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. 


Friday Apr 04, 2014

Network With Your Back Office Peers at Oracle CloudWorld Chicago

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Friday Mar 28, 2014

Oracle and Verizon Provide Customers More Choice in the Cloud

In case you missed it, Oracle and Verizon Enterprise Solutions recently announced they had forged a new relationship to offer Oracle software on Verizon’s cloud infrastructure. It was a significant announcement because both companies are leaders in their respective industries and are showing their continued commitment to being leaders in the cloud. Verizon offers enterprise-level services that allow large and mid-size businesses to tap into the power of the cloud. Oracle’s cloud strategy and commitment is to provide customers greater choice and flexibility in how to deploy Oracle software in the cloud.

As part of the agreement, Verizon will offer Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware on the Verizon Terremark Enterprise Cloud, Verizon Managed Hosting, and the new Verizon Cloud, which is currently in beta. Customers will be able to pay as they go for Oracle software and choose from either monthly or hourly subscription pricing with the security and reliability of deploying on Verizon’s proven, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure. In addition, Verizon’s deep experience with database administration tasks such as provisioning, backups, patching, monitoring, and capacity scaling enables customers to focus on innovation and growing their businesses.

Customers interested in leveraging Oracle software on Verizon Enterprise Cloud or Verizon Managed Hosting services should visit the Verizon Enterprise Solutions website. For more details about the relationship, read Verizon’s news release or the FAQ.

Also, if you're attending InterOp Las Vegas next week, join Oracle's Joe Rayman (VP, Technology & Strategy), Verizon Terremark CTO, John Considine, and other industry executives on April 2nd @ 4pm (InterOp session #VT34)  for an executive panel session on the emergence of enterprise cloud ecosystems. We expect to have an open and informative discussion which will include Oracle and Verizon's own visions for the cloud. We hope to see you there.

Friday Mar 21, 2014

You Are Not Even Wrong About the Cloud - Part 3

The next area of Cloud computing subject to the distorting effect of orthogonality has to do with the way many people want to start to use the Cloud. The most common starting place is to try to move existing applications to the Cloud.

People want to migrate an existing application to a new environment. Migration, by its very nature, is orthogonal. In a migration effort, you invest effort and resources and take on risk to achieve the goal of having the same application you used to have. So there are costs for the migration effort, without an direct benefit over what you have now from that effort. Of course, there are other benefits that come from a migration, such as a simpler or most cost-effective environment, but these are not directly related to the migration itself. This is the definition of orthogonality – benefits from one area and costs from another.

However, the hope that a migration to the Cloud will be effortless is founded on a basic misconception about the Cloud. The Cloud is not magic – reduced costs are not suddenly available through magic Cloud pixie dust. Although Cloud vendors may get their underlying components at a bigger discount because they buy larger quantities, this savings is offset by the need for these companies to make a profit on their services.

The way the Cloud saves money is through automation. Cloud vendors automate various IT maintenance tasks and operations, and, by doing so, can scale with less expense. Pretty much all the cost benefits from the Cloud stem from this core fact. Even a technical feature like multi-tenancy is a way to automate the support of many individual tenants on a fixed pool of IT resources.

The use of automation comes with a corresponding loss of flexibility. Automated procedures expect fairly standardized environments, or they may not work properly. The more productivity that a Cloud offering provides, the more automation, the greater the loss of flexibility.

[Read More]

Tuesday Feb 04, 2014

Summary of Twitter chat about Cloud Odyssey, a sci-fi movie by Oracle

We had a twitter based chat with Rex Wang , VP of Product Marketing , Oracle and executive producer of the Cloud Odyssey, a sci-fi movie by Oracle. In this chat, Rex answered questions about the objectives behind the movie, how movie is made, technologies covered in the Cloud Odyssey events etc. Here is the summary of the twitter based chat captured as Storify story :
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Friday Nov 15, 2013

Cloud Odyssey and the Value of Shared Experience

When many people have shared an experience like a movie or a book, they have an immediate way of communicating, at the gut level, a difficult concept or a theme. Man’s relationship to nature, Avatar. A child’s ability to see the good in others, E.T. The thin line between good and evil, Batman: The Dark Knight.

This ability for a story to convey concepts is, in part, the driver behind the movie Cloud Odyssey: A Hero’s Quest (trailer).

[Read More]

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Oracle Cloud Solutions at Cloud Expo West

Oracle is proud to be the Platinum Sponsor at next week's Cloud Expo West in Santa Clara (Nov 4-7).  This is the third consecutive year that Oracle has been sponsoring Cloud Expo and each year our involvement and presence at the conference has grown. This year, we have a great lineup of sessions which I've listed below. If you’re attending Cloud Expo West, we'd love to have you attend our sessions that will show our thought leadership and leading solutions in the cloud. You should also swing by Booth #130 to see some of our latest cloud offerings firsthand.

Date  Time  Session Title  Track  Room
 Monday, Nov 4  3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Ten Myths of Cloud Computing - General Session All Tracks Ballroom A-H
 Monday, Nov 4  5:10 pm - 5:55 pm Driving Recurring Revenue Streams Through Cloud Billing Cloud Computing and Big Data M1
 Monday, Nov 4  5:10 pm - 5:55 pm An Introduction to Oracle's Cloud Application Marketplace Cloud Bootcamp Great America Room J
 Tuesday, Nov 5  6:25 pm - 7:05 pm Delivering Database as a Service with Oracle Database 12c Deploying the Cloud Great America Room 2
 Wednesday, Nov 6  5:35 pm - 6:20 pm Accelerating Your Journey to Self-Service IT Enterprise Cloud Computing B2
 Thursday, Nov 7  1:35 pm - 2:20 pm Oracle's Strategy for Public Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Services Infrastructure Management | Virtualization M2

At Cloud Expo West, you'll get to learn about and experience the latest in Cloud and Big Data. If you're in Silicon Valley or the Bay Area and don't have a pass to Cloud Expo, no problem. Oracle is giving away FREE VIP Gold Passes! We would love to have you be our VIP guest. Just go to Oracle's Cloud Expo 2013 event registration page and follow the instructions to get your complimentary pass.

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

Friday Oct 11, 2013

What's So Great About Cloud Social?

wowWell, it’s not like your company owns Facebook or Twitter, so the notion you can control and execute social “on-site” was always a non-starter.  What you can do is embrace and throw your C-suite weight behind Cloud Social…integrating social relationship management, social data, and social collaboration with other enterprise applications in the Cloud for real-time, actionable insight.


To do this effectively enough to revolutionize your customer experience and make them forever, undyingly loyal to your brand, there must be an overall adoption of Cloud computing and social’s place in it. That’s happening. But is it happening in your organization?


Respondents to a TechInsights Report indicated the cloud is maturing in the enterprise, with IT decision makers achieving better results, faster deployments and lower costs than expected. That was true across Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Given that, it’s no surprise we see increases in Cloud spending. Those using Cloud for 4+ years are nearly 6x more likely to report increasing cloud spending by over 30% this year. Cloud spending even amongst small to midsized businesses is projected to rise to $95 billion by 2015.


If you’re reaction to that is, “Goodie for them,” it might be time to run down the primary advantages of shifting to the Cloud.


  • Cost Savings: more power, speed and storage than you might otherwise be able to afford.
  • Ability to Innovate: cited as the top benefit by US respondents. It’s amazing what you can do when time and money are freed up.
  • Security: often cited as a concern, it’s actually a plus as cloud providers are often better equipped to guard data. Is your current on-site security flawless?
  • Disaster Avoidance: data is automatically backed-up daily and can be restored seamlessly.
  • Smarter Resourcing: stats show up to 80% of IT budget are bogged down in routine maintenance. Is that really where you want your money and the time of your CIO/CTO to go?
  • Options Aplenty: go with a private cloud, public cloud or hybrid depending on your needs and comfort level. The Cloud can scale as you grow.
  • Headache Reduction: fewer worries about updates, maintenance, support, and deployment.
  • Mobility: stakeholders can get what they need from the cloud any time, from anywhere, on any device, making collaboration downright modern.
  • Green: Using Cloud for storage uses at least 30% less energy than on-site servers.


Arguments against enjoying these kinds of enterprise efficiencies are getting harder to find. And where social is specifically concerned, the socially enabled enterprise is hardly possible without it. That’s a lot of incredibly valuable, freely offered customer data to be left chugging along in the slow, expensive lane.


@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

Tuesday Sep 24, 2013

Oracle OpenWorld Shows How the Cloud Socially Enables the Enterprise

icons in handWithout question, much of the excitement around Oracle OpenWorld this year surrounds the cloud as the host mechanism for the socially enabled enterprise. Only the cloud offers the needed power, capacity and speed to take full advantage of the waves of big data consumers are willingly offering up to corporations via social plus multiple other touch points.


Of course, to take advantage of this enormous opportunity, those same corporations must make sure that consumer data from those varied sources are fully integrated, creating a treasure chest of data from which any function within the organization can parse and pull, each for their own purposes.


The result is a markedly increased ability to know the customer intimately, to time and personalize offerings expertly, and to predict what the customer is likely to want/need. In other words, it makes possible a customer experience that “wows” the consumer, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty.


Silos inside organizations are crumbling to accommodate this vision. Departments, especially those of the CMO and CIO, are drawing together in a never before seen symbiotic relationship. Likewise, the tools they use must also draw together and work together, and that happens in the cloud.


Getting it right and being customer-centric has never been more critical for success. The public is always on the go, always connected, always influencing and always interacting, both with brands and each other. And oh yeah, they fully expect accurate, real-time, useful responses, something internal IT alone is greatly challenged to accomplish.


Making the task even more herculean is the sheer number of social accounts corporations are managing. Altimeter Group says companies now average about 178 corporate-owned social media accounts. Multiple social accounts, multiple devices, multiple social networks, multiple departments, multiple data sources…all those “multiples” can be managed, shared and acted only if an integrated, seamless enterprise platform has been brought to the table.


Oracle OpenWorld sessions such as “Socially Enable Your Enterprise to Maximize Your Customer Experience” are pointing out to attendees the importance of a cloud-based mission-critical enterprise infrastructure, platform and applications suite that includes social relationship management tools that extends social’s power across marketing, sales, customer service, and HR. (And that’s to say nothing of the cloud-based social enablement of internal-only functions)


That kind of extensive social insight and data, when married to other enterprise data, is what provides the foundation of the socially enabled enterprise, able to deliver the kind of enhanced, seamless customer experiences that make brands irresistible.


@mikestiles
Photo: freedigitalphotos.net

Wednesday Sep 18, 2013

Do You Want To Know How To Be A Modern Marketer?

Written by : David Krauss


Last week we posted part one of this blog giving you  a sneak peek into Eloqua Co-Founder, Steve Wood's keynote. So, what does it really mean to be a modern marketer? What is Digital Body Language? Here are some more sneak peeks from his presentation.

•    When marketing professionals rated themselves, based on the skills necessary to be an ideal modern marketer, they were barely passable at 65%. This is how your colleagues rated themselves. Which says they know they need to do better, but likely don’t know how to get there.


•    Nearly half of B2B marketers say they close fewer than 4% of all leads generated by marketing.


Do either of these statements resonate with you? Want to know what it really means to be a "modern marketer" and how it can help drive revenue for your organization? If you answered yes, then Impact13 is where you need to be.

Need one more reason?  How about 25% off what is already an incredibly reasonable registration fee of $695 for a 3 day conference  of this caliber?  Just click here: Register Impact13 and use REG CODE:  ORCLE25.

I’d pay this just to hear the keynotes, but you also get to tour the Zappos headquarters in Las Vegas, in-depth breakout sessions with the industry’s leading experts, an awards dinner and farewell brunch. 
We at Oracle | Eloqua hope to you see you there.

Friday Sep 13, 2013

Sneak Peek into Eloqua Keynote on Digital Body Language at Impact13 Conference

 written by: David Krauss

 The CEO of Zappos.com.  Co-Founder of Eloqua. SVP of Digital Marketing for Adobe.  Chief Digital Officer of MGM Resorts.   SVP of Digital Marketing for Disney.  What do these marketing visionaries all have in common?  They’re just a few of the senior marketing execs from leading companies who will be converging upon Las Vegas Sept 25th-27th  at what's quickly becoming a top networking and mind share event for marketing execs: The Impact13 conference put on by the Internet Marketing Association.


Being a marketing professional is probably more in vogue than ever before.  The economy is on the mend, and CEOs have their eye on top line growth vs. bottom line savings.  Senior execs also know times have changed and to win customers and grow wallet share, the marketing team has to modernize the way it communicates with customers and engage them in a more meaningful way.  Understanding how to do this, and do it right is much of what will be shared at Impact13 this year.

Allow me to zero in on just one of the keynote presenters: Steve Woods, co-founder of Eloqua and author of the book Digital Body Language.  Steve's vision and leadership in transforming the marketing field has been substantial, and  his insight into the challenges and opportunities that  modern marketers face today will be invaluable.  He is sure to cover key ideas like how to market effectively in a virtual environment, and the strategic need to tailor the experience through the buying process by decoding a customer’s “digital body language”.


 I was actually able to get a sneak peek into what Mr. Woods will be covering in his keynote. Check out the tidbit below. 


•    As a “marketer,” you can’t simply leave technology decisions and investments to the “techies.”  Your role is now much bigger… and requires connecting, reaching, engaging and understanding consumers across multiple platforms.

 To find out what else Steve Woods will be highlighting in his keynote, stay tuned  for part two of this blog-next week.

Want to know what it means to be a “modern marketer” and how to get there?  Well there is only one way – you need to register for Impact13.  And keep in mind this is just one keynote – imagine what you could bring back to your own organization after also hearing from the likes of senior execs from Adobe, Disney, Microsoft, and Zappos, and MGM Grand Hotel just to name a few.

What are you waiting for? Just click here: Register Impact13 and use REG CODE:  ORCLE25 to save 25% of registration.

We hope to see you there.

Monday Sep 09, 2013

Getting Extreme Performance with Oracle Engineered Systems in the Cloud

written by Lisa Schwartz

America’s Cup is upon us!   And America’s Cup means Oracle extreme performance on the water.  Did you know you can get Oracle extreme performance in the cloud?   You can run your Oracle applications on Oracle Engineered Systems in Oracle’s Managed Cloud.

Consider these extreme stats that Oracle application owners are getting from running Oracle Engineered Systems in the cloud:

•    Optimize performance with 200,000-plus Oracle Financials transactions per hour—
with 80 percent capacity to spare
•    Increase performance with Oracle PeopleSoft Payroll processing in half the time
•    Boost productivity with up to 11x faster HR self-service response times with 4000 concurrent users
•    Lower TCO by 2x over IBM Power 780 systems and HP Superdome 2

Watch this video!  See how Oracle Team USA  uses extreme technology to get extreme performance on the water…

Friday Sep 06, 2013

The Social Cloud Primer

The foundation for the socially-enabled enterprise is cloud-based platforms and software. It has increasingly become the accepted foundation for facilitating integrated processes and data across the organization. And there’s a lot of good news about that. After all, who thinks better efficiencies, more actionable data, improved customer experiences and lower costs sounds like a bad idea?

First, a refresher on what it means to be a socially-enabled enterprise.

Social has become essential for every consumer-facing department and business application. As silos crumble, an integrated approach to data is no longer an innovation or luxury…it’s what is required to remain relevant and competitive.

The socially-enabled enterprise is key for modern customer experiences. Social users are perpetually connected, mobile, and vocal. And because they expect gratifying, real-time responses, corporate workflows are getting spun like a top. Altimeter Group says companies manage an average 178 corporate-owned social media accounts, meaning that for social, systems are needed for publishing, analytics, listening, moderation, engagement, paid social, content management, social app development, marketing automation and admin…none of which can be islands unto themselves.

And that’s just social data. Enterprise data growth is expected to continue at 40% through 2020. The ideal scenario is for the value of all that social data you’re now pulling in to be amplified via integration with other core business applications. Now you’re discovering insights you didn’t know existed, you’re developing dynamic, real-time dashboards, reports and alerts for rapid decision-making, and you’re maxing out your Customer Service, Sales, and Support applications.

About now, you’re getting an idea of the speed, flexibility and processing power this ideal scenario calls for, and that’s where the cloud floats to the rescue. Only a cloud-based, enterprise infrastructure, platform and applications suite that extends social’s power across all consumer-facing touch points can give you the social insight + enterprise data combo that make actionable, real-time views of the customer work.

A 2012 Gartner Data Center Conference poll showed almost 9 out of 10 organizations were planning, piloting, or already using a private cloud. Others are deploying public/private hybrid clouds. But increasingly, businesses are seeing a) the need to process and utilize the vast amounts of Big Data now available and b) the need to rapidly, confidently deploy technologies that become available faster and faster.

With that kind of workload becoming the norm, on-site, traditional IT infrastructures are quickly becoming the most expensive, most inefficient proposition available. Data analysis is faster in the cloud, resources can be added and deployed as needed, and stakeholders can tap into the same data pool to satisfy their varied goals.

However…despite the benefits of systems being integrated in the cloud, many businesses are choosing the quagmire of using multiple cloud vendors for multiple processes. Recently, polled business managers reported staff downtime, missed business deadlines, and stunted innovation initiatives thanks to poor/no integration of cloud applications from multiple vendors. The 2013 InformationWeek State of Cloud Computing Survey showed 66% are using 2-5 providers, and 33% don’t integrate cloud services. It’s a one shop, legitimately integrated enterprise cloud that delivers the kinds of user experiences that make competitors sweat.

Adoption is happening. In 2012, spending on cloud tech was expected to increase by about 25%. IT departments inside the enterprise are standing toe to toe with the future, and must decide whether or not to up their strategic importance by embracing its changing role. Because with the enormity of intelligence that social offers, data collection, processing and analysis is the only hope of bringing order to metrics chaos so brands can fully reap the monetary benefits of intimately knowing their customer.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

Friday Aug 02, 2013

Is Cloud Security Holding Back Social SaaS?

cloud castleThe true promise of social data co-mingling with enterprise data to influence and inform social marketing (all marketing really) lives in cloud computing. The cloud brings processing power, services, speed and cost savings the likes of which few organizations could ever put into action on their own. So why wouldn’t anyone jump into SaaS (Software as a Service) with both feet? Cloud security.

Being concerned about security is proper and healthy. That just means you’re a responsible operator. Whether it’s protecting your customers’ data or trying to stay off the radar of regulatory agencies, you have plenty of reasons to make sure you’re as protected from hacking, theft and loss as you can possibly be.

But you also have plenty of reasons to not let security concerns freeze you in your tracks, preventing you from innovating, moving the socially-enabled enterprise forward, and keeping up with competitors who may not be as skittish regarding SaaS technology adoption. Over half of organizations are transferring sensitive or confidential data to the cloud, an increase of 10% over last year.

With the roles and responsibilities of CMO’s, CIO’s and other C’s changing, the first thing you should probably determine is who should take point on analyzing cloud software options, providers, and policies.

An oft-quoted Ponemon Institute study found 36% of businesses don’t have a cloud security policy at all. So that’s as good a place to start as any. What applications and data are you comfortable housing in the cloud? Do you have a classification system for data that clearly spells out where data types can go and how they can be used? Who, both internally and at the cloud provider, will function as admins? What are the different levels of admin clearance? Will your security policies and procedures sync up with those of your cloud provider?

The key is verifiable trust. Trust in cloud security is actually going up. 1/3 of organizations polled say it’s the cloud provider who should be responsible for data protection. And when you look specifically at SaaS providers, that expectation goes up to 60%. 57% “strongly agree” or “agree” there’s more confidence in cloud providers’ ability to protect data. In fact, some businesses bypass the “verifiable” part of verifiable trust. Just over half have no idea what their cloud provider does to protect data.

And yet, according to the “Private Cloud Vision vs. Reality” InformationWeek Report, 82% of organizations say security/data privacy are one of the main reasons they’re still holding the public cloud at arm’s length. That’s going to be a tough position to maintain, because just as social is rapidly changing the face of marketing, big data is rapidly changing the face of enterprise IT. Netflix, who’s particularly big on the benefits of the cloud, says, "We're systematically disassembling the corporate IT components." An enterprise can never realize the full power of big data, nor get the full potential value out of it, if it’s unwilling to enable the integrations and dataset connections necessary in the cloud.

Because integration is called for to reduce fragmentation, a standardized platform makes a lot of sense. With multiple components crafted to work together, you’re maximizing scalability, optimization, cost effectiveness, and yes security and identity management benefits. You can see how the incentive is there for cloud companies to develop and add ever-improving security features, making cloud computing an eventual far safer bet than traditional IT.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

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