At a time when many companies are running huge, relatively new applications and using them to accumulate growing pools of data about their customers, middleware is the key to making that information work for them. Whether the goal is to provide comprehensive business intelligence (BI) to employees, automate manual processes, or make raw information more accessible to customers and mobile workers, middleware is the connector that makes such things possible.
“Things like improved efficiency and getting more bang for the buck are more important now than ever,” says Markus Zirn, vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware product management. “Because Oracle Fusion Middleware generally targets small, manageable projects, companies can get significant business value in a short time. That’s the kind of value we recognized with our second annual Oracle Excellence Awards in 2008.”
Eaton Steel Bar and Regal Beloit were among the customers honored by Oracle. Eaton Steel worked with Oracle partner eAlliance to get the most from a multiproject initiative that’s delivering results on the BI, electronic data interchange (EDI), and portal fronts. Regal Beloit took a highly focused approach, assembling a dedicated BI team and charging it with building a self-service BI environment. Both companies are reaping a wide range of benefits from their efforts. (See main story, “A Complete Customer View.”)
Oracle’s recognition of companies including Eaton Steel and Regal Beloit for innovative middleware deployments sent a strong message that the global economic crisis doesn’t have to dry up IT investments. In fact, says Zirn, targeted middleware investments can deliver just the edge a company needs to weather this challenging period.
Getting budget approval to deploy new applications is a challenge this year, says Zirn, and projects have to promise rapid return on investment by showing cost savings and value very quickly. “Most Oracle Fusion Middleware projects are a perfect fit for that criterion, with the average deployment completed within three to six months and return on investment achieved within a year,” he says. “You get immediate cost savings, and you’re attacking real business problems. It’s an IT model that’s ideal for the times.”