Tuesday Sep 25, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld Preview: Oracle WebCenter Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss

The beginning of Oracle OpenWorld is only a few short days away. This week on the WebCenter blog, we’ll focus in on the sessions you definitely don’t want to miss while you’re in San Francisco next week.  Monday, October 1 will be a day focused on strategy.  Here are the sessions you want to add to your calendar:

CON8268 - Oracle WebCenter Strategy: Engaging Your Customers. Empowering Your Business

Monday, Oct 1, 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM - Moscone West – 3001

Start things off with Oracle WebCenter’s Christian Finn, Senior Director of Evangelism and Roel Stalman, VP of Product Management to learn more about the Oracle WebCenter strategy, and to understand where Oracle is taking the platform to help companies engage, customers, empower employees, and enable partners. This session will also feature Richard Backx, Business IT Architect/Consultant, for the Dutch telecom, KPN. Richard has played a key role in the roll-out of WebCenter products for KPN’s multibrand portals with a specific focus on creating the best customer journey platform for all the company’s digital channels. Business success starts with ensuring that everyone is engaged with the right people and the right information and can access what they need through the channel of their choice—web, mobile, or social. Are you giving customers, employees, and partners the best-possible experience? Come learn how you can!

Dig deeper into WebCenter’s strategy for its ECM, portal, web experience management and social collaboration in the following sessions:

CON8270 - Oracle WebCenter Content Strategy and Vision

Monday, Oct 1, 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM - Moscone West – 3001

Oracle WebCenter Content provides a strategic content infrastructure for managing documents, images, e-mails, and rich media files. With a single repository, organizations can address any content use case, such as accounts payable, HR onboarding, document management, compliance, records management, digital asset management, or Website management. In this session, learn about future plans for how Oracle WebCenter will address new use cases as well as new integrations with Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications, leveraging your investments by making your users more productive and error-free.

CON8269 - Oracle WebCenter Sites Strategy and Vision

Monday, Oct 1, 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM - Moscone West - 3009

Oracle’s Web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites, enables organizations to use the online channel to drive customer acquisition and brand loyalty. It helps marketers and business users easily create and manage contextually relevant, social, interactive online experiences across multiple channels on a global scale. In this session, learn about future plans for how Oracle WebCenter Sites will provide you with the tools, capabilities, and integrations you need in order to continue to address your customers’ evolving requirements for engaging online experiences and keep moving your business forward.

CON8271 - Oracle WebCenter Portal Strategy and Vision

Monday, Oct 1, 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM - Moscone West - 3001

To innovate and keep a competitive edge, organizations need to leverage the power of agile and responsive Web applications. Oracle WebCenter Portal enables you to do just that, by delivering intuitive user experiences for enterprise applications to drive innovation with composite applications and mashups. Attend this session to learn firsthand from Oracle WebCenter Portal customers like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, extend the value of existing enterprise applications, business processes, and content; delivers a superior business user experience; and maximizes limited IT resources.

CON8272 - Oracle Social Network Strategy and Vision

Monday, Oct 1, 4:45 PM - 5:45 PM - Moscone West - 3001

One key way of increasing employee productivity is by bringing people, processes, and information together—providing new social capabilities to enable business users to quickly correspond and collaborate on business activities. Oracle WebCenter provides a user engagement platform with social and collaborative technologies to empower business users to focus on their key business processes, applications, and content in the context of their role and process. Attend this session to hear how the latest social capabilities in Oracle Social Network are enabling organizations to transform themselves into social businesses.


Attention WebCenter Customers: Last Day to RSVP for WebCenter Customer Appreciation Reception

Oracle WebCenter partners Fishbowl Solutions, Fujitsu, Keste, Mythics, Redstone Content Solutions, TEAM Informatics, and TekStream invite Oracle WebCenter customers to a private cocktail reception at one of San Francisco's finest hotels. Please join us and fellow Oracle WebCenter customers for hors d'oeuvres and cocktails at this exclusive reception. Don't miss this opportunity to meet and talk with executives from Oracle WebCenter product management and product marketing, and premier Oracle WebCenter partners. We look forward to seeing you! RSVP today.

    Monday Sep 24, 2012

    Oracle OpenWorld Preview: Oracle WebCenter Customer Appreciation Reception

    Attention Oracle WebCenter Customers!  Don't Miss the Oracle WebCenter Customer Appreciation Reception

    Oracle WebCenter partners Fishbowl Solutions, Fujitsu, Keste, Mythics, Redstone Content Solutions, TEAM Informatics, and TekStream invite you to a private cocktail reception at one of San Francisco's finest hotels. Please join us and other Oracle WebCenter customers for hors d'oeuvres and cocktails at this exclusive reception.

    Don't miss this opportunity to meet and talk with executives from Oracle WebCenter product management and product marketing, and premier Oracle WebCenter partners. We look forward to seeing you!

    If you are an Oracle WebCenter customer, please RSVP to surveymonkey.com/s/OOW12 by September 26, 2012. You will receive an e-mail notification from oraclewebcentersuite@gmail.com confirming your attendance for this event.

    Sponsored by:

    If you are an employee or official of a government organization, please click here for important ethics information regarding this event.

    Monday Aug 13, 2012

    Upgrading Your Approach to Social Collaboration Success

    We're fortunate today to have a guest post by John Brunswick, PMP, Principal Solution Consultant, Oracle.

    ~~

    Upgrading Your Approach to Social Collaboration Success

    John BrunswickEngulfed in a sea of buzzwords and new technologies, it is easy to loose sight of the core goals that social collaboration tools support. The "cool" factor of these tools is undeniable, which can actually complicate our ability to zero in on making deployments objectively successful.

    Further adding to our challenges, our projects do not exist within a vacuum and are influenced by resource constraints, organizational politics and depth of strategic knowledge within our organization and partner teams.

    Seeing as how these factors may not change, how can we close the gap on success with socially collaborative deployments? Wouldn't it be great if we had a few tools to guide our decision making in and around social collaboration technologies?

    We inherently approach and judge projects with our own perspective - our "Lens" into the world of social collaboration. If we can enrich our lens to become conscious of new senses for measuring aspects of social collaboration - like Friction and Subtraction, we are better able to critically evaluate our projects.

    In Six Counterintuitive Best Practices for Social Collaboration, we introduce with 6 new vantage points to help enable success with your projects. Our session omits buzzwords and discusses objective findings, experience, anecdotes - even daring to suggest you should “Throw Out Your Intranet Home Page” and why.

    To prime ourselves for this week's webcast, let's consider the following as we start down a path of upgrading our lens onto social collaboration

    Social Collaboration is a Spice - Not the Main Dish

    Just as a spice, social collaboration enriches a solution, but does not in and of itself offer the complete solution. We would never eat a tablespoon of cinnamon by itself, but it can make a high value food like oatmeal much more accessible to people interested in having it for breakfast.

    In the whitepaper "Three Key Tenets of Optimal Social Collaboration" I propose that the most powerful social collaboration is always ultimately tied to a business entity - the oatmeal in our analogy.

    Consider the efforts placed into a new marketing initiative. Social collaboration capabilities can enable participants involved with the new marketing campaign to share in a seamless, collective dialogue and exchange materials related to the initiative. This ultimately offers an accessible means for people to more naturally work around the marking initiative entity that would otherwise span a variety of traditional systems like email, document management and discussion forums.

    When thinking about where social collaboration can "spice" up existing process in a line of business, look for the following or similar key words within the process "coordinate, resolve, facilitate, discuss, determine" to gauge the level of applicability.

    As Mike Fauscette from IDC pointed out on Monday, many organizations undertake social business initiatives as a grass roots effort, namely because they occur in a place that will make a difference. Social collaboration applied to a problem - because it objectively helps, not just for the sake of using social collaboration, is where the technology shines.

    Cataloging process challenges within a given line of business is an excellent starting point for understanding if and where social collaboration can add value.

    Become Aware of Social Ergonomics

    Perhaps your organization already has social collaboration tools targeted toward a business process like the one highlighted above, but adoption is slow at best. How are your Social Ergonomics?

    Software packages are constantly striving to deliver innovation through a myriad of features and functions. If the features and functions are on target with the business needs - what could possibly hinder adoption?

    Let's consider our physical world for a moment. What if throughout the course of your work day you needed to correlate information from sources that resided in various buildings in your office space and within each building a ladder was required to access boxes containing the information you required to complete your tasks? In the physical world we instantly rationalize that this does not make sense. We would demand that it be rearranged, as it drastically hinders our ability to work within the environment.

    Unfortunately, it is often difficult to recognize where hurdles in our virtual world exist and they often go unrecognized. After all, our organization implemented social collaboration tools, right?

    To better understand this critical, but difficult to understand disconnect, let's examine the opposite end of the social ergonomic spectrum. Which systems can we use as examples of excellent social ergonomics? They are the ones that people flock to using - because they are easy and add value to the process that they are supporting. They are not social collaboration for the sake of social collaboration.

    If a system has excellent social ergonomics, the technology becomes transparent to the end user.

    Getting Your Social Collaboration Critical Tools

    Through a series of atypical subject matter, anecdotes and statistics in Six Counterintuitive Best Practices for Social Collaboration, you will become equipped with new tools to critically evaluate and shape your social collaboration experiences to get the most value from your investment.

    I look forward to sharing and receiving questions and comments and hope to see you on the webcast.


    If you enjoyed John’s thoughts above, you’ll love the upcoming next webcast in the Oracle Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series this week: Join me for this upcoming webcast6 Counterintuitive Best Practices for Social Collaboration Adoption featuring John Brunswick. 

    Looking to implement social and collaboration technologies in your workplace? Sometimes the best tips are the not so obvious ones. Join John Brunswick as he analyzes a series of counterintuitive ways to help increase the return on your social collaboration investments by sharing a series of best practices that may seem counterintuitive. Reviewing practices like "Why Five Users are Better than Five Hundred" and "Throw out your Intranet Home Page", will help shed light on some common misconceptions around how and where intranets and collaboration provide value, to help organizations to grow, manage these systems and ultimately maximize return on their efforts.


    John Brunswick is a WebCenter Solution Consultant at Oracle Corporation, specializing in enterprise portal and content management solutions. Prior to this he was a Consulting Practice Manager within BEA System’s Business Interaction Division Professional Services Group. He managed their Enterprise Portal and Business Process Management practices in Canada and New England, helping Fortune 500 companies create solutions to a wide range of business challenges.

    He actively contributes to the enterprise software business community and has authored a series of articles about optimal business involvement in portal, business process management and SOA development, examining ways of helping organizations move away from monolithic application development. Brunswick served as an affiliate at Harvard University’s Berkman Center in 2009, focusing on educational Web strategies.

    In 2006, he developed ServiceMountain, a commercial software package to help manage small service businesses, which was acquired by a medium-sized software vendor.

    John actively leads the Boston Computing Review user group which he founded in 2005, educating members about emerging technologies and industry trends. Prior to working at BEA Systems John was an Implementation Manager at Plumtree Software. Before working at Plumtree Software, John directed Jniche Technology Associates, a small web application development and networking group. John graduated from Boston University with a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems, is a PMP and holds various technical certification credentials.


    Tuesday Jul 17, 2012

    Creating a Culture of Collaboration

    Michael Fauscette

    Today's guest post provided by:
    Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC

    ~~~
    Creating a Culture of Collaboration

    In almost every business journal you read or business conference you attend, there will be some discussion around the need to build a collaborative business. I guess it’s not surprising really; it’s the realization and changing expectations that employees are bringing into the workplace from their personal experiences on the social Web. It ties directly to the “hot topic” of consumerization of IT that’s been discussed to death over the last five years or so.

    It would be hard to argue that collaboration is a bad thing, so many companies are throwing the word around a lot, but what does it really mean to be a collaborative enterprise?

    The definition of collaboration, I think, has shifted over the last 5 years. This shift, to me, is a good thing, and is starting to be reflected in a new generation of collaboration tools that are now available. In the past, collaboration often was tied to file management and file sharing more than anything, which was unfortunate. Don’t get me wrong, managing files is important, but it is not collaboration. In fact, many of the old “collaboration” systems were the opposite of collaborative, as they really tracked documents and document versions, and restricted the open sharing of information.

    The new definition of collaboration is focused on people-centric collaboration. Many of you are probably laughing at me now; I mean, shouldn’t collaboration always have been about connecting people to people? Absolutely. But think about the technology that was offered under the umbrella of collaboration. Did it help people connect?

    Collaboration is about more than technology, of course — it’s really about business culture. So how do you build a collaborative culture? Here are a few things a business can do to start the change ball rolling:

      • Ensure that executives set the tone and lead by participating in collaborative efforts. “Do what you say and say what you do.”

      • Incentives and rewards must be aligned to support collaboration, not individual achievement. You will get the behavior you incent.

      • “What’s in it for me?” If you want participation, you must show employees what they’ll get out of expending the effort and learning new tools, or they won’t support and adopt the changes.

      • Technology is important as a facilitator of the culture shift, and that technology needs to provide the ability to connect people to people, data, information, and to other systems. The technology enables the company to deploy an enterprise social network, and provides the benefits to the company and to the employees that they get from being connected and operating in a more open, engaged environment.

      • Change is hard, and to be effective, you should approach this like any project. Use employee champions to drive use and engagement; train employees on new tools; put important company information into the new tool exclusively so employees get used to using it; and demonstrate that collaboration is rewarded over individual achievement.


    With the right executive focus, the right incentives, the right tools, and a real effort to encourage knowledge-sharing over knowledge-hording, a business can  become a collaborative enterprise. Collaborative businesses leverage all their resources more effectively; they use the collective knowledge of customers,  employees, and partners to gain competitive advantage. And they make more effective business decisions that leverage facts over myths. It’s not an easy transition, but the journey is well worth it.


    Organic Business Networks - featuring Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC




    To hear more with featured guest speaker, Michael Fauscette, GVP, Software Business Solutions, IDC -  Watch the On-Demand webcast of the Oracle Social Business Thought Leader Webcast Series - “Organic Business Networks: Doing Business in a Hyper-Connected World”




    Monday May 14, 2012

    Webcast - Do More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Web Experience Management

    Oracle Corporation

    Engage Customers and Empower Your Business with Oracle

    Are you providing your customers with engaging online experiences using Oracle WebCenter? If so, you probably realize that there's more to exceptional customer engagement than just Web experience management. You must also empower your business by engaging and enabling employees and partners to deliver on customers' expectations. Join us for this Webcast and learn how to meet your engagement goals by doing more with Oracle WebCenter. This proven, powerful Oracle solution can help:

    • Drive sales and loyalty with engaging, cross-channel online experiences
    • Enable self-service extranets, intranets, and custom application dashboards
    • Enhance productivity with social collaboration
    • Optimize information access with content management
    Register now for this Webcast.

    Oracle Fusion Middleware Webcenter

    REGISTER NOW

    Thursday, May 17, 2012
    10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

    Presented by:

    Stephen Schleifer
    Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle
    Christie Flanagan
    Product Marketing Director, Oracle WebCenter Sites, Oracle

    Friday May 11, 2012

    Enterprise Social Networks: The Heart of Any Social Business

    As we wrap up this week on social collaboration and engagement, today’s guest post comes from David Christopher. David heads up Oracle’s EMEA Social Networking & Business Collaboration (SNBC) programme along with leading one of the executive programmes and Content / Portal Management. This post was originally featured on David’s StopThinkSocial site.


    Social Networks in our personal lives have become so embedded in our culture that signs like "Follow me on Twitter" or "Like my Facebook Page" are becoming the norm. I even saw one on the side of a local bus recently requesting to follow the bus company on Twitter.

    So if we have embraced social networks in our personal lives so readily to be better connected to our friends, why is it taking so long to do the same inside a company to better connect our employees?

    A company that is socially connected is not just going to be more effective and more efficient, but it's going to have a knowledge reach spanning the entire company that any employee can tap into and make use of. This is the Power of the Enterprise Social Network and the heart of any Social Business.

    "It's not important for you to know all the answers, but it's key that you know someone in your employee network that does"

    Many of the presentations I now give uses this tag line because it's time we put more focus and attention on building employee social relationships. By doing so we build up employee trust and an expansive knowledge network which we can then utilise.

    Let's take the following scenario:

    Your CEO is tired of the scatter gun like approach to internal communications and wants something done about it. As your companies Head of Communications your CEO assigns you to deal with it quickly.

    However, you already have a PR nightmare on your hands which is taking up all of your time...

    So what do you do...

    • bluff your CEO and drag out the project with high level strategy stuff that talks a good project but delivers nothing (oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about!) ?
    • put in a lot of over-time?
    • assign someone in your team to take on the project and re-prioritise their priorities?

    None of these responses are ideal and are unlikely to deliver a good solution.

    However, for a company that has embraced Enterprise Social Networks, there is another way....put a "Shout Out" to your employees asking for active participants (volunteers to be part of the project team) and passive contributors (volunteers to contribute from the sidelines).

    This "Shout Out" approach provides some great business benefits:

    • avoids duplication of time, money and effort if someone is already working on something similar in your organisation (in large enterprises duplication is often a common occurrence)
    • delivers a better solution as the volunteers are interested in the subject matter
    • allows you access to a large knowledge network to minimise risks and issues
    • provides a better chance of adoption as the employees themselves have been involved in the delivery of the project

    I call this Open Collaboration (yes, I avoided using the term social) and have been trialing it now for a while with some great success.

    This is just one example of what you can do once your company's employees are better socially connected which couldn't be possible without first developing your Enterprise Social Network.

    Wednesday May 09, 2012

    Oracle Social Network: How it Works

    As we are talking this week about social collaboration and how to better engage with your constituents, many tools that are available today are very much siloed.  Many can relate to starting a Conversation or an interaction in a collaborative session within IM, and then have to evolve it into email, then point to a document that is in a different system. Then the challenge is while the tools maybe relatively flexible allowing you to move between them,  it is very difficult to understand the context in which are you are trying to work and to understand the decision or the problem you are trying to solve across the various tools. If you asked someone to get involved over email when you started that Conversation in Instant Messaging then pointing to them at a document in a different system, then it is going to be difficult over time to come back and understand how that decision was made or even share that complete decision making process with anybody.

    Oracle Social Network solves the “siloed collaboration” problem by providing a tool that evolves the collaboration mechanism, who is involved in the collaboration, when they should be involved, and bringing in the right people at the right time -- not spamming people with unnecessary noise.

     It’s important to be able to understand the context. When someone new comes into a Conversation, they need to understand how the decision made up at the point has evolved or why they are brought in to make a decision. Rather than brining in someone into a subset of information, Oracle Social Network allows them to have all the information and all the information needed to make a decision available.

    Want to see how it works? Check out the videos below.

    Learn how to use Oracle Social Network through Microsoft Outlook and mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone to access CRM application data and Conversations.

    Easily work with files using Oracle Social Network to share information with your sales team, groups, or everyone in your company; mark collaborative documents together in real-time; view the latest version; and access them anytime.

    See how sales interactions with Oracle Social Network are easy, effective and efficient to use across a virtual CRM team, allowing participants to update CRM opportunities, start Conversations, find experts, and keep their social network up to date.

    Monday May 07, 2012

    3 Principals of Social Collaboration

    Social business really is a revolution, one that is causing rapidly accelerating change in how companies and customers engage with one another and how employees work together.  Trends such as mobile, social, personalization, self-service, consumerization, and multi-channel are not only impacting us as business users and employees and how we conduct business or interact with businesses, but they are affecting how organizations do business as well. This week we want to turn our attention to social business engagement, and how you can use social tools to better engage your customers, employees, and partners.


    Today's blog post comes to us from John Bruswick! This post is an abridged version of John’s white paper in which he discusses three principals to optimize social collaboration within an enterprise.  

    Effective social collaboration is actionable, deeply contextual and inherently derives its value from business entities outside of itself. 

    How does an organization begin the journey from traditional, siloed collaboration to natural, business entity based social collaboration? 

    Successful enablement of enterprise social collaboration requires that organizations embrace the following tenets and understand that traditional collaborative functionality has inherent limits - it is innovation and integration in accordance with the following tenets that will provide net-new efficiency benefits. 

    Key Tenets of Optimal Social Collaboration

    1. Leverage a Ubiquitous Social Fabric - Collaborative activities should be supported through a ubiquitous social fabric, providing a personalized experience, broadcasting key business events and connecting people and business processes.  This supports education of participants working in and around a specific business entity that will benefit from an implicit capture of tacit knowledge and provide continuity between participants.  In the absence of this ubiquitous platform activities can still occur but are essentially siloed causing frequent duplication of effort across similar tasks, with critical tacit knowledge eluding capture.
    2. Supply Continuous Context to Support Decision Making and Problem Solving - People generally engage in collaborative behavior to obtain a decision or the resolution for a specific issue.  The time to achieve resolution is referred to as "Solve Time".  Users have traditionally been forced to switch or "alt-tab" between business systems and synthesize their own context across disparate systems and processes.  The constant loss of context forces end users to exert a large amount of effort that could be spent on higher value problem solving.
    3. Extend the Collaborative Lifecycle into Back Office - Beyond the solve time from decision making efforts, additional time is expended formalizing the resolution that was generated from collaboration in a system of record.  Extending collaboration to result in the capture of an explicit decision maximizes efficiencies, creating a closed circuit for a particular thread.  This type of structured action may exist today within your organization's customer support system around opening, solving and closing support issues, but generally does not extend to Sales focused collaborative activities.



    Excelling in the Unstructured Future
    We will always have to deal with unstructured collaborative processes within our organizations.  Regardless of the participants and nature of the collaborate process, two things are certain – the origination and end points are generally known and relate to a business entity, perhaps a customer, opportunity, order, shipping location, product or otherwise.

    Imagine the benefits if an organization's key business systems supported a social fabric, provided continuous context and extended the lifecycle around the collaborative decision making to include output into back office systems of record.  

    The technical hurdle to embracing optimal social collaboration would fall away, leaving the company with an opportunity to focus on and refine how processes were approached.  Time and resources previously required could then be reallocated to focusing on innovation to support competitive differentiation unique to your business.

    How can you achieve optimal social collaboration? Oracle Social Network enables business users to collaborate with each other using a broad range of collaboration styles and integrates data from a variety of sources and business applications -- allowing you to achieve optimal social collaboration.

    Looking to learn more? Read John's white paper, where he discusses in further detail the three principals to optimize social collaboration within an enterprise. 

    Friday Apr 27, 2012

    Collaborate 12: The Week That Was

    Today's guest post comes from Jake Kuramoto (@theappslab). Jake is Product Strategy Director on the WebCenter Evangelism Team and spent the week out in Vegas for Collaborate. Thanks for sharing your reflections Jake!

    Collaborate 12 (#C12LV) has wrapped, and overall, I really enjoyed the event.

    I’ll lead off with a big thanks to all the organizers from OAUG (@oaug1), IOUG (@ioug) and Quest (@questusergroup), with a special mention for the IOUG WebCenter Special Interest Group (SIG) who made sure we found the right sessions and networked with the right folks. This is a definitely a special group, e.g. they rocked togas at the 80s Party on Wednesday night. Legit.

    Also, big thanks to our WebCenter Marketing maven, Kellsey Ruppel, who worked so hard to make the conference run smoothly for us.

    I got a lot more out of Collaborate 12 than I did Collaborate 08 in Denver, which is entirely my own fault, largely thanks to help of these people, and I’m already planning for a Denver do-over at Collaborate 13.

    Day 0

    The show got started early for me with the WebCenter Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting on Sunday.  This wasn’t technically a Collaborate event, but since many of the CAB members were in Las Vegas for the big show, it made sense to have it before the events really got going.

    The CAB is enormously valuable to our PM organization, since these customers provide real use cases and feedback, and I spent the day meeting meeting, greeting and listening to real users of the product.

    One of the highlights for all the customers attending the CAB was a chance to touch and feel Oracle Social Network for the first time. The OSN PM team provided an overview of the product, and then collected feedback through the tool. The commentary I heard was overwhelmingly positive, and after spending a week with the product, everyone is excited for release.

    Another highlight was Christian (@cfinn) and his flying monkeys. I won’t give away the specifics, but if you find him speaking at an event you’re attending, make an effort to go.

    Last but definitely not least, thanks to TekStream for sponsoring the cocktail reception.

    I had planned to attend the WebCenter Deep Dive, but unfortunately, the two events conflicted. I did manage to sneak away briefly to catch up with longtime Friend of the ‘Lab, Bex Huff (@bex), whose company Bezzotech sponsored that event.

    Day 1

    Monday kicked off the event in earnest. I spent most of the day preparing the WebCenter Sites demo booth, but I did manage to sneak away for a meeting with the IOUG Board of Directors and the IOUG WebCenter SIG.

    This was a treat for our entire team. As a team of WebCenter evangelists (or advocates, take your pick), we rely on communication and collaboration with organizations like the IOUG. They tell us what their members want, and ideally, we deliver.

    So, this type of interaction is invaluable to what we do. Thanks to the Board and SIG for taking time out of their hectic schedules to chat with us.

    I ended the day of events with the opening of the Exhibit Hall, and got a chance to watch the WebCenter Sites experts we have from the FatWire acquisition in action showing their product. I’ve spent a lot of time recently working with Sites, the Web Experience Management pillar of the WebCenter Suite of products, and it was great to see the real experts in action.

    Although I didn’t get to any sessions on Monday, the day was very productive.

    Day 2

    Tuesday began for me with Bex’s session, “A Crash Course In WebCenter Sites (FatWire) for Site Studio Customers.” As a longtime Stellent guru, Bex knows a thing or two about Site Studio. His session mapped functions from Site Studio to Sites, and it introduced me to several customers who are interested in learning more about Sites. So, Tuesday began with a win.

    I then spent several hours working the Sites demo booth. Booth duty always seems like a chore until I get into it. I enjoy talking to people and listening to what they have to say, and once the traffic starts to flow, the time flies.

    We got a nice flow of people to our booth. Most of them had questions about the Content and Portal pillars of WebCenter, but they were impressed when they saw what Sites has to offer.

    After a long day of booth duty, I mixed and mingled at the evening reception on the exhibit hall floor, then gave my feet a rest.

    This was the day I started to lose my voice though, which always happens to me at conferences, since I talk so much. Note to self, listen more.

    Day 3

    On Wednesday, I stopped by “Build an iPhone app using WebCenter Portal REST APIs” presented by  Chris Bales (@cbales) and Rodrigo Lima (@rodrigo_lima) before heading back to the demo booth. The session attracted a nice crowd, especially for a morning session. I didn’t get to stay, but I heard good things.

    After my final demo booth stint, I caught a couple afternoon sessions, “Surfacing Oracle Social Network into Your Business Applications” given by Andy Kershaw, OSN PM lead and  ”WebCenter User Experience and Interaction – From iPads to Xbox” by Friend of the ‘Lab, John Sim (@jrsim_uix) of Fishbowl Solutions.

    Andy’s session was unfortunately timed to overlap with lunch. Had it been a smidge later, I suspect he would have drawn ten times more people, given the content. Andy showed several key features of OSN, including how to connect it to other business applications.

    John’s session showcased the exciting possibilities for enhancing enterprise data surfaced through REST APIs with new interface paradigms like touch and natural motion capture, specifically Xbox Kinect. It was great to meet John IRL for the first time after stalking him virtually for a couple years.

    By the end of Wednesday, I was sounding like a lifetime smoker.

    Day 4

    Although Thursday was only yesterday, Vegas seems like a nostalgic memory now. There wasn’t much on the agenda, as the conference wrapped at noon, so Noel (@noelportugal) and I spent some quite time debriefing and comparing notes from the week.

    By the end of the conference, I left Vegas feeling like I had put in a good week. I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of new people and reconnecting with people I’ve know for years.

    It was a great week, and thanks to everyone for making Collaborate 12 a personal success for me.

    Now, to rest my voice.

    Thoughts on the conference? Find the comments.

    Monday Apr 23, 2012

    Oracle Social Network in Action @ Collaborate 12

    By Peter Reiser

    With more than 70 out of about 800 individual sessions, Oracle WebCenter is a major focus of COLLABORATE 12, this year's Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG) conference, taking place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    I had the pleasure to attend the WebCenter Customer Advisory Board meeting yesterday, where Oracle WebCenter customers shared their experiences and best practices of their WebCenter implementations and provided valuable input and feedback to the WebCenter product management team.

    Oracle Social Network  was used for real-time Conversations during the various presentations and to capture customer feedback.

    It was a fascinating experience. During the presentation, customers were very active and  provided real-time feedback, asked questions and made valuable suggestions. 

    One topic surfaced consistently across multiple conversations was the concerns about Security (strong authentication, access control, data retention and archiving policies) when deploying social tools. 

    We were happy to address their concerns as all WebCenter products including, Oracle Social Network provide out-of-the-box enterprise level security, which allows you to implement SECURE Social Networks within your organizations. Are any of you attending Collaborate this week? We encourage you to sit in on any of the sessions to hear from WebCenter customers, partners and product management experts. If you are looking to see Oracle Social Network or Oracle WebCenter in action, be sure to stop by the demogrounds for a live demonstration! I'll be back later in the week to report on how the conference is going and share my reflections. Be sure to follow #webcenter and #c12lv on Twitter to be in the know of the latest happenings. Here's to a great Collaborate 12!

    Friday Apr 13, 2012

    Q&A: Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals and Websites

    Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals & Websites

    We had a great webcast yesterday and wanted to recap the questions that were asked throughout.

    Can ECM distribute contents to 3rd party sites?
    ECM, which is now called WebCenter Content can distribute content to 3rd party sites via several means as well as SSXA - Site Studio for External Applications.

    Will you be able to provide more information on these means and SSXA?
    If you have an existing JSP application, you can add the SSXA libraries to your IDE where your application was built (JDeveloper for example).  You can now drop some code into your 3rd party site/application that can both create and pull dynamically contributable content out of the Content Server for inclusion in your pages.  

    If the 3rd party site is not a JSP application, there is also the option of leveraging two Site Studio (not SSXA) specific custom WebCenter Content services to pull Site Studio XML content into a page.

    More information on SSXA can be found here: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E17904_01/doc.1111/e13650/toc.htm

    Is there another way than a ”gadget” to integrate applications (like loan simulator) in WebCenter Sites?
    There are some other ways such as leveraging the Pagelet Producer, which is a core component of WebCenter Portal. Oracle WebCenter Portal's Pagelet Producer (previously known as Oracle WebCenter Ensemble) provides a collection of useful tools and features that facilitate dynamic pagelet development. A pagelet is a reusable user interface component. Any HTML fragment can be a pagelet, but pagelet developers can also write pagelets that are parameterized and configurable, to dynamically interact with other pagelets, and respond to user input. Pagelets are similar to portlets, but while portlets were designed specifically for portals, pagelets can be run on any web page, including within a portal or other web application. Pagelets can be used to expose platform-specific portlets in other web environments. More on Page Producer can be found here: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E23943_01/webcenter.1111/e10148/jpsdg_pagelet.htm#CHDIAEHG

    Can you describe the mechanism available to achieve the context transfer of content?
    The primary goal of context transfer is to provide a uniform experience to customers as they transition from one channel to another, for instance in the use-case discussed in the webcast, it was around a customer moving from the .com marketing website to the self-service site where the customer wants to manage his account information. However if WebCenter Sites was able to identify and segment the customers  to a specific category where the customer is a potential target for some promotions, the same promotions should be targeted to the customer when he is in the self-service site, which is managed by WebCenter Portal. The context transfer can be achieved by calling out the WebCenter Sites Engage Server API’s, which will identify the segment that the customer has been bucketed into. Again through REST API’s., WebCenter Portal can then request WebCenter Sites for specific content that needs to be targeted for a customer for the identified segment. While this integration can be achieved through custom integration today, Oracle is looking into productizing this integration in future releases. 

    How can context be transferred from WebCenter Sites (marketing site) to WebCenter Portal (Online services)?
    WebCenter Portal Personalization server can call into WebCenter Sites Engage Server to identify the segment for the user and then through REST API’s request specific content that needs to be surfaced in the Portal.

    Still have questions? Leave them in the comments section! And you can catch a replay of the webcast here.

    Thursday Apr 12, 2012

    Wisdom Lies in Collaborative Power and Intelligence


    By Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions  

    In my recent blog posts, I shared insights on Predictive Analytics (Will Predictive Analytics at 'Speed of Thoughts' Help Businesses?), Real Time Decisions (How critical are Real Time decisions in business today?) and their significance in our lives in general and in businesses today. In the current business paradigm shift- with evolutionary social business, it is paramount that businesses look for wisdom in collaborative power and intelligence and equip their employees with the tools to engage with one another. There is an old time saying that 5 sticks tied together are stronger and unable to break as opposed to an individual stick. We have recently witnessed the power of ordinary people uniting together and fought collaboratively using Facebook and Twitter to topple down dictators in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya—and are threatening absolute rule in Syria. And an India one man’s (Anna Hazare) campaign against corruption went viral, bringing thousands to the streets in support.

    As anyone who has worked in a sizeable organization knows, there is no guarantee that the organization as a whole will perform efficiently and achieve its goals, even if each employee is individually efficient and every team has a high level of productivity. To achieve enterprise productivity, it is necessary not only for individuals and groups to “do things right” by working productively but also for the enterprise as a whole to “do the right things” - form the right teams, make the right decisions, allocate resources correctly, and effectively coordinate activities across the entire organization.

    Most organizations fall short of the optimal level of enterprise productivity because of one or more of these reasons, all at a great cost to the business. 
    • They are disconnected from themselves with various parts of the organization unintentionally working at cross-purposes with each other. 
    • Information that exists is not getting shared or reused. 
    • Human talent is not being applied where it is most needed. 
    • The same problems are being solved repeatedly by multiple groups.

    Intelligent collaboration through automated business processes has the ability to alter the course of any important business activity, with a potentially dramatic impact on the financial performance of the business. Whether it is a simple email exchange, a physical or virtual meeting, a task force, or a large-scale project, the activity is inherently collaborative.  In fact, collaboration can be defined as the work that takes place among people when a business process is not pre-determining how the work should take place.

    Collaboration is many things: information sharing, brainstorming, problem solving, best practice negotiation, innovation, coordination of activity, alignment of purpose, and so forth.  Collaboration is the “white space” between the business processes; it is the glue that holds an organization together, and the lubricant that allows the machinery to keep running. 

    Real time search and collaborative capabilities of the right people with the right content supported by defined processes will provide unparallel wisdom in the organization in the most competitive business environment today. Interestingly, technologies such as Oracle WebCenter offer these capabilities in our Web based business transactions and compliment in the overall collaborative intelligence and power to truly transform organizations to social businesses.

    Looking to learn more about engaging your employees to collaborate together and providing a complete user experience for your customers? You won't want to miss our webcast today! Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals and Websites

    Monday Apr 09, 2012

    Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals and Websites

    As more and more business is being conducted via online channels, engaging users and making them more productive and efficient though these online channels is becoming critical. These users could be customers, partners or employees and while the respective channels through which they interact might be different, these users do increasingly interact with your business through the Web, or mobile devices or now through various social mediums.  Businesses need a user engagement strategy and solution that allows them to deliver targeted and personalized content and applications to users through the various online mediums and touch points. 

    The customer experience today is made up of an ongoing set of interactions with organizations across many channels, online and offline.  The Direct channel (including sales reps, email and mail) is an important point of contact, as is the Contact Center.  Contact Centers rely on the phone as a means of interacting with customers, and also more now than ever, the Web as well.  However, the online organization is often managed separately from the Contact Center organization within a business. In-store is an important channel for retailers, offering Point-of-Service for human interactions, and Kiosks which enable self-service. Kiosks are a Web-enabled touch point but in-store kiosks are often managed by the head of retail operations, rather than the online organization.  And of course, the online channel, including customer interactions with an organization via digital means -- on the website, mobile websites, and social networking sites, has risen to paramount importance in recent years in the customer experience. Historically all of these channels have been managed separately.

    The result of all of this fragmentation is that the customer touch points with an organization are siloed.  Their interactions online are not known and respected in their dealings in-store.  Their calls to the contact center are not taken as input into what the website offers them when they arrive. Think of how many times you’ve fallen victim to this. Your experience with the company call center is different than the experience in-store. Your experience with the company website on your desktop computer is different than your experience on your iPad. I think you get the point.

    But the customer isn’t the only one we need to look at here, as employees and the IT organization have challenges as well when it comes to online engagement. There are many common tools and technologies that organizations have been using to try and engage users, whether it’s customers, employees or partners. Some have adopted different blog and wiki technologies (some hosted, some open source, sometimes embedded in platforms), to things like tagging, file sharing and content management, or composite applications for self-service applications and activity streams.

    Basically, there are so many different tools & technologies that each address different aspects of user engagement.

    Now, one of the challenges with this, is that if we look at each individual tool, typically just implementing for example a file sharing and basic collaboration solution, may meet the needs of the business user for one aspect of user engagement, but it may not be the best solution to engage with customers and partners, or it may not fit with IT standards such as integrating with their single sign on tools or their corporate website. Often, the scenario is that businesses are having to acquire multiple pieces and parts as well as build custom applications to meet their needs. Leaving customers and partners with a more fragmented way of interacting with the company.

    Every organization has some sort of enterprise balancing act between the needs of the business user and the needs and restrictions enforced by enterprise IT groups. As we’ve been discussing, we all know that the expectations for online engagement have changed since the days of the static, one-size fits all website. With these changes have come some very difficult organizational challenges as well.

    Today, as a business user, you want to engage with your customers, and your customers expect you to know who they are. They expect you to recall the details they’ve provided to you on your website, to your CSRs and to your sales people. They expect you to remember their purchases, their preferences and their problems. And they expect you to know who they are, equally well, across channels, including your web presence.

    This creates a host of challenges for today’s business users. Delivering targeted, relevant content online is now essential for converting prospects into customers and for engendering long term loyalty. Business users need the ability to leverage customer data from different sources to fuel their segmentation and targeting strategies and to easily set-up, manage and optimize online campaigns. Also critical, they need the ability to accomplish these things on-the-fly, at the speed of the marketplace, while making iterative improvements. 

    These changing expectations put a host of demands on the IT organization as well. The web presence must be able to scale to support the delivery of personalized and targeted content to thousands of site visitors without sacrificing performance. And integration between systems becomes more important as well, as organizations strive to obtain one view of the customer culled from WCM data, CRM data and more.

    So then, how do you solve these challenges and meet the growing demands of your users?

     You need a solution that:

    1. Unifies every customer interaction across all channels
    2. Personalizes the products and content that interest the customer and to the device
    3. Delivers targeted promotions to the right customer
    4. Engages and improve employee productivity
    5. Provides self-service access to applications
    6. Includes embedded in-context social  

    So how then do you achieve this level of online engagement, complete customer experience and engage your employees? The answer: Oracle WebCenter. If you want to learn how to get there, we encourage you to attend this webcast on Thursday Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals and Websites, where we'll talk about how you are able to transform your portal experience and optimize online engagement -- making your portals more interactive and more engaging across multiple channels. Register today!

    Thursday Apr 05, 2012

    Webcast: The Power to Translate is Now Inside Oracle WebCenter Sites


    The Power to Translate is

    Now Inside Oracle

    WebCenter Sites

    You are invited to a special preview of the Lingotek Inside Oracle WebCenter Sites solution which will be showcased at Collaborate in Las Vegas later in April.

    Now it's easy to quickly translate your content directly from Oracle WebCenter Sites using the new Lingotek - Inside for Oracle WebCenter Sites integration.

    Your users will be able to access translated content, nominate content for translation, and even offer to translate content themselves.

    Oracle Integration Solution

    Lingotek - Inside Integration:
    1. Content identified and seamlessly viewable within Lingotek Workbench.
    2. Translation Completed by:
      • Machine and Translation Memory
      • Community Volunteers, Crowdsourcing
      • Professional Translators
    3. Translated Content Automatically Saved.
    4. Content within Oracle WebCenter Sites:
      • Related
      • Secured
      • Routed Through Workflows
      • Publish to Intranets, Web Sites, Applications
    Oracle WebCenter Sites

    Web Experience Management

    Enables marketers and business users to easily create and manage contextually relevant, social, and interactive online experiences across multiple channels on a global scale.

    1. Drive customer acquisition, brand loyalty, and business success
    2. Optimize customer engagement across Web, mobile, and social channels
    3. Manage large-scale, multichannel global online presence with integration to enterprise applications

    You'll hear from the experts how this can be done.




    Free 30 Minute Webinar

    Date: Tues, Apr 17th
    Time: 8:00am MST, 3pm GMT and 4pm CET

    Win a Kindle Fire

    Amazon Kindle Fire

    Register before April 6th for a chance to win a Amazon Kindle Fire!

    Presenter:

    Rob Vandenberg, President and CEO

    Rob Vandenberg, President and CEO of Lingotek, drives the vision while leading the charge to change the future of translation. Rob is a well-known technology industry veteran, and his expertise and knowledge surrounding translation, localization, and internationalization materials, software products, and web content serves as an immeasurable asset to customers needs and requirements. Rob is a frequent industry speaker and panelist .

    Presenter:

    Andrew Palmer, EMEA Alliances Director WebCenter Sites

    Andrew Palmer
    Oracle
    EMEA Alliances Director
    WebCenter Sites

    Oracle Gold Partner
    Oracle Validated Integration
    Oracle Web Logic Ready

    System Requirements
    PC-based attendees
    Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

    Macintosh®-based attendees
    Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

    Tuesday Apr 03, 2012

    COLLABORATE 12: Oracle WebCenter Featured at Largest Oracle User Conference

    With more than 70 out of about 800 individual sessions, Oracle WebCenter will be a major focus of COLLABORATE 12, this year's Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG) conference, taking place April 22–26 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    "COLLABORATE 12 provides a unique chance to share experiences with Oracle customers, product managers, and partners, so you can deepen your knowledge about Oracle WebCenter upgrades, user provisioning, workflow, integration, and much more," says Roel Stalman, vice president of product management for Oracle WebCenter. "In fact, COLLABORATE can form a key part of your training plans for 2012."

    Full-Day Oracle WebCenter Deep Dive
    On Sunday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., registered conference attendees can attend a special deep dive into Oracle WebCenter.

    During the program, experts from Oracle product management and development teams will delve into all four pillars of Oracle WebCenter—and explore how all four are integrated together. Attendees can also expect

    • A preview of Oracle WebCenter 12c
    • Detailed product demos
    • Prize giveaways throughout the day

    Going Mobile
    Oracle WebCenter and mobile technology will be a major theme at this year's conference, with a number of sessions devoted to maximizing the availability of content while also ensuring security. Sessions include

    • Are You Making These Mistakes in Your Oracle Site Studio Implementations?
      • Monday, April 23 at 11 a.m.
    • Case Study: How Medtronic Brought Oracle WebCenter Content to the iPad
      • Tuesday, April 24 at 10:45 a.m.
    • Exposing Oracle WebCenter Data on Mobile and Desktop Devices Through the REST API
      • Tuesday, April 24 at 10:45 a.m.
    • Mobile First: Delivering a Compelling Mobile Experience with Oracle WebCenter
      • Tuesday, April 24 at 4:30 p.m.
    • Optimizing Your Oracle WebCenter Portal Solution for Mobile Devices
      • Wednesday, April 25 at 8:15 a.m.
    • Build an iPhone App Using Oracle WebCenter Portal REST APIs
      • Wednesday, April 25 at 9:30 a.m.

    Other Don't-Miss Sessions
    Conference organizers have indicated that the following sessions in particular should be of wide interest to attendees.

    • Oracle WebCenter: Vision, Strategy, and Overview
      Monday, April 23 at 9:45 a.m.
      This session explores Oracle's integrated approach to portals and composite applications, Web experience management, enterprise content management, and enterprise social collaboration. It also provides insight into Oracle's strategic direction for Oracle WebCenter.
    • Oracle Webcenter Content, Oracle WebCenter Spaces, Oracle WebCenter Sites: Which Is Right for Me?
      Monday, April 23 at 1:15 p.m.
      This session helps attendees determine the best Oracle WebCenter solution to meet their needs for an intranet, corporate Website, or partner portal.

    Learn more and register to attend COLLABORATE 12.

    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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