Oracle has announced that Office Depot, Inc has selected a range of Oracle Cloud Applications including Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud. The announcement is notable because Office Depot EU selected Workday around the time of its de-merger from Office Depot Inc. Aurelius Group completed the acquisition of the European operation in January 2017.
Office Depot Inc previously used PeopleSoft. While Workday is finding rich pickings in the Peoplesoft customer lists it seems that the US company considered the wider aspects of what Oracle delivers. This is more than just a replacement for the HCM and Financial components of their existing systems. The company has taken on supply chain management.
Transformation or Iteration?
Office Depot Inc was founded in 1986 and grew to be largest global office products retailer. Despite selling the European operation it still has approximately 1,400 retail stores in the US and abroad. It has survived the challenge of ecommerce but realises that it needs to further improve its omnichannel capabilities. To do this it has to modernise its systems across the operation.
Damon Venger, senior director, IT Applications, Office Depot Inc commented: “Office Depot is pivoting away from being a traditional office products retailer to a broader omnichannel services and products company and that causes a lot of complexity given our existing technology. We evaluated multiple vendors, but only Oracle could deliver the end-to-end solutions we needed. Oracle Cloud applications continue to evolve and expand—ensuring they can grow with us over time. This was important when looking for a company that could be a true partner and understand our unique business needs.”
That decision to go with Oracle was made after an assessment of several solutions. However, while they may have looked elsewhere Office Depot Inc has a long history of consolidation on the Oracle portfolio.
What did they have before.
That journey started in 2005 when they selected Retek. It was acquired by Oracle in the same year to replace an ageing home grown merchandising solution. They also replaced a legacy HCM product with Oracle PeopleSoft. Other Oracle systems in use include Oracle E-Business Suite as well as Hyperion Financial Management and Planning. It has also adopted a service orientated architecture approach allowing applications to use a common set of reusable features or functions.
The next step was to move away from legacy infrastructure and move to cloud-based software, a decision they have now taken. Not only will they gain the benefits of the software upgrade, but also costs savings from moving to the cloud. The new software components, which are more closely aligned will be Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud, Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud.
Improving the retail experience
The choice of Oracle SCM Cloud by Office Depot Inc is about driving further improvements in their logistics operations. Using the solution they will get better insight into day-to-day logistics, procurement, and forecasting. It should enable them to get products to market faster, but more importantly in the right locations. It will replace several point solutions that were in place previously.
Retail is evolving. Customers expect a unified experience across all channels. They also expect to find what they want on a shelf or website, select it and have it delivered quickly. Improvements to forecasting will enable Office Depot Inc to ensure that the right products are in the right place at the right time.
Steve Miranda, executive vice president of applications development, Oracle commented: “Office Depot continues to digitally transform its business to better serve the needs of its constituents — from employees to customers. With Oracle Cloud Applications, the company will be well equipped to capitalize on new opportunities for growth, while delivering a differentiated, compelling service to its customers.”
Office Depot Inc has just completed some early go-lives this month across HCM, SCM and EPM in the cloud. A process that has taken less than 90 days. This has enabled the company to identify additional benefits including the ability to initiate new service centric business models.
What does this mean
Office Depot Inc, has a long history of working with Oracle. It is not surprising, therefore, that it chose to look at the wider picture of what the Oracle suite delivers. It may have considered Workday especially having seen the successful implementation of the Oracle competitor at its former business in Europe. However, considering the wider picture, the SOA approach and the natural upgrade path with Oracle, it is no surprise that it decided to reinvest in Oracle.
This transformation should see Office Deport Inc revisit its business processes both in its supply chain and across HCM. No timescales were given for the deployment of the new solutions. It will be interesting to see if they are a speaker at Oracle OpenWorld in the autumn.