It’s Always About The Customer

After spending most of my professional life in the Siebel arena, earlier this year I decided to give my career a swing. I started in 2000 as Siebel consultant at Ernst & Young Consulting (EYC) after completing my thesis at that same company, which soon became Capgemini Ernst & Young Consulting, and finally renamed again to Capgemini Consulting.

I remember the Siebel 99.5 bootcamp in Emeryville (January 2000) as it were yesterday. Three weeks of hard-core training. And how surprised I was being able to run Siebel from within the IE browser, while back in the office. Setting-up a sandbox environment was first-priority. Ordering a Dell server with facilities, and host the Siebel 99.5 sandbox from below my desk in the office. Those days…

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Joining Siebel Systems on the 1st of January 2005, soon becoming Oracle. Remember too well the announcement on my Blackberry while enjoying the Portuguese Algarve sun from the side of a swimming pool. We’re talking September 12th, 2005. One of my rationales to join Siebel was the (smaller) size of the organization, well – that was a short-lived experience since, a little than half a year later the acquisition got completed.

Yet another reason I joined Siebel was its outspoken customer dedication going along with the It’s All About The Customer slogan. And customer dedication was serious business at Siebel Systems, no doubt about that. It was running through the veins of the organization. For example the quarterly customer surveys, and its output were taken deadly serious. Any gap between customer expectations and scoring on any given metric? Action plans got put in place and executed against! siebel-its-all-about-the-customer-logo-350x263I have taken it’s all about the customer serious too. At least I always try 🙂 Because I too, believe that in the end it boils down to Tom Siebel’s add from the early 2000s:

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Although not the only driver, the compassion Salesforce has with its customers is what made me reconsider. And customer compassion is there, at an extraordinary level! There has been said and written much, but I belief as well having 170.000 (!) visitors to Dreamforce16 cannot be neglected. Treat your customers well, very well – and they will give back. Impressive, very impressive, to see how strong the sponsorship is among customers is, how well the Salesforce’s ecosystem is organized and how successful the Salesforce.org’s 1:1:1 giving-back model is.

Although Salesforce’s products are by no means to be neglected, success by large is the outcome of the way you treat your customers. Being part of that culture, is what motivated me. And what motivates me 🙂

Given this change in professional career, this Blog becomes dormant. And sure, if you want to follow me further, follow me through

linked  or twitter

– Jeroen

Siebel IP17 – Statement of Direction

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It has been released, the yearly ‘Statement of Direction’ – for many regarded as a ‘State of the Union’ for Siebel – for the release to come. That will obviously be Innovation Pack 2017, to see the daylight around April/May next year. John Bedford posted on Oracle OpenUI blog last week about it.

The full details can be found per usual on Oracle Support:

Innovation Pack 2017 (17.0) for Siebel CRM Statement of Direction / Planned Features (Doc ID 2179185.1)

For sure, Innovation Pack 2017 first and foremost is focused on Siebel Composer, Siebel Composer and again Siebel Composer. The one and most import design theme, at the roots of Siebel as we have known it over the past two decades. IP15 and IP16 have presented ‘developer previews’ and after two years in infancy, innovating and maturing – it will be the real deal in Innovation Pack 2017. And no, Siebel Tools will not cease to exist – and a lot of activities will still be managed through Siebel Tools. Scripting, Workflow, Incremental Repository Merge, … it will remain in Tools. Don’t be fooled.

The Workspaces – no-more-local-database – introduced with Innovation Pack 2016 will become default. And for that Workspaces will be enhanced to allow for full multi-level branching, to support parallel, multi-release development. I say will allow because it certainly will require very strong governance, not getting lost at the same time. Governance and overseeing ongoing developments will become even more important than it’s today. So: Lead Solution Architect: be prepared!

Composer and Workspaces lay out the foundation for agile development with Siebel better than ever before. But agile development also requires (regression) test automation, ideally on a daily basis. It has always been the Achilles’ heel and never an easy task, relying on 3rd party software such as Oracle’s Application Test Suite. Since a couple of years Oracle has been using internally a Selenium-based solution for regression testing of all OpenUI applications using a Keyword-driven framework build around Selenium. This has matured and it’s good to see it surface in the Statement of Direction. It will create only a loose dependency with Selenium, where all test scripts/suites and executions are managed and stored in the Siebel database.

And yes, Siebel becomes elastic where finally one would be able to dynamically provision a new Siebel Server in an up-and-running Siebel enterprise at zero-downtime. Though this feature is reserved for customers deploying on Oracle’s Public Cloud infrastructure.

To close off, Siebel REST API will be enhanced to support Swagger for service description. As well, REST API will be more dynamic in terms of ability to describe on the request the needed output (e.g. child entities and fields required). Great!

– Jeroen

PS: This might become my final post on the Oracle Implementation Advisor Blog…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OracleJET – Massive Open Online Course (22 Aug – 12 Sept)!

There are these times where really interesting initiatives surface. And to me Oracle’s Javascript Extension Toolkit is one of these. OraceJET in its essence is Oracle’s selection of a number of well-established Javascript libraries to enable rapid development of Javascript client-side applications. You could argue that already enough frameworks exists such as Angular.

But then: OracleJET is not yet another framework, but a modular ‘plug-in’ approach to building pure Javascript applications. If you prefer alternatives for modularization where OracleJET has opted for requireJS but you’d prefer Browserify instead? Or you feel more comfortable with React for two-way data binding instead of using Knockout? Feel free.

Take a step back, why is Oracle interested in building JavaScript applications? Well – traditionally Oracle build most of their applications using Application Developer Framework (ADF). Which resonates of course perfectly fine to Java developers. But to keep pace with Web development techniques, ADF has it’s limitations.

Just to take one key issue for Oracle today: accessibility. Each and every application’s UI should be fully accessible and compliant with WCAG standards. Now, complying with WCAG using ADF is not impossible, but if you consider the relative easy building fully accessible components using JQueryUI that sets back ADF significantly. Get the point?

Now Oracle developed OracleJET first-and-foremost as an internal toolkit, to enable rapid development of new UI’s. These UI’s should implement consistently Oracle’s standard Alta UI theme. And of course fully responsive. So Alta UI styling comes as default, responsive. Like with Bootstrap or Google’s Material-UI components – it allows rapidly developing an application. It gained so much internal success at Oracle (there are 100+ UI’s already developed through OracleJET) that Oracle decided to provide it for anybody to use and leverage. Not only customers, but everybody. So licensed under the Universal Permissive License.

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Of course, Oracle customer are first-and-foremost targeted. Have purchased Oracle Sales Cloud, and seeking for an elegant way to develop a point-solution comprising a mobile hybrid native app? Sure. OracleJET provides full integration with Cordova for this matter as well as native integration with Netbeans as IDE.

So – what’s this Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) all about? It will crash-cours teach the fundamentals of OracleJET. Presented by OracleJET’s Product marketing team: John Brock and Geertjan Wielenga.

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You will learn how to:

  • Apply basic JET principles to create Oracle JET application including JET modules, layouts and components
  • Apply more advanced JET functionality, including navigation, routing, validation, layouts, and responsive design.
  • Create hybrid mobile applications with Cordova in combination with Oracle JET.
  • Integrate with the world outside Oracle JET, e.g., JQuery components and the Oracle Cloud.
  • Deal with the remaining enterprise-level challenges, i.e., internationalization, accessibility, and security.

Register here.

Seeking the relationship with Siebel? Think Innovation Pack 2016. Think REST API. Matter of fact is, that using OracleJET we developed in matter of days a descent looking proof on concept, leveraging IP16’s REST capabilities.

– Jeroen

Siebel IP16 Available on Oracle Cloud

Siebel Innovation Pack 2016 is now readily available to run on Oracle’s Cloud. Check out Oracle’s Cloud Marketplace and get going!

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You will have the option to either pick the Demo (sample) database, or go for a plain installation.

Follow these links to the Cloud market place.

Pricing for Oracle’s compute and storage is very attractive. Especially if you’re primary interest would be first of all to leverage a Cloud-based deployment purely for discovery and demonstration purposes. In the latter case it would likely be sufficient to have just a few CPU cores available to run the database and Siebel enterprise tiers.

More information?

Happy discovery!

– Jeroen

 

Siebel Roadshow, Utrecht (NL) – Sept 5th & 6th

Mark your agenda for September 5th and 6th. Following London, New York, Los Angeles (alright Irvine) – the next runner-up is Utrecht, the Netherlands! A nicely balanced agenda with lots of product  content as well as customer-case presentations by Rabobank, KPN and ANWB. And at the same time an excellent networking opportunity.

To reserve a seat at this FREE event, please RSVP to Rebecca d’Souza

Below the agenda, or get the pdf here.

Agenda (Day 1):

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  • Siebel CRM Executive Strategy Update – George Jacob, GVP Oracle CRM Applications, presents the latest update including what to expect in our 17.0 product release.

 

  • Siebel CRM Integration Cloud – find out about the latest developments with Siebel CRM and the Oracle Integration Cloud Service.

 

  • Case Study: Siebel CRM and Oracle Cloud Integration –Hear from KPN about their successful Siebel CRM and Oracle Sales Cloud integrated solution.

 

  • Case Study: Oracle Policy Automation and Siebel – Hear from Rabobank about their successful Siebel CRM and OPA solution.

 

  • Case Study: OPA Benefits with Business Rules and Process Automation – Hear from ANWB about their ROI and benefits from their Siebel CRM and OPA solution.

 

  • Siebel CRM: Future Innovation Roadmap – Hear about  IoT solutions for Siebel CRM, machine learning and process automation as well as the next generation innovations in Open UI, mobile and agile development.

 

  • Networking & 1:1 Meetings – a chance to catch up with other Siebel CRM customers and executives over canapés and beverages.

 

Agenda (Day 2):

 

  • Siebel CRM On-Cloud – see how you can reduce CapEx and TCO by hosting your Siebel CRM application on Cloud infrastructure.

 

  • Innovations with Test Automation for Siebel CRM – Hear from e-Up about a new innovation that leverages UPT to provide a new test automation framework reducing TCO.

 

  • Data Archiving with Siebel CRM – Data management strategy – overcoming challenges with data archiving.

 

  • Creating Value from Data with Oracle Business Analytics – see how to get more value from Oracle BI for Siebel CRM.

 

  • Improving Agility in the Development Process – see how to take advantage of Siebel Tools Workspaces and Siebel Composer.

 

  • Siebel CRM solutions with RESTful API – Insight into creating custom solutions for Siebel CRM with the new RESTful API.

 

  • Networking & 1:1 Meetings – a chance to catch up with other Siebel CRM customers and executives over canapés and beverages.

 

– Jeroen