As Published In
Oracle Magazine
January/February 2012



Social for Business

By Rich Schwerin


Oracle Social Network delivers secure collaboration tools for business users.

During his Oracle OpenWorld 2011 keynote, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced Oracle Social Network, an enterprise collaboration and social networking tool for business that enables business users to find and collaborate with the right people within and across enterprises using information from human resources systems, business applications, and private social networks. Oracle Social Network is one of the application services available through Oracle Public Cloud (see ”Open to the Public”).

“Organizations want to connect their people, applications, processes, and customers,” said Ellison. “Oracle Social Network provides that; all the tools are integrated, and employees can work from anywhere with the devices best suited to their job.”

Driving the Conversation

Oracle Social Network enables business users to collaborate with each other using a broad range of collaboration styles, including personal profiles, groups, activity feeds, status updates, discussion forums, document sharing, cobrowsing and editing, instant messaging, e-mail, and Web conferencing. “Business today is all about being connected with others,” says Andy Kershaw, senior director, Oracle WebCenter product management. “Many organizations today have the goal of providing a perfect information workplace. We believe that Oracle Social Network, along with the capabilities of Oracle WebCenter, can deliver that workplace.” To address enterprise requirements, Oracle Social Network centers on what Kershaw calls the conversation. “The conversation is key and at the heart of what we do. It’s a new paradigm for how business users will collaborate,” he says. “The conversation models how people really work together—where the manner, form, and participation all evolve as the decisions or problems become more complex. Communicating in real time, sharing files, annotating content, making decisions, measuring progress—this really rich set of interactions all happen inside the conversation. Each conversation is presented in context within Oracle Social Network–integrated applications.”

Integrated with Oracle Fusion Applications and business processes, Oracle Social Network allows users to receive real-time information feeds from these systems and to collaborate and resolve business issues quickly and effectively, including updating applications and business processes. “We surface all of the activity, business updates, and conversations within activity streams that understand what you have read or seen before, making those streams more powerful by surfacing what’s most important to you and doing so securely,” explains Kershaw. “Oracle Social Network addresses corporate demands for security, privacy, and information protection. It provides each organization and its users with a virtualized and private instance for collaboration with configurable retention and audit policies for traceability.”

Going Mobile

Oracle Social Network is designed to extend collaboration to mobile users. “Oracle Social Network provides native applications on a variety of devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, as well as a modern, easy-to-use browser interface,” Kershaw says.

Next Steps

 LEARN more about Oracle Social Network

 WATCH an interview with Andy Kershaw

This mobile connectivity helps salespeople to identify potential prospects, build effective teams, prepare convincing sales presentations, and more. And other types of users stand to benefit as well, he says.

“With Oracle Social Network, almost any business user can be more effective. Marketing teams can design more-creative campaigns; human resources managers can collaborate on workforce planning and drive talent management best practices; project managers can collaborate on project plans and tasks, resolve issues and change requests, and track and update project milestones,” Kershaw says. “Business users can benefit from Oracle Social Network because it enables smarter teams, smarter collaboration, and ultimately smarter decisions.”

Rich Schwerin Headshot

Rich Schwerin
is a senior manager with Oracle Publishing who focuses on social media.


Send us your comments