Wednesday Nov 19, 2014

Middleware Strategy Recap, New Cloud Services, And More

The November edition of Oracle Fusion Middleware is now out. This post Oracle OpenWorld 2014 issue spotlights Oracle Executive Vice president, Thomas Kurian's middleware keynote where he outlined the company's strategy and middleware roadmap. His session also featured some key announcements and discussed new innovations in Oracle Fusion Middleware products spanning the areas of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Process Management (BPM), Identity Management, Content Management and Sites, Data Integration, Java and Developer tools, Application Infrastructure and more. If you missed the OpenWorld keynote or are looking to catch up on all the latest in Oracle Fusion Middleware, don't miss this feature.

And offering more details on some of the new cloud services that were announced in Thomas Kurian's keynote, the additional news features include overviews of Document Cloud Service, Java Cloud Service and Integration Cloud Service.

As always, the newsletter has a great compilation of latest news announcements, new product and industry materials, upcoming events and webcasts (including the just released on-demand replay of the Northumbrian Water mobility webcast), training sessions and more. So, don't miss the latest edition of the newsletter. And to make sure you don't miss a beat in the happenings, we recommend you subscribe to the complimentary newsletter. Happy reading!


Friday Nov 14, 2014

Northumbrian Water Enables Anytime, Anywhere Access for Remote Workforce

Don't forget, the AppAdvantage IT Leader documentary with Northmbrian CIO, James Robbins will be released on Tuesday, November 18. Be sure to register for it today.

Northumbrian Water Mobile-Enables its Remote Workforce
Tuesday, November 18 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern
Register Here

The webcast will feature interviews with the Northumbrian Water CIO, his strategy development director as well as the Oracle expert who would walk you through their IT architecture, so don't miss it.

To give you a sneak preview of what Northumbrian set out to achieve, take a look at this video clip.


See you on Tuesday!

Thursday Nov 13, 2014

Oracle OpenWorld 2014: Oracle WebCenter Highlights

Originally posted on Oracle WebCenter blog

Author: Kellsey Ruppel, Principal Product Director, Oracle

As Oracle OpenWorld 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on the week and provide some highlights for you all!

We say this every year, but this year's event was one of the best ones yet. We had more than 35 scheduled sessions, plus user group sessions, 10 live product demos, and 7 hands-on labs devoted to Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Process Management (Oracle BPM) solutions. This year's Oracle OpenWorld provided broad and deep insight into next-generation solutions that increase business agility, improve performance, and drive personal, contextual, and multichannel interactions. 

Oracle WebCenter & BPM Customer Appreciation Reception

Our 8th annual Oracle WebCenter & BPM Customer Appreciation Reception was held for the second year at San Francisco’s Old Mint, a National Historic Landmark. This was a great evening of networking and relationship building, where the Oracle WebCenter & BPM community had the chance to mingle and make new connections. Many thanks to our partners Aurionpro, AVIO Consulting, Bezzotech, Fishbowl Solutions, Keste, Redstone Content Solutions, TekStream & VASSIT for sponsoring!

Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards 

Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation honors Oracle customers for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware. Winners were 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. This year’s winners for WebCenter were Bank of Lebanon and McAfee.


This year’s winners for the BPM category were State Revenue Office, Victoria and Vertafore.


Congratulations winners! 

Oracle Appreciation Event at Treasure Island

We stayed up past our bedtimes rocking to Aerosmith and hip-hopping to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Spacehog at the Oracle Appreciation Event. These award-winners—plus free-flowing networking, food, and drink—made Wednesday evening magical at Treasure Island. Once we arrived on Treasure Island, we saw that it had been transformed and we were wowed by the 360-degree views of Bay Area skylines (with an even better view from the top of the Ferris wheel). We tested our skills playing arcade games between acts, and relaxed and enjoyed ourselves after a busy couple of days.

Cloud

Cloud was one of the OOW shining spotlights this year. For WebCenter and BPM, we had dedicated hands-on labs for Documents Cloud Service and Process Cloud Service @ the Intercontinental. In addition, we had live demos including Documents Cloud Service, Process Cloud Services and Oracle Social Network (OSN) throughout the week. Documents Cloud Service and OSN were featured prominently in the Thomas Kurian OOW Keynote (from the 46 minute mark) and the FMW General Session (from the 40 minute mark). 

The Oracle WebCenter & BPM Community

Oracle OpenWorld is unmatched in providing you with opportunities to interact and engage with other WebCenter & BPM customers and experts from among our partner and employee communities. It was great to see everyone, make new connections and reconnect with old friends. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

Tuesday Nov 11, 2014

ACE Director Tells Us to Speak to Each Other

Author: Debra Lilley, ACE Director

Oracle Open World  (OOW) already seems a long time ago, but actually only a month and if like me you are still absorbing all the messages then the timing of this posting is just right.

Prior to OOW, the AppAdvantage team asked if I would join them in a panel session hosted by Rick Beers and of course, I said yes, really honoured to be included. Later Rick invited me to an executive luncheon being hosted by the team and it was great to hear real customers who had expanded their applications value with Oracle Fusion Middleware. 

During the customer discussion Bruce Callow from Griffith University in Australia, who I am pleased to have known for many years he is a great user group advocate, talked about some of their challenges which prompted me to speak up about something I have been thinking about a lot recently.

Business users will not get the benefits of technology, what AppAdvantage is all about, unless they can articulate their challenges to those in IT. Equally IT will not be able to service the needs of their customers if they can’t understand the business requirements. We have to talk to each other.

This is a concept I witnessed first hand in a university in Costa Rica, when a class half of technology students and the other business students sat separately and admitted that almost 4 years into university they didn’t know each other. I feel so passionate about this I chose this as my topic for an Oracle Technology Network Top Tip video.

Investment in technology is more and more coming from business, technologists must be able to talk their language and likewise if the Business don’t understand the technology and what it can do, they won’t buy it.

About the Author:

Debra Lilley, VP Certus Cloud Services, Fusion Champion, UKOUG Board Member, Fusion User Experience Advocate and ACE Director.

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

Thursday Nov 06, 2014

OOW Recap: Industrial Innovation with IoT, enabled by Oracle Fusion Middleware and JD Edwards

With each Open World we continue to see incredible innovations carried out by our customers and partners. One theme that has gained a lot of traction this year is Internet of Things (IoT). Today we will take a closer look at a session that covered a live IoT story at one of our customers, co-presented with our customer, partner, and product teams. We will look at Oracle’s IoT platform and how Fusion Middleware bridges the gap between device data and enterprise applications.

IoT drives industrial innovations but also presents various challenges. For example, the lack of standardization and the lack of integration prohibit a lot of businesses from benefiting from this industrial trend. Oracle has a complete IoT platform that answers to those challenges in the following ways:
Standardized Java platform to develop & deploy applications across devices and applications
Scalable analytics with Big Data, event processing and Business Intelligence
Integrate processes between people, applications and devices 
Enable security, compliance and data protection across devices and enterprise data center

Middleware especially provides key functionalities such as real-time analysis (through our Fast Data offering), integration (delivered by SOA and BPM), security (through our Identity Management stack), and monitoring (through our WebCenter products and Mobile Application Framework)

Let us take a closer look at our customer, Superior Industries, who presented in this Open World session. Superior implemented an automatic equipment tracking and JDE process automation solution with an Oracle Gold Partner, EmeraldCube Solutions. A Minnesota manufacturing company selling material-handling equipment, Superior Industries is a JDE customer that faced a particular problem: they had no automated way to track machine usage and maintenance. Their manual tracking using paper, vocal communication, and manual work orders produced a number of issues: lack of accuracy, consistency, reliability and scalability. Machines were often either over-maintained or under-maintained.  

superior old trackingsample of a hand-written maintenance schedule that could easily get lost

emerald sensor

To address these problems, Superior reached out to EmeraldCube, an Oracle partner who provides an IoT solution including sensor technology and a Java-embedded platform for JDE users. Their EmeraldSensor was used to track Superior’s equipment utilization and cycles via electric current monitoring; when machines need maintenance, the platform automatically creates work orders in JDE through the Assets & Maintenance module.

Superior benefits from this implementation in numerous ways. 

Safety: Machines maintained based on actual usage equal safer equipment and fewer injuries
Liability: Hard data reflecting actual usage allows Superior to legally prove that maintenance follows manufacturers recommendations
Maintenance: Technicians only do preventive maintenance when needed thus recovering some lost opportunity costs
Trends: Visibility into usage patterns and how they correlate with production. Allows plant managers to detect if machines are over/under utilized

The projected savings amount to over $80,000/year in labor costs alone, and over $100,000/year in maintenance costs.

The session concludes with a demo from Oracle’s Fusion Middleware product management team, showing a facility monitoring scenario that happens to closely resemble the use case from Superior. Equipment temperature data is monitored and analyzed by Java-embedded gateways, which perform first level of processing. Alerts are sent to the Fusion Middleware enterprise back end to go through a second level of event processing. Business processes are driven by these alerts. When a work order needs to be created, Fusion Middleware also performs that automatically through JDE EnterpriseOne’s asset management API. Meanwhile, user interactions are performed in an Oracle MAF application, where business rules on the gateway can also be updated. Because the gateway is smart, it can open up APIs and understand commands coming from outside. The demo flow can be explained in the following chart.
demo flow

The demo architecture reviews an end-to-end view of how the different Oracle technologies work together to deliver the solution. We will release a viewlet of this demo very soon and you will find it on this blog.


This session proves that IoT is no longer a catchphrase. Oracle customers are already benefiting and innovating from this revolution, and Oracle has a complete IoT platform with best-in-class technology in every level, from Java-embedded devices and gateways to middleware and applications – engineered to work together. 

Highlights from OOW: Recap of Enabling Multichannel Access to Oracle Applications

Author: Harish Doddala, Senior Product Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware

Customers today constantly engage with companies across multiple channels. They desire a simple, secure and a consistent experience, whether it is a bank they are interacting with, or a retail store they are ordering a product from, or a service and maintenance request they are creating. A recent survey showed that “74% of customers use 3 or more channels to engage with a business to discuss service issues”. Companies need to be able to engage, sell to, and service customers across all channels: the web, in a store, over the phone, via a mobile device or through social channels.

So where do you start? How can you devise a strategy to determine which services will be delivered to whom, employing which technologies and applications and onto what devices/channels? All this might seem a little ominous at first given that you need to think about delivering a consistent experience, integrating multiple applications and ensure that it is done securely. The session titled: “Bridging Mobile and Desktop: Enabling Multichannel Access to Oracle Applications” at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 helped address some of these questions which I’ll summarize in this post.

The session began with an overview of Oracle’s product portfolio to enable multi channel access. We recommend that you adopt a scenario driven approach to figure out which of these components might be applicable to your solution. You obviously may not need every single component, and will be able to leverage on some of your existing investments.

Mobile Suite and WebCenter Sites & Portals provide a unified portal for customers, partners and employees to engage with the enterprise. Oracle SOA Suite and BPM Suite helps you manage cross enterprise business processes for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The Identity and Access Management layer provides consistent role management, SSO and governance to cross- application processes and transactions.

We presented a few compelling customer stories:

Pella:

Pella is a privately held window and door manufacturing company headquartered in Iowa. The company wanted to improve the digital experience for customers, dealers and employees and by that they wanted to provide a Self-Service portal for dealer/sales network so their sales team has current, accurate information to deliver a better customer experience and close more deals. Pella also wanted to improve the online experience for customers which include the online scheduling process for in-home consultations. By leveraging Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Middleware technologies, Pella was able to get a better handle on its customers’ online behavior and purchase patterns. It was also able to collate information about service levels, determine what is relevant to each buyer, assess which processes need to be improved, and feed that insight back into its sales, marketing and manufacturing cycles to enforce continuous improvement. Through a multichannel engagement platform, the company was able to achieve industry leading transformation in customer and dealer interaction.

City of LA:

Another customer that was mentioned was “City of LA”. City of LA Department of Water & Power and Dept of Building a Safety services provided its customers the ability to use their desktops, mobile phones or tablets to submit a service requesting the City’s most popular services, including graffiti removal, pothole repair, and bulky-item pickup. MyLA311 app lets customers pay their Los Angeles Water and Power Bill from their mobile devices. Oracle WebCenter, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle ADF helped bring this solution together and provide multichannel access to City of LA’s customers.

Agilent Technologies

We also had a customer, Agilent Technologies, a spinoff of Hewlett Packard labs, join us at the session. Rajesh Gathwala, the architect of the solution, talked about how the company had to integrate multiple backend approval systems so its customers can use a single app to file approvals. He explained how the Oracle Service Bus helped achieve this integration across applications such as EBS for PO approvals, PeopleSoft for HR approvals and custom ADF for Points approvals. Thus a single set of services could be exposed for access across different channels such as smartphones or tablets running on any platform i.e iOS or Android. The overall infrastructure was secured using Oracle Access Manager and Oracle Internet Directory. This drastically improved productivity leading to faster approvals and increased ease of use across a secure multichannel environment.

The session ended with a live demo which showcased most of the Oracle products in Figure 1. The demo centered around a field service use-case and illustrates how a multichannel strategy can be adopted to enhance customer experience and help improve productivity.

I’ll talk about the demo in greater detail in a follow up post.

Wednesday Nov 05, 2014

Don't Miss: Northumbrian Water to Discuss Their Mobile Application

Northumbrian Water Mobilizes E-Business Suite

Northumbrian Water Delivers Superior Customer Service with Mobile Enablement

Northumbrian Water provides water and sewage services to 2.7 million customers in northeastern England, and water services to another 1.8 million people in the southeastern region trading as Essex & Suffolk Water. The company's challenge? Enable an anytime, anywhere model for its remote workforce to minimize water service disruptions.

Join this live webcast for an in-depth look at how this leading UK water services company built its mobile operations. Learn what Northumbrian Water did to:
  • Improve service delivery and employee productivity by mobile-enabling its workforce
  • Extend the iProcurement application to mobile devices
  • Establish economies of scale with a scalable mobile development, integration, and deployment architecture to build business-relevant mobile applications
Register today for this webcast.

Register Now

November 18, 2014
10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET
Speakers

James Robbins
Chief Information Officer, Northumbrian Water

David Sadler
Strategy and Development Manager, Northumbrian Water

Graham McMillan
Senior Director, Enterprise Architect, Oracle

Grant Ronald
Director of Product Management, Oracle Mobile Solutions, EMEA, Oracle
Copyright © 2014, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
All rights reserved.
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Friday Oct 31, 2014

Cloud Application Foundation Rocks OpenWorld

Author: Jens Eckels, Princial, Technology Product Marketing, Oracle
Halloween is upon us, so of course we're all wearing orange, carving pumpkins and planning our evenings to either go trick or treating with the kids, stay home and hand out candy or leave town and avoid the neighborhood crowds like a Halloween Grinch. We're also busying ourselves in the aftermath of OpenWorld 2014, where WebLogic, Coherence and other CAF products had a lot for show-and-tell. So, here are some useful links, topics and recaps just for you.

All treats, no tricks.
And maybe a few bad Halloween puns for good measure.
This year, OpenWorld understandably had a cloud emphasis, and the sessions for WebLogic and Coherence were no exception. We explored how you could keep cloud migrations from "goblin" up your IT budget (sorry for that groaner) as you look at moving from on-premise to the cloud. We looked at some of the advantages of using Coherence in tandem with WebLogic as a strategic in-memory data grid, "witch" allows you to process data in real time and offload back-end services. We held developer sessions on how open technologies like Chef and Puppet are helping you provision your infrastructure. And of course, sessions on Java Cloud Service itself that provides an easy way to move your workloads from on-premise into the public cloud (it's not as "terrifying" as you might think).

No one likes hunting all over for information, so we'll help you be a lazy "bones" by provding you some links here. Boo-ckle your seat belts and enjoy the ride through the internet - if you have the "guts."
Editor's note: I am very, very sorry for suggesting we use Halloween jokes. I didn't foresee they would be so awful. Maybe I should have read my horror-scope. Please click the links anyway.

Keynotes and General Sessions
Slideshare Presentations











We had a great time at OOW 2014, and we're looking forward to seeing in 2015 to keep you on top of your game.

Have a boo-tiful, safe and exciting Halloween and beyond!

Save the date for OpenWorld 2015:
October 25 - 29, 2015

Email me when registration for OpenWorld and JavaOne opens






Thursday Oct 30, 2014

Developer Recap: Fusion Middleware at OpenWorld 2014

Author: Jens Eckels, Principal, Technology Product Marketing

Oracle OpenWorld is over, but there's still plenty to consume! Much of the developer attention was focused on JavaOne down the road, but that doesn't mean we forgot about you! Here's a brief recap of the goings-on, some sessions you may have missed, and some useful links. Hopefully, you can take a few minutes and get all caught up.
Sessions and Keynotes
Just for you, we had a ton of OOW sessions focused on developing for Fusion Middleware. These didn't just focus on Oracle products, but also how using popular tools and frameworks can help you achieve your goals faster. These sessions focused on everything from mobile development to DevOps, with a specific focus on - you guessed it - cloud. Some useful links:

OpenWorld Keynote and Session Rewinds
JavaOne Keynotes
OpenWorld General Sessions

Yeah, yeah, yeah (you might be heard to say).
Those are all big-picture things that don't affect me on a daily basis (you might think).
You're difficult to please, aren't you? Ok, then. Let us try something else...

If you're still assuming OpenWorld isn't right for you as a developer, check out some of the sessions we completed in 2014, and we can hopefully change your mind for OpenWorld 2015.

   • A Guide to Team Development in the Cloud with Oracle Developer Cloud Service
   • Innovating in the Core: Development with Oracle WebLogic Server 12c
   • Next-Generation Oracle WebLogic Server Provisioning: Puppet, Chef, and More
   • Developing Oracle Fusion Middleware Applications in the Cloud
   • Amplify Service Integration Developer Productivity with Oracle SOA Suite 12c

And of course much more. These five examples are a sampling meant to make you hungry for more.
Kind of like good chips and salsa before your tacos arrive.

Events and Free Beer
Still not convinced we care? Well, we do. And we had several appreciation events to show you. We even handed out a lot of, er, libations, to prove it. If you didn't come to OpenWorld 204, you missed out on:

   • OTN parties that take over Howard Street
   • Live bands, including some local favorites
   • The OTN Lounge, where you could send a Tweet, and it gave you beer. Really.
   • Big-picture sessions about mobile and cloud, and how they're changing, well, everything

We had a great time with you at OOW 2014, and we're looking forward to even more developer events in 2015 to keep you on top of your game.

Save the date for OpenWorld 2015:
October 25 - 29, 2015

Email me when registration for OpenWorld and JavaOne opens






Tuesday Oct 28, 2014

Innovation Award Winner Grupo Farmacos on Platform Optimization Documentary Webcast

How Grupo Farmacos Achieved Cost Control and Operational Efficiency

Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET

Register NOW

Grupo Farmacos is the leading distributor of medical equipment and medicine in Mexico, and services customers across the public and private sectors. In order to support its diverse business operations, the company built a high-performance virtualized infrastructure in the cloud. Join this live webcast for an in-depth look at how Grupo Farmacos implemented Oracle’s engineered systems and middleware to:

  • Consolidate its architecture to control costs and improve IT efficiency
  • Support high-volume transactions and ensure high availability of critical Oracle applications
  • Leverage common, SOA-based integration architecture for Oracle and third-party applications

Note that the same registration link will host the on-demand webcast replay and a bonus implementation whitepaper. 

Speakers:

Alfredo Funes
Chief Information Officer
Grupo Farmacos
Elias Solomon
Corporate Vice President
Grupo Farmacos
Yoav Eilat
Director of Product Marketing
Oracle Fusion Middleware
Oracle

Alfredo Medina
Customer Service and Delivery Manager
Oracle Latin America, Oracle 

Wednesday Oct 22, 2014

Grupo Farmacos Cuts CapEx, OpEx with Platform Consolidation

Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leaders Series
Oracle Corporation
Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leaders Series
Grupo Farmacos is the leading distributor of medical equipment and medicine in Mexico, and services customers across the public and private sectors. In order to support its diverse business operations, the company built a high-performance virtualized infrastructure in the cloud.

Join this live webcast for an in-depth look at how Grupo Farmacos implemented Oracle’s engineered systems and middleware to:
  • Consolidate its architecture to control costs and improve IT efficiency
  • Support high-volume transactions and ensure high availability of critical Oracle applications
  • Leverage common, SOA-based integration architecture for Oracle and third-party applications
Register today for the webcast.
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Register Now
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Calendar Tuesday,
October 28, 2014
10:00 a.m. PT
1:00 p.m. ET
Speakers
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Alfredo Funes
Chief Information Officer, Grupo Farmacos

Elias Solomon
Corporate Vice President, Grupo Farmacos

Yoav Eilat
Director of Product Marketing, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle

Alfredo Medina
Customer Service and Delivery Manager, Oracle Latin America, Oracle
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Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

Coming from OOW - Automating Financial Processes in PeopleSoft, E-Business Suite

At Oracle OpenWorld earlier this month, I had the opportunity to moderate a customer panel to discuss how to automate financial processes for Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle PeopleSoft in a scalable, efficient manner.

The panel was aimed at Application IT as well as Line of Business attendees who are looking to undertake similar implementations. With that in mind, our invitations to speaker panelists were rather deliberate. Not only did we have representation across industry and geography, our panelists' roles within their organizations were different enoguh to provide  both technical and business perspectives. For our panel, we had Michael Stevens who is the Financial Services Initiative Lead at Lend Lease Corporation based in Australia, Doris Wilson from National Express Corporation (NEC) who represented the Application IT side of the house on our panel and Michael LaPlante, Director of Business Process Improvement at National Academy of Sciences (NAS) based in Washington DC.

The business drivers for the three were industry centric. Lend Lease has offices all around the world and because of their business, they need to ensure expedient processing of supplier invoices. Different geographies for Lend Lease meant different invoice templates so it was important to find a solution to reconcile structured and unstructured data. The company went with Oracle WebCenter Capture to scan the invoices, WebCenter Forms recognition to reconcile structured and unstructured data from the invoices while storing the electronic content with WebCenter Content complete with data sync with Oracle E-Business Suite. To enable integration and smoother process management, the company has implemented Oracle SOA Suite. Michael is currently globe-trotting to take these regional implementations live, keeping in mind the regulatory nuances for each region.

Doris did confirm that the implementation request and the solution selection was directed by her finance team counterparts. But to ensure that the implementation was consistent with Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) and the rest of the applications infrastructure at NEC, Doris and her team got involved. The company needed to minimize paper invoices and automate invoice processing so they could free up their resources to do more meaningful work. The company uses Oracle E-Business Suite extensively for most of its operational needs. Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle SOA Suite were the obvious choices given the interoperability and proven integration. With the implementation, NEC was able to automate one of the most tedious processes in their company's finance operations, eliminating the need to even have handwritten signatures and GL account coding. The digital invoice images were then clipped to invoice in EBS making tracking and processing faster and relatively easy while giving visibility to AP liability dollars at month-end. And final resource investment count: 5.5!

NAS is not your typical organization with a not so typical vendor and customer model. True to its distinction, Michael LaPlante and team approached this project quite scientifically. A thorough analysis helped them select which financial processes when automated would provide the most (and near term) return on investment. Invoice processing won hands down. NAS implemented Oracle Webcenter and Oracle BPM Suite to automate invoice processing for PeopleSoft. The project took 13 months to implement with the company hitting the break-even point within 11 months, savings coming in the form of time investment of 8 full time employees! The biggest hurdle for them - change management. Once they got their users on the standardized approval process flow, it was relatively smooth sailing from there on. The ROI increases with every workflow process they now add after AP. Aside from savings in disk storage and offsite storage costs, the company is realizing significant efficiencies in searches, reporting and of course having better visibility. With that under their belt, the NAS team may be looking at tackling the HR processes next.

The three customers on the panel discussed leveraging middleware technologies to complement with EBS or PeopleSoft implementation to automate financial processes and extend the value of their existing investments. That's AppAdvantage; that's technology at work.

The panelists experiences were rather rich and the session provided valuable insights. Hope you found the summary useful as well. If you need more information and have follow up questions, do reach out to use and we will aim to get you answers as quickly as possible.


Tuesday Oct 14, 2014

Highlights from OOW: Bringing Applications and Middleware Together

One of the key sessions discussing the value of middleware at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld was Group Vice President, Amit Zavery’s General Session: Enabling Applications for Cloud, Mobile and Beyond.

The Oracle executive stressed how digital technologies have completely disrupted the way we do business today and how the very same technologies present unique business opportunities that were unheard of just a few years back. For example, a recent survey showed that 74% of customers use 3 or more channels to engage with a business to discuss service issues. And that 70% of the buying cycle takes place before a customer engages with a live sales person meaning the customer does research/comparisons/due diligence based on the information available off the various channels even before he/she directly communicates with a sales person. The engagement model has changed and not just for our customers. Think about it. When was the last time you picked up the phone to call helpdesk to reset your password on a portal or a website? Or, are you still carrying a mobile phone for work and another for your personal use or are those one and the same? Whether you are in the customer, partner or an employee role, your expectations on how you interact with a business (B2B or B2C) have completely changed and businesses are either meeting those and succeeding (a la Amazon) or they are left biting the dirt (Amazon’s initial rival, Borders).

In this session, Amit discusses how technology can play a key role in getting the business digital ready. For that to happen, the applications infrastructure needs to be modernized; it needs to be renovated for the digital future. But rather than throwing away what you already have, Amit outlines an architectural framework to modernizing the infrastructure while leveraging the existing investments. He discusses the role middleware services can play to add capabilities and extensions to your existing applications to allow them to adopt social, mobile, cloud and IoT.

Amit was joined on stage by IT executives from Ricoh Americas and The Sherwin Williams Company. Ricoh’s CIO, Balaji Rangaswamy discussed how they are using the integration service to enable mobile customer service, a self-service portal for dealers and how the same integration service is also allowing their SaaS Salesforce Applications to connect with their On-Premise E-Business Suite application to provide their dealers and salesteam with the information they need to be successful. Incidentally, Ricoh is also a great example of how they have enabled employee social collaboration on the same integration foundation.

Sherwin Williams’ lead architect, Biplab Roy underscored the need for IT to provide the optimization and consolidation platform to keep the operational costs down, drive business efficiencies and enable high performance of its business critical applications to provide stable business operations. The company relied on Oracle Exalogic to do so and have since seen tremendous performance gains.

At Oracle we are learning from our customer experiences as well as their evolving business requirements. AppAdvantage is a direct result of those learnings and where possible, we try and showcase customer use cases, experiences and lessons learned. If you missed Amit’s session at Oracle OpenWorld or are keen to know more and see how you can adopt digital technologies while leveraging your existing investments, we recommend you join as at an Oracle Day event coming to a city near you. And, as always, we look forward to hearing from you via blog, twitter @OracleMiddle or on Facebook.

Wednesday Oct 08, 2014

News from OpenWorld: Oracle Announces New Innovations in Middleware

Whether or not you were actually at Oracle OpenWorld, I am sure you were tuned into the going-ons. One of the most successful OpenWorld conferences for middleware, this year we had a lot of new product announcements, showcases, customer stories and executive perspectives to share.

As you may know, Executive Vice President unveiled Oracle Fusion Middleware as the cloud platform for digital business in his Monday keynote. Thomas announced the latest innovations across Oracle's middleware portfolio and announced 6 cloud service offerings from middleware at his keynote. Highlights included  major updates across the entire Oracle Fusion Middleware stack, including new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and on-premises cloud offerings as well as mobile, security, content management, and data management and integration capabilities.

In case you missed it, here's the press release covering the announcements at Thomas Kurian's middleware keynote. Do expect to hear more from us on this over the coming days.

Thursday Oct 02, 2014

And The Winners Are....

On Tuesday we announced the winners of 2014 Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation in a special, Oscars-like Awards Ceremony at the beautiful Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Siddhartha Agarwal, VP of Product Management and Strategy at Oracle, hosted this special event and really entertained the large crowd with jokes after jokes, and interesting stories from several winners.

After a brief description of Oracle Fusion Middleware product family, its focus on excelling as "The Cloud Platform for Digital Business", and the history of the awards, he started announcing the winners of the 9 product categories.


And the winners for product categories are:

  • Oracle Development Tools and Framework: Dallas Airmotive, and Echo Entertainment Group
  • Business Process Management: State Revenue Office of Victoria, and Vertafore
  • Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud: Grupo Fármacos Especializados and 7-Eleven, Inc.
  • Oracle Service-Oriented Architecture: Benesse Corporation, Inc., and Securitas Direct
  • Oracle Cloud Application Foundation: Verizon Communications, and TUI Travel PLC
  • Oracle Identity Management: Safeway Inc., and Cisco Systems Inc.
  • Oracle Data Integration: NET Serviços de Comunicação S.A. and Griffith University
  • Big Data and Business Analytics: B/E Aerospace, Inc. and Xtime Inc.
  • Oracle WebCenter: McAfee, Inc., and Banque du Liban

After we learned about each of these winner's impressive projects, Siddhartha talked about the key trends in the enterprise computing world and how it affects the key solutions we see our middleware customers implement. He discussed the big trends including cloud adoption, increased mobility and the need to modernize/extend legacy application. With that background info Siddhartha shared the surprise of the night: Starting this year, Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation added 3 new solution categories: Enterprise Mobility, Cloud, and Oracle AppAdvantage

And the winners of this year's 3 solution categories are:

  • Enterprise Mobility: National Pharmacies
  • Oracle AppAdvantage: Ricoh Americas Corp
  • Cloud: Eaton Corporation, and Bundesagentur für Arbeit

 Before closing the Awards Ceremony, Siddhartha thanked everyone, who contributed to the 2014 FMW Innovation Awards. A special thank you went to the partners that submitted more than 50% of ALL nominations this year.

Of course, this Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards program would not reach this success without the customers that implement cutting-edge technologies,  ground breaking solutions, and take the time to submit their nominations for this award...

Congratulations to all winners and their partners for achieving great results with Oracle Fusion Middleware, and thank you for your commitment to innovation! 

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