Friday Jan 31, 2014

Information InDepth: Oracle WebCenter January 2014 Newsletter

Hot off the press! The January 2014 Edition of the WebCenter Newsletter has hit newsstands worldwide! Read this issue to learn how a successful Digital Experience (DX) strategy can be critical for business success. We also cover the latest in Oracle WebCenter Enterprise Capture and find out what Lance Shaw's favorite outdoor activities are! This issue is jam packed with customer and partner highlights, resources and more. Pick up your copy today!

 

Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

2014 Resolution: Join the WebCenter Community!

Well here we are already 5 weeks into January! How many of you are sticking with your New Year's resolutions? Anyone resolve to read more? Exercise more? Save more? Learn more?! We want to ensure you are connected with us so you don't miss a thing! Do you have Facebook or Twitter? Are you looking for product updates, marketing events, customer success stories & other WebCenter related information? We invite you to join in the conversations with the over 325,000 WebCenter community members that are already engaging with us! We look forward to connecting with you this year!

Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

Secure content makes the world go ‘round

This post is a guest post from Korey Berg, Marketing Coordinator at TeamInformatics

Secure content makes the world go ‘round. Research documents, schematics, patent drawings, business plans, human resource documents, etc. are constantly being passed between contributors and owners. This sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands if mishandled or transferred insecurely, compromising employees and employers. To protect these types of content, Oracle offered the application Information Rights Management. 

Information Rights Management (IRM) was an Oracle Fusion Middleware application that controlled access to important, private documents and emails through encryption allowing rights access across an organization. Though it served its purpose admirably, the IRM offering was really just a secure application through which material was viewed on the client end - it didn’t handle any distribution from the repository to the client. Now, with Oracle’s sun-setting of IRM, there is a gap to be filled for the secure distribution of content.

With Secure Content Publisher for WebCenter Content, TEAM is providing a solution integrated with an ECM repository for secure content distribution and a multi-platform interface through which to view it. We’ve partnered with Qumu (formerly Rimage), a leader in secure content distribution, and developed a synthesis between the distribution stream and the WebCenter Content repository.

The Secure Content Publisher offering is composed of 3 pieces: content management, rights management and secure distribution. The pieces integrate as follows: 






















  • Items are managed in WebCenter Content
    • Establish contributor security, digital asset management processes and content workflows for approval.
  • Once released in WebCenter Content, material can be published to the distribution portal
    • Content is encrypted before it is transferred to the portal by the publisher application.
  • Once in the portal, access is provided, configured, and revoked on a user-by-user basis
    • Access policies can be configured based on date ranges, number of views, viewing periods or prerequisites.
  • Based on access rights and invitations, users download the secure content viewing software for Mac, Windows, iOS or Android, which provides access to the content “channels” set up for various streams of information.

Watch this video to learn more and to view a demonstration. http://youtu.be/NUO6-R_JO3Q

You can also learn more at teaminformatics.com

Monday Jan 27, 2014

Stay Informed on the latest WebCenter releases and updates

The WebCenter product development team provides regular product updates to be compatible with the latest software and address customer reported issues.  For those of you that may not be aware, the WebCenter product management team maintains a blog post that contains information about these updates as they are released.

If you want to stay informed about these releases and updates as they become available, be sure to visit and subscribe to the WebCenter Alerts blog.  You will be automatically informed when new postings are made.

With that in mind, be sure to check out the latest WebCenter update which includes a number of enhancements to WebCenter Content for the new web UI (workflow support, end-user personalization, and Metadata Services (MDS) customization capabilities), Desktop Integration Suite (workflow support, Microsoft Outlook 2013 and Windows 8.1 support) and the Android and iOS mobile apps.

Sunday Jan 26, 2014

Collaborative document review and co-authoring is here for WebCenter Content!

A Guest Blog Post by David Cornwell, PleaseTech Ltd.

Resulting from the partnership between Oracle and PleaseTech Ltd, collaborative document review and co-authoring is now available within Oracle’s WebCenter Content ECM platform, via the integration with PleaseTech's flagship product, PleaseReview™.

PleaseTech is an Oracle Partner Network Gold Level Partner specializing in collaborative document review and co-authoring. With over 100 enterprise customers and thousands of users of their flagship product, PleaseReview, they have seen strong success in the Life Science sector where the creation of large, often complex documents to strict corporate compliance and regulatory standards is of particular importance. A natural fit with Oracle WebCenter Content, PleaseReview is already extensively used across other document and content intensive business sectors, such as Defense, Utilities, Government, and IT. This success is due to PleaseReview being a unique solution to a common problem. Document review is a critical business process which is frequently the road block in the document production process. PleaseReview reduces the number of review cycles and manual processes to save valuable time and deliver an excellent ROI.

You probably already have some form of reviewing and editing your documents (for example, emailing out attachments, PDF annotation, review meetings), but anything more than short content shared with a couple of others and it becomes a nightmare of manual rework and other frustrations. This integration means that it is now possible (and easy) to really collaborate on a document- not just by sharing it, but by working on it in a controlled, collaborative environment. Some of these benefits include:

  • Review the same copy of the document at the same time with multiple other participants (on and offline).
  • Maintain control over the document and what others can (or cannot) do - so no one can overwrite another’s changes.
  • Easily and quickly adjudicate and consolidate all comments and proposed changes into the master document.
  • Access the document directly from the WebCenter Content repository – no more email attachments or other workarounds!
  • Keep track of all activity on the review through in depth reporting capabilities. This is of particular use for auditing purposes - and for making those review meetings shorter too.

The aim has been to develop a seamless solution which would allow all the controlled collaboration benefits of PleaseReview to be available from within WebCenter Content without the user even knowing it is a separate system. From adding a custom (and configurable) component to the WebCenter Content user interface to building system connectors to handle the various communication requirements between the two, the end result has been exactly as anticipated. To learn more about some of the technical details that went into the integration, please read this recent blog post - http://blog.pleasetech.com/post/Integrating-PleaseReview-with-Oracle-WebCenter-Content

To get a taste of what to expect from this integration and understand some of the benefits you would experience, we are co-hosting a short webinar this Thursday to explain in a little more detail.

Please join us on Thursday January 30th, 2014 at 9am Pacific, 12 noon, Eastern, 5pm GMT.


You can s
imply register for the webinar here: http://pleasetech.com/webinar_oracle_integration_jan14.aspx

Friday Jan 24, 2014

Learning from EBS customers - How to optimize and automate key processes to realize huge cost savings


Companies are always looking to optimize E-Business Suite business process in order to gain efficiencies and gain a leg up on their competition. But with IT budgets coming under more scrutiny than ever before, CIOs are looking towards their existing infrastructures to find cost-saving solutions.

View this webcast to gain a firsthand look at how organizations are using Oracle WebCenter Imaging to augment their EBS-based processes and automate complex business processes—ultimately saving them time and money. Click on the link below to view this webcast and learn how you can benefit as well. 

Click here to watch the webcast now.

Thursday Jan 23, 2014

How easy is it to get a team to review and co-edit documents?

Does this look familiar? Does anything like this ever happen in your department or organization?  Sadly, this is a common occurrence.  Trying to incorporate valuable feedback from colleagues using "Track Changes", comments, e-mails and group meetings can be problematic at best and often just a waste of time.

We've partnered up with PleaseTech to showcase their latest technology, PleaseReview that eliminates these common problems. Simply stated, PleaseReview is designed to be used as either a standalone or as an integrated review solution and supports Microsoft® Word®, Microsoft Excel®, PDF, Microsoft PowerPoint®, source code, text and images. It provides review management and control, change consolidation, comment reconciliation, comment threads and audit trails. PleaseReview is available to users in a simple point and click browser-based environment, and enables simultaneous, parallel and offline review by multiple participants, wherever they are. Everyone working on the same single document ensures it is an efficient and transparent process which significantly reduces the costs associated with document review.

If you have to deal with group editing and review of complex documents, you certainly want to learn more about the PleaseReview solution and how it integrates with Oracle WebCenter Content. We are pleased to invite you to a complimentary 30 minute webcast on Thursday January 30th, 2014 at 12 noon, EST / 9am PST / 5pm GMT.

We think it will be well worth your time. Spending 30 minutes now to learn about this exciting technology could save you many hours in the future!

To register, please visit the PleaseTech site here: 

http://pleasetech.com/webinar_oracle_integration_jan14.aspx 

See you there!

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

This place is a mess!! Where should I start? Getting focused on specific business challenges

Let's face it. Focusing in on specific business challenges can be daunting, especially in today's hectic work environment.  It can be downright overwhelming sometimes - what do you address and when? How do I deal with shifting management objectives? What should our top priorities be?  Where can the most impact be made?

If we are honest, most of us know where the problems lie in our businesses when it comes to process operating efficiency. Depending on where we work and what our responsibilities are, you cannot help but see areas where the use of automation technologies would make a significant improvement.

One of the interesting trends we see with customers using Oracle WebCenter Imaging solutions is that once they have identified and resolved particular process bottlenecks with our technology, they then find themselves in the welcome position of being able to address other process challenges using the same technology. For example, one customer initially bought WebCenter Imaging to eliminate the reliance on paper in their Accounts Payable invoicing process with E-Business Suite. But then they realized they could use the same automation, recognition and routing technologies to optimize Accounts Receivable and General Ledger processes. Then the HR department saw that they could use the same technology to improve employee on-boarding and personnel document routing.

It's an unwritten law that business priorities will change. The new boss will see things differently. Mandates from the executive team will drive new business projects. But as we have seen from other customers, there is comfort in knowing that the technology you purchase to drive down costs and improve business efficiency in one area can be used to help out with new businesses priorities when they inevitably arise.

Which leads us to our plug for the day. WebCenter Imaging is designed to help you focus in on business process challenges in a way that is flexible and can adjust to meet your particular priorities - even when they change. We encourage you to learn more and we are here to help you understand how our technology can be of value to you and your business.  Find your first business challenge, address it and then be ready to move on to the next one.

To get started, or to simply learn more, be sure to visit our new web page dedicated to Imaging solutions.

We think you will find it valuable!

Friday Jan 17, 2014

Looking Back at our Thought Leaders


Good thought leadership usually stands the test of time and our past series of big thinkers are still relevant today. As you watch and listen to these conversations - it will be certainly be interesting to note the changes to technology and culture that have taken place over the past years following many of the trends spoken about during these conversations. How much have you changed the way you work over the past couple of years? Are you more social, mobile and cloud-focused now?

Top 10 Technology Trends Driving Business InnovationOrganic Business Networks: Doing Business in a Hyper-Connected WorldSocial Business and Innovation

Race Against the MachineMobile is the New Face of EngagementManaging Social Relationships for the Enterprise

5 Critical Descisions Made by Beloved CompaniesEmployee Engagement Benchmark Study


Thursday Jan 16, 2014

Evolution to the Strategic Technology Trends for 2014

This time of year is always a reflective time as we look back and look forward to the new year. As I've been thinking about thought leadership and some of the interesting webcasts we've hosted over the past couple of years (look to next post for a review of these), I was thinking about those trend predictions that emerge every year. I just recently watched Gartner's most recent webcast they offer each year on the "Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends" that enterprises should be planning for over the next 3 years.

Its interesting to note the evolution of not only the language used to describe the trends, but the consolidation of many of them into single trends in the comparison chart I created below from the past 3 years. As technologies have emerged from the Hype cycle's "Peak of Inflated Expectations" and start sliding down into the "Trough of Disillusionment" there seems to be some strategic consolidation and commodification as expected.

Gartner’s Futurist, David Cearley said: "We have identified the top 10 technologies that companies should factor into their strategic planning processes. This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the listed technologies, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.” 

He also added that the "Nexus of Forces – Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information – are driving these changes in technology." Take a look at this informative short video on the "Nexus of Forces" for a better understanding. We also have a previous blog post on this topic here.


Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends 2012-2014
2012 2013 2014 
1. Media Tablets and Beyond
1. Mobile Devices Battles
1. Mobile Device Diversity & Management
2. Mobile-centric Applications and Interfaces
2. Mobile Apps and HTML5
2. Mobile Apps & Applications
3. Contextual and Social User Experience
3. Personal Cloud
3. The Internet of Everything
4. The Internet of Things
4. The Internet Of Things
4. Hybrid Cloud & IT as Service Broker
5. App Stores and Marketplaces
5. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing
5. Cloud/Client Architecture
6. Next-generation Analytics
6. Strategic Big Data
6. The Era of Personal Cloud
7. Big Data
7. Actionable Analytics
7. Software Defined Anything
8. In-memory Computing
8. Mainstream In-Memory Computing (IMC)
8. Web Scale IT
9. Extreme Low-energy Servers
9. Integrated Ecosystems
9. Smart Machines
10.Cloud Computing
10. Enterprise App Stores
10. 3-D Printing

Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014:

  1. Mobile Device Diversity and Management: Through 2018, the growing variety of devices, computing styles, user contexts and interaction paradigms will make "everything everywhere" strategies unachievable. The unexpected consequence of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is a doubling or even tripling of the size of the mobile workforce. This is placing tremendous strain on IT and Finance organizations. Enterprise policies on employee-owned hardware usage need to be thoroughly reviewed and, where necessary, updated and extended. 
  2. Mobile Apps and Applications: Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream enterprise application development environment. The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several. The next evolution in user experience will be to leverage intent, inferred from emotion and actions, to motivate changes in end-user behavior.
  3. The Internet of Everything: The internet is expanding beyond PCs and mobile devices into enterprise assets such as field equipment, and consumer items such as cars and televisions. The problem is that most enterprises and technology vendors have yet to explore the possibilities of an expanded internet and are not operationally or organizationally ready. 
  4. Hybrid Cloud and IT as Service Broker: Bringing together personal clouds and external private cloud services is an imperative. Enterprises should design private cloud services with a hybrid future in mind and make sure future integration/interoperability is possible. Hybrid cloud services can be composed in many ways, varying from relatively static to very dynamic. Managing this composition will often be the responsibility of something filling the role of cloud service broker (CSB), which handles aggregation, integration and customization of services. 
  5. Cloud/Client Architecture: The cloud is the control point and system or record and applications can span multiple client devices. The client environment may be a native application or browser-based; the increasing power of the browser is available to many client devices, mobile and desktop alike. Robust capabilities in many mobile devices, the increased demand on networks, the cost of networks and the need to manage bandwidth use creates incentives, in some cases, to minimize the cloud application computing and storage footprint, and to exploit the intelligence and storage of the client device. However, the increasingly complex demands of mobile users will drive apps to demand increasing amounts of server-side computing and storage capacity.
  6. The Era of Personal Cloud: The personal cloud era will mark a power shift away from devices toward services. In this new world, the specifics of devices will become less important for the organization to worry about, although the devices will still be necessary. Users will use a collection of devices, with the PC remaining one of many options, but no one device will be the primary hub. Rather, the personal cloud will take on that role. Access to the cloud and the content stored or shared from the cloud will be managed and secured, rather than solely focusing on the device itself.
  7. Software Defined Anything: Software-defined anything (SDx) is a collective term that encapsulates the growing market momentum for improved standards for infrastructure programmability and data center interoperability driven by automation inherent to cloud computing, DevOps and fast infrastructure provisioning. As individual SDx technology silos evolve and consortiums arise, look for emerging standards and bridging capabilities to benefit portfolios, but challenge individual technology suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to true interoperability standards within their specific domains. 
  8. Web-Scale IT: Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting by rethinking positions across several dimensions. Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are re-inventing the way in which IT services can be delivered.  Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. If enterprises want to keep pace, then they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers
  9. Smart Machines: Through 2020, the smart machine era will blossom with a proliferation of contextually aware, intelligent personal assistants, smart advisors (such as IBM Watson), advanced global industrial systems and public availability of early examples of autonomous vehicles. The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT. New systems that begin to fulfill some of the earliest visions for what information technologies might accomplish — doing what we thought only people could do and machines could not —are now finally emerging. 
  10. 3D Printing: Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 75% in 2014 followed by a near doubling of unit shipments in 2015. While very expensive “additive manufacturing” devices have been around for 20 years, the market for devices ranging from $50,000 to $500, and with commensurate material and build capabilities, is nascent yet growing rapidly. The consumer market hype has made organizations aware of the fact 3D printing is a real, viable and cost-effective means to reduce costs through improved designs, streamlined prototyping and short-run manufacturing.



Monday Jan 06, 2014

Process Inbox Zero: A resolution your company can actually keep

This time of year, your e-mail is flooded with prognostications and ideas on how to lose weight, how to be healthier, how to be a better employee, a manager and generally be more effective.  I personally have seen several articles about getting my e-mail Inbox to zero.  In fact, January 2nd was unofficially known as Email Overload Day, though ironically enough, you might not have known about it if your email is overflowing.  :)


This got me thinking about the other "Inbox" that exists in every corporation.  It's the old school tray of papers, stacked up in the "Inbox" on the desks of those that are handling business transactions using paper forms, faxes, scanned images and other files.  For most business process professionals, this stack of papers is a key first step in a longer transaction that ultimately results in payment to a customer or vendor, receipt of funds from a customer or partner, or any other of many possible business processes.

The same principles that apply to your personal e-mail and the ideal of an empty Inbox should apply to how inbound documents are handled.  In fact, given the financial impact on the business when these are not processed optimally, getting these processes running smoothly is MUCH more important.  If you agree with the premise that paper-based processes need to be running as fast as possible, WebCenter can help you achieve the needed improvements.

The key to all this is automation.  Automation of the "ingestion" process - how files are captured, scanned, received and then recognized.  Form and character recognition has matured significantly over the past few years and today, with Oracle Forms Recognition technology as an example, inbound forms can be recognized as contracts, invoices or many other form types and then have the line item details automatically identified and associated with the right vendor, customer ID, PO number or other value.  Instead of having a pile of paper on an employees desk, waiting to be re-keyed into an ERP or related system, now it happens automatically and only the unrecognizable exceptions will require human intervention.

As you can imagine, the cost savings in  automating repetitive transactional processes are significant.  Most imaging automation deployments see a return on the investment in 18 months or less.  Human error is also greatly reduced, to say nothing of the additional archiving and compliance benefits.

To help companies understand the benefits of automating business processes, we've put together a number of assets in a single location that showcase how Oracle WebCenter Imaging can help your business... and how we have already helped others.

Getting your "Process Inbox" to zero is an achievable goal. The onslaught of incoming documents may never stop, but at least you will have a vastly superior way of managing the flow of information going forward and be saving significant sums in the (pardon the pun) process.

Check out our new WebCenter Imaging information page to learn more. 

Have a great 2014!

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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