PaaS Product Series- Integration Cloud Services by Leon Smiers

 

In this series we will walk through different cloud products and how SaaS and PaaS can be combined together and their use in different projects.

In this podcast we discuss the Oracle Integration Cloud (ICS), part of Oracle PaaS Cloud and focused on delivering integration in Cloud. We emphasis on one specific discussion, with the move to the Cloud, and inclusion of SaaS applications, where do we place the center of gravity for integration, in the Cloud, on-premise or a combination of the two. Listen to the podcast here.

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PaaS Podcast Series – The Oracle Process Cloud by Leon Smiers and Jeroen van Essen

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In this series we will walk through different cloud products and how SaaS and PaaS can be combined together and their use in different projects.
In this podcast we would like to introduce you to Oracle Process Cloud to a wider audience. Oracle Process Cloud is the part of Oracle PaaS Cloud and it focuses on delivering processes in Cloud.

This episode features Leon Smiers, Solution Architect in Capgemini and Oracle ACE and Jeroen van Essen, Capgemini BPM Specialist. Listen to the podcast here.

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Case for case management by Leon Smiers

 

clip_image001A case for case management with Léon Smiers and Greger Wikstrand. They discuss BPM and case management, how they differ and how the complement each other. Léon also talks about why they wrote their latest book, Oracle Case Management Solutions and the benefits with case management.

Léon Smiers works as a Solution Architect for Capgemini, The Netherlands in the area of Oracle Technology and Architecture, where he is one of the leading Oracle specialists. He has done a lot of work and research in the field of integration and new technologies, like RFID, SOA, EDA, BPM, and case management, on which he wrote articles and presented at international conferences.

You can follow them on twitter as @LeonSmiers and @GregerWikstrand

Links:

· Oracle Case Management Solutions (ISBN: 978-1482223828) by Léon Smiers, Manas Deb, Joop Koster and Prasen Palvankar
Léon Smiers blog
Miljarder i potten för CSN efter dom

· Knowledge Worker Enablement on Premises and in the Cloud

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Oracle PaaS, a racecar placed at pole position by Leon Smiers

 

clip_image001With the announcement on June 22nd of Larry Ellison around Oracle SaaS, PaaS and IaaS we are left with the question, where are we now in Oracle PaaS and what can we expect the coming year(s)? 
Oracle is moving at a rapid pace from an ‘on-premise’ software/hardware provider to everything-contained-in-the-cloud; and is now embracing the Cloud. There is some humor in it since not so long ago back in 2009, Larry was still bashing the cloud, as being water vapor. "All it is, is a computer attached to a network…”. Up until 2013, the large yearly conference, Oracle Open World was dominated with Larry’s hobby, covering Oracle hardware EXA machines, and making them run faster with every release. But last year we began to see the first outlines of what Oracle really planned to do in the cloud. And, as always, if Oracle has set their mind on something, every means available are set in place to reach that goal. In my direct contacts with the Process Cloud team, 70% of that specific team was dedicated to put BPM in the cloud.
All middleware and database related software, that we are accustomed to run ‘on-premise’ at our customers, will now be made available in the cloud. This, of course, is not an overnight job. The first releases of the PaaS Cloud will contain base functionality, as Larry phrased it ‘I’m not saying we have no things to be improved. The beauty of the Cloud is that, since Oracle is responsible for the environments, releases with new / improved functionality will be made available at a faster pace. One outstanding feature compared to the on-premise software is the simplicity of using the product. The product development team has moved a lot of complexity to the background, enabling speed for development and deployment. Another advantage for partners and customers is that flaws in the software are now also obvious to Oracle themselves in a much faster manner than we were used to with the on-premise stack. So apart from the movement towards the cloud, Oracle is now also dedicating their time to improving quality of the software. Read the complete article here.

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Implementing deadline functionality with Oracle Adaptive Case Management by Léon Smiers

Oracle released Adaptive Case Management (ACM) in 2013 as part of the BPM stack. One of the functionality we needed in a project recently, was the handling of deadlines in the context of a case. There is (currently) no out-of-the-box solution to, for example, escalate or reassign a case when a specific deadline has expired. In this blog we describe how this functionality can be created with the out-of-the-box functionality of Oracle Case Management.

Dealing with deadlines
Consider the situation that a case needs to be automatically transferred from an employee to a supervisor after 24 hours and from the supervisor to the manager after 48 hours. Of course, when a case is closed while the deadline has not expired yet, the timer keeping track of the deadline should be terminated.
A solution to this use case would be to implement an interaction between thet case manager and a dedicated timer process as depicted in Figure 1. In this figure the Case Manager initiates the timer process. When the timer expires (e.g. the first 24 hours), the data associations are updated and an internal case event is thrown to give control back to the case manager. The case manager analyses the incoming data, performs some tasks and eventually re-launches the timer process to wait for the next 24 hours.
Figure 1: Timers expires after 24 hours after which a new deadline check is started
The other scenario is depicted in Figure 2. Here the timer process is stopped by the case because the case has ended before the deadlines expires. Read the complete article here.

 

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Process Is The New App by Leon Smiers

Process-on-the-Fly #2 – Process is the New App

The next generation of business process management and business rules management tools is so powerful that it actually can be seen as the successor to custom-built applications. Being able to define detailed process, flows, decision trees and business helps on both the business and IT side to create powerful, differentiating solutions that would have required extensive custom coding in the past. Now much of the definition can be done ‘on the fly,’ using visual models and (semi) natural language in the nearest proximity to the business.

Over the years, ERP systems have been customized to enter organization-specific functionality into the ERP application. This leads to better support for the business, but at the same time involves higher costs for maintenance, high dependency on the personnel involved in this customization, long timelines to deliver change to the system and increased risk involved in upgrading the ERP system. However, the best of both worlds can be created by bringing back the functionality to out-of-the-box usage of the ERP system and at the same time introducing change and flexibility by means of externalized ‘Process Apps’ in direct connection with the ERP system.
The ERP system (or legacy bespoke system, for that matter) is used as originally intended and designed, resulting in more predictable behavior of the system related to usage and performance, and clearly can be maintained in a more standardized and cost-effective way. The Prrocess App externalizes the needed functionality into a highly customizable application outside the ERP for which it is supported by rules engines, task inboxes and can be delivered to different channels.
The reasons for needing Process Apps may include the following: The ERP system just doesn’t deliver this functionality in a specific industry; the volatility of changing certain functionality is high; or an umbrella type of functionality across (ERP) silos is needed.

An example of bringing all this together is around the hiring process for a new employee at a university. Oracle PeopleSoft HCM could be used as the HR system to store all employee details. In the hiring process, an authorization scheme is involved for getting the approval to create a contract for the employee-to-be. In the university world, this authorization scheme is complex and involves faculties/colleges (with different organizational structures) and cross-faculty organizational structures. Including such an authorization scheme into PeopleSoft would require a lot of customization. By adding a handle inside PeopleSoft towards an externalized authorization Process App, the execution of the authorization of the employee is done outside the ERP: in a tool that is aimed to deliver approval schemes via a worklist-type of application.
The Process App here works as an add-on to the PeopleSoft system, but can also be extended to support the full lifecycle of the end-to-end hiring process with the possibility to involve multiple applications. The actual core functionality is kept in the supporting ERP systems, while at the same time the Process App acts as an umbrella function to control the end-to-end flow and give insight into the efficiency of the end-to-end process.

How to get there? Read the complete article here.

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Oracle Open World 2013 Case Management Smiers & Kitson

There are a lot of informal end-to-end processes in organizations. These end-to-end processes are usually supported by scattered applications, email, spreadsheets and a lot of goodwill of the personnel involved. When compliance, regulations and/or customer demands are imposed on an organization, these end-to-end processes do not have the ability to comply with new demands due to lack of support from the current application landscape. In the financial, public and utilities market organizations are re-landscaping their existing application portfolio due to these higher compliance, regulations and customer demands. This often is not a huge transformation program, with a roadmap spanning over years.

Case management can help cross the bridge from the current landscape towards a landscape aimed at delivering these higher demands.  Oracle delivered Case management as part of their stack starting this year. This presentation deals with standardization of case design and how Oracle can support re-platforming in a gradual way.

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Case management supporting re-landscaping by Leon Smiers

There are a lot of informal end-to-end processes in organizations. These end-to-end processes are usually supported by scattered applications, email, spreadsheets and a lot of goodwill of the personnel involved. When compliance, regulations and/or customer demands are imposed on an organization, these end-to-end processes do not have the ability to comply with new demands due to lack of support from the current application landscape. In the financial, public and utilities market organizations are re-landscaping their existing application portfolio due to these higher compliance, regulations and customer demands. This often is not a huge  transformation program, with a roadmap spanning over years.

Case management can help cross the bridge from the current landscape towards a landscape aimed at delivering these higher demands.

Let’s explain this with the process of complaints. This functionality is needed in any market where customer contact is present, and where due to increasing compliance and customer demands the bar needs to be raised to deliver better quality, such as delivering an answer within a given timeframe. Read the full article here.

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An introduction to Oracle Case Management by Leon Smiers

Oracle makes a habit of adding important functionality to minor patch sets. In the recent 11G Release 2 Patch set 6 of Fusion middleware, Oracle has added a milestone in the BPM stack, the Case management functionality. Discussions around this topic had already been going for a while, but finally the first part of it is included in the Fusion Middleware stack.

In this blog I will elaborate its importance and what is contains Since this an important functional addition we will publish more detailed blogs around this topic in the near future.

What functionality is needed for Case Management?
Organizations increasingly need to deal with unstructured processes that Business Process Management Suites are not designed to cope with. Case Management is a way to govern and control these unstructured processes, but Case Management solutions can be challenging to develop.

Developing Case Management around a BPM solution preferably in conjunction with an Enterprise Content Management System solves many of these problems.

What is a case?
A case is a collection of activities that support a specific business objective. Each case has a lifecycle. During that lifecycle there will be a range of activities and requirements; information and content may need to be gathered in a wide range of formats (such as documents, email, minutes, interviews, photos and other data). Throughout there will be process related tasks and actions, human decisions and interventions. At any time in the lifecycle we should be able to have a holistic view of the case, create reports and review audit trails. A case will be subject to organizational policy or procedure, which determines the appropriate outcomes. Read the full article here.

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ACM makes it possible to combine BPM processes into cases based upon lifecycle, milestones and events in a very fast and agile way – Leon Smiers, Capgemini

imageCapgemini is pleased to see that case management is now added to the Oracle SOA and BPM stack. This small addition broadens the already rich BPM architecture, making it possible to combine BPM processes into cases based upon lifecycle, milestones and events in a very fast and agile way.

When implementing our processes, Capgemini needs tooling that supports design workshops and plays a part in closing the loop between analysis and development. Oracle Process Composer is the browser-based business analyst tool used in workshops to design processes. Oracle developed this tool spectacularly with human task form design capabilities, simulation, and, process player, which permits running processes in situ in the browser. Leon Smiers, Capgemini

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