Friday Jun 08, 2012

Oracle Social Network in the Cloud - the videos

On June 6th  Larry Ellison announced the  Industry’s Broadest Cloud Strategy (Webcast – watch the replay)

As part of the Oracle Cloud announcement Larry unveiled the Oracle Cloud Social Services, the most broad and complete enterprise social platform available in the cloud today.

So you are wondering how these services look like?  Here are a few videos which shows Oracle Social Network in action. Enjoy !


PS:  Larry recently joint the Twitterverse and did his ever first tweet on June 6th. In a few days he got 25,000 followers and a Klout score of 61. I wish he would follow me :-)


Connect with Oracle Social Network  

Oracle Social Network: Getting Started

Oracle Social Network: Conversation Basics 

Oracle Social Network: Notifications and Preferences 

Oracle Social Network: Basics of Chats


Tuesday Jun 05, 2012

Social Business Forum Milano: Day 2

@YourService. The business world has flipped and small business can capitalize  by Frank Eliason (twitter: @FrankEliason )

Technology and social media tools have made it easier than ever for companies to communicate with consumers. They can listen and join in on conversations, solve problems, get instant feedback about their products and services, and more. So why, then, are most companies not doing this? Instead, it seems as if customer service is at an all time low, and that the few companies who are choosing to focus on their customers are experiencing a great competitive advantage. At Your Service explains the importance of refocusing your business on your customers and your employees, and just how to do it.

  • Explains how to create a culture of empowered employees who understand the value of a great customer experience
  • Advises on the need to communicate that experience to their customers and potential customers
  • Frank Eliason, recognized by BusinessWeek as the 'most famous customer service manager in the US, possibly in the world,' has built a reputation for helping large businesses improve the way they connect with customers and enhance their relationships

Quotes from the Audience:

Bertrand Duperrin@bduperrin
social service is not about shutting up the loudest cutsomers !

Paolo Pelloni @paolopelloniGautam Ghosh @GautamGhosh

RT : you need to change things and fix the approach it's not about social media it's about driving change 

Company Experience = Product Experience + Customer Interactions + Employee Experience


Engage or lose! Socialize, mobilize, conversify: engage your employees to improve business performance

Christian Finn (twitter: @cfinn)

First Christian was presenting the flying monkey :-) 

Then he outlined the four principals to fix the Intranet:

1. Socalize the Intranet

2. Get Thee to a Single Repository

3. Mobilize the Intranet

4. Conversationalize Your Processes

Quotes from the Audience:

Engaged employees think their work bring out the best of their ideas

I like 's "conversify your processes" A nice related concept to "narrating your work", part of working out loud.

Organizations are talent markets - socializing your intranet makes this market function better


For profit, productivity, and personal benefit: creating a collaborative culture at Deutsche Bank

John Stepper (twitter:@johnstepper) Driving adoption of collaboration + social media platforms at Deutsche Bank.

John shared some great best practices on how to deploy an enterprise wide  community model  in a large company. He started with the most important question

What is the commercial value of adding social ?

Then he talked about the success of Community of Practices deployment and outlined some key use cases including the relevant measures to proof the ROI of the investment.

Examples: 

Community of practice -> measure: systematic collection of value stories 

Self-service website  -> measure: based on representative models

Optimizing asset inventory - > measure: Actual counts 

This use case was particular interesting.  It is a crowd sourced spending/saving of infrastructure model.  User can cancel IT services they don't need (as example Software xx).  5% of the saving goes to social responsibility projects.

The John outlined some  best practices on how to address the WIIFM (What's In It For Me) question of the individual users: 

- change from hierarchy to graph

-  working out loud = observable work + narrating  your work 

- add social skills to career objectives - example: building a purposeful social network course/training as part of the job development curriculum

And last but not least John gave some important tips on how to get senior management buy-in by establishing management sponsored division level collaboration boards which defines clear uses cases and measures. This divisional use cases are then implemented using a common social platform. 

Thanks John - I learned a lot from your presentation!  

Quotes from the Audience:

Ana Silva@AnaDataGirl

what's in it for individuals at Deutsche Bank? Shapping their reputations in a big org says

Ana Silva @AnaDataGirl

Any reason why not? MT is Deutsche B. experience on applying social inside company applicable to Italian people?

Your career is not a ladder, it is a network that opens up opportunities -

Oscar Berg @oscarberg

: Institutionalizing collaboration is next - collaboration woven into the fabric of daily work

Ana Silva @AnaDataGirl

talking about how Deutsche Bank is using to build purposeful CoP & save money

Social Business Forum Milano: Day 1

Here are my impressions of the first day of the Social Business Forum in Milano

A dialogue on Social Business Manifesto - Emanuele Scotti, Rosario Sica

The presentation was focusing on Thesis and Anti-Thesis around Social Business

My favorite one is:

social business manifesto theses #2: organizations are conversations - hello Oracle Social Network :-)

Here are the Thesis (auto-translated from italian to english)

From Stress to Success - Pragmatic pathways for Social Business - John Hagel

John Hagel talked about challenges of deploying new social technologies. Below are some key points participant tweeted during the session.

Favourite quote this morning 'We need to strengthen the champions & neutralise the enemies' John Hagel. Not a hard task at all ;)
Minimize the power of the enemies of change. Maximize the power of the champions - John Hagel
John Hagel change: minimize the power of the enemies
John Hagel social software as band-aid for poor leadtime/waste management? mmm
"information is power. We need access to information to get power"John Hagel, Deloitte &Touche
Information is power and Knowledge is subversive. John Hagel
john Hagel: innovation is not rational.
John Hagel: change is a political (not rational) process

Enterprise gamification to drive engagement - Ray Wang

Ray Wang did an excellent speech around engagement strategies and gamification

More details can be found on the Harvard Business Review blog

Panel Discussion: Does technology matter? Understanding how software enables or prevents participation

Christian Finn, Ram Menon, Mike Gotta, moderated by Paolo Calderari

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **

Below are the highlights of the panel discussions as live tweets:

Q: social silos: mega trend social suites - do we create social silos + apps silos + org silos ...
A: Social will be less siloed - more integrated into application design. Analyatics is key to make intelligent decisions
- A: its more social be design then social by layer - Better work experience using social design.
Ram Menon: A: Social + Mobile + consumeration is coming together
Q: What is the evolution for social business solution in the next 4-5 years?
Adoption: A: User experience is king - no training needed - We let you participate into a conversation via mobile and email
A:Adoption - how can we measure quality? Literacy - Are people get confident to talk to a invisible audience ?
Ram Meno: A:Adoption - What should I measure ? Depend on business goal you want to active?
Q: How can technology facilitate adoption
Ram Menon: 100% of data is in a system somewhere. 100% of collective intelligence is with people. Social System bridge both worlds
Adoption is specific to the culture of the company
- drive adoption is important - activity stream + watch list is most important feature in a social system
Ram Menon respond: there is only 1 questions to ask: What is the adoption? you like this ? :-)
- just replacing old technology (e.g. email) with new technology does not help. we need to change model/attitude
Ram Menon: CEO mandated to replace 6500 email aliases with Social Networking Software
A: How to bring interface together . Going from point tools to platform, UI, Architecture + Eco-system is important
Q: How is technology important in Social Business A: - technology is enabler , user experience -easy of use is important
particiapte in panel "Does technology matter? Understanding how software enables or prevents participation"

Friday Jun 01, 2012

e-interview: SunSpace to WebCenter migration

I had the pleasure to do an e-interview with Ana Neves around the SunSpace to WebCenter migration project. 

Below is the english version of the interview.  Enjoy :-)  

Peter, you joined Oracle in 2009 through the acquisition of Sun. Becoming a part of Oracle meant many changes. The internal collaboration platform was one of them, as per a post you wrote back in 2011. Sun had SunSpace. How would you describe SunSpace?

SunSpace was the internal Community and Social Collaboration platform for the Sun's Global Sales and Services Organization. SunSpace served around 600 communities with a main focus around technology, products and services. SunSpace was a big success. Within 3 months of its launch SunSpace had over 20,000 users and it won the Atlassian "Not just another wiki" Award for the best use of Confluence (https://blogs.oracle.com/peterreiser/entry/goodbye_sunspace_hello_webcenter).

What made SunSpace so special?

1. People centric versus  Web centric

The main concept of SunSpace put the person in the middle of everything. All relevant information, resources  etc. where dynamically pushed to a person's  myProfile ( Facebook like interface) based on the person's interest and  needs. 

2. Ease to use 

SunSpace was really easy to use. We spent a lot of time on social interaction design to optimize the user experience. 
Also we integrated some sophisticated technology to hide complexity from the user.
As example - when a user added a document to SunSpace - we analyzed the content of the document and suggested related metadata and tags to the user based on a
sophisticated algorithm which was integrated with the corporate taxonomy. Based on this metadata the document was automatically shared with the relevant communities. 

3. Easy to find

One of the main use cases for SunSpace was that  a user could quickly find the content and information they needed for their job. 
The search implementation was based on: 

  • optimized search engine algorithm using social value based ranking enhancements
  • community facilitated search optimization 
  • faceted search which recommended highly relevant  content like products, communities and experts

4. Social Adoption  - How to build vibrant communities

You can deploy the coolest social technology but what if the users are not using it?  

To drive user adoption we implemented two  complementary models:


4.1 Community Methodology 
We developed a set of best practices on how to create, run and sustain communities including:
community structure and types (e.g. Community of Practice, Community of Interest etc.) & tips and tricks on how to build a "vibrant " communities,
Community Health check etc. 
These best practices where constantly tuned and updated by the community of community drivers.

4.2. Social Value System
To drive user adoption there is ONE key  question you  have to answer for each individual user: What's In It For Me (WIIFM)

We developed a Social Value System called Community Equity which measures the social value flow between People, Content and Metadata.

Based on this technology we added "Gamfication" techniques (although at that time this term did not exist :-) ) to SunSpace to honor people for the active contribution and participation. 

As example: All  social credentials a user earned trough active community participation where dynamically displayed on her/his myProfile.



How would you describe WebCenter?

Oracle WebCenter (@oraclewebcenter) is the Oracle's  user engagement platform for social business. It helps people work together more efficiently through contextual collaboration tools that optimize connections between people, information, and applications and ensures users have access to the right information in the context of the business process in which they are engaged. Oracle WebCenter can help your organization deliver contextual and targeted Web experiences to users and enable employees to access information and applications through intuitive portals, composite applications, and mash-ups.



How does it compare to SunSpace in terms of functionality?

Before I answer this question, I would like to point out some limitation we started to see with the current SunSpace implementation. Due to the massive growth of the user population (>20,000 users), we experienced  performance and scalability challenges with the current technology. Also at the time - Sun Internal Communications and SunIT planned to replace the entire Sun Intranet with SunSpace. We  kicked-off a project to evaluate the enterprise level technology which eventually would replace the good old static Intranet. 
And then Oracle acquired Sun. We already had defined the functional requirements for the Intranet replacement with a Social Enterprise Stack and we just needed to evaluate the functional requirements against WebCenter :-) 

Below are the summary of this evaluation 

MyProfile


SunSpace
WebCenter
How WebCenter Works
Home MyProfile: to access, click on your name at the top of any WebCenter page Your name, title, and reporting line are displayed.  Sub-tabs show your activity stream (Activities); people in your network (Connections); files you have uploaded (Documents); your contact information (Organization); and any personal information you wish to share (About).  
Files MyFiles Allows you to upload, download and store documents or wiki pages within folders and subfolders.  The WebDav interface allows you to download / upload files / folders with a simple drag and drop to / from your local machine.  Tagging is supported and recommended.
Network Home
MyConnections
Home: displays the activity stream of individuals in your network.
MyConnections: shows individuals in your network.  Click on a person's name to see their contact info and link to their profile.
Status Updates MyProfle > Activties Add and displays  your recent activties and status updates.
Watches Preferences > Subscriptions > Current Subscriptions Receive email notifications when  pages / spaces you watch are modified.
Drafts N/A WebCenter does not support Drafts
Settings Preferences: to access, click on 'Preferences' at the top of any WebCenter page Set your general preferences, as well as your WebCenter messaging, search and mail settings.
MyCommunities MySpaces: to access, click on 'Spaces' at the top of any WebCenter page Displays MySpaces (communities you are a member of); and Recent Spaces (communities you have recently visited).

Community
SunSpace
Webcenter
How Webcenter Works
Home Home Displays a community introduction and activity stream Members can add messages, links or documents via the Community Message Board. No Top Contributors widget.
People Members Lists members of the community. The Mail All Members feature allows moderators and participants to send a message to all members of the community. Membership Management can be found under > Manage > Members
News News Members can post and access latest community news and they can subscribe to news using an RSS reader
Documents Documents Allows community members to upload, download and store documents or wiki pages within folders and subfolders.  The WebDav interface allows participants to download / upload files / folders with a simple drag and drop to / from your local machine.  Tagging is supported and recommended.
Wiki Wiki Allows community members to create and update web pages with a WYSIWYG editor.  Note: WebCenter does not support macros or portlet embedding.
Forum Forum Post community forum topics. Contribute to community forum conversations. 
N/A Calendar Update and/or view the Community Calendar.
N/A Analytics Displays detailed analytics data (views,downloads, unique users etc.) for Pages, Wiki, Documents, and Forum in a given community space.


What is the adoption of WebCenter at Oracle?

The entire Intranet serving around 100,000 users  is running on WebCenter Content.  For professional communities we use WebCenter Portal and Spaces. Currently we have around 6,000 community spaces with  around 40,000 members. 

Does Oracle have any metrics to assess usage and impact of WebCenter? Can you give us some examples?

Sure -  we have a lot of metrics :-) 

For the Intranet we use traditional metrics like pageviews, monthly unique visitors and unique visits. 

For Communities we use the WebCenter Portal/Spaces analytics service which gives as a wealth of data. The key metrics we track are:
Space traffic (PageViews, Unique Users)
Wiki,Documents (views, downloads etc.)
Forum (users, views, posts etc.)
Registered members over time 

Depending on the community we can filter/segment the metrics by User Properties e.g. Country, Organization, Job Role etc.


What are you doing to improve usage and impact?

1. We  integrating the WebCenter social services/fabric into all  main business applications. As example The Fusion CRM deployment is seamless integrated with Oracle Social Network (OSN) and all conversation around an opportunity or customer engagement is  done in OSN (see youtube video).

2. We drive Social Best Practice trough a program called "Social Networking & Business Collaboration (SNBC) program"

You worked both with WebCenter and SunSpace. Knowing what you know today, if you had the chance to choose between the two, which one would you choose? Why?

That's a tricky question :-)  

In the early days of  the Social Enterprise implementation (we started SunSpace in 2006), we needed an agile and easy to deploy technology to keep up with the users requirements. Sometimes we pushed two releases per day  and we were in a permanent perpetual beta mode - SunSpace was perfect for that. 

After the social implementation matured over time - community generated content became business critical and we saw a change in the  requirements from agile to stability, scalability and reliability  of the infrastructure.  WebCenter is the right choice for such an enterprise-level deployment. 

You are a WebCenter Evangelist at Oracle. What do you do as part of that role?

Our  role is to help position Oracle as one of the key thought leaders and solutions provider for Social Business. In addition we drive social innovation trough our Oracle Appslab  team.

Is that a full time role?

Yes 

How many other Evangelists are there in Oracle?

We are currently 5 people in the WebCenter evangelist team (@webcentervoices):

    • Christian Finn (@cfinn) leads the team - Christian came from the Microsoft Sharepoint product management team and is a recognized expert in Social Business and Enterprise Collaboration.
    • Noël Jaffré  (@noeljaffre) is our Web Experience Management (WEM) guru and came to Oracle via FatWire acquisition (now WebCenter Sites).
    • Jake Kuramoto (@theapplabis part of the Oracle AppsLab innovation  team - Jake is well known as  the driving force behind  http://theappslab.com  a blog around social and innovation. 
    • Noel Portugal (@noelportugalis a developer in the Oracle AppsLab innovation team - he is the inventor of OraTweet - Oracle's internal tweeting platform 
    • Peter Reiser (@peterreiser) is  a Social Business guru and the inventor of SunSpace and Community Equity


    What area of the business do you and the rest of the Evangelists sit in? What area of the organisation is responsible for WebCenter?

    We are part of the WebCenter product management  organization. 

    Is WebCenter part of the Knowledge Management strategy?

    Oracle WebCenter is the Oracle's user engagement platform for social business. It brings together the most complete portfolio of portal, web experience management, content, social and collaboration technologies into a single product suite and is the product foundation of the Oracle Knowledge Management strategy. 

    I am aware Oracle also uses Beehive internally. How would you describe Beehive?

    Oracle Beehive provides an integrated set of communication and collaboration services built on a single scalable, secure, enterprise-class platform
    Beehive is  internally used for enterprise wide mail, calendar and real collaboration (Web conferencing) services. 

    Are Beehive and WebCenter connected?

    Historically Beehive and WebCenter Portal & Content had some overlap in functionally. (Hey - if  a company has an acquisition strategy to strengthen its product offering and accelerate  innovation, it's pretty normal that functional overlap exists  :- ))
    A key objective of the WebCenter strategy is  to combine all social and collaboration offerings under the WebCenter product family. That means that certain Beehive components  will be integrated into the overall WebCenter product offering. 

    Are there any other internal collaboration tools at Oracle? Which ones

    There here are two other main social tools which are widely used at Oracle 

    Oracle Connect was the first social tool the Oracle AppsLab team created in 2007 - see (Jake's blog post for details). It is still extensively used.

    ... and as a former Sun guy I like this quote from the blog post: 

    "Traffic to Connect peaked right after the Sun merger in 2010, when it served several hundred thousand pageviews each month; since then, traffic has subsided, but still averages tens of thousands of pageviews to several thousand users each month."

    Oratweet - Oracle internal microblogging platform has been used since June 2008 and it is still growing. 
    It's entirely written in Oracle Application Express (APEX) which is a rapid web application development tool for the Oracle database. Wanna try it out? Here you can download the code. 


    What is Oracle's strategy regarding (all these) collaboration tools?

    Pretty straight forward. The strategy is to seamless  integrate the WebCenter social & collaboration services into all Business Applications to help customers to socialize their enterprise. 

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