Thursday Oct 01, 2015

My Journey from Content Administrator to a Solution Consultant and the Lessons Learned

Guest post by Scott Smith, Redstone Content Solutions

I had the opportunity, about eight years ago, to transition into a role where I was administering Oracle WebCenter Content installations. I learned a lot over the next several years about Oracle, and their partner community.

When I first became our company’s Oracle WebCenter Content Administrator, we had four production servers (clustered into two – two server domains) running WebCenter Content 10g. As of one year ago – there are ten servers (clustered into five – two server domains) running WebCenter Content 11g.

We expanded the number of content items from just over 320,000 to more than 7,000,000 and Oracle WebCenter allowed us to scale easily. Oracle and an Oracle partner helped us through the growth transition.

This growth resulted in some challenges to ensure that the system was always running at its peak capability. As the system expanded to accommodate new functionality and metadata requirements, the need to rebuild the Oracle WebCenter Content index became a daunting task. With regular index rebuilds, the search speeds were acceptable, but not always optimal. We never considered an alternate platform since we knew that we were running the most robust and easily configurable system on the market. We had to learn to manage the expectations for how often we could rebuild the index and what could be expected in terms of search speed from complex searches.

As my career has transitioned and progressed, today I find myself “on the other side” of the fence. I have indeed joined the world of consulting with the very Oracle partner I had come to rely on in my "previous" life.

I now find myself in the position of being envious of those system administrators we serve today. The current release of Distributed Index (DI), from Redstone Content Solutions, has eliminated the need to manage expectations related to index rebuild and search times. Distributed Index integrates with Oracle WebCenter Content (it has been designated by Oracle as an Oracle Validated Integration). DI is an integration that allows an Oracle WebCenter Content Administrator to define and build multiple indexes against their content repository. These indexes can be distributed across hardware that is independent from the current Oracle WebCenter Content architecture. This further reduces search times and index rebuild times.

Some of the features and benefits include:

  • Faceted search
  • Ability to set-up multiple/individual indices based on profiles (See Image)
  • Horizontal and vertical scalability
  • Multi-threaded rebuild
  • Add and search content during a rebuild
  • Create and build an index without restarting the content server
  • Robust administrative page for maintenance of indices
    • Provides real-time feedback on status of an index and ETA on rebuild completion (See Image)
As my career continues to progress, I am excited about the possibilities that exist. I can help companies progress beyond what they thought was possible. They can continue to expand their use of Oracle WebCenter, and the tremendous functionality that it offers. The ability to provide support and solutions that bolster the return on investment for Oracle WebCenter customers is just one of the many reasons why I see a bright future in our partnership with Oracle.

Do not forget to utilize those partners who have experience and can help guide you with proven services and solutions that can smooth out those little bumps on the road to success.

To learn more about Redstone Content Solutions and Distributed Index, please follow the links below, or join us at Oracle OpenWorld 15 where we will be co-hosting this year’s Oracle WebCenter Appreciation Event.

For more details on the event and how to register, please see here.

You can also leverage the following resources to dig deeper into the combined solution:

Emerson Live Webcast Recording

Distributed Index in Action Demo

About the author:

Scott Smith is a WebCenter Consultant with Redstone Content Solutions. Scott has held a number of positions over his 30+ year career. Most recently, before joining Redstone, he spent 10 years with School Specialty Inc., where he was a Project Manager, Business Analyst, ETL Specialist, and Content Engineer.

Thursday Apr 25, 2013

Putting the CX Puzzle Together: Connect Customer Touch Points by Combining Oracle WebCenter Sites with Other Oracle CX Solutions

On its own, Oracle WebCenter Sites provides organizations with powerful capabilities for engaging sites visitors with personalized, interactive, multichannel experiences on their marketing websites. But for companies that are ready to embrace the power of predictive decisionsing or who are ready to start integrating different online touch points into a seamless and connected experience, Oracle's customer experience solutions can offer even more. Let's take a look at how a few of these customer experience solutions combine with Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle Real-Time Decisions

Oracle’s web experience management solution, WebCenter Sites, already includes robust capabilities for marketer managed segmentation and targeting, however, a whole new level of optimization can be achieved by combining WebCenter Sites with Oracle’s decision management solution, Real-Time Decisions. Using the power of statistical data models and historical and real-time analytics, Real-Time Decisions automates what would otherwise be the manual task of sifting through volumes of customer data, determining likely and potential customer segments, and determining the best content to present to a given site visitor. As customer interactions take place, Real-Time Decisions continuously refines its data models, automatically adjusting and learning over time to achieve the optimal content selection for each site visitor. Marketers have multiple levels of control when using Real-Time Decisions. They can opt for full automation and let Real-Time Decisions handle all decision making. In this case, Real-Time Decisions infers segmentation and uses automation to make decisions about what content to display to the site visitor. Or, marketers can opt for a more controlled approach and specify performance goals that will help steer the Real-Time Decisions model in the direction of desired business objectives such as maximizing revenue or maximizing conversions. Together, Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle Real-Time Decisions provide marketers with the ability to determine the best approach for realizing their segmentation and targeting objectives, whether that means managing the process manually or by instituting some level of automation

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle Endeca

If you’re a business that has a large product catalog, integrating faceted search into the web experience can be an effective way for potential customers to dynamically explore your site and find relevant and desired items more quickly and easily. During the product selection process, site visitors want the ability to navigate based on their own unique preferences and to view content and search results that are most relevant to them. Often, the search experience on a website frustrates potential buyers or provides them with too many irrelevant results to wade through. A solution such as Oracle Endeca Guided Search can be integrated with your WebCenter Sites deployment to optimize the search capabilities on your web presence, so you can deliver more precise, more relevant, and more complete results that help guide and influence product selection, leading to increased conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle ATG Web Commerce

If your business model includes an eCommerce component, speeding and simplifying the purchase process is critical. A streamlined and efficient online purchase process is vital to preventing shopping cart abandonment. The purchase process can even become another opportunity for engaging customers and influencing them to purchase more or related products; it can also be structured to incentivize customers to take action now through the offer of various promotions. Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce is a top ranked commerce solution that enables you to deliver an engaging and efficient online buying experience. When combined with Oracle WebCenter Sites, these solutions bring together best-in-class web experience management and ecommerce capabilities, assuring that your site visitors have a personalized, interactive, and multichannel experience as make their way through the customer journey.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle WebCenter Portal

For some business models, online self-service is the primary channel through which business is conducted. In others, online self-service represents an opportunity to lower the cost to serve by migrating customers from high cost customer service channels to the more cost-effective online channel. Oftentimes, in industries like financial services, healthcare, or even government, you’ll want to provide your customers, patients, or constituents with both a public online presence where they can find information and engage with your organization early in the customer journey, and also an online self-service presence that enables your customers to access secure services where they can conduct financial transactions, look up personal health information or take advantage of government services. In cases like this, the combination of Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle WebCenter Portal is ideally suited to helping you meet both of these objectives and ultimately deliver an online experience that is unified, consistent and seamless as those visiting your web presence evolve from prospects into active customers.


On Demand Webcast: How to Connect the Online Customer Experience by Combining Oracle WebCenter Sites with Other Oracle CX Solutions

Are you providing your customers with the best possible browsing, shopping and search experiences across all your marketing and commerce websites? Successful organizations must deliver an engaging online experience that is personalized, interactive and consistent across all phases of the customer journey from research to selection to support and follow on purchases. Attend this Webcast to learn how WebCenter Sites can help you:

  • Unify the online customer experience by bringing together best-in-class web experience management, eCommerce, and faceted search capabilities
  • Encourage social interaction by incorporating ratings, comments, reviews and social sharing capabilities into your web presence
  • More easily ingest content feeds from your suppliers and simplify the management of high volumes of detailed product information

View the webcast.

Monday Nov 05, 2012

You Can Deliver an Engaging Online Experience Across All Phases of the Customer Journey

Engage. Empower. Extend.

Today’s customers have higher expectations and more choices than ever before.  To succeed in this environment, organizations must deliver an engaging online experience that is personalized, interactive and consistent across all phases of the customer journey. This requires a new approach that connects and optimizes all customer touch points as they research, select and transact with your brand.  Oracle WebCenter Sites combines with other customer experience applications such as Oracle ATG Commerce, Oracle Endeca, Oracle Real-Time Decisions and Siebel CRM to deliver a connected customer experience across your websites and campaigns.

Attend this Webcast to learn how Oracle WebCenter:

  • Works with Oracle ATG Commerce and Oracle Endeca to deliver consistent and engaging browsing, shopping and search experiences across all of your customer facing websites
  • Enables you to optimize the performance of your online initiatives through integration with Oracle Real-Time Decisions for automated targeting and segmentation
  • Connects with Siebel CRM to maintain a single view of the customer and integrate campaigns across channels

Register now for the Webcast.

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

Wednesday Jun 29, 2011

Oracle Partners Delivering Business Transformations With Oracle WebCenter

This week we’ve been discussing a new online event, “Transform Your Business by Connecting People, Processes, and Content.

This event will include a number of Oracle partners presenting on their successes with transforming their customers by connecting people, processes, and content:

  • Deloitte - Collaboration and Web 2.0 Technologies in Supporting Healthcare, delivered by Mike Matthews, the Canadian Healthcare partner and mandate partner on Canadian Partnership Against Cancer at Deloitte
  • Infosys - Leverage Enterprise 2.0 and SOA Paradigms in Building the Next Generation Business Platforms, delivered by Rizwan MK, who heads InfoSys' Oracle technology delivery business unit, defining and delivering strategic business and technology solutions to Infosys clients involving Oracle applications
  • Capgemini - Simplifying the workflow process for work order management in the utility market, delivered by Léon Smiers, a Solution Architect for Capgemini.
  • Wipro - Oracle BPM in Banking and Financial Services - Wipro's Technology and Implementation Expertise, delivered by Gopalakrishna Bylahalli, who is responsible for the Transformation Practice in Wipro which includes Business Process Transformation, Application Transformation and Information connect.

In Mike Matthews’ session, one thing he will explore is how to CPAC has brought together an informational website and a community. CPAC has implemented Oracle WebCenter, and as part of that implementation, is providing a community where people can make connections and share their stories. This community is part of the CPAC website, which provides information of all types on cancer. This make CPAC a one-stop shop for the most up-to-date information in Canada.


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


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