Thursday Mar 12, 2015

HBR Finds Lack of IT/Business Partnership is Top Roadblock to Digital Innovation

Research shows that companies integrating digital technologies such as social, mobile, cloud, and analytics into their business strategy are 26% more profitable than peers in their industries. 

Yet, a recent study by Harvard Business Review’s research arm indicates that the biggest barrier to driving digital innovation in the enterprise is the IT / business partnership.

The need for speed is a driving factor, with business decision makers wanting faster response times from IT, and often outsourcing apps or other IT functions if they can’t get them. At the same time, IT is spending most of its resources just keeping the lights on and getting bogged down by increasing complexity (exacerbated by 3rd party apps and “shadow IT”). However, according to the HBR survey, the majority of business managers prefer to work with their internal IT departments vs. outsourcing.

So what’s the solution? It has to be multi-faceted to incorporate people, processes, and technology…all in an effort to drive tighter business and IT alignment. 

I’m going to talk about this topic in-depth with Abbie Lundberg, contributing editor for Harvard Business Review Analytic Services during a webcast on March 18 at 10am PT. If you’re interested, please register to join us and participate in the live chat. 

I’d also like to hear your opinion. Does your company have strong IT/business alignment? If so, what do you do that works? What do you think the biggest challenges are?

Tuesday Mar 03, 2015

Mobile: The Console of the Future?

As Mobile World Congress is taking place this week in Barcelona, there’s a lot of focus around mobile in the news. Mobility is now essential for consumers and companies, and incorporating it into a digital strategy that also includes social, cloud, and analytics is an important part of digital innovation.

While most of the focus for mobile is on the edge of the infrastructure and delivering apps to users, you still need a backend that can support the front-end – response time and relevant data are ‘must haves’. An infrastructure that can power the complex queries of a data-driven strategy is part of a mobile strategy that will allow business data to flow across the enterprise. As consumers, we don't think or care about the backend, but as providers you need to ensure it will support the service levels required.

You can read more about this topic in last week’s Forbes article titled, “Here's Why Mobile Shouldn't Stand Alone” in which I discuss this issue with my colleague Suhas Uliyar, vice president of mobile strategy product management at Oracle.

How important is mobility to your customers and what are the most challenging issues that it’s posing to your organization?


Harish Venkat is Vice President of the Global Hardware Systems Business Group at Oracle Corporation. Follow him on Twitter @hvenkat1.

Sunday Sep 07, 2014

Gartner Positions Oracle in Leaders Quadrant for Integrated Systems


This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle.

Gartner, Inc. has named Oracle a Leader in its latest Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports position vendors within a particular quadrant based on both their completeness of vision and their ability to execute.

The authors of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems define integrated systems as “combinations of server, storage, and network infrastructure, sold with management software that facilitates the provisioning and management of the combined unit.”

The Gartner analysts listed six drivers for adopting integrated systems.

  • Improved performance
  • Perceived lower operating expenditure costs and greater IT optimization
  • Increased automation
  • Simplified sourcing and support
  • Faster time to value with infrastructure
  • Support in moving from IT maintenance to IT innovation

“Oracle is the only integrated systems vendor that architects, integrates, and implements the entire technology stack of hardware and software, so customers can simplify IT and focus on innovating in their core business,” says Steve Rudinsky, principal product marketing director for Oracle SuperCluster. “As a market leader, no other vendor offers the breadth of integrated systems portfolio, the level of intra-stack optimization, or the proven track record.”

Ability to Execute

When assessing the two main selection criteria for determining leaders, the Gartner analysts note, “The market for integrated systems is complex, with greater dependency on very specific topics. We have, therefore, added several sub-criteria to the standard list of criteria, to enable more accurate vendor assessment. For our assessment of Product/Service, we examine the degree of software integration available from the vendor or implementation partners, plus the vendor’s ability to deliver on road map promises. Sales Execution/Pricing examines both direct and indirect execution, as most integration system strategies are highly dependent on the role of local channel partners.”

Completeness of Vision

Reiterating their comments about the complexity of the integrated systems market, the authors added, “As with Sales Execution/Pricing, the Sales Strategy criterion for Completeness of Vision assesses both the direct strategy and the channel partner strategy. Offering (Product) Strategy focuses on the breadth of the total solution (including software integration), the investment in management tools and the technology portfolio breadth. Business Model examines the implementation services that are available through the vendor or channel partners, and the variety of solutions and use cases that can be addressed.”

Read Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems (June 16, 2014, ID:G00252466, Analyst(s): Andrew Butler, George J. Weiss, Philip Dawson).

Learn more about Oracle’s engineered systems and download the e-book Engineered for Extreme Performance.


About Gartner Research Publications
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Thursday Feb 13, 2014

Oracle Kicks Off "Oracle Systems: Enhancing Your Applications" Event Series

Oracle is kicking off a 17-city North American event series on how running Oracle Applications on Oracle hardware can help customers deliver maximum value and achieve dramatically better business results.

Watch Video - Oracle Systems: Together with Oracle Applications



The series kicks off February 19 in Nashville and February 20 in Toronto. Check the full list for a city near you and register today.

Oracle has engineered and optimized every layer of the underlying hardware and software to work together—so you can replace wait time with work time and get more out of your business. 
At the Oracle Systems: Enhancing Your Applications event, attendees will learn how they can:
  • Reduce costs and focus on innovation with superior Oracle ERP and CRM application and database performance
  • Improve time to value by adding new capabilities when you need them
  • Drive productivity and business value with Oracle Hardware systems and Oracle Optimized Solutions
  • Transform business processes with Oracle’s new In-Memory Applications for Oracle’s Engineered Systems

Monday Jan 06, 2014

The Unique Business Value of Oracle Engineered Systems: Why Oracle Engineered Systems Are Best

The trend toward adoption of pre-integrated data center 'building blocks' combining applications, database and middleware software, data storage, compute, networking, virtualization and management is well underway within most global enterprises.  This trend, and Oracle's leadership position, is evidenced by recent survey data and analysis published by numerous industry luminaries (such as Gartner and IDC).  While not all such offerings from all vendors are equivalent, they all have common aims: cost reduction, improved efficiency, better ease of use and the agility to take advantage of marketplace opportunities and technology changes as quickly as they occur, for as long as they last.  While other technology solution vendors are now racing to close the gap, Oracle's offering continues to outpace our competition, propelled by numerous commercial, marketplace and unique technical advantages.

[Read More]

Monday Mar 04, 2013

Oracle x86 Systems – Putting the Infrastructure in IaaS (Part One of Three)

Recent IDC cloud research shows that worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services will reach $72.9 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6%. Specifically, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will have shown a 33% CAGR dating from 2011-2014. There are various forces driving this meaningful growth, and different sources all agree that the SMB-Cloud Market will likely grow to over $50B by 2014, with the Enterprise space reaching $20B. Small- and medium-sized businesses are migrating to the cloud to reduce the operating and capital expenditures associated with hardware and software, as well as costs associated with support and maintenance.  Enterprise customers are also taking advantage of the cloud, but in a different light. Enterprise customers are segmenting their IT into portions that generate revenue and portions that are considered standard IT, and capable of being moved to the cloud. The common theme is that companies want to simplify their IT and focus their internal resources on areas that allow them to meet the expectations of their internal and external customers, as well as keep pace with their competition.

Oracle understands these needs and offers a complete ecosystem of solutions jointly designed with their x86 portfolio of systems to offer its customers meaningful innovation centered on delivering business value and the most efficient path to the cloud. Oracle’s IaaS solution includes their x86 standalone servers, the innovative Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, the choice of operating systems in Oracle Linux or Solaris, virtualization software with Oracle VM, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c for complete system management, and the newly introduced Oracle Virtual Networking, which combines hardware and software for tremendous reductions in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Figure-1. Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle x86 Red Stack 

Oracle’s IaaS x86 Block has been implemented in conjunction with Oracle’s middleware and applications by several cloud solution providers, including dcVAST, an IT and Managed Services company serving customers ranging from middle market to Fortune 500 organizations. Prior to 2011, dcVAST has a mixed solution consisting of Oracle software, Red Hat Linux (RHEL), along with HP and Dell servers virtualized using VMware. However, they encountered several challenges including a lack of service flexibility, limited scalability, ineffective solution support, and rising costs associated with VMware and RHEL. This complexity led David Cintron, vice president of Managed Services at dcVAST, to migrate their IaaS services to Oracle’s enterprise cloud infrastructure architecture, which provides a single-vendor solution for the entire hardware and software stack, and is designed for rapid deployment. The solution dcVAST implemented to replace the complex and mixed vendor installation consisted of Oracle’s x86 blade systems, Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, Oracle’s Fabric Network and Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c for ubiquitous management.  Cintron points out, “The fact that Oracle VM and the Hypervisor are included means there is less cost to our customers. Also, our engineering staff finds the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, which includes a patch management tool, especially useful. Without it, we would have had to buy another product or cascade into operating system management around Red Hat. We need to run a supported Linux environment and be able to rely on security and patch fixes, and now this is part of the solution with Oracle hardware. This is a valuable added benefit for us and our ability to service our customers.”

Oracle Enterprise Manager Stack for x86 Systems

Six months after implementation, the Oracle solution is on track in delivering 50 percent TCO savings based on the low acquisition cost and ongoing operational efficiencies. Only with Oracle’s x86 systems with a support contract, do customers receive their choice of Oracle Linux or Solaris, Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c at no additional cost, offering valuable savings for customers to reinvest in revenue generating activities. Don Swanson, CEO of dcVAST, explained, "The Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure provides a customizable solution that can be tailored specifically for our clients running Oracle systems. It delivers smoother deployment and increased functionality of Oracle ATG Commerce and cloud services. If customers are running Oracle software and they are moving to the cloud, this is the solution they should be using because true to form, Oracle runs better on Oracle.”

Now that you have been introduced to Oracle’s IaaS architecture for public or private clouds, look for part two and three of this topic, where I will cover deeper insights into the innovations found within each architectural element, and how they integrate to provide a differentiated solution, aimed at helping customers meet the ever growing demands on their cloud implementations.

Edgar Haren is a Principal Product Director at Oracle for Oracle’s x86 systems and solutions. He previously spent several years in product development and marketing focused on High Performance Computing. Edgar has 19 provisional patents and public disclosures focusing on server power solutions, mobile power, wireless audio, direct audio, USB switching, physical security, video projection and ergonomics.

Tuesday Jan 15, 2013

Oracle IaaS with Capacity on Demand – Engineered Systems Hardware for a Monthly Fee. Possibly the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread.

It’s no mystery that Oracle offers the most comprehensive and flexible portfolio of cloud products and services in the industry. From public cloud to private cloud, our strategy is to empower and support customers to make the best decisions with products and services that address their needs throughout their journey to the cloud. Today, we’re excited to announce the addition of Oracle Infrastructure as a Service with Capacity on Demand (Oracle IaaS).

Engineered SystemsWhat is Oracle IaaS you say? It’s Oracle’s newest private cloud offering that enables organizations to deploy Oracle Engineered Systems, including Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalogic Elastic CloudOracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine, Sun ZFS Storage Appliance,and Oracle SPARC SuperCluster, in their own data centers, behind their firewall – all for a monthly fee.

Yes, you heard that right. Now you can have Oracle Engineered Systems hardware deployed on-premise without upfront capital expenditures in a pure OpEx model in which Oracle still owns the hardware. With Oracle IaaS, instead of buying or leasing the hardware, you can now spread the cost over time by paying a simple monthly fee – there’s no financing or complex lease terms involved.

What’s Capacity on Demand? Well for customers who want the power, security, and reliability of an on-premise engineered system, but don’t necessarily need all of that computing capacity all the time, each Oracle IaaS system includes additional CPU capacity that can be enabled at any time to handle peak workloads and disabled when no longer needed. Capacity on Demand helps keep infrastructure costs down because customers only pay for the additional CPU capacity during the months it’s used, while providing extra juice whenever workloads spike or business requirements change.

Wait, there’s more. Oracle Infrastructure as a Service includes industry-leading services that maximize performance, reliability and security. With the monthly fee, customers also receive Oracle Premier Support for Systems, Oracle Platinum Services, and the new Oracle PlatinumPlus Services which provide quarterly proactive analysis and advisory services to ensure that customers’ systems are configured optimally – all at no extra cost.

Don't just take my word for it. Learn more about Oracle IaaS with Capacity on Demand at http://oracle.com/goto/iaas. Also, join Mark Hurd and Juan Loaiza on January 22nd for the LIVE webcast Introducing Oracle Infrastructure as a Service.

About

Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

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