Oracle Transportation Management (OTM): The journey from on-premise to the cloud

traveler-standing-on-jeep-looking-at-mountains-and-clouds

Have you been using the on-premise version of Oracle’s Transportation Management solution? If so, your system and database admins are likely tasked with supporting some, if not all, of the below infrastructure-related functions:

  • Software / Security patches for weblogic / http server / OBI
  • Server Space Management (old files/temp files/log files/exports)
  • Oracle Patches and Security Patches for DB
  • Tablespace Management
  • OS Security / bug patches on Servers
  • Server Performance
  • Database Performance
  • Application Patches

Supporting each of those functions, of course, comes at a cost. And those costs are becoming more difficult to justify at a time when many organizations are dealing with constrained IT budgets, pressures to do more with less, and a need to upgrade hardware.

For organizations dealing with these issues, the OTM Cloud offers a subscription-based alternative, providing the opportunity to avoid the infrastructure costs associated with the functions mentioned above.

OTM versioning and upgrades

Issues related to versioning and upgrades are central to the case for moving to OTM Cloud. The latest OTM on premise version is 6.4.3.  If you’re still on version 6.3 or earlier, your Premier Support for OTM has ended and you are now likely paying additional costs for extended support.  In OTM Cloud, you don’t have to worry about support ending as Oracle’s new cloud-first strategy always keeps customers on the most current version and quickly delivers the latest functionality. Quarterly patches are installed automatically for all customers as well as key fixes and security patches.

For some, the advantage of an on-premise implementation is that you cannot be forced to upgrade to the latest version. However, that also means that you lose your ability to receive patches until you’re on the latest version.

There are also significant gaps in time between on premise upgrades. According to Oracle’s March 2018 OTM Product Development Update, the next on-premise version is at least 2 years away.  All new releases of functionality will be delivered in the cloud initially and only later be released to on-premise customers.  There will no longer be functionality releases just for on premise.

Journey to the OTM cloud

There are, of course, many factors to consider when contemplating a move to the cloud.  Do you have back-end development in the form of cronjobs, PL/SQL stored procedures and packages? Have you been using features such as SQL performance tuning and manually purging transmissions from the database?

Historically the on-premise instance of OTM has allowed for development outside the four walls of the application. For example, the backend (BE) could be coupled with the already robust out-of-the-box offering to accommodate the most complex of requirements. But with the advent of OTM Cloud access to the BE is no longer available.

However, OTM Cloud comes with many APIs available for connecting you to customers, service providers, 3rd party applications, etc. And if you’re currently using custom XSL and are concerned that you can no longer customize your XSL stylesheets, there’s no need to worry. OTM Cloud has provisions for maintaining, creating and modifying custom XSL stylesheets.

So, how do you start the journey to OTM Cloud?

A cloud readiness assessment is a good jumping off point, by helping you to evaluate the many factors in play and ultimately make an informed and calculated decision on your organization’s ability to reap the many benefits of OTM Cloud.

And if you do have some of the custom XSL, cronjobs, stored procedures and packages discussed earlier, this assessment period would be a good time to consider your options. In many cases, the use of BE development is less of a necessity than originally thought by your solution architects and developers.

An in-depth assessment such as the DXC Digital Transformation Assessment, will evaluate your current environment to determine how customizations may be converted to OTM Cloud. This is how you start the journey: determine a roadmap to the cloud and plan your strategy to leave on-premise behind and head to the cloud.


Brendan P. Donlin joined DXC in October 2015 as a senior consultant for the Global Oracle practice specific to Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) and he is Oracle Certified on OTM Cloud.  Brendan has more than 15 years of experience in the supply chain industry having started in operations for a major 3PL; this is where he was first exposed to OTM as a user and over the years morphed into a techno-functional consultant of OTM.  Because of this operational base of experience, Brendan most enjoys working in the gray area between Operations and IT to develop the most operationally impactful and technically sound solutions possible.

Comments

  1. Rohit Kumar says:

    Good stuff….

    Like

  2. Informative

    Like

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