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Oracle leverages AI to push enterprise apps as users move to cloud

Marc Ferranti | Oct. 3, 2017
At OpenWorld, Oracle is rolling out Adaptive Intelligence apps to ERP, HCM and SCM, an 'autonomous' database and new PaaS offerings

For HCM, the AI apps are about more than just sifting through resumes. "It's about  aiding people to select good employees based on performance, not on just the fact they have a good resume but that we know that people of a certain profile have good sales performance, or with this profile get promoted," Berkowitz said.

For the supply chain suite, AI apps are designed to help businesses sense demand and optimize pricing to improve cash management. They also help to identify the right suppliers for specific business needs.

The AI apps are designed to continuously tune themselves in response to data. 

"We have this notion of connected intelligence, where we're able to bring into the HCM experience, for example, real views in terms of if you're hiring sales people, how they actually do after the hire," Berkowitz said.

Various vendors are also incorporating AI into their software, but Oracle differentiates itself by offering the broadest set of enterprise applications as well as complementary PaaS offerings. Salesforce, for example, is a leader in SaaS and PaaS, but has a narrower customer base.

"Salesforce is solely focused on its customer success platform whereas Oracle can spread AI into their ERP, their human capital management, their e-commerce," said  Brent Leary, co-founder of consultancy firm CRM Essentials. "They can deliver AI into a wider grouping of business applications which also, once they integrate their AI into platform as a service, allows for companies to create applications that pull in from multiple business domains."


Oracle services for chatbots, blockchain and AI

At OpenWorld, Oracle is also highlighting its strategy of breaking out the underlying technology for their apps as PaaS offerings, announcing new chatbot, AI and blockchain services.

The AI technology is being offered via Oracle AI Platform Cloud Services. AI Platform Cloud instances comes pre-installed with familiar  AI libraries, tools and deep-learning frameworks, inlcuding TensorFlow, Keras Jupyter Notebook, and NymPy, Oracle says. Users have access to Oracle Object Store and can connect to Spark and Hadoop clusters.

The Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service is part of the Oracle Cloud Platform, is managed by Oracle and designed to provide rapid provisioning, built-in monitoring and continuous backup. Although the blockchain concept was brought to public attention by the bitcoin cryptocurrency, the essential features it is based on -- for example, tamper-proof, public ledgers of transactions -- are being used by financial institutions and enterprises in a variety of scenarios. Blockchain technology could for example be incorporated into supply-chain applications to track the transaction history and location for components.

Oracle is also breaking out its chatbot capabilities as a service, as part of its Oracle Mobile Cloud. First unveiled at last year's OpenWorld and announced for the company's customer experience suite in April, enterprise users can now tap  the chatbot technology for a variety of applications. "Now  we are also allowing customers to buy it directly for their own usage, for their own individual apps -- they might want to do health care, they might want to commerce with chatbots," said Oracle's  Zavery.


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