Thursday Feb 13, 2014

Follow-up to Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader Webcast with Pella

Thanks to everyone who attended yesterday's Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader Webcast on Pella Revolutionizes the Digital Experience for Customers, Partners and Employees. If you missed it, the on-demand replay is now available here.

Our sincere thanks to the team at Pella for making this documentary possible. We'd especially like to thank Pella's IT Leader, Rick Hassman for sharing his vision, Pella's technology reference model and the business strategy behind their digital experience innovation. A few of you have already reached out to let us know how you found the Pella documentary and the segment with Rick Beers (an Oracle AppAdvantage "guide", the host of this documentary and an IT Leader himself) and Al Viall Jr's (Oracle Enterprise Architect) walk-through quite useful - we are very encouraged by your response and will continue to showcase other shining examples of  leadership and innovation via this Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader series.

We did our best to answer your questions during the live webcast. However, due to time constraints, we couldn't quite get to all of those. So, we have compiled the Q&A with Rick Beers and Al Viall Jr. from the webcast here. If you have any follow-up questions, please send us a comment; we'd love to hear from you!

  1. Can you please explain how content management ties to WebCenter Sites and WebCenter Portal at Pella?
    Answer: Pella used several technologies in the Oracle AppAdvantage program to create the real-time appointment scheduling application including Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF), Oracle Business Intelligence, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle WebCenter Sites, and Oracle WebCenter Portal. Oracle WebCenter Sites serves as the foundation for a new application that re-engineers the scheduling process and pulls in all the necessary information from Oracle CRM On Demand, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications. The information is collated across all these apps to give dealers a complete history of each account including prior purchases, service requests, responses to marketing offers, previous searches, and more. Oracle SOA Suite brings all this information together and displays it through Oracle WebCenter Portal.Pella utilizes Oracle WebCenter Content as an enterprise content store that includes all this content 
  2. Does Oracle WebCenter Portal provide dashboard and analytics capabilities?
    Answer: Absolutely - WebCenter Portal provides complete dashboard and composite application functionality along with analytics. For example - at Pella - information is collated across Oracle Applications, as well as from Google Maps and other third-party apps, to give dealers a complete history of each account including prior purchases, service requests, responses to marketing offers, previous searches, and more. Oracle SOA Suite brings all this information together and displays it through Oracle WebCenter Portal.
  3. Rick – To relate Pella story to AppAdvantage, how do you expect ERPs and CRM systems to behave with front-end tools like WebCenter Portal and Sites?
    Answer: Oracle AppAdvantage is based on a pace-layered approach. We recommend that you use applications – ERP systems, et al to do what they do best – standardize and consolidate data. Leave the ERP modules unmodified. Whatever functionality enhancements, application extensions you need, you build those in the middleware layer. Whether you need to simplify your IT infrastructure, bring capabilities in to differentiate or introduce innovation, do it in the middleware layer to minimize disruption to your application lifecycles.
  4. Does Oracle WebCenter Portal provide dashboard and analytics capabilities?
    Answer: Absolutely - WebCenter Portal provides complete dashboard and composite application functionality along with analytics. For example - at Pella - information is collated across Oracle Applications, as well as from Google Maps and other third-party apps, to give dealers a complete history of each account including prior purchases, service requests, responses to marketing offers, previous searches, and more. Oracle SOA Suite brings all this information together and displays it through Oracle WebCenter Portal.
  5. Isn’t integration between applications key to Pella’s AppAdvantage implementation?
    Answer: It's extremely key to maintaining a 360 degree view of information. Since customer information is actually housed in various systems, integration is key in providing an abstracted layer with a separation of concerns.
  6. For Al - Do we need Oracle SOA Suite to consolidate the data from different applications, Oracle and others and then present it to WebCenter portal?
    Answer: While Oracle SOA Suite is not required, it provides superior value to our customers, including Pella, in building out an abstracted information exchange layer.
  7. Al , were there clear benefits to using Oracle Webcenter Suite and Oracle SOA Suite with Oracle CRM on-demand and Oracle EBS in the back-end?
    Answer: The Pella implementation included the appointment setting application with pella.com as well as with its Oracle CRM On Demand applications. Oracle WebCenter Portal enabled a diverse, geographically dispersed team to work remotely and collaboratively, accelerating the implementation process. Oracle WebCenter Portal provided the engine that allows Pella to interact and display the right information to the right people. The information is collated across these Oracle Applications, as well as from Google Maps and other third-party apps, to give dealers a complete history of each account including prior purchases, service requests, responses to marketing offers, previous searches, and more. Oracle SOA Suite brings all this information together and displays it through Oracle WebCenter Portal.
  8. Rick, how do you see companies starting with AppAdvantage? Do they already have investments in both Oracle Middleware and Oracle Applications?
    Answer: Oracle AppAdvantage offers a business solution strategy rather than a product focused one. You already have applications in place. Some of these maybe Oracle Applications, the others could be third party applications. They may be on-premise or in the cloud. Depending upon your current business driver(s), your current business challenge, you can determine which lever to pull and see which 'entry point' suits you best and you build your IT strategy and investments accordingly. You may not need existing investment in Oracle Fusion Middleware.
  9. Where can we get more information on this and other Oracle AppAdvantage stories?
    Answer: We currently have an Oracle AppAdvantage Roundtable Series where you will hear from Oracle AppAdvantage customers and partners on real time implementations. So, we highly recommend that as a next step. And do visit www.oracle.com/appadvantage for customer case studies, technical materials, more. You should also be receiving a detailed whitepaper on Pella implementation as our thank you for attending this webcast.
  10. Al – How does this model extend to mobile? Can Oracle Middleware or Webcenter support both Apple and Android app development?
    Answer: Oracle WebCenter Suite provides both Android and IOS apps available today on the app stores.

Friday Feb 07, 2014

From Analysts to Architects: Oracle AppAdvantage

Author: 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.

The Oracle AppAdvantage team has kicked off its Executive Roundtable global series covering about 20 locations in North America alone, with a pilot in Boston last week. With its focus on Business Process Agility, one of our entry points, it was a very interactive discussion amongst the audience, the presenting customer, a global communications infrastructure company, and the sponsoring partner, Apps Associates. It certainly set the bar high for the rest of the series. More of that later in the blog, but for now I’d like to relay a conversation I had with one of the IT Leaders attending. After dinner he and I talked about the breakthroughs he was finally having in discussing business process management with his supply chain counterparts and the way in which Business Analysts were actually driving the discussion. In his view they were making a breakthrough in finally aligning technology and process so we did what any two responsible adults do after dinner to kick around a few ideas; we went to the bar for some single malt.

We talked about the way that the Business Analyst role was expanding beyond the traditional scope of fit and functionality, as systems moved beyond the tightly controlled ERP confines of the past.

Social, Mobile, Cloud and Big Data are certainly providing the opportunity to better (finally?) align IT and the rest of the business, but in doing so are redefining the Business Analyst role. As we were talking I began to sketch out the scope of this new breed of Business Analysts. There seemed to be four quadrants of activity involved in the ability of an enterprise platform to align with the business.

But then we discussed the dynamic nature of all this compared with the early days of the evolution of Business Analysts. That’s the reason for the continual loop of Iteration.

In ERP’s early days, from which emerged the modern Business Analyst role, we were all comfortable with a periodic review if business processes during the ‘fit/gap’ phase of an implementation or upgrade. Over time of course, business processes and even business models themselves grew much more dynamic, to the point where change became continual. The alignment between process and technology became even more elusive than before. With the emergence of digital innovations enabling the open architectures of today’s enterprise systems platforms the Business Analyst role is becoming a much more dynamic and strategic one. As a matter of fact, it’s beginning to look like a Business Architect role, but that’s a discussion for another day.

And that was the outcome for me of just one AppAdvantage Executive Roundtable. I can’t wait for the next one. We’ve designed these events to open up such ideas; to focus upon true iterative learning that we can build upon back at the workplace. Follow the link I just provided to learn more about these Roundtables, now underway in APAC, EMEA and North America. Register for one close to you and even better, bring along a functional counterpart. Get those creative juices flowing. And enjoy a scotch afterwards.

On a related note, the Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leaders Series has kicked off with a 30 minute documentary produced with the Pella Corporation, where we explored the impact that Digital Experience (one of our seven entry points) is having on Pella’s relationships with customers, partners and employees. The Webcast will occur on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Be sure to register for this unique online event.


Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader Documentary Webcast on Pella

Oracle AppAdvantage is not about products; it is about business use cases. At Oracle we have the unique opportunity to see and understand how organizations - big and small, global and regional - use Oracle Applications and how they look to extend and enhance the value of their existing investments in Oracle Applications. As ACE Director, Debra Lilley had mentioned in her post last week, much like traffic and roads, it is okay to ask for directions while navigating applications. Oracle AppAdvantage is that strategic approach to using Oracle Fusion Middleware with Oracle Applications or other industry applications whereby organizations can extend their technology investments to fuel innovation and meet strategic business objectives.

The Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader program has been put together to showcase organizations and their successful technology roadmaps driving innovation for the future while enabling business success today. As  part of this program, you will see Oracle's executives sit down with IT Leaders of organizations around the world to discuss the business, cultural, organizational and financial impact of the use of technology, and of the application of Oracle AppAdvantage, to drive innovation and build industry differentiation. These in-depth, on-site interviews will detail the business rationale, the road to planning, design & ultimately success as well as the IT Leader's vision for the future. We will get insights into the industry, we will explore touch points between business and IT collaboration, and more. Oracle Enterprise Architects and technical experts will be called in to walk us through the logical reference model so we understand the technology that is fueling the success. We will explore the cross-industry applications of technology. And, we will host a live Q&A session so that YOUR questions are answered by the experts.

We kick-off the IT Leader program with Pella - a well known doors and windows manufacturer in North America. Tune in Wednesday, February 12 at 10 am PT/ 1pm ET to see and hear from the IT Leaders at Pella as they describe how they are leveraging Oracle AppAdvantage to reinvent the way they interact with employees, customers, and business partners. Find out how technology is enabling continuous improvement throughout the manufacturing and sales cycles at Pella. Register for this complimentary webcast and get your questions answered live by the experts. Rick Beers, our host of the regular IT Leaders Editorial column, will be the host of this documentary webcast with Pella.

Pella Revolutionizes the Digital Experience for Customers, Partners and Employees

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Time: 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET

Register Now


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