Smart Operations and IT Help Prevent Tardy Deliveries

At School Specialty, staff are responsible for delivering all the supplies a school needs—more than 75, 000 products, from pencils and desks to lab equipment, sporting goods, and curriculato 90,000 schools before the next academic year begins. It’s a huge three-month push: typically teachers write orders before school lets out, and around July 1 (when the school budget year begins) districts begin submitting purchase orders (POs) to School Specialty’s sales team. The supplies need to be in classrooms by August or September.

“It’s like a tsunami, ” says Mike Killoren, vice president of purchasing at School Specialty, noting that filled order lines jump from 100,000 per week in December to more than 800,000 per week in July.

Employees at School Specialty use Oracle E-Business Suite to plan for and execute the company’s response to this extreme seasonal fluctuation, both in the back office and the warehouse. Oracle tools are also used after the rush to evaluate performance and refine models and processes. The resulting automated, nimble operation also helps people at the company react to the shrinking budgets affecting many school systems today.

Smart Operations Demand and Supply

School Specialty employees prepare all year for the summer rush. Planning begins with sales data from previous years, pulled weekly from the company’s Oracle Order Management system and passed to a demand-planning application from Logility.

The resulting demand plan estimates how many units of each product School Specialty will sell; this figure is adjusted to account for the 5, 000 or so products in School Specialty’s catalog that chum annually (about 20 percent), economic conditions, and other factors. School Specialty buyers also use the demand plan to begin discussions with the company’s 3,000 vendors about needs for the coming season.

“Logility does the math and then passes the information back into Oracle as a forecast, ” Killoren explains. “Then we use Oracle MRP [materials resource planning] functionality to calculate what we should buy based on the forecast. We refer to that as a supply plan. ” The supply plan incorporates not just hereby solving critical supply chain problems), already allows Lojas Renner staff to measure customer behavior and modify product offerings based on local tastes. Now managers can clear stock (avoiding markdowns) and accurately meet market demand (avoiding out-of-stock situations). In fact, managers have been able to reduce markdowns by as much as 20 percent through better demand planning. This, in turn, has lowered inventory costs and enabled inventory managers to focus on the right products for each store. As a result, Oracle Retail applications have helped Lojas Renner increase gross margins by 2 percent, a significant improvement.

On the supply side, the company needed to be flexible with its suppliers. “Supply chain excellence, ” Simone says, “goes directly to the bottom line. ” According to Simone, Lojas Renner’s suppliers are a key to the company’s continued success, because one challenge that comes along with Brazil’s growth is competition. “Suppliers have more options now for whom to work with, ” he says. “We need loyalty from our suppliers. ”

To help ensure that fidelity, Simone says, Lojas Renner is trying to give its suppliers more visibility into its demand forecasts so they can adjust their capacity in advance. Simone and his team built a portal with Oracle iSupplier Portal (part of Oracle E-Business Suite) to give suppliers visibility into the company’s demand system. “We have between 700 and 800 suppliers, both big and small, from LOréal to Chinese suppliers to suppliers with home-based businesses, ” Simone says. The portal enables Lojas Renner to give all of them “the big picture of their future with the company: volumes, order anticipation, a working partnership. We can say to our suppliers, ‘Let’s start booking production for next year. ’” That, in turn, enables the suppliers to perform with greater efficiency and keeps them doing business with Lojas Renner.

Smart Operations and Retail CloudBurst

Lojas Renner’s greatest technological leap forward was its decision to move into the cloud, taking advantage of Oracle’s SaaS offerings. According to Balbinot, the advantages of the SaaS model are multiple and substantial.

Continue reading Smart Operations and IT Help Prevent Tardy Deliveries

Oracle’s SaaS CRM: GO!


The sales representatives at eSilicon have a groundbreaking service to sell based on Oracle SaaS CRM. The company is the pioneer of the Value Chain Producer model — designing, manufacturing, and productizing fully tested packaged chips. Working with eSilicon gives fabless semiconductor and system original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) a low-cost and lower-risk path to volume chip production, increasing predictability of deliveries and time-to-market advantages.

Despite strong customer adoption, eSilicon’s sales force did not have the enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) solution to keep pace with an ambitious plan to increase business and broaden the company’s global customer base. With the help of Oracle CRM On Demand (SaaS CRM), eSilicon’s enterprise applications services staff worked with the company’s sales team to overcome technology challenges and deliver a new set of capabilities. Best of all, the process of implementing the new system was fast and painless, and users are unanimous in their praise.

“Adoption of a SaaS CRM has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Michael McPherson, director of sales at eSilicon. “I haven’t heard one person say anything negative about Oracle CRM On Demand.”

CRM As a Service

Boasting customers from the communications, computation, storage, consumer, and industrial sectors, eSilicon produces technology that has been used in everything from large servers to Apple’s iPod. With such a diverse customer base, the company needed a robust CRM system that could serve many needs: a SaaS CRM.

Oracle SaaS CRM works in the Cloud
Continue reading Oracle’s SaaS CRM: GO!

The Power of Social CRM

David Ferguson served as president of the Oracle Applications Users Group in 2010 and has more than 25 years of experience working as a business process manager with enterprise technologies and applications within customer service and sales operations. Here, he weighs in on how social CRM (social customer relationship management) is changing the game for salespeople.

Companies engaged in deploying CRM applications have in the past faced difficulties striking a balance between collecting data from and returning useful information to the sales team. Early attempts at automating the sales process resulted in a one-way feed; sales associates would gather and report data on customers to management with little in return. Consequently, the tools were not easily sold to the people doing the selling.

Social CRM improves productivity
Continue reading The Power of Social CRM

Exalogic Elastic Cloud Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Applications

Oracle Virtual Machine

Adding to the Oracle VM Templates already available for dozens of Oracle products, Oracle has introduced Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Applications—the first Oracle VM Templates specifically built for Oracle Exalogic.

Oracle VM Templates are virtual machine images based on Oracle’s expertise and best practices that contain prebuilt, preinstalled, preconfigured, and ready-to- run software applications.

Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud Oracle Virtual Machine Templates are now available for Oracle E-Business Suite 12.1.3, Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Oracle’s PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.52, and Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management and 8.2.2.

Exalogic Virtual Machine Elastic Cloud

The new Oracle Virtual Machines – VM Templates – for Oracle Applications can help decrease application deployment time to minutes instead of weeks, simplify sea ling of Oracle Applications up and down to meet peak demands, and speed patching with prebuilt templates for Oracle Application patchsets.

Oracle Exalogic has been engineered from the ground up to run business applications and middleware with less complexity and lowertotal cost of ownership,” says Hasan Rizvi, executive vice president of middleware development at Oracle.

“Oracle Exalogic Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Applications take advantage of Oracle’s integrated hard- ware and software stack to deliver the predictable, low-risk deployment process that our customers need fortheir multi- tier, business-critical applications, in either a conventional or cloud deployment model.”

Elasticsearch-Powered SaaS Offerings: Elastic Cloud

Elastic Cloud is agrowing family of SaaS offerings that make it easy to deploy, operate, and scale Elastic products and solutions in the cloud.

From an easy-to-use hosted and managed Elasticsearch experience to powerful, out-of-the-box search solutions, Elastic Cloud is your springboard for seamlessly putting Elastic to work for you.


What is Oracle Insight?

Oracle Insight studies the strategic alignment of IT and business and helps clients prioritize IT projects based on the biggest potential financial and process-improvement impacts. An Oracle Insight engagement can take from three to six months and follows a flexible four-step methodology that is customized for each individual client.

  1. Industry perspective. Oracle Insight facilitates discussions with customer executives about the trends, best practices, challenges, and opportunities particular to the customer’s business.
  2. Discovery. The Oracle Insight team visits the customer site to study capabilities—in personnel, processes, and technology—that can be leveraged in an improved strategy. The team uses proprietary Oracle intellectual property and industry-specific frameworks in its assessments.
  3. Solution design. A solution combining best-practice processes and supporting technology moves the client toward better-aligned strategy. The design includes a time-to-benefit analysis and an implementation plan.
  4. Solution presentation. The Oracle Insight team works with the client to create an executive presentation that pinpoints the business benefits and value drivers of the solution, along with detailed information supporting the recommendation. These presentations are used to build consensus and secure funding from a company’s board.

Evolve your enterprise with Oracle Insight. Explore, evaluate, and find the best cloud strategies for your business.


Oracle personnel prioritized IT investments in the company’s financial operations an effort led by Senior Vice President and one that Oracle Executive Vice President and CFO called “fabulous. ”

The Oracle Insight program was launched in 2003 to help transform Oracle’s sales strategy from one measured solely on sales volume to a relationship model that emphasizes solutions and service. The need for this new model was driven in part by the many technologies Oracle was acquiring and integrating (and continues to acquire and integrate) into its end-to- end technology stack. As such, while the Oracle team does provide specific technology recommendations, it does not provide implementation assistance or sell software solutions.


Real Application Testing and Tuning Database

AFG’s implementation team used Oracle Real Application Testing to tune the database for optimal performance before going live. This unique database testing facility combines a workload capture and replay feature with a performance analyzer to test real-life workloads. “We captured about eight hours’ worth of transactions during a normal business day, and then we replayed those..

The Australian Finance Group (AFG), Australia’s largest mortgage broker, relies on Oracle Exadata technology, Oracle Real Application Testing, and other Oracle products to provide a sales system to a national network of more than 2,200 independent brokers. Founded in 1994, the Perth-based company offers more than 800 residential mortgage products from 35 lending institutions, along with commercial financing and compliance, commission payments, and marketing and training services for brokers. AFG had previously selected Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management (Siebel CRM) as the foundation of a cloud- based platform called FLEX, which its broker network uses to source loan products, submit loan applications, manage customers, and manage leads.

Now, AFG’s production Oracle Exadata system resides in a quarter-rack configuration that contains two database servers and three storage servers, with 6 TB of disk storage and 1TB of flash. The company’s Oracle Exadata platform hosts multiple OLTP applications, including Siebel Incentive Compensation Management to calculate commissions and Oracle Financials to make payments. “Our goal with Oracle Exadata and Oracle Real Application Testing is to rationalize servers, reduce back-end storage infrastructure, and consolidate multiple database instances”.

Oracle Exadata has enabled AFG to decommission several servers at its datacenter, reducing the overall Oracle footprint from three racks to two. “It only took two months from the time we took delivery of the Oracle Exadata Database Machine until we were in production with our mission-critical applications set up with Application Testing: custom configurations are eliminated, so you can get up and running quickly.

Data Masking and Real Application Testing Screencast

The Secure Blockchain Smartphone Failure

Sirin Labs recently raised $115M in an Initial Coin Offering to fund their new attempt at a secure blockchain smartphone, in a phase of downturn for ICOs, signing up soccer star Leo Messi as brand ambassador.

Though it was launched last March — with a huge marketing campaign with movie stars, including Leonardo di Caprio – by September their CEO admitted they had sales of “just under $10 million”, which amounts to just about 700 units sold.

total utter failure, which proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the hundreds of thousands of top executives, and the rich and powerful of the World — with assets of trillions of dollars — did not even remotely trust their claims and approach. They sticked to their iPhone as the least-worse alternative, and just assumed all to be cracked or crackable by a large incalculable number of actors.

Nevertheless, Sirin Labs had by March had enough millions of dollars to decide to pivot/rebrand by “integrating” the blockchain to increase their security, positioning as crypto wallet an client, and committing to switch from obscure proprietary to an unspecified level of “open source”. They previously raised equity for $25M in 2013 and another $75M in 2016 for their $15,000 Solarin smartphone, claiming to be the most secure phone in the World.

From this huge product failure and consequent huge fundraising success story we can learn a few lessons:

(A) Validates a huge demand for more secure client devices for communications (like the aforementioned blockhain phone), cryptocurrency wallet and general cloud computing – quantified in hundreds of billions from Snowden onwards – that are way more secure than current state-of-the-art. Continue reading The Secure Blockchain Smartphone Failure


Oracle Identity Management: benefits and problems

Identity Management for Midsize Companies

Check hosted and managed Oracle Identity Management solutions, as well as expand the breadth of your services, including Oracle WebCenter and Oracle Applications consulting and solution offerings. The president and chief executive officer of aurionPro SENA discusses the benefits of hosted identity management and managed services, and the convenience of mobile IDM.

Which are most common Identity Management problems?

Midsize companies usually find that as they continue to scale their businesses, their initial set of IT solutions become less effective and increasingly difficult to manage. More-sophisticated enterprise systems that cover finance, human resources, and other critical functions are often implemented so that the business owners can gain operational efficiencies while obtaining strategic insights from their corporate data through business intelligence and analytics solutions. At the same time, these growing companies often have to consider implementing regulatory and compliance controls in a much more structured and comprehensive manner. This combination of increased IT system complexity and emerging regulatory and compliance challenges, all while the number of employees is growing rapidly, makes information security a critically important aspect of any midsize company’s IT landscape.

Oracle Identity Management

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MySQL Workbench: How to get and use it

The most frequent information about MySQL Workbench releases is available at the Developer Central Site. MySQL Workbench is available in two editions, the GPL “Community Edition” and the commercial “Standard Edition”. The first one is free and can be downloaded from the previous link. MySQL Workbench Standard Edition is part of MySQL Enterprise Edition.

If you are looking at MySQL Workbench old versions, archived files can be found at the official archive site where you can get Windows, Linux, MacOS binaries or the source code. After downloading the MySQL Workbench package that suits your needs and before attempting to install it, make sure that it is intact and has not been tampered with. There are three means of integrity checking:

  • MD5 checksums
  • Cryptographic signatures using GnuPG, the GNU Privacy Guard
  • For RPM packages, the built-in RPM integrity verification mechanism

If you notice that the MD5 checksum or GPG signatures do not match, first try to download the respective package one more time, perhaps from another mirror site.

Easy way to install MySQL Workbench

The easiest way for installing MySQL Workbench is Continue reading MySQL Workbench: How to get and use it