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Oracle Social Network Drives Collaboration Through Natural Conversations

“Social” is far more than casual conversations these days. Enabling employees to effectively communicate and exchange information can profoundly influence business prosperity.

"That's why Oracle Social Network has been built around the way business professionals actually think and collaborate," says Howard Beader, senior director of product marketing for Oracle WebCenter. We recently sat down with Beader to find out more about this new collaborative framework.

Q. The particular set of tools available in Oracle Social Network sounds a bit different from the business collaboration technologies we’ve seen in the past. Can you expand further?
A. We’ve built a solution based on how people naturally collaborate rather than forcing people to change their habits to fit technical constraints. Oracle Social Network’s tools are built into the fabric of Oracle WebCenter—the foundation for Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Fusion Applications— allowing people to leverage the Oracle Fusion Middleware infrastructure. People can work with everyone, whether they are inside or outside company boundaries. You could say we’ve made middleware social with Oracle Social Network.

Q. It sounds like a more natural collaborative experience for participants.
A. That’s certainly the intent. Our collaboration tools are different from what many organizations think of when they think of the collaboration rooms or sites that exist today. We’ve tried to base ours on how conversations happen naturally.

Q. How does Oracle Social Network differ?
A. The two key differentiators are that collaboration happens in real-time, and in the context of the work being done. People don’t want to go to a different site or application to collaborate, and then come back to the application they were working in. They want it to be seamless and immediate. Say you’ve got a marketing team working within their CRM application, and they have a question on contracts for somebody in legal. They can easily collaborate with them through Oracle Social Network. They are not only able to communicate back and forth, but annotate documents and share edits and ideas as well. And this all happens in real-time; for example, I add a comment to a document and as soon as I hit submit, my comment can be seen by my colleagues immediately, with no refresh.

Q. Can you tell us more about the “context” aspect?
A. The idea is to easily and naturally create a history of conversations as they take place in relation to a project. For example, say there’s a stream of IMs around a sales deal. All that history is saved within a Conversation in Oracle Social Network. So are documents that have been uploaded within the Conversation, with multiple versions that let people see their history. This means it’s very easy for people to quickly catch up and see how you’ve gotten to the current point or decision. You can add PowerPoint, voice, and e-mail records as well. It’s very much like Facebook, except in a different context, and for the enterprise.

Q. What can you tell us about Oracle Social Network’s availability?
A. Oracle Social Network is currently available in the Oracle Public Cloud for Oracle Fusion CRM customers, and down the road will be available to all our customers as a software-as-a-service-based offering. It’s kind of interesting; most of our applications at Oracle have taken the opposite route, starting as on-premise applications and moving to the cloud. Oracle Social Network is starting in the cloud and moving in the opposite direction, to revolutionize how participants collaborate with one another.

Learn more about Oracle Social Network in this video or see Oracle Social Network in action in this Webcast.

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