Tuesday Feb 17, 2015

ACE Director on Choosing the Right User Group Conference

by Debra Lilley, ACE Director

The best way to decide if your applications can be enhanced a certain way with Oracle technology – Oracle AppAdvantage, is to see what other people are doing, and the best way to do that is go along to a user group event and have a look at several examples.

As spring arrives so does the conference season and how do you know which one is for you? The best thing is to join a local group where you can be part of an ongoing community, you can find which ones are available in your region by looking at the International Oracle User Group Community webpages.

If you are able to attend a major US conference this year and are not sure which one, then I would ask yourself what is the most value to your organisation? User groups are generally regional, product driven or industry.

If you are in Higher Education  for instance they have a number or global  but very specific conferences. If you are interested in HCM then perhaps the right conference is with OHUG in June. 

If you are still in the ‘getting ideas’ stage then I would recommend Collaborate, in April. Here you will see many application customers showcasing what they have done to extend their reach using Oracle. If you have decided on the tools you need and your projects are being planned then go to ODTUG’s KSCOPE in June where experts will teach you the best practice in all the different areas and share their tips and learning with you. I will be speaking about PaaS at both these events. Of course if you can wait till December I highly recommend a trip to UKOUG.

So many existing customers have done many innovative  things with Oracle technology to drive more business benefit from their applications. So, go see them, and hopefully it will inspire you.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts 



Wednesday Jan 28, 2015

Partner Column – The Journey to PaaS, Part Two

by Debra Lilley, ACE Director,  VP, Certus Cloud Services

I was looking back at my first partner column and realised I jumped straight into PaaS 4 SaaS – the ability to extend Cloud applications with PaaS, and actually didn’t make the point we can extend any application with PaaS including our existing on-premise investments with Oracle E Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel etc.

What we have learnt over the years is that customization of the base application should be avoided.  So many of us have had difficult or even impossible upgrades because of what we have done in our applications and have therefore learnt this the hard way. However that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t extend our applications, (perhaps the topic of another posting and I need you, the readers, to let me know if that is a good idea).

If every organisation used the same set of applications for both front and back office there would be no differentiation from a technical approach but in reality, that is what all organisations need - a differentiation from their competitors. It may be as simple as storing additional data, or an additional process. So there is balance to be sought between staying standard and as is and what adds value. What Cloud applications have taught us is to create these extensions separately and then execute from your standard applications. 

How do you do this? Well, in simple, non technical terms you probably want a 3 step process:

1. Extract data from main application.

2. Your extension.

3. Return or load data back into main application.

Here is a very simple example:

1.  You take a single person record from your main application, and getting data out is the easiest part, use an existing API or simply extract in a suitable format using your analytics tools.

2. Your extension use case could be to populate a small application for a special initiative. 

3. Then, you return to the main application and mark the record (e.g. A descriptive flexfield in Oracle E-Business Suite to say they are part of the initiative). This stage is the trickiest. If there is an existing API in your application to update the object it is straight forward. Otherwise it depends on the tools and flexibility of that specific application.

This third part of the process, may dictate that you don’t go back into the main application. So, in this example, you still have the power of the extension but no marker in the original. Your use case may not need that anyway.

Equally you may not need the first step, if you are using your extension to collect data, especially additional fields which you can hold in the application but the system doesn’t give you the flexibility to validate or ease of entry online, you may use an extension to capture, validate and process this data and use a standard API to load it.

This last example made me think of a conversation I had with an ACE Director about 7 or 8 years ago about Application Express (APEX) and Oracle E Business Suite. He was looking to see if there was a need for APEX here and every use case he suggested people were doing with customisations quite happily. Now there is a real move towards extending with APEX and I recommend this white paper

What PaaS gives us is development tools in the cloud. The same advantages as for SaaS - no infrastructure, pay as you go, and predictable on-going costs. PaaS gives SaaS customers the ability to extend their functionality with the same benefits as with their applications but equally on premise application customers could build their extensions in the cloud if they wanted to, although I accept there could be less of a driver. But something else I didn’t make clear last month is that PaaS is not just about extending your application with code, it is also about other middleware components as well. 

The Oracle Business Intelligence offerings have had a barrier of entry around the commissioning of the infrastructure and platform build, so adopting them as PaaS may make a lot of sense. Similarly there are other applications you can use with your existing investment which again make so much sense to adopt in the Cloud like Planning and Budgeting. 

Take a look at Oracle’s Cloud offerings portal; it is very easy to navigate and understand. The Applications and Platform tabs are worth a browse just to see what Oracle have made available this way.

Next month I’ll talk more about the Rapid Development Kit I mentioned last month.

Editor's Note: And don't miss Oracle Cloud Online Forum taking place today, Wednesday, January 28 starting at 10 am Pacific, to get more details. Register now.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts 

Friday Jan 16, 2015

Tackling SaaS Integration, Multi-Channel Experience and Integrated Systems

Running a digital business or moving towards it? Building a cloud strategy or busy implementing it? Have mobile on your mind? Well, Oracle Fusion Middleware is the cloud platform to support your digital business. Coming out of Oracle OpenWorld, I found there were a few key themes you could bundle some of our customers' questions in. So, I sat down with product and domain experts to better understand some of the more common use cases we have started to hear around digital businesses and cloud.

SaaS to On-Premise Integration: While most organizations have adopted a cloud strategy - public, private or hybrid, a recent survey shows that 81% of those organizations agree that it is important for the applications to be fully integrated with each other and other software to reap the full benefits of cloud. And over 40% believe that cloud poses a security risk to their information and infrastructure. From a development standpoint, an integration platform rather than point to point integration ensures lowest TCO, less maintenance and upgrade costs, more scalability and flexibility for an organization. The same integration platform that supports your on-premise infrastructure supports your SaaS model too and ensures better integration between SaaS and On-Premise applications. Catch this brief webcast and demo to see how Oracle enables simplified SaaS to On-Premise integration.

Multi-Channel Enablement: Whether you are a B2B or a B2C, your customers, partners and even your employees have come to expect a seamless, consistent multi-channel experience. They need to be able to get the information they need on desktop or phone,  via web or mobile securely, anytime and anywhere. How do you enable this digital experience across multiple channels without adding to your development costs? How do you ensure security across these channels? And most of all, how do you give them a user experience that will have them coming back to you? Catch this demo webcast to learn how.

Platform Optimization: Integrated systems are all the rage today. You can't move through tech news without bumping into the term "integrated systems". But what is the value of one? If your hardware and software are optimized to support your middleware and your applications, there are  clear advantages to that - high performance, high reliability and availability, lower operational expenses (OpEx) and better efficiency. But then does deployment get tricky? How are private cloud environments supported? This webcast, complete with a demo, answers those questions and more.

Have more questions? Let's keep the conversation going. Send us your comments and we will get the product experts to answer those for you.



Wednesday Dec 24, 2014

Partner Column: It's All About the Cloud

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director

If you attended Oracle Open World, the talk was all about Cloud. Now Oracle have published their Q2 figures and analysts are talking about Oracle’s Cloud strategy being the reason behind the increase in share prices.

So do we really understand Cloud? When the term first came up, every session on cloud was about ‘what is cloud’, thankfully we have moved beyond that. Each vendor has there own subtly different definition but to me it is a disruptive technology that changes the way we consume the IT, not worrying about the infrastructure, and paying for it by use. At a recent Oracle event I heard an even better way of explaining this. Cloud is about having access to software, not owning it.

But do we really understand Cloud? Oracle’s cloud is actually a lot of different moving parts and different components. How do you visualise this? I found this video Cloud Periodic Table: Chemistry of Cloud Computing and it is a fantastic way to understand and see what is in Oracle’s Cloud.

If you look at Cloud.oracle.com there is a comprehensive list of announced cloud modules, some of which are ‘coming soon’. I need to use at least two of these in my day job, Process and Integration Cloud, and need to learn quickly.

I spoke in July about how I find communities the best way to learn. Partners need to learn first, they are the ones who role out this technology to end users. I talked about the Partner SOA community run by Jurgen Kress and I have to give him credit for the video information, it was in his last newsletter. Every year this community holds a Community Forum where they update and teach, two days of presentations and two days of hands on workshops, and this year they have a dedicated AppAdvantage track.

Why is Cloud important to AppAdvantage? Well its very simple - cloud means you can adopt middleware quickly, with fixed costs and get a return on your investment much quicker, which ultimately is what we all want. Better, Quicker, Cheaper. With Cloud availability the components of Oracle Fusion Middleware will be adopted on a much steeper curve. You don’t need to necessarily move your applications to get value from your investments. 

If you are a partner I hope you are doing the same as me, and if you are an end user, talk to your implementation partner and make sure they are keeping you up to date with the exciting, fast moving world of Oracle Cloud.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts  

Wednesday Nov 05, 2014

Don't Miss: Northumbrian Water to Discuss Their Mobile Application

Northumbrian Water Mobilizes E-Business Suite

Northumbrian Water Delivers Superior Customer Service with Mobile Enablement

Northumbrian Water provides water and sewage services to 2.7 million customers in northeastern England, and water services to another 1.8 million people in the southeastern region trading as Essex & Suffolk Water. The company's challenge? Enable an anytime, anywhere model for its remote workforce to minimize water service disruptions.

Join this live webcast for an in-depth look at how this leading UK water services company built its mobile operations. Learn what Northumbrian Water did to:
  • Improve service delivery and employee productivity by mobile-enabling its workforce
  • Extend the iProcurement application to mobile devices
  • Establish economies of scale with a scalable mobile development, integration, and deployment architecture to build business-relevant mobile applications
Register today for this webcast.

Register Now

November 18, 2014
10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET
Speakers

James Robbins
Chief Information Officer, Northumbrian Water

David Sadler
Strategy and Development Manager, Northumbrian Water

Graham McMillan
Senior Director, Enterprise Architect, Oracle

Grant Ronald
Director of Product Management, Oracle Mobile Solutions, EMEA, Oracle
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Wednesday Oct 22, 2014

Grupo Farmacos Cuts CapEx, OpEx with Platform Consolidation

Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leaders Series
Oracle Corporation
Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leaders Series
Grupo Farmacos is the leading distributor of medical equipment and medicine in Mexico, and services customers across the public and private sectors. In order to support its diverse business operations, the company built a high-performance virtualized infrastructure in the cloud.

Join this live webcast for an in-depth look at how Grupo Farmacos implemented Oracle’s engineered systems and middleware to:
  • Consolidate its architecture to control costs and improve IT efficiency
  • Support high-volume transactions and ensure high availability of critical Oracle applications
  • Leverage common, SOA-based integration architecture for Oracle and third-party applications
Register today for the webcast.
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Elias Solomon
Corporate Vice President, Grupo Farmacos

Yoav Eilat
Director of Product Marketing, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle

Alfredo Medina
Customer Service and Delivery Manager, Oracle Latin America, Oracle
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Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

Coming from OOW - Automating Financial Processes in PeopleSoft, E-Business Suite

At Oracle OpenWorld earlier this month, I had the opportunity to moderate a customer panel to discuss how to automate financial processes for Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle PeopleSoft in a scalable, efficient manner.

The panel was aimed at Application IT as well as Line of Business attendees who are looking to undertake similar implementations. With that in mind, our invitations to speaker panelists were rather deliberate. Not only did we have representation across industry and geography, our panelists' roles within their organizations were different enoguh to provide  both technical and business perspectives. For our panel, we had Michael Stevens who is the Financial Services Initiative Lead at Lend Lease Corporation based in Australia, Doris Wilson from National Express Corporation (NEC) who represented the Application IT side of the house on our panel and Michael LaPlante, Director of Business Process Improvement at National Academy of Sciences (NAS) based in Washington DC.

The business drivers for the three were industry centric. Lend Lease has offices all around the world and because of their business, they need to ensure expedient processing of supplier invoices. Different geographies for Lend Lease meant different invoice templates so it was important to find a solution to reconcile structured and unstructured data. The company went with Oracle WebCenter Capture to scan the invoices, WebCenter Forms recognition to reconcile structured and unstructured data from the invoices while storing the electronic content with WebCenter Content complete with data sync with Oracle E-Business Suite. To enable integration and smoother process management, the company has implemented Oracle SOA Suite. Michael is currently globe-trotting to take these regional implementations live, keeping in mind the regulatory nuances for each region.

Doris did confirm that the implementation request and the solution selection was directed by her finance team counterparts. But to ensure that the implementation was consistent with Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and the rest of the applications infrastructure at NEC, Doris and her team got involved. The company needed to minimize paper invoices and automate invoice processing so they could free up their resources to do more meaningful work. The company uses Oracle E-Business Suite extensively for most of its operational needs. Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle SOA Suite were the obvious choices given the interoperability and proven integration. With the implementation, NEC was able to automate one of the most tedious processes in their company's finance operations, eliminating the need to even have handwritten signatures and GL account coding. The digital invoice images were then clipped to invoice in EBS making tracking and processing faster and relatively easy while giving visibility to AP liability dollars at month-end. And final resource investment count: 5.5!

NAS is not your typical organization with a not so typical vendor and customer model. True to its distinction, Michael LaPlante and team approached this project quite scientifically. A thorough analysis helped them select which financial processes when automated would provide the most (and near term) return on investment. Invoice processing won hands down. NAS implemented Oracle Webcenter and Oracle BPM Suite to automate invoice processing for PeopleSoft. The project took 13 months to implement with the company hitting the break-even point within 11 months, savings coming in the form of time investment of 8 full time employees! The biggest hurdle for them - change management. Once they got their users on the standardized approval process flow, it was relatively smooth sailing from there on. The ROI increases with every workflow process they now add after AP. Aside from savings in disk storage and offsite storage costs, the company is realizing significant efficiencies in searches, reporting and of course having better visibility. With that under their belt, the NAS team may be looking at tackling the HR processes next.

The three customers on the panel discussed leveraging middleware technologies to complement with EBS or PeopleSoft implementation to automate financial processes and extend the value of their existing investments. That's AppAdvantage; that's technology at work.

The panelists experiences were rather rich and the session provided valuable insights. Hope you found the summary useful as well. If you need more information and have follow up questions, do reach out to use and we will aim to get you answers as quickly as possible.


Wednesday Oct 01, 2014

Wednesday @ OpenWorld: Customer Sessions and More

On Tuesday, accompanied by executives from customer organizations Ricoh Americas and The Sherwin Williams Company, Oracle Group Vice President Amit Zavery laid out the Oracle AppAdvantage framework to build a digital business.

Today we have a whole host of sessions for you to dive into the specifics of AppAdvantage and how customers are building their multi-channel, integration, IT optimization, application extensions and upgrade strategies using the pace layered framework of Oracle AppAdvantage.

Here’s a good sample of those sessions we have in store for you today:

Deliver Business Innovation while Reducing Upgrades’ Risk (with ACE Director, Debra Lilley)
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Moscone West 3018

Build Oracle Applications Private Clouds with Oracle VM Templates on Engineered Systems (featuring The Finish Line, Inc. and Accenture)
11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Moscone West 3018

Automate Financial Processes for PeopleSoft and Oracle E-Business Suite (featuring National Academy of Sciences, LendLease Corporation, National Express Corporation)
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Moscone West 3018

Industrial Innovation with the Internet of Things: JD Edwards and Oracle Fusion Middleware (featuring the Superior Industries)
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m., Moscone West 3018

Developing Oracle Fusion Middleware Applications in the Cloud (with Rubicon Red Pty Ltd)
3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m., Moscone South 302

Best Practices for Integrating Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Fusion SaaS in the Cloud
4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Moscone South 236

And our Hands-on-Lab session today is:

Rapidly Develop, Deploy, and Integrate Modern Applications with Oracle’s PaaS: See and Try It
10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.. Hotel Nikko, Nikko Ballroom III

For a comprehensive listing, keep Focus on Oracle AppAdvantage for Oracle Applications handy. And keep your tweets on. Use #AppAdvantage and engage with us @OracleMiddle

Tuesday Sep 30, 2014

Daily Gazette: Tuesday @ OpenWorld

Hope you did make it to yesterday’s Thomas Kurian’s Fusion Middleware keynote where he unveiled Oracle Fusion Middleware as the Cloud Platform for Digital Business with the launch of 6 new cloud services supported by Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Following up on Thomas’s keynote, here’s the don’t miss sessions for today:

Keynote: Cloud Services for the Modern Enterprise - presented by Executive Vice President, Thomas Kurian
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., Moscone North Hall D

GEN8238: Enable Applications for the Cloud, Mobile and Beyond
Tuesday, September 30, 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Moscone West 3018

Be sure to mark the session in your schedule builder today.

And here are some other sessions that we’d recommend if your interest is in using middleware to enhance and extend the capabilities of your applications.

Jazz Up Your Oracle SaaS with the #1 PaaS
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Moscone West 3004/3006

Bridging Mobile and Desktop: Enabling Multichannel Access to Oracle Applications (featuring customers JDSU and Agilent Technologies)
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Moscone West 3018

Oracle WebLogic Server Management and Operations in Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., Moscone West 3018

Zero Downtime for Oracle E-Business Suite on Oracle Exalogic (featuring customers Amway, GE Power and Water and the Sherwin Williams Company)
3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Moscone South, 270

Here is a listing of our popular Hands-On-Lab sessions:

Build Mobile Apps for Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle Mobile Platform
10:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Hotel Nikko - Nikko Ballroom II

Internet of Things with Oracle Fusion Middleware
3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m., Hotel Nikko - Nikko Ballroom II

And don’t miss our red-carpet event showcasing award winners in all Fusion Middleware categories:

Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year’s Most Impressive Innovators

5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., YBCA Theater

And don’t forget to engage with us @OracleMiddle using #AppAdvantage, #FMW.

Thursday Sep 25, 2014

Bringing Applications and Middleware Together

Just 2 more days to go for Oracle OpenWorld 2014. Are you ready? As you prepare your bags, make sure to have your schedule builder filled out too.

If you are dealing with applications and looking to renovate, modernize or  build extensions these are some of the sessions we recommend:

GEN8589: Oracle Fusion Middleware - Cloud Platform for Digital Business
Monday, September 29, 1:15 p.m. -2:00 p.m.
Marriott Marquis, Salon 7/8/9

Oracle Executive Vice President, Thomas Kurian will present the Oracle Fusion Middleware keynote discussing the current industry trends and Oracle’s product enhancements and capabilities to address current and future needs of its customers. Don’t miss the executive live on the big stage next week. Catch the latest product advancements and hear directly from customer executives to learn why Oracle Fusion Middleware continues to be a leader in middleware.

GEN8238: Enable Applications for the Cloud, Mobile and Beyond
Tuesday, September 30, 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Moscone West 3018

Group Vice President, Amit Zavery discusses a roadmap to get more from your existing investment in applications. IT Leaders from Ricoh Americas and Sherwin Williams will share their IT modernization and business transformation success stories, from business imperatives to implementation strategies and solutions to success metrics.

And don’t miss the opportunity to hear from our customers, partners and experts to learn how you can leverage middleware technologies to extend and enhance your existing Oracle and other enterprise applications. Here is just a sample listing of what’s in store for you.

Session

Customer/Partner Participation

Monday, September 29, 2014


General Session: The Cloud Platform for Digital Business—Presented by Thomas Kurian

Simplify SaaS and On-Premises Integration by Using Oracle Fusion Middleware

Ricoh Americas Corporation


Mobilize Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle Mobile Platform

Deloitte Consulting, LLP


Securing Oracle Applications and the Extended Enterprise with Identity Management

Sony Computer Entertainment America

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


General Session: Enable Apps for the Cloud, Mobile, and Beyond

Ricoh Americas Corporation, The Sherwin Williams Company


Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year’s Most Impressive Innovators

Multiple Customers

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Deliver Business Innovation while Reducing Upgrades’ Risk

El Paso County, Colorado, Certus Solution Consulting Services Ltd

Automate Financial Processes for PeopleSoft and Oracle E-Business Suite

LendLease Corporation, National Academy of Sciences, National Express Corporation


Industrial Innovation with the Internet of Things: JD Edwards and Oracle Fusion Middleware

Superior Industries

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Achieving Zero Downtime During Oracle Applications Upgrades and System Migrations

Pythian Group, Symantec


Breaking Down Government Silos

Chicago Parks District, SofBang

For a complete listing of sessions, product demos, hands-on-labs sessions and more be sure to take a look at Focus on AppAdvantage for Oracle Applications today.

See you at Oracle OpenWorld next week?And we will keep the #AppAdvantage at #OOW14 conversation going on twitter @OracleMiddle and on this blog so stay tuned.

Wednesday Sep 24, 2014

Jump Start Your Digital Strategy at Oracle OpenWorld

GEN8238: Enable Applications for the Cloud, Mobile and Beyond
Tuesday, September 30, 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Moscone West 3018

Mark the session in your schedule builder today.

At Oracle OpenWorld next week, Oracle Group Vice President will be discussing how to get your applications infrastructure ready to tackle digital disruption. Digital is all the buzz this year and our customer organizations are building digital strategies. Here, we bring to you a recent interview with Oracle's Group Vice President, Amit Zavery to provide additional context to his AppAdvantage Keynote session at Oracle OpenWorld.

As published in September edition of Oracle Fusion Middleware newsletter. Subscribe today.

Twenty five percent of businesses will lose competitive ranking by 2017 as a result of digital business incompetence. Digital disruption has changed customer expectations of business-to-business and business-to-consumer enterprises. Organizations are using the cloud and mobile and social technologies to drive innovation and outsell their competition.

Oracle Fusion Middleware newsletter sat down with Amit Zavery, group vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware, to get details on how digital business is influencing Oracle's middleware portfolio and learn about customers' key business drivers for adapting to digital business.

Q: In the wake of the digital revolution, what are some of the strategic goals for Oracle Fusion Middleware?
A: The customers we've talked to are going through the process of modernizing their infrastructure to get the most out of cloud computing and mobile initiatives, so we have invested heavily and added a lot of functionality around cloud computing, mobile technology, and engineered systems, particularly around big data and fast data, the Internet of Things, Oracle AppAdvantage for Oracle Applications customers, and digital business.

With this in mind, our most recent product releases in Oracle Fusion Middleware have been architected to help our customers modernize their IT architectures—not only to allow them to build, extend, and deploy mobile applications more quickly, but also to enable them to more easily deliver information across different digital channels.

Q: What are the top three areas of focus for Oracle Fusion Middleware when it comes to mobile innovation?
A: Mobile technology continues to be top-of-mind for consumers and enterprises, and middleware is a big part of a successful mobility implementation. Our customers are deep into building and deploying mobile applications. The big goal here is to simplify enterprise mobility and enable our customers to build, integrate, secure, and deploy mobile applications across multiple operating systems and form factors without having to update each application whenever something changes on the mobile side. In a recent global survey published by CIO Strategic Marketing Services and Triangle Publishing Services, IT leaders cited that more than 70 percent of their time is spent on integration, security, quality assurance testing, and design work.

In an ongoing effort to simplify enterprise mobility, Oracle Mobile Suite has brought together Oracle's mobile application framework and integration capabilities into one packaged solution. Many vendors offer siloed products or different technologies for mobile versus cloud versus the on-premises systems that customers then have to tie together themselves. Oracle provides end-to-end development, deployment, and security for mobile applications that leverage the same industry-leading business innovation platform—Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Oracle is continuing to deepen its mobile offerings. For example, last year it acquired mobile containerization technology through the Bitzer Mobile acquisition, which is now integrated and offered as part of Oracle Mobile Security Suite. Today, Oracle's mobile security solution contains core components that support mobile application management, access management, and security.

Q: Cloud computing is also huge for many companies. Can you tell us about Oracle's vision to help CIOs with integration and platform optimization?
A: The big challenge we are seeing here is how to integrate cloud-based applications with on-premises applications. The integration functionality that Oracle SOA Suite 12c offers helps integrate applications, business processes, and information flow across on-premises and cloud services, whether it's Oracle applications and services, third-party cloud services, or third-party applications. As an aside, it is the same integration infrastructure you will leverage for mobile too.

Additionally, our middleware is available itself as a platform as a service, either as a public or private cloud. You can even run both—and you don't have to rewrite a single line of code. Oracle is the only company that can provide such transportability and flexibility between public and private cloud deployments.

Oracle's cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings help enterprise IT and independent software vendor developers rapidly build and deploy rich applications or extend Oracle Cloud software-as-a-service apps using an enterprise-grade cloud platform based on the industry's #1 database and application server.

Q: Another aspect of the cloud lies in companies' ability to leverage middleware components as a hosted service. What can you tell us about new middleware-as-a-service capabilities from Oracle?
A: What we hear is all about the need for speed—companies really want to get their applications out quickly. PaaS offerings such as Oracle Java Cloud Service let you spin up an instance in less than five minutes, while full-blown application-server-as-a-service offerings extend that with full administration and control. Expect to hear more from Oracle on cloud services over the next few months and at Oracle OpenWorld.

Want to learn more about the role of Oracle Fusion Middleware in enabling digital business? Register today for Oracle OpenWorld, taking place in San Francisco, California from September 28 to October 2, 2014. Read the Focus On documents to get full details about Oracle Fusion Middleware keynotes, sessions, demos, and more.

Looking for more information about Oracle product strategy? Be sure to check out the Oracle Day global event series coming to a city near you.

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Monday Sep 08, 2014

Don't Forget: Siram Documentary Airs Tomorrow

A quick reminder, the documentary webcast with Siram, Italy - a leading energy services management company, airs tomorrow, Tue, September 9 at 10 am Pacific. Catch the conversation between the IT leaders and have the experts walk you through Siram's IT footprint and logical architecture that brought them success in business process orchestration and end-to-end management. Learn how they automated their Request for Tender process and reaped both tangible and even some unexpected benefits.

Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader Series
Siram Achieves Business Process Agility
Tuesday, Sep 9 @ 10 am PT/1 pm ET/ 5 pm GMT
Register today



Friday Jun 13, 2014

IT Insourcing: The New Normal

Written By: Rick Beers, Senior Director - Product Managmeent, Oracle Fusion Middleware

I was doing a little research last week on some of Oracle’s customers who best exemplify the architecture of AppAdvantage and stumbled upon something unexpected when I checked up on Melbourne, Australia’s Yarra Valley Water. They have recently begun insourcing IT, bringing previously outsourced IT services back in house, as explained by last year’s itnews article entitled “Insourcing, the New Black”. Reading it got some creative juices flowing.

The trend towards IT insourcing (or ‘back-sourcing’, as it is also known) has been widely reported over the past two years. Much of the analysis has been anecdotal and tied to high profile examples such as General Motors (‘GM will slash IT Outsourcing’) and Delta Airlines (‘Delta Airlines to Take Control of its Data Systems). IT spend is notoriously difficult to track consistently so short term trends are unreliable, but there is clearly something going on that is beginning to reverse a 25 year trend.

IT outsourcing virtually exploded during the mid-late 1990’s, the result of the industry-wide success in standardizing business processes and business data and the ERP systems driving them. Until that time, IT outsourcing was largely limited to hardware and infrastructure within a hosting model. With the broad adoption of ERP, business process and data standardization, both real and perceived, produced the business case necessary for platform-wide outsourcing to succeed. As ERP matured and began to commoditize during the 2000’s, the trend accelerated. Lately the trend lines flattened and by some measures have actually begun to reverse. Deloitte recently published an extensive analysis of this developing trend (From Bangalore to Boston, the trend of bringing IT back in-house’). 

And it is certainly part of a broader trend of operational insourcing over the past 4 years, led by high profile cases such as Starbucks, Caterpillar and GE. Most often cited as core reasons for the shift are (1) the need to get closer to the customer, (2) the pace of business change and (3) escalating wages in countries such as India and China as their economies mature. But the more I think about it, the more it appears that something else may be driving IT insourcing; something more impactful. The underreported driver of IT insourcing may very well be the role that enterprise technology is playing in what might be the beginning of a disruptive cycle in the traditional IT outsourcing model.

IT is becoming a strategic capability again after a 20 year cycle of commoditization and cost cutting. The Big 4 of Innovation, Social, Mobile, Cloud and Big Data, are elevating IT to a leadership role in the development of enterprise strategy rather than in just implementing a strategy already established. IT operational skills, particularly those of enterprise, process and technology architecture, are becoming core strategic assets that belong in house.

Enterprise technology is disintermediating away from the ERP centric models of the past 25 years to a hybrid of ERP and Best of Breed, interoperating in real time thanks to maturing Integration and Identity Management capabilities. Layered enterprise systems frameworks, such as Oracle’s AppAdvantage below right, are allowing enterprises to decouple processes that should be agile, such as Talent Management t from those that should be standardized (such as core HR). This in turn allows outsourcing to accommodate standardized processes (aka ERP) while keeping control of technologies and agile processes in house. 


Finally, the Cloud itself is a type of IT outsourcing. With the emergence of Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service to add to the maturing SaaS market, IT organizations can effectively outsource parts of their operation while retaining control of how they are architected and operated. This is probably the most disruptive of all forces driving IT insourcing and it will continue to accelerate, perhaps exponentially.

To be sure, IT outsourcing is not going away, rather it is evolving away from al all-in, platform model to one designed to accommodate a variety of business models, providing CIO’s levers to pull in influencing and executing their enterprise strategy. Above all else are the 2 C’s most valued by IT leaders: Control and Choice. Such leaders can finally be bound by the requirements of the enterprise, not by restrictive technologies.

Friday Apr 25, 2014

Fusion Middleware Newsletter is here!

 Hot off the presses - the April issue of the Fusion Middleware newsletter is now released.  Find out how to register for the new Ricoh webcast and hear how Oracle AppAdvantage can help tranform applcations to make them more modern, relevant and optimal.  Hear from our new Vice-President, Fusion Middleware Product Management and Strategy - Siddhartha Agarwal and what he sees is up and coming in middleware. Full of information you need to know at your fingertips.  All in the Fusion Middleware newsletter .


Thursday Apr 24, 2014

ACE Director Discusses How AppAdvantage Can Help Enterprises

Written By: Debra Lilley, ACE Director, Fusion Applications

I just got back from Collaborate 2014 where I spoke about AppAdvantage with Ed Zou, VP Product Management Oracle who is responsible for the AppAdvantage team. We gave a joint presentation explaining the thought process behind AppAdvantage and the renewed importance of looking at business challenges and how perhaps Fusion Middleware may help.

Our audience was small, something that I noticed in a of sessions at collaborate, perhaps there is simply just too much choice, but that aside those that did attend believed our content resonated with what they were seeing in their own organisations. In fact this is a topic that I’ve written about in my own blog about how I found the users attending collaborate to be at an exciting point in their own applications journey.

I talked about mobile amongst the other entry points into AppAdvantage. Again as I normally do I used the example of the Fusion expenses app and how that can be used not just with Fusion Applications but also other ERP systems. Ed expanded this with Oracle’s mobile strategy and explained that selecting the app that you want to write or commission is actually the simple part, it is more important and challenging to achieve the security and integration into your ERP systems. Ed gave the example of MYLA311 mobile app available to residents of the LA area. This mobile app looks really cool and it would be great if I could download it and show it when talking about mobile however the security recognises that I am not normally U.S.-based and does not allow me to do so.

So if Ed and I were able to engage our audience and discuss with them how the AppAdvantage concept can help them, which proves the value of the presentation, how do we get more people interested in the first place?

I saw a lot presentations where customers using E Business suite, PeopleSoft, JDE and Siebel were using Fusion Middleware for all sorts of solutions, so the problem is with the marketing of the concept not the idea.

As I write this posting today it is the last day of the Oracle Open World call for papers and I’m pleased to see that there is a stream dedicated to AppAdvantage, which means that hopefully there will be good content and a successful dedicated track for delegates to attend. The other thing at Oracle Open World is the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards which showcase customers who have gone down this route. My advice Oracle is to talk both about this track and these awards with more emphasis on the AppAdvantage name.

If your organisation has used Fusion Middleware to extend the reach of your ERP systems then submit your story for the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards not only for the opportunity to be showcased at Oracle Open World but it also comes with a free ticket.

Debra Lilley, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.  Lilley has 18 years experience with Oracle Applications, with E Business Suite since 9.4.1, moving to Business Intelligence Team Lead and Oracle Alliance Director. She has spoken at over 100 conferences worldwide and posts at debrasoraclethoughts

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