Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

Oracle GoldenGate AppAdvantage in Action at Land O’Lakes, Smuckers, and Veolia Water

Author: Irem Radzik, Senior Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle

Originally Published on Data Integration Blog

On Tuesday at OpenWorld we had the honor to host a panel with GoldenGate customers: Land O’Lakes, Smuckers, and Veolia Water. Besides giving us yummy nutrition and healthy water, these companies have another aspect in common. They all use GoldenGate to boost their ERP application.

Veoila Water’s Pierre Kerrinckx came from their HQ in France for this panel and spoke to us about the database migration project for their JD Edwards ERP system. Using GoldenGate Veolia was able to migrate from Oracle Database 10gR2 on AIX 5.3 Oracle 10g R2 to Oracle Database Aix 7.1 Oracle 11g R2 and did so with only 2 hours of interruption to JD Edwards end users. Pierre mentioned, the other benefit of GoldenGate was the ability to switch back to the old environment if needed.

Land O’Lakes’ Mark Kohls talked about their use of GoldenGate for their JD Edwards ERP system supporting the Purina business line. Land O’Lakes had to migrate enterprise-wide JDE Xe ERP system to new database and application server platform with minimal downtime to the business. While their goal was to have less than 8 hours of downtime, with GoldenGate they limited downtime to 30 minutes.

Both Veolia and Land O’Lakes used GoldenGate in an Active-Passive fashion, meaning that the new environment was not used simultaneously with the old one, and the users migrated all at once. GoldenGate provides Active-Active migration model too, if the company prefers to do a phased migration and truly zero downtime.

Smuckers's Neal Indermuhle had a different story to share. He talked about operational reporting for their critical Oracle E-Business Suite and how using Oracle GoldenGate helped the company to achieve the near real-time data they need in making critical business decisions. Neil shared that the replication latency averages less than 10 seconds and Oracle GoldenGate Veridata is leveraged to validate synchronization.

I would like to thank Pierre, Mark, and Neal for sharing their best practices, and taking tough questions from the audience. If you would like to learn more about Oracle GoldenGate’s solutions for JD Edwards, E-Business Suite and other key Oracle Applications please check out our new resource center with recorded video presentations and detailed white papers.

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

Wednesday Jul 31, 2013

Middleware Minutes with Howard Beader - August Edition

It’s been a while now since I have blogged myself and given the importance I have placed on the social channel, I thought it was time to reacquaint myself with the wonderful world of blogging.

First let me introduce myself, I am Howard Beader and I lead the Oracle Fusion Middleware product marketing organization. Basically this means my team is responsible for creating all the online marketing content and activities across the Fusion Middleware Suite, and for all the content you see at our in-person events. As you can imagine, we are involved heavily in driving new product launches, in Oracle Open World and of course in driving our social media activities across all these various assets including the blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

For those of you that may not be aware, Oracle Fusion Middleware includes a complete portfolio of market leading products including Oracle Weblogic Suite, Oracle Coherence, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle BPM Suite, Oracle Data Integration, Oracle GoldenGate, and Oracle WebCenter. Also rolled into this area are our Developer tools, Master Data Management and Java.

As I am sure you have heard many times by now, the world is becoming “Mobile”. Well, let me be one of the first to assure you, that this is most definitely the case and the time has truly and finally come for enterprise mobility. For those that have known me for a while, they know that I have been involved in helping enterprise customers mobilize their enterprise systems for almost 13 years now, yes… even before there were smart phones! As I write this, perhaps I should ask my children if they remember time before the iPhone and how we had to actually pressed real buttons on a cell phone in order to dial a number or that there was no texting, tweeting way back then. Okay, back to the story - at that time, “way back then” in 2000, the devices were under powered, the network was not yet capable of managing the speeds for the data required, the IT infrastructures were not optimized to support service based integration and we didn’t know what we know today about user experience design. Fast forward to today, can you imagine not being able to check email every 15 seconds, or the same with Facebook?

It should be just as easy for a salesperson to check on a customer’s order, for a service person to log in and order a replacement part for a repair order, or for an executive to look at her management dashboard and know that the company is on track to hit their targets. These types of capabilities are expected today across anywhere on any device, 24/7 and a required part of being competitive in today’s economy. Enterprise mobility is a focus area for Fusion Middleware in FY14, and one that you will see lots of activity around, so definitely keep your eyes peeled for more.

Another area of focus is cloud. Specifically, we are seeing customer interest in a number of areas including platform as a service, PaaS, and this, of course, is another top focus area for Oracle and for Fusion Middleware in FY14.  We are excited by the latest release of our Cloud Application Foundation and hope you have the opportunity to learn more by checking out the latest webcast.

Cloud integration is a hot topic, customers are always asking for the best solution to integrate their cloud solutions with their on-premise applications.  In a survey that Oracle conducted we found that a stunning 64% said they were unable to integrate their cloud apps with other enterprise apps. More information on cloud integration and the study can be found here.

Fast Data is an exciting topic that we introduced at OpenWorld last year, and is an area that we are continuing to see tremendous interest in across our customer base. Fast Data is a complimentary approach to Big Data for managing large quantities of “in-flight” data that helps organizations get a jump on those business-critical decisions. Fast Data is the continuous access and processing of events and data in real-time for the purposes of gaining instant awareness and instant action. You will be seeing much more from us in this area, but if interested feel free to check out our Fast Data article on Forbes located here.

Mobile, Cloud, Big/Fast Data are all top of mind initiatives we are hearing from our customers and partners. Oracle Fusion Middleware provides significant benefits across these areas and more especially for our application customers. In FY14, we have developed a focused program, Oracle AppAdvantage, to help our customers maximize their investments across Oracle Applications.

With Oracle AppAdvantage we are addressing the topics we are hearing from our application customers. As an example, our customers often ask - I have E-Business Suite Peoplesoft, JD Edwards and or Siebel, how can we develop more agile processes, how can we optimize our platform, how can we have better engagement with our customers, employees and partners, or how can we mobilize our applications to name just a few. The answer is... Oracle AppAdvantage!

Stay tuned to learn more about the program, and if you are coming to Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco you will hear a lot more about the above topics across our Oracle Fusion Middleware sessions, hand-on labs and demos so if you are there stop by and say hello we definitely want to hear from you!

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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