Comprehensive ERP tools help businesses to cut through the ambiguity, and drive better decision-making through a clear look at actual finances and operations. Oracle and SAP are two of the big name ERP software packages commonly researched and used. Here’s a look at both of these top-level ERP solution packages:
When it comes to delivering ERP to businesses, Oracle trades on its name as a major software firm, as well as all of the functionality of its cloud-based and web-delivered ERP tools. Oracle is quick to point out that much of its customer base appreciates its established track record in IT, and that its dedication to providing great ERP interfaces happens within the context of all of the other solutions that the firm provides to business clients.
Oracle’s ERP offerings are in seven general categories: finance, procurement, portfolio management, risk management, enterprise performance management, order management and manufacturing.
Within these broader segments, Oracle offers a range of tools that are often based on a process. There’s ‘Budget to Approval,’ where Oracle software helps companies track the budgets they create for themselves, and uses diverse analytics to help handle costs. There’s ‘Asset Management to Retirement,’ covering the full life cycle of assets, from acquisition to amortization and eventual disposal. There’s also ‘Transaction to Cash Position,’ again, taking a point-of-sale approach and integrating it with long-term financial data. Other processes focuses on things like supply chains and inventory, for example, with a ‘Supplier Invoice to Payment’ process management tool for vendor relationships.
In procurement, Oracle uses things like supplier registration, contract creation and invoice payment tools to help make it easier for a company to purchase what it needs to function. Oracle’s ‘time and labor cloud’ and ‘sourcing cloud’ tools provide transparency for these sorts of tracking.
Oracle also prides itself on risk management solutions that help to enforce enterprise-wide compliance and automate some forms of compliance in various industries. These tools help to prevent things like cash leakage, and bring a level of policy enforcement that helps companies feel confident about the risks that they face.
Last but not least, Oracle provides a set of tools for manufacturing ERP. Utilizing elements like shop floor visibility and control, companies can be sure that what’s happening on the floor is supporting core operations in the right way. Oracle provides a supervisor workbench and other planning and execution tools, and graphical product synchronization helps to give leaders a birds-eye view of what’s happening. This segment of ERP management helps with things like resource optimization and the development of preplanned inventories.
Like Oracle, SAP is also a major ERP provider with a lot of skin in the game and a clear track record of delivering broad enterprise support to clients. As the maker of Crystal Reports, a gold standard in data reporting, SAP enjoys a level of brand recognition that makes its ERP package one of the most popular in the industry.
In offering ERP solutions, SAP is relying on its 2006 offering, SAP ERP 6.0, and offering sets of enhancement packages to update this traditional suite of solutions. At the broadest level, SAP offers ERP tools based in the following categories of operations, financials and human resource management.
Operational elements include modules for sales and distribution, materials management, product planning and logistics execution, as well as quality management. These are complimented with particular sets of functionality in those areas; for example, In the sales category, there are solutions for contextual marketing, smarter selling, customer service excellence and digital transformation of commerce and billing.
Items like ‘procure to pay’ help companies manage purchases and enforce vendor choices while looking at their procurement patterns to drive future decisions. ‘Order to cash’ helps to manage quotes and other aspects of contracts with vendors, as well as looking at deliveries.
Companies can also browse a wide variety of SAP ERP tools by industry, by line of business or by technology. For example, SAP offers different sets of tools for aerospace and defense than for companies in spaces like insurance and telecommunications. By defining a company’s position in an industry, SAP can offer more precise toolsets. Companies can also choose optimized solutions by line of business, for example, searching for SAP ERP tools related to asset management, human resources, supply chain, research and design, marketing, service or sales.
SAP also offers different types of solutions in these categories: end-to-end solutions, solution capabilities, and business drivers.
In terms of the human capital management portion, SAP ERP helps with things like payroll and offers e-recruiting functionality to help companies know how they’re dealing with employee retention and battling turnover.
Both of the above ERP tools are broadly diversified to help customize a platform to a company’s needs. Both of them provide comprehensive support for all of those company life cycles that occur around products, services, assets and suppliers. Both also offer the customer the ability to go in and choose from a broad menu of solutions according to what fits them — so ultimately, taking advantage of these solutions suite is going to require dedicated research and quite a bit of back-and-forth about what a company does, and what it actually needs done in terms of core analytics and business intelligence utilization.