Oracle Beehive Review

Has an excellent Database Management System and high level of services, performance, and availability


What is our primary use case?

We have an annual budget of $11 billion and 8,300 employees all across the province. We use this data warehouse for modular purposes with all of our contracts in the province. We will deploy some artificial intelligence capabilities next year to use the data for improved provision. We use the product to serve municipalities — big cities — and recognize indicators for mobility and transport solutions. We have a lot of users and we are beginning to use IoT(Internet of Things) services. We have over 480 different tables and the source comes from more than 30 different operational systems. We are planning to implement a major evolution of our platform globally.

What is most valuable?

The DBMS (Database Management System) is really excellent. We also use facilities to manage the data that is accessed by our users. We need to upgrade our services from Oracle to manage our data on the cloud and our own servers for synchronization. We also need a better data dictionary and business rules. We are doing that within our own application, but it will be useful to have some of these applications from Oracle for security, confidentiality, access, and facilitate the identification of our users. We don't have the application to measure the utilization of our data, so it will be useful to have that also.

What needs improvement?

We will need to implement prototypes in our data warehouse. We will have to implement and to support some different types of files like video, audio, pictures, and non-structured data. So we are working on that.

We would like better integration for data security. We will have many partners, eight or nine external partners. We will still use our system to upgrade our warehouse. But with many partners, the data warehouse will not be unique. It will be a distributed data platform. So we would need and we are looking for many services to better manage the integrity and the use of all of the data. 

We are receiving all these data from trains and trucks that are working on the highways and on the roads. We will have to implement some facilities to adequately use all this data at a really high volume coming from IoT. So we are not choosing that and we will have to implement some services. Right now, we don't have any monitoring. We do have major density and access control, but when a user is in our environment, we do not have the services to really measure what he is doing.

I will have to report in three months on the project and its evolution. I don't have the financials and the best practices regarding the financial models with costs and benefits for a major data platform with many partners. We will know what it will cost, but we will have to define some benefits because when I will be at the treasury board asking for a major project, they will ask me what would the benefits from that will be. 

I'm doing research into best practices. I know that the U.S. government has a platform like the one we want to build. It is a bigger one, from what I understand. I think that the state of California and maybe the state of New York has the type of platform we want to put in place. I would like to present more than just an article. I would like to have a reference model, to really be on target by showing the benefits that are possible down the road. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Beehive for the last twenty years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have really high level of services, performance, availability, and it is stable. Everything works together really well.

How are customer service and technical support?

The government of Quebec is a really big customer for Oracle and we use central services. The government of Quebec has a shared services center and that is the organization we use for all Oracle technical support. So our contacts are not directly with Oracle for technical support, but with the shared services center of the provincial government.

How was the initial setup?

The setup for the solution is complex. The bigger part was really simple, but it is a complex environment. We need to have a better integration of the different applications. We have to build a lot of APIs between the data dictionary, business rules and integration of our three levels of data. The raw data, the first level of integration and the second level of integration. The transitions between these levels have to be built by our team. It would be useful to have an existing application to manage all the data. 

We started the integration 20 years ago. I wasn't there. But, we have two or three experts on our team. They have been there for the last 28 years. Twenty years ago it was really a small initiative with only 25 people. We recently had a major project approved by the Treasury Board and for that, we are doing a major upgrade in the next month. That is a project I'm managing. The implementation is ongoing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

At the time that we were looking for a solution, we also evaluated an IBM solution and the SAP solution.

The advantages of Oracle above the others is that Oracle was ahead feature-wise. We needed relational DBMS and Oracle was also chosen for other major projects in the provincial government. So we decided to use the expertise of our shared services center and to align with the products they were already using.

We are not free to make the final financial decisions. We have to go in front of the treasury board. For the technological decision, we have to present that and to submit to the central shared services. So sometimes the treasury board asked us to be aligned with the shared services center. That is why we were not looking for a new environment. We have a lot of investment already in Oracle solutions. So we will go ahead next year with the same environments.

What other advice do I have?

We are in relation to the city of Montreal in Quebec. We are the leader of this major platform with several databases. Some of them come under the ownership of the city of Montreal. The technological integration will be defined by paying next February. We are working on the governance scheme of higher-level architecture on the platform. Next February, we will take charge of the technological orientation. That time we will see what our external partners have and we will implement integrations to support the solution between all their data centers.

Right now on a scale of one to ten where ten is the best, I would rate Beehive a nine out of ten. It is almost perfect. The evolution will be in making a complete, integrated financial suite. Something like Microsoft has done with Office 365. In that product, they have something like fourteen applications that are integrated. That type of integration between services and financial integrity along with the ability to integrate other types of data other than relational, the data dictionary, business rules, and transition between levels of data will make it easier for the user to use this data. I think that is the evolution coming sometime from Oracle and it will be useful for us.

Other customers everywhere in the world will need that also. Not in the next few weeks but maybe in two or three years down the road. Because there are a lot of other customers with big data, not only in our industry. I see a lot of major projects with big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain — all these features could be useful for us.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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