Thursday Sep 05, 2013

What WebCenter info will you gain this year at OpenWorld?

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 is all about learning new things and gaining new insights that will help you and your business be more effective and successful. For many organizations, getting a handle on how information such as forms, faxes and other documents is a key focus area because there is a large and fast return on investment potential (and who doesn't want to see that!!).

That is where WebCenter Content and Imaging come in to play. It might be true that forms processing doesn't have that much sizzle, but as we all know, the CIO and CFO care a lot more about saving money and cutting operational costs then the latest sexy toy.  Forms processing is indeed a bit of an "unsung hero" but probably deserves another look by most companies.

Before you show up at OpenWorld this year, check out this blog post by our friends Dwayne Parkinson and Dan Stitely over at Team Informatics on the issue and then stop by and talk to them directly in the Oracle Demogrounds this year. You and your boss might be very glad you did!

http://blog.teaminformatics.com/2013/09/03/forms-the-unsung-hero-of-webcenter-content/

And for a full list of Oracle WebCenter related sessions, labs and event, be sure to visit the Focus On WebCenter page.

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!

Monday Aug 05, 2013

Time to plan your summertime reading

This time of year, our minds naturally turn to summer vacations, beach days and road trips.  And of course, you will need a little summer reading for those long days under the umbrella.

Fortunately for you, the WebCenter team is here to help with a number of informative white papers to wile away the hours, and best of all, they are free! For example, there is the recent Top 10 Criteria for choosing an ECM System white paper that is sure to spark cries of "Hey, where do I get my copy?" from your friends and family.  The newly updated whitepaper on Automating Accounts Payable Processes with WebCenter Imaging will help you evaluate how to save money on AP invoicing and other transactional processes and with the money your company will save, they might even allow you to expense your vacation as a business expense!  OK, probably not.  

Finally, when it is time to tuck the kids in with a bedtime story, why not regale them with insights into web experience management and the value of integrating marketer-controlled targeting with automated recommendations to optimize online engagement?  You will gain new insights and they will be asleep in no time!

All facetiousness aside, these informative white papers can be very helpful as you decide how to improve the way you do business - whether it be improving the level of customer engagement you deliver, selecting the best content management system or automating transactional business processes.

Have a great summer!

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 

Tuesday Jul 16, 2013

Cats, Bacon and the Bottom Line

Recently I came across an Infographic illustrating the popularity of cats and bacon within web searches. The results are somewhat startling and as a marketing professional, it immediately had me wondering about how we could utilize this knowledge here on the Oracle WebCenter team.  

Well, the fact of the matter is that we are almost certainly NOT going to have a cat, bacon or any combination as a mascot or emblem anytime soon, even if it is a cat as cute as mine, seen here loitering in a box. What we are going to do is continue to focus on real business challenges that are vexing our customers today and help them find new ways to save money, increase efficiency and drive increased profitability.

One of the ways Oracle WebCenter is helping customers is via the automation of essential business processes like Accounts Payable invoicing.  While perhaps it is not as exciting as a kitten or a piece of bacon to some people, to those responsible for improving the bottom line, it's extremely important.  In a recent survey, 69% of accounts payable professionals surveyed chose reducing the cost of invoice processing as their top priority as they address the cost of doing business.

If this is important to you, we invite you to learn more about how WebCenter Imaging can automate your invoicing processes and be used across multiple transactional processes to lower costs, reduce errors and radically improve operating efficiency.  Be sure to check out our introductory video on the topic as well as our PDF booklet of customer successes in this area.  We hope we can assist you with the same type of improvements.  At the very least, you'll have more time to do those searches for kittens and bacon!  :)

And OK, after you have researched the ways Oracle WebCenter Imaging can help you run a more profitable business, you might want to see the aforementioned infographic. Given these numbers, you just might want to make your corporate mascot a kitten (or bacon). :)

Source: Marketo, July 2013

Monday Jul 15, 2013

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale.....

This will not be the tale of a fateful trip or a three-hour tour gone awry.

But it is the all-too-familiar tale of modern organizations that in 2013, are still relying on paper-based business processes. Every time I am asked to "please fax in the form when it is complete", I wonder to myself... what is happening with this information? How will it get entered into whatever transactional system might be in place behind the scenes? Will it have to be re-typed by someone else or is it automatically scanned, intelligently recognized and routed appropriately, based on specific field values on the form?

Sadly, it is often the former scenario that takes place. Somewhere there is a clerk that must re-key in the data and hopefully make zero errors in the process. In the mean time, absolutely nothing else is happening with this business process and the result is hours or even days in unnecessary delays.

When it comes to a common process like Accounts Payable invoicing, these kinds of slow downs introduce a number of problems including late payment penalties, inability to handle growing invoice volumes and of course, the physical storage issue.

OK, so if the issue is so common, why don't more companies do something about it? Often times, organizations don't fully understand the cost savings opportunity in front of them and to some degree, there is the "it's working well enough for now so lets not spend any money on that issue" mentality at work, especially in a world of tight budgets.

More forward looking companies are investing in capture, scanning and imaging technologies that drive down their current costs and deliver a fast return on investment. If you are using Oracle E-Business Suite in conjunction with your AP processes, you really owe it to your self to learn more about how you can improve your existing processes with Oracle WebCenter Imaging Solutions

For starters, check out our recently created screencast on the topic, along with what we call a "Brag Book" that includes several customer stories confirming the real-life benefits of WebCenter Imaging. There are not any pictures of Ginger, Maryann or the Professor, but you will get ideas and insights from other customers about the value of WebCenter Imaging. Even better!  

And now, in the immortal words of Thurston Howell III.... "Quickly Lovey, another Perrier and lime!"

Have a good week everyone....

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!)



Monday Mar 25, 2013

Waiting on the paperwork...

Last Friday evening, I boarded a connecting flight as I made my way home across the country.  Tired yet relieved to be going home after working at an Oracle-sponsored industry event, I got on board and watched as every last bit of seating and storage space was consumed by fellow travelers.  We were then notified that the plane had a maintenance issue that was being investigated and within seconds, many of us on the plane were automatically notified of the new estimated departure time on our smartphones.  In terms of customer communication, so far so good!  The airline (who will remain unnamed) was informing customers promptly about an unforeseen issue and the customers responded by settling in with whatever reading material they had.

Within a half hour, we were notified that the problem was resolved.  But then, those dreaded words came across the PA system from the Captain. "We are ready to go, but we are waiting on the paper work."

Now the crowd emitted an audible groan.  Why is that?  In my case, when someone tells me that they are "waiting on the paper work", I immediately have an image of a slow, tedious, bureaucratic process requiring a manual approval.  Sure enough, we waited for quite a while as our now perfectly operational aircraft was held on the ground...  by paper.

What struck me as I loitered on the plane with my fellow passengers that night is that there are still, surprisingly, many business processes that rely on physical paper and manual signatures.  It's easy to think in this day and age that everything is now automated.  We live in a world of notifications and alerts, automatic updates, text messages, social collaboration and news feeds.  Yet at the same time, there are a myriad of areas in our personal and professional lives that rely on paper and pen.

In the case of airplane maintenance, procedures must be followed and documented.  There are industry and government mandated regulations that outline exactly how maintenance repairs are performed and formal records must be kept of every repair done on each plane for safety and legal reasons.  And yet with automated imaging, scanning and forms recognition solutions such as those available with Oracle WebCenter, these approved forms could be routed much faster. Management of the records and associated documents would also be more efficient and less prone to human error and possible loss or damage to the paper documents.

If there is room for improvement in business processes that directly impact customers at one of the world's largest airlines, what about your business?  Are you still relying on paper forms and documents in critical or regulated business processes?  How does this effect the customer experience you provide?

Oracle WebCenter provides a plethora of solutions for businesses looking to improve the customer experience. From Self-Service Portals to targeted Web Experience Management to Enterprise Content Management and yes, even Automated Imaging solutions that help you eliminate paper from your processes.  As a reader of this blog, we hope we have already helped you solve some of your business challenges and we look forward to helping you address more in the future as you strive to continuously improve.  Thank you for joining us!

Tuesday Mar 12, 2013

WebCenter Customer Spotlight: DDI

Author: Peter Reiser - Social Business Evangelist, Oracle WebCenter

 Solution Summary

Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI) has been helping hundreds of organizations around the world―including half of the Fortune 500 companies―close the gap between where their businesses need to go and the talent they must have to take them there. With associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the company’s expertise includes designing and implementing employee selection systems and identifying and developing talent, from front-line workers to executive leadership.

As DDI continued to grow, it experienced escalating costs associated with searching, storing, and recreating critical, expense-related documents for its operations around the globe.

They  implemented Oracle Internet Expenses and integrated  a new document-capture solution based on Oracle WebCenter Imaging,  that enabled the company to overcome the limitations of its legacy system with an open, enterprise architecture that facilitates a flexible deployment.

DDI cut administrative costs associated with managing paper-based transactions, as well as operational costs associated with photocopying, faxing, and couriering documents and decreased its physical storage requirements & costs.  DDI estimates that it is saving the equivalent of one full-time staff member in IT management.  In addition, the company gained the ability to track, access, and manage information more efficiently to assist with regulatory compliance related to information protection and privacy.


www.ddiworld.com

Company Overview

Since 1970, Development Dimensions International, Inc. (DDI) has been helping hundreds of organizations around the world―including half of the Fortune 500 companies―close the gap between where their businesses need to go and the talent they must have to take them there. With associates in 42 offices in 26 countries, the company’s expertise includes designing and implementing employee selection systems and identifying and developing talent, from front-line workers to executive leadership.

Business Challenges

The company previously used a third-party system to manage employee expenses, a solution that was extremely complex to maintain, as it was not built on a standards-based architecture.  As DDI continued to grow, it experienced escalating costs associated with searching, storing, and recreating critical, expense-related documents for its operations around the globe. Every year, employees spent thousands of hours and the company expended significant financial resources distributing client-billable expense receipts across several departments globally. This largely manual system delayed employee reimbursement and client billing and prohibited the rollout of shared services centers, designed to elevate efficiency and customer service.

To address these challenges, DDI defined following business objectives:

  • Advance DDI’s global, shared services strategy to help it to reduce costs, improve administrative efficiency, and expand its ability to deliver world-class talent acquisition and development services
  • Enable the company to more efficiently capture and process employee expenses, eliminating manual processes and accelerating reimbursement, as well as customer billing
  • Reduce IT complexity and management costs by eliminating custom integrations between the company’s business-critical applications and systems
Solution Deployed

DDI implemented Oracle Internet Expenses to accelerate expense report submission, approval, processing, and payment, and control expenses with flexible audit tools. The solution automated the approval workflow and accelerated and ensured accurate expense attribution in client invoices.
At the same time, DDI implemented  a new document-capture solution. It deployed Oracle WebCenter Imaging, a solution that enabled the company to overcome the limitations of its legacy system with an open, enterprise architecture that facilitates a flexible deployment. As part of the rollout, it integrated Oracle WebCenter Imaging with Oracle Internet Expenses. Oracle WebCenter Imaging operates as an infrastructure-supporting solution, as opposed to an application unto itself—so the company can leverage it as a shared service that extends wherever imaging is required throughout the enterprise. 

Business Results
DDI cut administrative costs associated with managing paper-based transactions, as well as operational costs associated with photocopying, faxing, and couriering documents. Further, the company decreased its physical storage requirements and costs.  DDI estimates that it is saving the equivalent of one full-time staff member in IT management. The team can now apply time it previously spent managing and maintaining custom interfaces to more strategic initiatives. In addition, the company gained the ability to track, access, and manage information more efficiently to assist with regulatory compliance related to information protection and privacy.

We are very pleased with the way Oracle WebCenter Imaging enabled us to achieve process efficiencies by capturing receipt images up front and making them accessible to managers and other approvers all along the workflow. We also like that we can retrieve images not only from Oracle Internet Expenses, but also from Oracle Payables, as well as within Oracle WebCenter Imaging itself.

Mike Fieldhammer, Corporate Controller, Development Dimensions International


Additional Information

Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

WebCenter Customer Spotlight: Regency Centers Corporation

Author: Peter Reiser - Social Business Evangelist, Oracle WebCenter

 Solution Summary

Regency Centers Corporation, based in Jacksonville, FL, is a leading national owner, operator, and developer of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers.

Regency grew rapidly over much of the last decade. To keep up with the monthly and yearly administrative processes required to manage thousands of tenants, including reconciling yearly pass-through expenses, the customer upgraded to Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Version 9.0 and deployed Oracle WebCenter Imaging, Process Management and Oracle BI Publisher, to streamline invoice processing and reporting.

Using Oracle WebCenter Imaging - Regency accelerated and improved vendor invoice accuracy  which increases process integrity by identifying potential duplicate bills while enabling rapid approval of electronic invoice documents.



Company Overview
Regency Centers Corporation, based in Jacksonville, FL,  is a leading national owner, operator, and developer of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers. The company owns 367 centers, totaling nearly 50 million square feet, located in top markets throughout the United States. Founded in 1963 and operating as a fully integrated real estate company, Regency is a qualified real estate investment trust that is self-administered and self-managed, operating from 17 regional offices around the country. 

Business Challenges

  • Ensure continued support of vital business applications that drive the real estate developer’s key business processes, including property management and tenant payment processing
  • Streamline year-end expense recognition and calculation, enabling faster tenant billing
  • Move to a Web-based platform to deliver greater mobility and convenience to employees
  • Minimize system customizations to reduce IT management costs and burden moving forward
Solution Deployed
Recency Centers Corporation worked with the  Oracle Partner ICS to upgrade to Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Version 9.0, migrating to a more user-friendly, Web-based platform and realizing numerous new efficiencies in property management and tenant payment processing. They accelerated and improved vendor invoice accuracy with Oracle WebCenter Imaging, which increases process integrity by identifying potential duplicate bills while enabling rapid approval of electronic invoice documents.

Business Results

  • Enabled faster and more accurate tenant billing for year-end expenses, accelerating collections of millions of dollars in revenue
  • Gained full audit and drill-down capabilities that facilitate understanding various aspects of calculations for expense participation generation
  • Increases process integrity by identifying potential duplicate bills while enabling rapid approval of electronic invoice documents
  • Helped to ensure on-time payments to hundreds of vendors, including contractors and utilities

"We have realized numerous efficiencies with Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne 9.0, particularly around tenant billings. It accelerates our year-end expense reconciliation process and enables us to create and process billings more quickly.”

James Chiang, Vice President of Real Estate Accounting Regency Centers Corporation


Additional Information
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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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