Wednesday May 27, 2015

Deep-Diving Oracle UX PaaS4SaaS Partner Enablement in Asia

Just back from our fantastic Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) communications outreach events in Asia. The VoX blog has great recaps of the highlights and takeaways from two tremendous events in Singapore and Beijing.

Oracle Applications User Experience Outreach in Beijing and Singapore: Chinese visa shown

Oracle Applications Cloud user experience in Asia: Enabling a local user experience. Empowering global capabilities.

The second day in each location comprised of a deep-dive workshop about the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience extensibility and PaaS4SaaS capabilities. Together, they’re a powerful competitive differentiator that empowers customers and partners to really make that cloud their own.

It’s worth calling out the comments of co-worker Greg Nerpouni (@gnerpouni) again. Greg really nails the excitement and enthusiasm for what we shared when he says:

"The extensibility and PaaS4SaaS stations were mobbed by our Chinese and Korean partners, especially when they realized the combined power of our extensibility and PaaS4SaaS capabilities. At the extensibility station, they saw tangible ways to increase end user participation and overall success of their cloud rollout for our mutual customers. And at the PaaS4SaaS station, they saw immediate value in being able to leverage the UX rapid development kit to emulate Oracle’s user experience in their own PaaS implementations - and seamlessly integrate their PaaS applications into Oracle Cloud Applications."

Greg Nerpouni deep-dives Oracle Applications Cloud Extensibility in Singapore

Greg stylin' the Cloud UX extensibility deep-dive action in Singapore. (Singapore image via Shy Meei Siow [@shymeeisiow])

Now, the “Why Should I Care?” business propositions for the OAUX PaaS4SaaS Oracle Partner enablement and the requirements for same are clear (read them again). If you've seen our roadshow you'll know that part of my PaaS4Saas story includes “the wisdom of the cloud crowd”.

That wisdom is PaaS and SaaS insight and knowledge from Oracle Partner leaders such as Debra Lilley (@debralilley) of Certus Solutions, who have proven the business proposition, and from cloud influencers and shapers such as Mark Hurd (@markvhurd) and Steve Miranda (@stevenrmiranda).

The latest addition to the celestial book of wisdom comes from Oracle CIO, Mark Sunday. Mark, explaining that enterprise applications aren't a siloed concept, underpins the need for partners to integrate fast and how SaaS with PaaS is a must-have differentiator when he declares, in his own inimitable way (using HCM by way of example):

“Absolutely without a doubt, the integration of a suite always wins... I think it’s more important than any given function. If you think HCM stands alone as a silo inside of an enterprise, you’re nuts.”

If you're a partner, therefore I think you’d be somewhat remiss not to take up on opportunities for enablement to make PaaS4SaaS happen for you too!

Ultan O'Broin Storytelling the Selling the UX Message in Beijing

Storytelling that UX. Winning more business with our Cloud enablement. (Beijing image via Shy Meei Siow)

So, if you’re a partner in the Asia region (or elsewhere for that matter) that wants to go places, start that enablement conversation by following @usableapps on Twitter or reach out to us through your Oracle Alliances and Channels or Oracle PartnerNetwork contacts.

Ultan in action in Beijing

Come on Beijing, you know you want that enablement! (Beijing image via Shy Meei Siow)

Oh, did I mention I did some running in Beijing, by the way of UX research into smartwatches?

Friday Nov 14, 2014

Today, We Are All Partners: Oracle UX Design Lab for PaaS

To ideate with our partners to create user experience (UX) enablement that delivers, we first empathize with how partner development teams go about their business. By understanding their world, we can rock it.

The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Communications and Outreach team has just executed on a very successful internal event called the UX Design Lab for PaaS. The event's attendees adopted the role of partners delivering typical simplified UI (SUI) SaaS solutions using PaaS.

PaaS4SaaS event banner

This new kind of event used a new visual style agenda designed by the team.

We’ve got that partner message cloud and clear: SUI and PaaS are differentiators. And, we know how the cloud has changed everything, including user experience (UX). Partners need to build UX solutions in the cloud, quickly and easily, to meet those ever-demanding customer expectations.

Sticky notes to UX science: Baked-in developer enablement

User experience is baked into the simplicity of our enablement for busy partner developers.

So, a group of our own software architects, UX designers, Oracle ADF developers, platform experts, and other partner enablers, took typical PaaS and SaaS use cases and designed and built solutions using our Simplified UI Rapid Development Kit (based on Oracle ADF). They then deployed their applications using the Oracle Java Cloud platform services.

PaaS4SaaS use cases from paper to cloud explored

From paper to cloud. The event tested the PaaS4SaaS process from “All I want to do is... ” use cases to more complex solutions for Oracle Sales, HCM, ERP Cloud, and more.

This was a strategic event with Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), Vice President of OAUX as executive sponsor. Furthermore, 20% of attendees had “Vice President” (or higher) in their titles reflecting the importance that Oracle puts on this kind of partner enablement. What’s more, they got down to business with the design and the development tools too.

Karen Scipi, Jeremy Ashley, and Anthony S Lai explore the Ring

Jeremy Ashley (center) explores gesture-based interactions with Karen Scipi (@karenscipi) (left) and Anthony Lai (@anthonyslai) (right) during the event.

Our next step is to evaluate our experience and validate the outcome of the event with partners themselves. We're fine-tuning our partner communications and outreach with more awesome PaaS4SaaS resources, already proven for developers and ready to win business.

The occasion was an opportunity to try out ways of organizing partner events, so we added fitness and wellness breaks, fun activities, and tailored the event to reflect the diversity of the tech community.

David Haimes and Misha Vaughan in the minutetowinit challenge facilitated by Brandon of Reach Fitness

Minute-To-Win-It. Attendee wellness and engagement was one focus of the event. David Haimes (@dhaimes) and Misha Vaughan (@mishavaughan) display their dexterity with all matters cloud, facilitated by the Oracle HQ Reach Fitness team.

We also looked at ways of communicating UX in a simple, effective way, one that resonates with busy developers, such as using a Jobs To Be Done framework applied to agile simplified UI user requirements gathering and wireframing.

Julian Orr and Ultan O'Broin and the Jobs To Be Done Approach

Julian Orr (left) and Ultan Ó Broin (@ultan) fronting the #JTBD approach.

As this was an internal event, I can’t disclose use case details, of course. But, I will reveal that we are soon hosting one partner onsite for high-touch simplified UI design and development best practices to add to their existing Oracle ADF and Oracle Fusion Middleware knowledge. We'll fast-track that partner to rapidly build a solution that will grow their cloud business and add real value to the Oracle Applications Cloud partner ecosystem.

You could be the next partner. So, if you are an eager partner in North America or EMEA and have compelling simplified UI Oracle Applications Cloud use cases that fit the PaaS model, reach out to us through the usual channels.

More pictures of the event are available on the Usable Apps Instagram account and Twitter account timeline.

Thursday Apr 17, 2014

Twilio: Democratizing Communications to Build a Better User Experience in the Oracle Cloud

Oracle has a powerful partner ecosystem in the Oracle Cloud, adding value to our applications in many areas. Enabling partners to integrate with our cloud applications is key to Oracle’s “Extending SaaS through PaaS” approach. Sharing our expertise with partners, which helps them to productively build a great user experience (UX), is a major drive of Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) outreach.

One of the latest additions to the Oracle PartnerNetwork  is the very cool and happening Twilio. Followers of the AppsLab know the OAUX team loves exploring the UX possibilities of Twilio-based voice and SMS integrations. I took a trip to Twilio's San Francisco HQ to ask David Wacker (@dlwacker) of Twilio Channel Sales and Partnerships to find out more about the whys and hows of integrating in the cloud and simplifying user experience...

Being in the cloud offers the potential to make a major difference with a superior UX. The days of cumbersome, on-premise installations and horrible UX are gone. Now scalable, cloud-based applications, customizable and reflecting each customer’s business, are changing the UX across datacenter management, CRM, marketing automation, and ERP, all driven through how we power communications.

Twilio is a cloud-based communications platform that offers a powerful, open API for building communications applications, what Twilio refers to as "democratizing access" to communication in a traditionally complex and expensive world of telephony.

Using Twilio, developers can easily access the means to create robust communications integrations, fundamentally changing the UX landscape for applications users in the cloud. Twilio’s open API framework means developers can utilize prebuilt solutions in the Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, and Oracle Sales Cloud. Developers can build such UX integrations productively, without the cost and effort normally associated with such projects.

David pointed out a few ways how Twilio enhanced the user experience for Oracle application users, such as the Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, and Oracle Sales Cloud.

Twilio’s seamless integration to the Oracle Marketing Cloud (Eloqua) means that users can just drag and drop the Twilio Cloud Connector onto a marketing campaign canvas to provide for outbound SMS, MMS (multimedia messaging), and voice calls. This delivers a great multichannel user experience, such as for mobile marketing campaigns with pictures or QR coupon codes.

Twilio Cloud Connector

Dragging the Twilio Cloud Connector onto a campaign canvas easily adds Twilio SMS, MMS, and voice to marketing campaigns.

Twilio's embedding of SMS and voice capabilities right into the Oracle Service Cloud (RightNow) means a superior customer experience built in a scalable, flexible way. A service agent can use click-to-call to phone an end customer, automatically creating the event on their system and then recording the call, for example. An SMS capability can also enable customers to chat with service agents using SMS on their phones instead of web chat, if preferred, and more.

Twilio Click-to-Call

Click-to-call for customer engagement, which allows customers to call inbound more effectively.

Twilio's integration into the Oracle Sales Cloud, drives efficiency by simplifying the UX. Twilio uses the Oracle Sales Cloud native CTI toolbar to track and record phone calls, allowing for seamless conference calls, and all integrated to drive sales productivity. For example, a sales rep can use Twilio’s click-to-call to contact opportunities, automated dialing, or conference line bridges powered by Twilio, creating events and logging activities easily within the Oracle Sales Cloud.

Twilio integrated with Oracle Sales Cloud

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) toolbar for easy access to inbound and outbound dialing in Oracle Sales Cloud powered by Twilio.

David tells me that “Twilio’s integration possibilities are endless. That's the best part about working with developers in the Twilio and Oracle communities; finding new ways to solve user problems, unconstrained by technology or traditional project limitations. I’m excited to explore new and unique ways that the Oracle developer community and Twilio can change the UX landscape in the Oracle Cloud.”

Those are some great UX insights from David, and there are more to come. The OAUX team will be working with Twilio over the coming months, so stay tuned to your usual outreach and communications channels for news and events.

Twilio is also exhibiting at, and sponsoring, Oracle CloudWorld in Chicago on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Stop by the Twilio booth to learn more (or to just say, Hi!), and give the Usable Apps blog a shout-out.

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