Friday Jan 22, 2016

Take Data Wrangling to the Next Level With Big Data Preparation Cloud Service

By Madhu Nair

Even in the most well designed big data projects, a larger portion of the effort and cost is spent in preparing complex data ready for analysis. Big Data Preparation Cloud Service (BDPCS) flips that equation. Minimizing the data preparation time helps unlock the value of complex data quickly. However, data preparation is not just a series of sorting, prepping and standardization operations. When done right, it is a crucial step to enrich data. To unearth insights and prepare a data enrichment pipeline that can then be operationalized to deliver higher quality and vastly insightful data to downstream applications.

Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud Service is part of the comprehensive Cloud Platform for Big Data that Oracle announced during Open World.

Built for Analysts, Data Scientists and Data Experts

BDPCS utilizes a non technical, web based interface to guide the data preparation effort. This is keeping in view that data preparation should not be dependent on technical skills but business expertise. This brings data science closer to the business experts, data analysts and data scientists. Natural Language Processing based algorithms surfaces recommendations that can be then applied as business and enrichment rules to the data set. These recommendations are presented as "plain english" texts that can then be modified and updated.

Build on Apache Spark, Big Data Preparation Cloud Service also includes a responsive visual element that profiles the data sets for even further analysis and standardizations. Using Big Data Preparation Cloud Service, experts can now pull data, mash them up, enrich the data and publish it quickly. This allows them to iterate through many analysis that generally take weeks or sometime months to co ordinate with the IT and technology teams.

Differentiators

Data preparation and data wrangling is attracting a lot of investment as Data Science enters the next stage of refinement. Big Data Preparation Cloud Service brings certain critical elements that put it ahead of its competition.

It brings recommendation driven user experience

It utilizes Natural Language Processing classifications and enrichment, and

It has extensive automation capabilities.

We invite you attend our upcoming webcast to hear from Oracle executives and partner Blue Cloud Innovations and learn more about Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud Service.  

Take Data Wrangling to the Next Level with Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud Service

Tuesday, January 26 9:30am PT/ 12:30pm ET

Join us next Tuesday to bring analytics and data science closer to everyone within your organization through easier data preparation.

Wednesday Dec 16, 2015

Think Application Development is a Risky Business? Well Think Again

Written by Shawn Price, Senior Vice President for Oracle Cloud and Product Business Groups, at Oracle @ShawnPrice1000 

Risk has always been, and will continue to be, an integral part of doing business. After all, it is only by taking risks that the greatest wins are made. But the nature of risk is changing. In the past, the pace of innovation and change was much slower than it is today. Major innovations in technology and business models would take months, if not years, to spread. This meant that cautious businesses could take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach and only adopt new business tools and approaches to working once they had passed the test of time. On the other hand, adventurous businesses could risk all by adopting early. They gained much if the risk paid off, but when it didn’t these businesses stood to lose everything. 

Today, this model has been turned on its head. New services and even whole new companies are being launched every week, and what is revolutionary one month is passé the next. In our fast-moving digital world, the biggest risk for companies is doing nothing and watching their customers and market share flow to more agile competitors. It is surprising, therefore, that in a recent Oracle study of global enterprises, 33 percent of respondents state that their companies are risk averse when it comes to developing innovative business applications. With a further 24 percent of stating that they do not know just how risk averse their companies are, the real figure could be much higher.

Risk aversion and application development

These findings are concerning: in a world which favours the quickest and most inventive, many businesses are opting for a cautious approach towards what is a key mechanism for innovation – application development. When looking at the causes of risk aversion in this context, the study showed a variety of factors are at play. Chief amongst these are fears that the cost and time associated with application development is simply too high to risk failure, and a belief within businesses that they don’t have access to the right data insights to create innovative applications. Institutional risk aversion was also cited by a significant proportion of respondents.  

These are, in all fairness, perfectly good reasons to be risk averse. However, businesses today need to weigh up the risks associated with application development against the greater risk of failing to innovate. The modern business world is built on and fuelled by digital technology, both in terms of customer services and internal operations. Just as web and mobile applications are revolutionising how companies interact with and sell to customers, so too are they enhancing productivity and driving unheralded levels of efficiency through improved working practices. Companies that can continually innovate, enhance and scale these applications will become leaders in their fields. 

The good news is that technology is increasingly able to make application development a far less risky, costly and time-consuming process. In many cases, test and development environments are required for each new application instance, which may mean buying new infrastructure and software resources. Additionally, the technology involved can be complex and needs IT to project manage the development process. Given the already busy schedules of IT departments, such projects can be delayed further and it can take several months or longer for a new application to be designed and tested.

What if, after all that time and money, it turns out that the application does not meet expectations? In the light of this concern, it is easy to see why some businesses are risk averse.

Enabling low-risk innovation

The good news is that this no longer need be the case. Businesses have for some years now enjoyed the flexibility cloud computing has brought to ‘off-the-shelf’ applications. Software as a Service (SaaS) has created a whole new era in computing, enabling businesses to pay only for what they actually use, while accessing the latest versions of applications on the market each and every time. Many of the characteristics that made SaaS such a success are now promising to transform the way business applications are developed and extended internally within organisations. As such, Platform as a Service (PaaS) promises to reduce the risks associated with application development and thereby help enable further rapid innovation and change. 

With PaaS, businesses can get the resources and infrastructure they need for application development instantly as a service. This not only means the cost is moved from capital to operational expenditure, it also means that businesses can get the resources they need much more quickly, and that these resources will always be the best available at any given time. Moreover, cloud ‘hides’ much of the complexity involved, providing simple user interfaces that most people can use with minimal input from IT. As a result, the business department requiring the application can also lead on its development. 

Importantly, PaaS further helps businesses by smoothing the migration from on-premise to cloud systems. Over the next decade, , businesses’ on-premise systems will coexist with cloud systems, and applications will be developed and used in both environments. PaaS will be important as it optimises this coexistence. The best PaaS solutions let customers view cloud and on-premise as a single unified system., allowing businesses to get the most from their existing on-premise investments while losing none of the agility benefits on offer in the cloud. As such, PaaS is a great tool for managing risk.  

PaaS is therefore an enabler of the digital business; providing the means of testing applications and businesses models rapidly and at a dramatically lower cost, evaluating their worth and then either discarding them or implementing them. It provides cloud test environments that allow even the most cautious of businesses to start with small and targeted developments and thereby greatly reduce risk. It means businesses can innovate more, while worrying less. 


Friday Dec 04, 2015

Now Launching Oracle Sites Cloud Service

Originally posted on the Oracle WebCenter blog

We are excited to announce Oracle Sites Cloud Service. Oracle Sites Cloud Service drives digital engagement for employees, customers and partners through intuitive assembly of content, applications, and processes to build rich community and marketing sites.

Engagement.
Rapidly assemble rich digital experiences for marketing sites, communities, and other business needs using themes, components, and applications.

Collaboration.
Collaborate with internal and external teams in creating content, building sites, and coordinating site updates.

Governance.
View, manage, and administer all of your community and marketing microsites in one console.

Extensibility.
Integrate third-party applications and create new custom themes to meet specific business needs.

Ready to Learn More on Oracle Sites Cloud Service?

          · [White Paper] The Linchpin of Your Digital Engagement Platform (link)
   · [Datasheet] Digital Engagement Sites in the Cloud (link)
   · [Infographic] Empowering the Business to Deliver Sites and Communities (link)
   · [eBook] Rapidly Develop Engagement Sites in the Cloud (link
   · [Video] Introducing Oracle Sites Cloud Service (link)
   · [Website] Oracle Sites Cloud Service Website (link)

          Oracle Sites Cloud Service is available as an option under Oracle Documents Cloud Service. Limited use is included at no-charge with Oracle Documents Cloud Service. To get started, visit us at cloud.oracle.com/cloud-sites

Wednesday Dec 02, 2015

Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service is Now Available

At this year's Oracle OpenWorld, there was no shortage of new product announcements and updates. If you've been around Oracle long enough, it's something you just get accustomed to when it comes to Oracle's annual flagship conference. Sometimes it feels like you're drinking from a firehose! So with all of the activity and news that surrounds OpenWorld, it's not hard for any news item to get lost in the mix.

That's why in the post-OpenWorld calm, I like to revisit some of the key new product offerings that are worth learning more about. In this case, I'd like to draw your attention to the Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service (DVCS) which we announced at OpenWorld and is now Generally Available (GA).

Oracle DVCS is a new Oracle Cloud PaaS offering that provides rich, consumer-style analytics, including intelligent data visualization, and self-service data discovery. It also provides mobile consumption and authoring capabilities. In just a few clicks, DVCS users can combine and visually analyze data from disparate data sources, and quickly reveal and share hidden patterns and actionable insights.  As a cloud service, DVCS provides these capabilities without heavy lifting by IT resources or upfront capital investment, resulting in faster time to value and greater ROI.


To get the full scoop on Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service, check out Jernej Kaše's post on the Fusion Middleware Blog. And for more info about DVCS and other Oracle BI cloud services, visit Oracle Cloud Platform for Business Analytics.

Wednesday Oct 28, 2015

5 Steps to Unlock the Value of Data Capital for Your Business

written by Lisa M. Schwartz   @leeza2020


If you haven’t seen the video Three Laws of Data Capital by Paul Sonderegger, you should view it – but only after you read this!   He states that: data comes from activity and you need to capture the activity when it happens and be party to it or it is lost forever.  Data tends to make more data, and platforms tend to win.    Definitely interesting and he states that data is similar to a form of financial capital.   
Today, we know that with business intelligence tools, enterprise analytics and Big Data analytics, we can enable businesses to have some insight into their own data and even combine externally sourced data from data-as-a-service providers and other big data providers.  This externally sourced data can bring in real-time views of events from IoT sensors, GPS locational data, and from cloud databases accessing all the world’s knowledge to enrich and complement our in-house transactional data.
Yet having access to all this data can be overwhelming.  Some businesses don’t know where to begin to make a business case for initiatives to study their own data, let alone bring in big data from the outside world and use it.   In a study conducted by Capgemini Consulting in 2015, surveying 226 analytics, IT and business professionals, 39% said that they had difficulty understanding the right business questions and making a sound business case for further examination and use of big data.
So how do you get your arms around this Big Data conundrum? Where do you start to unlock that value of data capital that makes a real difference for your business?


Here are 5 steps to start the process:
#1 - Create a unified data organization
Have you taken a data driven approach to your business?  Have you taken steps to ensure the quality and governance of data WITHIN your own company?   Do you have a Chief Data Officer whose charter is to create a unified data organization that looks after your data capital?

#2 - Use a secure, standards based cloud applications and cloud platform

Does your IT architecture employ a standards based approach between your cloud platform, your cloud applications and on-premises systems to help enable a unified and secure data organization wherever your data is located?

#3 - Identify and measure data driven metrics that will radically improve KEY business processes

Have you made a business case for the use of data to improve your business?  What metrics do you need to improve to move the needle in a big way for your company?  Does the data exist in your company today to populate these metrics?  If so, where are the sources?  
    Example A: If you are a service based company, are you mining social data and transactional data to understand real time complaints as well as the complaints against the competition?  Complaints are the holy grail of service. Improve on a problem, you’ll get customer advocates and reduced costs.
    Example B: If you are an inventory based company, are you getting your product out the door quickly and in the hands of distributors/consumers most efficiently?  How can you use IoT or other data sources to help identify problems in manufacturing, logistics and shipping, and look for new patterns from data to improve?  

These are just two examples.   The key is to look for the data and metrics that you could use today to improve a key business process. Then make a business case to figure out how to get that data.  The data most likely exists somewhere!

#4 - Make a sensible business case for using data driven metrics with associated costs and gains

In making the business case to unlock the value of data capital for your business, identify all costs associated with collecting, cleansing, unifying and analyzing the data and the expected gains. However, if the costs far exceed the improvement you expect, you may need to examine alternatives or you may not be measuring for improvement in the most needed areas of your business.

#5 - Use intuitive, cloud based, business analytics and visualization tools to quickly gain new knowledge quickly about customers, audiences, suppliers and business processes

Consider using secure, cloud based, business analytics and visualization tools to analyze massive amounts of data quickly.  Often using the cloud, to do “what-if” analysis on mashups of your data and 3rd party data, is the most cost effective and the safest, as you won’t impact productions systems or executive dashboards.  With the cloud, you don’t need to purchase new servers and manage data infrastructure in-house.  And, you can turn off the cloud service when it is no longer needed.  



In summary, we are no longer limited by slow processing speeds of big data.   Terabytes+ of data can be processed in seconds and answers are literally at our fingertips.   Today, our charge is to become even more data driven with advanced technology.  

To get there, we must take the steps necessary to use and unify internal and external data sources to optimize service and business models.   With this, we can make greater gains toward managing our data capital as wisely as we manage our financial capital.

For more information on how to unlock the value of data capital for your business, you can register for Oracle’s Modern Finance Experience  Oct 28-29, 2015 in San Francisco, Ca Or visit Oracle.com/ERP

Thursday Oct 15, 2015

Oracle OpenWorld Sneak Preview: Oracle’s Newest PaaS Offerings for IT Operations Management – Oracle Management Cloud

OpenWorld is always a very exciting time for Oracle and our customers, and every year we reveal some of our newest offerings.  We sat down with Prakash Ramamurthy, Senior Vice President of Oracle Management Cloud, to discuss this year’s conference.

Q:  Tell us about what’s happening this year at OpenWorld for Oracle Management Cloud?

PR:  This year, we have a rare and fantastic opportunity to introduce an entirely new category of systems management cloud services for Oracle customers – the Oracle Management Cloud.  Oracle Management Cloud is a suite of next-generation, integrated monitoring, management and analytics solutions delivered as a service on Oracle Cloud. It is designed for today’s heterogeneous environments across on-premises, Oracle Cloud and third-party cloud services.

Q:  Why will Oracle Management Cloud be so valuable to customers?

PR:  Customers today are struggling with the need to reduce time-to-market for new applications, even as those applications are getting more and more complex and distributed.  Whereas a new offering five years ago might have been supported by a monolithic, on-premises infrastructure, today that offering may be composed of half a dozen cloud services from several different providers.  Oracle Management Cloud was purpose-built to provide the new level of operational efficiency and visibility that these rapidly-changing environments require.  

Q:  What services will be available in the Oracle Management Cloud?

PR:  We will be offering three services out of the gate focused on some of the highest pain points for customers today.  Oracle Application Performance Monitoring Cloud Service provides development and operations teams with the information that they need to find and fix application issues fast, via deep visibility into your application performance from end user experience, through application server requests, and down to application logs.  Oracle Log Analytics Cloud Service monitors, aggregates, indexes, and analyzes all log data from applications and infrastructure – enabling users to search, explore, and correlate this data to troubleshoot problems faster, derive operational insight and make better decisions.  And finally, Oracle IT Analytics Cloud Service provides 360-degree insight into the performance, availability, and capacity of applications and IT investments, enabling line-of-business executives, analysts, and administrators to make critical decisions about their IT operations based on comprehensive system and data analysis.

Q:  Where can customers go to learn about these new offerings?

PR:  The single best place to experience the power of these new offerings will be in the Oracle Management Cloud Launch General Session, which is titled GEN9778 - Oracle Management Cloud: Real-Time Monitoring, Log, & IT Operations Analytics and takes place on Tuesday, October 27 at 11AM in Moscone South Room 102. Oracle OpenWorld attendees should pre-register for the session as there is limited space and attendees will be receiving a gift from Oracle.  In addition to the General Session, there will be several dedicated track sessions, demonstration stations and hands-on labs throughout the remainder of the week.  It’s going to be a very exciting time.

Monday Sep 28, 2015

The Wait is Over: SOA Cloud Service and API Manager Cloud Service are Here

Today we announced the availability of Oracle SOA Cloud Service and API Manager Cloud Service with a press release. These services are part of Oracle Cloud Platform for Integration and complement Oracle Integration Cloud Service to provide a complete and robust integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) in the cloud.

Oracle SOA Cloud Service is a comprehensive suite of integration services that enable users to quickly integrate on-premises and cloud applications with capabilities including enterprise service bus and orchestration; while B2B, Managed File Transfer, business activity monitoring, scheduling service and event processing features are coming soon.   Oracle API Manager Cloud Service enables developers to create new custom APIs and expose them to internal or external consumers in a secure way to help develop innovative offerings for end users. 

The new cloud services target developers’ diverse requirements and accelerate innovation with features such as:
  • Rapid provisioning for SOA 12c, Service Bus 12c, or API Manager 12c environments, based on the size and requirements specified by the customer. A new environment can be created in a matter of minutes, instead of taking weeks or even months to be ready on premises.
  • Simplified management with single click patching, single click scale out, built-in backup/recovery
  • Access to comprehensive capabilities of SOA 12c and deployment portability to support hybrid integration


Hybrid integration is a popular approach to integration projects as it gives customers the flexibility to deploy their projects where it makes sense to run them at the time, without being locked into that environment going forward. Ovum’s senior analyst for middleware Saurabh Sharma says “With 88 percent of respondents to a recent Ovum survey showing inclination to adopt cloud-based integration platforms for appropriate use cases, it is clear that enterprises realize the need for an agile approach to hybrid integration. Digitalization and the need for greater agility at a lower cost of ownership are driving adoption of hybrid integration solutions with an ‘SOA and iPaaS’ combination being a preferred option. Enterprises should plan to distribute integration processes in a way that ensures efficient utilization of both on-premise and cloud-based integration infrastructure and operational spend.  Oracle’s unified iPaaS portfolio, which includes Oracle Integration Cloud Service and Oracle SOA Cloud Service, combined with its on-premises SOA Suite, enables users to ease the complexity of hybrid integration.”

Oracle Integration Cloud Service customer Calix also shares our excitement. Ravi Gade, senior director, IT Applications at Calix says: “Oracle’s iPaaS portfolio, which now includes Oracle SOA Cloud Service and Oracle API Manager Cloud Service, meets various integration requirements and supports multiple use cases that today’s competitive digital businesses need. It empowers integration developers to focus on enabling strategic initiatives by simplifying administration and configuration of the integration platform.”

You can learn more about Oracle SOA Cloud and Oracle API Manager Cloud services by visiting our Web site http://cloud.oracle.com/SOA and reading additional blog posts.

Thursday Sep 10, 2015

Build Better, More Engaging Mobile Apps with Oracle and Xamarin

Enterprise mobility is booming. Gartner forecasts that by the end of 2017 market demand for enterprise mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them. To help its customers meet the demand, Oracle has partnered with Xamarin, a hugely popular mobile development platform, to allow joint customers to build fully native, cloud-connected apps quickly. Now, enterprises can build high-performance apps for all platforms using Xamarin, and integrate to back-end systems with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service.

In a recent webcast, “Go Native Fast with Xamarin,” Rimi Bewtra, Oracle’s senior director of product marketing, and Nat Friedman, CEO and cofounder of Xamarin, explored the enterprise mobile market and how the partnership positions customers for success. Here are the highlights:   

Bewtra: What’s the best way to approach enterprise mobile challenges?

Friedman: Given all the complexity inherent to mobile development, a company’s competitive advantage lies in reaching, engaging, and retaining more mobile users. This starts and ends with a great, native user experience. 

For that to happen, enterprise apps need three things. First, a consumer-grade front end. We’ve found that 60 percent of all mobile users abandon apps that don’t load in three seconds, and 43 percent will never return. That needs to be driven by an enterprise-grade back end that mobilizes enterprise data safely and securely. And a mobile development lifecycle to build, test, and monitor apps efficiently enough to accelerate time to market and ensure app adoption. 

Image of Rimi and Nat in conversation

See this conversation and many other informative speakers on the Cloud Platform webcast series

Bewtra: What trends are you seeing with your customers in their approach to addressing demand for mobile apps?

Friedman: It’s challenging—you have a highly fragmented mobile market, a huge developer shortage, and new frameworks for building mobile apps. That’s where Xamarin and Oracle come in. Oracle’s mobile strategy with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service is about allowing developers to build their mobile apps on any app development platform. As the leading cross-platform mobile app development solution for C# developers, we want to make it fast and easy for our customers to build high-quality, high-performance apps. Our strategic partnership means that developers easily connect their fully native Xamarin apps to Mobile Cloud Service to power their apps’ back end. 

Bewtra: Tell us more about Xamarin.

Friedman: We’re taking tens of thousands of companies mobile with our development platform that turns 6 million C# developers into native iOS and Android developers. With Xamarin, our customers build 100 percent native iOS, Android, and Windows apps from a single shared C# codebase—which accelerates time to market. Customers, employees, and vendors expect a fluid UI and fast load times, and Xamarin allows enterprises to bring these innovative mobile experiences to life with fully native mobile apps that work on any device. Our customers use mobile to drive business goals with customer loyalty apps, to enable home energy efficiency, to improve in-flight operations by allowing flight crews to accept ApplePay for purchases, and even to help the hearing impaired better engage with the world around them.  

Bewtra: What does the Xamarin and Oracle Mobile Cloud Service integration allow joint customers to do?

Friedman: Our partnership combines Oracle’s leadership in enterprise integrations, security, and analytics with Xamarin’s success in mobile app development, delivering a complete end-to-end solution. Xamarin provides the consumer-grade front end that lets you develop fully native apps in all three ways: native UI, native performance, and access to all device-specific APIs. With the Xamarin SDK for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, enterprises then easily connect to Oracle Mobile Cloud Service on the back end. With the SDK, enterprises include MCS like push, authentication, storage, enterprise endpoints, CRM, ERP, diagnostics, and analytics with a few lines of additional code. As a result, enterprises are positioned to transform their businesses quickly and scale for the future—and that’s what we’re here to do.  

Bewtra: Why partner with Oracle? What’s most compelling about the Oracle Mobile platform?

Friedman: Oracle is laser-focused on apps, shifting from its huge on-premises footprint to the cloud. In fact, we’ve seen how agile Oracle’s cloud is firsthand—we started this relationship in early March and now, within a couple of months, we already have complete end-to-end integrated solution and demo apps. 

On top of that, both Xamarin and Oracle are hyper-focused on solving business problems and creating new opportunities through mobile. We also share a mutual focus on UX: Developers love using Xamarin and, with the Oracle Mobile Cloud Service persona-based workflow, it’s easy for developers to be productive immediately. 

The bottom line is, we want to empower each of our customers with everything they need to build their next 100-plus apps—their mobile strategy—and, together, Xamarin and Oracle Mobile Cloud Service make this possible. 

Monday Jun 29, 2015

Oracle Cloud Platform Launch Wrap-Up

Last Monday, Oracle held a live event at its headquarters in Redwood Shores, announcing the addition of 24 new platform and infrastructure services to the Oracle Cloud. The launch event was headlined by none other than Oracle’s Executive Chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison. I was lucky enough to attend in person and thought I’d share some of the highlights of the day.

The day got off to an early start with a full lineup of executive interviews conducted by SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier and streamed live from theCube. Interviewees included a number of Oracle executives, Oracle Cloud Platform customers, and IDC analyst Carl Olofson. I thought the interviews were insightful and I really like John’s conversational interview style.  If you’re interested in hearing different industry perspectives on PaaS, it’s worth checking out the replays of the interviews here.

The live in-person portion of the event went off in front of a packed house in Oracle’s Conference Center. The room was filled with hundreds of customers, partners, and members of the press and analyst communities. For those who weren’t able to attend in person, the entire event was streamed live to a global audience of thousands.  Larry’s presentation provided a quick recap of Oracle’s SaaS business as well as a high-level view of the 24 new platform and infrastructure services being added to Oracle Cloud. Following Larry was Thomas Kurian, President of Product Development, Oracle, who drilled down into more detail on the new services and included some very cool demos of the new Dedicated Compute, Exadata, and Mobile cloud services.  Lastly, Steve Daheb, SVP of PaaS, BI, and EPM Business Groups, hosted a panel discussion with key executives from Avaya, JDSU, Accenture, and Pharmavite who talked about how Oracle Cloud Platform is helping them drive business innovation and technology leadership. The entire event was recorded and each segment is now available to view on-demand. If you don’t have time to watch a replay of the entire event, you can watch this short highlight video of Larry’s keynote.

My key takeaway from Monday’s launch was that Oracle continues to be all-in with respect to the cloud. Oracle is expanding its already broad and integrated cloud platform and has plugged the few remaining gaps with services like Mobile, Integration, and Process. Now, Oracle is starting to differentiate itself by raising the bar with platform services based on engineered systems like Oracle Exadata and Big Data Appliance to enable performance, scale, and reliability never seen before in a public cloud. It’s ambitious and impressive, and based on initial reactions from customers, press, and analysts, it's going to significantly increase the possibilities of PaaS in the enterprise.

For a more comprehensive rundown of Monday’s announcements, check out the press release.  And of course, for more information about the Oracle Cloud Platform itself, just go to http://oracle.com/paas.  

Lastly, if you want to learn more about Oracle Cloud Platform, I encourage you to register for the upcoming live Oracle Cloud Platform webcast series which starts in July.

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.

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Official Oracle cloud blog.

Oracle offers customers the broadest choice of cloud solutions to simplify IT and power innovation.

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