Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

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

By Sri Ayyeppen, Keste CTO and Co-Founder

I recently authored a whitepaper entitled, "Migrating Applications to Engineered Systems: A Strategic Roadmap to a Cloud Integrated Platform," which discusses how companies can capture significant business impact through an integrated cloud-based solution. Over the course of this blog series, I’d share some of these findings with you and will also hone in on use cases with organizations looking to take advantage of integration with applications, especially Oracle Applications, Fusion Applications, custom Oracle Applications, among others.

Many companies are taking advantage of the proliferation of cloud-based SaaS applications (Salesforce®, Workday®, etc.), yet the need for on-premise applications isn’t going away. In order to find a solution for integrating across applications and platforms, companies need to take a broader, comprehensive and standardized approach to bridging this divide.

An integrated cloud solution is a great fit for companies that need more out of their applications environment. For example, companies that need to incrementally expand their IT application footprint, or companies that need to quickly and confidently scale their IT infrastructure without impact to performance (e.g., SaaS companies whose products depend on IT for delivery). Integrated cloud solutions can take many forms, but most often I find clients need to link their existing IT applications together, such as:

  • Existing cloud applications—like social media, networking, or marketing sites
  • On-premise applications—like HR, ERP, service, and support programs
  • Mobile apps—for smart phones, tablets, or other mobile devices
  • Partner or business-to-business applications—connecting vendors, suppliers, or distributors
  • Devices—any end-point that could potentially integrate with a cloud such as cars, satellite receivers, smart phones, HVAC systems, communication or utility grids, etc.

Over the past several years of working with customers to develop integrated cloud solutions, I have found that it's very important to start by documenting the current and future business use cases that the IT environment must support. Understanding these business requirements allows me to analyze both the business and data integration needs for my clients:

  • Business integration needs—understand the required service processes such as orchestration, mediation, and service routing to meet key business requirements/outcomes.
  • Data integration needs—analyze the transactional processes such as batch vs. real-time, ETL, and data replication requirements to ensure the right data is passed to the right application at the right time.

This leads me to a key step in supporting my customers’ integrated cloud journey—developing an IT reference architecture. This ‘IT blueprint’ ensures that the integrated cloud solution will meet both current and the future business needs. The reference architecture shows optimal transaction design patterns and the configurations of hardware and software. It also provides a well-defined feedback loop that allows IT staff to monitor and adjust transaction parameters as necessary.

I also find the reference architecture as a useful tool to determine the best product mix for organizations looking at cloud and on-premise integration, including:

  • Oracle SOA Suitewhich offers the middleware tools and capabilities to create a fully scalable, integrated cloud-to-cloud or cloud-to premise platform, such as Oracle API Gateway for external cloud communications, Oracle Service Bus for internal service virtualization, and Oracle Coherence to speed data transaction processing.
  • Oracle BPM Suite—which supports design and implementation of all process types and case management flows, delivering immediate and impactful ROI and driving enhanced customer experience and intelligent operations.
  • Oracle Data Integration products like Oracle GoldenGate, which offers real-time data integration, transactional data replication, and data comparison across heterogeneous systems.

And for organizations with Oracle Applications or custom applications built on Oracle technologies, there are obvious advantages to leveraging Oracle for cloud integration—these include lower total cost of operation (TCO), a standardized platform, and a proven solution built on industry best practices, among others.

After helping dozens of companies implement integrated cloud solutions, we have found that we can deliver these new architectures in as little as two to three months, making the leap to this next generation IT solution fast, without disrupting current business capabilities.

In the coming weeks, I’ll continue my discussion on the business value that integrated cloud computing can provide by showcasing a series of customer experiences.  We'll discuss specific use cases for cloud integration deployment based on real world implementations like those at Aramark, JDSU, and other organizations. The series will continue to focus on implementation strategies and best practices while highlighting the business impact of this new technology paradigm.

About the Author:

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 responsibilities 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

Thursday Mar 21, 2013

Managing Security in the SoMoClo World

Identity Management Product Marketing Team Blog

As we look forward in 2013, we look at the key trends driving the IT transformation today. Surely, mobile, social and cloud would top the list. With the proliferation of mobile devices companies are looking to offer access to the most commonly used (or user facing) business applications on users’ personal mobile devices. The spread of social networking is forcing organizations to allow users to access company resources using their social media sign-ons. And regardless of whether it is in a datacenter or in the cloud, the business application needs to be just as secure and reliable.

Customers today are demanding a seamless online experience, one that is geography agnostic. But most applications that are required to support this seamless digital experience were architected 10 or 20 years ago and are not scalable or agile enough. Worse, the applications still keep user experience and security at cross-hairs; you inevitably compromise on one or the other.

The applications for today and tomorrow will need to support the internet scale, offer a seamless user experience across all channels and yet be secure to enable a digital interaction with confidence. Which means, a re-architecture that adopts SOA for flexibility, BPM for collaboration and participation, a scalable user portal and Big Data for better business analytics and Fast data for the massive scale that will be required and a Security Inside Out approach. To learn more about how each of the Fusion Middleware components fit into a social, mobile, cloud strategy, we recommend you peruse all the videos and assets for The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud screencast program here.

In our previous posts, we talked about the essentials for Securing the New Digital Experience and how Oracle has adopted a platform approach to provide a solid foundation to enable a secure, seamless digital experience. If you missed our screencast, you can watch it now.

We wanted to share with you, some customer experiences. Industry leading organizations have adopted the platform approach to Identity management and have started to leverage the capabilities of our latest release, Identity Management 11gR2 to enable secure mobile and social access. Companies, like SaskTel, are offering Identity Management in the cloud to some of the most security-conscious organizations.

SuperValu, for example, is leveraging Identity Management to bolster employee productivity in their stores by delivering secure, simplified sign-on for store managers on iPads.

And Oracle itself is using Oracle Identity Management internally to offer a centralized, single identity system, a simplified identity context to its employees across a myriad of applications the employees have (and need) access to. Managing a dynamic workforce across geographies, folding in M&As, leveraging Identity Management to power the cloud services – Oracle Identity Management within Oracle is another good example of the success of a platform approach to identity management and security. Catch this podcast to get the full Oracle on Oracle story.

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Wednesday Mar 20, 2013

SoMoClo Drives the Next Evolution in Identity Management

Identity Management Product Marketing Team

The world (and hence an enterprise) today is very different from what we had say even 5 years ago. Lines between social and professional worlds are blurring fast. I use my smartphone to connect with friends and colleagues, check in on FourSquare for business meetings, follow my friends’ updates on Facebook, check work email, respond to LinkedIn requests from my professional friends and review the .xls sent by my colleague.

The pace of technology evolution is driving the customer expectations today. User experience is key as noted by Naresh Persaud, Director, Security & Identity Management in this screencast. A user needs to be able to sign on using say, the Google account, and use that across all his/her media experience – a smartphone, an iPad, gaining access to business applications, logging on to social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, others.

But so is security. A spate of security incidents in 2012 has, once again, brought the security issues to the fore. Did you know that 76% of mobile applications today store credentials on the device and 10 percent of those store passwords in pain text on the device? With 90% of organizations looking to offer mobile applications by 2014, those are indeed grim statistics. In a world where 62% companies are looking to connect with their customers and build relationships via the social networks, news stories like LinkedIn password hacking definitely make users like you and I pause.

Identity Management is the lynchpin for security and user experience. Breaking away from tradition, the latest release of Oracle Identity Management, 11gR2, marries convenience with security in offering a complete, seamless and secure digital experience to the users.

Focusing on reducing time to deployment and overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and easing the user experience, R2 takes a platform approach to Identity Management bringing innovation, simplification and extreme scale to bear.

Leveraging the innovation in Oracle Fusion Middleware implies Identity R2 utilizes a common, standards-based model for workflow and UI customizations. R2 offers a scalable internet-grade identity platform that leverages ADF for UI customizations and workflow extensibility, SOA for flexibility, on BPM for collaboration and Coherence for extreme performance and WebCenter clustering for scale support.

Learn more about how Oracle Identity Management 11gR2 supports usability and scale requirements and the out-of the-box features that it offers to support the social, cloud and mobile security features. Catch the on-demand R2 launch webcast today and engage with us on OracleIDM to discuss your emerging identity requirements and whether or not you think R2 meets those. We look forward to hearing from you.

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