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

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