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December 2012




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Oracle’s Rick Jewel: Disruptive Technologies Are Key to Future Success

From his perspective as the head of Oracle’s supply chain management applications, Rick Jewell, senior vice president of Oracle Applications Development, sees important links between today’s disruptive technologies and successful value chains.

Q: You’ve spoken a lot about the impact of disruptive technologies, such as real-time analytics, and mobile, social networking, and cloud computing. What opportunities do these technologies offer from a value chain perspective?
A: They are all very applicable to this area. For example, real-time and embedded analytics give us more information in a more granular format than we’ve ever had before for making better decisions all the way through the value chain—from innovating and building new products to the execution and delivery of products to customers. In addition, social networking is growing in importance when it comes to working with customers around the next set of products. Cloud is here to stay. It’s just a natural evolution to centralize IT operations with a cloud orientation. And lastly, we’re increasingly working in a mobile world. It’s just absolutely necessary that smart phones and tablets are involved in the supply chain because people are no longer tethered to their desks.

Q: Do disruptive technologies like these lead to process innovation?
A: Yes, because today’s organizations embrace the latest technologies and they will innovate around those advancements. As these technologies become commercially available, organizations will evolve the underlying processes for greater productivity and efficiency.

Q: What’s Oracle’s approach to incorporating disruptive technologies into solutions for supply chain managers?
A: We believe it’s our responsibility to leverage these technologies to create more business value for our customers. Mobile is a prime example. Our philosophy is that everything we do must be usable and visible on a tablet because people are now leveraging these devices more and more. We are also looking at specific use cases as they come along for smart phones. We don’t believe that people will do work on a regular basis on a smart phone; however, they will perform key transactions, such as approvals.

Q: How are technology innovations enabling new capabilities in solutions such as Oracle Value Chain Planning?
A: We now are able to collect far more detailed, granular data than ever before and apply all the real-time analytics to support better decisions. For example, we now can collect information from a point-of-sale system down to an hourly level as far as inventory levels and customer transactions are concerned. At the same time, we can manage information from a demand management and promotions planning perspective. An executive can now better analyze how a promotion is performing at one store versus a store that’s 10 miles away, and understand the demographic and regional differences between those two facilities. That granularity of information is what’s going to make the difference in adding more profit margin to the value chain—this is innovation.

Learn more about Rick Jewel.

Follow Oracle value chain planning on Facebook and Twitter.

Register for the Oracle Value Chain Summit in San Francisco, February 4–6.

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