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Updated: 3 hours 41 min ago

Oracle Usable Apps @ Smashing Conference Los Angeles: Performance Time!

Fri, 2015-05-29 15:47

Sarahi Mireles (@sarahimireles), User Experience Developer on the Oracle Applications User Experience Communications and Outreach team, shares her exciting experience and thoughts about SmashingConf in Los Angeles.

In April I attended SmashingConf (@smashingconf) LA organized by Smashing Magazine. The venue was the great Hotel Casa del Mar, located right on the beach by the Santa Monica pier.

The views were amazing, the people were fun, and the conference was even more exciting than I expected.

 beach scene.

More than 300 people, including front-end developers, designers, and user experience (UX) experts attended, all eager to hear what 15 different speakers had to say about user experience, design tactics, performance optimization, responsive design, the future of the web, and other interesting topics.

Pictures of the conference setting

The conference started with a really cool opening in 3D (glasses included) and a talk from Steve Souders (@souders) about design and performance and what happens when designers and developers don't work together. It might look a little like the image below:

Pillow fight scene illustrating what happens when developers and designers don't work together

User experience is not only about design; it is also about performance. And actually, speed is the key reason why most people decide to either keep looking at a website or to close their browser window. As Patty Toland (@pattytoland) said in her talk, “How we define and deliver: responsive design": "Your analytics won't tell you who left your site before it showed up. If you have never considered performance before, it may be a good time to start thinking of it.”

If you don't have performance you don't have anything. Start telling your customers that story

One of my biggest takeaways from the conference is that user experience has everything to do about the guy sitting in the chair designing the experience. Samantha Warren (@samanthatoy) sums up my thoughts nicely: “As UX designers, or UX developers we have to think like a guerrilla: flexible, fast and persistent. Do the work you love with the tools you know. There's not an absolute way or tool to get something done.”

There is nothing more dangerous than an absolute in a tactic or tool

Those are just a few of the things that I loved the most from the amazing web wisdom in the room.

You’ll see how some of the things I learned at SmashingConf will help make your experience using the Oracle Usable Apps website even faster and more responsive in the future. And, if you’re a developer, stay tuned to hear about how we integrate better performance, responsive design, and UX across our online presence.

Deep-Diving Oracle UX PaaS4SaaS Partner Enablement in Asia

Wed, 2015-05-27 14:03

Just back from our fantastic Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) communications outreach events in Asia. The VoX blog has great recaps of the highlights and takeaways from two tremendous events in Singapore and Beijing.

 Chinese visa shown

Oracle Applications Cloud user experience in Asia: Enabling a local user experience. Empowering global capabilities.

The second day in each location comprised of a deep-dive workshop about the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience extensibility and PaaS4SaaS capabilities. Together, they’re a powerful competitive differentiator that empowers customers and partners to really make that cloud their own.

It’s worth calling out the comments of co-worker Greg Nerpouni (@gnerpouni) again. Greg really nails the excitement and enthusiasm for what we shared when he says:

"The extensibility and PaaS4SaaS stations were mobbed by our Chinese and Korean partners, especially when they realized the combined power of our extensibility and PaaS4SaaS capabilities. At the extensibility station, they saw tangible ways to increase end user participation and overall success of their cloud rollout for our mutual customers. And at the PaaS4SaaS station, they saw immediate value in being able to leverage the UX rapid development kit to emulate Oracle’s user experience in their own PaaS implementations - and seamlessly integrate their PaaS applications into Oracle Cloud Applications."

Greg Nerpouni deep-dives Oracle Applications Cloud Extensibility in Singapore

Greg stylin' the Cloud UX extensibility deep-dive action in Singapore. (Image via Shy Meei Siow)

Now, the “Why Should I Care?” business propositions for the OAUX PaaS4SaaS Oracle Partner enablement and the requirements for same are clear (read them again). If you've seen our roadshow you'll know that part of my PaaS4Saas story includes “the wisdom of the cloud crowd”.

That wisdom is PaaS and SaaS insight and knowledge from Oracle Partner leaders such as Debra Lilley (@debralilley) of Certus Solutions, who have proven the business proposition, and from cloud influencers and shapers such as Mark Hurd (@markvhurd) and Steve Miranda (@stevenrmiranda).

The latest addition to the book of wisdom comes from Oracle CIO, Mark Sunday. Mark, explaining that enterprise applications aren't a siloed concept, underpins the need for partners to integrate fast and how SaaS with PaaS is a must-have differentiator when he declares, in his own inimitable way (using HCM by way of example):

“Absolutely without a doubt, the integration of a suite always wins... I think it’s more important than any given function. If you think HCM stands alone as a silo inside of an enterprise, you’re nuts.”

If you're a partner, therefore I think you’d be somewhat remiss not to take up on opportunities for enablement to make PaaS4SaaS happen for you too!

Ultan O'Broin Storytelling the Selling the UX Message in Beijing

Storytelling that UX. Winning more business with our Cloud enablement. (Beijing image via Shy Meei Siow)

So, if you’re a partner in the Asia region (or elsewhere for that matter) that wants to go places, start that enablement conversation by following @usableapps on Twitter or reach out to us through your Oracle Alliances and Channels or Oracle PartnerNetwork contacts.

Ultan in action in Beijing

Come on, you know you want that enablement! (Beijing image via Shy Meei Siow)

Oh, did I mention I did some running in Beijing, by the way of UX research into smartwatches?

Partners, Don’t PaaS On an Opportunity to Grow Your Oracle Applications Cloud Business

Thu, 2015-04-30 21:56

I attended the Oracle HCM Cloud Partner Enablement Summit near Milan, Italy to explain the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) enablement strategy of using Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS) to extend the Oracle Applications Cloud. We enable partners to offer their customers even more: a great user experience across the Software as a Service (SaaS) applications portfolio. We call this PaaS4SaaS.

The central part of my charter is to drive an OAUX PaaS4SaaS strategy that resonates with the business needs of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) and our own sales enablement worldwide, but with the EMEA region as focus.

We have a great team that delivers Oracle PaaS and SaaS enablement and direct deal support, scaling our outreach message and running events so that the proven resources to win more business get into the hands of our partners and our sales teams.

Rapid Development Kit available for PaaS4SaaS

The OAUX team PaaS4SaaS enablement is based on a rapid development kit (RDK) strategy of simple development, design, and business materials. After a few hours, partners walk away from one of our events with Cloud solutions they can sell to customers.

Let me explain more broadly why our PaaS4SaaS approach is a partner differentiator and a competitive must-have, and about how you can be in on the action!

RDK simplified UI deployed to Oracle Java Cloud Service - SaaS Extension live!

During the event in Italy, I deployed live a tablet-first Oracle Applications Cloud simplified UI from the RDK to the Oracle Java Cloud Service - SaaS Extension (JCS-SX), demonstrating that our apps are not only simple to use, but easy to build, and therefore easy for partners to sell.

Make no mistake; PaaS4SaaS is the partner differentiator when it comes to competing in the cloud. Our enablement means partners can:  

  • Build Oracle Applications Cloud simplified UIs productively using Oracle PaaS and SaaS.
  • Offer customization and integration confidence to customers in the cloud: they’ll get the same great user experience that Oracle delivers out of the box.
  • Identify new reusable business opportunities in the cloud and win more deals.
  • Accelerate innovation and SaaS adoption and increase the range of value-add PaaS solutions offered to customers.
  • Sharpen sales and consulting strategies using the user experience message, and take your position in the partner world to a new level.

But don’t just take it from me, check out the wisdom of the cloud, and what our partners, the press, and Oracle’s leadership team have to say about PaaS and SaaS:  

Here are the partner requirements to start that conversation with you about OAUX enablement: 

  • Do you have use cases for PaaS and the Oracle Applications Cloud? 
  • Do you want user experience (UX) as the partner differentiator? 
  • Are you an Oracle Applications Cloud (ERP, HCM, Sales) partner who wants to lead and influence
  • Do you have Oracle ADF, Oracle Fusion Middleware, SOA, Cloud or other development skills in-house or by way of an alliance? 
  • Are you willing to participate jointly in Oracle outreach and communications about your enablement and the outcome? 

So, if you want what other partners in EMEA and the U.S. have already experienced, and you tick all the requirements boxes, get in touch with me.

For more information on our PaaS4SaaS enablement, check out these links:  

Interested in Lift-Off for Your Cloud Business?

Mon, 2015-04-27 15:37

Julian Orr (@Orr_UX), Senior Usability Engineer in the Oracle Applications User Experience Communications and Outreach team reflects on the OAUG Collaborate 15 conference.

Much like the very real sand cloud that enveloped Las Vegas during this year’s OAUG Collaborate 15, the conference itself is getting drawn deeper into the Oracle Cloud, as more Oracle applications lift off and soar towards the Oracle Applications Cloud user experience and look and feel.

I co-presented three sessions with Oracle Cloud Applications partners at the conference. All three sessions focused on how to extend and complement the functionality of the Oracle Applications Cloud using a combination of PaaS for SaaS (or PaaS4SaaS as we call it). Common themes included:

  • PaaS is an agile, effective means used to extend SaaS cloud applications as proven by our partners.
  • Oracle PaaS is not just used to extend SaaS functionality, but it’s also used to extend the user experience benefits of the Oracle Applications Cloud simplified UI to your users.
  • Applying best practices helps users reap the many benefits of the simplified user experience.

In the Oracle Fusion Middleware for the Cloud panel session, Sandeep Banerjie, Senior Director, Oracle Product Management, did a great job of setting the table with comprehensive coverage about Oracle Cloud current and future offerings.

Julian Orr, and Basheer Khan at the Oracle Fusion Middleware for the Cloud panel

(L-R) Sandeep Banerjie, Julian Orr, and Basheer Khan at the Oracle Fusion Middleware for the Cloud panel [Photo by Natasha K. Rogers (@NatashaKotovsky)]

I used my time to describe how the Oracle Applications User Experience team worked with Basheer Khan, (@bkhan) CEO of Knex Technology and OAUX Speaker, and its customers in an intensive onsite design workshop to rapidly develop a simplified approach for accurately assigning a constantly changing cadre of new hires to project resources to enable accurate management and accounting. Basheer followed my coverage of the simplified design process with a live demo the PaaS application that we co-designed.

The panel was well received, with a few nods for involvement of end users in the design process and demonstrated success in PaaS rapid development. The majority of the questions we addressed were focused on cloud security features.

Debra Lilley extols the user experience value of using PaaS for SaaS solutions.

Debra Lilley extols the Oracle Partner business value of using PaaS for SaaS solutions.

In the two sessions about using Oracle PaaS to Extend Oracle Cloud Applications, I joined Debra Lilley (@debralilley), Vice President of Cloud Services at Certus Solutions, Oracle ACE Director, and OAUX Speaker; and Ian Carline, Executive Vice President - Product Development at Certus Solutions, to discuss the design workshop we conducted with Certus to use PaaS to extend the Oracle HCM Cloud cloud functionality.

Debra and Ian did powerful jobs of stressing the absolute need and value of having a consistent user experience across PaaS and SaaS applications. My part of the presentation emphasized how to achieve a simplified user experience by focusing on these three things:

  • Design work: Before coding begins, employ a simplified design process that involves use-case review with end users and user advocates, sketching, and wireframing.

Following the presentation, much of the discussion centered on how to determine which use cases would make prime candidates for PaaS4SaaS projects.

As more partners and customers start designing and building PaaS solutions for the Oracle Applications Cloud SaaS offerings, I expect we will see that questions will begin to focus more and more on user experience. If it is not already, it will become, clear that to differentiate and win business in the cloud partners building and customizing enterprise apps need to compete on user experience as well as functionality. 

Interested in lifting off your business?

Book Review with a Real-World Application from a Master | Keeping It Simple, SaaSy

Sun, 2015-04-26 01:29

By Floyd Teter, Director, Strategy Group, Oracle Higher Education Practice at Sierra-Cedar, Inc., and guest contributor

Floyd Teter (@fteter), Oracle ACE Director, Oracle Applications User Experience Speaker, ORCLville blogger, and main man behind ”simple is the new cool” shares his thoughts on a book about Lean UX.

A few months back, I received an interesting request from my Oracle Applications User Experience sensei, Ultan O’Broin (Mr. @usableapps). Ultan asked me to read and share opinions on the book Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience (Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden). I read a few reviews myself and got excited about what Gothelf was trying to do: build a framework for applying Lean principles to user experience (UX) design. I agreed to give it a go.

 Applying Lean Principle to Improve User Experience on Amazon

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf with Josh Seiden

First, let’s be a bit more specific about the book. The intent is not just to apply broad Lean or Agile principles (Gothelf references both, sometimes interchangeably); the real intent is to apply the Scrum methodology to UX. It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a fan and heavily engaged with both Scrum and UX, so I was excited to dive in.

The meat of the book is divided into three sections: Introduction and Principles, Process, and Making It Work. Each section contains multiple chapters.

In the first section, Gothelf lays out the argument for Lean UX: internet-based software distribution, lower barriers to market entry, continuous integration, agile software development, continuous deployment—all activities that put pressure on teams to shorten cycles to release product early and often, critical to meeting the faster innovation cycles in the SaaS and PaaS world.

Gothelf proposes Lean UX as a deeply collaborative and cross-functional method that enables teams to build a shared understanding about UX design by focusing on objective goals rather than being distracted by deliverables and documents. Having presented this argument, Gothelf then discusses the three foundations of Lean UX: design thinking, agile software development, and the Lean Startup method of build-measure-learn feedback loops, originally founded by Eric Ries.

Design thinking, as defined by design firm IDEO CEO and president Tim Brown, is “innovation powered by . . . direct observation of what people want and need in their lives and what they like or dislike about the way particular products are made, packaged, marketed, sold and supported . . . a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.” That’s a real mouthful, but it comes down to designing elegant and simple solutions that people will want to use.

Gothelf defines Agile methods by reviewing the Agile core values and utilizing Scrum to apply these core values. This is not new, but it was good to see Gothelf sign up for using Scrum in UX design. Makes sense.

Finally, Gothelf promotes build-measure-feedback loops. I’m still mostly onboard here, although my preferred viewpoint is a build-observe-learn approach (with observe being mostly watching and listening).

Throughout Part I, which is really a discussion of principles and theory, I’m thinking Gothelf could be my twin brother from a different mother. We’re both singing off the same sheet of music. Part II does seem to be more of a “difficult second album” though.

In Part II, Gothelf applies the principles discussed in Part I, a journey where the metaphorical wheels begin to come off the tour bus. Lean UX relies heavily on written deliverables and formal structure for starting up a UX design effort:

  • A hypothesis statement, with assumptions, hypotheses, outcomes, personas, and features 
  • A problem statement, with product and/or system goals, problem description, and a description of an explicit request for improvement that doesn’t dictate a specific solution 
  • A business assumptions worksheet, including prioritized assumptions 
  • A recommendation for written subhypotheses 
  • A written declaration of metrics to be used along with current state of each metric 
  • A written list of features matched to groups of user personas 

After we’re done with writing (he comments “finally!”), Gothelf proceeds to lay out some pretty formal structure for design studio sessions, including time-boxing presentation and critique, iteration and refinement, and team idea generation. Gothelf also argues for creating a style guide prior to design (as opposed to building concurrently as you progress and learn).

This is the point where Lean UX stopped making complete sense in my world. Agile and Scrum make a point of minimizing written deliverables, especially anything that might be a barrier to getting started with the actual design and build work; the idea being the sooner you get into feedback loops, the quicker you’ll deliver a product of outstanding quality. Gothelf acknowledges this in Part I, yet his recommended process is based on the opposite. Gothelf continues with the formality and structure throughout Parts II and III.

I’m now hard-wired against formality in development; software development cycles in the cloud almost demand that. Partners and developers need to create real solutions fast—formality presents the risk of getting wrapped up in management processes that distract from the essential tasks required to design, innovate and build rapidly.

A final point of contention for me comes with how feedback loops are addressed. These loops are mentioned a founding principle of Lean UX in Part I, yet there is almost no discussion of how to leverage their value (by observing and learning). How do you elicit feedback? How is feedback filtered for relevance and priority? What techniques are used to assure the user that he/she was heard . . . which, in turn, elicits even more feedback. Discussion? Tips? Techniques? Zip. Zero. Bupkis. Notta. Nothing.

My own applied techniques? I suggest following the discover-design-deploy approach on the Oracle UX Direct website.

Discover-Design-Deploy from Oracle UX Direct

Discover-design-deploy approach from UX Direct

Begin by recording the required features on Scrum story cards, cutting to the essence of what’s important from your discovery stage. I’d then follow the Scrum process for estimating and prioritizing features prior to starting the first design sprint. Now, I’ve tried lots of virtual Scrum boards for geographically-dispersed project teams to keep track of everything, but Trello remains a favorite. Sprint productivity can be further accelerated by use of UX design patterns and guidelines so that developers can focus in on technical areas.

Trello

Trello virtual Scrum board

In summary: The book presents great conceptual ideas, but the approach and implementation didn’t rock my world of delivering on enterprise applications UX today. It left me hoping for more.

My point of view would be to stay away from structural overheads and formality, and stay truer to Agile concepts. I’d recommend a mix tape The Elements of Scrum (Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson) and the simple discover-design, and deploy approach to UX on the Usable Apps website.

Splash BI Reports mobile app

Splash BI reports app built using Agile

You’ll quickly build simple, elegant solutions.

Read more Floyd Teter insights on ORCLVille.

Oracle HCM Cloud and the iGeneration: Not Your Parents’ Applications

Sun, 2015-04-19 12:56

Harder Than You Think” is one awesome rap anthem by Public Enemy (I’ve always suspected Flavor Flav was a wearable technology innovator with that clock).

There’s a particular line in the song that resonates soundly with the Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) capacity for empathy: to "bear witness". Witness to real people doing real tasks in real places. I used the line to open my session on Future User Experience (UX) at the Oracle HCM Day 2015 at Oracle Nederland in Utrecht.

 Harder Than You Think (Click to play)

Public Enemy: Harder Than You Think 

UX is harder than you think too, but our job is to make things easy for Oracle Applications Cloud users by simplifying things; hiding the complexity of technology and making convoluted business processes fade away.

The theme of HCM Day was the iGeneration: those technology-versed young adults about to enter the workforce with expectations and attitudes about job permanence and how talent is recruited and managed that have shattered the employment model status quo. So, to explain the OAUX fit with their world, I jumped right into Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd’s “Welcome to Nobody Cares” HCM World keynote, research and insights into younger generations' use of technology, how work apps are more than a pretty face; and then in to Oracle HCM Cloud, stealing a line from U2 about everything you know (about enterprise software) being wrong, along the way.

The Oracle Applications Cloud UX message for the iGeneration can be summed up as:

  1. We care. Winning in HCM is strategic for Oracle.
  2. This is not your parent’s software (Not that they wanted crapplications, either).
  3. Tech-savvy people need tech-savvy workplaces.
  4. User experience is a competitive must-have.
  5. The cloud has changed everything. Vendor and partner complacency about how people and business use software is dead. 
  6. Making things "Apple Easy" (h/t Richard Twelvetrees [@rg12t]) is no longer merely a dream for enterprise applications users thanks to simplicity and a design philosophy of Glance, Scan, Commit.
 UX Apple Easy

The Message 

To keep the performance real I offered a glimpse of what UX might come the iGeneration's way too. I shared some innovative concepts from the OAUX AppsLab team (@theappslab), our mobile Cloud apps, and the Oracle HCM Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud designs for the forthcoming Apple Watch. I then showed live proof-of-concept demos of a glanceable UI for time entry microtransactions (using a Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch and location detection for mega convenience) and of Oracle Taleo interview evaluations and phone screener text (SMS) messaging built using Oracle partner Twilio's cloud API.

Glance UI on Smartwatch

Glance UI time entry on Motorola Moto 360

Oracle Taleo Texting (SMS)

Oracle Taleo Texting (SMS)

HCM Day was a great event, with over 130 attendees (including some 90 customers). It was a cool, fun, fast-paced learning event and an opportunity to build more relationships across the Benelux area. I was really wowed by the heads-up displays and 3D printing by main partner Deloitte too!

Glance UX 3D Print by Deloitte

3D Print by Deloitte 

Special thanks to Conny Groen in 't Woud (Marketing Manager Applications, HCM Benelux) and Henry Barenholz (Senior Director, HCM Leader Benelux and Nordics) for asking me to share our insight and innovation at a brilliantly organized and orchestrated happening.

You can see more of the cool stuff I showed off at HCM Day in the free Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience Trends and Strategy eBook.

Remember, it’s not how you swipe or click. It’s how you work. Tell your parents.

The iGeneration already knows.

A Werken.FM podcast of the day is now available (in Dutch). 

Finally, My PaaS4SaaS Workshop Blog

Wed, 2015-04-01 18:12

By Debra Lilley, guest contributor

Debra Lilley (@debralilley), Oracle ACE Director and Vice President of Certus Cloud Services at Certus Solutions, offers her reflections on the PaaS4SaaS workshop that took place in January 2015 in London*.

I know this posting is a bit late, but at the end of January I took part in a proof of concept workshop for PaaS4SaaS, and it’s been a rollercoaster ride ever since.

When I was thinking about moving to Certus, one of the things that attracted me was their intent to write extensions for Oracle Cloud Applications using the just announced PaaS4SaaS solution.

I attended Oracle Open World with an open mind and tried to learn as much as I could about the solutions. The Larry Ellison (Oracle Executive Chairman and Chief Technology Officer) demo was really impressive but then Oracle has always been a brilliant marketing company.

I came back to the UK and set about validating what was available, some of the components Database and Java Cloud had been available for a while but I wanted or would want to also use the Process and Integration Cloud offerings.

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am an Oracle Applications User Experience advocate and am very committed to the user experience work that goes into Oracle Cloud Applications. Extensions delivered by Certus will have this same user experience, and I made this video on behalf of Certus.

 Debra Lilley, Certus Solutions

Click here to watch Debra's YouTube video.

The user experience team has been given funding by Thomas Kurian, Oracle President, Product Development, who is personally committed to making PaaS4SaaS work, to carry out a number of proof of concept workshops with Oracle partners. The Oracle Applications UX team asked Certus to be part of this. Certus has not been a development company, and so in the same way customers come to us because we are the best at implementing cloud applications, we looked for a partner to help us with development. We selected eProseed who have the same commitment to UX as we do.

The workshop took place in London at the end of January with four people from each of Oracle Applications UX, eProseed, and Certus taking part. We worked through a use case taken from an existing application from one of our customers who is considering modernizing this and moving it to the cloud. In three days we were able to build a working application and prove to ourselves that when the customer says “go,” we will be able to deliver what they need.

Oracle Applications UX team have in their blog already covered the workshop and I have also written about it in the Oracle Fusion Middleware blog I am a guest author for. The following month I took part in the Partner SOA Community Forum in Budapest when we had the opportunity to work with product management teams of both the Process and Integration Cloud offerings and further validate our approach, understanding the possibilities and the constraints. The Oracle Applications UX team also had a stand there.

Lonneke Dikmans of eProseed and Debra Lilley of Certus Solutions

Lonneke Dikmans (@lonnekedikmans) Managing Partner eProseed Nederland and Debra Lilley of Certus Solutions

I was very pleased on behalf of both Certus and eProseed to accept the first Community Cloud award. These awards are a bit like the Oscars and awarded to individuals Lonneke Dikmans from eProseed and myself, however we had a similar thank you to all those involved in our acceptance speech.

The Community Leader Jürgen Kress (@soacommunity) said:

“I awarded my first SOA Community Outstanding Contribution for Cloud to Debra Lilley of Certus Solutions and Lonneke Dikmans of eProseed because they not only took on board the messaging of PaaS4SaaS from the last Oracle Open World, but also their collaboration between an Applications partner and a Middleware partner, sought out answers and training and with Oracle Development giving feedback and validating their approach in this area. All good things but bringing that back to the community and sharing is the outstanding contribution.”

I have written a White Paper, which will be published for Collaborate in a few weeks and Certus along with Oracle Applications UX will be presenting this twice both for OAUG and Quest. I’ve also had an article published in this month’s Profit Magazine.

Thank you to the Oracle Applications UX team and the SOA Community. I’m still not technical enough to do this but I am technical enough to understand that PaaS4SaaS is a game changer and will continue to be seeing more and more in our community.

* This article was originally published here

A Glance at Smartwatches in the Enterprise: A Moment in Time Experience

Sat, 2015-03-28 02:30

Ultan O’Broin (@usableapps) talks to Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) Vice President Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley) about designing apps for that smartwatch, and every other smartwatch, too.

Nobody wants their device to disrupt them from what they are doing or to have to move to another one to continue working. Keeping users in the moment of their tasks—independent of the devices they’re using—is central to any great user experience.

The ability to apply our Oracle Applications Cloud design philosophy to the smartwatch demonstrates an ideal realization of the “glance” method, keeping users in that moment: Making the complex simple, flexible, intuitive, and most of all, convenient. OAUX recognizes the need for smartwatch wearers to experience that “right here, right now” feeling, the one in which you have just what you need, just when you need it.

The wearable technology space is currently focused on smartwatches. We’re excited by Apple’s announcement about their smartwatch, and we’re even more thrilled to now show you our proof of concept glance designs for the Oracle Applications Cloud on the Apple Watch. We want to hear your reaction! 

Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud on Apple Watch

Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud on Apple Watch


Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud on Apple Watch

Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud on Apple Watch

Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud on Apple Watch

Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud on Apple Watch

Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud for Apple Watch proof of concept designs

For the smartwatch specifically, VP Jeremy Ashley explained how our glance approach applies to smartwatch wearers, regardless of their choice of device:

“The most common wearable user interaction is to glance at something. The watch works as the wearer’s mini dialog box to the cloud, making microtransactions convenient on the wrist, and presenting the right information to the wearer at the right time. How quickly and easily someone can do something actually useful is the key activity."

Glance brings cloud interaction to wearers in a personal way, requesting and not demanding attention, while eliminating a need to switch to other devices to “dig in,” or to even have to pull a smartphone out of the pocket to respond.

“To continue the journey to completing a task using glance is as simple and natural as telling the time on your wrist”, says Jeremy.

Being able to glance down at your wrist at a stylish smartwatch experience—one that provides super-handy ways to engage with gems of information— enhances working in the cloud in powerful and productive ways, whether you’re a sales rep walking from your car to an opportunity engagement confidently glancing at the latest competitive news, or a field technician swiping across a watchface to securely record time on a remote job.

Glancing at a UI is the optimal wearable experience for the OAUX mobility strategy, where the cloud, not the device, is our platform. This means you can see our device-agnostic glance design at work not only on an Apple Watch, but on Android Wear, Pebble, and other devices, too.

Glance on Android Wear Samsung Gear Live and Pebble

Glance for Oracle Applications Cloud proof of concept apps on Android Wear Samsung Gear Live and Pebble

Designing a Glanceable Platform

The path to our glance designs began with OAUX research into every kind of smartwatch we could get on our wrists so that we could study their possibilities, experience how they felt, how they looked, and how they complemented everyday work and life activities. Then we combined ideas and experiences with Oracle Cloud technology to deliver a simplified design strategy that we can apply across devices. As a result, our UI designs are consistent and familiar to users as they work flexibly in the cloud, regardless of their device, type of operating system, or form factor.

This is not about designing for any one specific smartwatch. It’s a platform-agnostic approach to wearable technology that enables Oracle customers to get that awesome glanceable, cloud-enabled experience on their wearable of choice.

Why Smartwatches?

Smartwatches such as the Apple Watch, Pebble, and Android Wear devices have resonated strongly with innovators and consumers of wearable technology. The smartwatch succeeds because we’re already familiar and comfortable with using wristwatches, and they’re practical and easy to use.

From first relying on the sun to tell the time, to looking up at town hall clocks, to taking out pocket watches, and then being able to glance at our wrists to tell the time, we’ve seen an evolution in glanceable technology analogous to the miniaturization of computing from large mainframes to personal, mobile devices for consumers.

Just like enterprise apps, watches have already been designed for many specializations and roles, be they military, sport, medical, fashion, and so on. So the evolution of the smartwatch into an accepted workplace application is built on a firm foundation.

More Information

Again, OAUX is there, on trend, ready and offering a solution grounded in innovation and design expertise, one that responds to how we work today in the cloud.

In future articles, we’ll explore more examples that showcase how we’re applying the glance approach to wearable technology, and we’ll look at design considerations in more detail. You can read more about our Oracle Applications Cloud design philosophy and other trends and innovations that influence our thinking in our free eBook.

Check the Usable Apps website for events where you can experience our smartwatch and other innovations for real, read our Storify feature on wearable technology, and see our YouTube videos about our UX design philosophy and strategy.

More Apple Watch glance designs are on Instagram

Oracle FMW Partner Community Forum 2015: The Oracle Applications Cloud UX Rapid Development Kit Goes to Hungary!

Fri, 2015-03-27 13:22

Vlad Babu (@vladbabu), Oracle Applications Cloud Pre-Sales UX Champ, files a report about his Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) while attending the recent Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum 2015 in Budapest, Hungary.

Over 200 Oracle Partners from the Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW) area stepped away from their projects in early March 2015 to take part in a groundbreaking event in Budapest, Hungary: the Oracle Fusion Middleware Partner Community Forum 2015. For some time, this two-day event had been just a glimmer in the eye of Jürgen Kress (@soacommunity),  Senior Manager SOA/FMW Partner Programs EMEA. However, with the unprecedented success of the partner programs and community growth in recent years, he really felt compelled to make this event  happen. And he did!

Andrew Sutherland, Senior Vice President Business Development - Technology License & Systems EMEA, and Amit Zavery (@azavery), Senior Vice President, Integration Products, were the keynote speakers. They inspired the audience when they spoke about Digital Disruption and how Oracle is soaring to success with Integration Cloud Services offerings, such as Oracle Cloud Platform (Platform as a Service [PaaS]).

Tweet from Debra Lilley

Tweet from Debra Lilley: Pervasiveness of UX to Cloud success

The user experience (UX) presence at the event struck a chord with Debra Lilley (@debralilley), (Vice President of Certus Cloud Services), who remarked on how important the all-encompassing Oracle Applications User Experience Simplified User Experience Rapid Development Kit (RDK) is for enabling great partner development for the cloud experience. Yes, integration and PaaS4SaaS are key partner differentiators going forward!

PTS Code Accelerator Kit and Oracle Applications UX design patterns eBook

Tweet from Vlad Babu: PTS Code Accelerator Kit and Oracle Applications UX design patterns eBook 

So, how can partners truly leverage their investment in Oracle Fusion Middleware? Use the RDK. Oracle Partners were really excited by and empowered when they used the RDK for designing and coding a simplified UI for the Oracle Applications Cloud. The RDK contains all the information you’ll need before you even start coding, such as easy-to-use RDK wireframing stencils. The YouTube guidance offers great productivity features when creating new extensions in PaaS or developing from scratch a brand new, custom application using Oracle ADF technology.

Tweet from Debra Lilley

Tweet from Debra Lilley: Integration is key to SaaS. 

For example, Certus Solutions leveraged the RDK Simplified User Experience Design Patterns eBook that covers simplified UI design patterns and the ADF-based code templates in the RDK to develop a new extension for the Oracle HCM Cloud. The result? Certus Solutions received the FMW Community Cloud Award for outstanding work in validating PaaS4SaaS with the Usable Apps team!

Tweet from Debra Lilley announcing that Certus Solutions received the FMW Community Cloud Award

Tweet from Debra Lilley: Announcing that Certus Solutions received the FMW Community Cloud Award  

Experiencing the motivation and innovation from successful partners, this event proved to be a unique and rewarding chance to interact with key Oracle Partners. This event was truly a fantastic two-day event to remember. Here’s to the next opportunity to wear the OAUX colors with pride!

Tweet from Debra Lilley

Tweet from Debra Lilley: Simplicity, Extensibility, Mobile worn with pride. 

For more information, I encourage you to visit the Usable Apps website where you’ll find lots of essential information about designing and building new simplified UIs for the Oracle Applications Cloud.

Your reward is waiting.

Oracle PaaS4SaaS UX Enablement with Certus Solutions: Valid Business Proposition

Sat, 2015-02-21 15:59

Oracle’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a huge opportunity for Oracle partners. Using PaaS4SaaS  for extending the Oracle Applications Cloud and building simplified UI solutions are powerful differentiators combined. Add in user experience (UX), and it's a competitive must-have move for business. The Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) communications and outreach team has been on the road enabling partners to make this competitive potential real.

Our first PaaS4SaaS enablement in 2015 was a three-day, hands-on design and development event with Certus Solutions, which was held at the Oracle London City office in the UK.

An awesome range of UX and technology skills from OAUX and partners was brought to bear on realizing a Cloud solution with attendees self-organizing and working seamlessly together in small agile teams.

 Debra Lilley (Certus Solutions) and Amit Kumar Bhowmick

All the stakeholders. Certus Solutions, eProseed and OAUX developers and designers collaborate. (L-R) Caroline Moloney (Certus Solutions), Lancy Silveira (OAUX), Mascha van Oosterhout (eProseed), and Julian Orr (OAUX). In the background are Debra Lilley (Certus Solutions) and Amit Kumar Bhowmick (OAUX).

Certus Solutions has partnered with eProseed to accelerate its PaaS offerings for extending the Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud, and participants from both companies were at the event*. Facilitated by the OAUX design and development chops, this powerhouse of a team wireframed a great business solution for the Oracle Applications Cloud, built it using the simplified UI RDK, and deployed the result using the Oracle Java Cloud Service SaaS-Extension (JCS-SX) PaaS offering.

Forget everything you knew about enterprise software UI design. Julian Orr (OAUX) keeps it simple.

Keepin' it simple. Julian Orr (OAUX) explains the essence of the simplified UI design. 

The event was a learning experience for all. OAUX got to walk in partner shoes. Certus Solutions and eProseed found out how to identify PaaS4SaaS business opportunities. All experienced the technical side of Oracle ADF-based Oracle Applications Cloud development and PaaS deployment. Such an exchange of empathy meant everyone discovered how to work together.

Demonstrating the straightforward nature of JCS-SX deployment,  Debra Lilley (@debralilley), Vice President of Certus Solutions Cloud Services and OAUX designated speaker, was in the thick of the development action, deploying a prototype to the cloud like a pro while declaring “I'm not technical®” (more details about this will be revealed at a future Oracle event)!

 Bruno Neves Alves (eProseed), Amit Kumar Bhowmick (OAUX), Debra Lilley (Certus Solutions), Lancy Silveira (OAUX), and Lonneke Dikmans (eProseed)

Learning while doing. Agile, activity based work, side-by-side. (L-R) Bruno Neves Alves (eProseed), Amit Kumar Bhowmick (OAUX), Debra Lilley (Certus Solutions), Lancy Silveira (OAUX), and Lonneke Dikmans (eProseed).

The inimitable Debra closed the event, saying how the event moved Certus Solution’s Cloud business to a new high on the capability scale, and provided further vindication of Certus Solutions' business directions, including their strategic partnering with eProseed. You can read more from Debra about the event in her article "Partner Column: Extending Your SaaS Applications with PaaS" on the Oracle Fusion Middleware community blog. 

Reflecting on the event, OAUX felt that the PaaS4SaaS partner enablement strategy based on the simplified UI RDK and Oracle Cloud technology skills is hitting the right mark in the Oracle partner ecosystem. It was validation all around.

If you are a Gold or Platinum Oracle Applications Cloud partner that wants in on our ongoing PaaS and SaaS journey and seeking to validate that decision to take your business to the Cloud and to demonstrate confidence to customers, then reach out to us through the usual channels. 

* You can read about the OAUX eProceed PaaS and Oracle Alta UI enablement event in the Netherlands here

Oracle Design Jam takes a look at the Future of Information

Fri, 2015-02-20 13:47

By Sarahi Mireles and Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience Communications and Outreach

From Kathy...

In keeping with a new emphasis and investment from Oracle on exploring emerging technology for ways to encourage the evolution of the Oracle user experience, the UX Innovation Events (@InnovateOracle) team held a design jam for Oracle employees in early February.

Since embracing their charter in Fall 2014, the team -- a branch of the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team -- has organized and held a rapid succession of design jams. The design jam focused on the future of information design.

 The Team. (L-R) Tony Orciuoli, Sarahi Mireles, Sasha Boyko, Rob Hernandez (Kathy Miedema not pictured)

Verbal Karate Chop, the team: (L-R) Tony Orciuoli, Sarahi Mireles, Sasha Boyko, Rob Hernandez, and Kathy Miedema (not pictured) 

It’s worth pointing out how exciting it is to be part of an organization that encourages a free flow of thinking and creativity by supporting events like these. Our team met a few times before the event to kick-start our brainstorming, and then took off an entire day to participate in this event.

We were well-supported during the event too – we had room to collaborate, materials to help us develop ideas, mentors to help guide us, food to keep us fueled.

Our team, Verbal Karate Chop, designed a product that builds on the technology behind Oracle Voice, pulling in information around a particular keyword or phrase to create meetings, help prepare for meetings, and even start a meeting hands-free if you happen to be driving in your car, for example.

Sarahi can better describe what it’s like to participate as a developer and build an idea like this on a tight deadline. Before turning it over to her, I’m happy to announce that our idea won both the People’s Choice award and the Best Use of Audio/Video award. This was my first time participating in such an event – what a thrill it was!

 Kathy Miedema and Sarahi Mireles

Innovate and diversify. Getting the message out: Kathy Miedema and Sarahi Mireles

... and from Sarahi

As a developer, I find it really fun going to a design jam. The best part after the brain-storming is starting to build your prototype. This can be something really simple or something quite complex, and that actually depends on the time you have and how fast are you able to play with whatever tool you are using.

Time was actually the key factor for this design jam. Having only a couple of hours to build your entire idea is what really makes your adrenaline surge.

We started putting together all our ideas, and then we began to draw the general design of the whole idea (I’m glad we had two designers on our team!), and after that, we built it.

From a non-designer point of view, I have to say that we designed some cool UIs after a couple of hours of pushing our brains to the maximum. And it was awesome to build out those ideas.

If you have the opportunity to join a design jam, do it! It’s also the best way to learn from other developers and non-developers, and to explore all kinds of crazy ideas for innovation in the enterprise.

 People’s Choice and the Best Use of Audio/Video awards

Verbal Karate Chop, the user experience: People’s Choice and Best Use of Audio/Video awards

Explore more 

Find out more about this Oracle Applications User Experience design jam and about other events on the UX Innovation Events blog, and follow event happenings on Twitter.

The overall results of the design jam are here.

To discover more about the emerging technology and trends that drive the Oracle Applications User Experience strategy, get the free eBook from Vice President, Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley). 

Oracle PaaS and UX: Keepin' it <af:simple/> with Oracle Alta UI and eProseed

Sat, 2015-02-07 13:40

Empathy, ideation, and enterprise: three principles we keep at the heart of our partner PaaS and SaaS enablement. All three aligned at the Oracle Applications Cloud User Experience PaaS event with eProseed in the Netherlands.

How?

By finding the pulse of real people and the requirement to work flexibly, by exchanging ideas about new ways of working using the cloud, digital technology and autonomous organization, and by agreeing on a design solution that resonated with all; one that could be built in a secure and scalable way using Oracle technology, and making business sense.

The result was the delivery of a powerful experience that Erik Veldhoen (@erikveldhoen), architect of activity-based working, saw as a milestone progression towards innovative business models and how people get things done.

Erik Veldhoen goes into the cloud with glance, scan, commit; seamlessly allied with his vision of using technology as a powerful instrument for people to organize their lives and work in a better, virtual space.

Erik Veldhoen goes into the cloud with the design philosophy of glance, scan, commit; seamlessly melding with his vision of using technology as a powerful instrument for people to organize their lives and work in a better, virtual space.

The cloud has changed everything, and user experience is no exception. Make no mistake; it's “Game Over” for traditional ways of selling software and for people accepting less than compelling user experiences in work. User experience is a competitive must-have, and a capability to deliver a rockin’ UX using PaaS is the partner differentiator.

Julian Orr of OAUX and eProseed UX consultant Mascha Van Oosterhout work together on applying design patterns to wireframes.

Julian Orr of Oracle Applications User Experience (OAUX) and eProseed UX consultant Mascha van Oosterhout work together on applying design patterns to wireframes for maximum productivity and reusability.

OAUX's goal was to enable eProseed to deliver on a business proposition using UX and PaaS. Exact use case details and images of screens cannot be disclosed. But, if you were at this innovative event, held in Oracle Nederland in Utrecht, you’d have witnessed:

  • The awesome eProseed UX design and wireframing enablement; a best practice to communicate design amongst stakeholders, get their agreement, and eliminate surprises later when coding starts.
  • The bringing together of key stakeholders around the use case: partner UX and development teams, customer, customer advocacy, Oracle Nederland technology sales, and the OAUX team.  
  • The rapid building of a simplified user experience that realizes activity-based working, based on glance, scan, commit design philosophy. This enables people to organize, act, and report on their work autonomously and easily.

The vision of Erik Veldhoen’s new way of working virtually using technology and the cloud melding magically with the OAUX design philosophy and strategies of simplicity, mobility, and extensibility.  

eProseed Managing Partner, Luc Bors (@lucb_) with UX Developer Lancy Silveira (@LancyS) showing off Luc’s Oracle Mobile Application Framework Developer Guide (Oracle Press), available now.

eProseed Managing Partner, Luc Bors (@lucb_) with UX Developer Lancy Silveira (@LancyS), showing off Luc’s Oracle Mobile Application Framework Developer Guide (Oracle Press), available now.

  • The application of user experience design patterns to the wireframes created by eProseed. The patterns leverage Oracle ADF components and eProseed now has reusable, common solutions at hand, ready for the next business opportunity. 
  • The deployment of the solution using PaaS. The designing, building and deploying of non-English language UIs is another workshop first. 
eProseed Managing Partner Lonneke Dikmans (@lonnekedikmans) and eProseed SOA developer Thanasis Tegos work through the necessary backend development. eProseed Managing Partner Lonneke Dikmans (@lonnekedikmans) and eProseed SOA developer Thanasis Tegos work through the SOA backend development together.
  • A display of agile-style development, design iterations, and flexible working over three days. We adopted our own “new way of working", one of minimal management and supervision. Everyone at the event worked together, as one team, self-organizing and staying focused on the end result
That's quite a breadth of activity and achievement. And, if you were there, you’d also have heard words like “vision realized”, “simplicity”, and “audit trail” used together in the room; all music to an enterprise UXer's ears, and an example of how our three outreach principles came to life. 

eProseed Managing Partner, Lonneke Dikmans, tweeted as the event concluded:

VERY cool workshop implementing activity based working #awb using Oracle #ACM Alta UI - ADF and the Oracle #UX design patterns

UX and PaaS is the new cool!

The workshop is part of an ongoing story as  eProseed iterates the design and development and takes things to the next stage in the business cycle.

Stay tuned for more insights from this event but also for coverage of the other recent partner PaaS4SaaS enablement events in the UK and in the U.S.

Are you a Gold or Platinum level partner in the Oracle Applications Cloud business, seeking that UX and PaaS differentiator? Do ideas of empathy, ideation, and enterprise resonate with your organization?

Get in touch.