Tuesday Aug 23, 2011

Webcast: Land O'Lakes Improves Online Experiences with Self-Service Portal

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

Monday Aug 22, 2011

Oracle WebCenter: Composite Applications & Mashups

Today, it’s pretty apparent that IT and the business work in different cycles. IT focuses on long-term stability, predictability, and cost reduction. Businesses tend to respond to short-term opportunities and market shifts even as they plan for long-term growth and profitability. Businesses like to respond; change, therefore, is constant in business and it has often been difficult for IT to change at the speed of business. What is needed is a business-oriented approach for building solutions. One that is flexible enough to change in near real-time as business and IT needs evolve.

One way to approach this is through composite applications and mashups. By adding a flexible mashup layer on top of existing systems and applications, the business is able to drive change. Processes and user interfaces can be mashed-up on the fly by using readily available business services, making it easy to quickly change these composite applications and mashups within hours rather than days or weeks.

As you know a mashup is a combination of information (internal or external) that is brought together to provide a valuable service. Many simple examples include combining mapping information like home locations with list prices and sellers. In this way, I can get a quick view of all the homes for sale in a specific neighborhood in which I want to live. I want the same service as a sales rep when I go to decide how I will plan my week. I want to see all my prospective customers within a certain area so that I can plan accordingly. Or I want to combine my current prospect s with a list of all the product issues they registered over the last year so that I can make sure they are addressed before I arrive. A mashup allows the business user to quickly assemble this view from the different parts or sources supplied from IT.

This week we want to focus on Composite Applications and Mashups and I recently spoke with Sachin Agarwal, Director of Product Management for WebCenter Portal at Oracle around this topic. Here’s a summary of the insight Sachin provided.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Oracle WebCenter provides a rich set of tools and capabilities for pulling in content, applications and collaboration functionality from various different sources and weaving them together into what we call Mashups. Mashups that also consists of transactional applications from multiple sources are specifically called Composite Applications.

With Oracle WebCenter, one can develop highly productive tasked based interfaces that aggregate a related set of applications that are part of a business process and provide in context collaboration tools so that users don’t have to navigate away to different tabs to achieve these tasks. For instance, a call center representative (CSR), not only needs to be able to pull customer information from a CRM application like Siebel, but also related information from Oracle E-Business Suite about whether a specific order has shipped. The CSR will be far more efficient if he or she does not have to open different tabs to login into multiple applications while the customer is waiting, but can access all this information in one mashup.


Oracle WebCenter provides a comprehensive set of tooling that enables a business user to quickly aggregate together a mashup and wire-in different backend applications to create a custom dashboard. Not only does Oracle WebCenter supports a wide set of standards (WSRP 1.0, 2.0, JSR 168, JSR 286) that allow portlets from other applications to be surfaced within WebCenter, but it also provides tools to bring in other web applications such as .Net Applications as well as SharePoint webparts. The new Business Mash-up editor allows business users to take any Oracle Application or 3rd party application and wire the backend data sources or APIs to a rich set of visualizations and reuse them in mashups. Moreover, Business users can customize or personalize any page using Oracle WebCenter Composer’s on-the-fly visual page editing features. Users access and select different resource components available in Oracle WebCenter’s Business Dictionary in order to add new content to the page. The Business Dictionary provides a role-based view of available components or resources, and these components can include information from a variety of enterprise resources such as enterprise applications, managed content, rich media, business processes, or business intelligence systems. Together, Oracle WebCenter’s Composer and Business Dictionary give users access to a powerful, yet easy to use, set of tools to personalize and extend their Oracle WebCenter portals and applications without involving IT.

Looking for more information on Composite Applications and Mashups? Check out these resources:

Monday Aug 08, 2011

The Evolution of Web Experience Management

Oracle’s Web Experience Management solution enables organizations to optimize the online channel for driving marketing and customer experience management success. Join us for a live Webcast on August 10th @ 10AM PST to hear how the combination of Oracle and FatWire will provide the industry’s most complete and integrated Web experience management solution for marketers.

[Read More]

Wednesday Jul 27, 2011

Oracle WebCenter Connect and Siebel CRM Service Integration

Social media has changed the game of customer service beyond recognition. We all know about the growing importance of social media and its emergence as another crucial customer contact channel for both sales and service. How organizations incorporate these new channels into their customer experience strategy will determine its success. Are your customers equipped with the right tools that enable them to find knowledge that is not easily searchable or documented? Does your organization have a social media strategy in place that enables you to respond in real-time, have rich agent-agent conversation to drive interactive idea generation and quickly access history of conversations from CRM?


We invite you to view this demonstration as we show how Oracle WebCenter connect Conversations can integrate with Oracle Siebel CRM and together provide exception levels of customer service. Many companies have chosen social media strategies that strive to place the customer at the center of each of their interactions…has yours?

Thursday Jul 21, 2011

WebCenter Content: One-Click Content Integration

Oracle WebCenter Content is open, enabling many different use cases. We saw this in yesterday’s post on the AIA, where the AIA is using Oracle WebCenter Content to organize content, enable updates, and automate digital asset management, but then serves the content to a custom, and award-winning front-end.  

This openness enables Oracle WebCenter Content to integrate with custom applications. At Eaton, a patent database tracks patents the status of patents, but then refers to WebCenter Content to view filings, correspondence, and images related to each patent record. This kind of integration can be achieved in many ways depending upon the organizations requirements. Content can be simply associated via a series of URLs. Content can be packaged around a particular patent as a folio, which is a single object that ties together a group of documents or other objects. A folio can be referred to from the patent application to bring a whole information set together for a patent record. Or the patent application can be exposed through a composite application built in WebCenter Portal, displaying the patent records and the associated documents and images in one screen.

Oracle WebCenter Content helps bring content management authoring, design and presentation capabilities to multiple types of sites, portals and custom Web applications. With 1 click, developers can bring content management directly into new Web applications they build or even existing Web applications. By replacing content in templates with a tag, organizations can enable content management, without having to rewrite the application or port it over to a new technology stack or framework.

This instantly empowers business users to own their content changes on these sites and applications, without bottlenecks.

So in this example, we have the Avitek Medical Records sample application that’s shipped with Oracle WebLogic Server.

This application is an example of how an insurance provider or hospital could provide an online site to their customers to see past doctor visits.

Typically, these organizations would want to offer access to this data from a customer/patient support site. What about the content?

For example a nice welcome message for the users, or perhaps this is a good time to remind patients about eating healthy, exercising, calling the nurse online number, offering a customer support hotline, etc.

With Oracle WebCenter Content, we are able to take the existing template and simply drop in a contribution region that is exposed to the business user when they log in -- so that with a single click they can open up a Web authoring tool – add content, graphics, flash videos, etc. – preview their changes in context of the site or even approve items in workflow.

Their changes are instantly updated on the Web application – without having to redeploy the application or wait for a development cycle.

Many organizations have tens or hundreds of custom JSP applications written on top of WebLogic or WebSphere application servers – Oracle WebCenter Content fits directly into how they do business. Additionally, even if they are getting ready to build the applications in a newer framework, such as ADF, this gives them an approach to empower business users while freeing up development resources to focus more on the application development.

Oracle WebCenter Content is comprehensive, integrated, AND open for integration.

Thursday Apr 07, 2011

Dresser-Rand Benefits from Oracle Content Management Integration with Oracle E-Business Suite

Tom Robinette, Director of Applications Architecture and Engineering IT at Dresser Rand spoke as part of Andy MacMillan's keynote at the info360/AIIM conference. Dresser-Rand has been working with their implementation partner Keste to integrate Oracle Content Management and Oracle E-Business Suite.

Dresser-Rand is a manufacturing company that does specifically engineered solutions. They had a number of needs that were pointing to a content management solution:


  • They had numerous attachments to their ERP records and this was starting to impact Oracle EBS

  • They needed document management with multiple authorcapabilites, and the ability to perform workflow for reviews and approvals

  • 70% of their workforce is over 55 - they needed to capture experience through knowledge management with collaborative capability

  • They needed unstructured content management within the context of an intranet portal

 

Because their EBS solution is hosted, by moving content into a local content management system they were able to recover over $400,000 in storage costs.
They increased the overall performance of their EBS transactions, and provided a link between their transactional records and their unstructured but related content, as well as adding robust search capability. This implementation had no impact on the end user community. Users were able to intuitively keep using EBS while the content was being rerouted underneath to their new Oracle Content Management system. And they established a new foundational capability - Content Management - which will serve their future growth plans.

Dresser-Rand wants to extend their knowledge capture capabilities to new social media tools. They find that their retiring engineers are more likely to share their knowledge as comments in an interactive flow rather than writing whole documents and articles from scratch. And fortuantely for Dresser-Rand, Oracle WebCenter Suite provides all of those social media capabilities - activity streams, blogs, wikis, expertise location - and then stores the results in Oracle Content Management, so it is categorized and easily searched. Along with the expertise of their implementation partner Keste, Dresser-Rand will be well positioned to grow and flourish.

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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