09 Oct A glimpse into consulting in the age of the cloud: What Oracle expert Martin Veillette sees as the way forward

By: Alithya Group Inc.

More and more, businesses are turning to cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to handle everything from accounting to human resources. Companies are increasingly adopting cloud-based ERPs because they’re more flexible from a licensing point of view and less expensive to own than on-premise ERPs, reducing the investment in hardware and datacenter. Martin Veillette, Oracle Practice Director at Alithya, sees the power of the cloud-based ERP to transform both companies that use it, as well as the careers of IT consultants.

“With Oracle, there are multiple areas where the software can help to optimize a business process, such as warehouse management, project management, production planning and resource management,” says Veillette, who adds that Oracle is identified as a leader in cloud-based ERP solutions by Gartner Magic Quadrant for four years now. As Oracle practice director, he leads a team of consultants who help businesses optimize their Oracle usage and integrate this solution to fit their needs.

There is a growing demand for ERP consultants, especially those who know Oracle. “Alithya has chosen to position itself to be real business partners for its clients. Consequently, we prioritize hiring people who understand both the IT and the business side of things, and can link the two together,” he says.

A career choice that’s rewarding, challenging and future-focused

Veillette explains that the career path of ERP consultants isn’t just in demand; it’s also exciting and challenging. “As a consultant, you can learn about different kinds of businesses and different kinds of solutions, and you can even propose a solution. Every day is different, and that makes my job interesting.”

Veillette started his career in accounting and moved over to business management and IT as he saw the industry embrace ERP solutions, and the need for people who understand them well.

“In very large organizations, you don’t usually get the opportunity to use a wide range of your skills. At Alithya, however, I have been able to learn so much, how different businesses operate and how we can creatively solve problems by bringing different skillsets together around the table.” Veillette continues: “Alithya gave me the opportunity to use my MBA at a much higher level and gave me a way to have concrete applications of these learnings.”

People skills are valued, and ongoing training is provided

For those who want to break in to ERP consulting, Veillette says Alithya looks for consultants with the business sense to help leaders make challenging ERP-related decisions. “Strong people skills are so important for the consulting business,” he says. IT skills are slightly less important, as Alithya trains employees on the IT side of things, as it relates to Oracle.

Cloud-based ERP training is highly sought after and will help many transitions into consulting, especially as comprehensive cloud-based solutions, such as Oracle, will make many database IT jobs done more and more in an offshore mode. “Going forward, companies will need less onsite database administrators. In the cloud, there’s also a lot of pre-built reporting, so you don’t need to develop every single requirement of what the business is asking; you can look at the library of all of the reports available and this will be an accelerator.”

In addition to being able to use a broad range of skills and work closely with business experts and leaders to configure the ERP solution that best works for them, what Veillette loves most about his job is how the company supports ongoing learning and rewards curiosity.

“Whenever employees demonstrate the ambition to learn, Alithya is ready to provide the tools to help people elevate their skillsets,” he says.