Q&A: Andy MacMillan on Oracle WebCenter Strategy and Roadmap

As vice president of product management for Oracle WebCenter, industry veteran Andy MacMillan recently spearheaded the move from the former Oracle Enterprise 2.0 to Oracle WebCenter. Now that the dust has settled, we asked MacMillan to shed light on the future strategy and product roadmap for Oracle WebCenter.

How are user expectations driving Oracle WebCenter strategy?
In the age of Amazon and Facebook, there has been a major shift in people's expectations as they interact with Web and mobile media. Both our customers and our customer's customers are expecting rich engagement, including personalization, ubiquitous mobile access, ease-of-use, real-time information, and more.

In short, our goal is to build all these things into the DNA of our products. And that means not just for our customer's customers, but also for their employees, partners, and suppliers as well.

Can you explain Oracle's overall approach to the next-generation customer experience platform?
It all comes down to what we are calling the "connected experience." As a user of a Website, I want the site to know who I am, and I want it to use that information to personalize my experience—as if I were having a one-to-one relationship.

For this to work, you have to have a strong content management solution in place, like Oracle WebCenter Content. But you also have to go to the next

 step, which we have done with our acquisition of FatWire. Oracle WebCenter Sites (formerly FatWire), together with Oracle Business Intelligence tools, ensures that the best, most effective content is being delivered.

Finally, we are working to leverage CRM, retail, and commerce systems to provide real-time information and transactions to drive the richest experience possible.

What challenges do organizations face when implementing point solutions on one hand, and one-size-fits-all solutions on the other hand?
A true customer experience platform involves bringing together an awful lot of moving parts—content management, portal technologies, back-end systems, social media, and much more. In short, it requires solutions that are broad and deep and integrated.

A point solution can provide depth of function, but what is the value if it takes Herculean efforts to make it integrate with all the other pieces? At the same time, a one-size-fits-all solution leaves too many potential gaps. Customers don't expect you to remember some of their interactions with you—they want you to remember every single one.

How does Oracle WebCenter help customers avoid these pitfalls?
Our recent acquisitions, including FatWire, make us deep but also wide—no one else on the market can deliver on both dimensions like we can. Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Content, we are leaders in content management. Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Portal, we are leaders in portals, composite applications, and mashups. Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Social and Oracle Social Network, which is part of the WebCenter family, we are leaders in enterprise social software. And now, in the wake of our acquisitions, Oracle WebCenter Sites is a leader in Web experience management.

In short, we don't just have best-of-breed products, but also a vision for how all of these things come together into a single platform.

Can you explain some of the key strategies and initiatives Oracle expects to pursue going forward?
We have an amazing opportunity to leverage Oracle enterprise applications and data sources—all the stuff organizations use to run their business—and bring that into the context of a true social enterprise. This means richer experiences for employees and partners. But perhaps most exciting of all is the opportunity to bring all that rich information in our CRM and retail applications to drive richer, real-time online experiences.

Find out more about the strategy and product roadmap for Oracle WebCenter.

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

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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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