Monday Dec 05, 2011

WebCenter Provides Intuitive Experiences for Land O'Lakes

With Oracle WebCenter, Land O'Lakes gives employees, customers and partners a dynamic self-service order management system, with an online experience that is personalized, intuitive and integrated with JD Edwards and other back-end systems.

Friday Dec 02, 2011

Resource kit: Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications

Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications: Engineered for Application Innovation

Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications: Engineered for Application Innovation

Are you looking for more information on Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Applications? You've come to the right place! Experience greater business-user productivity, lower costs, and improved business agility by using Oracle Fusion Middleware as a foundation for your Oracle Applications: PeopleSoft, E-Business Suite, Siebel, and JD Edwards. Learn how Oracle Fusion Middleware is the foundation for Oracle's next generation Fusion Applications transforming the way enterprises innovate, work, and adopt technology.

Learn more about:

  • Extending applications using Oracle BPM to respond to tactical and strategic process changes
  • Increasing performance, maximize uptime, and distribute application data in real-time with Oracle Data Integration
  • Customizing your applications to be upgrade-friendly, more intuitive, and more insightful using composers in Oracle Fusion Applications
  • Achieving extreme performance, scalability, and reliability of your business applications with Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud

Register now to access webcasts, white papers, and customer stories.

Wednesday Nov 30, 2011

Bunny Inc. Season 2: Find Specialist Partner Resources for Success

You may need an additional hand to improve your IT infrastructure, or advice to evolve existing enterprise applications. Or perhaps you’re seeking revolutionary ideas to refresh online presence. Whatever the case, spotting the right partners’ ecosystem will be a central step to grow your business.

Don't be a Hare Inc. company by wasting valuable time sourcing relevant expertise, competencies and proven successes on Oracle's product portfolio on your own. Follow Bunny Inc. in the fourth episode of the saga and discover what our worldwide partner community can do for you thanks to the new Oracle Partner Network Specialized program

Monday Nov 28, 2011

Oracle WebCenter Partner Program

In competitive marketplaces, your company needs to quickly respond to changes and new trends, in order to open opportunities and build long-term growth. Oracle has a variety of next-generation services, solutions and resources that will leverage the differentiators in your offerings. Name your partnering needs: Oracle has the answer.

This week we’d like to focus on Partners and the value your organization can gain from working with the Oracle PartnerNetwork. The Oracle PartnerNetwork will empower your company with exceptional resources to distinguish your offerings from the competition, seize opportunities, and increase your sales. We’re happy to welcome Christine Kungl, and Brian Buzzell, from Oracle’s World Wide Alliances & Channels (WWA&C) WebCenter Partner Enablement team, as today’s guests on the Oracle WebCenter blog.


Q: What is the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN)?
A: Christine: Oracle’s PartnerNetwork (OPN) is a collaborative partnership which allows registered companies specific added value resources to help differentiate themselves from their competition. Through OPN programs it provides companies the ability to seize and target opportunities, educate and train their teams, and leverage unparalleled opportunity given Oracle’s large market footprint. OPN’s multi-level programs are targeted at different levels allowing companies to grow and evolve with Oracle based on their business needs.  As part of their OPN memberships partners are encouraged to become OPN Specialized allowing those partners additional differentiation in Oracle’s Partner Network Community. 

Q: What is an OPN Specialization and what resources are available for Specialized Partners?
A: Brian: Oracle wanted a better way for our partners to differentiate their special skills and expertise, as well a more effective way to communicate that difference to customers.  Oracle’s expanding product portfolio demanded that we be able to identify partners with significant product knowledge—those who had made an investment in Oracle and a continuing commitment to deliver Oracle solutions. And with more than 30,000 Oracle partners around the world, Oracle needed a way for our customers to choose the right partner for their business.
So how did Oracle meet this need? With the new partner program:  Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized.


In this new program, Oracle partners are:

  • Specialized :  Differentiating themselves from the competition with expertise that set them apart
  • Recognized:  Being acknowledged for investing in becoming Oracle experts in specialized areas.
  • Preferred :  Connecting with potential customers who are seeking  value-added solutions for their business

OPN Specialized provides all partners with educational opportunities, training, and tools specially designed to build competency and grow business.  Partners can serve their customers better through key resources:
OPN Specialized Knowledge Zones –
Located on the updated and enhanced OPN portal— provide a single point of entry for all education and training information for Oracle partners.


Enablement 2.0 Resources —
Enablement 2.0 helps Oracle partners build their competencies and skills through a variety of educational opportunities and expanded training choices.
These resources include:

  • Enablement 2.0 “Boot camps” provide three-tiered learning levels that help jump-start partner training
  • The role-based training covers Oracle’s application and technology products and offers a combination of classroom lectures, hands-on lab exercises, and case studies.
  • Enablement 2.0 Interactive guided learning paths (GLPs) with recommendations on how to achieve specialization
  • Upgraded partner solution kits
  • Enhanced, specialized business centers available 24/7 around the globe on the OPN portal

OPN Competency Center—Tracking Progress
The OPN Competency Center keeps track as a partner applies for and achieves specialization in selected areas. You start with an assessment that compares your organization’s current skills and experience with the requirements for specialization in the area you have chosen. The OPN Competency Center then provides a roadmap that itemizes the skills and the knowledge you need to earn specialized status.

In summary, OPN Specialization not only includes key training resources but a way to track and show progression for your partner organization.

Q: What is are the OPN Membership Levels and what are the benefits?
A:  Christine: The base OPN membership levels are:

Remarketer:
At the Remarketer level, retailers can choose to resell select Oracle products with the backing of authorized, regionally located, value-added distributors (VADs). The Remarketer level has no fees and no partner agreement with Oracle, but does offer online training and sales tools through the OPN portal.
Program Details: Remarketer

Silver Level:
The Silver level is for Oracle partners who are focused on reselling and developing business with products ordered through the Oracle 1-Click Ordering Program. The Silver level provides a cost-effective, yet scalable way for partners to start an OPN Specialized membership and offers a substantial set of benefits that lets partners increase their competitive positioning.
Program Details: Silver

Gold Level:
Gold-level partners have the ability to specialize, helping them grow their business and create differentiation in the marketplace. Oracle partners at the Gold level can develop, sell, or implement the full stack of Oracle solutions and can apply to resell Oracle Applications.
Program Details: Gold

Platinum Level:
The Platinum level is for Oracle partners who want the highest level of benefits and are committed to reaching a minimum of five specializations. Platinum partners are recognized for their expertise in a broad range of products and technology, and receive dedicated support from Oracle.
Program Details: Platinum

In addition we recently introduced a new level:
Diamond Level:
This level is the most prestigious level of OPN Specialized. It allows companies to differentiate further because of their focused depth and breadth of their expertise.
Program Details: Diamond

So as you can see there are various levels cost effective ways that Partners can get assistance, differentiation through OPN membership.

Q: What role does the Oracle's World Wide Alliances & Channels (WWA&C), Partner Enablement teams and the WebCenter Community play? 
A: Brian:
Oracle’s WWA&C teams are responsible for manage relationships, educating their teams, creating go-to-market solutions and fostering communities for Oracle partners worldwide.  The WebCenter Partner Enablement Middleware Team is tasked to create, manage and distribute Specialization resources for the WebCenter Partner community.

Q: What WebCenter Specializations are currently available?
A: Christine:
  As of now here are the following WebCenter Specializations and their availability:

Oracle WebCenter Portal Specialization (Oracle WebCenter Portal): Available Now
The Oracle WebCenter Specialization provides insight into the following products: WebCenter Services, WebCenter Spaces, and WebLogic Portal.
Oracle WebCenter Specialized Partners can efficiently use Oracle WebCenter products to create social applications, enterprise portals, communities, composite applications, and Internet or intranet Web sites on a standards-based, service-oriented architecture (SOA). The suite combines the development of rich internet applications; a multi-channel portal framework; and a suite of horizontal WebCenter applications, which provide content, presence, and social networking capabilities to create a highly interactive user experience.


Oracle WebCenter Content Specialization: Available Now
The Oracle WebCenter Content Specialization provides insight into the following products; Universal Content Management, WebCenter Records Management, WebCenter Imaging, WebCenter Distributed Capture, and WebCenter Capture.
Oracle WebCenter Content Specialized Partners can efficiently build content-rich business applications, reuse content, and integrate hundreds of content services with other business applications. This allows our customers to decrease costs, automate processes, reduce resource bottlenecks, share content effectively, minimize the number of lost documents, and better manage risk.

Oracle WebCenter Sites Specialization: Available Q1 2012
Oracle WebCenter Sites is part of the broader Oracle WebCenter platform that provides organizations with a complete customer experience management solution.  Partners that align with the new Oracle WebCenter Sites platform allow their customers organizations to:

  • Leverage customer information from all channels and systems
  • Manage interactions across all channels
  • Unify commerce, merchandising, marketing, and service across all channels
  • Provide personalized, choreographed consumer journeys across all channels
  • Integrate order orchestration, supply chain management and order fulfillment


Q: What criteria does the Partner organization need to achieve Specialization? What about individual Sales, PreSales & Implementation Specialist/Technical consultants?
A: Brian:
Each Oracle WebCenter Specialization has unique Business Criteria that must be met in order to achieve that Specialization.  This includes a unique number of transactions (co-sell, re-sell, and referral), customer references and then unique number of specialists as part of a partner team (Sales, Pre-Sales, Implementation, and Support).   Each WebCenter Specialization provides training resources (GLPs, BootCamps, Assessments and Exams for individuals on a partner’s staff to fulfill those requirements.  That criterion can be found for each Specialization on the Specialize tab for each WebCenter Knowledge Zone. 




Here are the sample criteria, recommended courses, exams for the WebCenter Portal Specialization:


WebCenter Portal Specialization Criteria

Q: Do you have any suggestions on the best way for partners to get started if they would like to know more?
A: Christine:
   The best way to start is for partners is look at their business and core Oracle team focus and then look to become specialized in one or more areas. 
Once you have selected the Specializations that are right for your business, you need to follow the first 3 key steps described below. The fourth step outlines the additional process to follow if you meet the criteria to be Advanced Specialized. Note that Step 4 may not be done without first following Steps 1-3.
1. Join the Knowledge Zone(s) where you want to achieve Specialized status

  • Go to the Knowledge Zone
  • lick on the "Why Partner" tab
  • Click on the "Join Knowledge Zone" link

2. Meet the Specialization criteria - Define and implement plans in your organization to achieve the competency and business criteria targets of the Specialization. (Note: Worldwide OPN members at the Gold, Platinum, or Diamond level and their Associates at the Gold, Platinum, or Diamond level may count their collective resources to meet the business and competency criteria required for specialization in this area.)


3. Apply for Specialization – when you have met the business and competency criteria required, inform Oracle by completing the following steps:

  • Click on the "Specialize" tab in the Knowledge Zone
  • Click on the "Apply Now" button
  • Complete the online application form

Oracle will validate the information provided, and once approved, you will receive notification from Oracle of your awarded Specialized status. Need more information? Access our Step by Step Guide (PDF)


4. Apply for Advanced Specialization (Optional) – If your company has on staff 50 unique Certified Implementation Specialists in your company's approved Specialization's product set, let Oracle know by following these steps:

  • Ensure that you have 50 or more unique individuals that are Certified Implementation Specialists in the specific Specialization awarded to your company
  • If you are pooling resources from another Associate or Worldwide entity, ensure you know that company’s name and country
  • Have your Oracle PRM Administrator complete the online Advanced Specialization Application
  • Oracle will validate the information provided, and once approved, you will receive notification from Oracle of your awarded Advanced Specialized status.

There are additional resources on OPN as well as the broader WebCenter Community:


Tuesday Nov 22, 2011

Bunny Inc. Season 2: Optimize Your Enterprise Content

In a business environment largely driven by informal exchanges, digital assets and peer-to-peer interactions, turning unstructured content into an enterprise-wide resource is the key to gain organizational agility and reduce IT costs. To get their work done, business users demand a unified, consolidated and secure repository to manage the entire life cycle of content and deliver it in the proper format.

At Hare Inc., finding information turns to be a daunting and error-prone task. On the contrary, at Bunny Inc., Mr. CIO knows the secret to reach the right carrot!

Have a look at the third episode of the Social Bunnies Season 2 to discover how to reduce resource bottlenecks, maximize content accessibility and mitigate risk.


Thursday Nov 17, 2011

Three Key Tenets of Optimal Social Collaboration

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.  

By john.brunswick@oracle.com, Oracle Principal Sales Consultant


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. 

Wednesday Nov 16, 2011

Bunny Inc. Season 2: Spice Up Your Applications

The quality and effectiveness of online services is strongly dependent on core business processes and applications. Nonetheless, user friendly composite applications are still a challenge for enterprises, especially if they are also requested to embed social technologies to empower customization and facilitate collaboration.

You can operate like Hare Inc. and disappoint your customers, delivering inefficient services and wasting outside-in innovation opportunities, or you can operate like Bunny Inc., leveraging participatory services to improve connections between people, information and applications.

And maybe you are ahead enough to adopt a public enterprise cloud to drive business through organic conversations and jump-start productivity with more-purposeful social networking and contextual enterprise collaboration.

Don't miss this second episode of Social Bunnies Season 2 to learn how to increase the value of existing enterprise systems while augmenting employee productivity, business flexibility and organizational awareness.


Still looking for more information on composite applications. We've got a ton of great resources for you to learn more!

Monday Nov 14, 2011

Enterprise 2.0 Conference: November 14-17


Oracle is proud to be a Gold sponsor of the Enterprise 2.0 West Conference, November 14-17, 2011 in Santa Clara, CA. You will see the latest collaboration tools and technologies, and learn from thought leaders in Enterprise 2.0's comprehensive conference.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about Oracle WebCenter, the user engagement platform for social business—connecting people and information. Oracle WebCenter brings together the most complete portfolio of portal, web experience management, content, social, and collaboration technologies into a single integrated product suite, and it provides the foundation for Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Fusion Applications to deliver a next-generation user experience.

If you're attending the conference, you'll want to be sure to catch Andy MacMillan at these 2 sessions.

Market Leaders Theater Session
"Today's Successful Enterprises are Social Enterprises"

Featuring: Andy MacMillan, Vice President, Oracle WebCenter Product Management
Tuesday, November 15, 1:00 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.
 Technology Landscape Panel
"Marketplace Choices: Platforms vs. Products"
Moderator: Tony Byrne, President, Real Story Group
Featuring: Andy MacMillan, Vice President, Oracle WebCenter Product Management
Tuesday, November 15, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Enterprise 2.0 conference attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with Oracle WebCenter experts and see live demonstrations of Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Social Network by visiting Oracle booth #209.

Exhibit show floor hours: Tuesday, November 15, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, November 16, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Be sure to follow @oraclewebcenter and #e2conf for the latest updates! We look forward to seeing you this week in Santa Clara!

Wednesday Nov 09, 2011

Bunny Inc. Season 2: Transform Your Online Engagement

Bunny Inc. is back for another season! You may recall Season 1, where we presented a series of 5 videos that discussed the benefits of becoming a social enterprise. We are happy to report that the bunnies are back and ready to show you that in your quest to making your organization social and engage your customers, partners and employees, why Bunny Inc. is better than Hare Inc.

In today’s socially enabled, multichannel online world, people increasingly expect their online experiences to be rich, engaging, and tailored specifically to their interests. Providing a compelling user interface is not always enough to engage prospects, increase sales and build loyalty.

Companies like Hare Inc. struggle to deliver modern, up-to-date, easy-to-use online services. Others, like Bunny Inc., leverage seamless access and collaboration to critical applications and social functionalities to attract, delight and retain end-users for a very long time.

Social Bunnies are back for a second season to remind you how to make it easy for companies to optimize online customer experience through best-in-class interaction, complete back-office integration and social capabilities. Do you want to be a bunny or a hare?

Looking for more information on how Oracle WebCenter can help your business get social? Access additional resources here! Looking to drive customer engagement with a personalized, social & multi-channel online experience? Register to attend this webcast!

Monday Oct 31, 2011

Extra, Extra! OpenWorld Daily Newspaper Archives Now Available

Download .pdfs of all five editions of the Oracle OpenWorld 2011 official show daily newspaper

It's hard to believe that Oracle OpenWorld was almost a month ago! If you attended the conference, we hope you found it worthwhile, entertaining, and educational. If you weren't able to pick up a copy of the show daily newspaper, have no fear! You can download free .pdfs of each issue here. From opening day through It's a Wrap!, the show daily newspaper covered all the highlights of Oracle OpenWorld 2011.

  • Sunday, October 2 - Engineered for Innovation; Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Forum; Oracle Users Forum; Industry focus: Communications and Media, Utilities, Financial Services; Linux Turns 20: Q&A with Wim Coekaerts; Oracle's SPARC T4 security; sustainability; Women of OAUG; Oracle Customer Support Services. Download (.pdf)
  • Monday, October 3 - Engineered Systems: Faster than the Speed of Thought; Partner perspective: EMC; Java Magazine; Industry focus: Healthcare and Life Sciences, Retail; Oracle Database Appliance; Oracle North America Titan Awards; SPARC SuperCluster T4-4; Inside OTN Night. Download (.pdf)
  • Tuesday, October 4- Oracle Unveils New Engineered Systems; Partner perspective: Dell; Oracle and Big Data; Oracle Excellence Awards; Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c; Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g: Innovation Foundation; Pillar Axiom 600; Cloud Management Q&A with Richard Sarwal; ThinkQuest Live. Download (.pdf)
  • Wednesday, October 5 - Engineering Systems for 10x Performance Results; Partner perspectives: Cisco, Infosys; Servers and Storage Systems; Oracle Fusion Applications: Q&A with Steve Miranda; Industry focus: Insurance; National Marrow Donor Program Secures Life-Savings Data with Oracle. Download (.pdf)
  • Thursday, October 6 - Ellison Unveils Oracle Public Cloud, Oracle Social Network; Oracle Fusion Applications; New Oracle Public Cloud; Socialize Your Enterprise; Oracle OpenWorld photo collage. Download (.pdf)

If you missed any of the keynotes or sessions, you can catch the replays on YouTube.com/Oracle, and download presentations from Content Catalog.

Thank you for being part of Oracle OpenWorld; we look forward to seeing you at the next conference. In the meantime, be sure to take the conference survey and session surveys to let us know how we did and what we can improve on. And don't forget: Oracle OpenWorld comes to Latin America December 6-8, 2011, and Japan April 4-6, 2012. 

Friday Oct 14, 2011

Thank you Oracle WebCenter partners!

At Oracle OpenWorld this year, Oracle WebCenter partners Fishbowl Solutions, Fujitsu, Keste, TEAM Informatics, and TekStream, sponsored an appreciation reception at The Palace Hotel for Oracle WebCenter customers. This event provided an exclusive opportunity for customers to network with their peers and meet and talk with executives from Oracle Product Management, Development, and Marketing along with Oracle’s premiere Oracle WebCenter partners.

Andy MacMillan and Kumar Vora welcomed attendees and thanked everyone for their continued support and partnership with Oracle WebCenter.

We had a great turnout and enjoyed an evening of socializing and networking.

Thanks again Oracle WebCenter partners!

Thursday Oct 13, 2011

Customer Spotlight: Land O'Lakes

For our mid-western readers, today’s entry might have special ties to you (me being from MN and now living in WI, it certainly does to me!) Headquartered in Arden Hills, MN, Land O’Lakes is one of America’s premier member-owned cooperatives. They offer local cooperatives and agricultural producers across the nation an extensive line of agricultural supplies, as well as state-of-the-art production and business services. They also are a leading marketer of dairy-based food products for consumers, foodservice professionals and food manufacturers.

Since 1921, Land O’Lakes has been member-owned and directed. Today, they are the second-largest cooperative in the nation with approximately 9,000 employees, 3,200 direct producer-members and 1,000 member-cooperatives serving more than 300,000 agricultural producers. They handle 12 billion pounds of milk annually, produce a plethora of dairy foods products, are home to their respective industries' top value-added brands and are a trusted partner to many of the nation's top food companies and manufacturers. Land O’Lakes does business in all 50 states and more than 50 countries.

Today’s story focuses on WinField Solutions, a company within Land O’Lakes, and how they were able to improve online experiences with a self-service portal.  Barry Libenson, CIO for Land O’Lakes, spoke last week in Hasan Rizvi’s keynote. In case you missed it, here is a recap of their conversation.

Hasan:
"Barry, Congratulations on the Titan Award on your implementation - supporting $3B in orders within the first three weeks. What were the issues you were experiencing with the previous platform that led you to select Fusion Middleware?"

Barry:
“That’s right Hasan. We, being a $14B company, we still used an old technology platform in the WinField business for order entry.  First of all, the platform was not something we ran ourselves; it was run by a third party on our behalf. While it allowed people to place orders, that's really all it allowed them to do. It didn't have any personalization, it had no tracking capabilities. We really wanted something that took us to the next generation, something that did provide that high degree of personalization, something that would allow customers to go into the system, make changes after orders were placed, and would give them the ability to also get information that they previously were not able to get.

We selected Oracle as a core platform here because we really wanted to have one supplier to meet most of our technology needs. We developed a composite application using Oracle WebCenter, called Connect3™, and it is used by the company’s 3000+ seed customers, 300+ internal and external sales forces, and business partners to handle all aspects of account management and order entry through a consolidated user interface based on the Fusion Middleware platform."

Hasan:  
"Great to see such a critical service running on the Fusion Middleware platform. Can you give simple real-life examples to explain where SOA Suite and WebCenter and Content Management comes into play?"

Barry:
“We really wanted to move the bar significantly and really jump out ahead of everybody in terms of capabilities, so we needed a tool that would allow us to have certain security capabilities, a high degree of personalization and one that could also handle an enormous volume as during peak seasons -- we ship well over a million bags of seed in a week.  We built the Connect3™ composite application on the full “Red Stack” solution comprising of Oracle WebCenter, Application Development Framework (ADF), AIA, JDE (leveraging BSSVs), and Oracle Transportation Management.

Oracle WebCenter had the horsepower to handle the volumes that we knew we would be pumping through the system and create that type of personalized experience. It integrated very well with the back-end database and ERP environment that we were using, as well as SOA and BPM and basically met all of the requirements to do the things we needed to have done. At launch, the application stood up to the onslaught of customers and successfully processed all of the orders placed. In the first week, 10,000 order lines were booked and as many as 20,000 order-line changes were made. And it’s estimated that we will have supplied 10% of the corn, alfalfa and soy bean crop in 2012 in the US.”

If you want to hear more about how Land O’Lakes is using Oracle WebCenter, be sure to check out the video below.  And I bet most of you thought Land O’Lakes just made butter…



Monday Oct 03, 2011

Social Enterprise: Live Podcast at Oracle OpenWorld


Oracle OpenWorld. October 2–6, 2011. Moscone Center, San Francisco.

The Oracle WebCenter team is here in San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld and we are excited for all the events and announcements set to take place this week! I had the privilege of recording a podcast this morning with Andrejus Baranovskis, CEO of Red Samurai. Listen as Andrejus discusses how Red Samurai is helping Oracle WebCenter customers experience the social enterprise with extensions Red Samurai has developed for Oracle WebCenter for social business use cases.

Are you at OpenWorld this week? Be sure to stop by the DEMOgrounds in Moscone South to see the latest innovations in Oracle WebCenter. And don't forget about the Oracle WebCenter customer reception tonight at The Palace Hotel!


Thursday Sep 29, 2011

Business User Friendly Composite Applications: SharePoint or WebCenter?

I’m sure you’ve heard it before … business users complaining they have to log into 5 different applications to figure out the complete status of a particular work item. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get all the related information you needed from the different application systems all in one screen? Log in once – see it all – get your work done faster! That is the promise of composite applications.

So have you tried building composite applications using SharePoint or WebCenter? If so, have you asked IT how long it is taking them to build these composite applications along with the requisite backend integrations? And after that is done, have you asked your business users if it meets their needs? Oh, and what if they need to change something or modify it? Do they really have to go back to IT to request for a change? Or can they personalize it themselves?

To help us get to the bottom of this, we asked Vince Casarez, Sr. Vice President of Technology at Keste, for some insight on building composite applications. With over 22 years of experience helping customers deploy user engagement solutions, Vince has helped hundreds of customers improve productivity, optimize business processes and drive innovation. Read on to hear his recommendations and strategies.

Q1 – What do you think are the main challenges when trying to build composite applications with SharePoint?
A1 – If you’re looking for a composite that contains ribbon bars and a Microsoft look and feel, then the barrier drops a bit.  But application integration is not a strong point for SharePoint.  And if you have large content management needs, then you’ll constantly run into one roadblock after another.  The expectation from all of the customers that I’ve worked with is that the composite application has to fit in with their company branding guidelines, be extremely easy to use, and integrate the core disparate applications that they have in their environment.  As a result, they demand strict adherence to the latest standards so that they don’t have any vendor lock-in.  And finally, they want the solution to be as adaptable as possible.  They don’t want the composite to result in one more system that IT has to manage.  They expect to be able to “customize” the composite in a way that allows them to keep improving the overall system.  Where I’ve seen SharePoint fall down is on standards.  In fact, if the apps aren’t .Net based, I wouldn’t even consider using SharePoint.  Second, application integration is really only for non-enterprise applications.  If you have Siebel, JD Edwards, SAP, E-Business Suite, or PeopleSoft, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.  And finally, customization of the SharePoint look and feel or the user experience is just not there.

Q2 – On the same note, why in your experience has Oracle WebCenter been a preferred platform to build Composite Applications?
A2 – We’ve seen WebCenter since its inception and from the very start, WebCenter had application integration or composites as a key design point. There is tight integration with Oracle’s SOA Suite and Identity Management Suite for secure interactions capable of delivering a role based experience to the users.  And they’ve spent time to ensure that all the capabilities are applicable to SAP as well.  At Keste, we have customers that have integrated WebCenter and SAP directly.  We also have customers that are using WebCenter to front-end SalesForce.com applications with Siebel and Oracle E-Business Suite.  We would never attempt to do any of these with SharePoint.  Also, we’ve found that integrating into our customer’s brand identity is easily done with WebCenter.  And finally, some of the new capabilities make it very easy for users to tailor their experience to get exactly what they want.  The customization capabilities are quite extensive and very easy to understand and use.

Q3 – When it comes specifically to Oracle Applications, why do your customers overwhelmingly choose Oracle WebCenter over SharePoint to build composite applications?
A3 – I touched on this a little bit above.  Our customers have very diverse environments.  They don’t just have Oracle Applications, but if they do, they always engage us to leverage Oracle WebCenter over SharePoint.  The reasons are focused on the core of the integration requirements.  They have many applications built in many different technologies requiring a standards based approach to pull everything together.  They have a myriad of content systems that they are looking to aggregate into a common repository that can live underneath their applications, as well as be the foundation for their document collaboration, as well as be published out to their different web site properties.  While SharePoint attempts to deliver on a portion of these capabilities, it just doesn’t deliver on the breadth that’s required.  And then if you roll in security integration, customization, and business process management and business intelligence, there is no other choice for our customers that can grow with them.

Q4 – Which platform provides a more robust enterprise class platform, both from a scalability and management perspective?
A4 – We do have customers with large SharePoint installations, but we often get requests for a WebCenter Portal deployment to deliver a more scalable solution to their entire employee or partner population.  Don’t get me wrong, there are many SharePoint departmental portals that our customers are using and aren’t ready to replace.  But they do see and demand WebCenter Portal as their scalable solution for composite applications, enterprise wide team-based collaboration, and the foundation for delivering their enterprise dashboards.  We’ve also seen in our new Keste Center of Excellence, WebCenter Portal runs nearly 5-times faster on Exalogic and Exadata than on traditional hardware.  As Oracle continues to improve this platform, we expect even more performance improvements.  So the combination of Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Exalogic & Exadata, there is no comparison as to the right scalable, enterprise platforms for customers to choose.  It’s Oracle, hands down.

Q5 – Can you talk about some of the Composite Application deployments that your customers are using with Oracle WebCenter?
A5 – Yes, we have customers in the high tech, pharmaceutical, medical, and industrial manufacturing all using a WebCenter Portal solution as the composite face of their application.  Qualcomm delivers communication devices to the transportation industry to help manage the goods that are being shipped and monitor the shipments along the way.  They often sell these devices to direct customers as well as smaller trucking companies.  We’ve built a WebCenter Portal that provides an easy way for customers to purchase these devices online and purchase applications that are add-ons to these systems.  All of the information is being driven from Oracle E-Business Suite and has extended systems that need to be integrated as well.  It allows customers to reallocate the device to another customer when they sell the truck or the device.  So the system is used to help manage the full lifecycle of the products that Qualcomm sells to their customers.  The second customer that I’ll discuss is a fortune 100 company that provides an integrated solution that enables storage, delivery, and management of network information.  The WebCenter Portal we’ve delivered integrates with Salesforce.com, E-Business Suite, and Siebel to provide a sales quoting solution to all their employees and partners to accelerate their business initiatives in the coming decades.  The system involves configuring products and pricing out of E-Business Suite, then orchestrating the information into reviewable WebCenter Portal composites.  The sales rep is able to quickly select the products and assemblies needed and submit the quote for pricing approval.  Once approved, the sales rep is then able to print the quote using Oracle BI Publisher or send it directly to the customer.  In summary, the composites our customers are demanding are not simple one or two page screens, they are critical interfaces to drive their business forward that demand a complete user experience platform to deliver.

Thanks Vince for sharing your recommendations and strategies around composite applications. For more information about Oracle WebCenter, visit http://www.oracle.com/moveoff/sharepoint 

Tuesday Sep 27, 2011

Stuck in Your SharePoint Shell?

Are you using SharePoint? Still trying to figure out how to integrate the content in SharePoint seamlessly to your enterprise applications and business processes?

Now imagine if you could easily share information with the right people in various departments and roles across the company. And what if you could also automatically deliver targeted information to potential customers—and connect them with the right partners? It's a level of enterprise collaboration and efficiency that Microsoft SharePoint can't deliver. But Oracle WebCenter provides all this and more.

Watch Episode 1, “A Ray of Hope”, of this video series to see how a solar company enables employees to make the right connections across the company to get a product redesign into production quickly using Oracle WebCenter.


Curious as to what happens next? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the news about when the next episode is available!

Learn more at http://www.oracle.com/moveoff/sharepoint

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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