The holy grail of big ticket ERP implementation is configuring the application with the available options and ensuring that the organization can meet all business objectives by leveraging best practices delivered by the implemented product. Investment in Oracle Cloud SAAS (Software-As-A-Service) applications is that step to getting a modern, world class solution to address your strategic business needs end to end.
Customizing what’s delivered or building extensions with whole new modules outside the core ERP is considered the ultimate sin as it leads to multiple issues over the long run. These issues revolve around ongoing maintenance, lack of OEM support, costly upgrades, lack of standardization, compatibility issues, data integration issues, UX inconsistency, lack of best practices etc.
But why do some organizations not live with what’s delivered in the product? Each business is unique and each organization believes that business applications should support them in getting the competitive advantage in the market place. With their specialized management approaches or business processes specific to their industry vertical, organizations typically need to add small modules on top of their ERP systems. They would like to leverage their already implemented ERP application, so that there is a single source of truth for the core data like organization, department, employees, security, locations etc.
For Oracle Cloud SAAS customers, there are several services delivered on PaaS (Platform-As-A-Service). My earlier blog on customizing Oracle Cloud applications dealt with the ability to make small personalization or run-time changes to the delivered pages. PaaS is a whole new option– Oracle Cloud Platform is a comprehensive, standards-based combination of Oracle and open source technologies to enable you to more efficiently build, deploy, integrate, secure and manage all your enterprise applications1. With a pay-as-you-go model, you only pay for the services that you subscribe to and to the extent that you use.
At this time (April 2018), Oracle is offering a $300 credit, if you want to spin up some environments to experiment. It would be best to consult your Oracle sales or solution consulting contacts to help you figure which services would be useful for you to start tinkering with. To those to plan to skill up their team in this area, here is a link to the Oracle University courses one can subscribe to. There are several courses in areas ranging from basic application development to using block chain, chat bots or Analytics services.
There are several options one can use under the Oracle PaaS umbrella. SOAIS is considering the following & building specs for POCs.
- Oracle Java Cloud Service: is an easy, rapid and agile deployment platform for any Java application that you want to build grounds up. You can experience full control and flexibility of your application in cloud. Oracle Java Cloud Service – SAAS Extension, can be used to build extensions with compatible to Oracle SAAS apps by utilizing the same platform that delivers Oracle SAAS services.
- Visual Builder – Visual Builder Cloud Service (VBCS) is a cloud service that enables business users and developers to rapidly create and host web and mobile applications with minimal or no-coding required. Applications and pages created and hosted with VBCS are designed to be embeddable in Oracle SAAS. This is useful for small, low complexity applications that you need to quickly whip up.
- Oracle Integration Cloud Service – simplified application integration for SAAS and on-premise integrations with low-code, business-friendly automation in just a few clicks. This service will be useful to pull base organization, employee, security data from your SAAS or return completed transaction data from the PaaS application back to SAAS.
- Database Cloud Services is used when application extension needs to store data locally and outside the SAAS. This service is flexible for you to design your own data entities to seamlessly work along with the SAAS.
While the above are a few of the development platform services to subscribe for building basic PaaS applications to co-exist with your PaaS, there are a whole bunch of services around Mobile apps, Chatbots, Analytics, Blockchain etc which can be explored based on the use case that your organization is trying to address.
Happy “PaaSing”…buying software & hardware is so passé !