By Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience
Oracle unveiled its game-changing cloud user experience strategy at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 (remember that?) with a new simplified user interface (UI) paradigm. The Oracle HCM cloud user experience is about light-weight interaction, tailored to the task you are trying to accomplish, on the device you are comfortable working with. A key theme for the Oracle user experience is being able to move from smartphone to tablet to desktop, with all of your data in the cloud.
The Oracle HCM Cloud user experience provides designs for better productivity, no matter when and how your employees need to work.
Oracle recently demonstrated how fast it is moving development forward for our cloud applications, with the availability of release 8.
In release 8, users will see expanded simplicity in the HCM cloud user experience, such as filling out a time card and succession planning. Oracle has also expanded its mobile capabilities with task flows for payslips, managing absences, and advanced analytics. In addition, users will see expanded extensibility with the new structures editor for simplified pages, and the with the user interface text editor, which allows you to update language throughout the UI from one place. If you don’t like calling people who work for you “employees,” you can use this tool to create a term that is suited to your business.
Take a look yourself at what’s available now.
What are people saying? Debra Lilley (@debralilley), an Oracle ACE Director who has a long history with Oracle Applications, recently gave her perspective on release 8:
“Having had the privilege of seeing a preview of release 8, I am again impressed with the enhancements around simplified UI. Even more so, at a user group event in London this week, an existing Cloud HCM customer speaking publically about his implementation said he was very excited about release 8 as the absence functionality was so superior and simple to use.”
In an interview with Lilley for a blog post by Dennis Howlett (@dahowlett), we probably couldn’t have asked for a more even-handed look at the Oracle Applications Cloud and the impact of user experience. Take the time to watch all three videos and get the full picture. In closing, Howlett’s said: “There is always the caveat that getting from the past to Fusion [from the editor: Fusion is now called the Oracle Applications Cloud] is not quite as simple as may be painted, but the outcomes are much better than anticipated in large measure because the user experience is so much better than what went before.”
Herman Slange, Technical Manager with Oracle Applications partner Profource, agrees with that comment. “We use on-premise Financials & HCM for internal use. Having a simple user interface that works on a desktop as well as a tablet for (very) non-technical users is a big relief. Coming from E-Business Suite, there is less training (none) required to access HCM content. From a technical point of view, having the abilities to tailor the simplified UI very easy makes it very efficient for us to adjust to specific customer needs. When we have a conversation about simplified UI, we just hand over a tablet and ask the customer to just use it. No training and no explanation required.”
Finally, in a story by Computer Weekly about Oracle customer BG Group, a natural gas exploration and production company based in the UK and with a presence in 20 countries, the author states: “The new HR platform has proved to be easier and more intuitive for HR staff to use than the previous SAP-based technology.”
What’s Next for Oracle’s Applications Cloud User Experiences?
This is the question that Steve Miranda, Oracle Executive Vice President, Applications Development, asks the Applications User Experience team, and we’ve been hard at work for some time now on “what’s next.” I can’t say too much about it, but I can tell you that we’ve started talking to customers and partners, under non-disclosure agreements, about user experience concepts that we are working on in order to get their feedback.
We recently had a chance to talk about possibilities for the Oracle HCM Cloud user experience at an Oracle HCM Southern California Customer Success Summit. This was a fantastic event, hosted by Shane Bliss and Vance Morossi of the Oracle Client Success Team. We got to use the uber-slick facilities of Allergan, our hosts (of Botox fame), headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a presence in more than 100 countries.
Photo by Misha Vaughan, Oracle Applications User Experience Vance Morossi, left, and Shane Bliss, of the Oracle Client Success Team, at an Oracle HCM Southern California Customer Success Summit.
We were treated to a few really excellent talks around human resources (HR). Alice White, VP Human Resources, discussed Allergan's process for global talent acquisition -- how Allergan has designed and deployed a global process, and global tools, along with Oracle and Cognizant, and are now at the end of a global implementation. She shared a couple of insights about the journey for Allergan: “One of the major areas for improvement was on role clarification within the company.” She said the company is “empowering managers and deputizing them as recruiters. Now it is a global process that is nimble and efficient."
Deepak Rammohan, VP Product Management, HCM Cloud, Oracle, also took the stage to talk about pioneering modern HR. He reflected modern HR problems of getting the right data about the workforce, the importance of getting the right talent as a key strategic initiative, and other workforce insights. "How do we design systems to deal with all of this?” he asked. “Make sure the systems are talent-centric. The next piece is collaborative, engaging, and mobile. A lot of this is influenced by what users see today. The last thing is around insight; insight at the point of decision-making." Rammohan showed off some killer HCM Cloud talent demos focused on simplicity and mobility that his team has been cooking up, and closed with a great line about the nature of modern recruiting: "Recruiting is a team sport."
Deepak Rammohan, left, and Jake Kuramoto, both of Oracle, debate the merits of a Google Glass concept demo for recruiters on-the-go.
Later, in an expo-style format, the Apps UX team showed several concepts for next-generation HCM Cloud user experiences, including demos shown by Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot) of The AppsLab, and Aylin Uysal (@aylinuysal), Director, HCM Cloud user experience. We even hauled out our eye-tracker, a research tool used to show where the eye is looking at a particular screen, thanks to teammate Michael LaDuke.
Dionne Healy, HCM Client Executive, and Aylin Uysal, Director, HCM Cloud user experiences, Oracle, take a look at new HCM Cloud UX concepts.
We closed the day with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), VP, Applications User Experience, who brought it all back together by talking about the big picture for applications cloud user experiences. He covered the trends we are paying attention to now, what users will be expecting of their modern enterprise apps, and what Oracle’s design strategy is around these ideas.
We closed with an excellent reception hosted by ADP Payroll services at Bistango.
Want to read more? Want to see where our cloud user experience is going next? Read more on the UsableApps web site about our latest design initiative: “Glance, Scan, Commit.”
With the launch of Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 this month, the Oracle Applications User Experience team gets another opportunity to talk about its simplified user interface (UI) and how our usability research is moving the Oracle user experience forward.
The simplified UI is the modern, intuitive, streamlined interface for the Oracle Applications Cloud that brings to the surface frequently performed tasks, works across platforms, and requires no training. Oracle debuted this simple, mobile, and extensible interface in Oracle Applications Cloud Release 7, in Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud. That release in Fall 2013 illustrates the interface's focus on quick-entry, light-touch, contextual tasks that are tailored by role.
Oracle Applications Cloud Release 8 is an extension of the same themes of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility that set the simplified UI apart. Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud can now take advantage of these user experience enhancements:
Expanded simplicity: Additional self-service, quick-action tasks are brought to the surface in this latest release, enabling more people in your company to easily access the essential information and actions that support the way they work in the cloud.
Expanded visualizations and analytics: Additional infographic-inspired, tablet-friendly, and interactive visualizations and embedded analytics appear throughout the UI in this release.
Expanded extensibility and customization: Not only can you rebrand the simplified UI with your own company logo and watermark and add unique company news and announcements to the simplified UI home page, but you can now restructure and rename the available functional areas and pages.
Here's a look at just a few highlights in the simplified UI in Release 8.