Oracle Integration with Clarity Connect™ for eCommerce

Chris Reddick, Founding Partner of Clarity Ventures, on how Clarity Connect™ integrates with Oracle.

Transcript:Okay, this is going to be an overview of the integration between an actual Oracle system or Oracle integrate online store and the clarity connect platform so that the Clarity commerce application can tie into internal Oracle eCommerce systems securely and in a performant and reliable manner via the Clarity Connect and Oracle eCommerce platform.

Okay, so let's go ahead and dive into this integration workflow that we have here and let's take a look at how this works. So, from a very high level, you've got the cloud and on-premise line-of-business applications which are the ERP, CRM, and other custom applications that tie into the overall system that we're integrating with.

All of those systems communicate through a ETL, EDI, hub, bus, API or database format typically, and Clarity Connect unifies those into a single place for the integration to your external presence on the web, tablet, or mobile devices, and this can be in a multichannel type of application where basically each of these devices and possibly other types of software that run off of this data will hydrate from this Clarity Connect platform that pushes and pulls the data asynchronously in a secure fashion.

So effectively, what happens is the data from on-premise and cloud applications will populate into this Clarity Connect application, which in and of itself uses a service bus type of a model. And it effectively is going to enable this queuing which is a very enterprise level concept to ensure that the data is reliably transferred from internal applications to external applications and from external applications to internal applications. It runs securely behind a firewall, and to pass the data back and forth, the external applications have to authenticate in order to get access to push and to pull certain data to and from.

In addition to that, you'll see that the actual application, the Clarity Connect application, upon digging in and reviewing its specs, it's a very scalable platform that uses asynchronous processing from the web application, the tablet or mobile devices, so that whenever data gets pushed from a check out or whenever someone is going to look at a product detail page, if they're pushing data in a check out and they process their payment. Then that data securely gets processed on the web application, but it also asynchronously pushes an order and the order details about that account and customer into the line-of-business applications that are appropriate for that particular integration.

It will also pull data from the internal application using a consistent pulling, or basically a caching method so that it is constantly looking for new data or updated data from those line-of-business applications that you see here. So, that's the very, very high level. Now, let's dive into some more specific details for this integration.

In particular, we have four different segments that we're highlighting here. Now, certainly any piece of data that lives on the external application can be integrated to any of the data on Line-of-Business internal applications. There really is no limit. Some of the standard areas for the integrations are around the customer and account concepts, so you'll typically see accounts and contacts within the accounts, roles and security access for those particular contacts. So you may have different access capabilities for different roles or particular users within a company itself that is an account.

You may also have different locations and addresses for those different contacts so that whenever they're purchasing or checking out, there's a convenience factor for each of those contacts so that it remembers their location.

In addition, we have logging and just authentication invalidation security audits to ensure that the IP address, date and time, those type of basic things get pulled in from a security audit perspective. All of that data can get pulled right back into those internal line of business applications so you could do some business intelligence reporting using those line of business applications if that's what you want to use for your reporting.

Now certainly, the Oracle online store integration will offer that as a reporting tool, but if you want to bring that back into your internal systems and your internal infrastructure, you can certainly do that. If you can imagine being able to see when a contact or an account has had multiple contacts or contact log into the system but not check out, that would be a great opportunity for a sales or marketing person to get in touch with them via automatic or direct methods.

In addition, you have price levels or contact or account specific pricing levels so that you can show price levels that are specific to that particular account's prices. In addition to that, we will have typically the full sales order process which typically includes invoices; it may include quotes or purchase orders. Any kind of sales order documentation that might be involved in the cycle that you use internally can get exposed from these internal line of business applications to your external public facing applications securely.

So, you may have a tracking of an order that gets placed on the site, but you might also have orders that get placed on the phone, and you want to automatically, dynamically push those orders from your internal systems securely to your public facing application. So that's a particular area that's pretty valuable.

A lot of times, it's helpful as well to enable customers, any customers to log in securely to this public facing portal, allow them to make a payment or submit payment, request status or provide status on those documents, and that can be very helpful as well to automate processes.

Another key area is products, categories, pricing and inventory. For products, a lot of companies don't necessarily easily provide all of their product detail that's available and kind of silo into these on-premise and cloud line of business applications. Enabling integration that's secure and performant really allows you to pick pieces of data that are valuable and relevant to customers and securely expose those to them over the internet. And so that's what this is typically used for.

This is not just product or category specific information, but it can also be inventory data, availability, when a back order is expected to show up or arrive, whether or not pricing information is specific to that customer, you may want to show a specific set of prices, that kind of thing. So it can be very, very nice to automate processes where previously someone may have need to call in or et cetera.

And finally, another key area, shipping taxes, order status, and overall line-of-business integration. So, one of the other key components that we've seen a lot of is that clients have very specific shipping processes for larger packages. They may have very small packages or items that need to get shipped. You may have different items that get shipped from different locations. There are different various rules that might apply to the particular business, and having direct integration to your shipping processes and directly tying to those can further improve and automate the process, cut down your turn around time so that you can improve the overall time to the product actually being in the customer's hands.

In addition, taxes are a very critical area for online payments. And making sure that the tax code is being followed properly, so one of the things we do is we integrate with third party tax services, but we also offer the ability to integrate with your internal on-premise and cloud based applications as well if you have a specific tax software that you use or rules that you follow.

And then finally, being able to pull in status, both for the customer, so they can see what the tracking number is, what the location of the order shipment is, possibly whether or not it's being pieced together, or what the status is overall of the actual items in their order. And then also, being able to push data from this ordering center, whether it be mobile, web, or tablet, someone places an order, be able to securely push that into your internal system so that your procurement process and your overall delivery of the items, whether it be a full manufacturing process or a pick and pull, a picking list, and et cetera, driving those processes in an automated fashion is really critical.

So any time someone places an order, making sure that order data gets pushed back into those internal systems securely, that the inventory data for the rest of the public facing customers gets updated, and then also making sure that the actual order data so that someone can fulfill that order is available internally. Those are really key components that the Clarity eCommerce and Clarity Connect platform soundly delivers on.

So, those are some of the key areas that we highly focus on. Certainly again, with any of the external integrations that you might be interested in doing, Clarity can deliver a solution that's secure, that's reliable, that's performant and scalable for your business as you continue to grow your online presence and dynamically integrate that with your internal systems. Thanks for watching, and we hope that was helpful.