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Oracle expands cloud portfolio

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Oracle recently announced that it has expanded its cloud portfolio, releasing new Oracle Cloud services over the past several months to help companies transition to the cloud.

The new services enhance the breadth and depth of Oracle’s extensive cloud portfolio across all layers of the stack — SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.

With these new advancements, Oracle provides all of the cloud-based services that organizations need to capitalize on key transformative technologies such as big data analytics, social, mobile, and IoT, as well as continue to extend foundational use cases that enable organizations to move enterprise workloads to the cloud.  Oracle continues to help organizations drive innovation and business transformation by increasing business agility, lowering costs, and reducing IT complexity.  The new PaaS and IaaS services can be deployed wherever an organization chooses — in the Oracle Cloud or in their own data center via the Oracle Cloud at Customer offering.

“In today’s digital age, consumers are more informed, connected, and selective than ever before. As a result, technology providers need to offer highly personalized and secure cloud services in order to stay competitive,” said Thomas Kurian, president, Oracle. “With these new Oracle Cloud services, Oracle is enabling organizations to leverage the industry’s most flexible, proven, and secure cloud infrastructure. With it, organizations are able to enjoy the double benefit of moving their enterprise workloads to the cloud while providing their customers with highly innovative and accessible cloud-based services.”

Oracle Cloud Applications deliver the only complete suite of modern cloud applications that are integrated with social, mobile, and analytics. Oracle Cloud Applications help organizations deliver the experiences customers expect, the talent to succeed, and the performance the market demands. The latest additions to the portfolio include:

•       Customer Experience: Oracle CX Cloud helps organizations deliver consistent, personalized experiences that connect every customer engagement with their brand. New services include: Customer Experience for Financial Services, Customer Experience for Telecommunications, Customer Experience for Consumer Packaged Goods, Customer Experience for Media and Entertainment, Customer Experience for High Technology, Customer Experience for Manufacturing, Social Engagement and Monitoring, Marketing Collaboration, Commerce Assisted Selling, and HIPAA Cloud Platform.

•       Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Performance Management: Together the Oracle SCM, ERP and EPM Cloud services provide companies with the tools needed to fast track innovation, streamline business processes and deliver new insights.  New services include: Quoting and Order Capture, Order Management, Configurator Modeling, Configurator, Supply Chain Orchestration, Planning Central, Manufacturing (Discrete), Fleet Management, Costing, Advanced Financial Controls, Account Reconciliation, and Financial Reporting.

•       Human Capital Management: Oracle Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud enables modern human resources organizations to find and retain the best talent and increase global agility. New services include: Talent Management for Midsize, Talent Acquisition for Midsize, Assessments Delivery, and Learning and Development.

The Oracle Cloud Platform provides a complete suite of services to rapidly build and deploy rich applications – or extend Oracle Cloud SaaS applications – using an enterprise-grade cloud platform based on the industry’s #1 database and application server.  The latest additions to the portfolio include:

•       Data Management: Oracle Data Management Cloud provides a complete and integrated set of capabilities for building, deploying, and managing data-driven applications. New services include: Oracle Big Data Cloud, Oracle Big Data Discovery Cloud, and Oracle Database Cloud Service – Exadata.

•       Application Development: Oracle Application Development Cloud, an end-to-end Java EE framework, simplifies application development by providing out-of-the-box infrastructure services and a visual and declarative development experience.  New to the family is the Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service.

•       Enterprise Integration: Oracle Integration Cloud provides organizations with a unified and comprehensive solution to integrate disparate cloud and on-premise applications. New services include: Oracle SOA Suite Cloud with API Manager and Managed File Transfer, Oracle API Catalog Cloud, and Oracle Internet of Things Cloud.

•       Data Integration: Oracle Data Integration Cloud provides a comprehensive way for customers to prepare, extract, transform, move, and govern both batch and real-time data between heterogeneous data sources and targets. New services include: Oracle Golden Gate Cloud and Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud.

•       IT Operations Management: Oracle Management Cloud is a suite of next-generation integrated monitoring, management, and analytics cloud services that provides real-time analysis and deep technical and business insights. New services include:  Application Performance Monitoring Cloud, IT Analytics Cloud, and Log Analytics Cloud.

•       Content and Process: Oracle Content and Process Cloud enables business users to easily collaborate anywhere, simplify business automation, and communicate more effectively.  Oracle Documents Cloud Service is now integrated with Oracle Social Network and Oracle Sites Cloud.

•       Business Analytics: Oracle Analytics Cloud delivers business analytics for traditional data and big data across the entire enterprise. The newest service is the Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service.

Additionally, Oracle has added a number of new services to its IaaS portfolio:

•       Infrastructure: Oracle’s IaaS portfolio delivers a complete set of core services for running enterprise workloads like elastic compute, networking, and storage. New services include: Oracle Compute Cloud, Oracle Network Cloud – Virtual Private Network and Fast Connect, Oracle Storage Cloud – Bulk Data Transfer, and Oracle Messaging Cloud.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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