Within the trucking industry, there has always been a push to embrace practices and adopt technology that can help fleets improve efficiency by reducing operational costs and automating redundant manual processes, which leads to better customer service levels. Though transportation management tools have been in the ecosystem for quite a while, the storage of collected data and the services being offered were largely on-premise – within the cab.
Over the last few years, cloud-based technology has become mainstream across the freight market, helping fleets store data and receive services in real-time over the internet. However, for this to happen, fleets will have to migrate their systems from being Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) on-premise to OTM cloud, which is a process where fleets could make do with some help for transition.
“In its essence, cloud migration is really about moving from a client-managed Oracle OTM infrastructure and support to an Oracle-managed OTM infrastructure and support,” said Mark Kissell, the vice president of logistics solutions at Eminent Global Logistics, a subsidiary of Redwood Logistics. “But that’s the easy part. Managing and migrating the data from the OTM on-premise to the cloud is where the actual work is.”
Kissel pointed out that one of the primary reasons for companies to migrate stemmed from their eagerness to reduce their IT infrastructure and support costs. There also exists a functionality gap between on-premise and cloud software, with the latter having a performance edge and much more backend support, thus making it more reliable overall.
Before the advent of the cloud-based OTM, the on-premise OTM was an enterprise transportation management system tool that was mainly used by Fortune 500 companies, because the costs associated with IT infrastructure and support were not affordable for small- and mid-tier businesses.
“When Oracle came out with its cloud OTM platform, it was met with skepticism by the on-premise client base, who believed that the cloud couldn’t handle what they were doing, or simply thought it was too new to trust,” said Kissel. “But that opinion turned in a year or two of the cloud, and with the conversations I’ve had with clients in the past year, they seem to realize that they’re now getting left behind.”
Large companies are making the shift, with cloud migration now becoming a business strategy. Fortune 500 companies view this as an opportunity to reduce their IT infrastructure and support costs, with Kissel mentioning that Redwood Logistics saw a 50 percent increase in cloud migrations since the last quarter of 2018.
Redwood Logistics helps its clients to cement a strategy that figures out the best approach to cloud migration. “We initially come in with strategy discussions, timing discussions and then ease into the details around the differences between on-premise and cloud, while identifying what they may need to change. Every client is a little different with how they utilize OTM,” said Kissel.
Kissel explained that Eminent’s clients could handle a major part of the migration, because they employ skilled individuals who understand how the environment works and what to do with their OTM. Company’s stake in the migration process is about figuring out a way to augment the strategies that its clients have set in place.
“If, for instance, they want to scale fast, they might need some additional resources. But if they want to go a little slower, then their resources could probably handle a bit more,” said Kissel. “I see these larger clients to be very connected to Oracle, and Oracle is now looking at them and assuring them that the cloud OTM is now ready for use. This acts as a catalyst for the large on-premise customers to start looking at migrating to the cloud for good.”