The decision to enter a new market is often not easy to make. It requires a thoughtful approach of research, planning, and analysis while taking into consideration the ideas and opinions from a team of folks with diverse professional experiences. All of this comes together in a final crescendo, where hopefully there’s an overwhelming consensus behind the decision being made.
Several years ago, Oracle considered entering the market for community development products. After initial research, the question quickly shifted from if Oracle should enter the market into how would we enter the market and deliver innovative products that would best meet customers’ needs?
That approach drove our decision to enter the market and is at the core of our product strategy and the ability to constantly deliver value to our customers today. We call this thought process our ‘Journey of Innovation’ and believe these principles uniquely qualify our products in the market today.
Oracle’s Journey Of Innovation Into Community Development
Historically, Oracle has entered new markets through acquisitions, so we researched existing vendors. When we began our research in the community development market, we noticed two things.
1. The market was comprised of mostly medium and small vendors with point solutions. These solutions often utilized outdated technology, had complex integrations or architecture, and relied on an outdated data model.
2. Larger vendors offered platform products, but they required a high level of technical expertise to implement and maintain due to required customization and scripting.
Oracle decided to build, not buy. We wanted to create a modern, highly configurable solution that meets the diverse needs of Community Development organizations now and into the future.
Once we decided to build a solution from the ground-up, Oracle made significant investments in the team responsible for bringing these products to market. They have backgrounds in community development organizations, architecture and engineering, technology vendors, and strategic advisory firms. This diverse set of experiences informs our product strategy and design.
We started with a new data model to ensure our products would accommodate the diverse needs and use cases of all organizations involved in community development. Our data model provides customers productized capabilities and fully configurable table structures – delivering the extensibility these organizations demand.
Investing $6 billion annually, Oracle’s products leverage digital assistants, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language programming. These technologies promote customer self-service and ease of system configuration, reducing the time agency users spend responding to public inquiries, enabling faster response time to changing business needs.
Oracle’s Community Development product was designed to be purpose-built, providing one integrated platform with shared capabilities to fit the uniqueness of the respective business lines – Permits and Inspections, Planning and Zoning, Code Enforcement – and user needs.
We’re driven to keep pace with evolving business demands with an easy to maintain solution so that users with business analyst-type skills, not technical expertise, can perform many administrative functions such as updating fees and application forms through configuration, instead of complex scripting or customization.
The key to delivering on our promise is the commitment to continually enhance our community development solution to increase the extensibility of the application and meet future demands. Product updates are delivered in three-month intervals and include new functionality, performance enhancements, as well as solution packages (application types, pre-built forms, and reports).
These principles represent our “Journey of Innovation” for Community Development. We’re excited about the path ahead and committed to building a better future together. Follow our journey and learn how you can transform your organization, here.
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Eric Gsellmeier is Oracle's Director of Strategy and Business Development for the Oracle Permitting and Licensing (OPAL) solution. With 15+ years experience working for and partnering with public sector organizations, Mr. Gsellmeier partners with government organizations to realize the greatest value from their technology investments, and in-turn better serve their constituents. In his current role, Mr. Gsellmeier contributes to many facets of the OPAL business including increasing market awareness through various programs (webinars, marketing campaigns, etc.), representing the OPAL solution at industry conferences, creating internal and external-facing content, delivering training and enablement, meeting with customers and demoing the solution, creating a partner ecosystem, and liaising with internal teams on customer and industry needs. Mr. Gsellmeier writes about the OPAL solution and the industry, which you can find here.