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Oracle Sales Cloud is a Dynamic Force at Oracle OpenWorld 2015

Tue, 2015-08-25 16:29

A Guest Post by Michael Richter (pictured left), Director of Product Management, Oracle

OpenWorld is returning to San Francisco–October 25-29, 2015!

Customer Experience (CX) will take over Moscone West 2nd floor this year, and Oracle Sales Cloud is excited to present this year’s lineup of customer experience sessions and demonstrations for sales professionals.

Learn about the newest enhancements or get the latest product demonstrations from the product management and sales consulting teams.

Visit Sales―CX Central@OpenWorld for details. All Oracle Sales Cloud sessions will take place in rooms 2003 or 2004 in Moscone West on the 2nd floor. The Oracle Sales Cloud demo zone is also situated on the 2nd floor. Dates, times, and room numbers will be published on at the link above in early September.

What’s New and Different?

  • Release essentials and roadmap sessions for Oracle Sales Cloud and Configure, Price, and Quote
  • Pre-configured industry solution session and product demonstrations
  • Partner-led interactive workshops and hands-on labs
  • Sessions showing new ways of how to migrate or integrate with existing applications

Guest Customer and Partner Appearances

Deloitte Digital, Pansonic Manufacturing (UK), Wilsonart, Accenture, Schneider Electric, Accuride, Config Consultants, DB Schenker, Swiss Post, KEC International, Batesville, Serene, ustudio, Hitachi Consultants, KPN, Oceaneering, TMEIC, TH March, GPUK (Global Pay), Prisio Technologies, Perficient, Infosys, Apex IT, e-Verge, General Electric, Tuff Shed, and more!

Kick-Off with the Sales General Session!

Deloitte Digital teams up with GVP Bill Hunt, Oracle Sales Cloud Development, to kick off the CX-Sales track (GEN4525) at 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. in Room 2003. Hear about Oracle’s product strategy and what Deloitte Digital is doing to meet today’s customer experience challenges.

The Release Essentials and Roadmap Conference Sessions

Oracle Sales Cloud will host more than 30 conference sessions this year. The first in a series of seven Release Essentials and Roadmap sessions begins at 2:45 p.m. on Monday, October 26. These sessions are led by Oracle Sales Cloud product management team members and include customer and partner case studies.

  • Oracle Sales Cloud Release 11 Essentials and Roadmap for Analytics [CON4508]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Release 11 Essentials and Roadmap for Sales Performance Management [CON7951]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Release 11 Essentials and Roadmap for PRM: High Tech and Manufacturing [CON4529]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Release11 Essentials and Roadmap for Configuring and Customizing [CON7952]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Release 11 Essentials and Roadmap for Outlook and IBM Notes [CON7950]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Release 11 Essentials and Roadmap for Oracle Customer Data Hub and DaaS [CON7958]
  • Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote Cloud Essentials and Roadmap [CON4548]

Sessions of Special Interest

  • Oracle Sales Cloud: A Temperature Check for Customers by Nucleus Research [CON8191]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud: the Path to the Cloud for Siebel Customers [CON4537]
  • Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote Cloud: Driving Sales Productivity at Schneider Electric [CON8187]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Hands-on Lab: Oracle Sales Cloud Mobile [HOL8735]
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Hands-on Lab: Easy to Use—Anytime, Anywhere [HOL8665]

Customer Panels

We have scheduled two popular customer panels:

  • Oracle Sales Cloud Analytics [CON9140] with Batesville and Fike
  • Oracle Sales Cloud Customer Panel: the Challenges of Digital Transformation [CON7954] with KEC, Tuff Shed, and TH March

Partner Panels

Hear from the experts at the partner panels.

  • Oracle Sales Cloud: Strategies for Successful CRM Implementations [CON8196] with panelists Config Consultants, Infosys, Apex IT, and e-Verge
  • Oracle Sales Cloud: Delivering Key Capabilities of Modern Selling [CON9660] with Accenture, Perficient, Hitachi Consulting, and Serene

Sales Demo Zone

Take part in Oracle Sales Cloud product demonstrations led by members of the Oracle Sales Cloud product management and sales consulting teams. The Buzz House is located next to the CX-Sales Demo so you can relax with a cup of coffee or snack.

  • New enhancements for core sales force automation and mobile solutions
  • How Oracle ensures data integrity with Customer Data Management
  • The latest developments for analytics
  • Streamlining with Configure, Price, and Quote
  • Oracle Sales Cloud integration with MS Outlook and IBM Notes
  • Incentive Compensation, Territory Management, and Quota Management
  • How to configure and customize and the tools available to you
  • Learn about integrations and migration processes and tools
  • Learn what’s in store for midsize companies

At a Glance

Visit Sales―CX Central@OpenWorld Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} for full details on speakers, conference sessions, exhibits and entertainment and experience all that Oracle OpenWorld has to offer.  Dates, times, and room numbers will be published at the link above in early September

Latest Oracle Service Cloud Product Release Powers Impactful Community Self-Service Experiences

Tue, 2015-08-25 16:20

A Guest Post by David Vap (pictured left), Group Vice President, Product Development, Oracle

Today more than one in three customers prefers to contact brands through social channels rather than by phone or email (Nielsen), and the distinction between social and traditional channels is eroding. To deliver the best possible customer experience across traditional and digital channels, customer care organizations need to provide a positive and unified experience where and when customers want, whether they are on Twitter, Facebook, peer-to-peer communities, or other social networks.

Following Oracle’s recent Twitter-enriched social customer service announcement, the latest release of Oracle Service Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud continues to power positive and differentiated customer experiences. The new functionality includes:

New Community Self-Service solution to help streamline the customer journey

  • New approach to web self-service brings community functionality directly into core Service Cloud multi-channel web experience
  • Service Cloud now enables organizations to deliver a seamless experience between web self-service and community interactions, leveraging power of customer knowledge to improve service operations
  • A customer no longer needs to separately navigate self-service and community sites to find an answer, instead discovering and interacting with both formal knowledge (knowledge base) and informal knowledge (community answers) in a single experience

Enhanced social service and incident routing

  • New workflow capabilities between Social Cloud and Service Cloud enable businesses to leverage power of social insights and engagements
  • Business users can now attach contextual attributes and notes from posts or incidents identified by Social Cloud directly to Service Cloud to improve service quality and efficiency by providing more customer information and context

Extended social listening and analytics capabilities to private data sources

  • Enhanced connectivity between Social Cloud and Service Cloud has also extended social listening and analytics to enterprise private-data sources, such as the new  community self-service capability, survey data, and chat and call logs.
  • Organizations can now listen and analyze unstructured data and gain insights with terms, themes, sentiment, and customer metrics, and view private and public data side by side in the Oracle SRM.

According to Gartner, investment in peer-to-peer communities drives support costs down and boosts profits. In fact, in a December 2014 Gartner research note entitled “Nine CRM Projects to Do Right Now for Customer Service,” Michael Maoz, Vice President, Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, writes, “Gartner clients who are successful in this space are still seeing on average of 20% reduction in the creation of support tickets following the introduction of peer-to-peer communities.” Maoz goes on to say, “Clients are seeing other business benefits as well. By enabling community-based support, clients have been able to recognize new sales opportunities and increase existing customer satisfaction, resulting in increased revenue in several of these cases.”

For more information about this leading social customer service product, read the news release and check out the VentureBeat profile!

Oracle Applications Customer Connect Has a New Look

Fri, 2015-08-21 15:23

A Guest Post by Katrine Haugerud (pictured left), Senior Director, Oracle Product Management

We are pleased to announce the new, more modern look for our Customer Connect Community. This is based on the Oracle User Interface design paradigm.

Here are some of the enhancements you may have already noticed.

Landing page (pre-login)

On the landing page you can access information that does not require you to login. This includes Release Readiness resources, Help content, and more.

If you are an existing member you can use the Sign In link at the top of the page or the Sign In button on the Welcome banner to login. If you are not yet a community member, use the Register button to find out how you can request an account.


Homepage (post-login)

After logging in and getting to your homepage, you will notice that the overall navigation and structure of our Community have not changed much, but we have revitalized it with the new Oracle UI look and feel.

The banners are bigger and better to help you stay on top of important conferences, events, announcements, and other resources. We have also improved the Events Calendar so you can, at-a-glance, see what and when events are coming up, without having to navigate to the Events page. The Tab navigation is also streamlined to make it easier to retrieve the forums or content areas you are looking for!

We hope you’ll find this new look refreshing―and don’t forget to give us feedback by posting on the Site Feedback and Questions forum.

Remember this is Your Community!

August 26: Oracle EPM Cloud Customer Reference Forum with Communications Test Design, Inc. (CTDI)

Tue, 2015-08-18 15:27
Join us for another Oracle Customer Reference Forum on August 26, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. PT to hear Paul Cardell, Vice President Corporate Operations at Communications Test Design, Inc. (CTDI). He will explain how Oracle EPM Cloud (Planning and Budgeting Cloud) provides easy integration with current financial systems and improves speed and accuracy of data processing at CTDI.

Cardell also will share CTDI’s lessons learned during the company's implementation and the benefits it is receiving by using Oracle EPM Cloud.

Register now to attend the live Forum on Wednesday, August 26, 9:00 a.m. PT / 6:00 p.m. CEST and learn more about CTDI’s experience with Oracle EPM Cloud.

For more information:

Customer Story: Communications Test Design Supports Accurate Daily Forecasting Across 70 Global Facilities by Using the Cloud

Customer Video: CTDI Enhances Daily Forecasting with Oracle Solutions

Oracle Social Cloud Expands Twitter Partnership to Enable Better Social Service and Customer Experiences

Tue, 2015-08-18 11:42

A Guest Post by Group Vice President Meg Bear (pictured left), Oracle Social Cloud

We all know the importance of "customer service” in delivering excellent customer experiences, and Oracle Social Cloud is taking social service capabilities to a new level for its customers. During the past two weeks alone, Oracle Social has announced its new Twitter partnership for advanced customer service insights, as well as the latest Social Cloud + Service Cloud enhancements and integrations. You can read more about these social service enhancements in this latest Forbes blog.

On August 6, 2015, Twitter and Oracle Social Cloud announced an extended partnership that gives Oracle customers enriched Twitter data and functionality to create improved and transformative customer service solutions for brands. As Twitter is the primary and growing social platform for customer service, this allows Oracle to deliver next-generation social service solutions for its customers and build out stronger, more engaging customer experiences. You can read more detail about the new Twitter functionally in this Wired article and on the Oracle Social Spotlight blog.

The importance of social service is echoed by our customers: “General Motors continues to strive for excellence with our customer care capabilities, providing new ways to understand and engage with our customers like never before—and it’s a winning strategy for both our customers and our business,” said Rebecca Harris, Global Head of Social Center of Expertise at General Motors. “We interact daily with our customers on Twitter, allowing for a quicker, more personal engagement, enabling General Motors to put its customers at the center of everything we do.”

Additionally, Oracle Social and Service Cloud jointly announced the latest social service integrations and enhancements this week during the CRM Evolution industry event in NYC, where Oracle has a strong presence through a sponsorship and speaking presence with Oracle executives Meg Bear (Social Cloud), Erika Brookes (Social Cloud) and Stephen Fioretti (Service Cloud). Read more about these social service enhancements in this VentureBeat article.  

Bottomline: Oracle CX is leading the market as the only platform that takes a comprehensive view of customer engagements and insights across the entire lifecycle and across every channel to drive stronger, more satisfying customer experiences.


August 12: Oracle on Oracle HR Cloud―Customer Forum by Oracle’s Anje Dodson

Tue, 2015-08-04 16:42
Join us for an Oracle HCM Cloud Forum on Wednesday, August 12, 2015. Anje Dodson (pictured left), HR Vice President at Oracle, will explain how and why Oracle is moving 126,000 employees from Oracle E-Business Suite on premise to the Oracle HCM Cloud.

During this customer forum call, the host, Sr. Director Linda Fishman, Oracle HCM Cloud, Customer Adoption Strategy, will interview Dodson to discuss the reasons Oracle decided to switch from on premise to the cloud. They will also talk about why the company chose a phased approach for the implementation and where it is in that process.Finally, Dodson will explain the expectations for and benefits of the new modern HR system.

Register now to attend the live forum on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, at 09:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 12:00 p.m Eastern Time.

August 6, 2015: Oracle ERP Cloud Customer Forum―The Rancon Group

Thu, 2015-07-30 17:57

Join us for another Oracle Customer Reference Forum on August 6, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. PT to hear Steven Van Houten, CFO at The Rancon Group. The company is a leader in Southern California community development, commercial building, and land use.

During this Customer Forum call, Van Houten will share with you The Rancon Group’s lessons learned during its implementation and the benefits it is receiving by using Oracle ERP Cloud. He will explain how Oracle ERP Cloud helps The Rancon Group make intelligent decisions, get information out to its mobile workforce, and meet its needs now and in the future.

Register now to attend the live Forum on Thursday, August 6, 2015, at 09:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 12:00 p.m Eastern Time.

Three Steps to Get Big Data Ready for HR

Wed, 2015-07-29 13:02

A Guest Post by Melanie Hache-Barrois, Oracle HCM Strategy Director, Southern Europe

Big data will revolutionize HR practices―here is how to hit the ground running with your implementation.

Big data analytics promises to deliver new insights into the workforce; these insights can help HR better predict trends and policy outcomes, and thereby, make the right decisions. It has the power to help HR to predict and plan organizational performance, to minimize the cost, time, and risk of taking on new HR initiatives, and to understand, develop, and maintain a productive workforce over a single technology platform, and much more.

Big data analytics has a huge role to play in the future of HR, but it is important that HR teams get prepared in the right way. Here are our tips to make sure that your data is ready for the big data revolution.

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1.  Remove data ‘islands’

The first step is to identify what kind of data you need for a truly successful HR strategy. Too often, HR teams experience data organized in silos, cut off from the rest of the organization. The migration to big data provides the perfect opportunity to identify data islands within your HR systems and define a strategy to integrate and reorganize them.

2.  Use a single interface

Understanding how data is collected within your organization is fundamental to a successful big data strategy. You have to avoid ‘copy and paste’ practices, and instead, make sure that data is collected automatically, and seamlessly integrated in one interface. The less you have to manually record information and integrate it into your HR systems, the better. It is therefore crucial to choose a single simple interface that will collect all your data and make it easily accessible to your team.

3.  Start simple

Once you have chosen the type of data you need and the way and where you will collect it, you can decide the kind of analytics you need. To be efficient and keep it simple, you can start with simple correlations to understand how big data analytics works and what kind of results you can get. You can then slowly increase the analytical complexity, heading to predictive analytics.

These three steps will ensure that Oracle big data solution will help you deliver an enhanced HR strategy that meets your corporate goals.

August 12: Atradius Collections Oracle Sales Cloud Customer Forum

Wed, 2015-07-29 11:06

Join us for another Oracle Customer Reference Forum on August 12th, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. CEST.

Sonja van Haasteren, Global Customer Experience Manager of Atradius Collections, will talk about the company’s journey with Oracle CX products focused on Oracle Sales Cloud with Oracle Marketing Cloud and its path to expand with Oracle Data Cloud.

Atradius Collections is a global leader in trade-invoice-collection services. It provides solutions to recover domestic and international trade invoices. Atradius Collections handles more than 100,000 cases a year for more than 14,500 customers, covering over 200 countries.

Register now to confirm your attendance for this informative event on August 12.

MORE Readiness Content for Oracle Applications Cloud Release 10

Wed, 2015-07-22 13:08

A Guest Post by Senior Director Louvaine Thomson, (pictured left), Product Management, Oracle Cloud Applications

Last month we announced these Release 10 preview materials:

Spotlight Videos: Hosted by senior development staff, these webcast-delivered presentations highlight top level messages and product themes, and are reinforced with a product demo
Release Content Documents (RCDs): This content includes a summary level description of each new feature and product

We are now pleased to announce the next significant wave of readiness content. Specifically, the following content types are now available on the Release 10 Readiness page:

  • What's New: Learn about what's new in the upcoming release by reviewing expanded discussions of each new feature and product, including capability overviews, business benefits, setup considerations, usage tips, and more
  • Release Training: Created by product management, these self-paced, interactive training sessions are deep dives into key new enhancements and products. Also referred to as Transfers of Information (TOIs)
  • Product Documentation: Oracle's online documentation includes detailed product guides and training tutorials to ensure your successful implementation and use of the Oracle Applications Cloud


 Access is simple: From the Cloud Site: Click on Resources > Release Readiness to access the Release Readiness page.


Access is simple:
1. From the Cloud Site: Click on Resources > Release Readiness to access the Release Readiness page, or

Why Oracle ERP Cloud? by Terrance Wampler

Mon, 2015-07-20 11:00

In this video, Terrance Wampler (pictured left), VP of Oracle ERP Cloud Strategy and Product Development, talks candidly and fluently about Oracle ERP Cloud.

He hits on three topics.

1) The Changing Role of the CFO: CFO’s need to know how to create value in the organization, not just know how to control the organization. Theirs is an expanded role where they’re being asked to provide guidance to other LOB business leaders and those involved with customer engagement. Ideally, back office technology and processes are integrated with the front office—bringing analytics to the forefront, improving the customer experience and the bottom line.

2) Modernizing ERP: The cloud is very appealing from a cost savings perspective, but other key drivers of cloud adoption include the digital transformation technologies (mobile, social, embedded analytics, collaboration) and a modern user experience. Also the ability to take on two-three releases a year injects innovation into the business.

3) Social Brings Speed and Accountability: Social networking tools are very powerful inside a business operation. Nothing needs more collaboration than a business process to solve exceptions. Specific social conversations with those who need to take action move faster. In a secure environment, users can share documents, get approvals, produce an audit trail, and drive accountability.

Take a look at the video and share it freely with your colleagues.

July 8th: Overhead Door Corporation HCM Cloud Customer Forum

Tue, 2015-06-30 09:38

Join us for an Oracle HCM Cloud Customer Forum on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, to hear Larry Freed, Chief Information Officer at Overhead Door Corporation. He will explain the company's desire for a massive HR transformation to include changing its benefits, payroll, core HR, employee self-service, and manager self-service. The transformation would provide the employees with a single source solution so the HR field staff could become more strategic.

During this Customer Forum call, Freed will talk about Overhead Door's selection process for new HR software, its implementation experience with Oracle HCM Cloud, and the expectations and benefits of its new modern HR system.

Register now to attend the live Forum on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and learn more directly from the CIO of Overhead Door Corporation.

LinkedIn, Oracle Service Cloud Customer, Wins Gartner & 1to1 Media Award

Tue, 2015-06-23 15:50

A Guest Post by Vice President Stephen Fioretti, (pictured left) Oracle Service Cloud

We want to share some exciting Oracle Service Cloud customer award news with you that was just announced this week!

The number one research analyst firm, Gartner, and 1to1 Media named Oracle Service Cloud customer LinkedIn a GOLD winner in the 2015 Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards. For over a decade, Gartner and 1to1 Media have used this joint awards program to honor select, customer-centric organizations; specifically, those that have achieved outstanding business performance by implementing enterprise-wide, service-focused strategies.

The Oracle product management, Analyst Relations, and sales/CSM teams successfully partnered with Andy Yasutake, Director of Tech Solutions and Operations, at LinkedIn on this submission. As a result, LinkedIn has been featured in the June issue of 1to1 Magazine and on the 1to1 Media website.  The feature article showcases the results LinkedIn has seen with Oracle Service Cloud, including:

  • An 85 percent decrease in average initial response time
  • A 68 percent decrease in average final resolution time
  • A 23 percent increase in overall customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), up from 6.6 to 8.1
  • With enhanced self-service, deflection rates jumped to 97 percent, thereby minimizing the company's potential need for service agents. Instead of employing the expected 5,000-10,000 representatives, LinkedIn has been able to keep staff limited to the minimal 750-800 agents, easing costs and boosting efficiency.

In addition, LinkedIn will be honored and speaking at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit, September 9-11 in San Diego. Please check out and share the exciting LinkedIn 1to1 feature article.

Preview Release 10 Oracle Applications Cloud Readiness Content!

Tue, 2015-06-16 15:57
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

A Guest Post by Katrine Haugerud (pictured left), Senior Director, Oracle Product Management

To help you prepare for upcoming Release 10, we are pleased to offer a preview of its new, modern business-empowering features.

On the Release Readiness page, we have added content for HCM, Sales, ERP, and SCM, as well as Common Technologies for each.

Specifically, we have just introduced:

Spotlights: Delivered by senior development staff, these webcast-delivered presentations highlight top level messages and product themes, and are reinforced with a product demo.

Release Content Documents (RCDs): The content includes a summary level description of each new feature and product.

Next month we will add (and announce) more Release 10 readiness content including:

  • What's New: Learn about what's new in the upcoming release by reviewing expanded discussions of each new feature and product, including capability overviews, business benefits, setup considerations, usage tips, and more.
  • Release Training: Created by product management, these self-paced, interactive training sessions are deep dives into key new enhancements and products. Also referred to as Transfers of Information (TOIs).
  • Product Documentation: Oracle’s online documentation includes detailed product guides and training tutorials to ensure your successful implementation and use of the Oracle Applications Cloud.

Access is Simple

From the cloud.oracle.com: Click on Menu > Discover > What's New



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The Pendulum Swings Back

Tue, 2015-06-16 15:56

A Guest Post by Andy Campbell (pictured left), Oracle HCM Cloud Sales Evangelist

I am currently working on a white paper specifically on the topic of ‘Living with the HR Cloud’ with a number of fascinating case studies.Therefore, I was delighted to come across the latest piece of research from Harvard Business Review entitled Cloud Computing Comes of Age.

This report assesses the maturity (and thereby the experience) of customers who have deployed cloud applications. The results are quite significant. Those organizations classified as ‘cloud leaders’ also achieved higher levels of business success. It reports a correlation between an organization’s cloud maturity and the health of its growth initiatives such as business expansion.

The benefits they realized included improved business agility, enhanced organisational flexibility, and faster speed of deployment. They also reported improved decision making through an increased ability to analyze and act upon data and information. For HR leaders, the natural consequence of this is the ability to offer a more proactive value-added service to the business, something that I think we all aspire to.

Anyway, perhaps of most interest to me was the fact that the cloud leaders took a more managed and enterprise-wide approach to their cloud applications, something that embodied a range of good practices. For example, cloud leaders are more likely to define the business value that they expect to get from their cloud initiatives, 69 percent in fact, compared to only 40 percent of novices. Similarly, only 53 percent of the survey had established policies for cloud security, a figure that rises to 79 percent amongst cloud leaders. Also, cloud leaders are more likely to have a strong partnership between IT and other parts of the business. Cloud technologies including social, mobile, etc. have had a democratizing impact on IT, and enhanced collaboration with business users is, quite rightly, becoming the norm.

However, to me, one thing stands out. Evidently cloud leaders are more than twice as likely to have a CIO who leads the transformation agenda!! Sure IT and business must work together, but somebody needs to be in charge, and that is the CIO.

Now if you had said such a thing a few years ago, you would probably have been strung up by a lynch mob to chants of ‘the business user is king’! The perceived wisdom at the time was that ultimate power was vested with the business and the user community.

However, things have changed and the pendulum has swung back again. As the adoption of cloud technology has become more mainstream, the experience of users is that to be truly successful both parties, IT and the business, need to truly work well with each other.

June 23rd: Boxfusion Consulting Sales Cloud Reference Forum

Thu, 2015-06-11 17:14

Join us for another Oracle Customer Reference Forum on June 23, 2015, to hear Andy Stevens, Delivery Director of Boxfusion Consulting talk about why they have chosen to implement Oracle Sales Cloud.

Andy will share Boxfusion’s selection process for Oracle Sales Cloud, its implementation approach, and benefits derived from the application. He will also talk about Boxfusion’s experiences helping customers implement Oracle Sales Cloud.

Register now to attend the live Forum on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time/11:00 A.M. Eastern Time and learn more from Boxfusion Consulting directly. 

Listen to all Customer Forum replays available on demand here, including Acorn Paper, APEX IT, Batesville, Hardware.com, iBasis, and more!

Cloud Security: Eight-Point Checklist for Peace of Mind

Tue, 2015-06-09 14:56

A Guest Post by Vice President Dennis Jolluck (pictured left), Applications Development & Product Management for LAD

As Product Manager for Oracle’s Cloud Applications in Latin America, I have the opportunity to meet with many customers who are very interested in understanding how they can migrate to the cloud. At the same time, I can almost anticipate their next question and visualize a “partially cloudy” bubble above their head: “How does Oracle address security in the cloud?”

All you have to mention is Sony Pictures and we all feel vulnerable. According to Richard Bejtlich, the Chief Security Strategist for FireEye, Inc., “the amount of time a ‘bad guy’ (e.g. hacker) spends in your enterprise before somebody notices – is a median of 209 days. And two/thirds of the time, somebody else notifies you of the breach … which is usually the FBI!” One analyst estimates that more than 50 percent of Fortune 1000 firms experience an annual breach of 1,000 to 100,0000 confidential records, including records of their employees.

Did you know that during 2014, a third of the new hacking tools discovered by security researchers at Hewlett-Packard Co. relied on exploiting a flaw in MS Windows that was discovered in 2010. Many organizations do not update their software as quickly as needed to protect themselves. There are many internal technology services today that lack resources, rigor, or efficiencies to monitor their security on a 24/7 basis.

Over the years, personally I have never invested a lot of time in the aspect of security. I just took it for granted. But that has changed, both personally (my credit cards have been hacked, which changed the way I manage my passwords) and professionally with the move to the cloud. Now I am seeing that every CIO and every CEO has to have a certain level of knowledge about security and how it affects their business. This is no longer a function for IT to worry about. This topic has moved to the Board Room level. Enterprises must have a plan. And that includes alignment of all departments―the Board, Senior Management, the Security staff, IT, Legal, Public Relations and Communications―operating from the same agenda.

Please keep in mind that not all cloud providers are equal in the security services they provide. As a first step, an enterprise needs to know its requirements and map them to a provider’s capabilities to minimize the risk, as well as address any regulatory needs. In some cases, business will take into account 24/7 global support, data jurisdiction, cross-border data transfer, data location, and the privacy regulations where they are doing business. Privacy and security are absolutely linked!

So when evaluating cloud providers in your move to the cloud, there are a number of criteria to consider.

1. Transparency of the Cloud Provider

The customer must have a clear understanding of the provider’s commitment to security, as well as what responsibilities the customer retains. The vendor must be clear about what controls are in place, where the data resides, and who is managing the underlying technologies. Also, are there any third parties involved? Is the provider outsourcing any responsibilities? Some other important questions are:

  • Does the provider have an accountable security officer? Can you directly engage this individual?
  • Are independent audits done of the provider’s security controls?
  • Does the provider offer service options in addressing regulated data?

These questions will measure the maturity and experience of the cloud provider.

2. Data Center Operations

A global cloud vendor should have state-of-the-art physical data center protection. That should include logical data security and data privacy protection policies in place. Also, look for proactive security engagement and monitoring, as well as leading-edge disaster recovery plans.

Check if your cloud provider operates embassy-grade (i.e. exceeds the most stringent international embassy and military grade security and force protection requirement) cloud data centers with highly redundant infrastructures and at least 99.5 percent availability.

3. Risk Mitigation/Unified Access Controls

The enterprise must understand what steps the cloud provider is taking to mitigate risk surrounding its service offerings. A key risk to consider is managing end-user access. Typically this is user provisioning permissions to view and change data. However, complexity arises when an employee leaves the company and access must be revoked. This is easily done in an on-premises environment through the company’s internal directory server. However, if this directory is not integrated with your cloud services, the employee may still have access, which could be detrimental to your organization. Single sign-on (SSO) is one solution to this problem so that you can revoke access from a centralized database. But there is a downside here. Some companies prefer not to pass their credentials to third parties in leveraging SSO.

Check if your cloud provider can solve this problem through Federated Identity Technology, which provides all of the benefits with no downside. This is just one example when reducing risk―the cloud may offer a more robust solution that could be built in-house.

Role-based access control (RBAC) is another control to prevent unauthorized access to confidential requirements. Users see only data that’s related to their specific job-specific duties. Note: RBAC is an approach to restricting system access to authorized users. It is used by the majority of enterprises with more than 500 employees, and can implement either mandatory access control (MAC) or discretionary access control (DAC) to prevent unauthorized access to confidential requirements.

4. Compliance

For some enterprises, compliance is difficult to achieve on its own. So it becomes even more critical to choose a cloud provider that can demonstrate and deliver the service. Security certifications are one way to do this―it’s an easy and objective way to compare providers.

A few customers have asked me about industry certifications, such as the SSAE16 where the compliance details should be made transparent and available. Another critical certification is ISO 27001/2 framework (Best Practices for Information Security Management). Why? This demonstrates that the cloud provider continually vets its solution by conducting network detection intrusion tests and other penetration tests to ensure it is always providing a secure solution to customers. (Note: Audit reports should also be available for customers.)

5. Data Privacy/Local Data Residency

Because of the increasing number of countries that specify where data can and cannot be stored, cloud providers must be in compliance with both industry and country data standards. This is especially true for the government and the financial services industries, where data must be stored within its border for backup and recovery purposes.

Cloud providers can address data privacy twofold: (1) Establishing data centers in targeted countries so data is processed and stored within the given country. And to take it one step further, (2) a handful of providers have the capability to offer a hybrid solution to address customer data privacy. For example, the most sensitive customer data would reside in an on-premises environment inside the customer data center (or the provider’s local data center) and the non-sensitive customer data can be stored on a cloud solution. As a result, the sensitive data would always reside within a country’s borders. At the same time, a sales cloud or service cloud solution would process the data in one of the global data centers offered by the vendor.

6. Secure Data Isolation

It’s obvious when you move to the cloud, you want to leverage shared resources across all of your cloud assets at the lowest possible cost, but security is still a critical element. With the Oracle Cloud, you share the hardware, you share the middleware, and you share the application. BUT YOU DO NOT SHARE YOUR DATABASE WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS.

Oracle’s secure data isolation ensures privacy and performance. More importantly, by having your own private database, the customer chooses the right time for upgrading and ensuring the “noisy neighbors’ syndrome” (refers to a rogue virtual machine that periodically monopolizes storage I/O resources to the performance detriment of all the other VM “tenants” in the environment) can’t affect performance. With Oracle Cloud, you are not forced to upgrade over a single designated weekend!

7. Data Loss Prevention (Advanced Data Security)

Does your cloud provider also offer advanced security services, such as full data encryption whether the data is at rest, on the wire, at work, or in processing mode. A virtual private network (VPN) is also an option for remote access. You may also want to consider stronger controls over data and administration access to prevent unauthorized viewing or sharing of customer information. For example, inquire about database vaults, VPN capabilities, and federated SSO.

8. Breadth of Experience & Viability

Is the cloud provider viable? How long is the vendor’s track record with security in the cloud? What does its balance sheet look like? Can it demonstrate experience supporting very demanding industries, such as: retail, government, healthcare and financial services?

To summarize, when choosing a cloud provider, security capabilities are more than likely going to be your key criteria. For comparison purposes, Oracle has more than 35 years of experience securing and managing data and more than 15 years running enterprise cloud services. Today, we process billions of transactions each day. We have demonstrated secure data management and engineered security at every level in the technology stack from hardware and database to middleware and applications. Oracle has complete control of the entire cloud service, which is a unique offering among the many cloud providers.

So when it’s time to make that transition to the cloud, do your due diligence of your cloud providers and make sure your security concerns are addressed for today’s fast-paced digital world.

Robo Silicon Joins Ranks of Live and Successful Oracle Sales Cloud Customers

Tue, 2015-06-09 14:53
Robo Silicon is a leader in the manufacture of engineering and construction materials. It’s also one in the latest wave of Oracle Sales Cloud customers to go live and tell its modern sales transformation story.

In this new video, Balaji Jayashankar (pictured left), Robo Silicon’s Head of Sales and Marketing, describes how Oracle Sales Cloud, integrated with SAP on the back end, is helping reps and management gain and sustain higher levels of sales performance.The themes covered by this business leader help reinforce the benefits of mobility, pipeline visibility (“This visibility has really improved our performance and has helped us in sustaining it.”), flexibility and integration, and territory management.

Nominations Due June 30 for Leadership in Finance Awards

Tue, 2015-06-02 16:20

A Guest Post by Oracle Senior Director Anne Ozzimo (pictured left), Oracle ERP Applications Product Marketing

Now in its fourth year, Oracle’s Leadership in Finance Award―part of the Oracle Excellence Awards―has become the award of choice for visionary finance executives who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in leveraging Oracle solutions to transform their businesses.

Last year, Oracle Executive Vice Chairman of the Board Jeff Henley honored these winners at the 2014 CFO Summit @ Leaders Circle:

  • Former Hyatt Hotels CFO Gebhard Rainer (North America)
  • SITA CFO Colm O’Higgins (EMEA)
  • University of Melbourne CFO Allan Tait (JAPAC)
  • Nufarm Financial Controller Fabio De Felippis (LAD)

Customers, partners, and Oracle employees are urged to submit their nominations now for the 2015 Leadership in Finance Awards. CFOs, controllers, chief accounting officers, and VPs of finance from North America, EMEA, LAD, and JAPAC are all eligible for consideration, as long as they were directly involved in the success of the Oracle solution deployed. Full details and submission guidelines are available on the Oracle Excellence Awards website.

Award winners will be announced at a new event―the Modern Finance Experience―hosted by Oracle CEO Safra Catz in San Francisco. The dates are September 21-23, 2015. Katz and Henley will honor the award winners in an exclusive ceremony. Nominate your favorite finance executive now before nominations close on June 30, 2015.

Please email comments about this story to me at anne.ozzimo@oracle.com.

Embrace Diversity and Congruence in the Workplace

Tue, 2015-06-02 16:16

A Guest Post by Andy Campbell, Oracle HCM Cloud Sales Evangelist (pictured left)

What makes a healthy workforce? Ask a roomful of recruiters and someone will very quickly mention diversity. After all, businesses need employees from a wide variety of backgrounds who can inspire and challenge their colleagues and create a workforce that better resembles the outside world.

But if diversity is important, so too is inclusion. If recruiters can find people from diverse backgrounds, with diverse skills, but who share many of a company’s perspectives and values it’s more likely they’ll fit in and contribute towards a cohesive, productive team.

And let’s not forget just how important it is to get that right fit: the most expensive part of the hiring process is when the wrong hire is made and the whole thing has to start again.

For HR departments and recruiters looking for congruence, it seems to me that social sourcing has a whole lot to offer. This is because social media doesn’t just allow recruiters to advertise on a broader scale, but it can even enable them to channel campaigns through employees’ networks.

Why is this important? Because most people’s networks are networks of like-minded people. Recruiting through your number one sales rep’s LinkedIn network is likely to increase your chances of hiring a new employee of similar calibre. Moreover, it will save money on recruitment fees. There is of course a caveat here: social media is only part of the answer. Let’s face it, most people’s social networks are made up of people of a similar demographic to them and this can be limiting. Yes, companies want like-minded people, but they do not want clones.

For this reason, transparency is hugely important. A potential employee must to be able to easily find out about a company and determine whether the company shares his or her values and is a good fit.

Social media not only makes it easier for a prospect to find out this information, it makes it absolutely inevitable. All that remains is for employers to ensure that when the right recruit looks at their business through the lens of social media they like what they see.

The real power of social media in the recruitment space is that it works both ways. Not only can employers find out more about potential recruits and access talent that may otherwise have been unavailable to them, but prospects can learn more about the inner workings of a business than ever before. The end result should be more right fits more of the time.