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
Dial in Numbers: U.S / Canada: 877-698-7943 (toll free)
Register Now Sep 11, 2014
10:00 AM PT |
01:00 PM ET If you are an employee or official of a government organization, please click here for important ethics information regarding this event. Copyright © 2014, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
Another Great WebCenter Customer Success Story from Oracle's Customer and Partner SuccessesArqiva Achieves a 90% Adoption Rate for Its Innovative, Near-Real-Time Network Monitoring Portal
Oracle Customer: Arqiva
Location: Winchester, England
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.
- 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
"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
- 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
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 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
- 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
- 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
- Integrated Oracle WebCenter Portal with Oracle WebCenter Content, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) to provide straightforward access for all employees and line managers to human resources information via an easy-to-navigate portal with a single login
- 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
Oracle Product and Services
- Oracle WebCenter Portal
- Oracle WebCenter Content
- Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1.3
- Oracle Self Service Human Resources
- Oracle Payroll
- Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition
- Oracle User Productivity Kit Standard
- 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
- Trained 85,000 staff members using Oracle User Productivity Kit Standard to ensure rapid adoption of Oracle WebCenter Portal for personnel queries
- 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
“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
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
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".
How a 60-Year-Old Company Transformed into a Modern Digital Business
Connecting with audiences through a robust online experience across multiple channels and devices is a nonnegotiable requirement in today’s digital world. Companies need a digital platform that helps them create, manage, and integrate processes, content, analytics, and more.
Panduit, a company founded nearly 60 years ago, needed to simplify and modernize its enterprise application and infrastructure to position itself for long-term growth. Learn how it transformed into a digital business using Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Business Process Management.
Join this webcast for an in-depth look at how these Oracle technologies helped Panduit:
- Increase self-service activity on their portal by 75%
- Improve number and quality of sales leads through increased customer interactions and registration over the web and mobile
- Create multichannel self-service interactions and content-enabled business processes
Register Now Presented by:
Senior Director, Oracle WebCenter, Oracle BPM and Oracle Social Network Product Management, Oracle
IT Delivery Manager, Panduit
IT Solutions Architect, Panduit Copyright © 2014, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.
Many organizations use Oracle WebCenter Portal to develop these basic types of portals:
- Intranet portals used for collaboration, employee self-service, and company communication
- Extranet portals used by customers and partners for self-service and support
- Team collaboration portals that allow users to share documents and content, track activity, and engage in discussions
- Web content such as images, news articles, and on-screen instruction
- Social tools such as threaded discussions, polls/surveys, and blogs
- Document management tools to upload, download, and edit files
- Web applications that present data visualizations and data entry modules
These collections of content, tools, and applications make up valuable workspaces. The challenge that a development team may have is defining which combinations are the most effective for its users. No one wants to create and manage a workspace that goes un-used or (even worse) that is used but is ineffective. Oracle WebCenter Portal provides you with the capabilities to not only rapidly develop variations of portals, but also identify which portals are the most effective and should be re-used throughout an enterprise.
Capturing Portal Analytics
Oracle WebCenter Portal provides an analytics service that allows administrators and business users to track and analyze portal usage. These analytics are captured in the form of:
- Usage tracking metrics
- Behavior tracking
- User Profile Correlation
- WebCenter Portal Traffic
- Page Traffic
- Login Metrics
- Portlet Traffic
- Portlet Response Time
- Portlet Instance Traffic
- Portlet Instance Response Time
- Search Metrics
- Document Metrics
- Wiki Metrics
- Blog Metrics
- Discussion Metrics
- Portal Traffic
- Portal Response Time
- Your first step as an administrator should be to identify the specific pages and/or components are used the most frequently.
- Next, determine the user(s) or user-group(s) that are accessing those high-use elements of a portal.
- It is also important to determine patterns in high-usage and see if they correlate to a specific schedule.
One of the goals of any development team (especially those that are following Agile methodologies) should be to develop reusable web components to minimize redundant development. Oracle WebCenter Portal provides you the tools to capture the successful workspaces that have already been developed and identified so that they can be reused for similar user demographics.
Re-using Successful Portals
When creating a new Portal in Oracle WebCenter, developers have the option to base that portal on a template that includes:
- Pre-seeded data such as pages, tools, user roles, and look-and-feel assets
- Specific sub-sets of page-layouts, tools, and other resources to standardize what is added to a Portal’s pages
- Any custom components that your team creates during development cycles
Once you have identified a successful workspace and its most valuable components, leverage Oracle WebCenter’s ability to turn that custom portal into a portal template. By creating a template from your already successful portal, you are empowering your enterprise by providing a starting point for future initiatives. Your new projects, new teams, and new web pages can benefit from lessons learned and adjustments that have already been made to optimize user experiences instead of starting from scratch.
***For a complete explanation of how to work with Portal Templates, be sure to read the Fusion Middleware documentation available online.
Guest blog by Geoffrey BockHow Oracle WebCenter Customers Build Digital Businesses: Developing and Deploying Self-Service Solutions Geoffrey Bock, Principal, Bock & Company
Beyond the First Generation As I described in my last blog post, "Designing for the Experience-Driven Enterprise", many of the WebCenter customers I spoke to are focusing their design efforts on the experience-driven enterprise. They are contending with digital disruption by not only replacing their legacy systems but also by restructuring and extending their enterprise applications. In fact, there is a renewed emphasis on self-service solutions.
Of course self-service is a long-standing goal for doing business over the web. But first generation solutions simply augment existing enterprise activities. For instance, many companies introduced self-service HR portals over a decade ago, enabling employees to update their profile and benefits information on their own, rather than completing printed forms or calling HR staffers. While the tasks did not change, the people doing the work did.
Now it’s time to develop truly digital self-service solutions that do more than simply digitize these analog activities. A Catalyst for Digital Business Transformation As they become digital businesses, companies are engaged in new efforts that leverage the capabilities of a next-generation enterprise platform. Companies expect to transform how they do business, and deliver self-service solutions that are impossible to achieve without a truly digital application infrastructure. When in search of a starting point, begin with an enterprise portal and make it more relevant for solving business tasks.
Many of the business and IT leaders I interviewed are focusing on three interrelated goals.
- Continuing to empower end users and operational business units by reducing the necessity of IT support for maintaining enterprise applications.
- Collecting and organizing disparate strands of information into digital hubs that support business tasks.
- Restructuring business processes to take advantage of end-to-end digital activities.
Mobile apps are the catalyst for the digital business transformation. Both business and IT leaders need to rethink how they want to do business, enhance, extend, and replace their first-generation self-service initiatives, and become truly digital businesses.
Are you a WebCenter customer? Are you interested in learning more about the WebCenter product suite? Are you interested in attending a conference focused on the WebCenter product suite to get information, training and networking with your peers?
The WebCenter Special Interest Group (SIG) is considering creating a conference solely for WebCenter product suite. However, we need to know what your (the WebCenter Community) interest in attending this conference would be. So we are sending out this message and asking all customers to take this short 5 minute or less survey. Your participation will help us to decide whether or not developing this conference will benefit the WebCenter community.You are not obligated to disclose any contact information unless you choose. We simply want your opinion about the conference. Thanks for taking 5 minutes to fill out this survey.
CLICK HERE TO RESPOND TO SURVEY TODAY!
NOTE: This WebCenter SIG is not run or managed by Oracle. This posting is a courtesy to the community.
Guest blog post series this week by Geoffrey BockHow Oracle WebCenter Customers Build Digital Businesses: Designing for the Experience-Driven Enterprise
Geoffrey Bock, Principal, Bock & Company
Making the Transition from Analog to Digital
In my last blog post on contending with digital disruption, I described how several Oracle customers decided to refresh, modernize, and mobilize their enterprise application infrastructure. Web-enabling an existing application, once necessary, is no longer sufficient.
But what does it take to mobilize key business tasks and drive digital capabilities deeply into an application infrastructure? Many of the WebCenter customers I spoke to emphasize both the business value of their applications and the quality of end user experiences. They are now rebuilding their core applications, making the transition from analog to digital business practices, by designing for an experience-driven enterprise.
The Flow of Design Activities
As I see it, customers are focusing on a sequence of five interrelated activities, summarized in Illustration 1. There is an inherent flow to application evolution.
Illustration 1. As they design their digital businesses, customers leverage their current platforms in order to deliver innovative experiences.
Here’s a description of how customers are building their digital businesses, and embracing the necessity of change along the way.
To begin with, there are baseline functions based on existing activities. While modernizing their core applications and the underlying back-end infrastructure, IT and business leaders emphasize that they “cannot loose anything” from their current platform. What needs to change is still up for redesign.
At the same time, leaders need to enhance the value of ad hoc communications. They are turning to social and mobile channels to improve overall employee productivity as well as strengthen relationships with customers and partners. New ways to communicate information become a lever for innovation.
There is also a business purpose for investing in social and mobile channels. Leaders expect to substantially improve service and support, when customers, partners, and employees have easy access to relevant information. There is added power through easy sharing.
To ensure quality service and support, it is essential to manage reusable content for a consistent experience. Organizations expect to create content once, organize it around business tasks, and distribute it across multiple channels. It helps to structure content for consistent distribution.
As a result, there are opportunities to launch innovative (and potentially breakthrough) digital business activities, by exploiting on the capabilities of the redesigned application environment. It’s not so much a matter of “loosing” baseline functions as embedding the flexibility to ensure that they can evolve.
From my perspective, this new application environment supports digital business initiatives by mobilizing the moments of engagement. These moments encompass the end user experiences where work gets done and value is created.
Optimizing for Agility
Companies are introducing various customer-, partner-, and employee-facing applications that run on the rebuilt enterprise platform. Leaders in these firms are designing applications from the “outside-in” by optimizing the ways in which end users access information and perform tasks. Significantly, leaders are relying on the agility and flexibility of the new platform to support an innovative collaborative environment.
As I spoke to WebCenter customers, I was struck by how their target users value the convenience of simple experiences. Designing for the experience-driven enterprise entails aggregating information from multiple sources, organizing it by business tasks, and then presenting it through intuitive applications that are seamlessly integrated with back-end services.
Kevin is the IT Director for a top-quality Less-than-Truckload carrier servicing eight Midwestern states.
A recent industry survey showed the company’s website was falling short of customer expectations in the following three areas:
- Ease of use
- Providing useful information, and
- Utilizing effective technology and tracking systems
Author: Jane Shirley, Senior Business Analyst for Aurionpro
A World without Oracle WebCenter Imaging
The Client’s Situation: Living an AP Nightmare
“I’m going to have nightmares about this for the rest of my life.” That’s what our client said as she described the company’s paper and spreadsheet-based Accounts Payable (AP) process. Her department processed about 10,000 invoices a month and employees were beginning to resemble the cast from a horror movie – complete with zombie-like AP processors shuffling through cubicle aisles in search of active invoices.
1) Zombification does not support ROI goals or process improvement…
Thankfully, the Aurionpro WebCenter team got to her in time! We met our client during her company’s financial transformation planning process and spent time with her and the team analyzing requirements and prioritizing processing needs, providing insight on additional ROI realization, and identifying areas for process improvement. While we found some opportunities for modifications, we kept the client’s Oracle WebCenter Imaging implementation timeline to a bare minimum in order to accelerate the transformation process and reduce development time.
“All implementations require at least some level of configuration and modification,” we explained. “The trick is to identify the areas where customization is truly required that support a faster time to ROI and make the most sense for the client’s business. As for other aspects, while still important, we recommend putting them into a “Phase II Brain Fungus Antidote” that inhibits the zombification of the project and driving processes. This proven approach helps organizations get the biggest bang for their buck.2) Zombies have no requirements (and are usually missing a limb or two…)
We’d advised our client that all of us needed to understand the company’s existing AP System before getting started. The Aurionpro team’s first step is always requirements gathering. This part of the process has three key objectives:
- Train the Financial Transformation team in the details of WebCenter Imaging both through system demonstration and generic workflow presentations.
- Understand the client’s business requirements and document those verbally and visually with reconfirmation
- Confirm our understanding of the client’s goals. We’ve learned the most important part of requirements gathering is ensuring that we heard our client’s concerns and expressed them accurately.
Aurionpro understood that team leads like to do things their own way. For our client, she wanted to be left alone to contemplate things and assess whether the plan was going to get the job done on time and on budget.
“I just like taking the documentation home and studying it,” our client said. “The matrix format that Aurionpro provides allowed me to sort and re-sort the individual requirements so I could understand how each one fits with our goals and also our budget. I could even send the functional flows included in the requirements to my change management team so they could start their part of the process.”4) Zombies can only be killed with proven methods… All of our clients have given high praise to the matrix format that Aurionpro services teams use to ensure that requirements are clear and that focus is maintained consistently throughout the lifecycle of the project. Our deployment methodology allows our clients to literally check-off each item on their original requirements list so that they have a visualization of how they’ve come full circle from idea to reality! Our post-UAT development then covers the team by ensuring that any post-development adjustments are made possible. Lastly, the Aurionpro implementation process for WebCenter Imaging supports companies through the “go-live” period and works to ensure that any zombification of their process are completely resolved.
5) Shufflers have no clear roadmap … “You made it so much easier to support my progress reports to my senior management,” the client told us after the project was complete. “The weekly status reports that Aurionpro provided gave a crystal-clear snapshot of our project status against the overall timeline. I always knew where I stood and what was going to happen next. What was a very scary process for me became quite manageable, or at least less terrifying,” she concluded.
The really good news was that once she had her Oracle WebCenter Imaging solution in place, our client’s nightmare world receded and the zombies morphed back into accessible, productive, and engaged colleagues.
About the Author:
Jane Shirley is a Senior Business Analyst for Aurionpro. She has worked in the Oracle WebCenter space on both the customer and the consulting side for large corporate enterprise-wide implementations. After serving time as a Marketing Manager, she spent several years managing invoice processing for a Fortune 50 company. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Iowa named member John Klein as “Entrepreneur of the Year” during their annual meeting on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 in Des Moines. Klein and partner, Jason Stortz, started their computer consulting business five years ago in Klein’s basement. Since its humble beginnings, Redstone Content Solutions has grown to become a nationally recognized leader among information technology service businesses. (source)
“John is recognized by his fellow EOers as a leader who lives the EO Vision of business growth, personal development and community engagement,” stated Rowena Crosbie, President, Tero International, Inc. “He exemplifies the EO core values each day.”
Redstone also recently celebrated it's 5 year anniversary!
“Five years ago we set a standard to place our clients at the center of all that we do. The company we have built and the successes we’ve enjoyed are the direct result of customer confidence in our mission and loyalty to our partnership”, comments John Klein, co-founder of Redstone. “Without this support, our accomplishments would be far fewer and much less meaningful.”
Redstone delivers a full complement of strategic Oracle WebCenter consulting services – software development, implementation, training and support for customers across a wide range of industries. Redstone has achieved industry recognition as an innovative IT services organization that delivers global Oracle WebCenter solutions. The firm's solid track record for delivering results is a by-product of its investment in people, processes and technology. Read more about John Klein's EO Entrepreneur of the Year award and Redstone's recent accomplishments.
Congratulations John from all of us on the WebCenter team!