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11/13/2007
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Oracle Begins To Flesh Out Its Promise Of Composite Processes

The company aims to make it much easier for business analysts and programmer analysts in the enterprise to change existing business processes and construct new ones.

Oracle at its Oracle OpenWorld user group has started to produce what it promised in April this year: a telecommunications industry Application Integration Architecture for its applications.

If it can fulfill its vision of ease of interoperation between applications, it will make it much easier for business analysts and programmer analysts in the enterprise to change existing business processes and construct new ones.

The three Process Integration Packs offer pre-built sets of linkages across Oracle Siebel Customer Relationship Management, Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management, and Oracle Financials.

The integration packs establish the following business processes, based on those applications: Order-to-Bill Integration Pack for Communications, Agent-Assisted Billing Care Integration Pack for Communications, and Revenue Accounting Integration Pack for Communications.

The processes help telecommunications service providers bring new services to market. They also allow a telecom service representative to access order and billing information, giving a service representative a Siebel CRM view of real time data on a customer with a service problem.

"Oracle Application Integration Architecture 2.0 provides APIs, data flows and data formats so you can connect one application to another," said Oracle President Charles Phillips as the integration packs were announced Monday.

He was followed Tuesday by Ed Abbo, senior VP of Oracle applications, who said the integration packs supply the underlying software modules that can be assembled with a graphical interface "to run on top of Fusion middleware," which includes Oracle's Application Server and Oracle Enterprise Service Bus. "It allows you to innovate on your business process much more rapidly."

Oracle also made available Application Integration Architecture for SAP, since Oracle and SAP, in addition to being application competitors, also share many of the same customers. It offers pre-built software modules for implementing a shared business semantics and cross-application data for key processes, such as order-to-cash, new product introduction and general ledger financial consolidation.

Its pre-built integration packs will tie such Oracle CRM, transportation management and product lifecycle management applications to SAP ERP applications.

Next year, Oracle plans to deliver Process Integration Packs to support key business processes governing consumer packaged goods, high tech manufacturing, chemical and other process-oriented industries,

Oracle also sought to demonstrate how its Siebel CRM on Demand application will serve as the basis for mash-ups and an enterprise social networking forum for salesforce members. The online application can be extended with gadgets, such as shared calendars, from iGoogle. It can host information about a sales person's areas of expertise, personal interests, projects in which she is seeking other sales people with related skills, etc.

Such social networking "could make salespeople more effective," as opposed to traditional salesforce management, which makes them more accountable to sales supervisors, noted Abbo. He didn't say when the social networking features will become generally available in Siebel CRM on Demand.

Oracle also said Oracle Application Integration Architecture Foundation Pack will be available in 30 days, a set of tools to build their own composite business processes across Oracle and other applications. It's designed to work on top of Oracle Fusion middleware, and supplies a set of pre-built modules and services for constructing cross-application processes.

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