention to another top-performing (based on Q3 SolutionMap analyst scoring) e-procurement provider: Oracle (specifically its Procurement Cloud/Fusion product line) and explore its catalog management and search capabilities.

Oracle Procurement Cloud: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — Competitive Analysis & Recommendations

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With planned release enhancements in the coming year, Oracle Procurement Cloud could become the 80% headache (today it is the 70%) for procurement suite providers and even more specialized competitors. Already, Oracle Procurement Cloud not only provides newcomers to spend management an opportunity to build a strong procurement foundation, but for companies that have swung and missed (for whatever reason) in their attempts to establish such a baseline, Oracle brings a lot to the table and will likely surprise those that had previously looked at earlier releases or other Oracle procurement applications.

This third and final installment of our Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot provides a SWOT analysis of Oracle Procurement Cloud, as well as a segmentation and comparison of competitors. It also includes a recommended shortlist of candidates that could serve as alternative vendors to Oracle for source-to-pay (S2P) suites, procure-to-pay (P2P) suites and e-sourcing. Finally, we conclude with a summary analysis and recommendations for organizations considering Oracle Procurement Cloud.

Oracle Procurement Cloud: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

Oracle Procurement Cloud is a procurement technology suite that is targeted primarily at three key market segments. First, net new Oracle ERP Cloud customers who are looking to add procurement suite functionality. Second are those organizations that are current Oracle eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft or JD Edwards ERP customers that may migrate to the cloud for their core financial system. And third are those customers with “installed” Oracle solutions for procurement (Oracle eBusiness Suite Procurement, PeopleSoft SRM, etc.), although these organizations may or may not (yet) be a fit for Oracle Procurement Cloud based on organizational requirements, including the degree of customization done to previous solutions.

Regardless, in many cases, Oracle customers considering Procurement Could will not have purchased a full source-to-pay (S2P) or procure-to-pay (P2P) suite from third-party vendors in the past, although they may have had experience with individual modules and solutions from Oracle procurement competitors. But in certain cases, Oracle customers have replaced suite capability from providers such as SAP Ariba and Coupa.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Oracle Procurement Cloud’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the solution. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Oracle. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Oracle Procurement Cloud: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview

You can almost set your watch on it. When ERP vendors decide to enter a particular solution market, impassioned arguments debating the tradeoffs of their approach versus the perceived benefits of those taken by specialized application vendors turn up the volume on a regular basis. “To ERP or not ERP,” that is the question. And while Oracle’s Procurement Cloud has not yet settled this debate, the offering will continue to draw the attention of many companies as well as Oracle’s installed base during their respective source-to-pay (S2P) technology evaluation processes, especially as Oracle’s solutions continue to improve and mature in the area and take their place as cloud-native solutions, turning entirely away from the ERP installed software legacy.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Oracle Procurement Cloud and whether its capabilities are a fit for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and a detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Oracle Procurement Cloud. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.