Monday Mar 30, 2015

What is PaaS? And Why Should HR Care?

By Mike Vilimek

wow

Oracle recently announced the availability of a new type of Cloud offering called PaaS. It stands for Platform-as-a-Service, and allows customers to develop, run and manage web applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. Sounds very “techy”. Why should HR care about PaaS?

[Read More]

Friday Mar 27, 2015

Is Your Digital Transformation Stalled?

Digital Transformation is more popular than Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper movies are right now and that's saying something. Organizations that exploit the enabling technologies of cloud, analytics, social, mobile, Big Data, and IoT are running circles around their competition in their self-driving cars.

But not every organization is rocketing down the digital highway and I believe the culprit is the lack of a good navigation system.

Let's All Get On the Same Page

The Face of Frog ProtectinDepending on who you’re talking with, Digital Transformation can mean anything from equipping your entire sales force with tablets and cloud sales apps to converting all your cassette tapes to mp4 files.

So let's all get on the same page to avoid one of those moments like in that Discover Card fraud protection TV spot (“Just to be clear…you are saying frog protection").

As defined in the MIT Sloan Management Review analysis, The Nine Elements of Digital Transformation, it’s “the use of technology to radically improve performance or reach of enterprises”. I like that simple definition except for the last word—enterprises—because organizations of all types and sizes can benefit from Digital Transformation.

Is Your Organization's Digital Transformation Stalled?

A related MIT Sloan Management Review study, Embracing Digital Technology: A New Strategic Imperative found that:

  • According to 78% respondents, achieving digital transformation will become critical to their organizations within the next two years.
  • However, 63% said the pace of technology change in their organization is too slow.
  • The most frequently cited obstacle to digital transformation was “lack of urgency.”
  • Only 38% of respondents said that digital transformation was a permanent fixture on their CEO’s agenda

Where(How) Do You (Re)Start?

First: You can do it one step at a time.

Second: The most important lesson I’ve learned while working the last 16 years with growing midsize companies that have limited resources is that our customers expect Oracle to have the answers.

Third: That’s why we recently launched Modern Best Practicefree resources to help organizations lay out step by step action plans for digital transformation.

To make sure we’re all on the same page, Modern Best Practice is different from Old Fashioned Best Practice in that it embraces Digital Transformation and exploits the aforementioned enabling technologies. Furthermore, Modern Best Practice delivers consistently superior results, evolves with your business, is flexible, and supports growth and innovation.

Explore Our Roadmaps for Modern Best Practice

When customers tell me about how Oracle solutions have helped drive Digital Transformation viva the adoption of Modern Best Practice, they often describe it as, “leveraging technology to accomplish our goals in ways we never even imagined being possible”.

I invite you to explore Modern Best Practice for Finance, Sales, Marketing, Service, Procurement, and HR &Talent. We’re adding resources all the time as well as expanding our coverage to other process areas.


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Thursday Mar 19, 2015

SaaS for Dummies

 Cloud is no longer just an IT or Technology issue, cloud is becoming  increasingly popular at organizations around the world as they are realizing that cloud has something for everyone, including business managers.  Industry trends are showing that LOB leaders are taking more of a prominent role in decision making when it comes to adopting cloud applications for their department. So the question becomes, how do you talk cloud for those that lack IT vocabulary?

SaaS for dummies of course.


The digital age is here to stay and we know that social mobile and cloud technologies are rapidly affecting every aspect of business whether it’s operations, customer interactions or evening hiring the best talent. Modern businesses today face a plethora of challenges. Customer expectations are higher than ever, hiring the best talent is becoming increasingly important as well as increasingly difficult.  Employees and customers alike want to access information anytime and from any device. To succeed in today’s world and to meet these new challenges, businesses need to modernize and the only way to do this is with a modern cloud solution.


So you may be thinking, how does this affect me? What is my role as a business manager? As a business manager, you simply want to do your job better, answer  business requests effectively and meet departmental demands. You want to drive innovation, increase collaboration and move faster than ever before.  The key is in selecting the right SaaS solution for your business.



So where do you go next? What should you be looking for? What questions can you ask your cloud provider?

Check out the brand new “SaaS for Dummies” e-book and find out how to get your head in the cloud. In the book, you will learn :

How to understand the buzzwords and cut through the hype
How Cloud can benefit every Lob from HR to Sales to Finance, Marketing and Service
How to evaluate potential cloud providers by asking them the right questions.

Check out SaaS for dummies today



Friday Feb 13, 2015

What Are the Most Important Software Systems for Any Organization?

By Mike Vilimek

wow

One of the main advantages of Cloud solutions is the rapid availability of innovation. Cloud computing allows organizations to take advantage of upgrades at a far more frequent pace than with traditional on-premise solutions. As organizations begin moving their systems to the cloud, the question of which are the most important systems, and which areas should benefit first from the rapid innovation cloud solutions can deliver will likely be examined. 

[Read More]

Friday Feb 06, 2015

Personalized Technology: The New Frontier in Cloud Computing

written by Lisa M. Schwartz @leeza2020

As it is with medicine and learning institutions, we often rely on traditional ways of treating people in large groups so that positive effects can be achieved quickly for the masses. Yet, today, consumers want more. They are asking for the next level in personalization: How can medicines and treatments be tailored so that they work best for “ME”? Or, how does a tailored training course help “ME” to learn faster?

In medicine, a growing number of researchers, healthcare clinicians, and an increasing number of patients are calling for a more personalized approach aimed at preventing disease and tailoring treatment if a disease becomes a reality - often referred to as personalized medicine, genomic medicine or precision medicine.

Even educational institutions use the phrase, “personalized learning”, to refer to tailoring lessons to different students. They point to the myriad of digital devices, software, and learning platforms offering educators an array of options for tailoring lessons to students' preferences.

The Advent of Personalized Cloud Technology Software

And so it goes, in the cloud computing software world.

How can software be personalized in the cloud to work better for “ME”, the individual?

As consumers, most of us don’t mind having recommendations made to us based upon our last purchases, especially if they are relevant and timely to our interests. And similarly, as employees using business software, we want to be able to tailor software, even have insights and recommendations made to us, so we can be more empowered and effective in in our day to day tasks.

And today this phenomenon is only accelerating. Gen Y or Millennials are the largest generation now in the workforce since the baby boomers. Millennials, have taken the lead in seizing all the new platforms of the digital era—the internet, mobile technology, social media—to construct personalized networks. They are “digital natives”—the only generation for which these new technologies are not something they’ve had to adopt. Personalization is something they have come to expect. (1)

Not only Millennials, but most digital users today want to know more, quickly and easily. There is an expectation that business software will allow us to personalize, enabling us get better results for the company and ultimately help us to excel in our positions.

“Treat Everyone the Same” 1St Gen Cloud Apps Providers

Yet, not all cloud software gives the user the flexible personalization they need, due to a “one size fits all software design in the cloud” built by the majority of SaaS software providers. This “one size fits all” design enables the software provider to manage and upgrade all their customers at one time, treating them as a large group. This 1st generation “treat everyone the same design” decreases the provider’s costs. Not only is this practice prevalent in the cloud but is a predominant practice in medical and educational institutions. The result of this “treat everyone the same” is: limited personalization, limited options and limited benefits for the consumer.

Distinctions of Modern 2nd Generation Cloud Apps Providers

However not all cloud providers use this approach in cloud application design. 2nd generation cloud application providers understand that personalization for each customer and each individual is now a requirement. Modern cloud application providers are taking a personalized approach to cloud design and understand that each customer is unique, has unique business processes, has unique data requirements and that all customers do not fit nicely into one group. 2nd generation cloud application providers offer customers’ choice and personalization in cloud software for their business.

Personalizing Beyond the SaaS Application with PaaS

Not only does personalization include the capabilities to make choices within the application but also includes a complete breadth of services available to you if you want to extend beyond your SaaS application with Platform as a Service (PaaS). Perhaps you want create a new application or mashup information into your SaaS application from external data sources. When choosing a cloud applications provider, it is equally important to look very closely at the standards based capabilities within their cloud PaaS platform.


Things to Look for in a Modern Cloud Platform Provider

· Provides a well-known standards based cloud platform to maintain consistent governance and standards across the business

· Allows you to personalize and extend your SaaS cloud applications quickly

· No lock-in with unknown proprietary languages or databases

· Maintains a secure cloud platform that connects easily with SaaS applications and other clouds

· Allows you to move your applications if you choose to another platform

· Provides pre-built services at every layer that will help your business innovate and personalize beyond the SaaS application.

     As we enter into the next frontier of personalized cloud technology, be sure to examine closely the nuances of cloud providers and how  they allow you to personalize your cloud. In this 2nd generation of cloud applications and cloud platforms, it is not an unreasonable for you to expect more choice and personalization in the cloud.

 For find out more about Personalizing SaaS applications and modern standards based cloud platform services, PaaS, watch and share this fun and fact filled video.

          1.  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-komisarjevsky/millennials-are-defining-_b_5714683.html)

Friday Oct 03, 2014

Can your cloud provider keep up with your modern business?

This week at OOW we gained a wealth of information. At a high level we got to hear from many technology experts and industry analysts on the era of digital disruption and how these no longer “new” technologies “cloud” “social and mobile” are taking over the way we do business. Old applications just can’t measure up. As CEO Mark Hurd said it best during his keynote on Monday morning, most of these “old applications are pre-internet, pre-cloud, pre-mobile and pre-social. They don’t allow for flexible upgrades or other capabilities that are a must have in today’s modern digital age”.

Amidst the buzz around Oracle’s modern cloud offerings, Oracle made another announcement regarding its innovative Customer2Cloud program. Here is a quick summary in case you missed the details. Oracle install base customers can now easily migrate to the cloud by reallocating their existing unused seats and support spend to moving their applications to the cloud. In addition, to removing financial barriers, Oracle offers rapid start-up services and packed integrations to ensure a successful transition to the cloud. The best part? The program is available for all Oracle ERP, EPM, HCM and CRM customers. With Oracle’s new Customer2Cloud program, you can now start achieving all the real benefits of modern cloud applications for your business- faster innovation, lower costs and a better experience for your customers.

Where do you go next? There are many cloud providers in the marketplace today. How do you choose the one that is best for your business? A cloud provider should be more than provider. They should be a partner that you can trust for the long term. They should be able to support your business along its journey to innovation, expansion and competitive edge in the marketplace. With Oracle’s Customer2Cloud program and modern cloud applications, you can be on your way to the cloud in no time.

Check out this executive overview on Customer2Cloud:


Want to know more about Oracle’s Customer2Cloud program? Click here.

For the Customer2Cloud Press Release click here.

Want to know more about Oracle’s SaaS offerings? Click here.

Tuesday Sep 02, 2014

Oracle HCM Cloud Set to Shine at OpenWorld 2014

By Mike Vilimek

wowAt Oracle OpenWorld 2014 all things HCM will again be a dedicated “event within an event” called HCM Central @ OpenWorld. This year’s experience promises to be even better than last year’s and we want to let you know why you should be excited and eager to attend.

[Read More]

Thursday Jul 31, 2014

Cut Yourself a Break: Get a Social Management Platform

If you’re a community manager who’s publishing, monitoring, engaging, and analyzing communities on multiple social networks manually and individually, you need a hug.  We’re sure you’re getting by just fine, because you’re a typical superstar CM that possesses multi-disciplinary skills. But at what point do you cut yourself a break and let a social management platform preserve your sanity?[Read More]

Tuesday Jul 22, 2014

Introducing Data as a Service!

Written by Carli Visser. 

It’s no surprise that businesses today are turning to data to get smarter about their customers. In many ways it has become the currency of choice for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of today’s highly fragmented and information driven economy. As a result, businesses are collecting real-time insights faster than ever while upending Moore’s Law as the number of channels grows exponentially.

And while data has become a must have for businesses of all stripes, the ability to convert this type of intelligence into competitive advantages -- filing the holes where a company’s knowledge needs to be supplemented -- still remains a cumbersome process. 

So what’s the next logical step for businesses looking to leverage the growing volume and variety of data available to them? Enter Oracle’s Data as a Service (DaaS) for Business.

At its core, DaaS for Business promises to change the way organizations think about data as a competitive advantage for their business. Through these data services, DaaS can serve as a central point to source, manage and provide data to any business user. Think of it as the Grand Central Terminal for all your data needs. Much like any other enterprise solution that is available to businesses in the marketplace, the timing and need for this type of service is long over due.

Oracle’s DaaS features a suite of offerings that can help decision makers fine tune and focus their marketing and social efforts with better insights from data. Future data offerings will be targeted at sales, talent acquisition and for solving more verticalized needs.

What do businesses stand to gain with DaaS?
  1. Data that is portable and connected….
  2. Eliminating the hurdles and speeding up data adoption…
  3. Transparent and trusted…
  4. Connected cross channel data…
  5. Scale, depth and accuracy…
  6. Unique audience insights…
  7. Easy access and action…

This is just the tip of the iceberg in what DaaS can do for your business. The collection of data is half the battle when it comes to gaining any advantage over your competitors. Putting that data into action closes that loop. After all, data at rest tends to remain at rest.

You can learn more about Oracle DaaS by reading today's press release or by viewing the launch webcast.

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.

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]

Monday Apr 14, 2014

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 Mar 07, 2014

Oracle’s Day in the Cloud in Melbourne

written by: Rushenka Perrera

Oracle CloudWorld in Melbourne took place on a steamy 32 degree day at the Grand Hyatt. The event kicked off with registration at 8am and the plenary at 8.45am. With 600 attendees, it was even bigger than the event we ran in Sydney almost a year ago.
The event featured six tracks focusing on sales/marketing; finance and operations; customer service; developers; IT innovation and HR. This CloudWorld had large numbers of attendees from all different lines of business as every effort had been made to make sure the agendas for each track were compelling enough to appeal to the specific needs of these busy individuals.
The plenary sessions were packed to the rafters. Tim Ebbeck, Managing Director for ANZ kicked off the proceedings and introduced Jeff Henley, Oracle’s Chairman who had the audience captivated with his presentation on Moving at the Speed of Opportunity. Jeff was followed by Reggie Bradford, SVP, Product Development, Oracle, Former Founder & CEO of Vitrue who presented the power of the Oracle cloud.


The plenary sessions ended with a panel titled ‘Transform Your Business’. The participants came from diverse backgrounds but provided highly engaging banter to challenge the perceptions of the audience and to introduce them to new ways of thinking. The panel lineup included a stellar cast:
Iain Clarke, Chief Technology Officer, Cloud Services, Capgemini Australia
Brandon Byrne, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Curse
Dr David Rock, Author and Director, NeuroLeadership Institute
Matthew Holst, Director of Demand Centre & CRM APAC, Dell
Anthony Micomonaco, Manager Knowledge Management, Product & Markets, National Australia Bank
The different track speakers also included some heavyweights including:
•    Hugh Macfarlane, Founder & CEO of MathMarketing | Author of "The Leaky Funnel" talking about integrated sales and marketing.
•    Dr Catriona Wallace, Customer Experience Futurist and Chief Executive on designing a high performance customer experience organisation for the future.
•    Dr David Rock, Author and Director, NeuroLeadership Institute on the neuroscience of developing leaders.
•    Brandon Byrne, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Curse talking about why Curse chose Oracle Cloud over the competition.
•    Iain Clarke, Director – Chief Technology Officer - Cloud Services, CapGemini and NRMA on how to drive end to end innovation around cloud adoption.
•    Matthew Holst,Director of Demand Centre & CRM APAC, Dell discussing Dell’s marketing journey using Eloqua.
•    Nigel Prior, National Customer Experience Practice Manager, NEC Australia talking about their customer experience strategy.
•    Robert Hillard, Managing Partner Technology Agenda, Deloitte on what the tech trends will be for 2014.


The day ended with Reggie Bradford summing up on customer expectations in the age of the modern customer experience and finally with Lauren Anderson, Chief Knowledge Officer at Collaborative Lab, really challenging the audience and wowing them with stories of new cloud innovation in her presentation on  a new world of consumer behaviours.

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