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Interview – Expectations from Oracle OpenWorld 2013

You can also watch it on Vimeo here

In a brief Google Hangout session, we took the opportunity to have an interview with Mr. Ali Nasim, CEO of Ephlux.

1) You’ve obviously been in the enterprise tech scene for some time. What are the emerging trends in the market that you see that the enterprise software has to adapt to?

First of all, the main trend that has caught on for the last 5 years is Social Networking – you have 1 billion Facebook users, addicted to it, and then every other person having a smartphone in their hands, interacting with all sorts of data on a very large volume. All of this has really affected the customer’s psychology and made the customer really engaged. At the end of the day, the customer has become the ‘Real King’. The customer is not loyal to anyone other than himself, and he wants goods and services wherever and whenever. So, businesses have to really be customer-centric and as a brand you need to strategize everything around the customer now – more than ever before!

2) How do you see these emerging trends be fulfilled by the enterprise software vendors of today?

Like I said, you have to really know the customer, in and out, and keep the customer at the center of the business strategy. Then, the enterprise architecture should be aligned along those business strategies. The enterprise resources need to be really agile and need to quickly respond to the impatient customer who interacts with all sorts of brands and data daily. All in all, the enterprise assets, including the IT assets need to be aligned to be able to serve the customer really fast. What is required is a solid mobile strategy, a robust social strategy and an active ecommerce strategy and all these strategies need to be seamlessly integrated to create an awesome customer experience.

The enterprise should be open to more possibilities and capabilities and be able to connect to third party applications and services. With applications plugged in the cloud and agile enterprise applications running, the customer can be served reliably, conveniently and fast. And this is what most of the software vendors are adapting to, otherwise they’ll become irrelevant in the near future.

3) Which of these trends are you most excited about?

I’m excited about all of them. None of the above can serve the purpose if in isolation. If you talk about the mobile, social and e commerce, these need to be connected in such a way that creates a magical experience for the customer. With the customer sitting like a king, all the dots of mobile apps launching and retail software installations need to be connected around him perfectly.

4) What position do you see Oracle taking about that specific trend?

To start off, Oracle did a 5-year project to re-write all their applications onto the architectures for the all the future middleware. They’ve done all the hard work already and now it’s time for them to capitalize on the investment they’ve made for the past 5 years. They made the Database 12c announcements in the keynote sessions conducted last year and now they’ll build up on that. This will be achieved with the enterprise mobility, customer experience and oracle social at the front end and the Oracle Social Network will take the centre stage.

5) Tell us more about Ephlux and how does it, as an enterprise service provider, fit in today’s dynamic market space?

We’ve been working on various outcalls of the customers for the past 7 years – we’ve worked on mobile apps even before they were in fashion, we’ve made large scale e-commerce deployments for some of the top brands. Names like Philips, Caesar’s Entertainment and Disney have all enjoyed great customer experience with our services.

With SOA and future middleware technologies, we are working at integrating the disconnected customer experience and weaving them together into the core of the business process and strategies. Backed with ERP and JD Edwards, that weren’t really an open a platform before as they are now because of the future middleware, we position ourselves to provide integrated digital customer experience. Everything has to be aligned accordingly.

6) Do you believe that there are other service providers like Ephlux out there?

Obviously there are, but only those that have aligned strategies properly are going to be relevant. With the Oracle OpenWorld just around the corner, we aim at creating win-win scenarios with our competitors. No business can in itself take the whole set of challenges coming in, along with opportunities. There’s not one vendor that can serve the market – we need to collaborate together with oracle partners and we’re there to share our experiences and benefit from other’s experiences and make a solid win-win team that can provide convenience and fast service to the customers.

7) What do you expect out of Oracle OpenWorld just less than 10 days from now?

Lots of stuff -loads of opportunities have come up with the platform that they have introduced. They have used a lot of right strategies, and backed with investments that they’ve made over the past 5 years, this is the prime time to capitalize all of that. Exciting time’s ahead for the companies working on Oracle platform. Because of the robustness in how they’re integrating with the clouds – both private and public and all the technologies that are coming along with it. I’m really looking forward to it all.

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Stray Boots, a New York-based startup that launched in 2009 with Ephlux as its core development partner raises $2M to expand its mobile reach. Stray Boots, a New York-based startup that got its start delivering guided tour scavenger hunt games to tourists and city dwellers around the world via SMS, and which recently made the move to mobile apps, today announced a new $2 million Series A funding round, led by Milestone Venture Partners and including Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks and a number of angel investors.

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