On demand customers benefit from Oracle Application Integration Architecture.
The concept of software as a service isn't new, but the field is still developing. Oracle leads the way, with Oracle On Demand deployment, hosting, and maintenance services. But in a sea of similar offerings, what makes Oracle On Demand stand out? Marc Schwarz, senior vice president of Oracle On Demand, spoke with Profit about the competitive advantage Oracle Application Integration Architecture provides to Oracle On Demand customers that are trying to connect legacy and acquired systems to unify, modernize, and evolve their business systems.
PROFIT: Can you tell us what makes Oracle On Demand a good choice for customers?
SCHWARZ: Oracle On Demand offers a portfolio of applications delivered on a managed basis, complete with support, service, upgrades, and maintenance. Instead of customers making a sizable investment in building out their software and hardware infrastructure, Oracle On Demand provides a predictable, scalable, fixed-cost model for running business applications. Because of Oracle's expertise in managing Oracle products, investment in processes and automation, commitment to operational excellence, and continuous improvement strategy, customers will always pay less than if they brought the same level of service in-house.
PROFIT: What role does Oracle Application Integration Architecture play for Oracle On Demand?
SCHWARZ: The reason Oracle Application Integration Architecture is such a critical differentiator for Oracle On Demand customers is that in addition to the Oracle applications they run, they have dozens of other applications, either legacy or homegrown. So even if they have adopted customer relationship management (CRM) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, they will still need to integrate third-party systems. Oracle Application Integration Architecture provides a flexible, open-standards-based framework for creating cross-application business processes. It enables us to quickly, cost-effectively, and creatively respond to the unique needs of customers seeking to integrate applications and processes.
PROFIT: In what way does Oracle Application Integration Architecture make this process more cost-effective?
SCHWARZ: The combination of Oracle On Demand and Oracle Application Integration Architecture is very cost-effective, because we enable customers to integrate without having to reinvent the methods themselves. Oracle can more efficiently deliver the best practices it has learned from working on other customer implementations and do it far more effectively than if the customer were learning how to do it in-house.
PROFIT: Can you give an example?
SCHWARZ: Sure, let's take a customer that recently purchased Oracle Transportation Manager to plan its global logistics. The customer wanted to integrate with Oracle E-Business Suite for financials, inventory, purchasing, and order processing. Oracle offers a prebuilt integration, and Oracle On Demand hosts it. So regardless of the customer's upgrade path, Oracle has complete responsibility to keep the integration working. Unifying these systems freed the customer to concentrate on re-engineering its core business processes while Oracle focused on managing its systems, and it generated an 11 percent return on investment in just two years.
Another example is a customer that has recently acquired four other companies, leaving it with disparate data and processes. Because of Oracle Application Integration Architecture, it has been able to integrate these datasources and processes so all the companies can function as a unified entity. This customer was able to tie together its best-of-breed business processes, completing an upgrade and an expansion of its systems in just five months—and it anticipates saving US$35 million over five years.