Author: Harish Doddala, Senior Product Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware
today constantly engage with companies across multiple channels. They desire a
simple, secure and a consistent experience, whether it is a bank they are
interacting with, or a retail store they are ordering a product from, or a
service and maintenance request they are creating. A recent survey showed that “74% of customers use 3 or more channels to
engage with a business to discuss service issues”. Companies need to be
able to engage, sell to, and service customers across all channels: the web, in
a store, over the phone, via a mobile device or through social channels.
where do you start? How can you devise a strategy to determine which services will be delivered to whom,
employing which technologies and applications and onto what devices/channels?
All this might seem a little ominous at first given that you need to think
about delivering a consistent experience, integrating multiple applications and
ensure that it is done securely. The session titled: “Bridging Mobile and Desktop: Enabling Multichannel Access to Oracle
Applications” at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 helped address some of these questions which I’ll summarize in this post.
The session began with an
overview of Oracle’s product portfolio to enable multi channel access. We
recommend that you adopt a scenario driven approach to figure out which of
these components might be applicable to your solution. You obviously may not
need every single component, and will be able to leverage on some of your
existing investments. Mobile Suite and WebCenter Sites & Portals provide a unified portal for customers, partners and
employees to engage with the enterprise. Oracle
SOA Suite and BPM Suite helps you manage cross enterprise business
processes for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The Identity and Access Management layer provides consistent role
management, SSO and governance to cross- application processes and transactions.
We presented a few compelling customer stories:
Pella is a privately held window and door manufacturing
company headquartered in Iowa. The company wanted to improve the digital
experience for customers, dealers and employees and by that they wanted to
provide a Self-Service portal for
dealer/sales network so their sales team has current, accurate
information to deliver a better customer experience and close more deals. Pella
also wanted to improve the online
experience for customers which include the online scheduling process for
in-home consultations. By leveraging Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Middleware
technologies, Pella was able to get a better handle on its customers’ online
behavior and purchase patterns. It was also able to collate information about
service levels, determine what is relevant to each buyer, assess which
processes need to be improved, and feed that insight back into its sales,
marketing and manufacturing cycles to enforce continuous improvement. Through a multichannel engagement platform,
the company was able to achieve industry leading transformation in customer and
City of LA:
Another customer that was mentioned was “City of LA”.
City of LA Department of Water & Power and Dept of Building a Safety
services provided its customers the ability to use their desktops, mobile
phones or tablets to submit a service requesting the City’s most popular
services, including graffiti removal, pothole repair, and bulky-item pickup.
MyLA311 app lets customers pay their Los Angeles Water and Power Bill from their mobile devices. Oracle
WebCenter, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle ADF helped
bring this solution together and provide multichannel access to City of LA’s
We also had a customer, Agilent Technologies, a spinoff of Hewlett Packard labs, join us at
the session. Rajesh Gathwala, the architect of the solution, talked about how
the company had to integrate multiple backend approval systems so its customers
can use a single app to file approvals. He explained how the Oracle Service Bus
helped achieve this integration across applications such as EBS for PO
approvals, PeopleSoft for HR approvals and custom ADF for Points approvals.
Thus a single set of services could be exposed for access across different
channels such as smartphones or tablets running on any platform i.e iOS or
Android. The overall infrastructure was secured using Oracle Access Manager and
Oracle Internet Directory. This drastically improved productivity leading to
faster approvals and increased ease of use across a secure multichannel
The session ended with a
live demo which showcased most of the Oracle products in Figure 1. The demo centered around a field service use-case
and illustrates how a multichannel strategy can be adopted to enhance customer
experience and help improve productivity.
I’ll talk about the demo
in greater detail in a follow up post.