Internal Implementation of Oracle Customer Hub
The Oracle Customer Hub-based system is a complex business system made up of a customer hub and a master data appliance. It was implemented within Oracle to support Oracle Marketing's lead flow management processes.
Dan Lanir, Director, Applications IT, Data Quality Management Systems
Afzal Asif, Solutions Architect, Applications IT, Data Quality Management Systems
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
Product: Internal Implementation of Oracle Customer Hub
Q: Why is Oracle Customer Hub innovative?
Lanir: The new system had to support many sophisticated business flows that are not part of any single product offering while also seamlessly integrating with many heavily used enterprise applications. We took many off-the-shelf technology components and wove them together to create a complex business system that still fundamentally implements packaged products and tools rather than building custom systems from scratch. In some cases this required designing our own custom connectors and process orchestration logic. In other cases it required a highly creative configuration in order to satisfy the business requirements. But at the core, we were able to stay true to the approach of using Oracle's standard packaged applications to run Oracle's business—an approach which is a cornerstone of Oracle Application IT's charter and mission.
Q: How do you define innovation?
Asif: The root of innovation is the same as the root of invention; it's to create something new that didn't exist before. It's the act of creation, not just the act of construction.
Q: Why do you think innovation is important?
Lanir: In our business, innovation is the key to three essential areas. It's important to our customers, because Oracle's innovative products and services help them respond to new problems and opportunities in a rapidly changing world. It's important to our shareholders because Oracle's position as a global marketplace leader is based on a history of innovation. Last, but certainly not least, innovation is important to our employees because it provides an exciting and satisfying workplace culture that supports and seeks out creativity and invention.
Q: What is the most innovative project you've worked on?
Asif: Both of us started out implementing ERP and CRM at a time when the industry was young, before an extensive knowledge base and established best practices were available. Back then, every implementation was an exercise in innovation. More recently, the implementation of Siebel CRM at Oracle—the Synergy project—had many innovative aspects. We had to build a project infrastructure that supported a very large, globally dispersed project team. We also utilized a use-case-based spiral SDLC methodology on a global scale in ways that most of us had never seen before in order to achieve a very rapid, high-quality deployment. Last, through the Synergy project, Oracle defined one set of global processes across disparate regions and business organizations, leading to substantial improvements in efficiency, transparency, and consistency.
Q: Can you think of an example where Oracle has helped one of our customers become more innovative?
Asif: As an internal implementation group, we don't have a lot of exposure to Oracle's customers. However, through the Oracle@Oracle program, we share with our customers the best practices and solutions that we develop internally, and we believe that through this program the benefits of our internal innovation and problem solving are leveraged by customers and partners globally.
Q: Who would you say is the most innovative person at Oracle?
Lanir: Larry Ellison. If you look at any stage of Oracle's existence, it was Larry's innovation that kept it ahead of the pack and primed for the next stage. Clearly many other talented individuals contributed hugely—innovation, after all, tends to be a group sport—but Larry's vision, strategy, and execution have been game changers over and over again.
Q: What time period in world history do you consider the most innovative?
Lanir: The information revolution of the 80's and 90's touched every aspect of human life: business, community, education, communication, and more. It created a virtuous cycle of innovation that inspired and drove more innovation as each wave of core advances is adapted and applied to a growing set of opportunities. The reverberations of this dynamic period exist with us today and continue to drive and inspire us.
Q: What's the most innovative product (not Oracle's) that you know of?
Asif: The iPhone has merged the two most significant developments of our era, the mobile phone and the internet, in a way that has completely transformed peoples' experiences and expectations.