Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

5 Things I Learned About the IT Labor Shortage

by Jim Lein | Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

5 Things I Learned About the IT Labor Shortage

A gentle autumn breeze is nudging the last golden leaves off the aspen trees. It’s time to wrap up the series that I started back in April, “The Growing IT Labor Shortage: Are You Feeling It?”

Even in a time of relatively high unemployment, labor shortages exist depending on many factors, including location, industry, IT requirements, and company size. According to Manpower Groups 2013 Talent Shortage Survey, 35% of hiring managers globally are having difficulty filling jobs. Their top three challenges in filling jobs are:

1. lack of technical competencies (hard skills)

2. Lack of available applicants

3. Lack of experience

The same report listed Technicians as the most difficult position to fill in the United States

For most companies, Human Capital and Talent Management have never been more strategic and they are striving for ways streamline processes, reduce turnover, and lower costs (see this Oracle whitepaper, “ Simplify Workforce Management and Increase Global Agility”).

Everyone I spoke to—partner, customer, and Oracle experts—agreed that it can be extremely challenging to hire and retain IT talent in today’s labor market. And they generally agreed on the causes:

a. IT is so pervasive that there are myriad moving parts requiring support and expertise,

b. thus, it’s hard for university graduates to step in and contribute immediately without experience and specialization,

c. big IT companies generally aren’t the talent incubators that they were in the freewheeling 90’s due to bottom line pressures that require hiring talent that can hit the ground running, and

d. it’s often too expensive for resource-strapped midsize companies to invest the time and money required to get graduates up to speed.

Here are my top lessons learned from my conversations with the experts.


1. A Better Title Would Have Been, “The Challenges of Finding and Retaining IT Talent That Matches Your Requirements”

There are more applicants than jobs but it’s getting tougher and tougher to find individuals that perfectly fit each and every role. Top performing companies are increasingly looking to hire the “almost ready”, striving to keep their existing talent more engaged, and leveraging their employee’s social and professional networks to quickly narrow down candidate searches (here’s another whitepaper, “A Strategic Approach to Talent Management”).

2. Size Matters—But So Does Location

Midsize companies must strive to build cultures that compete favorably with what large enterprises can offer, especially when they aren’t within commuting distance of IT talent strongholds. They can’t always match the compensation and benefits offered by large enterprises so it's paramount to offer candidates high quality of life and opportunities to build their resumes in alignment with their long term career aspirations.

3. Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends

It doesn’t always make sense to invest time and money in training an employee on a task they will not perform frequently. Or get in a bidding war for talent with skills that are rare and in high demand. Many midsize companies are finding that it makes good economic sense to contract with partners for remote support rather than trying to divvy up each and every role amongst their lean staff. Internal staff can be assigned to roles that will have the highest positive impact on achieving organizational goals.

4. It’s Actually Both “What You Know” AND “Who You Know”

If I was hiring someone today I would absolutely leverage the social and professional networks of my co-workers. Period. Most research shows that hiring in this manner is less expensive and time consuming AND produces better results. There is also some evidence that suggests new hires from employees’ networks have higher job performance and retention rates.

5. I Have New Respect for Recruiters and Hiring Managers

My hats off to them—it’s not easy hiring and retaining top talent with today’s challenges. Check out the infographic, “A New Day: Taking HR from Chaos to Control”, on Oracle’s Human Capital Management solutions home page. You can also explore all of Oracle’s HCM solutions from that page based on your role.


You can read all the posts in this series by clicking on the links in the right sidebar.

Stay tuned…we’ll continue to post thought leadership on HCM and Talent Management topics.

Wednesday Oct 23, 2013

7 Steps To Cut Recruiting Costs & Drive Exceptional Business Results

By Steve Viarengo, Vice President Product Management, Oracle Taleo Cloud Services 

In good times, trimming operational costs is an ongoing goal. In tough times, it’s a necessity. In both good times and bad, however, recruiting occurs. Growth increases headcount in good times, and opportunistic or replacement hiring occurs in slow business cycles. By employing creative recruiting strategies in tandem with the latest technology developments, you can reduce recruiting costs while driving exceptional business results.

Here are some critical areas to focus on.


1.  Target Direct Cost Savings

Total recruiting process expenses are the sum of external costs plus internal labor costs. Most organizations can reduce recruiting expenses with direct cost savings. While additional savings on indirect costs can be realized from process improvement and efficiency gains, there are direct cost savings and benefits readily available in three broad areas: sourcing, assessments, and green recruiting.

2. Sourcing: Reduce Agency Costs

Agency search firm fees can amount to 35 percent of a new employee’s annual base salary. Typically taken from the hiring department budget, these fees may not be visible to HR. By relying on internal mobility programs, referrals, candidate pipelines, and corporate career Websites, organizations can reduce or eliminate this agency spend.

And when you do have to pay third-party agency fees, you can optimize the value you receive by collaborating with agencies to identify referred candidates, ensure access to candidate data and history, and receive automatic notifications and correspondence.

3. Sourcing: Reduce Advertising Costs

You can realize significant cost reductions by placing all job positions on your corporate career Website. This will allow you to reap a substantial number of candidates at minimal cost compared to job boards and other sourcing options.

4.  Sourcing: Internal Talent Pool

Internal talent pools provide a way to reduce sourcing and advertising costs while delivering improved productivity and retention. Internal redeployment reduces costs and ramp-up time while increasing retention and employee satisfaction.

5.  Sourcing: External Talent Pool

Strategic recruiting requires identifying and matching people with a given set of skills to a particular job while efficiently allocating sourcing expenditures. By using an e-recruiting system (which drives external talent pool management) with a candidate relationship database, you can automate prescreening and candidate matching while communicating with targeted candidates.

Candidate relationship management can lower sourcing costs by marketing new job opportunities to candidates sourced in the past. By mining the talent pool in this fashion, you eliminate the need to source a new pool of candidates for each new requisition. Managing and mining the corporate candidate database can reduce the sourcing cost per candidate by as much as 50 percent.

6.  Assessments: Reduce Turnover Costs

By taking advantage of assessments during the recruitment process, you can achieve a range of benefits, including better productivity, superior candidate performance, and lower turnover (providing considerable savings). Assessments also save recruiter and hiring manager time by focusing on a short list of qualified candidates. Hired for fit, such candidates tend to stay with the organization and produce quality work—ultimately driving revenue.

 7. Green Recruiting: Reduce Paper and Processing Costs

You can reduce recruiting costs by automating the process—and making it green. A paperless process informs candidates that you’re dedicated to green recruiting. It also leads to direct cost savings. E-recruiting reduces energy use and pollution associated with manufacturing, transporting, and recycling paper products. And process automation saves energy in mailing, storage, handling, filing, and reporting tasks. Direct cost savings come from reduced paperwork related to résumés, advertising, and onboarding.


Improving the recruiting process through sourcing, assessments, and green recruiting not only saves costs. It also positions the company to improve the talent base during the recession while retaining the ability to grow appropriately in recovery.

Tuesday Oct 22, 2013

Keeping Your Employees Engaged Requires More Than Bright Shiny Objects

by Jim Lein | Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

If you are experiencing the challenges of hiring and retaining the best talent then you understand how important it is to keep employees engaged. An engaged employee is "one who understands his/her place in the organization and fully comprehends how they contribute to and participate in the firm's execution of its Mission and Vision".

It goes deeper than just what I call "bright shiny objects". During my ski bum days, all my boss at the ski shop had to do was say, "If you put all these boots away before noon you can make a few powder runs and come back for the afternoon rush". That's as bright and shiny as it gets.

Pamela Stroko heads up Oracle's HCM Sales Enablement and Development and is Talent Management and Expert and Evangelist. Our Oracle Accelerate quarterly newsletter features a Q&A with Stroko on the Current State of Employee Engagement.

Stroko provides perspective on how to keep employees engaged when hiring managers are challenged to find and retain top talent.

Read the entire Q&A here.

Click here to see the entire newsletter. Remember to subscribe.



Monday Oct 21, 2013

Changes to IT and culture bring new health to MedicAlert.

Karen Lamoree, COO at MedicAlert Foundation, is featured in this new article, "Changes to IT and Culture Bring New Health to MedicAlert", on Oracle Profit Online. Lamoree also provided perspective on the Growing IT Labor Shortage, posted last month, "The MedicAlert Story: Sustaining Modern IT & Overcoming the IT Labor Shortage in Small Town America." 

It's wonderful to see an organization like MedicAlert continue to grow and remain relevant. The company was founded on doing good locally in a small California farming community. It now provides services to 2.3 million members in the United States and another 1.7 million members through its affiliates worldwide.

Wednesday Oct 16, 2013

Talent Mobility: Drive Employee Satisfaction and Company Success

By Steve Viarengo, Vice President Product Management, Oracle Taleo Cloud Services

Does your organization have a formal program in place for Talent Mobility? If you’re like most midsized businesses the answer is “no,” and it’s more likely you are asking yourself “What does Talent Mobility mean?” Talent mobility is the movement of employees from one position to another within an organization and whether you are aware of it or not is a critical component to employee satisfaction and corporate success.

Over the years, studies have revealed a significant correlation between internal employee mobility and corporate performance. Seminal research conducted over the course of a decade found that the top 10 percent of companies with “high-performance work systems” had four times the amount of sales per employee. Remarkably, these companies filled more than 60 percent of jobs from within. In contrast, the bottom 10 percent of these companies filled just 35 percent of jobs internally. In addition, research has shown that many great leaders have emerged from within organizations’ ranks.

With a strong internal mobility program, companies can leverage their employee base to achieve corporate goals, shifting resources where they’re most suited. Best of all, they can do so without the costs and delays associated with a conventional external recruiting process. Without such a program in place, top talent will be more likely to disengage or depart. After all, if they can’t see a career path within the organization, or they realize that other employees are being promoted or recruited without the skills and competencies to do the job, your top talent will likely go elsewhere. And if leadership pipelines are clogged with employees lacking the appropriate mix of skills and experience to step into pivotal roles, business growth will suffer.

Benefits you can expect your organization to see from a strong talent mobility program include:

  • Shorter time to productivity
  • Greater employee engagement and retention
  • Lower talent acquisition costs
  • Streamlined information flow
  • Limited competitive-intelligence leakage
  • Stronger leadership teams
  • Better financial performance

To implement a successful talent mobility program you must make sure your employees are aware of open positions and opportunities, proactive match good candidates to open roles, and establish talent pools in your employee base to clearly understand where your star performers are in the organization. This may sound like a lot of work, but getting started is easier than you think and the rewards are very compelling.

To learn more about Talent Mobility read our complete whitepaper.   

Tuesday Oct 15, 2013

Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Release 9.1 Update 2 Makes Life Easier for Growing Midsize Customers

by Jim Lein | Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

Imagine taking a picture of your hotel bill with your smartphone and uploading it as an attachment to an expense report you are creating on the same device. That scenario is now a reality for Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne customers.

Last month at Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle announced the general availability of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Release 9.1. Update 2. This update offers great new capabilities and once again validates Oracle’s commitment to enhancing the popular product line. Oracle’s continuous delivery model delivers more JD Edwards EnterpriseOne enhancements and new modules on a much more frequent basis—months, not years apart. Most of the enhancements delivered in the update had previously been made available to customers as they were developed, via ESU’s (Electronic Service Updates) provided within customer support agreements.

In recent years, the majority of JD Edwards EnterpriseOne customers have upgraded to the latest version of the software and adopted a "configuration over customization" deployment approach. Thus, it’s now much easier, less costly, and less risky for those customers to stay current with their software investments. Oracles JD Edwards EnterpriseOne retains its reputation as a Top Tier, low risk option for both growing midsize companies and global enterprise organizations.


Mobile Device Integration Highlights:

  • No more misplacing crumpled up receipts: Take a picture of your hotel bill with your smartphone and upload it as an attachment to an expense report you are creating on the same device.
  • Less time in the office for field service and project professionals: Enter your service time for a job via your smartphone instead of having to head back to the office late in the day.

User Interface/Productivity Improvement

  • Fewer clicks to a deeper dive: Drill down from a One View Reporting screen to source data or other information such as a supplier profile
Deeper Industry functionality
  • Focus on exceptions: Belly up to the new inventory reconciliation workbench to focus more on what’s out of whack and less on what’s running smoothly
  • Spend less time running around the warehouse: Take advantage of improved putaway and picking processes for Warehouse Management
  • Spend less time keying in data: Deploy the new integration to Oracle Value Chain Planning for Configured items


Dig Deeper

Click here to read the announcement and find links to the Oracle Product and Technical catalogs for Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne.

Thursday Oct 10, 2013

New Study Reveals SMB Companies Are Increasing Adoption of Modern Marketing Techniques

Survey Highlights Business Value of Modern Marketing Techniques and Factors Driving Increased Adoption

Click here to read the press release.

Giving HR a seat at the table

by Jim Lein | Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

Interesting recap in Forbes by Steve Banker regarding PL Developments presentation at Oracle OpenWorld, "PL Developments Wins With S&OP".

I interviewed Tom Crowe, CIO at PL Developments, for my blog series on The Growing IT Labor Shortage. Tom provided his perspective on the challenges of hiring and retaing the best talent in today's market. For the wholesale/distribution industry, finding and keeping good labor is a challenge across the board.

From Banker's piece:

'Including finance in this process is a sign of a maturity – S&OP is morphing into Integrated Business Planning. However, giving HR a seat at the table is rare. PL Developments chose to do this because as their business scales up and down, they need to balance hiring new hourly workers with turnover. As a highly regulated industry, labor is a key constraint. FDA regulations lead to long training cycles, it takes them 60 days to train people and put them on the line."

To learn more about PL Developments Oracle deployment check out their Oracle customer snapshot.


Wednesday Oct 09, 2013

When It Comes to ERP-Nobody Likes Surprises

by Jim Lein | Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

I joined JD Edwards in 1999 and quickly learned a few ground rules. Think thrice before using the word “easy” to describe anything about ERP. The only constant in ERP is change. And customers hate surprises.


Syntax—Specializing in Oracle JD Edwards and Oracle Accelerate From the Get-Go

From the beginnings, Oracle JD Edwards enterprise applications have been known for having deep industry functionality and for being THE low risk and low TCO Top Tier option. Recently, I caught up with Gary Shaffran, Sr. Vice President and Co-Owner at Syntax, an Oracle Accelerate Partner and Platinum level partner in Oracle PartnerNetwork.

Syntax was founded in Toronto in 1972. Gary joined the company in 1981 and was part of the executive team that made the decision to hitch its ERP consulting wagon exclusively to JD Edwards in 1996. The company was also one of the original Oracle Accelerate Partners dating back to when the program was launched in 2007.

"The most consistent themes we're hearing from our customers are that they want cost certainty and industry best practices," says Shaffran. “They don’t want to reinvent the wheel. From the start, the Oracle Accelerate approach has given our customers a reason to select Oracle’s JD Edwards with the confidence that they will get return on their investments quickly.”

Rigid Template--Bad. Configurable Template—Good.

Syntax’s clients want best practices but not at the expense of flexibility. They need assurance that the solution of choice will bring best practices to their organization but not shoe horn them into a stagnant template that locks them into one version of industry best practices.

“One company’s definition of best practices is different than another’s,” says Shaffran. “Smaller companies are smaller—not simpler. An old-fashioned template approach based on rigid industry best practices is misguided because it won’t take into account that every company is different.

In Shaffran’s experience, that’s why Oracle Accelerate Solutions and Oracle Business Accelerators are unlike anything else in the market. Syntax leverages the embedded best practices to get customers set up on starting point based on the experiences of similar companies. But from there, each company has the ability to tweak their processes within the system—without customizations—to meet their changing needs as they grow and adapt their businesses to changing market conditions.

“Today, customer expectations are more complex because their businesses are more complex,” adds Shaffran. “The Oracle Accelerate approach gets our customers to that starting point more quickly and with more cost certainty.”

The Oracle Accelerate Resource Library Helps Customers Visualize Success

Syntax’s consultants leverage the thousands of assets in the Oracle Business Accelerators Resource Library not just for the implementation but also as tools to help each customer understand what life will be like with their new solution. The end result, Shaffran says, is that the project teams aren’t blindsided by unexpected barriers to success.

“We use assets in the Resource Library starting with our first presentation and all the way through post go-live training,” says Shaffran. “Those assets—such as business flow models and videos—help customer visualize what the solution will look like when it goes live. They gain confidence that the Oracle applications and the project team can handle all the complexity thrown at them. They know they will get to a great starting place and that, as they get their hands on the software and start working with it over time, they will have the knowledge and skills to expand, adapt, and configure as need be.”

Staying One Step Ahead of the Curve

For decades, Syntax has closely paid attention to the needs of their clients and strives to stay one step ahead. They continue to augment their Oracle applications services with complementary tool sets and industry specific add-ons developed, maintained, and enhanced by their consultants for their industries they focus on. They become trusted advisers to their clients, helping them to develop actionable strategies for adopting new technologies such as Cloud solutions for which important factors like an integration strategy can be overlooked.

Shaffran emphatically believes there’s never been a better time to be an Oracle JD Edwards customer than now. The same can be said for being an Oracle Partner dedicated to a JD Edwards practice.

“Adopting the Oracle Accelerate approach has made us better able to demonstrate to customers that they can have best of breed software—leading edge, top right side of the quadrant—without incurring the risk and cost uncertainty normally associated with going that route,” says Shaffran. “We now have offerings that fit the needs of any company—compelling solutions delivering rapid time to benefit rolled up with industry specific capabilities. Plus, we offer managed services, hosting, SaaS—the entire gamut of solutions. No surprises; all from one provider.”


Thursday Oct 03, 2013

The MedicAlert Story: Sustaining Modern IT & Overcoming The IT labor Shortage in Small Town America

by Jim Lein | Programs Management Sr. Principal | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

Post 6 in the series, "The Growing IT Labor Shortage"

It’s one thing to hire and retain top IT talent in a major urban area teeming with knowledgeable and experienced IT professionals. Imagine trying to accomplish those same goals in a small city known for top notch dairy milk and almond production rather than as an incubator for developing and nurturing top tier IT talent.

Such was the major challenge facing Karen Lamoree, Chief Operating Officer for The MedicAlert Foundation (MedicAlert), as she led the organization’s executive team in modernizing their information technology systems. MedicAlert, based in Turlock, California, is well known as the originator of iconic silver bracelets engraved with potentially life-saving personal medical information. Today, the organization offers diversified medical information and emergency services to over four million members worldwide.

In 2012, MedicAlert deployed DAZ Systems, Inc.’s Oracle Accelerate Solution for Non-Profit Organizations along with eVerge’s Oracle Siebel CRM solution. Combined, these solutions replaced about thirty legacy solutions, including ERP that was last updated over Y2K concerns.

Adapting to Ever-changing IT Talent Pool Realities


Lamoree has worked with many major companies, especially in the area of business transformation. She recognized that by leapfrogging ahead to a modern IT system would require almost a complete retraining of MedicAlert’s IT staff. Several existing IT staff members would transition to other roles and these positions were backfilled with new hires that had Oracle-specific skills and knowledge.

“It was a nightmare whenever there was a problem with our legacy systems,” recalls Lamoree. “We needed help from lots of outside vendors. Individuals on our IT staff were cross trained across many of our custom solutions, yet there were times when people would look at each other, shrug their shoulders, and just dive in to figure out how to fix the problem. They couldn’t wait to get a new system.”

A key component during the analysis of and review of potential solutions was sustainability: the ability to deploy, adopt, and maintain systems with limited internal and remote resources.

“Yes, there is a shortage of qualified IT resources but there really always has been,” says Lamoree. “Costs will continue to go up. It’s always going to be hard to find top talent, especially outside an urban area. And companies will continue to strive to be more efficient with their IT resources. Consequently, there will continually be demand for people who are highly qualified, well trained, and knowledgeable about specific products.”

During her career, Lamoree has observed how changing technologies have impacted the IT talent pool.

“IT systems in general used to be less complex,” says Lamoree. “It used to be that a single person could handle system security, development, and administration roles. Now those are specialized fields. Technology graduates today understand IT concepts and approaches but they are missing the practical application of everything they have learned. Companies need to recognize that if they bring a Computer Sciences graduate on board without a previous internship or IT job, they are going to have to teach them how to apply what they’ve learned to their new job requirements.”

Building a Cost-Effective IT Team Outside an Urban Area


Lamoree’s approach to restructuring MedicAlert’s IT staffing strategy began with selecting a Top Tier, modern solution.

“We wanted job candidates to know we are focused on the future,” says Lamoree. “We are remaking the company. We have a cool new system and people should want to work here.”

MedicAlert has adopted an IT mantra of “configure, not customize”. The Oracle solutions were deployed in alignment with the industry best practices embedded in the applications. Candidates recognized that MedicAlert’s new systems are clean and chock full of capabilities. They won’t have to worry about tackling one off requirements that might be challenging and distracting to individual career aspirations.

Finally, the MedicAlert team worked with the Oracle partners during the pre-project phase to identify training needs. This time was also spent in determining where support contracts would be required to provide IT roles and support in a cost effective model beyond what the internal IT staff could sustain. Those contracts are provisioned remotely with partner resources located in multiple global locations to meet MedicAlert’s 24/7/365 uptime and customer service requirements.

Exploring a New Normal


MedicAlert’s ambitious project of ERP, Master Data Management, CRM, and Business Intelligence was deployed on budget and on time in seven months. IT support costs are predictable and in line with industry standards. In Lamoree’s assessment, the cost to replace their outdated systems is far outweighed by the benefits of interoperability, system capabilities, efficiency, team dynamics, and the ability to better service customers.

“Our legacy systems had stopped the growth of our company,” says Lamoree. “Thanks to our new IT systems, MedicAlert can now offer different levels and types of membership to a far more diverse group of people than ever before. We know have a 360 degree view of our membership and are excited to explore what more we can offer to our membership well into the future.”

Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

Now Available: A Podcast Teaser for the Blog Series "The Growing IT Labor Shortage"

by Jim Lein, Programs Management Sr. Principal, Oracle Midsize Programs

We just released an Oracle Accelerate for Midsize Companies AppCast that is a 9 minute teaser/summary of our ongoing blog series, "The Growing IT Labor Shortage: Are You Feeling It?"

I'll be wrapping up the series later this month.  It's been fun because I've had the opportunity to speak with many smart, dedicated, and impassioned professionals--partners, customers, and Oracle subject matter experts--on the subject of how to attract and retain the best talent.

Meanwhile listen to the AppCast for the gist of the thought leadership and advice in the series.

Each of the posts in the series are accessible via links on the right side of this blog.

And...to listen to more Oracle Accelerate for Midsize Companies AppCasts go here


Tuesday Oct 01, 2013

Making your Move to the Cloud

By Steve Viarengo, Vice President Product Management, Oracle Taleo Cloud Services 


While Cloud based business applications have been around for more than a decade, there have never been more options for customers. There are solutions in the Cloud for almost any area of business need, from CRM to HCM to Supply Chain to ERP. The number of vendors has grown dramatically, with thousands of small as well as large software companies selling cloud-based solutions. For small and midsize businesses, the promise of the Cloud can be very enticing because letting someone else host and manage the solution spares you the expense and burden of having to staff your own internal IT resources.

According to CedarCrestone’s 2012-2013 HR Systems Survey, deploying a Cloud solution requires 75% less staff to support than an on premise solution. Additionally, with many solutions you can subscribe and pay “by the drink,” only paying for the amount of the service you need and increasing or decreasing your subscription as your business changes. Moreover, you are also always on the latest version of the software, never having to worry about upgrades, backward compatibility or upgrading your hardware to support the latest version. Everything is managed and supported for you, just like your telecommunications or utilities.

However, the move to the Cloud understandably generates a number of questions and concerns. Common questions tend to be:

  • How do I know my data is secure with the vendor I choose?
  • Will Cloud solutions integrate and work with my existing applications and IT infrastructure?
  • How can I make sure I am getting the maximum ROI?
  • Is it better to go with a single vendor or piece together best of breed solutions?

Many, if not all, of these concerns can be addressed by selecting the right solution from the right provider. Selecting a solution from a vendor with robust and complete capabilities is crucial when moving to the Cloud.

Critical things to look for when evaluating solutions and their providers are:

  • A clear picture of the vendor’s security model and hosting capabilities which includes:
    • The physical security of the data center
    • The network security that will block hackers and malicious parties
    • The application security that ensures your data and information is separate from other users
  • The integration capability of the solution. Well developed solutions have very well defined interfaces that allow you to:
    • Easily and quickly pull information out and push information into other solutions
    • Use web services such as REST and SOAP to allow information to be easily callable via well know web standards
  • Quick, fast and easy implementation.
  • Flexible and configurable to accommodate the special needs of your business without expensive customizations or waiting for a future release
  • A vendor who can provide a broad but deep solution. Just like you are not likely to hire one gardener to mow the lawn, another to edge and another to cleanup after, you want one vendor who can provide you a complete service
  • Not required to manage many different logins, store data across different solutions, and navigate different support models

So while the leap into the Cloud can be daunting, the benefits are compelling and selecting the right partner with the right solution can make the difference between achieving your business goals and a painful crash landing!

For more information on your move into the Cloud go to http://www.oracle.com/us/solutions/cloud/overview/index.html

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