Thought Leadership

Technologist of the Year

The Oracle Excellence Awards include the Technologist of the Year awards, recognizing individuals for their extraordinary efforts and contributions to enterprise technology solutions as IT managers and architects for cloud, virtualization, and enterprise solutions.

By David A. Kelly

January/February 2013

Olgay Taş

IT Manager

Technologist leads top-to-bottom IT transformation for Turkish giant.
Winner Specs
Name: Olgay Taş
Job title: Product and service development director
Company: TTNET A.S.
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Award: Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year— IT Manager, 2012

Turkey’s largest internet service provider, TTNET, knows what its 6 million customers want—and can get it to them faster, thanks to a new IT environment that helped TTNET’s Olgay Taş earn the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year—IT Manager.

In less than 18 months, TTNET has entirely replaced its legacy systems with a next-generation operations and business support system based on Oracle technologies.

“By using Oracle solutions, we’ve moved from a subscriber-focused business model to a customer-focused model,” says Taş, product and service development director at TTNET. “The new system provides a 360-degree view of the customer and makes everything from customer support to sales and marketing simpler for both customers and our employees.”

Taş led TTNET’s aptly named Service Excellence Program, a wholesale transformation that encompassed new customer relationship management (CRM), order management, order integration, and orchestration middleware based on Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle WebLogic Server. The SOA-based architecture greatly increased the modularity, flexibility, and extensibility of TTNET’s IT environment.

More than 10,000 TTNET agents use the new CRM applications. And with the new infrastructure, TTNET has also significantly improved its ability to launch new services, campaigns, and B2C and B2B offerings.

“We’re able to bundle our convergent services into different packages and easily design new campaigns,” says Taş. “Overall, we’ve decreased the time to develop new applications by a factor of three or four.”

Stephen Bartholomew


Consolidation is just part of the story for Verizon enterprise architect.  

Winner Specs
Name: Stephen Bartholomew
Job title: Enterprise architect and distinguished member, technical staff
Company: Verizon
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Award: Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year— Virtualization, 2012

For Verizon Enterprise Architect Stephen Bartholomew, virtualization is about more than simply reducing the number of servers. It’s really about optimizing price/performance.

“Consolidation is a great story, but it only goes so far,” says Bartholomew, winner of the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year—Virtualization. “The other side of the story is using virtualization to take the applications we were running on specialized servers and shifting them to Linux on Intel processors, while getting the same performance or better.”

Bartholomew is part of a network operations and network technologies group that creates and manages Verizon’s IT systems and applications. Over the past five years, the group has focused on shifting internal Verizon applications from dedicated physical servers to virtualized servers running Oracle VM on an Oracle stack.

“We selected Oracle VM over other virtualization options because it was able to scale up to the enterprise sizes that we needed in a cost-effective way,” says Bartholomew.

The virtualization of Verizon’s systems hasn’t just paid off in added efficiencies; it has also made life easier for IT personnel. Virtualization has allowed the IT group to shift a lot of the work previously tackled over nights or weekends to the workday, making for a better work environment.

“Everything we’ve virtualized and deployed has been successful,” says Bartholomew. “That’s saying a lot when you’re supporting 200,000 users on the internal Verizon employee portal, like we are.”

Arup Nanda

Enterprise Architect

Architect’s Oracle Exadata–based system delivers real-time data for worldwide resort company.

Name: Gürcan Orhan
Name: Arup Nanda
Job title: Senior director of database architecture
Company: Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide
Location: Stamford, Connecticut
Award: Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year— Enterprise Architect, 2012

For Arup Nanda, senior director of database architecture for Starwood Hotels and Resorts and winner of the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year— Enterprise Architect, providing good service isn’t just something his company’s hotels have to focus on. It’s also the core of the company’s new IT architecture.

Nanda helped to architect a transition from the worldwide resort company’s legacy mainframe to a new SOA. The new architecture allows the company to support interactions with a wide variety of front-end sources, from Starwood’s Website to its call centers and even third-party sites such as Expedia. “Because we use a SOA-based architecture and Java, we don’t have to change our systems depending on who’s requesting a transaction,” says Nanda.

With a presence in almost 100 countries, Starwood requires IT systems able to handle more than 5,000 concurrent transactions per second. Just as important, the company needs to accurately reflect what’s happening across all its sales and marketing channels in a timely manner. To accomplish that, Starwood turned to Oracle Exadata and Oracle GoldenGate.

The new Oracle Exadata–based system Nanda helped to design obtains real-time hotel data from around the world and quickly makes it accessible to business stakeholders. “With our Oracle Exadata–based data warehouse system, we can create real-time campaigns to take advantage of high or limited demand and optimize our inventory and profits,” says Nanda. “It has been tremendously successful and really transformed our business processes.”

Kai Yu

Cloud Architect

Dell Inc. engineer evangelizes cloud with best practices and innovative methodologies.

Winner Specs
Name: Kai Yu
Job title: Senior engineer/solution architect
Company: Dell Inc.
Location: Round Rock, Texas
Award: Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year— Cloud Architect, 2012

For Oracle ACE Director Kai Yu, winner of the 2012 Oracle Excellence Award for Technologist of the Year—Cloud Architect and senior engineer at the Dell Oracle Solution Engineering Lab at Dell Inc., cloud computing may be in its infancy, but it’s still the future.

“Cloud is in its early stages, but I think cloud computing is a long-term strategy that will play an important role in tomorrow’s business,” says Yu. “For example, by building private clouds, large businesses can consolidate their IT infrastructure to increase the efficiency of IT as well as significantly improve their ability to adapt to the rapid change of business.”

Yu has spent more than 17 years working with Oracle technology and solutions. Over the past three years, he has developed a series of best practices for virtualization and cloud computing, and he has shared his expertise in numerous white papers and more than 30 Oracle Cloud technical presentations around the world.

“At Dell, we’ve achieved a huge cost savings and great improvement of flexibility and manageability by implementing cloud-based solutions,” says Yu. “Our group implements cloud computing models using Oracle technologies such as Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager and provides the reference architecture and the implementation best practices of these cloud solutions based on Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell network and storage solutions to help customers from different industries architect cloud solutions for their IT environments.”

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Photography by Gerrie van der Walt, Unsplash