Wednesday Oct 31, 2012

Top 10 things I Learned this October

Last week, I attended the second largest IT conference. It was Gartner Symposium IT Expo held in Orlando, Florida. Earlier this month, I also had the opportunity to be part of the largest IT conference earlier in the month – Oracle Open World . Both were gatherings for senior IT professionals – CIOs, Senior IT  and Line of Business executives, and Developers. At both events, I learned a great deal about how companies are innovating and leveraging technology.  Here are my top 10 take-aways:

#10.  Everyone is talking about Social, Mobile and Cloud  - Whether listening to Gartner discuss The Nexus of Forces or listening to Oracle’s Executive Vice President Hasan Rizvi deliver Oracle Fusion Middleware General Session  -- everyone is talking about Social, Mobile Cloud, and Information – Gartner, Oracle, our customers, partners, -- everyone. 

 #9. SOA is NOT dead, it is more important than ever before – it is an imperative! 

#8. The big question around IT security is not “what will you do IF?” but “what will you do WHEN?”

#7. General Colin Powell is an IT guy! Aside from having served as National Security Advisor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as the U.S. Secretary of State. Gen Colin Powell was an inspirational speaker at the Gartner Symposium and it was clear he understands IT and the powerful impact it has on our society and our youth today.

#6. Change will happen, we need to plan for it!

#5. When everything is connected and just works, we have harnessed the power of technology. Middleware is at the heart of social, mobile and cloud.

#4. Innovation is happening everywhere! Attending both IT events I was able to hear from companies of all sizes and across industries – including Tesco, Nike, Electronic Arts, Nintendo, International Speedway--  they all discussed how they are transforming their companies and their industries.

#3. “One size fits all” strategy does not work instead it alienates IT and business. The PACE Layered Application Strategy is a framework that allows IT to have that Nexus of Forces conversation with the business.

#2. To stay relevant, we need to hire the innovation workers, develop for that innovation layer.

#1. My smartphone is the most valuable tool I own! Everyday with it, I am able to communicate via phone, email, text with family, friends, colleagues. I am able to look up directions to my hotel, make reservations at restaurants, view my calendar, take pictures, record messages, check in for flights and so much more…. I can never leave home without it.

Look forward to catching up again soon!

Additional Information

Monday Oct 29, 2012

Using Oracle BPM to Extend Oracle Applications

Author: Srikant Subramaniam, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware

Customers often modify applications to meet their specific business needs - varying regulatory requirements, unique business processes, product mix transition, etc. Traditional implementation practices for such modifications are typically invasive in nature and introduce risk into projects, affect time-to-market and ease of use, and ultimately increase the costs of running and maintaining the applications. Another downside of these traditional implementation practices is that they literally cast the application in stone, making it difficult for end-users to tailor their individual work environments to meet specific needs, without getting IT involved. For many businesses, however, IT lacks the capacity to support such rapid business changes. As a result, adopting innovative solutions to change the economics of customization becomes an imperative rather than a choice.

Let's look at a banking process in Siebel Financial Services and Oracle Policy Automation (OPA) using Oracle Business Process Management. This approach makes modifications simple, quick to implement and easy to maintain/upgrade. The process model is based on the Loan Origination Process Accelerator, i.e., a set of ready to deploy business solutions developed by Oracle using Business Process Management (BPM) 11g, containing customizable and extensible pre-built processes to fit specific customer requirements.

This use case is a branch-based loan origination process. Origination includes a number of steps ranging from accepting a loan application, applicant identity and background verification (Know Your Customer), credit assessment, risk evaluation and the eventual disbursal of funds (or rejection of the application). We use BPM to model all of these individual tasks and integrate (via web services) with: Siebel Financial Services and (simulated) backend applications: FLEXCUBE for loan management, Background Verification and Credit Rating.

The process flow starts in Siebel when a customer applies for loan, switches to OPA for eligibility verification and product recommendations, before handing it off to BPM for approvals. OPA Connector for Siebel simplifies integration with Siebel’s web services framework by saving directly into Siebel the results from the self-service interview. This combination of user input and product recommendation invokes the BPM process for loan origination. At the end of the approval process, we update Siebel and the financial app to complete the loop.

We use BPM Process Spaces to display role-specific data via dashboards, including the ability to track the status of a given process (flow trace). Loan Underwriters have visibility into the product mix (loan categories), status of loan applications (count of approved/rejected/pending), volume and values of loans approved per processing center, processing times, requested vs. approved amount and other relevant business metrics.

Summary

Oracle recommends the use of Fusion Middleware as an extensions platform for applications. This approach makes modifications simple, quick to implement and easy to maintain/upgrade applications (by moving customizations away from applications to the process layer). It is also easier to manage processes that span multiple applications by using Oracle BPM.

Additional Information

Wednesday Oct 24, 2012

Developing Mobile Applications: Web, Native, or Hybrid?

Authors: Joe Huang, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle Mobile Application Development Framework  and Carlos Chang, Senior Principal Product Director

The proliferation of mobile devices and platforms represents a game-changing technology shift on a number of levels. Companies must decide not only the best strategic use of mobile platforms, but also how to most efficiently implement them. Inevitably, this conversation devolves to the developers, who face the task of developing and supporting mobile applications—not a simple task in light of the number of devices and platforms.

Essentially, developers can choose from the following three different application approaches, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Native Applications: This refers to apps built for and installed on a specific platform, such as iOS or Android, using a platform-specific software development kit (SDK).  For example, apps for Apple’s iPhone and iPad are designed to run specifically on iOS and are written in Xcode/Objective-C. Android has its own variation of Java, Windows uses C#, and so on.  Native apps written for one platform cannot be deployed on another. Native apps offer fast performance and access to native-device services but require additional resources to develop and maintain each platform, which can be expensive and time consuming.

Mobile Web Applications:
Unlike native apps, mobile web apps are not installed on the device; rather, they are accessed via a Web browser.  These are server-side applications that render HTML, typically adjusting the design depending on the type of device making the request.  There are no program coding constraints for writing server-side apps—they can be written in Java, C, PHP, etc., it doesn’t matter.  Instead, the server detects what type of mobile browser is pinging the server and adjusts accordingly. For example, it can deliver fully JavaScript and CSS-enabled content to smartphone browsers, while downgrading gracefully to basic HTML for feature phone browsers. Mobile apps work across platforms, but are limited to what you can do through a browser and require Internet connectivity. For certain types of applications, these constraints may not be an issue. Oracle supports mobile web applications via ADF Faces (for tablets) and ADF Mobile browser (Trinidad) for smartphone and feature phones.

Hybrid Applications: As the name implies, hybrid apps combine technologies from native and mobile Web apps to gain the benefits each. For example, these apps are installed on a device, like their pure native app counterparts, while the user interface (UI) is based on HTML5.  This UI runs locally within the native container, which usually leverages the device’s browser engine.  The advantage of using HTML5 is a consistent, cross-platform UI that works well on most devices.  Combining this with the native container, which is installed on-device, provides mobile users with access to local device services, such as camera, GPS, and local device storage.  Native apps may offer greater flexibility in integrating with device native services.  However, since hybrid applications already provide device integrations that typical enterprise applications need, this is typically less of an issue.  The new Oracle ADF Mobile release is an HTML5 and Java hybrid framework that targets mobile app development to iOS and Android from one code base.

So, Which is the Best Approach?

The short answer is – the best choice depends on the type of application you are developing.  For instance, animation-intensive apps such as games would favor native apps, while hybrid applications may be better suited for enterprise mobile apps because they provide multi-platform support. Just for starters, the following issues must be considered when choosing a development path.

Application Complexity: How complex is the application? A quick app that accesses a database or Web service for some data to display?  You can keep it simple, and a mobile Web app may suffice. However, for a mobile/field worker type of applications that supports mission critical functionality, hybrid or native applications are typically needed.

Richness of User Interactivity: What type of user experience is required for the application?  Mobile browser-based app that’s optimized for mobile UI may suffice for quick lookup or productivity type of applications.  However, hybrid/native application would typically be required to deliver highly interactive user experiences needed for field-worker type of applications.  For example, interactive BI charts/graphs, maps, voice/email integration, etc.  In the most extreme case like gaming applications, native applications may be necessary to deliver the highly animated and graphically intensive user experience.

Performance: What type of performance is required by the application functionality?  For instance, for real-time look up of data over the network, mobile app performance depends on network latency and server infrastructure capabilities.  If consistent performance is required, data would typically need to be cached, which is supported on hybrid or native applications only.

Connectivity and Availability: What sort of connectivity will your application require? Does the app require Web access all the time in order to always retrieve the latest data from the server? Or do the requirements dictate offline support? While native and hybrid apps can be built to operate offline, Web mobile apps require Web connectivity.

Multi-platform Requirements: The terms “consumerization of IT” and BYOD (bring your own device) effectively mean that the line between the consumer and the enterprise devices have become blurred. Employees are bringing their personal mobile devices to work and are often expecting that they work in the corporate network and access back-office applications.  Even if companies restrict access to the big dogs: (iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, possibly Windows Phone and tablets), trying to support each platform natively will require increasing resources and domain expertise with each new language/platform. And let’s not forget the maintenance costs, involved in upgrading new versions of each platform.   Where multi-platform support is needed, Web mobile or hybrid apps probably have the advantage. Going native, and trying to support multiple operating systems may be cost prohibitive with existing resources and developer skills.

Device-Services Access:  If your app needs to access local device services, such as the camera, contacts app, accelerometer, etc., then your choices are limited to native or hybrid applications.  

Fragmentation: Apple controls Apple iOS and the only concern is what version iOS is running on any given device.   Not so Android, which is open source. There are many, many versions and variants of Android running on different devices, which can be a nightmare for app developers trying to support different devices running different flavors of Android.  (Is it an Amazon Kindle Fire? a Samsung Galaxy?  A Barnes & Noble Nook?) This is a nightmare scenario for native apps—on the other hand, a mobile Web or hybrid app, when properly designed, can shield you from these complexities because they are based on common frameworks.
 

Resources: How many developers can you dedicate to building and supporting mobile application development?  What are their existing skills sets?  If you’re considering native application development due to the complexity of the application under development, factor the costs of becoming proficient on a each platform’s OS and programming language. Add another platform, and that’s another language, another SDK. On the other side of the equation, Web mobile or hybrid applications are simpler to make, and readily support more platforms, but there may be performance trade-offs.

Conclusion

This only scratches the surface. However, I hope to have suggested some food for thought in choosing your mobile development strategy.  Do your due diligence, search the Web, read up on mobile, talk to peers, attend events. The development team at Oracle is working hard on mobile technologies to help customers extend enterprise applications to mobile faster and effectively.  To learn more on what Oracle has to offer, check out the Oracle ADF Mobile (hybrid) and ADF Faces/ADF Mobile browser (Web Mobile) solutions from Oracle. 

 Additional Information

Monday Oct 22, 2012

Oracle ADF Mobile is Now Available!

We are happy to announce availability of Oracle ADF Mobile, part of Oracle ADF (Application Development Framework). Oracle ADF is an HTML5 & Java-based framework that enables developers to build and deploy to iOS and Android devices from one application code base. By using open standards like HTML5 for a cross-platform consistent interface and Java for the application logic, companies can readily leverage existing skill and resources to develop mobile applications for iOS and Android.  There’s no need to learn a new platform specific programming language for each device.  With Oracle ADF Mobile -  you simply write once, deploy to many! Read the press release here.

 

 

On Wednesday, we will be featuring a blog on developing mobile applications and exploring the different options: Web, Native, or Hybrid.

Additional Information

Wednesday Oct 17, 2012

Build Mobile App for E-Business Suite Using SOA Suite and ADF Mobile

With the upcoming release of Oracle ADF Mobile, I caught up with Srikant Subramaniam, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware post OpenWorld to learn about the cool hands-on lab at OpenWorld.  For those of you who missed it, you will want to keep reading...

Author: Srikant Subramaniam, Senior Principal Product Manager,Oracle Fusion Middleware

Oracle ADF Mobile enables rapid and declarative development of native on-device mobile applications. These native applications provide a richer experience for smart devices users running Apple iOS or other mobile platforms. Oracle ADF Mobile protects Oracle customers from technology shifts by adopting a metadata-based development framework that enables developer to develop one app (using Oracle JDeveloper), and deploy to multiple device platforms (starting with iOS and Android). 

Oracle ADF Mobile also enables IT organizations to leverage existing expertise in web-based and Java development by adopting a hybrid application architecture that brings together HTML5, Java, and device native container:

  • HTML5 allows developer to deliver device-native user experiences while maintaining portability across different platforms
  • Java allows developers to create modules to support business logic and data services
  • Native container provides integration into device services such as camera, contacts, etc

All these technologies are packaged into a development framework that supports declarative application development through Oracle JDeveloper. ADF Mobile also provides out of box integratoin with key Fusion Middleware components, such as SOA Suite and Business Process Management (BPM).

Oracle Fusion Middleware provides the necessary infrastructure to extend business processes and services to the mobile device -- enabling the mobile user to participate in human tasks – without the additional “mobile middleware” layer. When coupled with Oracle SOA Suite, this combination can execute business transactions on Oracle E-Business Suite (or any Oracle Application).

Demo Use Case: Mobile E-Business Suite (iExpense) Approvals

Using an employee expense approval scenario, we illustrate how to use Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle ADF Mobile to build application extensions that integrate intelligently with Oracle Applications (For example, E-Business Suite). Building these extensions using Oracle Fusion middleware and ADF makes modifications simple, quick to implement, and easy to maintain/upgrade. As described earlier, this approach also extends Fusion Middleware to mobile users without the additional "Mobile Middleware" layer.

The approver is presented with a list of expense reports that have been submitted for approval. These expense reports are retrieved from the backend E-Business Suite and displayed on the mobile device. Approval (or rejection) of the expense report kicks off the workflow in E-Business Suite and takes it to completion. The demo also shows how to integrate with native device services such as email, contacts, BI dashboards as well as a prebuilt PDF viewer (this is especially useful in the expense approval scenario, as there is often a need for the approver to access the submitted receipts).

Summary

Oracle recommends Fusion Middleware as the application integration platform to deliver critical enterprise data and processes to mobile applications.  Pre-built connectors between Fusion Middleware and Applications greatly accelerates the integration process.  Instead of building individual integration points between mobile applications and individual enterprise applications, Oracle Fusion Middleware enables IT organizations to leverage a common platform to support both desktop and mobile application. 

Additional Information

Monday Oct 15, 2012

2012 Oracle Fusion Innovation Awards - Part 2

Author: Moazzam Chaudry

Continuing from Friday's blog on 2012 Oracle Fusion Innovation Awards, this blog (Part 2) will provide more details around the customers. It was a tremendous honor to be in single room of winners. We only wish we could have had more time to share stories from all the winners.  We received great insight from all the innovative solutions that our customers deploy and would like to share them broadly, so that others can benefit from best practices.

There was a customer panel session joined by Ingersoll Rand, Nike and Motability and here is what was discussed:

Barry Bonar, Enterprise Architect from Ingersoll Rand shared details around their solution, comprised of Oracle Exalogic, Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle SOA Suite. This combined solutoin enabled their business transformation to increase decision-making, speed and efficiency, resulting in 40% reduced IT spend, 41X Faster response time and huge cost savings. Ashok Balakrishnan, Architect from Nike shared how they leveraged Oracle Coherence to analyze their digital "footprint" of activities. This helps them compete, collaborate and compare athletic data over time. Lastly, Ashley Doodly, Head of IT from Motability shared details around their solution compromised of Oracle SOA Suite, Service Bus, ADF, Coherence, BO and E-Business Suite. This solution helped Motability achieve 100% ROI within the first few months, performance in seconds vs. 10's of minutes and tremendous improvement in throughput that increased up to 50%. 

This year's winners by category are:

Oracle Exalogic

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware

Netshoes

ATG on Exalogic: 6X Reduced H/W foot print, 6.2X increased throughput and 3 weeks time to market

Claro

Part of America Movil, running mission critical Java Application on Exalogic with 35X Faster Java response time, 5X Throughput

Underwriters Laboratories

Exalogic as an Apps Consolidation platform to power tremendous growth

Ingersoll Rand

EBS on Exalogic: Up to 40% Reduction in overall IT budget, 3x reduced foot print

Oracle Cloud Application Foundation

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware 

Mazda Motor Corporation

Tuxedo ART Batch runtime environment to migrate their batch apps on new open environment and reduce main frame cost.

HOTELBEDS Technology

Open Source to WebLogic transformation

Globalia Corporation

Introduced Oracle Coherence to fully reengineer DTH system and provide multiple business and technical benefits

Nike

Nike+, digital sports platform, has 8M users and is expecting an 5X increase in users, many of who will carry multiple devices that frequently sync data with the Digital Sport platform

Comcast Corporation

The solution is expected to increase availability, continuity, performance, and simplify and make the code at the application layer more flexible.

Oracle SOA and Oracle BPM

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware

NTT Docomo

Network traffic solution based on Oracle event processing and coherence - massive in scale: 12M users (50M in future) - 800,000 events/sec.

Schneider National, Inc.

SOA/B2B/ADF/Data Integration to orchestrate key order processes across Siebel, OTM & EBS.  Platform runs 60M trans/day and  50 million composite SOA instances per day across 10G and 11G

Amadeus

Oracle BPM solution: Business Rules and processes vary across local (80), regional (~10) and corporate approval process. Up to 10 levels of approval. Plans to deploy across 20+ markets

Navitar

SOA solution integrates a fully non-Oracle legacy application/ERP environment using Oracle’s SOA Suite and Oracle AIA Foundation Pack.

Motability

Uses SOA Suite to synchronize data across the systems and to manage the vehicle remarketing process

Oracle WebCenter

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware 

News Limited

Single platform running websites for 50% of Australia's newspapers

University of Louisville

“Facebook for Medicine”: Oracle Webcenter platform and Oracle BIEE to analyze patient test data and uncover potential health issues. Expecting annualized ROI of 277%

China Mobile Jiangsu

Company portal (25k users) to drive collaboration & productivity

Life Technologies

Portal for remotely monitoring & repairing biotech instruments

LA Dept. of Water & Power

Oracle WebCenter Portal to power ladwp.com on desktop and mobile for 1.6million users

Oracle Identity Management

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware

Education Testing Service

Identity Management platform for provisioning & SSO of 6 million GRE, GMAT, TOEFL customers

Avea

Oracle Identity Manager allowing call center personnel to quickly change Identity Profile to handle varying call loads based on a user self service interface. Decreased Admin Cost by 30%

Oracle Data Integration

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware

Raymond James

Near real-time integration for improved systems (throughput & performance) and enhanced operational flexibility in a 24 X 7 environment

Wm Morrison Supermarkets

Electronic Point of Sale integration handling over 80 million transactions a day in near real time (15 min intervals)

Oracle Application Development Framework and Oracle Fusion Development

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware

Qualcomm Incorporated

Solution providing  immediate business value enabling a self-service model necessary for growing the new customer base, an increase in customer satisfaction, reduced “time-to-deliver”

Micros Systems, Inc.

ADF, SOA Suite, WebCenter  enables services that include managing distribution of hotel rooms availability and rates to channels such as Hotel Web-site, Expedia, etc.

Marfin Egnatia Bank

A new web 2.0 UI provides a much richer experience through the ADF solution with the end result being one of boosting end-user productivity

  

Business Analytics (Oracle BI, Oracle EPM, Oracle Exalytics)

Customer

Results using Fusion Middleware

INC Research

Self-service customer portal delivering 5–10% of the overall revenue - expected to grow fast with the BI solution

Experian

Reduction in Time to Complete the Financial Close Process

Hologic Inc

Solution, saving months of decision-making uncertainty!

We look forward to seeing many more innovative nominations. The nominatation process for 2013 begins in April 2013.

 

 Additional Information:

Friday Oct 12, 2012

2012 Oracle Fusion Innovation Awards - Part 1

Author: Moazzam Chaudry

This year we recognized 29 customers for their innovative use of Oracle Fusion Middleware and their significant results. The winners were selected across 8 product categories from 11 countries spanning diverse industries around the world. This is a two-part blog series.

The 2012 Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards winners were announced at OOW on October 2nd by Hasan Rizvi (EVP Fusion Middleware and Java development), Amit Zavery (VP Product Management) and Ed Zou (VP Product Management) to an audience that included press, analysts and customers.

Winners were selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture. The program is in its 6th year and this year, we are excited to have received over 250 submissions from customers around the globe. The winners were selected by a panel of internal and external judges; it was a difficult time selecting this year's most innovative projects. Judges scored each entry across multiple scoring categories.

This year, winning use cases for Fusion Middleware include:

  • Improve customer experience by monitoring real-time and simplifying user experience of tens of millions of customer
  • Drive social enagement through social media channels in fields, including healthcare, harness big data by analyzing and improving visibility across 60M+customers and hundreds of terabytes of data
  • Enable mobile adoption by delivering mobile news experience to 50% of the Australian population, embrace cloud computing by delivering hospitality services to 3000+ hotels and monitoring services to hospitals, and optimize criticial processes such as, remarketing cars through tens of thousands of dealers

On Monday's blog, we will talk about the winners in each category and what customers had to say in the customer panel.

Congratulations to the 2012 Oracle Fusion Innovation Award winners:

 

Wednesday Oct 10, 2012

Oracle Fusion Middleware OpenWorld General Session

Whether you missed this strategy and roadmap session or want to catch the replay with Hasan Rizvi, Executive Vice President, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java Development. Hasan's Oracle Fusion Middleware Strategies Driving Business Innovations presentation also features product demos and the following customers: Nike, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Nintendo and NTT Docomo.

Thursday Oct 04, 2012

Recap: Oracle Fusion Middleware Strategies Driving Business Innovation

Hasan Rizvi, Executive Vice President of Oracle Fusion Middleware & Java took the stage on Tuesday to discuss how Oracle Fusion Middleware helps enable business innovation. Through a series of product demos and customer showcases, Hassan demonstrated how Oracle Fusion Middleware is a complete platform to harness the latest technological innovations (cloud, mobile, social and Fast Data) throughout the application lifecycle.

Fig 1: Oracle Fusion Middleware is the foundation of business innovation

This Session included 4 demonstrations to illustrate these strategies:

1. Build and deploy native mobile applications using Oracle ADF Mobile
2. Empower business user to model processes, design user interface and have rich mobile experience for process interaction using Oracle BPM Suite PS6.
3. Create collaborative user experience and integrate social sign-on using Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle WebCenter Content, Oracle Social Network & Oracle Identity Management 11g R2
4. Deploy and manage business applications on Oracle Exalogic
Nike, LA Department of Water & Power and Nintendo joined Hasan on stage to share how their organizations are leveraging Oracle Fusion Middleware to enable business innovation.

Managing Performance in the Wrld of Social and Mobile

How do you provide predictable scalability and performance for an application that monitors active lifestyle of 8 million users on a daily basis? Nike’s answer is Oracle Coherence, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Exadata.

Fig 2: Oracle Coherence enabled data grid improves performance of Nike+ Digital Sports Platform

Nicole Otto, Sr. Director of Consumer Digital Technology discussed the vision of the Nike+ platform, a platform which represents a shift for NIKE from a  "product"  to  a "product +" experience.  There are currently nearly 8 million users in the Nike+ system who are using digitally-enabled Nike+ devices.  Once data from the Nike+ device is transmitted to Nike+ application, users access the Nike+ website or via the Nike mobile applicatoin, seeing metrics around their daily active lifestyle and even engage in socially compelling experiences to compare, compete or collaborate their data with their friends. Nike expects the number of users to grow significantly this year which will drive an explosion of data and potential new experiences.

To deal with this challenge, Nike envisioned building a shared platform that would drive a consumer-centric model for the company. Nike built this new platform using Oracle Coherence and Oracle Exadata. Using Coherence, Nike built a data grid tier as a distributed cache, thereby provide low-latency access to most recent and relevant data to consumers. Nicole discussed how Nike+ Digital Sports Platform is unique in the way that it utilizes the Coherence Grid.  Nike takes advantage of Coherence as a traditional cache using both cache-aside and cache-through patterns.  This new tier has enabled Nike to create a horizontally scalable distributed event-driven processing architecture. Current data grid volume is approximately 150,000 request per minute with about 40 million objects at any given time on the grid.

Improving Customer Experience Across Multiple Channels

Customer experience is on top of every CIO's mind. Customer Experience needs to be consistent and secure across multiple devices consumers may use.  This is the challenge Matt Lampe, CIO of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) was faced with. Despite being the largest utilities company in the country, LADWP had been relying on a 38 year old customer information system for serving its customers. Their prior system  had been unable to keep up with growing customer demands.

Last year, LADWP embarked on a journey to improve customer experience for 1.6million LA DWP customers using Oracle WebCenter platform.

Figure 3: Multi channel & Multi lingual LADWP.com built using Oracle WebCenter & Oracle Identity Management platform


Matt shed light on his efforts to drive customer self-service across 3 dimensions – new website, new IVR platform and new bill payment service. LADWP has built a new portal to increase customer self-service while reducing the transactions via IVR. LADWP's website is powered Oracle WebCenter Portal and is accessible by desktop and mobile devices. By leveraging Oracle WebCenter, LADWP eliminated the need to build, format, and maintain individual mobile applications or websites for different devices. Their entire content is managed using Oracle WebCenter Content and secured using Oracle Identity Management. This new portal automated their paper based processes to web based workflows for customers. This includes automation of Self Service implemented through My Account -  like Bill Pay, Payment History, Bill History and Usage Analysis. LADWP's solution went live in April 2012.

Matt indicated that LADWP's Self-Service Portal has greatly improved customer satisfaction.  In a JD Power Associates website satisfaction survey, results indicate rankings have climbed by 25+ points, marking a remarkable increase in user experience.

Bolstering Performance and Simplifying Manageability of Business Applications

Ingvar Petursson, Senior Vice Preisdent of IT at Nintendo America joined Hasan on-stage to discuss their choice of Exalogic. Nintendo had significant new requirements coming their way for business systems, both internal and external, in the years to come, especially with new products like the WiiU on the horizon this holiday season. Nintendo needed a platform that could give them performance, availability and ease of management as they deploy business systems.

Ingvar selected Engineered Systems for two reasons:

1. High performance 
2. Ease of management

Figure 4: Nintendo relies on Oracle Exalogic to run ATG eCommerce, Oracle e-Business Suite and several business applications

Nintendo made a decision to run their business applications (ATG eCommerce, E-Business Suite) and several Fusion Middleware components on the Exalogic platform. What impressed Ingvar was the "stress” testing results during evaluation. Oracle Exalogic could handle their 3-year load estimates for many functions, which was better than Nintendo expected without any hardware expansion.

Faster Processing of Big Data

Middleware plays an increasingly important role in Big Data. Last year, we announced at OpenWorld the introduction of Oracle Data Integrator for Hadoop and Oracle Loader for Hadoop which helps in the ability to move, transform, load data to and from Big Data Appliance to Exadata.  This year, we’ve added new capabilities to find, filter, and focus data using Oracle Event Processing. This product can natively integrate with Big Data Appliance or runs standalone.

Hasan briefly discussed how NTT Docomo, largest mobile operator in Japan, leverages Oracle Event Processing & Oracle Coherence to process mobile data (from 13 million smartphone users) at a speed of 700K events per second before feeding it Hadoop for distributed processing of big data.


Figure 5: Mobile traffic data processing at NTT Docomo with Oracle Event Processing & Oracle Coherence

 

 

Tuesday Oct 02, 2012

Recap: Why Fusion Middleware matters to Oracle Applications and Fusion Applications customers?

Did you miss this general session on Monday morning presented by Amit Zavery, VP of Oracle Fusion Middleware Product Management? There will be a recording made available shortly and in the meanwhile, here is a recap. Amit presented 5 strategies customers can leverage today to extend their applications.


Figure 1: 5 Oracle Fusion Middleware strategies to extend Oracle Applications & Oracle Fusion Apps

1. Engage Everyone – Provide intuitive and social experience for application users using Oracle WebCenter

2. Extend Enterprise – Extend Oracle Applications to mobile devices using Oracle ADF Mobile

3. Orchestrate Processes – Automate key organization processes across on-premise & cloud applications using Oracle BPM Suite & Oracle SOA Suite

4. Secure the core – Provide single sign-on and self-service provisioning across multiple apps using Oracle Identity Management

5. Optimize Performance – Leverage Exalogic stack to consolidate multiple instance and improve performance of Oracle Applications

Session included 3 demonstrations to illustrate these strategies.

1. First demo highlighted significance of mobile applications for unlocking existing investment in Applications such as EBS. Using a native iPhone application interacting with e-Business Suite, demo showed how expense approval can be mobile enabled with enhanced visibility using BI dashboards.

2. Second demo showed how you can extend a banking process in Siebel and Oracle Policy Automation with Oracle BPM Suite.Process starts in Siebel with a customer requesting a loan, and then jumps to OPA for loan recommendations and decision making and loan processing with approvals in handled in BPM Suite. Once approvals are completed Siebel is updated to complete the process.

3. Final demo showcased FMW components inside Fusion Applications, specifically WebCenter.

Boeing, Underwriter Laboratories and Electronic Arts joined this quest and discussed 3 different approaches of leveraging Fusion Middleware stack to maximize their investment in Oracle Applications and/or Fusion Applications technology. Let’s briefly review what these customers shared during the session:

1. Extend Fusion Applications

We know that Oracle Fusion Middleware is the underlying technology infrastructure for Oracle Fusion Applications. Architecturally, Oracle Fusion Apps leverages several components of Oracle Fusion Middleware from Oracle WebCenter for rich collaborative interface, Oracle SOA Suite & Oracle BPM Suite for orchestrating key underlying processes to Oracle BIEE for dash boarding and analytics. Boeing talked about how they are using Oracle BPM Suite 11g, a key component of Oracle Fusion Middleware with Oracle Fusion Apps to transform their supply chain.

Tim Murnin, Director of Supply Chain talked about Boeing’s 5 year supply chain transformation journey. Boeing’s Integrated and Information Management division began with automation of critical RFQ process using Oracle BPM Suite. This 1st phase resulted in 38% reduction in labor costs for RFP. As a next step in this effort, Boeing is now creating a platform to enable electronic Order Management. Fusion Apps are playing a significant role in this phase. Boeing has gone live with Oracle Fusion Product Hub and efforts are underway with Oracle Fusion Distributed Order Orchestration (DOO). So, where does Oracle BPM Suite 11g fit in this equation? Let me explain. Business processes within Fusion Apps are designed using 2 standards: Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) and Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). These processes can be easily configured using declarative set of tools. Boeing leverages Oracle BPM Suite 11g (which supports BPMN 2.0) and Oracle SOA Suite (which supports BPEL) to “extend” these applications. Traditionally, customizations are done within an app using native technologies. But, instead of making process changes within Fusion Apps, Boeing has taken an approach of building “extensions” layer on top of the application.


Fig 2: Boeing’s use of Oracle BPM Suite to orchestrate key supply chain processes across Fusion Apps

2. Maximize Oracle Applications investment

Fusion Middleware appeals not only to Fusion Apps customers, but is also leveraged by Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel and JD Edwards customers
significantly. Using Oracle BPM Suite and Oracle SOA Suite is the recommended extension strategy for Oracle Fusion Apps and Oracle Applications Unlimited
customers. Electronic Arts, E-Business Suite customer, spoke about their strategy to transform their order-to-cash process using Oracle SOA Suite,
Oracle Foundation Packs and Oracle BAM. 

Udesh Naicker, Sr Director of IT at Elecronic Arts (EA), discussed how growth of social and digital gaming had started to put tremendous pressure on EA’s existing IT infrastructure. He discussed the challenge with millions of micro-transactions coming from several sources – Microsoft Xbox, Paypal, several service providers. EA found Order-2-Cash processes stretched to their limits. They lacked visibility into these transactions across the entire value chain.

EA began by consolidating their E-Business Suite R11 instances into single E-Business Suite R12. EA needed to cater to a variety of service requirements, connectivity methods, file formats, and information latency. Their integration strategy was tactical, i.e., using file uploads, TIBCO, SQL scripts. After consolidating E-Business suite, EA standardized their integration approach with Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle AIA Foundation Pack. Oracle SOA Suite is the platform used to extend E-Business Suite R12 and standardize 60+ interfaces across several heterogeneous systems including PeopleSoft, Demantra, SF.com, Workday, and Managed EDI services spanning on-premise, hosted and cloud applications.

EA believes that Oracle SOA Suite 11g based extension strategy has helped significantly in the followings ways:

- It helped them keep customizations out of E-Business Suite, thereby keeping EBS R12 vanilla and upgrade safe

- Developers are now proficient in technology which is also leveraged by Fusion Apps. This has helped them prepare for adoption of Fusion Apps in the future


Fig 3: Using Oracle SOA Suite & Oracle e-Business Suite, Electronic Arts built new platform for order processing

3. Consolidate apps and improve scalability

Exalogic is an optimal platform for customers to consolidate their application deployments and enhance performance. Underwriter Laboratories talked about their strategy to run their mission critical applications including e-Business Suite on Exalogic.

Christian Anschuetz, CIO of Underwriter Laboratories (UL) shared how UL is on a growth path - $1B to $2.5B in 5 years- and planning a significant business transformation from a not-for-profit to a for-profit business. To support this growth, UL is planning to simplify its IT environment and the deployment complexity associated with ERP applications and technology it runs on.

Their current applications were deployed on variety of hardware platforms and lacked comprehensive disaster recovery architecture. UL embarked on a mission to deploy E-Business Suite on Exalogic. UL’s solution is unique because it is one of the first to deploy a large number of Oracle applications and related Fusion Middleware technologies (SOA, BI, Analytical Applications AIA Foundation Pack and AIA EBS to Siebel UCM prebuilt integration) on the combined Exalogic and Exadata environment. UL is planning to move to a virtualized architecture toward the end of 2012 to securely host external facing applications like iStore


Fig 4: Underwrites Labs deployed e-Business Suite on Exalogic to achieve performance gains

Key takeaways are:

- Fusion Middleware platform is certified with major Oracle Applications Unlimited offerings. Fusion Middleware is the underlying technological infrastructure for Fusion Apps

- Customers choose Oracle Fusion Middleware to extend their applications (Apps Unlimited or Fusion Apps) to keep applications upgrade safe and prepare for Fusion Apps

- Exalogic is an optimum platform to consolidate applications deployments and enhance performance

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