Oracle’s plan is to leapfrog the RPA vendors that have successfully dug a growing market for themselves in enterprise applications, according to Juergen Lindner, Oracle senior veep of ERP.
But instead of RPA, Oracle prefers the term Intelligent Process Automation, which is “based on machine learning where the system learns, based on [user] decision making and auto suggests which tasks can be automated. [This] is just massive for us.”
New product features announced today include the introduction of “configurable and intelligent rules” designed to accelerate financial close and account reconciliation.
Another feature in Oracle’s core ERP package claims to automatically predict and enter codes for invoices not associated with purchase orders based on machine learning – this has been one of the common use cases for RPA vendors.
Oracle has also introduced automated tagging of regulatory reports, such as 10K reports filed by publicly traded companies in the US, using the XBRL taxonomy based on “advanced language processing and pattern recognition” – something users have been requesting, Lindner said.
Lindner said: “This another big investment of ours. Once again, [we are] using machine learning based directly in the application, versus a ‘sidecar’ concept.” He added that this was about providing pattern detection, along with contextual insights and recommendations “where you need it… versus putting it into a data warehouse to run an algorithms and trying to do a report on that. We really feel it needs to be ambient in the application so that [users] don’t even know that [they’re] using machine learning.”
TechMarketView research director Angela Eager said Oracle was smart to react to market demand for greater automation given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
The independent RPA vendors might have a crucial advantage over Big Red, however. Although Oracle had deep pockets to invest in automation, it is introducing features only to its latest Fusion Cloud version of its enterprise application software.