The rise of the custom extension

1 July 2022
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I really like vanilla ice cream. But I also like sprinkles and strawberry sauce.

By Dermot Murray, VP of Technology at Inoapps

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 a growing trend the team here at Inoapps is seeing among our customers.

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, meaning that they don’t have to ‘re-invent 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.

Our customers want the very best ice cream…. And the very best ice cream is 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, 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 individual industry presents business requirements that are non-negotiable, but cannot be delivered by core, standard, ‘vanilla’ ERP?

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

Or, to put it another way: 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. Yes, we’re adding 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 favourites 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 of the projects will utilize the Inoapps Reference Architecture framework—a suite of PaaS components the Inoapps tech team has developed over the last five years of cloud projects, which allows us to accelerate the delivery of custom solutions to extend and augment Oracle SaaS. And 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.

All of those solutions will be delivered in a non-invasive manner, fully supported and built to evolve and adapt to the quarterly release cycle of core Oracle SaaS. They don’t carry the legacy debt of heavily customized objects, preventing future upgrades, as we saw in the days of Oracle EBS. And there are no expensive third party application components, complex integrations, or challenging MDM synchronization.

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

If you would like to know more about how your organization can meet its unique requirements in a Cloud SaaS world, contact the experts at Inoapps.

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