Tuesday Jul 02, 2013

People, Process & Engagement: WebCenter Partner Keste

Within the WebCenter group here at Oracle, discussions about people, process and engagement cross over many vertical industries and products. Amidst our growing partner ecosystem, the community provides us insight into great customer use cases every day. Such is the case with our partner, Keste, who provides us a guest post on our blog today with an overview of their innovative solution for a customer in the transportation industry.

Keste is an Oracle software solutions and development company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. As a Platinum member of the Oracle® PartnerNetwork, Keste designs, develops and deploys custom solutions that automate complex business processes.

Seamless Customer Self-Service Experience in the Trucking Industry with Oracle WebCenter Portal

 Keste, Oracle Platinum Partner

Customer Overview

Omnitracs, Inc., a Qualcomm company provides mobility solutions for trucking fleets to companies in the transportation industry. Omnitracs’ mobility services include basic communications such as text as well as advanced monitoring services such as GPS tracking, temperature tracking of perishable goods, load tracking and weighting distribution, and many others.

Customer Business Needs

Already the leading provider of mobility solutions for large trucking fleets, they chose to target smaller trucking fleets as new customers. However their existing high-touch customer support method would not be a cost effective or scalable method to manage and service these smaller customers. Omnitracs needed to provide several self-service features to make customer support more scalable while keeping customer satisfaction levels high and the costs manageable. The solution also had to be very intuitive and easy to use.

The systems that Omnitracs sells to these trucking customers require professional installation and smaller customers need to track and schedule the installation. Information captured in Oracle eBusiness Suite needed to be readily available for new customers to track these purchases and delivery details.

Omnitracs wanted a high impact User Interface to significantly improve customer experience with the ability to integrate with EBS, provisioning systems as well as CRM systems that were already implemented. Omnitracs also wanted to build an architecture platform that could potentially be extended to other Portals.

Omnitracs’ stated goal was to deliver an “eBay-like” or “Amazon-like” experience for all of their customers so that they could reach a much broader market beyond their large company customer base.

Solution Overview
In order to manage the increased complexity, the growing support needs of global customers and improve overall product time-to-market in a cost-effective manner, IT began to deliver a self-service model. This self service model not only transformed numerous business processes but is also allowing the business to keep up with the growing demands of the (internal and external) customers.

This solution was a customer service Portal that provided self service capabilities for large and small customers alike for Activation of mobility products, managing add-on applications for the devices (much like the Apple App Store), transferring services when trucks are sold to other companies as well as deactivation all without the involvement of a call service agent or sending multiple emails to different Omnitracs contacts.

This is a conceptual view of the Customer Portal showing the details of the components that make up the solution.

Qualcomm Architecture Omnitracs

The portal application for transactions was entirely built using ADF 11g R2. Omnitracs’ business had a pressing requirement to have a portal available 24/7 for its customers. Since there were interactions with EBS in the back-end, the downtimes on the EBS would negate this availability. Omnitracs devised a decoupling strategy at the database side for the EBS data. The decoupling of the database was done using Oracle Data Guard and completely insulated the solution from any eBusiness Suite down time. The customer has no knowledge whether eBS is running or not.

Here are two sample screenshots of the portal application built in Oracle ADF.

Qualcomm Omnitracs

Customer Benefits

The Customer Portal not only provided the scalability to grow the business but also provided the seamless integration with other disparate applications. Some of the key benefits are:

  • Improved Customer Experience: With a modern look and feel and a Portal that has the aspects of an App Store, the customer experience was significantly improved. Page response times went from several seconds to sub-second for all of the pages.

  • Enabled new product launches: After successfully dominating the large fleet market, Omnitracs now has a scalable solution to sell and manage smaller fleet customers giving them a huge advantage over their nearest competitors. Dozens of new customers have been acquired via this portal through an onboarding process that now takes minutes

  • Seamless Integrations Improves Customer Support: ADF 11gR2 allowed Omnitracs to bring a diverse list of applications into one integrated solution. This provided a seamless experience for customers to route them from Marketing focused application to a customer-oriented portal. Internally, it also allowed Sales Representatives to have an integrated flow for taking a prospect through the various steps to onboard them as a customer. Key integrations included:
    • Unity Core
    • Salesforce.com
    • Merchant e-Solution for credit card
    • Custom Omnitracs Applications like CUPS and AUTO
    • Security utilizing OID and OVD
    • Back end integration with EBS (Data Guard) and iQ Database

Business Impact

Significant business impacts were realized through the launch of customer portal. It not only allows the business to push through in underserved segments, but also reduces the time it needs to spend on customer support—allowing the business to focus more on sales and identifying the market for new products.

Some of the Immediate Benefits are

  • The entire onboarding process is now completely automated and now completes in minutes. This represents an 85% productivity improvement over their previous processes. And it was 160 times faster!
  • With the success of this self-service solution, the business is now targeting about 3X customer growth in the next five years. This represents a tripling of their overall customer base and significant downstream revenue for the ongoing services.
  • 90%+ improvement of customer onboarding and management process by utilizing, single sign on integration using OID/OAM solution, performance improvements and new self-service functionality
  • Unified login for all Customers, Partners and Internal Users enables login to a common portal and seamless access to all other integrated applications targeted at the respective audience
  • Significantly improved customer experience with a better look and feel with a more user experience focused Portal screens.
  • Helped sales of the new product by having an easy way of ordering and activating the product.
  • Data Guard helped increase availability of the Portal to 99%+ and make it independent of EBS downtime. This gave customers the feel of high availability of the portal application.

Some of the anticipated longer term Benefits are:

  • Platform that can be leveraged to launch any new product introduction and enable all product teams to reach new customers and new markets
  • Easy integration with content management to allow business owners more control of the product catalog
  • Overall reduced TCO with standardization of the Oracle platform
  • Managed IT support cost savings through optimization of technology skills needed to support and modify this solution
  • ------------------------------------------------------------

    Oracle WebCenter Solves Complexity in the Transportation Industry


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

WebCenter for Transportation: Directorate General of Civil Aviation Streamlines Key Aviation Applications

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Streamlines Key Aviation Applications Access, Improves Productivity and Reduces Maintenance Costs

A part of the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development, and Urban Planning (MEEDDAT), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), is the state agency guaranteeing air traffic security and safety. As a service provider for airlines, DGAC manages air traffic for more than 3 million flights per year, supporting 125 million passengers across 500 airports. The organization selected Oracle to ensure structured and efficient Web access to information, consolidate business applications on a single platform, and reduce the complexity and cost of managing its existing information system.

Oracle Customer:  Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC)
Location:  Paris, France
Industry:  Travel and Transportation
Employees:  12,500
Annual Revenue:  Under $100 Million


DGAC Cuts Subscription Costs with Oracle WebCenter Portal

Using Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle Exalogic, DGAC reduces the cost of subscriptions to newsletters and provide to its 12,500 employees a collaborative workspace portal.


Challenges

  • Foster collaborative practices, build collective intelligence, improve knowledge sharing, and increase paperless processes to improve air traffic control agents’ productivity
  • Accelerate the integration of DGAC business applications as financial, human resources, technical data management, into the new virtual office infrastructure
  • Consolidate and standardize key aviation applications on a comprehensive and scalable platform, to reduce management costs and ensure high-availability
  • Provide airlines and airports with structured and high performing access to the portal
  • Position the information system department -as a vector of transformation and of modernization for the organization

A word from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC)

– "The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is taking advantage of Oracle Exalogic’s consistent platform to provide a consolidated view of our applications and support our overall modernization strategy. Thanks to Oracle, we have saved roughly one million Euros on maintenance costs for the old applications."- Jean Pierre Desbenoit, Director of Information Systems and Modernization, Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Solutions

Oracle Product and Services

  • Deployed the virtual office infrastructure on Oracle WebCenter Portal, improving communication, collaborative processes and Web applications access for 12,000 employees
  • Reduced the size of attachments in the e-mail system by 30% with a collaborative workspace portal that can offer agents the information they need and enhance security management and storage space
  • Saved US$260,000 on annual newspaper subscription costs by allowing every agent to access rich site summary (RSS) flows on the Oracle Portal
  • Optimized employee reclassifications and retraining, thanks to training processes accessible to the administrative agent and the financial manager in the virtual office infrastructure provided by Oracle Portal
  • Improved technical information traceability and the ability to produce new educational materials and training for agents with Oracle User Productivity Kit
  • Enabled structured extranet access to airline companies and airports, allowing them to access airline traffic resources by deploying Oracle WebCenter Portal on Oracle Exalogic
  • Consolidated key business applications using Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle Exalogic, to save more than 1,000 worker days annually to maintain applications, and approximately US$1 million for technical outsourcing,
  • Gained the ability to improve reliability and availability of the intranet and extranet by implementing two fully redundant Oracle Exalogic platforms to achieve business continuity

Why Oracle

"We selected Oracle because, from a functional point of view, its solutions meet our users’ expectations. On a technical level, its solutions integrate seamlessly with our existing infrastructure. Oracle also meets our cost and strategy needs in the short, medium, and long term—enabling us to overcome existing information system issues as well as prepare to meet future challenges," said Jean Pierre Desbenoit, director of information systems and modernization, Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Implementation Process

With the support of Klee Group, DGAC implemented virtual office architecture on Oracle WebCenter Portal. The platinum partner Easyteam helped the organization to consolidate its key business applications on an Exalogic platform, using Oracle SOA Suite.

Partner

Oracle Platinum Partner Easyteam and Klee Group provided consulting and expertise services to implement a reliable and standardized platform, consistent with the DGAC modernization strategy.


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!



Wednesday Jun 05, 2013

WebCenter for Transportation: Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras


Oracle Customer: Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Azul Brazilian Airlines )
Location:  São Paulo, Brazil
Industry: Travel and Transportation
Employees:  4,500


Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras Reduces Time Needed to Update Web Content and Marketing Campaigns and Offers Simplified Ticket Purchasing Process

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Azul Brazilian Airlines) has established itself as the third-largest airline in Brazil, based on a business model that combines low prices with a high level of service. Azul serves 42 destinations with a fleet of 49 aircraft. It operates 350 daily flights with a team of 4,500 crew members. Last year, the company transported 15 million passengers, achieving a 10% share of the Brazilian market, according to the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC, or the National Civil Aviation Agency). Azul also forecasts a high growth rate for the next few years due to the sporting events that will take place in Brazil in 2014 and 2016—the World Cup and the Olympic Games, respectively.

The company wanted to offer an innovative site with a simple purchasing process for customers to search for and buy tickets and for the company’s marketing team to more effectively conduct its campaigns. To this end, Azul implemented Oracle WebCenter Sites, succeeding in gathering all of the site’s key information onto a single platform. Previously, at least three server and corporate information environments had directed data to the portal. The single Oracle-based platform now facilitates site updates, which are daily and constant. Azul can now complete the Web site content updating process—which used to take approximately 48 hours—in less than five minutes.

A word from Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Azul Brazilian Airlines)
 “Oracle WebCenter Sites provides an easy-to-use platform that enables our marketing department to spend less time updating content and more time on innovative activities. Previously, it would take 48 hours to update content on our Web site; now it takes less than five minutes. We have shown the market that we are innovators, enabling customer convenience through an improved flight ticket purchase process.” – Kleber Linhares, Information Technology and E-Commerce Director, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras

Challenges

  • Provide customers with an innovative Web site with a simple process for purchasing flight tickets 

  • Bring dynamism to the Web site’s content updating process to provide autonomy to the airline’s strategic departments, such as marketing and product development

  • Facilitate integration among the site’s different application providers, such as ticket availability and payment process, on which ticket sales depend

Solutions

  • Gained development freedom in all processes—from implementation to content editing—thanks to the tool’s flexibility
  • Gathered all of the Web site’s key information onto a single platform, facilitating its daily and constant updating, whereas the information was previously spread among at least three IT environments and had to go through a complex process to be made available online to customers
  • Launched the new Web site during the busy season of summer time without incurring any loss in sales volume (despite the fact that the company considered it natural to have an 8% drop-off in sales due to the change in technology), enabling it to reinforce its public image as a bold and innovative company
  • Absorbed the increased sales generated at vacation’s time y the social network campaign to announce the re-launch of the Web site on the company’s third anniversary, preparing the airline’s site to accommodate rapid travel flow growth due to the major sporting events that will take place in Brazil in 2014 and 2016—the World Cup and the Olympic Games, respectively
  • Reduced time needed to update banners and other Web site content from an average of 48 hours to less than five minutes
  • Enabled the marketing team to dedicate less time to the Web site’s content updating process and invest more energy in strategic planning, gaining competitiveness in the commercial airline market thanks to the new site’s dynamic real-time updating based on a user-friendly platform
  • Simplified the flight ticket sales process thanks to tool flexibility that enabled the company to daring in design and improve Website usability

Why Oracle

“After evaluating the leading tools on the market through meticulous research, we chose Oracle for the freedom its tool offers in all processes—from implementation to content editing—as well as its excellent campaign and content segmentation method.” – Kleber Linhares, Information Technology and E-Commerce Director, Azul Brazilian Airlines

Partner

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras worked with Oracle partner TQI to put the new ticket sales Web site online using Oracle WebCenter Sites. With the project’s integration carried out by TQI, it was possible for Azul to make the Web site its main communication channel with consumers.
“We were very impressed with TQI’s work. Even while working under a tight schedule, they managed to meet the deadline. Further, the attention they dedicated to the project and the experience their team demonstrated with different advanced technologies left us very satisfied,” Linhares said.


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!



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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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