Friday Sep 27, 2013

Global Perspective: ACE Director from EMEA Weighs in on AppAdvantage

Global Perspective is a monthly series that brings experiences, business needs and real-world use cases from regions across the globe. This month’s feature showcases a perspective from a well known ACE Director based in EMEA.

Author: Debra Lilley, Fujitsu

In 2008, just 5 years ago, a friend and I were stuck in an elevator in a hotel during Oracle Open World for a fair while, and at the time it caused quite a stir, not because we were in any danger but because we used social media to get attention. This was before anyone knew what social media was and the term used then was web 2.0. We became the OOW poster children for web 2.0 and came 3rd in Top Five Things you missed at OOW. The first was the HP / Oracle database machine, and we came just behind Beehive! How things have changed!

Looking at any technology we use today it is amazing how quickly things develop and yet, I always think, the uptake of technology in my world, Applications, takes so long. About the same as the web2.0 episode, I was as a user group leader trying to get applications users to understand the value of Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW). I ran a group called the Product Development Committee of the International Oracle Users Community and we wanted to get the message out that the technology behind Fusion Applications being developed at the time was available already. Oracle had a group named FMW4Apps who had a similar remit and we worked together to find examples of Applications customers who had adopted them. Out of this initiative came the Oracle Excellence Awards but I found that when talking to users the feedback was that these examples were the biggest customers who had enormous projects and not really very representative of most users.

Then I attended a SOA Partner Community event in The Netherlands where Dr Andrew Sutherland, SVP for Middleware EMEA, and one of my favourite Oracle executives, gave a presentation on customer adoption of FMW. Most people who attended the event remembered the app he used to draw on his iPad and the world’s worst iceberg which appeared on the screen behind him. But, what resonated with me was that he was giving an explanation to what I was seeing. He talked about there being 3 strategies for adoption:

  • Standardization of Mid Tier Architectures
  • Rationalization of Integration
  • Extending value of packaged Applications

Those projects wining awards tend to be in the last category but, at that time - early 2010, most were in the first two categories and, to be blunt, not very exciting to a marketer.

I kept thinking about this and wanting to prove it, I thought I would do something for Oracle Open World (OOW) that year. The first thing you have to do when submitting a paper for OOW is come up with a good title. A technical friend of mine suggested that anything with the number 42 would be good. So, I submitted an abstract with the title ’42 Real Life Examples of Fusion Middleware with Applications’, and she was right! It got accepted. So now, all I had to do was find 42 examples!

By this time I had just been asked to be an ACE Director and was quite in awe of all these really technical people and worried about how I would be received by them. These people were the experts in technology. So, I put together a questionnaire asking for examples and without exception everyone I asked said their projects were not really exciting, which proved my point. So I spoke to the group as a whole, explained my theory and asked them to submit their examples. I then wrote a white paper giving all the examples and got accepted by the group.

Giving the presentation was a big challenge initially. How could I cover 42 examples in 60 minutes? But in case you haven’t realised, the number 42 is from “The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. "Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm, "The Answer to the Great Question, of Life, the Universe and Everything". And another friend said just present on that, so I talked about 3 case studies: Life or Life Sciences was based on ALMAC a pharmaceutical company, the Universe was CERN and, Everything was a Public Sector Shared Service.

I gave that paper at many a user group events around the world and real examples made more of a connection with the Applications communities, but over the last few years, FMW has become more mainstream and as I am often quoted “Fusion Applications are a window on FMW” so I am not sure the examples in my white paper are as relevant today. I have thought about repeating the questionnaire but apart from being an updated paper what would be the motivation? Then I was approached along with Mark by a team within Oracle with a new program charter called Oracle AppAdvantage, to discuss how we could work with them

“Oracle AppAdvantage is the incremental value gained by Oracle Applications customers leveraging Oracle Fusion Middleware” - exactly the area I am so passionate about, and the perfect excuse to re-run the questionnaire. The team, Mark and I will be talking to the ACE Directors during this year’s OOW and then collecting the new set of examples. Some, I hop,e will be the same organisations and how they have moved forward since and others will be new. Then, not only will we share the new white paper with this blog but showcase a few of the case studies and hopefully present again at events around the globe.

And, if you have an example I should be including, let me know.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, Fujitsu Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

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

Editor's Note: Debra has kindly agreed to share her musings and experiences in a monthly column on the Fusion Middleware blog so do stay tuned…

Thursday Jun 27, 2013

Faster Trip to Innovation with Simplified Data Integration: Sabre Holdings Case Study

Author: Irem Radzik, Director of Product Marketing, Data Integration, Oracle

In today’s fast-paced, competitive environment, IT teams are under pressure to deliver technology solutions for many critical business initiatives as fast as possible. When the focus is on speed, it can be easy to continue to use old style, point-to-point custom scripts that grow organically to the point where they are unmanageable and too costly to maintain. As data volumes, data sources, and end users grow, uncoordinated data integration efforts create significant inefficiencies for both IT and business users. In addition to losing IT productivity due to maintaining spaghetti architecture, data integrity becomes a concern as well. Errors caused by inconsistent, data and manual data entry can prove very costly for companies and disrupt business activities.

Many industry leaders recognize now that data should be moved in an automated and reliable manner across all platforms to have one version of the truth. By simplifying their data integration architecture and standardizing on a centralized approach, IT teams now accelerate time to market. Especially, using a centralized, shared-service approach brings agility, increases IT productivity, and frees up resources for innovation.

One such industry leader that simplified its data integration architecture is Sabre Holdings. Sabre Holdings provides distribution and technology solutions for the travel industry, and is a winner of Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware in 2011 in the data integration category. I had the pleasure to host Sabre Holdings on a public webcast and discuss their data integration best practices for data warehousing. In this webcast Sabre’s Amjad Saeed, presented how the company reduced complexity by consolidating systems and standardizing development on Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle GoldenGate for its global data warehouse development team. With Oracle’s complete real-time data integration solution, Sabre also streamlined support and maintenance operations, achieved real-time view in the execution of the integration processes, and can manage the data warehouse and business intelligence solution performance on demand. By reducing complexity and leveraging timely market insights, the company was able to decrease time to market by 40%.

You can now listen to the webcast on demand: Sabre Holdings Case Study: Accelerating Innovation using Oracle Data Integration

I invite you to hear directly from Sabre how to use advanced data integration capabilities to enable accelerated innovation. To learn more about Oracle’s data integration offering you can download our free resources.

Wednesday Sep 21, 2011

Where to Find this Year's Middleware Innovators at OpenWorld

Every year at OpenWorld, Oracle announces the winners to its most prestigious awards in Middleware, the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards. This year, we’ll be announcing the winners and highlighting a few of their original implementations during this key session in the Middleware stream:

October 4th, 11:45 AM, Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year's Most Impressive Customer Projects, Moscone West - 3007

In addition, we’ll give a sneak peak of a few winners during the Fusion Middleware General Session with Hasan Rizvi at 11AM, Monday October 3rd, Moscone West, 3014. Checkout the Fusion Middleware Focus On document for more details on both of these activities and more in the Middleware stream.

What kinds of customers win the Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards? Winners are selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture. The winners are selected by a panel of judges that score each entry across multiple different scoring categories. This year, the following categories included:

  • Application Grid, Oracle Exalogic
  • BI and EPM
  • Data Integration
  • Fusion Development and Application Development Framework
  • Identity Management
  • WebCenter

Last year at OpenWorld 2010 we announced over 33 innovative customers that won the award, including companies like Verizon, Avea, Herbalife, OnStar, ING, Credit Suisse, State of NY, SunGard, Northern Trust, Telenor, Crocs, Amgen, and many others.

Did you miss your chance this year to nominate your company? Come join with us in the awards session to get an edge in your next year’s submission and watch for the next opportunity for 2012 on this blog. There’s other awards as part of Oracle’s Excellence awards program or subscribe to our regular Fusion Middleware newsletter to get the latest reminders.


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