Great post from Ultan O'Broin on the Usable Apps blog about how PaaS and the Internet of Things working together have the potential to be a real game changer for partners...
Platform as a Service (PaaS) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are two ginormous business propositions for Oraclepartners. But together they’re a new game-changer of seemingly endless possibilities.
But how do PaaS and IoT work together? Is there a user experience (UX) dimension? And, what should Oracle Applications Cloud partners be thinking about for SaaS?
The IoT train is arriving at your platform. Prepare to board.
PaaS and IoT
The PaaS business proposition might be summarized as "Bring Your Code" to a very productive way to innovate and build custom app and integrations. IoT relies on ubiquitous connectivity across devices of all sorts, with the “things” exchanging bits of data along the way.
Platform as a Service offers awesome ideas for rapidly innovating, developing, and deploying scalable applications.
I discussed PaaS and IoT with Mark Vilrokx (@mvilrokx), our all-things PaaS UX architect from the AppsLab(@theappslab) crew, and how we might put a business shape around the concept for partners.
"These 'things' don’t need UIs. For PaaS, all they need is a web API", says Mark. “Developers need to think about how IoT devices talk to SaaS applications using APIs and about what kind of PaaS infrastructure is needed to support building these kind of solutions."
"Oracle is up there, with an IoT platform to simplify building IoT solutions. Developers now need now to adopt an approach of not writing UIs, but writing UI services: APIs are part of the Cloud UX toolkit."
IoT in the Enterprise: Connecting the Data
To illustrate what all this might mean for customer solutions, let's assume we have a use case to track items across a supply chain using the cloud.
IoT is all about the data. Using IoT we can gather the data unobtrusively and in a deeply contextual way using devices across the IoT spectrum: beacons, proximity sensors, wearable tech of all sorts, drones, and so on. We can detect where the item is in the supply chain, when it’s expected at its destination, who will receive it, when it arrives, and so on. The item’s digital signature in the Internet of Things becomes data in the cloud.
There are lots of other rich possibilities for PaaS and IoT. Check out this Forbes OracleVoice article, for example.
PaaS for SaaS and IoT
PaaS with SaaS is also a perfect combination to rapidly innovate and keep pace in a fast-moving, competitive space of cloud applications solutions.
SaaS is not done in a vacuum in the enterprise world of integrations, and is an innovation accelerator in its own right, but with PaaS and IoT added into the technology mix, we have an alignment of technology stars that are a solution provider’s dream.
We can use APIs to integrate IoT data in our supply chain example, but we can also use PaaS to build a bespoke app with a dashboard UI for an inventory administrator to correct any outliers or integrate our supply chain with a freight company’s system. For SaaS, we can now also integrate the data with, say, Oracle ERP Cloud, using the Oracle Java Cloud Service SaaS Extension (JCS-SX).
And guess what? Our UX enablement has already helped partners build pure PaaS and PaaS4SaaS solutions, all using the same Oracle ADF-based Rapid Development Kit!
APIs as UX Design
Where does this leave UX? UX takes on increased power as a key differentiator for partners in the PaaS, SaaS, and IoT space. The UX mix of science and empathy makes the complications of all that technology and the machinations of enterprise business processes fade away for users in a delightful way and deliver ROI for customer decision makers.
Developers: Pivot and learn to ♥ APIs. At the heart of the Cloud UX toolkit to win business.
So, the user experience for a task flow build using API connectivity must still be designed to be compelling and to provide value. And, when UIs are required, they must still be designed in an optimal way, reflecting the UX mobility strategy, even if that means making the UI invisible to users.
For example, going back to our use case, we would glance at a notification on a smartwatch letting us know that our item has entered the supply chain or that it’s been received. The data comes from contextual sensors and is communicated in a convenient, micro-transactional way on our wrists.
Oracle Partner UX Enablement
Web APIs are the new Cloud UX for connecting data and devices. That APIs are UX design is not really a new idea, but what is emerging now are new business opportunities for partners who exploring are PaaS, SaaS, and IoT innovation.
Be sure of one thing: The Oracle Applications User Experience team takes a strategic view of Cloud UX enablement for partners. Whether it is PaaS, SaaS, or IoT, our enablement is there to help you take your business to a higher level.
For partners who say "Bring It On", you know where to find us and what our enablement requirements are.
Source: Usable Apps Blog