Thanks to all who attended our last month's executive webcast on Introducing Documents Cloud Service. We appreciate your feedback and all the follow up. For those who missed it or would like a replay of the webcast, you can watch it here.
To follow up on the discussion of Oracle Documents Cloud Service and what that means for your organization, one of our valued partners, TeamInformatics recently published an educational post on what the solution offers and how it can be leveraged to solve your day to day content needs. Given the informational value of the post, we are re-posting their original piece here in the hope that you find it useful. Looking forward to hearing your comments and questions.
Originally published on TeamInformatics blog
What Oracle’s Documents Cloud Service Means for You
By: Jon Chartrand - Solution Architect, TeamInformatics
The sphere of influence that is Enterprise Content Management has been steadily expanding to encompass areas such as records, digital assets, web content, and others. This has meant your ECM solution suite has had to grow and mature to support and maintain these activities. The newest is cloud-based document management, sharing, and collaboration. Now, I bet you’re thinking, “We don’t need that nor do we support that in our enterprise.” Here’s the trick though: Your users are already doing it and they’re very likely making it happen with software that’s not a part of your enterprise ecosystem. That means it’s probably unsupported, potentially insecure, and generally out of your control – not a good combination.
The rapid growth of this field has led to many solutions which attempt to enhance the consumer-level products and businessify them by offering a few more features at a wildly increased price. While these options can seem appealing, they still represent a gap in enterprise coverage as they aren’t themselves enterprise applications. Oracle, however, has expanded their Public Cloud offering – already the largest in the world – to not only fill the gap of Enterprise File Sync & Share, but also to expand cloud content management to your on-premises solutions, as well as mesh seamlessly with other applications. Now it’s possible to keep your users happy and productive while maintaining control and even expanding the capabilities of your enterprise. Introducing Oracle’s Documents Cloud Service, also known as DOCS.DOCS for File Sync & Share
DOCS represents a trident of capability, the first tine of which is as an enterprise-grade file sync and share replacement for the consumer-grade applications your users may already be utilizing. Before you can sync or share content, however, you have to manage it and Oracle provides a modern, intuitive web interface, for access across every device, to do just that. From here users can upload, preview, revision, delete, and share content and folders with ease making this the front line in our EFSS battle.
On the syncing front, native desktop applications for both Windows and MacOS allows users to seamlessly sync folders of their choosing with the local file system. This means files are available for viewing and editing when and where users demand them and without the need for an Internet connection. When connectivity is restored the sync application automatically updates the cloud with any changes, removing a step for the user.
On the sharing front, sharing content internally and externally has been rendered both simple and secure. Internally, named users can be shared to folders as one of four roles; Manager, Contributor, Downloader, or Reader. This means you have control over who has access and what kind of permissions they receive. When sharing to an external, non DOCS, user Oracle has provided several capabilities to make the process simple and safe. First, public link accesses are carefully tracked and an audit trail is provided. Each public link can also be assigned an expiration date so you don’t have to worry about forever managing every link that’s been distributed. Even more, each public link can be created with a required passcode so that even if the link is improperly distributed, the materials remain secure. Finally, each public link can be assigned a role which is granted to those who use it. All these features combine to allow incredibly granular control over who can access what content when and with what privileges.
The last point is for those on-the-go. For mobile users Oracle provides native applications for both Android and iOS which enable feature-parity between the mobile and web platforms. This means users can access their content from virtually any device, at any time, and maintain the full suite of capabilities no matter what method they’re using. This represents an unprecedented level of access to and control over enterprise content for your users.
DOCS for Hybrid Content Management
File Sync & Share is a great step forward in content management, however we’re still potentially left with a cache of content that stands apart from your Enterprise Content repository. DOCS addresses this through a process whereby your ECM repository is “tethered” to your DOCS repository through a 3rd party solution and content is shuttled between the two applications when edits are made, ensuring both repositories have the appropriate version available. This process allows your current ECM solution to remain the single point of truth in your enterprise for all content but enables users to access that content from beyond the firewall in a safe and secure manner.
The use cases for this method are almost endless but imagine a contract package being worked on by a CMO, a salesperson in the field, and a client with contributor access via a shared link. The CMO, working from within the company, can make edits to the documents and upload them to the ECM system. The salesperson in the field accesses the documents via DOCS and can also make changes and suggestions. As revisions are made, the CMO is kept in the loop as the document updates back to the ECM system as well. Finally, when complete, the client can access the documents, digitally sign them, and upload new versions to DOCS. Within moments of uploading the CMO has access and can move them to the appropriate next step.
Hybrid Content Management takes the premise of EFSS and keeps it a truly enterprise endeavor by ensuring that content is reflective of only one repository. This ensures that all users are working with the same materials without fear of unknown changes or missing versions. It also guarantees that content owned by the enterprise is continually merged into the enterprise so there’s reduced anxiety over content ownership and location.DOCS for PaaS Application Integration
Finally, DOCS takes an even longer and wider view of its role in the enterprise by enabling you to integrate other Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. The idea here is that any application to which users are uploading content represents another repository in the enterprise. Why should contracts uploaded to SalesForce live in that application? It’s not a content management application and it doesn’t have the metadata, workflows, and processes that your ECM system has. Documents Cloud Service works to solve this issue by providing a rich API foundation and an accessible embedded interface to allow you to merge applications with it and utilize its capabilities as a content platform. This Platform as a Service (PaaS) functionality allows you to keep your enterprises’ content in a single location – especially if you’re utilizing the Hybrid CM capabilities and merging your DOCS repository with your ECM platform.
With the embedded interface method you can add a simple iframe to any updateable UI to create an almost seamless merging of the two applications. While it looks like a user is uploading documents to the primary application, in reality they’re uploading to DOCS. With the API method, much more elaborate services can be written to customize the functionality of virtually any application, creating a background integration with Documents Cloud Service that is completely transparent to users. In either case, you’re removing another disparate cache of content and centralizing management into a single location. Ultimately this means less storage overhead for your SaaS applications and more complete control over your enterprise content.Bringing It All Together
Consider a purchase order document uploaded to a contact entity in SalesForce. Though an integration with Document Cloud Services, the content item is actually seamlessly uploaded to DOCS. With the DOCS repository linked to your on-premises platform, the content is replicated to the appropriate folder in the ECM system and an automatic workflow is started, alerting the Director of Sales to the new purchase order and requesting approval. The Director makes a small edit and approves the content. This sends a notification to the sales agent and ends the workflow. The content, now being newer in the ECM system than on DOCS, then flows outward to the cloud, updating the version there. The sales agent happens to also use the desktop client to sync DOCS content with their laptop and so the version there is updated automatically. On receiving the notification, the agent goes to their Oracle Documents folder on the desktop and opens the purchase order to review the Director’s changes. Satisfied, the agent closes the document and then right-clicks on it to access DOCS’ sharing. The agent creates a public link with downloader privileges and sends this link to the purchaser.
In this scenario, the content is available through the SalesForce site, the DOCS site, the DOCS mobile apps, synced to the desktop, and through the on-premises ECM platform. Instead of having two, three, even four different copies of the content across various systems and on various workstations, all versions are centrally managed and maintained in the system of record. This degree of centralized control is precisely what Enterprise Content Management seeks to achieve and Documents Cloud Services bring us all one step closer to that goal.
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Cloud enterprise file sync and share solutions serve a critical business need. A digital enterprise is an anytime, anyplace workplace requiring not just employees but the authorized ecosystem access to the right information at any time from any where on any device. This enables true collaboration in a 24 X 7 world and empowers the mobile workforce driving user productivity.
As a result, most organizations have moved away from large email file attachments, FTP server management and on-site content sharing tools and have started to instead leverage cloud file sync and share solutions. We use them in our personal lives to share pictures and videos so why not in our workplace? Trouble is enterprise-grade solutions require a bit more due diligence and consideration since one wrong upload or an unauthorized access to a critical file can have catastrophic implications for the company. And, it is not just about security either. When you think about, enterprises do have different needs from file sync and share solutions than you and I do in our personal lives. Enterprises require such solutions in place to drive work collaboration and improve mobile productivity. So, you are not looking at file sync and share solution in isolation, as a one off to send files or videos or images from point A to point B. Rather you are looking to spend a significant portion of your work day working on materials that are shared, collaborate with your colleagues and drive output by completing some tasks. Enterprise file sync and share is, thus, an integral part of not just the way you work but your work itself. So, rather than a one off solution, it needs to be a strategic cloud investment.
But if we are looking for a company to standardize on a corporate grade cloud file sync and share, that makes it an IT solution, right? Well, in my opinion, yes and no. Yes, because IT will need to do its diligence on the solution and make sure the solution meets the corporate IT security and governance requirements. But no, because the solution is made to empower Lines of Businesses, even the IT team really. So, right out of the box, it needs to have the features and functionality for it to be a desirable solution in the first place. If it is not meeting the basic criteria of easy to use, intuitive with complete mobile support and with no maintenance headaches, you have failed the litmus test.
What's your take? Where does the decision for enterprise file sync and share reside? Should an LoB or a set of them with immediate need for a solution initiate the search or should the decision rest with IT? Can both business and IT align to find a long term, strategic solution that is fast becoming an ubiquitous need? We would love to hear from you and as would our executives.
Join our live webcast tomorrow on "Introducing Oracle Documents Cloud Service" scheduled for 10 am PT/1 pm ET and be a part of this important conversation. We think it is a strategic enough conversation to have Oracle CIO, Mark Sunday be involved in addition to our senior product and LoB and customer executives. And to make sure we don't have colored lenses on, we will do a sanity check with IDC's Program Vice President, Content and Digital Media Technologies, Melissa Webster as well. This is your opportunity to ask the questions of these executives and industry experts. And we encourage you to follow the conversation on twitter with #OracleDOCS. Don't forget to register for tomorrow's live webcast. the conversation has only just begun...
In case you missed it last week, we are gearing up for a live video webcast that is a powerhouse of executives offering a 360-degrees perspective on Oracle Documents Cloud Service - an enterprise grade cloud file sharing and collaboration service. Find out about the current state of the industry,the gaps this solution addresses and what that means to both LoB users and the IT wihin your enterprise. Hear directly from IDC's Program Vice President, Content and Digital Media Technologies, Melissa Webster on the current state of EFSS and why there is a need to broaden the requirements of a solution. Oracle Vice President, Scott Howley will host the discussion with Oracle senior product management executives on product strategy, vision and the value it provides to LoBs like marketing. And don't miss Scott's discussion with Oracle CIO, Mark Sunday on Oracle's strictest requirements of cloud solutions and in-house use of Documents Cloud Service. Our customer, TekStream Solutions will also share their take on real world requirements of an enterprise grade cloud content sharing solution.
Register today for the live webcast and get your questions answered live by the executives. And if you are on social media, connect with us using #OracleDOCS
See you online on May 13 at 10 am PT/ 1 pm ET.
We are gearing up for the big executive video webcast on Documents Cloud Service featuring Oracle Chief Information Officer, Mark Sunday, IDC Program Vice President for Content and Digital Media Technologies, Oracle Product Management executives including our webcast host and Vice President for Oracle Middleware, Scott Howley interviewing David Le Strat who drives product management for WebCenter and BPM, and Alexander Hooshmand, Vice President for Oracle Marketing Cloud. Don't forget to register for the live event, "Introducing Oracle Documents Cloud Service" scheduled for Wednesday, May 13 at 10 a.m. PT/ 1 p.m. ET.
As we do that, thought I would share with you a recent feature that was published in Oracle Fusion Middleware Newsletter, April edition that delves into common use cases that we come across industries and lines of businesses around cloud document and file sharing and cloud collaboration. Take a look and give us your thoughts on how these align with what you are seeing within your enterprise, whether you are in IT or with marketing, sales, services, HR, finance or other division.
Cloud Computing Use Cases: Oracle Documents Cloud Service
Cloud computing—software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service—is an undisputed game-changer in the corporate world. But with so many different cloud options, it can be complicated to align them with possible real-life scenarios. Here’s where use cases come in handy. In this series of articles, the Oracle Fusion Middleware Newsletter will illustrate how various aspects of cloud computing work within a business setting. For this issue, we’re looking at Oracle Documents Cloud Service.
“One of the reasons that cloud-based file-sharing services are so popular is that they address a universal challenge. Every employee, regardless of their role, needs a secure way to share files for work collaboration,” says Oracle Vice President of Oracle Fusion Middleware Product Management Scott Howley. “In addition, today’s digital workplace requires a 24/7 access to work content from anywhere on any device.”
Use Case 1: Coordinating with Business Partners
Today, internal business functions work with a variety of outside partners—think, for example, of a project in which marketing collaborates with an outside agency on deliverables. “You need to be able to collaborate and share files in real time, but without jeopardizing confidential information such as a press release that could impact stock prices,” says Howley. With Oracle Documents Cloud Service, you have the convenience of collaborative access without the risk associated with consumer products. Enterprise encryption, auditing, tracking, permission controls, and automatic backups keep your information safe.
Use Case 2: Fostering Sales Collaboration
Sales teams often work under deadline, such as when creating a detailed customer request for proposal, a process that involves quickly changing versions that must be instantly shared with both internal and external parties. Additionally, the final output likely needs to be tied back to an opportunity ID in the organization’s CRM system. With Oracle Documents Cloud Service, automatic versioning and syncing ensures version integrity, and its ability to integrate with other Oracle Cloud services such as Oracle Sales Cloud means CRM opportunities won’t get lost.
Use Case 3: Support for Mobile Field Workers
Companies must ensure that mobile or field-site workers can easily and safely access documents—even those with sensitive company information—via a wide variety of devices, from smart phones to tablets and laptops. Oracle Documents Cloud Service provides that flexibility with native support for iPhones, iPads, and Android mobile devices, along with desktop sync for both Mac and Windows computers. Moreover, the ability to embed a user interface in applications, portals, or sites ensures that content can have limitless expressions as work dictates.
“As these use cases show, smart organizations want more than just a standalone file sync and share solution,” says Howley. “They want enterprise-grade security, control, and integration for cloud content sharing.”
To learn more about Oracle Documents Cloud Service, register today for the Oracle Documents Cloud Service executive webcast featuring Oracle CIO Mark Sunday and visit cloud.oracle.com/documents for more information.
Happy Friday! You are all invited to the video executive webcast on Documents Cloud Service coming up on Wednesday, May 13 at 10 am PT/1 pm ET. Need a reason to attend? If the evite hasn't convinced you yet, take a look at the star cast for the webcast and enjoy this brief preview video from Oracle Vice President and our webcast host, Scott Howley.<p> </p>