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“Back in 2008 Oracle’s Larry Ellison said that “we have redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do.” Dismissing it with the fashion industry analogy that “orange is the new pink,” Ellison said much of the talk surrounding the emergence of the cloud was gibberish. In short, we were in 2008 according to Ellison, already in the cloud.” – Larry Ellison, 2008
What is most interesting about the above referenced Larry Ellison comment is that rather than redefining cloud computing, it is Oracle and all other ERP-based platforms that have, with the emergence of SaaS or on-demand procurement solutions experienced a transformation.
The Gartner assessment, which to many represents a seismic shift in the way we have traditionally viewed the relationship between backend ERP platforms and front-end procurement applications was long overdue. Before the proclamation of the postmodern ERP era, cloud-based procurement solutions were considered to be little more than a “bolt-on” application as opposed to being the linchpin of a dynamic and global digital procurement practice.
Based on our data, this transcension from an adjunct application to being the engine that drives procurement excellence and improved outcomes is today a reality. Specifically, and as illustrated in the accompanying graph, client conversions from a single entry-level license to a multi-solution enterprise license continues to rise.
The Path To Greater Convenience And Flexibility
Driven by factors such as ease-of-use and an intuitive user interface – something that was missing from the more cumbersome ERP alternatives there is today instant benefits for stakeholders. Especially regarding event turnaround, which is now counted by hours as opposed to weeks.
The fact is after realising what they can achieve with a cloud-based eSourcing capability users are eager to extend or expand this convenience to the other solutions we provide.
Of course, beyond user convenience, the flexibility to quickly respond to customer requests within the app itself such as through new releases of the software on a bi-monthly basis is critical. The need for provider agility and an ability to adapt the solution to individual client processes represents a significant departure from the traditional ERP world.
In the last post, Jon Hansen talked about the inability of ERP-driven platforms to “support the swift resolution of supply chain glitches.” The glitches to which he was referring centred on an ERP application’s inability to “collect and synthesise data from multiple sources” in real time thereby limiting its relevancy from the standpoint of either confirming or averting a buying decision. With today’s cloud-based solutions such limitations no longer exist.
When everything is said and done, the ability to recognise and adapt to the real-time demands of a global enterprise in the digital age is the defining characteristic of the postmodern ERP era.
On 8th February, Jon Hansen will be hosting a webinar alongside Market Dojo. Before the proclamation of the postmodern ERP era, cloud-based procurement solutions were considered to be little more than a “bolt-on” application as opposed to being the linchpin of a dynamic and global digital procurement practice. Find out more and sign up to the upcoming webinar here.
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