Oracle gears up to fend off RPA and workflow upstarts by pouring more automation into core enterprise apps

Oracle’s evolving new “autonomous” ERP includes AI, RPA and more

Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP and its suitemates in HR, supply chain management and enterprise performance management, are gaining a slew of new AI, digital assistant and robotic process automation features.

The updates mark the latest salvo in a concerted industry effort to develop “autonomous” ERP systems that anticipate and take over much of the tedium of daily work, such as moving documents and matching numbers on invoices.

Process automation in small doses

Financials were the biggest focus of the ERP updates and included the following new capabilities:

  • RPA — Oracle calls it IPA, for “intelligent” — that uses configurable rules to automate manual tasks in account reconciliation, a time-consuming hassle during the monthly financial close;
  • machine learning that tries to match invoices to purchase orders and purportedly gets better at it over time;
  • automated tagging of regulatory reports required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, using a company’s XBRL taxonomy — another monotonous task in financial reporting; and
  • a digital assistant that takes over some of the tedium of time and expense entry for project professionals.

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