Most of the team coordination was handled by Sierra Atlantic to ensure that everyone was up-to-date on the progress and ready to take on their own supporting tasks. The Agile, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle Application Integration Architecture, and Oracle Fusion Middleware teams were all involved to ensure that the PIP being implemented worked in a range of scenarios. “Patience has to be involved,” Donley says. “At the same time, it’s exciting to both be working toward a win-win outcome. You’re on the front line; you’ll always be able to say you’re one of the first to develop the product, let alone adopt it.”
Every customer is different when it comes to business process integration, and prebuilt PIPs may not be right for every situation. They work best when the systems to be connected are fundamentally standardized. Sierra Atlantic’s engagement at Ciena included cleaning up the Agile and Oracle E-Business Suite installations to ensure that this was the case. “While the process integration pack is not necessarily going to include all the companies’ processes, the customer should be open to change if there is a value,” says Lawrence Pravin, leader of Oracle Application Integration Architecture solutions at Sierra Atlantic. “Even though we make money by building custom components for companies like Ciena, we don’t necessarily blindfold the customer on benefits and the risks associated with standardization.”
Benefits for Early Birds Donley and company were often pleased to have technical backup to argue for a more-standardized approach with the corporate users. “Having a tool that you can say supports the vanilla approach is more ammunition for us as an IT organization to try and keep our customer base aligned to an out-of-the-box solution,” Donley says.
The improved integration has benefits for the business beyond greater reliability. As Ciena’s Temple points out, a stronger integration through the PIP should give Ciena more capabilities for managing its data. “It’s actually going to open up some new possibilities for us of data elements being sent between the two systems,” he says.
Ciena’s work with Oracle also strengthens Oracle’s expertise in industry business practices, helping Oracle to improve products and customer support.
Temple says Ciena will benefit over the long term because Oracle is learning so much about its industry. “The more business knowledge we give them about our particular industry or subindustry, the more we think it will help them take those requirements into account in future designs of the product,” he says. “We like making them more knowledgeable in our business domain.”
The Thrill of the New Ciena’s Donley is happy with how the Agile Product Lifecycle Management Integration Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite for Design to Release implementation has progressed. He and his staff have learned more about how their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system works so they can provide better support to the salespeople, engineers, and financial managers at Ciena. By leveraging the Agile Product Lifecycle Management Integration Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite for Design to Release process, Ciena has also been gaining flexibility, increasing efficiencies through end-to-end integrations, and lowering its overall cost of ownership. And, PIPs are addressing needs that ERP users have had for decades.
“It’s exciting always getting into the newer areas when you are primarily the first company to build this kind of an innovative product,” says Sierra Atlantic’s Pravin. “The experience of working with some of the early adopters, getting their mind share, and exchanging our ideas and thoughts really excites us.”
Ciena’s team members were happy to have a long-term problem solved. And Donley, a longtime Oracle customer at Ciena and elsewhere, found Oracle executives at the highest levels of the company attending to his needs. “I literally showed up—one among many hundreds of CIOs—had a concern, and it was addressed.”