Whew! What a fantastic four days of keynotes, sessions, customer meetings, product demonstrations, and more meetings. 2011 marked the fourth straight year that Fishbowl Solutions attended OpenWorld, and this year there seemed to be more excitement than ever. Here is a recap of our activities as well as some overall OpenWorld takeaways.
The WebCenter Rebrand is Resonating
A major catalyst behind all the excitement was the rebrand of Oracle Enterprise 2.0, or Oracle Content Management and Oracle WebCenter, to just Oracle WebCenter. This has definitely resonated with customers. Prior to the rebrand, there seemed to be a lot of confusion due to the sheer number of products that existed under Oracle Enterprise 2.0. From acquisition to acquisition and name change to name change, customers were challenged with understanding product direction. Wrapping the products all under the WebCenter name, and bucketing them within Content, Portal, Connect and Sites, has gone a long way in conveying a product that is truly integrated and not fragmented. Please let us know if you feel the same or disagree.
The Excitement around Web Experience Management
Speaking of Sites, from Fishbowl’s point of view, this seemed to be the WebCenter product that had the most interest at OpenWorld. Every session we attended was nearly packed, so it seems that organizations have been anxiously awaiting a web experience management offering from Oracle. The reason is pretty simple. Organizations understand the value of their websites for customer acquisition and retention. However, a lot of organizations struggle with providing an engaging experience for visitors, so that when they do come to their website, they can’t get them to stay long enough or even entice them to return. Enter Fatwire, or WebCenter Sites, which takes web content management to the next level. Not only does it offer the standard author, edit, approve and publish capabilities, it provides web marketers with tools to define customer segments and the content to be targeted to those segments, as well as analytics to help with further site refinement.
Fishbowl Solutions is excited about this because we have spent a lot of time with customers integrating a web analytics component with their public facing websites. Sites will enable us to deliver this pretty much out of the box, which will decrease a customer’s time to value. So overall, Fishbowl Solutions is guardedly optimistic regarding the capabilities of WebCenter Sites. Over the 10+ years of our website development experience, customers have continued to ask about the availability of a non-technical yet feature-rich web development platform. In our exposure to other systems that claimed to offer this, we found that there was still a level of technical skill required to expose certain features and functionality. When it comes to WebCenter Sites, we will be digging in to the product over the next few months, and we will share our thoughts regarding its overall capabilities and any technical prerequisites after our testing and evaluation is complete. In the meantime, what are your thoughts regarding WebCenter Sites?
So Long SharePoint?
Our week kicked off with a presentation (see it here) regarding the SharePoint Connector we developed for Oracle WebCenter Content, which is an Oracle Validated Integration. Prior to presentation, we asked the 45+ attendees if they were using SharePoint in their organizations, and all of them raised their hands. We also asked them if they were using WebCenter Content as well, and about half of them raised their hands. This was not surprising, as industry stats indicate that the majority of organizations are using more than 1 content management system.
What resonated with us however, was how much angst and frustration the attendees we talked to have with SharePoint. This is primarily due to how pervasive it has become in their organizations, to the point where site governance and records management is pretty much impossible. Organizations are truly looking for WebCenter Content to be their system of record for collaborative content coming out of SharePoint. We feel that our connector makes this possible, and the benefit to organizations is that once this content is all stored in WebCenter, they can easily surface that content to the other Oracle systems they are using, including Oracle Applications and WebCenter Sites. This ability, coupled with the collaboration capabilities of the newly announced Oracle Social Network, may be tipping points for organizations to phase out SharePoint altogether. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
Fishbowl Solutions also gave two presentations at OpenWorld regarding mobile content management or Mobile ECM. It seems that mobile is everywhere these days and mobile devices have become more common within organizations, enabling workers to complete job-related tasks regardless of time and space. When it comes to content management, these tasks may include sharing content, checking in content, and approving workflows.
Technologies exist to extend content management capabilities to mobile devices either through the web or an application. We compared mobile applications vs. mobile web during this session, and then were fortunate to co-present with Medtronic and discuss their mobile application for Oracle WebCenter. This application, which Fishbowl Solutions largely developed, enables content stored in WebCenter, including videos, images, and PDFs, to be securely searched and accessed by Medtronic sales reps around the world using their iPads. This medical device product and therapy services information can then be quickly and easily shared with doctors, patients, and patient advocacy groups. By utilizing this application, Medtronic has been able to decrease time to market for their products and services, save on printing and storage costs, and increase overall sales process efficiency.
This unique use of WebCenter as a content storage and delivery mechanism for 1000s of iPads enabled Medtronic to win an Oracle Fusion Innovation award, which they received at OpenWorld. Their Mobile ECM use case has also won them a Forrester Groundswell Award. This recognition clearly illustrates the possibilities and positive outcomes available to organizations looking to implement a Mobile ECM system that leverages the power of Oracle WebCenter. What’s your organization’s Mobile ECM strategy? If you don’t have one, Fishbowl Solutions would be happy to help you define and develop your Mobile ECM strategy. Contact us today for a demo and further discussion.
It was great meeting everyone at OpenWorld. You can find all of our OpenWorld presentations here. You can also keep up with us through the Fishbowl Solutions Website, via Twitter – @FishbowlE20, or on Facebook (Fishbowl Solutions).