We had the opportunity to attend the Oracle HCM analyst meeting on February 22nd 2017, held at the beautiful Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. The meeting was well attended with 20 analysts participating. 

So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)

No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):
Want to read on? Here you go: Tough to pick the top takeaways – but here are my top 3:

Oracle HCM has Momentum – Not surprisingly, the momentum of Oracle HCM is continuing. A few years ago, Oracle was challenged with references for Oracle HCM (mid 2013), what a difference 3.5 years make: Now more than 100 enterprises go live with Oracle HCM every quarter. More stats around Oracle HCM below. 

Oracle Cloud HCM Momentum Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Oracle Cloud HCM Momentum

Single Platform for all HCM – As we shared as a major takeaway from Oracle OpenWorld 2016 (see here), Oracle has long time ago (silently till then) started to build Recruiting functionality on the Oracle (Fusion) Cloud platform, same schema, APIs, standards etc. like all the Oracle SaaS suite. So the days of the duopoly of Oracle HCM on the one side and Taleo on the other side are getting limited, with large customers having the choice to use either Taleo or the new Oracle HCM Recruiting capabilities in the coming financial year (Oracle runs its financial year June to May). This gives customers a choice between new and proven capabilities, and with Oracle’s positive track record of Applications Unlimited, we expect little concern on Oracle keep the maintenance going for Taleo. Introducing acquired capabilities on a new platform is never easy for any vendor, executed in totality has only been done on very few occasions in enterprise software history. So Oracle has taken some key steps into this direction – looking forward to learn about the first live customers on the new Talent Acquisition capabilities. 

Oracle HCM Cloud in one slide - Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Oracle HCM Cloud in one slide
Learning Progress – Almost two years ago, Oracle surprised the market with the announcement of Oracle Learning at HCM World in 2014. Since then the module has made good progress, adding key new capabilities (e.g. Learning Communities) and more traditional ones (like Classroom Training). 100 customers live today is a good milestone, when one remembers that the product is only sold as part of the overall Oracle HCM Suite and not stand alone.
Oracle Learning Cloud - Customer Characteristics - Holger Mueller Constellation Research
Oracle Learning Cloud - Customer Characteristics


Good progress by Oracle, which is gaining relative strength in regards of its two key competitors, likely to culminate when all its HCM capabilities are on a single platform. Operational efficiencies and organizational agility increase when that point is reached, a win / win for customers and vendors, a key milestone to monitor.

On the concern side, Oracle needs to become clear on its approach of Machine Learning (ML, if you like AI) in regards of HCM. Too much potential here and while we heard the Oracle Adaptive Intelligence story once more as it pertains web display ads / next best action – it is not clear where and how ML will make a difference for Oracle HCM users overall. But there is time to address this, maybe at HCM World. Oracle has made progress and additions to the user interface like e.g. QuickActions and Smart Overlays – but it still feels like an aging user experience. Kudos to Oracle for letting (once again) the analysts use the software – this time the mobile version, which is well done and rounded, it has only a few kinks. What may prevent Oracle from a UI revision could be an aggressive adoption of voice that should replace most ESS and MSS screens. An area to watch.

But overall good progress by Oracle that is pushing its HCM offering forward on all fronts. What the adoption of the IaaS Gen 2 may mean for SaaS products like Oracle HCM remains to be seen. It is clear that adoption and sales challenges are not with the product side for the year to come – at least from the general perceptive, so it looks like if there are challenges for Oracle HCM in 2017, they will be more on the Marketing, Sales and Services side. Always a good place to be for a SaaS product vendor. We will be watching.

Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).