Subscribe to Methods & Tools
if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!
Subscribe to Methods & Tools
if you are not afraid to read more than one page to be a smarter software developer, software tester or project manager!
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, announced SQL Server 2016, an intelligent platform for a mobile first, cloud first world. The next major release of Microsoft’s flagship database and analytics platform provides breakthrough performance for mission critical applications and deeper insights on your data across on-premises and cloud. Top capabilities for the release include: Always Encrypted - a new capability that protects data at rest and in motion, Stretch Database - new technology that lets you dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, enhancements to our industry-leading in-memory technologies for real-time analytics on top of breakthrough transactional performance and new in-database analytics with R integration.
Data security is top of mind, especially for mission critical applications, and SQL Server has been the enterprise database with the fewest security vulnerabilities six years running.* To help customers with data security and compliance when using SQL Server on-premises or in the cloud, we are introducing Always Encrypted. Always Encrypted, based on technology from Microsoft Research, protects data at rest and in motion. With Always Encrypted, SQL Server can perform operations on encrypted data and best of all, the encryption key resides with the application in the customers trusted environment. Encryption and decryption of data happens transparently inside the application which minimizes the changes that have to be made to existing applications.
Today, in the Ignite keynote, we showcased how you can gain the benefits of hyper-scale cloud in the box with new hybrid scenarios including Stretch Database. As core transactional tables grow in size, you may need to archive historical data to lower cost and to maintain fast performance. This unique technology allows you to dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure, so your operational data is always at hand, no matter the size, and you benefit from the low cost of using Microsoft Azure. You can use Always Encrypted with Stretch Database to extend your data in a more secure manner for greater peace of mind.
Real-time Operational Analytics & In-Memory OLTP
Building on our industry leading and proven in-memory technologies, customers will benefit from the combination of real-time operational analytics with blazing fast transactional performance - a first among enterprise vendors. For In-Memory OLTP, which customers today are using for up to 30x faster transactions than disk based systems, you will now be able to apply this technology tuned for transactional performance to a significantly greater number of applications as well as benefit from increased concurrency. With these enhancements, we also introduce the unique capability to use our in-memory columnstore delivering 100X faster queries with in-memory OLTP for in-memory performance and real-time operational analytics.
Built-in Advanced Analytics, PolyBase and Mobile BI
For deeper insights into data, SQL Server 2016 expands its scope beyond transaction processing, data warehousing and business intelligence to deliver advanced analytics as an additional workload in SQL Server with proven technology from Revolution Analytics. We want to make advanced analytics more accessible and increase performance for your advanced analytic workloads by bringing R processing closer to the data and building advanced analytic capabilities right into SQL Server. Additionally, we are building PolyBase into SQL Server, expanding the power to extract value from unstructured and structured data using your existing T-SQL skills. With this wave, you can then gain faster insights through rich visualizations on many devices including mobile applications on Windows, iOS and Android.
Additional capabilities in SQL Server 2016 include:
In addition, there are many more capabilities coming with SQL Server 2016 that deliver mission critical performance, deeper insights on your data and allow you to reap the benefits of hyper-scale cloud.
Last week at Build we announced exciting innovations to support our mission of making it easier to work with your data, no matter how big or complex. We also shared how we are bringing capabilities to the cloud first in Azure SQL Database as with such as Row-level security and Dynamic Data Masking and then bringing the capabilities, as well as the learnings from running these at hyper-scale, back to SQL Server to improve our on-premises offering. Thus, all our customers benefit from our investments and learnings in Microsoft Azure. In addition to our hybrid cloud scenarios and investments in running SQL Server 2016 in Azure Virtual Machine, SQL Server delivers a complete database platform for hybrid cloud, enabling you to more easily build, deploy and manage solutions that span on-premises and cloud.
As the foundation of our end-to-end data platform, with this release of SQL Server we continue to make it easier for customers to maximize your data dividends. With SQL Server 2016 you can capture, transform, and analyze any data, of any size, at any scale, in its native format —using the tools, languages and frameworks you know and want in a trusted environment on-premises and in the cloud.
* May 4, 2015 NIST ND
Learn how to use the TOP clause in conjunction with the UPDATE, INSERT and DELETE statements.
Now’s the perfect time to deploy Microsoft SQL Server 2014. Sure, it enables faster data processing and performance, but that’s just the beginning. If ensuring business-critical performance, maintaining security and compliance, and optimizing your data infrastructure are important to you, Microsoft has the tools and resources to support your migration from SQL Server 2005.
With the help of SQL Server 2014, leading hospital Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center cut its query time from 45 to 10 seconds and can now query decades of historical data on demand with HDInsight. In addition, its IT team can implement new features without rewriting applications.
Discover the measurable difference SQL Server 2014 has made for other organizations—and can make for you too.
In this mobile-first, cloud-first world, we’re creating and consuming data through new devices and services – and developers are building applications and analytics solutions at a rapid pace to take advantage of the new forms, types and sizes of data. As Scott Guthrie talked about in his keynote this morning, a big piece of what we’ve been working on and will continue to invest in, is making it easier to work with all your data – no matter how big or complex – and how to build new applications utilizing data to take advantage of the intelligent cloud. Today, we’re pleased to share three major data platform announcements: Azure SQL Database elastic database, Microsoft’s new offering to support SaaS applications; Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a fully managed relational data warehouse-as-a-service; and Azure Data Lake Microsoft’s hyper-scale data store optimized for big data analytic workloads.
Azure SQL Database elastic databases
As customers look to ease and expedite building and managing applications, the scale, simplicity and economics of the cloud are impossible to ignore. With new capabilities and enhanced security features, Microsoft’s relational database-as-a-service, Azure SQL Database, can support robust enterprise applications in the cloud as well new SaaS applications, including:
Azure SQL Data Warehouse
As customers move more applications and structured data in the cloud, we’ve seen strong demand for additional options for cloud-based data warehousing and analytics. Scott also announced Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a new, first-of-its-kind elastic data warehouse in the cloud. It’s the first enterprise-class cloud data warehouse that can dynamically grow, shrink and pause compute in seconds independent of storage, enabling you to pay for the query performance you need, when you need it. Azure SQL Data Warehouse is based on the massively parallel processing architecture currently available in both SQL Server and the Analytics Platform System appliance, and will work with existing data tools including Power BI for data visualization, Azure Machine Learning for advanced analytics, Azure Data Factory for data orchestration and Azure HDInsight, our 100% Apache Hadoop managed big data service. The preview for Azure SQL Data Warehouse will be available later this calendar year.
Introducing Azure SQL Data Warehouse
Azure Data Lake
For customers looking to maximize value on unstructured, semi-structured and structured data, we announced Azure Data Lake, a hyper-scale data store for big data analytic workloads. Azure Data Lake is built to solve for restrictions found in traditional analytics infrastructure and realize the idea of a “data lake” – a single place to store every type of data in its native format with no fixed limits on account size or file size, high throughput to increase analytic performance and native integration with the Hadoop ecosystem. Azure Data Lake is a Hadoop File System compatible with HDFS that is integrated with Azure HDInsight and will be integrated with Microsoft offerings such as Revolution-R Enterprise and industry standard distributions like Hortonworks and Cloudera. The preview for Azure Data Lake will be available later this calendar year.
Microsoft Azure data lake supports multiple big data analytic workloads
Try and sign up for new previews today
The move to the cloud is accelerating across industries, and we are proud to provide a comprehensive database and analytics platform that enables you to more easily work with big data and extract as much value as possible from your data to accelerate your business. Additionally, over the last few months we’ve had the opportunity to share with you a wave of new platform offerings and innovations, from the general availability of the latest Azure SQL Database release bringing near-complete compatibility with SQL Server, our preview of the first managed service running on Linux with HDInsight and the general availability of new cloud services such as Azure DocumentDB and Azure Search. With today’s announcements, we’re build on our existing investments and continuing to make it easier for customers to capture, transform, and analyze any data, of any size, at any scale – using the tools, languages and frameworks they know and want in a trusted environment on-premises and in the cloud.
Try out the Azure SQL Database previews made available today and sign up to be notified as the Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Azure Data Lake previews become available. Stay tuned for more on Microsoft’s data platform at next week’s Ignite conference in Chicago.
Redwood Shores, Calif. â€“ April 29, 2015 - To help optimize its global transportation network, Panduit, a manufacturer of solutions that connect, manage and automate the physical infrastructure, has selected Oracle Transportation Management Cloud to support business growth and market expansion.
In order to maintain its competitive advantage, Panduit needed to continue to deliver a superior customer experience while bringing new solutions to market. With Oracle Transportation Management Cloud, Panduit can take advantage of embedded analytics, increased visibility, and enhanced management, to help increase operational efficiencies. By streamlining transportation processes, Panduit expects to lower spend and reallocate resources to more strategic efforts that enable it to better compete.
â€śWith Oracle Transportation Management Cloud we can now leverage the reliability, scalability and security of the Oracle Cloud to transform our transportation processes,â€ť said Sam Hanieh, manager of global logistics at Panduit. â€śDeploying Oracle Transportation Management Cloud will allow us to free resources, reduce overhead, and position Panduit to efficiently deliver the most trusted customer experience.â€ť
In addition to increasing efficiencies and lowering costs, Oracle Transportation Management Cloud can help Panduit improve customer service, decrease supply chain lead times and mitigate supply chain and trade compliance risk. As part of the industryâ€™s most complete enterprise-class cloud, Oracle Transportation Management Cloud also enables Panduit to benefit from the latest product innovations and improvements via automated product and platform upgrades designed to ease up the burden placed on IT.
â€śOracle Transportation Management Cloud delivers Panduit with a strong ROI and enhanced customer experiences while leveraging the advantages of cloud,â€ť said Derek Gittoes, vice president, Value Chain Execution Product Strategy, Oracle. â€śBy utilizing the capabilities of the cloud, Panduit can also accelerate deployment timelines, reduce IT capital costs and help control their long-term cost of ownership.â€ťAdditional Information Learn more about Oracle Transportation Management Cloud or read our data sheet for additional information. Learn more about the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems. Learn more about Oracle Cloud Services and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.About Panduit
Panduit is a world-class developer and provider of leading-edge solutions that connect, manage and automate the physical infrastructure. Panduit Unified Physical InfrastructureSM (UPI)-based solutions help customers integrate core business systems for a smarter, unified business foundation. Our robust partner ecosystem, global staff, and unmatched service and support make Panduit a valuable and trusted partner. For more information, visit http://www.panduit.com.About Oracle
Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit oracle.com.Trademarks
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Blanc & Otus
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.â€”April 29, 2015â€”Utilities achieve operational excellence by adopting technologies that enable them to deliver reliable, secure, and scalable services that in turn help drive a superior customer experience. Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) and Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) are among the organizations taking advantage of Oracle Utilities Express Implementations by Oracle Utilities Professional Services to obtain value faster from mission-critical solutions designed to increase customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
Greenville Utilities Commission targets improved customer care and billing
Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC)â€”providing electric, water, sewer, and natural gas services to nearly 152,000 clients in the North Carolina city of Greenville and also in Pitt Countyâ€”selected Oracle Utilities Express Implementation to deploy Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Customer Self-Service, and Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management, and Oracle Utilities Work and Asset Management. GUC chose these Oracle solutions to help standardize its business processes and align servicesâ€”such as meter to cashâ€”with consumer expectations, including visibility into the full customer lifecycle.
The Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing Express Implementation for Water Utilities solution used for this project contains preconfigured business processes that can accelerate implementation and provide standard practices that target improved operational efficiency and customer service.
â€śOur goal is to modernize our utilityâ€™s information systems using Oracle products,â€ť said Sandy Barnes, director of information technology, Greenville Utilities Commission. â€śWe started our project with Oracle E-Business Suite applications for financial and human resources management, followed by Oracle Utilities Work and Asset Management for unmetered services. In the third phase of our project, we are implementing Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Customer Self-Service, and Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management. This program is enhanced by the Oracle Utilities Express Implementation services approach, delivering an efficient implementation and simplifying the solution by reducing the amount of customized code and configuration required.â€ť
Orlando Utilities Commission accelerates its customer information system implementation by four months
Additionally, OUC, a customer-owned municipal utility providing water and electric service to 234,000 clients in the cities of Orlando and St. Cloud, Florida, as well as parts of Orange and Osceola counties, worked with Oracle Utilities Professional Services to implement Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing. OUC wanted a product that would deliver a fully functional, long-term customer information system (CIS). It chose the Oracle Utilities solution to align with its previous Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management implementation, linking the applications with meter-to-cash business processes to help improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, enhance customer satisfaction, and speed time to value by adopting proven configurations.
â€śWe selected Oracle Professional Services to implement Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing using the Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing Express Implementation,â€ť said Jerry Sullivan, vice president and CIO, Orlando Utilities Commission. â€śWith this process, a project with an original timeline of 22 to 24 months should take 18 months to complete. This accelerated process allows us to more quickly benefit from our new customer care and billing platform and improve all of our customer-facing initiatives.â€ť
During the CS Week Conference, OUC received the 2015 Expanding Excellence Award for Innovation in Customer Service in the large-utility category. This honor recognized OUC for implementing almost a dozen customer-facing initiatives that interface with Oracle products such as Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing and Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management.
â€śOracle Utilities Express Implementation services use preconfigured business processes that represent proven practices for major application areas as well as tailored data conversion and reporting tools,â€ť said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. â€śThis approach helps utilities gain greater value faster from their Oracle Applicationsâ€”allowing utilities to get back to their primary focus of superior customer service.â€ťAdditional Information
Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit oracle.com.
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.Contact Info
Oâ€™Keeffe & Company
NULL values in a table can cause Oracle to decide to use a Cartesian join with large data sets. Read on to see one way this can be addressed.
Many communications service providers (CSPs) aim to create streamlined, all-IP networks to provide new services, fasterâ€”especially with the focus on virtualizing network assets and increasing customer demand for high-definition (HD) voice enriched with video services. To help CSPs meet these demands, Oracle has launched Oracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server.
Deliver an improved customer experience. With support for enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity, CSPs can deliver Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services even when widespread LTE network coverage isnâ€™t available, streamlining the calling experience for customers as they move from LTE to 2G/3G environments.
The new solution enables CSPs to:
The product is powered by Oracle Communications Converged Application Server, which is proven to scale and includes built-in fault tolerance. It is also industry-standards compliant to ensure IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) core interoperability, and is preintegrated with Oracle Communications Core Session Manager. This makes Oracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server ideally suited for rapid deployment in contemporary IMS and 4G LTE environments with carrier-grade performance, scalability, and reliability.
â€śOracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server brings the speed of innovation with the low cost profile typically seen in IT initiatives, yet it can deliver the performance of a CSP network appliance,â€ť said Steve Aulds, vice president of products, Oracle Communications. â€śThis is the ideal complement to our converged application server, API exposure platform, and session delivery infrastructure, which CSPs around the world have embraced for nearly a decade.â€ť
â€śThe rapid growth of 4G LTE in mobile networks is exposing a real need for delivery of IMS-driven services,â€ť said Diane Myers, research director, Infonetics Research, part of IHS Inc., (NYSE: IHS). â€śOracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server is a good fit for VoLTE and VoWi-Fi, and because of its design, it aligns nicely with the CSPâ€™s goal of increased service agility.â€ť
Oracle experts will be available at the following 2015 events to further discuss and demonstrate Oracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server:
To learn more about Oracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server and other Oracle Communications products, please connect on Twitter @OracleComms and at facebook.com/oraclecommunications, or visit http://oracle.com/communications.About Oracle
Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit oracle.com.Trademark
Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.Contacts:
Oâ€™Keeffe & Company
NEW YORK and REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.; April 27, 2015 â€“ Accenture and Oracle have launched a new business group to jointly help customers embrace the cloud to achieve their digital transformation goals. Through the group, Accenture and Oracle will deliver industry-specific solutions built on the Oracle Cloud to help clients realize the benefits of the cloud faster and with reduced risk. The Accenture Oracle Business Group brings together the leading technology, skills and experience from each company to offer businesses the ability to implement cloud solutions quicker and easier than previously possible.
The Accenture Oracle Business Group simplifies and streamlines the buying process for Accenture solutions based on Oracle Cloud technologies. As a result, customers can more nimbly react to changing business and economic conditions by leveraging end-to-end solutions that address their specific business and industry requirements. The new group will bring breakthrough solutions to market across a range of industries, with an initial focus on the public, financial and hospitality services sectors.
â€śBuilding on our 23-year alliance relationship, the Accenture Oracle Business Group combines Accentureâ€™s deep industry and technology experience with Oracleâ€™s expansive set of cloud solutions to deliver client value not found elsewhere in the market today,â€ť said Stephen Rohleder, group chief executive for North America, Accenture. â€śThis is part of our strategy to take advantage of Oracleâ€™s leading technologies and build our business together for the future. It is a game-changer for our clients, Oracle, and Accenture.â€ť
â€śFor the first time, customers have the opportunity to use accelerators, prebuilt adapters and industry-specific extensions with Oracleâ€™s software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings to accelerate cloud migration, simplify cross-pillar integration and achieve enterprise transformation,â€ť said Thomas Kurian, president, Product Development, Oracle. â€śBy providing a single process to implement end-to-end mission- critical services, the Accenture Oracle Business Group is ideally positioned to help our customers realize the true benefits of cloud computing.â€ť
The group solutions will be built using Oracleâ€™s software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service solutions delivered via the Accenture Foundation Platform for Oracle, a multi-component development and integration accelerator running in the Oracle Cloud. Offerings consist of:Pre-integrated enterprise-class cloud solutions and a robust service catalog to help simplify migration to the cloud and accelerate overall innovation Dedicated Accenture and Oracle resources, including 52,000 Oracle-skilled consultants globally, with an additional 20,000 Java-skilled professionals. This can help enable end-to-end delivery and maintenance of hardware, middleware and software solutions, helping customers architect a path to the cloud Accelerators such as cloud readiness assessments and data migration, testing and training tools which can help reduce the time and risk associated with implementation and shift the focus to innovation and growth Vertical solutions and extensions designed to reduce the need for customization while addressing industry and customer requirements
The Accenture Oracle Business Group will include experienced industry specialists and leading solution development and delivery talent, supported by a dedicated team of sales, marketing, and technical professionals. Specialists from both Accenture and Oracle will collaborate to identify business requirements, develop solutions, execute go-to-market strategies, and help implement new cloud solutions for clients to achieve their digital transformation goals.
Accenture is a Diamond-level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork.Additional Information
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 323,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the worldâ€™s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$30.0 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2014. Its home page is www.accenture.com.About Oracle PartnerNetwork
Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized is the latest version of Oracle's partner program that provides partners with tools to better develop, sell and implement Oracle solutions. OPN Specialized offers resources to train and support specialized knowledge of Oracle products and solutions and has evolved to recognize Oracle's growing product portfolio, partner base and business opportunity. Key to the latest enhancements to OPN is the ability for partners to differentiate through Specializations. Specializations are achieved through competency development, business results, expertise and proven success. To find out more visit oracle.com/partners.About Oracle
Candice van der Laan
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.â€”April 27, 2015â€”A utilityâ€™s success depends on meeting the needs of its customers. Orange County Utilities, which provides drinking water, wastewater treatment and reuse, garbage disposal, and recycling services to more than 210,000 residents and businesses in Orlando, Florida, deployed Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing solutions to enable its staff to deliver superior customer service by decreasing the average speed-to-answer time and reducing the number of monthly abandoned calls.
â€śWe operate in an industry that is constantly transforming, making it imperative that we continuously improve organizational effectiveness and efficiency,â€ť said Rosemary Whitacre, program development supervisor, Orange County Utilities. â€śOracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing helps us to accomplish these goals by enabling us to swiftly evolve our business to meet market demands, reduce risk, boost customer satisfaction, and maximize revenues.â€ť
Orange County Utilities deployed Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing as part of its 20-year plan to fully automate its IT infrastructure. The utility chose PwCâ€”a Diamond-level member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN)â€”as its systems integrator. PwC, with its program designed specifically for customer care and billing implementations and upgrades, adhered to a rigorous schedule to bring the solution live in 14 months.
Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing solutions enabled the utility to deploy a comprehensive customer information system (CIS) to provide a complete view of consumer data for water, wastewater, reclaimed water, and solid-waste services, helping to streamline billing processes and provide more-responsive customer assistance.
The CIS provided call center staff with a 360-degree view of customers, eliminating the need to toggle back and forth between multiple systems and enabling faster responses to inquiries. As well, abandoned calls were reduced by nearly 75 percent, average call handling time improved by 50 percent, and the average answer speed (the amount of time the customer holds for a representative) accelerated from four minutes to one. Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing also helped decrease call resolution down to three minutes from the previous six or seven minutes. An integrated voice response system and self-service website provides clients with alternative resources for information, ultimately lowering the customer query volume by 28 percent.
â€śTodayâ€™s utilities are faced with a rapidly changing industry and increasing expectations from their customers. To improve customer service and remain competitive, Oracle worked with Orange County Utilities to modernize its customer information system with Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing,â€ť said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. â€śWith better access to customer data and resources, Orange County Utilities can speed up customer response time and is poised to exceed customer expectations now and into the future.â€ť
Additionally, Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing enabled the utility to automate billing for 150 solid-wasteâ€“hauling accountsâ€”which previously required separate processing from the companyâ€™s other accountsâ€”eliminating 72 hours of manually intensive billing tasks each month. Orange County Utilities could also ensure timely revenue flow by completing night-batch billing processes 43 percent faster, and reducing report production by 41 percent through the use of streamlined dashboards that show revenue trends by time period (such as year over year) and by segment (residential or commercial).Additional Information
Oâ€™Keeffe & Company
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.â€”April 27, 2015â€”Transitioning from a 20-year-old, homegrown customer information system to one that is more modern and comprehensive allows utilities to improve customer service, enhance financial performance, and adapt to a changing industry. Making this upgrade is no small endeavor, but Avista Utilitiesâ€”which provides energy services and electricity to 362,000 customers and natural gas to 323,000 customers in Washington, Idaho, and Oregonâ€”successfully made the transition by implementing Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing.
Avistaâ€™s successful launch of Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, which included a well-planned training schedule, allowed customer service representatives to maintain grade-of-service targets as well as sustain their overall customer satisfaction rating during the 2015 go live. Avistaâ€™s representatives feel confident navigating within the Oracle Utilities system to find consumer account information and answer questions.
â€śWe knew we needed to create awareness throughout the company about the major project that would replace our legacy customer information system. To foster awareness for the work that would have an enterprisewide impact, employees named the technology replacement Project Compass, as it would help guide us forward,â€ť said Vicki Weber, director of customer strategic projects, Avista. â€śWe selected Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing because it is a utility-friendly system that supports Avistaâ€™s future, strengthens the customer experience, and increases operating efficiencies while providing new opportunities to build on our excellent customer service reputation.â€ť
To ensure that Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing was the right technology for its business, Avista started by benchmarking the industry to identify what worked well for other similar organizations. Avista also identified training as one of its top goals so employees would understand and embrace the system and be able to successfully serve customers on day one.
Avista achieved this goal by using a blended program of web-based courses, classroom training, self-directed system practice, and planned activities. It also provided more than 27,000 hours of Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing training to more than 300 employees in customer service and other departments.
â€śOracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing handles every aspect of the customer lifecycleâ€”from service connection, meter reading, rating, billing, payments processing, and collections to field work,â€ť said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. â€śThis solution helped Avista upgrade its customer information system, ensuring that the utility can continue to deliver exceptional customer service with fully integrated systems.â€ťAdditional Information
Oâ€™Keeffe & Company
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.â€”April 27, 2015â€”Grant County Public Utility District (PUD), which provides electricity to more than 48,000 consumers throughout Grant County in Washington, implemented Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing solutions to enable its staff to deliver superior customer service and seamlessly consolidate accounts for improved operational efficiency.
Because Grant PUD serves a wide range of consumersâ€”from residential neighborhoods to large industries, data server farms to agricultural irrigation accountsâ€”it needed a solution that would be flexible and robust enough to meet the unique needs of its clients, and one that offered an easy onboarding process for its customer service staff.
â€śSuperior customer service is pivotal to our success as a utility. Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing was a seamless transition from our prior system for our customer service staff and our customers. Employee training time was minimized through an intuitive user interface and by providing support staff with direct access to complete customer account histories,â€ť said Annette Lovitt, project manager, Grant PUD.
Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing solutions help Grant PUDâ€™s team answer 90 percent of customer inquiries from the main page of the platform without having to move through multiple screens, so representatives can provide assistance with one or two clicksâ€”improving the customer experience and boosting team productivity. Additionally, the preconfigured data conversion tools and approaches in the Oracle solution simplified the utilityâ€™s complex rate for its irrigation clients. For every meter, Grant PUD had two service agreements, and Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing enabled the utility to merge these agreements and consolidate approximately 5,000 accounts.
â€śGrant PUDâ€™s smooth implementation of Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing is helping the utility achieve optimal operational efficiency by elevating customer service and driving cost savings in its business operations. Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing helps utilities, such as Grant PUD, streamline business processes and rapidly execute strategic business initiatives,â€ť said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities.Additional Information
Oâ€™Keeffe & Company
Use this stored procedure to quickly capture all login information when needed, especially for security audit situations.
Last week we announced the General Availability of Azure Premium Storage for Azure Virtual Machines.
Premium Storage provides steady high throughput (up to 64,000 IOPs; 8x more than Standard Storage) at low latency (single-digit milliseconds; 8x less than Standard Storage). This enables enterprise SQL Server workloads (OLTP or Data warehousing) needing consistent high performance to run on Azure VM.
During the Preview of Azure Storage we worked with many SQL Server customers of different workload sizes to ensure that Premium Storage satisfied their requirements on Azure VM. Here are some examples of customer results:
Premium Storage is based on Solid State Disks (SSD) in the storage backend, dedicated fast connections between the storage backend and new compute clusters, and VMs local read-only caches that are also SSD-based. Writes are sent to the backend to guarantee their persistence via 3 copies. Writes trigger an update on the VM read-only cache. Reads that can be served from the cache return immediately; others are served quickly from the backend, also updating the cache as a result. More details here.
VMs using Premium Storage get a guaranteed higher storage bandwidth to serve writes and reads. Reads served from the cache are not counted towards this bandwidth. The high bandwidth allows writing and reading more data per second to the storage. This increases transaction throughput and reduces the time for query scans and other operations such as backup/restore, batch loads, and index rebuilds.
The following PerfMon picture shows a SQL Server backup consistently reading and writing ~500MB/s:
The main benefit of the fast storage writes is lowering SQL Server transaction latency. This is achieved by shortening the time to synchronously write commit records to the log file. This benefits both standalone and AlwaysOn configurations, where the secondary must ACK writing commit records. Besides this, the fast storage writes reduce the time for other SQL Server write operations (e.g. checkpoints (asynchronously writing dirty pages to disk), AlwaysOn secondary’s log redo, etc).
The main benefit of fast reads is lowering SQL Server query time. This is achieved by shortening the time to retrieve data pages, especially if served from the read-only cache. In addition, the higher storage bandwidth aids retrieving more data pages. The benefit of the read-only cache is for data files, as data pages are read very frequently. There is no benefit for log files, as log records are only read during distant operations (e.g. backups).
The following PerfMon picture shows a SQL Server workload executing an average of 9K Batch Requests per second. This accounts for 20K reads and 17K writes per second (37K IOPs). The average read latency is just 1ms with a max of 6ms, and the average write latency is just 3ms with a max of 10ms.
There are 3 types of Premium Storage disks to choose from: P10, P20, and P30. The type of disk is determined by its size. Each disk type is assigned a different number of IOPs and bandwidth:
Storage Bandwidth (MB/s)
To support Premium Storage, there is a new series of VMs called DS-Series. The capabilities of these VMs are below:
Max Storage Space
Max Storage IOPS*
Max Storage Bandwidth (MB/s)
Cache size (GB)
* Doesn’t include IOPs directly from the VM read-only cache
Notice that the total number of IOPs and bandwidth will depend on the combination of VM size, number of disks, and the sizes of these disks.
Consider the size of your database, workload requirements, and pricing when choosing the above. Notice that a VM can have disks with different sizes and, it’s even possible to mix disks from Premium and Standard storage. More details here.Creating a new SQL Server Virtual Machine using Premium Storage
Notice that it’s not possible to upgrade an existing Standard Storage account to Premium Storage and that DS-Series VMs can’t be added to a Resource Group that have other VM Series.
To migrate an existing SQL Server to Premium Storage please create a new DS-Series VM that uses a Premium Storage account. Then backup and restore your databases and copy your SQL configuration (equivalent to a side-by-side migration).
To reduce downtime during the migration to few minutes:
If you are using SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups you can minimize downtime during the migration to seconds. Availability Groups allow you to failover a group of databases from a primary SQL Server replica to a secondary SQL Server replica in seconds without data loss. In addition, applications connect to the primary replica using a listener (virtual network name), so their connection string doesn’t need to change.
You can add a synchronous secondary SQL Server replica in a DS-Series VM that uses Premium Storage and failover to it. Notice that you will need to add the secondary replica VM to the same Windows Domain and the same Windows Cluster as the primary replica. In addition, you will need to create an endpoint for the secondary replica VM and add it to the load balancer supporting the Availability Group listener.
More details here.Performance Best Practices
Most existing performance best practices apply to Premium Storage. Premium Storage disks have much higher bandwidth and IOPs limits than Standard Storage disks, thus a smaller number of Premium Storage disks will satisfy the performance requirements (especially for P30 disks). Consider the bandwidth and IOPs limits of the DS-Series VM sizes when determining the number and types of disks.
To get the highest performance:
Premium Storage provides steady high throughput at low latency. This enables enterprise SQL Server workloads (OLTP or Data warehousing) needing consistent high performance to run on Azure VM.
Many SQL Server customers of different workload sizes have satisfied their requirements on Azure VM using Premium Storage. We hope that you will too!
Premium Storage is available in the following regions: West US, East US 2, West Europe, East China, Southeast Asia, West Japan. It’ll become available in other regions soon.
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.â€”April 22, 2015â€”Electric utilities traditionally rely on delivering power generated from central plants connected to transmission grids that lead through the distribution network and ultimately to the customer. However, electric distribution is changing rapidly as consumers continue to adopt beyond-the-meter technology that can shape grid reliability and performanceâ€”pointing toward increased risks for utilities resistant to change. To help utilities embrace this growth opportunity, Oracle recently made significant updates to Oracle Utilities Network Management System to help enterprises more easily and effectively integrate distributed energy resourcesâ€”including rooftop solar, wind turbines, and batteriesâ€”based on location and condition of use.
â€śOracle Utilities Network Management System 22.214.171.124 is an advanced distribution management system [ADMS] that empowers utilities to flexibly manage distribution grid data to improve reliability and reduce cost,â€ť said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities. â€śIt supports vital distribution automation to the substation and distributed generation management thanks to a scalable, real-time data model and optimization engine. These capabilities are built on one of the worldâ€™s best outage management systems, as demonstrated during Superstorm Sandy, making Oracle Utilities Network Management System the best solution for utilities that need a storm-proven, scalable ADMS platform that also manages distributed energy resources.â€ť
Existing grid technology, typically referred to as operation technology (OT), cannot manage the variable output associated with distributed energy resources or the overloads and voltage violations from back feeds and intermittency. Legacy OT, which uses a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system as its real-time data engine, cannot scale to support devices being added to the distribution grid, such as consumer energy methods (rooftop solar, electricity storage, and electric vehicles) and rapidly growing data volume. Utilities lack the ability to model and plan for distributed energy resources and their potential for grid disruption.
With Oracle Utilities Network Management System 126.96.36.199, utilities can easily integrate distributed energy resources to better manage load and improve grid reliability while reducing costs and the need to bring additional generation resources online. This updated Oracle Utilities solution supports increased customer choice to participate in demand response, load shifting, and the sales of excess and stored distributed energy resources into other markets.
In Gartnerâ€™s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Advanced Distribution Management Systems1, which evaluates technology vendor capabilities as they relate to modernizing distribution grid operations and satisfying customer expectations, Gartner named Oracle a leader in advanced distribution management based on the companyâ€™s ability to execute and completeness of vision.Additional Information
Oâ€™Keeffe & Company
1Gartner, â€śMagic Quadrant for Advanced Distribution Management Systems,â€ť Randy Rhodes, Zarko Sumic, March 17, 2015.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartnerâ€™s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Don’t get caught off-guard.
Upgrading to Microsoft SQL Server 2014 helps you maintain security and compliance, gain faster data insights, and optimize your data infrastructure—all using familiar tools you already know and trust.
Be prepared when extended support for SQL Server 2005 ends. Protect your data with a thoughtful upgrade plan and mitigate cost and risk. Read this complimentary report today to learn more about the robust backward compatibility features and tools that enable a range of migration options.
Redwood Shores, Calif.——Apr 21, 2015
APL Logistics is a global logistics specialist in the auto, consumer, industrials and retail verticals. It provides a comprehensive toolkit of services and customized technology solutions to help customers outperform their markets. Its range of services includes freight and transportation management, customs brokerage, warehousing, distribution and supply chain consulting. APL Logistics offers customized technology solutions and applications that help customers analyze and optimize their supply chains. Its Logistics SuperSuite initiative—a global, enterprise-wide upgrade of its technology platforms—uses Oracle Value Chain Execution applications. As a result of its excellence and innovation, Oracle has named APL Logistics a winner of the 2014 Travel and Transportation Industry Excellence Award for transformation and industry leadership.
"To support growth in our four verticals, we are strengthening our suite of technology solutions to support our customers' supply chain needs," said May Chew, Head, Technology Services for APL Logistics. "By collaborating with Oracle in developing innovative transport solutions, we enable our customers to outperform their markets through industry-leading transportation planning and execution capabilities."
APL Logistics launched ShipmentOptimizer™ in 2010 which is powered by Oracle Transportation Management. The solution optimizes shipment plans by maximizing load utilization and minimizing transportation costs while meeting lead time and capacity constraints. The APL Logistics ShipmentOptimizer™ serves leading shippers in North America, Europe and Asia and is currently dynamically regulating the product flows for a global fashion manufacturer, helping them to transform their supply chain. It has automated shipment planning and forecasting while dramatically reducing the optimization assessment time.
"Powered by Oracle Transportation Management, APL Logistics' ShipmentOptimizer™ delivers industry leading transportation planning capabilities to shippers," said Vijay Anand, senior director and global lead, Travel, Transportation, and Logistics, Oracle. "APL Logistics, a winner of Oracle's Travel and Transportation Industry Excellence Award, embodies the unique ability to fuse ingenuity with the right technology solutions to drive new opportunities for growth."
In 2013, APL Logistics deployed Oracle Transportation Management in North America, Europe, and Asia to optimize domestic land transportation. One of the world's largest chemical companies is using APL Logistics' services to reduce its transportation costs and improve supply chain visibility for its operations in China. The operations involve managing transportation across 30 trucking companies for thousands of orders annually.
As a result of APL Logistics' leading industry innovation and business leadership, Oracle has honored the company with its 2014 Travel and Transportation Industry Excellence Award. The annual awards recognize successful transformation and leadership in the travel and transportation industry.
"APL Logistics is a prime example of a customer with strong leadership and a vision that technology innovation can support. Oracle has worked closely with APL Logistics to deliver the key capabilities APL Logistics needed for its logistics transformation initiative," said Shaun Han, vice president, ASEAN, Oracle. "Oracle values its relationship with APL Logistics and is delighted to recognize it with the Industry Excellence Award for 2014."Contact Info Valerie Beaudett
Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit http://www.oracle.com.Trademarks
The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle's products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.Learn More Oracle Value Chain ExecutionOracle Transportation Management Talk to a Press Contact
Follow Oracle Corporate
The difference between the CONCAT function and the STUFF function lies in the fact that CONCAT allows you to append a string value at the end of another string value whereas STUFF allows you insert or replace a string value into or in between another string value. Read on to learn more about these functions and their real life usage.