Have you found your Oracle Discoverer replacement yet?

Since Oracle's Business Intelligence Discoverer Statement of Direction issued in March 2014, Oracle users have been contemplating the options, challenges, and opportunities to replace Discoverer in their future Oracle roadmap. While many organizations initially considered the option of replacing Discoverer with OBIEE, now they are looking for additional options, none of which truly address the most critical issue that these organizations face – “How do we replace the Discoverer reports our users have been running for years that our organization has leveraged to understand our ERP data?

Irrespective of user familiarity, Oracle Discoverer’s extended support has reached its end of life! Yes, it is in sustaining support, but the risk of continuing to rely on an unsupported reporting solution is something which strategically oriented organizations will avoid. Here, we will look at an option which can be the answer for a company looking for a 360-degree solution.

While your company must have made significant investments in being functional with Discoverer, why not consider this transition phase as an opportunity to provide your users with: greater functionality, access to data from multiple systems ( Oracle EBS, any other databases like SQL Server, MySQL, MSSQL Server, Cloud Systems like Salesforce, NetSuite, Oracle Cloud), and different and easier modes of use and still leveraging the investment made in Discoverer for years? These are just a few of the opportunities to consider the potential impact on your organization’s bigger picture goals and business drivers.

CloudIO dataSense can convert your existing Discoverer reports to a user-friendly web interface in simple steps. While CloudIO dataSense provides familiar functionality similar to Discoverer, it also gives some extra useful features such as leveraging the standard Oracle security features such as responsibilities, profiles, operating units, etc. Users also have most of the Excel-like filters including import/export, advanced search, and dynamic drill down layouts, all with the added benefit of real-time data. Users can also easily save their own highly custom searches and quickly create personalized views.

Many Oracle E-Business Suite users have come to rely on Discoverer as their go-to reporting tool for interactive analysis of their EBS production data. Due to the sunset of Discoverer, many companies are looking for a lower-cost option with a faster return on investment that facilitates operational reporting with real-time data, rather than a comparatively more expensive and longer implementation cycle enterprise-class business intelligence toolset.

CloudIO dataSense is the user-friendly replacement for Oracle Discoverer. We’ve observed that Discoverer users need the ability to create their own reports and to analyze real-time data from their Oracle ERP to perform their daily job functions. However, Oracle has officially removed support for Discoverer, and even though Oracle’s Business Intelligence toolsets are powerful, many find them to be excessive for what most customers were previously doing with Discoverer. This problem is particularly relevant when companies plan to upgrade their Oracle ERP and realize that Discoverer reports must be remediated as part of the project.

CloudIO dataSense is a powerful and flexible reporting solution that supports faster, more informed and accurate decision-making by:
  1. Assisting in identifying new profitability and productivity opportunities throughout the enterprise.
  2. Consolidating dashboards with data from various sources creating flexible and interactive KPI’s
  3. Querying data and display information for an interactive experience without the need for specialty IT programming skills.
  4. Generating compelling visualization of critical data that is fully interactive.
In conclusion, CloudIO dataSense is low maintenance and does not require any technical coding. Any user can easily learn as its very user-friendly, functionally rich and flexible. When factoring in the costs of various Discoverer replacement options, dataSense is also an extremely good value for money option in the marketplace. Therefore, we invite companies considering a Discoverer replacement project to invest their time in better understanding how CloudIO’s dataSense could be a one-stop solution for all their reporting needs.
If you’d like to know more, please write to us at solutions@cloudio.io or visit cloudio.io.


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CloudIO Board names Ajit Dixit as Chief Executive Officer

CloudIO Inc. today announced that its Board of Directors has recently appointed Ajit Dixit as Chief Executive Officer and Member of its Board of Directors.

"CloudIO needs business leadership to continue its rapid growth," said Sreenivas Thammaneni, CloudIO's Founder and Chairman of its Board of Directors. "The Board feels that Ajit is the perfect person with the right leadership talent to lead CloudIO through its growth and delivery of the most innovative products. Ajit shares our company's commitment to creating products that provide quick user-friendly input and output from ERP systems. Our products generate significant efficiencies and cost-savings for customers."

Prior to joining CloudIO, Ajit held senior executive management positions with several large highly-regarded Fortune 500 companies such as Wipro, Allergan, Medtronic, Amgen and Baxter International.

"The products CloudIO offers are unique and extraordinary," Ajit said. "CloudIO products make input and output from ERP systems amazingly swift and easy. In my observation, no other products match CloudIO product capabilities in modernizing user-experience for enterprise and legacy systems. This is a major opportunity to have all businesses with ERP and legacy systems gain the vast benefits of using CloudIO products."

CloudIO also announced that Sreenivas Thammaneni will continue to be Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, focusing on CloudIO's key capability; development and implementation of cutting-edge products using the most modern technology.

CloudIO Inc. enables companies to maximize return on their ERP investment by providing products that make input and output from ERPs meaningful, fast and effective.
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How to Utilize Cloud Services to Handle Growth

Cloud Services have been the game changers in the world of enterprises. They have infused new enthusiasm in start-ups, SMEs and budding organizations with their sheer ease-of-use, low-cost operations, agile solutions and scalable models. Today more and more enterprises are moving to the cloud. In fact, a recent, Centaur Partners’ analysis of SaaS & cloud-based business application services revenue forecasts, the market growing from $13.5B in 2011 to $32.8B in 2016, attaining a 19.5% CAGR.

While most enterprises are adopting cloud services for the multi-fold benefits it offers, they are not able to fully unlock the potential of the cloud and use it as a ladder for growth.

To begin with let’s take a look at which cloud service best fits your organization’s need. The cloud has three elements: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Software as a Service is the most mature of the three cloud service models. SaaS delivers complete applications in the cloud that you can access over the Internet with a browser. The SaaS providers have total control over the infrastructure, performance, security, scalability, privacy, and much more. SaaS vendors typically offer two ways for you to use their applications. The most common method is a web-based user interface that usually is accessible on any device that can connect to the Internet. The other way is to provide you APIs that you can integrate into your existing applications or with other SaaS solutions.

Ideally, you should opt for SaaS to outsource all applications, features, and services that are not a part of your core competency. It is ideal to outsource these services as it eradicates the efforts required to manage and maintain the infrastructure, staff and security needs for running these services. 

The biggest advantage of adopting SaaS is that you can keep pace with the changes in the world of technology and save a substantial amount of time, resources, and effort. However please ensure that you compare the value of the feature(s) that the SaaS tools provide against the TCO of building it yourself. 

Platform-as-a-Service: The second model of cloud service is Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS. PaaS provides a carefree environment for developers to work. It lets your developers focus on code and not worry about configuration and maintenance of the underlying platform. By utilizing PaaS, your team of developers simply need to pick the languages and features they want, match those requirements with a provider that has them and start coding. PaaS can reduce you cost substantially by reducing the amount of work and the number of resources required to build and deploy applications.

Infrastructure as a Service: The third model is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). IaaS does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications and possibly limited control of select networking components. Ideally, you should opt for IaaS when your application or service has performance or scalability requirements that require the developers to manage memory, configure database servers and application servers to maximize throughput, specify how data is distributed across disk spindles, manipulate the operating system, and like tasks.

Analyzing the Options
Now that we have outlined the options that cloud services offer, let us take a look at how to analyze 
the best fitment for your enterprise. One misperception about cloud computing is that one cloud service model fits all. However, every organization is at a different stage of its growth curve, has different needs and priorities and some specific requirement. All these have to be accounted for before choosing the right cloud service. To arrive at this decision it is necessary to assess the situation by answering the following six golden questions. These are:

Why: What problem are we trying to solve? What are the business goals and drivers?
Who: Who needs this problem solved? Who are all the stakeholders involved (internal/external)?
What: What are the business and technical requirements? What are the legal and/or regulatory constraints that we need to consider? Are there any risks involved?
Where: Where will these services be applied? Will the solution deliver location-specific requirements (regulations, taxes, usability concerns, language/locale issues, etc.)?
When: When would these services be needed? Do they fit in the budget? Are there dependencies on other projects/initiatives?
How: How can the organization deliver these services? What is the readiness of the organization, the architecture, the customer?

After collecting the information for these questions, you would be in a far better position to select the best service model and deployment model(s) for your enterprise. While there may be other key considerations, the above list is imperative for any enterprise to evaluate before making a decision.

Using the Cloud to your advantage
Let us now assume that you have made your choice and adopted a cloud solution. It is now in your hands to use it fully to your advantage and make the most of it. Here are some common use cases where you must leverage the cloud to complement your existing architectures.

Capacity Management
Leverage the cloud to handle peaks in your traffic. If you have many applications running in your data center then you may choose to send your excess capacity out to a cloud service provider instead of investing in physical infrastructure to accommodate these peaks. Example: If you experience particularly high traffic during holidays you may want to take advantage of your cloud for capacity management.

Storage in the Cloud
Traditional storage strategies involve several components of infrastructure and software such as backup tape and disk devices, various types of storage media, transportation services, and much more. You can eliminate all of these physical components and leverage cloud storage services which can be fully automated using scripts. The cost of storage in the cloud is drastically lower as compared to storage on physical storage media. The process for data retrieval also is simple, quick and effective.

Using APIs Hosted on the Cloud
The fundamental idea of using the cloud is better agility and speed to market. Cloud makes this possible by offering APIs. As many forward-looking companies share their APIs on the cloud you can utilize these to save yourself the time, cost and money to develop your own API functions. This arrangement makes business agiler and drives healthy competition for business operations. 

Data Mining and Analytics
The cloud is the best place for processing and churning large amounts of data on-demand. Not only can you store many terabytes or even petabytes of information on the cloud, you can even analyze large amounts of data without bothering about any additional infrastructure. Using cloud for data mining and analytics leads to huge cost saving.

Test Environments
Another important use of cloud is to use it as a test and development environment. Traditionally companies maintain different test and development environments on-premises, which require constant patching and maintenance. However managing these environments is difficult and moreover, they become redundant or lay idle after the testing period. For growing companies, the issue really is a limited number of environments that are available to testers and developers, who often have to share environments with other teams which make testing and development a challenge.

The cloud caters for on-demand development and testing environments. This method requires less work for the administrators, provides speed to market for the testers and developers, and can reduce costs if the environments are shut down when not in use.

Above are just some of the winning use cases for cloud services. If used efficiently, they can fuel the growth of any organization.

At CloudIO, we have witnessed the growth of our clients who have utilized the Cloud and its offerings to maximize their growth. We have designed and implemented pre-built solutions which simplify the execution of specific job functions and can be hosted on the Cloud to take advantage of the above-mentioned Cloud offerings.

If you’d like to know more, please write to us at solutions@cloudio.io or visit cloudio.io.
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e-commerce Applications - Essential Must Haves

Marketing tactics for online retailers have been evolving at a rapid pace since the birth of e-commerce. With increased accessibility to the Internet, faster Internet connection speeds, and improved functionality of online retailer websites, the Internet has become a staple of the multi-channel marketing strategy. Online retailers are constantly looking for ways to improve customer retention and outdo their competition.

A lot of studies and research have been held, to identify the core aspects of delivering a customer focused online shopping experience. Most of these studies have highlighted that the main drivers of a positive customer experience are safety, ease-of-use, and responsiveness. These are indispensable strategies to ensure a satisfied digital customer base for any company. 

Safety: Digitally created worlds are changing the face of e-commerce and extending the use of Internet technologies to create a fascinating experience for customers. While lucrative, the virtual world is grappled with the challenges of identity theft, fraud, and virtual stalking. Businesses will not be able to fully leverage the Virtual World unless they address these security and privacy concerns.

The core principles of information security, therefore, come to play here which are essentially confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Confidentiality ensures that access to information is only provided to those with proper authorization. Integrity ensures that the data exchanged back and forth with the customer and website is accurate. Availability is the right to timely and uninterrupted access to information. Adherence to these three principles is essential for any e-commerce website, in order to win the trust of its customers.

The ubiquity: The last decade has witnessed the expansion of global adoption and seamless availability of the Internet with a multitude of its ubiquitous services. In tandem has emerged a new mobile era driven by miniaturization and personalization of communication devices. These developments have offered the user a host of new gadgets which he prefers to use in different environments. In such a scenario it is essential for an e-commerce application to run on a multitude of varied devices and over heterogeneous communication infrastructures where a user can access it from anywhere, anyplace and anytime as per his convenience.

Personalization: One distinct advantage of online shopping is the ability to store data and history of a customer's choices and preferences and then use this data to personalize his entire visit. E-personalization efforts allow for quick and economical ways of meeting the customer's needs in a very efficient and effective manner with the ultimate goals of ensuring customer satisfaction and repeat visits.

A few ways of personalizing are to use collaborative filtering that utilizes information from different sites to create a customized e-commerce experience. Personalized web pages too can be created by effectively studying and applying using user profiling. Personalization can be done with appropriate data mining and analysis tools that can help forecast customer's needs and purchasing trends. Location based services can be deployed to assist a customer as per his present location.

Other methods of enhancing personalization are with specific customization tactics, such as personalized recommendations, sale previews, and exclusive offers. One important thing, however, is to ensure that personalization should not go overboard and should not intrude on a customer's privacy.

Intuitive Search: Search is one of the most defining elements of user experience. Apart from engaging an intelligent search engine, it is critical for e-commerce sites to decide how to present the search results. For a good user experience, it is absolutely essential to assist the customer, discover and explore his need with an intuitive search. A search needs to guide a user to his "find" rather than making his life miserable in searching the find. It also matters as to how exceptions are handled. Example instead of a plain “No results found page” it is more useful to present related information which may interest the customer and help him explore other possibilities.

It is also advisable to create a robust partial match strategy and multiple content strategies. Another effective way is to use search-site analytics that records users needs and designs the search interface by taking cues from it.

UI Design: Good UI enhances user engagement, and user engagement is very critical for any e-commerce application. UI is the first layer through which a user interacts with and makes a decision to stay or move on. UI design is, therefore, a critical element of the e-commerce application and has to be designed by blending technology with art and creativity that ensures engaging user experience. While creating UIs, you also need to weed out things that tend to create friction in usage and diminish or break the engagement. 

Responsiveness: An application's responsiveness is decided on how well it handles cumbersome processing, exceptions, and heavy data traffic. In e-commerce applications, performance issues can cause the website to stall, abort or take an unusually long time to complete. Handling of such tasks and the system's ability to recover from such difficult situations has a big impact on customer experience. Every minute lost can lose a customer. One effective way is to keep a user updated on what is happening with his transaction, this reduces his frustration as he is aware of what is happening, he also knows the amount of time in which he needs to visit the browser back while toggling among a host of activities.

Well above are a few essentials that we @CloudIO believe, go a long way in ensuring customer satisfaction, not just for an e-commerce application but any application that is designed. Over the years we have, fine-tuned, and deployed these principles creatively in our application and seen astounding results. Some of our solutions have won praise and appreciation from different quarters of the industry for the sheer simplicity of design and ease of use it offers.

We recommend you to try these and notice the difference yourself! To know more on this, do write us to support@cloudio.io or visit us at cloudio.io.
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Growth of Enterprise with APIs

One of the key drivers of success in today's market is the ability to deliver applications and services within a really short span of time. Modern developers are being asked to do more with less. They have to work within stringent budgets and shorter deadlines and yet deliver technological marvels. In such a scenario, traditional methods of development and deployment prove to be regressive and moving to using of platforms that would enable them to do so is the obvious step that enterprise would resort to.

The two biggest advantages that such platforms offers are cost and convenience. With such technologies, architects can quickly prototype using the new technologies with minimum commitment and cost. These same technologies allow executives to better control and predict cost as well as eliminate redundancies that usually arise in traditional computing. 

The modern technologies often referred to as Cloud Technologies, mainly comprise of virtualization, APIs, DevOps, app lifecycle management tools, and NoOps. They all build on top of each other and combine to enable the next generation of technologies. Each one is necessary for the others. In this article, we focus on APIs and how they are shaping the new generation enterprises. 

API's are the fastest growing, business-influencing technology in the IT industry today. With an API, developers can exploit functions of existing computer programs in other applications. Though APIs have existed for a long time, over the years, they have evolved based on advances in technology like faster network speeds, dynamic integration etc. 

API architecture underwent a major change, with the advent of service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOA offers an architectural model to manage consumer and provider relationships in a dynamic environment. This fuelled the growth of building and exposing APIs with better business enablement capabilities including request access, entitlement, identification, authorization, management, monitoring, and analytics. 

Today, progressive companies are sharing their APIs and letting others consume their business functions, for a profit. These companies are making good use of modern, agile and rapid development platforms that enables them to do so. The model is really simple and thoughtful, where these companies have developed functional modules of business capabilities and extended it to others by sharing their APIs for others to use in their functionality. 

APIs offers benefits to both the "offering enterprise" as well as the "utilizing enterprise". For the enterprise that offers its API, it opens a revenue source, and for the utilizing enterprise it offers them with the ability to perform the API functions, yet avoid having to develop and maintain their own API functions. This setup makes business agiler by driving a healthy competition for business operations. 

The advent of rapid application development platforms further helped APIs to flourish. We @CloudIOPlatform offer the ability to host APIs, and provides the right environment to handle multiple and complex API integrations. 

The biggest advantage with the CloudIO Platform is the ability it offers enterprises, to quickly churn out new apps with low operating cost, reduced time to market and platform hosted on-premise or in the cloud thus making APIs and CloudIO Platform the winning combination for enterprises today.

If you'd like to know more about CloudIOPlatform and API's, refer to this link rest-api.html or do write to us at support@cloudio.io, For more information on our products and solutions please visit cloudio.io

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Top Enterprise Tech Trends to look forward to in 2016

It's that time of the year where we reflect on the past and look forward to the new. Well, to begin with 2015 has been a spectacular year. The year saw the beginning of new trends paving the road ahead for a new technology world altogether. And surely 2016 will see us all walk into this new world, with new visions, new hopes, and new aspirations. So here are the top 5 trends we feel will rule in the year 2016.

Stage is Set for Mobile 
Enterprise Mobility continues to be one of the hottest buzzwords in the industry and many companies have Enterprise Mobility on their top business priority. According to data from International Data Corporation, the worldwide smartphone market grew 13.0% year over year in 2015 Q2, with 341.5 million shipments! Another report by smartinsights.com says that eighty percent of internet users own smartphones. Consumers are using the mobile phone for every other activity be it searching for a product, inquiring, comparing services and prices, buying, reviewing and much more. With all these activities they are forcing enterprises to change the way they carry their business. From electronic commerce the focus is set on mobile commerce and year 2016 will see firms gaining a larger grip in the digital commerce market. This, in turn, will ensure that enterprise players tune themselves to cater to this requirement and be an active player in the Mobile Revolution.

Cloud has made a strong Foothold 
Compared to the earlier resistance, the year 2015 saw a great deal of enterprises switching towards the Cloud. While Cloud-based enterprise applications faced a lot of resistance earlier, the acceptance seems to be growing now. This is owing to multiple factors including affordability of cloud compared to on-premise solutions and also the availability of better robust and secure solutions. According to research firm Gartner Inc., at least, 30% of service-centric companies will move most of their ERP applications to the cloud by 2018.

Wearable Devices are in
2015 brought with it a new technology platform with wearable devices and smartwatches. The fact that almost 1.2 million people in the US bought an Apple Watch on the first day of pre-orders is enough evidence to show that wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular and setting in a new business trend to watch out for. Wearable's offer action triggers and quick notifications which can be used effectively to drive tasks. It would be interesting to see how Wearable devices fit in the enterprise world and how one can make the optimum use of it.

Design Rules
With the new trends of smart phones, smart devices and gadgets a new facet have come in the forefront and that is "Design". Simple, smart and intuitive designs are the call of the hour for Enterprise application. Vendors are focussing on clean and sophisticated designs that engage the customers and fit any device.

Enterprise Applications for all
With the emergence of cloud-based platforms and applications, a lot of new possibilities have opened up. Cloud has brought down the cost barrier and made Enterprise applications more affordable. This has made SME's turn to enterprise applications. A report on "The Future of FinTech: A Paradigm Shift in Small Business Finance" states that there are around 500 million SME's and micro-enterprises currently in operation worldwide. That's a huge market and vendors are ready to cater this with innovative and customized solutions ensuring that ERP and other enterprise applications are now available to all.

Well above are just some of the top trends we foresee, needless to add that the way technology is advancing, the possibilities are really limitless. We @CloudIOPlatform look forward to these and are confident that we could chip in with whatever we can contribute to the enterprise world in providing best of breed solutions and products engulfing these technical trends.

Thanks for reading and if you'd like to share your thoughts or comments just drop us an email at info@cloudio.io. For more information on our solutions and products please visit cloudio.io

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In Praise of Agile

"I am not telling you it's going to be easy, I Am just telling you it's going to be worth it" - Art Williams

This is a usual line we quote to our clients while advocating our love for Agile Development Methodology. At CloudIO we are always in praise of Agile because of the simplicity and benefits it brings along. Modern software development projects are subjected to turbulent business environments characterized by unpredictable markets, changing customer requirements, and advent of new disruptive technologies. Enterprises today need solutions that are quick to build, easy to deploy, simple to use and flexible to change.

Agile Software Development Methodology offers promising approaches for contemporary software development projects to deal effectively with these challenges. Agile offers a bunch of core benefits that add tremendous value to the product, people and processes involved with it.

The beauty of Agile is in its incremental development model and shorter release cycles. These shorter cycles help product owners and developers identify any loopholes or problems well in time and take corrective actions. Unlike traditional software development where requirement specification for the entire product is gathered first and the entire project developed, deployed and tested in whole, shorter product cycles in Agile help product owners take timely measured decisions. The possibility of last minute surprises and delays is greatly eliminated with this approach.

Enterprises are often subject to constant change owing to different transformations happening in their internal or external environment. Agile Development Methodology is designed to accommodate these changes. As agile is executed in stages it can adopt these changes without any hassle.

Customer Delight
Agile Software Development Methodology enforces a close customer engagement throughout the software development cycle. This aspect makes the implementation process very effective as the customer can monitor his requirements coming to life and alter any points that he wishes. As the customer is constantly involved, he knows at the end of every iteration, how the entire project is shaping up. If desired he can request for any changes or take timely corrective actions. This engagement leads to high customer satisfaction too and the continuous feedback loop also benefits the developers..

Prioritize and Deliver
Agile follows a systematic approach of first creating the absolute basic essentials of the products and then building on it, This approach of incremental iterative development leads to better project management, budget, resource and time management

Happy Teams
Agile believes in involving all stakeholders of the project in all iterations of the development. This inclusive philosophy helps a great deal in maintaining transparency and visibility within the teams. Each associate is aware of his responsibilities and expectations, timelines, schedules and goals with respect to the project. This knowledge helps foster better relationships and garners better results.

Above mentioned points are just a few amongst the many benefits that Agile Development Methodology offers. At CloudIO, we have Agile Methodology at the core of our development process. We have it in our internal systems, our solutions, and the products we build is essentially based on Agile - it is in our DNA. Moreover, Agile fits well with lean philosophy and at CloudIO we believe that the potential synergy that comes from the combination of both these areas will pave the way for a promising future of contemporary software.

If you'd like to know more about Agile Development Methodology write to us at platform@cloudio.io or visit us at our cloudio.io.
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