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An Oracle blog about Oracle Platform Products in the Field

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Oracle OpenWorld 2015 - Middleware Highlights for ISV Partners

As always, this year at OOW too there will be too many sessions to choose from. Here are some pointers in the middleware space for ISV partners. Cloud Application Foundation•    WebLogic Server - Hear about 12cR2 coming in CY15 with full Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 support along with automated elasticity (schedule, capacity, or demand based rules), multi-tenancy and an enhanced Continuous Availability option. Also hear about WebLogic support for Docker and other DevOps technologies.  •    Java Cloud Service – Hear about recent Updates - Add more compute/storage to existing managed servers, start & stop at VM level to impact hourly billing. Upcoming Quarterly Releases – DB RAC Integration, Clone Instance, Application Lift & Shift Tooling, DR within and across data centers, Service & Env Templates,  Multitenancy, Automated elasticity.  •    Application Container Cloud Service – Move towards supporting other languages/frameworks (besides JEE) on Oracle Cloud starting with Java SE & Node Cloud Services. Differentiation - Scale In/Out & Up/Down, Integrated (with DBCS, JCS, DCS), Load balanced. Other language support planned, as well as, bring your own Docker image. •    ExaLogic – Expected 12c release will enable customers to get  Oracle Cloud On-Premise. First release will support Oracle Compute, Java, Integration Cloud Services with Enterprise Manager single pane management for Hardware, IaaS, PaaS. Mobility, IoT & Development Tools•    Mobile Cloud Service – Upcoming Quarterly releases include – Full Bi-directional Data Synch, Windows/JavaScript SDK, ICS Connector, Solution Packaging. Oracle acquired IP of Monkey Talk, a cross-platform iOS and Android mobile test automation tool – record and play.•    Mobile Application Framework – Recent MAF 2.1.3 release had extensive security update. Upcoming releases will have ~25-30% faster page rendering, declarative offline support, Windows 10 & iOS9 support, integrated MCS Diagnostics/Analytics•    IoT Cloud Service – Functionality to connect, analyze and integrate devices. Initial focus on Monitoring & Maintenance in Manufacturing and Logistics Asset Tracking. •    Development Tools – A new modular, enterprise ready toolkit for HTML5/JS/REST development called JET. Service & Data Integration•    iPaaS – Integration Cloud Service upcoming releases features – Content based routing, On-premise agent and EBS/SAP/DB adapters, scheduling support. SOA Suite Cloud Service initial release available with SOA (BPEL, Rules), Service Bus, SOA+Service Bus, API Manager domains. •    API Management – APIs power modern digital economy and startups in this space are getting heavy funding. Oracle’s API Management Platform (API Catalog, API Manager, API Gateway) is robust in terms of current features (developer experience, analytics, security) and roadmap.•    Stream Analytics – Stream Explorer product brings real time analysis to Big Data and  IoT projects with a business friendly UI on top of a robust Oracle Event Processing runtime. •    Data Integration – Heavy focus on Big Data with enhanced Knowledge modules for Big Data in ODI, Golden Gate for Big Data to stream transactional data into Big Data systems and upcoming Big Data Preparation Cloud Service.

As always, this year at OOW too there will be too many sessions to choose from. Here are some pointers in the middleware space for ISV partners. Cloud Application Foundation•    WebLogic Server - Hear...

Oracle PaaS Hands on Workshops

To selected partners we are offering hands on workshop this month at Oracle HQ (Redwood City) on two exciting tool set in Oracle PaaS. These are - 1)  Oracle Stream Explorer - One Day workshop on Apr 14  http://eventreg.oracle.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x20922 The role of Oracle Stream Explorer is to help customers know what is happening in their business at this very moment and act accordingly. Oracle Stream Explorer provides a business friendly user interface on top of the core Event Processing engine. Examples of innovative solutions built using Stream Explorer include - Telecommunications: Perform real-time call detail (CDR) record monitoring and distributed denial of service attack detection. Financial Services: Perform real-time risk analysis, monitoring and reporting of financial securities trading and calculate foreign exchange prices. Transportation: Create passenger alerts and detect baggage location in case of flight discrepancies due to local or destination-city weather, ground crew operations, airport security, etc. Public Sector/Military: Detect dispersed geographical enemy information, abstract it, and decipher high probability of enemy attack. Alert the most appropriate resources to respond to an emergency. IT Systems: Ability to detect failed applications or servers in real-time and trigger corrective measures. Supply Chain and Logistics: Ability to track shipments in real-time and detect and report on potential delays in arrival. 2) Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS) - 2 Days Workshop on Apr 21-22 http://eventreg.oracle.com/profile/web/index.cfm?PKWebId=0x21105359b9  In Oracle Cloud, equivalent of Oracle SOA is Oracle Integration Cloud Service (ICS). ICS has a Cloud SDK which will be used by Application providers to create Adapters to their Apps. Oracle Apps teams are writing their adapters and we would like to extend this offer to select ISV partners. ISVs can join this workshop to learn more about the development process. Your application can run in third party Cloud or your own data center but simply participate in integrations running in ICS. You can also offer your adapters through Oracle Cloud Marketplace Please register to attend these workshops.

To selected partners we are offering hands on workshop this month at Oracle HQ (Redwood City) on two exciting tool set in Oracle PaaS. These are - 1)  Oracle Stream Explorer - One Day workshop on Apr...

Innovating with Middleware Platform

I was recently discussing with a partner executive on howOracle can help the ISV innovate. Decided to pen my thoughts here too - 1) WebLogicInnovation - WebLogic is our market leading App Server. The area which I wouldlike to highlight is Exalogic. Seeing more and more cases where Telco,Financial Services, Govt solution providers are seeing business benefits ofrunning their business critical application on Exalogic. With the upcominglaunch of Exalogic Cloud Software 12c and already available X5-2 hardware, WebLogicperformance on Exalogic will continue to get better. But more importantlypartners would be able to get a simplified experience, similar to Oracle PublicCloud, on Exalogic as explained in this blog post. 2) Middleware Platform for Industry solutions - Oracle SOASuite solves core integration challenges for Healthcareentities, Retailers/Manufacturers,Airlinesetc. Oracle BPM allows you to design complex processes for FinancialServices, Telcos, Public Sector etc. Oracle Event Processing allows you to analyzeand act on data from a variety of devices (IoT) in Fast DataSolutions being deployed in Telcos (Mobile Data offloading, QoSManagement), Transportation (Vehicle Monitoring), Retail (Real Time Coupons),Utilities (Smart Grids) etc. Partners providing process management and integrationsolutions for vertical industries can roll out innovations while keeping thelights running by deploying on Oracle Middleware Platform (SOA, BPM, OEP, WLS,Exalogic, Enterprise Manager). 3) Mobile Platform - Adoption ofmobility in enterprises offers tremendous opportunities to ISVs. We asked onepartner, RapidValue, to share their experience. In this writeup,RapidValue explains how they were able to use power of Oracle Mobile Platformto quickly bring to market a suite of Mobile Applications for Field Service,HRMS, Approvals, Order Management, Inventory Management, and Expense Management. 4) Public Cloud – In recent years theworld of application development has adopted new methodologies, like Agile,that improve the quality and speed in which applications are delivered. Toolssuch as automatic build utilities combined with continuous integrationplatforms simplify the adoption of these new methodologies. These tools areavailable in Oracle DeveloperCloud Service for every licensee of Java Cloud Service. 

I was recently discussing with a partner executive on how Oracle can help the ISV innovate. Decided to pen my thoughts here too - 1) WebLogicInnovation - WebLogic is our market leading App Server. The...

Role and Tool for Real Time Processing in IoT

Everyone acknowledges that IoT will improve our productivity by automating mundane tasks like getting relevant information from a machine to a Cloud Service for Repair or Replenishment. Large numbers of folks also agree that Big Data has an important role to play. For example, crunching data from hundreds of sensors in a turbine and predicting failures. However, relatively less number of folks understand the role of Real Time processing in Internet of Things. After all if I have the ability to reduce my usage based automobile insurance premium, I would appreciate if instead of sending a monthly report I can get an alert to change my behavior while I am still in the middle of my long drive. If Real Time Processing of data was difficult in simple transactional systems, consider the complexity when you are dealing with streaming data plus you have to combine multiple data sources like information of my trip and the data coming in constantly from the Telematics module in my car. So you have to learn a new tool. While you might be familiar with Hadoop, you should familiarize yourself with Storm. Storm makes it easy to reliably process unbounded streams of data, doing for realtime processing what Hadoop did for batch processing. Oracle's solution for building application to process streaming data in real time is Oracle Event Processing. Oracle also offers a lighter weight version of OEP for Embedded Development on ARM and x86 devices. Such devices include Home Automation Gateways, Smart Meter Aggregators, Healthcare Hubs, Industrial Gateways. Yes, if you can take decision without needing any more data from the backend, then why not do it at the Gateway/Aggregator level and not send all the streaming data back to the data center. You might still need to send the data back for other use cases, but at least your real time decision making latency is reduced considerably.  So what are the strengths of OEP. Here are some key points -  1) OEP provides infrastructure and guidelines for developers to create scalable and highly available Event processing networks (EPN).2) OEP provides out of the box Adapters for easily consuming data coming in different protocols and formats. Of course you are free to write your own adaptors. 3) Oracle CQL is a rich formalized Query Language optimized for concise expression of temporal queries similar to how SQL is optimized for expression of static data queries. Out of the box functions augment the core language.  4) Oracle CQL is augmented by data cartridge framework allowing you to tightly integrate other domain data types and functions. Following Data Cartridges are available – Oracle Java, Oracle Spatial, Oracle JDBC, Hadoop. Oracle JDBC cartridge allows you to write applications merging streaming data with geo fencing functions available from Oracle Spatial or predictive analytics capabilities of Oracle Advanced Analytics. 5) Pre integration with Oracle Coherence for local and distributed cache. You can integrate a cache system with your Oracle Event Processing application so that the cache is available as source or destination for data your application uses, including event data. Integrating a cache can provide access to relatively static data at a speed that is well suited to an application that handles streaming data. 6) Persist the events that flow out of a component of the EPN to a store and then play them back at a later stage. This helps debug a problem with a currently running application. If you have been recording the events at a node in the EPN when the problem occurred, you can later playback the same list of events to recreate the problem scenario for debugging purposes. 7) OEP Visualizer is a rich Web 2.0 application that displays OEP Data in a useful and intuitive way for admins e.g. latency and throughput graphs display the amount of time it takes an event to pass through the specified stage or path in the EPN or the number of events passing through, respectively. EPN Configurations can be changed through the Visualizer. All this can also be done programmatically through available JMX APIs. 8) OEP architecture is highly modular based on OSGi. Adapters and other components involved in implementing data feeds can be dynamically configured/activated/suspended via a lifecycle API (SuspendableBean, ResumableBean). Changes can be made dynamically to CQL queries. In business implementations, business rules are very dynamic. This also limits testing required for changes. 9) OEP integrates well with Oracle SOA.  It is available as a part of Oracle SOA Suite and can be used in SOA Composites.  So explore the role of real time processing in your IoT application with OEP and share with us what cool application you came up with. Fast Data enabled by OEP brings more value to high velocity sensor/device data. This enables new services, better customer experience, improved efficiency, higher quality in operations.

Everyone acknowledges that IoT will improve our productivity by automating mundane tasks like getting relevant information from a machine to a Cloud Service for Repair or Replenishment. Large numbers...

Java Embedded Development

Internet of Things offers exciting possibilities to come up with new enterprise applications. Once you have figured out what functionality you are going to offer and what devices your application has to interact with, you will have to get familiar with embedded java development to get data out from the devices and into the Datacenter for Analytics, integration etc. Also, increasingly a lot of Analytics and processing is happening at the device or near the device, in gateways, for faster response and network usage optimization. For partners who have traditionally developed applications completely running in Datacenters, the good news is that Java Embedded has mostly the same syntax as Java SE (used in Datacenters) but APIs are a bit different as they are constrained and optimized to run in devices which have restricted processing capabilities and memory. The main Java Embedded products are -  Java Card, Java ME Embedded, Java SE Embedded, Java Embedded Suite & Oracle Event Processing for Java Embedded. As you can guess these separate SKUs are offering more functionality in exchange for increasing footprint. Here are some links for you to explore further - Java Embedded OTN page - http://www.oracle.com/us/technologies/java/embedded/overview/index.html Java Embedded community on java.net -  https://community.java.net/community/embedded In Java SE 8 there are plans to unify some of different SKUs of Java. Please see Java One Keynote to get better idea http://medianetwork.oracle.com/video/player/2685497644001 

Internet of Things offers exciting possibilities to come up with new enterprise applications. Once you have figured out what functionality you are going to offer and what devices your application has...

Smart City

Oracle has been one of the leading providers of framework and technology to make our cities smarter. This picture shows some of the thinking around this. It is interesting to note that Internet of Things has the potential to make our cities "smarter" as is evident from projects our partners are engaged in. If I look at major constituents described in this picture and pick where "connected devices" or "embedded sensors" are creating most value, I will pick Healthcare, Public Safety, Transportation, and Utilities. The value add is both in modernizing the city infrastructure and streamlining city operations. Let us look at the possibilities based on some successful implementations. 1) Healthcare - Many patients who require constant health monitoring prefer the comfort of at-home health care monitoring to costly and inconvenient hospital care. This has huge potential to take out cost from our healthcare systems. The main difficulty with home health care is enabling patients to provide accurate and timely data to health care professionals. This is being changed through Java based Gateways like Digi/Freescale Home Health Hub (HHH) platform. The value Java Embedded adds here is to provide a platform to seamlessly connect with ever increasing healthcare devices like blood pressure devices, pulse oximeters etc. and APIs to create a display interface to monitor connected devices and see results from the gateway itself. 2) Public Safety - The successful use of surveillance cameras in the recent past to identify suspects after an incident bolsters the case of using these at many locations. Low priced sensors can be put at more locations. However the challenge remains to sift through overwhelming amount of data and identify “events” of interest. This becomes more difficult if this has to happen real time to prevent incidents rather than analyze afterwards. One successful use of Real Time Event processing which has been implemented is in Emergency Response systems. During national disasters or emergencies, EADS products play key roles from the opening moments through every stage of the response. EADS used Oracle Event Processing along with other technologies in their Emergency Response System to prevent resources from entering an exclusion zone to limit damage. 3) Transportation – Logistics companies like UPS have long realized the benefits of Telematics to optimally plan the route of their vehicles. They are now also using sensor data from vehicles to perform maintenance on each vehicle only when required, as opposed to on a set schedule. It is about time that our cash strapped Public Transportations departments start realizing some of the same benefits to make real time changes to schedules based on actual demand. This has started happening in many counties. Italian Public Transportation company COTRAL implemented a monitoring system to plan and make changes to routes of their buses based on real time information being gathered using a Telematic control Unit on the Buses. Oracle products were used to do spatial analysis and visualization of data coming in from the buses in context with other route planning data. Another area where Transportation is impacted is Traffic Management. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has an ambitious project to manage demand and supply of parking spots in city of San Francisco towards the goal of reducing unnecessary traffic to find parking spots. One important way to achieve this was to use parking sensor data to provide availability information to drivers on mobile application. The sensor data is also used for determining pricing based on real time demand. 4) Utilities – IoT can impact Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water, Waste management) in two main areas - (i) Smart Metering that enables utilities to remotely collect customers meter data at frequent intervals (~15 mins) has the potential to become smarter. (ii) SCADA (Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition) Systems can increasingly automate regular use and repair of utilities operations network. Let’s examine this in more detail in a future post.

Oracle has been one of the leading providers of framework and technology to make our cities smarter. This picture shows some of the thinking around this. It is interesting to note that Internet of...

Oracle's Internet of Things platform

Internet of Things is a new market opportunityfor many Enterprise Software vendors. We just launched our web site around Oracle's Internet of Things platform which is acollection of Oracle's products that makes developing & managing IoTApplications easier. This is an evolving field and developments will happen ata fast pace. I will spend time discussing IoT in my future blog posts. Pleaseavail below opportunities to get the dialogue going with us -OPN Webcasts 1) Internet of Things Platform for Smart City, HomeAutomation, Industrial Automation, and Telecommunication  (Sep 5) http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=663587&s=1&k=313ED7C22DF039171FF48196322185E8 2) Fast Data:Connecting High Velocity Data to Value (Sep 12) http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=663633&s=1&k=6EE08D56CAC07AA7551478FE344DC39If you are attending Oracle OpenWorld SF 2013 (Sep 22-26), these sessions would be useful - Internet of Things Platform: AnIn-Depth Look at the Role of Oracle Fusion Middleware [CON9867] Internet of Things Platform forSmart City, Home and Industrial Automation, and Telcos [CON9848] Unlocking the Potential of M2M: TheOracle Device-to-Data-Center Platform [CON8573] (Canon) How Big Data and M2M CreateCompetitive Advantage in the Communications Industry [CON9616] Big Data for Remote Services andMaintenance [CON9821] Innovations in Oracle’sConcept-to-Cash Solutions [CON10061] (Telematics) Fast Data for a Safer City[CON2072] (NEC) If you are attending JavaOne then these sessionswould be useful – Internet of Things with Java [CON4877] ,JES & OEP for Robust, Data-Intensive Applications [CON8405] Optimized Architecture for M2M Solutions[CON5763] (Gemalto) People Counting: A Case Study of Javaand OSGi in Connected M2M Systems [CON5811] (Eurotech, Hitachi) Home Automation in Action [CON7773] (Prosyst) JMS, WebSocket, and the Internet ofThings: Controlling Physical Devices on the Real-Time Web [CON3914] (Kaazing)

Internet of Things is a new market opportunity for many Enterprise Software vendors. We just launched our web site around Oracle's Internet of Things platform which is acollection of Oracle's products...

Private Cloud vs Public Cloud

I was at All About the Cloud Summit at San Francisco last week and one of the most popular debate was when ISVs should choose Private Cloud vs Public Cloud for hosting their SaaS Application. These are the most common situations when Private Cloud might be most appropriate for the ISV - Significant existing Data Center Infrastructure- Data can not go to outside Provider (Data Sovereignty Issues)- Security Requirements can not be met by Public Provider- Latency requirements can not be met by Public Provider- Application Architecture does not meet requirements of Public PaaS ProvidersIn any case, the requirements from both Public and Private Clouds are the same -- Allow ISV to meet Performance/ Availability SLAs while keeping Operations Cost Low- Standards based Architecture so that Application/ Customer can move from Public to Private Clouds and vice versa- Reduced Complexity to allow ISV to concentrate on innovation at Application Layer and not worry about Infrastructure changes - Deliver on key Cloud value propositions around Elasticity, Quick Provisioning, Self ServiceTwo Oracle Partners who have gone Private Cloud route for their SaaS Application were in the news recently.- IQNavigator won the SIIA CODie Award at the event http://iqnavigator.com/blog/2012/05/iqnavigator-wins-siia-codie-award-for-best-supply-chain-management-solution/- Emerson Avocent announced the GA of their Data Center Infrastructure Management Application http://www.avocent.com/About/Newsroom/Press_Releases/2012/Emerson_Network_Power_Releases_Trellis_Platform_to_Unify_IT_and_Facilities_Management_for_Improved_Data_Center_Performance_and_TCO.aspx?utm_campaign=AVO%20NA%202012%20Trellis%20R1%20Campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua

I was at All About the Cloud Summit at San Francisco last week and one of the most popular debate was when ISVs should choose Private Cloud vs Public Cloud for hosting their SaaS Application. These...

Shared Database Servers

As more enterprises consolidate their database environments to support private cloud initiatives, ISVs will have to deal with sceanrios where they need to run on a shared powerful database server like Exadata. Some ISVs are concerned about meeting SLAs for performance in a shared environment. Outside the virtualization world, there are capabilities of Oracle Database which can be used to prevent resource contention and guarantee SLA. These capabilities are -1) Instance Caging - This guarantees the CPU allocated or limits the maximum number of CPUs (and so the number of Oracle processes) that an instance of Database can use simultaneously. With this feature, ISVs can be assured that their application is allocated adequate CPUs even if the database server is shared with other applications.2) CPU Resource Allocation with Database Resource Manager - This allocates percentages of CPU time to different users and applications within a database. ISVs can use this feature to ensure that priority user or workloads within their application get CPU resources over other requirements.3) Exadata I/O Resource Manager - The Database Resource Manager feature in Oracle Database 11g has been enhanced for use with Exadata. This allows the sharing of storage between databases without fear of one database monopolizing the I/O bandwidth and impacting the performance of the other databases sharing the storage. This can be used to ensure that I/O does not become a performance bottleneck due to poor design of other applications sharing the same server.

As more enterprises consolidate their database environments to support private cloud initiatives, ISVs will have to deal with sceanrios where they need to run on a shared powerful database server like...

Business Intelligence in the Cloud

We have had interesting discussions with several partners around Business Intelligence in the Cloud. Thought I would capture the use cases, so that you can take these into consideration while formulating your BI Strategy.1) Most ISVs are looking to build Analytics for their mature SaaS Applications and view this as a key growth area. Covered Xactly in an earlier post. Here is the link to Trading partner Intelligence Service for Suppliers from SPS Commerce.Few lines from the page are -"Based on a multi-tenant architecture, our Trading Partner Intelligence service lets customers take advantage of common hardware, software and staffing resources to achieve superior reliability, faster implementations and lower total cost of ownership. Its SaaS architecture also allows multiple parties in the supply chain to access real-time data from any location via a standard web browser"The dashboard screenshots developed in OBI EE are of course pretty. For the offering to be multitenant, VPD can be implemented in the Datawarehouse env2) Can we offer Analytics as SaaS for our On Premise Software as customers are not willing to spend on On Premise BI infrastructure? This question is becoming increasingly common. The design considerations for this model are more challenging. Where will the Datawarehouse reside? If the Datawarehouse is at your hosting site, how should the ETL process be designed to overcome the problem of moving large amount of data over limited bandwidth? How can security be ensured? These technical issues can be addressed, if you can make a successful business out of offering BI as SaaS. 3) Can I use public cloud infrastructure for my BI? Some of the reasons why you should use Cloud are discussed in this case study. If the BI service provided is indeed transient e.g. quarter end reports or demos then there might be a valid use case for using Cloud. If you want to use any Oracle BI productsfor such a use case, we can work with you. This is certainly the most challenging scenario particularly if Hybrid (using both your own and cloud infrastructure) strategy is used.

We have had interesting discussions with several partners around Business Intelligence in the Cloud. Thought I would capture the use cases, so that you can take these into consideration...

SaaS & Cloud Computing at OpenWorld 2009

OpenWorld 2009 will have several opportunities for you to discuss SaaS & Cloud Computing1) SaaS & Cloud Pavilion - Get to know exciting offerings from Oracle partners in the area of SaaS & Cloud Computing. If you want to showcase your solution/service here, please drop us an email at saasprograms_ww@oracle.com. Needless to say, this pavilion will be popular this year. You would need a presence here if you want to get the conversations going.2) S308942 Develop Software-as-a-Service Applications on the Oracle SaaS Platform - For all developers & architects building new SaaS Apps or converting existing apps to multitenancy. 3) S307767 Deploying an SaaS Application on the Oracle Platform: Callidus Case Study - For audience interested in learning how SaaS is deployed. Callidus On demand SVP will also talk about how he launched the Callidus SaaS business and brought it to its current position.4) S308509 Get Ready to Sell: 2010 Is the Year of Enterprise SaaS - OpSource specializes in SaaS Hosting and so has a broad visibility across different SaaS ISVs. OpSource CMO will talk about how you can grow your SaaS business.5) S311783 ISVs, Learn How to Partner with Oracle in Your Transition to SaaS - Oracle A&C will tell you how you can partner closely with Oracle.6) S309755 Software-as-a-Service Transformation Demystified and Accelerated - CSC Practice Director will disscuss their framework and services to accelerate the move to SaaS.7) S311937 Cloud/SaaS/On Demand: Delivering Software the Way Customers Want to Consume It - Oracle On Demand Presentation on SaaS & Cloud offerings & vision.8) S310396 Oracle and Accenture Point of View on Using Oracle Applications and the Amazon Cloud - Accenture will share their experience in deploying Oracle Apps in the Cloud9) S312566 Clear Up the Cloud: Key Infrastructure Requirements and Real-World Implementations - In this session, NetApp Founder and Executive Vice President Dave Hitz discusses current and future data center infrastructure requirements for cloud computing. The presentation also shares lessons learned from Sprint's deployment of cloud services10) S312681 Financial, Operations, and Regulatory Considerations for the Cloud (KPMG)11) In-depth presentations on using Oracle products in the Cloud - S311507 Oracle Fusion Middleware Technology for Platform as a Service - Will discuss using Oracle FMW as a foundation for setting up your own PaaS S312630 Cloud Computing with Oracle Fusion Middleware S309525 Identity Management and the Cloud: Stormy Days Ahead? - S311356 Oracle Database in the Cloud S308721 Cloudy Days for Service-Oriented Architecture? S309451 Building a Distributed Computing Infrastructure, Using Oracle Coherence S308592 Software Assemblies in Oracle Fusion Middleware for the Virtualized World S312109 Provisioning Oracle RAC in a Virtualized Environment, Using Oracle Enterprise Manager S308460 Enterprise Data Services in the Cloud with Oracle Fusion Middleware S307483 Castle in the Clouds: SaaS-Enabling Oracle ADF Faces Applications S310084 Databases in the Cloud: Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database on Amazon Web ServicesComparing this with the sessions last year, one can clearly see the uptick in interest around this topic.

OpenWorld 2009 will have several opportunities for you to discuss SaaS & Cloud Computing 1) SaaS & Cloud Pavilion - Get to know exciting offerings from Oracle partners in the area of SaaS & Cloud...

Going Hybrid with Oracle

Attended an IDC briefing on Going Hybrid with SaaS and was very pleased with their definition of Hybrid. The point they made was that the customer needs to be provided the choice to buy the same software either on premise or as SaaS. This is Hybrid. Not offering a stripped down version of your rich on premise app as SaaS in hope of alleviating competitors’ threat or offering primarily on premise apps plus some additional services delivered as SaaS (read Software plus service).Having talked to several ISVs, all of them understand the need of going Hybrid. While the value proposition for SaaS is evident (customer does not deal with non value adding activity of maintaining hardware and software), there are several reason why some customers demand on premise option. The reasons vary from security concerns or tight integration needed with on-premise systems to customers IT departments would rather buy on premise.This brings us down to the question, whether the same product can be built in a manner so that it can be deployed on premise and as SaaS. It certainly can be done if you are using the Oracle Platform for SaaS as a foundation to build the apps. The Platform allows you to build rich applications, which can be deployed on premise or hosted in a cost effective, scalable manner. Oracle's next generation Fusion Apps, built on Oracle Platform, are designed to be delivered both on-premise and SaaS. IDC also made the point, that managing a Hybrid business is a challenge whether it’s designing the backend systems or managing the sales force and the channel partners. We have invited our enablement partner PwC to share their thoughts on this in our July SaaS webinar

Attended an IDC briefing on Going Hybrid with SaaS and was very pleased with their definition of Hybrid. The point they made was that the customer needs to be provided the choice to buy the...

Private Clouds

SaaS ISVs do face a choice these days of deploying their software on the cloud - Public or Private. Private Cloud is your infrastructure behind a firewall. The infrastructure can reside in your data center or at a hoster like Savvis. Public Cloud is services like AWS which does not require you to set up your own infrastructure. I read an article which talks about using a Private Cloud first to navigate the waters before jumping on to a Public Cloud. You can read the article on why Private Cloud might be a good place to start. Building a Private Cloud starts with standardizing your operational environment and implementing virtualization. Oracle started doing this quite some time back. As has been well documented, consolidation of datacenters along with business process standardization and self service initiatives saved Oracle more than 1B. Now, Oracle IT is standardizing the operating env and has become the biggest user of Enterprise Linux. Virtualization is changing the game for us. The obvious benefit is hardware consolidation. The other more substantial benefit is, Oracle VM allows IT to decouple the software from the hardware (software can be certified on Oracle VM and x86 hardware can be bought later as needed). Virtualization allows compute resources (hardware) to be built generically and applied for compute needs (software) as needed. Oracle Data center is a pool of low cost hardware clusters on which a VM Gold image can be quickly deployed as needed providing us massive elasticity to respond to real-world demands while allowing us to manage the grid effectively. Oracle Enterprise Manager allows us to provision & manage application, accelerate detection and perform diagnostics and remediation. For large ISVs, with their own data centers, and hosting providers, supporting smaller ISVs, there is a lot to be gained by taking this first step towards building a private cloud.

SaaS ISVs do face a choice these days of deploying their software on the cloud - Public or Private. Private Cloud is your infrastructure behind a firewall. The infrastructure can reside in your data...

Lessons from ISVs Transitioning to SaaS

How do we go about this?*****************************Enterprise ISVs adopting SaaS seem to follow two distinct approaches. 1) Some see immediate requirements to provide a hosted version of their software. They are working with Managed Service Providers to host their existing application as is. They want to gain experience in supporting hosted software while investing long term to modernize their application to deliver true benefits of SaaS in terms of Web 2.0 UI, quicker implementation cycle and additional monetization capabilities. They want the MSP to provide capabilities like subscriber management & integration, which they can use when they are ready for it.2) Others are investing to come up with a standard platform themselves to deliver SaaS. This Platform is similar to Forrester's Reference Architecture - http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,53987,00.htmlThe Platform consists of a framework for them to -Develop & deliver a multitenant, metadata driven SaaS ApplicationManage Application LifeCycleIntegrate their Application with other SaaS/On premise ApplicationManage subscribers in a decentralized mannerManage Billing & contracts Monitor and communicate SLAsHaving interacted with several ISVs, there is no right or wrong way. It is important that you have a long term vision of where you want to go but are flexible to adapt. Oracle provides robust technologies and we have partnered with a ecosystem of partners to facilitate your transition.Is it Profitable*******************You will find numerous articles debating this. Obviously you need to have your own business model of how you will be profitable, but one approach which seems to be working is targeting enterprise customers. One ISV mentioned that they became profitable very quickly for their On Demand LOB as they decided to target enterprises which buy more seats for the same amount of effort. It seems to be working for NetSuite too http://www.mycustomer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=134179&d=101&h=817&f=816. If you are targetting SMB then ISVs are trying a whole range of plans to gain profitability - automated provisioning which limits customizability option provided, channel selling, multitenancy. Cannabalization******************One major concern which gets raised is how do you prevent cannabalization of your on premise software. I have seen two scenarios emerge here. 1) You do not have a choice as your customers force you to host your own software as they don't want to deal with that anymore. The gross margin for delivering SaaS is good if you do it right - Less handholding of the customer, multitenancy or minimum number of users in single tenancy, streamlined operations with high degree of automation. If you are not spending in sales & marketing and just moving your existing customers to SaaS, you will end up making more money in supporting them from your own hosting site.2) Find a new market for SaaS. Two examples are serving SMBs if you are serving only enterprises with on premise software or going to new geographies.

How do we go about this? ***************************** Enterprise ISVs adopting SaaS seem to follow two distinct approaches.1) Some see immediate requirements to provide a hosted version of their...

2008: The year in review

On the last day of 2008, I would like to reflect on developments this year.- Our partners continue to use Oracle Database & WebLogic Server to build & deploy SaaS applications. Was able to capture some more use cases in case studies - http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/saas/partners.htmlhttp://www.oracle.com/technologies/saas/quotes.htmlThere are several ISVs who we have not reached out tohttp://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/017501_EN?rssid=rss_ocom_prPlease feel free to contact me in case you want to highlight your application in a case study or our webinar series.- As integration becomes important for customers, Oracle SOA suite became more relevant for integrating SaaS applications with other SaaS & on-premise applications (Enterconnect - http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/saas/case-studies/enterconnect.pdf, Rackable Systems - http://www.oracle.com/go/?&Src=6637793&Act=4) - As mature SaaS players look to differentiate themselves from the competition, Oracle BI usage is increasing. Xactly stands out in that respect http://www.xactlycorp.com/news_events/pr_042808b.php- Oracle BRM (Billing & Revenue Management) was added to our SaaS Platform. We now offer a complete, scalable, integrated platform, which will accelerate your time to market. At the same time we allow flexibility for you to choose individual components and do not lock you in.Please use below links to learn about our platformhttp://download.oracle.com/opndocs/americas/50510.htmlhttp://www.oracle.com/technologies/saas/docs/saas-presentation.pdfOr enroll for our Jan SaaS Webinarhttp://www.oracle.com/go/?&Src=2931347&Act=183 - We continue to work with hosting providers in all parts of the world so that they are well trained in supporting SaaS applications deployed on Oracle. ISVs are interested in using Oracle and if the hosting provider supports Oracle it offers them an added advantage. Oracle allows hosting providers to meet SLAs at low TCO with support for Grid, Integrated Management, Virtualization and Identity Management.- As SaaS adoption increases, more system integrators became interested in beefing up their Outsourced Product Development capabilities to support SaaS. Services which are being offered for Oracle Platform are -· Rapid development of metadata-driven, customizable, service-oriented applications with rich Web2.0 style UI using JDeveloper and ADF.· Deployment support on scalable, grid platform comprising of Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware & Oracle VM. · SLA modeling and enforcement with a top-down application management approach using Oracle Enterprise Manager.- Ensure security for hosted on-demand applications and address privacy, compliance and regulatory concerns using Oracle Identity Management and Oracle Advanced Security.- Develop operational reports and in-context actionable insight using Oracle Business Intelligence.- Build comprehensive integration across data, user interface (UI), business process levels using Oracle Fusion Middleware.We would introduce one SI in our Apr SaaS Webinar.- Partners showed interest for Cloud deployment options provided by Oracle. Oracle allows developing SaaS application and deploying to internal (http://www.oracle.com/technologies/virtualization/index.html) or external (http://www.oracle.com/technology/tech/cloud/index.html) clouds.I would like to wish you a happy and prosperous 2009 and look forward to working with you next year.

On the last day of 2008, I would like to reflect on developments this year. - Our partners continue to use Oracle Database & WebLogic Server to build & deploy SaaS applications. Was able to...

SaaS developments

Attended a conference few weeks back and noted down some new developments as noticed by the SaaS community.- Current economic env will dictate demand for SaaS apps eg procurement apps are doing well as they reduce cost of operations.- Point solution space is getting crowded and commoditized. Suites will emerge by categories eg Expense Mgmt, HR etc.- Multi Tenancy is not a significant advantage in terms of reducing expenses. - SaaS companies need more cash upfront than traditional companies. Some companies are able to sign longer contracts with their customers and get cash (discounted) upfront.- The lead generation process is online (website, search) and in most cases the customer is able to complete the buying process online. Future trends - SaaS will be accepted at enterprises, Vertical SaaS applications are emerging, BPO will drive adoption of SaaS, SaaS companies will provide benchmarking data based on aggregated data of customers, integration and prescriptive analytics will drive future investments, consumer web effect (ease of use, mobile) and cloud computing will force enterprises to adopt SaaS.We are delivering a webinar with Callidus on Nov 18 - http://www.oracle.com/go/?&Src=2931347&Act=202Jeff Saling, Callidus SVP in charge of On Demand business has some real good insights to share based on his experience in taking Callidus On Demand from scratch and making it a sizeable business.

Attended a conference few weeks back and noted down some new developments as noticed by the SaaS community. - Current economic env will dictate demand for SaaS apps eg procurement apps are doing well...

SaaS Events

Had a chance to attend an IDC event in SF in mid Sept. They said that they are updating their forecast for worldwide SaaS Applications spend from ~14B to ~16B by 2012. Another interesting trend is spending by enterprises will grow 14% faster than SMB.The theme of the event was SaaS integration as they think this has surpassed Security as the number 1 concern especially for enterprises adopting SaaS. OpSource CEO talked about, how exposing WebServices in your application opens up a new Sales Channel through integrating applications eg. Intacct gets a new customer every time RealPlace gets one. It was eye-opener to find out that only 10% of OpSource customers have exposed their applications as WebServices. Read the integration post below and do something if you are not making use of this Sales Channel. Oracle Open World last week seemed more like a rock concert than a tech gathering. Oracle had a number of announcements including plans to offer and support Oracle database and Oracle Fusion MiddleWare in the Amazon Web Services Cloud. This definitely provides a new deployment option to ISVs for their SaaS production or test applications. If you want to explore this, please drop me an email and we can work closely with you on this. 3 of our partners - Intacct, OpSource and Xactly presented on their SaaS architecture and were well received. Interesting there were more SIs than ISVs in these sessions. Met quite a few SIs who are using their vertical domain expertise to build an application and offer as SaaS. However, they still value the services part more than the application and the application is a bait to get the customer. We continue to hold monthly SaaS webinars in which we provide an overview of the Oracle SaaS Platform & the SaaS program and invite a partner to talk about his/her application. In Oct I will be presenting with Where 2 Get It CTO. The link to register is

Had a chance to attend an IDC event in SF in mid Sept. They said that they are updating their forecast for worldwide SaaS Applications spend from ~14B to ~16B by 2012. Another interesting trend is...

SaaS at Oracle Open World

Oracle Open World is around the corner (Sept 21-25). We are excited about several sessions during the open world where you can learn more about Oracle SaaS Platform1) S299905 Oracle’s Vision for On Demand: An Introduction Watson Wat, Oracle Monday 09/22/2008 13:00 - 14:00 Intercontinental HotelGrand Ballroom A 2) S300466 Software-as-a-Service Hosting: Oracle Database 11g John Rowell, OpSource; Gordon Smith, Oracle Monday 09/22/2008 14:30 - 15:30 Moscone South Rm 307 3) S300467 Software-as-a-Service Development: Oracle Database 11g Aaron Harris, Intacct; Gordon Smith, Oracle Tuesday 09/23/2008 09:00 - 10:00 Moscone South Rm 307 4) S300468 Xactly and Oracle Database 11g: Multitenant Database Architecture for Software-as-a-Service Applications Satish Palvai, Xactly Corporation; Gordon Smith, Oracle Tuesday 09/23/2008 11:30 - 12:30 Moscone South Rm 307 5) S298754 Using Oracle Database in the Cloud Bill Hodak, Oracle; Sushil Kumar, Oracle Wednesday 09/24/2008 13:00 - 14:00 Moscone South Rm 305 6) S300458 Building Commercial Software-as-a-Service Applications with Oracle Application Express Francis Mignault, INSUM; David Peake, Oracle ; Paulo Vale, Neoface Wednesday 09/24/2008 17:00 - 18:00 Moscone South Rm 304 7) S299137 Enterprise SaaS: Behind the Operational Scenes of Oracle CRM On Demand Adam May, Oracle; Thomas Pettersson, Visa Inc. Thursday 09/25/2008 15:00 - 16:00 If you would like to schedule a one on one meeting to engage with Oracle SaaS Program please drop an email to shivanshu.upadhyay@oracle.com. Otherwise also, I would love to meet you in case you are attending and have an interest in Software as a Service.

Oracle Open World is around the corner (Sept 21-25). We are excited about several sessions during the open world where you can learn more about Oracle SaaS Platform 1) S299905 Oracle’s Vision for On...

SaaS Integration

There have been numerous discussions around how business groups are using SaaS applications behind the back of IT and one day IT will wake up to find hundreds of different applications, which now need to be integrated in a business process. So, how can you actually make money while allaying your customers concerns?The very minimum, which the software vendors need to do to make their applications integration ready, is to provide WebServices APIs for all entities and operations, which can be of interest to an integrating application. These interfaces should be well defined by the vendor. e.g. Oracle CRM On Demand Web Services White paper.Once you have provided these web services, are you done? Depending upon the criticality of the business services you provide, you might have to take this one step further and publish your web services on a Service Bus. A Service Bus provides a much-needed intermediary layer that facilitates data delivery, service access, and service management. It also supports intelligently directed communication and mediates relationships among loosely coupled and decoupled business components. Read this article for all the virtues of a Service Bus and decide for yourself. In the SaaS world, your hosting provider might offer a Service bus e.g. OpSource Service Bus or you will have to look at providing the Service Bus infrastructure yourself. Once you have offered the above, you might be able to convince your customer. However, to provide the killer value proposition, spend some time to think about the processes your customers would be using your application in. What are some of the other applications, which will be used in these processes? It is then time to build pre-built Process Integration Packs using frameworks like Application Integration Architecture . Don't forget to charge separately for these packs. Your customers will pay you gladly for solving their SaaS integration challenges.

There have been numerous discussions around how business groups are using SaaS applications behind the back of IT and one day IT will wake up to find hundreds of different applications, which now need...

On-premise to SaaS

For On-premise software vendors looking to offer an On Demand solution, what should be the thought process? Like any other business, you should start with defining your business model. What is the value proposition of your On Demand offering, what is your target customer segment and how will you make money.  It might be the case that your On Demand software targets the same market segment as the On-premise software and you want to add On Demand as an additional delivery channel due to customer demand. In this case you can work with a hosting service provider like Oracle On Demand to host your On-premise software without much technical change. Due to the commoditization of hardware and emergence of virtualization technologies, the cost of operating your On Premise software in a On Demand environment for multiple customers is not as high as you think. However, you will have to deliver on key functional advantages of SaaS. Customers should be able to try out your software online before buying it, they should be able to pay on a subscription basis and have a faster implementation cycle. You will have to build these capabilities on top of your existing software. You can keep the subscription model simple, for e.g. by number of customer users per month etc. Using the hosting provider services, you can slowly add additional capabilities like pre-built integrations with other SaaS and On Premise applications as a differentiating factor. It is essential that you invest in the right hosting provider. On the other hand, if you are targeting the long tail market, then you might have to operate at a much lower cost and find additional ways of making money. This requires re-architecting components of your existing software using platforms like Oracle SaaS Platform. You might need to think multi tenancy to share infrastructure components at different layers of your software. You might have to add metering capabilities for making money through different avenues e.g. space used, features used etc. Further, you will have to continue investing in your SaaS offering to keep these customers happy. The switching cost is low for these customers. Today it is Web 2.0, tomorrow it might be something else. It is essential that you invest in the right platform, which allows you to continue delivering innovation. Like most business problems, there is no right or wrong way of moving to On Demand. However, due to the subscription nature of the business, it is essential to move fast to capture initial customers. Once you have the customers, do everything to keep them happy.  

For On-premise software vendors looking to offer an On Demand solution, what should be the thought process? Like any other business, you should start with defining your business model. What is the...

Insight as a Service

Do customers using SaaS, & vendors providing SaaS gain any better insight than those using traditional methods of software delivery? The answer (surprisingly) seems to be - yes. One of the benefits application providers accrue is insight based on information gathered across all of their customers. Application vendors can aggregate information across their various customer base to provide information on trends seen within a specific segment or a specific region. For e.g. Student Information System providers can deliver insight to their customers on student scores across subjects, and across regions. Horizontal application providers like Human Resources systems can identify compensation trends across industries and across regions.Application Hosters can also provide information to application developers on which areas within the product were more frequently used, where customers spent the most time, and even which pages took the most time to load. SaaS vendors also provide information on  who accessed the application, when, and for how long. Such metrics can help their customers gauge the effectiveness of their SaaS application usage and usage patterns.Finally, SaaS vendors can understand which of their customers have higher adoption rates, which ones use more modules, and which ones can benefit from additional services.If information & insight is powerful, then SaaS packs a punch.

Do customers using SaaS, & vendors providing SaaS gain any better insight than those using traditional methods of software delivery? The answer (surprisingly) seems to be - yes.One of the benefits...

Oracle SaaS Platform is Leading Choice for SaaS ISVs

Oracle and several partners outlined the leadership position of Oracle SaaS Platform as platform of choice for SaaS ISVs, especially mission-critical on-demand application vendors.Oracle News: Oracle SaaS Platform is Leading Choice for Growing Number of Companies Offering Software as a Service (Nov, 2007) Partner News: OpSource Adopts Oracle SaaS Platform to Deliver OpSource On-Demand (Nov, 2007) Partner News: Symphony Services Helps ISVs Adopt Oracle SaaS Platform (Nov, 2007) Partner News: Leading SaaS EDI Service Provider SPS Commerce Leverages Oracle's Software As a Service Platform (Nov, 2007) Partner News: Patni announces Enablement Services based on Oracle SaaS Platform (Nov, 2007) We have a standards-based, comprehensive, integrated platform for SaaS ISVs that are serious about their offerings and commitment to customers be it around security, service-level management, or performance. Here are some excerpts from the press release:Leading ISV's that have chosen the Oracle SaaS Platform to offer their applications in a SaaS delivery model include: 170 Systems, 3i Infotech, Adaptive Planning, Agistix, Autodesk, Blackboard, Cadec, Callidus Software, Cerner Corporation, ChartOne, Cisco WebEx, Citrix Online a Division of Citrix Systems, Inc., dthree, E2open, Fair Isaac Corporation, HireRight, Infopia, Intacct, Ketera, MAXIMUS, MedQuist, Micros Systems Inc., Octagon Research Solutions, Inc., Perot Systems, Sabrix Inc., Soundbite Communications, SPS Commerce, Taxcient Inc., Teranode Corporation, TradeBeam Inc., Where 2 Get It, Inc., Xactly Corporation."As a SaaS leader, quality, speed of delivery and security are the lifeblood of the WebEx business," said Gary Griffiths, vice president, products and operations, Cisco WebEx. "By using Oracle, we can focus on serving our 6 million users and growing network of WebEx Connect partners without worrying about database scalability within our on-demand collaboration services platform." "Cerner's Healthe services address the ever growing burden of healthcare expenses that employers face each day," said Bill Wing, Vice President of Healthe Services. "Oracle SaaS technology enables our Healthe solution for clinics to provide electronic medical records, online scheduling, and community health records to better coordinate the care of tens of thousands of employees and their families around the world. Oracle has helped Cerner save companies millions in medical and pharmaceutical expenses while improving the productivity and health status of the populations we manage." "Oracle's leading database, middleware, and enterprise manager software provide SPS Commerce with a rich platform on which to deliver a competitive SaaS offering," stated Archie Black, President and CEO at SPS Commerce. "We not only leverage the Oracle SaaS Platform for our supply chain services at our data center, but also integrate with Oracle systems at many of our customer sites, such as Welch's. Software as a service is the future, and we are pleased to partner with an organization that shares our vision." "This is a very exciting time to be partnering with Oracle, a company that shares our vision of an on-demand world," said Treb Ryan, CEO of OpSource. "On-Demand delivery is serious business and requires serious tools and platforms. Oracle clearly understands this and delivers enterprise class products and services that play a major role in advancing the acceptance of the on-demand model. OpSource On-Demand, OpSource's industry leading Web application delivery platform utilizes Oracle Database to support leading SaaS ISVs as well as some of the most exciting Web 2.0 companies."

Oracle and several partners outlined the leadership position of Oracle SaaS Platform as platform of choice for SaaS ISVs, especially mission-critical on-demand application vendors. Oracle News: Oracle...

Aberdeen Group on Oracle SaaS Platform: A Leader

The Aberdeen Group has issued a research note evaluating the OracleSaaS Platform. The Insight report talks to the leadership and momentumof the SaaS Platform for ISVs looking to build on-demand applications.I will let Aberdeen Group's report do the talking, so here is a short excerpt from the conclusion section:Oraclehas indeed established a leading position in the market for SaaSplatforms. Independent Software Vendors are attracted to Oracle'sproduct for its scalability, security, and productivity inducingdevelopment environment. The functionality of this SaaS platform isfurther augmented by its ability to manage and meet Service LevelAgreements, a vital facet of the product for most SaaS vendors. [Readfull report here (PDF)]In a section titled, "Oracle Achieves Leadership in SaaS hosting", the report goes into the rationale behind the strength of our platform. You can also read my earlier post on the leadership we have in this space.All I can say is, I agree!The Aberdeen Group has issued a research note evaluating the OracleSaaS Platform. The Insight report talks to the leadership and momentumof the SaaS Platform for ISVs looking to build on-demand applications.I will let Aberdeen Group's report do the talking, so here is a short excerpt from the conclusion section:Oraclehas indeed established a leading position in the market for SaaSplatforms. Independent Software Vendors are attracted to Oracle'sproduct for its scalability, security, and productivity inducingdevelopment environment. The functionality of this SaaS platform isfurther augmented by its ability to manage and meet Service LevelAgreements, a vital facet of the product for most SaaS vendors. [Readfull report here (PDF)]In a section titled, "Oracle Achieves Leadership in SaaS hosting", the report goes into the rationale behind the strength of our platform. You can also read my earlier post on the leadership we have in this space.All I can say is, I agree!(Disclaimer: Icurrently lead product management for Oracle SaaS Platform, and myopinions expressed here may be therefore biased. Also, the blog and theviews expressed here are personal.)

The Aberdeen Group has issued a research note evaluating the Oracle SaaS Platform. The Insight report talks to the leadership and momentumof the SaaS Platform for ISVs looking to build...

SaaS Sessions, Events and Pavilions at Oracle OpenWorld

Oracle OpenWorld (Nov 11-15, Moscone Center, San Francisco) will be one of the biggest events in San Francisco. If you are interested in SaaS - as a customer, ISV or partner - I encourage you to attend the following sessions:S291956: Oracle SaaS Platform Technologies Overviewby Anshu Sharma, Oracle with SaaS Partners and ISVs- Steve Bobrowski,SaaS CTO, CSC, David Engelbrecht, VP Business Consulting, OpSource and Anne Knapp, VP of Technology, SPS Commerce presenting case studies ( Tuesday 11/13/2007, 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM at Hilton Yosemite Room C)S291689: Using Oracle Database with Amazon Web Services by Bill Hodak, Oracle; Jinesh Varia, Amazon (Thursday 11/15/2007, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM at Moscone South 304)S292786:For Oracle PartnerNetwork Partners: Building on Oracle's Technology Stack by Bob Shimp and Sanjay Sinha (Tuesday 11/13/2007, 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM, Moscone South200 & 212)S291765: Siebel CRM on demand Overview by Anthony Lye and Tara Roberts, Oracle. ( Tuesday 11/13/2007, 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM at Marriott Salon 7)You may also want to visit the OPN Partner Pavilion where we have a SaaS Pavilion with SaaS enablement partners and on-demand ISVs.Iwill be regularly blogging all the important, interesting andentertaining announcements and happenings on the blog. So if you can'tbe there, subscribe (to RSS feed) and enjoy!Follow OpenWorld via Twitter: twitter.com/otnatopenworld (and I will be twittering at twitter.com/anshublog ).Jake also has some updates on OpenWorld.

Oracle OpenWorld (Nov 11-15, Moscone Center, San Francisco) will be one of the biggest events in San Francisco. If you are interested in SaaS - as a customer, ISV or partner - I encourage you to...

SaaS Event: Software Business Online Conference in Santa Clara

I will be giving a keynote at the Software Business Online Conference in Santa Clara on Oct 2nd on the SaaS Ecosystem. In my role of workingwith Oracle SaaS Program partners, I have learned some lessons on wherethe SaaS ecosystem is headed, what mistakes to avoid, how to pick theright partners and ecosystems - and I will share these insights.Some of the other speakers include: Keynote and General Session speakers for the event include: Theodore Forbath, Chief Strategist Software Development, Wipro TechnologiesAnshu Sharma, Senior Manager, Oracle SaaS Program OfficeThomas Lindeman, Group Product Manager Software Licensing & Protection Services, Microsoft Grant Bodley, VP, High Tech Sector, SAP Reza Sadeghian, VP, Strategic Operations, SAP Ross Mayfield, CEO & Founder, Socialtext Colleen Smith, VP of Software as a Service Programs, Progress Software Vladimir L Pavlov, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of the International Software and Productivity Engineering Institute Chris Schin, Director of Product Management, Symantec John Ciacchella, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP You can register by clicking below to receive $400 off:http://www.infowebcom.com/speaker_reg.php (Use the Discounted Registration $595 after $400 off.)You can also come visit the exhibition for FREE by writing to us at saasprograms_ww@oracle.com and I will be glad to send you a VIP Pass.If you want to learn about Oracle's SaaS Program for ISVs and hosters, do visit http://www.oracle.com/technologies/saas/index.html.

I will be giving a keynote at the Software Business Online Conference in Santa Clara on Oct 2nd on the SaaS Ecosystem. In my role of workingwith Oracle SaaS Program partners, I have learned some...

Charles Phillips discusses Oracle SaaS Leadership

Charles Phillips recently emphasized Oracle's SaaS leadership in an interview to Datamonitor: Alwayson the look out for growth, Oracle believes the SaaS movement willprovide it with two revenue opportunities, one from additional databasesales and the other from direct income from services. Asfar as databases are concerned, president Charles Phillips believes thevery nature of SaaS will drive demand for on-premise databases. "SaaSis very database intensive. Normally people do not want all their dataresident on an on-demand product. So if Salesforce.com is hosting datafor a large company, they are forcing them to create a replicateddatabase behind the firewall, which means that companies are creatingmore and more databases," he said.Charlesalso discusses the fact that Oracle was early in adopting the On-Demandmodel and has been doing it successfully for over 9 years. In anotherinterview with AccountingWeb, Charles Phillips brings out Oracle's successes in SaaS and in competing with SAP.Dennis Howlett of AccmanPro called the claims outrageous leading to a debate on Enterprise Irregulars - and Josh Greenbaumwho writes a ZDNet blog, in a rare feat, wrote the following responsearguing for the facts in favor of Oracle and I quote him (withpermission):Rising to the defense of Charles in a disagreement with Dennis almost sounds crazy, but here goes:The only really outrageous statement comes in the first graf:We'renot trying to preserve something from the 1970s like SAP is. As acompany, we were in infrastructure first, then we moved intoapplications.Correction: SAP is not preserving anything fromthe 70s (except some of its founders, who ARE relativelywell-preserved. And Oracle was NOT an infrastructure company first:they started in database, moved to applications (in 89) and then wentinto infrastructure.But the rest of it is actually not too outrageous.Statement:We could not be reporting those numbers without competing among SAPcustomers. A significant proportion of our new customers are also SAPcustomers who we can now add value to.Fact check. They arecompeting among SAP customers: The overlap has always been huge,(DBMS), and now it's bigger with PSFT, SEBL and Hyperion on board. Ifhe didn't have SAP customers to sell (DBMS and middleware and appliactions) to he'd be out of business.Statement: I know for a fact that there are far more SAP customers calling me now than there were three or four years ago.Fact check: see above. He's just bought into more overlap.Statement:We have entire sales territories that are now just based on SAPaccounts, our salespeople can make a living out of just selling to SAPaccounts.Fact check: Yup on that one too. Guess what, SAP has territories that are all ORCL too.Statement: SAP doesn't want that co-existence so they haven't made it easy for their customers.Factcheck: I was only one of several analysts who discussed this issue withHenning earlier in the year. Field sales hasn't been open to ceding CRMto SEBL and completing the rest of the sale with SAP, so they've beenlosing accounts that want SEBL and care less about the rest of thesystem.Statement: SaaS is very database intensive,"acknowledges Phillips. "Normally people don't want all their dataresident on an on-demand product. So if Salesforce.comis hosting data for a large company, they are forcing them to create areplicated database behind the firewall, which means that companies arecreating more and more databases."Fact check: The first part ofthis doesn't wash with me, though I would love to hear Phil's commentswhen he gets back. The idea that SaaS generates net greater DBMS salesseems bogus. But the very last statement is true regardless: companiesare creating more and more databases.Statement: Oralce is going to be the on-demand leader, seemingly using the terms on-demand and SaaS interchangeably.Factcheck: until very recently, ORCL and SFDC were the only two companiesthat stuck with the on-demand market, and, while the numbers weresmall, ORCL was a leader in number of customers doing OD. If you defineleadership by number of users, no way. If you define leadership byvision, ORCL was definitely a leader in OD. As for mixing OD and SaaS,at the risk of annoying the purists, they are interchangeable, exceptby lexicographers and semanticists intent on splitting hairs.Statement: We continue to make progress (on fusion).Fact check: True. Can't say more, or the NDA police will draw and quarter me.Oracle is not only a leading SaaS provider but is also the database and middleware platform of choice for well known leading SaaS ISVs and several others that are not so well known.

Charles Phillips recently emphasized Oracle's SaaS leadership in an interview to Datamonitor: Always on the look out for growth, Oracle believes the SaaS movement willprovide it with two revenue...

Security continues to be a key challenge for SaaS vendors

Jon Oltsik of CNet Blogs had an insightful posttitled - Software as a Service needs a strong foundation of security.And I could not agree more. This is a key theme that is brought up inour discussions with ISVs and end customers.Jon mentions three key points and I quote:"SaaS vendors must become security beacons to succeed. These demandsgo beyond information and physical security; service providers willhave to be familiar with their customers' business processes in orderto understand where their services are most vulnerable. In my mind,"business process security" is the new frontier and SaaS vendors mustblaze the trail.Data privacy is tantamount. Strong authentication, proactiveauditing, and encryption must be a part of the SaaS design in order torestrict access to private and confidential data. The SaaS providersmust assume liability for the cost and damages associated with any databreaches.SaaS vendors find security partners from the get-go. Managed serviceproviders like IBM, VeriSign, and Symantec have a huge opportunity tobe the Good Housekeeping seal of approval on SaaS offerings. As part ofthese big deals, SaaS vendors must transfer risk to security experts,use these partnerships for marketing advantage, and maintain theirfocus on solving business problems." In addition, I would add the following:It is not sufficient for the SaaS vendor to take a 'trust me'approach - they must be able to show the mechanisms and technologiesthey have put in place to ensure data security and privacy. Forexample, with Oracle Data Vault a SaaS vendor can ensure that the DBAwill not be able to see the data and only manage and administer thedatabase. This becomes even more important when the SaaS vendor relieson a 3rd-party managed hosting provider. The more the number of peopleone must trust, the less trustworthy the system is likely to be withoutusing specific tools or methodologies.User de-provisioning is very important. The truth is that themajority of data breaches take place by insiders or ex-employees. It istherefore important that the SaaS vendor be able to quickly disable (orde-provision) the user accounts when an employee leaves the company.This can be done in at least two different ways. First, the SaaS vendorcan choose to use federation and rely on the customer to authenticatethe user. Since each user is now authenticated for only a singlesession and the SaaS vendor does not have to explicitly disable access.The other approach is to put in place an Identity Provisioning system(such as Oracle Identity Manager) that allows SPML based provisioningof remote systems.Think about auditing requirements upfront: It is important to be able to documentthe processes used for security and identity management for variouscompliance requirements. A system that allows you to explicitly modelthe business processes associated with security tasks such as userprovisioning can help meet these requirements. Implicit processescannot be seen or audited. BPEL is emerging as a standard language formodeling business processes.It can cost a lot of time and money to bolt on security as an afterthought to your SaaS solution. Customers have repeatedly mentionedsecurity as one of the key hurdles to adoption of SaaS. A SaaS platformthat is designed for secure computing, such as Oracle, can help save oncosts and provide your customers with the confidence that Jon talksabout.What are the security challenges you face as an ISV? If you are a user of SaaS, what concerns do you have?(Update: You may want to check out this interesting post on Identity as a Service offering for Social Networking by fellow Oracle blogger, Nishant.)

Jon Oltsik of CNet Blogs had an insightful post titled - Software as a Service needs a strong foundation of security. And I could not agree more. This is a key theme that is brought up inour...

Notes from Software 2007

Okay, so I agree that this post is stale news by blogging standards - as in over 2 days late.And yes, there are no revelations in this piece- just a few notes onthe Software 2007 conference this past week.The Software 2007 conference this week was a great experience. M R put up a great show with some marquee names like Ed Zander from Motorola, Marc Benioff from Salesforce and Steve Ballmer from Microsoft making appearances. Even though this year's theme was Innovation - the star of the show was SaaS.It is becoming increasingly clear that the ISV community and the platform players expect SaaS (or WebWare) to be the next key determinant of which ecosystems will flourish or perish. The event included some very interesting sessions including - the role of private equity; SaaS and the channel - maximizing the opportunity while navigating the obstacles of on-demand delivery. The session on 'Israel, China, India and the UK: The New Leaders in Software Innovation?' was the most controversial. Ganesh Natarajan of Zensar, India spoke softly and presented both sides of India's success story and potential dangers including need to invest in talent. David Scott Lewis, Senior VP, Startech Global Corporation, China was very provocative and clearly wanted to stir up a storm in a Chinese Tea cup (or British?). Although I disagreed with many of David's arguments, he clearly was very passionate about how he saw China and his company growing in outsourced product development over next few years.Personally for me, the highlight was meeting with some of my blogging buddies from the Enterprise Irregulars, a club that I am a proud member of. It was nice to finally meet Jeff Nolan, Vinnie, Chris Selland, Sadagopan and  Zoli Erdos in person. We often exchange ideas over email and are constantly in touch. (My other blog at anshublog.com has the details.) Vinnie has written an excellent piece, The Innovation Disconnect, on how the CIO's see Innovation as opposed to the vendors view. Sadagopan reports on the closing remarks by McKinsey.

Okay, so I agree that this post is stale news by blogging standards - as in over 2 days late. And yes, there are no revelations in this piece- just a few notes onthe Software 2007 conference this past...

SaaS: The multiplier effect

There are many well-known benefits of SaaS solutions such as subcription pricing, faster implementations and greater user adoption. One that is rarely mentioned is the multiplier effect for niche partner solutions.As an example, take an HR application. If a niche vendor comes in to introduce a complementary application to say automate performance review approvals. With traditional on-premise, the niche vendor has to not only test the integration with the HR application but must do so for all possible platforms and configuration options. In addition, the actual integration must be performed on-site raising the cost of the solution to the customer. This means that certain add-ons are not worth being bought but can be better built as custom enhancements by the customer.With SaaS, the integration is easier to develop using web services standards and is easier to test since the application is available to the partners. In my past role as an EAI specialist, I recall spending days and weeks waiting to get access to an instance of the application to integrate with. Once the integration is done, the niche solution provider need not repeat the exercise for every customer. This allows many small applications to become available with benefits to customer, partner (vendor) and the SaaS appliction vendor.Customer: The customer can simply pick and choose  the add-ons they need to conduct business. They do not need to wait for IT or the application vendors.Partner: The partners of the SaaS application can bring a solution to the market faster, test it easily and roll it out at a lower cost per customer. This enables the long tail of solutions to become economically viable.Application Provider: The greater the number of partner solutions enhances the value to the customer making the core application even more valuable.In short, a solution integrated with a SaaS application enjoys the multiplier effect- enabling multiple customers simultaneously without incremental cost of integration testing and implementations like those involved with traditional on-premise applications.

There are many well-known benefits of SaaS solutions such as subcription pricing, faster implementations and greater user adoption. One that is rarely mentioned is the multiplier effect for niche...

A peek inside the kitchen: Why SaaS customers should care about SOA?

If you are a customer that is using on-demand CRM, HR, Reporting, you may think that you probably need not bother about SOA. After all, SaaS is akin to ordering a meal at a restaurant rather than cooking one yourself.But actually you should care about how the meal is prepared, metaphorically speaking, for several reasons esepecially when evaluating a new restaurant (SaaS vendor):Reliability: Will their service be as good tomorrow as it is today? Any time you make a long-term commitment to a service, you need to be able to predict that the vendor will be around a year (or decade) from now and the quality will not deteriorate. In real life, we do this by relying on brands and reputation, and so is true in software. However, when dealing with a new restaurant, you may need to peek inside the kitchen.Quality of Service: Will my food be free from E-Coli? Will my data be secure? How do I ensure compliane with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley etc? You need to know that the burger meat was cooked to a certain temperature. In SaaS, you need to know that the software is hosted at a world-class data center, that the service provider is using a technology stack that provides security at all tiers (data, process and user interaction).Manageability: Will my waiter understand what I need and help me pick the wine I want or should want! As you adopt SaaS, you will want a solution that not only provides the functionality  be it CRM, HR or whatever but you also want to make sure that the users and IT will be able to manage their accounts, integrate with existing systems and processes, monitor usage, etc. So, even though you as a customer are not responsible for development and on-going maintenance of the software, it is imperative that you have a good idea of the architecture and operations of your SaaS vendor. After all, as we all know thanks to Verizon when you buy a cell phone, what you are really buying is the network. You don't want your SaaS vendor to drop your calls when it is time to close your quarter.In another blog post, I will discuss why SaaS ISVs should and do care about SOA.

If you are a customer that is using on-demand CRM, HR, Reporting, you may think that you probably need not bother about SOA. After all, SaaS is akin to ordering a meal at a restaurant rather than...

Are you plugged into the grid yet?

SaaS is the modern day grid. Decades ago businesses, small and large, started discarding their electric generators and plugged into the electric grid. Businesses that were rich enough or had higher requirements (SLAs) relied on captive on-premise or near-premise generation. This pattern repeats for other infrastructure that today is part of various grids- the railway network, the roads, etc. In similar vein, the computing is going through a generational shift from on-premise services to services grid or SaaS.In this blog, we will discuss why is SaaS important? How is it changing our daily lives and impacting the decisions of CIOs? What can you as a developer for an ISV, a consultant for an SI or an end-user take advantage of this shift? As with all generational shifts, this is not going to happen overnight. Every now and then you will notice glimpses of how the world around you is changing- your E-mail moves to Gmail from your local POP server, your CRM moves to a hosted model, your day to day work starts involving logging into sites- and one day a majority of your computing needs are served by SaaS.Oracle is intimately involved in this transition from several vantage points. Oracle Siebel CRM On-Demand is one of the leaders in CRM SaaS, Oracle On-Demand provides hosting services for technology and applications, and leading ISVs run their SaaS applications on Oracle Database and Middleware.I hope to have an active engagement with our readers on these topics. Feel free to leave your comments and email me.Do you think the move to SaaS is real? Are you asking your ISVs about SaaS option? What do you think?

SaaS is the modern day grid. Decades ago businesses, small and large, started discarding their electric generators and plugged into the electric grid. Businesses that were rich enough or had...