FatWire integrated into WebCenter as WebCenter Sites for Web Experience Management

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The recently announced acquisition of FatWire by Oracle is leading to interesting new options for customers looking for dynamic, interactive, multi-channel & device end user facing web sites – ideally with integration with enterprise systems. FatWire does most of the former and the WebCenter platform along with other FWM products provide the latter.

FatWire will be folded into WebCenter – as WebCenter Sites – to be integrated with other areas in WebCenter – such as Content (pka UCM), Connect (Social Networking capabilities) and Portal (typically internal-facing enterprise portal) and indirectly SOA Suite and BPM for Web Services and (perhaps) Business Processes in which external users can also perform tasks.

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FatWire (WebCenter Sites) addresses a number of areas around the web user experience of external users at the web site of an enterprise. The next illustration shows three main stages:

  1. putting the [content of the]website together,
  2. gather information about users and applying user specific characteristics in providing a rich and personalized user experience
  3. engaging customers, prospects and partners with the brand by having interaction, supporting end user content generation; leveraging social networking facilities (both in the site as well as at third party sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) is an important part of this interaction

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An important objective to meet is to ‘learn about the customer’ and apply that knowledge across the enterprise in all interactions with the customer – to give the customer the feeling that the enterprise really knows the customer whenever and wherever the customer seeks interaction.

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Information gathered from the customer interaction on the website needs to be fed into central CRM systems to make it available across the organization.

Multiple sites

FatWire allows central administration of many (>100) parallel sites for an organization, allowing brand-specific web presence for each of the labels of an enterprise – while sharing common content and sharing customer analytics across all sites.

Multiple Channels

FatWire (WebCenter Sites) has support for many different mobile devices. Content can be reused across all devices. Ensure end user experience on mobile device is rich and engaging. Mobile presence managed together with ‘traditional web’ experience.

Touch device, smartphone, basic phone, tablet: visual view of what site will look like. Business user can also customize site and content per device family. At delivery time- FatWire detects the device type and the site is optimized for delivery on that specific device.

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End User Generated Content

FatWire allows end users to not only personalize their experience of the web site – through preferences, selecting gadgets and customized layout -, it also makes it possible for those end users to add their own content. Examples of such User Generated Content are ratings, comments, blog articles etc. Note that FatWire includes content authoring workflows that can be used to ensure a business user validates user generated content before it is exposed to other users.

Through gadgets (small components with some content and some functionality) – based on the OpenSocial API (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenSocial) – users can assemble dashboards. Additionally, these gadgets can be integrated into third party sites – such as iGoogle or Facebook.

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Bi-directional FatWire/WebCenter content integration

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WebCenter Content converts content from the WebCenter repositories into formats that FatWire can handle in a web environment. Content uploaded by web users or generated by business users in their Web Content Management activities can be transfered to WebCenter Content and subsequently leveraged both in the Web environment as well as in the enterprise portals and applications.

Additionally, the gadgets created in WebCenter Sites could become used in the Enterprise Portals too and vice versa the Portlets created for the Enterprise Portal can also be exposed through the WebCenter Site.

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Real Time Predictive Decisioning and User Segmenting

Using FatWire analytics for all users, content tagging and the history of a specific user, the content and options offered to the user can be optimized and personalized in real time – providing ‘micro-segmenting’. FatWire (WebCenter Sites) can be used in combination with ATG in this area.

Targeting and Customer Segmentation:

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Business user define segments of customers. They also define content to be presented to each segment. Based on their past behavior and known preferences, the segment for each user is determined and the content offered to the user is dynamically derived from the segment.

Through Analytics, it can be established which content is working (attracts attention) for a segment and which content is not.

Product Catalogs for On Line Stores

The combination of ATG and FatWire for managing the product catalog for on line stores with products from many different third party suppliers has apparently been successful for several large web stores already, and will be pushed by Oracle even more in the near future.

Next steps

For me it will be interesting to see how the integration between WebCenter ‘as I know it’ and the FatWire based new WebCenter Sites will be achieved. How I can benefit from WebCenter Sites for the Enterprise Portals I am typically working on and how perhaps a real end user website can now be enriched with real enterprise content and enterprise application interaction.

Oracle presented this next illustration to show some of the areas where products will be integrated:

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Note: WebCenter Connect is the fairly new name for the capabilities around social networking applied to the enterprise.

It would seem that in longer term future (or even sooner than that?) the Site Studio [for External Applications]component of UCM (now called WebCenter Content) may be replaced by and large by WebCenter Sites. I am not sure at this point what the rationale would be (perhaps a licensing based reasoning?) for using Site Studio anymore in the face of what WebCenter Sites can do. Oracle claims that investment in SiteStudio will continue full speed – especially where content needs to be integrated into Web Applications. Where SiteStudio is used for the creation of content based web sites, it makes sense to start using FatWire based WebCenter Sites instead of SiteStudio.

Resources

WebCast Oracle and FatWire Integration Plans: The Evolution of Web Experience Management: http://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=lobby.jsp&eventid=339366&sessionid=1

OTN’s Home Page om WebCenter Sites: http://www.oracle.com/us/products/middleware/webcenter/sites/overview/index.html.

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About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director for Fusion Middleware. Consultant, trainer and instructor on diverse areas including Oracle Database (SQL & PLSQL), Service Oriented Architecture, BPM, ADF, Java in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book: Oracle SOA Suite 11g Handbook. Frequent presenter on conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld, ODTUG Kaleidoscope, Devoxx and OBUG. Presenter for Oracle University Celebrity specials.

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