“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
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 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
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
Each of these layers are, thus, supported by a breadth of
business value entry points designed to impact cost reductions and/or fuel
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
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:
Get started with the Readiness
Download the informative whitepaper: IT-Business
Alignment – Why We Stumble and the Path Forward