Monday Feb 29, 2016

Public Cloud – Plain Vanilla or Business Logic Tailored to You

Brent Seaman, Vice President, Cloud Solutions, Mythics, Inc.

When you think Public Cloud, do you think “vanilla”? Many people do.

Many SaaS applications are built to run essentially out-of-the-box and to be configurable without much room for customization. While that works for many organizations, some business problems benefit from a tailored application that maps to unique business processes. In those instances, when a custom process needs modeled or when process automation enhances efficiency, I’ve found that Business Process Management (BPM) tools are the place to turn.

In the fall of 2015, Mythics bought Oracle Process Cloud Service (OraclePCS or PCS) to aid in automating certain business processes in our operations. In the professional services industry, proposals, agreements, and contracts are more routine than getting an oil change or eating dinner. Mythics has processes common to other organizations. The ones of interest were not part of a particular CRM or ERP tool, but do interface with those systems. We chose automating the Statement of Work approval process as our first endeavor with OraclePCS.

Compared to BPM software installed on-premise, Oracle Process Cloud Service eliminates the IT burden for BPM infrastructure. It puts the problem and solution in the hands of the line of business (LoB) where the process expertise exists. OraclePCS also allows progression of processes from a Development or Test environment to UAT and Production either to the Cloud or to on-premises BPM infrastructure. Even though Mythics has expertise to efficiently stand up an on-premise BPM infrastructure, OraclePCS allowed us to eliminate those activities and better manage one of our most precious commodities – time.

With a growing business that is intent on remaining agile in operations, quick and effective innovation is important for Mythics. Process modeling and implementation accelerators came in handy for us on the very first use of Oracle PCS. We modeled the process in Business Process Composer and were able to test the process flow using the Play function - which most closely resembles the debug function of some Integrated Development Environments – allowing us to step through the process in a play-by-play fashion. Once all routes prove out with the Play feature, the process can be promoted to a Test environment or to Production.

A key approach we took with the toolset is to combine Oracle Process Cloud Service with Oracle Documents Cloud Service (OracleDOCS or DOCS). We use DOCS in conjunction with PCS to manage the documents associated with the process. Documents can be used to kick-off a process, for in-work editing, and to release an approved state. Processes use documents – they naturally fit together.

The desktop sync client in DOCS allows us to drop a SOW or other supporting documents into the opportunity folder to feed the approval request process with reference items. This folder example happens to be from Windows. The same function exists for Mac OSX.

Below, is an example of the corresponding folder from a web browser. The desktop sync function allows users to work offline when not connected to the network, and it automatically syncs to the Document Cloud Service when reconnected to the network. We have used several different browsers without issue, including IE, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

In addition to browser access, we recently started using mobile apps as part of the approval process for PCS and DOCS. By clicking on our opportunity folder link in the PCS form, the appropriate DOCS folder automatically opens in the Oracle Documents mobile app (available on both Android and iOS). We have approvers using this functionality to review and approve from their mobile devices.

DOCS is a common repository for use across many Cloud services and can be leveraged for a variety of uses. We plan to leverage our investment of this Cloud tool with other projects, which include pulling in share drive content and integrating to our CRM tool for a standard of record.

Similarly, we plan to leverage the Process Cloud Service technology across other processes. Our approach was to start with one business process, support the organizational change to process automation, then to expand to other processes. Some organizations may take a different approach, but this one made natural sense to us. We are currently mapping a process for environment (VM) provisioning process for our Technology Innovation Center. Future implementations will include processes for procurement approval, new employee on-boarding, event planning, and solution development.

I joined a webcast in November with David Le Strat from Oracle Product Management to share our experience. My recorded portion is in the second half of this webcast. A collection of the Q&A from that session can be found here. A brief video summarizing the benefits from our solution strategy can be found here.

In Summary

For anyone looking at stepping into the Cloud, process mapping and automation is a safe way to start. You can define your process as big or small as you like. You can update the process over time. You can determine how many people to involve in the process from the start. Starting at the right size project for you will help with adoption of the application.

Business Process Management is certainly a way to achieve quick time to benefits. Automating processes in this way provides ancillary benefits like traceability, reporting, cycle time reduction, and process improvement.

When considering a process automation project with BPM tools, consider a manageable scope and grow from there and make sure to include a good communication plan from the start. Stakeholders will want to know what is planned and how things turned out. In addition, the broader organization will want to be well informed along the way.

If any part of this blog article was interesting to you, you may also like other Cloud Computing articles by Mythics. One good summary of the Oracle Cloud Platform Services by Shawn Ruff is in this collection.

Consider connecting with us at Oracle CloudWorld in DC on March 24. Oracle is planning several different areas of interest from HR, Marketing, and Customer Services cloud applications to Back Office and industry focused sessions.


Thursday Sep 03, 2015

Collaboration Goes Beyond File Sharing

Yes, Oracle Documents Cloud Service is an enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) solution. Yes, it is in the cloud as you would expect from a modern day EFSS solution. And yes, it is easy and intuitive to use with out-of-the-box mobile accessibility with the added security that you would expect from an Oracle solution. But why do we keep insisting it is more than just an EFSS or file sharing solution? Because beyond just providing cloud storage and 24/7 access and share and sync capabilities and mobile access, Documents Cloud mobilizes your enterprise content. Unlike first-generation EFSS solutions, it doesn't create new information silo's and instead allows you to drive the content connected to your applications, to your business processes or to your source of record (like an enterprise content management system that is on premise) and make it available anywhere, for sharing and for collaboration.

Here's a quick look at how it may make your work life that much easier, more productive, much more efficient and perhaps even, fun?

For more information, visit us at oracle.com/digitalcollaboration.

Tuesday Sep 01, 2015

Oracle CIO's Take on Why Cloud Matters to IT

The benefits of an effective and comprehensive cloud file sharing and collaboration solution are quite obvious - you have access to documents you need to be productive anytime, anywhere and on any device; remote employees and employees on the go are empowered; team collaboration and doing projects either among the employees or with outside contractors and suppliers is vastly simplified; when delivered securely and in context, the solution drive work efficiency, employee satisfaction and even improves time to market, and so on.

But what does it mean for IT? Less governance and information silo's to deal with; more efficient provisioning; automatic updates and almost zero maintenance; more self service and less administrative overhead; streamlined infrastructure and better governance. Here's what Oracle CIO and SVP, Mark Sunday has to say about driving IT transformation with Oracle Documents Cloud Service.

And why Oracle Documents Cloud Service needs to be an ubiquitous solution for any organization.


For more information, visit oracle.com/digitalcollaboration.

Tuesday Aug 18, 2015

If You Were the CIO...

If you were a Chief Information Officer (CIO) of a large company, say like Oracle, what would you want from a collaboration solution? What would be your 3 biggest priorities? Would security trump convenience? How about heterogeneity? And plugability – the ability for the solution to connect with existing systems and infrastructure? What about control? Would you trust the public Cloud?

Find out what Mark Sunday, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer has to say about cloud based Enterprise File Sync and Share solution.

Thursday Aug 06, 2015

Oracle Documents Cloud Service R4: Why You Should Seriously Consider It for Your Enterprise.

by: Vikas Saini, Enterprise Architect, Digital Experience and Mobile, Oracle

With the release of the latest features in Oracle Documents Cloud Service last month, Oracle has taken a giant leap forward in the file sync and content collaboration space, especially as it relates to business content sharing use cases.

Since it was first commercially made available in October 2014, Oracle Documents Cloud Service (OracleDOCS) has continued to add new features to its offering and is slowing becoming the industry leader in this space.

Among the many new capabilities, one that stands out most is the integration with Oracle Mobile Security Suite for the advanced security and control features. Now businesses can use this service to boost productivity while still providing the necessary controls that IT requires.

Here are five key reasons why you should seriously look at Oracle Documents Cloud Service for your enterprise file sync and content collaboration needs.

  1. Improved User Experience: The solution has added many new usability features to make it easier for users to review content, especially for the mobile apps. There is now a mobile Presenter that allows users to view many different file format without the need for 3rd party viewer. iPad users can now present curated content for a visually stunning impact. For iOS, the mobile app now supports Touch ID. Furthermore, if the users are using an Android phone, they can use the Android office applications to edit certain file formats stored in OracleDOCS directly.
  2. Advanced Security Capabilities: The new superior security capabilities are probably one of the most important features of the new release, in my opinion. Administrators can now mandate virus scanning for all files that are uploaded. Integration with Oracle Mobile Security Suite allows mobile  users to have OracleDOCS as part of mobile apps with added security features. This ensures that the content files can be made available offline on the mobile app and are fully encrypted. Oracle Mobile Security Suite also supports encryption of information during transit.
  3. Integration with other Cloud and On-Premise solutions: Documents Cloud Service supports REST APIs that can be used for accessing its features. The solution also provides an embeddable file picker for use with other applications. A sample integration between Siebel CRM and OracleDOCS is shown here. As more features become available via the REST API and the product integration capabilities become more mature, it will allow for various applications to integrate with OracleDOCS even more easily than what it is today (which is fairly comprehensive, btw). 
  4. Built on Oracle Infrastructure: The fact that the solution is deployed on Oracle Cloud platform, ensures that not only will it be a reliable service for mission-critical requirements but also provide the security and performance that the users expect from such a solution. 
  5. Betting on Oracle’s Cloud Vision: Lastly, in recent times the cloud platform has become a strategic focus for Oracle and already its services are providing improved productivity for many corporate users. Since, one of the goals for Oracle is to ensure that these services are integrated with each other wherever it makes sense, the customers will get added benefits from not having to spend resources on silo-ed solutions. In addition, Oracle has been a leader with the on-premise Enterprise Content Management Platform solution and can bring the years of experience from that to improve the OracleDOCS solution much quicker than the competitors.

Summary:
A key part of Oracle’s strategy moving forward is its focus on the Oracle Cloud Platform. The big advantage that the company has over its competitors is the holistic solution it can provide across a company's complete IT architecture, given its vast portfolio of products. In a short span, the company has released solutions for software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). It recently announced the launch of about 24 more services including Oracle Mobile Cloud, Oracle Integration Cloud and Oracle Process Cloud.

In addition, given the tremendous success of Oracle's on-premise Enterprise Content Management Platform over past many years, it is probably safe to assume that the product management understands the space very well and knows the key features that businesses are looking for in a cloud collaboration solution.

For business users, Oracle Documents Cloud is a great service as it provides capabilities for content collaboration and privacy control. I believe that Oracle will continue to make great strides in the space by adding new and innovative features to this service and will soon be a leader of the next generation of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) in the cloud.

Here you will find more information about Oracle Documents Cloud Service.

Related Links:
Document Cloud Service Videos

Oracle Extends World’s Most Comprehensive Enterprise Cloud Portfolio

Wednesday Jul 29, 2015

TekStream Reduces Project Admin Costs by 30% with Oracle Documents Cloud

Read this latest announcement from Oracle to find out more about how TekStream Solutions, a solution services company in North America streamlined project management and administration and improved client project delivery with Oracle Documents Cloud Service, an enterprise-grade cloud collaboration and file sync and share solution. Learn how, within the first month of its use, TekStream was able to cut project administration costs by 30% and reduce complexity to not only drive client results faster but also provide a superior project experience to both its consultants as well as its clients.

And here's a brief video with Judd Robins, executive vice president, Consulting Services of TekStream Solutions as he discusses the specific areas where they were looking to make improvements and how Oracle Documents Cloud enabled easy and yet secure cloud collaboration not only among its consultants who are always on the go, but also with its clients.

To learn more about Oracle Documents Cloud Service and how it can help your enterprise visit us at cloud.oracle.com/documents.

Monday Jul 27, 2015

Deadline Approaching: Nominations for Innovation Awards - 2015

Don't delay! The deadline to submit nominations for the most innovative use of technologies such as Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Process Management (BPM), Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions like Oracle Documents Cloud, Oracle Process Cloud, and other Middleware solutions, is fast approaching!

Is your organization using Oracle Fusion Middleware to deliver unique business value? These awards honor customers for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware. Winners are selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture. The 2015 awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2015 (October 26-October 29) in San Francisco at a grand red carpet ceremony.

To share your use of Oracle Fusion Middleware solutions and how they help your organization drive business innovation, please read on to find out more information on the nomination process.

Customers may submit separate nominations forms for multiple categories; The 2015 Fusion Middleware categories are as follows:

Winners are selected by a panel of internal and external judges that score each entry across multiple different scoring categories. The entry with the highest aggregate score wins an award.

  • Nomination deadline: 5:00 p.m. (PT), July 31, 2015.
  • This solution should be in production or in active pilot phase.

Please send any questions regarding 2015 award process to: Innovation-Middleware_us@oracle.com.

  1. Nomination Forms must be completed in their entirety to be considered a valid entry.
  2. Oracle may contact you to collect additional details, if necessary.
  3. If you are a partner or an Oracle representative submitting on behalf of the customer please ensure the customer has approved this prior to final submission.

Thursday Jul 23, 2015

Mobilizing Siebel CRM Documents with Documents Cloud Service

As you know, Oracle Documents Cloud Service is not just an Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) solution in the Cloud but more than that, it offers a cloud platform for documents management, storage and collaboration to drive business processes hooked to business applications.

Today we are going to look at how Siebel CRM users can extend their documents, embed attachments and drive collaboration in the Cloud using Oracle Documents Cloud Service.

Integration between Documents Cloud and Siebel CRM allows Siebel users to store file attachments in the cloud dynamically allowing you to share this content with your team, both internally and externally by defining granular permission privileges. Storing it in the Cloud also means the content is available to you anytime, anywhere and on any device - on the web, desktop or even your mobile devices giving mobility to your content like never before. With inherent granular security controls, leveraging Oracle Documents Cloud for document storage, access and sharing also means security assurance with your information protected at rest, in motion and at access points. Your documents are available to you 24 X 7, in context and are always up to date. Once you have setup Documents Cloud Service with Siebel, you can simply access your relevant files seamlessly from within your application like so:


What's more, Documents Cloud gives you the ability to share these documents amongst other Oracle Cloud solutions such as Sales Cloud and in the future Service Cloud and Oracle Social Network, etc. so that you have a seamless work experience through the business process and that contextual documents are available for your use anytime from within your application of choice. Version control ensures there are not multiple versions floating around leading to erroneous decision making.

A simple drag and drop interface make document collaboration easy to use and intuitive. You can store attachments for any Siebel entity using Documents Cloud. With the scalable, trusted Oracle Cloud architecture, you significantly reduce your CapEx as well as maintenance and upgrade costs down the line. The service is available as soon as you "switch it on" giving your documents the mobility you need and even offline access.

Implementing the solution into a Siebel CRM deployment is easy with step by step instructions listed in this whitepaper. Leveraging Oracle Documents Cloud with Oracle Siebel means lower TCO, proven integration model, same foundational architecture and one solution partner.

Here's a brief video explaining it all. Take a look and make your Siebel documents mobile with Documents Cloud Service today.

Have some questions? Our colleagues, John Bedford on the Siebel side along with the Documents Cloud product management team, have compiled this FAQ for you. For additional questions and follow up, please do leave us a comment here or contact your Oracle account manager.

Monday Jul 20, 2015

Get to Know the Latest Feature Updates in Documents Cloud Service

While it is seamless for our Oracle Documents Cloud Service users as the updates are automatically pushed out without the users or customer organizations having to do anything at their ends, we thought you may want to learn about what additional features and capabilities we have pushed out with the latest release of Oracle Documents Cloud Service and why Oracle's cloud collaboration solution is fast becoming an industry benchmark. Our product expert and member of the product management team, Ellen Gravina discusses.

by: Ellen Gravina, Principal Product Manager, Oracle Documents Cloud Service

Oracle Documents Cloud Service was upgraded to include the latest features for our web, mobile, and desktop clients. Features include:

Oracle Documents Presenter

Wow your customers and prospects with beautiful presentations that deliver maximum impact and results!
• Present PPTs, review PDF documents, play videos, and use many more presentation formats.
• All your presentations are stored on your tablet–no need to find a WiFi hot spot.
• Author presentations by organizing material in folders on your desktop. Customize the look to your brand by using folder background and icon images.

Multiple Account Support
• Synchronize content from multiple accounts to your desktop.


• Access content from multiple accounts on your mobile device. 



Enhancements to Public Link Policy

• Administrators can set a maximum role allowed for public links.


• Folder owners can disable public links on a per-folder basis.



Customize Oracle Documents with Your Own Branding

• Change the logo in the header.
• Control where users look for help, share feedback, and get information about client downloads.




iOS Touch ID Support
• Make use of your fingerprint to protect access to your content.
• Available in the native mobile app and Oracle Documents Presenter app.


Access Version History from Your Mobile Device
• View old versions of a document.
• Delete old versions.
• Make an old version the current version.


Enterprise Installation Support for Desktop Client
• Roll out the Desktop Sync Client software to multiple client machines with the help of the EXE and MSI installer packages.
• Deploy the MSI installer through Active Directory’s group policy.
• See the Administrator’s Guide for details.

Learn More
Check out the Oracle Documents Cloud Service Getting Started page to learn more. And visit cloud.oracle.com/documents  for additional solution and market information.

Questions?
Please contact Oracle Support for any support questions.  Feedback is always welcome in our Documents Cloud Service discussion forum.


Wednesday Oct 19, 2011

Oracle Social Network: Connect Your People, Applications, Processes & Customers

Are you experiencing disconnected and unengaged teams? Are you looking for a tool to easily connect expertise across the organization and provide visibility into all the relevant business processes and activities? Do you need a way to enhance & retain organizational knowledge? Oracle Social Network is the answer. Available in the Cloud and powered by Oracle WebCenter, Oracle Social Network enables business users to securely collaborate with each other using a broad range of collaboration tools and is seamlessly integrated with Oracle Fusion Applications, business intelligence, and business processes, allowing users to receive real-time information feeds from these systems.


Hear from Andy Kershaw, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Social Network as he talks live from Oracle OpenWorld 2011 after Larry Ellison announced Oracle Social Network - a secure collaboration tool for everyone you work with.

You also won't want to miss this webcast tomorrow to see Andy Kershaw give a demonstration of Oracle Social Network and learn how you can use Oracle Social Network to connect your people, your applications, your processes and your customers. 

Friday Oct 14, 2011

Webcast: Oracle Social Network -- Social Networking Without the Noise

Logo
Oracle Social Network -- Social Networking Without the Noise

Date: Thursday, October 20, 2011
Time: 11:00 AM PDT


Join us for this Webcast and learn why Oracle Social Network is the secure collaboration tool for everyone
you work with. Learn how Oracle Social Network:
  • Drives enterprise collaboration through natural conversations
  • Enables purposeful social networking without the noise
  • Builds cross-enterprise knowledge by integrating conversations with CRM, HCM and other
    business applications

Presented by:
Andrew Kershaw

Senior Director, Oracle Social Network Product Management

Tara Roberts
Vice President, Oracle Fusion CRM Product Management

We hope you'll join us!

Tuesday Oct 11, 2011

Oracle Social Network: Collaboration in the Cloud

Are your sales teams disconnected and unengaged? Do you need a tool that can easily engage expertise across the organization and provide visibility into all the relevant business processes and activities? Do you want to work more efficiently with your partners and know your customers better? Oracle Social Network is the answer.


“The biggest change over the past few years is social networking,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.  “Today, organizations want to connect their people, their applications, their processes and their customers. Oracle Social Network provides that; all the tools are integrated and employees can work from anywhere in the world with the devices best suited to their job.”


Oracle Social Network is a secure, social networking and enterprise collaboration solution with a broad range of social tools designed to capture information from people, Enterprise Applications, and business processes to facilitate collaboration between individual users and teams of people both within and across Enterprises. It drives business through natural Conversations and jump-starts productivity with more-purposeful social networking and contextual enterprise collaboration without the noise.

Oracle Social Network includes stream-based Conversations that consolidate IM, e-mail, applications, content, editing tools, and telephony into a single context. Unlike other collaboration tools that simply generate a lot of noise, Oracle Social Network enables Conversations that are context-based and tied to business activities and processes to help users collaborate more effectively.

Learn how Oracle Social Network can help your company collaborate more intelligently and effectively on Thursday, October 20 at 11:00am PT / 2:00pm ET in this upcoming webcast.

About

Oracle Cloud Content and Process power the next wave of productivity, mobile efficiency, and workgroup innovation. Only Oracle offers an integrated suite of content, process and sites cloud services that enable business users to easily collaborate anywhere, simplify business automation, and communicate more effectively.

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