Monday Apr 21, 2014

Take-Aways from the Oracle Cloud Analyst Summit

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

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

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

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

Friday Apr 18, 2014

You Are Not Even Wrong About the Cloud - Part 4

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

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

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

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

[Read More]

Monday Apr 14, 2014

Integration between Cloud and On-Premise Information Systems

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

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

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

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

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

Oracle Announces Storage Cloud and Oracle Database Backup Service

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

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

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

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

Friday Apr 11, 2014

When is “Big Data” in HR Just Analytics?

By Mike Vilimek


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

[Read More]

Tuesday Apr 08, 2014

Checklist for Sales and Sales Operations Leaders

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

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

The Checklist

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

Friday Apr 04, 2014

Network With Your Back Office Peers at Oracle CloudWorld Chicago

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