Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

Gartner PCC 2013: The Nexus of Social, Mobile, Information and Cloud

This year's Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit highlights opportunities for organizations to harness the nexus of social, mobile, information and cloud capabilities.  According to Gartner, "The forces combine to empower individuals as they interact with each other and their information through well-designed ubiquitous technology."

How does this nexus impact an organization's ability to support their business goals?  It is fair to say that these forces have been present in various formats for some time now? So what has changed? Upon attending sessions opening day of the conference yesterday, we find that speed, agility and availability emerge as consistent threads.  Specifically, we see the speed of solution delivery, communication agility within and across channels, and the availability of analytical insight are all present.

In many markets where products and services between vendors are comparable, key business differentiators will be tied to comprehensive engagement throughout the lifecycle of a relationship with a prospect or customer.  Without an investment in the consistent alignment of technical choices with the vision for the business strategy, discrete technical solutions can end up ultimately posing roadblocks.

Why is mobile computing considered disruptive?  It potentially shines light onto an organization's ability to expose their back office systems outwardly in a secure, contextually relevant way.  It implicitly shows the level of investment that organizations supply to align their information technology with their business vision.

Gartner highlights the forces within the nexus as "well-designed ubiquitous technology".  Considering well-designed in a holistic manner, outside of a discrete solution, capabilities that IT potentially needs to supply to the business to support initiatives like customer self-service require the knowledge of user profiles, single views of a customer and connectivity with various systems to support self-service activity.  Within the first phase of a particular mobile or self-service project, these aspects may not pose an issue, but to meet a future state, business vision may call for functionality to be included that prior decisions may render costly and complicated to deliver.

The nexus of social, mobile, information and cloud capabilities offer unprecedented opportunity to expedite and optimize delivery.  Organizations that will extract the most value from the nexus will do so by leveraging enterprise architecture practices to achieve long-term agility, making technology choices in line with principles that ensure the delivery of value beyond discrete technical solutions.  This allows organizations to then focus on business innovation, engaging with their customers and prospects, and outmaneuvering their competition, through the use of a technical foundation carefully aligned to support business innovation.

Are you attending the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit in San Diego, this week? Oracle is proud to be a Silver sponsor, with a 30 minute breakfast session this morning at 7:00am given by Joshn Lannin, Senior Director of Product Management Oracle WebCenter. We also have a booth on the show flow, so we hope you’ll come find us to discuss the nexus of social, mobile, information and cloud capabilities!

Friday Apr 26, 2013

Why WCM Should Be at the Heart of Your Multichannel Strategy

Today’s guest blog post was written by Stephen Schleifer. Stephen is Senior Principal Product Manager for Oracle’s Web Content Management (WCM) solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.

It’s no secret that the WCM market has gone through a series of rapid changes over the past five years or so, in part because the business objectives driving the use of these systems evolved (from content publishing to online experience), and in part due to the changing nature and role of corporate websites, or brand sites. We are now living in a multichannel world -- with the rise of social networks, increased use of campaign marketing (including social media, email marketing and promotional microsites), and of course, the fact that more people are accessing the web via mobile devices than ever before. All of this has amounted to added complexity for web marketers to manage their brand and message across all these channels, but it has also changed the perception of what role a brand site, and by way of it, a WCM system, is supposed to play in online marketing.

While most still agree that a brand site is an important place for customers to acquire information about a company’s products and services, others propose that as more traffic and leads are generated through alternate channels that they should become the main focus of online marketing and customer engagement efforts.

I would argue that it’s not an either/or proposition, but instead what’s needed more often than not is a more blended approach, and in fact, your brand site should serve as the centralized point of your online marketing strategy. Why? Because it’s the one place where all these channels tend to converge -- it’s the glue that holds your brand and message together across all these diverse customer touch points. Linking these channels back to your brand site is also important because it’s the place where you control the message, and it’s ultimately where you can engage customers in more dynamic ways, as the experience you create there is entirely of your own making.

WCM systems are the technology set that provides the tools for marketers to manage corporate web sites, and they are unique in their ability to support a wide variety of cross-channel online marketing value propositions; these include:

Extending the reach of / re-purposing content between brand sites and social media: For example, by enabling site visitors to engage in interactions around site content and then extend the reach of that content by sharing it to their walls. Or by repurposing content on your site such as articles, blog posts or promotional offers for publishing on social media pages. Conversely, many organizations are choosing to host promotional or educational video on social video sites such as YouTube, but then integrate those videos within the context of brand site pages as streaming content. All this can be facilitated by a WCM system.

Seamlessly adapting brand site content for delivery though the mobile channel: Mobile has been a difficult channel for marketers to master, but we’re at the point where technologies like HTML-5 and approaches like responsive design where effective mobile web experience has become a reality, as you can now design once for your branding site, and have those templates instantly adapted and optimized for mobile delivery. While this is not the only effective approach to mobile web (depending on your business objectives, you may indeed want to develop mobile templates or mobile-specific sites), most WCM systems are now flexible enough to support multiple approaches.

Integrating websites with email marketing for cross-channel marketing automation: Bringing together WCM and email marketing makes a lot of sense, because the better the two work together, the more consistent, targeted and effective your online campaigns will be. Both systems leverage content such as text and images that will need to be duplicated or adapted across channels for web landing pages, email blasts, etc. -- the more you can centralize the management of that content for more effective cross-channel publishing, the more you can be sure that your branding and message will be consistent and clear to your customer. Both systems also require some level of personalization to ensure that the various customer segments in a campaign are spoken to with a relevant message – and whether it’s being featured in an email or somewhere on your site, that message must remain the same. Integrating the customer segment data that is being captured in your WCM system with that in your marketing campaign system (not to mention CRM) is key to be able to provide a unified profile across these customer-facing touch points, and in turn can help to ensure more effective targeting.

Whatever role you decide is best for your corporate website to play in your online marketing mix, there is no escaping that it continues to be as relevant as ever in today’s multi-channel world. Think of it as a kind of digital hub for online experience, and your WCM system is the backbone for creating and managing engaging, cross-channel experiences. 

Thursday Apr 25, 2013

Putting the CX Puzzle Together: Connect Customer Touch Points by Combining Oracle WebCenter Sites with Other Oracle CX Solutions

On its own, Oracle WebCenter Sites provides organizations with powerful capabilities for engaging sites visitors with personalized, interactive, multichannel experiences on their marketing websites. But for companies that are ready to embrace the power of predictive decisionsing or who are ready to start integrating different online touch points into a seamless and connected experience, Oracle's customer experience solutions can offer even more. Let's take a look at how a few of these customer experience solutions combine with Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle Real-Time Decisions

Oracle’s web experience management solution, WebCenter Sites, already includes robust capabilities for marketer managed segmentation and targeting, however, a whole new level of optimization can be achieved by combining WebCenter Sites with Oracle’s decision management solution, Real-Time Decisions. Using the power of statistical data models and historical and real-time analytics, Real-Time Decisions automates what would otherwise be the manual task of sifting through volumes of customer data, determining likely and potential customer segments, and determining the best content to present to a given site visitor. As customer interactions take place, Real-Time Decisions continuously refines its data models, automatically adjusting and learning over time to achieve the optimal content selection for each site visitor. Marketers have multiple levels of control when using Real-Time Decisions. They can opt for full automation and let Real-Time Decisions handle all decision making. In this case, Real-Time Decisions infers segmentation and uses automation to make decisions about what content to display to the site visitor. Or, marketers can opt for a more controlled approach and specify performance goals that will help steer the Real-Time Decisions model in the direction of desired business objectives such as maximizing revenue or maximizing conversions. Together, Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle Real-Time Decisions provide marketers with the ability to determine the best approach for realizing their segmentation and targeting objectives, whether that means managing the process manually or by instituting some level of automation

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle Endeca

If you’re a business that has a large product catalog, integrating faceted search into the web experience can be an effective way for potential customers to dynamically explore your site and find relevant and desired items more quickly and easily. During the product selection process, site visitors want the ability to navigate based on their own unique preferences and to view content and search results that are most relevant to them. Often, the search experience on a website frustrates potential buyers or provides them with too many irrelevant results to wade through. A solution such as Oracle Endeca Guided Search can be integrated with your WebCenter Sites deployment to optimize the search capabilities on your web presence, so you can deliver more precise, more relevant, and more complete results that help guide and influence product selection, leading to increased conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle ATG Web Commerce

If your business model includes an eCommerce component, speeding and simplifying the purchase process is critical. A streamlined and efficient online purchase process is vital to preventing shopping cart abandonment. The purchase process can even become another opportunity for engaging customers and influencing them to purchase more or related products; it can also be structured to incentivize customers to take action now through the offer of various promotions. Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce is a top ranked commerce solution that enables you to deliver an engaging and efficient online buying experience. When combined with Oracle WebCenter Sites, these solutions bring together best-in-class web experience management and ecommerce capabilities, assuring that your site visitors have a personalized, interactive, and multichannel experience as make their way through the customer journey.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle WebCenter Portal

For some business models, online self-service is the primary channel through which business is conducted. In others, online self-service represents an opportunity to lower the cost to serve by migrating customers from high cost customer service channels to the more cost-effective online channel. Oftentimes, in industries like financial services, healthcare, or even government, you’ll want to provide your customers, patients, or constituents with both a public online presence where they can find information and engage with your organization early in the customer journey, and also an online self-service presence that enables your customers to access secure services where they can conduct financial transactions, look up personal health information or take advantage of government services. In cases like this, the combination of Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle WebCenter Portal is ideally suited to helping you meet both of these objectives and ultimately deliver an online experience that is unified, consistent and seamless as those visiting your web presence evolve from prospects into active customers.

 *****

On Demand Webcast: How to Connect the Online Customer Experience by Combining Oracle WebCenter Sites with Other Oracle CX Solutions

Are you providing your customers with the best possible browsing, shopping and search experiences across all your marketing and commerce websites? Successful organizations must deliver an engaging online experience that is personalized, interactive and consistent across all phases of the customer journey from research to selection to support and follow on purchases. Attend this Webcast to learn how WebCenter Sites can help you:

  • Unify the online customer experience by bringing together best-in-class web experience management, eCommerce, and faceted search capabilities
  • Encourage social interaction by incorporating ratings, comments, reviews and social sharing capabilities into your web presence
  • More easily ingest content feeds from your suppliers and simplify the management of high volumes of detailed product information

View the webcast.

Tuesday Apr 23, 2013

Engage Your Customers and Empower Your Business with Oracle WebCenter Sites

In today’s socially enabled, multichannel online world, individuals increasingly expect their online experiences to be targeted specifically to their interests, to be as social and interactive as their social networking experiences and to be optimized for whatever device type they choose whether a PC, tablet or mobile phone. For Web marketers, this new imperative presents a unique set of challenges when it comes to engaging with their customers online.
Oracle WebCenter Sites helps organizations meet the new Web experience management (WEM) imperative:

Oracle WebCenter Sites enables organizations to deliver a highly relevant and personalized online experience to their customers using intuitive segmentation and targeting capabilities. This allows organizations to deliver the right content to the right site visitor at the right time, maximizing up-sell and cross-selling opportunities while creating an experience that fosters loyalty.

With Oracle WebCenter Sites, organizations can make the experience on the corporate web presence as interactive and community oriented as the experience on social networks. They can also tap into the power of social networks for extending the visibility of their brand and leverage social endorsements to influence purchasing decisions.  User-generated content such as ratings, reviews, comments and polls can be easily incorporated into the web presence.  Social login and social sharing capabilities make it easy for site visitors to contribute user-generated content using their familiar social network ID’s. Content that site visitors like can be easily shared with their social networks in just a few clicks.

Oracle WebCenter Sites also helps organizations solve some of the challenges of multichannel delivery so they can successfully engage site visitors across online channels.  Oracle WebCenter Sites enables centralized management of traditional web and mobile sites.  The online experience can be easily optimized for delivery to thousands of mobile phone and tablets so organizations can engage mobile users more effectively.

Check out the video to see what it's like to experience WebCenter Sites as a site visitor:

Another important focus area of WebCenter Sites is empowering businesses to create and manage engaging online customer experiences on an enterprise scale.

In order to compete effectively and to get online initiatives to market as quickly as possible, marketers and other non-technical business users need the ability to take greater control of the creation and management of the online customer experience. To enable this, WebCenter Sites has transformed the marketing user experience so that site authoring is visual, intuitive and designed for the way that marketers want to work today. When it comes to web authoring in WebCenter Sites, what marketers see is what marketers get.

Capabilities such as comments, reviews, ratings and blogs are integral to engaging site visitors today. Additionally this kind of user-generated content enables visitors to recommend and endorse an organization to others – an invaluable marketing tool in today’s world.  But user-generated content requires some level of moderation and control to safeguard the integrity of the brand.  Oracle WebCenter Sites provides deep, yet simple to use moderation capabilities so that organizations can assure that the dialogue around their brand is a constructive one.

Assuring optimal performance across enterprise web deployments is a critical component of the online customer experience. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, organizations can deliver a highly scalable multisite, multilingual, and multimedia online customer experience. They can execute on a global scale without sacrificing performance. Oracle WebCenter Sites assures rapid, dynamic delivery of high-volume sites, streamlines the management of hundreds of sites, makes it possible to manage vast and complex product catalogs with ease, and seamlessly incorporates digital assets into the online experience through rich media management.

See what it's like to be a marketer using WebCenter Sites to create engaging online customer experiences:

Monday Apr 22, 2013

Mind the Gaps in Your Customer Experience

We all have certain pet peeves about what we experience as customers.  One of mine is the all too common experience of calling a customer service line, waiting an interminable amount of time for an actual human to get on the phone, providing the agent with my account information, describing my problem to that agent, and then being transferred to yet another agent because the first one can’t address my problem. Invariably, this next agent asks me to once again provide my account information and once again describe my problem.  Why isn’t this information communicated to the next rep in the chain so I don’t have to waste my time and repeat myself?  Or better yet, why isn’t that first line rep empowered to help me in the first place.

Many of you may be familiar with “Mind the Gap,” the omnipresent signage in the London Underground that advises subway passengers to take extra care as they cross the gap between the train and the platform.  “Mind the Gap” has even become such a part of London’s iconography that you’ll often find it plastered on t-shirts or other souvenirs. The idea behind “Mind the Gap” is to raise risk awareness among passengers so accidents can be prevented, the Tube can run smoothly and riders can go safely about their business. The call center experience I describe above is riddled with what I consider “customer experience gaps” – little landmines that exist between various touch points and channels of interaction where the risk of customer dissatisfaction is high if care is not taken to make these engagements connected, consistent and meaningful. All too often, businesses fail to “mind the gaps” in their customer experience and allow them to become a source of customer pain, frustration or flight.

Mind the Gap

In recent years, customer experience gaps have only become more plentiful. When I need to make a purchase, my customer journey can take me many places: to a search engine, to a corporate website, to Facebook, or to a store. I may interact with sales people, customer service reps, and other people in my community or in my social network.  Sometimes I gather information on my desktop in my office, or on my iPad from the comfort of my sofa, or from my fantastic new smart phone which is with me pretty much everywhere.   And as I go about my customer journey with a particular brand, I often observe the lack of connection between the various touch points and that’s because many organizations are failing to “mind the gaps” in their customer experience.

In my opinion, these failures aren’t necessarily intentional. If fact, I think organizations are under more and more pressure to “mind the gaps” and get the customer experience right.  Maybe that’s why 22% of respondents in Oracle’s recent Global Customer Experience Survey said that improving the cross-channel experience is the top priority of their organizations’ customer experience program over the next twelve months. One of the problems, however, is that most companies have created systems to address most of these channels and touch points, but they’ve often created them independently, making it difficult to maintain consistent and meaningful interactions with a customer. What companies need to do is examine the infrastructure supporting the customer experience and move away from having these disjointed silos that create customer experience gaps. Oracle can help get you there.  How well are you minding the gaps in your customer experience?


Wednesday Apr 17, 2013

7 Ways to use Content to make your Business Healthier!

Join us on Thursday, April 18th at 1pm Eastern, 10am Pacific to learn about the 7 ways Content and the proper use of ECM can help improve the overall health of your business. We hope to see you then! 

Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

Thinking of Boston...

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
- the WebCenter team.

Monday Apr 15, 2013

Getting past Heartbreak Hill

UPDATE:  We're horrified to hear of the bombings that occurred today at the Boston Marathon.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured on Boylston Street today. 

Here in Boston, today is the day of the Boston Marathon.  One of the most difficult sections of the marathon course is a section called "Heartbreak Hill".  It begins about 20 miles into the race and while the ascent is only about 88 feet, it comes in the portion of a marathon distance where muscle glycogen stores are most likely to be depleted—a phenomenon referred to by marathoners as "hitting the wall."

When it comes to content management and how each of our organizations manage information, a lot of organizations have also hit the proverbial wall.  Information growth continues exponentially year after year and it can sometime seem as if there is nothing you can do about it besides throw more storage devices at the problem and hope that somehow the problem goes away.

Of course, we all know that the problems related to the growth of information are not going to go away.  We have to face them in order to make it easier for our fellow employees to find the content they need quickly, to facilitate more efficient business processes, reduce our exposure to risk and yes, reduce our storage infrastructure costs through archiving and disposition. 

What will you and your company do to push through the wall and overcome the business challenges created by the unchecked growth of business content?  To help you think about new ways to overcome your business challenges with better content management, we are having a webcast on the topic that we think you will find useful.  

Please join us on Thursday, April 18th at 1pm ET, 10am PT to learn about the Seven Ways Content Can Improve the Health of Your Business.    We will see you there!

Friday Apr 12, 2013

WebCenter Announcements at Collaborate 13

Greetings,

For those of you that were not able to attend the Collaborate 13 Conference in Denver this past week, there were some Oracle WebCenter specific announcements made by partners that deserve mention today.  

First, our friends at TeamInformatics announced an updated version of their Oracle WebCenter Sites Connector. TEAM developed the Sites Connector to provide the full enterprise content management features from WebCenter Content by making select content available to the WebCenter Sites toolkit.  This is a great new way to leverage the WebCenter Content repository and Digital Asset Management capabilities with WebCenter Sites.

The good folks at TekStream Solutions have announced their new WebCenter Content Connector that provides connectivity with WebCenter Portal and Spaces using Framework Folders.  As Troy Allen. TekStream's Director of Oracle WebCenter Solutions, put it in the press release picked up by the Denver Post"By literally bridging the technical gap between WCC's underlying new functionality of Framework Folders and the ease of exposing this content through WebCenter's Content Presenter capabilities, TekStream has brought together a unique solution to allow customers to maximize the very latest functionality of both of these products - now, versus having to implement a solution that uses an older version of the content repository."

The great teams at Arx and Bezzotech have joined forces to announce the availability of the new CoSign Connector for WebCenter Content.  This new connector is the only product that adds digital signature capability to Oracle WebCenter Content, enabling organizations that have invested in Oracle’s business automation solutions to completely eliminate paper from their signature-dependent processes, cutting out unnecessary costs and driving increased efficiency.  You can learn more about the CoSign technology at Arx.com and the services available from Bezzotech at bezzotech.com.

Finally, Fishbowl Solutions was showcasing their innovative mobile solution for Oracle WebCenter Content called FishbowlToGo. Currently available for either the iPhone or Android phones, this new app lets you take the power of managed content with you on your iPhone or Android while retaining benefits like consistent access to up-to-date versions, workflow approval and rejection, and a secure content repository.

It is great to see the growing number of solutions and other tools being provided for WebCenter by our innovative partners.  We hope you take a few minutes to check out their solutions and how they can potentially add value to your use of WebCenter. 

The show itself was well attended and there were many sessions dedicated to WebCenter and how to get the most from it in a variety of aspects.  Next years' event will be in Las Vegas but in the meantime, here's a little homemade highlight video clip of the scene at this years event.  http://youtu.be/uutTUfxagA8

See you next year! 

Thursday Apr 11, 2013

Visions of Innovation - Oracle's Winners

As one of our 2012 Oracle Excellence Award Winners in the Fusion Middleware Innovation category for Oracle WebCenter, News Limited Dominates Online News Publishing with Oracle. The spread of brands across the news landscape could not be managed effectively without the innovative use of Oracle WebCenter Sites.


Jason Brock of News Limited talks about how Oracle WebCenter Sites empowers hundreds of non-technical editorial staff to publish over 60% of Australia’s online news in record time. Improved online engagement fuels News Ltd sales and brand loyalty.

One of our other winners in 2012 in the Oracle WebCenter Category for Fusion Middleware Innovation was LADWP

LADWP Transformed Customer Experience with Oracle WebCenter

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, serving 1.6 million residential and commercial customers, mobile-enabled a customer service portal using Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Identity Management.


Upcoming Events and Deadlines:


New release of Oracle BPM Suite now available.
Register for the webinar to learn about the new features and see the demo.


LAST CALL: Oracle OpenWorld 2013: Call for Proposals

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 call for proposals!

If you have something interesting to present to the world’s largest gathering of Oracle technologists and business leaders, submit your presentation proposal today. This call for presentation proposals closes on Friday, April 12. Submit your nominations today!


Oracle Excellence Defined

Striving for success is what drives Oracle and its customers and partners to continually discover innovative uses for Oracle technology and to deploy successful and groundbreaking solutions and best practices. The Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation recognizes customers and partners that have excelled in driving business value together with Oracle in eight award categories. Nominations for 2013 Awards are now open. Details and nomination forms can be found here.

Wednesday Apr 10, 2013

Innovation Takes Courage

I've just returned from a roadtrip with my daughter to look at one of the colleges she's been accepted to attend next fall. Yes - with limited time to make a decision, we're attempting to hit as many of the admitted student open houses that we can to aid the decision process. As an admitted student, these trips take on a very different feel than our pre-application college roadtrips. Now, she needs to "try on" each school and see if the vibe of the campus fits her well. At this exciting time in her life, it was great to get out and spend some time with her on the open road on our 5hr+ drive to upstate NY. 

As we were driving, we were also conducting an experiment with our newly updated dashboard NAV/GPS in our Prius against our other older TomTom GPS. We programmed both for the exact same address and hit the GO - take us there button on each screen. Here's where the fun began. Our built in dashboard NAV (running off of a brand new latest version DVD) told us the drive would take 7+ hrs while our TomTom NAV reported closer to 5 hrs in a New Zealand accent. You can imagine, of course,  which one we were going to follow. Now - anyone familiar with the Boston area and NY knows that its pretty easy to just take the Mass Pike (90) to the NY ThruWay (90) and then hit all the windy country roads to reach any number of small liberal arts colleges nestled in beautiful little college towns. All along the route - our dashboard NAV would be directing us off of 90 to some other minor road or highway which we'd ignore - it became a guessing game as we'd skip the directed exit and watch the NAV recalculate the route and time to arrival. They still wouldn't match in ETA by very significant differences of hours.  We stopped and checked at one point to make sure that we really had entered the identical addresses into both devices. Same address - check.  We were amused and privately, I was formulating the complaint letter to Toyota in my head about the horrible product I had just upgraded (for a ridiculous price) from 2010 to the latest 2012 map data.

RECALCULATING


We stopped for a break with about 2 hrs left in our journey and stretched our legs. With the car now in PARK, we found another hidden setup menu of controls that was disabled as a safety feature while the car was in motion. Buried deep in a menu dungeon, we found our answer. As the default setting, a checkbox saying "AVOID TOLL ROADS" was checked. Everything made sense now for why the NAV was always trying to get us off of 90 (a toll-intensive highway) and onto alternative slower (but toll free) roads. As soon as we unchecked that box - VOILA! our ETA's for both NAVs were now aligned providing a discordant harmony between the New Zealand accent and the generic woman's voice - the only voice available on the dashboard NAV for every upcoming turn. The TomTom was turned off and put away. One small setting with huge ramifications for our journey. Our experience on the small backroads, while taking many hours more might also have been an interesting ride. The routes both ended up at the same place - each just took us on a different journey - a different experience with different points of reference along the way. Little did I know at the time, the powerful metaphor for the college experience was building around our journey and would also provide me a great intro for today's blog as well. 

The next morning, we were sitting in multiple sessions while the university admissions, faculty, students and special alumni guests spoke to us passionately about why our children should choose to matriculate at their school. Each spoke about the value of the journey our children were about to embark upon and how their programs would be the best fertile soil to aid the development of an already exceptional student into something even better. Creating the best environment to foster innovation across multiple disciplines was core to their pitch. They combined classes with Philosophy and Biology, History and Physics, Ancient Greece and Political Science, all the while causing students to step outside their comfort zones and approach topics from a completely different perspective. Taking risks, intellectually, was central to breaking age old patterns of traditional thinking. The administration would tend the soil, watch after the seedlings and produce a new crop of young adults with the ability to think critically, be nimble in new environments and experienced in approaching interdisciplinary challenges from new perspectives to find innovative solutions while working with others from a variety of backgrounds across the globe.

After numerous sessions throughout the day, I was firmly convinced that I wanted to go back to college and attend this school, but someone has to keep working to pay for it, so we finally hit the road to head home. Along the way, through small towns full of old silos and sagging barns - I couldn't help but wonder how many of these people were able to survive. There was no obvious industry or employment. My daughter and I talked about how people really needed to be resourceful and play with the hand you've been dealt the best you can to survive. It was at this point that we passed the sign for the "Petrified Creatures" Museum and we understood that innovation comes in all shapes and sizes across the world, often driven by looking at what you have in front of you and who you can pull together as a team to work together. Summed up by the fortune (above) from the fortune cookie I got with our less than stellar chinese takeout along the route home (I know.. what were we expecting...? ).

So... what does this have to do with Oracle WebCenter? Many of the Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Winners in the Oracle WebCenter category last year have shown that same spirit of tackling a problem from a different perspective for positive results. One of my favorites is the LOUI project. They were featured in an article in Oracle's Profit magazine in Feb. 2013 and are shown here below in a video talking about their project that brought together healthcare workers and technology innovators to solve a public healthcare challenge in Kentucky.


At Oracle Openworld 2012 the University of Louisville won the prestigious Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation in the Oracle WebCenter category for their implementation of the LOUI (Louisville Informatics Institute) Initiative, a Statewide Informatics Network, which will improve public healthcare and lower cost through the use of novel technology and next generation analytics, decision support and innovative outcomes-based payment systems.

Solution Summary
The University of Louisville (UofL)  is a state supported research university located in  Louisville, Kentucky, USA. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States.

UofL business objective was to develop tools that improve the acquisition, management, communication, processing, and sharing of healthcare information.

As part of the LOUI (Louisville Informatics Institute) Initiative, they implemented Oracle WebCenter Portal to provide a secure, personalized, and rich user experience and Oracle WebCenter Content  for the management of unstructured content and digital assets (such as streaming video) that  supports the on-going patient education, wellness, and treatment. Using the Oracle WebCenter products, the University of Louisville is now providing the infrastructure for their Facebook for medicine.

This project is anticipated to produce an annualized Return on Investment of 277% based on avoidance of hospitalizations, earlier intervention and improved patient compliance that is matched to an outcomes-based reimbursement model. 

University of Louisville
Company Overview
The University of Louisville (UofL) is a state supported research university located in  Louisville, Kentucky, USA. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States.

Business Challenges
Healthcare is in worldwide crisis, costs are rising, quality is inconsistent, and there is a need to integrate the expanding information upon which healthcare depends. Healthcare informatics is widely recognized as an opportunity to dramatically improve public health, service, and cost.  Since informatics spans the interfaces between medicine, science, and technology, it offers an opportunity to develop tools that improve the acquisition, management, communication, processing, and sharing of healthcare information. 

To address these challenges, UofL created the LOUI (Louisville Informatics Institute) Initiative, a Statewide Informatics Network, with the following objectives:

  • Deploying understandable patient specific informatics to underserved patients in order to improve treatment compliance
  • Empower Healthcare Knowledge Workers and Health Coaches with access to near time clinical data and engage the patient in their community 
  • Evaluating the impact of correlated physiologic data to claims data on risk adjusted reimbursement models that improve healthcare delivery and cost
  • Score illness severity in individual patients based on their changing blood chemistry values, and objectively measure treatment outcomes in patients with chronic diseases including kidney disease (CKD), diabetes, congestive heart disease, chronic infections, and hypertension

Solution Deployed

The University of Louisville has implemented Oracle WebCenter Portal to provide a secure, personalised, and rich experience specific for each person using it, regardless of role. To improve proactive management of patient healthcare, Oracle WebCenter Content is used for the management of unstructured content and digital assets (such as streaming video) that  supports the on-going patient education, wellness, and treatment.   This information can be tailored to the individual patient’s needs based on his or her particular treatment or condition.

Business Results
This project is anticipated to produce an annualized Return on Investment of 277% based on avoidance of hospitalizations, earlier intervention and improved patient compliance that is matched to an outcomes-based reimbursement model. 

This ROI is achieved by

1) Deploying understandable patient specific informatics to underserved patients in order to improve treatment compliance;

2) Expanding two new healthcare job roles:  Health Knowledge Managers and  “health coaches”

3) Evaluating the impact of correlated physiologic data to claims data on risk adjusted reimbursement models that improve healthcare delivery and cost.

Listen to Priscilla Hancock, CIO and VP  and Russell Bessette, Associated VP for Health Affair University of Louisville on how they use Oracle WebCenter to securely build communities and how they provide their Facebook for medicine.







Tuesday Apr 09, 2013

Learn more about WebCenter at Collaborate 2013!

Greetings from Collaborate 13 in snowy Denver, Colorado!  Day 1 of the show got underway yesterday with a powerful and moving presentation from Aron Ralston, the hiker whose ordeal was made famous in the movie 127 Hours.  A large crowd of over 5000 attendees is here for a wide variety of sessions, dozens of which are centered around the benefits possible when using WebCenter solutions as well as a large number of sessions on best practices and customization opportunities.

A spring snowstorm has hit the area but that clearly is not keeping the crowds away. If you are here in Denver, be sure to stop by the WebCenter demo area in the Oracle pavilion at the rear of the (very large) exhibit hall.  Solutions and live demos are available for WebCenter Portal, Imaging, Content, Sites and Social and you will have a chance to speak directly to the product managers responsible for these product areas.

We hope to see you in one of the many sessions this week or on the floor of the exhibit hall.  And for those of  you that could not make it this year, we hope to see you at the 2014 event - and it will be in Las Vegas (so much less chance of a snowstorm!). 

Monday Apr 08, 2013

Innovate & Collaborate


This week on your favorite WebCenter Blog, our theme will be “Innovate and Collaborate”. It’s a very timely topic since we have just kicked off the Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation and our ace reporter and WebCenter team member, Lance Shaw will be reporting LIVE from the Collaborate Conference in Denver, CO this week. We should be seeing some street level views of the activity in Denver and highlights of anything that Lance finds scintillating during his time there.

Oracle OpenWorld 2013: Call for Proposals

We’re excited to announce the opening of the Oracle OpenWorld 2013 call for proposals! If you have something interesting to present to the world’s largest gathering of Oracle technologists and business leaders, submit your presentation proposal today. This call for presentation proposals closes on Friday, April 12. Submit your nominations today!



Calling all Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovators

Submit your Nominations for the 2013 Oracle Excellence Awards: Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation        

Click here, to submit your nomination today
http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/awards/middleware/index.html

Oracle Excellence Awards

Call for Nominations: Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation 2013

Is your organization using Oracle Fusion Middleware to deliver unique business value? If so, let the world know and submit a nomination today for the 2013 Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation. These highly coveted awards honor customers for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware. Winners are selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture. Winners receive a free pass to Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco (September 22-26) and will be honored during a special event at OpenWorld.

Categories include:

To be considered for this award, complete the Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation nomination form for your specific category and send to Innovation-Middleware_us@oracle.com

NOTE: The deadline to submit all nominations is 5pm Pacific on June 18, 2013

Here's a collection of 2011 Winners talking about the importance of the awards to their companies


Friday Apr 05, 2013

Social + Mobile + Cloud = The New Paradigm for Business

Many companies and industries have been praising the real business benefits of Web 2.0, or more recently, social business, for several years, including:
  • Improving customer engagement
  • Increasing workforce productivity
  • Speeding and improving product and service innovation

It seems that lately, however, social business adoption has moved from “nice to have” to a strategic imperative. There are three intertwined trends that seem to be supercharging social business adoption: social, mobile & cloud.

The growth of social networks for business. Social networking accounts for 22% of all time spent online. Real business is taking place today in public and private social networks. It has moved far beyond using LinkedIn for recruiting or Facebook for consumer marketing outreach. The benefits accrue quickly from being able to communicate and collaborate easily with extended networks of employees, partners, customers, across internal and external social networks.

The increase of mobile computing. By the end of 2011, more smartphones shipped than PCs.  And Apple sold more iOS devices in 2011 than they sold Macs in 28 years. “Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work is an undeniable trend in the workplace, bringing freedom and convenience for users, but headaches for IT. Users want to interact anytime, anywhere, with localized, contextual content. And they aren’t afraid to sidestep IT if they don’t get the access they want. IT can try to ban access, but more often than not, needs to rethink their approach to mobile and secure those mobile devices to minimize risks from loss, theft or misuse.

The continued rise of Cloud computing. With Forrester alone estimating enterprise cloud computing to grow to over $240 billion by 2020, it’s hard to find ANY current IT project today not considering cloud-based deployments. The conversation is no longer one of outright rejection due to security and quality-of-service concerns. Instead, the discussion is about the right mix of capabilities for the business. What should be delivered by cloud vs. on premises? How do I ensure new services are integrated with the solutions I already have in place? What’s the right policy and governance model I should be looking for from my cloud services providers? What level of customization do I really need, and how much standardization can I get away with? Despite cloud’s increasing sophistication and security in applications, information stores, transaction processing, or even analytics, critical questions still remain.

What is your experience? What critical capabilities are you looking for? How are you combining these three trends?  What’s standing in your way?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

Maximizing Business Success when Capitalizing on Technology Trends

By John Brunswick


This year's Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit highlights opportunities for organizations to harness the nexus of social, mobile, information and cloud capabilities.  According to Gartner, "The forces combine to empower individuals as they interact with each other and their information through well-designed ubiquitous technology."

How does this nexus impact an organization's ability to support their business goals?  It is fair to say that these forces have been present in various formats for some time now? So what has changed?

Distilling the essence of the forces, we find that speed, agility and availability emerge as consistent threads.  Specifically, we see the speed of solution delivery, communication agility within and across channels, and the availability of analytical insight are all present.

Placing the above through the lens of organization's driving toward their business goals, it enables them to more rapidly attempt to address them.  Attempt being the operative word, as with the speed, agility and insight, the alignment of business strategy to technology strategy becomes even more important in enabling those goals to be met, while supplying a foundation of capabilities for a business to capitalize on their future objectives.

In many markets where products and services between vendors are comparable, key business differentiators will be tied to comprehensive engagement throughout the lifecycle of a relationship with a prospect or customer.  Without an investment in the consistent alignment of technical choices with the vision for the business strategy, discrete technical solutions can end up ultimately posing roadblocks.

Why is mobile computing considered disruptive?  It potentially shines light onto an organization's ability to expose their back office systems outwardly in a secure, contextually relevant way.  It implicitly shows the level of investment that organizations supply to align their information technology with their business vision.

Gartner highlights the forces within the nexus as "well-designed ubiquitous technology".  Considering well-designed in a holistic manner, outside of a discrete solution, capabilities that IT potentially needs to supply to the business to support initiatives like customer self-service require the knowledge of user profiles, single views of a customer and connectivity with various systems to support self-service activity.  Within the first phase of a particular mobile or self-service project, these aspects may not pose an issue, but to meet a future state, business vision may call for functionality to be included that prior decisions may render costly and complicated to deliver.

The nexus of social, mobile, information and cloud capabilities offer unprecedented opportunity to expedite and optimize delivery.  Organizations that will extract the most value from the nexus will do so by leveraging enterprise architecture practices to achieve long-term agility, making technology choices in line with principles that ensure the delivery of value beyond discrete technical solutions.  This allows organizations to then focus on business innovation, engaging with their customers and prospects, and outmaneuvering their competition, through the use of a technical foundation carefully aligned to support business innovation.

Will you be attending the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit in San Diego, CA, April 29-May 1? Oracle is proud to be a Silver sponsor, with a 30 minute breakfast session given by Christian Finn, Senior Director of Oracle WebCenter, and a booth on the show flow. We hope you’ll come find us to discuss the nexus of social, mobile, information and cloud capabilities!
About

Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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