Thursday Dec 05, 2013

Are You Ready to Manage 50x the Amount of Business Content?

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50 X

The amount of information companies have to manage is expected to grow by 50x in the next decade. Yet already some 90 percent of documents, images, and other unstructured content is un-managed. So it is no surprise that 87 percent of organizations blame performance issues on information growth. 

"Many companies try to homebrew content management. This will work for a while, but at some point you reach critical mass. You can't find content. There is no versioning. You don't know who made changes," says Tom Turchioe, CTO, Critigen. "These are the things that drive you toward an enterprise-class solution such as 
Oracle WebCenter Content."

And as the sheer volume and variety of content proliferates, so do risks. It is estimated that 20 percent of chief information officers in regulated industries will lose their jobs by 2016 for failing to implement the discipline of information governance. Meanwhile, employees are spending an estimated nine hours per week searching for and not finding content—at cost of US$14,000 per worker per year. 

Assess Your Content Management Strategy
Now, a new, easy-to-use self-assessment tool helps companies measure the effectiveness of their current content management system. More than just cost savings, it identifies opportunities to maximize the value of structured and unstructured content. Specifically, the tool measures performance in terms of

  • Information access
  • Content infrastructure
  • Content-enabled business processes
  • Information governance

About Oracle Enterprise Content Management
Besides a unified repository to house unstructured content, Oracle WebCenter Content provides the tools to deliver content to business users in the proper format and within context of familiar applications to fit the way they work. In addition, it

  • Integrates content within critical business applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle’s PeopleSoft, and Oracle’s JD Edwards
  • Introduces consistent rules governing content access, location, retention, and disposal
  • Provides secure, controlled mobile access
  • Integrates with a variety of systems via Oracle Fusion Middleware
  • Manages all documents from creation to end-of-life

Get more information about Oracle WebCenter Content.

There's more of this great content in this November's WebCenter Newsletter

Subscribe for more content every other month.

Deliver Superior Business Efficiency with Enterprise Content Management


Wednesday Dec 04, 2013

Oracle WebCenter Best Practices

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Get best practices and deployment advice from Oracle expert John Brunswick in today's post. Passionate about both business and technology, John focuses on maximizing IT's ability to streamline and optimize business

Five Best Practices for Global Content Management

Managing an enterprise content repository is no small task, but if properly set up with a foundation that leverages best practices, the repository can provide significant value that increases over time. It is difficult to justify the investment of time to retrofit these techniques, so incorporating them at the start of your enterprise content management initiative is essential.

  • Inheritance. Mature content management solutions enable content items to inherit characteristics of the parent area they are placed into. This capability is your biggest ally in the battle to maintain quality information in your repository. Using an inheritance scheme lets you benefit from the automatic application of security, workflow, required metadata, categorization, and ownership rules to content.
  • Foundational structure. Create a foundation of areas within the repository on the basis of geography, line of business, or a nested combination of both. There are many good taxonomy guides available online to help in this effort.
  • Contribution privilege control. Require that users requesting to create new areas within the global repository state the business purpose, staffing resources, and effort required. This adds accountability, which helps ensure the longevity of the repository.
  • Creation and management of content. Use the information provided when contribution access was requested to ensure that any necessary security and/or workflow is applied. Use an alias attached to areas in the repository to map ownership. Update the alias when users change business units or leave.
  • Retirement. With an analytic foundation to monitor all content activity, it is possible act on performance thresholds that should be established during the request of contribution privileges. For example, if a content item has not been opened in five years, its inclusion in the repository should be reevaluated. Unused content clutters browsing and search results, drastically reducing usability.

Read more in-depth information about best practices for global content management.

Read more from John Brunswick.

There's more of this great content in this November's WebCenter Newsletter

Subscribe for more content every other month.

Deliver Superior Business Efficiency with Enterprise Content Management


Thursday Nov 07, 2013

WebCenter at Oracle Day Toronto

The Oracle Day event took place in Toronto yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown.  Attendance was excellent and it was standing room only at the keynote sessions.   Anytime the venue has to bring in chairs to handle the overflow crowd, you know there is a lot of interest!

This year, WebCenter was featured prominently as part of the Fusion Middleware session track.  What was interesting to see was just how many customers are interested in consolidating and simplifying their existing infrastructure.  So many companies are still struggling with information silos such as file shares, SharePoint Sites and a myriad of departmental or process-centric repositories.  Naturally, these get more and more expensive to manage over time so there is a high level of interest in reducing the size, scope and cost of this infrastructure.  When companies see how they can use Fusion Middleware and related technologies to integrate with WebCenter Content, Imaging and other solutions to centralize content delivery across business applications, they quickly realize that there are significant cost savings to be had.

Oracle Day Events are happening all over the world and there is likely going to be one near you.  To check out the full list and to register, visit the Event page here.  It is a great way to not only hear about WebCenter and how it can be used to your advantage, but also a great way to learn about the broader set of related products in the Fusion Middleware portfolio that are available to extend and enhance the power of your particular business solutions.

If you cannot make it, or missed the event in your area, be sure to visit our new WebCenter Content page with a variety of informative assets all in one simple location.  It's a new page designed to provide you with easy access to customer stories, videos, whitepapers, webcasts and more.  We hope you find it valuable!

Wednesday Oct 23, 2013

Today's Well Connected Companies

Statoil Fuel & Retail and their partner, L&T Infotech, our recent winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for Fusion Middleware Innovation in the WebCenter category is featured this month in Profit Magazine's November Issues of both print and online versions. The online version has significantly more detail about their "Connect" project

Statoil Fuel & Retail is a leading Scandinavian road transport fuel retailer that operates in 8 different countries and delivers aviation fuel at 85 airports. The company produces and sells 750 different lubricant products for B2B and B2C customers. Statoil won the 2013 Oracle Excellence Award for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation: Oracle WebCenter based on a stellar Oracle implementation, created with implementation partner L&T Infotech, which used Oracle’s JD Edwards and Oracle Fusion Middleware to replace and consolidate 10 SAP portals into a single, integrated, personalized enterprise portal for partners, station managers, and support staff. Utilizing Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle WebCenter Content, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle SOA Suite, JD Edwards applications, and Oracle CRM On Demand, Statoil is now able to offer a completely redesigned portal for an easy and user-friendly web experience, delivering a fast, secure, robust, and scalable solution that will help the company remain competitive in its industry. The solution has increased Statoil Fuel & Retail’s web footprint and expanded its online business.

Read the complete article for the full story of Statoil Fuel & Retail's implementation of Oracle Fusion Middleware technology.

Tuesday Sep 03, 2013

Oracle OpenWorld 13: Learning from the success of others

September is upon us and that can only mean one thing - OpenWorld is just around the corner!  One of the best things about the show for WebCenter customers is the chance to learn from other customers about what worked, what did not and how to get the most value from your information and the infrastructure that supports it all.

All of us want to help our organizations save money and be more efficient.  Logitech is one company that will be speaking this year about how they did just that using WebCenter Imaging and related technologies. Logitech is a global provider of personal computer accessories. Their Accounts Payable department was manually processing over 90,000 AP invoices, 100,000 employee expense reports, and 12,000 smart claims per year.  With this kind of load, they were understandably having difficulty managing the increased workload of manual data entry and complex validations. Physically entering the data into Oracle® Financials led to a large number of data inaccuracies and exceptions, creating a long cycle for purchase order to payment disbursement.

With support from Keste, a leading WebCenter business partner, Logitech was able to save many thousands of dollars a year and radically improve business operating efficiency.  How did they do it?  How much did they save?  There is only one way to find out... join us on Monday morning, September 23rd at 10:45 am in the Moscone West 2014 room to hear all the details!

To see the full list of sessions dedicated to WebCenter, check out the online guide at https://oracleus.activeevents.com/2013/connect/focusOnDoc.do?focusID=22574.

We hope to see you in San Francisco later this month!

Thursday Aug 22, 2013

Oracle WebCenter in Action: New Look & Extended Content Solutions

Challenge
Founded in 1969, New Look is a British fashion retailer with a chain of over 1100 stores operating in 15 countries, with over 30,000 employees worldwide. Realising its growth potential in developing global territories, New Look started to face increasing problems with sharing marketing artwork and other digital assets. These were traditionally transferred via email, ftp, or using physical discs.  It quickly became clear that these methods would no longer be suited to the expanding nature of the company from a security, cost and efficiency point of view.  

Looking for a solution which would make use of their existing WebCenter Content platform but require minimal customisation, New Look approached Extended Content Solutions to use their MediaStore solution.

Solution
MediaStore is an ECS developed Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution specifically branded for New Look as ‘iShare’.  The solution provides a centrally-located repository for digital assets with an intuitive and engaging interface to update, search, download, track and share assets with employees, customers and suppliers. Upload-only access can be granted to allow external photographers to submit material without being able to view other assets.

New Look marketers are able to create collaboration areas call ‘Jobs’ and assign access to internal third party design agencies. Design Agencies are only able to view the Jobs they have access . Each job has a status and can be sent for approval before being passed to print agencies or franchise partners.
Built on top of Oracle WebCenter Content MediaStore makes use of the enterprise features such as workflow and security, allows complete user control and sharing of digital assets within the organisation as well as featuring collaboration areas for controlled access to third party users. 
MediaStore was designed with ease of use in mind and benefits from its many key features:
  • Digital assets are rendered or converted to predefined sizes and formats so users don’t need to edit or crop images. 
  • Assets are easy to find using a simple search, based on title and keywords, or via an advanced search which uses the full metadata. 
  • Maintain copyright by attaching forms to images and tracking downloads. 
  • Bulk handling allows easy upload and approval of multiple assets. 
  • Security allows you to control who can upload and access images. 
  • Collaboration areas allow you to create designs with third parties. 
Outcome
Since the implementation of MediaStore, New Look has experienced significant changes in the way they manage and share their rich media assets. As they have grown and branched into different international territories, MediaStore has enabled an easy artwork sharing platform for third party franchise partners in a secure and adaptable environment.

In terms of business value, MediaStore has helped to reduce costs due to no subscription fees and has provided a new found autonomy between suppliers, partners and employees. New Look now benefit from a centrally hosted repository, which gives them greater visibility and more control over their assets than ever before. 

 “With the business ever expanding into new territories, having one simple system for all of our franchise partners keeps things simple and efficient.  The autonomy it gives our own employees, franchise partners and suppliers and the time it gives me back is a favourite feature”. - Jonathan Edwards – Graphic Designer, New Look

Extended Content Solutions - MediaStore
MediaStore has now achieved Oracle Validated Integration (OVI) with Oracle ATG Web Commerce and Oracle WebCenter Sites. OVI involves a rigorous technical review and test process carried out by Oracle engineers to ensure that the products work together as designed.

The integration allows MediaStore assets and their associated metadata to be transferred to a shared file system such as a Content Delivery Network or published either directly into Oracle ATG or Oracle Sites. 

For more information about MediaStore please visit www.extended-content.com/mediastore

Extended Content Solutions (ECS) is a software solutions and services provider specializing in Enterprise Content Management. Our in-depth industry knowledge and technical expertise enable us to empower clients to make the most of their content. ECS has a proven reputation for delivering excellence. With a dedicated and experienced team committed to innovation and quality, a long-standing partnership with Oracle, and a philosophy of maximizing customer satisfaction we are well placed to meet the needs of our clients. 

Want to learn more about this case study and see MediaStore in action? In the coming weeks, be sure to watch a webcast in our WebCenter in Action Series with New Look and Extended Content Solutions! 

Wednesday Aug 21, 2013

Digital Signatures and Oracle WebCenter: The Future Is Now

Today's blog post showcases the Digital Signature solution for Oracle WebCenter Content provided by one of our many business partners, ARX. 

Affordably automate your signature dependent processes with the proper standards, controls, and integrity using CoSign® by ARX

As more and more organizations adopt paper-free processes and automate their document-based workflows, the “wet ink” signature requirement stands out as something of an evolutionary laggard. CoSign digital signatures are already in widespread use. They leverage open standards to allow paperless processes that are fast, secure compliant, and reliable.

The CoSign Connector for Oracle WebCenter Content (WCC) allows users to access CoSign features directly within the WCC interface and leverages repository features including workflow, revision control, and content security. Documents can be digitally signed, verified, and reviewed from WCC browser screens. No software installation is needed on the user’s PC. The ability to quickly view digital signature metadata indicating who signed, when they signed, and why not only increases your business process velocity but also its reliability because CoSign-signed documents have effect wherever they travel. The digital signature can be examined for trust and integrity without re-connecting to CoSign or WCC. Compliant digital signature features are accessible from WCC action menus and the connector provides a user friendly signing ceremony page for ad hoc and/or high volume signing.


Additionally, CoSign by ARX can be deployed as a single signing solution for all your Oracle® systems and managed content. By being compatible with your major content authoring applications, such as, PDF, Word, and Excel, the CoSign digital signature travels with the document for the remainder of its lifecycle because the native application can inspect the digital signature for proof of document integrity, signer identity, and signer intent without proprietary verification software. CoSign also meets the needs of organizations in the most tightly regulated industries by providing digital signatures that are legally enforceable and that allow compliance with industry and worldwide regulations including ESIGN, UETA, EU directives and HIPAA, FDA Title 21 CFR Part 11, SOX, & PIPEDA.

To learn more about the CoSign Connector for WebCenter, please view the CoSign Connector for Oracle WCC demo visit http://www.arx.com/flash/cosign-connector-for-oracle-wcc, or contact the ARX team directly at sales@arx.com to schedule a consultation. 

Tuesday Aug 20, 2013

Oracle WebCenter Content: Digital Asset Management

This week, we are going to touch on a topic that doesn't get much hype, but is extremely important in your content management strategy: Digital Asset Management!

Oracle WebCenter Content’s digital asset management capability allows organizations to store, find, view, and use digital assets and rich media quickly and easily. Content, collateral, and individual asset items can be made available instantly in the appropriate formats for use on Web sites, in print materials, or in other programs. Assets can be protected and controlled through rich and configurable access control. Oracle’s digital asset management solution automates routine tasks, such as the process of creating multiple renditions, allowing you to effectively manage and appropriately use your rich media assets. 

Catalog Your Assets for Secure and Instant Access
Global 2000 organizations are constantly seeking better ways to effectively communicate with  and provide value to their employees, business partners, and consumers. Rich media and  digital content are used both as consumer product and as assets in a wide range activities  range of activities including advertising, sales and marketing, manufacturing, and distance  learning. However, providing rich media can creates unique burdens on an organization.  Some rich media solutions require high cost specialized hardware and software. Accessing  large files from a central storage location creates increased network load. Lastly, providing a  method for users to securely access, share, and modify digital content can be cumbersome.

Oracle WebCenter Content helps you address these issues by providing easy access to find  and use your rich assets quickly and easily from anywhere. With Oracle WebCenter Content  you can quickly create renditions of digital content by turning large images, video, or audio files into high-resolution, low-resolution, resized, or thumbnail versions based upon your business needs. 

Manage Rich Media Files Effectively
Oracle WebCenter Content enables automation of routine tasks and effectively manages rich  media files. With secure Web-based access, employees across your organization can quickly and easily access, share, reuse, and modify digital content. Oracle WebCenter Content  provides a rich set of digital asset management features, including 
  • Workflow, version control, security, archiving, subscriptions, content conversion,  collaboration, record disposition, and Web publication assets leveraging core capabilities of Oracle WebCenter Content 
  • Content check-in and accessibility from anywhere with Web-based and Windows Explorer interfaces 
  • Compression of content to decrease bandwidth demands 
  • Automatic categorization of assets for easy searching 
  • Quick identifying of files via automatically created thumbnail renditions  
  • Asset selection and download in one operation 
  • Secure content distribution - easily and quickly 
Provide a Foundation for Key Business Applications 

Oracle WebCenter Content digital asset management capability provides the underlying  foundation for a variety of key business applications, such as the following: 

Image Management Application
With Oracle’s digital asset management solution, you can easily manage popular image formats such as PSD (Photoshop document), JPEG, GIF, BMP, and TIFF files; store unlimited image renditions in one source for quick reuse of any format or size; and automatically format images to the appropriate size, shape, resolution, or aspect ratio. Multiple renditions, including thumbnails, Web versions, and print versions, are automatically created and compressed at the time of check-in for use in HTML pages or marketing collateral—saving thousands of hours of manual labor in resaving files. 

Video Management Application
Oracle’s digital asset management solution allows you to work with common video formats such as MPEG, QuickTime, Windows Media, and MP3 files; pinpoint specific scenes of video using a storyboard; and view them immediately. You can store multiple renditions of video in one source for various bandwidth and size requirements and integrate resulting files with streaming servers. With Oracle’s digital asset management solution, you can easily access storyboards and closed-captioned text, while administrators can configure the system to generate appropriate proxies and metadata.

Be sure to check back later in the week, as we will have some exciting assets and a customer case study you won't want to miss! 

Thursday Aug 15, 2013

Meeting the Expectations of Today's Knowledge Workers

(Part 2 of a 2-Part Post)

Guest post: John Klinke, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle WebCenter Content 

In my last post, I briefly discussed the expectations that users have today when it comes to user experience, mobile access and application integration. Today, with the latest release of WebCenter Content and Imaging now available, I want to call out the ways that WebCenter helps meet those expectations, and many others.

With the latest version of WebCenter, we've made huge strides in terms of usability, mobile access, automated capture / imaging and of course, application integration. Here are just a few of the new feature highlights that your users are going to love.

Web User Interface

  • A new modern, fast, intuitive web UI that includes user-friendly features like instant search suggestions, favorites, and drag and drop file uploading. The existing native web UI will still be available to support user capabilities like workflows, digital asset management, and records management, but for customers that have basic document management needs, the new UI is far superior in terms of ease of use. 

Mobile Apps

  • Native apps for iPhones, iPads and Android mobile devices. These mobile apps allow users to easily search or browse for files within WebCenter Content, favorite them, share them, and save them locally for offline access.  Once your WebCenter Content environment is upgraded, be sure to download these apps from the Apple iTunes Store or Google Play.

Capture and Distributed Capture

  • A completely re-architected capture solution ported to Java EE providing tighter integration with the Oracle technology stack as well as improved scalability and performance. Customers will now be able to use this unified solution for both capture and distributed capture scenarios with both user and admin UIs being browser-based with cross-browser support.

WebCenter Forms Recognition 

  • Enhancements to the WebCenter Forms Recognition solution including an improved data recognition and extraction engine, Windows 7 support, and localization in 16 languages for the browser-based Verifier.

SharePoint Integration

  • A Microsoft SharePoint Adapter for allowing customers to seamlessly store content from SharePoint in WebCenter Content so it can be easily accessed from other applications like WebCenter Portal, WebCenter Sites (via the new WebCenter Sites connector), E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel, JD Edwards, Primavera and Documaker.

Additional Enhancements

  • XDS Support for Healthcare: WebCenter Content now support XDS (a Healthcare industry standards-based spec for sharing of docs across systems). This allows WebCenter Content to act as the document repository for patient electronic health records.
  • Desktop Integration Suite: User experience improvements for Windows Explorer and Microsoft Outlook integrations as well as support for the enterprise libraries in the new Web UI.
  • Records Management: Enhancements to records management batch and dispositions processing to be cluster-aware and distribute records management jobs across nodes in a cluster.
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager Integration: Tighter Integration to allow tracking of metrics for WebCenter Content’s content server and inbound refinery activity and health.

Thursday Jul 18, 2013

Saving Money the Hyundai Way

Hyundai Motor Company is a well-known, global brand and is part of a very large, multi-faceted worldwide corporation.  The automotive division as been seeing some very rapid growth and all you have to do is notice how many Hyundai vehicles on the road these days to see proof positive of that.  (Disclosure: I recently joined the ranks of satisfied Hyundai owners - the Santa Fe is quite hard to beat!)  

But with rapid growth often comes growing pains, and Hyundai knew they needed to address infrastructure performance and even more importantly, process and team performance. With thorough planning and analysis, they devised a plan to centralize content management, drastically improve infrastructure performance by using the Oracle Exa platform and take advantage of Oracle integration up and down the software stack.  But perhaps more importantly, they also took a look at the WAY they do business and how their teams inter-operate and share information.

One big area for improvement turned out to be their reliance on paper-based business processes. Using paper for contracts, invoices, internal forms, documentation, operating procedure documents and many other information types was causing important business processes to be sluggish. Critically, information was becoming harder and harder to find as the volume of paper continued to increase. Something had to be done!  

Enter Oracle WebCenter Content and Imaging solutions.  By reducing the number of internal information silos in use, information became easier to locate.  By utilizing imaging and scanning technologies across their distributed office and showroom network they are realizing some very impressive cost reductions. Impressive as in a savings of around $1 Million U.S. Dollars per year!  Below is the quote that Hyundai issued about the savings they are getting: 

"We chose Oracle Exalogic, Oracle Exadata, and Oracle WebCenter Content to support our new document centralization system over their competitors as they offer stable storage for petabytes of data and high processing speeds. We have cut the overall time spent each day on document-related work by around 85%, saved up to US$1.1 million in paper and printing costs, laid the foundation for a smart work environment, and supported our future growth in the competitive car industry," said Kang Tae-jin, manager, General Affairs Team, Hyundai Motor Company.

Take a look around your office. Do you see people handling large amounts of paper as part of their every day jobs?  Is it easy for employees to quickly find the information they need so that fast, proper business decisions can be made? Are workers still copying and printing out paper documents to use as reference materials or to file?  And what happens to all that paper over time?  Is it stored properly and securely? Or do you have a large annual company bonfire every year?  :)

One thing is for sure - there is room for operational improvements no matter the size of your company. To be more competitive, Hyundai has to be as nimble and responsive as they can be.  You know what? It's working. The other metric in all of this is customer satisfaction and I can tell you from personal experience they have been quite impressive.  Yes, I still had to fill out a form when signing up for the lease, but I know it is being scanned, classified, recognized and routed efficiently due to Oracle WebCenter Imaging technology. The speed at which the process moved was very fast, there was no confusion or duplicate content, web access to my personal information and car details was immediately available and the sales, finance and service teams were in lockstep.

If you cannot say the same about how your business operates, we think we can help!

If you would like to see a short, introductory video illustrating the value of WebCenter Imaging, click this link to watch it now. If you would like to learn more about our Imaging solutions, how they work and hear more customer success stories and read up on other details, please visit our WebCenter Imaging solutions pages.

We hope to speak with you soon!

The Oracle WebCenter Team 

Friday Jun 21, 2013

Taking a Flying Leap

Yesterday, I went skydiving with three of my children.  It was thrilling, scary, invigorating and exciting. While there is obvious risk involved, the reward and feeling of success was well worth it. You might already be wondering what skydiving would have to with WebCenter, so let me explain.

Implementing a skydiving program and becoming an instructor does not happen overnight.  It does not happen with the purchase of the needed technology. Not one of us would go out, buy a parachute, the harnesses, helmet and all the gear and be able to convince anyone that we are now ready to be a skydiving instructor. The fact is that obtaining the technology is merely a small piece of the overall process and so is the case with managing content in your company. You don't just buy the right software (Oracle WebCenter Content) and go to your boss and declare information management success. There is planning, research and effort that goes into deploying software of any kind and especially when it is as mission-critical to the success of your business as Enterprise Content Management.

To become a certified skydiving instructor takes at least 3 years of commitment and often longer. In the United States, candidates must complete over 500 solo jumps of their own over a minimum of 36 months and then must complete additional rigorous training under observation.  When you consider the amount of time and effort involved, it's not unlike getting a college degree and anyone that has trusted their lives to one of these instructors will no doubt appreciate their dedication to the curriculum.  Implementing an ECM system won't take that long, but it certainly requires commitment, analysis and consideration.

But guess what?  Humans are involved and that means that mistakes can happen and that rules change.  This struck me while reading an excellent post on darkreading.com by Glenn S. Phillips entitled "Mission Impossible: 4 Reasons Compliance is Impossible".  His over-arching point was that with information management and security, environments change and people are involved meaning the work is never done.  He stated that you can never claim your compliance efforts are complete because of the following reasons.

  1. People are involved.  And lets face it, some are more trustworthy than others.
  2. Change is Constant. There is always some new technology coming along that is disruptive. Consumer grade cloud file sharing and sync tools come to mind here.
  3. Compliance is interpreted, not defined.  Laws and the judges that read them are always on the move.
  4. Technology is a tool, not a complete solution. There is no magic pill.

The skydiving analogy holds true here as well.  Ultimately, a single person packs your parachute.  For obvious reasons, you prefer that this person be trustworthy but there are no absolute guarantees of a 100% error-free scenario.  Weather and wind conditions are never a constant and the best-laid plans for a great day of skydiving are easily disrupted by forces outside of your control.  Rules and regulations vary by location and may be updated at any time and as I mentioned early on, even the best technology on its own will only get you started.

The good news is that, like skydiving, with the right technology, the right planning, the right team and a proper understanding of the rules and regulations that govern your industry, your ECM deployment can be a great success.  Failure to plan for any of the 4 factors that Glenn outlined in his article will certainly put your deployment and maybe even your company at risk, so consider them carefully.

As a final aside, for those of you who consider skydiving an incredibly dangerous and risky pastime, consider this comparative statistic.  In 2012, the U.S. Parachute Association recorded 19 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of roughly 3.1 million jumps.  That’s 0.006 fatalities per 1,000 jumps. By comparison, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 34,080 deaths due to car accidents in 2012.  Based on the percentages, one could argue that it is safer to jump out of a plane than to drive to the airport where the skydiving will take place.

While the way you manage, secure, classify, control, retain and dispose of company files may not carry as much risk as driving or skydiving, it certainly carries risk for the organization when not planned and deployed appropriately.  Consider all the factors involved in your organization as you make your content management plans.  For additional areas of consideration, be sure to download our free whitepaper on the topic entitled "The Top 10 Criteria for Choosing an ECM System" which is available for download here.

Monday Jun 17, 2013

Content. What's it good for?

If you walked down the halls of your office and observed your colleagues, or talked to your friends over lunch about what they are working on, chances are good that they are using a lot of different files, documents and images throughout the course of their day, depending upon what their jobs are.  

This in itself is not surprising. Of course the HR person is dealing with resumes that are DOC or PDF files, the Accounts Payable person is dealing with invoices that were scanned or faxed in as TIFF images and the graphic designer spends most of her day dealing with Illustrator files.  But when you ask these same people where they store and keep this information, you are likely to hear about all sorts of locations, some familiar and some unknown.  The designer might be storing Illustrator files on an external hard drive connected to her Mac or in her own digital asset library.  Those HR docs are going into a SharePoint library that replaced the old network file store they used to use and those invoices are stored in the ERP system used to pay vendors  - an Oracle system, no doubt!  :) .

The problem is that Content is everywhere and for most companies, not well coordinated or managed.  If you asked any one of these people, they would likely say their current system is just fine for them.  Why?  Because they know where it is stored and they have become very familiar with their particular storage system. When they need something, they know where to look, even before they have details of the file name, account or vendor name, etc.

This is great until those people with this knowledge leave the company or are hit by a bus.  Now what?  Where is that valuable content that you are now being urgently asked for?  Are you sure you know?  And what about using that same information across departments or within other business systems? When companies have information stored across locations, repositories or even scattered within the cloud, the opportunity to lose information grows along with the number of locations in use.  

Our mission here on the Oracle WebCenter team is to help companies do more with the information they have and optimize the way users, customers and partners directly engage with that  information.  The next few blog posts will deal with Content @ Work.  We will focus on how to make the most of it, how to optimize the way it is stored to lower costs and how to make it easier to find what is needed - no matter who is looking for it.  

We hope you find it informative and we thank you for subscribing to the WebCenter Blog!

Friday Jun 07, 2013

WebCenter for Transportation: Standard Forwarding LLC

Today's post highlights an active WebCenter partner with a recent success in the transportation vertical. Read on below to learn more about Redstone Content Solutions along with a great profile of their customer, Standard Forwarding LLC.

WebCenter for Transportation: Standard Forwarding LLC

Oracle Customer: Standard Forwarding LLC

Location: East Moline, Illinois

Industry: Travel and Transportation

Employees: 680

Publications: Case Study & Webinar

Standard Forwarding Transforms Customer Self-Service & Cuts Invoicing Costs by $350,000 annually, with WebCenter

Standard Forwarding LLC is a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier with 17 terminals throughout the Midwest. Standard Forwarding provides overnight service within and between Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, southern Michigan, and cities in Missouri and Nebraska. It operates a modern fleet with 350 tractors and 800 trailers. In 2012, it was named Great Lakes/Midwest LTL Carrier of the Year for the fifth consecutive year in Mastio & Company’s annual Value and Loyalty Benchmarking Study.

Over the years, technology―including onboard systems and track-and-trace capabilities―have been fundamental to the company’s continued success.

Standard Forwarding, seeking to improve the efficiency of its document-intensive invoicing process and to develop self-service functionality for customers, worked with Redstone Content Solutions to transform its invoicing process and customer-service capabilities. Standard Forwarding deployed Oracle WebCenter Content to automate paper-based invoice creation and delivery, saving $350,000 annually in processing, paper, and personnel costs.

Redstone Content Solutions also helped Standard Forwarding launch a new, easy-to-navigate Website with expanded capabilities enabling customers to conveniently manage every phase of the shipment lifecycle from a single location. Redstone implemented Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF), Oracle WebCenter Capture, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Oracle WebCenter Content to build the powerful new solution.

Standard Forwarding awards received for advancing the transportation industry:

  • Mastio Midwest LTL Carrier of the Year – 5th consecutive time
  • Inbound Logistics Top 100 LTL Carrier

Challenges

  • Extend the company’s leadership role in the transportation industry
  • Reduce the cost of compiling and posting invoices for the company’s LTL transport services
  • Minimize administrative process duplication
  • Expand Web-based, self-service capabilities for customers

Solutions

  • Automated document capture required for invoicing with Oracle WebCenter Capture
  • Created a consolidated, image repository
  • Used Oracle ADF, Oracle WebCenter Content, and Oracle WebLogic Server to create a new Website with expanded self-service capabilities
  • Developed the Website using Oracle’s standards-based integration framework, making it easy to integrate with other systems
  • Created a modular architecture to deploy, update, and conduct maintenance on a single module





Click here to read the full case study and view the WebCenter In Action Webinar

Redstone Content Solutions Overview

Redstone Content Solutions is a Gold-level Systems Integrator & Value Added Reseller focusing exclusively on Oracle WebCenter Content, Portal and Sites technologies. Redstone is Oracle specialized in both WebCenter Content and Oracle ADF and regarded as the premier WebCenter Content training partner based on annual survey results.

  • Redstone was the first North American specialized and pillar partner for WebCenter Content
  • Redstone attends and is often a featured speaker at Industry conferences such as Oracle OpenWorld, IOUG Collaborate and ARMA
  • Redstone holds Board positions at AIIM Midwest and the IOUG WebCenter Special Interest Group
  • Redstone employees possess an average of eight (8) years of Oracle WebCenter experience
  • Redstone employs staff that originally started the Stellent US Channel Program in 1998
  • Redstone has exclusive access to Oracle Executive, Channel, Product Development, Product Management, Product Marketing and Support personnel
  • Redstone is a member of Oracle’s Early Adopter Program which provides access to pre-releases of WebCenter software
  • Redstone’s technical blog (www.corecontentonly.com) is one of the most active in the WebCenter forum community and is consistently referenced by Oracle University trainers and featured on Oracle’s website
  • Redstone offers traditional, advanced, and customized training classes
  • Redstone offers various no-cost WebCenter components such as Alphabetized Menus, Website Menu Filter and many more at: www.redstonecontentsolutions.com/content-downloads

For further information regarding Redstone, please visit the company website at www.redstonecontentsolutions.com or call John Klein at (563) 355.1558 ext. 21.

For further information regarding Standard Forwarding, please visit the company website at www.standardforwarding.com or contact sales@standardforwarding.com


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!

Thursday Jun 06, 2013

An Oracle Technology Solution for Transportation Agencies

Transportation Agencies face key challenges and market forces that drive the
need for Oracle WebCenter, including:

  • Management of unstructured content

  • Increasing need to collaborate

  • Lack of comprehensive records management

  • Increasing need for accountability






Persistent price wars. Evolving safety, security, and financial regulations. Demand for 24/7 systems availability. To meet all of your business challenges, Oracle's Technology Solutions for Travel and Transportation deliver a powerful combination of technology and business processes. Only Oracle powers the information-driven enterprise by offering a unified data model to integrate information over a wide geographical area and across multiple business units.

What’s Driving the Need for Oracle Technology Solutions at Transportation Agencies?
Transportation agencies face the following key challenges and market forces that are driving the need for Oracle technology solutions:

  • Management of Unstructured Content. Transportation agencies are flooded with content used in the daily processes of running an organization. Content— such as real estate transactions related to right of way, project proposals, design specifications, scope of work documents, and contracts and RFIs from ongoing  projects—is created and, for the most part, stored is disparate systems that are not always interconnected to one another. Multimedia assets such as images and videos require a scalable architecture that will maintain performance as the repository grows.
"Transport for London Optimizes Management of US$59 Billion Project Portfolio While Cutting Overhead
"Consolidating project management data with Oracle’s Primavera Portfolio Management keeps our Investment Programme on track, while delivering maximum value to travelers and tax payers."
– David Hartley, Investment Programme Management Office, Transport for London
  • Collaboration Between Internal Staff and Contractors. To manage and access content across the project lifecycle, agencies require collaboration for archival, redlining, and retrieval of content—such as e-mail, digital video, engineering drawings, proposals, and survey records.
  • Lack of Comprehensive Records Management. To support regulatory compliance (for example, safety or finance) and eDiscovery (electronic discovery under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure), agencies need to be able to efficiently access and compile all historical documents, design plans, and images needed to support litigation.
  • Accountability, Transparency, and Effective Stewardship of Tax Dollars. Agencies can improve their accountability, transparency, and stewardship by providing simplified Web interfaces that offer access to the agency’s public content, activity, and performance measures. For example, an agency can provide access to maps and content demonstrating its sound environmental practices, or how it’s allocating funds in accordance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • 360-degree View of Projects. Agencies benefit from a single solution that can manage projects of any size, adapt to various levels of complexities within a project, and intelligently scale to meet the needs of various roles, functions, or skill levels in an organization and on a project team.
  • Complete Business Intelligence. Oracle’s technology solutions provide relevant insight to everyone in an organization through interactive dashboards, ad hoc queries, notifications and alerts, enterprise and financial reporting, scorecard and strategy management. This results in improved decision-making, better-informed actions, and more efficient business processes.
“Thanks to Oracle technologies and our virtual desk project, we will be able to offer all agents a personalized workspace tailored to their job. In the back office, this architecture will allow us to standardize our suite of applications and cut our maintenance costs by 50%.”
– Jean Pierre Desbenoit, Deputy Head of IT Systems and Modernization, Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile


Technology Solution Breakdown

  • Oracle Database – Back-end repository, spatial
  • Oracle WebCenter – Unstructured content, records management, social and collaboration, Web experience management, next-generation user experience, and portal
  • Oracle Business Intelligence – Includes reporting, dashboards, and drill-downs
  • Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Oracle Autovue – View, redline, and collaborate on various document types, including CAD
Why Our Technology Solution Works
  • Industry standards-based technology allowing for ease of integration with existing technology investments
  • Complete and integrated stack of technologies for collaboration, Web content management, document management, records management, wikis,
  • and blogs
  • Data management platform able to view structured and unstructured data types, including CAD
  • Map integration, interactive map-based content search, and content search results displayed on an interactive map
  • Ability to centrally manage records in disparate locations: file system, SharePoint, content server, physical records


Only Oracle delivers a complete platform of database, middleware, applications, servers, and storage—all based on open standards—to transform transportation agencies.

Oracle Transportation Management:



Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!



Monday Jun 03, 2013

Planes and Trains and Automobiles - WebCenter in Transportation


When Elmo talks about transportation, he’s really only thinking about the planes, trains, and automobiles (and rocket ships of course) kinds of transportation. Here at Oracle, the Travel and Transportation vertical market goes a lot deeper and wider than most furry red creatures would ever imagine. Oracle leads in this vertical with some pretty amazing stats:

Leadership in Travel and Transportation

  • 20 of the top 20 airlines get better results with Oracle
  • 17 of the 20 top hotels get better results with Oracle
  • 20 of the top 20 North American logistics service providers get better results with Oracle
  • 10 of the top 10 North American trucking companies get better results with Oracle
  • 4 of the 5 top ports get better results with Oracle

Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!When I originally started thinking about focusing this week on “WebCenter for Travel and Transportation,” I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical myself about what I would find for showcasing our solution set’s strengths in this area. Deep down, I knew that Oracle WebCenter has an essential role in many implemented solutions within Travel and Transportation, and I was happy to find a wide variety of customers and partners that are all great examples of where WebCenter adds value within this arena.

WebCenter solutions are complementary and supplemental to all of the solutions you’d find listed within this industry encompassing all means of travel and hospitality, shipping, passenger and freight transportation by air, water, road or rail. Trucking, shipping and other logistics organizations can improve their efficiencies and cut invoicing costs, while Airlines improve the web experience for their customers. Organizations are providing collaborative portals for their truckers and other employees to communicate with each other while on the road or with their offices while managing all important assets in a centralized repository for digital content and documents for their dynamic enterprise portals and back-office business processes. Whether you know it or not, one of the WebCenter pillars: WebCenter Content, WebCenter Portal, WebCenter Sites or WebCenter Imaging and Capture are often there behind the scenes keeping business moving while providing an engagement platform for employees, customers, partners and executive management to do their job with a smile on their face instead of a frown of frustration.

Oracle Solutions for Transportation help Airlines like the Emirates keep costs down, efficiencies high and employees happy.


So – welcome to another week of exploration into areas where WebCenter makes a difference. I hope you’ll join us for a few minutes to explore or more to listen to one of the webcasts we’ll be featuring this week. We’ll be featuring some success stories, partner highlights and industry news. If you’ve never even heard of APTA or AASHTO before this week – you’ll gain a new found respect for our transportation infrastructure or how cool it is to see how it’s managed, maintained, improved and sometimes even destroyed to make room for something new (check out the video below boys!)



About

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

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