Oracle OpenWorld 2008: Applications User Experience Highlights - Part 1

Editor’s note: Oracle OpenWorld 2008 took place in San Francisco’s Moscone Center from September 21-25, 2008. Misha Vaughan was responsible for coordinating the Applications User Experience contribution to OpenWorld this year. This is the first part in a two-part series.

Misha Vaughan, Architect, Applications User Experience


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Applications Unlimited: Business and User Innovations

Ed Abbo (Oracle Senior Vice President, Applications Development) spoke at an Applications General Session on business-driven innovation and user-driven innovation. On the subject of business-driven innovation, Ed, along with Melissa Boxer (Oracle Vice President, Marketing and Loyalty), demonstrated some innovative user experiences on a mobile device.

Ed and Melissa (Image 1) discussed how Oracle is helping L’Oréal with the rollout of Siebel Loyalty for L’Oréal’s Body Shop brand. As part of the project, they are also helping L’Oréal transition to new channels such as the mobile phone and implement the concept of communities. As an example, Melissa demonstrated a concept project showcasing a social networking application, which she dubbed “a smart loyalty solution for the iPhone.” On a mobile device, the application enabled a user who was part of a Body Shop “inner circle,” or club, to find information about products and their club status in real time – for example, while browsing a shop.

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Image 1. Melissa Boxer with Ed Abbo demonstrating a concept application for L’Oréal on the iPhone.


Specifically on User Innovation…

User-driven innovations were discussed in the second part of Ed’s message. He defined this as productive and innovative user experiences for Applications Unlimited.

“We are looking at how users work and delivering to them the information technology that enables that [work]. We focused very heavily on alternate user experiences and alternate UIs [user interfaces].”

“If a user uses Google, for example, we’ve made our enterprise data available to them through that interface. If they want to use a widget and gadget rather than launch the full application to look at sales, their customers, or their service request, they can do that.”

“We are also taking the [CRM] productivity applications we announced last year and enabling them with collaborative social networking capabilities.”

Anthony Lye (Oracle SVP, Customer Relationship Management) also took the stage with Ed to demo some of the same CRM productivity applications, including Sales Prospector and Sales Presentation Library (Images 2 and 3).

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Image 2. Anthony Lye an Ed Abbo announcing the introduction of a social CRM platform.


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Image 3. A Demo of Oracle Sales Prospector mashing up ERP and CRM data along with social networking (Anthony Lye, left, and Ed Abbo, right).


Also on Monday, Jeremy Ashley (Oracle Vice President, Applications User Experience) (Image 4) gave a presentation on “User Experience Innovations,” covering some user experience concepts for Applications Unlimited, along with a sneak peak at some Fusion concepts. He described the Applications User Exerience customer research process (Image 5).

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Image 4. Jeremy Ashley on Applications User Experience Innovations at Oracle OpenWorld.


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Image 5. Oracle Applications User Experience user research process.


The Applications Unlimited portion of the presentation covered the following areas derived from working with customers:

     • Improving user productivity
     • Improving user performance
     • Decreasing cost of ownership for customers
     • Providing productivity tools

Jeremy talked in-depth about user experience improvements in Peoplesoft 9.1 HCM, Siebel 8.1.1 E-Commerce, Oracle Clinical Remote Data Capture 4.5.3, JDE EnterpriseOne 9.0, and Global Mobile Applications (including the iPhone and Mobile Sales Assistant).

In the innovation category, Patanjali Venkatacharya (Oracle Architect, Applications User Experience ) talked about the impact of Gen Y and the changing workforce, and what this means for enterprise applications. The key takeaway was that Gen Y users are likely to have expectations that are set by their current Internet experience, for example:

     • The ease of Google-like searches
     • The prevalence of wiki pages and blogs
     • Media sharing on cell phones and YouTube
     • Social networking of sites like MySpace and LinkedIn

Some interesting food for thought.


Fusion Edition: Key User Interface Concepts

On Wednesday, Steve Miranda (Oracle Senior Vice President, Applications Development) (Image 6) discussed “Oracle Fusion Applications: Applications for the Next-Generation Organization Part 1” and Chris Leone (Oracle Group Vice President, Applications Strategy) presented “Part 2.”

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Image 6. Steve Miranda talking with audience members at the “Oracle Fusion Applications” presentation .


Other blogs captured the salient points and photos. Jim Holincheck's blog summarized the key design points nicely. They are:

     • Role-based dashboards
     • Embedded analytics
     • Integrated visualization
     • Worklists
     • Activity guides
     • Desktop widgets
     • Contextual help with user ratings
     • Tagging
     • Presence
     • Communities/business social networks
     • Accordion panels (left-hand and right-hand panels that can be
       expanded and contracted)
     • Show more/show less (ability to configure a more detailed vs. less                    detailed version of the screen)

For a slideshow, check out Floyd Teter’s photos, (writer of ORCLVILLE).

Editor’s Note:Oracle OpenWorld 2008: Applications User Experience Highlights - Part 2 will appear non-sequentially in the next few weeks.

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