At Oracle OpenWorld this week, nobody can escape one simple thing: the drum that’s being beaten loud and repetitively in every keynote session, "Oracle is engaged in creating a new cloud experience."
At MWD Advisors, our interest is principally in the "digital evolution of work," and so for us there’s a particular cluster of Oracle cloud services that is in our sights: (mostly) centred around Oracle Process Cloud Service, Oracle Documents Cloud Service, Oracle Social Network Cloud, Oracle Sites Cloud Service and Oracle Mobile Cloud Service.
Given the huge volume of announcements of various kinds emanating from Oracle at OpenWorld, it would be easy to miss the really interesting things that Oracle is doing in this space in particular. The main thing: Process Cloud (for short) – which, to say simply, is a stripped-down, more tightly-packaged version of Oracle’s on-premise BPM Suite hosted on the Oracle Cloud platform – is being progressively more deeply-integrated with the Documents Cloud Service and the Oracle Social Network Cloud.
Right now, Process Cloud is in a "controlled availability" program; there are around 50 customers using it. In this version, there’s seamless integration with Documents Cloud and Social collaboration services such that within the context of an individual task, there’s no work required to enable the storage and sharing of documents, or to enable microblogging / status updates that can be shared with colleagues to resolve issues. Each process instance is automatically associated with a default Documents Cloud folder.
There’s more coming, though (unfortunately I can’t share specifics yet). Ultimately Oracle’s intent is to create one integrated cloud-based platform service that enables clients to quickly build ‘co-ordination applications’ (my words, not Oracle’s) that make it easy to work across boundaries with customers, partners and suppliers in pretty sophisticated ways.
There’s a lot here for Oracle to build from; from what I see with our community, there are going to be a lot of opportunities for Oracle to help clients with what you might call ‘long tail’ business processes (currently supported by the sharing of spreadsheets over email). This is going to be particularly true when Oracle starts to really shine a spotlight on the integration points it can already facilitate with what it calls its ‘CX Suite’ (cloud applications for marketing, sales, service, e-commerce, CPQ, and so on). My expectation is that we’ll see all this unfold over the next 6-12 months.