Thursday Apr 03, 2014

Panduit - Leading the Way for Exceptional Digital Experiences

 When we notice great work being done by our Oracle WebCenter customers, we want to strut our stuff like a Peacock and show them off to the world. Last year, we received a nomination for the Oracle Excellence Awards in Fusion Middleware Innovation for our customer, Panduit. The competition was fierce last year for only 2 Award spots and although they ultimately did not win one of the awards, they certainly deserve recognition for their solution.

Panduit is a world-class developer and provider of leading-edge Data centers, Connected buildings and Industrial automation solutions that help customers optimize the physical infrastructure and mitigate risk through simplification, increased agility and operational efficiency. Independent leader since 1955 with a Global presence and local focus - 112 countries of operations, 4,000+ employees

Like many companies, their previous website and portals no longer met modern user expectations:

• They Needed to Foster, Support, Engage and Enable their Growing Global Partner Ecosystem with Self-Service Applications and Content
• They had 300 System Integrators,  1451 Distributor Partners,  5026 Distribution Locations and 1900 Contractors/Installers to communicate with in a consistent regular manner.
• They needed to Modernize, globalize and re-brand the Panduit.com website and Partner Portals to Prevent loss of business due to partner drop-offs
• They needed to Create an integrated High Availability solution for all customers and partners, with a single address (www.panduit.com) with Mobile and Social Media Channels
• They needed to Develop a catalog of self-service functions that can be assigned based on differentiated role-based services by partner & customer segments and/or tiers

Its always better to hear it directly from the happy customer.

The Solution for Panduit was Oracle WebCenter Digital Experience Platform and Oracle Fusion Middleware AppAdvantage including the following:

  • Oracle WebCenter (Sites, Portal, and Content), Oracle SOA, Oracle BPM, OPSS, Weblogic Suite, and ADF
  • Single Platform – Supports portal, website, database based services, application-to-application service integration, EDI, etc.
  • Integration – Adapters were available out-of-the box to integrate with Panduit’s Oracle E-Business Suite with protected support for future releases
  • Reusability – Component and visual template reuse between applications
  • Social Community – Out-of-the-box social media and collaboration
  • Analytics –  Built in analytical capabilities
  • Mobility – Can be extended to mobile devices

Their new integrated website and self-service partner portal was completed in 12 months, starting from ground zero to launch.

Now they are able to:

  • Support a growing global partner ecosystem with secure, multilingual online experience
  • Provide integrated role-based experiences for all customers and partners within a single address (www.panduit.com).
  • Improve number and quality of sales leads through increased web and mobile customer interactions and registrations
  • Experience the benefits with activity up 57% from previous year with portal site @ 42,632 self-serve transactions per month



Watch On-Demand: Delivering Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise


Tuesday Mar 11, 2014

Digital = The Center of your Marketing Universe

The brand website is one of the most important and highly trusted channels for engaging with customers.  However, a static one-size-fits-all web presence will fall short when it comes to meeting your customers’ expectations.  In order to drive sales and loyalty using the web today, organizations must deliver a dynamic digital experience – one that is personalized and relevant, social and interactive, easily optimized for a growing variety of mobile devices, and connected with other customer touch points and channels.

So.... How does your digital customer experience measure up?  Find out by answering a few quick questions about your digital strategy.

Determine Your Digital Marketing Strategy Strengths and Weaknesses

How Does Your Digital Marketing Strategy Measure Up?Today’s customers expect an experience that is relevant and interactive. And they want it across multiple online channels. By using Oracle WebCenter’s complimentary tool, you can determine your business’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to delivering an engaging customer experience across web, mobile, and social channels.

The assessment tool will help you:
  • Gain a better understanding of your challenges and objectives with respect to the digital customer experience
  • Identify areas in which a web experience management solution could add value
  • Understand the potential benefits of Oracle WebCenter Sites, such as increased conversions and revenue, greater customer satisfaction, and more


Wednesday Feb 05, 2014

Oracle AppAdvantage for Digital Experience: Delivering Consistent Multichannel Experiences using WebCenter

The way that your organization delivers information has become an increasingly important aspect of how you engage with customers, partners and employees. It also reflects significantly on your corporate brand and how you are viewed in the marketplace. Oracle AppAdvantage is Oracle's approach to maximizing the value of Oracle Applications with Oracle Fusion Middleware as it helps you leverage your existing investments while standardizing on core enterprise applications. Naturally, most organizations rely on multiple business systems to process, track, coordinate and deliver vital information to customers, partners and employees. Each user expects a personal experience, but those experiences will vary according to their roles and personas.

The method and style by which information is delivered is commonly called the Digital Experience. To keep your customers engaged and satisfied, the Digital Experience must be consistent across web and mobile delivery channels, with content presented appropriately within each context.

We have all seen when a company fails at delivering a quality web experience. Information delivered to a customer or employee varies depending whether it is accessed from a tablet device or a browser. Visual branding and the “look and feel” vary widely or sometimes the information is just wrong as it is not being delivered from a central system.Customers, business partner and employees all expect a better experience.

In order to provide this type of consistent and integrated online experience, organizations using Oracle Applications must be able to integrate web content management systems with enterprise systems of record and securely deliver this information in a contextual and self-service fashion. A complete Digital Experience can’t be disconnected from these critical enterprise applications.

Oracle AppAdvantage is a program powered by Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies that helps customers strengthen their investments in Oracle Applications and integrate new technology without adding to the applications’ development lifecycles. Customers that use Oracle E-Business Suite or Oracle’s PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, or Siebel solutions—as well as any of Oracle’s industry solutions or other Oracle Applications—can fulfill customer expectations with Oracle AppAdvantage solutions for Digital Experience.

Ultimately, the success of the Digital Experience depends upon the quality and quantity of information available from enterprise applications and the ease with which it can be accessed and utilized. The middleware solutions in the Oracle AppAdvantage program enable Oracle Applications customers to deliver a seamless Digital Experience that maintains the corporate “look and feel” of your brand while targeting individuals based on their current context and preferences.

To learn more about the power of Oracle AppAdvantage for Digital Experience, watch the upcoming webcast where a leading doors and windows manufacturer, Pella discusses how they are leveraging Oracle AppAdvantage for Digital Experience to empower their customers, dealers as well as their sales network and are fueling continuous improvement, in turn.

Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader Series: Pella Revolutionizes Digital Experience for Customers, Partners and Employees

Wednesday, February 12 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern.

Register Today.

Tuesday Dec 03, 2013

How Well Does Your Organization Do Self-Service?

Assessment Tool Measures
Your Self-Service Portal Strategy

The adoption of self-service portals is accelerating, but too often portals are implemented without a comprehensive strategy that ensures key functionality, such as cohesive user experiences and integration with back-end applications. Now a new assessment tool lets organizations quickly measure the effectiveness of their current self-service portal approach. 

Recent studies indicate that self-service portals are now more of a business imperative than ever. One study shows that 55 percent of consumers prefer automated self-service—twice as many as five years ago. The potential benefits are enormous: self-service reduces costs by US$9.00 per employee per month by eliminating manual, paper-intensive processes. 
View a new infographic to learn about other interesting facets of self-service. 

Are You a Self-Service Leader?
Despite the potential to use portals to reduce costs and increase satisfaction, many organizations install packaged applications that focus only on one aspect of a relationship with a customer, employee, or partner. For example, a customer relationship management system may present sales projection information but fail to integrate with the enterprise resource planning system to provide current account status. 

"Too often, such an approach doesn't address every aspect of taking action," explains Ashish Agrawal, senior director of product management for Oracle WebCenter Portal. 

The Oracle Self-Service Portal User Experience Assessment quickly helps you benchmark your organization's approach, including

  • Portal strategy
  • Portal agility
  • Integration and personalization
  • Social interactivity
  • Cross-channel integration

Why Oracle WebCenter? 
Oracle is the only enterprise software vendor with the complete, open, and integrated approach to support a truly comprehensive self-service portal strategy. With Oracle WebCenter Portal, you can

  • Integrate content, information, and business processes
  • Easily create and manage mobile portal experiences for desktop browsers, smartphones, tablets, and kiosks
  • Build and deploy custom-built components using rich development tools

View the new self-service portal destination page and take the Oracle Self-Service Portal User Experience Assessment

Access in-depth information about Oracle WebCenter Portal

Download a white paper about self-service portals, “Oracle WebCenter Portal: High Value Web Experiences Through Self-Service Portals.”

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

Subscribe for more content every other month.


Friday Nov 15, 2013

WebCenter Portal 11.1.1.8 – Customize your Profile page

Guest post today by: Mitchell Palski, WebCenter Sales Consultant

The Oracle WebCenter Portal People Connections service provides social networking tools for creating, interacting with, and tracking the activities of a user’s connections. WebCenter enables users to manage their personal profiles, access the profiles of other users, provide ad hoc feedback, post messages, track activities, and connect with others.

A Profile provides users with a variety of views into their own profile, as well as other users' profile information. Such information can include a user's email address, phone number, office location, department, manager, direct reports, and more. Profile takes the bulk of its information from the back-end identity store that provides a WebCenter Portal application with its list of users. Additionally, a Profile may offer opportunities for altering some of this information and for providing additional data that is not included in the identity store.
Here is an example of my profile page in one of our Oracle demonstration environments:
Profile Page

By default, not all sections of the user profile are editable by a user and viewable by other users. It is the administrator's job to specify the information to show in each section of the profile and determine whether users are allowed to edit their profile data and their application password within the WebCenter Portal.

To configure the Profile:

1. Open WebCenter Portal Administration.
2. Click Tools and Services, and then select People Connections. Tabs with the names of People Connections features appear to the right.
3. Click the Profile tab to bring it forward.
People Connection Settings
In the Profile Access section of this page, an administrator can control view settings around the sections of the profile. There are two sections under “View settings” that need to be considered when an administrator wants to hide a section of the profile:
• Who can view this section
• Allow Owner Override
For example, a number of my customers have asked about hiding the “Personal Information” section for their users because their users are employees and they don’t want them to share information such as their personal address. In this case, if the administrator logs in as an administrator change “Who can view this section” to “None” a user can still change that setting in their personal Preferences.
**Note: the columns in the Profile Access table can be reordered.
Profile Access
By default, not all of the attributes in a user’s profile are editable. Use the Profile Attributes – Edit Settings section of this page to enable and disable which attributes can be edited by a user through their web browser. For example, you may want to allow a user to edit their Business Contact Attributesinformation from their profile page.


Conclusion

It is important to consider how a user’s information is being used in your Portal environment before making changes to this page. Some questions to ask are:
• Is this information being managed elsewhere?
• Is user information being used to network?
• Are there any security concerns around allowing users to enter user information?
For more information on configuring your People Connections Service and User Profile, please refer to these Oracle WebCenter Portal documentation links:

Thanks for your time! Please comment on this post and let us know if this article is helpful for you and your organization!


 Learn how Oracle WebCenter Portal delivers secure, role-based, and personalized portal solutions that optimize the connections between people, information, and applications.

Empower End Users with Integrated Self-Service Portals
->LEARN MORE TODAY!<-

Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

Top Reasons You Need A User Engagement Platform

Guest post by: Amit Sircar, Senior Sales Consultant, Oracle

Deliver complex enterprise functionality through a simple intuitive and unified User Interface (UI)

The modern enterprise contains a wide range of applications that are used to manage the business and drive competitive advantages. Organizations respond by creating a complex structure that results in a functional and management grouping of users. Each of these groups of users requires access to multiple applications and information sources in order to perform their job functions. This leads to the lack of a unified view of enterprise information, inconsistent user interfaces and disjointed security.

To be effective, portals must be designed from the end-user perspective, enabling the user to accomplish as many tasks as possible while visiting the fewest number of portals. This requires rethinking the way that portals are built, moving from a functional business unit perspective to a user-focused, process-oriented point of view.
Oracle WebCenter provides the Common User Experience Architecture that allows organizations to seamlessly present a unified view of enterprise information tailored to a particular user’s role and preferences. This architecture provides the best practices, design patterns and delivery mechanism for myriad services, applications, and data sources.  In order to serve as a primary system of access, Oracle WebCenter also provides access to unstructured content and to other users via integrated search, service-oriented artifacts, content management, and collaboration tools.

Provide a modern and engaging experience without modifying the core business application

Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, forums or social media sites are having a profound impact in the public internet.  These technologies can be leveraged by enterprises to add significant value to the business. Organizations need to integrate these technologies directly into their business applications while continuing to meet their security and governance needs. To deliver richer connections and become a more agile and intelligent business, WebCenter provides an enterprise portal platform that contains pre-integrated, standards-based Enterprise 2.0 services. These Enterprise 2.0 services can be easily accessed, integrated and utilized by users. By giving users the ability to use and integrate Enterprise 2.0 services such as tags, links, wikis, activities, blogs or social networking directly with their portals and applications, they are empowered to make richer connections, optimize their productivity, and ultimately increase the value of their applications.

Foster a collaborative experience

The organizational workplace has undergone a major change in the last decade. With increasing globalization and a distributed workforce, project teams may be physically separated by large distances. Online collaboration technologies are becoming a critical resource to enable virtual teams to share information and work together effectively. Oracle WebCenter delivers dynamic business communities with rich Services to empower teams to quickly and efficiently manage their information, applications, projects, and people without requiring IT assistance. It brings together the latest technology around Enterprise 2.0 and social computing, communities, personal productivity, and ad-hoc team interactions without any development effort. It enables the sharing and collaboration on team content, focusing an organization’s valuable resources on solving business problems, tapping into new ideas, and reducing time-to-market.


Mobile Support

The traditional workplace dynamics that required employees to access their work applications from their desktops have undergone a fundamental shift. Employees were used to primarily working from company offices and utilized an IT-issued computer for performing their job functions. With the introduction of flexible work hours and the growth of remote workers, more and more employees need the ability to remain productive even when they do not have access to a computer via the use of tablets and smartphones. 
In addition, customers and citizens have come to expect 24x7 access to resources and websites from wherever they are located. Tablets and smartphones have empowered everyone to quickly access services they need anytime and from any place. 

WebCenter provides out of the box capabilities to deliver the mobile experience in a seamless manner. Seeded device profiles and toolkits within WebCenter can be used to render the same web pages into multiple target devices such iPads, iPhones and android devices. Web designers can preview the portal using the built in simulator, make necessary updates and then deploy their UI design for the targeted device.


Conclusion

The competitive economy and resource constraints facing organizations today require them to find ways to make their applications, portals and Web sites more agile and intelligent and their knowledge workers more productive no matter where they are located. Organizations need to provide faster access to relevant information and resources, enhance existing applications and business processes with rich Enterprise 2.0 services, and seamlessly deliver content to mobile platforms. Oracle WebCenter successfully meets these challenges by providing the modern user experience platform for the enterprise and the Web.


Friday Oct 25, 2013

The Connected Company: WebCenter Portal - Feedback - Analytics and Polls

Evernote Export Guest Post by: Mitchell Palski, Staff Sales Consultant

The importance of connecting peers has been widely recognized and socialized as a critical component of employee intranets. Organizations are striving to provide mediums for sharing knowledge and improving awareness across their enterprise. Indirectly, the socialization of your enterprise should lead to cost savings and improved product/service quality. However, many times the direct effects of connecting an organization’s leadership with its employees are overlooked. Oracle WebCenter Portal can help you bridge that gap by gathering implicit and explicit feedback.

Implicit Feedback Through Usage Analytics

Analytics allows administrators to track and analyze WebCenter Portal traffic and usage. Analytics provides the following basic functionality:

  • Usage Tracking Metrics: Analytics collects and reports metrics of common WebCenter Portal functions, including community and portlet traffic.
  • Behavior Tracking: Analytics can be used to analyze WebCenter Portal metrics to determine usage patterns, such as page visit duration and usage over time.
  • User Profile Correlation: Analytics can be used to correlate metric information with user profile information. Usage tracking reports can be viewed and filtered by user profile data such as country, company or title.

Usage analytics help measure how users interact with website content – allowing your IT staff and business analysts to make informed decisions when planning development for your next intranet enhancement. For example:

  • If users are not accessing your Announcements page and missing critical information that they need to be aware of, you may elect to use graphical links on the home page to direct more users to that page. As a result, the number of employee help-requests to HR decreases.
  • If users are not accessing your News page to read recent articles, you may elect to stop spending as much time updating the page with new stories and cut costs in your communications department.
  • You notice that there is a high volume of users accessing the Employee Dashboard page so your organization decides to continue making personalization enhancements to the page and investing in the Portal tool that most users are accessing.

Usage analytics aren’t necessarily a new concept in the IT industry. What sets WebCenter Portal Analytics apart is:

  • Reports are tailored for WebCenter specific tools
  • Report can be easily added to a page as simple as a drag-and-drop


WebCenter Portal Analytics

Explicit Feedback Through Polls

WebCenter Portal users can create, edit, take, and analyze online polls. With polls, you can survey your audience (such as their opinions and their experience level), check whether they can recall important information, and gather feedback and metrics.

How many times have you been involved in a requirements discussion and someone has asked a question similar to “Well how do you know that no one likes our home page?” and the response is “Everyone says they hate it! That’s all anyone complains about.” No one has any measurable, quantifiable metric to gauge user satisfaction. Analytics measure usage, but your organization also needs to measure the quality of your portal as defined by the actual people that use it. With that information, your leadership can make informed decisions that will not only match usage patterns but also relate to employees on a personal level. The end result is a connection between employees and leadership that gives everyone in the organization a sense of ownership of their Portal rather than the feeling of development decisions being segregated to leadership only.

Polls can be created and edited through the Poll Manager:

Oracle WebCenter Poll Manager

Polls and View Poll Results can easily be added to a page through drag-and-drop.

WebCenter Portal Poll Results

What did we learn?

Being a “connected” company doesn’t just mean helping employees connect with each other horizontally across your enterprise. It also means connecting those employees to the decisions that affect their everyday activities. Through WebCenter Portal Usage Analytics and Polls, any decision that is made to remove a Portal page, update a Portal page, or develop new Portal functionality, can be justified by quantifiable metrics. Instead of fielding complaints and hearing that your employees don’t have a voice, give those employees a voice and listen!


Thursday Oct 24, 2013

The Connected Company: WebCenter Portal Activity Streams

Guest post by Mitchell Palski, Oracle Staff Sales Consultant

Social media is sure to have made its way into your company or government organization. Whether its discussion threads, blog posts, Facebook-style profile-pages, or just a simple Instant Messenger application; in one way or another, your employees are connected. What are the objectives of leveraging social media in your organization?

  • Facilitating knowledge transfer
  • More effectively organizing team events
  • Generating inter-community discussions to solve problems
  • Improving resource management
  • Increasing organizational awareness
  • Creating an environment of accountability
Do any of the business objectives above stand out to you as needs? If so, consider leveraging the WebCenter Portal Activity Stream as part of your solution.

In WebCenter Portal, the Activity Stream feature provides a streaming view of the activities of your connections, actions taken in portals, and business activities that looks a lot like a combined Facebook and Twitter newsfeed. Activity Stream can note when a user:

  • Posts feedback (comments)
  • Uploads a document
  • Creates a new blog, page, event, or announcement
  • Starts a new discussion
  • Streams messages and attachments entered through WebCenter Publisher (similar to Twitter)

Through Activity Stream Preferences, you can select which of these activities to show or hide from your personal Activity Stream.

Here’s what you get:

  • Real-time stream of activities with in a Portal or sub-Portal increases awareness across your organization or within a working group
  • Complete list of user actions reduces the time-to-find for users that need to interact with the latest activities in your portal
  • Users can publish to their groups when tasks are finished for complete group traceability and accountability, as well as improved resource management.
  • Project discussions and shared documents that require the expertise of someone outside of a working group now get increased visibility across your organization.

There’s a reason that commercial Social Media tools like Facebook and Twitter have been so successful – they spread information in an aesthetically appealing and easy to read format.  Strategically placing an Activity Feed within your Portal is analogous to sending your employees a daily newsletter, events calendar, recent documents report, and list of announcements – BUT ALL IN ONE! 


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 10, 2013

My Theory of Inverse Relationships: Technical Sophistication vs Compensating Customer Service

Statistics are everywhere – people that are engaged in life and work are generally happier people because their needs are met without excessive hassles.  Download Employee Engagement Report Free Today!
As we move towards a more self-service technology-enabled culture, I have a theory of inverse relationships that is starting to take shape. I have had a few more experiences over the past couple of weeks that lay credence to my nascent theory.

I believe that there is an inverse relationship between the technical sophistication of companies and their person-to-person relationships. You may remember a post I did right around this time of year a couple of years ago entitled “Mayberry RFD meets the WWW” that started to examine my perspective. I'm still a believer.

As many of our readers know from my previous posts, my family is now in the beginning of the college years and we’ve just delivered our daughter to a beautiful small liberal arts University in upstate NY. Wish her well as she focuses on Neuroscience to cure all of our imminent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. I hope I remember to thank her someday.  Because of this – I’ve had a lot of drive time (5 hrs each way) to do some thinking about this subject and some experiences over the process.

I’ll start with a recent experience with my local spring water delivery service. This company has been around for eons and very service-focused. As I’ve been trying to do all my bill paying online and we hadn't ordered water for a couple of years, I took a look at their website to see if I could just pay my bill by credit card. Sure enough – they have a “Pay your bill online” button on their site. When clicked, I was presented with a form to fill out and a submit button. Easy, painless and fast. Yet I received no email confirmation of my payment that is usually the norm with online payments of this sort. Suspicious and concerned that I perhaps just distributed my credit card number to a phishing expedition – I emailed the company and had a response within a couple of hours that read something to the effect of (I’ll paraphrase) – “Oh ya – that’s never worked – give us a call and we can take care of it over the phone…”  So – here’s a small company trying to survive against its much larger competitors with a bigger regional footprint that hasn’t prioritized their online bill pay as worth the investment or PREFERS to have the traditional biller and payer relationship by mailed checks or phone. The nice thing about this in many ways – is that when I called and spoke with “Mary” – she was genuine, friendly, and truly apologetic that their online system has never worked. Technical sophistication level: LOW. Customer Service level: HIGH. Customer Loyalty because of the overall positive experience = HIGH.

Those of you that are dealing with College or University online systems for students, parents, faculty and vendors are probably used to a wide range of functionality. My wife is an academic at a major university and we’ve seen all sides of this. This is NOT the public-facing Admissions advertising and marketing site, but instead how the students and parents deal with payments, registrations, insurance, financial aid, etc.. Lately, we’ve had the Uber Portal experience at my daughter’s University that thus far seems to be the most awkward and poorly designed collection of services we’ve ever experienced. Where is that tuition going? Like many universities, this portal is an open source project and feels like a garage project done in an intern’s spare cycles. Yet – in following my inverse technology theory – when I call the University (ANY department) to ask about something that isn’t clear or working on their portal, I often get a confirming statement about the portal being down or other less than glowing statements, and then the BEST customer service experience on the phone with people bending over backwards to help assist you with whatever request they need to get the job done in spite of the poor system that should have taken care of the problem or question in the first place. Technical experience to solve your problem online = LOW. Customer Service experience to compensate for poor online system =- HIGH. Overall experience = HIGH despite the high tuition bills that we’ll be paying until we’re 90.

Many Universities aren’t in the same boat – and although I’m not shipping my daughter off to Australia, one of our great customers there talks about how Oracle WebCenter provides the enterprise platform for University of Melbourne’s Student Portal, allowing the aggregation of all services and applications that students need to manage their academic and social lives while enrolled at the university. Check out this link:University of Melbourne Empowers Student Portal with Oracle

Lastly – I had another great experience while I was helping my daughter move into her dorm. As expected, we forgot some items and needed a few things so I took a trip down to the local hardware/country store. There they had everything we needed along with the most incredible customer service I’ve experienced in a retail establishment for a long time. I had a short list of items to find, but I’m a sucker for a country store that claims to have everything and did some aisle roaming to see what they really had.  During my 45 minutes there (my wife says it was more like 1.5 hrs) I had more people offer to help me and actually do so than you usually would experience in a brand-recognized chain store which this definitely wasn’t. To test my theory when I returned home – I went looking for their website and sure enough – this is what I found:   “Our Website is Under Construction - Please stop Back!“

The sidebar on the site under construction did confirm both my experience and current theory. I've changed the names to avoid any free advertising.

Welcome to Small Town General Store!
Our slogan says it all...Experience a Modern Day General Store.
We welcome you to visit our family-owned general store in Smallville, USA where the experience will make you want to visit again and again.  At Small Town General Store - you will find a full selection of electronics, paint, hardware, housewares and office supplies.  We believe in offering a wide variety of product with exceptional customer service.  Our friendly staff will greet you upon entering the store and direct you towards whatever your project requires that day.  Need advice on the project?  No problem our staff is well versed in everything we sell and we offer DIY books as reference.  Don't see what you are looking for - we have the ability to special order almost anything you need.  Whether you are a contractor, local business owner, homeowner, student or just passing through our town, Small Town General Store has something for you.

So - what does this all mean? You might be saying that of course, small town local business has to compensate with great customer service to compete with the big box stores and larger franchised services and you might be right. What about the ideal combination? What if you had the ultimate self-service online experience AND the company was a pleasure to deal with day in and day out? Employees that are happier at their jobs because they have the tools to get the job done quickly, efficiently and accurately will also provide a much better customer experience because they aren't fighting with systems that make their job miserable. Food for thought.

Watch this newly released WebCenter Portal Demo that will change your expectations for portals in your organization.

To learn more about this, don't miss our upcoming webcast on the NEW Release of Oracle WebCenter on Sept. 12th - see banner below. This will also be available On-Demand (AKA Self-Service!!) after this date, so register today and you 'll get the On-Demand link sent to you automatically after the event.

Register today - Watch this Week!



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


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!



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!)



Friday May 17, 2013

TEAM Informatics: Successful WebCenter Solutions from Minnesota to the World

Hello again everyone.

Well it's Friday and we would like to wrap up this week by showcasing another one of our great partners, Team Informatics.  For those of you that caught the webcast yesterday featuring Mortenson Construction, you might remember that Team Informatics is the partner that assisted Mortenson in their very successful roll out of WebCenter Content and Portal.  If you have not taken the time to check out the webcast, you can do so at anytime by registering here and viewing it on-demand at your leisure.  And once you register for the webcast, you can also freely access the latest whitepaper entitled  "The Top 10 Criteria for Choosing an Enterprise Content Management System" as well as a previous webcast on the "Seven Ways Content Can Improve the Health of Your Business".  It's fun for the whole family!  :)

Here is a brief overview of Team Informatics that we hope you will find useful and informative. 

Team Informatics

TEAM Informatics, Inc. (www.teaminformatics.com) is an employee-owned, Minnesota-based software products and systems integration firm with a global customer base. TEAM was formed over 10 years ago and has experienced a sustained aggressive growth rate with over 200 global customers.

TEAM is an Oracle Software Reseller and a global member of the Oracle Partner Network, specializing in areas such as WebCenter Content, WebCenter Portal and WebCenter Sites (formerly FatWire). Offerings include professional services, managed services, enterprise and development support, and an expanding set of products. In addition, TEAM is a Google Enterprise Partner and Reseller for the Google Search technologies. TEAM's suite of business applications include TEAM Cloud for managed delivery of WebCenter products on an Oracle engineered system, TEAM GSA Connector for enterprise search, TEAM Sites Connector for enabling web experience management, TEAM Email Manager for email and communication compliance and management, and ContentWorx for complex document process management and assembly. Get more information on these and all of TEAM's offerings at www.teaminformatics.com.












teamcloudthumbnail.png
GSAConnector thumb2.jpg
WebCenterSites Connector thumb2.jpg
eMAILmANAGER thumb2.jpg
contentworxthumb.jpg


With TEAM’s growing customer base, they have been able to showcase and announce key customer successes, as well as nurture partnerships to provide best-in-class solutions. Some of their most recent announcements include:

TEAM Informatics Provides Strategic Roadmap for City of Las Vegas Oracle WebCenter Deployment

Engineered to Work Together – TEAM Informatics WebCenter Sites Connector v. 1.1 for WebCenter Content

TEAM Informatics Announces Full Life-Cycle, Paper to Paperless Solution, with Gill Digital

TEAM Informatics Announces Growth in North American Public Sector with Continuing Success in Oracle WebCenter

TEAM Informatics Announces Award Winning Project with Mortenson Construction

These announcements reflect TEAM’s on-going strategy of providing solutions that get the most out of software, providing all-in-one solution packages, and growing in each vertical with each successful project. Their commitment to their customers is only strengthened by their commitment to Oracle technology.

For more information, a demo, or to have a conversation with TEAM, please contact them via this link.


And in other news.... Are you a WebCenter Innovator?

Oracle Excellence Awards: Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation

Striving for success is what drives Oracle and its customers and partners to continually discover innovative uses for Oracle technology and to deploy successful and groundbreaking solutions and best practices. The Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation recognizes customers and partners that have excelled in driving business value together with Oracle in eight award categories including Oracle WebCenter. Nominations for 2013 Awards are now open. Details and nomination forms can be found here.
Deadline for submission is June 18th, 2013!



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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