Oracle implores enterprises to adopt its uniquely architected cloud stack

Oracle reinforces its cloud stack to accelerate enterprise cloud adoption

Oracle has a strong portfolio of cloud applications that are proving competitive in the market against more narrowly focused or less integrated SaaS competition. Oracle’s core platform and infrastructure businesses, however, are proving a harder sell, implied by financial results and qualitative context, despite significant innovations over recent years. The tone of Oracle OpenWorld 2018 mirrored its overall performance: The company is well positioned and executing in cloud application adoption initiatives, and is well positioned but facing stalling sales in the infrastructure business.

Applications updates were minimal but valuable

As Oracle executives pointed out, Oracle has been able to position itself well in the SaaS market by buying and building applications across both front- and back-office functional areas, leaving few holes in its horizontal applications portfolio. This relatively comprehensive portfolio, particularly across the back office with integrated ERP and Human Capital Management (HCM) suites, positions the company well as more customers look to adopt cloud applications — both voluntarily to achieve efficiencies, and under duress to plan migrations as other vendors’ on-premises products are given end-of-support deadlines. Strengthening the value of its applications at the annual event, Oracle announced artificial intelligence (AI)-based capability additions to its ERP and HCM portfolios, including chatbots, recommendation engines and process automation. Oracle also enhanced select supply chain management applications with blockchain-enabled tracking and controls to increase value for customers. These advancements add value for customers but do not significantly alter Oracle’s back-office portfolio.



Oracle’s (NYSE: ORCL) annual conference, Oracle OpenWorld 2018, took a different tone than in recent years. With corporate focus narrowed around the cloud portfolio, and key product foundations already in place, keynotes and announcements were more focused on improvements to existing applications and the database and infrastructure architecture underpinning all cloud services. This year’s event doubled down on themes of past years, including Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s previous keynotes concerning macroeconomic trends and predictions for the cloud market, and introduced a panel of distinguished U.S. and U.K. security personnel that painted a bleak cybersecurity picture, subtextually in support of a secure, single-vendor cloud stack that Oracle is positioning itself to best address.

Consultancies and IT services vendors face uncertainty in a shift to data and automation for 2019

As we start the final three months of 2018, TBR’s Professional Services Practice (PSP) has begun wrapping up analysis on the year as a whole and thinking more about what 2019 will bring, specifically in the areas of healthcare IT services, data management and consulting. Top-of-mind issues for TBR’s clients and the PSP analysts reflect today’s driving trends and set the stage for the next few years.

Now: Cloud, competition and emerging tech uncertainty unsettle HITS vendors

TBR’s healthcare IT services (HITS) practice has noted rising interest in electronic health record (EHR) systems and other health IT solutions, for example, patient data storage and application hosting in the cloud, tempered only by ingrained concerns about data privacy and security. EHR-centric companies aggressively cross-selling emerging solutions to their existing installed base of EHR clients have simultaneously captured new EHR work in the vast white space of latent demand for EHR systems outside the U.S. Complementing those efforts, increased cloud adoption generates opportunities for systems integrators to digitally transform payer, provider and life sciences organizations alike. For example, community hospitals eager to digitize and better connect with other providers in the healthcare ecosystem have become a growth engine for many HITS vendors, a trend that favors small-scale EHR providers, especially those that have pivoted to cloud, compelling leading vendors to scale down flagship EHR platforms and adopt small- to mid-market deployment models.

TBR closely monitors and analyzes the impacts to the business models for key HITS vendors as new pressures compel a shift toward different clients and markets, including the following development:

  • Will cloud-based EHRs, infused with automation analytics for care and administrative processes, artificial intelligence (AI) for genomics-informed medicine, machine learning and telemedicine become more commonplace?
  • How will executives at HITS vendors approach retrofitting existing EHR systems with these emerging solutions, in addition to integrating human-centered design into new EHR platforms?

Laundering money and funding terrorism cannot withstand analytics and AI

Despite banks’ substantial investments in technology, people and processes to meet regulations, they currently lack effective and efficient systems for tackling financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing. Regulators cannot keep pace with change, and the time and investment to overhaul banks’ legacy systems are too great given the complexity of global organizations and inevitable disruption to operations. But the three elements — technology, people and process — match EY’s strengths in technology consulting, especially when paired with deep financial services industry and risk and compliance expertise. EY continues to invest and evolve its financial crime (FinCrime) practice as it listens to financial institutions’ demands for services that embed regulatory compliance expertise and technology innovation, offered at scale on an outcomes-based pricing model. EY’s FinCrime practice collaborates across the firm to combine legacy capabilities and emerging technologies to differentiate from competitors’ portfolios in the market and provide, in TBR’s current analysis, industry-leading offerings.

EY’s connected approach to disrupting financial crime: Technology disruption, industry collaboration and process innovation

Over the course of EY’s two-day Financial Crime Analyst Summit, the firm’s leaders and banking sector clients spoke with TBR about the challenges financial institutions face, including high operating costs, stifled revenue growth, and demands to undergo business transformation while maintaining compliance with evolving regulations. Many industries contend with the first two challenges, but this last one — transforming while complying — fits well with EY’s strengths: industry expertise, emerging tech capabilities, and a deep understanding of the regulators in the U.S. and globally. In applying those strengths, EY’s financial crime practice relies on three pillars — technology disruption, industry collaboration and process innovation — in other words, meet demand for services and solutions that are backed by regulation credibility, infused with technology innovation and offered with tiered pricing to successfully disrupt FinCrime.

Before getting to the specific ways that EY addresses FinCrime, one key aspect of the financial services market as a whole deserves extra attention: trust. In the consulting and technology spaces, trust has come to mean delivering on promises and securing data. In the banking space, with the additional weight of money and regulators, trust becomes the single most important factor in determining the extent of a provider-client relationship. With a heritage as a trusted auditor, a reputation for delivering consulting services, and a position between clients and regulators, EY has built up enough trust capital to take on industrywide challenges.