Oracle to Offer APS Package for Small Companies

  • Written By: Steve McVey
  • Published: September 27 1999

Oracle to Offer APS Package for Small Companies
S. McVey - September 27th, 1999

Event Summary

Seeking new avenues for growth, $8.8 billion Oracle Corporation will extend its reach into the small enterprise market. The suite includes Oracle's new APS (Advanced Planning and Scheduling) package announced near the end of June, which includes Demand Planning, Supply Chain Planning, Global Available to Promise, and Manufacturing Scheduling. Details of the small enterprise offering will be given at the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) conference in Orlando, Florida in October.

Market Impact

In its June 28 announcement, Oracle spoke confidently of single-day implementations of its APS suite and next-day returns on investment. Those who have struggled through the stressful months of the organizational change that inevitably accompany APS projects might conclude that Oracle is working from a non-standard definition of the word "implementation". Clearly Oracle hopes to grab the attention of companies that may be eyeing competitive APS offerings from best-of-breeds like i2, Manugistics, or even integrated suites like SAP's Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO). Although supply chain management implementations can be less costly in terms of time and resources when compared to full-scope ERP installations, they still require full participation of an experienced project team and well-defined business processes. The same holds true for both large and small organizations.

Although APS is presumably a home-grown product, Oracle may find it difficult to convince prospective clients that it is a superior alternative to the Rhythm applications currently embedded in its suite. Oracle will also face pressure when SAP APO version 2.0 emerges from final testing later this year. Other vendors such as J. D. Edwards, Manugistics, and Baan have already begun raising the profiles of their own supply chain products to claim territory in the hot SCM marketplace.

User Recommendations

Few user conferences surpass those of Oracle for vendor self-promotion and this year's bash in Orlando promises to be brimming with hype. While most will regard Oracle's one-day implementation claim with an appropriate level of skepticism, others who are willing to forge ahead may want to consider looking at the Demand Planning application as a start. Demand Planning can be the least painful of new applications, as forecast generation can be accomplished with a relatively small amount of data, and integration to other systems, though efficient, is not absolutely necessary to gain some benefits. The other planning tools, especially Global ATP, will require much greater effort.

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