As Published In
Oracle Magazine
January/February 2008

AT ORACLE: Oracle News Briefs

New Oracle Application Integration Architecture for SAP Initiative

Oracle has unveiled the Oracle Application Integration Architecture for SAP Initiative, which provides joint Oracle/SAP customers with a standards-based method to unify their enterprise applications and rapidly adopt service-oriented architectures. Through this initiative, Oracle/SAP customers can build sustainable, composite business applications across Oracle, SAP, and other third-party applications.

Several Oracle to SAP prebuilt integration packs, which reduce the time to deploy key cross-application business processes, are available. These include Siebel CRM to SAP, Agile PLM to SAP, Hyperion to SAP, Oracle Utilities to SAP, Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management to SAP, and PeopleSoft HR to SAP.

"Oracle and SAP share the same customers, and we are pleased to offer a standards-based approach to building composite applications and prebuilt integrations for key industries," says Ed Abbo, senior vice president of applications development, Oracle. "Oracle Application Integration Architecture for SAP extends the leadership we've demonstrated in delivering on the promise of a service-oriented architecture and reinforces our commitment to maximizing value from Oracle's existing product lines."

Oracle Releases Data Masking Pack for Oracle Enterprise Manager

Now shipping, Oracle Data Masking Pack for Oracle Enterprise Manager automates masking of sensitive data for secure, scalable data sharing. The pack helps customers protect sensitive data by replacing confidential or sensitive production information with realistic but scrubbed data based on masking rules.

"Providing a comprehensive management solution that spans applications, middleware, and database management is the foundation for Oracle Enterprise Manager's top-down approach. With the Oracle Data Masking Pack, companies can now share data within and across company boundaries while addressing regulatory and privacy compliance," says Richard Sarwal, senior vice president of systems management products, Oracle. "Through the pack's innovative use of templates, which support application-aware masking definitions, customers can achieve greater IT efficiencies while reducing costs."

Oracle Data Masking Pack enables regulatory compliance through consistent and rule-based application of masking formats across enterprisewide databases. It also supports a rich and extensible format library that covers a variety of mask formats. This helps ensure consistent enforcement of information security policies and allows organizations to share data quickly and scalably without violating privacy regulations.

Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance Intelligence Centralizes Risk and Compliance Information

Oracle has released Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance Intelligence version 7.7.1, which delivers expanded risk and compliance diagnostics. Business process owners, compliance officers, and risk managers can use this tool to better understand the effectiveness of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programs across the enterprise.

The new release combines qualitative and quantitative information from both Oracle and non-Oracle systems and presents this information in integrated dashboards and reports, allowing executives and managers to identify and focus efforts on key risk and control issues. Built on Oracle's business intelligence technology, Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance Intelligence offers organizations prebuilt, role-tailored intelligence and personalized reporting and diagnostics.

"To effectively gain an understanding of the status and effectiveness of GRC programs, an organization must have a way of integrating risk and control information from different business functions and systems," says Chris Leone, group vice president of applications strategy, Oracle. "Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance Intelligence delivers such an information hub for GRC, enabling business users to identify key risks and respond in real time."

Oracle Updates Software Configuration Manager

Did You Know?

Green Issues Grow on IT Agendas

11 percent of IT professionals surveyed say their operations address energy concerns, and 25 percent more expect to be addressing energy concerns within three years. 21 percent claim that energy conservation influenced their company's IT purchasing decisions in the past year, and 46 percent predict that energy conservation will be a factor in the coming year. Still, the majority of companies do not have any infrastructure to monitor IT energy use. A total of 1,011 IT professionals, 81 percent of whom work in the U.S., took the online survey.

Source: The 451 Group

CIOs Say Internal Tech Support Is Understaffed
When asked about the ratio of internal end users to technical support employees, CIOs said that the ideal ratio is 82 users for each support person. When the same CIOs were asked about the ratio of end users to support personnel in their own companies, they said it was 136:1. Things are a little better for companies with more than 1,000 employees: their actual ratio is 118:1, whereas CIOs for midsize firms said their actual ratio was 131:1. The survey polled 1,400 CIOs from U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

Source: Robert Half Technology

Value of B2B E-Commerce Rising Among Computer, Electronics Firms
59 percent of computer and electronics companies surveyed say the value of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce to their organizations is increasing significantly, and 38 percent say it is increasing slightly. 57 percent of survey respondents reported a significant increase in transactional volume using B2B e-commerce. The most frequently cited hurdles to greater B2B e-commerce use are internal manual process costs (86 percent), the cost of implementing data and business process standards (62 percent), and the cost of doing e-business (57 percent).

Source: CompTIA

Oracle is delivering a new release of Oracle Software Configuration Manager that collects and integrates detailed and dynamic system configuration information and enables Oracle to deliver highly automated and personalized support. It also lays the foundation for a more fully personalized, knowledge-driven, and high-value-add support environment. Based on Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Software Configuration Manager tightly integrates the capabilities of Oracle software with support processes, knowledgebases, and support tools.

"We are committed to delivering the next-generation support experience through a new technology platform that delivers better information and solutions to our customers proactively," says Juergen Rottler, executive vice president, Oracle Customer Services. "The new version of Oracle Software Configuration Manager is a significant enhancement toward delivering this new support foundation consisting of a secure, personalized system that provides easy access to configuration data."

New Integration Pack Streamlines Trade Promotion Process

Now shipping, Oracle's Siebel CRM Integration Pack for Oracle Trade Promotion Management synchronizes critical promotion, customer, and financial information. Part of Oracle Application Integration Architecture, the pack delivers prebuilt business process integration between Oracle's Siebel CRM and Oracle E-Business Suite. Consumer goods companies can use the integration pack to create efficiencies across the enterprise and extract more value from promotions by synchronizing customer, product, and financial information across Oracle applications.

"The Siebel CRM Integration Pack for Oracle Trade Promotion Management enables companies to implement a closed-loop trade promotions process that is both efficient and delivers the value and functionality they need right out of the box," says Jose Lazares, vice president of applications development, Oracle.

Upgrade Management Service Enables Seamless Oracle Database Upgrades

Oracle has enhanced the Oracle Advanced Customer Services Upgrade Management Service to help customers minimize upgrade risk and increase the value of their Oracle Database investment. The offering provides a portfolio of upgrade management tools and services that help Oracle customers seamlessly move from their current Oracle Database environments to the most appropriate versions for their business. 

Web Locator

 Oracle Application Integration Architecture for SAP Initiative
Data Masking Pack for Oracle Enterprise Manager
Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, and Compliance Intelligence
Oracle Software Configuration Manager
Siebel CRM Integration Pack for Oracle Trade Promotion Management
Oracle Advanced Customer Services Upgrade Management Service
Oracle and Interlace Systems

The upgrade service is a three-pronged program. The first phase includes analysis, testing, and preparation to help companies understand their business and technical readiness. The second phase includes remote or onsite assistance and ongoing assessments during the actual upgrade, so any issues that come up are mitigated before they can slow or derail the upgrade process. The final step is testing the new production environment for continual operational improvement.

"Our goal is continual operational improvement for the entire Oracle stack," says Larry Abramson, senior vice president, Oracle Advanced Customer Services. "The enhancements to the Upgrade Management Service are designed, developed, and tested to help Oracle users leverage our expertise to ensure that their upgrade projects are successful."

Oracle Acquires Interlace Systems

Oracle has acquired Interlace Systems, a provider of strategic operation planning software. Interlace Systems software helps organizations to quickly and collaboratively combine functional processes to address strategic operational planning needs. The software uses a change-based data modeling server, connecting operational plans in an integrated model and allowing business planners across functions to rapidly change operational assumptions, re-evaluate scenarios, assess business impact, and update the plan of record.

"In today's global economy, organizations need a streamlined planning process that links strategic operational plans to the financial plan of record," says Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Fusion Middleware. "The combination of Interlace Systems and Oracle will help enable business planners to rapidly evaluate the impact of changes to business assumptions across all plans and benefit from flexibility, speed, integrity, and accuracy, typically not found in traditional spreadsheet-based and function-specific planning solutions."

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