Monday Feb 04, 2013

Where do you like to hide your information?

Good morning and welcome to Monday...

Here in the States, this is the day to recover from whatever Super Bowl festivities you might have had last night. While I personally wish my Patriots had been playing the Niners, there is always next year.  But that same approach can get you in trouble when it comes to how your organization stores and provides access to information.  The idea that you will "get to it next year" can end up costing you a lot of time, money and angst this year.

I recently had a little Q&A with Bryant Duhon from AIIM about managing information.  We are planning for the upcoming AIIM show in New Orleans (http://www.aiimconference.com) and Oracle is pleased to be a platinum sponsor of the event.  We hit on a topic that has been written about before but still remains a vexing problem for companies around the world.  Over time, information that has real value, and needs to be reused or accessed by other colleagues is scattered across different locations and different systems - all of which are usually not connected to one another.  These locations are often referred to as "information silos" because of how they isolate information within individual repositories.

Bryant asked me this question, "We've been talking about information silos in this industry for at least two decades; how do we move from talking to doing?"  It's a good question.  Clearly if it was so easy to do, it would not still be coming up as an issue! Personally, I've come to the conclusion that eliminating information silos is a worthwhile but not always achievable goal for most organizations.  In my response, I stated that eliminating information silos has been the ideal scenario for many years. But the reality is that over time, organizations take on new technologies for information management but are unable or unwilling to wean themselves from the earlier, now legacy, technologies. Eventually a company may find itself with several different content management systems, each still used by one or more departments for a vital business function. Software vendors periodically attempt to address this problem with new technologies that often end up adding additional layers of complexity. IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft SharePoint are popular examples of collaboration and information sharing tools that instead of delivering on the promise of simplified content management, have over time exacerbated the information silo problem for most organizations.  The Cloud and its many variations, now offers a new take on this decades-old information management challenge, but that's a topic for another day.

So what is an information management professional like yourself supposed to do?  Will you just throw up your hands and allow new repositories to keep popping up like so many groundhogs (slightly apropos this week) across the IT landscape?  Well, that is not such a great idea either.  The more disconnected your approach to information management, the more disconnected your vital business systems become, the more fragmented your operations become and the more inefficient your employees and colleagues will be.  If anyone ever needs to find anything, they will first need to know where to start looking.  Good luck with that!  :)

The approach that often succeeds for many businesses is to take a step back, evaluate the information landscape and consider strategic improvements to how information is shared, utilized, archived and controlled.  Then take positive steps to minimizing the number of repositories in use with an eye toward integrating as many business processes as possible around one "primary" information store.

Since content migration is frequently difficult or prohibitively expensive, the best opportunity for making actual progress on this front is for organizations to standardize on one ideal repository moving forward. When this is not possible, the goal should be to minimize and reduce the number of content repositories for all business applications moving forward. Using application integration frameworks and connectors, this new go-forward repository must be leveraged within the context of as many business processes as possible – which means that finding the right information management system that aligns with your overall business strategy should be one of the leading selection criteria.

Stopping the creation of new information silos is job one. Then over time, business processes and applications can be updated to take advantage of this new repository and legacy systems can be put into maintenance mode where older information is still accessible but no new content is being added. This takes time, proper planning, and a firm hand at the wheel that helps minimize distractions created by the latest shiny new technology in order to drive information management costs down over time.  If you can spare 30 minutes or so, I recommend you take a look at a webcast we did here at Oracle about ways to think about consolidation and the rationale (cost savings!!) for doing so.  Click here to register and watch it immediately.

You can read the rest of our conversation on the AIIM blog, here: http://www.aiim.org/community/blogs/expert/ECM-One-Repository-and-the-Key-Role-of-Classification. As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas and feedback here on the WebCenter blog.  If I don't hear from you here, I hope to see you at the AIIM Conference in New Orleans next month!


Thursday Apr 05, 2012

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


The Power to Translate is

Now Inside Oracle

WebCenter Sites

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

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

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

Oracle Integration Solution

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

Web Experience Management

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

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

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




Free 30 Minute Webinar

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

Win a Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire

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

Presenter:

Rob Vandenberg, President and CEO

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

Presenter:

Andrew Palmer, EMEA Alliances Director WebCenter Sites

Andrew Palmer
Oracle
EMEA Alliances Director
WebCenter Sites

Oracle Gold Partner
Oracle Validated Integration
Oracle Web Logic Ready

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

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

Monday Mar 19, 2012

Do MORE with WebCenter


WebCenter Team Juggles Time!

We’ve been extremely busy here on the Oracle WebCenter team. We hope that you’ve all be keeping up with the interesting news each week. Last week was jammed full of GartnerPCC and Gartner360 buzz. If you missed any of the highlights – be sure to check out both Kellsey’s post from last week: Gartner PCC: A Shovel & Some Ah-Ha's and Christie’s overview of Loren Weinberg’s PCC presentation: "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Engage Your Customers or Lose Them"  .

This week, we’ll be focusing on “Doing More with WebCenter leading up to a great webcast scheduled for Thursday, March 22 (invite and registration link below). This is the 2nd in a series of 3 webcasts dedicated to expanding the understanding of the full capabilities of WebCenter. Yes – that might mean that you are not getting the full benefits of the software you already own or the expansion potential via upgrade to the full WebCenter Suite Plus. Tune in on Thursday 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.

 ++++++++++++++

Be a Speaker @ Oracle Open World 2012Want to be a Speaker at Oracle OpenWorld 2012?

Oracle Open World planning has already kicked off. We know that it is only March and next October is far in the distance. But planning has already started for Oracle OpenWorld 2012. So if you want to be a speaker and propose your own session for this year's event in San Francisco on September 30th - October 4th, starting thinking now! 

The annual OpenWorld Call for Papers is now open until April 9th! All of the details to submit a paper are available here.

Of course, the WebCenter team here is interested in sessions including case studies, thought-leadership, customer stories around any of the Oracle WebCenter solutions, but the Call for Papers is open to all Oracle topics. When submitting your topic, be sure to describe what you plan to discuss and the value of the presentation to other attendees. Sell your session, because there will be a lot of competition to be selected. 

Bonus News: Speakers for selected sessions receive a complimentary full conference pass! Get your papers in and we'll see you in San Francisco!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Webcast Series: Do More with Oracle WebCenter - Expand Beyond Content Management
Oracle Corporation
Webcast. Do More with Oracle WebCenter—Expand Beyond Content Management. Oracle WebCenter. The Center of Engagement.

Enable Employees, Partners, and Customers to Do More with Your Content

Did you know that, in addition to content management, Oracle WebCenter now also includes comprehensive portal, composite application, collaboration, and Web experience management capabilities?

Join us for this Webcast and learn how you can provide a new level of user engagement. Learn how Oracle WebCenter:

  • Drives task-specific application data and content to a single screen for executing specific business processes
  • Enables mixed internal and external environments where content can be securely shared and filtered with employees, partners, and customers, based upon role-based security
  • Offers Web experience management, driving contextually relevant, social, and interactive online experiences across multiple channels
  • Provides social features that enable sharing, activity feeds, collaboration, expertise location, and best-practices communities

Learn how to do more with Oracle WebCenter. Register now for the Webcast.

Oracle Fusion Middleware Webcenter


Join us for the second Webcast in the series "Do More With Oracle WebCenter".

March 22, 2012
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

Presented by:

Presenter Michelle Huff
Michelle Huff
Senior Director, WebCenter Product Management, Oracle
Presenter Greg Utecht
Greg Utecht
Project Manager,
IT Operations,
TIES
Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together
Copyright © 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates.
All rights reserved.
Contact Us | Legal Notices | Privacy

Oracle Corporation - Worldwide Headquarters, 500 Oracle Parkway, OPL - E-mail Services, Redwood Shores, CA 94065, United States

Thursday Feb 02, 2012

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Today's guest post is from Alakh Verma, Director of Platform Technology Solutions at Oracle.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alakh Verma

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions, Oracle

In my recent blog posts, I shared insights on personalization andpersonalized care that plays significant role in offering pleasant user experience (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement) and then on importance of Portal and Content (If Content is the King, then Portal is the Queen). In this post, my efforts are to identify and summarize some of the best practices of Web Experience Management(WEM) to create delightful customer experience based on the recent research report by CITO Research.

This report is available here:
Create a Successful and Meaningful Customer Experience on the Web


7

The immense success and proliferation of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and mobile/smart devices such as iPhones, Blackberry and Tablet PC among consumers has created consumerization of IT and new paradigm shift seeking pleasant web experience. Now, consumers have become more powerful than before with access of information and social media to communicate to the world at the fingertip.

1) Social Computing and Use of Social Mediais changing the way people interact with each other and with companies online. A recent report from Comscore showed that two-thirds of shoppers begin their process online, and the most frequent starting point is the retail site itself. These consumers are engaging, connecting and collaborating. They want to understand what their friends liked, what other options are available, and what people like them ultimately bought. Most of these consumers consider Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing.
Jeff Bullas in his recent blog writes about Best Buy successful implementation of social media that energized its employees and customers (
How Best Buy energized employees and customers with social media)

2) Consistent Experience Across Multiple Channels and Devices have offered Customers many choices of accessing the Web in new, engaging and collaborative ways than before and they want that ease and diversity to be reflected in their dealings with businesses as well. Consumers change channels and switch devices whenever they need to. They can keep tabs on friends and family on Facebook and follow the Twitter regularly. They can find a nearby restaurant with foursquare geolocation on their phone and then look up reviews of that restaurant on Yelp.
With changing consumer patterns and behavior, it is extremely important to offer targeted, personalized, relevant and consistent experiences across these channels and devices.

3) Mobility-Smart Devices and Tablets We have witnessed a smart revolution of the mobile space. As per the recent statistics report, the number of mobile devices has increased fivefold from 1 billion to 5 billion, with a resulting escalation in the number of connected people from 400 million to over 2 billion. This unprecedented growth of connectivity is creating an overwhelming range of new possibilities, and tapping, swiping, locating, pinging and socializing are quickly becoming part of normal human behavior. Technology is starting to change people and these people, whether consumers or employees, will change businesses. As per recent report by research firm IDC, mobile usage will surpass that of PCs and other wired devices by 2015. Mobile data traffic is expected to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015. In this rapid shift, mobility has to be the integral part of the solutions and the framework.

4) Real Time Decisions and Social Analytics The recent technology such as big data analytics helps and supports us with right information, real-time event messaging provides at right time, mobility at right place anywhere and social media in the right context to make right decisions. I have shared my insights on my earlier post on how critical are Real Time decisions in business today? http://t.co/H6Yf0J9k

5) Personalized Experiences In the connected business environment, consumers expect companies to know about them and their likes and dislikes. For a compelling and relevant experience across channels, companies need to target, analyze, and optimize the customer experience. I had discussed and shared insights on this personalized experience in my earlier post (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement)

6) Multiple Stakeholders Need Control Expectations for system usability and manageability have changed manifold. Marketers and line of-business executives require that managing websites be extremely easy to manage their campaign and relevant content to meet the timely execution Nontechnical users need to be empowered to build websites, design the layout, make content changes, set up targeting rules, control user-generated-content, and enable the mobile web, all from an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. (Oracle WebCenter Sites based on FatWire acquisition enables this seamlessly.)

7) Integrated Campaign to Drive Customers In order to create a compelling web experience for customers, we need the ability to organize and access their enterprise data and leverage it in web interactions. We need a technology platform that helps create an integrated campaign to encourage repeat business suiting consumer lifestyle either at work or on the road on an iPhone or visiting a physical store or calling customer service.

Oracle WebCenter is one of the leading technology platforms that offers comprehensive web experience management capabilities such as targeting and optimizing content, social computing, and multichannel engagement—all of which help improve customer loyalty, drive web traffic, and target new customer segments. In one integrated suite, it combines an array of complementary capabilities: web experience management (Oracle WebCenter Sites), composite applications and mashups (Oracle WebCenter Portal), social networking and collaboration (Oracle WebCenter Social), and enterprise content management (Oracle WebCenter Content).

Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

Web Experience Management and Used Cars

Michael SnowThis week, we’re going to dig into some best practices in Web Experience Management (WEM) to help encourage and evolve the ongoing discussions in this area. Over the past couple of years, we’ve all been increasingly saturated with an ever growing list of acronyms that make up components of the Customer Experience Management ecosystem. Whether it is labeled CXM, CEM, CRM, CCM, WEM, OEO, WXM, WCM, CSM, ABC, or XYZ – these terms are constantly evolving in inclusion and exclusion of strengths in various aspects of the basics. We are all concerned with keeping our customers happy; getting more customers and keeping them (acquisition and retention) to grow our businesses, and of course – providing the best possible customer service regardless of the channel or context that service is delivered – be it research for new purchases or service of existing products or services.

Why is this “experience” management becoming so important lately? We can blame global expanding competition, growing commodification, heightened customer expectations and challenges to conventional marketing as pervasive root causes. Controlling the experience becomes one of the few remaining differentiators for companies trying to acquire and retain customers in an ever growing market climate filled with short attention spans, finicky consumers and exponentially more choices.

guaranteed!How many positive customer experiences have you had this past week? Past month? Past year? Have they been web-based experiences, phone, in-person or by email or a combination? Should it really matter? Shouldn’t your level of customer experience be of equal quality regardless of the channel that you are interacting through? Are there too many moving pieces and people to ever hope for some alignment of experience quality? Are companies ready to think about this consistency in delivery yet or is it an unreachable nirvana somewhere off in the distant future?

Indulge me while I tell a tale of a recent car purchase experience that my wife and I have gone through over the past couple of months. It has been an interesting case study in customer experience. It is ironic in many ways that it highlights not only a great customer experience but also a complete breakdown example within an industry that is dependent on the repeat business of loyal buyers.

Typical familyAs a fairly typical family, we have two teenagers and a large dog. We travel with lots of our stuff – we can’t pack lightly no matter how hard we try. Like many parents, we spend a significant amount of time as a taxi service shuttling kids to and from school, sports and social events. We joined the minivan generation 10 yrs ago and needed to replace our aging van with yet another one – just to last until the kids are out of college and long enough while we are still paying tuition bills and eating rice and beans. We are long time loyal Toyota fans and after rationalizing to myself that minivans were the new middle-age sexy for men of my age in the suburbs – we didn’t hesitate in our search to replace our Sienna with another one.Number One Dog!

So… back to my story – knowing that we wanted to save some money and purchase a “certified pre-owned” vehicle with low-mileage – we commenced endless hours of internet researching with a variety of web experiences running the gamut from amazing to horrible.  We had ongoing email communications with the many dealers in our area until we finally found the perfect vehicle. The benefit and problem with buying a car today is parsing through so much available information during the research phase that you end up with information overload.

We decided that the dealer being located an hour away would only be a mild inconvenience during the purchase process since we would have the car serviced locally at a dealer only 5 minutes from our house. We did the test drive, looked over the car, checked the CarFax history and negotiated a great deal with our trade-in. In our final look at the car, we noticed that the cargo area carpet was damp and the salesperson explained that the rugs had all been shampooed and they probably hadn’t let it dry completely. They would take care of making sure that the carpets were cleaned and dried and the car would be ready for pickup on the following Tuesday (we purchased on a Sunday). We were very happy when we left the dealership – this car buying process that we all really hate doing wasn’t so bad after all.

unhappy!Fast forward – we’ve had our new van for a week of torrential rains and I opened the rear cargo area door to find that the carpets and pads are completely drenched. I’m leaving town on business for the week to CA on Tuesday. I call the dealership on Saturday and speak to the sales manager – I’m not happy. We’re in a holding pattern waiting for communication from the dealer. I start researching known water problems in this model year and protection nuances of the “Lemon Law”. I leave town and they send someone to pick up the van on Wed. I fly back on Friday night and a new 2012 Sienna is sitting in my driveway when I return home. They had delivered it that afternoon for a loaner after I had spoken to them from the airport in San Francisco that morning. Our van was at the body shop where they were trying to figure out the source of the water leak.

Meanwhile – the dealership’s customer experience management machine has kicked into gear completely in the dark regarding the experience we were having. We were getting email and phone follow-up surveys from Toyota as well as the dealership regarding our purchase and service experience. The internet sales associate was following up to thank us for the business. None of these people had any idea what was currently happening. Every additional email or call was a thorn in our side while we remained in limbo over this screwed up major purchase.

On the next Tuesday, we received a call from the General Manager of the Dealership telling us that they had figured out the problem, but they weren’t going to fix it. Long pause on the phone line. It turns out that the roof had been replaced at some point in the past year and the seals weren’t done properly. None of this repair history had shown up on CarFax or reported on the VIN to an insurance company or Toyota. False illusion alert for relying on those reports! They had purchased the vehicle at an auto auction where they purchase thousands of cars. The General Manager told us that he wouldn't ever feel secure about this type of repair and didn’t want us to have to worry about this in the future. They would write us a check for a complete refund of the entire purchase price and all related expenses OR they would like to keep us as a happy client and find a better upgraded vehicle from their own loaner fleet with completely known history and essentially swap it with no additional funds. We were shocked at this offer from the mouth of a “used car salesman” – having essentially expected to somehow get screwed in the deal. It wasn’t hard to make our decision. This dealer had the motivation to make us happy versus starting the whole multiple week search process all over again. Meanwhile, we also had a great new van as a loaner to use.

Happy!In the midst of the holidays, we evaluated and selected another van from their offerings – the next model up - they would take the loss versus releasing an unhappy customer into the local area. We made one trip there to do the test drives, make our selection and they then delivered the new van to us with all the paperwork and new registration. We had a potentially horrible experience turn around into a positive experience that we have repeated to many in our travels.

Now… back to the discussion around experience. Was this the work of one person – the General Manager of the dealership? Or was this because the overall organizational culture is highly focused on longer-term quality of experience? Are reputation-related decisions made to help their business grow in a time when there are lots of options for finding cars online? Was it short-term gain or long-term survival? Or were they fearful of my invocation of the Lemon Law? Water = mold/mildew = health hazard! All of my stereotypes about used car dealers were challenged (just a little bit) by this experience.

From my perspective – we can’t have a discussion in this area without talking about the components of this experience that are relevant to web experience management: Channel, Content, Interaction and Relevance. The auto industry is a perfect example of where alignment of the experience becomes crucial to a positive experience. How many different channels did I interact with during my purchase journey? I discovered the dealership via an internet search; researched the vehicles on their website and via my mobile phone; communicated with their internet sales associate via email and phone and visited their online and offline showroom. When I signed up for notification of availability of a specific model year, features and mileage range, I didn’t want to see emails that didn’t meet my criteria and waste my time. There were countless instances where what was listed on a dealer web site wasn’t available and the site hadn’t been updated to reflect the changes. Each time that happened – it wasted the precious time of a potential buyer and jeopardized the reputation of the dealership. The content I experienced along the way had a variety of value in decision making – ranging from images of the vehicles, 3D interactive video tours of the vehicles, reviews of the models, CarFax on the specific vehicles I was considering, current pricing, trade-in and blue-book values, loan-rates, promotional marketing material, social network and forum commentaries, as well as my personal social community following the saga and offering advice along the way.

Yet – our experience with the additional interactions and inquiries from Toyota, the dealer’s service dept, and their customer service survey follow-up all seemed to be disconnected from our specific experience that was happening concurrently. There was no complete 360 degree view of our experience. Yes – they had a very active customer relationship management follow-up program – but no connections to the full picture of what we were experiencing. What we were seeking during this process were interactions in context and relevance to what we were experiencing. Although the dealership saved face in making our purchase experience right in the end, in order to succeed competitively and win the loyalty of customers, they need to connect the dots and provide an experience that makes every online or offline interaction consistent, contextualized, meaningful and relevant.

Oracle WebCenterThe challenge of delivering and optimizing all of these factors is great and I don’t mean to minimize the effort required whatsoever. Just trying to get multiple groups within an organization to agree on what their unified cross-channel customer experience should be is an incredible challenge that really necessitates executive sponsorship for any of these initiatives to succeed. Oracle WebCenter is the Web experience management solution that enables organizations to use the online channel to drive customer acquisition and brand loyalty. Oracle can provide the tools and expertise to help drive your success in these initiatives, but without executive sponsorship and a culture that fosters good customer experiences across all channels – technology won’t solve all the problems.

Some of the issues that keep companies from attempting to provide a large-scale, multi-channel experience are eliminated with Oracle WebCenter. Oracle WebCenter enables business users to easily manage a multi-channel global online presence, requiring minimal IT support for daily tasks. Oracle WebCenter provides a highly scalable WEM platform with built-in content targeting and optimization, user-generated content, integration with social networking sites, end-user personalization with gadgets, mobile web deployment and integrations with CRM, commerce, ECM, and business intelligence.

The culture of an organization that promotes successful customer engagement using the online channel can enable organizations to attract and retain the loyalty of customers in an extremely competitive business environment. Doing so, however, requires addressing significant new challenges and additional dimensions of complexity in managing the online channel. We’ll hear more about best practices in this area throughout the week with a few guest bloggers from our team here at Oracle. So - stay tuned for more to come.

Thanks & we hope you enjoy the week!

-Michael

Thursday Jan 26, 2012

If Content is the King, then Portal is the Queen


By Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions

The World Wide Web (WWW) was conceived as a tool by Tim Berners-Lee, which created and gathered knowledge through human interaction and collaboration. Web 1.0 came as merely a presentation web with static HTML pages of information. Web 2.0 then gradually advanced towards online participation in content creation and social interaction like e-commerce, e-service, and content strategy, which is all aspects of the “Transactional Web” using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, etc. We are now transitioning into Web 3.0 that was first defined by Dakota Reese Brown as “The Contextual Web.” Content and Context will now be extremely significant in determining what content we need and with whom we need to collaborate in social business.

It is estimated that by 2020, there would be 4 billion people online; 31 billion connected devices, 25 million applications, 1.3 trillion sensors/tags and 50 trillion gigabytes of content created in networked society. So, we are moving in the world where content is going to be the king and help determine the success or failure of any business. Web content has changed and so is web content management. During the last decade, we focused on making it easier and more powerful for non-technical people to move content from their desktop to their Web site and helped the enterprises with powerful workflows, approval processes and the ability to integrate with other enterprise tools and applications. The next decade will be more focused on providing Web experience or customer experience management on the Web. And Content and Portal would remain at the center stage as we evolve into a new era of computing.

The explosive growth of content and more specifically unstructured content such as videos on YouTube, photos and chat messages on Facebook and emails have given birth to yet another evolutionary paradigm of big data management as we enter the year 2012. As Content remains the king, it is paramount to store, manage, archive and retrieve from the unified repository and Oracle WebCenter Content and Oracle WebCenter Sites does it all seamlessly. Customers have started seeking pleasant Web experience with their transactions and businesses need to offer a robust Customer engagement platform to meet that. 

Content is the King

As content is the king, Web portal or public portal (defined by webopedia) that refers to a Web site or service that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as e-mail, forums, search engines, and online shopping malls seems to be the queen to render the context based content from the unified repository from any source to complement each other. Without a sound portal framework, users would not be able to get the right content in the context of their business in real-time to execute their transactions.

Portal is the Queen

For example, if any customer visits BestBuy on their Web portal for getting any product information leading them to subsequent sales transaction, the first thing they would look for is a context based search interface that would help the visitor to provide the relevant content. The portal interface should also provide the similar other products or recommended products based on other user feedbacks and ratings. Also, quick references and recommendations with an option to verify via chat/email become almost convincing to the prospective buyer to make decision. 

Interestingly, technologies such as Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle WebCenter Sites offer these capabilities and help portal to be the queen in our Web based business transactions and compliment Web Content management in the overall customer experience management.

Wednesday Jan 04, 2012

Oracle WebCenter Named a Leader in Enterprise Content Management by Independent Research Firm

Oracle has been named a Leader in the November 2011 report, “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Content Management, Q4 2011.” Based on Forrester’s assessment, Oracle WebCenter received high marks due to its broad set of capabilities for managing foundational, business, transactional and persuasive content types. According to the report, “Oracle ranks as Leader in all content technology segments due to its broad set of capabilities.”

The report continued, “Oracle WebCenter, which includes Oracle’s new portal platform, weaves ECM into the fabric of the portal application. By integrating ECM into the Oracle WebCenter portfolio, Oracle’s ECM functionality provides the foundation for many content-centric business solutions, such as contract management or team collaboration. The Oracle WebCenter portfolio is made available to all of the core Oracle products, thus providing ECM functionality to other Oracle products, such as Siebel or PeopleSoft. Oracle’s ability to surface ECM functionality in Oracle WebCenter provides organizations with the ability to implement an enterprise portal with extensive ECM capabilities.”

“Many organizations are faced with a difficult balancing act as they try to address increasingly complex content management issues while meeting the demands from information workers for simple and easy to use content management tools,” said Andy MacMillan, vice president, Product Management, Oracle. “We believe that Forrester Research’s recognition of Oracle as a Leader highlights our commitment to delivering a complete and unified portfolio of tools that help our customers address these challenges by seamlessly connecting people and information.”

For more information, read the Oracle press release.

Wednesday Dec 07, 2011

Q&A: Andy MacMillan on Oracle WebCenter Strategy and Roadmap

As vice president of product management for Oracle WebCenter, industry veteran Andy MacMillan recently spearheaded the move from the former Oracle Enterprise 2.0 to Oracle WebCenter. Now that the dust has settled, we asked MacMillan to shed light on the future strategy and product roadmap for Oracle WebCenter.

How are user expectations driving Oracle WebCenter strategy?
In the age of Amazon and Facebook, there has been a major shift in people's expectations as they interact with Web and mobile media. Both our customers and our customer's customers are expecting rich engagement, including personalization, ubiquitous mobile access, ease-of-use, real-time information, and more.

In short, our goal is to build all these things into the DNA of our products. And that means not just for our customer's customers, but also for their employees, partners, and suppliers as well.

Can you explain Oracle's overall approach to the next-generation customer experience platform?
It all comes down to what we are calling the "connected experience." As a user of a Website, I want the site to know who I am, and I want it to use that information to personalize my experience—as if I were having a one-to-one relationship.

For this to work, you have to have a strong content management solution in place, like Oracle WebCenter Content. But you also have to go to the next

 step, which we have done with our acquisition of FatWire. Oracle WebCenter Sites (formerly FatWire), together with Oracle Business Intelligence tools, ensures that the best, most effective content is being delivered.

Finally, we are working to leverage CRM, retail, and commerce systems to provide real-time information and transactions to drive the richest experience possible.

What challenges do organizations face when implementing point solutions on one hand, and one-size-fits-all solutions on the other hand?
A true customer experience platform involves bringing together an awful lot of moving parts—content management, portal technologies, back-end systems, social media, and much more. In short, it requires solutions that are broad and deep and integrated.

A point solution can provide depth of function, but what is the value if it takes Herculean efforts to make it integrate with all the other pieces? At the same time, a one-size-fits-all solution leaves too many potential gaps. Customers don't expect you to remember some of their interactions with you—they want you to remember every single one.

How does Oracle WebCenter help customers avoid these pitfalls?
Our recent acquisitions, including FatWire, make us deep but also wide—no one else on the market can deliver on both dimensions like we can. Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Content, we are leaders in content management. Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Portal, we are leaders in portals, composite applications, and mashups. Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Social and Oracle Social Network, which is part of the WebCenter family, we are leaders in enterprise social software. And now, in the wake of our acquisitions, Oracle WebCenter Sites is a leader in Web experience management.

In short, we don't just have best-of-breed products, but also a vision for how all of these things come together into a single platform.

Can you explain some of the key strategies and initiatives Oracle expects to pursue going forward?
We have an amazing opportunity to leverage Oracle enterprise applications and data sources—all the stuff organizations use to run their business—and bring that into the context of a true social enterprise. This means richer experiences for employees and partners. But perhaps most exciting of all is the opportunity to bring all that rich information in our CRM and retail applications to drive richer, real-time online experiences.

Find out more about the strategy and product roadmap for Oracle WebCenter.

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Tuesday Nov 08, 2011

Do you know your customers?

Drive Customer Engagement with a Personalized, Social & Multi-channel Online Experience

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM PST - 11:00 AM PST 

Register Here

Is your organization ready to handle today’s demands and high expectations for a socially enabled, multichannel online experience? Web Experience Management has gained improved relevance as individuals increasingly expect their online encounters to be targeted to their interests in dynamic, entertaining and engaging experiences no matter where they are connected. For Web marketers, this new imperative presents a unique set of challenges when it comes to engaging with their customers online. In order to succeed in today’s competitive global online world, organizations must be able to create a relevant and interactive cross-channel experience that will drive the success of their marketing and customer initiatives.

Attend this webcast and hear Kathleen Reidy, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Software at The 451 Group, provide critical and timely insight into the competitive dynamics of Web Experience Management innovation in organizations today.

With Oracle WebCenter, organizations can empower their marketers and line-of-business staff to create a personalized, targeted, social experience across online channels that will engage customers with the organization.  With WebCenter businesses can manage a large, global web presence with ease and use the online channel to drive the success of their business.

Attend this webcast: “Drive Customer Engagement with a Personalized, Social & Multi-channel Online Experience” to learn how the Web Experience Management solution from Oracle WebCenter can help your organization:

  • Drive a personalized and relevant experience for site visitors using targeting and end-user personalization
  • Create a social online experience with user-generated content and integrations with third-party social sites
  • Engage customers across channels, including web, mobile and social
  • Empower your marketers and LOB staff to manage the online customer experience, across a large, global organization, and deliver rapid time-to-market for web campaigns and communications

Don't hide from your customer engagement problems!

Don't hide from your customer engagement problems!

Friday Oct 28, 2011

MoveOff Documentum Webinar - Q&A

Capping off the week we wanted to run through some of the Q&A on the webinar this week. For those of you who were unable to view our webinar, you can access it on demand.

A few folks were confused about our offer to trade-in Documentum for WebCenter Content. Just to clarify, WebCenter Content is an industry leading enterprise content management system, as stated in the Gartner Enterprise Content Management Magic Quadrant. It is a key part of our Oracle WebCenter family.

So, let’s recap some of the Q&A from the webinar.

How long is the trade-in credit offer good?
This credit offer is good through May of 2012. Documentum customers can trade-in their Documentum Platform licenses for a 100% credit on Oracle WebCenter Content. 

Are you going to provide the slides afterwards as the numbers are very detailed?
The Oracle sales team has the webinar slide deck and the TCO spreadsheet. Feel free to reach out to them to work through the program and see if it makes sense for your organization.

What kind of benchmarking has been done and where can it be found?
You can access the Oracle benchmark study here: http://bitly.com/ORCLscales

What about migrating many millions of documents? Can Kapow do that?
Kapow has a strong track record of handling large migrations. Take them up on their free assessment offer to find out more about your migration. http://info.kapowsoftware.com/KapowOracleSpecialOffer.html

I assume Webcenter provides versioning capabilities. Please confirm.
Yes, Oracle WebCenter Content is an industry leading enterprise content management system, it includes versioning, rendering, life-cycle management and more!

Where is WebCenter with DOD 5015 certification for records mgmt?
We were the first to be DOD 5015 Version 3 certified. Documentum is also only certified against the first two parts of DoD 5015, Oracle WebCenter is certified against all parts, including Freedom of Information & Privacy Act compliance (http://jitc.fhu.disa.mil/cgi/rma/reg.aspx)

How do I prove my Documentum licenses for trade-in?
If you have a PO, receipt, a signed license agreement, most of these will work as a way to document your Documentum spend for the trade-in

Does this trade-in work for any version of Documentum?
Yes, no matter which version you are currently running, you can trade that version of Documentum Platform in for Oracle WebCenter Content.

We are running WebLogic Portal. Will WebCenter Content work with that?
Yes, WebCenter Content is integrated with WebLogic Portal

How is WebCenter Content integrated with E-Business Suite?
WebCenter Content can store electronic documents or images and present them in e-Business Suite records. So from an invoice processing screen, you can click a button and see an image of the invoice presented. From a supply chain screen you can click a button and see a Word document on a process approval. We’ve had customers save a tremendous amount of money by consolidating to WebCenter Content from storing documents in E-Business Suite.

Thanks for attending and thanks for all your questions. Feel free to add more questions below in the comments.

For more information, go to www.oracle.com/moveoff/Documentum

Monday Oct 24, 2011

Call Center Costs Cut 75% By Switching From Documentum To Oracle WebCenter

Find out more about Oracle's MoveOff Documentum program, and be sure to register for the webinar on Wednesday October 26th.

Our blog post today comes from George Sokol, who runs Business Development for Fishbowl Solutions, and has 20+ years in the content management industry...

Customers of Documentum will find much to admire and like with regards to Oracle WebCenter Content. Documentum, like many systems with roots in document management, has always been more about content creation rather than content distribution and sharing. In contrast, WebCenter Content was designed for both the distribution of content as well as the creation processes used to develop content.

This is an important difference, as the information locked in content can have value and implications for an organization for many years to come after it has been created. Whether it’s a record of a transaction such as an invoice, research data such as industry statistics, or product feature information by version; the need to access what has been captured and share that information has shown to be of critical importance. In fact, isn’t that part of the whole explosion of the world-wide-web over the last twenty years?

As one of the world’s first, if not the first, 100% web-based content management systems, stemming from its days as Stellent, the origins of today’s WebCenter Content have always been about the distribution and consumption of information. This tenet is part of its very architecture. Based upon a services oriented architecture, before it was even “SOA”, WebCenter Content has proven time and again to be easy to implement, easy to integrate, and even easier to use.

Documentum is an entirely different story. Steeped in its earliest days of managing the creation of complex business documents, customers have consistently complained about the difficulty of both deployment and adoption. This is a key reason why when one hears of an “enterprise” deployment of Documentum, all it typically means is an enterprise license with multiple deployments installed across multiple departments - with little to no interaction between the different sources of information.

With Oracle WebCenter Content, an accounting clerk who needs to check on an invoice from with their financial application, a quality manager looking to write and distribute a new quality procedure, a customer service representative trying to locate a product manual, or a customer searching for help on a company web site, can all be accessing information from the same repository architecture. However, they would be able to do it from within their preferred application, whether it’s from an ERP screen, WebCenter Content’s out-of-the-box browser interface, or even from within the public facing website.

As an example, a few years ago I worked on an opportunity to displace Documentum at a large telecommunications company. This customer had spent over a year in deployment and in excess of seven figures on a simple portal integration to provide alerts, product information, and other company news to their call center operators, and had nothing to show for it except a clunky prototype. Finally frustrated, they decided to look at a solution based upon Content Server, today the core of Oracle WebCenter Content. Within two weeks, we had a working prototype. Within 9 weeks after that, the production server was deployed and integrated with their portal, content was being served to over 13,000 call center operators in two languages, and here’s the best part – a 75% reduction in costs due to their ability to provide a timely first call response! While not every customer will see this type of rapid deployment, this story is not atypical.

Our experience has shown that choosing Oracle WebCenter over Documentum can result in lower costs, easier deployments, far less frustration, and far happier end users.

Fishbowl Solutions is an Oracle WebCenter Specialized partner and has over 10 years experience designing, implementing and supporting enterprise content management and portal systems to customers throughout North America and EMEA.  This includes delivering value-add software components for Oracle WebCenter Content and Portal that help organizations realize additional functionality so that they can maximize their overall investment.

Wednesday Oct 19, 2011

Moving Off Documentum to Oracle WebCenter Drives User Engagement

As the Documentum technology gets older, and product release cycles slip, customers are finding it harder and harder to address their requirements. We’ll go through these in more detail in our webinar on October 26th, Stop Maintaining Documentum and Start Innovating With Oracle WebCenter. But for new here are some examples.

Enterprise Search – Documentum currently uses the Microsoft Fast search engine. But that agreement will expire in 2012, meaning the next release of Documentum will require customers to move to a new search engine. This will have an impact on the upgrade migration in terms of reindexing for sure, but also it will require user training. Each new search engine has different ways of searching, and provides different results. And users will need to adjust to the new system. With Oracle WebCenter, search is included. Furthermore, additional adapters can be purchased to enable Oracle WebCenter to search other systems. Oracle provides out-of-the-box adapters for systems such as Siebel, Exchange, and SharePoint. There is also an adapter to search Documentum, so while you are migrating content, or if you chose to only migrate some of your content, your users can search both Oracle WebCenter and Documentum simultaneously, and have hit results presented together.

Web Experience Management – Documentum formerly used FatWire to deliver content to the web. FatWire is now included in Oracle WebCenter, providing those customers a way to leverage their investment in training and templates they have created in FatWire. With Oracle WebCenter, this functionality will be used to deliver web experience management – the ability for websites to deliver targeted and optimized content and offers to website visitors. This will be a huge asset for marketing departments, enabling them to target customers and prospects with just the information they need. You can read more about Oracle WebCenter and web experience management in this blog post: Engaging Customers Online with WebCenter.

Social Business and Collaboration – As employees continue to be enthralled by new consumer technologies such as mobile devices and social networking, they are demanding the same capabilities to get their work done. Oracle WebCenter provides mobile and social collaboration capabilities to address these need. Users can search, view and approve content from their mobile devices. They can locate experts and initiate activity streams around projects. But WebCenter also enables capabilities externally so your organization can create a customer community. These capabilities are in more and more demand, and they just can’t be addressed by the Documentum platform.

What this means is that organizations are not able to maximize their productivity due to the fact that their information tools cannot address their user needs. Companies are limited in the ways they can maximize their content and deliver it where it is needed in business processes. This ability to maximize the use of content - for internal and external use, from improving productivity and innovation to engaging your customers - is the reason Oracle WebCenter is being recognized as the new front runner in the industry, driving user engagement. Join us on our webinar on October 26th where we will cover the reasons organizations need to make the switch, and how Oracle WebCenter drives user engagement.

See Oracle's special offer - Trade In Your Documentum for 100% Credit on Oracle WebCenter

Friday Sep 30, 2011

Engaging Customers Online with WebCenter

The face of your company on the web is your website. So how do you engage with them? Is the content fresh? Is the content engaging? Is the content relevant to the customer? Is there a way to deliver a targeted and interactive experience as opposed to showing everyone the same static website?

To helpMichael Snow us answer this, we interviewed industry veteran, Loren Weinberg, VP Product Management for Oracle WebCenter. Loren was a pioneer in the web experience management (WEM) space as a part of FatWire, a company that was an early leader in defining the evolution of the market from web content management to web experience management.

Michael: Loren, it’s so interesting this week during our discussions of SharePoint that Web Experience Management isn’t something that SharePoint really does very well at all. Is that why we never really run into them with customers that are looking for complete WEM solutions? Loren Weinberg

Loren:  – Yes, Michael, you are right. Web Experience Management is really all about customer engagement online – creating an interactive, relevant and rich online experience (across web, mobile and social channels), and using the web to achieve marketing and customer loyalty goals. SharePoint in its essence is focused on the problem of document management and collaboration – internal productivity is the goal, not customer experience. In order to really provide a comprehensive Web Experience Management solution, you need to have some essential functionality that SharePoint doesn’t offer, as well as an orientation around marketing and customer experience.

Michael:  Let’s dig into this a little more. Aren’t we just talking about basic WCM functionality?

Loren: – No, this goes well beyond WCM –WCM functionality is the foundation. And it is an important foundation for reasons of scale and flexibility of the system. However, WEM is much more than that. On top of the WCM foundation, WEM includes technologies for targeting, optimization, user-generated content, end-user personalization, mobile web, and much more. In today’s socially enabled, multichannel online world, individuals increasingly expect their online experiences to be rich, engaging, and tailored specifically to their interests. It comes down to getting to know your customers and delivering the most appropriate content and offers for their needs and interests across all of the different channels of interaction.

Michael: So – are you just talking about personalizing your experience? When I login to a corporate SharePoint site, it has the content that I selected and the layout I wanted. Is there more than that?

Loren: – It is much more than that. Keep in mind that we’re talking about externally facing websites that marketers are using to grow their business and brand loyalty. Oracle WebCenter Web Experience Management platform has a powerful rules engine with an intuitive interface that enables marketers to define customer segments and create rules for what content will be targeted and delivered to each customer segment online. This solution empowers a marketer - a non-technical user - to manage both segmentation and content recommendations. When visitors come to the Website, they are automatically placed in a customer segment based on known or profile-based information about them, their behavior on the site, or a combination of the two. Then the appropriate content is delivered to them in real time. And we offer built-in analytics for optimization of the site experience as well, so marketers can continually tweak the website to maximize its effectiveness.

But creating a highly engaging web experience requires even more. We also offer user-generated content with enterprise moderation for creating an interactive online experience, plus integration with third party social networking sites. We also offer end-user personalization and site customization using gadgets. And finally a mobility solution that makes it easy for business users to manage the traditional website along with the mobile website from a single interface with visual tools and previews, for seamless management of the online channel.

Michael:  Wow – no wonder we never see SharePoint. Tell me more about personalization from the user’s perspective? I know that SharePoint allows users to personalize their user preferences. How does our WEM solution deal with that?

Loren: – Well, we go beyond that as well with our gadget functionality. Oracle WebCenter gadgets provide website visitors with the ability to customize their own online experience. We enable organizations to create customizable dashboards made up of gadgets – which are basically small applications that can then be personalized by site visitors. These can consist of lists of articles, image slideshows, calculators or analyzers of data, blog entries, videos, or any other content type. When visitors come to the site, they can select which gadgets they would like to see on the site and customize the settings of the gadgets to meet their informational needs and interests. This enables organizations to offer a “MySite” page, where visitors have their own area that they can personalize. Visitor preferences are saved, and their selected preferences remain each time they return. The organizations own gadgets and any third-party gadgets supporting the OpenSocial/Google Gadget standards can be added to the list of available gadgets by Web content managers. By allowing site visitors to create their own customized gadget dashboards, organizations can provide a personalized and highly interactive Web experience that engages users on a one-to-one level and keeps visitors coming back.

Michael:  What about the social networks aspect of doing business today? You mentioned social capabilities – what exactly does your WEM solution offer here?

Loren: – Yes, Oracle WebCenter also provides multiple kinds of social computing enablement. First of all, we offer user-generated content tools with enterprise tools for moderation and management. It makes it easy for companies to add social features—such as comments, ratings, reviews, and corporate blogs—throughout their existing Web presence and manage them as a seamless part of their Web platform. By offering site visitors the opportunity to share ideas and feedback with one another, companies forge a stronger bond with customers—a bond that drives loyalty, sales, and business growth.

And IT doesn’t need to get involved with the daily management of social content. Business users can review and moderate comments through the same interface used for managing Website content, making user generated content management a seamless part of managing the Web experience. The functionality is natively integrated with the rest of the Web experience management capabilities so that WCM tasks are streamlined across internally generated and user­generated content.

We also enable seamless integration with third-party social networking sites. Site visitors can be automatically authenticated on an organization’s Website based on their credentials from social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. They can see content on the site recommended by friends in their networks, and they can automatically disseminate content from the site that is interesting to them to their friends on social networking sites. Thus site visitors’ existing social identity is recognized immediately when they come to the site, and the onsite experience is seamlessly integrated with the rest of their online interactions and networks, driving relevance, engagement, and ultimately customer loyalty.

Michael:  We’ve talked about the important functionality like targeting and segmentation, personalization and gadgets, and social computing integrations, but aren’t our users all over the world accessing sites from laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other channels?

Loren: Absolutely! Being able to interact in a multi-channel world is essential for any successful WEM solution. You have to be able to meet your customer via their preferred channel of interaction. We offer a streamlined way to manage the mobile web as an integral part of a customer’s online experience. Oracle WebCenter Mobility Server makes it easy to centrally manage mobile sites directly from the Oracle WebCenter interface. Users can edit content using rich text editor tools and then preview that content directly in the context of the mobile Website and the traditional Website —all from the same business user interface. Mobile preview is offered by device family, so business users can navigate the site, in preview mode and manage the site for each major device family – be it touch, smart-phone, tablet, or basic phone. And fine-grained optimization is done at run-time for the thousands of device types in each family. That’s a huge time-saver for marketers. You can even make use of device GPS data to deliver location­-based content and services. Organizations can provide mobile site visitors with location­-sensitive search results, offers, and recommendations as well as integration of maps or directions into site content, and much more.

Michael:  Thanks Loren – that’s a lot of information – is there a presentation that people could watch to hear more about WEM?

Loren: Yes – they could come to Oracle Open World next week in San Francisco, where we have multiple sessions on WebCenter and Web Experience Management. We also did a webcast that highlights the integration strategy of FatWire and Oracle technologies coming together as Oracle WebCenter that has a lot more detail about our approach. People can view the webcast here. There’s also a lot more information at this site: http://www.oracle.com/moveoff/sharepoint

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 

Wednesday Sep 28, 2011

Enterprise Content Management: SharePoint vs. WebCenter

You’ve heard of SharePoint, and you may have tried to use it to share content. But if you’re looking to deploy a comprehensive enterprise content management strategy for your entire company – especially if you have many organizations spread across the globe – is SharePoint really the right answer?

Today, we’re interviewing Jason Lamon, Senior Marketing Associate at Fishbowl Solutions. With over 11 years of experience in the content management industry, Jason has helped hundreds of customers develop their content management strategy, many of which have had to rationalize their use of SharePoint. Read on to hear his insight and enterprise content management strategies.

Q: What are the top five thing people should look for in an enterprise content management system?

A: Most enterprise content management systems include standard, out-of-the-box features such as check-in and check-out, versioning, and workflow. However, if you peel back the functionality layers a little further you will find that comprehensive enterprise content management capabilities are harder to come by. These capabilities include records management, digital asset management (conversions and renditions), and document imaging (document capture, forms recognition, etc.). The top 5 things organizations should consider when evaluating an enterprise content management system are:

  • Governance – manage and control access to business critical information from a central content repository
  • Scalability – easily scale (without much administration) to the growing content demands faced by organizations
  • Comprehensive – supports all content use cases (document capture and imaging, renditions and conversions, records management, etc.)
  • Integrated – provide in-context content management capabilities within other enterprise systems (enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management – for example)
  • Admin Champion – This may seem obvious, but this has been a major issue with SharePoint deployments – no oversight or accountability. Before deploying an ECM system, organizations need to identify the key person or persons that will be responsible for sustaining and expanding the system taking into consideration file naming conventions, metadata, and security.

Q: When working with customers on deploying enterprise content management solutions, do they have existing solutions or are they looking for a new enterprise content management system?

A: Every customer we work with is storing content somewhere – there’s content in applications, file systems, work groups, SharePoint, Documentum, WebCenter, etc. However, most of these solutions lead to silos of content within the enterprise. Oracle WebCenter is unique because it provides a single scalable enterprise repository that enables de-duplication and searching across all content. Unless you have a platform like WebCenter, content cannot be shared effectively across the organization while staying in synch. On the flip side, we see a lot of customers struggling with SharePoint. It’s something the organization has access to, and they store content in it. It develops into silos of content, is not integrated with enterprise applications out of the box, and the silos often go dormant, leaving incorrect information throughout the enterprise.

Q: So, what’s on the mind of the IT team at companies today that have deployed SharePoint?

A: Most organizations that are using SharePoint for document management did not make the strategic decision to do so. Instead, SharePoint was typically part of their licensing, and since they had it and paid for it, they started using it. So from an IT perspective, they didn’t have much control or planning around how it would be used and by which groups of people. This fact alone has led to SharePoint being used across organizations with sites popping up everywhere while governance is almost non-existent. So, IT teams are really struggling with balancing users’ needs for workgroup collaboration, with the IT problem of having silos of content everywhere. As a result, IT teams need to put in place a content management strategy that utilizes and maintains one repository for all enterprise content.

Q: How do you recommend companies move towards one repository for all enterprise content?

A: Well, for starters, you need to invest in an ECM system that gets rid of silos. Oracle WebCenter is a great example of this as it provides the ability to search not only all the content in WebCenter, it can enable searching of other systems as well.

Q: So if a customer already has SharePoint, how can people align their SharePoint implementations with a comprehensive ECM solution like Oracle WebCenter?

A: Industry statistics suggest that around 70% of organizations have more than one ECM system, and 50% have more than three. The objective should be to synchronize all content into one ECM system that can then integrate with all the places that people need content (including business processes and enterprise applications). This ensures the content is not duplicated and that it is available where it is needed. To simplify the integration of SharePoint content into Oracle WebCenter, Fishbowl Solutions offers a SharePoint Connector. It integrates Microsoft SharePoint with Oracle WebCenter so that any content that is added, edited or saved to a new or existing SharePoint site is automatically stored in Oracle WebCenter instead of disparate Microsoft SQL Servers. WebCenter has the scalability to handle the content, while providing strong governance from an easily discoverable repository. If the content needs to be integrated to backend applications, this is easily achieved with the many out-of-the-box connectors provided by Oracle WebCenter. Users continue to use SharePoint for work-in-progress collaboration, while increasing enterprise content control, governance, and scalability through Oracle WebCenter.

Q: How are people using the Fishbowl Solutions SharePoint Connector for Oracle WebCenter Content and what have the results been?

A: Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector for Oracle WebCenter Content is highly configurable. Organizations can configure it per SharePoint document library and select documents to be stored in Oracle WebCenter Content by library, folder location, file size or extension. These configuration options make it easy for organizations to deploy the connector yet make it transparent to the end user. Thus far, deploying organizations have used the connector to bridge project management, digital assets for websites, and even engineering drawings from SharePoint to Oracle WebCenter Content.

By integrating SharePoint content into Oracle WebCenter, our customers now have a comprehensive and scalable enterprise wide content management system where governance can be enforced. Additionally, they’ve rationalized the content silos they previously had, and now have the added benefit of being able to easily integrate the content users are collaborating on back into their backend applications.

Q: It sounds like the Fishbowl Solutions’ SharePoint Connector for Oracle WebCenter Content is an efficient way for SharePoint users to integrate with Oracle WebCenter and start taking advantage of the many benefits this user engagement platform has to offer. How can people find out more about your connector?

A: Yes, our connector is a great way to integrate SharePoint content with WebCenter. In fact, Fishbowl Solutions’ SharePoint Connector for Oracle WebCenter Content has achieved Oracle Validated Integration. For more information please visit the Fishbowl Solutions Website. You can also visit us next week at Oracle OpenWorld in booth #1943 Moscone South.

Thanks Jason. For more information about Oracle WebCenter, visit 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.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
2
4
5
6
7
10
11
12
13
14
17
19
20
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today