Platform as a Service (PaaS): Key Benefits and a Case Study
When your enterprise uses the PaaS Cloud computing model, there are numerous benefits. For example, when creating or running a new application, your company will not need to purchase in-house hardware or install new software.
Because the time between obtaining an application and having the ability to deploy it can be significantly shortened, this streamlined process can allow your company to innovate much more quickly—something that’s becoming increasingly more important in today’s fast-changing competitive environment.
Your in-house teams can focus on optimizing the benefits of your new applications, allowing you to laser-focus on how human resources spend their time. You can take advantage of the best technology available today without all of the associated costs, scaling up and down, as needed—and these are just some of the many benefits of PaaS.
Filling in Application Gaps
Often, companies heavily customize their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, and sometimes they use stand-alone solutions for certain aspects of their business operations. When either or both of those things happen, there can be gaps in applications, leaving some solutions “orphaned.”
Strategic use of PaaS can complement Oracle Cloud Enterprise applications to leverage their use to the fullest, but that takes expertise, and deep industry and application know-how. Fortunately, Oracle consultants at CSS specialize in doing exactly that. In fact, some of the solutions that we’ve created for customers have ultimately become folded into Oracle’s core products, which means that our customers—and other users—no longer have to pay for the relevant PaaS application maintenance.
To demonstrate CSS’ abilities to maximize client use of PaaS, we’ll share a business case study for Cummins Engines.
Cummins Engines Case Study
Cummins is a Fortune 500 company that focuses on diesel- and natural gas-powered engines: designing, manufacturing, and distributing them. Industries served by Cummins include mid-duty and heavy trucks, automotive, and RV, along with the construction industry, and marine, rail, and mining industries.
Although engines serve as the enterprise’s flagship business division, they also offer filtration products, fuel system components, vehicle and residential generator power systems, and product distributors and related servicing.
The company was facing a significant challenge, in need of a common sourcing process that would support their direct purchasing needs around the world throughout their divisions. They needed built-in capabilities in purchasing functions to allow all relevant parties to collaborate and therefore make confident decisions.
This comprehensive solution would need to facilitate their ability to efficiently source a large number of items, given that Cummins has literally hundreds of thousands of parts. Just one single sourcing event, for example, could involve hundreds, even thousands, of the company’s 700,000 parts, with a high number of attributes and cost factors to consider.
Employees were using multiple systems to manage huge amounts of data, and enterprise leaders realized they needed to create a system whereby team members could rely upon a single source of information, one that delivered what was needed to the right people at the right time.
The overall solution involved Cloud strategic procurement to E-Business Suite R12, rolled out in phases, including PaaS extensions integrated to Cloud sourcing. More specifically, PaaS extensions focused on:
- high volume uploading
- price breaks
- line level attributes
CSS consultants needed to address PaaS-related challenges in two broad ways: functionally and technically.
From a functional standpoint, we needed to assess and create solutions in the following areas:
- creating and editing a supplier negotiation
- creating and editing supplier negotiation lines with:
- multiple line level attributes
- multiple price breaks
- uploading mass negotiation lines from Excel
- cloning negotiation lines
From a technical standpoint, it took two months to develop the highly complex solution that included the following elements:
- Java Cloud service SaaS extension provisioned in the same identity domain as the Oracle Procurement Cloud
- Oracle ADF for development of the application UI
- Procurement Cloud web services as a data model
Companies are increasingly needing to import or otherwise mass load items into sourcing events. With direct purchasing companies, there are typically large attribute lists associated with each item, especially when engineering part numbers are involved. Uploading lines in bulk doesn’t really help direct purchasing companies if they can’t also load price breaks and line level attributes.
There was, however, no option available to create a PaaS solution that solely focuses on the line level, and it isn’t practical to drill into each line, one by one, and individually add data. To solve this problem, the entire negotiation needs to be created, and then additional functionality needs to be layered in with multiple levels for cost factors and price breaks.
It can be challenging to address these types of issues without negatively impacting the bells and whistles built into Cloud sourcing functionality. CSS consultants, in this case, needed to focus on fixing gaps rather than attempting to rebuild entire modules in PaaS. RFQs, as just one example, needed to be pushed into Cloud sourcing to take full advantage of the sourcing module.
Oracle consultants at CSS, though, were able to solve these complex problems for Cummins Engines, with the results being:
- reduced product costs
- reduced supplier and supply chain risk
- maximized leverage
- Streamlined RFQ process
Cummins could now effectively maintain global contacts and manage contract development documents, as well as complete risk assessments, audits, and certification tracking for suppliers. CSS was able to transform Cummins’ operations through a hybrid Cloud and EBS solution with PaaS extensions.
PaaS Extensions developed using Java Cloud service and database Cloud service allowed the enterprise to benefit from a supplier negotiation process that was tailored specifically for their needs. It supports unique price break and line level attribute requirements and seamlessly serves as an extension of Oracle Cloud.
Contact CSS Consultants
If your company is ready to benefit from the power of PaaS, we can create a holistic solution that’s just right for you, one that fills in gaps, eliminating orphaned applications, and maximizing your enterprise technology. We can also design, develop, and deploy entirely standalone PaaS applications to complement Oracle’s existing suite of Cloud applications.
To discuss your unique situation with our experienced Oracle consultants, contact us online or call 1-800-814-7705 so we can answer your questions and so you can get started.