Wednesday Jul 27, 2016

Oracle Service Cloud Support Goes Mobile!

One of the primary objectives of any customer support organization should be the reduction of effort a customer feels they have to contribute to the resolution of their problem. This is of even greater importance for technical support teams, where customers generally want nothing more than a quick and painless solution to the issue they've encountered. Running a technical support customer experience program, I work daily to identify and drive customer effort reduction initiatives. When evaluating our customers' journeys, one of the most prominent pain points related to effort was the lack of a distinct mobile experience. Well, this is no longer the case!


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If you aren't already using a mobile device at work, it's almost a certainty that you will be soon. And as the millennial influence becomes a considerable force in the workplace, it's important to understand that 50% consider their phone to be more important than their computer (Center for Generational Kinetics). When you also consider that 63% of U.S. adults use mobile devices at least several times per month to seek customer support (Software Advice), it's clear the experience would be greatly diminished by the lack of a viable mobile service channel. Conversely, as people become increasingly reliant on their mobile devices and more comfortable with self-service options, providing a quick and easy way to resolve customer service problems is paramount.

A customer service leader's schedule rarely adheres to a predefined set of hours. It's just as likely that catastrophic issues will arise while you're out to dinner, at a child's game or at 2am as it is to happen at 10am on a Tuesday. Having the proper tools to address these types of situations regardless of where you are or what you're doing has the potential to save substantial time and frustration.

Our initial mobile experience design is deliberately simple (cx.rightnow.com). With an eye on reducing effort, we want to make it easy for people to quickly access core support functionality, while stripping away some of the more elaborate bells and whistles. This means you can do things like search the knowledge base for an answer, submit a service request, track a service request, manage your contacts and even read this blog via your smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately, this isn't true for all areas of our site. For the time being all the community areas, such as discussion forums, will still just display as the desktop version does on mobile devices.

Customer service delivery expectations have been rapidly rising. Gartner is expecting customer service cases initiated on mobile devices to increase by a whopping 249x in the four years between 2014 and 2018. While purely mobile customer service interactions may never be the dominant choice, general customer experience trends are telling us the future; customers want to interact with businesses in whichever way best suits them at that specific moment. For Oracle Service Cloud, this means reducing the effort you need to make by giving you the mobile enabled tools you need to accomplish your mission critical tasks.

Edward Hobart, CCXP, Oracle

Friday Apr 15, 2016

Yep. It’s That Time of Year.

The industry's leading business and technology conference - Oracle OpenWorld 2016 - is set to take place in San Francisco, California September 18–22, 2016. Sessions will be focused on cloud strategies and implementations, marketing, sales, supply chain, ERP, finance, and much more. Oracle OpenWorld has something for everyone – so make plans now to join us!

Registration & Call for Proposals Are Now Open

Register now and take advantage of Super Saver rates. They will be available through May 1, 2016. The Call for Proposals submission process is also up and running with applications being accepted through May 9, 2016.


We look forward to having our Oracle PartnerNetwork community participate in this amazing annual event. This is your one stop shop to learn everything you ever wanted to know about Oracle and then some. You will:

  • Hear directly from Oracle’s executive leadership team
  • Discover new product and technology solutions
  • Improve technical proficiency and knowledge
  • Understand where the industry is headed
  • Network with peers from across the globe

Visit the Oracle OpenWorld website often to keep up to date on the latest and the greatest updates pertaining to the event. Yes, it's still a few months away - but it will be here before you know it. So start planning now.


See you in San Francisco,

The Oracle PartnerNetwork Team

Thursday Mar 03, 2016

Partners Embrace Open Agnostic Architecture of Oracle Mobile Cloud Service

Today, mobile users expect increased productivity, efficiency, simplicity and excellent customer service. Yet, delivering enterprise mobility is complex, with more than 80 percent of an organization’s time being spent on development, integration, security and maintenance of mobile apps. In defining an enterprise mobile strategy, organizations are looking at best of breed technologies in these key areas. With Oracle and its mobile partner ecosystem, organizations can now quickly deliver innovative new services and securely connect, analyze, and integrate real-time data, at scale, between connected devices and enterprise systems.

Recently Announced

Oracle recently announced an expanded Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) member ecosystem for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, part of Oracle Cloud Platform. Through co-development, joint go-to-market and other partner initiatives, Oracle and its mobile partner ecosystem provide customers with the choice, flexibility and complete solutions that enable faster delivery of better and more engaging mobile apps. The latest partners to collaborate with Oracle include AirWatch (VMware), AuraPlayer, MobileIron, RapidValue, Sencha, Sofbang, and Syniverse.

 “Oracle has clearly moved to the forefront of enterprise mobile platform providers,” said Sri Ramanathan, group vice president Mobile, Oracle. “In this increasingly mobile only world, Oracle is focused on delivering both task-specific, out-of-the-box enterprise mobile apps and providing a complete and open platform that allows enterprises to quickly build and deliver better, smarter mobile apps. Our focus has been to simplify enterprise mobility and now together with our mobile partner ecosystem, we are simplifying how customers build and deploy innovative mobile solutions.”

Oracle has been delivering enterprise mobile applications for more than four years and continues to help customers and partners bring mobility to the enterprise with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service. Oracle Mobile Cloud Service is an open and agnostic cloud offering that simplifies and secures the process of connecting mobile applications to enterprise systems and other cloud services. It allows developers to use the application development framework of their choice, or existing investment in third-party solutions, and securely connect to backend data sources, enabling them to create engaging mobile experiences in a simple, intuitive manner.

“To transform business processes, enterprise mobile apps must be secure without sacrificing user experience,” said Noah Wasmer, senior vice president of mobile products, End-User Computing, VMware. “VMware AirWatch EMM combined with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service delivers just that – a streamlined development and deployment process that enables our customers to change the way employees work with intuitive and insightful apps, built on the AirWatch foundation of strong management and security.”

“We are delighted to work with Oracle as part of the marketplace for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, enabling us to serve a broader enterprise customer segment,” said Dave Murashige, general manager, Enterprise and Intelligence Solutions, Syniverse. “Working together, Syniverse and Oracle are committed to simplifying enterprise mobility.”

New Mobile Partner Collaborations

  • AirWatch (VMWare). Enterprise Mobility Management enables organizations to easily deploy, configure, secure, manage and support smartphones, tablets, laptops and other devices across multiple mobile platforms and operating systems. The VMware AirWatch platform includes industry-leading mobile device, email, identity, application, content and browser management solutions.Oracle’s collaboration with AirWatch helps customers ensure apps built and integrated using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service are automatically secured with AirWatch.
  • AuraPlayer's unique solution “wraps” existing Oracle Forms / Oracle E-Business Suite systems as Web Services within hours, without writing a single line of code, while production systems remain untouched. The inclusion of AuraPlayer in the mobile ecosystem allows customers to leverage their existing investments through API's that directly plugin to Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, without the need to migrate or redevelop back-office applications. This provides a quick, low-risk way to kick start a legacy to mobile strategy.
  • MobileIron provides a secure foundation for enterprises to transform into mobile first organizations. The MobileIron platform secures data at rest in mobile operating systems and applications, as well as data-in-motion as it moves between corporate networks, endpoints and data repositories.Oracle’s collaboration with MobileIron enables customers to easily deploy applications built in Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, and helps ensure endpoints accessing Oracle Applications are compliant and that the data used by Oracle mobile apps is kept secure.
  • RapidValue enables digital transformation for enterprises. eQuipMe is an Enterprise Mobility Suite comprising 200+ pre-built modules, built-in connectors and 30+ pre-built fully-customizable mobile solutions.These solutions are developed using Oracle Mobile Application Framework. The platform leverages Oracle Mobile Cloud Service for quicker integration, offline capabilities, and storage, and helps improve staff productivity, streamlines workflow, fastens decision making, and reduces cost for enterprises, by automating the process and providing data access to users in real time.
  • Sencha provides a leading MVC/MVVM-based JavaScript framework and testing solution, Sencha Ext JS and Sencha Test, for designing, developing and testing cross-platform mobile web applications. Sencha Ext JS leverages hardware acceleration techniques to provide high-performance UI components for mobile devices. Sencha Test enables developers and test automation engineers to create unit and end-to-end functional tests and execute them on multiple browsers simultaneously, which helps improve product quality and developer efficiency.The collaboration with Sencha provides developers the choice of using Sencha frameworks and tools for building and testing cross platform HTML5 mobile apps and consuming enterprise services from Oracle Mobile Cloud Service.
  • Sofbang is focused on Business Process Application Extensions, Enterprise Mobility Solutions and cloud-simplified, hybrid, private, PaaS & SaaS solutions. Key Oracle integrated cloud solutions include License & Subscription and Contracts Management, Mobile On-boarding (EE, Contractor, Customer), Mobile Service Request Management, Mobile Workforce Management, Funds Mgmt, Project Mgmt and WO Asset Mgmt. Sofbang was the proud recipient of an Oracle Excellence Award for Specialized Partner of the Year for Mobility.
  • Syniverse makes mobile work by developing solutions to help brands enhance and enrich user experiences while enabling business processes that increase engagement and build greater brand loyalty. As an ecosystem partner, Syniverse helps brands with innovative messaging solutions integrated with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, enabling these brands to reach mobile users in real time through mobile messaging, anytime, anywhere.

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more, please visit us at Oracle Mobile at: www.oracle.com/mobile.  

Cheers,

Rimita Bewtra

Senior Director, Product Marketing -- Fusion Middleware


Tuesday Jan 19, 2016

Empowering the Citizen Integrator

You may remember the emergence of end-user computing. IT had tremendous application backlogs and they weren’t being responsive to Line of Business (LOB) needs. First came 4GL languages that allowed LOB users to create their own reports from databases. Next, came personal computers and the productivity tools like spreadsheets. In general, the trend has been toward supporting the do-it-yourself (DIY) business user. That trend is now visiting the application integration arena.

First There Was Citizen Developer

All along, Gartner has chronicled developments, made predictions and coined terms to describe the evolution of the DIY business user. Gartner first coined the term “citizen developer” as “a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” They operate outside of IT and create new business applications either from scratch or by composition.

Gartner predicted in 2009 that these citizen developers would build 25 percent of all new business applications by 2014. Three trends appear to have nurtured the birth of the citizen developer and have fostered the current DIY trend in application integration:

  • Cloud computing is freeing application development from having to care and feed the required infrastructure.
  • Due to the consumerization of technology, end users are more technologically savvy and have more sophisticated requirements.
  • Tooling has become much more powerful and easier to use thus lowering the bar for application developers.

Enter the Citizen Integrator
As Gartner has sharpened its focus from general application development to integration platform as a service (iPaaS), Gartner’s Massimo Pezzini recently specialized the “citizen developer” term to coin a new term, “citizen integrator.” A citizen integrator is a citizen developer who is specifically focused on building integrations between existing applications.  Here is how we profile a typical citizen integrator. He or she:

  • Is from the LOB, not IT;
  • Needs to react to business needs faster than IT can respond;
  • Maintains a solid understanding of business processes;
  • Has good data analysis skills, but isn’t necessarily formally trained in any traditional enterprise application integration (EAI) tools or technologies;
  • Understands specific capabilities and data objects of the applications that need to be integrated;
  • Is often confronted with integrating new cloud-based application investments with existing on-premise applications.

Oracle’s Integration Cloud Service
Oracle has been a leader in the service oriented architecture (SOA) space for many years. Oracle SOA Suite has been very well received and has topped the charts in many analyst reports. Recently, it brought the SOA technology to the cloud with Oracle SOA Cloud Service. Both Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle SOA Cloud Service are IT-focused products, but Oracle hasn’t rested on its laurels. It has aggressively taken what it has learned and created a new product called Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS) that is targeted for the citizen integrator.  

Integration Cloud ServiceICS simplifies development of integrations between applications in the cloud and between applications in the cloud and on premise, all without needing to write code or install and manage infrastructure. As a subscriber of SaaS applications like Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud, a citizen integrator has access to these applications through ICS. Using built-in adapters, ICS lets citizen integrators integrate applications in hours instead of months.

ICS helps citizen integrators along four fronts:

  • Connect: SaaS and web service adapters are available to accelerate integration with cloud-based and on-premise applications.
  • Design: Users enjoy an intuitive, web-based, visual designer to implement integration design patterns and map data flows without coding.
  • Monitor and Manage: ICS provides extensive visibility into auditing and error management information.
  • Pre-Builts: The Oracle Cloud Marketplace provides a host of pre-built integrations and adapters to extend the capabilities of their service.

The evolution of end-user computing to citizen development and to citizen integration will continue as business needs grow, users become more sophisticated and technology becomes even more powerful and easier to use. ICS is an excellent example of how Oracle is squarely focused on the citizen integrator. I encourage you to spend a few moments to explore quick product demos. These three will satisfy your curiosity in under seven minutes: Creating Connections, Creating Integrations and Mapping Data. You will be surprised at what a citizen integrator can quickly accomplish with ICS.

Cheers,

Tom Barrett
Oracle Director, Global Partner Enablement

Wednesday Jan 13, 2016

Transcending the Dark Ages of Information Security in 2016

It’s been said aspects of our industry is living in the “Dark Ages” of security. Businesses are tied to outdated views and rely on tools and tactics from the past, yet we are surprised when chaos breaks out. Security breaches and other vulnerabilities continue to create significant disruptions to our customers’ businesses.  As an industry and society, we must leave antiquated approaches behind and forge a new path as data volume and data sources proliferate.


Here are two points of view on how to address the problem of data vulnerability.

Focus one: The changing role of IT security

The first focus is on data security and data science changing the role of IT security. In recent years, the overall IT market has seen the rise of four technologies that continue to have a profound impact on the dynamics of the industry:

  • Mobility: Usage of smartphones, tablets and other devices connected to the Internet has grown dramatically.
  • Social Media: Defined as a group of applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content over the Internet, social media’s relevance has evolved from closely-knit groups of friends to large communities and the enterprise world.
  • Cloud Computing: A model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort.
  • Big Data & Analytics: The gathering and processing of massive amounts of information, fueled by the increasing number of mobile devices (ranging from phones, transponders, sensors and other network enabled embedded devices).

These four areas are driving growth in the IT industry but they also impose a number of new constraints, especially when it comes to security. As more and more devices get connected to global networks, getting us even closer to the Internet of Things, the potential for security breaches is constantly increasing and the level of protection of enterprise and government IT security systems have been consequently lowered.

In the past, IT security systems were modeled like a fortress with impressive walls, moats and arrow slits. All features were dedicated to protect from intrusion. But this model is now evolving to a more open and inviting model, which is driving organizations to open the walls of the IT “fortress”. In turn, security needs have not at all gone away and have only increased.

Focus two: Secure to the Core

At this year’s Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle emphasized shifting the focus of infrastructure to security. Security features should be pushed down the stack as low as possible (think as low as the silicon in microprocessors) to allow for the highest security possible. That way, every application using a particular database inherits the security encryption and data protection capabilities. In fact, the last we checked, hackers have not yet figured out a way to download changes to a microprocessor because silicon is so hard to alter.


Part two is that security features should be always-on. There should be no way to turn off encryption or data protection. This seems like common sense but it’s good to reiterate.

SPARC M7: Now is the time

Oracle’s vision for security is embodied by the following three precepts:

  • Security at each layer;
  • Security in between layers;
  • Security between systems.

In each of these areas, Oracle’s philosophy is to follow best practices by default, integrate security at the design phase, implement security policies reflecting business imperatives and provide tunable controls.

Since Oracle owns the complete stack from silicon to database and applications, we are in a unique position to address security at every layer in the stack and bring them together in our servers, storage and engineered systems.


At the bottom of the stack you now find the SPARC M7 processor, which takes Oracle’s engineered systems philosophy into the core technology for computing systems: co-engineering the chip with software for optimum security and efficiency.

The M7's biggest innovations revolve around what is known as "software in silicon," a design approach that places specific software functions directly into the processor through specialized engines. Because these functions are performed in hardware, a software application runs much faster. And because the cores of the processor are freed up to perform other functions, overall operations are accelerated as well. Such speed and efficiency is essential for platforms in which security should be on by default.

Customer and partner momentum

The powerful message here is around the dramatic innovations we’ve made with software in silicon on the SPARC M7 processor, especially around the topic of security.

But don’t take our word for it. Oracle has a number of customer and partner testimonials on these new systems as well as new world record benchmarks which demonstrate why these new servers are a big deal to the infrastructure needs of the secure cloud.

Oracle also offers partners, customers and university researchers access to the Software in Silicon Cloud, which provides developers a secure and ready-to-run virtual machine environment to install, test, and improve their code in a system with SPARC M7 processors running Oracle Solaris.

The calendar year may have just come to a close, but we can expect the size, severity and complexity of cyber threats to continue increasing.

As the age of digital transformation continues to pave the way for our industry, information security needs to remain a chief priority. Let’s work together to ensure the security and reliability of our information systems.

Cheers,
The OPN Communications team

Wednesday Jan 06, 2016

The 2016 Oracle JD Edwards Summit is less than a month away!

Happy 2016, partners! One of our favorite things about the New Year is switching into high gear for the annual Oracle JD Edwards Summit. Join us at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, CO from February 1-5 at the 2016 Summit to discover how to thrive in the Oracle JD Edwards economy. Visit the Summit website to learn about our agenda, lodging options and – most importantly – to register by January 20. With less than a month to go, here’s an overview of some key highlights and offerings: