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!


Tuesday Sep 13, 2011

Social Business: Land O'Lakes

Are you looking for a good use case on social business and wondering how you can utilize the latest technologies to transform your organization? You won't want to miss the webcast tomorrow with Land O'Lakes!

Reduce Bottlenecks, Order Delays, and Customer Frustration

Are you able to provide your customers and partners with an easy-to-use, online self-service experience? Are you processing high-volume transactions and struggling with call-center bottlenecks or back-end systems that won’t integrate, causing order delays and customer frustration?

Join us for this Webcast on September 14, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET as Land O’Lakes shares strategies and best practices for transforming your business by providing an intuitive user experience that allows you to:

  • Easily create and capture orders for improved product reservation, price visibility, and up-sell/cross-sell opportunities
  • Allocate products based on business rules and improved tracking
  • Provide an intuitive user interface for ordering, invoice information, bill presentation, and support issue tracking

Register online for Land O'Lakes Improves Online Experiences with Self-Service Portal.

 Presented by:
Sachin Agarwal
Sachin Agarwal
Director, Product Management, Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle
 
Mervyn Lally
Mervyn Lally
Architecture, Innovation, and Integration Lead, Winfield Solutions, Land O’Lakes
 
Kristen L. McConnell
Kristen L. McConnell
Systems Applications Manager, Winfield Solutions, Land O’Lakes

Friday Aug 26, 2011

The Chicken or the Egg: Aka the Content Management System or the Portal?

As we wrap up the week on composite applications and mashups, we're happy to have Troy Allen guest post for us today. Troy is the Director of Enterprise 2.0 solutions at TekStream, an Oracle WebCenter partner.

 


 

 Originally posted by Troy Allen on CMSWire on April 18, 2011.  The following article has been updated from its posting (to see the original article, click here).

Many software companies who provide both Content Management and Portal applications are merging the two technologies to provide a consolidated approach for presenting information to users. Historically, portal products have had some kind of content store embedded within them, but were never designed as enterprise level content management applications. Content Management applications which provided Web Content Management claimed to provide some Portal-like capabilities, but were never meant to be a true portal replacement.

In years past, there was a clear process for implementing the strategy: approach it from either the CMS first or Portal first position. Because of the strong inter-dependencies between the two technologies, administrators and developers are at odds over where to start. So which is the chicken and which is the egg? Which one comes first?
  
The CMS or the Portal?
The answer is, neither. Today, businesses are able to purchase a suite of technologies that provide the best of both worlds like the Oracle WebCenter suite of products; now the problem is how to deploy them in a meaningful and functional fashion. Typical solutions utilize the portal as the front-end engine with the content management application hidden safely behind the scenes as the repository for all forms of content being presented through the portal.
However, today’s technologies bring added complexity with the need to include security, business intelligence tools, caching solutions and integrations to other application sets. It is more important than ever to understand the function the entire solution will provide and what the overall goals of the implementation will address.

The following example could be any company’s public website. In this case, TechWidgets wants to provide both their customers and partners with a single interface for reviewing products, finding out about all the services that are offered, what is available for potential partners, and providing access to functions such as ordering, quote requests, sales and more. If TechWidgets were an actual company, they would need to determine all the functions and capabilities for their online application and create a roadmap for the final solution.

 
Evaluating the Options for a Portal/CMS App
In evaluating a Portal/Content management application, companies should be able to address the following basic questions (which will help to determine the design and implementation approach):

  • What is the basic function of the solution (the following are examples of common Public facing sites)?
    • Targeted Content — an example of this might be a membership driven portal where data is presented to the user based upon profile information or a product(s) site.
    • Sales and Commerce — these types of applications drive revenue through sales and are application rich environments with shopping carts, sales processing, discounts and rebates, and product information.
    • Knowledge Sharing — This may be a self-service knowledge base for registered and unregistered users which may tie into a trouble ticketing system
  • What are the Security requirements?
    • Some applications may be based on light-weight security that delivers content based on profile information rather than true access controls.
    • Some applications will require Single Sign-On support to other applications being presented through the portal. A knowledge management or support portal may need to log the user into other back-end systems while providing content that is strictly controlled based on specific criteria.
    • Some product and brochure sites may be purely unrestricted repositories for information that all users can search for or navigate to.
  • What applications will be presented through the Portal?
    • Many companies are looking to provide ERP, Sales, Campaign Management and customer/partner support applications through a consolidated interface.
    • Many companies have written custom applications which need to be shared with the public.
    • More often than not, companies are embracing Social Media applications like Face Book, Twitter and Share. It is often desired to have these applications lined directly to content and functional areas of a portal.

Due to the level of dependencies each of these topics has on each other; it is no longer possible to build a web solution in silos. Administrators and developers must map cross-functionality, understand the dependencies and create parallel paths for designing, developing, testing and deploying the final product. With that in mind, it is no wonder that companies have a hard time finding a starting point.

What Comes First?
The following plan can provide a good overall strategy for taking on such a daunting task:

1. Define the Business Requirements

Understanding what you are trying to accomplish should always be the first step. Often, I see companies that have decided to “deploy a portal” without understanding the purpose behind it. By defining requirements around Functions, Content, Applications, Security and Administration, organizations can refine a manageable set of objectives for the web application.
 
2. Create a wire frame walk through

Consider why a movie director creates a storyboard: a progression of simple sketches of key points and actor interactions gives the actors and crew a visual “map,” which organizes actor positions, camera angles, as well as providing a condensed version of the story. In essence, it’s an outline which allows organization of needs in a simple, cost-effective manner. A wireframe or story board of the “day in the life” of the different types of users helps companies organize the requirements of their users, and also discern interrelationships of function, security and application that are needed within their own system. They say a picture paints a thousand words. Being able to describe the aspects of any given page and any given section within that page will also help find logical discrepancies between the Business Requirements that were created and help to solidify what is really necessary.
 
3. Map the Technologies

With the Business Requirements and Wireframes in hand, it is easier to determine what technologies will be needed to support the requirements. Companies will need to build compatibility matrixes between the different technologies that meet the Web Application’s needs while ensuring that integrations are possible and supportable. Look for companies that already provide integrated solutions. It is often better to choose a suite of products that provide 80% of the requirement’s functionality and add the remaining 20% through 3rd party applications, then to assemble the system from scores of products from different companies.
 
4. Define the Infrastructure

With the required technologies outlined, organizations can now start to build out the infrastructure requirements to support the application. They can define and assess what type of servers, operating systems, storage devices, hosting facilities (if going with a Cloud based solution), and networking requirements are needed. It is often best to try to re-use existing infrastructure when possible.
 
5. Create a blueprint

Now that the Requirements have been gathered, wireframes established, technologies decided upon and an infrastructure has been outlined, it is time to do parallel analysis of each section of the overall application. Analysis will help to draw out further requirements, streamline the application flow and provide a solid foundation of information for the actual design of the system.
 
6. Design the application

With the overall application’s vision clearly defined, architects can start to design the integration, infrastructure, and application elements that will bring the overall system to live. It is recommended that proofs of concepts be made between application integration points. Design process should include a method for editing both the requirements and the application walk through or wire frame. Conceptual testing and validation within the design stage will help to eliminate wasted development tasks caused by unrealistic expectations.
 
7. Build the solution

As mentioned, good analysis and thorough design work helps prevent extra time in development. With all the puzzle pieces together and instructions on how they fit into a cohesive image, it is time to build out the security models, metadata models, look and feel, application integration points and code required for the application. While most organizations go through a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) process, it is preferable to test often as you go through the development period. Unit testing should be a required part of any development task. Additionally, don’t skimp on the documentation. It is one thing to build an application as quickly as possible, it’s entirely a different story to keep it running when all the developers are gone and no one understand how it was put together. Taking the extra time to document the development process will save time and headaches when it is rolled out to production and has to be maintained.
 
8. TEST, TEST, TEST

For very complex applications like a company portal, there are so many moving parts that it is easy to miss a problem. Create a well-defined test plan for each aspect of the site and make sure that it is tested in every conceivable way. Remember, the portal is the world’s view into your organization. How well it works can be a huge deciding factor on whether or not someone does business with you. It is common for testing to take as long, and in some cases, longer, as the development cycle.
 
9. Go Live

All the work has been done, the site has been thoroughly tested, and now it is ready for the world to see it. Make a production out of it, externally AND internally. You’ve worked hard to roll out your portal application and you should be proud to show it off. Create a media campaign and press releases to give it exposure. Have a team party for a job well done. And now that the work is done, get ready to maintain it and start gathering information from the users on how to make it even better and more efficient. Portals never stop growing. Well-designed portals lend themselves to continued enhancements in order to better facilitate both internal stake-holders and external users. Make sure that you provide a way to gather feedback so that that you have a good foundation of requirements for the portal’s next phase growth.

Oracle WebCenter and other Oracle Technologies Make it easier.
As mentioned in the original article I posted, many companies are combining Content Management and Portal technologies as a suite of products to provide a complete solution.  Oracle’s continued focus on providing integrated platforms to solve real business requirements is showcased very well in the WebCenter suite of products.  By providing Content Management (WebCenter Content), Web Experience Management (WebCenter Sites), Enterprise Portals (WebCenter Portal), and Enterprise Social and Collaboration services (WebCenter Connect), Oracle is providing a platform that allows business users, administrators, developers, and consultants to orchestrate meaningful online business experiences.  These applications leverage (and are leveraged by) many of the other Oracle products allowing organizations to maximize on their investment while reducing overall cost of ownership. 

Because the WebCenter technologies fit so well together, the tasks of Mapping the Technologies is simplified, Defining the Infrastructure is streamlined, Designing the Application is more intuitive, and Building the Solution is more straightforward.

About the author:
Troy Allen originally starting working with Content Management technologies in 1998. During his career, he was one of the first pre-sales engineers for IntraNet Solutions, which later became Stellent. Troy stayed with Stellent and then with Oracle after the Stellent acquisition. Troy has also worked for Idhasoft, Inc. as the Director of CMS and as the Enterprise 2.0 Chief Architect for Sena Systems, Inc.

Troy Allen is now the Director of Enterprise 2.0 Solutions at TekStream Solutions. His expertise is in Oracle’s Enterprise Content Management Suite, including all of its components -- Document Management, Records Management, Digital Asset Management, Information Rights Management (now part of Oracle’s security offerings), Web Content Management, and Image Process Management -- comes from over a decade of providing successful solutions to real-world problems with managing structured and unstructured content.

Oracle has recently honored Troy recognizing him as one of the few Oracle Deputy CTO’s for Oracle WebCenter.

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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