X

Lead with the Oracle Cloud Platform. Learn the latest on our complete integrated PaaS and IaaS platform.

Recent Posts

PaaS Leader

The ABCs (and don’t forget the Ds) of Enterprise Cloud Success

By Stephanie Arnette, Managing Director, Accenture Companies that built their business around a patchwork of cloud apps are rethinking their strategy. More and more companies are taking a holistic approach and integrating their apps and data on a single enterprise cloud platform. And it’s paying off with better data integration, greater agility, and faster innovation. But what’s the best way to move to the new enterprise cloud? As a mom with small children, I find myself doing a lot of alphabet games. So I came up with this simple “ABC” formula for enterprise cloud success with a slight modification: don’t forget the “D.” A - Acceleration With the arrival of cloud, the days of long, drawn-out implementations and endless waits for benefits are gone. With cloud apps, you’re off and running fast, and quick wins are the norm. For example, we’ll often show the customer how to leverage cloud automation and mobility to achieve high-priority objectives early on, thus building momentum for the whole project. Of course, customers have different priorities. Some just want to cut IT costs, and most cloud platforms fit that bill. More often, customers want to transform their enterprise and unlock maximum value from their move to the cloud. In those instances, we approach the engagement more holistically, taking the time to help the company define its business objectives and how to measure success.  B – Business Case Definition: Make It a Joint Effort Think of the business case as the “why” of your initiative. Because a lot of money is at stake, you need to have a clear understanding of the value your effort will create. Frequently, Accenture will take the lead in identifying such opportunities. Other times, the client will drive the process. Yet at the end of the day, both sides need to agree on the business case. The joint effort should also include your technology provider, such as Oracle, which brings critical technical expertise, especially around next-generation cloud applications. We recently worked with an enterprise banking company and all three parties – the client, Accenture, and Oracle – got in a room together to define the business case, roadmap, and prioritizations. We called the joint effort our “three-legged stool” since each party provided essential support.   The jointly defined business case also serves as a “North Star” to help guide major decisions, such as customizations or costly integrations. Do these efforts feed into your business case? Sometimes they don’t – and could even prevent you from achieving early wins. A good business case also dictates how you measure success on the back end and determine whether you actually achieved the benefits you were seeking. C – Change Management   One thing we’ve learned from hundreds of enterprise cloud projects is that change management cannot be an afterthought. Moving to the cloud can dramatically change the way people work, so preparing employees for the shift should start early in the project. The other lesson: You need leadership to drive the change and adoption from the top down. A good example is the CIO of a products company we helped migrate to an Oracle cloud platform. His mandate was simple and clear: “This is the way we’re going to operate going forward,” he told the organization. “We’re all on the same boat.” This might be an extreme approach, but it worked. I’ve also seen yearlong consensus-building work as well. But regardless of how you get there, by the time you go live, leadership at the highest level needs to be actively supporting the change and driving adoption across the company. How do you get everybody on board? Techniques vary, but in the case of the products company, the CIO gathered other top execs offsite in a creative setting to incubate the plan and make sure everyone clearly understood – and fully bought into – the vision. Rather than sending out a pro-forma email, the company turned the process into a fun, engaging activity. D – Don’t Forget Data! Early wins, great business cases, and solid change management are all keys to enterprise cloud success. But if you forget about your data – its security, quality, and more – you could run into show-stopping issues at the end of your otherwise well-executed enterprise cloud initiative.  You absolutely must take the time upfront to understand your data landscape. Where does your data reside? Where is it replicated and accessed? If it’s shuttled across multiple systems, you could run into app-integration and performance troubles when you turn on your cloud platform. This alone could be a deal breaker, because even if you have a really cool application, if it’s painfully slow, nobody is going to use it. The same goes for data quality. If your people can’t retrieve accurate data from your application interface – no matter how beautiful it is – don't expect robust adoption rates. In fact, each one of your “ABCs” will suffer. You’re unlikely to accelerate your business and get quick wins when people are turned off by poor data on day one. Your business case won’t fly if you haven’t thought through data quality issues. And change management will be really tough if people don’t trust the data in your new system. All of this is why Accenture and Oracle have worked together for years to perfect the art and science of enterprise data management. Learn more at www.accenture.com/oracle.

By Stephanie Arnette, Managing Director, Accenture Companies that built their business around a patchwork of cloud apps are rethinking their strategy. More and more companies are taking a holistic...

Putting ZING in your Pricing?

As cloud capabilities expand, it is expected that 80% of Enterprise customers will move all their workloads to the cloud. Oracle offers two unique programs to help preserve your Oracle investments while you upgrade to the cloud. The first is Bring Your Own License (BYOL) that allow simple transferring of on-premises software licenses to the cloud. The second is Universal Credits that allow easy transferability of an Oracle bank of credits across platforms.  These two work together to make it easy to preserve your investments and do business with Oracle.  But that’s not all, this pricing model is also competitive. Oracle makes a serious claim, “Guaranteed to cut your AWS bill in half.”  In this article, I’ll illustrate -how our pricing works, -what are the benefits for Oracle customers, and -why competitor cloud services end up being more expensive. Few workload scenarios Developer Environments go through frequent provisioning and de-provisioning of services, therefore a high need for multiple server sizes and access to various cloud services. It is hard to predict needs for running volume test suites and dev-ops. So, Flexibility across services and pay-per-use Elasticity are crucial for these workloads. Having a uniform billing vehicle across all services helps reduce effort and time. Typical over spending looks like this- Production Environments requires Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and it is much easier to predict needs in a production environment. Having a uniform billing vehicle across all services reduce effort and time. Oracle provides a key incentive on your journey from on-premises to the cloud. On Premises to Cloud Production involves older investments in software licenses, possibly Unlimited License Agreements (ULAs.) So, customers would experience loss of investments if moving to the cloud. This often delays cloud adoption until end of ULA term. Challenges Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to conduct business with ease, while having investment flexibility and investment preservation without any IT spend lockins? How often are you forced to choose between ‘flexibility and lower costs?’ To get the lowest cost, you need to know precisely what you need before you know it. That’s hard for most development projects.  You must either pay a premium with on-demand/ pay-as-you-go models or you must know the exact shape and size of servers to get lower prices with term contracts. Dream solution An ideal solution to these challenges would be a simple and more affordable way to move to the cloud, providing flexibility and choice in –how, -what, and –where to use cloud services. An unrestricted access to all services with a single uniform billing vehicle and license mobility across on-premises and the cloud. Simplified buying and consumption of cloud, unlocking greater value from existing on-premises software investments. Oracle pricing strategy What companies really want is a pay as you go model, like this- How Oracle Universal Credits work Oracle Universal Credits is a flexible buying and consumption model for cloud with a single set of credits for all current and future PaaS / IaaS services, with one simple contract and lower prices based on monthly dollar commitment and flexibility to upgrade, expand, or move services across datacenters. All services are priced hourly based on a rate card, and Universal Credit pricing starts at $1,000 /month and a discounted Universal Credit pricing starts at $5,000 /month. Pay As You Go (PAYG) and Monthly Flex are two consumption choices available for customers consuming Oracle IaaS and PaaS. PAYG offers no upfront commitment and customers pay only for what is used in arrears. It offers a standard list price and best when usage is uncertain with elastic payments based on usage. On the other hand, Monthly Flex includes a 1 year minimum term with an agreed to monthly spend. Monthly Flex offers 33%- >60% savings over PAYG pricing and discounts based on size of deal and term of deal with lowest cost without sacrificing flexibility. Here is an illustration to show how Oracle Universal Credits compares with other cloud vendor reserved pricing models.                                                               With a Reserved Pricing model, customers get the lowest price, however, they need to know the demand and number of OCPUs to support during their peak seasons. So, shape and size of the server are fixed and cannot change within a contract term. With Oracle Universal Credit pricing, customers get the lowest price and also have the flexibility to follow the demand curve. So, you do not have to plan ahead for your consumption, and you get billed for only what you use.  How Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL) works BYOL version of a cloud service is activated at the rate of activated cloud service when sufficient supported on-premises licenses exists. The license types that apply towards BYOL cloud services environment include- Full Use, Limited Use, Application Specific Full Use, and Proprietary Hosting. License ‘type’ retains its ‘type’ when applied towards BYOL cloud service environment (e.g., ‘Full Use’ stays as ‘Full Use’ and ‘Limited Use’ stays as ‘Limited Use’). Licenses applied towards requirements for a BYOL version of a cloud service are deemed deployed and in use and cannot be used on premise. License quantities can be aggregated to meet license requirement for that BYOL cloud service, when multiple program licenses are identified as eligible to apply. Customers with ULAs can benefit the most with BYOL program, as they can make the best use of BYOL pricing to upgrade to cloud without limitations. Here is a list of different types of BYOL offered by Oracle, BYOL to IaaS has existed for some time and offered by few cloud vendors. Customers can move their infrastructure entitlements to the cloud offered by the same or a different vendor. BYOL to PaaS is new and offered by Oracle to move your on-premises software entitlements to the cloud to access an equivalent service available as a cloud service. License included PaaS allows purchasing new PaaS licenses to access all cloud services.  Below is an illustration of service level differentiation, whether ‘Oracle managed’ or ‘Customer managed’ for each of these BYOL types. With BYOL to IaaS, Oracle provides Compute, while Customer is responsible for Software License and Support Management. With BYOL to PaaS, Oracle provides Compute & Automation, while Customer is responsible for Software License and Support Management. And with License included PaaS, Oracle provides all of Compute, Automation, Software License, and Support Management. BYOL to PaaS helps leverage existing on-premises Oracle software investments via license mobility, reducing up to 95% of License included PaaS price. PaaS automation reduces management & operational costs, significantly lowering TCO for running Oracle on Oracle cloud vs. Oracle on any other cloud. License mobility via BYOL On-premises licenses have licensed software, data resides at Customer data center and managed by Customers. Oracle Cloud services can be purchased via BYOL to PaaS. In this case, data resides at Oracle Cloud data center and Oracle managed. Cloud at Customer services can be purchased via BYOL to PaaS. In this case, data resides at Customer data center and Oracle managed. How BYOL to PaaS program works Customers can move on-premises entitlements to PaaS- There are many different conversion scenarios to show the mobility of on-premises Oracle Licenses to Oracle Cloud service offerings, I am elaborating two such scenarios below. Example 1 above shows that Weblogic entitlement can move to Java Cloud Service BYOL, and Example 2 shows that Database Enterprise Edition entitlement can move to -Autonomous Data Warehouse BYOL or -Autonomous Transaction Processing BYOL or -Exadata Cloud service BYOL. Customers can avail only the licensed features in the equivalent cloud service- An example to show this case would be, when moving the entitlement of on-premises Database Enterprise Edition (DB EE) & Partitioning to the cloud, customer can only use DBEE & Partitioning in PaaS. Licenses can either be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, and customer can continue to pay for license support. BYOL to PaaS is significantly cheaper than license included PaaS- For example, it is 95% cheaper in the case of Enterprise Analytics License Included PaaS (USD 4.0323**) vs BYOL to PaaS (USD 0.1935**) Return on Investment measurement For a new customer, Oracle Database on Oracle PaaS is less expensive than other cloud vendors. The cost of Oracle PaaS is USD 400, which includes license and license support, management (provision, patch, backup, etc.), security & ease of use features. While most other cloud vendors are priced atleast 12% higher, and only include license and license support; customers need to upgrade for management, transparent data encryption, data masking, real application testing, diagnostics and tuning for an additional cost. Most other cloud vendors do not support RAC, data guard, multitenant, database vault.               For an existing customer, Oracle BYOL to PaaS is less expensive than Oracle on other clouds. Oracle PaaS costs USD 253, which includes cloud services, license support, management, and security & ease of use features. While competitor clouds costs almost 12% higher which most often only include cloud services & license support, customers can upgrade with an additional cost for management, and security & ease of use features. Customer success In the past 12 months, 1000s of customers have benefited from Oracle’s Universal Credits and BYOL programs. Drop Tank, is a loyalty technology and rewards company focused on the fuel and convenience industry in Illinois. They were looking to automate their development and production environments for better usage predictions to prevent unused capacity. Drop Tank succeeded with Oracle Integration Cloud and Autonomous Data Warehouse. With Universal Credits model they achieved the flexibility to spin-up platform services as needed, anytime to scale elastically at the lowest cost. SAGA, is a large systems integration company headquartered in Serbia and serving in 26 countries. They were looking for speed and flexibility to spin up new development environments fast and at the lowest cost possible. SAGA succeeded with Oracle Cloud, and through Universal Credits they achieved the flexibility to try different approaches to test and develop without exceeding budgets, and innovate faster. In summary, these Customer First Pricing Programs for buying and consuming cloud services, Universal Credits and Bring Your Own License (BYOL), help customers get more value from existing Oracle software investments with more choice, flexibility, and transparency. These programs offer the ‘Pay-As-You-Go flexibility at the lowest price possible’ to try, buy and succeed with Oracle Cloud services. ** Pricing as of date, reference https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/ucpricing Disclaimer: “The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, timing, and pricing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products may change and remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.”

As cloud capabilities expand, it is expected that 80% of Enterprise customers will move all their workloads to the cloud. Oracle offers two unique programs to help preserve your Oracle investments...

PaaS Leader

Oracle’s Top 10 Cloud Predictions 2019: Overview

Cloud technology and its adoption have been transformative for the enterprise, by re-defining what’s possible and speeding the pace of innovation. Companies are no longer experimenting with new emerging technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, digital assistants, containers, serverless, and the Internet of Things (IoT) – but are now applying them in meaningful ways across their operations. These technologies enable companies to drive new business, create new value, and build more sophisticated applications than ever before. Looking forward, Oracle explores what the enterprise IT world will look like in 2025 as the adoption of cloud rises. Prediction: Second-generation cloud providers will offer 100% data-center replacement. No matter how your cloud journey begins, all routes lead to the same destination – running your entire company in the cloud. The cloud provides the foundational infrastructure needed to support all types of workloads through its core capabilities within flexibility, reliability, and performance. Prediction: 80% of all enterprise (and mission-critical) workloads will move to the cloud. Companies cannot afford to suffer any downtime for their mission-critical applications and are leaving their enterprise data center behind. The considerations from moving all and critical workloads to the cloud come from its flexibility, reliability, and performance capabilities. These core capabilities provide the foundation for all types of workloads – AI, traditional, mission-critical, performance-intensive, and high-performance computing (HPC).  Prediction: All applications will incorporate AI-further distancing themselves from legacy applications. What’s driving this shift is the rise of the second-generation cloud and its bridge to new innovations. AI provides us with the ability to gather, contextualize, understand and act upon huge and continuously growing quantities of data. Its deep learning capabilities have enabled a new breed of adaptive applications and continue to empower human productivity and innovation. Soon, all applications will incorporate AI, for example, which will distance themselves from legacy applications. Prediction: AI (and emerging technologies) will double our productivity. Furthermore, AI, in alignment with emerging technologies, is expected to double productivity by 2025 compared to today’s operations. AI changes the productivity equation for many jobs by automating activities and adapting current jobs to solve more complex time-consuming problems. This enables companies to shift their resources away from maintenance and focus on creating higher-value jobs and new engagement models that encourage business growth.  Prediction: 85% of customer interactions will be automated. Automated engagement is becoming a customer expectation across nearly all markets, with 85% of all interactions predicted to be automated by 2025. These experiences include natural interactions, easy engagement, predictive recommendations, and friction-free journeys led by AI and its ability to understand context across all communication scenarios. Prediction: The developer community will expand 10x and productivity will increase by 400%. AI and automation are enhancing the developer community through the elimination of manual tasks and time-consuming problems. These next-generation environments will allow developers to drive more value through capabilities like “no-code” development that allow non-professionals to build their own solutions, as well as virtual worlds and simulations that span the entire development lifecycle and can be accessed using gestures and conversations. Prediction: More than 50% of data will be managed autonomously. The capabilities of autonomy enable IT to bring applications online faster, cheaper, and more reliably without investing in additional skills or people. With Oracle Autonomous Database, we provide the self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing capabilities that enable companies to shift resources to focus on new innovations.  Prediction: 70% of IT functions will be completely automated. As automation capabilities improve, so will reliability, availability, scalability, and application SLAs. Cloud services have evolved to include lifecycle and advanced run-time automation of maintenance activities such as patching, updates, and upgrades – enabling developers to work more innovatively and businesses to run more effectively. Prediction: 90% of enterprises will use a single identity platform that bridges premises and the cloud. Nonetheless, these cloud environments are only feasible if granted the necessary security to protect their mission-critical data against internal and external threats. Some of the major challenges companies face include having multiple identity provisioning platforms across on premises and cloud, as well as analyzing security event telemetry at scale. Enterprises must leverage IAM (identity and access management) technologies that cross hybrid cloud for a unified platform that stretches into all applications and services. Prediction: The number of security events will increase 100x, and automation will become the most reliable way of preventing, detecting, and mitigating threats. Organizations will also need to employ cloud-based AI to defend against malicious threats using nonlinear (usually AI-based) techniques to hide amongst legitimate human-based traffic. The underlying strategy provides administrate security technologies that span the entire enterprise IT estate from core-to-edge. Oracle Cloud As emerging technologies continue to drive the enterprise towards a fully cloud-based future, companies are no longer asking themselves why they should move to cloud, but rather how they can get there. With Oracle, that path is as simple as an upgrade. Oracle provides a simple upgrade path for customers so businesses can leverage their existing investments and skills towards new capabilities and experiences. Together, these 2025 predictions demonstrate the need for a complete enterprise cloud approach in the years to come, and provide a future-facing view of how businesses will need to plan their move to a cloud-native IT environment. Stay tuned for upcoming posts that explore these predictions further. To learn more, click here to read the full e-book and try our cloud today.   

Cloud technology and its adoption have been transformative for the enterprise, by re-defining what’s possible and speeding the pace of innovation. Companies are no longer experimenting with...

PaaS Leader

How Oracle Autonomous Database helps National Pharmacies transform patient data

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English. A person might see hundreds of healthcare providers throughout their lifetime. And with each provider, patient data continues to spread across hundreds of different IT systems and databases. These legacy systems often have limited capabilities for sharing and for integration. As a result, key information related to a patient’s health and symptoms may not be readily available when it's needed. Adelaide-based healthcare provider National Pharmacies is determined to change this model. The company owns and operates 80 plus pharmacies and optical specialist stores across southern Australia. And while it might be more than 100 years old, National Pharmacies is taking a modern approach to creating a data-driven patient experience. According to National Pharmacies’ corporate executive general manager Ryan Klose, by bringing different sources of data together, better outcomes can be created for patients. “To be healthy allows us to enjoy the luxuries in life – and that is our mission at National Pharmacies. By pulling all the fragmented data together across their different interactions, that’s when the dots start to join,” says Klose. “This means that when a patient goes to see a healthcare professional at any time, that doctor or specialist or whoever, subject to authorizations, has all of the data at their fingertips and can make an informed decision.” But to have that single view, in real time, isn’t easy. For a start, transactions are processed on average every two minutes from the pharmacies. Additionally, one of the key issues in healthcare is the fact that many systems are legacy systems and difficult to tie together. This task has been made significantly easier through National Pharmacies’ adoption of Oracle’s Autonomous Transaction Processing. The database service is being used to stream data securely from the Point of Sale systems from its many different stores into one repository to form a complete picture of each patient at any moment in time. As well as transaction data, it can also bring in information regarding products, or even external factors such as weather. From a patient health perspective, this means staff can make better recommendations on treatments based on prior purchases, reactions and experience, leading to better health outcomes. And this data can be accessed from a handheld device, this enables staff members to stay with the patient throughout the entire consulting process. “And for the patient, if they want to go online to check their previous transaction at any time, it will be there instantly for them.” “Ultimately what we are looking to do is ensure we are providing the best customer experience, and as part of that, have the right product on the right shelf at the right time,” Klose says. “So if any of our patients walk into a store, the product they may be looking for is there and available.” An additional benefit, Klose says is because the autonomous technology has proven so easy to use, and much of the work takes places with minimal human intervention, it is also freeing up the time of National Pharmacies’ technology professionals to work on higher-value tasks. “Our DBAs or data people are often caught up working on platform technologies,” Klose says. “For us to lift them to the frontline, where they can use that expertise and skills to work on intelligence and knowledge distribution, is going to be key for us and is going to allow us to future-proof our organization. As an IT group, it means we can really be there for every revenue and profit opportunity for the organization.” By freeing up resources, this will enable National Pharmacies to more quickly draw benefit from its existing use of emerging chatbot, mobile, online, and social technologies to support better patient outcomes. “The challenge - and opportunity - we are seeing in all of these emerging technologies is data,” Klose says. “It really is exploding everywhere. To be able to harness that data, or even bring that data together in one area to create informed intelligence is going to help us bring a level of service to our patients that our competition will need to catch up to.” And Klose believes this capability will become more important still as customer expectations continue to rise. “Consumers are asking for the same experience they have been enjoying in retail or other industries. People are now expecting this in healthcare, so having the right technologies is paramount. Whether they are talking to Alexa or a chatbot on the phone, or they are talking to a human being, all these interactions are just different channels,” Klose says. “So for all these technologies, ultimately it is the data that really brings that true digital experience forward." Oracle Autonomous Database helps customers accelerate time to innovation, time to market, and time to insights. By eliminating manual operational tasks, this enables resources to see the signals and adapt faster. Our customers can harness the abundance of data to gain predictive insights into their businesses and ultimately drive better outcomes for their customers. Learn more about the Oracle Autonomous Database, and try it today.

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English. A person might see hundreds of healthcare providers throughout their lifetime. And with each...

Data Management

How Accenture Uses Oracle Autonomous Database to Deliver Better Outcomes

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English Today, companies can be challenged to make full use of their technology investments, especially with the adoption and use of new, emerging technologies. To this end, organizations around the world rely on companies like Accenture to provide consulting and implementation skills to help them derive the most value from these investments. Conversely, it is essential that businesses like Accenture have the talent needed when clients call on them, while also being prudent not to over-invest in skills that aren’t in demand. “Our priority is to bring the right skills at the right time to the right project,” says Clark Kho, a senior technology architect in Accenture’s Oracle Business Group, based in the Philippines. “We have robust up-skilling and training programs for the latest technologies, which our people are taking full advantage of to keep themselves on their ‘A-game’.” Accenture employs over 54,000 Oracle-skilled professionals around the world who continuously evolve their skills to meet the latest – and future – client needs. To ensure the organization maintains these skills, the company created a comprehensive database of relevant information on its people, the engagements they have worked on, and training received, so it can identify talent and gaps. So when it came time for Accenture to test Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) technology to determine how it might provide business value back to Accenture’s customers, it made sense to try it out on one of Accenture’s own data assets – the skills database. Kho and his team took four months of production data from Accenture’s existing Oracle Database Cloud Service (DBCS) and fed it into ADW. Kho says the autonomous technology immediately demonstrated value by ingesting more than 500 million rows of data in under three minutes. He and his team subsequently put the database through its paces by running scenarios that would take a regular cloud database offline for 30 minutes or so, such as dynamically increasing the CPU and disk the platform can consume. “But with the autonomous solution, the database remained online – it never went down,” Kho says. He says this aligns well with the increasingly routine requirement from clients to have their data accessible at any time. “The fact you have an autonomous system that can deliver literally 24/7 data is a big game changer,” he says. Even as Kho and his team increased the data load, the autonomous database continued to meet the performance needs. “When we loaded more data it actually became more stable and performed better, which was interesting,” Kho says. “Data veracity is one of the key trends we identified in our 2018 Accenture Technology Vision for Oracle, as we recognize the growing importance for having trust in data to deliver better insights and decisions. “With one click of a button we now have the ability to give more back to the business users, helping to democratize data and enabling them to be more independent.” He was also impressed by the technology’s ability to self-patch. “Most organizations don’t patch immediately,” Kho says. “Being able to patch the database ‘behind the curtains’ provides peace of mind around security – it isn’t as large of a concern.” Cumulatively, these benefits translate into better performance for the organization and a reduced workload in terms of routine maintenance tasks for database administrators (DBAs) and other support teams. “In the old days, you would need DBAs to create these databases, and it would take days to build,” Kho says. “But with autonomous capabilities, that time and manpower is free to take on more thoughtful responsibilities, rather than having to perform the mundane tasks of patching, backups, monitoring, and tuning.” Kho believes the ability to use autonomous technology to build databases quickly will be invaluable to clients, as it will enable them to test new ideas. “I was blown away by Oracle’s Database Cloud Service’s ability to provision a database in the cloud in under an hour,” Kho says. “Now with autonomous, it’s within minutes. It is literally building something at the speed of thought. Users can create data marts, gather the data they need, load all the data, and then crunch these queries equally fast. They can experiment faster and drive value faster. I firmly believe that autonomous technology can help people go beyond the limitations of IT to drive value.” Kho believes the adoption of autonomous technology will lead to a partnership between humans and technology. “This is how organizations need to transform,” Kho says. “Technology will constantly evolve, so let the machines and the humans each do what they do best, and your organization will reap the benefits of the best of both worlds.” This groundbreaking Oracle Database technology automates data management to deliver availability, performance, and security – at a significantly lower cost. The Autonomous Data Warehouse delivers all of the performance of a market-leading Database, in a fully managed environment that is tuned and optimized for data warehouse workloads. To learn more about Oracle Autonomous, read more here and try it today.

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English Today, companies can be challenged to make full use of their technology investments,...

Strategy and Leadership

Oracle’s Latest Innovations: Digital Assistants & Blockchain

Today, we’re seeing emerging technologies permeate every aspect of work and life. Companies are using them to build mission critical apps, drive new business models, and create new business value. The real opportunities of these technologies - AI, ML, IoT, Blockchain, Containers and Serverless, and Human Interfaces – is to enable our customers to embrace innovation on a scale like we’ve never seen before. At OpenWorld this year, Oracle demonstrated our implementation of these new technologies and our focus on providing companies with the building blocks to disrupt entire industries. In case you missed this year’s OpenWorld, we’ve included a recap of two key platform and app product releases: Digital Assistants, and Blockchain.    Digital Assistant At OpenWorld this year, Larry Ellison demonstrated the new Digital Assistant capabilities with Alexa in his keynote presentation "Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications". Building on earlier implementations of chatbots, Oracle's Digital Assistant enables companies to build personalized digital assistants to help employees work smart and more productively. It contains pre-built skills and connects your back-end applications so you have one single experience across all of your business applications. With Oracle Digital Assistant, it can support domain skills from multiple applications such as HR, ERP, CRM, and CX. The platform is embedded with artificial intelligence to provide a unique contextual engine for speech and image recognition, intent detection, and multilingual neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU). Oracle’s Digital Assistant also supports popular messaging platforms including Slack, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Alexa. Through Alexa, he was able to ask Oracle’s Digital Assistant questions on topics such as Oracle’s campus hiring statistics in 2017 as well as receive an answer within seconds. With Oracle’s Digital Assistant, it makes information easily accessible to technical and non-technical users, enabling a more cohesive workforce in which lines of businesses can focus less on gathering data and more on applying that information with other teams to drive innovation.   Blockchain During Amit Zavery's session, "The Next Big Things for Oracle Cloud Platform", we heard from a global shipment management software solutions provider, CargoSmart.ai, that is using Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service. Since their company works with multiple businesses that interact with the shipment of data, they needed a solution to provide real-time information and to help establish trust between involved parties. In alignment with IoT technology, Oracle Blockchain restructured their operations strategies by providing them with the ability to Track and Trace every vessel and container as well as their conditions to easily identify problems with shipments. With the recurring theme of security and trust circling this year’s OpenWorld, Oracle Blockchain adds a unique value by enforcing accountability between involved groups. The elimination of distrust is essentially what drives collaboration and encourages companies to share information instead of protecting it. Building on the release of our Blockchain Cloud Service, we also launched Oracle Blockchain Applications Cloud which includes several new Business Applications that use Oracle Blockchain technology for common use-cases. This includes track and trace, provenance identification, warranty and usage, and cold chain. The plug-and-play ability with Oracle and third-party applications results in faster integration with diverse systems of record, and accelerating time to market. Learn more about our Blockchain Cloud Service and new business apps. Oracle has made emerging tech pervasive throughout all of our cloud offerings. With these new capabilities, Oracle enables companies of all sizes to change their approaches to IT, and reimagine what’s possible. To learn more, click here to watch the keynotes and sessions from this year’s OpenWorld.  

Today, we’re seeing emerging technologies permeate every aspect of work and life. Companies are using them to build mission critical apps, drive new business models, and create new business value. The...

PaaS Leader

How Oracle Autonomous Database Is Enabling Breakthroughs in Healthcare

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English. Applying data analytics to healthcare is leading to incredible breakthroughs in everything from early disease detection and genetic exploration, to drug discovery and efficacy testing. The ability to analyze the human genome is leading to new forms of precision medicine where treatments are tailored not just to specific diseases, but also to different patient cohorts, based on their DNA. While it has long been known that some treatments are more effective with some patients than others, data-driven precision medicine can give a clearer insight into exactly which patients will respond most favorably. This also provides guidance on the percentage of the total patient pool they represent. But the sheer complexity of the foundational component of digital healthcare - the human genome – means the processing power and data volumes required are substantial. It is the extreme end of the data challenge companies face in terms of size and complexity. It’s so big that it may in fact require 100 Gigabytes of storage for each genome. Some say, we’ll see over 2 billion human genomes stored by 2025. If digital healthcare researchers are to progress their work, and bring tests and treatments to market, it is critical they have access to systems and processes that enable them to analyze the huge volumes of data required. It is a challenge that is well suited to a new category of technology – Oracle's Autonomous Database. For the Australian company Applied Precision Medicine (APM) Pty Ltd, this technology is helping it quickly build the data analytics platform its research and pharmaceutical clients use to create tests that determine the effectiveness of new treatments. APM helps researchers take their concepts from an early ‘bench’ stage through to assembling a fully-engineered system that meets all regulatory compliance requirements. Reduce Administrative Costs According to APM’s managing director Richard Rendell, using Oracle’s Autonomous Database takes out much of the human effort required in data ingestion and matching, while also ensuring its platforms meet global requirements for security and privacy. “We have to use data warehouse capabilities to look at the data to determine how relevancies are occurring,” Rendell says. “But DNA data is enormous - we have the potential of generating almost a terabyte per person from their DNA.  Data sets can run into a petabyte for just 1200 patients." “This technology gives us the ability to build something that is robust, enterprise-grade, clinically-acceptable, and HIPAA compliant, and be able to do that very, very quickly.” Using Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse, Rendell says APM can spin up a server, create the data warehouse, and begin ingesting data in a matter of minutes. “In the past it took a huge amount of effort and quite a significant amount of time to do that,” Rendell says. “That’s a whole lot of cost that we don’t have to pass on to the customer, and we can do it with fewer people and get on with the higher value tasks.” Another key benefit comes via Oracle’s integration tools. Rendell says data sets often come in different formats, ranging from basic comma separated files to JSON, XML and the HL7 files commonly used in healthcare. Genetic data has over a dozen specific file formats that are used regularly. "A major part of the effort is doing the data integration,” Rendell says. “We need building blocks we can rely on, so that we don’t have to bring in an army of people to do DevOps or DBA work.” Rendell says not only does Oracle’s Autonomous Database deliver commercial benefits for APM and its clients, it also creates a high degree of confidence that the platforms being used to run the tests are robust and compliant with regulations. Reduce Risk He says another key benefit of the Oracle Autonomous Database is that it is self-securing, which can prevent many of the types of data breaches currently witnessed in healthcare in the United States. “What we know from breach reporting in the U.S. is that about 59 percent of the breaches that happen are internal,” Rendell says. “So they aren’t systems being hacked, but people who are inside the organizations who are not following procedures or who are not exercising appropriate behaviors as far as the system access and policies are concerned.” The ability for autonomous technology to manage user access and self-patch, along with its default application of encryption, reduces the burden on Rendell and his staff. “I am ticking a lot of boxes by clicking a button and starting a warehouse. I haven’t had to put a single person on it,” Rendell says. “Having the encryption managed is very nice because we can just start these things up and build them out for particular customers.” Ultimately, this leads to faster results for researchers and pharmaceutical companies, leading to reduced costs and time to market.  “Our role is to get them to that commercial end point,” Rendell says. “The greatest benefit is being able to help the customer commercialize quickly and confidently. “It is a nice way to use artificial intelligence to specifically achieve a task which you can train it very carefully for.” And critically, that also means that treatments are available to patients faster, and with a higher degree of confidence. Oracle is redefining what’s possible with autonomous  – improving outcomes not only for our customers but also the people they serve. Research and healthcare providers now have the means to unlock their potential like never before. Using the power of autonomous, they can run their organizations more efficiently, see the signals faster, and harness the abundance of data to gain predictive insights. Our customers can use autonomous technologies to drive real innovation and real change for the healthcare industry. To learn more about Oracle Autonomous Database, read more here and try it today.

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English. Applying data analytics to healthcare is leading to incredible breakthroughs in everything...

Strategy and Leadership

Autonomous and Security - Key Themes at Oracle OpenWorld 2018

This post was contributed by Product Marketing Analyst, Cassie Chen.  This year, Larry Ellison kicked off OpenWorld by talking about Oracle’s new “Star Wars” cyber-defensive functions from our Cloud Infrastructure. This second-generation Oracle Cloud Infrastructure includes a re-architected software and hardware to enable a dedicated network of cloud control computers. The new design is meant to create an isolated network with separate cloud control computers to run on bare-metal. And finally, this includes a layer of security that runs through each individual customer zone as well as Oracle’s own control code so computers can’t be tampered with or accessed by users other than yourself.  Next, we heard from Mark Hurd. In his keynote, he carried out this theme of security. He discussed the concept of our defensive battle against cyber threats and the importance of AI investment. With a larger surface area, companies face new threats that are becoming increasingly complex and more difficult to prevent. Security teams at organizations of every size are struggling to keep pace with these persistent attacks. Businesses can use the advanced security capabilities that Oracle provides in order to protect themselves from these cyber-attacks. And, they can use a platform that is autonomous – leverages the power of AI and machine learning to provide self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing capabilities.  Using power of Autonomous, our customers now have a means to unlock their potential like never before. And while they’re different size companies working across different industries, what they have in common is how each has embraced our autonomous capabilities as a way to transform how they do business. In Steve Daheb’s general session, we heard firsthand from some of these customers. First, he introduced Erik Dvergsnes from Aker BP to join him on stage. Using Oracle’s Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud, they spoke about how this enabled them to consolidate multiple databases, keep track of a decade’s worth of data about alarms on their off-shore rigs, and run reports in optimal speed. They can now run reports on 1.2 billion rows in seconds versus what used to take 20 minutes. Then, he brought up Michael Morales, CEO of Quality Metrics Partners, a lab management and medical testing company that’s using Autonomous Database to reduce the amount of time patients have to wait for lab results. We heard how they used Oracle’s Autonomous Database and Oracle’s cloud to scale their business model – supporting over 9x growth.  The Autonomous Database takes care of the core responsibilities in data management – optimizes resources, reduces human error, mitigates threats and decreases spending with little to no downtime. In addition to the autonomous capabilities, we also heard during OpenWorld more about Oracle’s comprehensive security portfolio. It provides multiple layers of defense. This includes preventative controls to intercept data leaks and unauthorized users; a web firewall to inspect, identify and block malicious traffic; log analytics to track and trace all logs including 3rdparty logs; and DDoS to detect and mitigate attacks through network isolation.  Oracle has delivered to the market an incredible amount of innovation and we're seeing customer momentum across the entire Oracle Cloud. And we provide customers with the ability to focus on the things that truly matter – their business and their customers. The automation of repetitive DBA tasks and the ability to reduce security threats collectively work to save hours on maintenance to put towards new innovations. Read more about a groundbreaking security study by Oracle and KPMG on the growing threat landscape. To learn more about Oracle Autonomous, read more here and try it today. In case you missed it, watch this year’s keynotes and sessions at OpenWorld.

This post was contributed by Product Marketing Analyst, Cassie Chen.  This year, Larry Ellison kicked off OpenWorld by talking about Oracle’s new “Star Wars” cyber-defensive functions from our Cloud...

App Dev

What A Hamster Can Teach You About Artificial Intelligence

Photo credit: Bored Panda The future of AI brings with it a new world of possibilities - it's helped reshape the way businesses and people solve problems in ways that never seemed possible before.  It's hard to imagine that artificial intelligence has been around for more than half a century. The influence of AI can be found everywhere from science fiction to practical uses. It's now in many of our homes with digital assistants, smart homes, home appliances, and now with automobiles. In nearly every industry, artificial intelligence has become core to how businesses innovate, drive efficiencies, and stay competitive.  For many of us, we may not remember the first time we were introduced to AI, but I can still remember exactly how I came to learn about it. When I was 7 years old, I was taught my first lesson about the field of artificial intelligence from my pet hamster, "Mustang". Mustang was an ordinary hamster with brown fur and a passion for sunflower seeds. He usually spent his day on his wheel and exploring our house in his hamster ball. My father, who was a PhD in math and engineering, decided it was a perfect opportunity for me to learn about the innate abilities of rodents to solve mazes. And of course being 7, I had no clue what was about to happen.  One summer, my dad built a maze for Mustang. It was an elaborate contraption designed with interchangeable walls cut from balsa wood. It included a heavy plexiglass lid that let us get a bird's eye view into Mustang's progress. Mustang was not that fast of a hamster. But nevertheless, after only one try, Mustang would speed his way to the exit and devour his prize - a giant bowl full of sunflower seeds. My Dad didn't explain to me how Mustang solved it so fast but he did show me the concept of an algorithm. He would say, "Now you try solving the maze but only take right hand turns, but back up if you hit a wall, and then go the other direction. How long will it take you to solve the maze?"  We didn't have a computer at the time, but my Dad showed me on his calculator the different combinations that we would have to solve for. I later learned that this maze algorithm was called the Wall Follower and that he was actually teaching me an important lesson in math and science. It turns out that the maze algorithms have been around before I was born. In 1968, artificial intelligence researcher, Nils John Nilsson one of the early founding fathers of AI, prototyped a robot that could run through a maze or room with obstacles. This path-finding algorithm was code named A1 and it was based on Dijkstra's algorithm - conceived in 1956. Mazes are just one puzzle and the A1 algorithm is just one algorithm. With the many subsets of artificial intelligence including natural language processing, and robotics - the most noteworthy is the use of machine learning. It is one of the most talked about AI technologies today, however machine learning is not new at all. It was originally invented in 1952 and originated from an individual named Arthur Samuel who originally used AI and machine learning to solve the problem of how to beat someone in checkers. Similar to the maze solving algorithm, machine learning was developed as an answer to a specific problem to help machines 'learn' and is one of the necessary ingredients in many modern AI advancements today. And similar to the checkers experiment, these early AI experiments were an important first step to understand the power of computing.  At Oracle, we've seen firsthand the impact of AI - it's embedded into almost everything we do, and the technologies we provide for our customers. With years of domain expertise and a deep understanding of cross-industry, Oracle embeds cognitive AI, analytics, data services, IT management, and security operations. We add machine learning and cognitive interactions to traditional business processes and applications - enabling improved user experiences and productivity.  Oracle uses machine learning to enhance business applications with adaptive processes to make them more agile and responsive to opportunities. By augmenting user experiences in our business and analytical applications, we've enabled our customers to have more natural and simpler interactions using voice and text. And finally, we've embedded AI into our IT infrastructure, so that our customers can operate efficiently and autonomously reducing manual management and security responsibilities.  From my first lesson to now, artificial intelligence can be found everywhere. It continues to be core to how we solve problems in business - reshaping the way people live and work. At Oracle, AI and ML techniques form the backbone of our game-changing Autonomous Cloud Platform capabilities. Artificial intelligence continues to advance the way we discover, manage, and make decisions. With these new insights delivered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies are delivering new levels of innovations once considered unimaginable. Learn more about Oracle AI and try it today. 

Photo credit: Bored Panda The future of AI brings with it a new world of possibilities - it's helped reshape the way businesses and people solve problems in ways that never seemed possible before.  It's...

Data Management

How Oracle Autonomous Advances A Start-ups Product Vision

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English  Why are start-ups relying on technologies from established companies to increase their time to market and drive innovation? And what is the impact to their product or services? Start-ups are known for pushing boundaries and often seen as the driving force behind the economy for what's next and what's possible. At their core, start-ups and small businesses have a tremendous amount to deal with - from building and bringing to market their product vision, raising capital, and most importantly staying ahead of the competition.  In the last decade, the way start-ups build products and the tools they use to get their products off the ground has changed. Many entrepreneurs are not re-inventing the wheel - instead leveraging pre-existing technologies to build their products faster and advance their position in the market.  We've seen that happen at Oracle - where Oracle Autonomous was used by a start-up to make their vision possible as the next social network for mobile applications. Powered by Oracle Autonomous, Virtual Artifacts (VA) launched its Mobile Application Network (Hibe). It's a platform for developers to connect their mobile apps. Virtual Artifacts is similar to a social network, enabling developers to network and grow their own connections with other apps as well as communicate with their peers on different apps. To prepare for rapid growth, Virtual Artifacts invested in Oracle Cloud, including Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Cloud Platform, Oracle Mobile Cloud, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  Faster Time to Market  At Virtual Artifacts, Chief Operating Officer Stephane Lamoureux says autonomous technology is enabling their team to shift its focus from the backend of the platform to building out functionality at scale.  "What this does is give me the ability to properly grow on a global basis," says Lamoureux. "Autonomous technology is enabling our team to shift its focus from the backend of the platform to building out functionality. We can put more people in the frontend focusing on product, knowing that 80 percent of our operations will be well managed and automated in the background by Oracle. What this does is give us the ability to properly grow on a global basis and also move our products much faster without having to worry about a backend infrastructure." Virtual Artifacts is also using Oracle technology to support its AI-driven privacy engine, which is at the core of the Hibe platform, giving users control of what happens to their data, including things like what advertising they can be shown.  Accelerate Innovation Oracle Autonomous technology is being used to ease the management and backup data. This enables Virtual Artifacts to handle massive leaps in workloads as each new app is connected, and bring hundreds of thousands or even millions of new users on to their platform.  Autonomous technology will bring greater security and reliability to their platform, including automated security analytics to provide real-time insight into what is happening on their platform globally.  "All of this stuff will be automated," says Lamoureux.  But most importantly, autonomous technology is enabling Lamoureux and his team to realize their dream of a fully-connected app world more quickly.  "The ease of management in the backend will give us the ability to spin out new products much faster, and we can be a lot more agile with what users are coming back with." Oracle Cloud and autonomous capabilities can support businesses of all sizes - delivering technology capabilities to drive operational efficiencies and deliver faster innovation. Oracle Autonomous offers start-ups and small businesses an opportunity to lower costs, reduce risks, and get predictive insights to create the next big disruptive product in the market. To learn more, click here to get started with Oracle Autonomous.

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English  Why are start-ups relying on technologies from established companies to increase their time...

Strategy and Leadership

How Oracle Autonomous Will Change the Future of IT

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English  What if organizations were able to shift the responsibilities of IT from maintenance tasks to higher-value mission critical assignments for business end users? To that end, what if IT organizations were able to use their skills for solving problems at the front-end of the organization? This is a new reality with autonomous technology.  Today's IT professionals need automation. According to an Oracle survey, we found a staggering 95% of IT professionals are still creating or upgrading databases manually. The workloads for DBAs are increasing with 39% of DBAs handling 50 or more databases. With Oracle autonomous, organizations can redefine how their business runs to drive real innovation and real change for their business.  Autonomous technology represents the next great leap in the evolution of enterprise IT technology. Combining the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning, autonomous technology delivers self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing capabilities across a wide range of IT functions and applications. With Oracle Autonomous, organizations are able to run smarter, more efficiently, and more securely.  Move from Operations to Innovation  For IT professionals, autonomous technology means moving beyond the operational procedural work of keeping an IT system functioning. It enables them to use their skills and knowledge for solving more mission critical problems. Organizations will be able to consider and design new processes and practices with autonomous technologies. They can shift IT responsibilities from managing backend systems to focus on frontend applications and services that matter most to employees and customers.  As Timothy Miller, from Drop Tank, a loyalty and rewards company focused on fuel and convenience said, "Simply put, with cloud and autonomous we can focus on our business and not the backend of technology. It promises a future where we don't have to rely on an army of people. Autonomous gives us the tools to do amazing things quickly and at a low cost." Autonomous technology represents a fundamental shift in IT - where it becomes a hub for innovation. It provides organizations with the necessary speed, and flexibility to deliver cost savings and value.  When applied for example in a database, autonomous automates database operations ensures patches are applied and the data is secured. For integration, autonomous technology simplifies integration spanning Oracle and non-Oracle apps, both on-premise and in the cloud. And when applied in a data warehouse, autonomous technology can provision a data warehouse in seconds accelerating time to innovation and time to market. And it can do all of this with minimal human intervention.  As Clark Kho, Senior Technology Architect, at Accenture said, "In today's intelligent enterprise era, having a self-driving database is a natural next step. Freeing DBAs from the basic operational nuances of running a database is of tremendous value-and from a security standpoint, the autonomous capabilities get us closer to the holy grail of being automatic, predictive and self-healing." Drive Better Outcomes Ultimately, autonomous technologies provides IT professionals with the ability to re-align their focus on new projects and enabling them to respond to business requirements at a speed never seen before.  As Michael Morales, CEO at QMP Health, a user of Oracle's autonomous data warehouse said, "When you're dealing with human lives, time is everything. Having Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud automatically tune and manage itself with no downtime means faster response times and quicker decisions - that's critical for us and our patients." Autonomous drives efficiency in existing systems management, freeing up human resources and generating quick wins that can be reinvested in further implementations. With Autonomous, the IT function can become a true partner to the organization. Ultimately, autonomous technology can lead to a future where there is no discernible difference between IT and the business - they are converged.  To learn more about Oracle Autonomous, click here and try it today. 

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud PR & Communications, EMEA & JAPAC, Rebecca English  What if organizations were able to shift the responsibilities of IT from maintenance tasks to...

Strategy and Leadership

How Oracle Autonomous Will Completely Reshape Retailers Approach to IT

The last time you shopped online, did you ever stop to think about how much the shopping experience has changed in your lifetime? It may be hard to remember, but it was very different - where getting in your car, driving to the store, and buying at the store was the only way to shop.  With technological advances, this path to purchase has been dramatically altered. In the last decade alone, retailers have been under increased pressure to adapt their business model in response to consumers demand for differentiated experiences from in-store to online, across channels and formats. The retail industry has become a hyper-competitive market to be in, where consumers expect more convenience than ever with access to mobile connectivity to shop whenever and however they wish. The convenience of e-commerce online ordering versus in-store, and more choices for receiving products with pickup or delivery options. Many retailers have failed to recognize that traditional models are no longer sustainable and having the right mix of channel engagement across different formats is the key to survive. In 2017 alone, a study by JLL research mentioned on Forbes, estimated there would be more than 5,300 stores closures. This is a staggering number of store closures, however according to a recent Deloitte study, the reality is consumer spending is shifting and the retail industry is simply evolving. As a result, retailers are considering new ways to make improvements across their infrastructure and technology use to reposition and gain real-time visibility of their converged channels across mobile, web, supply chain and in-store.  Oracle Cloud for Retailers Oracle’s cloud products provide retailers with the means to improve data quality, unify on common business processes, and optimize the foundation for processes around core design, inventory planning, logistics, store operations, and e-commerce. The pressure for retailers to stay competitive, and create the best experience is often challenging without using cloud. The opportunities that cloud represent provides our retail customers with the needed scale, and performance for an effective converged commerce approach. To that end – it’s important for a retailer to consider factors like having the right mix of products to sell across all of their channels, the product placement in the store vs. online, and the end-to-end customer experience. And more recently, retailers are embracing emerging technologies with AI-assisted styling or chatbots to improve mobile engagement. Ultimately, redefining their operational approach and using technology to advance their position helps retailers address the needs of their customers better and improve their brand loyalty. With Oracle’s latest product announcement of Autonomous, our retail customers stand to make additional gains from Oracle Cloud as they can move from operations to innovation, quickly spin up new development environments without having to worry about all the administration functions like patching, securing, tuning, deployment parameters. Oracle’s vision of automating and optimizing database software that writes and creates itself is revolutionary. Oracle Autonomous Cloud is backed by its Autonomous Database capabilities which is a suite of products differentiated by the type of workload optimization. Autonomous technologies can completely reshape how retailers approach to IT – enabling them to free their budgets, and resources to focus on innovation. Our customers are already seeing with the Autonomous Database and ultimately the role that autonomous will play in the enterprise for businesses of all sizes. The Autonomous Database Oracle continues to advance our autonomous capabilities and services for our customers, this week Larry unveiled our latest service in the Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud portfolio, Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing. This is a complete data management system – a single database for transactions, reporting, batch and IoT workloads. And when you’re thinking of a use-case for high performance transactions and mixed workloads, no one understands the importance of these autonomous capabilities more than the retail industry.  We heard this week how impactful and beneficial this can be to retailers, as one of Oracle’s global retail customers described, how critical the performance and scale is to support their business. They spend a lot of time optimizing performance, dealing with the large volume of transactions and a massive amount of disparate data to contend with - all while trying to manage the supporting infrastructure. With Oracle Autonomous Database, they can clearly see how the self-patching capability can help save them time and make their systems more secure, up to date – ultimately reducing their risk. This would lower resources costs and at the same time deal with retail cycles during peak demands such as Cyber Monday, and Black Friday. And finally, customers are excited by the concept of using Oracle to offload the mundane DBA tasks, and use our machine learning to do the heavy lifting for them.  With Oracle Autonomous services, retailers truly have the building blocks to disrupt entire business models, move from operations to innovation, drive better outcomes for their customers, see the signals sooner and adapt faster, and reduce costs and risks. The availability of our Autonomous Transaction Processing is incredibly important for retailers as they can depend upon us for the capabilities to get performance, availability, scale and at the same time freeing their database teams to focus on new innovation.  And when you think about the future of retail, and what’s next, think Oracle, #ThinkAutonomous. To learn more, read from our recent press release about our announcement and availability of Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing. Sign up for a free trial today.

The last time you shopped online, did you ever stop to think about how much the shopping experience has changed in your lifetime? It may be hard to remember, but it was very different - where getting...

PaaS Leader

Developers: New Opportunities in 2018 Offer Challenges, But the Future Is Bright

With emerging technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, chatbots and serverless computing, 2018 should be an exciting year for developers, with almost endless possibilities. A recent article published in InfoWorld by Oracle Cloud Platform’s VP of Product Management & Strategy Siddhartha Agarwal, outlines a comprehensive list of a few of the predicted excitements and pressures that may come with these transformative technologies. Each technology has the ability to re-shape industries, transforming consumer and enterprise behaviors alike. A recent InfoWorld article predicted how each of these technologies (and more) will both impact and challenge developers looking to leverage these technologies in 2018. Blockchain, which records detailed transaction data in a highly secure, trusted environment, could make any type of complex transaction more cost-effective and efficient by eliminating intermediaries. Two industries where it might show the greatest impact in 2018 could be financial services and manufacturing, where its scalability, resiliency, security, and pre-built integrations with enterprise systems should make it much easier for developers to focus on business use cases rather than underlying hyperledger fabric implementation.   Machine Learning will be ramping up to more broadly impact life, as well as work, as it becomes more domain-specific and tailored for specific segments of the overall business. Specifically, this means developers will need to step up their understanding of these technologies to avoid mistakes and growing pains that could have substantial consequences for their organizations. For example, as machine learning becomes more domain-specific, developers will need to build a greater understanding of domain-specific use cases, which requires time and effort to gather the correct data for training and build the right algorithms to apply. And intelligent chatbots that can detect intent and context will begin to reshape not only how consumers interactions and behavior, but also how employees interact with employers in the workplace. However, these new opportunities also mean that developers will be challenged to focus on striking a balance between increasing the pace of their development activities without compromising stricter requirements for security and performance. To learn more about additional technologies that should impact developers in 2018 and the challenges those technologies present, read the InfoWorld article here.

With emerging technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, chatbots and serverless computing, 2018 should be an exciting year for developers, with almost endless possibilities. A recent article...

Data Management

New Programs Aim to Simplify How Companies Buy and Consume Cloud Services

  Migrating to cloud has helped companies of all sizes lower costs and accelerate everything from app development to collaboration to, ultimately, innovation, but there’s still one aspect of moving to cloud that hasn’t kept up its end of the bargain.   Until now. Despite the many advances cloud can deliver, the process of moving existing on-premises licenses to cloud, as well as the overall purchase process for cloud services, continues to prove cumbersome and frustrating. One of the key obstacles to moving to cloud for many organizations is the balancing act they must maintain between investing in new innovative technologies while at the same time protecting on-premises investments. In addition, the process of purchasing cloud services involves complex contracts and often requires companies to detail up-front exactly how they plan to spend their money. In a rapidly shifting business environment, that’s not a simple thing to do. Many cloud providers require companies to notify them in advance regarding what specific cloud services they’ll need, how they’re going to run them, and where. This often stifles responsiveness and results in unpredictably higher operational costs. It also makes it challenging for companies to shift cloud spending to different platform and infrastructure services as their strategies change. This is all in addition to the many complex cloud payment models at most cloud providers that give organizations limited visibility into, and control over, cloud spending.   Companies like Oracle, however, have recently debuted new pricing programs that directly address these challenges and make the overall process of purchasing and consuming cloud services dramatically simpler. In addition to the new programs, Oracle has also lowered its PaaS pricing and reduced IaaS list prices to match Amazon Web Services (AWS). Firstly, Oracle announced the extension of its Bring Your Own License program (BYOL). Oracle’s existing BYOL program has allowed customers to bring on-premises licenses to Oracle IaaS. This allows customers to take an existing on-premises license for Oracle Database, for example, and replicate that functionality on Oracle IaaS Compute. With this new extended BYOL program, however, on-premises software such as Oracle Database and Oracle Middleware is now portable to corresponding Oracle PaaS, where customers get access to a host of very powerful cloud-specific features, particularly automation through artificial intelligence and machine learning. Customers also move those licenses to PaaS at the newly announced lower pricing.   When customers run Oracle PaaS tools in the Oracle Cloud, the cost benefits go beyond the new PaaS pricing. For example, when running Oracle Database Cloud Services on Oracle IaaS (now priced as low as AWS), customers can also leverage the benefit of the tremendous power of Oracle Compute to run workloads much faster than on competing clouds—resulting in dramatically lower costs in a pay-as-you-go model. Even further cost reductions come as a result of the high levels of automation built into Oracle’s PaaS solutions. That’s because more automation means less human labor, which reduces costs yet again. The BYOL program also applies to Oracle Cloud at Customer, which brings all the functionality of Oracle’s public cloud technology into customers’ data centers, behind their firewalls. Cloud at Customer has proven valuable for companies dealing with global regulatory and compliance issues. And Oracle’s new Autonomous Database technology only adds to the opportunity. Autonomous Database is a totally new category of database that requires virtually no human labor and, as a result, no human error and dramatically reduced costs. The database automatically provisions, secures, monitors, backs up, recovers, troubleshoots, and tunes itself. It automatically upgrades and patches itself while running and elastically grows and shrinks compute or storage with virtually no downtime. Because you only pay for what you use, the cost comparisons to other databases are startling. The second component of Oracle’s new pricing program is Oracle Universal Credits (UC), which dramatically simplifies the purchase and consumption of PaaS and IaaS cloud services, while at the same time adding tremendous flexibility. With Oracle UC, customers just have a single contract that doesn’t require notifying Oracle of changes. They simply pay up front and consume as they wish. Oracle calculates usage and bills against the credits. In addition, customers can use Universal Credits to purchase on-demand access to all current and future Oracle PaaS and IaaS services, such as database (including the new Autonomous Database), integration, analytics, security, compute, and storage with a pay-as-you-go model. Customers can pay even less using prepaid pricing for as long as they need. Universal Credits are applied to anything customers want to use. Data can be moved, for example, from one data center to another without the need to notify Oracle. Similarly, services can be canceled and reapplied to another service. Discounts are determined by dollar volumes and whether you choose a monthly or annual commitment. Specific SLAs, limitations, and liabilities can still be negotiated. Oracle BYOL and UC build upon Oracle’s commitment to delivering the world’s leading cloud solutions in the simplest, most efficient way possible for customers. For more information on Oracle BYOL and UC, visit our website.  

  Migrating to cloud has helped companies of all sizes lower costs and accelerate everything from app development to collaboration to, ultimately, innovation, but there’s still one aspect of moving...

Integration

How PaaS Can Help Your Financials Feel Right at Home in the Cloud

This post was contributed by Hitachi Consulting. It seems like whenever a business decides to move finance to the cloud, people inevitably raise questions about connectivity. Will they still be able to connect to applications and data that were left on premise? What about third-party apps, specialized homegrown apps, or apps that run in their own separate cloud? How hard will it be to plug those into a cloud-based financial system? As a technology and business consultant who has worked on dozens of Oracle Cloud ERP projects, my short answer is—relax. Modern cloud finance solutions—and Oracle Financials Cloud, in particular—allow you to connect to anything, across every part of the business and beyond. This includes legacy on-premises systems, other clouds, third-party apps, mobile and social platforms, and even the Internet of Things. I’ve found that you can approach your move to “connected ERP” in two ways. One is to adopt a unified suite of applications that inherently provides a single repository for your trusted data. The other is to use cloud platform tools and services to bring together a complete picture of your enterprise and synchronize critical business data to enable real time analytics. Oracle PaaS tools are great for enabling hybrid or co-existence models where companies choose to maintain on-prem applications alongside a cloud ERP or other cloud applications. At Hitachi Consulting, we frequently use Oracle Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) products, such as Oracle Integration Cloud Service and Process Cloud Service, to simplify the job of connecting systems to Oracle ERP Cloud and allow clients to maximize re-use of existing IT investments and assets. For example, let’s say you decided to maintain an on-premises system that creates purchase orders. Using Oracle Integration Cloud Service, you can easily create a connection that seamlessly passes the required information to the cloud financials application. And with Oracle ERP Cloud, all the integration points are governed by centralized role-based access controls, so security is never an issue and you get the peace of mind that those connecting only see what they are supposed to. One of the best things about Integration Cloud Service and Process Cloud Service is the intuitive, wizard-based user interfaces that allow non-technical “citizen developers” to integrate systems and design business processes without writing a lot of code. In addition, using Oracle Developer Cloud Service, companies can develop apps faster than traditional methods and at significantly lower cost. The connections don’t stop there. With Oracle Cloud ERP, you can connect to employees anywhere on their mobile device and simplify mobile app creation. Now employees can request travel funds from the smartphone, and collaborate and share documents more easily when crunched for time, such as during financial closes. Analytics and reporting are all connected in the cloud, as well. The newest frontier in connectivity is the Internet of Things, and I expect to see more and more companies linking their Cloud ERP platforms to IoT platforms, and reaping significant benefits in the process. For example, sensors on trucks could detect damaged goods in transit and order replacements before reaching their destination. Connecting that data to the ERP would also speed financial claims and write-offs. Guiding You to the Cloud Of course, ensuring connectivity in the cloud doesn’t come without a few challenges, especially if you’re a large, complex, geographically dispersed business. That’s where an experienced consultant can help guide you through the ins and outs of the process. In my experience, there’re a lot of ways to “do cloud” and Oracle just does cloud the best. With Oracle Cloud ERP, you’ll get more control over your data, and more flexibility when rolling out system updates and upgrades. Plus, Oracle has been in ERP for so long that they’ve gained the wisdom and vision to give you exactly what your business needs to be successful. The challenge often becomes determining what parts of your business should move to the cloud first. Hitachi Consulting can guide you through the first journey into the cloud and help you draw a roadmap to realize the benefits of connecting your ERP to each part of your business. Hitachi Consulting can leverage proprietary utilities such as our Oracle Cloud Migration Tool and battle-tested HFusion methodology to help you chart a course to the cloud and navigate your organization through to a connected ERP. Still worried about connecting to your financials cloud? Don’t be. With the right Cloud ERP platform, a modern integration skillset, and solid guidance behind you, you can interface anything to your financials and start to reap the benefits of a modern Connected Cloud.

This post was contributed by Hitachi Consulting. It seems like whenever a business decides to move finance to the cloud, people inevitably raise questions about connectivity. Will they still be able to...

Data Management

3 Key Additions For Companies Moving Enterprise Workloads to Cloud

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud Content, Chris Murphy (chris.j.murphy@oracle.com) Oracle is providing new tools for organizations that are moving enterprise workloads to the cloud. IT shops are increasingly exploring the cloud for existing workloads, and are expecting the same type of choice, control, and tools they get with in-house data centers, but with the agility and lower-capital approach delivered by the cloud.  Oracle’s latest enhancements to Oracle’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) help meet those expectations. They are: Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) on IaaS: Users can connect two-node Oracle RAC Databases on bare metal servers that can support hundreds of thousands of transactions per second. Organizations that have used RAC on-premises for high availability and scalability can move those same workloads to the cloud. Oracle FastConnect: This on-demand private network connection offers flexible bandwidth (increments of 1Gb or 10Gb) so cloud users can scale up and down as business needs change. Current global partner providers are Equinix and Megaport. Support for Microsoft Windows Server: Oracle IaaS supports Windows Server for a variety of virtual machine and bare metal cloud compute options, with a range of compute, memory, and storage resources. Oracle Cloud also supports a range of other operating systems: Oracle Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Ubuntu, thus covering the bulk of the enterprise operating system landscape. You can get more details in the Oracle press release about these enhancements here. Here’s one of the Oracle Cloud customers quoted in the release—Mike Ferber, CIO of ICAT, which provides property insurance protection to over 65,000 homeowners and businesses located in hurricane- and earthquake-exposed regions of the United States: “ICAT is in the catastrophe insurance business, so we’re very sensitive to risk and business continuity. We’ve run our mission-critical online quoting application on-premises with Oracle Database for years, but keeping up with business growth was a challenge. The Oracle Database Cloud Service on bare metal exceeded our performance requirements and made a move to the Oracle Cloud feasible. The ability to quickly scale up processing power, as well as leverage Oracle RAC in the cloud, gives us great confidence that we will be able to offer our customers the experience and reliability necessary with our new cloud-based system.”

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Cloud Content, Chris Murphy (chris.j.murphy@oracle.com) Oracle is providing new tools for organizations that are moving enterprise workloads to the...

IaaS

Executive To Tech Enthusiasts: ‘Move to Cloud Your Way, Not Theirs’

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Content Strategy, Jeff Erickson (jeffrey.x.erickson@oracle.com) For people steeped in the nitty-gritty operations of enterprise technology, 90 percent of which still resides on company-owned data centers, “moving to cloud” sounds like a journey for another day. They aren’t immune to the promises, but they’re busy keeping their business’s current set of applications running. “That’s important work that needs to keep getting done,” said Oracle Senior Vice President Steve Daheb in an address to a gathering of independent user groups dedicated to Oracle technologies and business applications. “So the question becomes, how do you take advantage of cloud in a way that makes sense to the way you work right now, today?” Daheb’s audience members spend their work days manning the technology that tracks shipping containers, cuts government checks, makes sure medical trials proceed accurately, and ensures the ATM recognizes your pin number—among untold other complex processes that keep a modern economy humming. “We have to go beyond just ‘move to the cloud,’” said Daheb. “We’re all running our businesses on infrastructures that we built over years,” Daheb said, and cloud solutions need to complement the investments businesses have made in those infrastructures. He outlined three ways Oracle Cloud will help them do just that. 1.  A Unified Suite of Business Applications One way to start taking advantage of cloud is to find a line of business within your company that’s ready to upgrade to modern digital processes. Only Oracle offers a full suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications spanning every business category, said Daheb, “from supply chain to ERP, to the modern HR tools we use to run our business, to marketing sales and service.” The applications “are part of a unified suite with a common set of tools to integrate data, business intelligence, and business processes,” he said. “Each can be deployed as a complete business application on its own, or it can be deployed as a module to complement another business application. And they can be connected back to what we have on premises or to other clouds.” And with Oracle’s data-as-a-service (DaaS) offering, which combines a wealth of data about businesses and consumers across channels and devices, Oracle SaaS customers can get much more insight in terms of what people will best respond to and ultimately give them the best experience with your business, Daheb said: “We can understand from a customer perspective what they buy, what OSs they are running based on what smart phones and what laptops they’re using. Are they millennials?  Are they college graduates?  Are they parents?” 2.  A Platform for Adding Business Value Underpinning Oracle’s SaaS applications is a layer of platform technology for building or extending those applications or migrating on-premises applications to the cloud. “It’s about how do we extend and bridge and connect all applications, Oracle as well non-Oracle, SaaS applications as well as on-prem applications, and other clouds,” said Daheb. “How do we integrate and simplify that for everybody?” At the end of the day, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is about doing things like reducing the time it takes to provision a database, said Daheb. “It’s about spinning up an environment for agile application development where you develop on the cloud and deploy in production on premises. It’s about turning it on when you need it and turning it off when you don’t.” Oracle’s PaaS provides the tools that help you manage your environment, your application performance, the ongoing experience, and the security, said Daheb—and beyond that, it “will help you ingest data from different sources and prepare, discover, and apply decision science and machine learning for new and better insights for your business.” 3.  Infrastructure Built for the Enterprise Oracle’s infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions, including compute, storage, and networking services, as well as Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Services, combine the elasticity and utility of public cloud with the control, security, and predictability that technologists are accustomed to with their on-premises deployments, said Daheb. Oracle’s IaaS layer “wasn’t something that was created for some other purpose or for commodity services or for searching or for ecommerce; we built it with you in mind,” Daheb told his audience. “Ultimately it’s a high-performance, high-availability, and cost-effective infrastructure service that gives you the control you’re used to.” Cloud: Just Another Technology Transition The transition to cloud computing “is simply an extension of our longstanding relationship with our IT counterparts, with developers, and with the different lines of business,” said Daheb. “We’ve built a cloud solution that’s open and secure, and that ultimately gives you power over how to make use of it. It’s available to you at every layer of the tech stack. All those layers are integrated together and based on the same foundational application, platform, and infrastructure you use on premises every day.” For more than four decades “we’ve worked together on every single major technology transition, from mainframe, to client/server, to the rise of the internet, to mobile, to cloud, to whatever comes next,” he told the tech veterans. “Because, there’s always something next, right?” Click here to learn more about Oracle Integration Cloud Services. Click here to learn more about simplifying Oracle app migration to cloud.

This post was contributed by Oracle's Director of Content Strategy, Jeff Erickson (jeffrey.x.erickson@oracle.com) For people steeped in the nitty-gritty operations of enterprise technology, 90 percent...

Business Analytics

The HR Analytics Revolution

This guest post was written by Sharon Gedney, Marketing Manager for Cloud Strategic Initiatives. I was recently reminded of a human resources tangle I found myself in some time ago. Due to return from maternity leave, I’d presented a business case to change my working patterns, but the company was unable to review any HR data that proved my point: I’d maintain my productivity and they’d benefit from cost savings at the same time. Unfortunately, without the data, the company took a rigid stance. The result? I left, taking my 20 years of experience with me. The whole experience was frustrating and unfortunate, and it also highlights one of the primary challenges for many HR departments. In many organizations, HR is a cost center and sits at the back of the queue when funds are on offer. Systems-wise, this has led to HR being the poor relation, often resulting in intricate, heavily-customized legacy systems running on old technology, and with vast volumes of data held in unmanageable silos. Good reporting is a challenge in itself, let alone analyzing the data to make informed decisions about the workforce—not the building blocks anyone would want for the new world of HR, where informed talent-related decisions visibly affect the bottom line. But change is coming, driven by the need to identify and target scarce talent, and do it better than your competitors. So how has the revolution gathered pace? The need to identify the best people for the job, retain a skilled workforce, and offer a balanced remuneration package is not new. What is? Global recognition that insights on workforce trends and factors affecting performance can help HR acquire, optimize and develop talent, and the delivery of cloud-based tools that can provide these insights. Cloud solutions offer companies global access to files and data, improved storage structures, and greater solution distribution, increasing business agility, lowering costs, and reducing IT complexity. Cloud computing now offers an affordable path for HR departments to store, organize, and apply data smartly, with solutions that offer modern, personalized applications, rich functionality, ease of use, and accessibility through a range of channels. SaaS-based applications are faster, simpler, and provide companies with the ability to scale up and expand as they grow. Next-generation, cloud-based HR systems offer analytics solutions out of the box, allowing businesses to gain insight on practically any talent-related issue. And there are many—from targeting the right employees for promotion and development to identifying future leaders to hire, and from discovering skill gaps and training needs to identifying factors affecting workforce productivity and rates of attrition. Success in any of these efforts can have an important impact on driving the business forward and increasing profitability. To have the freedom to explore data to this extent requires integrated systems, an elastic infrastructure, and simple application management. In addition, it requires the ability to gather data from external sources, to present results visually, and to share information with other stakeholders. Oracle Analytics Cloud for HR delivers a visual analytics solution that can blend data from HCM and talent systems, providing a single, global source of employee data. For example, the Dow Chemical Company, a global chemical manufacturer with 45,000 employees and a variety of HR tools, used an Oracle solution to deliver global reporting and to put data securely in the hands of senior leaders. In addition, Oracle’s integrated platform gives companies the flexibility to run HR entirely in the cloud or to blend on-premises HR data with cloud-based recruiting and talent information. Blending different data sets and turning it into powerful insights can be done by easily connecting to any Oracle SaaS application. Oracle Analytics then designs, displays, and deploys to any device, to share live, dynamic insights, without the need to learn complex tools or rely on specialized resources. To find out more about how Oracle is helping HR reposition itself as a value contributor to the business, click here.

This guest post was written by Sharon Gedney, Marketing Manager for Cloud Strategic Initiatives. I was recently reminded of a human resources tangle I found myself in some time ago. Due to return from...

Integration

Why Successful Innovation Starts with Integration

With the sheer amount of time given to the discussion of business innovation every day in the corporate world, you’d think that by now we must’ve figured it all out, right? Not quite. By my thoroughly unscientific estimate we’ve spent exponentially more time talking about innovation in the last 20 years than we did about putting a man on the moon in the ‘60s, but somehow genuine innovation remains vastly more elusive. Perhaps that’s why we all get so excited when we see it (“The Snuggie!?!? A blanket with arms?!?!?!? What will they think of next?!?!?”). And why is innovation so difficult? Obviously, there are lots of valid reasons. Some say it’s a question of resources. Others say it’s about risk. There’s a good case to be made for each, as well as many other factors, but there’s one angle to the innovation discussion that doesn’t get as much attention as it should—integration. And that’s unfortunate, because integration and innovation are connected in important ways that often go overlooked. That’s because, while we often view business innovation in light of the people who generated the idea, what we frequently miss is the driving force below the surface that often brings those people and those ideas together. Increasingly, that force is driven by integration—applications, data, and devices in the cloud or on premises—that builds the kind of collaboration that’s such a hallmark of innovative companies. As integration opens up the flow of information from separate applications across the organization (as well as outside) it creates a hub of intelligence across different business units, not only increasing collaboration but also the speed with which teams can act. That kind of agility enables organizations to respond to customer demands in real time with innovative offerings.                                                              Of course, bringing together the various components necessary to make this collaboration happen has its own challenges, simply because integration and innovation just aren’t natural by-products of how businesses are organized today. Structure, processes, explicit or implied rules—despite their good intentions—actually end up stifling ideas, especially at larger companies. Similarly, how many times have we seen organizations choose to invest in existing systems and infrastructures, rather than move forward with integrations that could drive efficiency, cost savings, greater innovation for customers. Compounding that integration challenge is the explosive growth of SaaS applications, mobile devices and the absolute flood of data from the Internet of Things. To keep pace, a new approach to integration is needed—one that involves an integration platform as a service via the cloud. Rapidly connecting SaaS applications with on-premises systems, empowering users across the enterprise to effectively drive innovation, and supporting changing business needs by enabling integration projects to be moved easily between cloud-based and on-premises integration platforms, Oracle Cloud Platform for Integration offers just such an approach. For example, Calix, a leading provider of broadband communications access systems and software, used Oracle Integration Cloud Service to complete 24 integrations in less than three weeks, enabling them to support continual innovation and realize significant IT savings. To learn more about how Oracle’s cloud-based integration services stress simplicity, with process automation solutions that unlock innovation through faster time-to-market and agility, click here. 

With the sheer amount of time given to the discussion of business innovation every day in the corporate world, you’d think that by now we must’ve figured it all out, right? Not quite. By my thoroughly...

Data Management

Database Innovation: Isolating Analytics and Transactional Users

This guest post was authored by Jeff Erickson, Oracle's director of content strategy. It's pretty easy these days to grab a database and plug it into your development project—especially if you don't think too much about how it will be used down the road, when your beautiful application gets hammered by millions of users and devices and mercilessly probed by hackers. The good news is that Andy Mendelsohn, executive vice president of database server technologies at Oracle, has been thinking — a lot — about all those problems you might face. Mendelsohn, in a recent Q&A with Profit magazine, shares how his team work to carry database customers through their toughest problems, such as security and reliability, while also helping them meet new challenges such as big data and in-memory analytics and, of course, the transition to the cloud. Here’s one specific example of an improvement of Oracle Database 12c from its first release to its second, in direct response to a customer need. Says Mendelsohn: “The most frequently requested enhancement to the version 12.1 in-memory column store technology was the ability to isolate the analytics users from the transaction users. In Oracle Database 12.2, we addressed this with Oracle Active Data Guard: transaction users run on the primary database and in-memory column stores are created for the analytics users only on the standby database.” The Oracle Database teams know this kind of fast and creative work is just what’s expected from Oracle, as they guide customers through today’s technology transitions and those that lie ahead. Says Mendelsohn, "Customers trust that Oracle is going to continue to innovate to remain the #1 database." Below, watch Oracle's Andy Mendelsohn discuss how Oracle's latest database innovation not only addresses what you need today, but also features the capabilities to dynamically adapt to what you need tomorrow. Jeff Erickson is director of content strategy at Oracle. You can follow him at @erickson4.  

This guest post was authored by Jeff Erickson, Oracle's director of content strategy. It's pretty easy these days to grab a database and plug it into your development project—especially if you don't...

Strategy and Leadership

Mark Hurd: For Cloud Growth, Focus More on Who

For Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, the rapid rise in cloud computing is a simple function of math—and he also adds a twist to the equation. Citing global GDP growth of a meager 3.2 percent, Hurd recently explained in a post on LinkedIn that there’s really only one lever public company CEOs can pull in this economic environment if they want to satisfy shareholders: bring more innovative products to market more quickly as a means of grabbing market share. Doing so, he says, requires cloud computing as the linchpin of a growth strategy. “What makes cloud computing so revolutionary is that it can permeate everything your company does, from back-office processes to how it goes to market,” he writes. “It makes possible the digital transformation companies need to thrive in today’s market.” Hurd goes a step further in his post, noting that cloud computing is so essential to growth strategies that the main questions about cloud adoption are shifting.  “The question isn’t whether you should be using cloud computing,” he says, “It’s whether your company has the right leadership to make the best strategic use of the cloud, and fast.” Click here to get the specifics on how Hurd suggests companies ‘stress-test’ their management teams to make sure they’re using the cloud to genuinely drive digital transformation, as opposed to merely keeping up with the Joneses.

For Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, the rapid rise in cloud computing is a simple function of math—and he also adds a twist to the equation. Citing global GDP growth of a meager 3.2 percent, Hurd...

Oracle Cloud at Customer

Overcoming Regulatory Obstacles to the Cloud

The notion of running an entire enterprise in the cloud offers tantalizing benefits in the form of dramatic increases in productivity and faster innovation—all leading to the potential for significant business transformation—but the fact is that, for some companies, that may not be realistic.  Particularly in areas like finance, healthcare, and government, regulatory issues prevent significant obstacles to placing some applications and data in the cloud. A new innovation from Oracle, however, makes it possible for these companies to realize many of the benefits of the public cloud without the exposure to the regulatory risks associated with it. According to Oracle Senior Vice President of Cloud Platform Amit Zavery, Oracle’s Cloud at Customer service makes it possible for companies concerned with regulatory issues to essentially drop the Oracle public cloud into their own data centers, giving them all the benefits of cloud while still maintaining full control over their information and complying with all data privacy and data residency requirements.  For customers looking to migrate from Oracle solutions on premises to innovative software-as-a-service-based applications, Oracle Cloud at Customer easily facilitates connectivity between legacy applications and next-generation applications running in the cloud via Oracle Integration Cloud Service. It also utilizes a hybrid cloud structure that enables enterprises to run any workload on premises or in Oracle Cloud, and the workloads are completely portable between the two environments. Click here to read the full interview with Oracle Senior Vice President of Oracle Cloud Platform Amit Zavery, where he discusses Oracle’s unique approach to pricing Cloud at Customer.

The notion of running an entire enterprise in the cloud offers tantalizing benefits in the form of dramatic increases in productivity and faster innovation—all leading to the potential for significant...

Business Analytics

About that Word “Transformation”

Without question, “transformation” is a popular word in technology circles. And while it might seem a bit gratuitous at times, there really is good reason for its popularity. True transformation, at least according to Merriam-Webster, involves “complete or major change.” In a business environment that’s moved from the invention of the smartphone to self-driving cars in what feels like the blink of an eye, the desire to transform an organization has perhaps never felt more urgent. For Oracle’s head of Asia-Pacific business, Francois Lancon, the concept of ‘complete’ change is at the heart of real digital transformation. For Lancon, who’s worked with the region’s 25 countries for more than 15 years, digital transformation is an end-to-end digitization of business processes within an enterprise—not an event specific to HR, finance, or marketing teams, for example. Rather, it runs the gamut from the back office (finance, HR, manufacturing) to the front (sales, marketing, customer service, etc.). Lancon finds that companies that tie front and back-end applications together start to see the real payoff in digital transformation. “The cherry on top of the cake is the analytics,” Lancon says, which can create what he calls the “CEO view” of the business’s financials, operations, and customer experiences. Among the chief obstacles to digital transformation, he notes, are industry or country-specific. Cloud providers have responded with “some very creative solutions,” Lancon says, citing Oracle Cloud Machine, which offers customers a new choice for their journey to the cloud, with some of the same services available in the Oracle Cloud—compute, middleware, database, and tools—in an integrated system that resides on a company’s premises. Cloud providers are also building data centers in customers’ countries to address concerns about performance and some country-specific legal restrictions. Click here to read the complete interview with Francois Lancon. 

Without question, “transformation” is a popular word in technology circles. And while it might seem a bit gratuitous at times, there really is good reason for its popularity. True transformation, at...

App Dev

How a Cloud Platform Drives a Tight-Knit User Community

A critical theme that runs throughout many efforts to transform modern businesses is the notion of placing the customer at the center of the organization. While customer-centric organizations are often as much a cultural hurdle as they are technical, cloud platforms today make this critical shift more technically attainable today than ever before—and at a faster pace, as well. Adelaide, Australia-based National Pharmacies leveraged Oracle’s cloud platform to create a powerful connection with customers via a member community that extends exclusive privileges and white-glove customer service to its base of 350,000 dues-paying members. With a cloud platform engine, those dues don’t just provide members access to a certain product mix, they create strong bonds between members, pharmacists, and suppliers, and help create a highly personalized in-store experience. National Pharmacies used Oracle’s Mobile Cloud Service to build a mobile application for members that allows them to exchange information with pharmacists, access an exclusive library of health information, and make purchases that get them the same rewards they’d get for in-store purchases.   National Pharmacies also connected its customers mobile experience to its in-store environment by providing employees with access to members’ mobile app data via an employee tablet app. The end result is that when members enter the store, employees not only know their name but why they came. Click here to read the full article on National Pharmacies.

A critical theme that runs throughout many efforts to transform modern businesses is the notion of placing the customer at the center of the organization. While customer-centric organizations are...

Integration

Integration Platforms and the 360-Degree View

It was likely a very sobering moment when unified communications provider Avaya—a company that provides tools to improve customer service for its customers—learned that its own Net Promoter Score (NPS), a loyalty measure of a company’s customer relationships, had dipped into the low 20s.  But during the course of a three-year plan that saw the company shift from a hardware-based model to a cloud services model, Avaya transformed itself into a customer-centric organization that could provide its employees and partners with 360-degree views of customers. What was once a very disjointed, manual process that involved asking users to navigate multiple different back-end systems from different business units in order to provide proper customer service, has become an integrated process that unites legacy apps, new cloud apps, and third-party apps.  Two key elements of the transformation were the construction of a Java-based engagement platform called Breeze and the launch of a partner technology called the Partner Portal. Breeze is a collaboration platform that creates workflows to install, configure, and manage Avaya’s customer and team engagement solutions. It also gives customers, employees, and partners the ability to custom-build their own solutions on top of it, according to how they engage their customers.  Partner Portal enables partners who sell Avaya solutions to manage their customer accounts and services, and find new opportunities to sell more. Partner Portal utilizes Oracle technology to streamline the configuration, pricing, and ordering experience. This has resulted in shortening quote-to-cash cycle times from months to days—and in some cases, to minutes—saving the company and its partners millions of dollars in operational efficiency. Oracle Integration Cloud Service and Oracle Java Cloud Service function as vessels that seamlessly transport data between different parts of the business. Oracle Integration Cloud Service connects information between Avaya’s internal on-premises systems and its cloud systems. Oracle Java Cloud Service provides standardized, upgradable extensions to Avaya’s third-party applications—enabling, for example, the team to build code that links the Avaya Breeze Platform with Oracle Sales Cloud. Click here to learn more about Avaya’s Customer 360 platform and how it plans to reach its goal of increasing its NPS score to gold-standard levels in the 60s and 70s.

It was likely a very sobering moment when unified communications provider Avaya—a company that provides tools to improve customer service for its customers—learned that its own Net Promoter...

App Dev

How Cloud Platforms Remove Barriers to App Development

In a global economy showing modest growth, at best, the ability to increase innovation and time-to-market are at a premium (read Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s thoughts on that topic here).  Simply put, legacy on-premise platforms aren’t suited to meet that challenge—they’re inflexible, and costly to maintain, upgrade, and integrate. It’s no surprise that cloud platform growth is achieving the staggering numbers we see today, as SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and engineered systems eliminate so many of the roadblocks to application development. All of this was on full display in June at the Oracle Technology Network Developer Cloud Challenge, part of the AMIS Oracle Conference in the Netherlands. As part of The Challenge, teams were asked to build cloud-based projects in just one day. The results highlighted exactly what IT teams can do with the right tools and processes.  Among the highlights of the event: One team built mobile app that lets you share travel plans with colleagues, so you can book at the same hotel or share a cab if you’re attending the same conference. Another created a cloud-based conference-planning tool to share information on speakers, sessions, and more. Another team designed a system aimed at reducing car pollution in Mexico City, Mexico, tracking how much a given vehicle travels by tapping into the city’s license-plate readers. Next was a mobile dashboard to let DBAs track metrics and detail pages, with the ability to do drill-down analysis and even make changes using their mobile phones. Finally, a team built a mobile app that merges a public REST feed of restaurant data with ratings data from a review site to provide a choice of restaurants based on a user’s location. A Twitter feed would let a user send a tweet on how they liked the restaurant. Debra Lilley, an Oracle ACE Director and vice president at systems integration firm Certus Solutions, thinks IT teams—especially enterprise IT shops—don’t fully appreciate how cloud has changed the pace of software innovation, including how quickly Oracle is adding new features and refinements to its cloud services based on user feedback. While it used to take years to revise and upgrade on-premises applications and databases, now she sees new features and functions added even in the monthly patches, which are more typically used just for bug fixes. Click here to learn more about each solution and the Oracle products used to create them.

In a global economy showing modest growth, at best, the ability to increase innovation and time-to-market are at a premium (read Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s thoughts on that topic here).  Simply put, legacy...

Oracle

Integrated Cloud Applications & Platform Services