Finance of the Future: A master class on digital finance technologies

An FWSF event sponsored by Oracle 

By Chaitra Desabhatla

Master Class Keynote

On Tuesday, June 25, over 150 attendees gathered to attend FWSF’s master class on Digital Finance Technologies. The event was sponsored by Oracle and held at Uber.  Leading Bay Area finance leaders from Oracle, Salesforce, and Uber discussed how AI, machine learning, chatbots, and other emerging technologies are reshaping the finance function for our digital future. They spoke about automating high-volume, high-transaction processes such as procurement, expense processing, and accounts payable; as well as how these emerging technologies can augment the decision-making process in strategic finance processes such as planning, forecasting, and strategic modeling. 

Master ClassKrithika Bhat, Group Vice President, Oracle Applications Lab, delivered the keynote presentation on finance applications, which included insights on the adoption of cloud applications and the role of AI and machine learning in future finance applications. 

Krithika also shared her personal experience in designing solutions that moved from legacy applications that were built on-premises with long adoption cycles, and an extensive requirements lag, to making the leap towards cloud applications, with much shorter adoption cycles (from five years to three months!), faster feedback loops, and newer features.  Applications that have benefited from a transition to touchless transactions include expense management, where bots tag receipts received via text message and accurately recognize the amount and type of expense to attach it to the expense report, with fewer clicks than traditional expense management software. This was one of many examples Krithika shared on how Oracle is using emerging technology to deliver a better user experience.

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Christina Kite, Vice President, Global Business Strategy and Analytics at Oracle. 

Jessica Ross, Senior Vice President of Finance, Office of Transformation at Salesforce, shared her experience in spearheading agile finance solutions. Having previously worked at Deloitte and StitchFix, Jessica recently stepped into the role at SalesForce. Her new role is focused on finance transformation, and she discussed the importance of cultivating relationships with business leaders and the controller team to drive a collaborative approach to the transformation. 

Delphine Bernard, Global Head of Finance Operations at Uber, shared her experience in making transformation vital to the Uber finance team. Delphine discussed using creativity and innovation to drive operational changes within her team, and using fun exercises to motivate and socialize change management. 

Ivgen Guner, Senior Vice President, Global Business Finance at Oracle, spoke of cultivating differentiated products and services and how agile finance can be a real value-add in strategic decision-making. Further, she elaborated on how diversity of thought and ideas in team can help bring finance teams to the table to participate in joint strategic planning. 


Additionally, the panelists shared anecdotes of successes and opportunities in building teams that are dynamic, quick-thinking, and flexible who can respond well to the new demands placed on finance teams. Overall, the event offered a fantastic insight into the changing role of finance and how finance professionals can re-imagine finance processes using emerging technologies.



FWSF has other exciting events coming up, check out our Events Calendar.

Also, we are always looking for attendees who want to provide a summary of the event. If you volunteer, you can attend free of charge. Contact Marianne LaPorte, co-chair of MarComm, if interested:

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