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  

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.

Friday Jun 27, 2014

Questions You Should Ask Your Cloud Provider

By Mike Vilimek


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]

Friday Jan 17, 2014

How Mobile & Social Increase the Value of HR Technology

By Mike Vilimek


A key finding from CedarCrestone’s 2013 – 2014 HR Systems Survey was that improving the user experience is an important way to improve user adoption. It makes sense really. If a system provides an easy, modern, and engaging user experience, chances are more people will use it. Contrary, if a system provides a frustrating, complex and outdated user experience, people will simply avoid using it.

[Read More]

Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

The Butterfly Effect By JP Saunders

Like a caterpillar, some things sit for a long time, with incremental changes in size and shape until one day they reemerge from a catatonic state of transformation. Typically, we reflect on the butterfly’s beautiful colorful changes, but for me the splendor from this cocooned change is more the contrast in its newly formed mobility – which can also be described in colors, I guess -- one minute crawling in the browns and greens on its belly, the next gliding through the blues and whites with its wings. (Ever wondered who teaches the caterpillar how to fly?) A little poetic perhaps, but there is a connection between technology and nature - freedom.

The term “mobility” refers to movement but is more often used when describing some status of a person’s lack of physical ability (“reduced mobility”), whereas, the term “mobile” is used to describe a higher state of physical ability (“upwardly mobile”).  Thankfully, within technology we generally don't discriminate between our use of these two terms.  They both simply mean freedom--that untethered state where we are connected to the source but unrestricted in movement.  

Mobile freedom comes in many forms, and the transformation of the telephone into the mobile phone best personifies this  newfound power of mobility that most of us are experiencing - talking, texting, surfing… staying connected while on the move, in remote locations, and during times we shouldn't. From the outside view, it might not seems as glamorous as our butterfly example with all its splendid colors. But from the inside view, that feeling of freedom of mobility is very much evenly matched.  Why? Because of the value that extra connectivity brings to our lives - be that emotional, or financial, or just informational.

The combination of freedom and connectivity drives meaningful change in our attitudes and behaviors. Because of this, it is understandably addictive and can be hard to let go of, even for an instance. Ask any teenager to give-up their phone even for an hour, and they will likely respond, “Your taking away my freedom!” Some days being tethered in my office can feel much like this and leave me with an inconsolable longing to be mobile again, free to roam the hallways and coffee shops while remaining connected and productive.

In business staying connected to your customers can be critical to your business goals. The recent transformation and advancements in mobile devices such as the Apple iPad, have enabled this same level of freedom and connectivity for people in business as they have the consumer, which in turn has resulted in measurable value through increased productivity, efficiency and engagement.

This is why the May 2013 release of the Oracle RightNow Cloud Service has been developed to empower your frontline people with mobile device access to their agent desktop.  Your office agents can now freely move about your office to collaborate on resolving customer issues. Your remote field workers can have access to critical customer information and service records while keeping the office up-to-speed with the latest developments. Your managers can stay connected to the latest performance metrics of their team while in meetings and remote locations.  Transform your organizations performance, while improving your customers' experiences with the freedom of Oracle Mobile Solutions.

Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

Talking Cloud in the Big Apple

Oracle held CloudWorld yesterday in New York City. You didn’t have to look far to see how important the cloud is to everyday life. It’s Spring Break for many schools across the U.S., and teens and tweens flocked to the Big Apple with their parents. It was hard to not to run into one of these young tourists, as they all seemed to be walking and using a smartphone at the same time.[Read More]

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