AT ORACLE: Interview
Web 2.0 Meets the EnterpriseBy Caroline Kvitka
Oracle WebCenter provides a platform for integrating Web 2.0 with enterprise applications.
Today's consumers expect Web 2.0 capabilitiesfrom blogs to podcasts to communityin the Web sites that they frequent. Now many organizations are bringing those same Web 2.0 capabilities into their enterprise applications. Vince Casarez, Oracle vice president of product management with a focus on Oracle WebCenter, sat down with Oracle Magazine's Caroline Kvitka to talk about Web 2.0 in the enterprise and Oracle WebCenter. The following is an excerpt from that interview. Download a podcast of the full interview.
Oracle Magazine: Most of our readers are familiar with some type of Web 2.0 capability. However, integrating Web 2.0 with business processes is still a relatively young concept. Could you start off by defining Web 2.0 in the enterprise and talk about the benefits?
Casarez: If we look at the evolution of the Web, there was Web 1.0, which is just publishing content; then Web 1.5, which is enabling sites to provide services. Now Web 2.0 is that pairing of information with some social networking elements that allow people to interact together.
We see people wanting to take Web 2.0 services and combine them with their enterprise application information in order to get a better picture of what they are talking about to their customers and partners, or to drive internal innovations. If you can pair Web 2.0 experiences with transactional applications, it makes it easier to make better decisions.
Oracle Magazine: How difficult is it to incorporate Web 2.0 into business processes today?
Casarez: All of these services are available today, hosted on the Web. Organizations can get started very easily. But, we hear customers say, "I like wikis, I like blogs. I want to get started with those, but I am a little exposed if I put it out on the Web as a service. I need to have a little more control, so that it ties into my security infrastructure, so that I can restrict access to certain areas for people and teams, so that they can have their own private area to evolve their designs and plans."
We are pulling those types of Web 2.0 services into the enterprise with an integrated platform, Oracle WebCenter, so that when enterprises choose to deploy them to different groups, they don't have to worry about different departments choosing different services on the Web for doing the same type of work.
Customers can get started with this platform that plugs into their existing enterprise architecture and allows them to use these services together to provide social networking or enable better interaction between users and their information.
Oracle Magazine: Tell us more about how Oracle WebCenter supports the integration of Web 2.0 with business processes.
Casarez: With Oracle WebCenter 10g Release 3, customers can start to leverage the most-popular Web 2.0 services within their enterprise today, including online discussions, enterprise wikis for collaboration around different projects, and a Session Initiation Protocol-based presence and instant messaging platform that lets you find experts in the organization in order to resolve issues quickly. In addition, these can be paired with content integrated from different back-end sources like Oracle Content Database Suite, EMC Documentum, Lotus Notes, and Microsoft Sharepoint. In this way, users can assemble all this information in the context of the enterprise applications and do things like discuss the latest sales proposal, or create a wiki to work on the latest marketing plan, or contact the best person to help resolve a customer issue.
Oracle Magazine: What are customers doing today with Oracle WebCenter in terms of Web 2.0?
Casarez: Quite a few customers have started to use Oracle WebCenter as an aggregation point across all of their enterprise applications. They want to be able to bring multiple custom and siloed applications together in an aggregated view for their business users. They are also adding a richer set of interactions into their existing applications. Oracle WebCenter provides them that UI to pull in enterprise application content, business intelligence content, business processes, and Web content, so that users can get an overall view of what's going on in the business and make better decisions moving forward.
Caroline Kvitka is a senior managing editor with Oracle Publishing.