Technology

Belfast Harbour sails out with Oracle cloud applications

Belfast Harbour spies a more efficient and flexible future on the horizon as it sets sail with Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP

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  • Ollie Withers

Published: 10 Jan 2023 9:45

Belfast Harbour has chosen Oracle cloud-delivered business applications to streamline its financial operations, increase agility and improve insights, according to a statement it made jointly with the supplier.

Belfast Harbour is Northern Ireland’s main maritime gateway. It selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) in a bid to stoke its growth. It is also aiming to connect pools of data across the organisation more effectively.

Maurice Bullick, finance and compliance director at the port authority, said: “Belfast Harbour is a major contributor to the Northern Ireland economy, and is adopting a cloud-first strategy as we continue to deliver on our ‘Smart Port’ ambitions.

“A more efficient and flexible business operation is critical for us to sustain our growth trajectory. Oracle will help us connect data across the organisation, enabling us to have better visibility of our business and adapt and scale our operations at the pace that we require.”

Belfast Harbour is the province’s primary maritime gateway for trade, and styles itself a “socially responsible key economic hub”, according to the statement.

The port handles more than 25 million tonnes of trade every year, which amounts to more than two-thirds of the region’s maritime trade activity.

It said it needs to automate and streamline its financial and planning processes to better manage resources, improve planning and reduce operational costs as it continues to increase its operations.

After a tender process, Belfast Harbour decided to move finance and planning processes to the cloud with Oracle Cloud ERP and Oracle Cloud EPM.

The organisation believes Oracle Cloud EPM will enable it to better connect operational and financial data across its HR, sales, finance and procurement functions.

It stated that quarterly updates from Oracle would help it “tap into a continuous stream of innovation and advanced automation capabilities on a regular basis”. 

For the supplier, Guy Armstrong, senior vice-president of applications at Oracle UK and Ireland, said: “By leveraging Oracle Cloud ERP and Oracle Cloud EPM, Belfast Harbour will be able to improve productivity, tap into continuous innovation and make more informed decisions to help the Northern Irish economy to grow and thrive.” 

Belfast Harbour has long been trying to use technology to accelerate its growth. In 2020, the UK’s first 5G ecosystem was announced to be built within the port to provide a basis to deliver a series of 5G-led innovations to accelerate the harbour’s digital transformation. Belfast was one of the first cities to be given access to BT’s public 5G network and the Harbour Company has been a partner of the telco since November 2018.

Belfast Harbour was also an early adopter of virtual reality technology, creating a real-time immersive experience that allows customers to experience the environment and services it offers virtually.

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