Installment 1: E-Business Suite + Endeca Applications, A Product Marriage
E-Business Suite is dating whom?
Through subtle release announcements and YouTube teasers, Oracle is slowly starting to broadcast its latest E-Business Suite offering to the market. With this new offering, officially called "E-Business Suite Endeca Applications", Oracle is making a push to address one of its users' most common complaints: its too difficult to access, understand and analyze information in E-Business Suite.
But before I delve into the value of the offering and the subtle details of the integration, it probably makes sense to frame this relationship a bit for our readers. After all, most of our readers are Endeca-enthusiasts first and may be confused why Ranzal is qualified to provide its commentary on EBS to begin with.
Last year at this time, after Oracle's acquisition of Endeca, I found myself in Oracle Endeca's product management group on a team tasked with identifying "fit" and "compliment" for the Endeca product elsewhere in Oracle's stack. My team quickly identified several products and industry-specific solutions that would've benefited from incorporating Endeca's hybrid search and analytical database. However, one product, above all others, seemed most likely to benefit from such an integration. Like the foundation of many relationships, one product proved to have its greatest shortcoming bolstered by the other's greatest strength. As you've probably already guessed, that product was "EBS" and that shortcoming was "information access".
While leading this product integration effort at Oracle, I found myself in awe of the wealth of tightly coupled "run-the-business" functions offered across EBS's 20 "pillars". EBS is built on a home-grown "OA-framework" that allows for transaction- and workflow-based business functions. What quickly became clear to me was that this purpose-built framework was excellent at delivering business functions (ERP, CRM, SCM, Procurement, you name it) in a repeatable and reliable fashion, but it fundamentally overlooked its users need to access that same transactional information in the aggregate. For years EBS attempted to address this shortcoming by creating advanced search screens and clever menu "hops", but it never seemed to tackle the issue head on.
I now pronounce you EBS and Endeca.
What started to take shape over my next 8 months at Oracle was the marriage of two products. Unlike most marriages, however, this one was loosely coupled and non-intrusive. While this may not work in life, it certainly makes for simpler, quicker and more cost-effective deployments. Through additional installments, I plan to disclose the intimate details of this product marriage, the "gotchas" that could arise during deployment, and why Ranzal is uniquely positioned to help your company integrate this offering.
As with every marriage, there is dirt to be shared, but I am pleased to say I truly believe in this case the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
More installments to come...
As always, please direct any questions or comments to ranzal.com.