Oracle has updated its Fusion Cloud suite to help enterprises with the new demands placed on supply chains by the pandemic. The latest quarterly release also includes new tools for managing remote workers, and other features to help HR departments fit the existing workforce to the new reality of business.\nThe suite covers enterprise resource planning (ERP), enterprise performance management (EPM), human capital management (HCM) and supply chain and manufacturing (SCM), and is steadily gaining new functions, making it less likely that customers will need to integrate third-party applications \u2014 although they can still choose to do so.\n\n[ Comparison shopping? See "The best ERP systems:10 enterprise resource planning systems compared," with evaluations and user reviews. | Learn why companies are increasingly moving to cloud ERP and how to spot the 10 early warning signs of ERP disaster. | Get weekly insights by signing up for our CIO Leader newsletter. ]\n\n\u201cWhile we offer the full suite, there\u2019s nothing about our system that is a closed suite,\u201d said Steve Miranda, Oracle\u2019s executive vice president of apps, speaking ahead of the company\u2019s now online-only Oracle Live event. The big advantage of obtaining all the components from Oracle is having a single data model and a single source of truth, he said: \u201cThe integrated business process flow not only saves you money but more importantly it helps you focus on generating business rather than churning money trying to reconcile differences.\u201d\nNew Fusion features\nOracle Fusion Cloud SCM includes a new preventive maintenance tool for optimizing field service, and an AI planning advisor to make recommendations for supply chain planning when introducing new products or dealing with production disruptions. These include a variety of machine learning models that customers can use. Oracle experts are available to help choose the best algorithms for each task, Miranda said.\nFusion Cloud ERP now includes some industry-specific functions to help companies in professional services, oil and gas, or dealing with asset-intensive projects. These include flexible labor scheduling, joint venture accounting tools, and subcontractor management and tracking systems.\nThe ERP component has also gained some new business continuity management features, enabling finance staff to assess risks and prepare recovery plans, while the myriad new projects businesses are considering can be modelled and weighed with a combination of its project management tools and the planning and budgeting functions of Fusion Cloud EPM.\nWith more workers at home, it\u2019s harder than ever to protect against the risk of insider threats or deal with the compliance and audit costs and privacy issues associated with not knowing who\u2019s looking at your screens. Oracle has introduced new security controls in Fusion Cloud ERP that it says use machine learning to automate monitoring, backed up with new workflows for approving or certifying employee access, and security dashboards for incident tracking.\nOn the marketing side, Oracle has beefed up its Oracle Unity customer data platform, offering enterprises ways to predict and personalize customer interactions, whether for B2B or B2C customers.\nA question of integration\nWhile some Oracle customers may be reluctant to put all their eggs in one basket, preferring to integrate third-party solutions for some functions, others will appreciate the company\u2019s steady expansion of Fusion Cloud to cover more of their ERP, HR and SCM needs, said Patrick Moorhead, founder, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy.\n\u201cThe ones that like everything integrated want one throat to choke if something goes wrong,\u201d he said, adding that those same customers appreciate that their applications and the underlying transaction engine come from the same vendor, so there is no delay in reacting to their needs.\nMoorhead called out Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP\u2019s extra auditing capabilities as one of the more significant new features \u2014 but ones that Oracle will have to keep working to improve.\n\u201cMost all of those employees with access to the most sensitive data are now working outside the firewall,\u201d he said. \u00a0\u201cAs security and compliance are a constantly moving target, Oracle will need to be constantly updating those.\u201d\nOracle is continuing to expand on other innovations introduced in previous releases of Fusion Cloud, according to Miranda.\nThe voice-control APIs presented at last year\u2019s Oracle Live show are now available across 100 percent of HR transactions, and being rolled out to other departments, while the digital assistants unveiled two years ago can now help with things other than office tasks, handling logistics queries from truckers or factory and warehouse workers. If it\u2019s too noisy to talk, he said, they can still interact with the assistant via text chat.\nOracle says it now has 7,300 customers for Fusion ERP Cloud, compared to 23,000 for NetSuite ERP, its cloud-based product for smaller businesses.\n\u201cWe\u2019re having more go-lives, and our view is that it\u2019s gotten faster,\u201d said Miranda. He namedropped customers, including Dropbox, which is using Oracle Fusion Cloud for financials and EPM, and Office Depot, which is using it for financials and HR functions including recruiting, talent management and payroll.\nRival SAP said back in July that it had 14,600 customers for its cloud-based ERP platform S\/4HANA, of which more than 7,400 were live.\nOracle has also landed some big customers for its infrastructure-as-a-service cloud offering, including videoconferencing service Zoom and teen video sharing platform TikTok.