Monday Sep 30, 2013

5 Coolest Features of the new WebCenter Portal (11.1.1.8)

 By Mitchell Palski, Sales Consultant, Oracle WebCenter

Coming off the heels of Oracle OpenWorld last week, I'm sure many of you saw and heard about the latest release of Oracle WebCenter (released in August of 2013). As you are probably aware, there were a number of changes that were made to the Oracle WebCenter Portal feature set that focus on two major themes:

  1. Knowledge Worker Tooling – ease-of-use for Portal development
  2. Mobility – create Portals that are targeted for mobile devices
The goals of targeting these themes include:
  1. Decreasing a dependency for developers to know ADF knowledge
  2. Improving access to Portals by supporting mobile web and native phone application user interfaces
Here is the complete list of New and Updated Features (from the Oracle Fusion Middleware Document Library) for the new release of Oracle WebCenter Portal:

End-User Experience
  • Rich user profile that consolidates information from multiple profiles (OSN, HCM, LDAP, and so on).
  • Improved search experience (supported with Oracle SES 11.2.2.2) that includes faceted search and document thumbnails.
Portal Builder
  • Simplified portal creation that includes in-place page creation.
  • Redesigned portal edit and administration user interface (Portal Builder) that consolidates tasks into fewer steps.
  • Simplified page creation and editing: 
    • Inline resource catalog (with support for component drag-and-drop onto a page)
    • Design, Select, Structure, and Preview views
  • Automatic update of portal navigation as new pages are created.
  • "Lazy provisioning" of tools—Oracle WebCenter Portal configures the back-end server at first use of a tool rather than at portal creation to speed the successful creation of a new portal.
  • Hierarchical page support (subpages).
  • Device Settings that control how your portal pages render on different devices, such smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers. Page variants can be created to target and optimally render a portal on specific groups of devices like iOS phones, iOS tablets, and others.
  • Responsive Content Presenter templates that provide an example of how you can use Content Presenter and CSS3 media queries to produce a responsive layout that adjusts to the width of the browser (for example, on smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers).
Administration
  • Simplified Oracle WebCenter Portal administration that includes a power user oriented experience with familiar concepts for legacy Oracle WebCenter Portal customers.
  • Impersonation, which allows a privileged user to impersonate another user for the purposes of verifying the other user's experience in Oracle WebCenter Portal and troubleshooting unexpected results.
  • Improved portal lifecycle tools that enable export/import and backup/recovery of one or more portals with minimal downtime.
  • Integrated Oracle WebCenter Portal's Pagelet Producer user interface within Oracle WebCenter Portal's administrative user interface to make system administrators aware of the existence of Pagelet Producer pagelets and to allow them to make these pagelets available to end users. Integrating the UIs also provides Pagelet Producer developers to easily navigate from Oracle WebCenter Portal where they see the pagelets to the Pagelet Producer Admin UI so they can create new or edit existing pagelets.
  • New page performance analyzer that shows you how long individual components take to display on a portal page, as well as the overall time taken to display a page. This new tool is useful to developers who are performing first level performance analysis, customers who build their own pages, and any user who customizes pages in Oracle WebCenter Portal.
Development Environment
  • Developers can use Expression Language (EL) to retrieve information about Device Settings. Device Settings control how your portal pages render on different devices including smart phones, tablets, and desktop browsers.
  • Simplified custom shared library development and deployment. Oracle WebCenter Portal provides a new JDeveloper template that enables you to build custom components, such as task flows, data controls, and managed beans and deploy them in shared libraries directly to the Oracle WebCenter Portal server.
From this new feature set, I want to share my five favorite features of the new Oracle WebCenter Portal release. My opinions are solely based on my own opinions. Click here to read more about me.

5. Easy Page and Site structure creation

In previous releases, creating Pages was a step that had to be done after creating a Portal. The Portal admin would pick a template that had pre-configured services, create the Portal, and then go to the Pages tab and add the pages that their Portal requires. In the new release this process is streamlined to include setting up your site structure at the time a Portal is initially created.

Here are the benefits:
  • Less steps (clicks) for page creation
  • Only add the system pages that you need
  • New easy-to-use syntax gives you a visual representation of Portal navigation
The new syntax for page creation when building a Portal works like this:
  • List the names of pages and separate them with commas
  • To indicate that a page should be in the second level of navigation, prefix it with a plus sign
  • To indicate that a page should be a system page, suffix it with ->[name of system page]
4. Mobile UI per-device previews

In previous releases, an Oracle WebCenter business user could preview Portal pages to see how they will appear to end users when they view the Portal through their desktop browsers. I won’t waste space by telling you how mobile devices are the new interfaces into web portals because I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this article you already know that. Now the challenge becomes developing and testing renditions of desktop interfaces that actually work on your end-users’ mobile devices.

Every family of mobile devices renders web interfaces a little differently than the next. It’s frequently the case that individual devices within those families surface web interfaces differently than others. That’s where the new Mobile Device preview feature really comes in handy for Oracle WebCenter developers.

Here are the benefits:
  • Mobile device preview fits into your rapid development SDLC methodology – make a change, preview the page immediately through a web interface
  • Group mobile devices together for best-fit user interfaces
  • Easy to plan-ahead when considering mobile devices for your Enterprise

Mobile device settings work like this:

  • Create device groups and assign specific devices to that group
  • Create a page template each device or device-group
  • Create page variants for those pages that do not render well in specific devices or device-groups
  • Configure the Portal to leverage mobile templates and variants
I do agree with Oracle Product management that this entire feature set is powerful, flexible, and ground-breaking for web Portal development. However, the coolest part of the Oracle WebCenter Portal’s mobility features is undoubtedly the preview feature.

3. Drag-and-drop Page Composer

Fleshing out a Portal page used to be a very tedious process. First you have to get into edit mode, then open the Resource Catalog, then select the taskflow to add to a page, then position that taskflow, then save, then close the page. You couldn’t switch pages from Edit view, you couldn’t clearly see what taskflows were already on the page, and the resource catalog was difficult to navigate. NO MORE!

This feature of the new Oracle WebCenter Portal release epitomizes the theme of “Knowledge Worker Tooling”. Oracle Product Management has created a page building experience that non-software developers will actually enjoy using, and be able to use through a web browser.

Here are the benefits:
  • Easily create pages so that they automatically display correctly in the site navigation
  • Navigate between pages without leaving Edit mode
  • Add taskflows from an in-context resource catalog to pages using drag-and-drop
  • Quickly build pages while and speed up your development schedule
Accessing Edit Mode is Easy!

If you have the proper rights and privileges, a user can either leverage the out-of-the-box “Actions” menu or they can simply use a simple key-stroke combination of Ctrl+Shift+E. Legacy custmers should be familiar with the similar use of Ctrl+Shift+C to enter in-context editing mode for content presenter taskflows.


Once you’re in edit mode, put on your UX Designer hat for a minute and think about how much easier Oracle Composer is to use now. The various design views are more intuitive to access, the page development is easier to use, pages can be added to a Portal directly from this screen, and the preview tools are within reach. Product Management really closed the navigational loops for Portal developers and removed all the dead-ends that used to exist in these interfaces.

Did I mention Page Editor faster to use now?? Smile and rejoice!

2. Impersonation

If you’re a Facebook user and you have any friends who are ex-girlfriends/ex-boyfriends, family members, co-workers, or members of your church group, you should have some experience with the “View as…” privacy feature. In customer use cases, security won’t be based on hiding relationship statuses from disgruntled exes and censoring spring break photos from Pastor Bob (I hope). Instead, user experiences will be based on department groups, project teams, and/or hierarchical roles. When your organization grows and your security policies grow more complex, it’s important to be responsive and accurate to additions and changes. The impersonation tool for WebCenter is great because it allows an admin to assume the profile of another user and view their user experience in a Portal.

Have you ever called into a help desk because you experienced something you’ve never seen before on a web site? Did you have a hard time explaining what the issue was? Or where the support guy/girl should click to re-create the issue? I know I’ve wasted a lot of time on the phone trying to explain myself to customer service representatives, which is why I love the idea of impersonation for troubleshooting help desk tickets. Rather than explaining things over the phone, or taking screen shots, or sharing your screen, now you can grant temporary impersonation access to your support resource. Let him/her log into your profile and try to accomplish the same task you are having an issue with and see if they experience the same problem. Take out the middle steps, close the virtual space between two talking heads, and simplify the process of correcting your issues.

Here are the benefits:
  • Provide a user with the ability to impersonate other users
  • Full traceability in system logs (ex: username will show up as “john.smith impersonating jane.doe”)
  • Control over which users/roles/groups are allowed to grant impersonation right and receive impersonation rights
1. Page performance analyzer

I’ve experienced customers with many different types of use cases, each with their own specific set of performance requirements. With mobility moving to the forefront of the modern organization’s mind, so must page performance. In order to improve your page-load times, you need to be aware of how much overhead each component of a page is costing you. Oracle WebCenter’s page-performance analyzer is a really neat tool that allows a development team to easily inspect how long each section of a page is taking to load.

Here are the benefits:
  • Quickly see how long individual components take to display on a portal page, as well as the overall time taken to display a page
  • This tool is useful to developers who are performing first level performance analysis, customers who build their own pages, and any user who customizes pages in Oracle WebCenter Portal.
Learn more:
I won’t re-write what’s already there, so please follow these links for more details information on the Oracle WebCenter Page Performance Analyzer:
Conclusion
So there you have it folks – the 5 coolest features of the new Oracle WebCenter Portal 11.1.1.8 release according to your favorite Oracle WebCenter blogger. This is my first article but will be one of many, so please provide your feedback in the comments section and let me know how I can improve!

Friday Sep 27, 2013

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 – It’s a Wrap

As we come to the end of Oracle OpenWorld 2013, I thought I’d reflect on some of my favorite aspects of this truly dynamic event: 

Oracle WebCenter Customer Appreciation Reception

This year’s Oracle WebCenter Customer Appreciation Reception was one of our best and definitely a highlight of my trip.  The reception moved to a great new venue in 2013, San Francisco’s Old Mint, a National Historic Landmark where the Oracle WebCenter community had the chance to mingle and make new connections. Many thanks to our partners aurionPro SENA, Bluenog, Fishbowl Solutions, Fujitsu, Keste, Redstone Content Solutions and Tekstream for sponsoring! 

San Francisco's Old Mint Lit Up in Oracle Red

Oracle WebCenter Customer Success Stories

This year’s lineup of customers participating in Oracle WebCenter sessions was truly impressive. Our various WebCenter customer panel and conference sessions gave everyone the chance to hear real world experiences with various WebCenter products whether Content, Portal, or Sites.  Standouts for me (coming from the WebCenter Sites side of the house), were the travel and hospitality brand, Choice Hotels, electrical and network infrastructure solutions provider, Panduit, world renowned football club, Real Madrid, and financial services provider, TIAA-CREF. A special thanks to all our WebCenter customers who put their time and effort into sharing their stories with the broader WebCenter community. 

The Oracle WebCenter Community

And that brings me to my final and favorite aspect of Oracle OpenWorld 2013 – the Oracle WebCenter community itself. Oracle OpenWorld is unmatched in providing you with opportunities to interact and engage with other WebCenter customers and WebCenter experts from among our partner and employee communities. It was great to see everyone and I look forward to seeing you all again next year. 

Thursday Sep 26, 2013

Ain't Nothing Like the Real (Customer) Thing!

Greetings from San Francisco!

One of the best things about Oracle OpenWorld, besides the sailing events that come down to the wire, are the customer stories you get to hear about first hand.  Here on the WebCenter team, we are very proud of our history of customer success and with that in mind, we have had a number of customer panel sessions where attendees learn firsthand about how WebCenter has been of real-world benefit - and how they can reap the same when they return home.  Here is a sample of the great customers that have joined us on stage this year at OpenWorld to share how they use WebCenter.

Starwood Hotels:  This global hospitality organizations uses WebCenter to organize, locate and access records; create and manage documents; collaborate on projects; and facilitate document review and legal requests through workflows related to property management contracts.  The legal department utilizes WebCenter for contract management, compliance, tracking, auditing, and collaboration; with visibility to identify opportunities and risks based on reliable information; and determine access controls.

Panduit:  With Oracle WebCenter Sites, they have improved the volume and quality of sales leads through increased registrations and customer interactions, making it easy for global visitors to find the right information quickly. Panduit has also eliminated the need for multiple technology stacks (.NET, JSP, ASP, Oracle, etc.), further simplifying their infrastructure and support requirements.

TIAA-CREF:  Has consolidated the multiple of WCM platforms into one centralized platform, providing internal and external consumers with an enhanced experience in managing and using online content offerings, while reducing costs and the technical footprint.

Faribault Foods:  Securely manages over 100,000 records (and rapidly growing) related to food production and quality procedures. WebCenter is also used by other departments such as Engineering, Safety, Sales, Planning, Training, and Procurement.

Choice Hotels: Is using Oracle WebCenter Sites to transform their distribution platform and digital marketing capabilities and create a new environment to support international websites.

CBEYOND:  Uses WebCenter to manage accounts payable invoices and expenses via native integration with Oracle e-Business Suite to reduce processing time and costs.

How are you using WebCenter?  Let us know and who knows, maybe next year you can join us on stage at OpenWorld 2014 to share your successes with the world.

For more customer stories and other information about the value of WebCenter solutions, be sure to visit our web pages at www.oracle.com/webcenter.

Tuesday Sep 24, 2013

OOW13-FMW Innovation Awards

Evernote Export

Lan Research Theater

2013 Oracle Excellence Awards for
Fusion Middleware Innovation

We joined together on Monday afternoon at Oracle OpenWorld in the beautiful Lam Research Theater at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco to celebrate the winners of Fusion Middleware Innovation.

Our relationship with our customers and partners is a relationship whereby we provide ongoing technology innovation and our customers and partners take that technology and teach us new ways to innovate.

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.

This program started 7 years ago with the intent of recognizing customers for achieving significant business value through innovative uses of Oracle Fusion Middleware. When we first held the awards in 2007, we received 68 submissions across just a few categories and products. 

For the last 7 years we have recognized and honored close to 150 award winners spanning multiple categories across Fusion Middleware. This year, we received over 260+ nominations from Oracle Fusion Middleware customers across 8 categories. This year we selected 18 winners. The award is global and every year, we are grateful to receive submissions from around the world.

The success of the Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation program is due to the support of our Oracle leads, product teams, sales teams, marketing, senior management, judges, partners and user group communities. However, the true success of the award program has always been our customers that have taken the time to submit their nominations and compete intensely for the chance to become a recognized leader of Innovation.

Congratulations to all our Fusion Middleware Innovation Winners for 2013!

Oracle Excellence Awards Fusion Middleware Innovation


ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
ORACLE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK AND FUSION DEVELOPMENT

Infotech
  • Mobile system includes 7/24 tracking, management, messaging & reporting services. Back tracking up to 6 months. More productive – less fuel expense and faster service delivery
  • 5,000 tps with multilingual solution supporting more than 50,000 mobile devices tracked. Number of vehicles in the system increased 3X in 6 months
  • Sales revenue has doubled while maintenance cost per mobile unit dropped by 50% with over 800 customers worldwide. Full Oracle technology stack implementation


Schneider National Inc
  • Decreased number of vendors that are part of the technology platform resulting in a complete Oracle Technology Stack
  • Lowered the cost of ownership to build and maintain their custom applications with 3X improvement in how applications were previously built
  • Met all user requirements across many applications and services with rich UI functionality leveraging ADF as the base for mobile development


ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
SERVICE-ORIENTED ARCHITECTURE AND BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT

Telefonica Movistar Mexico and their partner S&P Solutions
  • Offered a Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) platform to their business partners leveraging Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle Enterprise Repository on Exalogic integration with Tuxedo based applications
  • Supports both JSON/REST services for a self-service mobile (iOS, Android) application and SOAP services for other client applications
  • Achieved a 20% annual ROI and a 40% reduction in Time to Market


Wyndham Exchange and Rentals
  • Provides a 360-degree experience  for WER customers leveraging e-commerce, mobile commerce, social and cloud offerings on a SOA platform
  • Replaced  all heavyweight point-to-point WebMethods integrations to legacy mainframe API’s  with 100’s of stateless web services and orchestrations implemented with Oracle SOA Suite and hosted on Oracle Service Bus
  • Achieved 30% annual ROI, reduce time to market from 12 Months to 12 Weeks, and launched a mobile version of the site which contributes 6% of the overall traffic


Sicredi
  • Corporate portal based on Oracle WebCenter & BPM, unifying all tools and processes such as Loans Approval, running on Exalogic
  • Used Siebel CRM as front-end, connecting it with back-end core banking systems, and using BPM for process automation, WebCenter Content for content management, BAM for monitoring of Business KPI’s
  • All Sicredi employees (around 15,000) in more than 1,100 branches spread across Brazilian territory use this portal. Employees can now vote and approve a loan in less than one day; 300% improvement.

ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
ORACLE DATA INTEGRATION

Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Oracle GoldenGate solves timeliness, quality and consistency challenges between critical Customer Grading operational systems and its analytics counterpart
  • Oracle Data Integrator makes changes available in analytics systems the same day they are deployed on the operational system with 100% data quality guarantee
  • Reduced time to market for solutions by 3 to 6 months, 100% data consistency between source and target systems, real-time availability of data, material reduction in Business Risk Weighted Assets


The Yalumba Wine Company and their partner Bristlecone
  • Drove rapid growth modernization requirements for existing manufacturing processes to meet globalization demands, overall time-to-market, and better operational efficiency objectives of product development
  • Oracle Data Integrator is leveraged to pull data from Salesforce.com and JD Edwards and other source systems for consumption by data warehouse
  • Provides better visibility for the business users, shorter data loading and transformation performance to their data warehouse with rapid incorporation of new data sources, and a solid future-proof foundation for their organization


ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
ORACLE IDENTITY MANAGEMENT

Putnam Investments and their partner APTEC
  • Migrated 80 core applications from Sun Access Manager to Oracle Access Manager in a year’s time
  • Replaced a competitive Identity Management solution with Oracle Identity Manager to automate access requests and approval workflows
  • Allows Putnam to grow and expand into new market areas like mobile  through a common converged security infrastructure


ANZ Bank and their partner Oracle Consulting
  • Migrated their award winning mobile banking application from an Identity Silo over to the Oracle IDM Platform to provide device registration, authentication, authorizations and application SSO
  • Provides a consistent customer experience regardless of how they access the system (Mobile, Web, ATM…)
  • Using a single security layer resulted in extremely high levels of code reuse and 60% reduction of interfaces needed internally


ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
BUSINESS ANALYTICS(ORACLE BI, ORACLE EPM, AND ORACLE EXALYTICS)

WellPoint and their partner InterRel
  • Largest Health Insurer in America and 1st company in the world live on Oracle EPM 11.1.2.3 on Exalytics
  • In response to the Affordable Care Act (2010), their implementation actually reduced the total cost of ownership by 50% with a simpler environment that is faster and easier to maintain
  • Increased performance by up to 4-fold while saving hundreds of thousands of dollars


Sita and their partner Infosys
  • Transformed finance & procurement for a complete end to end integrated reporting and analysis solution
  • Finance shared services center unification powered by Oracle BI Applications, EPM Applications, Essbase, SOA, DRM, Data Integration, E-Business Suite, Oracle Database
  • Just in time analysis of spending delivered to executives and business managers


ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
ORACLE CLOUD APPLICATION FOUNDATION

Pegasus Solutions
  • Connects ~100,000 hotels globally to all global distribution systems (Sabre, Galileo, Wordspan, Amadeus) and major online distributors (Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire, etc.)
  • Used sophisticated caching abilities of Coherence to provide excellent user experience, and decrease load to systems
  • Reduced time to complete transactions by 98% ; 25% increase in throughput; increased availability in event of partner service outage


NTT Docomo, Inc.
  • Implemented real time sales and contract management system enabling all services requested by customers for immediate activations before customer leaves the DOCOMO store
  • Business drivers: more robust DR strategy, room to grow the business, and ability to move custom Java development to a platform with built in standards - WebLogic Suite and JRockit
  • Results: better performance; better reliability; better stability: <100msec GC pause time; smooth migration


Telefonica
  • Delivers consolidation, performance, scalability, reduced complexity and OPEX with better monitoring and diagnostics
  • Running over 40,000 Tuxedo services, all fronted by WebLogic Server, managing over 250 M transactions per day; consolidated 26 servers onto 3 Exalogic half racks
  • Resulting in ZERO downtime, 10x performance increase; more than 6,500 million business services executed per month with peaks close to 10 billion


ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
ORACLE WEBCENTER

Choice Hotels and their partner Thought-Matrix
  • Supporting $6B worth of Reservation Activity to 6000+ franchisees.  Over 6M website visits annually. Over 27M page views annually. 6 languages supported
  • Consolidated four different CMS platforms with WebCenter Sites and created a Content Center of Excellence. Local Teams around the world can now easily manage their content
  • Standardized on a platform thus reducing their Total Cost of Ownership and decreasing Time to Market


Statoil Fuel & Retail and their partner L&T Infotech
  • Integrated a single end-to-end solution catering to customers across 8 different countries and languages and multiple profiles (with DB driven translations) to offer fuel and lubricants
  • Solution utilizing the best in class products: WebCenter Portal, WebCenter Content, IDM, SOA, JDE and CRM On-Demand to deliver a fast, secure, robust and scalable solution
  • Consolidated more than 10 existing SAP portals into a common personalized portal for Partners, Station Managers and Support Staff exposing JDE Enterprise One portlets for quick JDE access and integrated enterprise portal


ORACLE FUSION MIDDLEWARE INNOVATION:
ORACLE EXALOGIC ELASTIC CLOUD

University of Melbourne
  • Business transformation including platform refresh and new data center rollout
  • High performance Oracle Exalogic & Exadata platform provides an integrated infrastructure – Currently runs E-Business Suite, Student Portal, Integration & Identity Management
  • The Oracle Exalogic & Exadata solution has enabled 3 Million+ logins in 3 months, 5 seconds maximum response time for all transactions in Student Portal, 20% savings by reusing data services when building new applications


NTT Communications Corporation
  • Ranked No.1 in telecom industry in the Fortune Global 500 and going through business transformation from landline to mobile
  • Improved user experience, capacity, operational workload and provides competitive services and sales tools to support proactive sales activities
  • Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata solution achieved performance requirement of 84M transactions per minute for real time traffic monitoring without packet loss

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There were also 8 Partners recognized across Fusion Middleware as part of these winning nominations and so many others who worked hard to submit nominations that weren’t winning awards this year but certainly deserved one.

Congratulations to these Innovative Oracle Partners!

Oracle Excellence Awards Fusion Middleware Innovation Partners


Friday Sep 20, 2013

Best Practices for Multichannel Marketing

This article first appeared in the September issue of the Oracle WebCenter InDepth Newsletter. Get best practices and deployment advice from Oracle expert John Brunswick in this column. Passionate about both business and technology, John focuses on maximizing IT's ability to streamline and optimize business.

As organizations look to increase conversion rates for sales of their products and services, a focus on creating a cohesive marketing strategy becomes essential. The wide range of channels, publishing, and personalization capabilities available today presents incredible opportunities—but simply publishing content across a range of channels is only the first step in this journey. Here are some pragmatic, though not comprehensive, considerations for embarking on multichannel marketing efforts.

Establish a common customer view. To deliver meaningful content personalization across one or more channels, the ability to leverage a common customer view is essential. This key technical capability forms a foundation that can be reused across marketing efforts.

Filter and liberate profile data. Between web logs, customer relationship management information, enterprise resource planning data, application usage, in-store activities, direct-mail responses, and other sources, determine what portions of information are truly significant as they pertain to the common customer view. Ensure that marketing has the ability to access and analyze the information without the need for IT staff.

Coordinate systems. Given that the number of channels is only set to expand, it is critical that any integrations across systems leverage flexible technical patterns. Any system or data types to be included should follow a consistent reference model to ensure standardization and scale.

Implement overarching campaign analytics and management. The ability to perform closed-loop analysis is critical to refining customer interaction analysis and marketing segments. Marketing activities should always tie back to a centralized campaign management capability.

Consider content creation effort. Brand and message consistency across web, retail stores, catalogs, direct mail, mobile, and other channels is crucial. Content creation effort is often drastically underestimated, especially when developing authentic, targeted materials within a campaign.

Read more from John Brunswick.

Spotlight Oracle OpenWorld Session - Oracle WebCenter Sites Strategy and Vision [CON9401]

Featuring Real Madrid Club de Futbol

Monday, Sep 23, 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM

Moscone West - 2016

The Web content management market has gone through rapid changes in recent years as objectives have evolved from facilitating content publishing to optimizing the digital customer experience. Our multichannel world—with social media, mobile, and e-mail—has added complexity for digital marketers and has changed the perception of what role corporate brand Websites are supposed to play in this new era. In this session, learn what’s new in Oracle WebCenter Sites 11.1.1.8, what’s coming on the product roadmap, and how the solution is evolving so you can continue to deliver engaging cross-channel experiences that keep your business moving forward. You’ll also hear from Real Madrid about how it used Oracle WebCenter Sites to transform its digital experience.

Thursday Sep 19, 2013

Digital Marketers! Don’t Miss These Sessions at Oracle OpenWorld

Are you a digital marketer attending Oracle OpenWorld?  If so, you'll want to include these sessions in your schedule to learn the latest in mobile marketing, cross-channel marketing and targeting and segmentation:

Developing a Mobile Marketing Strategy: Trade-offs, Challenges, and Best Practices [CON9427]

Wednesday, Sep 25, 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM

Moscone West – 2012

Establishing a mobile Web presence is becoming a critical business imperative. Although this is clear to many organizations, they’re also uncertain about how to do this most effectively, from both a development and a marketing perspective. Challenges include determining which strategy to pursue, development versus maintenance trade-offs, and addressing synchronization challenges with the traditional Website. This presentation provides an overview of alternative mobile strategy approaches, outlines development options, and discusses best practices. It introduces the Oracle WebCenter Sites mobile strategy and provides a customer’s perspective on reducing development and marketing efforts while keeping online and mobile Websites in sync, using responsive design.

Oracle AppAdvantage: Optimize Cross-Channel Marketing with Oracle Fusion Middleware [CON9271]

Wednesday, Sep 25, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Moscone West – 2014

Effective marketing campaigns deliver a seamless customer experience across touchpoints—from e-mail to the Web and mobile—with the right content presented to the right customer at the right time. Ultimately, the goal is to influence behavior to drive conversions, but how do you get there? In this session, you will learn how integrating a marketing automation system such as the Oracle Eloqua product family with Oracle Fusion Middleware technology for Web experience management and discovery-based analytics provides a cross-channel marketing solution that streamlines marketing content creation, integrates customer data stored in disparate systems for more-effective targeting, and harmonizes behavioral data across touch points to provide campaignwide insight.

Maximize Conversion Rates and Revenues with Personalized Digital Experiences [CON9429]

Wednesday, Sep 25, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Moscone West – 2016

Want to increase your online conversion rates and deliver more revenue for your business? Attend this session to learn how the combination of Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle Real-Time Decisions enables organizations to deliver highly targeted and personalized digital experiences that convert site visitors into loyal customers. Using the power of predictive analytics, this integrated solution provides marketers with powerful capabilities for automatically targeting the right content to the right customer at the right time so they can optimize their investment in digital marketing initiatives.

Wednesday Sep 18, 2013

Multichannel Digital Engagement: Find Out How Your Organization Measures Up

This article first appeared in the September issue of Oracle WebCenter InDepth Newsletter.

Thanks to mobile and social technologies, interactive online experiences are now commonplace. Not only that, they give consumers more choices, influence, and control than ever before. So how can you make your organization stand out?

Christie Flanagan, Oracle’s principal director of Product Marketing for Oracle WebCenter Sites, lays out the key building blocks for delivering exceptional cross-channel digital experiences. Also, a new assessment tool is available to help you measure your organization's ability to deliver such experiences.

A clearly defined digital strategy. The customer journey is growing increasingly complex, encompassing multiple touchpoints and channels. It used to be easy to map marketing efforts to specific offline channels; for example, a direct mail piece with an offer to visit a store for a discounted purchase. Now it is more difficult to cultivate and track such clear cause-and-effect relationships.

To deliver an integrated digital experience in this more complex world, organizations need a clearly defined and comprehensive digital marketing strategy that is backed up by an integrated set of software, middleware, and hardware solutions.

Strong support for business agility and speed-to-market. As both IT and marketing executives know, speed-to-market and business agility are key to competitive advantage. That means marketers need solutions to support the rapid implementation of online marketing initiatives—plus the flexibility to adapt quickly to a changing marketplace. And IT needs tools with the performance, scalability, and ease of integration to support marketing efforts. Both teams benefit when business users are empowered to implement marketing initiatives on their own, with minimal IT intervention.

The ability to deliver relevant, personalized content. Delivering a one-size-fits-all online customer experience is no longer acceptable. Customers expect you to know who they are, including their preferences and past relationship with your brand. That means delivering the most relevant content from the moment a visitor enters your site.

To make that happen, you need a powerful rules engine so that marketers and business users can easily define site visitor segments and deliver content accordingly. That includes both implicit targeting that is based on the user’s behavior, and explicit targeting that takes a user’s profile information into account. Ideally, the rules engine can also intelligently weight recommendations when multiple segments apply to a specific customer.

Support for social interactivity. With the advent of Facebook and LinkedIn, visitors expect to participate in and contribute to your web presence—and share their experience on their own social networks. That requires easy incorporation of user-generated content such as comments, ratings, reviews, polls, and blogs; seamless integration with third-party social networking sites; and support for social login, which helps to remove barriers to social participation.

The ability to deliver connected, multichannel experiences that include powerful, flexible mobile capabilities. By 2015, mobile usage is projected to surpass that of PCs and other wired devices. In other words, mobile is an essential element in delivering exceptional online customer experiences. This requires the creation and management of mobile experiences that are optimized for delivery to the thousands of different devices that are in use today. Just as important, organizations must be able to easily extend their traditional web presence to the mobile channel and deliver highly personalized and relevant multichannel marketing initiatives while also managing to minimize the time and effort required to manage mobile sites.

Are you curious to know how your organization measures up when it comes to delivering an engaging, multichannel digital experience? If so, take this brief, 15-question online assessment and see how your organization scores in the areas of digital strategy, digital agility, relevance and personalization, social interactivity, and multichannel experience.

Spotlight Oracle OpenWorld Session - Customer Panel:

Using Oracle WebCenter Sites to Drive Digital Marketing Success [CON9424]

Featuring Choice Hotels, Panduit Corp., and TIAA-CREF

Tuesday, September 24, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Moscone West – 2016

Every year the online channel becomes more imperative for driving organizational top-line revenue, but for many companies, mastering how to best market their products and services in a fast-evolving digital world with high customer expectations for personalized experiences can be a complex proposition. Come to this panel discussion, and hear directly from digital marketers how they are succeeding today by using Web experience management to drive marketing success, using capabilities such as targeting and optimization, user-generated content, mobile site publishing, and site visitor personalization to deliver engaging online experiences.

Tuesday Sep 17, 2013

Check Out the September Issue of the Oracle WebCenter Newsletter

The latest issue of the Oracle WebCenter InDepth Newsletter is out.  This month's issue recaps the cool new enhancements to Oracle WebCenter, highlights things you don't wan't to miss at Oracle OpenWorld, and features best practices for multichannel marketing with Oracle WebCenter. Check it out!

Oracle WebCenter InDepth Newsletter


Monday Sep 16, 2013

Fun, Fun, Fun @ Oracle OpenWorld

Everyone knows that Oracle OpenWorld is packed with information-rich conference sessions and in-depth product demonstrations featuring the latest technology.  Another thing Oracle OpenWorld is packed with is fun, fun, fun.  Check out some recommended ways for upping the fun factor during your trip:

Oracle OpenWorld Welcome Reception
Sunday, September 22, 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Yerba Buena Gardens & Howard Street Tent

Oracle OpenWorld kicks off in high gear at this year’s supercharged Oracle OpenWorld Welcome Reception at the new Oracle Plaza @ Howard Street and the adjacent Yerba Buena Gardens. This year’s reception presents a one-of-a-kind San Francisco street party. Feast on global street food as local indie bands jam from the Howard Street stage and a DJ rocks Yerba Buena Gardens. You can make your mark on a graffiti wall, get your groove on to silent disco, climb a rock wall, or just hang with the cool crowd in one of our chill-out lounges.

Oracle WebCenter Customer Appreciation Reception

Monday, September 23, 6:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.
Old Mint, Old Mint Plaza
RSVP by September 20

The Oracle WebCenter Customer Appreciation Reception is a can’t miss private cocktail reception for Oracle WebCenter customers. Sponsored by Oracle WebCenter partners, aurionPro SENA, Bluenog, Fishbowl Solutions, Fujitsu, Keste, Redstone Content Solutions and Tekstream, this evening will provide plenty of time to interact with other WebCenter customers, partners and employees over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

Oracle Appreciation Event
Wednesday, September 25, 7:30 p.m.—12:00 a.m.
Treasure Island, San Francisco

The magic begins on your way across the San Francisco Bay Bridge, where internationally acclaimed artist Leo Villareal has created the world's largest LED light sculpture (take the complimentary shuttle so you can enjoy the spectacular display in safety). Arrive on Treasure Island, which has been transformed to celebrate Oracle customers and partners. Bedazzle yourself with 360-degree views of Bay Area skylines, play a game or two between acts, and most of all, enjoy. And who are those acts?  Only The Black Keys and Maroon 5. Don’t miss it.

Featured OpenWorld Session - Oracle WebCenter Customer Panel [CON9565]
Featuring Enel, Statoil Fuel & Retail, Toyota Motor Sales USA
Wednesday, September 25, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Moscone West - 2016

In this session, a group of customers from real-world implementations of Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle WebCenter Content, and Oracle WebCenter Sites discusses best practices and lessons learned. The panel explores topics such as securing business stakeholders for project sponsorship, planning for successful go-live, measuring and achieving business benefits, and continuing the process to optimize and evolve projects’ impact on business.




Thursday Sep 12, 2013

SHOUTING ABOUT ENGAGEMENT WITH WEBCENTER

Does shouting about something really get it more attention or just annoy people listening? 

Today - we are SHOUTING: DON'T MISS THE WEBCENTER WEBCAST TODAY! to get your attention to make sure that you take 1/2 hour of your time to watch the WebCenter webcast. 10 AM PST 1 PM EST.

Don't miss today's webcast! Oracle Unveils New Release of Oracle WebCenter. New Release Includes Updates Across Entire Oracle WebCenter Portfolio to Help Organizations Enhance Mobile Engagement with Customers, Partners and Employees. Engagement = Success!

Don't Miss this Webcast!

Wednesday Sep 11, 2013

We Will Never Forget

United we stand. United we remember.


Tuesday Sep 10, 2013

My Theory of Inverse Relationships: Technical Sophistication vs Compensating Customer Service

Statistics are everywhere – people that are engaged in life and work are generally happier people because their needs are met without excessive hassles.  Download Employee Engagement Report Free Today!
As we move towards a more self-service technology-enabled culture, I have a theory of inverse relationships that is starting to take shape. I have had a few more experiences over the past couple of weeks that lay credence to my nascent theory.

I believe that there is an inverse relationship between the technical sophistication of companies and their person-to-person relationships. You may remember a post I did right around this time of year a couple of years ago entitled “Mayberry RFD meets the WWW” that started to examine my perspective. I'm still a believer.

As many of our readers know from my previous posts, my family is now in the beginning of the college years and we’ve just delivered our daughter to a beautiful small liberal arts University in upstate NY. Wish her well as she focuses on Neuroscience to cure all of our imminent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I hope I remember to thank her someday.  Because of this – I’ve had a lot of drive time (5 hrs each way) to do some thinking about this subject and some experiences over the process.

I’ll start with a recent experience with my local spring water delivery service. This company has been around for eons and very service-focused. As I’ve been trying to do all my bill paying online and we hadn't ordered water for a couple of years, I took a look at their website to see if I could just pay my bill by credit card. Sure enough – they have a “Pay your bill online” button on their site. When clicked, I was presented with a form to fill out and a submit button. Easy, painless and fast. Yet I received no email confirmation of my payment that is usually the norm with online payments of this sort. Suspicious and concerned that I perhaps just distributed my credit card number to a phishing expedition – I emailed the company and had a response within a couple of hours that read something to the effect of (I’ll paraphrase) – “Oh ya – that’s never worked – give us a call and we can take care of it over the phone…”  So – here’s a small company trying to survive against its much larger competitors with a bigger regional footprint that hasn’t prioritized their online bill pay as worth the investment or PREFERS to have the traditional biller and payer relationship by mailed checks or phone. The nice thing about this in many ways – is that when I called and spoke with “Mary” – she was genuine, friendly, and truly apologetic that their online system has never worked. Technical sophistication level: LOW. Customer Service level: HIGH. Customer Loyalty because of the overall positive experience = HIGH.

Those of you that are dealing with College or University online systems for students, parents, faculty and vendors are probably used to a wide range of functionality. My wife is an academic at a major university and we’ve seen all sides of this. This is NOT the public-facing Admissions advertising and marketing site, but instead how the students and parents deal with payments, registrations, insurance, financial aid, etc.. Lately, we’ve had the Uber Portal experience at my daughter’s University that thus far seems to be the most awkward and poorly designed collection of services we’ve ever experienced. Where is that tuition going? Like many universities, this portal is an open source project and feels like a garage project done in an intern’s spare cycles. Yet – in following my inverse technology theory – when I call the University (ANY department) to ask about something that isn’t clear or working on their portal, I often get a confirming statement about the portal being down or other less than glowing statements, and then the BEST customer service experience on the phone with people bending over backwards to help assist you with whatever request they need to get the job done in spite of the poor system that should have taken care of the problem or question in the first place. Technical experience to solve your problem online = LOW. Customer Service experience to compensate for poor online system =- HIGH. Overall experience = HIGH despite the high tuition bills that we’ll be paying until we’re 90.

Many Universities aren’t in the same boat – and although I’m not shipping my daughter off to Australia, one of our great customers there talks about how Oracle WebCenter provides the enterprise platform for University of Melbourne’s Student Portal, allowing the aggregation of all services and applications that students need to manage their academic and social lives while enrolled at the university. Check out this link:University of Melbourne Empowers Student Portal with Oracle

Lastly – I had another great experience while I was helping my daughter move into her dorm. As expected, we forgot some items and needed a few things so I took a trip down to the local hardware/country store. There they had everything we needed along with the most incredible customer service I’ve experienced in a retail establishment for a long time. I had a short list of items to find, but I’m a sucker for a country store that claims to have everything and did some aisle roaming to see what they really had.  During my 45 minutes there (my wife says it was more like 1.5 hrs) I had more people offer to help me and actually do so than you usually would experience in a brand-recognized chain store which this definitely wasn’t. To test my theory when I returned home – I went looking for their website and sure enough – this is what I found:   “Our Website is Under Construction - Please stop Back!“

The sidebar on the site under construction did confirm both my experience and current theory. I've changed the names to avoid any free advertising.

Welcome to Small Town General Store!
Our slogan says it all...Experience a Modern Day General Store.
We welcome you to visit our family-owned general store in Smallville, USA where the experience will make you want to visit again and again.  At Small Town General Store - you will find a full selection of electronics, paint, hardware, housewares and office supplies.  We believe in offering a wide variety of product with exceptional customer service.  Our friendly staff will greet you upon entering the store and direct you towards whatever your project requires that day.  Need advice on the project?  No problem our staff is well versed in everything we sell and we offer DIY books as reference.  Don't see what you are looking for - we have the ability to special order almost anything you need.  Whether you are a contractor, local business owner, homeowner, student or just passing through our town, Small Town General Store has something for you.

So - what does this all mean? You might be saying that of course, small town local business has to compensate with great customer service to compete with the big box stores and larger franchised services and you might be right. What about the ideal combination? What if you had the ultimate self-service online experience AND the company was a pleasure to deal with day in and day out? Employees that are happier at their jobs because they have the tools to get the job done quickly, efficiently and accurately will also provide a much better customer experience because they aren't fighting with systems that make their job miserable. Food for thought.

Watch this newly released WebCenter Portal Demo that will change your expectations for portals in your organization.

To learn more about this, don't miss our upcoming webcast on the NEW Release of Oracle WebCenter on Sept. 12th - see banner below. This will also be available On-Demand (AKA Self-Service!!) after this date, so register today and you 'll get the On-Demand link sent to you automatically after the event.

Register today - Watch this Week!



Monday Sep 09, 2013

Coming to Oracle OpenWorld? Don't Miss This Session!

You Are Invited: Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation 

If you are planning on attending Oracle OpenWorld in just a few short weeks, don't miss this session to meet the winners of the Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation.

Join us at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - Lam Research TheaterThese awards honor customers for their most innovative and cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware including Oracle WebCenter of course! This was a highly competitive year with record numbers of nominations. This is their opportunity to be recognized for this great achievement and be honored by their industry peers. You are invited to attend and join in the celebration at the beautiful Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Lam Research Theater. 

If you live in the area or are an Oracle Partner with only an Expo pass - Register via our RSVP below and we will provide a complementary code for a Discovery Pass that will allow you to attend the Award Ceremony. Oracle OpenWorld Badges are required for admittance.


The New Oracle WebCenter!

In case you missed our announcement, there’s exciting news in the world of Oracle WebCenter with the unveiling of our latest product release. We realize that in today’s economy, organizations are increasingly looking for ways to lower their costs, improve operational efficiencies and increase revenue. To address these challenges, we’ve made updates across our complete portfolio of portal, enterprise content management, Web experience management, and collaboration technologies. By providing enhanced multi-channel user experience capabilities and delivering a comprehensive set of tools that reduces the traditional business line reliance on IT, the new release helps businesses lower their costs, improve operational efficiency, and increase their bottom line revenue.

Webcast: The New Oracle WebCenter - Register Now

 The new Oracle WebCenter release introduces a new Java-based cross-platform Enterprise Capture product to expand our imaging and enterprise content management solutions and a new Mobile Option to provide richer, optimized multi-channel user experiences out of the box. The new release also includes updates across the entire Oracle WebCenter portfolio to empower the mobile workforce with new mobile apps, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) support, and enhanced development tools for rapid deployment of mobile portals and websites. Also included are a range of tools designed to empower business users and remove the traditional line of business dependency on IT to shorten the time to market and reduce costs. Here’s a closer look at some of the enhancements to each product:

Oracle WebCenter Portal
The new release of Oracle WebCenter Portal makes it easier and faster for business users to create intuitive portals with integrated application content by:

  • Streamlining development with an integrated set of tools for web & mobile
  • Providing out of the box templates for common use cases
  • Expediting the portal creation experience with a WYSIWYG editing experience

Oracle WebCenter Content

The new release of Oracle WebCenter Content makes it easier to share information efficiently by:

  • Enabling users to access business documents “on the go” using their device of choice
  • Putting content to work in process-centric business application environments
  • Simplifying the management of the entire content lifecycle in the most scalable and comprehensive enterprise content management system

Oracle WebCenter Sites

In addition, by enhancing Oracle WebCenter Sites, the latest release helps marketers engage, guide, and convert customers online by:

  • Managing mobile sites with ease and marketing to mobile customers more effectively
  • Creating a media rich online customer experience using video and other digital marketing content from within the enterprise or from the cloud
  • Providing more relevant search results to guide and influence customers on their websites

"To make the best possible decisions for your business, it is important that everyone in an organization has access to the right information, in the right context, and within the right business process, no matter where they are," said Balaji Yelamanchili, senior vice president, Oracle Product Development. "The latest release of Oracle WebCenter supports this level of engagement at your desk, or on the road, by delivering enhancements across portal, Web experience management, content, and collaboration technologies. By intuitively connecting people, process and information across any device, the new release of Oracle WebCenter helps organizations improve decision making and enhance engagement with customers, partners and employees across every channel."

Be sure to register for our in-depth webcast on the new Oracle WebCenter taking place this Thursday, September 12!

Thursday Sep 05, 2013

What WebCenter info will you gain this year at OpenWorld?

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 is all about learning new things and gaining new insights that will help you and your business be more effective and successful. For many organizations, getting a handle on how information such as forms, faxes and other documents is a key focus area because there is a large and fast return on investment potential (and who doesn't want to see that!!).

That is where WebCenter Content and Imaging come in to play. It might be true that forms processing doesn't have that much sizzle, but as we all know, the CIO and CFO care a lot more about saving money and cutting operational costs then the latest sexy toy.  Forms processing is indeed a bit of an "unsung hero" but probably deserves another look by most companies.

Before you show up at OpenWorld this year, check out this blog post by our friends Dwayne Parkinson and Dan Stitely over at Team Informatics on the issue and then stop by and talk to them directly in the Oracle Demogrounds this year. You and your boss might be very glad you did!

http://blog.teaminformatics.com/2013/09/03/forms-the-unsung-hero-of-webcenter-content/

And for a full list of Oracle WebCenter related sessions, labs and event, be sure to visit the Focus On WebCenter page.

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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