Congratulations to our June 2018 Employee of the Month!

EoM MaleCongratulations to Dharmender C., AST’s Employee of the Month for June 2018!

Dharmender is being recognized for his hard work and dedication as part of our PMO practice, and for his ongoing commitment to AST.  He always has a positive work ethic and is a valued team leader and trusted client advisor.

Dharmender successfully manages the complete account for one of AST’s largest and most well-known clients.  He has implemented multiple advanced Cloud modules for this client, resulting in high levels of client satisfaction and successful User Acceptance Testing in two days with no outstanding issues.  This is in no small part due to Dharmender’s excellent and effective leadership skills.  Because of this groundwork he laid with the client, AST has gained additional business and has added another trusted partnership to its roster.  Dharmender’s influence and hard work as the delivery resource and primary project manager has been instrumental in these accomplishments.

Congratulations to Dharmender on this well-deserved recognition!

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We’re at Kscope18 in Orlando!

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We’re excited to be here in sunny Orlando for ODTUG‘s Kscope conference this week, sharing our BI and EPM expertise and collaborating with our colleagues in the Oracle Developer community.

Stop by our booth (#715) in the exhibit hall at the Walt Disney World Swan Resort to meet with our experts to discuss the latest Cloud Analytics and EPM solutions, and hear about our QuickLaunch offerings.

Also, join us for the following presentations where our BI/EPM thought leaders will share insight, experiences, and best practices for Oracle Cloud!

Embracing Oracle’s EPM Cloud – Making the Right Choices for Implementation or Migration by Patrick Callahan (VP, BI/EPM) and Abhi Raina (EPM Practice Director) – Tuesday, June 12 @ 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM ET in the Northern Hemisphere Ballroom A1, Fifth Level:

Oracle EPM Cloud has undoubtedly been one of Oracle’s most successful cloud solution sets. The full Cloud EPM Suite delivers broad capabilities at a reduced price and with less technical pain compared to on-premise. Now customers can have planning, budgeting, and forecasting; financial management and reporting; cost allocations; account reconciliation with matching; collaborative and regulatory reporting; and even supporting Essbase cubes offered as a service, all with no infrastructure costs. Oracle has done a great job porting its on-premise EPM solutions and technology into a consistent Cloud platform while including many new bells and whistles.

How To > Deriving a Roadmap for Migrating Your Hyperion Applications to the Cloud by Patrick Callahan (VP, BI/EPM) – Wednesday, June 13 @ 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM ET in Asia 5, Lobby/Third Level:

AST’s experts will highlight their insights and experiences with the Cloud EPM Suite in both standalone EPM implementations and those that include Oracle ERP and/or HCM deployments. AST experts will also discuss roadmap/assessment considerations for those still undecided about the Cloud. In doing so, we will share our best practices, advice, and the lessons learned from our earliest Cloud EPM implementation successes to the many current ones across the entire Cloud EPM Suite. We’ll talk about Planning options, as well as Financial Consolidation and Close as the ‘next gen’ HFM, “Essbase-as-a-Service” via Oracle Analytics, new reporting and integration methods, other Oracle EPM Cloud solutions, and offer roadmap advice.

While you’re visiting our booth and speaking with our experts and executives, don’t forget to enter our raffle to win one of three pair of Apple AirPods! That’s right, we’re giving away a pair of Apple’s revolutionary wireless earbuds on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the conference! You can be entered to win just by stopping by our booth – it’s that easy!

AST has been providing expert Oracle BI and EPM consulting services to our clients for over 22 years. We are an Oracle Cloud Premier Platinum Partner, Oracle Pillar Partner for BI/EPM, Oracle Cloud Excellence Implementer for Enterprise Planning and Budgeting, and boast several exclusive Oracle Specializations across the BI and EPM product and solution sets.  A global organization with clients across numerous industries within the Public and Commercial sectors, we have the answers you’re looking for when it comes to your Oracle BI and EPM questions.

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

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AST Names May 2018 Employee of the Month!

EoM MaleCongratulations to Naga Praveen K., as he has been named AST’s Employee of the Month for May 2018.

Naga has been instrumental in the growth of one of AST’s key accounts for the past 4 years.  Most recently, he assisted in presenting the right solution the meet the client’s needs, leading to a significant CX implementation project that further solidifies our valuable partnership with this client.  Naga began working with this client as a Technical Lead and has now become one of the most trusted advisors to the client, adding to their ever-growing footprint by expanding into the Managed Services and ERP practice areas.

Naga’s contributions to this client relationship and the growth of this business are phenomenal, and a testament to his hard work and dedication to the CX practice and the organization.  He is patient and respectful in all of his work and interactions in the workplace, and his colleagues always look forward to working with him.

Naga is very deserving of this recognition and is certainly one of AST’s MVPs!

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Now Available: OIC Webinar Follow-up and Q&A Session!

shutterstock_663128284This month, AST and Oracle presented a webinar that was packed with great information on cloud integration – “Oracle Integration Cloud Success”.  During this complimentary one-hour event, AST Integration Practice Director, Mrityunjay Kant and Oracle Director of Platform Products, Alakh Verma illustrated how Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) can be quickly and easily purposed to streamline a variety of business processes for your enterprise applications.  The virtual seats were packed for this event and the discussion was lively!

We are happy to announce that a recording of this webinar is now available for you to access and view at your leisure if you missed the event or if you just want to hear the information again!

Additionally, we have included here a full transcript of the question and answer session that took place at the end of the presentation.  Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this discussion!

If you would like further information about Oracle Integration Cloud, contact AST today!

  1. Does ICS support an unlimited number of connections?
    Answer:  Yes, it does support unlimited connections.
  1. What are the limitations of OIC?
    Answer:  You can implement all integration use cases using OIC – cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premise, etc.  OIC provides all technology adapters (REST, SOAP, Database, etc.) and application adapters to connect with most available SaaS applications and on-premise applications.  At this point, OIC does not support B2B use cases; those are supported using Oracle SOA Cloud Service.
  1. Are the adaptors shown in the webinar prebuilt or custom developed?
    Answer:  All adapters shown in the demo and the use cases are available out of the box in OIC.  You can find the list of available adapters here.
  1. You mentioned earlier that cloud integration could be accomplished without the need for code. Are these success stories examples of integration without any code?
    Answer:    Cloud integration can indeed be done without the need for code to be written.  The success stories covered in this webinar were examples where only available product features were used to complete cloud integration. All development is done visually using a drag-and-drop interface to connect blocks and build process flows.
  1. How many OIC instances were commissioned in both use cases?
    Answer:  We have provisioned 2 instances:  Dev and Production.
  1. What is the difference between SOA-CS and Oracle Integration Cloud?
    Answer: SOA-CS and OIC are aimed at fundamentally different audiences. Below are some of the differences.  AST can guide you through the process to help determine which platform would be best suited for your current and future growth needs.
SOACS OIC
Complete SOA Suite 12c hosted in Oracle Cloud infrastructure. Complete SaaS-based integration platform.
Standard SOA development using JDeveloper IDE. Browser-based development without any need for any local IDE development.
Primary integration model is based around Enterprise Service Bus model (ESB), including coupling services to create a loosely tied together enterprise architecture. Used to create more point-to-point integrations that can be stood up quickly.
Easy and simple provisioning of SOACS instances. No need for provisioning. Automatically provisioned.
Provides full support for various B2B protocols and maps. Does not support B2B.
  1. Is what you are calling OIC the same as Oracle Autonomous Integration Cloud?
    Answer:
     OIC comes in different flavors.  Oracle Autonomous Integration Cloud, Oracle Integration Cloud – Standard, and Oracle Integration Cloud – Enterprise.  AST can help you with analyzing your requirements and existing application landscape to decide which option is right for you.
  1. Does OIC support Oracle Utilities Adapter and predefined integrations (C2M, MDM, etc.)?
    Answer:
     OIC has an out of the box Oracle Utilities Adapter.  You can find more details here.
  1. In an integration transformation, can we have multiple source and/or destination connections, or is it one-to-one?
    Answer:
    You can have multiple source-to-destination mappings.
  1. When is the official release for OIC?
    Answer:  OIC is already under general release with the current version being 18.2.3.
  1. Can we use a human workflow component in OIC and how does this compare to what is available in Oracle SOA?
    Answer:  Yes.  You can implement the workflow processes in OIC using the Process Builder. This is similar to Oracle BPMN Suite and comes with all of the features of BPMN. Oracle SOA also supports human tasks, but does not support BPMN.
  1. Can the solution handle business/filter logic between systems?
    Answer:  Absolutely.  You can implement any complex business logic in the OIC integration flows.
  1. How does pricing work? 
    Answer:
    Please refer to this link for OIC pricing details.  AST can help you analyze your requirements and help you to decide which option is right for you.
  1. What are the various components of Oracle Integration Cloud?
    Answer:  OIC has the following components:  Integration, Visual Builder Cloud, Process Builder Cloud, Process Automation, and Analytics.
  1. Do I need to deploy an agent to run integrations?  Does Oracle provide a run-time cloud?
    Answer:  You don’t need agents to integrate cloud-to-cloud (SaaS-to-SaaS) integrations. You need agent only when you want to integrate with an on-premise application.  For on-premise application integration, you need to install an agent inside the corporate network. This is highly secure, as there would not be any inbound connection to your network. Instead, the OIC connectivity agent connects to the OIC instance (outbound) using Oracle Messaging Cloud Service, which is bundled in an ICS subscription. You also have the option of using VPNaaS, which uses IP Sec protocol to create secure VPN tunnels.
  1. What is your major differentiator from all the other integration clouds available?
    Answer: Oracle OIC is the leader in cloud middleware, as it provides:
  • Out-of-the-box adapters to all SaaS and On-premise applications for native connectivity;
  • Out-of-the-box adapters to most technology/protocols, such as databases (over 200 supported), file, ftp, REST, SOAP, etc.;
  • Zero coding and configuration with a point-and-click user interface;
  • Autonomous integration cloud, autonomous analytics cloud, and autonomous visual builder cloud, which will significantly lower your cost and risk;
  • Graphical tools on cloud for covering the full lifecycle from design to monitoring;
  • Easy provisioning and hosting in Oracle cloud for high reliability and availability; and
  • Accelerated time to market with self-service provisioning and intuitive tools.
  1. What is the OIC license model?
    Answer: Licensing is based on the number of messages/hour.  Please refer to  https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/OIC/pricing for more details.  AST can help you analyze your requirements and help you decide which option is right for you.
  1. Can I connect to Office365 or SharePoint online?
    Answer:  Yes, you can connect to Office365 and SharePoint using the OIC adapters.  The full list of supported adapters can be found here.
  1. What is the comparison of Oracle Integration Cloud to the Amazon offering?
    Answer:  There is no cloud middleware (iPaaS) offering from Amazon that is comparable to OIC.
  1. We have a large payload that we run on ISG. How could OIC help, with respect to volume, timing, and seamless data transmission?
    Answer:
     OIC supports both real-time and batch integration of data. Please reach out to us with a more detailed use case and we can help you.
  1. Is there any training offered by Oracle for cloud integration?
    Answer:  Yes.  Oracle offers training for Oracle Integration Cloud via Oracle University.  In addition, AST offers customized training content tailored for your team to get the best classroom learning experience.
  1. What is the pricing structure? Do we pay by connector? Users?
    Answer:
     All the out-of-the-box OIC adapters are included in the pricing and available for unlimited use.  Licensing is based on the number of messages/hour.  Please refer to https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/OIC/pricing for more details.  AST can help you analyze your requirements and help you decide which option is right for you.
  1. I presume that an integration can be written against test systems and then promoted to production. Please confirm.
    Answer:  Yes.  You can do your development in the development instance, then promote it to production.  OIC offers easy export and import options for users to migrate the code seamlessly.
  1. Are there any load or capacity constraints?
    Answer:  OIC is managed by Oracle and can automatically scale up or down based on your workload.
  1. Are there prebuilt functions available for Siebel?
    Answer:  Yes.  OIC integrates with the Siebel application using an out-of-the-box Siebel Adapter.
  1. What are the requirements for applications to work with OIC?
    Answer:
    OIC supports a wide variety protocols, like REST, SOAP, Database, and others, and has out-of-the-box adapters for the most SaaS applications to natively integrate with them.  Also, the OIC application (console) is publicly accessible via any browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer.
  1. Can I get a copy of the use case and what it solved?
    Answer:
    Please follow this link to access the webinar recording.  If you are looking for more success stores and in-depth details, please reach out to us.

Please send additional details about OCI case studies.

  1. Do Integration objects on the Cloud (SaaS) run slowly due to roundtrips on the Internet, as compared to building integration processes traditionally in-house within the company’s intranet environment?
    Answer:
      In fact, it is faster than your traditional on-premise server to connect SaaS applications because of its lightweight architecture and the fact that it is hosted on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
  1. How can you do custom mapping from XML to JSON?
    Answer:  OIC supports mapping between XML and JSON formats.  OIC provides a user friendly mapping tool in which users can simply drag/drop mappings, and it conceals all the complexities of the XML and JSON structures.  The OIC mapping AI engine also helps by providing automatic mapping recommendations.
  1. Will Oracle Cloud Integration only works for Cloud-based Apps?
    Answer: You can implement all integration use cases using OIC – cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premise, and on-premise-to-on-premise.  OIC provides all of the technology adapters (REST, SOAP, Database, etc.) and application adapters to connect with most available SaaS applications and on-premise applications.
  1. Can we create new connectors based on client needs?
    Answer:  Yes, you can create custom adapters if you don’t find any out-of-the-box adapters available for you.
  1. In your slides where you have Orchestration, is it BPEL in the cloud or something else?
    Answer: OIC provides multiple options to implement your integration. BPEL-like orchestration is one of its features, but it doesn’t support BPEL for orchestration.

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  1. What’s the average time frame for completing a moderate implementation project?
    Answer:  It depends on the number of interfaces and the complexity of the integration flows.  Implementations can range for 4-6 weeks to a couple of months, depending on the ERP or other system implementation lifecycle.  Please feel free to contact us for a consultation on your specific use case.
  2. Is OIC a complete SaaS solution?
    Answer:  OIC represents a class of solutions called Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS). Most features and management of OIC are automatic, including patching.
  1. Can you explain how the OIC platform helps cloud-to-cloud messages and flat file transfers?
    Answer: OIC has out-of-the-box connectors for JMS, File, and FTP adapters.  It also supports a publish-subscribe asynchronous integration pattern using Oracle cloud message service.
  1. How can we replace Autosys, SFTP, Shell scripts, etc. for handling file transfers, in addition to messages?
    Answer:  OIC has out-of-the-box connectors for File and FTP adapters. It has an inbuilt easy-to-use scheduler configuration console to schedule and automatically trigger OIC interfaces.
  1. I am also using Oracle BI Cloud. Right now, I am using an agent to export the report via e-mail.  Is there a way that we could export the report to SFTP instead of an email address?
    Answer:    Using OIC, you can schedule integration jobs to automatically retrieve BI reports and can push the reports to any SFTP/FTP or any hosting services.
  1. I am using Oracle HCM Cloud and using Report Schedule to export the file to our SFTP. I am having the problem that for the first couple of days, the report exports the current data, and after 4-5 days, the report does not update the information anymore; they look the same for all reports. Every time, I have to delete and recreate the schedule report.
    Answer:  Using OIC, you can schedule integration jobs to automatically retrieve HCM reports and can push the reports to any SFTP/FTP or any hosting services, and archive reports. Please feel free to reach out to us for a detailed consultation.
  1. We have built Oracle Finance cloud integrations with our on-premise application, using TIBCO. We perform lot of file transformation in TIBCO. Is there something your tool offers for file transformation?
    Answer: Yes.  OIC provides any-to-any format transformation and mapping.  OIC provides a user friendly mapping tool in which users can simply drag/drop mappings, and it conceals all the complexities of the File, XML and JSON structures. The OIC mapping AI engine also helps in automatic mapping recommendations.
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Video: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Powers AST’s Global Customers

Check out the video below about how AST leverages OCI to help our global customers reduce their data center footprint and hosting costs.

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Artificial Intelligence in Business – How Oracle’s Cloud Applications are at the Forefront of Innovation

Cloud_Blue_Data_AI_TechnologyAs artificial intelligence (AI) technologies make their way into nearly every realm of business, many find themselves asking, “Are cloud applications up to speed?”  Oracle CEO Mark Hurd has “explained that the company’s approach isn’t to build discrete AI applications, but rather to embed AI capabilities into Oracle Cloud application, platform, and infrastructure services its customers use to run their businesses,” says Michael Hickins, Director of Strategic Communications for Oracle.

AI can absorb mundane tasks and crunch enormous amounts of existing digital consumer and business data, freeing up executives to focus on true decision-making to improve all aspects of business. “…business leaders can focus on managing their business outcomes, their bottom lines, and have new technology adapting to them, rather than managing new technology,” says Mahipal Lunia, Senior Principal Product Manager at Oracle.

Learn more about Oracle’s AI-infused applications that customers can use immediately in a specific business context, without any extra development work on their part.

Contact AST today to discuss how Oracle’s Adaptive Intelligence Apps can amplify value across your entire apps portfolio.

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Team AST Attends Cardinals/Twins Game During GFOA 2018!

The 112th Annual Conference of the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) is underway in St. Louis, and AST is in the middle of all the action!  Yesterday evening, our team and some VIP guests got together to attend a St. Louis Cardinals/Minnesota Twins game at Busch Stadium.  It was a great night – thanks to everyone who joined us!

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AST Achieves ISO/IEC 27001 Certification!

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AST is extremely pleased to announce that it has achieved ISO/IEC 27001 certification!  Successful certification is evidence that AST meets rigorous international standards in ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our services, data, systems, networks and personnel.

AST has invested in continuous improvements to our technical controls and formal IT security policies and procedures, and attained certification by an independent accredited certification body. Compliance with this internationally recognized standard assures our customers that their confidential and proprietary information will be handled appropriately by AST, and it opens up new avenues for opportunities that require compliance with stringent information security protocol.

Congratulations to the team for reaching this amazing milestone!

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Join our Webinar: Oracle Integration Cloud Success – Thursday, May 10

shutterstock_663128284Next Thursday, May 10, AST and Oracle will present “Oracle Integration Cloud Success”, a free webinar event!  AST Integration Practice Director, Mrityunjay Kant and Oracle Director of Platform Products, Alakh Verma will illustrate how Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) can be quickly and easily purposed to streamline a variety of business processes for your enterprise applications.

With Oracle CX and ERP Cloud, you get the most comprehensive SaaS offerings, plus an innovative and powerful cloud platform to extend, analyze, and integrate applications with the rest of your enterprise resources.  Learn how OIC can quickly streamline and optimize business processes across your organization.

In this webinar, we will cover:

  • Integration trends in Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS)
  • OIC point & click data integration technology
  • Cross-application business process modeling
  • How to improve operational efficiency with real-time analytics

We’ll also share some client success stories:

  • How Inventory Management and Customer Service Integration Increases Sales Conversion Ratios
  • How Integration of Departmental Services and a Mobile Application Brings Smarter 311 Services to City Government

This is a live event that you will not want to miss!  Register for the webinar today.

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Until Next Year: Thanks, COLLABORATE 18!

shutterstock_548740771Team AST has had a wonderful time in Las Vegas for this year’s COLLABORATE conference!

We’ve spent the last four days gaining valuable knowledge from our colleagues and networking with our peers.  We’ve learned from influential women in technology, celebrated our clients, shared our stories and knowledge, and listened to exclusive keynote speakers.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth, attended our sessions, or participated in our networking events!

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Team AST out to dinner at Rí Rá Irish Pub – Las Vegas to celebrate the birthday of our VP of ERP.

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One of our prize winners. Mr. Apparao Kandru from Indiana Mills and Manufacturing (left).  Pictured with AST’s VP of ERP, Prasad Nettem (right).

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Team AST at booth 1417 at COLLABORATE 18

If you have any follow-up questions about AST or our solutions and elite Oracle services, please reach out to us and one of our experts will connect with you.

It’s time to head home and start planning for next year!

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