Category Archives: ERP

Oracle and Fujitsu partner up to tackle Japanese market

Oracle planeOracle and Fujitsu have announced a partnership to deliver Oracle cloud application and platform services to Japanese customers, reports

As part of the agreement, Fujitsu will install will install Oracle Cloud services in its data centre’s in Japan, connect them to its Cloud Service K5 in order to deliver enterprise-grade cloud services. The first service which will be connected will be Oracle’s Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud, though it will extend further to include offerings such as the Database Cloud Service.

“In order to realize the full business potential of cloud computing, organizations need secure, reliable and high-performing cloud solutions,” said Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect at Oracle. “For over three decades, Oracle and Fujitsu have worked together using our combined R&D, product depth and global reach to create innovative solutions enabling customers to scale their organizations and achieve a competitive advantage. Oracle’s new strategic alliance with Fujitsu will allow companies in Japan to take advantage of an integrated cloud offering to support their transition to the cloud.”

In delivering the HCM solution first and foremost, Oracle is living up to its promise of targeting this aspect of the SaaS market segment. Back in March, the team released its quarterly statement, in which CTO Larry Ellison took a shine towards Salesforce, mentioning the company six times in a relatively short statement. Oracle has targeted the HCM and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) SaaS markets, as it believes they are currently underserved.

“Oracle Fusion ERP is the overall market leader in the enterprise cloud ERP market. I should say we have more than 10 times the number of ERP customers than Workday. And ERP has always been a much larger market than CRM. is missing all of that ERP market opportunity,” said Ellison back during the earnings call. “And that in term it should make it easy for Oracle to pass and become the largest SaaS and PaaS cloud company in the world.”

Widely regarded as a slow starter in the cloud market, Oracle would now appear to be gathering pace through various acquisitions and partnerships. Considering the resource the company has as its disposal, it should not be seen as a surprise Oracle is making strides in the industry.

Netsuite localizes services in Asian markets

The globe close up, Asia pastNetsuite has continued efforts to localize services worldwide, announcing a number of new partnerships at CXO Summit in Singapore, as well as new product launches.

The company launched NetSuite OneWorld for companies based in Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as multinationals specifically doing business across Asia. The NetSuite OneWorld solution provides companies with multi-subsidiary management and global financial capabilities to run business operations in the region in a two tier model. Netsuite suite can be implemented in the cloud at subsidiary level, while maintaining legacy, on-premise systems at the company’s headquarters. The offering is also localised to meet the business, regulatory and tax compliance needs of regional businesses.

“Our long history in Southeast Asia and the dynamic business environment that has emerged in recent years, make expansion in the region a strategic imperative in NetSuite’s next phase of international growth,” said NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson. “Our announcements today demonstrate the success we’ve seen already and our deep level of commitment moving forward.”

Having launched its presence in Singapore in 2005, the company has made healthy gains in recent years, boasting a client list of 212 enterprises and subsidiaries in the city state alone. The new partnerships and product offerings appear to demonstrate Netsuite’s intentions in the region. Netsuite recently reported healthy growth over the course of the last 12 months, Q1 revenues were reported at $216.6 million, up 31% year-over-year, and since that point, Nelson has seemingly indicated the Asia market as a priority.

According to the South China Morning Post, Netsuite will be aiming to establish a number of data centres in the region, with Hong Kong and Singapore noted as possible locations. Netsuite’s tendency in entering new regions has been to open up multiple locations as a fail-safe, which could be seen during the company’s expansion in Europe last year. The company opened data centres in Dublin and Amsterdam within a short period of time during the expansion efforts.

While Hong Kong and Singapore represent healthy opportunities for the company to drive revenues, Netsuite has outlined China as a long-term target, with a Hong Kong platform offering a solid gateway due to its trade and political ties. “Businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore are already reaping the rewards of open trade and global expansion,” said Zakir Ahmed, GM of NetSuite Asia. “NetSuite OneWorld is giving these businesses the flexibility and agility to fully capitalise on the current cycle of growth.”

In terms of local partnerships, the announcement detailed new collaborations with 3PL Total Technology, a cloud warehouse management solutions company,, CuriousRubik, a previous Netsuite partner, and Doji Media, a company which helps local customers expand their remit to international markets.

Cloud is growing, but will it be your organisation’s downfall?

competitive swimmingThe reality is that most enterprise applications are well on their way to being cloud based. We’ve seen it with simple workloads such as HR and payroll, travel and expense management, and in the last decade we’ve seen the cloud as the new normal for customer relationship management (CRM) deployments. According to Gartner[1], “Spending on public-cloud-based, vertical-specific applications is expected to significantly increase through 2017, further highlighting the growing confidence in their use for mission-critical systems.”

Upgrading your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to the cloud means retiring your old approach to business management applications and no longer having to procure, install, maintain, and manage the infrastructure. And perhaps most compelling is to leverage the cloud to redefine your business processes and take advantage of a new era of service delivery and flexibility to enable your organisation to grow.

So what are the benefits of cloud based ERP solutions? Below are the top five reasons why moving your ERP system to the cloud will benefit your business and support business growth.

  1. Freedom of Choice

Put quite simply, not all cloud ERP systems are created equal. Specifically, very few ERP vendors respect your right to choose the deployment model that is most appropriate for you, and revise that decision down the road as your business grows or technical needs change. Your right to transition between on-premises, multi-tenant, and single tenant is an important one. It recognises that the “best” deployment model for you today might not be the best model in a few years, or even a few months. By providing the choice of Multi-Tenant (with its compelling economics and seamless upgrades) or Single Tenant (allowing more administrative control and administrative ownership), you can choose the model that works best for you.

  1. Compelling Cloud Economics

Despite the cloud having proven its value beyond just good financial sense, there is no doubt that for companies of all sizes the economics of cloud deployment are undeniably compelling, moving from capital to operational expenditure. Some of the more hidden economic benefits of the cloud include:

  • Not being as capital intensive as an on-premises deployment because of the subscription-based pricing model.
  • Better and more instant scalability, allowing clients to add (and sometimes remove) users to their system on demand and saving them from having to invest in hardware and software at the “high water mark”.
  • The direct and indirect costs of your infrastructure, from server to database systems to the actual hardware and replacement cycle cost.
  • The hidden costs of maintaining the servers yourself.
  • The benefit of the reduced deployment times (and corresponding improved ROI) that are typical for cloud deployments, as the necessary infrastructure is in place already.
  1. Better IT Resource Utilisation

Moving to the cloud means that your IT department will be able to deliver higher-value activities that are better aligned with your mission, and they will be able to spend less time “patching the servers and keeping the lights blinking.” At the end of the day, most IT departments are stretched pretty thin, and find themselves spending too much time on low-value (but admittedly critical) Development projectactivities such as verifying backups, applying security updates, and upgrading the infrastructure upon which your critical systems run. There is tremendous business benefit to assigning those tasks back to your ERP vendor as part of a cloud deployment, freeing up your IT department’s time to work on more strategic business projects such as creating executive dashboards, deploying mobile devices, and crafting helpful management reports.

  1. The Cloud is More Secure

Today, it’s hard to imagine a client who could possibly create a more secure operating environment than leading cloud providers. Indeed, Gartner reports[2] that “Multi-tenant services are not only highly resistant to attack, but are also a more secure starting point than most traditional in-house implementations.”

Where security once implied a locking the server room door and forcing people to use long passwords, today it means hardened electronic operating environments. You can’t claim to be secure unless you have systems and people protecting your infrastructure 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and verifying that security updates from all vendors are thoughtfully tested, then applied.

Security today is a comprehensive, end-to-end mindset that has to be built across every layer of the ERP environment from the physical network interface cards to the user passwords. It means a holistic approach to anticipating and minimising possible natural, human, and technical disruptions to your system to ensure uptime and peace of mind.

  1. Mobile and Collaborative

The modern ERP deployment landscape is full of mobile professionals, including sales and service staff operating outside the four walls of your office, who expect access to the ERP system from their handheld devices. You may also have mobile onsite staff such as shop floor operators and logistics staff that need to access your ERP from tablets and similar devices. Moving to a cloud-based system gives everyone the real-time system access they require as a routine part of their jobs while driving out the inefficiency of paper-based processes and the burden and security risk of figuring out how to deliver this yourself.

Opening up your ERP system by virtue of cloud deployment allows you to retire the poorly defined ad-hoc “integration by Excel file” workflows that might have cropped up across your organisation. In their place, you can deploy real-time integration processes that link your employees, suppliers, partners, and customers.

Cloud deployment brings the opportunity to redefine many of your legacy business processes and workflows in a way that leverages these more open, connected, instantaneous integration paths.

ERP solutions aren’t just software. They are tools that can be used to help grow your business profitably, offering flexible solutions that provide more accurate information in real-time, driving smarter, faster decision-making, and enabling customers to quickly meet changing market demands to stay ahead of their competition. The cloud increases the business benefits that ERP offers and can accompany your business on the road to successful growth.

Writes Martin Hill, Vice President Marketing, Epicor International

ERP uptake set to boom as risk diminishes – research

enterprise IT rolloutA new survey provides potentially exciting news of lucrative opportunities for cloud service providers. Nearly a third of all enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the world will attempt the migration to the cloud in the next two years, if a study commissioned by Hitachi Solutions Europe is accurate.

With rare cloud migration skills at a premium, the mass migration could prove lucrative for experts in this area, according to Hitachi.

The managers of ERP systems have been the most reluctant of all IT users to move to the cloud, according to Tim Rowe, Director of Hitachi Solutions Europe. The importance of this foundation system and its inherent complexity have dissuaded companies from taking any risks. However, as perception of the benefits of cloud computing spreads, the pressure to move is beginning to outweigh the resistance to change, said Rowe. The complexity of ERP systems, once a sales blocker, is now set to become a massive source of margin, according to Hitachi.

“Now we are starting to see a shift as the benefits start to outweigh the perceived risks,” said Rowe.

The survey found that that though 31% of organisations have moved all or part of their ERP systems to the Cloud, or are in the process of doing so, that leaves a healthy 69% who are still keeping ERP in house. However, 44% of the survey group of 315 senior finance professionals

said they would contemplate moving into the cloud in the next two years. If this is an accurate representation of global sentiment, then in the next two years around 30% of all ERP systems will begin an expensive migration to the cloud.

Among the companies with 500 employees there was just as much enthusiasm for taking a Cloud-based approach to ERP. With 27% of this demographic saying they have moved all or part of their ERP to the Cloud, or are in the process, the proportion is roughly similar to the overall average (31%).

Enterprises conducting feasibility research, through peer reviews, will be encouraged by the feedback given by earlier adopters, according to Hitachi. Its study found that 80% of their survey group of finance professionals rated their experience of using cloud-based ERP as excellent or good.

The main blockages to cloud based ERP projects will be data security and privacy risk (ranked as the top concern in 38% of cases) and dependency on a third party provider, nominated as the top fear by 35% of respondents.

Microsoft moves Dynamics AX into the cloud

MicrosoftMicrosoft says the latest incarnation of Dynamics AX will mark its transformation from a packaged application to a cloud service.

On Thursday the vendor announced the latest release of its flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) system will be generally available in the first quarter of 2016. The main difference, it said, is that the ERP is now a service designed for the cloud.

A public preview of the new solution for customers and partners will be available in early December. The new name of the release, Microsoft Dynamics AX, reflects a departure from branding that reflected the year or the version of the product, a characteristic of software packages, it said. From now on the branding will underscore that Dynamics AX is a cloud-based service that will be regularly updated, it said.

Microsoft said it will also implement a new, simple and more transparent subscription pricing model to make it easier for companies to buy the system as they need it. Dynamics AX will offer a new user experience that looks and works like Microsoft Office and shares information between Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM and Office 365, according to the vendor. It will also combine near-real-time analytics powered by Azure Machine Learning with the ability to visualise data through Power BI embedded in the application, in order to give users more predictive powers.

In response to usability analysis, Dynamics AX will have a browser-based HTML5 client and a new touch-enabled, modern user interface. Now that it’s a cloud system it will adopt the principles of highly visual applications more akin to consumer applications, according to Microsoft.

The classic rigidity of ERP systems has been replaced, according to Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise’s executive VP. “Our ambition to build the intelligent cloud comes to life with apps optimised for modern business. When you combine the hyperscale, enterprise-grade and hybrid-cloud capabilities of Microsoft Azure with the real-time insights and intuitive user experience of Dynamics AX, organisations and individuals are empowered to transform their business operations,” said Guthrie.

Thames Tideway Tunnel taps Accenture in NetSuite deal

Accenture claims this is the first implementation of a multi-tenant cloud-based ERP system at a regulated utility in the UK

Accenture claims this is the first implementation of a multi-tenant cloud-based ERP system at a regulated utility in the UK

Thames Tideway Tunnel, the project company set up to manage London’s “super-sewer” overflow reduction project, has deployed NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP platform in a bid to reduce costs and drive flexibility in its financial and project planning operations.

The company, which is due to start construction on a super sewer system to tackle sewage overflowing into the River Thames, said it required a flexible, low-cost IT systems implementation to support its core financial and project planning operations.

It enlisted Accenture to help deploy NetSuite OneWorld across the organisation.

“An agile and intuitive back-office IT system is critical for effective management and delivery of large-scale infrastructure projects,” said Robin Johns, head of Information Systems at Thames Tideway Tunnel.

“We selected Accenture to help us with this implementation based on its extensive experience with NetSuite cloud ERP technology and complex system integrations. We also chose Accenture for its ability to offer practical solutions to deliver an IT platform that will help facilitate financing and construction of the super sewer, while keeping costs down for customers,” Johns said.

Maureen Costello, managing director of Accenture’s utilities practice in the UK and Ireland said this is the first implementation of a multi-tenant cloud-based ERP system at a regulated utility in the UK.

It “demonstrates the company’s innovative approach and commitment to efficiently manage the delivery of this capital project,” Costello said.

Infor buys GT Nexus to strengthen manufacturing ERP cloud

Infor has acquired GT Nexus to boost its supply chain management capabilities

Infor has acquired GT Nexus to boost its supply chain management capabilities

Infor said this week it plans to acquire supply chain management cloud software vendor for $675m, a move the company expects will strengthen and broaden the capabilities of its ERP software.

GT Nexus’ cloud-based supply chain management software is particularly popular with manufacturer and retailers. The company claims to have over 25,000 customers including the likes of Adidas Group, Caterpillar, Columbia Sportswear, Levi Strauss & Co., Maersk, Pfizer, and UPS.

Infor said the acquisition would strengthen its portfolio as the retail industry continues to shift towards contract-based manufacturing, where much of the activity and commercial production takes place outside the brand owner’s operations (and ERP platform).

The company said GT Nexus and Infor CloudSuite have very similar architectures, making them relateively straightforward to integrate.

“Together, Infor and GT Nexus will provide customers with unprecedented visibility into their supply chains to manage production and monitor goods in transit and at rest,” said Charles Phillips, chief executive of Infor. “In a complex, high velocity supply chain, all partners need to know what was ordered, when it was built, where it is in transit, if the order has changed, and has it cleared customs. Specialization and speed are moving the future of manufacturing into the commerce cloud.”

Sean Feeney, chief executive of GT Nexus said: “Infor is a great home for GT Nexus, and we’re excited to join forces with a company with a strong manufacturing, retail, and supply chain pedigree.”

Workday plans pivot toward healthcare

Workday is targeting healthcare for its next big rollout

Workday is targeting the healthcare sector for its next big service rollout

Workday is looking to extend its human capital management and financial services applications to the healthcare sector and plans to launch as early as September this year.

The company said it will combine its financial management and HCM cloud services with Workday Inventory, a recently launched supply chain management tool, and tailor the combined platform specifically for the needs of healthcare providers.

“Healthcare providers are dealing with a significant amount of complexity. New regulations, industry consolidation, and a shifting patient relationship, are changing the way they manage their organizations,” said John Webb, vice president, industry strategy and alliances, Workday.

“With Workday, healthcare providers will have the people, financial, and supply chain insights they need, all in in one system built on a flexible foundation from which they can continually adapt and grow in a dynamic industry,” Webb said.

The company is working with healthcare providers on developing niche-specific capabilities, and has already announced a partnership with the Community Health Services of Georgia, a non-profit coordinating long-term care services in the State of Georgia and existing Workday customer to expand the platform’s feature set.

“Our world today is more complex than ever before. New regulations resulting from the Affordable Care Act, evolving patient dynamics, ambitious growth plans, and increased competition for talent, are creating new challenges for our organization and workforce,” said Angela Hammack, vice president, special projects, Community Health Services of Georgia.

“By partnering with Workday, we will be able to help design a system that not only meets our future needs, but one that truly addresses the challenges facing healthcare providers today. As an existing Workday customer, we’ve already benefited from the power of one system, and can only imagine the possibilities that come with collaborating on new features and applications that help support our whole ecosystem,” Hammack said.

Like many niche sectors healthcare is dominated by just a handful of IT vendors, but in recent months big cloud vendors like Box, IBM and Google have all moved to increase their visibility in the sector through partnership, acquisition, and the development of industry-tailored offerings.

Recipharm taps Merit Globe, Infor for legacy ERP modernisation

Recipharm has sent its ERP platform to the cloud

Recipharm has sent its ERP platform to the cloud

Swedish pharmaceutical manufacturer Recipharm has enlisted Merit Globe and Infor to modernise the company’s ERP systems to help reduce application fragmentation across the organisations.

Recipharm said it wanted to streamline its ERP system and reduce risk associated with its fragmented suite of legacy applications. It deployed Infor’s M3 cloud-based ERP platform to replace its existing on-premise solution.

“We can see that new features are being developed and industry-specific functionality added, removing the need for customisation.  This is critical for us as we instigate business process improvement projects,” said Mikael Porat, director of supply chain, Recipharm.

“Looking ahead we are assessing options outside of the ERP such as electronic signature , as this is of major importance for compliance within the pharmaceutical industry,” he added.

The project also included integration with a host of third party systems as well as a migration from IBM AS/400 to Microsoft SQL.

“Success in the pharmaceutical industry depends on managing two contrasting factors, continual product innovation and complete compliance with regulations,” said Mark Humphlett, director, industry and solution strategy, Infor.  “From an operational perspective this means an agile ERP and standardised processes are critical.  Customisations must be kept to a minimum and integration must be lightweight and flexible to support growth.”

Pharma is a heavily regulated industry and one of the main inhibitors when considering a shift to cloud services. Results from the BCN Annual Industry Survey earlier this year, which included responses from over 715 senior enterprise IT decision makers, suggest Pharma was among the top three least likely sectors to shift to cloud services in the next two years, Aviation and Emergency Services being the other two.

NTT Data, DiData partner on SAP cloud migration

NTT Data and Dimension Data are helping enterprises move their SAP software into the cloud

NTT Data and Dimension Data are helping enterprises move their SAP software into the cloud

NTT Data and Dimension Data announced a partnership this week that will see the two firms jointly offer cloud migration services for SAP application users.

As part of the deal Dimension Data will host SAP Cloud and SAP HANA instances in 16 of its cloud datacentres globally, with NTT Data offering up its implementation, migration and application management services.

The companies said the partnership will enable them to offer clients complete SAP lifecycle management for workloads, which they said are increasingly being shifted into the cloud (even bulkier ERP workloads).

“Many of our clients tell us that they’re ready for the next chapter in cloud, which is moving production applications to a consumption based infrastructure. Until recently, clients found that self-service provisioning is complete, while self-service management of applications in the cloud remains challenging,” explained Steve Nola, Dimension Data’s group executive – ITaaS.

“That’s why Dimension Data is providing software and hands-on attention that will provide our enterprises with the confidence to move their SAP licenses to the Dimension Data cloud,” Nola said.

Kaz Nishihata, executive vice president, global business, NTT DATA said: “NTT DATA will manage the implementation of SAP with fully customized configurations, leverage well-established and automated cloud migration processes, and manage the ongoing services using our proprietary tools to improve service quality and manage costs. Combined with Dimension Data’s robust cloud platform, we can offer clients the mission-critical service levels required for today’s SAP environments.”

To its credit SAP has worked to make more recent versions of its software both more modular and more cloud-friendly in terms of architecture, but moving SAP applications into the cloud isn’t a particularly easy job given the bulkiness of their suites – and enterprises seem ready to take cues from service providers on how to get the job done.

Last year Colt and Virtustream struck a very similar partnership, the two companies now working together to migrate enterprises to SAP’s cloud platform and SAP HANA, with the former providing the service management and cloud infrastructure and the latter providing SAP-optimised microvirtualisation and cloud management tools.