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 Businesses are tied to outdated views and rely on tools and tactics from the past, yet we are surprised when chaos breaks out.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: 

  • Breakout Sessions: With more than 100 breakout session topics, there is something for everyone at the 2016 Oracle JD Edwards Summit. Our six tracks this year include Selling, Implementing, Technology, Citizen Developer, Pre-Sales and Sponsor sessions. 
  • Optional Workshops: We are excited to offer a variety of workshops on both Monday, February 1 and Friday, February 5 for you to take advantage of. Monday workshops will be focused on Selling, while Friday workshops will target Implementation. Review the full list of workshop topics, more details and to register. (Note: all but one of the workshops are free of charge to you!).
  • Welcome Party – Mon, Feb 1: NEWS FLASH - agenda change! We’re kicking off the Summit with our centerpiece reception on Monday evening from 5:00pm – 8:00pm (instead of Tuesday, as in the past). You won’t want to miss out on our Colorado Winter Wonderland theme. In addition to food, beverages and our first sponsor showcase, entertainment includes games for our competitors, a “wine and paint” activity for your artistic side, and a special “ice luge” for our partiers!
  • Sponsor Receptions – Tues, Feb 2: As another new aspect of the Summit, we are reserving the evening of Tuesday, February 2 exclusively for sponsor-hosted receptions. Enjoy valuable face-to-face time with some of our top sponsors at the multiple parties going on at the Omni that night.
  • Intro to JD Edwards Workshop and Meet & Greet – Mon, Feb 1: Are you new to the JD Edwards realm, or is this your first time attending the Summit? Let us welcome you with an introductory workshop and meet & greet reception reserved for our newest community members. Register now to join us on Monday, February 1 from 3:00 – 5:00pm.
  • Awards & Contests: Submit a nomination to be considered for one of our 12 awards or 2 contests at the Summit. Visit the “Awards & Contests” tab on our Summit website for instructions and details.
  • Social Media: Join the conversation now on our OPN Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels and keep it going through the Summit by using #JDESummit16 in your posts + tweets!
  • Hotel Lodging: Space is filling up quickly! Visit the “Hotel Lodging” tab on the Summit website to learn which area hotels we have negotiated group room rates with. Remember, your Summit registration does NOT automatically reserve you a hotel room.
The theme of this year’s Summit is “Thriving in the Oracle JD Edwards Economy.” Our lineup of keynotes, sessions, workshops and networking opportunities will help shape your strategy for positioning JD Edwards in a quickly evolving cloud landscape, and give you the skills to become more innovative, agile and successful in all aspects of your business.

Attendance is open to all global Oracle PartnerNetwork JD Edwards business partners, and to the Oracle JD Edwards sales and consulting community. No matter what your role or position in the JD Edwards ecosystem, the Summit is for you.

Registration fees increase after Wednesday, January 20, so make sure to reserve your seat today. Looking forward to seeing you this February in Colorado for another fantastic Oracle JD Edwards Summit.

Happy New Year!
The Oracle PartnerNetwork Team

Thursday Sep 03, 2015

So you think you can Tweet?

As social media-savvy as we think we are, it’s always good to have reminders.

Whether you’ve been a community manager for years, or just creating your first Twitter account, we present you a fool-proof list of social media best practices to keep handy.


These tips can be used for those who manage social media accounts both personally and professionally:

  1. Proofread! Spelling errors are awful; so are incomplete and run-on sentences.
  2. Think visually. Photos, videos, gifs, infographics – whatever you can do to tell your story visually will perform better than just text;
  3. Check hashtags before using that “#” – some of them don’t mean what you think they do;
  4. Stay true on-message. Don’t jump on trending bandwagons just for the sake of it – make sure your social media posts stay true to your message;
  5. When in doubt, don’t post. If there’s ever a question about the appropriateness of a post, don’t do it;
  6. Don’t engage in negativity on social;
  7. Respond promptly to all messages (within an hour or two);
  8. Identify yourself. If posting to your personal accounts for work, make sure that your personal accounts clearly state your views are your own, not your company’s.
  9. Update your profile! Profiles are easily neglected. Take the time to update everything from your photo to your contact information to your interests.
  10. Commit to social media education. There’s a lot to learn and many social media opportunities that most of us aren’t aware of. The smallest tips you pick up can have a large impact on your social media success.

Once you’ve gotten these down, take a good look at your social accounts and ditch the dead weight. Why get rid of an account, you ask? Well, because they only thing worse than not having a Twitter or Facebook page is having one you seldom update.

Social media etiquette and best practices are becoming more and more important with the increase of users and content posted on social channels. Being a skilled social media manager means observing others and testing until you get things (close to) perfect. If everyone followed these common sense guidelines, social would be a better place.

Don't forget to follow OPN on social! We promise we update our profiles regularly.

Cheers,
The OPN Communications team

Tuesday Dec 23, 2014

What are your plans to increase profit in 2015?

Digital disruption is a part of business nowadays. Take for example what email did to the printing press and postal service; what iTunes did to the record industry; what the digital camera did to Kodak. You get the idea. So what exactly is disruption? It is often defined as the change that happens when new technologies or business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.

Value is what digital disruption impacts. And this value comes in all shapes and sizes: better; easier; smarter; bigger; smaller; cheaper. You name it. New companies built on these models are both challenging and threatening even the most well-established of industries, and the companies that aren’t responsive may soon be gone.

So as you ask yourself not, “should we play in digital,” but rather, “WHERE will we play in digital,” keep in mind that every company today has the chance to win in digital business. Transformations can be tricky, though. Many organizations are still struggling to develop an enterprise IT strategy – let alone a digital strategy.

As your company and your customers work towards a digital transformation, keep in mind you want a platform – economically and operationally – that spans big data, cloud, mobile, social, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Access to big data will allow you to keep tabs on customers and market trends; a complete cloud will lay a solid foundation for efficiency and business agility; IoT is the next frontier that will drive unprecedented levels of automated decision-making; and the need for mobile and social goes without saying. These five increasingly intertwined technologies are having a dramatic impact on enterprise IT, and the biggest challenge is integrating these five forces together.

That’s where Oracle comes in.


At Oracle, we build and design our technology so it works together from the start. With our broad, integrated IT portfolio, we have a unique ability to offer customers a complete hardware and software stack—from cloud applications through middleware and databases, and all the way down to servers and storage. We offer all of this on-premises or in the cloud. Each layer has been engineered to work together, which allows customers to optimize performance and build greater reliability and security than they would by employing multiple vendors. The advantage of an integrated stack is that it helps you simplify your IT. Oracle takes a big chunk of the integration and routine maintenance off your hands, so that you can invest more of your resources into innovation and growth.