This week, Supply Chain Matters Executive Editor Bob Ferrari is attending the Oracle OpenWorld 2018 conference being held in San Francisco. In our prior Dispatch One commentary, we highlighted impressions of Day One including Larry Ellison’s first keynote.

In this Dispatch Two commentary, we highlight today’s Oracle’s product announcement related to Blockchain technology.

Keeping with our notion of this year’s OpenWorld theme as Net Change Oracle today unveiled what the enterprise technology provider believes are “business-ready” blockchain applications that will be pre-integrated with business process support applications.  Oracle OpenWorld 2018

Oracle Blockchain Applications leverage the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service to connect with specific Oracle SCM Cloud, Oracle ERP Cloud and other Oracle Cloud Applications. Similar to last year’s Internet of Things (IoT) applications launch, there will four specific business use cases supported in this initial product release, each determined from early market and specific customer interest:

Intelligent Track and Trace – designed to enable end-to-end traceability of goods and transactions in supply chains to reduce delays and automate record keeping. The application creates a digital trail of each step in the business network, during procurement, manufacturing, and transportation. The business use case is to help customers execute targeted product recalls, resolve disputes, reduce counterfeits, improve regulatory compliance, and protect against fraud.

Lot Lineage and Provenance – designed to enable product genealogy, serialization, and provenance by managing the lifecycle of hierarchical serial numbers, recording origin and authenticity of product components, and tracking all transformations of the product. The focus is to support regulatory compliance, targeted recalls, and preventing counterfeit components.

Intelligent Cold Chain – designed to monitor and track the temperature-controlled supply chain, creating recommendations to optimize processes and ensure the quality and safety of refrigerated products in pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries.

Warranty and Usage Tracking – designed to remove paper-based processes and automate usage tracking for high-value assets. An auditable and verifiable log for warranty, liability claims, and insurance helps expedite settlements and claim processing and prevents abuse of assets.

In various stage keynotes and executive briefings, Oracle has emphasized that advanced technologies such as IoT or blockchain will be positioned as an an integral part of software applications whose components are pre-integrated on the Cloud vs. stand-alone technology platforms that customers have to leverage.

Availability for Intelligent Track and Trace was noted as Q1-2019 while the remaining 3 other blockchain applications are planned for the remainder of 2019. At one of today’s SCM related sessions, a Brazilian based logistics provider indicated they were able to bring-up a half-dozen logistics transit participants on the Oracle Track and Trace Blockchain in a matter of three weeks. That would take 3 months to onboard in an EDI messaging process.

Supply Chain Matters believes that this is indeed the right architectural approach that provides enhanced time-to-value for multi-industry customers.

Oracle being what it is, has paid special attention to the notions of transactional scalability, data security and an open-standards approach to its blockchain development initiatives. We expect to have further detail related to development strategies in later scheduled interviews today and will share those in a subsequent blog.

Today, Oracle has placed its stake in the ground that it will be a key player in blockchain enabled supply chain processes that will be pre-integrated vs. just platforms. This should be interesting to watch as it unfolds.

Bob Ferrari

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