Friday Jun 24, 2011

Enterprise 2.0 Conference recap

We had a great week in Boston attending the Enterprise 2.0 Conference. We learned a lot from industry thought leaders and had a chance to speak with a lot of different folks about social and collaboration technologies and trends.  Of all the conferences we attend, this one definitely has a different “feel”. It seems like the attendees are younger, they dress hipper, and there is much more livelihood all around. A few of the sessions addressed this, as the "millenials" or Generation Y, have been using Web 2.0 tools, such as Facebook and Twitter for many years now, and as they are entering the workforce they are expecting similar tools to be a part of how they accomplish their job tasks. It's important to note that it's not just Millenials that are expecting these technologies, as workers young and old alike benefit from social and collaboration tools. I’ve highlighted some of the takeaways I had, as well as a reaction from John Brunswick, who helped us in staffing the booth.

  • Giving your employees choices is empowering, but if there is no course of action or plan, it’s useless.
  • There is no such thing as collaboration without a goal.
  • In a few years, social will become a feature in the “platform”, a component of collaboration. Social will become part of the norm – just like email is expected when you start a job at a company, Social will be too.
  • 1 in 3 of your employees are using tools your company doesn't sanction (how scary is this?!)
  • 25,000 pieces of content are created every second.
  • Context is king.
  • Social tools help us navigate and manage the complexities we face with information overload.
  • We need to design products for the way people work.
  • Consumerization of the enterprise - bringing social tools like Facebook to the organization.

From John Brunswick: "The conference had solid attendance, standing as a testament to organizations making a concerted effort to understand what social tools exist to support their businesses.  Many vendors were narrowly focused and people we pleasantly surprised at the breadth of capability provided by Oracle WebCenter.  People seemed to feel that it just made sense that social technology provides the most benefit when presented in the context of key business data."

Did you attend the conference? What were some of your key takeaways?

Wednesday Jun 22, 2011

Experiencing the New Social Enterprise

Social media and networking tools, popularly known as Web 2.0 technologies, are rapidly transforming user expectations of enterprise systems. Many organizations are investing in these new tools to cultivate a modern user experience in an “Enterprise 2.0” environment that unlocks the full potential of traditional IT systems and fosters collaboration in key business processes. Here are some key points and takeaways from some of the keynotes yesterday at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference:

  • Social networks continue to forge complex connections between people, processes, and content, facilitating collaboration and the sharing of information
  • The customer of today lives inside of Facebook, on your web, or has an app for that – and they have a question – and want an answer NOW
  • Empowered employees are able to connect to colleagues, build relationships, develop expertise, self-select projects of interest to them, and expand skill sets well beyond their formal roles
  • A fundamental promise of Enterprise 2.0 is that ideas will be generated and shared by everyone across the organization, leading to increased innovation, agility, and competitive advantage

How well is your organizating delivering on these concepts? Are you able to successfully bring together people, processes and content? Are you providing the social tools your employees want and need? Are you experiencing the new social enterprise?

Monday Jun 20, 2011

Enterprise 2.0 Conference - this week!

We're excited to be at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston this week! We are looking forward to spending the next few days learning from Enterprise 2.0 thought-leaders and connecting with others who have an interest in social and collaborative technologies. If you are attending the conference, we encourage you to stop by booth #213, as we'd love to speak with you further about your challenges and success when it comes to social business transformation. New to social enterprise? Wondering what it means for your business? Take a look at how Bunny Inc. has transformed to become a social enterprise!

Friday Jun 10, 2011

Texas A&M Researchers Innovate and Engage with WebCenter

Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) is comprised of 11 Universities, 7 State Agencies and a Health Science Center. TAMUS educates nearly 115,000 students and employs almost 27,000 faculty and staff. This year they have more than $700 million in research activities that they need to manage and have been faced with challenges around collaboration and information sharing. We invite you to view this video to learn how they built Epik-Maestro with Oracle WebCenter, which has allowed researchers at Texas A&M University to spend more time innovating and less time on administration.

And here are additional details if you'd like to learn more about Texas A&M's story.

Business Challenges

Before Epik-Maestro, managing research was a time-consuming process. Most of the approval processes were done manually, which meant the researchers had to be physically present to approve the documents. That process has been streamlined by providing researchers the ability to approve documents and upload the required documents online, which has improved the efficiency several fold since their researchers are travelling most of the time. Universal Content Management (UCM) provides a better way to store documents and other unstructured data and a unified way to search documents. Also with the out-of-the-box integration with WebCenter, it was easy for Texas A&M University System to get the system up and running without the integration hassles.

Why Oracle?

TAMUS is primarily an Oracle shop and they are also using Oracle Portal extensively, so they were able to move portlets built using JSR 168 into the WebCenter Framework without having to rewrite any code or redo the work that had already been done. This was huge for them, as it saved a lot of development time and freed up development resources. Also, TAMUS plans to store research related documents like proposals, contracts and budgets in UCM and WebCenter provides an out-of-the-box integration with UCM, making it seamless to access content stored in UCM through the WebCenter interface. Similarly, wikis, blogs, announcements & discussions are also available out-of-the-box, so they were able to get the system up and running without too many integration hassles.

Solution Overview

TEES, one of the agencies of TAMUS, has a researcher portal named Epik-Maestro which was built using Oracle Portal. The researchers of TEES were using this portal to track their research and the system became very popular. So, the Chancellor and the CEOs of TAMUS approved the development and implementation of an integrated research administration to be used by all of the system members.

TAMUS was looking to build an integrated research information system that would streamline the previously time-consuming process of managing research projects across multiple institutions and empower researchers with a more dynamic and flexible user interface. They were looking for a way to simplify the research administration process to make sure the researchers have all the information they need at their finger tips. Additionally, they needed the solution to deliver a role-based view of system wide research and grants information through customizable researcher portals. Taking all these factors into consideration, Oracle WebCenter Suite seemed like the obvious choice as it provides a complete, open and integrated Enterprise 2.0 platform.

Epik-Maestro is built using Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) and Oracle WebCenter. TAMUS is actually working on a couple of projects - one externally facing and one internally facing. Within the externally facing site, external audiences can search for experts within Texas A&M University System based on the Advanced Keyword search, which allows users to find relevant experts quickly and easily when needed. Users can also read the latest research news and opportunities from Grants.gov. For their internal audiences, they have built a Researcher portal, where researchers can get information on everything related to their accounts and projects - like balances with transactional drill downs fetched from different systems thru web services and Composer components that researchers can use to personalize their home pages based on the components relevant to them. They can also use Enterprise 2.0 services like blogs and wikis within the portal, which helps to improve collaboration and communication. In the Executive portal, executives and Board of Regents can see summaries based on Researcher, Organization, Sponsor and so on and that is built using ADF Data Visualization components.

Friday May 27, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: What will be millenials and other younger workers expecting from the internal technologies deployed at my company when joining?

We're wrapping up our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! We hope you enjoyed the topics we discussed around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption.

E2.0 Top 20 #20: What will be millenials and other younger workers expecting from the internal technologies deployed at my company when joining?

For digital natives, there is no going back to a world without texting and twittering and facebooking . So at minimum, if you expect these folks to be your customers, your employees and your citizens, then you need to apply their expectations to the next generation of enterprise IT systems. But of far more immediate importance is how much productivity gains businesses and governments are leaving on the table by not following the next generation’s lead. It’s not just the millenials anymore, all workers now are familiar with Web2.0 technologies and expect the same kind of capabilities for Enterprise Systems such as Business Intelligence, CRM, ERP, HCM, and Extranets.  They expect to be able to share content easily inside and outside of the organization, connect with experts rapidly, discuss business challenges internally and externally, and find the right information quickly.  They don’t expect to use systems which are menu driven without rich media, without search, not mobile, and operating in a silo as many ERP, CRM implementations are today.
AIIM (www.aiim.org) survey “Putting Enterprise 2.0 to Work”:

  • Under 40s are twice as likely to be public social network evangelists or enthusiasts than over 40s.
  • There are plenty of evangelists amongst over 40s for internal social networks. They are more likely to be pragmatists than enthusiasts, but are just as willing to participate.

You need a modern user interface and applications which are user friendly, intuitive and efficient. Oracle WebCenter allows us to provide such a layer on top of existing applications and services. Oracle WebCenter is the cornerstone of what Oracle is doing with E2.0: it’s a modern user experience platform for the enterprise and the Web, based on a composite application concept with many integrated social capabilities, so you can build a composite application and add social tools for executing that application. Here are some additional assets where you can learn more.

Thursday May 26, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: What companies should reduce email overload and facilitate the reuse of existing content?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #19: What companies should reduce email overload and facilitate the reuse of existing content?

All companies using a mail solution to share information, for example by sending attachments on a regular basis, are ideal candidates for implementing a collaborative solution.  The collaborative solution will allow all users to be able to access the latest version of the required document, and update it if they have enough rights.  This update can be done right from within the application itself.  This will greatly reduce the amount of mail being sent and stored, and ensure people always have access to the latest version.

Wednesday May 25, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: Are enterprise content management and business process management converging towards a more adaptive and dynamic approach to knowledge work?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #18: Are enterprise content management and business process management converging towards a more adaptive and dynamic approach to knowledge work?

Yes they are – these two types of applications are complementary:

  • Many business processes require storing unstructured content at some point, and an enterprise content management solution is the obvious place to do so
  • Information inside content management solutions often needs to be processed alongside other enterprise data, and our Business Process Management tool provides rich capability to design, simulate and run the processes to be able to do so.

Oracle Enterprise Content Management provides comprehensive records management in a consistent, cost-effective way, and enables organizations to consolidate ECM repositories and connect ECM to critical business applications. As Oracle Enterprise Content Management and Oracle BPM both belong to the Oracle Fusion Middleware family - the convergence layer for existing and future Fusion applications and services - they can be easily integrated  simply  assembling services together without writing any additional code. Oracle Application Development Framework enables rapid application development through composition instead of coding, lowering the barriers for an enterprise to make changes. Learn more!

Monday May 23, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: How can I make my learning and e-learning initiatives more appealing and engaging?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #16: How can I make my learning and e-learning initiatives more appealing and engaging?

A solution such as WebCenter is ideal for providing the platform for making applications such as e-learning available externally.  WebCenter will provide the necessary performance, security, administration and monitoring infrastructure, and allow business users to create page and determine what should be made available and to what populations of users. We invite you to view the following assets to learn more!

Friday May 20, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: Which are the five fundamental suggestions to improve team coordination across different locations and departments?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #9: Which are the five fundamental suggestions to improve team coordination across different locations and departments?

  • Be able to find information when you need it
  • Know your colleagues and peers and their expertise
  • Be kept up to date on people’s activities
  • Avoid having to duplicate information
  • Have a simple to use place you can enter information you want to share

For those looking to deliver quick wins via configurable unified intelligent workspaces, organizations can benefit from Oracle WebCenter Spaces – a ready-to-use application within Oracle WebCenter Suite that delivers dynamic business communities with all the rich Oracle WebCenter Services to empower teams to quickly and efficiently manage their information, applications, projects, and people without requiring IT assistance. It brings together the latest technology around Enterprise 2.0 and social computing, communities, personal productivity, and ad-hoc team interactions without any development effort. Oracle WebCenter Spaces allows users to work more effectively with project teams and work groups, including teams that span multiple geographies, and even include external members. It eliminates or reduces duplication of efforts and content inconsistencies, and it enables the sharing and collaboration on team content, focusing an organization’s valuable resources on solving business problems, tapping into new ideas, and reducing time-to-market.

Oracle WebCenter Suite includes Oracle WebCenter Services – a comprehensive set of standards-based components that enrich existing portals and Web sites with the industry's most complete and open set of Enterprise 2.0 capabilities. These services include wikis, blogs, discussions, online awareness and communications, content collaboration and social networks. Oracle WebCenter Services works with all Oracle portal offerings, enabling organizations to enhance their existing enterprise portals and Web sites, and empowering users with Enterprise 2.0 services that work with their existing information systems. The services are integrated so that business users can also use them together (for example, you can add an Instant Messaging and Presence link to a discussion forum to talk with a product expert directly from a forum topic), manage them effectively, and even model relationships between users and information to find new experts, create richer connections, and discover new ways to improve your organization’s performance.

Thursday May 19, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: How can I fund innovation capitalizing on existing applications?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #9: How can I fund innovation capitalizing on existing applications?

As clearly presented in the AIIM (www.aiim.org) Future History whitepaper, the future of Enterprise IT is strongly related with move from Systems of Record – those tools, repositories, and systems upon which organizations have built their business processes for the last several decades – to Systems of Engagement, where digitally facilitated communication and collaboration become the focus. By strategically embedding collaboration and communication tools into specific business contexts, companies significantly increase visibility into changing business conditions—and can respond much more agilely. Systems of Engagement need to operate on top of and be in touch with existing core Systems of Record, spreading across processes and departments. Information, documents and images at the core of System of Records need to flow in the new System of Engagement feeding conversations, interactions and collaborative projects.

Oracle Enterprise Content Management provides comprehensive records management in a consistent, cost-effective way, and enables organizations to consolidate ECM repositories and connect ECM to critical business applications. Thanks to the shared user experience strategy across Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Fusion Applications and many other Oracle Applications, customers can easily create real, customer-specific composite applications using Oracle WebCenter Suite and Oracle Application Development Framework. Oracle Application Development Framework components provide modular user interface components that can build rich, social composite applications. In addition, a broad set of components spanning BPM, SOA, ECM, and beyond can be quickly and easily incorporated into composite applications. Learn more!

Wednesday May 18, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: How can I make informed decisions combining back-office systems with social media?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #8: How can I make informed decisions combining back-office systems with social media?

“Activity streams” is a fundamental key to re-design and get many business processes to be social, including informed decision making. By integrating social activities with business applications, you can deliver rich contextual "activity streams." Activity streams are a new way for enterprise users to get relevant information as quickly as it happens, by navigating to that information in context directly from their portal. It's not about syndicating social activities limited to a single application. Instead, Oracle believes back-office systems will be combined with social media tools to drive how users make informed business decisions in brand new ways. For example, an account manager might log into the company portal and automatically receive notification that colleagues are closing business around a certain product in his market segment. With a single click, he can reach out instantly to these colleagues via social media and learn from their successes to drive new business opportunities in his own area.

Oracle enterprise applications as well Oracle Universal Content management are integrated with Oracle WebCenter, providing a true Enterprise 2.0 infrastructure. Having an infrastructure that enables participation from any business process efficiently using any content is the real magnifying force. Learn more by viewing the resources below!

Tuesday May 17, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: Is the workforce expecting to access corporate documents and expertise via mobile?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #7: Is the workforce expecting to access corporate documents and expertise via mobile? How do we address this need?

The advent of Smart phones definitely changed user expectations: people regularly access portal-based services but they never actually launch traditional browsers. End users wishing to access corporate information, documents and applications – also such ERP or CRM - can easily do so from mobile devices using Oracle's technology. Oracle WebCenter Suite provides a multi-channel environment to instantly access critical information easily from any mobile device and allows seamless access to desktop tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook. For example iPhone users can download our WebCenter Spaces iPhone App from the Apple iStore to navigate spaces, perform social interactions, and display personal activities. Users of other devices can access the site very simply using the browser on the device or a component called “Oracle Mobile Application Development Platform” which is designed to provide mobile functionality out of the box to developers. The modern look and feel of WebCenter looks great on these devices and integration with business applications significantly improves productivity and responsiveness. View the following resources to learn more!

Monday May 16, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: How can I extend my customer base leveraging social media?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #6: How can I extend my customer base leveraging social media?

Video contents, easy tools for feedbacks and requests, and fast services can  help  to acquire customers with reasonable cost. UBank, an online bank, used 2 YouTube channel videos to educate and engage customers: 65k views in 3 days, brand positioned, market share target in 9 months from launch. Complete customers mix, not only young people. Only 10 minutes  to create a new account. Which technology? Oracle WebCenter Suite to leverage a great customer experience on top of an integrated application stack, i.e. the Oracle Common User Experience Architecture.

To help manage the Web experience online, Oracle solutions are driving a new kind of intelligent social commerce by combining Oracle Universal Content Management, Oracle WebCenter Services, and Oracle Real-Time Decisions with leading e-commerce and product recommendations. Oracle Real-Time Decisions provides multichannel recommendations for content, products, and services—including seamless integration across Web, mobile, and social channels. The result: happier customers, increased customer acquisition and retention, and improved critical success metrics such as shopping cart abandonment. Learn more:

Friday May 13, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: Is there a way to connect individuals both inside and outside my company to accelerate products innovation?

We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #5: Is there a way to connect individuals both inside and outside my company to accelerate products innovation?

Absolutely! Social Networking can strongly support products development and a social portal is a great way to empower knowledge workers to manage the complexity of product design, manufacturing and delivery. A collaborative workspace provides concurrent document editing, micro-blogs, central content repository and unified search across content. Social media doesn't necessarily replace existing communications but can improve cross-organization information management and speed the deployment cycle. Use social networks to explore new ideas. Use social tagging, filtering and recommendations to identify relevant trends and technologies. Improve innovation and responsiveness with direct access to experts. Reduce operational costs and time to market with virtual teams.

Oracle WebCenter makes it significantly easier to manage available resources and expertise, while facilitating teamwork through a complete, open and integrated modern user interface that delivers a personalized view of system-wide information. Want to learn more? Check out the following resources:

Thursday May 12, 2011

E2.0 Top 20: How can I take advantage of a modern customer experience in my sales cycle?

 We're continuing on in our "Top 20 Enterprise 2.0" Questions & Answers series! In the coming weeks, we'll be posting topics around some of the challenges, best practices and strategies regarding Enterprise 2.0 adoption. We hope you'll join in the conversations!

E2.0 Top 20 #4:How can I take advantage of a modern customer experience in my sales cycle?

A modern customer experience allows you to engage with new and existing customers online throughout the whole sales cycle. Look at your company portal as the pivotal to engage buyers:

  • Leverage on multimedia content to explain the value of your offering
  • Allow quick and easy product selection and comparison
  • Allow online direct selling through eCommerce capabilities
  • Facilitate services attach rate
  • Allow bi-directional communication with customers (chats, polls, tweets)
  • Address future strategy planning following feedbacks
  • Allow customer and partner to benefit of Peer-to-Peer Support

Gartner Recommendations1:

  • Whatever their features, organizations must regard portals as a means toward business ends, rather than ends in themselves.
  • Organizations should define the role of portal infrastructure relative to investments in converging technologies, such as Web content management, social networking, analytics and enterprise mashups.

What kind of technology is available to help you achieve a modern user experience? Oracle WebCenter Suite enables the addition of social computing capabilities to existing portals, while helping organizations enhance Oracle Applications, leverage Oracle Content Management and easily assemble composite applications through Oracle’s common user experience architecture, as well as a broad set of reusable, standards-based components. For more information, we invite you to view the following resources:

1Gartner Report: Generation 7 Portals - Unifying the User Experience

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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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