Portraits of Excellence

By David A. Kelly

Editors' Choice Awards 2009

Using technology to build enterprise excellence requires leadership. The leaders who use technology to improve the experience of the organization, the experience of customers and partners, and the organization's bottom line are all worthy of recognition.

Each year the editors of Oracle Magazine present Editors' Choice Awards to people who exemplify leadership, vision, and dedication in working with and managing Oracle technology. This year, we are pleased to present the winners of our eighth annual Editors' Choice Awards, and we are honored to feature them in our pages.


This year's recipients:

Jerry Aber
Edwin Biemond
Kari Branjord
Jennifer Briscoe
Martin Buechi
Giovanni Chiarelli
Joâo Cumerlato
Patricia Dues
Ray Fasullo
Tim Frazier
Naveen Garg
Dimitri Gielis
Hideo Higuchi
Brenda Hughes
David Jones, Gerry Hanifan, Arnaud Benjacar
Hyojoong Kim
Chris Muir
Andy Platt
Angelo Romano
Jake Ruttenberg, Laurence Norton, and team
Hüsnü Şensoy
Ross Sharman
Zachary Sherburne
Raimonds Simanovskis
Katherine M. Tamer
Kelly Tuggle
John Turato




Winner Specs

 Name: Joâo Cumerlato
 Job title/description: CIO
 Company: Odebrecht Group
 Location: Sâo Paulo, Brazil
 Award: CIO of the Year, Latin America, 2009

This CIO needs strong software—and footwear—to support business units.

For Joâo Cumerlato, being a good CIO requires a good pair of shoes. That’s because CIOs have to get out and see how the business is run.

“A technology leader cannot stay behind the desk, seated in a chair, and just analyze technology,” says Cumerlato, CIO of Odebrecht Engineering and Construction, part of Brazil’s Odebrecht Group, and Oracle Magazine ’s CIO of the Year for Latin America. “The CIO and his team must work closely with the people that run the business. Today, technology is a commodity. The secret is to understand how to support the business units in their commitment to go beyond the client’s expectations.”

Since its founding, Odebrecht primarily had used internally developed software applications. However, as the company expanded its global operations across more national boundaries and into a diverse set of businesses—including large-scale construction projects, oil and gas, environmental engineering, real estate developments, ethanol, sugar, and petrochemicals—its software couldn’t keep pace with the company’s current requirements or future plans. Odebrecht needed to upgrade and standardize its back-office operations across 20 countries, 520 organizational units, and 5,000 users.

For its upgrade, Odebrecht purchased Oracle E-Business Suite, a range of Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications, and Oracle’s Hyperion performance management applications. “So far the implementation has been very successful,” says Cumerlato. “In only 12 months, we redesigned the back-office processes based on Oracle best practices and our own expertise, requiring only three minor customizations in the core of Oracle E-Business Suite. The next biggest challenge is to roll out the project in 20 countries with no additional customizations.”

The main goals of the new enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation were to improve efficiency, productivity, and synergy throughout Odebrecht’s business units while preserving business-line autonomy, one of the main concepts of the Odebrecht entrepreneurial culture. With Oracle Hyperion Planning and Oracle Hyperion Financial Management, Odebrecht financial leaders will have powerful tools to focus on analyzing and projecting business scenarios.

“Our new Oracle ERP solution has standardized our back-office operations and is helping us capture synergies among businesses,” says Cumerlato. “For example, we will be able to better plan the worldwide demand for strategic materials for our projects.” Cumerlato says that technology helps the business achieve its business goals. “The way to do that is go into the business, talk to the business people, and understand their needs,” he says. “Put yourself in their shoes, so then you can see what kind of technology they require. With Oracle E-Business Suite and PeopleSoft, we can focus our IT team on improving the response time for strategic applications for our core business, which allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”





Winner Specs

 Name: Andy Platt
 Job title/description: CIO and Vice President of Information Services
 Company: The J.M. Smucker Company
 Location: Orrville, Ohio
 Award: CIO of the Year, North America, 2009

For this CIO, success is sweet.

Children might dream about a job where they could eat as much jam or jelly as they want, but Andy Platt doesn’t have to dream. As CIO of the J.M. Smucker Company, he can eat as much jam or jelly as he likes at work. He prefers Smucker’s blueberry preserves.

“We make products that are good, good for you, and make people smile,” says Platt, Oracle Magazine ’s CIO of the Year for North America. “Our focus is on bringing families together to share memorable family moments.”

And indeed, Platt and the rest of the Smucker Company seem to be creating something that people like. In the last five years, Smucker has grown from a US$1.2 billion company to one that is expected to exceed US$4 billion in fiscal 2009-2010. At the same time, it has transformed from a company focused on Smucker’s jams, jellies, and ice cream toppings into a company with a diversified portfolio of #1 brands, including Jif, Crisco, Folgers, and Pillsbury.

Smucker’s growth is supported by Oracle technology. “We’ve used our Oracle solution to help us integrate, strengthen our business processes, and improve access to information,” says Platt.

Smucker’s North American footprint of Oracle applications includes Oracle E-Business Suite; the Siebel product line; Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus; Agile applications, including Agile Product Lifecycle Management for Process; Oracle Enterprise Content Management Suite; and Oracle WebCenter Suite.

“We’ve developed a great relationship with Oracle that’s been a part of our success,” says Platt. “Both companies have invested time at all levels of the organization to develop strategic, win-win solutions.”

An important goal for Platt and the technology investments that Smucker is making is to continue facilitating easy and effective access to data across the enterprise. “We’re continuing to move toward integrated analysis and business processes that simplify data access and analysis so that our employees can make informed decisions to run the business,” says Platt.

For Platt, making technology decisions requires balancing the benefits of technology innovations against more-mature solutions to support national icon brands. But at the end of the day, Platt’s technology success rides on one factor.

“It’s just making sure that everything we do internally is targeted on making a better product for our consumer,” Platt says. “It truly is a team effort to do that. We have a great cross-functional teamwork culture at Smucker, and it helps that we also have a great relationship with the Oracle team to support our business vision.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Hyojoong Kim
 Job title/description: CIO and CEO
 Companies: STX Group and ForceTEC
 Location: Changwon City, Korea
 Award: CIO of the Year, Asia Pacific, 2009

CIO sees Oracle investments pay off in consistency, efficiency, and revenue.

For Hyojoong Kim, CIO of STX Group and CEO of ForceTEC, a large Korean company with businesses in shipbuilding and machinery, shipping and trading, plant construction, energy, and IT consulting, the key to a successful business and IT strategy is enabling efficient information flow.

“My interest is always in the use of data,” says Kim, Oracle Magazine ’s CIO of the Year for Asia Pacific. “There’s too much data out there, so knowing how to best leverage it is the key.”

The STX Group includes 17 local companies and uses Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Database, Oracle business intelligence solutions, and other Oracle products across its business units. Oracle business intelligence tools help executives and managers identify and analyze the right information to make business decisions, and a consistent, Oracle-focused infrastructure makes it easy to share business and financial information across internal corporate boundaries—something that’s very important for a company of STX’s size. As CIO, Kim plays a coordinating role to ensure that all the systems in each of STX’s subsidiaries work together smoothly.

“Oracle provides most of the solutions required for our business,” says Kim. “By adopting Oracle solutions in many areas, we’ve achieved convenience, system consistency, and ease of use, not just for our internal users but for our external businesses as well.”

One benefit that STX has realized from its investments in Oracle solutions is tremendous revenue growth. The revenues of its STX Pan Ocean business division increased from US$2.4 billion when STX first acquired it in 2004 to US$6.3 billion in 2008.

“Such huge revenue growth did not require a corresponding growth in the number of employees,” says Kim. “Rather, it was the result of having the right IT systems in place that could enable that type of growth.”

Another benefit is the productivity jump in STX’ Offshore and Shipbuilding division, which went live with a new Oracle technology-based infrastructure in 2005.

“When STX first acquired the shipbuilding division in 2001, we could build only 12 vessels per year,” says Kim. “Now the capacity has gone up to 54 vessels as of 2008. Our shipbuilding capacity has quadrupled—another benefit of being able to leverage our technology solutions efficiently.”

From Kim’s perspective, the role of the CIO has changed over the past few years. Formerly, the CIO tended to make decisions independently. Now the CIO needs to work more closely with a wider range of stakeholders.

“Today, CIOs need to be able to create a cohesive organization with related people, harmonize their opinions, and foster a successful system environment,” says Kim. “It starts with informing people sufficiently about a project and its impacts and benefits, and creating a way for employees to be involved in the project and decisions.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Giovanni Chiarelli
 Job title/description: CIO
 Company: Telecom Italia Group
 Location: Rome, Italy
 Award: CIO of the Year, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, 2009

For big challenges, this CIO needs big solutions.

Giovanni Chiarelli, CIO of Italy’s Telecom Italia Group, has to think on a large scale.

“The IT platform of Telecom Italia is the largest IT platform in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe,” says Chiarelli, Oracle Magazine ’s CIO of the Year for Europe, Middle East, and Africa. “We have more than 8,000 servers, 75,000 personal computers, 1,000 applications, and we manage seven petabytes of storage and 16 petabytes of tape-based storage.”

The company also has significant operational requirements. Telecom Italia has more than half a million customers contacting it each day by call center, interactive voice response (IVR), or Web; it completes 1 million prepaid recharges per day; and it produces 11 million invoices and manages 2 million work orders per month. In addition to being a leader in the Italian market, the company has a significant presence in Latin America, Germany, and the Mediterranean for wholesale services, with a portfolio of 71 million mobile lines in Italy and Brazil, 10 million broadband lines in Europe, and 20 million fixed lines in Italy.

Since being promoted to CIO in 2008, Chiarelli has begun a three-year IT Evolution Plan designed to provide increased product and services flexibility without compromising operational excellence and efficiency.

One aspect of this plan is a new customer relationship management (CRM) Evolution Program that supports the company’s strategy of transitioning to a convergent customer-centric organization. A key part of the CRM evolution is decommissioning five legacy customer care applications, three back-end systems, four order management systems, and three enterprise service buses and moving to a standards-based IT infrastructure that depends, in part, on Oracle products. An important component of the solution is Oracle’s Siebel CRM, which has already been deployed to enterprise customer care operators and sales managers. At the end of the deployment, 21,000 customer care operators and 7,000 point-of-sale and sales managers will use Siebel CRM.

“Using industry-standard Oracle software applications as part of our new IT infrastructure is enabling us to reduce new development expenses by 30 percent and increase our effectiveness in delivering solutions for new requirements,” says Chiarelli. “In our old legacy systems, we had to write custom code to address 80 percent of end-user requirements. With Oracle, at least 50 percent of our business requirements are being addressed simply with configuration changes, not customization.”

Chiarelli points to these results to demonstrate how efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation targets can be met at the same time. Having the right technology helps. “Oracle technology is the backbone of our information system,” says Chiarelli, “and the partnership between Oracle and Telecom Italia is very strong and really strategic for us.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Hideo Higuchi
 Job title/description: Managing Officer and Senior General Manager for Corporate Strategic Planning Headquarters
 Company: Omron
 Location: Kyoto, Japan
 Award: CIO of the Year, Japan, 2009

Integrated environment gives CIO the flexibility and speed he needs.

“Business success requires IT flexibility,” says Hideo Higuchi, managing officer and senior general manager for Corporate Strategic Planning Headquarters of Omron. “IT is an essential driver to execute business process innovation, and the IT platform needs to be flexible enough to accommodate any changes with speed,” he says.

Higuchi, Oracle Magazine ’s CIO of the Year for Japan, should know. Omron, which had consolidated net sales of ¥627 billion in 2008, supplies everything from industrial automation systems to healthcare and social infrastructure equipment and services. Maintaining and selling such a wide set of products spurred the organization to develop a business framework to categorize business processes.

For the past 30 years, Omron has primarily used applications developed for, and deployed on, mainframes. However, these applications could not adapt to business changes and lacked the flexibility and speed that Omron demanded. So Omron expanded its business framework to an enterprise architecture to integrate business process and IT. As a result, the company moved its applications to an Oracle technology-based SOA environment. Higuchi’s goal was to ensure that Omron’s IT, especially SOA, will provide speed, flexibility, and greater alignment with the business.

“SOA enables our company to use our assets while migrating them to a new platform without disruption,” says Higuchi. “It will help us react to changing business requirements and volatile economic situations in a timely manner.”

Omron’s technology foundation is based on Oracle E-Business Suite for supply chain management, manufacturing, and financials; Oracle's Siebel for customer relationship management; Oracle's Hyperion for enterprise performance management; and Oracle Application Integration Architecture/Process Integration Packs for integration of individual applications. In addition, Omron uses Oracle Database, Oracle Application Server, Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle Identity Management.

“Since launching a corporatewide IT transformation project in partnership with Oracle, we have a platform that can dramatically reduce IT costs,” says Higuchi, who has since driven two key initiatives. The first was to maximize the effect of business innovation leveraged by IT; the second was to support the IT staff. When Higuchi saw that staff was too busy with system maintenance to focus on IT innovation, he outsourced existing system maintenance to IT partners. Now staff focuses on value-added and innovative work.

“Oracle is our provider for a set of software, including database, middleware, and applications, that improves the quality and delivery of our IT services as well as our cost structure,” says Higuchi. “As a result, we achieved a transformation of our IT cost structure and have been able to reduce maintenance and operation expenses. Our next challenge is to realize real business results, and the key to success will be a continuous business process transformation by the active use of IT.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Katherine M. Tamer
 Job title/description: Vice President and CIO
 Company: United Space Alliance
 Location: Houston, Texas
 Award: CTO of the Year 2009

CTO finds that rocket science depends on a sound systems strategy.

Katherine M. Tamer’s job isn’t always easy, but maybe that’s because it’s rocket science.

“Rocket science and computer systems go hand in hand,” says Tamer, vice president and CIO of United Space Alliance (USA) and Oracle Magazine ’s CTO of the Year. USA is a world leader in manned space operations, applying a broad range of capabilities to NASA’s Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Constellation programs, as well as to space operations customers in the defense, commercial, and international space industry sectors. The company is responsible for a diverse set of activities, from crew training and mission planning to Space Shuttle preparation and assembly for each mission.

“In our environment, the IT organization is involved in all institutional and programmatic areas of the business,” says Tamer. “Our systems and services are used on a daily basis by 10,000+ employees, contractors, and customers across the United States, Europe, and Russia.”

The system is complex. “USA is an operations shop that processes, refurbishes, maintains, and builds specialized parts for the space shuttle vehicles and solid rocket boosters,” says Tamer. “Each mission has its own set of requirements.”

In the past, USA essentially had a separate system for each major function, with minimal integration and a number of manual handoffs. As part of its enterprise systems strategy, USA kicked off a project in 2004 to develop an integrated enterprise supply chain solution. USA spent two years creating a design based on 6,000 functional requirements. In May 2006, it purchased a software bundle centered on Oracle Complex Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul and the iBASEt Solumina operations process management solution and hired Oracle Consulting as the primary integrator.

“By deploying an integrated system, we were able to automate workflows, reduce handoffs, and improve process/management visibility and tracking,” says Tamer. “We now have an integrated system that leverages SOA technology. The system facilitates the sharing of information internally and makes it easier for us to exchange information with the different vendors who provide products and services to the operations and processing activities.”

What really satisfies Tamer is the role her company plays in the space industry.

“I walk into the building that houses our data center. On any given day, I can see the Space Shuttle Atlantis, Discovery, or Endeavor sitting across the way and now, the Ares 1-X stack. I am awed every time,” says Tamer. “I’ve worked in other industries, but I’m here because we’re doing things that change the way people live every day.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Angelo Romano
 Job title/description: IT Manager
 Company: Office of the Comptroller, State of Connecticut
 Location: East Hartford, Connecticut
 Award: IT Manager of the Year 2009

IT manager reduces costs and downtime for the State of Connecticut.

Sometimes, a lot of hard work pays off. It has for Angelo Romano and the State of Connecticut. Over the past two years, the State moved its Oracle’s PeopleSoft enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from a UNIX environment to an architecture running Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), and other Oracle products on Linux.

“The transition has been very successful,” says Romano, IT manager for the State’s Office of the Comptroller and Oracle Magazine ’s IT Manager of the Year. “We cut over to the data warehouse in September 2008, and we cut over to the portal in November. They’ve both been running without any issues. We also saw a fairly significant boost in performance after the transition.”

In addition to Oracle Database and Oracle RAC, the State runs a suite of PeopleSoft software, Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Automatic Storage Management, and Oracle Clusterware. The systems handle all of the State’s financial applications for more than 10,000 users.

The financial applications account for 3,000 to 4,000 payments a day; the human resources system pays close to 60,000 people every two weeks. “There’s definitely a large exposure if these systems are not working,” says Romano.

The migration to an Oracle software stack was designed to minimize these risks in downtime and also reduce costs. The new Oracle system is contributing to a savings of approximately US$200,000 annually in licensing and maintenance costs, a savings of approximately US$250,000 in the cost of purchasing new servers, and a reduction in processing times of as much as 30 percent.

To migrate from a single-instance Oracle Database on UNIX to Oracle RAC on Linux, Romano made sure that his team developed a solid testing methodology, allocated time for unforeseen issues, and thoroughly tested functionality and performance before implementation. The team set up hundreds of tests and used production batch runs to verify functionality.

While the transition itself has improved performance and cut costs, Romano also sees other long-term benefits for the State.

“I think we are in a position to move toward a private cloud infrastructure with our new infrastructure,” says Romano. “Now we can provision servers and applications rapidly. If we have a request for a new environment, we can literally build it in minutes now as opposed to in a traditional physical environment where it could have taken months with procurement issues and physically getting equipment in the data center and so on. It is a tremendous savings.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Jake Ruttenberg
 Job title/description: Manager of Application Development, Business Intelligence Solution Delivery
 Company: Starbucks Coffee Company
 Location: Seattle, Washington
 Award: Data Warehouse Architect of the Year 2009

Architect counts on data warehouse to serve answers.

No matter how much coffee he drinks, Starbucks’ Jake Ruttenberg doesn’t stay awake on Sunday nights worrying about the data warehouse that delivers 40,000 business dashboards to Starbucks’ field leadership team.

“Our data warehouse and retail dashboard business intelligence systems are critical to the success of each store and the entire business,” says Ruttenberg, Starbucks manager of Application Development, Business Intelligence Solution Delivery, and Oracle Magazine ’s Data Warehouse Architect of the Year. “Our managers are asking more-difficult questions, and we use the data warehouse to provide the data to answer those questions.”

Starbucks has built a 10TB data warehouse that supports 20,000 users and is used daily by close to 8,000 Starbucks stores to manage inventory, staffing, and more. The solution, based on Oracle Database, Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), Oracle Automatic Storage Management, and Oracle business intelligence solutions, has helped Starbucks identify and retain customers, understand their buying patterns, and enhance their loyalty to Starbucks through the Starbucks Reward Card program.

Achieving high availability and massive storage throughput was critical to the solution. “Oracle RAC allows us to make the solution fault tolerant and highly available without jumping through hoops,” Ruttenberg says. “And Oracle Automatic Storage Management allows us to simplify the management and maintenance of our storage. It is a jewel.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Zachary Sherburne
 Job title/description: Director of Information Systems
 Company: Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement Group
 Location: Lake Forest, California
 Award: Enterprise Performance Management/Business Intelligence Architect of the Year 2009

Architect uses business intelligence and saves big.

Zachary Sherburne, director of information systems for Black & Decker’s Hardware and Home Improvement Group, knew that corporate information was trapped in legacy systems. It was hard to find and harder to use.

“We had a highly customized, non-Oracle enterprise resource planning environment,” says Sherburne, Oracle Magazine ’s Enterprise Performance Management/Business Intelligence Architect of the Year. “People struggled to get information out of those systems.” So he and his team designed a new Oracle Essbase solution that replaced more than 300 budgeting and forecasting spreadsheets and Microsoft Access databases. They delivered analytic solutions, replacing previous business intelligence applications.

A good example of Sherburne’s success has been an Oracle analytics-based solution for spend analytics. “Prior to implementing spend analytics, our users had to rely on stale or incomplete data, or on numbers from our vendors,” says Sherburne. “With our new solution, they know exactly the planned and actual spend across our organization. The savings generated from that implementation alone is well into seven figures. It’s a big win for us and the business.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Martin Buechi
 Job title/description: Lead Software Architect
 Company: Avaloq
 Location: Zurich, Switzerland
 Award: PL/SQL Developer of the Year 2009

Developer appreciates simplicity and stability of PL/SQL.

Martin Buechi, lead software architect for Avaloq, and his team don’t manage some PL/SQL. They manage a lot . More than 8 million lines, to be precise.

Avaloq’s banking software, the Avaloq Banking System, runs on Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition and is composed of 4 million lines of handwritten PL/SQL and a further 4 million lines generated from customer parameterization.

“With a code base that large, we appreciate the simplicity and the stability of the PL/SQL environment on top of Oracle Database,” says Buechi, Oracle Magazine ’s PL/SQL Developer of the Year.

Cost pressures and a greater need for innovation and flexibility are accelerating the replacement of in-house banking systems by standardized software like Avaloq’s. Buechi and his team built their system on Oracle Database and PL/SQL because they offer the high productivity needed to create a scalable, customizable enterprise solution. Avaloq has created its own database development environment with 400 Oracle instances providing a separate environment for each developer, continuous integration, and an automated unit-test-based quality gate.

Buechi advises developers to learn as much about PL/SQL application development as they can. “PL/SQL is more relevant than ever,” he says.

Buechi is also impressed with Oracle’s commitment to PL/SQL. “With Oracle Application Express and Edition-Based Redefinition, Oracle continues to invest in the future of PL/SQL,” he says.




Winner Specs

 Name: Jerry Aber
 Job title/description: Systems Development Manager
 Company: MoneyGram
 Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
 Award: Content Management Architect of the Year 2009

Oracle content management system streamlines operations and costs, says architect.

When you’re in the business of money transfer, keeping close track of the financial transactions—and the accompanying paperwork—is important. That’s why MoneyGram implemented an Oracle Universal Content Management solution, which centralizes the company’s data content, regardless of origin, and makes it available in an online, self-service, automated environment. Employees can upload and access documents over a secure intranet, providing greater search capabilities and faster and more-accurate document retrieval.

“We’ve increased by 33 percent to 50 percent the number of papers we can process without adding staff, so we’ve increased capacity without adding headcount,” says Jerry Aber, Oracle Magazine ’s Content Management Architect of the Year and systems development manager for MoneyGram, a US$1 billion company with offices in 170 countries.

Implemented in only a month, the Oracle Universal Content Management solution has reduced processing time for some transactions by 14 days and enforces greater security controls. “We’ve been very pleased with the performance and uptime of the system,” Aber says.




Winner Specs

 Name: Kari Branjord
 Job title/description: Senior Director and Executive Project Director
 Company: University of Colorado
 Location: Boulder, Colorado
 Award: Applications Implementer of the Year 2009

Technology improves more than systems and services, implementer finds.

Kari Branjord, senior director and executive project director of the University of Colorado’s MetamorphoSIS Project, believes that IT isn’t just about improving the bottom line—it’s also about improving people’s lives. In her case, those people are the 50,000 students, faculty, and staff that make up the three-campus University of Colorado system.

Branjord, Oracle Magazine ’s Applications Implementer of the Year, led the university’s ambitious bid to replace its 20-year-old student information system. Nearly two years in the making, the new system uses several Oracle products, including PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Warehouse, PeopleSoft Customer Relationship Management, Oracle Portal, Oracle Master Data Management Suite, Oracle SOA Suite, and data warehouse and enterprise performance management systems.

Branjord stresses the importance of leveraging technology to improve service to the user base. “From the beginning of the project, we’ve been focused on creating and implementing a new footprint for higher education information technology,” she says. “With this footprint in place, we can use our internal resources to better meet the needs of students, administration, staff, and faculty in ways that are both innovative and efficient.”

The browser-based system, running on Oracle Database, provides 24/7 access to real-time information that is captured, consolidated, and maintained in a single repository. The system enables users to manage the entire student lifecycle in ways that weren’t possible with the previous, mainframe-based system. For example, the school can now identify and assist specific populations, such as students who didn’t register for classes or whose grades are slipping.

“We can now run reports to select those populations and communicate directly with them in a targeted fashion,” says Branjord. “We can see what’s going on in their lives and what we might be able to do to help them. That kind of support is hard to do on a one-off basis but possible to do when you have a system that allows you to analyze the data and then communicate accordingly.”

To create and implement the new system, the university worked closely with Oracle, using a guided-practice model. This model pairs Oracle experts with the university’s functional and technical experts to ensure that at go-live, the project is self-sufficient.

“The guided-practice model has worked very well for us,” says Branjord. “Close collaboration with Oracle and Oracle Consulting has left us poised for success with the new system and in a good position to replicate that success across our future projects.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Hüsnü Şensoy
 Job title/description: DBA and System Engineer
 Company: Turkcell
 Location: Istanbul, Turkey
 Award: DBA of the Year 2009

DBA values new technology but tests it to the limit.

For Hüsnü Şensoy, Oracle Magazine ’s DBA of the Year, one of the best parts of being a DBA is working with the constant evolution of database technology.

“Discovering new technologies, learning about them, and getting them deployed is always a wonderful challenge,” says Şensoy, DBA and system engineer at Turkcell. “I’m a big early adopter of new technology because it’s so interesting and exciting.”

Turkcell is the leading communication and technology company in Turkey, with more than 36.4 million subscribers. Turkcell is also near the end of a multiyear transition to a next-generation 3G cellular infrastructure. “Deploying 3G technology will greatly change and increase the types of services that Turkcell can deliver,” Şensoy says.

Şensoy was the driving force at Turkcell for a database platform consisting of Oracle Database 11g, Oracle data warehouse products, Oracle Real Application Clusters (Oracle RAC), Oracle Automatic Storage Management, and Oracle Clusterware. The data warehouse—which stores more than 100TB of data—includes everything from operational data to customer relationship information.

“The data and reports from our data warehouse are a critical source of information for our managers,” says Şensoy. “Most of our tactical and strategic decision-making processes are guided by the data warehouse.”

Şensoy also oversaw the consolidation of more than 17 databases into a 6-node Oracle RAC cluster. The goal of the consolidation effort was to increase overall server utilization and availability and decrease administrative costs.

Cost-cutting consolidation and the adoption of products that provide new business opportunities also require a steady hand.

“I think to be a successful Oracle DBA, you should always be looking to adopt new database technologies, but you also need to be very, very conservative in testing those technologies,” says Şensoy, who sits on Oracle’s Customer Advisory Board. “You need to make sure that they won’t cause any kind of problem in your architecture.”

In the end, it’s the love of solving problems that continues to drive Şensoy.

“The most enjoyable part of my job is using different tools, combining them, and coming up with a successful solution for our customers,” says Şensoy.




Winner Specs

 Name: Kelly Tuggle
 Job title/description: Manager of Business Solutions
 Company: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
 Location: Fort Worth, Texas
 Award: SOA Architect of the Year 2009

With SOA, this architect makes systems fly.

The 56 million passengers that fly into and out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) each year might not be thinking about SOA. But Kelly Tuggle, manager of business solutions at DFW, is.

“With SOA, we save time. We save paper. And things just happen a lot faster with online tracking and control of where things are and what’s going on,” says Tuggle, Oracle Magazine ’s SOA Architect of the Year.

That’s important when you’re managing an airport larger than the island of Manhattan, with an annual budget of US$640 million and 1,700 employees spread across 35 buildings. To keep an organization of that size and complexity operating smoothly, DFW runs Oracle E-Business Suite financial applications and Oracle’s PeopleSoft human resources and payroll applications. In addition, the airport is in production with several SOA solutions, including a human workflow application that helps automatically route requests and approvals for IT services.

As a result, Tuggle and the development team have delivered significant benefits.

“SOA provides the perfect infrastructure and combination of functionality and flexibility,” says Tuggle. “It’s enabling us to achieve our goals of a paperless, operationally excellent work environment.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Tim Frazier
 Job title/description: Architect
 Company: National Ignition Facility/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
 Location: Livermore, California
 Award: Enterprise Architect of the Year 2009

Architect focuses resources on the mission.

Oracle Magazine ’s Enterprise Architect of the Year sees architecture development as a process that starts with identifying the best of everything.

“Enterprise architecture is all about integration,” says Tim Frazier, architect at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “It’s all about taking the best products and expertise that you can get in different areas and integrating them into an architecture that’s consistent with the mission you have.” For the NIF, that mission is trying to create something that may sound more like science fiction than science—controlled nuclear fusion in the laboratory using powerful lasers.

“We needed a data management strategy that accommodates structured and unstructured data with equal elegance, and it had to be able to do it at very, very high volumes and very, very quick ingestion rates,” says Frazier. “Oracle Database does exactly that.” From the systems that control the lasers to the database where results are stored, the NIF uses Oracle Database 11g Real Application Clusters, Oracle BPEL Process Manager, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and Oracle Coherence.

“We’re fortunate that we live in a time when we have technology partners that can help us achieve our objectives,” says Frazier. “Our achievements represent the contributions of an outstanding cross-functional team.”




Winner Specs

 Name: John Turato
 Job title/description: Vice President of Technology
 Company: Avis Budget Group
 Location: Parsippany, New Jersey
 Award: Oracle Grid Architect of the Year 2009

Architect explores opportunities to leverage grid computing.

John Turato, vice president of technology at Avis Budget Group and Oracle Magazine ’s Oracle Grid Architect of the Year, believes that grid computing enables everything from lower-cost computing to faster time to market.

“We apply Oracle WebLogic Server in our e-commerce as well as our OMEGA SOA,” says Turato. “SOA and grid computing are a cost-effective way of developing our systems, and we benefit from the flexibility, reusability, and reduced time to market that our OMEGA SOA and grid computing platform allows us.” All Avis customer data is managed on the back end by an Oracle grid-based infrastructure. By using Oracle grid technology, Avis can adjust its computing services as needed, cutting its response time dramatically when user traffic volume increases.

Turato and his team also use Oracle grid technology to support, improving the online rental experience for customers, reducing expensive interactions with the mainframe for pricing information, and creating a high-performance and highly available Web site.

A key part of Avis Budget’s success has been moving to grid computing in an evolutionary way. “I think the strategy that’s worked for us is that we started small,” says Turato. “We didn’t create a tremendous amount of services until we got our governance and process in place. Now there are many more opportunities to leverage our grid infrastructure.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Raimonds Simanovskis
 Job title/description: Technical Director
 Company: TietoEnator Alise (a Tieto company)
 Location: Riga, Latvia
 Award: Developer of the Year 2009

Sharing and reuse are this developer’s code of conduct.

Raimonds Simanovskis, technical director at TietoEnator Alise and Oracle Magazine ’s Developer of the Year, would like developers and software companies to go back to the basics.

“It would be good if there were more sharing,” says Simanovskis. “A lot of very good developers have created a lot of good components that could be reused, but too often they stay inside the corporate firewall.”

Simanovskis’ current professional passion is for the Ruby programming language. “I like Ruby because it’s a powerful, dynamic, and expressive programming language,” says Simanovskis. He started using Ruby and Ruby on Rails three years ago in projects for telecommunications and utilities companies and government agencies. He has developed an open source Oracle adapter for Ruby on Rails and started a discussion group and blog ( ) supporting Ruby on Oracle. Oracle recently recognized Simanovskis for his contributions to the Oracle and Ruby communities by naming him an Oracle ACE.

“The Ruby on Rails framework is designed for agile software development,” says Simanovskis. “It’s easy to add new functionality incrementally and to use integrated testing capabilities in order to validate that nothing has been broken.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Brenda Hughes
 Job title/description: Program Leader for Enterprise Identity and Access Management
 Company: Cisco Systems
 Location: San Jose, California
 Award: Security Architect of the Year 2009

Security architect finds that identity management solution enables business.

When Cisco Systems made a strategic decision to adopt an enterprisewide identity management solution, it was not about solving security problems. It was about enabling the business. This decision was based on the company’s increasing pace, size, and IT complexity following numerous acquisitions and systems integrations.

Cisco initiated a comprehensive program in late 2006, defined as Enterprise Identity and Access Management, with the charter to integrate business processes, policies, and technologies that collectively manage access to Cisco’s corporate resources and identities.

“We needed a scalable and flexible identity management solution that could integrate into our heterogeneous systems environment,” says Brenda Hughes, program leader for Enterprise Identity and Access Management at Cisco and Oracle Magazine ’s Security Architect of the Year. “It was a massive undertaking, considering the scope of managing identities and access for more than 70,000 employees and nonemployee contract workers, in addition to our 2 million-plus ecosystem of customers, partners, and suppliers that also conduct business with us over the internet.”

After extensive requirements gathering, stakeholder analysis, and a four-month proof-of-concept, Hughes and her team decided to implement a solution featuring Oracle Identity Manager and Oracle Access Manager to enable automated provisioning, identity administration, and access and compliance management.

Most important was having support from all the stakeholders. “One key critical success factor was getting executive sponsorship up front,” Hughes says. “We had executive sponsorship discussions between Cisco and Oracle and even some of our development partners to talk about the important goal that we were trying to reach.”

Cisco engaged Oracle Consulting to assist the effort for the foundational deployment of the enterprise solution. Initial systems integrations focused on supporting a transformational program for Cisco’s e-commerce initiative.

“Just having an enterprise capability to run identity management at Cisco, with all our different constituents, has really helped us streamline processes and moves us toward an important strategy within IT of having a service-based, flexible offering for our users,” says Hughes.

For Hughes, the project has delivered more than a business-enabling security solution.

“Personally, for me, this project was a very enlightening experience. Working with so many facets of implementing a core system and undertaking such a large and complex deployment, and the opportunity to work with so many different partners, was wonderful,” she says.




Winner Specs

 Name: Jennifer Briscoe
 Job title/description: Vice President and CTO
 Company: Collect America
 Location: Denver, Colorado
 Award: Oracle Fusion Middleware Early Adopter of the Year 2009

For CTO, modernizing a legacy system delivers agility and competitive advantage.

Being an early adopter isn’t always easy, but it can give a company a competitive advantage, according to Jennifer Briscoe, vice president and CTO of Collect America and Oracle Magazine ’s Oracle Fusion Middleware Early Adopter of the Year.

Collect America is a leading asset management company that specializes in collecting charged-off credit card debt. Three years ago when Briscoe joined the team, Collect America was looking at diversifying its revenue streams. In addition, changes in the economy meant challenges for the business.

“The asset recovery industry is a bit of a niche market in the financial services arena,” Briscoe says, “and specialized software is critical to operations.” The company was operating with a proprietary collection application and back-office system. “The legacy system had significant limitations that would limit its ability to carry Collect America to the next level as a market leader,” Briscoe says.

Briscoe realized that successful companies were those that had the best historical and analytical data—and could act on that data in a near-real-time fashion. To do that, Collect America needed to allow for more-dynamic interaction between the business rules and the software. “We needed leading-edge technology that provided capabilities the industry had not seen previously,” Briscoe says. “We wanted to do a complete technology refresh and emerge with an enterprise platform that outpaced commercially available packages.”

Knowing that a SOA would provide the best foundation for such workflow dynamics, the company evaluated both open source and commercial solutions and determined that Oracle Fusion Middleware provided a comparable total cost of ownership to open source solutions, but with many additional benefits. Under Briscoe’s leadership, Collect America became an early adopter of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, from the SOA architecture to Oracle JDeveloper and Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) 11g on the front end.

“We obtained about 30 percent productivity gains from the prepackaged Ajax widgets in Oracle ADF, which played a significant role in the project being on time and under budget,” Briscoe says. “But I think what is most valuable about our SOA is the degree of agility it gives us. Not only can we keep better pace with the changing business needs, but our business partners have more-direct control over the workflow than the legacy system could provide. What we ended up with was a market-leading solution for asset management. The new Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g platform was a key success factor in a mission-critical effort that allows us to continue to outpace our competition.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Edwin Biemond
 Job title/description: Architect
 Company: Whitehorses
 Location: Putten, the Netherlands
 Award: Java Developer of the Year 2009

Developer finds that learning about Java is a continuous process.

Edwin Biemond, an architect at Whitehorses, a consultancy based in the Netherlands that specializes in Oracle and Java, sees working in Java as a continuous learning experience.

“Java is so big, you can learn from everybody,” says Biemond, Oracle Magazine ’s Java Developer of the Year. “I often receive test cases from people who read my blog and want to share something or want me to help fix their programs. I learn from them, and they learn from me.”

Biemond began his Oracle career using Oracle Forms and doing Web programming in Oracle7. He started working with Oracle JDeveloper around 2000. When the first technical preview of Oracle JDeveloper 11g came out, Biemond saw the potential of the Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) Task Flow concept and wrote several samples to share with the Oracle community, including an integration of Google Maps and Facebook into Oracle ADF applications. He also contributed regularly to other Oracle ADF resources.

“Oracle ADF Task Flow makes for better, more-reusable code that’s easier to maintain because you have to understand only an individual part of the task flow and not the whole program,” says Biemond.




Winner Specs

 Name: Chris Muir
 Job title/description: Oracle Senior Consultant
 Company: SAGE Computing Services
 Location: Perth, Australia
 Award: Oracle ACE Director of the Year 2009

Oracle ACE Director says that new technologies require enthusiastic people to succeed.

For Oracle Magazine ’s Oracle ACE Director of the Year, a key ingredient of a successful new technology is people.

“Oracle is very good at delivering new products and new technologies,” says Chris Muir, Oracle senior consultant at SAGE Computing Services. “But it often needs the user group community and enthusiastic people like Oracle ACEs to discuss the broader issues.”

Muir has played a central role in the creation of a community around Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF) and Oracle JDeveloper. As an Oracle ACE Director, Muir created the Oracle ADF Enterprise Methodology Group (EMG). He also works extensively with the Australian Oracle User Group, regularly helps other Oracle users, and has developed a course on Oracle ADF 11g.

Muir created the Oracle ADF EMG to focus on the organizational challenges that companies face in leveraging new technologies. “Organizations may be skewed toward their old technologies,” Muir says. “We need to show how organizations can change to adopt new technologies successfully.” The group focuses on facilitating discussions in the areas of best practices, coding standards, methodologies, approaches, and more.

“In the end, it’s not just about the technology,” says Muir. “Our industry is about people, what they’re doing, and how they use the technology. That’s what counts.”




Winner Specs

 Name: David Jones, Gerry Hanifan, Arnaud Benjacar
 Job title/description: Head Architect and Leader of the SOA Competency Center (Jones), UI and Security Architect (Hanifan), Integration Architect (Benjacar)
 Company: Irish Life Investment Managers, the asset management arm of Irish Life & Permanent plc
 Location: Dublin, Ireland
 Award: Oracle Fusion Middleware Architects of the Year 2009

Architecture is flexible, manageable, and secure.

Irish Life Investment Managers (ILIM) needed flexibility. That’s why ILIM’s architecture team—David Jones, Gerry Hanifan, and Arnaud Benjacar, Oracle Magazine ’s Oracle Fusion Middleware Architects of the Year—has invested heavily in Oracle Fusion Middleware and SOA.

ILIM provides personal financial services in the Irish market. Building on top of its successful Oracle WebLogic Server implementation, ILIM has used Oracle Fusion Middleware to create a shared enterprise service bus infrastructure with a set of common services and integration elements.

“We wanted an architecture that was loosely coupled, would allow us the flexibility to change, and didn’t require special technology skills to manage,” says Jones, head architect, ILIM. “That’s why we selected a one-stop solution from Oracle.”

Security and deployment flexibility are also important to ILIM’s architecture team. “Oracle Fusion Middleware allows you to choose the right security treatment for the range of transport protocols used when integrating with different types of client software,” says Hanifan, UI and security architect, ILIM.




Winner Specs

 Name: Naveen Garg
 Job title/description: Manager, Global Database and Internet Infrastructure
 Company: Colorcon
 Location: West Point, Pennsylvania
 Award: Oracle Enterprise Manager Architect of the Year 2009

Architect gets more than a database management tool with Oracle Enterprise Manager.

The pharmaceutical industry determined that if pills came in multiple shapes and colors, consumers could differentiate them more easily. But product individualization is less useful if you’re trying to manage different software, servers, storage, and applications across an enterprise. “We needed one tool that could give us visibility across the stack,” says Naveen Garg, manager, Global Database and Internet Infrastructure at Colorcon and Oracle Magazine ’s Oracle Enterprise Manager Architect of the Year.

Colorcon is the world leader in development, supply, and technical support of formulated coatings for the pharmaceutical industry. The company uses Oracle Enterprise Manager to manage its Oracle ecosystem; the solution has improved global service levels through a centralized management strategy. Colorcon also benefits from Oracle Enterprise Manager’s ability to set up policies that ensure consistency in the IT environment.

Garg says that users shouldn’t think of Oracle Enterprise Manager as just a database management tool. “It’s a very broad enterprise management tool,” he says. “What we’ve achieved in the last year with Oracle Enterprise Manager is just incredible.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Ross Sharman
 Job title/description: Director
 Company: Knowledge Global
 Location: Torrensville, Australia
 Award: Green IT Architect of the Year 2009

Architect saves energy for businesses—and at home.

As the world economies move toward an increased focus on energy conservation, the monitoring, measuring, and forecasting of energy consumption has become an increasingly important task.

That’s where the Oracle technology-based Knowledge Global environmental management solution comes in. The hosted application helps organizations gather electrical, water, and gas information from buildings and align it with operational behaviors to track measurements and identify potential efficiencies.

“We needed a robust and scalable system that we could deploy globally,” says Ross Sharman, director of Knowledge Global and Oracle Magazine ’s Green IT Architect of the Year. “That’s why we selected Oracle—they can deliver on that.”

Sharman has built an innovative environment management and monitoring system that leverages Oracle technologies, including Oracle Database, Oracle business intelligence solutions, Oracle Data Integrator, and Oracle Essbase. The solution helps organizations measure; predict; and, over time, reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions.

But lowering energy consumption for business is not enough.

“You’ve got to practice what you preach,” says Sharman. “I’ve got electrical meters in my home to monitor my family’s energy use; one benefit of these behavioral tools is that my four-year-old daughter now turns off lights and televisions when they’re not in use.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Dimitri Gielis
 Job title/description: Director
 Company: Apex Evangelists
 Location: Louvain, Belgium
 Award: Oracle Application Express Developer of the Year 2009

For this developer, the passion for Oracle Application Express doesn’t fade.

Other developers love Java or .NET. But Dimitri Gielis’ true love is Oracle Application Express.

“Oracle Application Express is like a girl that you’re in love with—the passion never goes away,” says Gielis, director of Apex Evangelists and Oracle Magazine ’s Oracle Application Express Developer of the Year.

Gielis, an Oracle ACE, has been working with Oracle Application Express since its early releases. He supports the Apex Blog Aggregator ( ), which aggregates more than 50 Oracle Application Express blogs and highlights the product’s features. He has a popular blog, is active on Oracle Technology Network, and conducts Oracle Application Express-related training courses and presentations all over the world. “Having Oracle Application Express inside the database means I can provide myself and my customers with everything they need,” says Gielis. “Even for nonprofessionals, I can’t see a reason to fire up Microsoft Excel or Access to create little applications, especially not when someone wants to show data to others. Oracle Database Express Edition and Oracle Application Express are more robust, more scalable, and more secure.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Patricia Dues
 Job title/description: Enterprise Program Manager
 Company: City of Las Vegas
 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
 Award: User Group Evangelist of the Year 2009

Evangelist sees user groups as a rich set of resources.

Participating in user groups is one of the best ways to enhance the value of an Oracle investment, according to Patricia Dues, enterprise program manager for the City of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Oracle Magazine ’s User Group Evangelist of the Year.

“User groups are all about customer support,” says Dues. “User groups work as an advocate for users, helping organizations get the best value for their applications and support experiences.”

Dues became involved in the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) when she started using Oracle Applications in 1996. She decided to run for the OAUG Board of Directors as the City of Las Vegas began implementing and supporting more Oracle solutions. Since being elected to the board in 2000, Dues has participated in every committee, chaired multiple conferences, and was president of OAUG for three years. She currently chairs OAUG’s Customer Support Council and the Global Support Committee for International Oracle Users Group Community.

“As we implemented new Oracle solutions for the city, I knew how important it would be for us to have this network,” says Dues. “That’s when I became very interested in what OAUG provides: networking; education; a Web site; FAQs; and committees, councils, and conferences. It’s a rich set of resources that’s invaluable to anyone implementing or using Oracle.”




Winner Specs

 Name: Ray Fasullo
 Job title/description: Director for Node and Database Development
 Company: Telcordia Technologies
 Location: Piscataway, New Jersey
 Award: Embedded Architect of the Year 2009

For this architect, the embedded model delivers.

For Ray Fasullo, Oracle Magazine ’s Embedded Architect of the Year, good embedded systems are all about control.

“With an embedded solution, you eliminate operator error and create a finite set of functionality that can be rigorously tested to meet the needs for high-demand or high-availability systems,” says Fasullo, director for Node and Database Development, Telcordia Technologies, a global provider of fixed, mobile, and broadband communications software and services.

Fasullo and his team use the embedded versions of Oracle Database and Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database within Telcordia solutions to help provide services at the level of “five-nines” reliability. For example, Telcordia uses Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database as a master index to help identify and maintain where data resides within multiple network partitions; the embedded Oracle Database helps to manage administrative systems that control subscriber provisioning, data collections and reports, and other functionality. “An embedded model and solutions like Oracle embedded databases give you greater control over your quality and reliability,” says Fasullo. “We’ve had good success using the Oracle embedded model inside our applications.”

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