Feedback from Oracle OpenWorld

Last week Oracle hosted its annual OpenWorld conference in London and as a tech agnostic HR consultancy, LACE Partners met with key leaders in Oracle’s HCM team to understand the latest developments and updates that Oracle have in store from its customers.

As an HR tech agnostic organisation LACE Partners attends the major HRIS conferences that take place, to keep abreast of the latest developments and as part of our ongoing commitment to keeping you informed of what is happening at Oracle, Workday, SAP SuccessFactors, Ceridian, and others, we’ve provided an update below on some of the interesting developments. If you’d like to talk about the leading HCM products in the marketplace, then please reach out to the team who would be happy to help.

At OpenWorld there was plenty of insight on AI, blockchain, ‘cloud’ vs ‘faux cloud’ and the importance of effective and efficient use of data (more on that anon), but let’s start with the actual product enhancements that Oracle have spoken about this month that we thought would be particularly interesting to HR teams currently implementing, or thinking about implementing, Oracle into their business. We’ll follow up today’s blog with some other thoughts over the coming weeks.

Microsoft Azure

Oracle’s partnership with Microsoft in relation to their Azure Cloud Platform was one of the key focus points. Oracle’s partnership allows their customers to run Oracle on-premise software within Microsoft Azure and to access Microsoft products hosted on Azure from the Oracle Cloud, making interoperability between Oracle Cloud and Azure more seamless. For example, using the Azure BI tools from within the Azure Cloud on Oracle Cloud HCM data sets. Unlocking these data sets with commonly available Microsoft tools has powerful potential from a people analytics perspective. For example, being able to see how individuals at certain levels of the business rank against their peers and where they may need to upskill or require a performance intervention. These types of predictive analytics can provide Executive Management Teams with trends on where a person is in their lifecycle within a business; are they statistically more likely to be at risk of exiting the business, for example? Alternatively, what are the common traits from across the business that can be identified in individuals – regardless of what role they currently perform within the business – that have the potential to be highflyers within the organisation for input to talent planning

Oracle releases

Certainly, from what we’ve seen at LACE Partners, it is clear that there has been significant investment in Oracle HCM and this is reflected in Gartner’s scoring of Oracle in their leaders quadrant in their latest September 2019 Cloud HCM report. The quarterly releases we are expecting this year will drive further integration and improvements across the platform. We have called out some of the new developments from Oracle that HR teams might find most relevant as they drive efficiencies within their business. We would be happy to talk about these developments, or streamlining your quarterly release planning process, and how you could exploit them within your business.

Digital Assistant

The concept of having a chatbot to support the employee experience is not new and has been a topic of conversation for some time, but implementation by some of the other big HCM providers in this space has been slow to evolve. Oracle’s Digital Assistant is relatively advanced and Oracle is pioneering this employee experience channel. The early adoption of their digital assistant has enabled them to better improve the ‘live hand off’ from machine to real person to support an employee’s needs. To support the Chatbot automation, Oracle have improved their Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) tool, which now called ‘Intelligent Advisor’ that enables individuals to find policies that relate to their query, by entering in specific questions or search strings. The Intelligent Advisor performs a weighted analysis of the available policy documents and makes recommendations based on the query that the individual has asked. For example, if an employee wants to determine their eligibility for maternity leave, or if a business has a relocation allowance when an individual is transferring from within a business. This is where the Intelligent Advisor functionality can add great value and reduce time to resolve queries without human intervention

Outlook integration

This is a very exciting development. Outlook is regarded as the most widely used email platform. Oracle’s announcement at OpenWorld that they will be releasing an integration with Outlook is a development which will streamline the employee experience and brings Oracle and Microsoft a further step closer together. As an example, if you are looking to book a meeting to interview a candidate, the ability for that information to seamlessly sync between Oracle’s platform and your Microsoft Outlook calendar, will save time and frankly frustration switching between systems and keeping the calendar entry up to date.

Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) equivalent?

We’ve talked a lot about Digital Adoption Solutions (DAS) and the importance they are playing in helping to improve the employee experience by helping employees to navigate across platforms. There are external providers who can integrate with Oracle Cloud HCM systems, but Oracle have developed their own DAP – called ‘Guided Learning’ – which was released last March. This tool is important in helping businesses improve their employee adoption across Oracle platforms, which for many organisations entertaining an end-to-end Oracle solution across HCM, ERP and other areas, provides a powerful alternative to the independent vendors.

That is a quick overview of some of the tools that were announced at this year’s conference. If you’d like to discuss how LACE Partners can support you with your Oracle plans please reach out to us on +44 (0) 20 8065 0310 or email and ask to speak to a member of the HR Tech team.

Interested in hearing about some of the other big providers, or the latest emerging tech in the HR space? You can register for our people_tech: emerging trends webinar on 18th March @ 1pm here.