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An analysis of the new Oracle Content and Experience Cloud

An analyst's view of how the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, a headless CMS, can deliver next-generation digital experiences.

Oracle's new content hub, the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud, will likely be getting assessed by existing customers and prospective buyers alike as they choose whether or not to integrate existing enterprise content into it.

The Content and Experience Cloud introduces headless content management services (CMS) as an Oracle content hub for enterprise systems. It provides the essential capabilities to centrally manage, curate and publish content across the Oracle Cloud Platform.

To make the content hub more versatile and to smooth its integration with existing tools, Oracle is also launching its own file sync-and-share utility. Distributed teams can use this cloud service to collaborate and share documents across desktop, laptop and mobile devices, much like the services of Box, Dropbox, Microsoft Office 365 and a gaggle of competitors.

A content hub designed for Oracle's cloud platform

At its core, the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud includes a newly developed content processing engine; a cloud-native codebase with functionality written for cloud deployments. The content hub is a multi-tenant offering with an elastic foundation that runs within the Oracle Cloud. These headless CMS services collect, organize and distribute snackable content for ever-expanding sets of enterprise experiences.

Significantly, the Content and Experience Cloud supports all content types within a single platform environment. Content types include the structured data; semi-structured messages; and unstructured text, images and video found in today's familiar computing applications. Looking to the future, other content types will include various rich media, augmented reality and virtual reality, and other yet-to-be invented formats for tomorrow's digital experiences.

All of these content types are accessed through predefined sets of metadata, and they manage contextual tagging. The Oracle content hub provides the foundation for semantic tagging. Semantic-level metadata, based on schema.org and other standards, can be easily incorporated in the future.

To leverage the capabilities of the content hub, Oracle develops the APIs for managing the various content types and then packages these APIs into software development kits (SDKs) for distribution to application developers. The first set includes SDKs for collaboration, content management and content delivery, which are useful for building websites out of the box. Additional SDKs are slated for upcoming release.

Consequences for the Oracle install base and beyond

For the Oracle install base in particular, the introduction of the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud is a big deal. These customers now have a path forward to extend web content management, marketing automation, sales enablement and other content-centric enterprise solutions into public, private and hybrid cloud environments.

And the implications are clear: Oracle is beginning to deliver the content management capabilities to seamlessly produce digital experiences across multiple channels, devices and endpoints. Since content is the currency for competing in the digital age, this Oracle content hub enables enterprises to drive effective engagement with their customers, partners and employees.

Current customers can leverage their existing investments in Oracle enterprise apps and add new services to run in the Oracle Cloud. Prospective customers can evaluate the Oracle Cloud to see how it meets their requirements for digital transformation, knowing that it includes a content hub for headless CMS deployments.

Profiting from a content hub

All in all, the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud promises to deliver key content management services for many digital experiences today and down the road. Equally important, this content hub leverages additional capabilities from other Oracle Cloud services for such tasks as authentication, mobile application development, chatbot support and managing customer relationships.

Consider the example of a logistics solution for small- and medium-sized businesses running within the Oracle Cloud and utilized by multiple firms around the world. With a content hub in place, small manufacturers can automatically upload and manage detailed product information (including schematics and photos) about their goods together with accompanying shipping information. Distributors then rely on the content hub, running within a cloud-based portal, to provide wholesalers and retailers with extensive information about goods in transit. With this feature, the supply chains of small- and medium-sized enterprises can potentially function as efficiently as large companies running bespoke applications.

The opportunities for cloud-powered content management are extensive. A content hub can seamlessly interconnect with other essential cloud services to produce high-value digital experiences. But there is a caveat -- some assembly is required. Needed is the operational imagination and business acumen to interconnect the content flows for innovative enterprise solutions.

Developers and decision-makers must still master best practices on how to best exploit the Content and Experience Cloud. Fortunately, they can utilize an extensive set of cloud-based services to customize it to their business needs.

Next Steps

Collaboration trends in CMS

Creating a smart digital content strategy

The benefits of a focused content strategy

This was last published in May 2017

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