The Unexpected Twist in the Enterprise IT #CloudWars

The Bold Microsoft And Oracle Cloud Partnership Allows Two Longtime Enterprise IT Leaders To Lock Their Leadership In Place, Bolster Against Rivals And Simplify Data Management For Companies Around The World

On June 5, Oracle and Microsoft made an announcement that will impact nearly every major enterprise around the globe as businesses continue their digital transformations — with data growth and consumption exploding at virus-like levels now and for the foreseeable future.

CIOs and IT departments expressed surprise and joy over the announcement. On Twitter, “Wow” was the word of the day among insiders. “Hell freezes over” is how one German tech journalist put it. Tech Crunch called it “relatively unusual.”

Here in the fast-growing offices of Vigilant Technologies, where we partner with both Oracle and Microsoft, there was absolute excitement at the possibilities, as we’ve understood the complementary nature of these companies for years.

 

 

 

 

Source: Gartner

With this deal, Microsoft and Oracle, the No. 1 and No. 2 software companies in the world, have done something exceptional, and it’s not all about beating AWS (though that’s certainly a part of it).

By making a choice to help their customers, they’ve amplified their own value and further cornered the enterprise IT market, from database and cloud infrastructure to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which is the biggest part of the cloud market.

Simplifying Cloud for Enterprise

Let’s dive in first with the actual news from the press release:

Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. on Wednesday announced a cloud interoperability partnership enabling customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. Enterprises can now seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database.

On its face, enterprises can now simplify migrating their business application workloads to the cloud.

Why is this important? Well, an aggravating conventional wisdom — with some truth to it — has developed in IT circles that you always want to “unify your stack.” Simply put, that means keep all your Microsoft business apps on Microsoft databases and clouds and keep all of your Oracle apps on Oracle databases and clouds.

The thinking here is that everything will run better with this kind of set up, resulting in less data lag and crashes that give the IT department headaches. Also, the IT department won’t have to spend a lot of time and money re-architecting data for mix-and-match app-database-cloud setups.

But this unify-your-stack mentality has really complicated how companies go about selecting applications, databases, clouds and planning their technology roadmaps. That’s because it’s all interconnected. So, a lot of all-or-nothing choices have been made about technology decisions that weren’t always the best for the business. More importantly, a lot of companies have preferred sitting on the sidelines, not making decisions at all, because the choices were not optimal.

To amplify this struggle, the head of IT for a global consumer products company recently told Vigilant: “I don’t think we would ever entertain running Oracle (apps) on Microsoft or AWS (clouds).”

Now, however, Microsoft and Oracle have erased concerns like these, as explained by IT leaders quoted in the joint MS-Oracle press release:

  • Sally Gilligan, chief information officer at The Gap explained the benefits: “The interoperability between Azure and Oracle Cloud allows us to deploy Oracle or custom-built applications on Azure and Oracle databases on Oracle Cloud.”
  • “At Halliburton, we have a long history of running both Oracle and Microsoft technologies for our most critical applications,” added Ken Braud, senior vice president and CIO. “This alliance gives us the flexibility and ongoing support to continue leveraging our standard architectures, while allowing us to focus on generating business outcomes.”

Complimentary Data Management

By simplifying life for their customers, Microsoft and Oracle have done themselves a big favor, too. Let’s look at why:

There are two primary ways to store and manage data that powers business applications — in a data center or in a cloud (which is really just somebody else’s data center that your enterprise doesn’t have to operate).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Seeking Alpha

For decades, Oracle has been the No. 1 leader in database technology, with 45+% market share, competing directly against Microsoft, which has long been No. 2, with 19+% market share (Data from seekingalpha.com). Most enterprises today have both Oracle and MS SQL Server databases in their data center.

Even as this database sector is foretasted to decline, as companies move to cloud infrastructures, it’s important to note that Oracle has remained No. 1 in this mission-critical database segment for a reason: their databases are widely regarded as extremely efficient, powerful, reliable, and secure. Oracle is the database king.

Now, let’s take a look at the cloud infrastructure market, which is, again, just somebody else’s database center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Canalys

Azure mentioned in its press release that it is the “cloud of choice for the enterprise, with over 95% of the Fortune 500 using Azure.” When looking at the broader market, AWS remains the leader, but Microsoft is second (and growing faster than AWS, according to Gartner and Canalys), with other companies, such as Oracle and IBM, trying to carve out respectable slivers of the pie.

Enterprises are the key to future growth for these #CloudWars competitors. So, getting companies that are already using popular Oracle databases and business applications, such as E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft or Hyperion, to move to either Azure or Oracle clouds running Oracle databases is extremely attractive.

The Underappreciated Database

If you were in charge of running a cloud infrastructure service, you’d want the databases powering your cloud to be the most cost-efficient, powerful and reliable databases you could get. It would mean that your cloud could run faster, with less data lag for your customers and more reliability.

In essence, you’d probably want your cloud to be powered by Oracle. (Microsoft, Oracle’s longstanding database competitor, probably knows that better than anyone).

Databases are an important part of enterprise IT architectures, whether they are on-premise, in the cloud or, as is increasingly likely, a hybrid database-cloud setup. This is likely why Amazon signaled in its 2018 Letter to Shareholders that its getting into the business of databases with this note: “we heard loudly that companies felt constrained by their commercial database options and had been unhappy with their database providers for decades.”

An observer might have assumed that Microsoft Azure was running its own SQL Servers in its data centers. But Azure cloud running premium market-leading Oracle databases? That’s some powerful “Wow” business news in IT-land.

Which takes us back to the Microsoft and Oracle press release:

“By enabling customers to run one part of a workload within Azure and another part of the same workload within the Oracle Cloud, the partnership delivers a highly optimized, best-of-both-clouds experience. Taken together, Azure and Oracle Cloud offer customers a one-stop shop for all the cloud services and applications they need to run their entire business.”

But Wait, There’s More!

The cloud business isn’t all infrastructure, of course, and this deal could eventually amplify the strength of Microsoft and Oracle in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market, too. The SaaS market is actually the biggest part of the cloud market, forecasted by Gartner to reach $113 billion in 2021, compared to $63 billion for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Typically, an enterprise roadmap goes something like this:

  1. On-prem business app running on on-prem database
  2. On-prem business app running in a public cloud, sometimes with a PaaS extension to preserve expensive customizations, and eventually …
  3. SaaS cloud application

What does it mean if Microsoft and Oracle make it easier to get to step No. 2? Logically, it should mean that they’ll be better situated to earn the business if and when the enterprise moves to step No. 3.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Synergy Research Group

In the SaaS market, Microsoft is already No. 1 with market share over 15%, according to the Synergy Research Group. Oracle is No. 4 with market share approaching 10%, just behind Salesforce and Adobe, but ahead of SAP. Microsoft and Oracle are already fast movers in this group, too, with annual growth rates above 40%. (AWS doesn’t yet play in this market).

If you’re a CIO evaluating SaaS applications, you may now be giving Microsoft and Oracle a consideration edge, as integrating and connecting data from the same vendors is usually easier, and therefore less expensive. What’s more, this new partnership may allow an enterprise to squeeze even more time and money out of their current investments before making a move to SaaS.

So this bold move by Microsoft and Oracle was an unexpected twist for sure, but it will be even more interesting to see what comes next in the #CloudWars.

What’s New With Oracle HCM?

As Oracle’s HR cloud approaches its 10th year, HCM has added cutting-edge, if not edgy, new features to deliver more meaningful functionality, improve employee engagement and drive efficiency with AI

Launched in 2011, Oracle HCM has been refining its cloud-based SaaS HR solution for almost a decade. During that time, the field of companies that help enterprises manage human capital from hire to retire has grown quite crowded.

But those that offer comprehensive features across platforms – for example: recruitment, payroll, benefits and time-off management on desktop and mobile – in enterprises with more than 1,000 employees remains small.

Oracle has been committed to continually updating HCM with new features to improve user experience and deliver more meaningful functionality, analysis and outputs as more and more companies take their HR management to the cloud, launching new features such as self-service chatbots for common HR questions.

“By 2021, only half of organizations will have embraced digital technology to transform their business to be more intelligent and automated, and this is something we’re seeing prominently in HR,” said Mark Smith, CEO and chief research officer, Ventana Research. “Oracle is helping HR professionals stay ahead of this curve. Its investments in innovations, such as mobile-responsive design and digital assistants, are unique in the industry and will help its customers stay at the forefront of the market and achieve long-term success.”

Oracle’s comprehensive roadmap to the future for HCM focuses on mobile platforms, social engagement, chatbots and use of artificial intelligence, including machine learning. At the Mobile Business Experience in Las Vegas last month, Oracle showed off a range of new HCM features, such as digital assistants that are accessible through SMS, voice and chabots on desktop or mobile devices for common HR questions asked in thousands of different ways, including time-off availability, benefits coverage, pay slip details, onboarding tasks, and performance evaluations.

A comprehensive summary of recent updates (19A and 19B) can be found on Oracle’s website at this link, but read on to view a summary of HCM’s range of new and existing features:

Global Human Resources Cloud: Use a single global human resources solution that aligns common global HR processes, supports local compliance needs across multiple countries, and engages your workforce.

Key Benefits: Leverage legislative functionality to operate effectively across more than 200 countries and jurisdictions. Simplify the management of unique industry, union, collective labor, and worker agreements with rules-driven processing.

Talent Management Cloud: Manage the entire talent life cycle including recruiting candidates, managing performance, developing careers, providing learning, performing talent reviews, and planning successions.

Key Benefits
: Increase hiring speed and quality by quickly sourcing and recruiting the right candidates. Increase engagement with work-life solutions that help motivate employees and deliver a superior employee experience. Increase bench strength by proactively planning for succession in leadership and other key roles.

New Features:

  • Tailored Career Sites: Organizations can now create multiple career sites to better target specific candidate pools, such as unique sites to identify college graduates vs. more experienced professionals or dedicated career sites for various business units within larger organizations.
  • Candidate Self-Service: Job candidates now have a variety of self-service access to proactively obtain information, such as their application status, through an embedded chatbot.
  • Streamlined Scheduling: A broad range of interview scheduling capabilities streamline the interview process and enable recruiters to spend less time on tactical scheduling and more time finding the best candidates.

Workforce Rewards Cloud: Attract and retain talent with differentiated rewards, and address simple and complex organizational remuneration needs.

Key Benefits: Differentiate compensation by allocating the right mix of monetary and nonmonetary rewards. Manage time and labor, scheduling, and related expenses. Maintain expenses for specific projects and other costs. Build a pay-for-performance culture.

Workforce Management Cloud: Control labor costs, efficiently manage projects, and improve operational excellence with Oracle Workforce Management.

Key Benefits: Accurately capture time worked by your employees via time clock integrations, online web clocks, timecards, calendar time entries, or mobile devices. Manage shifts, holiday schedules, and other company events that impact the availability of your workers, while ensuring you stay within budget. Ensure employees are paid accurately and on time using simple, configurable rules. Comprehensive absence, project management and T&E tools.

Work Life Solutions Cloud: Attract and retain top talent with a suite of innovative solutions that helps employees be more productive at work.

Key Benefits: Measure employees influence inside and outside the organization to improve their personal brand. Wellness tracking options that integrate with wearable devices. Attract new employees with a comprehensive volunteer program. Use gamification tools to improve engagement and productivity: Establish awards, incentives, scoring guidelines, and timeframes for competitions

Need Oracle HCM Support or Services?

Vigilant is a certified Oracle Platinum Partner with an HCM Center of Excellence that offers end-to-end rapid implementation services as well as experienced managed support services.

Vigilant can help you transform your HR operations from strategy to design, delivery and effective execution by providing best-in-class services. We can also assist with integrations to third-party systems and migrating from Oracle HCM E-Business to HCM cloud. When it comes to Oracle HCM partners, our team has experience across all HCM modules and can ensure you’re getting the most ROI out of this valuable tool.

Contact us a 1-888-209-9424 or email us directly at solutions@vigilant-inc.com.

Top Five Companies Using Blue Prism as their RPA of Choice

rpa-robot-worker

As the market leader in RPA, Blue Prism is lining up an impressive list of global companies as customers. Blue Prism gives Fortune 500 companies a digital workforce to do repetitive administrative tasks. Below are five companies that have made Blue Prism their RPA platform of choice.

Walgreens has about 8 million customers shop in one of its stores or online daily across the United States. It is one of the largest drugstore chains in the country. When Walgreens began updating its HR and payroll systems, it turned to Blue Prism for help.

Because it had a hiring freeze in place, Walgreens relied on technology to handle the extra work. Blue Prism took over the most labor-intensive work for Walgreens. Employees were freed up to manage customer-focused work.

Therefore, Blue Prism RPA system entered Walgreens’ repetitive HR data related to the estimated 2,000 employees that are out on a leave of absence on any given day. Blue Prism improved Walgreen’s HR efficiency by 73%.

https://www.blueprism.com/resources/case-studies/how-blue-prisms-digital-workforce-is-increasing-walgreens-hr-shared-service-efficiency-by-73

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, consolidated its HR and Finance organizations.

It turned to Blue Prism’s RPA to improve its operational performance.  The digital workforce worked 24-hour shifts and gave employees the time to enhance their customer-experience work.

However, the consolidation took time because Coca-Cola asked the right questions. The company focused on departments that had the highest number of manual HR processes. It identified 150 different processes.

Also, HR was running and auditing eight different sets of data on various reports. Employees were running reports, having their audited and formatting them. This was time-consuming and inefficient. Now Coca-Cola’s HR group is running HR audits with Blue Prism’s digital workforce.

Blue Prism resulted in a significant time savings and efficiency for Coca-Cola, said Karla Younger, Vice President of HR Services: “Blue Prism’s Digital Workers helped us enhance the customer experience by liberating human resources to spend more time on issues that might be affecting customers.”

https://www.blueprism.com/resources/case-studies/coca-cola-extendes-business-services-capacity-and-improves-performance-with-rpa

Shop Direct Group Financial Services Limited is a credit, insurance and warranty provider. It was in the midst of launching a new anti-theft insurance product protecting customer IDs.

However, a smooth launch required the company to predict the number of customer applications, know when the peak times were and determine the number of new employees needed to do the work.

Because Shop Direct had previous experience with Blue Prism, they knew the RPA platform could handle the work. Staff did not manually set up the new product in each customer account. Rather Blue Prism did the work. The RPA system processed 47,000 transactions per month.

https://www.blueprism.com/resources/case-studies/shop-direct-supports-product-launch-with-blue-prism?&confirmation=1

WorldHotel’s is an exclusive collection of unique and independent hotels around the world. It has more than 500 affiliate properties in 65 countries.

However, it is not a chain nor a franchise operation. Each hotel has a unique character and identity. Still, WorldHotels offers management and marketing information that must be uploaded and used by each hotel. It was a manual system that put extra workload on WorldHotels because the company had to check each hotel’s use of the information.

For instance, one information system offered special hotel rates for certain customers and customer groups. The hotel company ensured that the correct rates and rate levels were offered to the right customers.

World Hotels used Blue Prism to automatically audit hotels and send reports to the hotels and the WorldHotel’s account manager.

Using Blue Prism gives WorldHotels a great deal of control and flexibility. Now they can adjust the audit schedule, add new hotels and remove hotels that are no longer part of the system.

https://www.blueprism.com/resources/case-studies/world-hotels-deploy-robotic-automation-technology-to-support-key-customer-processes

Siemens AG is a global engineering company focusing on electrification, automation and digitalization with some 380,000 employees worldwide.

The largest manufacturing company in Europe, Siemens has long embraced RPA as art of its digital strategy. The company is using Blue Prism as its RPA service for its worldwide business lines.

One of Siemen’s challenges was how to address automating an entire business processes chain. The company created an intelligent automated Digital Workforce. It used a blend of technologies and systems including IBM Watson, Google Cloud, Microsoft and Blue Prism.

“To ensure that we experience rapid results in the implementation of RPA projects and business successes, the development of in-house RPA expertise and close cooperation between IT teams and business leaders is critical,” said Nikolas Barth, head of Innovation and Digitalization.

At first, Siemens automated 50 processes and 80,000 working hours. Within a year, the company improved efficiency further by automating 170 additional processes and 280,000 working hours.

The result: cost reduction, quality improvement and faster response times.

https://www.blueprism.com/resources/case-studies/how-siemens-leverages-cognitive-technologies-to-drive-rpa-innovation

Why Microsoft Azure is Winning

Why Microsoft Azure is Winning

Oracle-cloud

Microsoft is becoming a cloud company. Or should we say the cloud company. In other words, Microsoft is winning. Analysts say Microsoft’s strong second quarter earnings are due to how the company is leveraging its cloud services.

In January, Microsoft reported $32.5 billion in revenue for the second fiscal quarter. And Azure was up 76 percent.

“The consistent quarter success can be attributed to (Microsoft CEO Satya) Nadella’s plan to turn Microsoft into a cloud company, wrote Emil Protalinski of Venturebeat.com.

Furthermore, CEO Nadella said large companies are noticing and signing on. “Our strong commercial cloud results reflect our deep and growing partnerships with leading companies in every industry including retail, financial services, and healthcare. We are delivering differentiated value across the cloud and edge and as we work to earn customer trust every day.”

In fact, in February ExxonMobil and Albertson’s chose Microsoft Azure to help them “reinvent themselves for the digital future,” wrote Bob Evans of Cloudwars.co.  “And these two very different types of deals with massive and highly demanding customers come as the momentum for Azure . . . shows no signs of letting up,” Evans continued.

This comes after Walmart signed a five-year contract with Microsoft to lead it “into the future,” Evans wrote.  “Competition’s a great thing, and customer choice is a fabulous thing. . . The company that’s winning more often than anyone else . . . is Microsoft.”

So, the big question is how? How is Microsoft doing it?

Amazon Web Services has dominated the public cloud market for almost 10 years. However, companies are beginning to have more than one cloud service provider. And that is a benefit to Microsoft because Microsoft is expanding its cloud features and the way its cloud functions.  Also, Microsoft is using its long-standing relationships and the trust it has built to win customers.

ClearSky’s Ellen Rubin, who interviewed CIOs about their cloud provider preference, reported that many are turning to Azure. They say Azure could become their primary cloud service provider in the future. However, they will keep AWS for workloads where Azure has not yet caught up.

“In addition, many IT leaders say that since they have large on-premise Microsoft footprints (or are mostly Microsoft shops), it’s a natural extension for their developers to embrace Azure,” Ellen writes. “Given the company’s deep understanding of enterprise buying behavior, and the laser focus of its CEO, Azure has clearly shown that it’s at least a two-horse race. And it must be included in cloud strategies for enterprises and service providers alike.”

For some, the movement toward Microsoft was well in place last year, according to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. survey from June 2018. The survey found that 49 percent of CIOs at large firms currently use Azure as their cloud provider for infrastructure-as-a-service. While 56 percent said they used AWS as their cloud service provider. But when asked which service they expected to be using within three years, AWS and Azure were tied at 49%.

Also, there are other reasons why Microsoft is gaining on AWS. It transformed its sales and engineering organizations and began focusing on intelligent cloud plus intelligent edge. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobevans1/2018/09/17/how-1-microsoft-is-beating-amazon-google-and-everyone-else-in-the-cloud-the-strategic-breakdown/#36f5a46495d4

Microsoft’s transformation is seen in these three areas, according to Forbes contributor Bob Evans:

  • Microsoft’s core business model does not allow it to compete with its customers. (Amazon and others actually do compete with their own customers in some areas.) As a result, Microsoft views its customers as digital partners and helps them create new revenue streams.
  • Microsoft enjoys a trust factor with its customers. Its business policies clearly state that the data created by customers is the property of those business customers – and not of Microsoft.
  • Microsoft has an end-to-end creation of hybrid technologies. These technologies allow customers to move from the cloud to the edge of the cloud to on-premise technology. It offers a common platform for developers to build product left to right.

So as IT writers and analysts observe, Microsoft has many advantages. Its long relationships with customers are one advantage. Its pledge to not compete with its customers is another advantage. And it understands that customers need to have hybrid technologies.

And, it offers customers a choice. AWS is not the only game in town.

More Resources Below on How Azure is Competing in the #CloudWars

Blue Prism Shines Among Top Three RPA Providers

RPA

When it comes to Robotic Process Automation, the three market leaders are Blue Prism, UIPath and Automation Anywhere. But that is where the similarities end. Let’s take a look at the benefits of RPA and then compare the three market leaders.

While most organizations cannot thrive without it, others continue to resist. But RPA is here to stay and here are the major business reasons:

Time-Saving – Robots are faster than humans, whether they are physical robots welding car doors or software bots processing paperwork. Companies save time deploying a digital workforce to perform mundane tasks, period.

Return on investment is greater – The overall cost of RPA is much less than hiring a human employee, not to mention managing and training one. Greater task output is evident as robots can function 24/7. No weekends, vacations or other benefits are required.

Customer satisfaction – The objective of any industry is a satisfied client base. Humans even when cautious, are error prone – it’s human nature! Thus, quality and error-free work is produced to provide 100% customer satisfaction.

Greater security – Often the organization outsource work to external agencies, which can pose a risk to the privacy and financial policies. There is no need to outsource with RPA.

Value-added work for employees – Instead of working on mundane tasks, employees can be channeled into more productive and mentally satisfying work.

Analytical feature – RPA are capable of analysis with their additional analytical features. Decision making is faster and more efficient.

Blue Prism Shines

Users of Blue Prism say there is no contest. Blue Prism is evolving at such a rapid pace the others cannot keep up.

Blue Prism received a 99% user satisfaction rate from financesonline.com. It’s an innovative RPA platform that enables companies to manage and their digital workforce of software robots. (Comparing Blue Prism)

Blue Prism has visual process designers. Blue Prism has superior client architecture. And Blue Prism shines in Citrix automation.

But the real news is its connected-RPA vision. Connected-RPA is a game-changer in the way it helps businesses get to market faster and works directly with “the makers,” the most digital savvy employees in an organization. With Connected-RPA, the makers have the tools and the power to invent, design and develop new services – fast.

Today, IT departments spend too much time and budget on maintaining and updating processes and systems. Blue Prism offers an intelligent digital workforce capable of self-learning and continuous improvement. It empowering users to automate billions of transactions.

“The connected-RPA vision that Blue Prism has outlined highlights the evolving power of automation,” says Dave Mayer, Principal Sector Analyst for AI, RPA and Blockchain at NelsonHall.

“It extends beyond the limits of traditional RPA, giving users a compelling all-in-one, complete automation platform which includes AI and cognitive features already built-in. The new roadmap, capabilities and features being introduced today nicely leverage and enable Blue Prism’s growing community of developers, customers, channel partners and technology alliances.”

Other new platform features, capabilities, extensions and community enhancements by Blue Prism include:

  • Blue Prism Digital Exchange (DX) 2.0: A growing online community that provides business leaders with drag and drop access to AI, machine learning, cognitive and disruptive technologies.
  • Process Discovery Tool: A new web-based tool available through a company’s portal, reduces the time to prepare for an RPA deployment from weeks to hours.
  • Blue Prism Labs: A world-class brain trust of PhD level research scientists and engineers across multiple AI fields. They inform and spearhead developments on the company’s embedded AI capabilities.
  • Blue Prism Community: A new central hub for sharing knowledge, best practices and building a network of business executives and developers looking to collaborate.

Additional capabilities on the horizon are:

  • Intelligent document processing adds AI-powered document processing directly built into the Blue Prism platform. This enables smarter, end-to-end processing of document workflows with a built-in document processing engine.
  • Blue Prism v6.5, the latest RPA software will include full Japanese and simplified Chinese language capabilities, IPv6 support, and data gateways, offering more data control while reducing the amount of storage being used.
  • Success Accelerator: A program that provides customers access to Blue Prism deployment experts.
  • eCommerce/vending machine capability enables users to buy and sell solutions and services on the Digital Exchange (DX) making it a true eCommerce site.
  • Easier Blue Prism software accessibility: By way of the eCommerce capability, Blue Prism plans to open-up access to the company’s leading RPA software making it easy for people to get started.

“Our vision for connected-RPA is about giving the power of creativity to an organization’s people, while maintaining control and connecting innovations together, so individual work adds up to a far more powerful whole,” says Alastair Bathgate, CEO and co-founder at Blue Prism.

“With an array of reusable, intelligent automation skills available through our Digital Exchange app store, connected-RPA lets an organization unleash its entrepreneurs and innovators, giving them the freedom to focus on creative work that drives business forward.”

The result from all this gives users completely automated end-to-end processes, while maximizing AI functionality quickly and easily. It provides enterprises with a single scalable platform that enables business-led automation in an IT-endorsed and controlled environment.

Opportunities Abound For The Strategic DBA

Future Technology is Counting on You

As data grows, so do opportunities for Database Administrators. And data grows. It’s a natural state of affairs. With 2.5 quintilian bytes of data created every day, database automation was inevitable. But it was never intended to put DBAs out of work.

Automation will not replace the forward-looking, future-thinking, always curious Database Administrators.

Autonomous databases maintain the mundane. They do not perform the heady stuff that makes up the DBA’s world. In fact, the DBA role is being elevated by the sheer volume and complexity of data infrastructure.

Whether you’re an experienced DBA or thinking about becoming one, this page is your resource. At Vigilant, our remote DBA experts have been managing databases for 20 years. And we know databases aren’t going anywhere. That’s why we wrote The DBA’s Fear-Free Guide to the Future. And neither are the DBAs who make them hum.

The volume of data is growing so fast and furious. The demand for DBAs follows. The number of U.S. DBAs grew nearly 40% in last 20 years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, unemployment among DBAs is lower than the national average.

It only makes sense. Clouds and self-driving databases are designed to simplify data management. Yet, infrastructures grow more complex everyday.

That’s why more and more companies are creating Data Strategies to manage the information they need to extract from their data. Routine tasks of storing, securing, sharing and processing data can be performed by autonomous tools.

Slicing and dicing data for business leaders to use is another thing altogether. When they want financial and inventory information, they want it now. They want it to remain safe and secure. They want it presented to them by experts who can do more than provide a data dump.

Those who keep, protect, integrate and strategize about the world of data becoming more and more important. Oracle’s self-driving databases have a big need beyond the handling of standard routine tasks. For example, the database sends messages that can only be understood by a trained DBA. Knowing how to work with the Oracle Autonomous Database is a valuable skill.

DBAs understand data applications and integration. And they also help shape the changing data landscape. To that end, there are increasingly more opportunities in the field and good-paying ones.

And those who are truly interested in staying power are already studying the tools and technologies of the future. You will understand the technical aspects of Blockchain, AI, and Internet of Things and the other technologies.

Also, you are able to speak to the functional data requirements necessary for all-encompassing solutions. This is characterized in a data point from Gartner: By 2021, 40% of IT staff will be “versatilists” holding multiple roles, most of which will be business rather than technology related.

This DBTA article offers further proof and importance on the prospective roles for the DBA: “DBAs are being asked to understand what businesses do with data rather than just the mechanics of keeping the database healthy and running.

“This is where the opportunity lies. Their job is no longer in the background simply keeping databases alive and running. They are now responsible for data modeling, data security, and performance monitoring in a hybrid system. These are all elements of the job that are more visible to the business and will continue to grow in importance.” (The Changing Role of the DBA: Q&A with Oracle’s Penny Avril – http://www.dbta.com/BigDataQuarterly/Articles/The-Changing-Role-of-the-DBA-QandA-with-Oracles-Penny-Avril-120343.aspx

Top Blogs and Bits for DBA Experts

Reddit – Database | Oracle Database Blog  |  Database Journal  |  Planet MYSQL blog  |  Planet DB2  |  SQL Shack  |  ThatJeffSmith  |  Oracle Help by Skant Gupta  |  Datastax Blog

The Cloud Wars Have A New Warrior

Cloud-Provider-Map

Oracle Enters Battle Field Against AWS, Azure and GCP

 

Cloud computing hit the market in 2006 and things haven’t been the same since. Between the top three platforms – AWS, Azure and GCP – the cloud has been the landscape of a never-ending battle. Now comes Oracle with plans to disrupt the wars.

As the longtime data management leader, Oracle is not accustomed to following. This time is no exception. The new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) may not register for many enterprise shoppers. But Oracle has big plans to take over on two customer priorities: speed and price.

How does the second-gen Oracle Cloud measure up?

Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CTO, puts it this way: “You come to our cloud, you get Exadata infrastructure, autonomous database, everything is automated, and you get really, really low cost. More importantly, there’s no labor, there’s no human labor or error, there’s no downtime. Your developers are more productive. They get more projects to market. If you want all of those benefits, you’ve got to be willing to pay less. We are infinitely faster and infinitely cheaper.”

Oracle has spent some time watching the cloud mature as the adoption rate has slowed bit – from over 20 percent until this year to a healthy and steady 17 percent. This new pace is giving enterprises a chance to think about what they learned and what they need from cloud-based services.

 

Comparing Cloud Providers

 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the undisputed leader with 43% of the public cloud market share. It is valued for its flexibility, scalability and reliability. AWS allows enterprises to choose the geographic region in which most of its customers work and play and live. It also gives enterprises the ability to select two availability zones or datacenters. All of this makes the system more responsive in terms of computing times

AWS advantages: Dominant market position; extensive and mature offerings; support for large organizations; extensive training; global Reach. However, it has its disadvantages, too: Difficult to use; cost management; overwhelming number of options.

Microsoft Azure was designed to be easily integrated and synced with existing omnipresent Microsoft products like MS Office. This synchronization is useful in services like Cloud Migration.

It’s understandable that many experts say Azure is a good choice for companies using a lot of Microsoft products. Azure’s advantages include second largest provider; integration with Microsoft tools and software; broad feature set; hybrid cloud; support for Open Source.

Its disadvantages are described as less “enterprise-ready” than other computing cloud platforms and incomplete management tooling.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)is, arguably, best for companies that need to compute and process huge amounts of data frequently. It specializes in big data and networking speed. Google offers services like G Suite, Google Map, Gmail, YouTube and of course the search engine service. These are among the best such services available and have users in the billions.

But for Google that’s not been enough. In last 15 years, Google has worked on its infrastructure. Today, it boasts a huge and secure network.

Google Cloud advantages include designed for cloud-native businesses; commitment to open source and portability; deep discounts and flexible contracts; DevOps expertise. Its disadvantages include late entrant to laaS market; fewer features and services; fewer worldwide data centers.

Back to Oracle where the company says their cloud offerings come from experience.

 

Oracle Sharpens its Tools for Battle

Oracle-cloud

This past decade of watching public cloud growth, and all these benefits and challenges, has in many ways enabled Oracle, an acknowledged latecomer to the cloud market, to devise a battle plan for a new era of cloud.

A long-time leader in databases and applications, Oracle jumps into the cloud market with an enterprise-grade solution that addresses many of the challenges on the cloud.

Oracle considers itself a disrupter in the much the same way iPod was to the Walkman and the CD was to the floppy disk. In addition to its progressive new autonomous and AI-features, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure also has a library of practical tools that simplify cloud migration for the largest enterprises, especially those already running Oracle business applications.

 

Bots, Bots Everywhere – So Do You Have One Working For You Yet?

Payment Card Industry

 

Bots may seem like cute little helpers that do trivial tasks such as playing your music and reading you the news and weather. But their cute little name belies a larger truth: We are living in the Era of the Bot and they are touching and changing every aspect of our culture, from home to work and beyond.

If you aren’t already clear about this: a bot is not actually a physical robot, but a piece of software that automates the exchange of digital information.

Today’s bot universe looks very much like the human one. There are good bots and bad bots. Bots built for being social. Chatbots for providing helpful replies that can be pre-built or driven by new intelligence tools. Then, there are the bots you probably know the best, Alexa and Siri. Sheesh, even little kids have Story Bots on Netflix.

The evidence of how common bots have become is all around us, but here are some fun bot-facts:

•  More than half of all Internet traffic is now conducted by bots. And the number of bad bots easily outnumbers the good bots, according this annual report. Bots are hacking websites, scraping data for credit card numbers, and impersonating hot Harvard-educated men and women to seduce you into sending their human masters cash.

•  More than 2,200 bots help to edit more than 45 million pages of content on Wikipedia. For example, one of these bots is called InternetArchiveBot (IABot), and he does one thing: retrieves archived copies of dead web links. There’s even this crazy story about how Wikipedia’s editor bots have been, quite seriously, engaged in conflict with one another, according this article in the Guardian.

•  Social media bots have been used successfully in politics for years now. For example, fake social media accounts created and managed by bots were found to like some politicians a lot more than others, suggested more popularity than really existed. These bots are put to work liking and sharing stories favorable to their cause rapidly, to amplify their impact, according to this Washington Post story.

But let’s get more serious. With bots successfully doing a gazillion tasks a day, are you using bots in your business yet?

Bots for Business Are Here

The world of business bots is known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and if you aren’t looking at RPA bots for your business, you may be falling behind your competition. This is especially true if your business is, say, over more than $100 million in revenue.

You should be using bots — which are increasingly called “digital workers” in the business world — to do all the repetitive tasks that humans no longer need to do: pay your invoices, onboard and offboard employees with their email, health care and 401K accounts, manage all your repetitive shipping tasks.

Today’s RPA bots can already handle extremely complex tasks requiring complex logic across business apps. But as artificial intelligence offerings grow, the bots are only getting smarter and more capable. You can learn even more about RPA capabilities in The Essential Guide to Robotic Process Automation.

If your business feels like you have workers tied up doing mundane repetitive tasks, when you have more important things for them to do, it’s probably a good time to look at what a bot can do for you. Especially in this high-employment era where talent is hard to find.

In fact, if your enterprise feels strangled by complexity, inaccurate work, disorganization and chaos, a bot can probably help. There’s even a handy ROI calculator to show you just how much your business can save by having bots do some tasks instead of humans.

ESTIMATE YOUR RPA SAVINGS: RPA CALCULATOR