What is most valuable?
We have a lot of other integration platforms, even provided by Oracle itself. The biggest differentiator is that it is simple to integrate. One is, to access an application, you just go in, click, subscribe and you are ready to build the integration. That's one.
The second is when you build the integration, you don't need integration expertise. You definitely do need a certain amount of knowledge on the application side, but that's all. You already have a very rich library of connectors, or what you can call adapters. You just need to configure those connectors. You drag and drop. It's very easy to navigate it. It's self-explanatory; just go and select an object, application or whatever you want to work with, and just click Next, Next, Next. That's all. Then you do the mapping.
Mapping is the trickiest part, I would say. You need to know what you need to map to. Mapping takes up the most time. Overall, if you look at the experience, they made it very simple in terms of integration.
now ICS brought Recommendation engine that can help customer reducing time and effort in mapping.
We do use their own products, which are on-prem, like OSB, the Service Bus, and SOA Suite. The basic differentiation is still there. You need to install, you need to maintain, you need to upgrade, and all those things and upgrade wasn't that simple so far.
Just like you talk about upgrading from 11g to 12c, it's a selfless exercise. You have to go through the entire thing in order to manage that. Here, that pain goes away. They upgrade themselves. You do not need to worry. They will make sure it's backward compatible. Nothing will wreck your existing integrations.
As far as user friendliness goes, I loved it so far. For whatever application that I'm integrating it with, I would give ICS a rating of 9 or 9.5 out of 10; others don't come close to it. They focused on it being user friendly, and they achieved it.
How has it helped my organization?
More robust adapters and more added adapters
More orchestration capabilities
Improved agent to connect to on premise
What needs improvement?
There are certain functionalities which at this moment ICS doesn't cover, such as B2B integration. ICS doesn't cover B2B, but Oracle has SOA CS, which is, in my opinion, nothing but a SOA Suite in a cloud environment. It's the same product. We can use that product to do the B2B. ICS in particular doesn't cover that.
Also, it has some limitations around the message size and the number of messages. Those are certain limitations which I would say if they could improve, it would do better.
These are some of the things I would say that should be improved.
The rest is good and I like the product.
There's still a lot of room for improvement, but it is coming out very well considering that it is only something like two years old. It came out very well.
For how long have I used the solution?
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It still hasn't gone into production yet. We have around five users configured already. I don't think they charge based on the users, so doubling the number of users probably should be okay. The way it works is, basically they made me the admin and I can add as many users as I want. They charge based on the number of adapters that are configured. You can have six licenses or 10 licenses.
How is customer service and technical support?
There are various ways to reach out to technical support. At this moment, Oracle is focusing on cloud. Whenever they see a potential customer, they do reply. Yes, until now technical support has been good. Being a partner, we always can reach out to our contacts.
How was the initial setup?
What other advice do I have?
There's no preparation required because it's a SaaS application. They just need to subscribe. The trial was part of the Insight program. They can just go in and request a trial version. They can look into the product for themselves.
In terms of preparation, I would say you need to know your requirements, what you want to integrate, and whether those are limiting factors in ICS or not. There are prerequisites you should go through or you can work with their sales team, who basically can educate you better so you can decide whether ICS is the right product.
Oracle has a wide variety of products for integration itself. Any company that wants to get into it should know what the right product is for them to start with.