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Oracle OpenWorld 2014 Highlights

Tue, 2014-10-07 06:28

As Oracle OpenWorld 2014 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on the week and provide some highlights for you all!

We say this every year, but this year's event was one of the best ones yet. We had more than 35 scheduled sessions, plus user group sessions, 10 live product demos, and 7 hands-on labs devoted to Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Process Management (Oracle BPM) solutions. This year's Oracle OpenWorld provided broad and deep insight into next-generation solutions that increase business agility, improve performance, and drive personal, contextual, and multichannel interactions. 

Oracle WebCenter & BPM Customer Appreciation Reception

Our 8th annual Oracle WebCenter & BPM Customer Appreciation Reception was held for the second year at San Francisco’s Old Mint, a National Historic Landmark. This was a great evening of networking and relationship building, where the Oracle WebCenter & BPM community had the chance to mingle and make new connections. Many thanks to our partners Aurionpro, AVIO Consulting, Bezzotech, Fishbowl Solutions, Keste, Redstone Content Solutions, TekStream & VASSIT for sponsoring!

Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards 

Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation honors Oracle customers for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware. Winners were selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture. This year’s winners for WebCenter were Bank of Lebanon and McAfee.


This year’s winners for the BPM category were State Revenue Office, Victoria and Vertafore.


Congratulations winners! 

Oracle Appreciation Event at Treasure Island

We stayed up past our bedtimes rocking to Aerosmith and hip-hopping to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Spacehog at the Oracle Appreciation Event. These award-winners—plus free-flowing networking, food, and drink—made Wednesday evening magical at Treasure Island. Once we arrived on Treasure Island, we saw that it had been transformed and we were wowed by the 360-degree views of Bay Area skylines (with an even better view from the top of the Ferris wheel). We tested our skills playing arcade games between acts, and relaxed and enjoyed ourselves after a busy couple of days.

Cloud

Cloud was one of the OOW shining spotlights this year. For WebCenter and BPM, we had dedicated hands-on labs for Documents Cloud Service and Process Cloud Service @ the Intercontinental. In addition, we had live demos including Documents Cloud Service, Process Cloud Services and Oracle Social Network (OSN) throughout the week. Documents Cloud Service and OSN were featured prominently in the Thomas Kurian OOW Keynote (from the 46 minute mark) and the FMW General Session (from the 40 minute mark). 

The Oracle WebCenter & BPM Community

Oracle OpenWorld is unmatched in providing you with opportunities to interact and engage with other WebCenter & BPM customers and experts from among our partner and employee communities. It was great to see everyone, make new connections and reconnect with old friends. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!

5 Things to Do at Oracle OpenWorld

Thu, 2014-09-25 08:05

Originally posted here

Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM @ OpenWorld 2014: Don’t-Miss Sessions, Demos, Hands-on Labs, and More

Tue, 2014-09-23 07:58

Blog by: Kellsey Ruppel, Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle WebCenter

With more than 35 scheduled sessions, plus user group sessions, 10 live product demos, and 7 hands-on labs devoted to Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Process Management (Oracle BPM) solutions, Oracle OpenWorld 2014provides broad and deep insight into next-generation solutions that increase business agility, improve performance, and drive personal, contextual, and multichannel interactions.

Key Themes

"This year, we shine the spotlight on the many ways our customers are harnessing the power of cloud and mobile technology to power the digital business," says Oracle WebCenter Director of Product Management Jon Huang. "We also focus on how Oracle WebCenter and Oracle BPM add value for our applications customers, including both on-premises and software-as-a-service solutions."

Don't-Miss Strategy and Vision Sessions

To explore the latest advances and planned innovations in Oracle WebCenter and Oracle BPM solutions, Huang particularly recommends the following strategy and vision sessions.

Product Demos and Hands-on Labs

From more than a dozen combined product demos and hands-on labs, event organizers expect special interest in two demos and two hands-on labs devoted to the cloud.

Networking and Awards

The customer advisory boards for Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Process Management will meet on Sunday, September 28, followed by a cocktail event sponsored by Oracle partners TekStream and AVIO Consulting. 

Attendees should not miss the Oracle WebCenter and Oracle BPM Customer Appreciation Reception, sponsored by Oracle partners Aurionpro, AVIO Consulting, Bezzotech, Fishbowl Solutions, Keste, Redstone Content Solutions, TekStream, and VASSIT. RSVP required.

And on Tuesday, September 30, the 2014 Oracle Excellence Award Ceremony for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation (CON7029) honors organizations from around the globe that are using Oracle products to achieve significant business value.

Learn more and register now for Oracle OpenWorld 2014.

Consult the Oracle OpenWorld Focus On Documents for Oracle WebCenter andOracle Business Process Management for a complete list of related activities.

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Introducing Oracle BPM Suite 12c: Intelligent Adaptive Processes

Tue, 2014-09-16 06:15


In June 2014, Oracle launched Oracle Business Process Management Suite 12c (Oracle BPM Suite 12c), the industry's most social, unified, and complete BPM solution that helps organizations plan and manage their entire business architecture.

The latest release comes as demand for fast, interactive information increases, which in turn is driving ever-greater demand for more agile, responsive IT organizations.

In response, Oracle BPM Suite 12c enables businesses to quickly adapt to disruptive technologies such as cloud computing, big data, social networking, and smart devices, which have revolutionized how consumers and employees access and consume information.

Responsiveness Is the Lynchpin
"The world is a different place than it was just a few short years ago," says Oracle Director of Product Marketing Dain Hansen. "Operating in a digital economy means that companies must rethink how to do business."

Responsiveness has become the lynchpin for competitive advantage. That includes meeting customer concerns rapidly, providing real-time visibility into the enterprise to remove internal roadblocks and increase agility—and the ongoing ability to adapt to ever-evolving technologies and business practices.

Adaptive Management for Unstructured Content and Processes
Ideally, employees should have a real-time view into accounts payable and other processes that involve unstructured content and/or processes. Only then can they track how long processes take, spot bottlenecks, fix problems—and manage all the associated liabilities.

Thanks to tighter integration between Oracle BPM Suite 12c and Oracle WebCenter, a new adaptive case management feature delivers better, more-flexible case management for these traditionally thorny business processes.

New in Oracle BPM Suite 12c
In addition to adaptive case management, Oracle BPM Suite 12c provides the following new features to speed time-to-value, whether implementing new business processes or enhancing existing ones—across both in-house and cloud applications and services.
  • Improved business activity monitoring and reporting. Tightly integrated with Oracle Business Intelligence tools and Oracle Coherence, this feature delivers rich analytics tools, out-of-the-box process dashboards, out-of-the-box analysis tools, time-based analysis, and trend analysis for key performance indicators (KPIs). These enhancements, combined with the embedded complex query processor, enable organizations to react more quickly than ever to potential or actual performance issues as well as emerging trends and risks.
  • Business architecture modeling. Users can capture and catalog business processes from beginning to end, including strategic elements such as goals, objectives, and strategies—then link them to the value chains and business processes that implement them. And KPIs and other measures can be rolled back up to the goals and objectives within the business architecture for faster reporting and adjusting.
  • Mobile and software-as-a-service (SaaS) integrations. With Oracle BPM Suite 12c, users can easily and securely connect business processes to SaaS and mobile applications. And with Oracle Cloud Adapters, users can integrate with a range of Oracle and third-party cloud applications. In addition, Oracle BPM Suite 12c now supports REST/JSON for integrating mobile-aware process applications.

Read the Oracle Business Process Management Suite12c press release.

Watch a special online event introducing Oracle BPM Suite 12c and featuring General Electric, Vertafore, San Joaquin County, and AVIO Consulting.

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Introducing Oracle BPM Suite 12c

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Time: 10:00 AM PDT


Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM Customer Appreciation Reception

Thu, 2014-09-11 06:27
Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM Customer Appreciation Reception

You’re invited to the Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM Customer Appreciation Reception!

Oracle WebCenter & Oracle Business Process Management (BPM) partners Aurionpro, AVIO Consulting, Bezzotech, Fishbowl Solutions, Keste, Redstone Content Solutions, TekStream & VASSIT invite you to a private cocktail reception at one of San Francisco's stunning National Historic Landmarks. Please join us and other Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM customers for heavy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails at this exclusive reception. You do not need to be an Oracle OpenWorld attendee to join us at the reception. If you will be in the San Francisco area, please RSVP to attend!

Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM Customer Appreciation Reception

Monday, September 29, 2014
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Old Mint, Mint Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94103
+1.415.537.1105

Register Now Red-arrow


Please RSVP by September 22, 2014. You will receive an e-mail notification confirming your attendance for the event.

Don’t miss the opportunity to talk with fellow customers and executives from Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM Product Management, Product Marketing, and Oracle’s premier Oracle WebCenter & Oracle BPM partners. We look forward to seeing you at this event!

Partners

If you are an employee or official of a government organization, please click here for important ethics information regarding this event.

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You are invited! See the Power of Innovation with Oracle Fusion Middleware

Tue, 2014-09-09 06:00

The Oracle Fusion Middleware team is very excited to recognize the 2014 Oracle Excellence Awards for Fusion Middleware Innovation winners with a special Awards Ceremony on Tuesday September 30th during Oracle OpenWorld.

Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation Awards honor customers with cutting-edge use of Oracle Fusion Middleware technologies to solve unique business challenges or create business value. Winners are selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture.

If you are planning to attend Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco or plan to be in the area during Oracle OpenWorld, we hope you can join us, and bring back to your organization real-life examples of Fusion Middleware in action.

   Oracle Excellence Awards Ceremony: Oracle Fusion Middleware: Meet This Year’s Most Impressive Innovators (Session ID: CON7029)

   When: Tuesday September 30, 2014

   Time: Champagne Reception 4:30 pm, Ceremony 5-5:45 pm PT

   Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, YBCA Theater (next to Moscone North) 700 Howard St., San Francisco, CA, 94103


To learn more about last year’s award winners please read our blog post: Innovation Award Winners Celebrated at A Grand Ceremony at OOW: Event Highlights

To attend this Award Ceremony, Oracle OpenWorld Badges are required. You can register for this session through the Schedule Builder on the Oracle OpenWorld website. If you are not attending the conference, but will be in the area and would like to join the celebration – please RSVP HERE and we will provide a complimentary Discover Pass code that you can use to register, pick up your badge, and attend the Award Ceremony session.

We hope to see you there!

21st Century Education Goes Digital with Oracle WebCenter

Mon, 2014-09-08 09:30
Oracle Corporation Banner 21st Century Education Goes Digital with Oracle WebCenter

Learn how The Digital Campus with WebCenter can address top-of-mind issues for creating exceptional digital learning experiences, put content in context for the user and optimize business processes

The global education market is under-going a fundamental transformation -- from the printed textbook and physical classroom to newer digital, online and mobile experiences.  Today, students can learn anywhere, anytime, from anyone on any device, bridging administrative and academic systems into single universal view.

Oracle WebCenter is at the center of innovation and engagement for any digital enterprise looking to empower exceptional experiences for students, faculty, administrators and researchers. It powerfully connects people, processes, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, content management, Web experience management and collaboration technologies to enable student success.

Join this special event featuring the University of Pretoria, Fishbowl Solutions and Oracle, whose experts will illustrate successful design patterns and solution delivery for:
  • Student Portals. Create rich, interactive student experiences
  • Digital Repository. Deliver advanced content capture, tagging and sharing while securing enterprise data
  • Admissions. Leverage image capture and business process design to enable improved self-service
Attendees will benefit from the use-case insights and strategies of a world re-knowned university as well as a pre-built solution approach from Oracle and solutions partner Fishbowl to enable a truly modern digital campus.


Audio information:

Dial in Numbers: U.S / Canada: 877-698-7943 (toll free)
International: 706-679-0060(chargeable)
Passcode:
solutions2

Red Button Top Register Now Red Button Bottom Calendar Sep 11, 2014
10:00 AM PT |
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Arqiva Achieves a 90% Adoption Rate for Its Innovative, Near-Real-Time Network Monitoring Portal

Fri, 2014-09-05 06:00
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Another Great WebCenter Customer Success Story from Oracle's Customer and Partner Successes

Arqiva Achieves a 90% Adoption Rate for Its Innovative, Near-Real-Time Network Monitoring Portal

Oracle Customer: Arqiva

Location:  Winchester, England

Industry: Communications

Employees:  2,000

Arqiva provides and operates much of the infrastructure behind television, radio, satellite, and wireless communications in the United Kingdom. Its customers include major broadcasters, such as the BBC, ITV, and BSkyB, as well as independent radio groups. Arqiva’s engineers led the switch from analogue to digital in 2012,  which was the largest broadcast engineering project in UK history. Arqiva also provides satellite distribution services for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. in the United States, leading French media company Canal+ Group, and the internationally renowned Al Jazeera Network.


Challenges
  • Improve the customer experience for broadcast-radio customers by providing self-service access to a near-real-time view of their network status, 24/7 notification of faults and fixes, and maintenance schedules
  • Ensure staff—from CEOs through to technicians, presenters, and DJs—is aware of network performance, incidents, and other issues that might affect the transmission of programs to audiences
  • Enable customers to determine the operational status of transmitters and view the current and future configuration data of multiplexes (streams of digital information containing audio and other data) on the networks that broadcast their programs
  • Give users access to network performance data via a mobile phone, tablet, or desktop PC
  • Provide secure identity and access management to ensure that access to commercially sensitive network data is restricted to the relevant radio broadcaster
  • Gain ability to provide network status data to TV and satellite customers in the future
A word from Arqiva

"Oracle WebCenter Portal transformed customer service by giving radio broadcasters a near-real-time window into the performance of the networks that transmit programs to their audiences." – Helen Knight, Head of Product, TV and Radio, Arqiva


Solutions
  • Used Oracle WebCenter Portal to build a window that enables radio broadcasters to view the status of their network in near real time, with a traffic-light system to alert them to faults and their severity via an intuitive interface
  • Gained immediate acceptance by radio groups, 90% of whom signed up for access as soon as it was launched and rated the service as “fantastic,” “innovative,” and “brilliant”
  • Rolled out portal access to 180 users in 20 radio groups covering 3,500 transmitters within three months
  • Used the portal as part of strategy to deliver continuous customer service improvements by enhancing the radio-desk support function that automatically notifies customers of faults on their network and sends daily, weekly, and monthly reports to radio broadcasters
  • Benefited from Oracle WebCenter Portal’s standards-based framework to integrate Google Maps into the portal to give customers a visual image of their sites and services
  • Used out-of-the-box tools and library of prebuilt components in Oracle WebCenter Portal to create graphs and tables depicting network and infrastructure performance
  • Benefited from the flexible navigation components of Oracle WebCenter Portal to allow users to personalize the interface to individual preferences and determine the dashboards they wish to access first—such as the status of transmitters within their broadcast regions
  • Built a multiplex tab to allow users to view the configuration and capacity of multiplexes and see a list of broadcasters on those multiplexes
  • Enabled customers to create a watch list of specific incidents or planned maintenance work they wish to monitor closely and increase productivity by accessing the list immediately when they sign on to the portal
  • Gave users access to the portal from any Web-based device, enabled them to click through to service tables quickly and easily, and created views optimized for mobile phone users
  • Cut time to develop and refresh content by using Oracle WebCenter Portal’s framework to create standards-based portlets and ensure uniformity of page structure and layout
  • Benefited from standards-based, service-oriented architecture of Oracle BPEL Process Manager to assemble and integrate data from the Oracle-based, core-incident management system, and third-party sources into end-to-end process flows for publishing via the portal
  • Used Oracle Unified Directory to create and apply identity management and access security rules to protect sensitive customer network-performance data from unauthorized viewing
  • Benefited from the scalability of Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle Unified Directory to gain ability to accommodate more users in line with Arqiva’s plans to extend portal access to its TV and satellite customers
Oracle Product and Services

   Why Oracle?

Arqiva conducted a competitive bid and evaluated the open-source product Liferay Portal. The company chose Oracle WebCenter Portal for its standards-based interoperability, out-of-the-box functionality, and reusable portlets that would minimize development and allow Arqiva to refresh content rapidly and share it seamlessly across internal and customer-facing applications. Arqiva selected Oracle Unified Directory to provide fine-grained control of policies at an organizational-unit level and for scalability needed to meet the demands presented by additional TV and satellite customers accessing the portal at a later date.


"We chose Oracle WebCenter Portal for its ranking as a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals and because of its unrivalled functionality and strong pedigree," said Eamonn Sorohan, head of applications, Arqiva. Partner

Oracle Partner

Griffiths Waite

 Oracle Specialized Partner Griffiths Waite worked with key business users to design and build the portal to the unique requirements of different types of users. It optimized the interface for each device to ensure the best possible customer experience. Arqiva benefited from Griffiths Waite’s expertise to ensure seamless integration between the portal, back-office, and transmitter data and ensured access security was maintained for broadcasters’ critical data. As user and data volumes increased, Griffiths Waite monitored the portal to optimize performance and ensure a consistently positive customer experience.
"Griffiths Waite’s expertise enabled us to build the solution in three months," said Helen Knight, head of product, TV and radio, Arqiva. "The portal is intuitive and aesthetically pleasing while being highly functional and a great advertisement for Arqiva."

Resources More Reference Assets About Communications

John Lewis Partnership Transforms Personnel Services for 85,000 Employees by Using a Self-Service Portal

Tue, 2014-09-02 01:00
Oracle Customer: John Lewis Partnership
  • Location: London, United Kingdom
  • Industry: Retail
  • Employees: 85,000
  • Annual Revenue: Over $5 Billion

John Lewis Partnership, one of the United Kingdom’s leading retailers, owns and operates 30 John Lewis department stores, 10 John Lewis at-home stores and 302 Waitrose supermarkets. The organization also runs a substantial online business through www.johnlewis.com and www.waitrose.com, in addition to business-to-business contracts in the UK and abroad.

John Lewis Partnership is the UK’s largest example of worker co-ownership where all 85,000 employees are partners in the business. Partners are dedicated to delivering excellent customer service and share in the benefits and profits of the business. John Lewis was named “Retailer of the Year 2013” at the Oracle Retail Week Awards 2013.

Challenges 
 A word from John Lewis Partnership

"With Oracle WebCenter Portal, our partners have secure, straightforward, and instant access to a wide range of human resources services from any location. We also laid a strong foundation for future developments and growth within the organization.”

– Stephen Oliphant, Technical Application Architect, Oracle Business Service Center, John Lewis Partnership

  • Centralize personnel services by forming a new shared-service center to streamline services, improve efficiency, and offer all employees self-service functionality from the office, home, or geographically dispersed retail stores
  • Save time and costs by replacing manual, time-intensive human resources processes with an easy-to-use, self-service platform that enables employees to be more self-sufficient in managing their human-resources queries
  • Enable the John Lewis Partnership to better manage growth in the quickly changing, customer-centric retail industry by building a strong and flexible infrastructure to improve management of core back-office processes, including personnel management

Solutions

  • Centralized and transformed personnel services by implementing user-friendly Oracle WebCenter Portal and offering 85,000 employees self-service access to human resources information, such as payroll, holiday and maternity entitlements, and performance review details
  • Eliminated inefficient manual processes to request holidays, administer leave requests, and check payroll details by encouraging employees to use self-service for 60% of all transactions—reducing the time and costs associated with requesting information by telephone, e-mail, or in person
  • Enabled employees to access the portal, 24/7, while at work in the head office or branch offices, via terminals in all retail stores, or at home using secure identity management, providing the most convenient way to review personnel information, ask questions, and make requests
  • Improved efficiency of leave-request reviews and approvals by providing employees and line managers with all relevant information up-front, such as who else is on holiday at a particular time, by integrating the online portal with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition
  • Delivered graphical representation of managers’ hierarchy through the portal to help managers navigate the system in a user-friendly way
  • Built manager pages within Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to highlight upcoming activities, helping managers plan their schedules in relation to personnel administration duties
  • Established an Oracle WebCenter platform to deliver the flexibility required for additional functionality; further integrations with multiple applications, including Oracle Learning Management; and to deliver additional services throughout John Lewis Partnership in the future
Why Oracle

“Oracle is our strategic partner of choice, and by working with a single vendor, we benefit from consistency across technology, service, and support,” said Stephen Oliphant, technical application architect, Oracle business service center, John Lewis Partnership.

“The scalability of the Oracle solution is very important. One of the key drivers for this transformation project was to support the rate of change and growth within John Lewis Partnership. By partnering with Oracle, we can deploy the right technology to provide a good service to the business and to scale as our organization grows,” said Oliphant.

Partner

Hitachi ConsultingOracle Partner
Hitachi Consulting

John Lewis Partnership chose Oracle Diamond Partner Hitachi Consulting as the  lead systems integrator to provide expertise and resources for its organization-wide HR transformation program. Hitachi led a team of partners and worked with John Lewis Partnership from the requirements-gathering phase, through initial design workshops and conference-room pilot sessions, to the final build and testing. Hitachi deployed a large, onsite team and was responsible for functional, technical, and project management, testing, as well as governance.

As part of this extensive program, Hitachi upgraded John Lewis Partnership’s Oracle E-Business Suite implementation to Release 12 before designing and implementing the Oracle WebCenter solution. It was important that the look and feel of Oracle E-Business Suite was familiar to users, so Hitachi designed the Oracle WebCenter interface to resemble the John Lewis Partnership intranet.

“Hitachi provided excellent resources throughout this project. The team was more than willing to spend time with us transferring knowledge, helping to ensure that we get the best value from our Oracle implementations into the future,” said Stephen Oliphant, technical application architect, Oracle Business Service Center, John Lewis Partnership.

Resources

John Lewis Partnership Helps 6,500 Suppliers Cut Trading Costs with Free, Self-Service Portal for Managing Accounts and Tracking Invoices and Payments

More Reference Assets About Retail

More WebCenter


Accelerate your Transformation to Digital

Tue, 2014-08-26 09:07
by Dave Gray, Entrepreneur, Author & Consultant

Digital Transformation – The re-alignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage consumers or employees, digitally

We are in the process of building a global digital infrastructure that quantifies, connects, analyzes and maps the physical and social world we live in. This has already had massive impact on the way we live and work, and it will continue to do so, in ways which are impossible to predict or imagine.

If you work in a company that was imagined, designed and created before this digital infrastructure was developed, there is no question that your business will be impacted. If it hasn’t happened yet, it is simply a matter of time.

This digital transformation is a global phenomenon that is affecting every individual, and every business, on the planet. Everything that can be digital, will be digital. That means every bit of information your company owns, processes or touches. There is no product or service you provide that won’t be affected. The question is, what does it mean to you, and what should you be doing about it?

When technology advances, strategies and business models shift. It’s not simply a matter of taking what you do today and “making it digital.” That’s the difference between translation and transformation. Your products and services don’t need to be “translated” into the digital world. They must be transformed.

Take Kodak, for example. As long as there have been photographs, people have used them to store and share memories of people and events. That hasn’t changed since Eastman Kodak was founded by George Eastman in 1888.

But when technology advances, strategies and business models shift. Kodak was at the leading edge of the research that doomed its own business model. In 1975, Kodak invented the digital camera (although it was kept secret at the time). Kodak engineers even predicted, with startling accuracy, when the digital camera would become a ubiquitous consumer technology. So Kodak had a major advantage over every other company in the world. They were able to predict the death of film and they had about a 15-year head start over everyone else.

Unfortunately, the business of film was so profitable, and the reluctance (or fear) of disrupting its own business was so great, that Kodak had difficulty focusing on anything else.

In 2010, two software engineers, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, founded a company called Instagram, which they sold to Facebook two years later for approximately $1 billion.

When technology advances, strategies and business models shift.

Let’s take another example, Nokia, who commanded 40 percent of the mobile phone market as recently as 2007. Nokia was the clear and unequivocal market leader at that time. People were talking on phones in 2007 and they are still doing that today. But what happened? The phone became a mobile computer, a platform for digital services. And in a digital world, a phone is only as good as the digital services you can get on that phone. So Nokia, who used to compete only with other phone manufacturers, suddenly found itself in competition with computer manufacturers, who already had a strongly-developed ecosystem, strong relationships with application developers, and a compelling business model to offer them. Nokia was unable to make the leap from phone maker to computer maker.

When technology advances, strategies and business models shift.

It doesn’t matter what you make or what service you provide. If it’s a product, it will more and more come to resemble a computer. If it’s a service, it will increasingly become a digital service.

The shift doesn’t happen everywhere all at once. It’s happened with music and books, it’s happening with phones, TV and film, the hospitality and transportation industry, it is just starting to happen with cars, it will soon be happening in health care and other systems that tend to resist change because of bureaucracy and legal regulation.

So what can you do? How can you avoid being the next Kodak or the next Nokia? 

You need to take a different approach to innovation.

How do you manage your innovation initiatives?

Many companies use something called an innovation funnel. 

The idea of the funnel is that you solicit ideas from all over the company, and sometimes even from outside the company. Ideas come in at the top of the funnel and you have several gates that they have to go through, and they get funded at varying levels as they pass the criteria at each gate. If you do it right, the theory is that the best ideas come out and these are the ones that we implement.

The problem with the funnel approach is that nobody puts ideas in at the top. Nothing comes in. Why? Because people look at that funnel and what they see is a sophisticated machine for killing their ideas. The design of the funnel does not encourage people to generate ideas, because basically it’s a suggestion box with a shredder inside. It’s an idea killer. It doesn’t excite people. It doesn’t encourage creativity.

People think: I'm going to have to write a business plan. I'm going to have to do a bunch of market research. I'm going to have to make a lot of spreadsheets and projections. And this is on top of my regular job. Only to have my idea most probably killed in the end. You are saying to people “We welcome your ideas” but what people are thinking is “You don't really welcome my ideas. You welcome my ideas so you can kill them.”

So what happens? Nothing comes into the top of the funnel, and the funnel manager goes, “Why? Why is nobody giving me their ideas?” This is why it's a problem. Because if anyone really has an idea, what are they going to do? They are going to leave, because in most cases, it’s actually easier to do your innovation out in the world today, even with no funding, than it is to do it inside a modern industrial company.

So what's an alternative to the funnel? Connected companies, like Amazon and Google, do it differently. They create a level playing field where anyone in the company can generate ideas and they actually are allowed to spend time working on them, without having to prove anything. They are trusted to innovate.

At Google they call it 20 percent time. For one day a week, or the equivalent, you get the opportunity  to play with your ideas. This kind of approach has to be supported by a culture where people actually really do have passion, energy and things they want to do. And it has to be recognized and supported throughout the organization as something that’s important. 

If you want to do this, efficiency has to take a hit. You can't optimize everything for efficiency and also do experiments. You just can't. Experiments by their very nature are inefficient, because you don’t really know what you’re doing. If you know in advance what the outcome will be, by definition it’s not an experiment.

This approach is less like a funnel and more like a terraced garden. It’s actually similar to a funnel, in a way, but it’s flipped.

Think of it this way. You've got to make space for these ideas to start.

There's no learning in the funnel approach. You don't learn much from making a business plan. You learn when you do experiments, when you put things into the world and start interacting with customers. You learn when you do things. What do you learn from making a business plan? Business plans are science fiction.

As a leader you have to make space for these experiments to happen. 

And some of these experiments – maybe even a lot of them – will yield interesting results.

And you want to have a way to distribute budget and resources to the most promising experiments.

So you set a certain percentage of the budgets throughout the organization, and you say, this money is for funding promising experiments. You can't spend it on operations or improving efficiency. You have to spend it on new ideas that you think are promising. That’s the second level in the terraced garden.

Layer one gives everybody a little bit of elbow room to innovate and experiment. Layer two offers a way for management to pick the plants that look the most interesting and give them a little bit of care and feeding. It might be that you just give someone some extra time. 

Then third and fourth layers are where the most promising ideas, the ones that might be worth making big bets on, emerge. You might have a few of these that you think might actually generate the next major stage of growth for the company. 

The good thing is that these big bets are all based on things that are already working. This is how venture capitalists invest. They usually don't invest in a really good business plan, because people who make good business plans often don't make good entrepreneurs. People who make good entrepreneurs are people who are out there doing things already.

Amazon's recommendation engine started out as a little weed at the bottom of the garden. Gmail at Google started out as a small 20-percent-time project, somebody was doing it in their spare time.

Venture capitalists invest in companies that already working. They may not be profitable yet, but they have customers, they have promise, they have figured something out, they have learned something. This is also how companies like Google and Amazon do it.

They don't invest in business plans. They don't say it's got to be a billion dollar opportunity or it's not worth or time. They say, let’s try it. Get out there and try things with customers because the billion dollar opportunity may start as a $10,000 opportunity. It may start small. 

What are Google’s big bets right now? Google Glass. The self-driving car.

What are the big bets for Amazon? Kindle. Kindle's a big bet. There are lots of dollars going into that one. Amazon web services: the project that says, we're going to take our own infrastructure and we're going to sell it. Even to competitors. We'll sell to anybody.

What are some of the experiments that failed? Amazon tried auctions. And it seems to make sense. “eBay does it. We've got a big audience. We can try it.” They tried it. They tried and they failed.

But what really happened with Amazon auctions? They learned. They realized something about their customers. Amazon is very customer focused. They realized that their customers don't want to wait. They don't want to wait a week to see if they bought something. Amazon customers want it now.

One of the interesting experiments is something called “unique phrases inside this book.” Someone had a hypothesis: “I think some books have not just unique words but unique phrases. If a phrase shows up in one book, you might want to know other books that have that phrase in it. It might be interesting.” Someone's working on that as a little experiment.

What happens if that experiment fails? Those people don't get fired. They are extremely valuable because of what they have learned. They find other teams. They get recruited. Think of a swarm of startups where people are recruiting each other all the time. It's like Silicon Valley inside of Amazon.

This kind of change is not simple or easy. But it’s clear that the future will not be simply more of the past. It will require bold thinking, creativity, and a new approach to innovation. Innovation can’t be the job of an R&D department. It has to be everyone’s job. And if you’re in senior management, it’s your job to create the conditions that will make innovation possible.

You can hear more from Dave on how to transform your business to digital in our Digital Business Thought Leaders webcast "The Digital Experience: A Connected Company’s Sixth Sense".