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The Future of Oracle E-Business Suite

Companies have invested significant amounts of time and money installing Oracle E-Business Suite (Oracle EBS). However, Oracle’s announcement to focus primarily on Fusion Cloud made Oracle EBS users tense until Oracle released a roadmap supporting EBS atleast till 2030. In a recent research on “What Oracle ERP Customers Need to Know About Oracle Cloud Applications,” Gartner found that many Oracle customers have been inaccurately told that their on-premises ERP suites are at the end-of-life stage and that they must move to the cloud now. As a result, Oracle customers are unsure about Oracle’s commitment to its on-premises suites until Oracle EBS roadmap was out. On the other side, Oracle ERP Cloud is the latest from Oracle. It is still evolving, and its success entirely depends on project completions. Many CIO’s are planning to ignore a full-scale fusion cloud implementation as the cloud applications have differing levels of maturity and wait until these applications gain an excellent rate of adoption – especially Oracle SCM Cloud which is less mature than Oracle Financials/HCM cloud. So the answer between Cloud and On-Premises is not yet clear, and premier support for E-Business Suite may continue even after 2030. Oracle is continuously investing in E-Business suite on the following aspects-

  1. User Interface Features – Oracle is working on building solutions that are user-friendly and accessible from smart devices using HTML User Interfaces.
  2. Analyzer Scripts- Oracle introduced product based Analyzer Scripts that provide recommendations, solutions and early warnings about items that should be reviewed and corrected. For instance, Inbound Transactions Analyzer identifies Inbound Transactions issues and offers solutions to known ones.
See: June 29th, 2018 – Oracle reaffirms commitment towards Oracle EBS customers

The need to modernize legacy systems made many enterprises to move to cloud initially. But that is not the case now. As per a recent survey by IDG Communications, nearly 60 percent of IT decision makers believe apps that touch critical data and systems must remain on-premises for security reasons, while 42 percent say they can’t migrate off legacy systems because they’re mission-critical and have security policies barring them from using cloud apps for certain functions. However, companies are likely to upgrade some of their modules/apps in 2019.

On the other hand, Oracle wants its customers to use the co-existence strategy to incrementally adapt and migrate to cloud apps over time. This approach is practical, and cloud apps closely integrate with legacy ones to perform as a single unit. However, customers may be reluctant to make a move, unless they are looking for the latest functionalities not present in core applications, as the current systems can perform the same job. Some IT decision makers say that the current systems are deeply ingrained in the business activities and a switch in the software could interrupt business operations.

See: Is Oracle jeopardising EBS for Oracle Cloud?

Customization challenges should be considered as ERP Cloud offers few opportunities to customize and may impair companies from innovating. Companies need to change the way they work to achieve the full value of Cloud solution. This strategy is executable, but the complexities involved in implementing features not present before and the issues that pop up are unimaginable. Also, standardizing ERP benefits Industries as a whole but not companies as every company and its processes are unique. Companies using E-Business Suite customized it to suit their business requirements and attained competitive advantages. They will lose their competitive edge when business processes are standardized to meet Cloud ERP requirements.

Oracle’s intent initially was to provide a like for like replacement. However, a recent finding from Gartner does not suggest so.  What it means is a high complexity in switching from Oracle EBS to Fusion Cloud. Oracle on June 5, 2018, announced Oracle Soar to cut migrating costs of EBS users in their journey to Cloud. But, the market feedback shows that the switch won’t be easy considering the customizations EBS customers have done for their ERP. Even the recently announced quarterly results report that cloud services and licence support segment grew only 3 percent year-on-year, down from 10 percent in the last quarter of 2018.

See: Oracle Announces Soar 

“Future of Oracle E-Business Suite holds good.”

Taking all these into consideration, the future of Oracle E-Business Suite holds good. Oracle is continually updating E-Business Suite to provide value with new features that reduce downtime and improve user experiences. So one may expect premium support from Oracle for E-Business Suite even after 2030 taking into consideration the money companies spend on ERPs, and the long term R12 support timelines and commitment from Oracle to offer premium support for EBS till at least 2030. Unless the need for new needs and functionalities arise, companies can stay on Oracle EBS and assess the need for technology shifts by matching their business and technology requirements with the roadmaps and support from Oracle for EBS.