Wednesday Oct 31, 2012

The Minimalist Approach to Content Governance - Create Phase

 Originally posted by John Brunswick.

In this installment of our Minimalist Approach to Content Governance we finally get to the fun part of the content creation process! Once the content requester has addressed the items outlined in the Request Phase it is time to setup and begin the production of content.


For this to be done correctly it is important the the content be assigned appropriate workflow and security information. As in our prior phase, let's take a look at what can be done to streamline this process - as contributors are focused on getting information to their end users as quickly as possible. This often means that details around how to ensure that the materials are properly managed can be overlooked, but fortunately there are some techniques that leverage our content management system's native capabilities to automatically take care of some of the details.

1. Determine Access
Why - Even if content is not something that needs to restricted due to security reasons, it is helpful to apply access rights so that the content ends up being visible only to users that it relates to. This will greatly improve user experience. For instance, if your team is working on a group project many of your fellow company employees do not need to see the content that is being worked on for that project.

How - Make use of native content features that allow propagation of security and meta data from parent folders within your content system that have been setup for your particular effort. This makes it painless to enforce security, as well as meta data policies for even the most unorganized users. The default settings at a parent level can be set once the content creation request has been accepted and a location in the content management system is assigned for your specific project.

Impact - Users can find information will less effort, as they will only be exposed to what they need for their work and can leverage advanced search features to take advantage of meta data assigned to content. The combination of default security and meta data will also help in running reports against the content in the Manage and Retire stages that we will discuss in the next 2 posts.

2. Assign Workflow (optional depending on nature of content)
Why - Every case for workflow is going to be a bit different, but it generally involves ensuring that content conforms to management, legal and or editorial requirements.

How - Oracle's Universal Content Management offers two ways of helping to workflow content without much effort. Workflow can be applied to content based on Criteria acting on meta data or explicitly assigned to content with a Basic workflow.

Impact - Any content that needs additional attention before release is addressed, allowing users to comment and version until a suitable result is reached.

By using inheritance from parent folders within the content management system content can automatically be given the right security, meta data and workflow information for a particular project's content. This relieves the burden of doing this for every piece of content from management teams and content contributors. We will cover more about the management phase within the content lifecycle in our next installment.

Tuesday Oct 30, 2012

The Minimalist Approach to Content Governance - Request Phase

Originally posted by John Brunswick.

request_stock.jpgFor each project, regardless of size, it is critical to understand the required ownership, business purpose, prerequisite education / resources needed to execute and success criteria around it. Without doing this, there is no way to get a handle on the content life-cyle, resulting in a mass of orphaned material. This lowers the quality of end user experiences.



The good news is that by using a simple process in this request phase - we will not have to revisit this phase unless something drastic changes in the project. For each of the elements mentioned above in this stage, the why, how (technically focused) and impact are outlined with the intent of providing the most value to a small team.

1. Ownership
Why - Without ownership information it will not be possible to track and manage any of the content and take advantage of many features of enterprise content management technology. To hedge against this, we need to ensure that both a individual and their group or department within the organization are associated with the content.

How - Apply metadata that indicates the owner and department or group that has responsibility for the content.

Impact - It is possible to keep the content system optimized by running native reports against the meta-data and acting on them based on what has been outlined for success criteria. This will maximize end user experience, as content will be faster to locate and more relevant to the user by virtue of working through a smaller collection.

2. Business Purpose
Why - This simple step will weed out requests that have tepid justification, as users will most likely not spend the effort to request resources if they do not have a real need.

How - Use a simple online form to collect and workflow the request to management native to the content system.

Impact - Minimizes the amount user generated content that is of low value to the organization.

3. Prerequisite Education Resources Needed
Why - If a project cannot be properly staffed the probability of its success is going to be low. By outlining the resources needed - in both skill set and duration - it will cause the requesting party to think critically about the commitment needed to complete their project and what gap must be closed with regard to education of those resources.

How - In the simple request form outlined above, resources and a commitment to fulfilling any needed education should be included with a brief acceptance clause that outlines the requesting party's commitment.

Impact - This stage acts as a formal commitment to ensuring that resources are able to execute on the vision for the project.

4. Success Criteria
Why - Similar to the business purpose, this is a key element in helping to determine if the project and its respective content should continue to exist if it does not meet its intended goal.

How - Set a review point for the project content that will check the progress against the originally outlined success criteria and then determine the fate of the content. This can even include logic that will tell the content system to remove items that have not been opened by any users in X amount of time.

Impact - This ensures that projects and their contents do not live past their useful lifespans. Just as with orphaned content, non-relevant information will slow user's access to relevant materials for the jobs.

Request Phase Summary
With a simple form that outlines the ownership of a project and its content, business purpose, education and resources, along with success criteria, we can ensure that an enterprise content management system will stay clean and relevant to end users - allowing it to deliver the most value possible. The key here is to make it straightforward to make the request and let the content management technology manage as much as possible through metadata, retention policies and workflow. Doing these basic steps will allow project content to get off to a great start in the enterprise!

Stay tuned for the next installment - the "Create Phase" - covering security access and workflow involved in content creation, enabling a practical layer of governance over our enterprise content repository.

Monday Oct 29, 2012

The Minimalist's Approach to Content Governance

This week on the blog, we want to focus on the content lifecylce and how important it is to have the tools in place to be able to properly manage all te phases of the content lifecylce. John Brunswick has some great advice when it comes to this topic, so expect to hear a lot from him this week!

Originally posted by John Brunswick.

Let's be honest - content governance is far from an exciting topic. BUT the potential of a very small intranet team creating and maintaining a platform that provides an organization with relevant, high value information, helping workers to get their jobs done with greater accuracy and in less time is exciting. It is easy to quickly start producing content, but the challenge is ensuring that the environment is easy to navigate and use on the third week and during the third year.


What can be done to bridge this gap?

Over the next few blog entries let's take a pragmatic, minimalistic view of a process that can help any team manage a wealth of unstructured information. Based on an earlier article that I wrote around Portal Governance, I am going to focus on using technology as much as possible to support the governance of content with minimal involvement from users. The only certainty about content production is that business users are not fans of maintaining content. Maintenance is overhead and is a long-term investment thats value will possibly not be realized under the current content creator's watch.

To add context to how we will use technical tools in this process, each post will highlight one section of the content lifecycle process as outlined below

Content Lifecycle Stages
1. Request - Understand the education, purpose, resource and success criteria for content
2. Create - Determine access and workflow for content
3. Manage - Understand ownership and review cycles
4. Retire - Act on thresholds established during the request stage

Within each state we will also elaborate as to
1. Why - why would we entertain doing this?
2. How - the steps that are needed to make it happen
3. Impact - what is the net benefit or loss based on the process

Over the course of this week, we will dive deep into the stages and the minimal amount of time, effort and process within each to make some meaningful gains in the improvement of user experience and productivity in their search for information. It might be a stretch to say that we can make content governance exciting, but hopefully it can end up being painless and paying dividends.

And if you'd like to hear first hand from a customer that is managing their content lifecycle with Oracle WebCenter, be sure to join us on Wednesday for this webcast "ResCare Solves Content Lifecycle Challenges with Oracle WebCenter"!

Fix Your Broken Organization

Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series

Simple. Powerful. Proven.

Face it, your organization is broken. Customers are not the focus they should be. Processes are running amok. Your intranet is a ghost town. And colleagues wonder why it’s easier to get things done on the Web than at work. What’s the solution?

Join us for this Webcast. Christian Finn will talk about three simple, powerful, and proven principles for improving your organization through collaboration. Each principle will be illustrated by real-world examples.


  • How to dramatically improve workplace collaboration
  • Why improved employee engagement creates better business results
  • What’s the value of a fully engaged customer

Time to Fix What’s Broken

Register now for this Webcast—the tenth in the Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Series.

Friday Oct 26, 2012

Paper-free Customer Engagement

Appropriate repost from our friends at the AIIM blog: Digital Landfill -- John Mancini, supporting our mission of enabling customer engagement through better technology choices.


My wife didn't even give me a card for #wpfd - and they say husbands are bad at remembering anniversaries

Well, today is the third World Paper Free Day.  I just got off the Tweet Jam, and there was a host of ideas for getting rid of -- or at least reducing -- paper.

World Paper Free HandbookWhen we first started talking about "paper-free" most of the reasons raised to pursue this direction were "green" reasons.  I'm glad to see that the thinking has moved on to questions about how getting rid of paper and digitizing processes helps improve customer engagement.  And the bottom line.  And process responsiveness.  Not that the "green" reasons have gone away, but it's nice to see a maturation in the BUSINESS reasons to get rid of paper.

Our World Paper Free Handbook (do not, do not, do not print it!) looks at how less paper in the workplace delivers significant benefits. Key findings show eliminating paper from processes can improve the responsiveness of customer service by 300 percent. Removing paper from business processes and moving content to PCs and tablets has the added advantage of helping companies adopt mobile-enable processes and eliminate elapsed time, lost forms, poor data and re-keying.

To effectively mobile-enable processes and reduce reliance on paper, data should be captured as close to the point of origination as possible, which makes information easily available to whomever needs it, wherever they are, in the shortest time possible. This handbook summarizes the value of automating manual, paper-based processes. It then goes a step beyond to provide actionable steps that will set you on the path to productivity, profitability, and, yes, less paper. 

Get your copy today and send the link around to your peers and colleagues.  Here's the link; please share it!

And don't miss out on the real world discussions about increasing engagement with WebCenter in new webinars being offered over the next couple of weeks: 

October 30, 2012:  ResCare Solves Content Lifecycle Challenges with Oracle WebCenter

November 1, 2012: WebCenter Content for Applications: Streamline Processes with Oracle WebCenter Content Management for Human Resources Applications

Available On-Demand:  Using Oracle WebCenter to Content-Enable Your Business Applications

Thursday Oct 25, 2012

WebCenter in Action: ResCare

Oracle Corporation
Register Now for this webcast.
ResCare Solves Content Lifecycle Challenges with Oracle WebCenter

ResCare Solves Content Lifecycle Challenges with Oracle WebCenter

Complex documents must be created, assembled, reviewed, and tracked. To avoid fragmented, chaotic information processes, organizations must adopt an integrated set of strategies, standards, best practices, and technologies for managing information.

Attend this webcast to learn how Oracle WebCenter has allowed ResCare to:
  • Solve content lifecycle challenges
  • Reduce compliance and business risks
  • Increase adoption of intranet as primary business communication tool
Register now for this webcast.


Register now for this exclusive event.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET

Presented by:
Joe Lichtefeld Joe Lichtefeld, VP of Application Services & PMO, ResCare
Wayne Boerger Wayne Boerger, Product Manager, TEAM Informatics
Doug Thompson Doug Thompson, EVP Global Development, TEAM Informatics
Presented by :

Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together
Copyright © 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Contact Us | Legal Notices and Terms of Use | Privacy Statement

WebCenter Customer Spotlight: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Author: Peter Reiser - Social Business Evangelist, Oracle WebCenter

 Solution Summary

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the largest public utility company in the United States with over 1.6 million customers. LADWP provides water and power for millions of residential & commercial customers in Southern California.

The goal of the project was to implement a newly designed web portal to increase customer self-service while reducing transactions via IVR and automate many of the paper based processes to web based workflows for their 1.6 million customers.

LADWP implemented a Self Service Portal using Oracle WebCenter Portal & Oracle WebCenter Content and Oracle SOA Suite for the integration of their complex back-end systems infrastructure.

The new portal has received extremely positive feedback from not only the customers and users of the portal, but also other utilities. At Oracle OpenWorld 2012, LADWP won the prestigious WebCenter innovation award for their innovative solution.

Company Overview
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the largest public utility company in the United States with over 1.6 million customers. LADWP provides water and power for millions of residential & commercial customers in Southern California. LADWP also bills most of these customers for sanitation services provided by another department in the city of Los Angeles. 

Business Challenges
The goal of the project was to implement a newly designed web portal that is easy to navigate from a web browser and mobile devices, as well as be the platform for surfacing internet and intranet applications at LADWP. The primary objective of the new portal was to increase customer self-service while reducing the transactions via IVR and walk-up and to automate many of the paper based processes to web based workflows for customers. This includes automation of

  • Self Service implemented through My Account (Bill Pay, Payment History, Bill History, Usage analysis, Service Request Management)
  • Financial Assistance Programs
  • Customer Rebate Programs
  • Turn Off/Turn On/Transfer of Services
  • Outage Reporting
  • eNotification (SMS, email)
Solution Deployed
LADWP implemented a Self Service Portal using Oracle WebCenter Portal & Oracle WebCenter Content. Using Oracle SOA Suite they integrated various back-end systems including
  • Oracle Siebel CRM
  • IBM Mainframe based CIS
  • FILENET for document management
  • EBP Eletronic Bill Payment System
  • HP Imprint System for BillXML data
  • Other systems including outage reporting systems, SMS service, etc.

The new portal’s features include:

  • Complete Graphical redesign based on best practices in UI Design for high usability
  • Customer Self Service implemented through MyAccount (Bill Pay, Payment History, Bill History, Usage Analysis, Service Request Management)
  • Financial Assistance Programs (CRM, WebCenter)
  • Customer Rebate Programs (CRM, WebCenter)
  • Turn On/Off/Transfer of services (Commercial & Residential)
  • Outage Reporting
  • eNotification (SMS, email)
  • Multilingual (English & Spanish) – using WebCenter multi-language support
  • Section 508 (ADA) Compliant
  • Search – Using WebCenter SES (Secured Enterprise Search)
  • Distributed Authorship in WebCenter Content
  • Mobile Access (any Mobile Browser)

Business Results
The new portal has received extremely positive feedback from not only customers and users of the portal, but also other utilities. At Oracle OpenWorld 2012, LADWP won the prestigious WebCenter innovation award for their innovative solution.

Additional Information

Wednesday Oct 24, 2012

Life Technologies: Making Life Easier to Manage

When we’re thinking about customer engagement, we’re acutely aware of all the forces at play competing for our customer’s attention. Solutions that make life easier for our customers draw attention to themselves. We tend to engage more when there is a distinct benefit and we can take a deep breath and accept that there is hope in the world and everything isn’t designed to frustrate us and make our lives miserable. (sigh…) When products are designed to automate processes that were consuming hours of our time with no relief in sight, they deserve to be recognized.

One of our recent Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Award Winners in the WebCenter category, Life Technologies, has recently posted a video promoting their “award winning” solution. The Oracle Innovation Awards are part of the overall Oracle Excellence awards given to customers for innovation with Oracle products. More info here.

Their award nomination included this description:

Life Technologies delivered the My Life Service Portal as part of a larger Digital Hub strategy. This Portal is the first of its kind in the biotechnology service providing industry. The Portal provides access to Life Technologies cloud based service monitoring system where all customer deployed instruments can be remotely monitored and proactively repaired. The portal provides alerts from these cloud based monitoring services directly to the customer and to Life Technologies Field Engineers. The Portal provides insight into the instruments and services customers purchased for the purpose of analyzing and anticipating future customer needs and creating targeted sales and service programs. This portal not only provides benefits for Life Technologies internal sales and service teams but provides customers a central place to track all pertinent instrument information including:

      • instrument service history
      • instrument status and previous activities
      • instrument performance analytics
      • planned service visits
      • warranty/contract information
      • discussion forums
      • social networks for lab management and collaboration
      • alerts and notifications on all of the above
      • team scheduling for instrument usage
      • promote optional reagents required to keep instruments performing

From their website

The Life Technologies Instruments & Services Portal Helps You Save Time and Gain Peace of Mind

Introducing the new, award-winning, free online tool that enables easier management of your instrument use and care, faster response to requests for service or service quotes, and instant sharing of key instrument and service information with your colleagues.

Now – this unto itself is obviously beneficial for their customers who were previously burdened with having to do all of these tasks separately, manually and inconsistently by nature. Now – all in one place and free to their customers – a portal that ties it all together. They now have built the platform to give their customers yet another reason to do business with them – Their headline on their product page says it all: Life is now easier to manage - All your instrument use and care in one place – the no-cost, no-hassle Instruments and Services Portal.” Of course – it’s very convenient that the company name includes “Life” and now can also promote to their clients and prospects that doing business with them is easy and their sophisticated lab equipment is easy to manage. In an industry full of PhD’s – “Easy” isn’t usually the first word that comes to mind, but Life Technologies has now tied the word to their brand in a very eloquent way.

Between our work lives and family or personal lives, getting any mono-focused minutes of dedicated attention has become such a rare occurrence in our current era of multi-tasking that those moments of focus are highly prized. So – when something is done really well – so well that it becomes captivating and urges sharing impulses – I take notice and dig deeper and most of the time I discover other gems not so hidden below the surface. And then I share with those I know would enjoy and understand.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit here that the first person I shared the videos below with was my daughter. She’s in her senior year of high school in the midst of her college search. She’s passionate about her academics and has already decided that she wants to study Neuroscience in college and like her mother will be in for the long haul to a PhD eventually. In a summer science program at Smith College 2 summers ago – she sent the family famous text to me – “I just dissected a sheep’s brain – wicked cool!” – This was followed by an equally memorable text this past summer in a research mentorship in Neuroscience at UConn – “Just sliced up some rat brain. Reminded me of a deli slicer at the supermarket… sorry I forgot to call last night…

So… needless to say – I knew I had an audience that would enjoy and understand these videos below and are now being shared among her science classmates and faculty. And evidently - so does Life Technologies! They’ve done a great job on these making them fun and something that will easily be shared among their customers social networks. They’ve created a neuro-archetypal character, “Ph.Diddy” and know that their world of clients in academics, research, and other institutions would understand and enjoy the “edutainment” value in this series of videos on their YouTube channel that pokes fun at the stereotypes while also promoting their products at the same time. They use their Facebook page for additional engagement with their clients and as another venue to promote these videos.

Enjoy this one as well! More to be found here:

Stay tuned to this Oracle WebCenter blog channel. Tomorrow we'll be taking a look at another winner of the Innovation Awards, LADWP - helping to keep the citizens of Los Angeles engaged with their Water and Power provider.

Tuesday Oct 23, 2012

Customer Engagement: Are Your Customers Engaged With Your Brands?

Social Engagement with Brands increases spendEngaging Customers is Critical for Business Growth

This week we'll be spending some time looking at Customer Engagement. We all have stories about how we try to engage our customers better than ever before.  We all know that successfully engaging customers is critical to an organization’s business success. We also know that engaging our customers is more challenging today than ever before. There is so much noise to compete with for getting anyone's attention. Over the last decade and a half we’ve watched as the online channel became a primary one for conducting our business and even managing our lives. And during this whole process or evolution, the customer journey has grown increasingly complex. Customers themselves have assumed increasing power and influence over the purchase process and for setting the tone and pace of the relationships they have with brands and you see the evidence of this in the really high expectations that customers have today. They expect brand experiences that are personalized and relevant -- In other words they want experiences that demonstrate that the brand understands their interests, preferences and past interactions with them. They also expect their experience with a brand and the community surrounding it to be social and interactive – it’s no longer acceptable to have a static, one-way dialogue with your customer base or to fail to connect your customers with fellow customers, or with your employees and partners. And on top of all this, customers expect us to deliver this rich and engaging, personalized and interactive experience, in a consistent way across a variety of channels including web, mobile and social channels or even offline venues such as in-store or via a call center. And as a result, we see that delivery on these expectations and successfully engaging your customers is a great challenge today.

Customers expect a personal, engaging and consistent online customer experience. Today’s consumer expects to engage with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. Customers have come to expect a lot for the online customer experience. 

·        They expect it to be personal:

o   Accessible:  - Regardless of my device  Via my existing online identities 

o   Relevant:  Content that interests me 

o   Customized:  To be able to tailor my online experience 

·        They expect it to be engaging:

o   Social:  So I can share content with my social networks 

o   Intuitive:  To easily find what I need  

o   Interactive:  So I can interact with online communities

And they expect it to be consistent across the online experience – so you better have your brand and information ducks in a row.Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series

These expectations are not only limited to your customers by any means. Your employees (and partners) are also expecting to be empowered with engagement tools across their internal and external communications and interactions with customers, partners and other employees. We had a great conversation with Ted Schadler from Forrester Research entitled: "Mobile is the New Face of Engagement" that is now available On-Demand. Take a look at all the webcasts available to watch from our Social Business Thought Leader Series.

Facebook recommendations make a difference

Social capabilities have become so pervasive and changed customers’ expectations for their online experiences. The days of one-direction communication with customers are at an end. Today’s customers expect to engage in a dialogue with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. You have at a very short window of opportunity to engage a customer before they go to another site in their pursuit of information, product, or services. In fact, customers who engage with brands via social media tend to spend more that customers who don’t, between 20% and 40% more.  And your customers are also increasingly influenced by their social networks too – 40% of consumers say they factor in Facebook recommendations when making purchasing decisions.  This means a few different things for today’s businesses. Incorporating forms of social interaction such as commenting or reviews as well as tightly integrating your online experience with your customers’ social networking experiences into the online customer experience are crucial for maintaining the eyeballs on your desired pages.


93% - Cone Finds that Americans Expect Companies to Have a Presence in Social Media -

40% of consumers factor in Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing (Increasing Campaign Effectiveness with Social Media, Syncapse, March 2011)

20%-40% - Customers who engage with a company via social media spend this percentage more with that company than other customers (Source: Bain & Company Report – Putting Social Media to Work)

Thursday Oct 18, 2012

Not to miss! Today’s web seminar on content integration with Oracle Apps

Hello everyone.  The first web seminar in a three-part series kicks off later today, focused on the value of delivering and controlling the flow of content in the context of your most critical business applications.  

If you are using Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne or Siebel CRM, we heartily recommend you investigate the value of centralizing the delivery of scanned images, forms, faxes and digital documents within those processes.  The improvements in efficiency and productivity can result in some impressive cost savings.

One customer recently reported that they had realized an impressive ROI of 180% and that the investment in this new technology had paid for itself in a mere 6 months

We hope you can spare some time today to join us at 1pm Eastern Time / 10am Pacific Time / 18:00 GMT. We think you will find it time well spent.  

Click here to attend.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday Oct 15, 2012

Content in Context: The right medicine for your business applications

For many of you, your companies have already invested in a number of applications that are critical to the way your business is run. HR, Payroll, Legal, Accounts Payable and others are all there and handling the lifeblood of your business. But are they really running as efficiently as they could be? For many companies, the answer is no.

The problem has to do with the important information caught up within documents and paper. It’s everywhere except where it truly needs to be – readily available right within the context of the application itself. When the right information cannot be easily found, business processes suffer significantly.

The importance of this recently struck me when I recently went to meet my new doctor and get a routine physical. Walking into the office lobby, I couldn't help but notice rows and rows of manila folders in racks from floor to ceiling, filled with documents and sensitive, personal information about various patients like myself.  As I looked at all that paper and all that history, two things immediately popped into my head.  “How do they find anything?” and then the even more alarming, “So much for information security!” It sure looked to me like all those documents could be accessed by anyone with a key to the building.

Now the truth is that the offices of many general practitioners look like this all over the United States and the world.  But it had me thinking, is the same thing going on in just about any company around the world, involving a wide variety of important business processes? Probably so.

Think about all the various processes going on in your company right now. Invoice payments are being processed through Accounts Payable, contracts are being reviewed by Procurement, and Human Resources is reviewing job candidate submissions and doing background checks. All of these processes and many more like them rely on access to forms and documents, whether they are paper or digital. Now consider that it is estimated that employee’s spend nearly 9 hours a week searching for information and not finding it. That is a lot of very well paid employees, spending more than one day per week not doing their regular job while they search for or re-create what already exists.

Back in the doctor’s office, I saw this trend exemplified as well. First, I had to fill out a new patient form, even though my previous doctor had transferred my records over months previously. After filling out the form, I was later introduced to my new doctor who then interviewed me and asked me the exact same questions that I had answered on the form. I understand that there is value in the interview process and it was great to meet my new doctor, but this simple process could have been so much more efficient if the information already on file could have been brought directly together with the new patient information I had provided. Instead of having a highly paid medical professional re-enter the same information into the records database, the form I filled out could have been immediately scanned into the system, associated with my previous information, discrepancies identified, and the entire process streamlined significantly.

We won’t solve the health records management issues that exist in the United States in this blog post, but this example illustrates how the automation of information capture and classification can eliminate a lot of repetitive and costly human entry and re-creation, even in a simple process like new patient on-boarding. In a similar fashion, by taking a fresh look at the various processes in place today in your organization, you can likely spot points along the way where automating the capture and access to the right information could be significantly improved.

As you evaluate how content-process flows through your organization, take a look at how departments and regions share information between the applications they are using. Business applications are often implemented on an individual department basis to solve specific problems but a holistic approach to overall information management is not taken at the same time. The end result over the years is disparate applications with separate information repositories and in many cases these contain duplicate information, or worse, slightly different versions of the same information.

This is where Oracle WebCenter Content comes into the story. More and more companies are realizing that they can significantly improve their existing application processes by automating the capture of paper, forms and other content. This makes the right information immediately accessible in the context of the business process and making the same information accessible across departmental systems which has helped many organizations realize significant cost savings.

Here on the Oracle WebCenter team, one of our primary goals is to help customers find new ways to be more effective, more cost-efficient and manage information as effectively as possible. We have a series of three webcasts occurring over the next few weeks that are focused on the integration of enterprise content management within the context of business applications. We hope you will join us for one or all three and that you will find them informative. Click here to learn more about these sessions and to register for them.

There are many aspects of information management to consider as you look at integrating content management within your business applications. We've barely scratched the surface here but look for upcoming blog posts where we will discuss more specifics on the value of delivering documents, forms and images directly within applications like Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, JD Edwards Enterprise One, Siebel CRM and many others.

What do you think?  Are your important business processes as healthy as they can be?  Do you have any insights to share on the value of delivering content directly within critical business processes? Please post a comment and let us know the value you have realized, the lessons learned and what specific areas you are interested in.

Friday Oct 12, 2012

Meet the WebCenter Product Marketing Team!

As we wrap up this week recapping all the great things that happened at Oracle OpenWorld, we thought we'd share with our community the faces behind this blog and the Oracle WebCenter Product Marketing team! With the majority of the team working remotely, OpenWorld is the one time we are all together for an entire week.

L to R: Lance Shaw (WebCenter Content), Christie Flanagan (WebCenter Sites), Peggy Chen (leads WebCenter product marketing), Kellsey Ruppel (WebCenter Portal & Oracle Social Network), & Michael Snow (WebCenter Suite).

Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge: Bezzotech

Originally posted by Jake Kuramoto on The Apps Lab blog.

I’ve covered all the entries we had for the Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge, the winners, Dimitri and Martin, HarQen, TEAM Informatics and John Sim from Fishbowl Solutions, and today, I’m giving you bonus coverage.

Friend of the ‘Lab, Bex Huff (@bex) from Bezzotech (@bezzotech), had an interesting OpenWorld. He rebounded from an allergic reaction to finish his entry, Honey Badger, only to have his other OpenWorld commitments make him unable to present his work.

Still, he did a bunch of work, and I want to make sure everyone knows about the Honey Badger. If you’re wondering about the name, it’s a meme; “honey badger don’t care.”

Bex tackled a common problem with social tools by adding game mechanics to create an incentive for people to keep their profiles updated. He used a Hot-or-Not style comparison app that poses expertise questions and awards a badge to the winner. Questions are based on whatever attributes the business wants to emphasize.

The goal is to find the mavens in an organization, give them praise and recognition, ideally creating incentive for everyone to raise their games.

In his own words:

There is a real information quality problem in social networks. In last year’s keynote, Larry Elison demonstrated how to use the social network to track down resources that have the skill sets needed for specific projects. But how well would that work in real life? People usually update that information with the basic profile information, but they rarely update their profiles with latest news items, projects, customers, or skills. It’s a pain.

Or, put another way, when was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile?

Enter the Honey Badger! This is a example of a comparator app that gamifies the way people keep their profiles updated, which ensures higher quality data in the social network. An administrator comes up with a series of important questions: Who is a better communicator? Who is a better Java programmer? Who is a better team player? And people would have a space in their profile to give a justification as to why they have these skills.

The second part of the app is the comparator. It randomly shows two people, their names, and their justification for why they have these skills. You will click on one of them to “vote” for them, then on the next page you will see the results from the previous match, and get 2 new people to vote on. Anybody with a winning score wins a “Honey Badge” to be displayed on their profile page, which proudly states that their peers agree that this person has those skills.

Once a badge is won, it will be jealously guarded. The longer your go without updating your profile, the more likely it is that you will lose your badge. This “loss aversion” is well known in psychology, and is a strong incentive for people to keep their profiles up to date. If a user sees their rank drop from 90% to 60%, they will find the time to update their justification!

Unfortunately, during the hackathon we were not allowed to modify the schema to allow for additional fields such as “justification.” So this hack is limited to just the one basic question: who is the bigger Honey Badger?

Here are some shots of the Honey Badger application:

Thanks to Bex and everyone for participating in our challenge. Despite very little time to promote this event, we had a great turnout and creative and useful entries. The amount of work required to put together these final entries was significant, especially during a conference, and the judges and all of us involved were impressed at how much work everyone was able to do.

Congrats to everyone, pat yourselves on the back.

Stay tuned if you’re interested in challenges like these. We’ll likely be running similar events in the not-so-distant future.

Thursday Oct 11, 2012

Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge: Fishbowl Solutions

Originally posted by Jake Kuramoto on The Apps Lab blog.

Today, I give you the final entry in the Oracle Social Network Developer Challenge, held last week during OpenWorld.

This one comes from Friend of the ‘Lab and Fishbowl Solutions (@fishbowle20) hacker, John Sim (@jrsim_uix), whom you might remember from his XBox Kinect demo at COLLABORATE 12 (presentation slides and abstract) hacks and other exploits with WebCenter.

We put this challenge together specifically for developers like John, who like to experiment with new tools and push the envelope of what’s possible and build cool things, and as you can see from his entry John did just that, mashing together Google Maps and Oracle Social Network into a mobile app built with PhoneGap that uses the device’s camera and GPS to keep teams on the move in touch.

He calls it a Mobile GeoTagging Solution, but I think Avengers Assemble! would have equally descriptive, given that was obviously his inspiration. Here’s his description of the mobile app:

My proposed solution was to design and simplify GeoLocation mapping, and automate updates for users and teams on the move; who don’t have access to a laptop or want to take their ipads out – but allow them to make quick updates to OSN and upload photos taken from their mobile device – there and then.

As part of this; the plan was to include a rules engine that could be configured by the user to allow the device to automatically update and post messages when they arrived at a set location(s). Inspiration for this came from on{x} – automate your life.

Unfortunately, John didn’t make it to the conference to show off his hard work in person, but luckily, he had a colleague from Fishbowl and a video to showcase his work.


Here are some shots of John’s mobile app for your viewing pleasure:

John’s thinking is sound. Geolocation is usually relegated to consumer use cases, thanks to services like foursquare, but distributed teams working on projects out in the world definitely need a way to stay in contact.

Consider a construction job. Different contractors all converge on a single location, and time is money. Rather than calling or texting each other and risking a distracted driving accident, an app like John’s allows everyone on the job to see exactly where the other contractors are. Using his GPS rules, they could easily be notified about how close each is to the site, definitely useful when you have a flooring contractor sitting idle, waiting for an electrician to finish the wiring.

The best part is that the project manager or general contractor could stay updated on all the action (or inaction) using Oracle Social Network, either sitting at a desk using the browser app or desktop client or on the go, using one of the native mobile apps built for Oracle Social Network.

I can see this being used by insurance adjusters too, and really any team that, erm, assembles at a given spot. Of course, it’s also useful for meeting at the pub after the day’s work is done.

Beyond people, this solution could also be implemented for physical objects that are in route to a destination.

Say you’re a customer waiting on rail shipment or a package delivery. You could track your valuable’s whereabouts easily as they report their progress via checkins. If they deviated from the GPS rules, you’d be notified. You might even be able to get a picture into Oracle Social Network with some light hacking.

Thanks to John and his colleagues at Fishbowl for participating in our challenge. We hope everyone had a good experience.

Make sure to check out John’s blog post on his work and the experience using Oracle Social Network.

Although this is the final, official entry we had, tomorrow, I’ll show you the work of someone who finished code, but wasn’t able to make the judging event.

Stay tuned.

WebCenter Customer Spotlight:

Author: Peter Reiser - Social Business Evangelist, Oracle WebCenter

 Solution Summary Inc is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world and it operates a network of genealogical and historical record websites focused on the U.S. and nine foreign countries, develops and markets genealogical software, and offers a wide array of genealogical related services. As of June 2012, the company provided access to more than 10 billion records, 38 million family trees, and 2 million paying subscribers.

Their main business challenges were to improve time to market and agility to respond quickly to fast changing Internet waves while integrating with their existing content (4 PetaByte) and legacy systems. implemented Oracle WebCenter Sites as their Web Experience Management System for their landing pages and marketing micro sites, added dynamic sections to their existing websites and integrated the existing content and legacy systems through web services.

The landing pages and marketing sites are now managed by the business team without any involvement of engineering resources. Managed content can quickly be added to existing pages without having to refactor the whole page and existing content (4 PetaBytes)  is now served trough Oracle WebCenter Sites without having to migrate from existing systems.

Company Overview Inc is a publicly traded Internet company (NASDAQ: ACOM) based in Provo, Utah, USA. The largest for-profit genealogy company in the world, it operates a network of genealogical and historical record websites focused on the U.S. and nine foreign countries, develops and markets genealogical software, and offers a wide array of genealogical related services. As of June 2012, the company provided access to more than 10 billion records, 38 million family trees, and 2 million paying subscribers.

Business Challenges
Ancestry main business challenge was to respond quickly to fast changing Internet waves.  Product marketing could not change Web site content without going through development. They needed dedicated developers just to support their marketing efforts.

Technical Requirements

  • Support current systems and environments - ASP.NET, MVC.NET, Java, JSP, PHP
  • Scalable and manageable for a world wide network

Marketing Requirements

  • Easy to enter content – Without having a degree in HTML
  • Scheduling of content – When is content visible to users

Product Requirements

  • Easy to manage content – See when content is out-of-date
  • Rotation of content – Producing new content as old content expires
Solution Deployed
Ancestry implemented  Oracle WebCenter Sites as their Web Experience Management System to manage their landing pages and marketing micro sites. This sites are fully managed by their business team without involvement of any engineering resources.

The integration with their existing Web sites is done through Spot Management which allows the ability to add dynamic content to certain sections of a web page. The dynamic content is managed by  Oracle WebCenter Sites.

The integration with the existing content (4 PetaBytes!) is done trough  a custom content provider interface which allows to mix existing content with content from  Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Business Results has achieved following impressive business results:

  • Landing pages and marketing sites are now managed by the business team without any involvement of engineering resources
  • Managed content can quickly be added to existing pages without having to refactor the whole page
  • Provide access to existing content (4 PetaBytes)  without having to migrate from existing systems

Additional Information

Oracle Cloud Content and Process power the next wave of productivity, mobile efficiency, and workgroup innovation. Only Oracle offers an integrated suite of content, process and sites cloud services that enable business users to easily collaborate anywhere, simplify business automation, and communicate more effectively.


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