Tuesday Jul 22, 2014

Oracle Managed Cloud Services Earns Elite Status for Federal Deployments

Oracle Corp. has been approved to deliver a sophisticated new type of highly secure managed cloud services to federal customers that will help them rapidly and confidently comply with "Federal Cloud First" initiatives.

Three federal agencies - the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and General Services Administration - plus an outside company, participated in the rigorous review of solutions from technology vendors.  Having met those stringent requirements, Oracle's Managed Cloud Services was granted provisional authority to operate under the federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP.

This new status makes Oracle Managed Cloud Services the first private-cloud services provider to be given authority to offer federal customers a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering using a hybrid-cloud environment encompassing both private cloud and community cloud.

Because Oracle's advanced cloud-computing technology allows it to offer a single-tenant model dedicated to U.S. government customers, and because Oracle Managed Cloud Services has earned the FedRAMP authorization, those departments and agencies can rapidly transition to a managed private government cloud.

"Oracle is committed to protecting the information assets and sensitive data of our U.S. Government customers," said Gail Coury, Vice President of Risk Management for Oracle Managed Cloud Services.  "Our FedRAMP provisional authorization exemplifies our continuing commitment to helping our U.S. Government customers satisfy their security requirements."

In that context, the FedRAMP provisional authorization becomes "a critical milestone in Oracle's efforts to implement and deploy secure private-cloud environments to our U.S. Government customers and partners," said Rick Cirigliano, Vice President of Public Sector for Oracle Managed Cloud Services.  "This provisional authorization adds a great deal of leverage to agencies in their efforts to comply with Federal Cloud First and Shared First Initiatives."

Oracle Managed Cloud Services gives its U. S. Government customers access to a full range of services for both software and hardware, including infrastructure, platform, and Oracle applications as well as certain approved third party applications.  These managed services include applications such as ERP, CRM, and HCM; hardware and facilities setup/configuration; application management, testing, monitoring and patching; as well as incident management and problem resolution, technical and functional service desk, point upgrades, security, and disaster recovery.

FedRAMP is a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.

FedRAMP uses a "do once, use many" approach to security assessments, thereby saving time and cost while providing full security transparency.

FedRAMP's primary governance group consists of the CIOs of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and the GSA.  More information about the FedRAMP program can be found at http://www.fedramp.gov.



Monday Jul 14, 2014

Why More (Cloud Applications) Really Is Better

It doesn’t matter that I’ve done it a dozen times before. I am still amazed at how easy it is to submit a claim for out-of-network expenses through my health insurance provider. I log onto their web site, enter information from the physician’s statement, hit submit, and the money is in my bank account three days later. When my husband suggested that we switch to his health plan to save some money, I refused. I simply can’t go back to the days of printing claim forms, scanning receipts and faxing in documentation.  Like everyone else, I want speed and simplicity. With two kids, a horse, and 2 spoiled dogs to take care of, can you blame me?

Today, people expect that digital experience. For many companies, cloud applications offer a quick on-ramp to a digital way of doing business. For example, you can find highly qualified candidates faster through social recruiting. You can target messages and promotions to individual customers with cross-channel marketing. You can use a mobile device to generate a quote for your customer while you’re meeting with them.

So far, most companies rely on cloud applications to address a specific business opportunity. Eventually, though, you’ll want to integrate these cloud applications into a larger process. Let’s say you’d like to recruit sales people who have a greater likelihood of becoming high performers. You’d need to identify your current top sales performers, create a “top sales performer” profile, recruit people based on that profile, and then measure how they perform. This is no longer just about social recruiting. It involves sales, HR, talent management, and finance.

Think back to my claims processing example. I’m no health care expert, but I know that level of service requires different systems working together – including the customer portal, provider database, claims processing, benefits tracking, reimbursements and accounting. It also requires master data management, security, analytics, and integration.

At Oracle, we say we have more enterprise cloud applications than anyone else does. But what does that really mean? It means that we think business needs both speed AND standardization. You get speed and innovation by adding cloud modules to your existing on premise portfolio. When you’re ready, you also get the benefit of standardization by migrating core transaction systems to the cloud as well. Our core Fusion cloud applications for CRM, HR, ERP and SCM all share a single data model, single sign-on, business intelligence and integration framework.

So the next time you’re caught in vendor hype over the cloud (mea culpa, we’re all guilty of this), think about everything that goes into making an exceptional business experience. It’s a combination of rapid innovation AND standardization.

Thursday Jul 03, 2014

The CIO Identity Crisis- Can Cloud and Innovation Fix it?

written by: Shiena Avila



Live Webcast
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
1:00 PM PT/4:00 PM ET


The simple fact is this: the emergence of cloud has fundamentally changed the role of the CIO; making job descriptions obsolete, altering organizational structures and changing the benchmarks of success.

How can CIOs effectively make the transition from "keepers of the technology" to "chief innovators?" How can a managed cloud solution help them regain control of this new, multi-sourced environment and all the business insight it brings?

Register to learn about:
•    What is the Cloud? What is the industry's definition?
•    How do I, as a CIO, take something that I have less and less control over and make it strategic?
•    How does the CIO leverage this transformation to gain a seat in the Executive Committee or the Board Room?
Click here to register today!

Featured Speaker:

Tom Fisher
CIO, Oracle Cloud Services

Hosted by:

Friday Jun 27, 2014

Questions You Should Ask Your Cloud Provider

By Mike Vilimek

wow

The shift from complex and costly on-premise business software to flexible and more cost-effective cloud solutions is not only underway, it’s inevitable. The business advantages both in terms of cost and functionality are simple too great to ignore. Whether it’s HCM, ERP, or CX, businesses will continue to shift away from managing on-premise versions of these systems to cloud solutions. But are all cloud solutions the same?

[Read More]

Thursday Jun 26, 2014

ICYMI...Oracle Cloud at Cloud Expo NYC

In case you missed it, the Oracle Cloud Solutions team had a significant presence at this month's Cloud Expo conference in New York City. As a Platinum Sponsor of this year's conference, not only did Sandra Cheevers deliver the Day Two keynote about Cloud Odyssey which chronicles a journey to private cloud, but Marty Gubar also presented a general session on Oracle's Big Data strategy. Oracle's cloud strategy and offerings were also well represented through a host of technical sessions and our demo booth.

As in previous years, there was a very good turnout for the conference not only with respect to attendees, but also from a vendor perspective. Something I've noticed at each Cloud Expo I've attended, and this year was no exception, is that the level of understanding of Cloud within the collective audience had increased over the previous year. In other words, I'm coming across fewer and fewer Cloud "newbies" at these events than in years past. It seems to me the average Cloud Expo attendee has moved on from basic concepts and is now more interested in what's coming next in the Cloud. It shouldn't come as a total shock since Cloud computing has been a hot topic for years and unless you've been hiding under a rock, you're bound to have been exposed to Cloud in your professional or personal lives.

While most people have a general understanding of what cloud computing is and what it can/can't do, many organizations are still trying to come to grips with how to best take advantage of the Cloud in an effective and economical way. You see, there is no shortage of potential and promise with respect to the benefits that Cloud can deliver, but it's the realization of those benefits that is still proving to be so elusive for many. There are new cloud technologies and strategies that are being developed every year and I'll be the first to acknowledge it's not all just coming from Oracle. After all, hearing different perspectives and about different cloud experiences can only broaden one's horizons. That's why conferences like Cloud Expo are as beneficial as ever, whether you're just getting started with cloud computing or even if you consider yourself to be an expert in Cloud.

Stay tuned to this blog to hear about upcoming Oracle and third party Cloud events where Oracle Cloud Solutions will be next. We could be coming to a city near you and we'll hope to see you there. Until then, here's a few pics of Oracle Cloud Solutions @ Cloud Expo...enjoy!

Tuesday Jun 03, 2014

Oracle Cloud Solutions @ Cloud Expo East (June 10-12)


Oracle is proud to be the Platinum Sponsor at next week's Cloud Expo East (June 10-12) at the Javits Center in New York City.  This is the fourth consecutive year Oracle has sponsored Cloud Expo. As in years past, Oracle has a full schedule of sessions shown below. We'd love to have you be our guest at Cloud Expo East and have you attend one of our sessions and hear more about our thought leadership and leading solutions in the Cloud and Big Data. We'll also have booth #207, so please stop by and see a demo of many of our cloud offerings.

Date  Time  Session Title  Track  Room
Tuesday, June 10 4:40 pm - 5:15 pm Top 5 Best Practices for your Application Platform As a Service Cloud Business and the API Economy | Deploying the Cloud 1A12
Wednesday, June 11 9:10 am - 10:10 am Cloud Odyssey:  A Hero’s Quest All Tracks (Keynote) 1A06
Wednesday, June 11 10:15 am - 10:45 am Big Data Management System: Smart SQL Processing Across Hadoop and Your Data Warehouse All Tracks (General Session) 1A06
Wednesday, June 11 2:50 pm - 3:25 pm Plug into the Cloud: Your Blueprint to Database as a Service Mobile | Hot Topics 1A10
Wednesday, June 11 2:50 pm - 3:25 pm From Supply-led to Demand-led: Lead Your IT to Better Serve Your Users Cloud Business and the API Economy | Deploying the Cloud 1A12
Thursday, June 12 2:50 pm - 3:25 pm Reduce Complexity and Accelerate Innovation with IaaS and PaaS Cloud Business and the API Economy | Deploying the Cloud 1A12

At Cloud Expo East, you'll get to learn about and experience the latest in Cloud and Big Data. If you don't have a pass to Cloud Expo, no problem. Oracle is giving away FREE VIP Gold Passes! We would love to have you attend Cloud Expo on us. Just go to Oracle's Cloud Expo 2014 event registration page and follow the instructions for a complimentary pass.

Stay tuned to this blog and follow us on Twitter (@OracleCloudZone) during and after Cloud Expo for more insight and observations about this year's conference.

Monday May 05, 2014

IDC Flash Discusses the Oracle Cloud Analyst Summit

Last week on this same blog, I wrote about some of the key take-aways from the recent Oracle Cloud Analyst Summit.  As a quick follow-up to that blog post, I wanted to share a link to an IDC Flash providing IDC's observations and assessment of Oracle’s progress and plans for cloud computing after attending the Summit on March 6.  Like last time, I’ve listed a few excerpts from the research note below:

“...Oracle seeks to move its entire portfolio to a dual delivery approach where the same technology is offered in both public and private clouds. This dual strategy is aimed at being minimally disruptive to Oracle's enterprise customer base.”

“Oracle has the opportunity to be the one-stop shop in cloud that it has become in traditional software if it executes well, with the breadth of its SaaS portfolio being one of Oracle's key differentiators.”

“...[Oracle Database Multitenant] will be persisted to Oracle's DBaaS, a significant advantage for supporting enterprise customers that feel they need the elasticity of operating one or many tenants in the same database but require physical or virtual isolation.”

“IDC is finally seeing a clearer and more complete vision of overall cloud computing emerge out of Oracle, with a high level of investment backing it.”

Obviously, a few hand-picked quotes doesn't tell the full story. If you want hear IDC’s full perspective on Oracle’s cloud strategy, click on the following link to access the complete research note: Oracle Cloud Analyst Summit, March 2014: Getting Closer to "Complete".

Monday Apr 21, 2014

Take-Aways from the Oracle Cloud Analyst Summit

Every year, Oracle's product strategy, development and marketing teams spend a considerable amount of time with members of the analyst community. Even though these teams have continuous dialogues with individual customers and customer advisory boards (CABs), the fact remains that IT research analysts and consultants play an important role by providing valuable insight on industry trends and opportunities and expert advice on business strategy. Such was the case this past March when Oracle invited twenty of the most influential analysts covering Cloud to Indian Wells, CA for an Oracle Cloud Analyst Summit.  During the summit, key Oracle executives discussed the latest additions to the Oracle Cloud Solutions portfolio and provided updates on our product strategy and roadmap.  The gathering was also the perfect forum to hear what analysts thought about Oracle’s vision and execution plans for addressing the cloud computing market.

While not all of the details of the summit are available or suitable for sharing publically, I want to share with you some of the analyst sentiment that came out during and after the event. First, here’s a Storified selection of analyst tweets that were posted during the summit.

There were also several blog postings and research notes as well. For example, Holger Mueller from Constellation Research posted Progress Report: Good Cloud Progress At Oracle, and a two step program to his blog.  I encourage you to read his blog posting because it’s quite interesting and insightful, but for those of you short on time, here’s a few excerpts worth noting:

  • “First of all there can be no question after this day, that Oracle is and remains committed to the cloud.”
  • “Six months after checking in with Oracle at OpenWorld, there has been good progress across the board for the cloud products. There is still a lot of road to cover though...But 2014 should be the year where it all comes together for Oracle.”
  • “Given Oracle’s large install base for its database we expect a lot of interest of existing customers for the Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) offering. Having an 11gR2 or 12c database readily available to you, with the option of having it fully managed by Oracle is certainly an attractive value proposition for Oracle DBMS customers.”
  • “The DNA of Oracle’s SaaS products remains compelling – with its foundations on top of Oracle Social Network and a pretty good mobile architecture. User interfaces are now compelling to use – and it’s good to see executives – from (Thomas) Kurian down – demo the software themselves.”
[Read More]

Friday Apr 18, 2014

You Are Not Even Wrong About the Cloud - Part 4

This series of blogs has been exploring several aspects of Cloud computing which have the difficult property of orthogonality – a characteristic where two aspects of Cloud computing which would seem to work together actually follow separate and sometimes divergent paths. The tangible result of this orthogonality is difficulty coming up with an accurate assessment for a Cloud computing offering, since these multiple areas are not easily resolved into a simple value proposition. The last area in this brief list revolves around cost.

There is a widespread belief that Cloud computing means that IT will cost less. Through the magic of Cloud, the IT budget will shrink while still delivering everything your organization wants and needs. Some people justify this belief with the idea that buying in bulk gives Cloud vendors a cost advantage which they can pass on to their customers. You know – give it away and make it up in volume.

But, unfortunately, the reality is a bit different. Although Cloud vendors probably do get a better discount than individual customers, they still have to make margin themselves, which usually exceeds their lower cost advantage in one stroke.

Cloud vendors can reduce costs, though, by making it easier for them to scale the number of different distinct customer environments they can support with a smaller number of IT staff. There is no real magic in this – Cloud vendors use automation as one of the key ways to achieve this benefit.

[Read More]

Monday Apr 14, 2014

Integration between Cloud and On-Premise Information Systems

As cloud computing becomes an essential aspect of business operations there is a pressing need to integrate cloud applications with on-premises applications. Organizations need to be able to quickly, easily, and efficiently integrate their on-premise business applications with new software as a service (SaaS) cloud applications. Cloud data and functions often must be shared with on-premise information systems. Similarly, private clouds that depend on local data often need to feed that data to cloud-based applications.

Unfortunately, application programming interfaces (APIs) differ greatly from one cloud app to another. Each vendor enforces its own mechanisms for security, message delivery, metadata definitions, query criteria, object semantics, and object schema. It is helpful to have a universal way to mask these technical details and enforce consistency at a logical level.

While many enterprises have committed some level of investment to the cloud, most of these organizations have to deal with on-premise systems as well—or fuse data among cloud applications. Oracle Fusion Middleware includes one set of integration tools to streamline all of these integration scenarios, with direct and interchangeable connections to cloud, on-premise, and legacy systems. For example, Oracle SOA Suite includes adapters to connect on-premise applications to Salesforce and RightNow, along with a software development kit to create custom integrations with other cloud applications.

Oracle SOA Suite accommodates all types of information systems, deployment models, SaaS vendors, and Platform as a Service (PaaS) infrastructure, anchored by a cohesive set of tools for development, management, security, and governance. Along with other components of the Oracle Fusion Middleware family, it is the hub to integrate on-premises and cloud-based services through one cohesive middleware layer. A unified integration approach between on-premises and cloud applications reduces the time, cost and complexity of application integration projects. It also lowers total cost of ownership by simplifying integration, consolidating toolkits, and reducing maintenance costs. To learn more about Oracle SOA Suite visit us: Simplifying Cloud Integration

Spend a day in the cloud with Oracle to understand how you can revolutionize your IT with simplifying cloud and on-premise integration. 


Oracle Announces Storage Cloud and Oracle Database Backup Service

Oracle announced today that the Storage Cloud Service and Database Backup Service are now generally available in the Oracle Cloud. I thought it would be worth discussing the significance of these two new services beyond what's stated in today's press release. But before I do, let me first start with the basics of each service. The Oracle Storage Cloud Service is an IaaS offering that provides a secure, scalable, and reliable object storage solution for easily storing and managing data backups and archives in the cloud. The Oracle Database Backup Service is a PaaS offering that provides a simple, low-cost, and secure cloud-based backup and restore solution for on-premise Oracle Databases.

The launch of the Storage Cloud is significant as it marks the first time the Oracle Cloud, or any public cloud for that matter, offers services in every key layer of the cloud technology stack: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. With Oracle Cloud, you're not forced to build and maintain integrations between multiple public clouds in order to meet the growing needs of your business. While storage itself has become more of a commodity over the years, the importance of security and reliability of storage housing critical business data can never be overstated. The Storage Cloud has features you'd expect from an enterprise-class storage solution like built-in redundancy, access via RESTful web services or Java libraries, and capacity on-demand. That's not to say that other clouds that offer storage services can't or don't offer similar capabilities, but now you have the choice of storing your data in the same cloud that you can depend on to run all of your critical business applications. Wouldn't it be nice to have a single cloud and single cloud service provider to work with for all of your business application and data needs?

Every business performs backups of their critical databases to reduce the risk of data loss. The Database Backup Service provides a simple, low-cost solution that can become part of a multi-tiered database backup and  restore strategy.  From my experience, most IT organizations perform RMAN backups of Oracle Databases to local disk, and usually to the Fast Recovery Area.  However, when it comes to Tier 2 backups, most perform RMAN backups to remote disk. Then for those who are storing data that is infrequently accessed, Tier 3 backups are stored to tape and archived. Now with the Database Backup Service, you can avoid the data center cost and resource requirements associated with buying and deploying additional disk and tape backup systems by moving your Tier 2 or Tier 3 backup and restore solutions to the cloud. One of the advantages not mentioned in the press release is that the Database Backup Service actually stores database backups to the Storage Cloud, which means that all of the security and reliability of triple-mirroring for redundancy and data isolation apply to the Database Backup Service as well.

I hope you take the time to review the details of these two latest additions to the Oracle Cloud service portfolio. If you think you could benefit from either of these new services, sign up for a 30 day free trial and take them for a test drive.

Friday Apr 11, 2014

When is “Big Data” in HR Just Analytics?

By Mike Vilimek

wow

If you follow HR technology even a little, you have heard something about big data. In terms of popularity, it’s right up there with other key trends like social, mobile, and the cloud. And while definitions for many of these are not set in stone, big data is by far the most undefined and misunderstood trend of the bunch. 

[Read More]

Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

Checklist for Sales and Sales Operations Leaders

You’re running a sales or sales operations team. You get invited to a number of events—or are spending time out of the office with customers. That’s your job.

Another invitation comes along. You quickly scan it, thinking “what’s in this for me?

The Checklist

  • New Ideas: Do you look outside your company, to industry thought leaders and your sales peers for new ideas?
  • Career Planning: Is it important to look ahead—for your business and your career—to understand where Selling is headed and how it’s changing your job?
  • Translating Plans to Action: Is there something you could learn from your peers—running Sales organizations like yours—about doing things faster, closing more big-ticket deals?
[Read More]

Friday Apr 04, 2014

Network With Your Back Office Peers at Oracle CloudWorld Chicago

[Read More]

Friday Mar 28, 2014

Cloud Odyssey: A Hero's Quest at Collaborate 2014!

Calling All Heroes - Join the Quest!

Cloud Odyssey: A Hero's Quest is launching at Collaborate 2014!  Sponsored by the IOUG, OAUG and Quest user groups, you can attend this exclusive sci-fi movie screening as a pre-conference workshop at Collaborate on Monday, April 7, Venetian Hotel, Lido 3003.  If you and your organization are on a journey to the cloud, join us to watch Cyrus Agarwal and the crew of the starship Stratus on their voyage to the mysterious cloud planet, Terranuvem.   To get there, Cyrus and the crew will test the limits of technology, tenacity and human ingenuity.  Watch the movie trailer here.

 After the film, you'll learn how to build, deploy and deliver private clouds that enable IT organizations to provide the business with greater agility, lower cost and lower risk.  Along the way, you just might become a cloud hero, too!

see the detailed agenda here

If you are unable to attend the event at Collaborate, please join us in our global tour, coming to a city near you, complete schedule of events around the world is here.

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