Thursday Oct 17, 2013

Oracle’s New Approach to Cloud-based Applications User Experiences

By Misha Vaughan

It was an exciting Oracle OpenWorld this year for customers and partners, as they got to see what their input into the Oracle user experience research and development process has produced for cloud-delivered applications. The result of all this engagement and listening is a focus on simplicity, mobility, and extensibility. These were the core themes across Oracle OpenWorld sessions, executive roundtables, and analyst briefings given by Jeremy Ashley, Oracle's vice president of user experience. The highlight of every meeting with a customer featured the new simplified UI for Oracle’s cloud applications.   

Attendees at some sessions and events also saw a vision of what is coming next in the Oracle user experience, and they gave direct feedback on whether this would help solve their business problems. 

What did attendees think of what they saw this year?

Rebecca Wettemann of Nucleus Research was part of  an analyst briefing on next-generation user experiences from Oracle. Here’s what she told CRM Buyer in an interview just after the event: 

“Many of the improvements are incremental, which is not surprising, as Oracle regularly updates its application,” Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of Nucleus Research, told CRM Buyer. "Still, there are distinct themes to this latest set of changes. One is usability. Oracle Sales Cloud, for example, is designed to have zero training for onboarding sales reps, which it does," she explained. "It is quite impressive, actually—the intuitive nature of the application and the design work they have done with this goal in mind. The software uses as few buttons and fields as possible," she pointed out. "The sales rep doesn't have to ask, 'what is the next step?' because she can see what it is." 

What else did we hear?

Oracle OpenWorld is a time when we can take a broader pulse of our customers’ and partners’ concerns. This year we heard some common user experience themes on the following:

· A desire to continue to simplify widely used self-service tasks
· A need to understand how customers or partners could take some of the UX lessons learned on simplicity and mobility into their own custom areas and projects 
· The continuing challenge of needing to support bring-your-own-device and corporate-provided mobile devices to end users
· A desire to harmonize user experiences across platforms for specific business-use cases 

What does this mean for next year?

Well, there were a lot of things we could only show to smaller groups of customers in our Oracle OpenWorld usability labs and HQ lab tours, to partners at our Expo, and to analysts under non-disclosure agreements. But we used these events as a way to get some early feedback about where we are focusing for the year ahead. Attendees gave us a positive response:

@bkhan Saw some excellent UX innovations at the expo “@usableapps: Great job @mishavaughan and @vinoskey on #oow13 UX partner expo!”

@WarnerTim @usableapps @mishavaughan @vinoskey @ultan Thanks for an interesting afternoon definitely liked the UX tool kits for partners.

You can expect Oracle to continue pushing themes of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility even more aggressively in the next year. 

If you are interested to find out what really goes on in the UX labs, such as what we are doing with smartphones, tablets, heads-up displays, and the AppsLab robots, feel free to reach out to me for more information: Misha Vaughan or on Twitter: @mishavaughan.

Thursday Oct 10, 2013

Customers are the Stars on OpenWorld Live

Dozens of customers were interviewed at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 and were featured on the OpenWorld Live show. Now those interviews are available on demand.

Among the customers interviewed were Cisco, Garmin, Lego, Petco, and many more. Topics ranged from big data to HCM to customer experience to Java robots...with numerous other subjects discussed as well.

Hear more about what Oracle customers had to say at the conference: OpenWorld Live 2013.

Monday Oct 07, 2013

Download 'em Now: Oracle OpenWorld Presentations

Now available for download: most of the sessions from Oracle OpenWorld.

If you missed sessions, want to review what you learned, or spread the knowledge to others, now you can download most of the sessions presented at Oracle OpenWorld. 

There are two ways to access the sessions for download (or online review):

  1. Directly through Content Catalog
  2. Indirectly through Schedule Builder to Content Catalog (registered attendees only)

Note:

- Sessions will be available for download for approximately six months (March 2014)
- Some presenters chose not to make their sessions available 

Miss any keynotes? You can access them here.
Miss the great discussions with customers and others on OpenWorld Live? Check them out here

Thursday Oct 03, 2013

Wrap-Up: Construction and Engineering Summit @ OpenWorld

By Garrett Harley 

It's hard to dispute that this year's Oracle OpenWorld was anything short of spectacular. Oracle Team USA staged an unprecedented comeback to defend the America's Cup, and the first Construction and Engineering Summit at Leaders Circle @ OpenWorld was attended by more than 80 C-level attendees from many of the industry's leading global owners, contractors, and engineering, procurement, and construction firms.

Mike Sicilia, Oracle Primavera's GM and SVP, kicked things off with a compelling review of how Oracle technologies continue to strengthen and service engineering and construction (E&C) work across the globe. Mike was followed by Graham Robinson from Global Construction Perspectives, who shared his findings from their recently released Global Construction Perspectives Forecast through 2025.

Leaders Circle sponsor Wipro discussed a well-received E&C integrated solution platform built with Oracle technology that helps companies continue to transform their operations and streamline execution. Oracle customers Chiyoda, COSEA/VINCI, Lend Lease, and the Los Angeles Department of Power and Water then shared their stories of how they've leveraged Oracle technology, the challenges they faced, the solutions they implemented, and the benefits they've received from their partnership with Oracle. 

What struck me about this year's event can be summarized in one word: specialization. Atul Gawande (a general surgeon and author of numerous magazine articles and several books, including The CheckList Manifesto) positions the following hypothesis: As information increases, the need to specialize is required.

What does this have to do with E&C? Think of it this way. The age of the Master Builder is no more. There is simply too much information for any one individual to intimately know. Projects, like today's aircraft, are too much plane for one person to fly.

As customers shared their stories of how they approached resolving their business issues, it was their focus on integration of these specialties and how Oracle has continued to invest in supporting these areas that made me realize not only how far technology in our industry has come, but how much more we still have left to do. And how critical adjustments can lead to extreme performance.

That's something Oracle Team USA did in the face of what appeared to be insurmountable odds. And given the forecast for E&C work through 2025, a focus on extreme performance will be required for the monuments to come. 
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