Monday Mar 23, 2015

Mobile App for Approvals for EBS 1.2.0 on iOS and Android

Reposting below for another cool new mobile app from Oracle, which btw, was built using Oracle Mobile Application Framework. Follow us @OracleMobile

About

Oracle Mobile Approvals for Oracle E-Business Suite lets you respond on-the-go to your pending approval requests. From your phone, anywhere and anytime, take quick action on approval requests for expenses, requisitions, purchase orders, recruitment vacancies and offers, and more.

- Quickly filter approval requests by sender or subject
- Review at a glance header and line item details, action history, and comments
- Approve or reject with or without comments, or request more information

Oracle Mobile Approvals for Oracle E-Business Suite is compatible with Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3 and 12.2.3 and above. To use this app, you must be a user of Oracle E-Business Suite, with mobile services configured on the server side by your administrator. For information on how to configure mobile services on the server and for app-specific information, see My Oracle Support Note 1641772.1 at https://support.oracle.com.

Availability

Client

Oracle Mobile Approvals for Oracle E-Business Suite 1.2.0 is available on Apple's iTunes Store and Google Play Store for download.


This app works against Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3 and above and 12.2.3 and above.

Server

Oracle Mobile Approvals requires set up on Oracle E-Business Suite instance to support connections from the mobile app. Following patches are required to be applied.

Android Screens


Additional Resources

Monday Jan 05, 2015

New Version of Mobile App for Oracle E-Business Suite

Cross-posting from Vijay Shanmugam

What's New?

A new version (1.1.0) of Approvals for EBS smartphone app is available on Apple App Store. This new version provides following updates:

  •  Improvements to login and configuration flow
  • Ability to change server URL without reinstalling the app.
  • *Diagnostics improvements.
  • After updating to version 1.1.0, you are required to reconfigure the app to implement the configuration and login improvements included in this version.
Note: The latest app version will work with earlier server-side patches. However, the latest server-side patches must be applied to enable new features and fixes that require those patches, marked by an asterisk (*).

For more information on these updates, see My Oracle Support Note 1641772.1 at https://support.oracle.com.

Support for Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

If your mobile users need to access the Oracle E-Business Suite mobile apps over the Internet, your Oracle E-Business Suite environment must be set up in a DMZ configuration.

  • For DMZ configuration instructions on Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1, see Document 380490.1.

  • For DMZ configuration instructions on Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.2, see Document 1375670.1.

Additionally, when setting up the configuration file for your mobile app as described in Section 2.2.1, ensure that the service endpoint (or server host URL in Oracle E-Business Suite Mobile Foundation releases earlier than Release 2.1) is set to your external web entry point.

Tuesday Nov 18, 2014

Today: Northumbrian Water Discusses Enterprise Mobility for E-Business Suite

Northumbrian Water Mobilizes E-Business Suite

Deliver 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 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 operational efficiency and customer service 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
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
Copyright © 2014, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
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Tuesday Oct 28, 2014

Innovation Award Winner Grupo Farmacos on Platform Optimization Documentary Webcast

How Grupo Farmacos Achieved Cost Control and Operational Efficiency

Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET

Register NOW

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

Note that the same registration link will host the on-demand webcast replay and a bonus implementation whitepaper. 

Speakers:

Alfredo Funes
Chief Information Officer
Grupo Farmacos
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 

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.


Tuesday Oct 14, 2014

Highlights from OOW: Bringing Applications and Middleware Together

One of the key sessions discussing the value of middleware at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld was Group Vice President, Amit Zavery’s General Session: Enabling Applications for Cloud, Mobile and Beyond.

The Oracle executive stressed how digital technologies have completely disrupted the way we do business today and how the very same technologies present unique business opportunities that were unheard of just a few years back. For example, a recent survey showed that 74% of customers use 3 or more channels to engage with a business to discuss service issues. And that 70% of the buying cycle takes place before a customer engages with a live sales person meaning the customer does research/comparisons/due diligence based on the information available off the various channels even before he/she directly communicates with a sales person. The engagement model has changed and not just for our customers. Think about it. When was the last time you picked up the phone to call helpdesk to reset your password on a portal or a website? Or, are you still carrying a mobile phone for work and another for your personal use or are those one and the same? Whether you are in the customer, partner or an employee role, your expectations on how you interact with a business (B2B or B2C) have completely changed and businesses are either meeting those and succeeding (a la Amazon) or they are left biting the dirt (Amazon’s initial rival, Borders).

In this session, Amit discusses how technology can play a key role in getting the business digital ready. For that to happen, the applications infrastructure needs to be modernized; it needs to be renovated for the digital future. But rather than throwing away what you already have, Amit outlines an architectural framework to modernizing the infrastructure while leveraging the existing investments. He discusses the role middleware services can play to add capabilities and extensions to your existing applications to allow them to adopt social, mobile, cloud and IoT.

Amit was joined on stage by IT executives from Ricoh Americas and The Sherwin Williams Company. Ricoh’s CIO, Balaji Rangaswamy discussed how they are using the integration service to enable mobile customer service, a self-service portal for dealers and how the same integration service is also allowing their SaaS Salesforce Applications to connect with their On-Premise E-Business Suite application to provide their dealers and salesteam with the information they need to be successful. Incidentally, Ricoh is also a great example of how they have enabled employee social collaboration on the same integration foundation.

Sherwin Williams’ lead architect, Biplab Roy underscored the need for IT to provide the optimization and consolidation platform to keep the operational costs down, drive business efficiencies and enable high performance of its business critical applications to provide stable business operations. The company relied on Oracle Exalogic to do so and have since seen tremendous performance gains.

At Oracle we are learning from our customer experiences as well as their evolving business requirements. AppAdvantage is a direct result of those learnings and where possible, we try and showcase customer use cases, experiences and lessons learned. If you missed Amit’s session at Oracle OpenWorld or are keen to know more and see how you can adopt digital technologies while leveraging your existing investments, we recommend you join as at an Oracle Day event coming to a city near you. And, as always, we look forward to hearing from you via blog, twitter @OracleMiddle or on Facebook.

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



Thursday Sep 04, 2014

Video trailer: Siram Tackles Commercial Efficiency with EBS and BPM

Here's a sneak preview of what is in store for you on the live webcast scheduled for next week.

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 Aug 29, 2014

You are Invited -Siram, Italy Shares Their Success Story on Business Process Agility

Siram Achieves Commercial Efficiency with Improved Business Process

Oracle Corporation
Siram Achieves Commercial Efficiency with Improved Business Process

Learn How Siram Maximized Its

Business Process Agility with Oracle AppAdvantage

Join us for this webcast and learn how Siram, a major energy services management company based in Italy, is leveraging the Oracle AppAdvantage pace-layered architecture—powered by Oracle Fusion Middleware—to streamline, automate, and drive interdepartment efficiencies for a more agile business management process.

Siram interview The webcast features an onsite conversation with Oracle’s Regis Louis and the Siram team about Siram's business challenges and solutions, as well as an in-depth IT architecture walkthrough.

Learn how Siram is able to:

  • Provide flexible, paperless, and streamlined request for proposal (RFP) process management across business departments
  • Offer complete transparency and visibility for end-to-end processes
  • Achieve greater operational and commercial efficiency for faster processes and time to market
  • Enable cross-application process orchestration with proven interoperability among Oracle Business Process Management Suite, Oracle E-Business Suite, and other technologies

Register now for this webcast.

Register Now

Experts are on hand for a live Q&A.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

Presented by:

Regis Louis

Regis Louis

Vice President, EMEA Product Management, Oracle


Giovanni Patella

Giovanni Patella

Director of Information Systems and CIO, Siram


Robert Ferrari

Roberto Ferrari

ICT Business and Control Area Manager, Siram


Cristian Silipigni

Cristian Silipigni

Principal Sales Consultant, BPM and SOA, Oracle

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Thursday Aug 21, 2014

Announcing the Next AppAdvantage IT Leader Documentary

Close on the heels of the very successful launch of Oracle BPM 12c, we are so excited to be announcing the next video in the Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leaders Series. As you know, the Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leaders Series profiles a successful executive in an industry leading organization that has embarked on a business transformation or platform modernization journey by taking full advantage of the Oracle AppAdvantage pace layered architecture.

Tune in on Tuesday, September 9th at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern to catch our IT executive, Regis Louis in an in-depth conversation with IT executives from Siram S.p.a., a major energy services management company in Italy. The documentary will explore how the company is doing process orchestration and business process management to build inter-department collaboration, maintain data integrity and offer complete transparency throughout their Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Oracle’s technology expert will then do a comprehensive walk-through of Siram’s IT model, the various components and how Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies are enabling their Oracle E-Business Suite processes.

Experts will be at hand to answer your questions live. Check out this live documentary webcast and find out how organizations like yours are building business agility leveraging existing investments in Oracle Applications.

Register today. And if you are on twitter, send your questions to @OracleMiddle with #ITLeader, #AppAdvantage. We look forward to connecting with you on Tue, Sep 9.

Siram Achieves Commercial Efficiency with Improved Business Process Agility

Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET

Wednesday Aug 20, 2014

In Technology, Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director, UK

Proof I’m not technical - 

I’ve just finished a Latin America tour with OTN and a funny thing happened that I want to share with you; because it is quite a good analogy for how many of us use technology today and you know how I love analogies.

In Costa Rica we had a really long journey up through the mountains to where our conference was to be. The road was windy and narrow and once it got dark there was no scenery to see, boredom set in. At one stage I looked at my watch to see the time, but in the dark I couldn’t make it out, so I thought I would be clever and use the torch in my smartphone! Even though as soon as I switched on the phone it showed the time, I ignored it and used the torch to read my watch.

That’s us when we pay maintenance on software, ask for enhancements, and either chose not to upgrade or as I have seen so many times, upgrade but don’t use the new features. I know there are always other factors not least the upgrade costs themselves but in the later releases of all the Oracle family of applications Oracle have done a lot to make the interoperability of them with Oracle Fusion Middleware more successful and in many cases for the first time. My heritage is Oracle E Business Suite (EBS) and the availability of Oracle Weblogic for EBS is fantastic for an Oracle powered organisation that can move away from supporting multiple flavours of application server. The same release made available  - the no downtime patching that Oracle Database 11g introduced with Edition Based Redefinition.

I am not saying you must use these features but you must be aware of what each release of your application brings and make a business based decision as to whether it is for you or not. I like to have a simple spreadsheet of features with no-value, nice-to-have, must-have ratings, but make the spreadsheet cumulative so that when you do upgrade you have all the features listed you previously didn’t take up. That way you can avoid the ‘using your phone to read your watch’ scenario.

About the Author:

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  

Friday Sep 20, 2013

Inside the OOW Session: Mobile Apps for Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle Fusion Middleware

Author: Srikant Subramaniam, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle

CON9437: Mobile Apps for Oracle E-Business Suite with Oracle Fusion Middleware
Wednesday, Sep 25, 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Moscone West – 2014

There is a change going on in how people access information that is as dramatic as when PCs replaced green screens on the corporate desktop. That change is the rapid adoption of smart phones and tablets as a way to access corporate applications. Employees and customers that have grown accustomed to accessing web sites and applications from their mobile devices are now insisting on the same ability to interact with enterprise applications.

As increasingly larger numbers of applications and business functions are exposed via mobile devices, new requirements will emerge to compose and combine existing web services in ways that were not previously anticipated. For instance, the need to mobilize processes (as opposed to applications) as exemplified by expense and invoice approvals, field service, financial transactions (e.g.: loan approval), task management/scheduling, to name a few. In addition, there is also the need to develop these mobile apps and connect them to enterprise applications while reusing existing IT skill sets.

Oracle Fusion Middleware provides the necessary infrastructure to extend business processes and services to the mobile device. Session attendees will hear about the different ways components of Oracle Fusion Middleware can be used to develop, connect, secure, deploy and manage mobile solutions. Oracle ADF Mobile enables rapid and declarative development of on-device mobile applications. These applications provide a richer experience for smart devices users than a browser. Together, these two products from Oracle provide the foundation for a mobility architecture. See how all these concepts come together via a mobile order management app.

We will also discuss a real world customer use-case, the business drivers behind their push for mobility and a walkthrough of the resulting mobile solution that was built with Oracle Fusion Middleware.

For more information on Mobility and AppAdvantage (the aggregated value of using Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies to maximize the value of Oracle Applications) sessions at Open World 2013, refer to Focus on Mobile and Focus on AppAdvantage.

Wednesday Sep 18, 2013

Hands-on-Lab at OOW: Build Mobile Apps for E-Business Suite with ADF Mobile and SOA Suite

Author: Srikant Subramaniam, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle

HOL 9720: Build Mobile Apps for E-Business Suite with ADF Mobile and SOA Suite
Tuesday, Sep 24, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Marriott Marquis - Nob Hill AB

Attend this hands-on workshop to learn how to build mobile solutions for Oracle Applications using Oracle Fusion Middleware. Participants will use Oracle ADF Mobile and Oracle SOA Suite to build a mobile expense approval app that integrates with Oracle E-Business Suite (although E-Business Suite is used for the labs, the lessons learned apply to PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel or any backend application). Participants will also see how the same code base can be used to deliver both iOS and Android applications.

For more information on Mobility and AppAdvantage (the aggregated value of using Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies to maximize the value of Oracle Applications) sessions at Open World 2013, refer to Focus on Mobile and Focus on AppAdvantage.

Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

Keste Blog Series: Cloud Integration Success: Aramark Deploys Oracle Cloud Integration to Reduce Process Time from Days to Minutes

By Michael Beattie, Vice President and CIO, Aramark Uniform Services

Preface from Sri Ayyeppen, CTO and Co-founder, Keste:

In this blog series, I have been talking about how companies deploy cloud integration with Oracle SOA Suite to achieve significant business benefits. In the case of Aramark Uniform Services, which we'll cover here, the company initiated an enterprise-wide IT project to deploy an Oracle Fusion Middleware platform. They had a list of seven major projects that would leverage this new middleware foundation, including an overhaul of their accounts receivables (AR) processes. To that end, the company needed to automate the prospect-to-customer migration process to set up new customer accounts in Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and perform credit checks. The solution called for an integration between their cloud-based opportunity management system, Salesforce.com, and their on-premise customer database within EBS. This project was a precursor to tackling the larger AR automation challenges ahead of them.

Michael Beattie, Vice President and CIO, Aramark Uniform Services:

Aramark Uniform Services is a global provider of uniforms and career apparel for the automotive, food, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. We serve over 300,000 businesses and offer rental and direct sales uniform programs to our clients. In early 2012, we called on Keste to conduct an on-site enterprise architecture workshop for our organization with a focus on leveraging the Oracle Fusion Middleware portfolio. They helped us identify solutions to several business challenges that we needed to address, such as automating our accounts payable (AP) invoicing process, eliminating our 3rd party AR billing vendor, and deploying a seamless single sign-on solution across all of our applications. Keste developed a roadmap for a fully integrated Oracle Fusion Middleware infrastructure that would lay a solid foundation upon which we could deploy solutions to address these issues.

One critical element for our overall project was to integrate an on-premise application with a cloud solution. Our sales team uses Salesforce.com to manage prospective customers from prospect to final contract signing. However, we stored our customer information in a legacy system called RAS and processed invoices through the AR functionality in our EBS system. To make the situation even more complex, we did credit checks in yet another SaaS system provided by DNBi. None of these systems were integrated, so the process to set up a new customer, conduct a credit check, and send an invoice took quite a bit of time and led to data errors. We needed a single source of truth for customer information and a streamlined method for converting prospects to customers so we could send invoices.

In a project that we called RAS-to-Oracle AR consolidation, we began by creating an interface between Salesforce.com and our EBS system using web services through our Oracle SOA Suite implementation. As prospects meet certain criteria in Salesforce.com, the SOA interface kicks off a message to EBS that creates a new Customer Party record. When the service agreement is executed, our Customer Desk builds out the Account in EBS, which now interfaces to RAS. Previously, sales support staff would update customer records manually in RAS. Then we would send a data feed from RAS to EBS to update customer records in the Oracle system—so we could process invoices. This new Salesforce.com to EBS interface eliminates the legacy system, the manual updates, and the RAS-to-Oracle data feed. We've integrated our on-premise EBS system with Salesforce.com's cloud application to get real-time data updates.

However, we needed to take this project a step further to automate the credit check process. Our next step was to integrate the EBS customer record system with our 3rd party credit service, DNBi. Using another Oracle SOA integration, EBS sends a message to DNBi to perform credit checks on the new customers and receives that information back into EBS automatically—and updates the credit terms in Salesforce.com. Before, employees would need to manually look up the new customer record in EBS, then log into the DNBi system and enter the customer information to look up their credit information. Finally, the person would go back into EBS to update the customer record with the appropriate credit data. This was a cumbersome process that took a lot of time and manual effort.

New process:

In fact, it took several days as we waited for the new customer record to be created and credit to be checked before we could send an invoice to a new customer. Now, the entire process is done in real-time. A prospect is converted to a customer in Salesforce.com, the new customer record is automatically created in EBS, and credit is immediately checked and updated in EBS via DNBi. We have eliminated our legacy RAS system, automated processes that were manual, increased employee productivity—and most importantly helped to shave time off our days sales outstanding since we can invoice new customers immediately.

And, if you are at Oracle OpenWorld this year, hear first-hand the details on Aramark Uniform Services’ implementation and get your questions answered live.

CON6102: Aramark Automates Oracle E-Business Suite Invoices with Oracle Fusion Middleware
Wednesday, Sep 25, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Moscone West, Room 2014

Add to your Schedule Builder

From Sri Ayyeppen:

Aramark has embarked on a transformational IT project to deploy an Oracle Fusion Middleware infrastructure. This cloud-to-premise integration is just one piece of the larger puzzle, but it is a critical one. Creating customer records and performing credit checks have to be automated—to speed the process, eliminate data errors, and streamline workflows. Without key integrations like Aramark's cloud-to-premise example here, the company wouldn't be able to tackle larger projects like optimizing their AR process and automating billing.

Is your organization in a similar situation? Are you struggling with manual processes that take days and could be automated with a SOA interface that connects two systems? I'd like to hear about your challenges. email: mailto:sri.ayyeppen@keste.com

About the Authors:

Michael Beattie, VP and CIO, Aramark Uniform Services

Mike Beattie is VP and CIO for Aramark Uniform Services headquartered in Burbank, CA. He has spent the last 15 years of his career managing IT organizations in companies of various sizes, from startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. Prior to joining Aramark three years ago, Mike was a member of the IT leadership team at Intel Corporation in Folsom, CA. At Intel, Mike held several roles including Business Unit CIO, Director of IT Strategic Planning and Director of IT Program and Project Management. He received his BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the US Naval Academy and has advanced degrees in Nuclear Engineering and Business Administration. Mike lives in Burbank with his wife and two children.

Sri Ayyepen, CTO and Co-Founder, Keste

Sri Ayyeppen is chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of Keste, a leading worldwide Oracle solutions provider based in Dallas. As the CTO, he is responsible for leading teams delivering solutions with Oracle Applications, technology and infrastructure. His primary focus is on applications and business process integration through service-oriented architecture (SOA) technologies and highly available enterprise deployment with Engineered Systems and Oracle Cloud. Within this role, some of his key areas of responsibility include leading Enterprise Architecture team for Keste customers, driving principles and practices around creating best-in-class architecture leveraging present-day technology like enterprise software, business integration products and mobility.

Sri is a well-known industry expert and you can find him discussing IT on @SriAyyeppen and LinkedIn: SriAyyeppen

Wednesday Aug 21, 2013

Keste Blog Series: Delivering Extreme Business Value - Integrating Industrial Devices with Core Business Processes

By Sri Ayyeppen, CTO and Co-Founder, Keste

In the last blog, I discussed the overall structure and goals of Cloud Integration and the business drivers for integrating cloud and on-premise applications. The first in a series of real-world examples success stories, today we will discuss a success story that utilizes real cutting-edge technology. The post outlines a customer use case where they undertook warehouse management system modernization by integrating a robotic pick, pack & ship system with Oracle E-Business Suite via a cloud-based message broker, leveraging Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle Service Bus to accomplish the integration.

This customer—a large medical device manufacturer—was looking to modernize their warehouse management system to enable faster shipment and delivery.  They faced significant challenges in delivering accurate shipments with short lead times to meet their rigorous customer service demands. The customer operates multiple manufacturing and distribution centers in North America and Europe, and is committed to shipping orders the same day they are placed.

To deliver on this commitment, they implemented a robotic inventory system in their largest distribution facility. Kiva Systems® (wholly owned by Amazon.com) provides a material handling system that takes the manual processes out of inventory picking and packing. Instead of personnel roaming a large warehouse, the robots bring the inventory to the pickers, just in time for the next order. To achieve operational efficiency and reduce the amount of personnel required, the customer decided to automate the complete process of fulfilling orders by integrating Kiva and Oracle E-Business Suite. (See an example of these amazing devices here.)

Keste was brought in to design and deliver the integration solution leveraging Oracle SOA stack. We first worked with their WMS architects to create a solid reference architecture establishing a foundation for future growth. Once the reference architecture was vetted with a proof of concept, we scaled the solution to the entire warehouse to multiple robots to deliver the expected business benefits.

To replace multiple legacy ERP systems, it was critical to integrate the Kiva system with their global E-Business Suite implementation The Kiva integration handles bidirectional communication via SOA Suite for inventory transactions, including Pick Release, Pick Confirm, Sub-inventory Transfer, Adjustments, Cycle Count, Container Creation, and LPN assignment.

Once a sales order has been entered into Oracle E-Business Suite and released via a BPEL process to the warehouse, the Kiva system receives the Order, prioritizes it based on order attributes, routes it based on inventory location and robot positions, and begins delivering inventory to the Picker (the actual person filling the order). The Picker scans the inventory, packs it into boxes, and repeats until the order is complete. The Picker never has to perform transactions in Oracle E-Business Suite. Once the Picker has scanned the completed order, all of the Kiva transactions are then automatically pushed back into E-Business Suite for inventory control.

The customer’s goals are to have orders shipped on the same day that the order is received—at the same time reduce costs through automation and fewer human touch points. Near real-time integration between Kiva and Oracle Order Entry/Shipping Execution is critical to achieving these goals. Eliminating the users’ need to perform redundant transactions in Oracle eBusiness Suite is also critical. The implementation of Oracle SOA Suite enabled them to achieve this. Orders are shipped on the same day and all Oracle EBS transactions are automated once a sales order is booked.

The SOA model was designed to enhance the agility and cost-effectiveness of their business operations. This has been accomplished by aligning the technology architecture with the business architecture. Establishing the SOA framework with Oracle SOA Suite enabled the customer to not only develop complex integrations, such as Kiva, but also integrate with newly acquired companies or cloud solutions, in an efficient, reproducible, and maintainable manner. Integrations with cloud platforms did not just stop with warehouse management systems but extended to shipment tracking, returns management with third party logistics platforms (3PL), thereby providing a superior customer experience - delivering accurate and fast shipments and quicker ways to return shipments as needed.

Like this customer, many companies are looking for cloud integration solutions to enhance and improve specific business functions or simplify IT environments. The challenge then becomes how to keep processes streamlined and eliminate duplicate data and efforts—and that's where a cloud – on-premise integration solutions can add value. If your organization is in a similar situation, consider the potential benefits of a cloud integration solution:

  • Faster time-to-market with integrated transactions and processes
  • Reduced complexity through standards-based (SOA) integration
  • Increased control through end-to-end cloud and on-premise visibility
  • Ensure real-time data synchronization between cloud and on-premise applications

In the next post, we'll share another real-world example of an integrated cloud based CRM solution that is helping another customer reap business benefits.

*customer name withheld by request

Sri Ayyeppen, CTO and Co-Founder, Keste

Sri Ayyeppen is chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of Keste, a leading worldwide Oracle solutions provider based in Dallas. As the CTO, he is responsible for leading teams delivering solutions with Oracle Applications, technology and infrastructure. His primary focus is on applications and business process integration through service-oriented architecture (SOA) technologies and highly available enterprise deployment with Engineered Systems and Oracle Cloud. Within this role, some of his key areas of responsibility include leading Enterprise Architecture team for Keste customers, driving principles and practices around creating best-in-class architecture leveraging present-day technology like enterprise software, business integration products and mobility.

Sri is a well-known industry expert and you can find him discussing IT on @SriAyyeppen and LinkedIn: SriAyyeppen

Previous Posts in the Series:

Keste Blog Series: Integrated Cloud Solutions - Bridging the Integration Divide across Cloud and On-Premise Applications

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