Monday Dec 02, 2013

In APAC? You are Invited to Oracle AppAdvantage Breakfast

Your Executive Roundtable Breakfast Invitation

Oracle Corporation
Your Executive Roundtable Breakfast Invitation
Delivering Immediate Business Value While Building for Tomorrow

Organisations today are challenged by the need to continuously innovate while reducing costs and driving business growth. Organisations using Oracle Fusion Applications; Oracle E-Business Suite; Oracle’s PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel solutions; or other industry applications can extend and enhance the value of their existing investments with Oracle AppAdvantage, a strategic approach to using Oracle Fusion Middleware with Oracle Applications.

Join us and your peers in a business-centric discussion exploring ways you can extend and enhance your existing enterprise applications investments. Learn about:
  • Digital trends and innovations that are reshaping the IT landscape and the way we do business
  • Proven strategies to contain operational costs and fuel business growth
  • An iterative approach to driving innovation and building differentiation while meeting near-term business objectives
  • Real world customer examples with successful business impact
Share this invitation with your colleagues.

Should you need registration assistance or more information please contact us on 1300 362 801.

date Fri, 06 Dec, 2013
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Melbourne
The European
161 Spring Street
REGISTER
date Wed, 11 Dec, 2013
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Sydney
The Establishment
252 George Street
REGISTER
date Fri, 13 Dec, 2013
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Brisbane
Restaurant Two
2 Edward Street
REGISTER
date Tue, 21 Jan, 2014
7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Wellington
The White House Restaurant
232 Oriental Parade
Oriental Bay
REGISTER

Agenda
7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Welcome & Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Keynote: Maximising the Value of your Enterprise Applications
8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. Customer and Partner Case Study:
Connect Your Workforce: CEL Mobile for E-Business Suite and Business Applications for the Enterprise by COLAB
8:50 a.m. – 9:20 a.m. Customer Case Study
9:20 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Discussion
9:30 a.m. Prize Draw and Close
If you are an employee or official of a government organisation, please click here for important ethics information regarding this event.
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Wednesday Aug 07, 2013

Embracing Situational IT


Rick Beers is Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Fusion Middleware. Prior to joining Oracle, Rick held a variety of executive operational positions at Corning, Inc. and Bausch & Lomb.

With a professional background that includes senior management positions in manufacturing, supply chain and information technology, Rick brings a unique set of experiences to cover the impact that technology can have on business models, processes and organizations.

Rick will be hosting the IT Leaders Editorial on a regular basis.


Confession: I am neither a technologist nor a long term IT professional, having spent the first two thirds of my 40 year career in manufacturing and supply chain, before first entering IT in 1997 as the supply chain technology lead in a global ERP roll-out. I still remember my early impressions of the IT profession, both positive and negative. To be clear: I see many more of the former than the latter; this is an industry that thrives on energy, innovation and the creation of new and disruptive things that change the way we live, work and play.

I did, however, have two critical observations at the outset though that have stayed with me for the past 15 years:

  • We continually believe that we know everything and that we are right all the time. Not only collectively but also individually. Consensus often seems to be a case of having an opinion and then convincing everyone else that it is right.
  • We lean towards binary thinking; believing that there are always distinctly right and wrong ways to do things; that software technologies would work as designed in all situations as long as they were implemented correctly.

During my manufacturing years I was trained in ‘Situational Leadership’, popularized in the late 1970’s by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, co-authors of the Management of Organizational Behavior. This ground breaking research, now in its 10th edition, holds that there is no clear right or wrong style of leadership; that effective leadership is often defined to one’s surroundings such as organization, tasks and culture. Oh, to be certain, there are standardized norms with which we all must comply, both legal and ethical, but beyond those, our behavioral norms and the situation involved guide how we lead. Might this also extend to the way we manage technology?

I considered this the other day when I was going through my archives and came across a December 2009 white paper from PricewaterhouseCoopers entitled The Situational CIO. It left a strong impression on me then and is still relevant today. Information Technology management is simply not a binary exercise, as most CIO’s instinctively realize. In observing that CIO’s must continually navigate between three apexes: IT Operations, Sourcing & Orchestration, and Strategy, the research quickly focuses its attention on a key constraint facing CIO’s, the growing impact of earlier generation, inflexible enterprise systems in situational world:

“At least that’s (re: navigating between the three apexes) the theory. The reality is that keeping the lights on will remain difficult for years to come, given the billions of dollars worth of installed systems that cannot simply be swapped for the standard, turnkey tools that vendors are promising. Yet the CIO who stays too focused on these technologies will be in danger of becoming obsolete or unemployed. Keeping the lights on is expected but not valued until big problems occur, in which case the company usually looks for a new CIO.” (The Situational CIO: IT Problem Solver, Cost Cutter, Strategist. PricewaterhouseCoopers, December, 2009).

It is for reasons such as this that Oracle’s Fusion Middleware team is this month launching Oracle AppAdvantage, an external program focused upon ”the incremental value gained by Oracle Applications customers with Oracle Fusion Middleware”.

Due to the breadth and depth of Oracle Fusion Middleware platform, and the fact that it is increasingly compatible with Oracle Applications including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards, Siebel and Oracle’s core Industry applications such as Oracle Health Sciences E-Clinical Solutions and our Oracle Banking Platform, enterprises now have an achievable opportunity to continually navigate the need to simultaneously lower costs, create business value and realize their strategic visions.

With AppAdvantage, Oracle customers can maximize the value of Oracle Applications with Oracle Fusion Middleware by adopting a pace layered approach.

1. Standardize and consolidate core Enterprise Applications, removing invasive customizations and costly workarounds.

2. Move business specific processes and applications to the Differentiate Layer, thus creating greater business agility with process extensions and best of breed applications managed by cross- application process orchestration.

3. Drive business innovation by connecting people, information, and applications anywhere, anytime. Treat this as an Innovation Layer, with capabilities that transform organizations

4. Simplify IT by minimizing complexity, improving performance and lowering cost with secure and reliable systems across the entire Enterprise.

For an extended view on this subject read the whitepaper I just finished: IT – Business Alignment Why We Stumble and the Path Forward. Next month I’ll be discussing AppAdvantage in more detail and how we’ll be showcased at Oracle Open World.


Sunday Aug 04, 2013

Partnering With Your Applications. The Oracle AppAdvantage Story.


“But that’s like saying a smartphone is good for making and receiving phone calls” said Howard Beader, senior director of product marketing for Oracle Fusion Middleware, when I recently sat down with him to discuss the role of middleware as a foundation for business innovation with enterprise applications and follow-up on his recent update in Middleware Minutes. Howard’s point was that Oracle Fusion Middleware is much more than an application infrastructure foundation or the platform for Oracle Fusion Applications. “Leverage Oracle Fusion Middleware to enhance and extend the value of your business applications and you will realize the potential of the innovation platform. And, that is what Oracle AppAdvantage is all about.”

Here is the excerpt of my recent conversation with him on Oracle AppAdvantage.

Q. Has the role of middleware evolved over the course of these years?

Howard: Traditionally middleware has been referred to as the “glue” or “plumbing” that connects two sides of an application and passes data between them. But that’s just half the story. When you start to think about your business applications in mobile, social, cloud and big data context, the only way you can avoid bringing in customizations or making changes to your core-ERP systems is by using standards-based middleware technologies and leveraging middleware as the business application development platform. And it is those use cases that we talk about in Oracle AppAdvantage.

Q. What is Oracle AppAdvantage?

Howard: Oracle AppAdvantage is the approach Oracle Applications customers can take to extend and enhance the value of their existing investment across all Oracle Applications including E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel.

Based on your immediate need(s), whether that is extending your applications to mobile devices, building a customer self-service portal, creating a dynamic collaboration front with partners, taking applications to the cloud or securely extending them to serve your specific needs, you can take the extension or customization work out of your applications and seamlessly extend with Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies as required. Plus, middleware ensures zero downtime for your applications during upgrade and migrations; something that we all passionately care about.

So, with Oracle AppAdvantage, you are using IT to achieve business objectives by combining the power of Oracle Applications and Oracle Fusion Middleware solutions to simplify your IT infrastructure, differentiate from competition and innovate for the future by embracing new technology trends.

Q. Can you elaborate, how does Oracle AppAdvantage help align IT and business initiatives?

Howard: In my conversation with executives of our customer organizations, regardless of industry or region, there seems to be one common objective – improve our company’s bottom-line. You do that by one, creating business value and two, decreasing the total cost of operations (TCO). Oracle AppAdvantage allows you to use and extend your business applications to create business value for your organization and, at the same time, take the customization and management burden out of core applications and into the “process” layer leading to dramatic reduction in the cost of operations.

Oracle AppAdvantage takes a layered approach to aligning IT strategy with business strategy – Simplify IT, Differentiate from others in the industry and Innovate for business growth.

Q. Can you please provide examples of the layered approach with Oracle AppAdvantage?

Howard: Sure. Much thought has been given to how we create value for Oracle Applications customers. Where our customers are looking to Simplify IT, they are focusing on real-time data integration for maximum performance and availability and ensuring zero downtime during upgrades and migrations, enforcing secure, centralized access across all applications and leveraging engineered systems for higher reliability, reduced TCO and streamlined IT support.

Opportunity exists for businesses to Differentiate from competition by offering value-added services. These you do by developing and extending your composite applications to create value, bringing agility to your business by modeling at the business processes level or by leveraging cloud and on-premise deployment as dictated by the business needs.

To bring Innovation to bear and stay ahead of the industry, organizations might be looking to enable mobility – extending their services via mobile, creating exceptional user experiences with online engagement and offering intuitive, streamlined self-service for employees, partner or even your customers.

Each of these layers are, thus, supported by a breadth of business value entry points designed to impact cost reductions and/or fuel business growth.

Q. What, according to you, are the 3 most compelling things about Oracle AppAdvantage?

Howard: You will find that Oracle AppAdvantage is unique in 3 respects:

1. Oracle AppAdvantage offers guided paths for organizations looking to leverage their existing investment in Oracle Applications and extending it to create value in a manner that is scalable and sustainable. You can choose your own path across a myriad of ways. We have highlighted 9 of the most common business value entry points. There is no throwaway work involved.

2. This truly is a program that aligns IT spending and resources with business objectives and demands. For example, if your goal is to improve customer satisfaction and better the engagement model, you would look at how to better your online engagement and/or self-service model. With Oracle AppAdvantage, you are able to show a direct correlation between your IT investment and business growth.

3. As part of the Oracle AppAdvantage program, we are building an AppAdvantage IT Leader network to showcase industry thought leadership and their innovative thinking. The idea is to build models for other organizations to leverage and emulate based on their business objectives. This should allow for cross-pollination of ideas and overall industry development.

Q. How do you recommend organizations get started with exploring if Oracle AppAdvantage is the right fit for them?

Howard: Knowledge is power. Please arm yourself with information on Oracle AppAdvantage program, the philosophy and the alignment with your business objectives. A good place to start would be to browse http://www.oracle.com/appadvantage and download our latest White paper: IT-Business Alignment: Why We Stumble and the Path Forward (PDF). Then, I suggest, you take a look at the Readiness Assessment there and get engaged in a strategy discussion with the experts.

Q. Would we hear more about Oracle AppAdvantage at Oracle OpenWorld?

Howard: Absolutely. We recognize that leveraging IT to create business value is a need that most organizations have and Oracle is honored to be a partner in your business transformation journey. We have an entire track of sessions dedicated to Oracle AppAdvantage at Oracle OpenWorld this year. And, you’ll hear about it across middleware and applications discussions and sessions. Over the course of next few weeks, my team will start to share comprehensive guides that should help you find the sessions, experts and resources on Oracle AppAdvantage while at Oracle OpenWorld and online.

Thank you, Howard, for spending some time with us and sharing information on Oracle AppAdvanatge and giving us some insights on what keeps you and the team busy nowadays.

Here are the quick links to materials on Oracle AppAdvantage that Howard alluded to during his interview:

Visit Oracle AppAdvantage webpage

Get started with the Readiness Assessment guide

Download the informative whitepaper: IT-Business Alignment – Why We Stumble and the Path Forward

Friday Jul 12, 2013

My 15 Year Journey to The Truth

Editorial by Rick Beers


Rick Beers is Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Fusion Middleware. Prior to joining Oracle, Rick held a variety of executive operational positions at Corning, Inc. and Bausch & Lomb. With a professional background that includes senior management positions in manufacturing, supply chain and information technology, Rick brings a unique set of experiences to cover the impact that technology can have on business models, processes and organizations. Rick will be hosting the IT Leader Editorial on a regular basis.

Yogi Berra, the great New York Yankee catcher and prognosticator once uttered: “You can observe a lot by watching”; a wisdom that can easily be adapted to “You can hear a lot by listening”. I was reminded of that during a recent CVC with an Oracle customer, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider. For those not familiar with CVC’s, an abbreviation of ‘'Customer Visitor Center’, they are executive level sharing sessions between Oracle and individual customers. They are ideal opportunities for us to not only present Oracle’s vision, strategy and direction but also to sit back and listen to our customers’ perspectives and learn from them. And at times, pick up some insights we may have forgotten that can still be of value, which I was soon to learn.

The focus of this particular CVC was on Supply Chain Management, and it brought me back to my roots, before my career took an unexpected and welcome shift towards IT. I did a bit of research on this particular customer before the CVC and noticed that they were members of the Supply Chain Council, a global nonprofit organization whose ‘framework, improvement methodology, training, certification and benchmarking tools help member organizations make dramatic, rapid, and sustainable improvements in supply chain performance”. Organized in 1996 by Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM) and AMR Research, the SCC initially included 69 voluntary member companies, and I was fortunate to be among them as the SCC took shape. The SCC developed, and still maintains, the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model, which describes the business activities associated with all phases of satisfying a customer’s demand.

SCOR consists of 5 supply chain steps: Plan, Source, Make, Deliver and Return. The model itself is organized around primary supply chain management processes, and public and enterprises use the model as a foundation for global and site-specific supply chain process and technology projects, and for measuring their effectiveness.

Source: SCOR 10 Overview, Supply Chain Council

Which brings me back to the CVC. During my presentation I mentioned the SCOR model and I was asked my opinions of it. Not the type of question I had expected, given my current focus on Fusion Middleware as a transformational capability. But I listened, paused, dusted away the cobwebs and took a stab at it and in the process learned where I had been wrong 15 years ago.

I was a charter member of the SCC and had early input on SCOR’s ‘Plan, Source, Make and Deliver’ framework (‘Return’ wasn’t added until a later version). I had a fundamental disagreement which led to my eventual disinterest. I felt that Order Management’s front end processes were under-represented; that SCOR focused too heavily on the Fulfillment side and not enough on the Customer-Facing side (for example: the term ‘Deliver’). The response was that Supply Chain Management needed to focus on ‘execution’, not ‘customer management’. I thought this a big disconnect considering the way organizations were constructing their Order to Cash end to end processes through Enterprise Resourcing Planning systems (ERP), which were just beginning their proliferation in those days.

Within ERP, ‘Order to Cash’ encompassed both order management and order fulfillment (logistics). To illustrate, I found a logical reference model I created then to make my case:

In this view, customer facing processes such as Order Promising and Customer Response were part of Supply Chain Management; they simply had to be. Our direction at the time in creating tightly integrated end to end processes within ERP required it. There was no other way for these processes to be architected. This was short sided of course, as Tom Siebel would soon illustrate with Salesforce Automation and then CRM, but I didn’t realize it at the time.

The Supply Chain Council held firm though in their belief that the focus of SCOR should be on execution, and in the case of Order Management, only on those processes that lead to the creation and delivery of the product or service. I thought this wrong and essentially checked out of the SCOR creation process.

Well, I now see that the SCC was right on all levels. Customer facing activities should not be part of an end to end order management process; as we all found out, this creates an ‘inside out’ approach to customer management rather than ‘outside in’. Customer management became defined and limited by internal execution rather than by the need to develop and nurture healthy, sustaining customer relationships.

This condition gave rise to CRM in the late 1990’s. It was slow going for a while, since most of the enterprise systems industry was focused upon ERP’s broad-based roll-out in advance of Y2K. The next decade saw steadily increasing interest in CRM for relationship management as well as for customer marketing but there was one major flaw that prevented its practical usefulness within a supply chain fulfillment process: the lack of open integration through which processes could transact across CRM and ERP. Finally though, Service Oriented Architecture technology developed to the point where cross platform process transactions and information flows permitted the process rationalization of CRM and ERP’s order fulfillment processes.

Creating customer friendly and agile order management processes outside of ERP and integrating them in an orchestrated way into a single ERP system can be achieved by leveraging Oracle Service Oriented Architecture. But Oracle’s ERP (E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards) customers have the opportunity to achieve their future state now, with ‘Distributed Order Orchestration’, a Fusion Application, integrated through Fusion Middleware into their Oracle ERP.

The Supply Chain Council was right all along, and it only took me 15 years to understand. And all I had to do was listen to a valued customer to know the reason.


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