The rise of the custom extension

I really like vanilla ice cream. But I also like sprinkles and strawberry sauce.

There’s a growing trend we are seeing with our customers at Inoapps. Frankly, we’ve decided the best way to describe it is through dessert, so here we go.

When it comes to ice cream, there is a lot of choice. Personally, I really like vanilla ice cream – so rich, creamy and satisfying. It has to be good quality, though. The very best I can get. Not the cheap, supermarket stuff. It has to be made of the finest ingredients and offer me the most satisfying experience possible.

But over time, I’ve found I want more than just vanilla ice cream – I really want sprinkles to go with my frozen treat. And I have a rather unique taste in sauces and will accept nothing less than salted caramel mixed with strawberry. I know, sounds awful, but it’s unique to me. And now I can’t eat vanilla ice cream without them. Those additions have become essential to the experience.

And, strangely, this somewhat obscure admission reflects the needs that our team is seeing among the businesses we speak to.

Our customers want the very best enterprise software they can get for their businesses. They want it to be secure, performant and to offer the finest user experience. They want their Software as a Service (SaaS) to come defined with pre-built workflows and business processes. That’s particularly important, because they want to avoid ‘re-inventing the wheel’ for all the standard processes they need to execute. They want their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Human Capital Management (HCM) to grow and evolve with their business. They know the very best SaaS will cost them a little more than the supermarket’s own brand, but the difference in quality and satisfaction means it’s a price they’re willing to pay.

One Oracle SaaS ice cream, please

Our customers want the very best ice cream…. and, for them, that’s Oracle SaaS.

But the very best Cloud SaaS comes with a limitation: you can only have it in one flavor. Organizations must adopt the ‘modern best practice’ methodology that’s built into those ERP and HCM applications and must adapt their own internal processes to fit those best practices.

That works fine for the core, backend processes that every organization needs: paying suppliers, managing staff, and controlling the supply chain. But what happens when an organization has a business process that’s highly specific and unique to them? Their ‘unique selling point’ that differentiates them from their competition. What happens when the legislative demands of an industry presents business requirements that are non-negotiable and cannot be delivered by core, standard, ‘vanilla’ ERP?

And, what happens when an organization wants deliverables that stretch beyond the capabilities of the core SaaS platform? When business process owners need incremental value from seamless, integrated, and efficient processes? How can the ever-evolving demands of a dynamic organization be met within the confines of a single ‘vanilla’ enterprise application?

In essence, our customers want the very finest ice cream, but they want their unique combination of sprinkles and sauces to allow them to truly meet the needs of the business.

Meet the sprinkles: the rise of the custom extension

In the past three months, Inoapps has been engaged on eight individual projects for customers to deliver custom or bespoke extensions to Oracle Cloud ERP or HCM. So, yes, when it comes to customization, you can add sprinkles.

So what does this mean in practice? What type of sprinkles have we delivered? Well, the list is long and varied, but some recent favorites include:

  • Delivery of True Cost calculations for Project allocation
  • Augmentation of staff data acquisition for onboarding new talent
  • Shop floor automation extensions to integrate bar code scanning for inventory management
  • Hydrocarbon calculation adjustments to adjust inventory volumes based on ambient temperatures
  • HMRC CIS Capabilities for the UK Construction market

And the list goes on…

Each of those projects will utilize the Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS) architecture to deliver a cloud-enabled, highly secure, robust, and scalable solution alongside the Oracle Cloud SaaS application. Each will also use the Inoapps Reference Architecture framework – a suite of PaaS components the Inoapps tech team has developed over the last five years of cloud projects, to allow accelerated delivery of custom solutions that will extend and augment Oracle SaaS. And, finally, each of the projects will deliver rich, powerful and fully integrated extensions to Oracle SaaS that will enable unique business processes to be delivered in a single end-to-end solution.

Here’s why it won’t melt in a hurry

With a long list of deliverables, it’s easy to imagine that after adding these extras your software might have already started to, well… melt. So, that’s why it’s important to ensure the following for any custom extension:

  • A non-invasive delivery that’s fully supported and built to evolve and adapt to the quarterly release cycles of your core Oracle SaaS software.
  • No legacy debt that’s often found in heavily customized objects, meaning there’ll be no blockers to future upgrades, unlike in the days of Oracle EBS.
  • No expensive third-party application components, complex integrations, or challenging MDM synchronization.

There you have it. Simply a neat and effective solution to allow organizations to enjoy the highest quality vanilla ice cream, combined with their unique taste in toppings.

The Inoapps team help organizations meet their unique requirements in a Cloud SaaS world.