Oracle Applications customers don't need to wait to discover the enormous value that service-oriented architecture (SOA) brings to the world of IT—they can implement SOA today. With an SOA approach, your IT organization can deliver modular business services that can be easily integrated and reused—creating a flexible, adaptable IT infrastructure that supports business agility. But any move to a new technology requires investment. What happens when the value question moves out of the realm of IT and into the realm of bottom-line finance? How do you calculate the value of business agility?
Oracle studied hundreds of SOA early adopters, eliciting information that brings the value patterns of SOA to life. As you work to put the buzz about SOA into perspective for your organization or seek to identify the best project for beginning your exploration of SOA, you'll want to know how to avoid potential pitfalls and maximize the value of this new technology.
Oracle has created a library of information and tools that will give you the metrics you need for measuring the business impact you can achieve with SOA. Based on bottom-line cost savings and a total-cost-of-ownership approach, the Oracle SOA ROI calculator can help you quantify SOA adoption for your organization. See the "For More Information" box for details.
Opening Up The Field: An Excerpt From Lenley Hensarling's Executive Blog
Lenley Hensarling is vice president and general manager of Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne product line. The JD Edwards EnterpriseOne team focuses on ensuring that the customer base continues to gain value within the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne product line and has a clear path forward to the new Oracle Fusion Applications as they emerge over the coming years.
Business practice has changed due to globalization and an increased understanding of efficiencies in manufacturing and distribution. Here Lean techniques come to mind. The practices require a leap not in technology but in understanding. As manufacturers adopt Lean techniques, they require new types of applications, not new types of technological underpinnings. An example is providing "work-order-less" manufacturing so that data processing does not get in the way of efficient production. Lean is about taking away everything that does not act directly to achieve the objective. Another breakthrough is the sharing of knowledge or information across functional borders within corporations. Allowing the shop floor more visibility into demand, what orders are coming, and how they are prioritized is a good example of this.
We have seen more processes become real-time; there is a constant real-time flow of inputs and outputs connecting customers, manufacturers, and suppliers. The same is true in the services area, where real-time visibility into the availability of resources to projects is often the difference between winning a contract and losing it.
Marketplaces are also in continual flux, due to geopolitical changes and other extraordinary events. In the United States, the repercussions of Hurricane Katrina's devastating effects in the South have led to a change in the number of government-funded contracts for construction, to replace infrastructure lost in the storm. This has raised the importance of support for accounting practices mandated by the government for engineering and construction firms.
To keep up with these changes in business processes, vendors are constantly enhancing their applications, playing a game of catch-up with their customers. Businesses must be able to add support for new practices with minimal disruption. This is at the heart of the rationale for the Oracle Applications Unlimited strategy. We are investing in a next generation of applications while continuing to add new functionality to support the evolution of best-practice processes within our current product lines.
Floyd Teter on what it takes to be an Oracle ACE
PROFIT: What's your experience with Oracle Applications?
TETER: Although I've worked with Oracle databases since version 5.0, my first hands-on experience in Oracle Applications was relatively recent: Oracle E-Business Suite 10.6 in 1997. In terms of the applications, my expertise is mostly functional in nature and focuses on Oracle Projects, Oracle Financials, and Oracle Discrete Manufacturing. I'm also pretty knowledgeable about the applications technology stack. I've found that you can't succeed as a functional applications expert if you don't understand the database and the middleware. Over the years, I've also experienced success as a project manager. My specialty here is with small project teams working under tight deadlines. Six people working long days in a single conference room, living on soda and pizza: that's my twisted idea of professional Nirvana.
PROFIT: What motivates you at work?
TETER: The feeling of appreciation from my customers when I deliver what they need or solve a crucial problem for them. Plus the job pays for all my fancy BBQ gear!
PROFIT: What has been the most exciting development you've witnessed at Oracle, and what's on the horizon?
TETER: The most exciting things I've witnessed are the development of Oracle Fusion Middleware; the embracing of industry standards; and the emphasis Oracle places on integration across applications, particularly best-of-breed applications. On the horizon, the most exciting thing is Oracle Business Process Analysis Suite, because it will enable functional business systems analysts to literally map business processes to Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) code.
PROFIT: What do you like most about working with Oracle Applications?
TETER: For me, the most exciting thing about working with Oracle Applications is to look at our work and know that business applications actually contributed to the exploration of the universe. When we look at the Mars Rover or pictures from Cassini, our teams know that our work with the applications was part of making those wonders happen.
PROFIT: How can you identify an Oracle ACE?
TETER: The easiest way is through Oracle Technology Network's "Find an Oracle ACE" search engine [at oracle.com/technology/community/oracle_ace]. "Find an Oracle ACE" supports searching for an Oracle ACE by name, company, location, or area of expertise.
Know Your Oracle ACE
oracle.com/technology/community/oracle_ace Name: Floyd Teter Employment: Systems engineer for Institutional Business Systems, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California. JPL is a federally funded research and development center, managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology, that specializes in robotic exploration of the universe around us.