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Oracle tackles social media

Oracle OpenWorld has been dominated by the company’s aggressive cloud strategy and new hardware, but its application suite and other software also received updates.

Social media has featured strongly, with solutions to integrate social platforms internally and externally. The company has launched new applications and detailed social networking integration throughout its existing portfolio.

At Oracle’s OpenWorld conference, in San Francisco, CEO Larry Ellison announced the availability of Oracle Social Relationship Management Suite, The solution combines tools to integrate existing CRM, ERP and other applications with social networks, including monitoring and analysis tools, internal social networking, and sales and marketing products designed to leverage social networks.

The company has recognised that users are coming to prefer interaction in social network environments, Ellison said. The Oracle Social Network is a framework which works across many enterprise applications, providing a Facebook-style interface allowing enterprise users to collaborate and share information from ERP, HCM, or other tools in a familiar social environment.

The external applications include Oracle Social Marketing, Oracle Social Engagement & Monitoring, and Oracle Social Sites, all designed to extend the enterprise application space into the social arena.

Social analytics

Ellison also demonstrated the analytic capabilities of conventional Oracle products, brought to bear on social data. On stage, Ellison took the role of an auto manufacturer wanting to analyse social media traffic to identify likely brand ambassadors.

To set up the demo, Oracle ingested Twitter traffic (from the Twitter “firehose” API, which allows direct access to the vast flood of traffic on the site) over the two-week period of the Olympic Games, in London. That data, Ellison said, comprised just under five billion tweets, from 100 million authors, involving 27 billion relationships, 2.7 billion “mentions”, and 890 million hashtags.

Although tweets are structurally simple, the demonstration included textual analysis of the content, using the Endeca software Oracle acquired last year. That meant analysing the tone and content in the unstructured tweet content, adding considerably to the complexity.

From a simple breakdown of tweets, the demo moved to analysing reach – retweets and mentions – and then into sentiment analysis to separate out negative tweets and related events, before delivering a verdict.

Using an Oracle database running on the company’s Exadata and Exalogic systems (although impressive, the demo used the previous generation of Oracle’s technology – all three components saw major upgrades this week), Ellison demonstrated the ecosystem’s ability to conduct real-time analysis of the data, drilling through complex layers of queries to extract instant answers.

“Very simple questions can require enormously complicated analysis to get an answer. Customers want those answers in real-time,” Ellison concluded.


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