Sunday 28 January 2018

The Excitement (and challenge) of Continuous Innovation

Part of my role at Certus, is to understand what is happening in the Oracle World and make sure if we need to be part of it we are ready to be so at the right time. Another part is understanding the strategy of our customers and how these things can brought together.

I recently attended a chatbot training course, and like all the others on the course followed a script and now have a working example on facebook.

Great, but how do I make that relevant in our world of Cloud users? Well that challenge isn't new, it is something we need work at all the time, and part of that is identifying the gap between marketing and customer adoption.

Oracle have helped, the move to universal credits for #PaaS4SaaS means that customers can trial ideas, in a more agile way, using all of the available development tools, without committing to one specific product. You can try things out, fail fast and move on to the next idea until you have a valuable solution for your organisation.

We have a major customer who has a cloud first strategy and looked at Integration Cloud, for you guessed it, integration. However working with our partners eProseed the answer for their specific need was SOA Cloud. This may change and it may be a combination but being able to work through the options without commercial implications is a new and powerful offering.

Another customer who is implementing HCM Cloud self service alongside their global E Business Suite systems, had specific needs around security. Having quickly demonstrated that we had the right approach to challenges, we worked together on a small proof of concept, and then they were able to purchase the required licences confident of their investment.

Part of this confidence and desire to do more than a simple implementation comes from our strategy of not only being aware but of investing cautiously in actually trying things out. If you have followed our #PaaS4SaaS story, we did our first proof of concept with eProseed when it was simply Java Cloud Service on offer. We took a small scenario from a case management tool and replicated the process within PaaS and integrated it as a seamless addition to Cloud HCM. We have demonstrated this around the world and used it as a way to articulate how everything actually works together. Everyone can understand the use case; the need to follow a company policy for absences.

As #PaaS4SaaS has evolved there are no so many more technical options, and again we have explored them, like the low code options within ABCS (now VBCS) and shared those findings.

Which brings me back to chatbots. Tim Warner and I have committed to taking about chatbots with HCM Cloud at Collaborate in April, so the race to bring all the components together is on. The actual technology development is simple enough, the harder part is identifying use cases that the current APIs support. #PaaS4SaaS has encouraged the Cloud applications development team to provide more and more APIs and I am promised there are more to come.

Sometimes the solution does not need to be that complex and in fact as the saying goes, the best ideas as the simplest ones. An integrated solution could simply be the user experience being joined up, so we don't have to wait.

Oracle has a team in the UK around digital innovation and Certus was asked to be involved. There approach was to have innovation workshops with customers to see the art of the possible around mobile. The outcome was combining both Oracle Cloud Apps and other applications used by the organisation into a simple app that combined in a single user experience ways to overcome today's challenges. We held a workshop with a number of government clients and came up with two great prototypes.

This approach means when the customers are ready, we are ready and has made Certus stand out. It also makes my job very exciting. I love my job!