Friday Jan 07, 2011

Oracle Products Reflect Key Trends Shaping Enterprise 2.0

Following up on his predictions for 2011, we asked Enterprise 2.0 veteran Andy MacMillan to map out the ways Oracle solutions are at the forefront of industry trends--and how Oracle customers can benefit in the coming year.

1. Increase organizational awareness | Oracle WebCenter Suite

Oracle WebCenter Suite provides a unique set of capabilities to drive organizational awareness. In particular, the expansive activity graph connects users directly to key enterprise applications, activities, and interests. In this way, applicable and critical business information is automatically and immediately visible--in the context of key tasks--via real-time dashboards and comprehensive reporting.

Oracle WebCenter Suite also integrates key E2.0 services, such as blogs, wikis, and RSS feeds, into critical business processes, including back-office systems of records such as ERP and CRM systems.

2. Drive online customer engagement | Oracle Real-Time Decisions

With more and more business being conducted on the Web, driving increased online customer engagement becomes a critical key to success. This effort is usually spearheaded by an increasingly important executive role, the Head of Online, who usually reports directly to the CMO.

To help manage the Web experience online, Oracle solutions are driving a new kind of intelligent social commerce by combining Oracle Universal Content Management, Oracle WebCenter Services, and Oracle Real-Time Decisions with leading e-commerce and product recommendations. Oracle Real-Time Decisions provides multichannel recommendations for content, products, and services--including seamless integration across Web, mobile, and social channels. The result: happier customers, increased customer acquisition and retention, and improved critical success metrics such as shopping cart abandonment.

3. Easily build composite applications | Oracle Application Development Framework

Thanks to the shared user experience strategy across Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Fusion Applications and many other Oracle Applications, customers can easily create real, customer-specific composite applications using Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle Application Development Framework.

Oracle Application Development Framework components provide modular user interface components that can build rich, social composite applications. In addition, a broad set of components spanning BPM, SOA, ECM, and beyond can be quickly and easily incorporated into composite applications.

4. Integrate records management into a global content platform | Oracle Enterprise Content Management 11g

Oracle Enterprise Content Management 11g provides leading records management capabilities as part of a unified ECM platform for managing records, documents, Web content, digital assets, enterprise imaging, and application imaging.

This unique strategy provides comprehensive records management in a consistent, cost-effective way, and enables organizations to consolidate ECM repositories and connect ECM to critical business applications.

5. Achieve ECM at extreme scale | Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle Exadata

To support the high-performance demands of a unified and rationalized content platform, Oracle has pioneered highly scalable and high-performing ECM infrastructures. Two innovations in particular helped make this happen.

  • The core ECM platform itself moved to an Enterprise Java architecture, so organizations can now use Oracle WebLogic Server for enhanced scalability and manageability.
  • Oracle Enterprise Content Management 11g can leverage Oracle Exadata for extreme performance and scale. Likewise, Oracle Exalogic--Oracle's foundation for cloud computing--enables extreme performance for processor-intensive capabilities such as content conversion or dynamic Web page delivery.

Learn more about Oracle's Enterprise 2.0 solutions.

Tuesday Jan 04, 2011

Five Key Trends in Enterprise 2.0 for 2011

We recently sat down with Andy MacMillan, an industry veteran and vice president of product management for Enterprise 2.0 at Oracle, to get his take on the year ahead in Enterprise 2.0 (E2.0). He offered us his five predictions about the ways he believes E2.0 technologies will transform business in 2011.

1. Forward-thinking organizations will achieve an unprecedented level of organizational awareness.

Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0 technologies have already transformed the ways customers, employees, partners, and suppliers communicate and stay informed. But this year we are anticipating that organizations will go to the next step and integrate social activities with business applications to deliver rich contextual "activity streams." Activity streams are a new way for enterprise users to get relevant information as quickly as it happens, by navigating to that information in context directly from their portal. We don't mean syndicating social activities limited to a single application. Instead, we believe back-office systems will be combined with social media tools to drive how users make informed business decisions in brand new ways. For example, an account manager might log into the company portal and automatically receive notification that colleagues are closing business around a certain product in his market segment. With a single click, he can reach out instantly to these colleagues via social media and learn from their successes to drive new business opportunities in his own area.

2. Online customer engagement will become a high priority for CMOs.

A growing number of chief marketing officers (CMOs) have created a new direct report called "head of online"--a senior marketing executive responsible for all engagements with customers and prospects via the Web, mobile, and social media. This new field has been dubbed "Web experience management" or "online customer engagement" by firms and analyst organizations. It is likely to rapidly increase demand for a host of new business objectives and metrics from Web content management solutions. As companies interface with customers more and more over the Web, Web experience management solutions will help deliver more targeted interactions to ensure increased customer loyalty while meeting sales and business objectives.

3. Real composite applications will be widely adopted.

We expect organizations to move from the concept of a single "uber-portal" that encompasses all the necessary features to a more modular, component-based concept for composite applications. This approach is now possible as IT and power users are empowered to assemble new, purpose-built composite applications quickly from existing components.

4. Records management will drive ECM consolidation.

We continue to see a significant shift in the approach to records management. Several years ago initiatives were focused on overlaying records management across a set of electronic repositories and physical storage locations. We believe federated records management will continue, but we also expect to see records management driving conversations around single-platform content management consolidation.

5. Organizations will demand ECM at extreme scale.

We have already seen a trend within IT organizations to provide a common, highly scalable infrastructure to consolidate and support content and information needs. But as data sizes grow exponentially, ECM at an extreme scale is likely to spread at unprecedented speeds this year. This makes sense as regulations and transparency requirements rise. The model in which ECM and lightweight CMS systems provide basic content services such as check-in, update, delete, and search has converged around a set of industry best practices and has even been coded into new industry standards such as content management interoperability services. As these services converge and the demand for them accelerates, organizations are beginning to rationalize investments into a single, highly scalable infrastructure.

Is your organization ready for Enterprise 2.0 in 2011? Learn more.

Monday Nov 29, 2010

ROI Case Study: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

View this ROI case study and learn how the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer teamed with Oracle and global consulting firm Deloitte to implement an integrated portal environment for cancer professionals, patients and the public using Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g.

CPACHome.PNG
Figure 1: Linking Canadians to cancer services, information and resources

 

Cancer View Canada (www.cancerview.ca), the Partnership's publicly accessible cancer control information portal for people working in the health system, provides visitors with a "one stop shop" for cancer related information and allows registered users to connect and collaborate through Enterprise 2.0 services.

Colonversation.PNG
Figure 2: Colonversation.ca is a national resource for all Canadians to learn more about the importance of colon cancer screening

 

Read the case study to find out how the Partnership leveraged Oracle's comprehensive out-of-the-box functionality to meet an aggressive six-month timeline for portal rollout--without hiring additional IT staff and have provided various Enterprise 2.0 capabilities to create a modern experience for their users.

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Monday Nov 22, 2010

Best Practices for Going Mobile

Mobile is a hot topic. Regardless of industry, companies are constantly asking about technology to enable their businesses to reach customers and prospects on mobile devices. But implementing an effective mobile solution is challenging--and the requirement is reminiscent of the push to jump on the Web bandwagon in the early '90s. It's important to have a presence, but understanding how to get there or what to do once you're there can be elusive. Thankfully there are some fundamental guidelines that will make the most of your mobile implementation efforts.

1. Understand and Define the Desired Mobile Experience

Figure out which type of experience makes sense for your target mobile demographic and focus on it. There is a good chance that replicating your .com verbatim for mobile may not be the best solution.

2. Separate Content from Presentation

This is the key to delivering content to a mobile device. If the content stored in your CMS has embedded styling, reuse of this content will be limited. Start separating. Store content once and deliver to multiple channels.

3. Device Independence

Gone are the days of producing WML. Users surfing on their mobiles are using a modern device capable of rendering HTML pages. Emphasis should be placed on speed of access to content and creating an experience that works well on smaller screens. See how Oracle's Universal Content Management can be used to target content to a mobile device. Read more from John Brunswick

Monday Oct 18, 2010

Matching Content Lifecycle to Storage

Documents, images, e-mails and other unstructured data comprise 80% of the information in organizations. Yet, this content is scattered across many different repositories, file systems and storage solutions. In many cases, your organization might not be aware of what information you are managing. Without knowing what you are managing, you cannot ensure you are using the right storage for that content. So how can you cut your costs and improve performance by managing this information effectively?

Some interesting facts about content:


  • Content tends to get created and stored randomly in most organizations

  • It has a tendency to rot - in the short term, it might not get updated, it might not get accessed. In the long term it might get stored on a medium that stops working, in formats that we can't read.

  • As it lives in repositories or file shares, we often don't know what we are managing on these systems.

  • We can't find the content that is useful, and sometimes we find the content that is detrimental.

  • We spend thousands of dollars recreating content that is useful (See Monica Crocker, Corporate Records Manager at Land O' Lakes discuss how as a consultant she was often brought in to create content, only to find it had been created already but no one could find it).

  • Sometimes we find content that is detrimental because it is old and out of date, and we act on it, which can also be costly.

  • We often have no usage statistics on content. And without comprehensive usage information, it's hard to judge the relative value of content that is not usage tracked.

  • Content is often stored on the wrong medium - archived content is stored on magnetic media where it is costly every day to store. Magnetic media is also not a stable medium over the long term.

  • Key content cannot be replenished without a lifecycle plan.

 

Without knowing what we are managing, we can't know the value of any of the content we are storing. Part of this story is knowing usage statistics for content as it is stored and managed, and part of it is setting a lifecycle policy for content when it is created.

One of my favorite parts of Oracle Universal Content Management is Content Tracker. Tracker not only tells me what documents are being visited, it can tell me by who, by which department, and how often. I may find that a document I have written is constantly referred to. I may decide to make it more visible - put it on a page on the intranet. I may decide to add more to it, or I may decide to update it more often. Without it I am shooting in the dark about the content I create and how it is being used.

So we have all this content. The difficulty is in sifting through all the content to find the important stuff. In many cases you can base that upon metadata - the document type, the author - these can be key indicators of important content. But often you have to have other methods. A content use tracking system can be a good way to determine important content - less used content is less important. Some content is important only in the short term. A sales proposal might be important for 30 days. A marketing plan might be important for a year. Then there is some content that is not important on a day to day basis, but is important in the long term. You might not refer to your insurance policy for 40 years, but when you need it, it might be the most important document in the company.

One of my favorite stories about old documents in litigation comes from Simplot. Simplot is one of the largest private companies in the world. They make and sell food products (Sara Lee, McDonald's French fries) as well as fertilizers and pesticides. When the Fresno County water district found traces of a Simplot pesticide in the ground water that appeared to have been introduced in the 1950s, a lawsuit was ensued. Simplot's director of records management, Dave McDermott (former President of ARMA, and an Oracle Records Management customer) pulled all of Simplot's insurance policies. And upon reading them, he found a common clause that stated that "this policy covers this period of time in perpetuity" meaning that any claim against the company for that period of time was still covered. Dave served 52 insurance companies, and in a pre-trial hearing, in front of their attorneys, the judge grilled him on his records management program. The insurance firms challenged the veracity of his documents. At the end of the day, the judge conceded that it was probably the best records management program he had ever seen, and that he saw no reason to stop the suit. The following Monday, 50 of the insurance companies settled, and eventually the other two did as well, resulting in a $23 million payout to Simplot.

One reason I love this story is it depicts records management as a revenue generator. The other reason is because it illustrates how documents can be of no value day to day for decades, and then suddenly hugely important one day. Having a way to ensure you can get to them that day is a key part of our job. And that is where being able to set a lifecycle policy for content is important.

The ability for a content management system to apply its knowledge of the content to storage choices is very powerful. The content management system knows usage statistics, it also knows lifecycle metadata and retention schedules. By applying this knowledge to the storage system it can save valuable resources. If a web page is accessed frequently, it can go on flash storage. An old insurance policy can go on tape, but is still there, searchable, and can be brought back for reference in litigation. No reason to spend the electricity of keeping magnetic hard drives spinning for content that won't be accessed for 40 years.

And because these systems can automate moving content from tape to tape every decade or so, you can avoid the information rot that comes with magnetic storage. So the document will be accessible 40 years later.

To find out more about this topic, check out this week's web seminar Know Where Your Information Lives.

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Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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