“As a company that’s founded
on expertise, we need to enable
our people to reach out to
—Lee Wheelhouse, Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration Solution
Manager, Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty’s customers expect the company to seamlessly share knowledge,
says Lee Wheelhouse, knowledge sharing and collaboration solution manager.
“Oracle WebCenter is beginning to help us do that more effectively.”
portal has been designed to securely connect its employees across
geographic and operating company boundaries and will allow them
to collaborate, search, and share best practices in a business-oriented
environment. It’s a good example of how and why organizations are
adding social media to their mix of enterprise solutions.
“The challenge for us was to provide a platform that can span all
our business units,” says Wheelhouse. “We needed a scalable, user-friendly solution that could interface with local systems to share
information, while enabling greater collaboration and information
sharing across geographic and operational boundaries. That’s where
Oracle WebCenter comes in. Oracle WebCenter will be our global,
scalable Enterprise 2.0 solution.”
Integration with back-office solutions was critical for Balfour Beatty’s
global portal. Back-office systems are great at handling and supporting clearly defined business processes like procurements and HR
processes, but social applications are something more creative and
somewhat less predictable.
“We see Oracle WebCenter eventually giving us the best of both
worlds in that we can support core business processes and function-
ality from back-office systems, and at the same time we can imple-
ment collaboration and social media interaction,” says Wheelhouse.
“As a company that’s founded on expertise, we need to enable our
people to reach out to knowledge experts, and that’s a creative process
that requires the right type of social networks. The power of Enterprise
2.0 is connecting people that wouldn’t normally find each other.”
A key reason Balfour Beatty chose Oracle WebCenter Suite as its
Enterprise 2.0 solution was the product’s ability to integrate tradi-
tional applications and business processes with social media, social
computing, and Web-oriented requirements.
“The vision for us is to be able to break out of traditional business
processes and into a collaborative, social environment to solve prob-
lems, and then go back into the business process with the results,”
says Wheelhouse. “But it needs to be done in a seamless way.”
Another important aspect to integrating social media capabili-
ties is ensuring that they meet enterprise standards for security and
compliance. “For our purposes, the social media content created
in Oracle WebCenter could be just as important as the corporate
records, so it is subject to the same security policies, retention poli-
cies, and management policies,” says Wheelhouse.
User experience and the user interface were also critical to
Balfour Beatty. “We wanted to create something that didn’t
Systems of Engagement
Organizations have had transactional systems of
record for decades. From accounting to sales to
human resources, enterprise applications that can
keep detailed records of transactions have been
refined and perfected.
But business—especially today’s business—
isn’t just about individual purchases or transactions. It’s not just about what’s being sold to
customers. Today’s business is about the people
doing business, how they communicate, and what
they need next to do their jobs.
That’s where enterprise social computing and
Enterprise 2.0 capabilities come in, along with
solutions like Oracle WebCenter Suite.
MAY/JUNE 2011 ORACLE. COM/ORACLEMAGAZINE