Thursday Jun 23, 2016

Oracle Mobile Solutions for Oracle E-Business Suite and JD Edwards

Enterprise mobility is here to stay, but many customers are still bound to their desktops due to the lack of a mobile solution. Either that, or existing mobile solutions cannot be easily extended or customized to satisfy unique and demanding business requirements, may also lack “mobile first” capabilities such as push notifications, offline/sync and location services, nor offer insights into the effectiveness of the mobile strategy.

To add to the complexity, ERP installations are often highly customized. As a result, upgrades to newer versions become difficult, very expensive and end up getting deferred. These customers still want to enhance their employee productivity as well as keep pace with technology trends, while planning the transition to a newer application version or perhaps even to a SaaS based offering. They would also like to create an abstraction layer which will help in the future transition by decoupling the mobile implementation from the backend application.

In keeping with the “Build Better Apps Faster with Oracle Mobile” theme, Oracle now offers fully extensible mobile solutions for E-Business Suite and JD Edwards that addresses these issues and more.

Mobile Self Service for Oracle E-Business Suite

B2C apps have set a very high bar for creativity and user experience; as a consequence, users have similar high expectations from the B2E apps that they use every day at work. This is especially important given today’s changing employee demographics and the expectation “there will be an app for that”. Many HR tasks (vacation requests and approvals, for instance) can be performed anytime, anywhere without being tethered to the desktop. Mobile enabling such tasks leads to real time decision making with quick turnaround. It is no surprise that studies have shown the use of mobile HR apps significantly improves job satisfaction and productivity, as well as aiding employee retention and recruitment.

Mobile Field Service for Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne

The effectiveness of a mobile Field Service app increases exponentially when technicians have real time access to data hosted on multiple backend applications (customer provisioning, billing, inventory) at the point of service; are able to receive notifications and alerts in real time; be integrated with social networks to foster a collaborative process as well as having their schedules integrated with products such as Oracle Field Service Cloud to optimize the routing of service request. As Field Service technicians often work in remote locations with unreliable network coverage, a high performant offline experience is also critical for them to be successful.

Mobile Solution Details

The new Mobile Solutions are built using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service – an enterprise grade Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) solution that provides a rich set of mobile platform and client development services to link mobile developers with enterprise data sources and empowers them to create engaging mobile experiences in a simple, intuitive manner.

Oracle is providing the solutions as near turnkey samples with full source code (JavaScript for Self Service Solution, Mobile Application Archives for Field Service Solution) as well as all the artifacts required to integrate with the backend application.

Key Benefits

  • Mobile access to key HR self-service (vacation requests, time cards, approvals, etc) and Field Service (manage service equipment, add incident, inventory availability, create/manage work orders, etc) tasks
  • Empower employees with modern mobile apps with intuitive user experience and self-service capabilities that allow them be more productive - anywhere, anytime, at their convenience.
  • Eliminate complexity of connecting to backend applications via pre-built connectors from Oracle. Backend applications do not require any special modifications or upgrades.
  • Extensible solution: Iteratively augment mobile application with additional services and data from multiple systems of records. Ability for enterprise to scale beyond first mobile app.
  • Mobile apps built can be reused even after backed apps are modernized.
  • End to end solution, provided and supported by Oracle.
  • As these solutions are built using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, they can also use the built in Analytics support to: analyze adoption trends, measure how (and how often) mobile applications are used, what OS’s/devices are being used.


  • In addition, analytics can also be used to diagnose work flow patterns. This is especially useful in the Field Service scenario to discover impediments that prevent service orders from being completed. For instance, are too many work orders on hold because technicians don’t have the right parts? Or perhaps technicians are unable complete their work orders on time because customers aren’t at home.


Availability

All MCS customers have access (at no additional cost) via the “Solution Downloads” link in the MCS Console. In addition to the source code, there is documentation on the solution architecture, configuration and setup as well as information on how to customize the apps. Customers also have the option of working with an Oracle partner to build additional extensions specifically tailored for their business requirements using these solutions.

More Information

For details on how you can Simplify Enterprise Mobility using the Oracle Mobile Platform, see: oracle.com/mobile.

Get the latest on Oracle Mobile at @OracleMobile

Wednesday Jun 08, 2016

Oracle MAF 2.3.1 Released

We are very glad to announce the availability of MAF 2.3.1 release. This release includes several exciting features including the long awaited offline support! Below is a brief summary of key features introduced in this release.

1. Offline Read, Write & Client Data Model Support : We are really excited about this new feature that provides full offline read, write and sync capabilities. This includes JDev design time support for generating client data model for REST services and persist the data from the services on the device. This allows developers to easily build mobile apps the can read, query and update data when the device is offline and synchronize the changes to the server when back online. Please refer to the developer guide here to learn more about this feature.

2. Enterprise Mobile Management Application Configuration support : This feature allows app developers to enable their application to be configured by MDM administrators with end points and other configuration such that end users do not have to deal with complex app set up before using the app. Please check out the AppConfiguration section in dev guide for more details on this feature. 

3. Deployment Performance Improvements : This feature provides significant performance improvements to deploying applications to iOS and Android simulators and Emulators. While there are no significant changes to initial application deployment, for subsequent deployments with changes to amx, xml and other metadata files you should see significant improvements in deployment times.

4. UI Enhancements:

  • New Component Picto Chart uses discrete icons to visualize an absolute number or relative sizes. It is extensively used in infographics as a more interesting and effective way to present numerical information than traditional tables and lists.
  • Ability to programmatically navigate to another page in a FilmStrip component
  • Support for easier centering of the content of the tiles inside the masonry layout on various devices  

5. OAuth Client Credentials Grant Support : This feature allows developers to use MAF OAuth support to authenticate using client credentials configured in the app instead of end user credentials. This will come in handy when using  MCS services secured with anonymous authentication or any other services secured using the standard OAuth grant type. 

6. Good Technologies Integration: Support for Enterprise Mobile Management functionality for Good Technologies customers using BlackBerry Enterprise Server. In earlier releases we had announced support for Airwatch & MobileIron, in this release we are extending the support to include Good Technologies. To learn more about the best practices around native EMM capabilities offered by iOS , and Android, visit the AppConfig Community web site. It provides recommendations for enterprise mobile app developers to secure their applications in an EMM vendor neutral approach, by leveraging the native capabilities in the operating systems. Please refer to MAF certification document for specific versions of Good Technologies software used for the certification.  


Saturday Jun 04, 2016

Showcase your innovation in Building Better Mobile Apps Faster - Nominate now for the 2016 Oracle Cloud Mobile Excellence Award


To all Innovators showcasing Enterprise Mobility excellence:

As you may have already heard,  Nomination for Oracle Cloud Platform Innovation Award is open, and deadline is June 30th, 2016.  There is a dedicated track for mobile this year.  The criteria is any customer in production, implementation or who has a use case defined for implementation of a Mobile Cloud Service enabled mobile application.

The winning customers and/or partners will get a free pass to Oracle OpenWorld 2016 in San Francisco, and take part in the Awards Ceremony. Plus, of course this is a great way to generate more references.

The nomination process this year is online - the link to the Cloud Platform nominations is here, then select the Mobile category link.  Required information for submission is quite extensive, as we would like to understand details of your innovation in enterprise mobility.   It will take more than a couple of minutes to prep and submit, so definitely don't wait until the last minute!

Nominations can be made by Oracle customers, partners (for a customer use case), and Oracle employees on behalf of a customer. Winners will be selected on the uniqueness of the business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of their architecture.  

For more information, please email susan.duncan@oracle.com or innovation-cloud-platform_ww_grp@oracle.com.

Oracle Mobile Cloud Product Management Team 

Monday May 23, 2016

IFC Group & Oracle MCS Make Life Easy For Sales Reps

Last week we showed you how Manchester Airports Group is using Oracle MCS to better engage with, and promote to, its customers.  Today, we have another example of how a company with a large, mobile user base has adopted Oracle MCS to provide relevant, real-time, information and services to its target audience: its own sales force!

IFC Group (Industrial Farmaceutica Cantabria) is one of Spain's leading skin care product developers and distributors.  With a large, constantly traveling, sales force, and with a small IT department, IFC historically has asked its sales reps to enter sales & procurement data into the company's systems after each pharmacy pickup, which was something that reps could not do until they returned to their offices.  Even then, the entry process took hours!  This method was extremely inefficient and reduced time in the field. 

When sales teams asked for a more flexible mobile solution that would increase efficiency and decrease frustration, IFC didn't have the time or the IT resources to build an entirely new system.  However, the company realized that it needed to create an attractive solution where reps could enter data in real-time from remote locations, as well as a solution that gave reps access to on-demand CRM and BI tools that were critical in the sales process.  A current Oracle customer, IFC added Oracle MCS to its product suite, and was able to use and convert its existing APIs, without changing any code, into mobile APIs.  What did that mean?  Through Oracle MCS, IFC was able to deliver exactly what its sales teams had asked for, and made their work much easier, without replacing the company's entire IT infrastructure!  To learn exactly how IFC accomplished this, read the full article HERE.

Follow the latest @OracleMobile and join the discussion on LinkedIn!

Thursday May 19, 2016

Free Mobile Training to Awake the Sleeping Giant - August 2016

For those of you who are embarking on mobile development initiatives, the Oracle Partner Community is running a fantastic week of mobile training in Portugal starting on the 29th August. For this event, Frank Nimphius and Mireille Duroussaud will be leading a mobile hands on workshop that focuses on integrating existing backend systems through Oracle MCS and exposing them through Oracle Mobile Accelerator (MAX).

What makes this event particularly interesting is the fact that these back end systems could include Oracle Forms. As many of you might know, Oracle Forms is the technology that underpins 10s of thousands of businesses and at one time was THE tool for building Oracle systems. The potential for exposing this "sleeping giant" to mobile consumers is huge and this is your chance to get trained by Oracle's mobile experts. Registrations are open now! https://eventreg.oracle.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x3508175627

Who should attend. You should attend if you are an Oracle Forms customer or if you are busy with Oracle Forms project and look for the next big thing. If Forms to REST is not your primary interest, then still you should attend because learning about Oracle MAX and Oracle MCS becomes a key skill requirement for all Oracle customers and partners. 

Register now! https://eventreg.oracle.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x3508175627

Sunday May 15, 2016

Mobile Cloud Service at Manchester Airports Group

Authored by Suhas Uliyar, Oracle Vice President, Mobile Product Development


One of the benefits of constant world travel is that I often have time between flights to shop for myself and my family, as today’s airports have turned into mini brick-and-mortar malls filled with top consumer brands. In fact, I once bought a complete set of business attire at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when my plans changed and I had to head to London for a meeting instead of making my connection home. However, I, and many other travelers, have the perception that airport shopping is expensive; even more expensive than shopping in true brick-and-mortar malls. Imagine my excitement when Manchester Airports Group (MAG) engaged with Oracle’s mobile specialists to discover how MCS 2.0 with Location Based Services (LBS) could help to locate and engage MAG travelers and give them incentives and discounts on retail goods in MAG airport stores, thus counteracting the perception of expensive airport shopping!


Manchester Airports Group is the largest UK-owned airport operator and over 48 million passengers move through its five airports each year. As MAG continues to add new routes and passengers, it has recognized that it must focus on improving the pre-flight and post-flight passenger experience. One way to accomplish this is to identify passengers within airports using LBS, and then to personalize their experiences as they make their way through MAG terminals. As Roger Westerbeek, Group Head of CRM & Loyalty, MAG puts it:

“The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) CRM strategy and subsequent customer engagement is firmly anchored in the core principles of right product to the right customer at the right time and through the right channel... We now recognise the significant shift to digital mobile and location relevancy. To address this change, MAG are now working with global leaders in location-based technology to communicate effectively with our customers on-estate.”

An Oracle Marketing Cloud customer, MAG was already using Eloqua email campaigns to promote car parking and airport fast track to passengers prior to their trips. However, MAG told us that it could identify less than 25% of the passengers who set foot on premise, and MAG had no ability to communicate with those passengers once they were in-terminal. Enter Oracle MCS 2.0, which MAG is using to provide location based services and mobile offers to its passengers on premise through the MAG mobile app. MAG’s goals are to improve passenger experience, to identify anonymous passengers, to drive penetration, and to increase incremental return and adjustable travel volume (ATV). 

How is this accomplished? First, Oracle’s MCS 2.0 can measure both passenger footfall and passenger linger time, also known as “dwell time.” Second, MCS 2.0 uses existing Oracle Marketing tools to deliver mobile offers and promotions that can be segmented by time of day, customer profile, customer footfall and desired retail target. Finally, MCS 2.0 provides push notification capabilities so that information, offers, and promotions are delivered to each targeted passenger’s mobile phone. The end result is more informed and happier travelers, higher retail sales, improved operational efficiency, and increased in-terminal visibility.

Using MAG as an example, Oracle is working with our partner Estimote to install beacons in five areas of Manchester Airport Terminal 1: at Check-In, at Security, in the Departures Lounge, at the Boarding Gates and at Baggage Claim. When passengers arrive at Check-In, they will receive a push notification on their phones containing security information and advice. Depending on how long they spend in Check-In, they might also receive a push offer for fast track through Security. As they progress through Security, MCS will measure security transit time. Then, when passengers enter the Departures Lounge, they will get an airside “retail offer of the day” linked to their customer profile. Upon arrival at the Boarding Gates they will be asked for feedback on their experience through a short survey. Finally, on the return leg back to Manchester, passengers will be identified at Baggage Claim where they will receive offers for their next trip. 

We are just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of this solution’s possibilities. Oracle and Estimote can imagine additional use cases where location services are used to assist airport staff in further improving operational efficiencies, and in identifying security risks before passengers reach Security. We also can imagine sharing the beacon infrastructure with third party mobile apps such as airlines or retailers in order to provide an even more robust passenger experience. The possibilities are endless, and through the use of Oracle’s Mobile Cloud Service and the Estimote Cloud, MAG will continue to grow while improving the passenger experience. I also finally can buy relevant retail products at cheaper prices, thanks to the new pushed offers at Manchester Airport!

Watch Suhas Uliyar and Chris Marsh (451 Research) discuss the New Imperatives in Enterprise Mobility. And don't forget to follow the latest @OracleMobile.

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This blog is is dedicated to announcements,tips and tricks and other items related to developing, integrating, securing, and managing mobile applications using Oracle's Mobile Platform. It is created and maintained by the Oracle Mobile product development team.

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