One of the biggest challenges companies face with their SCM applications footprint is moving part or all of it to a cloud-based SaaS/PaaS platform. This decision is sometimes complicated by the fact that on-premise license renewals, de-support notices for earlier versions of EBS, ‘true ups’ for user license fees (especially when there has been significant revenue or headcount growth), and the cost of technical objects (and their maintenance) built over the lifecycle of the applications loom large, also, to the commensurate hardware costs associated with any transformation project of this nature.
All of the above factors do not even take into account the possibility of functionality enhancements that may render current customizations obsolete, the re-evaluation of processes that may have become antiquated and overly complex, or the dependency of a boundary application that can be wholly or partially covered with out of the box capabilities.
Both operations and IT leadership should incorporate all of these dimensions into their cloud migration evaluation efforts. This exercise can seem especially daunting within the SCM application realm, specifically, because the breadth and depth of these capabilities are severely intertwined not just amongst themselves but also with other parts of the application ecosystem like Finance, Reporting, Tax, and Master Data, just to name a few.
During the course of the many assessments, roadmap sessions and implementation projects I have participated in and delivered successfully along with my teams, I have noticed some prevailing notions that can hinder progress and can even lead to some confusion with regards to how the Oracle Cloud SCM suite compares to the Oracle EBS SCM suite. One of these misconceptions is that doing an ‘apples to apples’ comparison is a relatively straightforward exercise, especially since some very fundamental pieces of the architecture and the correlation between said components are either completely different or have been redesigned to address some very specific pain points that EBS customers frequently highlighted as gaps or where consistent customizations where needed in order for the product to fully meet business requirements.
To help customers navigate these very specific comparisons and features, I took it upon myself to start a series of blog posts that go into the details regarding the differences between EBS SCM and Cloud SCM for each capability subset, going from very foundational concepts like enterprise structures and costing methods to precise flows within Procure to Pay, Receipt to Put-away, Schedule to Deliver, Order to Cash, Forecast to Plan, Maintain to Optimize and Consume to Replenish, amongst others. This deep dive is needed because some capabilities in Cloud are far superior to they are in EBS, and, while Oracle does continue to come out with new EBS releases (the latest being 12.2.10 as of this writing), a significant shift in long term capability investment can be observed in the equivalent or comparable Cloud SCM offerings that incorporate feature-rich releases every quarter, as opposed to maintenance or SCM specific patches that may or may not be utilized as a part of a specific customer SCM applications design.
Perficient’s Oracle Supply Chain Management practice has advised clients in multiple industry verticals and varying stages of this journey to the cloud. We have executed ‘Speed to Value‘ assessments to help our clients discover new features in Cloud SCM and compare them against current application footprints. We have leveraged our expertise to help our customers carve a path forward via road-mapping and long term planning in such a way that both the capabilities and accompanying RICE objects (Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, and Extensions/Enhancements) are robust enough to meet the ever-changing needs of a complex organization in an environment where acquisitions, divestitures, and consolidations are a common occurrence.
Our team is excited to share these insights with our customers and blog readers in the hope that these posts spur internal conversations, enhance the understanding of a comprehensive and feature-rich set of capabilities, and, more importantly, enable organizations to obtain the best ROI and business value out of these applications.
Let’s start our Liftoff to the Oracle SCM Cloud!