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Updated: 4 hours 40 min ago

The Social Spotlight is Going to Shine on #OOW14

Tue, 2014-08-26 15:21

A Guest Post by Mike Stiles, Senior Content Manager for Oracle Social Cloud (pictured left)

Want to see an example of “busy” and “everywhere”? Then keep an eye on the Oracle Social Cloud team as they head into this year’s Oracle OpenWorld. Famous for their motto of “surely we can tackle even more,” Oracle’s top socializers will be all over Moscone, from the Social Intelligence Center in CX Central to 16+ social track sessions to live demos to comprehensive social coverage. Oracle Social Cloud will be trumpeting the social business imperative with live, interactive displays and inspiring speakers from Oracle, General Motors, Chevrolet, FleishmanHillard, Nestle, Polaris, Banc of California, CMP.LY and more.

Catch as many of these highlights as you can. You know how we social people love for people to follow us:

  • Social Intelligence Center: Swing by the Oracle SRM “Social Intelligence Center” in CX Central in Moscone West. We don’t know if it will literally make you smarter, but it is a real world demonstration of how the Oracle Social Cloud’s Social Relationship Management (SRM) platform serves up big data visualizations. Specifically, we’ll be watching the web and social chatter around #OOW14 using advanced analytics and deeper listening. You can see the new graphical representations of social data and global activity, get some great ideas for establishing a Social Intelligence Center at your brand, or see firsthand how the Oracle SRM platform is a mean, modernizing, social management, streamlining machine. And don’t forget to tweet about what you see.
  • “Financial Services: Why Social Media Makes Cents” with Tom Chernaik of CMP.LY; Kevin Salas, Banc of California; and Angela Wells of Oracle Social. Monday, Sept. 29 @ 1:45p.m. [CON8561]
  • “A Sky-High Overview: Oracle Social Cloud” with Meg Bear, Group Vice President of Oracle Social. Tuesday, Sept. 30 @ 10 and 11:45a.m. [TGS8068]
  •  “Show Me the Money: Building the Business Case for Social” with Holly Spaeth of Polaris; Michelle Lapierre of Marriott; Meghan Blauvelt, Nestle; and Angela Wells of Oracle Social. Wednesday, Oct. 1 @ 11:45a.m. [CON8551]
  • “Social Relationship Management: Lessons Learned from the Olympics, Super Bowl, Grammys and More” with Jamie Barbour of Chevrolet; Melissa Schreiber of FleishmanHillard; and Erika Brookes of Oracle Social. Wednesday, Oct. 1 @ 1p.m. [CON8349]
  • “Global Command Centers: Why Social Engagement is Key to Connect with Customers” with Rebecca Harris and Whitney Drake of General Motors; Alan Chumley of FleishmanHillard; and Tara Roberts of Oracle Social. Wednesday, Oct. 1 @ 2:15p.m. [CON8350]
  • “Whose Customer is this Anyway? Rise of the CCO, the CDO and the “New” CMO” with Jeb Dasteel, Oracle’s Chief Customer Officer (CCO); other C-Suite executives; and Erika Brookes of Oracle Social. Wednesday, Oct. 1 @ 3:45p.m. [CON8457]
  • “Leveraging Social Identity to Build Better Customer Relations” with Andrew Jones of the Altimeter Group. Thursday, Oct. 2 @ 11:30a.m. [CON8348]
  • “When Social Data = Opportunity: Leveraging Social Data to Target Custom Audiences” with Michelle Lapierre of Marriott; and Cory Treffiletti of Oracle. Thursday, Oct. 2 @ 12:45p.m. [CON8554]

Want the most thorough coverage of Oracle Social’s OpenWorld activities imaginable? Then by all means make sure you friend and follow us on all our channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. And subscribe to our daily Social Spotlight podcast!

We want YOU to contribute to our channels and share the top sights, sounds and takeaways that you’re getting from OpenWorld. Register today and we'll see you in San Francisco September 28 - October 2, 2014!

Oracle EPM Cloud is Ramping Up; Hear the Latest at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Mon, 2014-08-25 18:20

A Guest Post by Jennifer Toomey, Senior Director, Oracle Business Analytics (pictured left) Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE 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-qformat:yes; 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:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud has gained more than 100 customers and 5,000 users since its release six months ago. This is just the beginning of more Enterprise Performance Management Cloud offerings to come! See the latest product features and hear about the near-term roadmap at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco, September 28 - October 30, 2014.

Kick-Off General Session—Moscone West, Room 2008
Oracle’s Balaji Yelamanchili, Senior VP of Product Development, will announce the latest innovations and what’s coming for Oracle EPM on Monday at 1:30 p.m. He will include a demo of our next EPM Cloud offering, Oracle Financial Performance Reporting Cloud.

Conference Sessions and Customer Panel—Moscone West, Room 3008
We have scheduled a number of sessions to present the EPM Cloud roadmap and upcoming offerings. For Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud, we will showcase the new FUSE interface and also feature a customer panel with Manhattan Beachwear and Communications Test Design, Inc. (CTDI).

  • Oracle Enterprise Performance Management Cloud—Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. [CON8545]
  • Introduction and Update: Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud—Tuesday 5:00 p.m. [CON8556]
  • Introduction to Oracle Financial Performance Reporting Cloud—Wednesday at 10:15 a.m. [CON8359]
  • Customer Success: Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud—Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. [CON8552]
  • Developing a Proper EPM Deployment Strategy for Cloud and on-Premises Solutions, featuring partner, Linium—Thursday at 1:15 p.m. [CON4348]

Dedicated Demo Pod #3895—Moscone West
In the Demo Grounds, we plan to highlight the upcoming mobile capabilities and new FUSE interface of Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud, as shown here:


Oracle OpenWorld is always an exciting experience so register today. We are looking forward to sharing our latest success and plans for EPM Cloud with you!

Jennifer Toomey
Senior Director, Product Marketing
Oracle Business Analytics


Oracle HCM Cloud Primed for OpenWorld 2014

Mon, 2014-08-25 17:04
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A Guest Post by Mike Vilimek, Director of Product Marketing, Oracle HCM Cloud

At Oracle OpenWorld 2014 all things HCM will again be a dedicated “event within an event” called HCM Central @ OpenWorld. This year’s experience promises to be even better than last year’s and we want to let you know why you should be excited and eager to attend.

Customer Success Stories
Nothing is more convincing than to hear success stories from businesses just like yours. That’s why at this year’s event we will have numerous customers sharing their stories of successfully moving to Oracle HCM Cloud. Here is just a sampling of what is planned.

  • BioMarin Pharmaceutical—Talent Acquisition Cloud for Midsize Companies with Oracle E-Business Suite [CON4527]
  • BlackRock—HR Transformation at BlackRock [CON5836]
  • BMO Financial Group – Implementing Oracle Learn Cloud: The Value of Partnering [CON8691]
  • Chick-fil-A – Oracle HCM Cloud: Integration with Enterprise Identity Management [CON5987]
  • Cox – Integrated Talent Management: Cox’s Journey to the Cloud [CON7473]
  • National Instruments – Oracle Fusion HCM: From RFP to Reality [CON2357]
  • Sierra Club – Jumping the Gap: Moving Recruiting into the Cloud from the Grass Roots [CON7515]

Integration and Unification
A main theme throughout the event will be integration and unification. Session speakers and Oracle product experts will share roadmap details, and will talk about how the Oracle Fusion and Oracle Taleo platforms are being unified across all dimensions including user experience, process, data, tools, and technology within the Oracle HCM Cloud.

Oracle’s HCM Cloud is Personalized, Connected, and Secure
We know that the notion of moving HR systems to the cloud raises questions for customers. Will I be able to set up the applications in a way that meets our unique business needs? Can we still integrate with our other on-premise systems? How secure will my data be in the cloud?

Another major theme throughout this event will be that, unlike other clouds, Oracle offers a modern cloud that is personalized, connected and secure.

Personalized: Oracle’s Cloud provides all the benefits of SaaS (speed, simplicity and lower costs) – as well as the ability to tailor applications to your unique business.

Connected: Oracle’s Cloud provides seamless integration of data and processes across cloud, on-premise, and third party applications.

Secure: Oracle’s Cloud provides top-to-bottom security from the industry leader, including complete data isolation and security at multiple tech layers.

Employee Experience Journey Mapping (EXJM)
We will be holding an EXJM session at OpenWorld. EXJM, based on the very successful customer experience journey mapping (CXJM) methodology, is designed to deliver a better employee experience to improve engagement, productivity, performance, and competitiveness. The highly interactive workshops have been getting rave reviews because they provide valuable insight into improving employee experiences without pitching a product—a refreshing change for many.

Great Venue and Entertainment
HCM Central @ OpenWorld will be held at the beautiful Palace Hotel, and as always, the entertainment will be top notch. The Oracle Appreciation Event will feature Aerosmith and the hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

So, what are you waiting for? Register today and we'll see you in San Francisco, September 28 - October 2, 2014!

Mike Vilimek
Director, Product Marketing
Oracle HCM Cloud

What’s New from the Oracle Marketing Cloud at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Tue, 2014-08-19 07:50

A Guest Post by Laura Vogel, Director, Oracle Marketing Cloud Events (pictured left)

Marketing—CX Central is your hub for all things Marketing related at OpenWorld in San Francisco, September 28-October 2, 2014. Learn how to personalize the modern marketing journey to improve customer loyalty. We’re hosting more than 60 breakout sessions, half of which will highlight customer success stories from marquee brands including Bizo, Comcast, Dell, Epson, John Deere, Lane Bryant, ReadyTalk and Shutterfly.

Moscone West, Levels 2 and 3
To learn more about how modern marketing works, visit Moscone West, levels 2 and 3, for exciting demos of each of the Oracle Marketing Cloud solutions (BlueKai, Compendium, Eloqua, Push I/O, and Responsys). You also can check out our stations for Vertical Marketing Best Practices, the Markie Awards, and more!

CX Spotlight Sessions

  • “Accelerating Big Profits in Big Data,” Jeff Tanner, Baylor University
  • “Using Content Marketing to Impact Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey,” Jennifer Agustin, Bizo
  • “Expanding Your Marketing with Proven Testing and Optimization,” Brian Border, Shutterfly and Matthew Balthazor, Epson
  • “Modern Marketing: The New Digital Dialogue,” Cory Treffiletti, Oracle

A Special Marquee Session
Dell’s Hayden Mugford will speak on "The Digital Ecosystem: Driving Experience Through Contact Engagement.” She will highlight how the organization built a digital ecosystem that supports a behaviorally driven, multivehicle nurturing campaign. The Dell 1:1 Global Marketing team worked with multiple partners to innovate integrations with Oracle Eloqua, Oracle Real-Time Decisions for real-time decision logic, and a content management system (CMS) that enables 100 percent customized e-mails. The program doubled average order values for nurtured contacts versus non-nurtured and tripled open and click-through rates versus push e-mail.

It Wouldn’t Be an Oracle Marketing Cloud Event Without a Party!
We’re hosting CX Central Fest: a unique customer experience specifically designed for attendees of CX Central. It will include a chance to rock out at a private concert featuring Los Angeles indie electronic pop group, Capital Cities! Join us Tuesday, September 30 from 7-9 p.m.

Other Oracle Marketing Cloud Session Highlights

  • Thought leadership by role
  • Exploring the benefits of moving to the Cloud
  • Product line roadmaps and innovations in Marketing
  • Technical deep dives for product lines within Marketing
  • Best practices and impactful business measurements
  • Solutions that are integrated across CX

Target Audience
Session content is geared toward professionals in Marketing, Marketing Operations, Marketing Demand Generation, Social: Chief Marketing Officers, Vice Presidents, Directors and Managers.

Outcomes
Customers attending Marketing—CX Central @ OpenWorld will be able to:

  • Gain insight into delivering consistent cross-channel marketing
  • Discover how to provide the right information to the right customer at the right time and with the right channel
  • Get answers to burning questions and advice on business challenges
  • Hear from other Oracle customers about recommended best practices to help their organization move forward
  • Network and share ideas to help create a strategy for connecting with customers in better ways

Resources At a Glance

  • Register Now
  • Track Site—View Marketing Sessions 72 1024x768 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE 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-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; 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-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
  • Focus on Session Doc
  • Downloadable Justification Email

OpenWorld is a fabulous way for you to see all that Oracle Marketing Cloud has to offer. Register today.

Geared Up for Oracle Sales Cloud Customers at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

Wed, 2014-08-13 08:53

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

Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is the place to be for sales professionals to stay informed, learn, and network. This year promises to be the best ever!

What’s New and Different?
We are centralizing all Oracle Sales Cloud conference sessions and the Oracle Sales Cloud demonstration zone on the second floor of Moscone West. It is called Sales @ CX Central and will be the headquarters for all things CX Sales. Registered participants can attend sessions and immediately experience live demonstrations on the same topic conveniently located on the same floor. This will help participants easily connect with Oracle product experts, implementation partners, and customers with similar interests and challenges.

Kick-Off General Session in Moscone West
On Tuesday, Scott Creighton, VP of Product Management, will announce the latest innovations for Release 9 at 10:00 a.m., Room 2001. Hitachi Consulting, sponsoring partner, will join Creighton on stage.

Conference Sessions
Oracle Sales Cloud will host more than 50 conference sessions this year. A series of Release 9 Essentials sessions, led by the Oracle Sales Cloud product management team, will include overviews of the latest product enhancements and roadmap, case studies, demonstrations, and shared insights by customers and partners on these topics:

  • Core Sales Force Automation
  • Sales Analytics
  • Sales Performance Management
  • Mobile
  • Financial Services B2B Customers
  • How to Customize, Extend and Integrate with Oracle Sales Cloud

Of Special Interest
We will have conference sessions, panels and demonstrations on these topics:

  • Integrating Sales Cloud with On-Premises Solutions or Other CX Pillars by Panasonic UK, Multi-Color Corporation, and Altec, who have all extended their capabilities through integrations or by using Oracle’s platform
  • Partner Relationship Management by Infosys and Oracle
  • Smartphones and Tablets is a session for customers looking to equip their sales force for increased productivity with smartphones or to run their business using tablets

Meet the Experts
Conference goers can meet informally with Oracle experts in Room 2001A at Moscone West on these topics:

  • Core SFA―Wednesday at 12:45 p.m.
  • PaaS and Configuration―Wednesday at 3:15 p.m.
  • Smartphones―Thursday at 10:15 a.m.

Customer Panels
We have scheduled two popular customer panels in Moscone West:

  • Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Room 2003―Evaluating a CRM System
  • Thursday at 2:00 p.m., Room 2001―Sales Productivity by Batesville, Acorn Paper Products, and Oracle

Partner Panels
The following three panels of implementation experts include Capgemini, Config Consultants, WhiteLight Product Group, Hitachi, BizTech, Accenture, Steria Mummert Consulting, Apex IT, Conemis AG, ec4u, and Boxfusion:

  • Thursday, 10:15 a.m., Room 2003―Extending Siebel and other on-premises systems
  • Thursday 11:30 a.m., Room 2003―Migration
  • Thursday 1:00 p.m., Room 2003―Mobile and Analytics

Customer Events
Finally, an Oracle OpenWorld preview for Oracle Sales Cloud would not be complete without mention of customer events:

  • Sunday―the annual Oracle Sales Cloud Customer Advisory Board meeting
  • Monday―a Customer Connect member reception
  • Tuesday―the CX Central Fest @ OpenWorld, featuring the electronic pop group--Capital Cities

A Different Theme Every Day
Each day the CX Central zone will have a different theme:

  • Monday―Industry solutions by customers
  • Tuesday―Roles, thought leadership, and innovation, which includes the six Release 9 Essentials sessions and a presentation by industry analyst Rebecca Wettemann of Nucleus Research
  • Wednesday and Thursday―A multitude of different CX and on-premises integration scenarios, with kiosks staffed by product managers and sales consulting experts

At a Glance

Oracle OpenWorld is always over the top. This year will be no different, especially for our Oracle Sales Cloud customers. And remember, it’s all happening on the second floor of Moscone West, September 28 - October 2, 2014.

Michael Richter
Director, Product Management
Oracle Sales Cloud

Social Commerce: Shopping Inside of Social

Fri, 2014-08-08 13:12

A Guest Post by Mike Stiles, Senior Content Manager for Oracle Social (pictured left)

We know the value of friends recommending products to friends, but are we seeing these motivated transactions conducted immediately on the social platforms themselves? Is social commerce still a thing?

 What really seems to matter most is whether or not brand participation on social channels is generating incoming traffic to wherever transactions happen to be transacted. In fact, the very definition of sCommerce has quietly morphed over the years from sales conducted on Facebook, to sales resulting from social.

On-Facebook stores are still available, of course. Brands like J.C. Penney, GNC, Levi’s and 1-800-Flowers have done it or are doing it. But the real drive, budget-wise, is to use social to generate traffic and leads as opposed to building social stores. Social budgets are also moving to rounding up leads and sales as opposed to branding. The expectations for pre-sold shoppers to come from social to the brand’s transaction location and make the purchase are high.

And yet…despite a Shopify survey that found Facebook driving almost two-thirds of social visits to Shopify stores and claiming a 129% year over year increase of orders from social, and despite the barely known Polyvore driving the top average order value of $66.75, less than 2% of traffic to retailers’ sites comes from social. And almost half of retailers said less than 1% of social shoppers wound up buying anything. The best social conversion rate is Facebook’s 1.85%.

So what’s broken? Every hoop a buyer has to jump through is a golden opportunity for that buyer to reconsider, change their mind, or put off the purchase. The shortest, most frictionless path from discovery to reassurance to sale should be every brand’s Apollo mission. And since two of those three things are happening primarily on social, sales inside of social, that original definition of sCommerce, might be worth a solid second look.

The social nets are inching forward. Pinterest, the proclaimed king of purchase intent, has rich pins so prices and inventory can be updated real-time. You can reply to tweets with Amazon product links adding #AmazonCart and throw the item into your shopping cart. You can make AMEX purchases by adding a hashtag. But these things amount to better social catalog experiences or buy link usage, not purchase-inside-social opportunities.

Pictures leaked from Fancy in January gave us a peek at Twitter Commerce. Brand tweets can be expanded to show a Buy button, from which you could purchase the item inside the Twitter app. Now we’re talking. OpenSky is trying to get there as well.

The goal is to capitalize on everything social brings in terms of shopping and exposure to products tied to users’ visible interests, capitalize on the trusted recommendations of social connections, use content as your virtual end-aisle displays, use the ongoing social relationships you have with customers and rich social data to keep bumping them toward a purchase, customize their experiences, and find the quickest way to satisfy the buying impulse when it strikes.

Finding something you want to buy in a store and then being told by the clerk you have to go two buildings down to buy it sounds silly. Digital hoops are equally silly.

“Why I Left The Wall Street Journal To Join Oracle” by Michael Hickins

Wed, 2014-07-30 16:48

Michael Hickins (pictured left) worked for The Wall Street Journal as editor of its CIO Journal.

Now he works for Oracle as the director of strategic communications.

He made the move to “get closer to the people who make and use technology.” He believes that the technology made by companies like Oracle is changing the world. He wants to help people understand those changes and be part of their stories.

As a reporter, Hickins’ vision of the world “was limited by what people choose to share.” He felt removed from what he was writing about. His readers were at an even greater distance from the source.

So instead of continuing to write “from the safety of his cave,” he has joined one of the greatest technology companies in history so that he can experience technology first hand and tell the world about the far-reaching effects of Oracle Cloud innovations.

Read the article.

Oracle Social Launches LinkedIn Support

Fri, 2014-07-25 11:40

A Guest Post by Meg Bear, Oracle Vice President

Last week, Oracle Social proudly announced the launch of LinkedIn support features for the Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) platform, and joined LinkedIn’s Certified Company Page Partners Program. We are honored to join this elite group.  It’s undeniable how valuable LinkedIn is to companies with its user base of more than 300 million from 200+ countries and territories. Investis, an international digital corporate communications company, says LinkedIn accounts for 64 percent of all visits to corporate websites from social media sites.

In response to the announcement, Alan Lepofsky, VP & Principal Analyst at Constellation Research said, “LinkedIn Company and Showcase pages are an important destination for brands, so at a time where LinkedIn is removing access to their API from almost all partners, this new feature is an excellent addition for Oracle customers.”

From a customer perspective, this allows Oracle Social customers to now have the ability to publish, engage, automate, and analyze LinkedIn activities within the SRM platform. Customers can leverage SRM’s proprietary features including Dynamic Link Tracking and Smart Publishing, as well as existing SRM integrations with Oracle Marketing Cloud (Eloqua) for LinkedIn.

This new capability is in direct response to the field requesting LinkedIn support. Customers have enthusiastically welcomed this new feature by turning it on the same day as the release.

For more details:

Press Release

Meg’s Blog

ZDNet Article

Understanding Oracle Workforce Reputation Management

Fri, 2014-07-25 11:25

Talent Management Excellence Essentials is a go-to e-publication that covers talent, performance, and compensation strategies.

Mark Bennett, Director of Product Strategy at Oracle, contributed an article entitled “Workforce Reputation Management: Is social media the vital skill you aren’t tracking?”

He starts with the premise that employees on social media present opportunities, as well as risks for organizations. When their presence is managed well, it can become a rich source of influence, collaboration, and brand recognition.

“Workforce reputation management technology helps organizations discover, mobilize and retain talent by providing insight into the social reputation and influence of the workforce while also helping organizations monitor employee social media policy compliance and mitigate social media risk.”

Bennett says it is a tool that can support HR by helping to harness social media. He cites using it to improve talent processes, such as hiring, training and development, and discovering hidden talent. It can aid in uncovering a more complete picture of an employee’s knowledge, skills and attributes. Workforce reputation technology provides a clearer picture of how a candidate or employee is viewed by peers and the communities he / she works across.

“Social media holds untapped insights about your talent, brand and business, and workforce reputation management can help unlock them,” says Bennett. He asks his readers to think about how much more productive and efficient their organizations could be with this valuable information.

Read the full article on page 15 of the publication. No need to register or login

Hurd: “We’re Laser-focused on Being No. 1 in the Cloud”

Fri, 2014-07-25 11:14
President Mark Hurd met with investment analysts last week. Senior Correspondent Chris Kanaracus reported in ComputerWorld that Hurd was confidently bullish with plenty of specifics about Oracle’s cloud software strategy and progress in the market. Here are some snippets from the article:

Plenty of runway. “The company estimates there is a $74 billion addressable market for its cloud apps,” Hurd said.

Getting customers on board. It is anticipated that many of the thousands of Oracle on-premises customers will extend their installations by adding cloud modules. Others will migrate completely to the cloud.

Oracle’s cloud army. Hurd reported Oracle has thousands of SaaS sales reps in more than 60 countries and about 19,000 certified consultants.

Fusion taking hold?
“The confidence our sales force has in our (Fusion) products now over the past couple of years has leaped exponentially.” That confidence is translating into sales for Fusion.

All ISVs are welcome.
“Oracle has 19 data centers around the world. That coverage, combined with its unified technology stack makes a full-fledged move a no-brainer for ISVs.”

Ready for the world. Oracle supports its cloud apps in 33 languages with localizations for more than 100 countries. Hurd said Oracle will continue to expand its data center footprint.

That’s all great, but Hurd isn’t satisfied. “Make no mistake, we’re laser-focused on being No. 1 in the cloud.”

Read the full article, which includes Hurd’s presentation.

Content from the OHUG Global Conference 2014

Fri, 2014-07-25 11:05
OHUG stands for Oracle HCM Users Group.

Jeb Dasteel, senior vice president and chief customer officer at Oracle, describes the value of user groups this way: “Over and over again, we see that user group members are by far the most active and satisfied customers in our entire customer base. One of the best things that any Oracle customer can do to maximize the value from the investment is to join a user group.”

Sixteen hundred members of OHUG gathered in Las Vegas June 9-13, 2014, to learn, network, and grow. This is a high-energy, relationship-rich conference.

We have two items of interest to share with you from OHUG:

1) Scan the digest of tweets (#ohugglobal) from the conference.

2) Read four mini interviews from Oracle HCM Cloud customers. The questions they were asked included What solutions are you using? What benefits are you realizing? and What advice do you have for others looking to move their system to the cloud?

Zach Thomas: “The 7 Rules for Selecting Global HR Technology”

Fri, 2014-07-25 10:55

How far flung are the people with whom you work? It’s pretty rare in our global workplace to find a team with all members sharing the same location. In this new environment, the talent pool can literally be the whole world, but of course that scenario comes with its own set of challenges, according to Oracle’s Zach Thomas, Vice President of HCM product strategy.

The challenges include: How to unify employees? How to attract the best new talent? How to manage the organization’s culture, values, and goals? How to stay compliant with laws and practices in various countries? And how to cultivate high performing teams?

“At the heart of the process is technology — specifically, consumer-designed, intuitive tools available in the cloud and accessible through a gamut of devices,” says Thomas in an article published by Talent Management Magazine entitled “The 7 Rules for Selecting Global HR Technology.”

Here are the seven tenets, minus the intelligent discourse for each that Thomas includes:

  1. Find, recruit and hire the best talent no matter the location.
  2. Know each employee like he or she works right next to you.
  3. Empower social collaboration.
  4. Prioritize great performance.
  5. Streamline global payroll.
  6. Deliver compensation and rewards equitably and competitively.
  7. Make security and compliance central to HR processes.

 Organizations can follow these seven principles to effectively manage global workplaces, and as a result, says Thomas, give them “a competitive advantage by helping pull in the best talent, increase retention, streamline organizational processes, stimulate productive collaboration and avoid legal snafus.”

Read the full article.

How Does a 724% Return on Your Salesforce Automation Investment Sound?

Fri, 2014-07-25 10:44

A Guest Post by Oracle's Senior Director, Brian Dayton

Oracle Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud customer Apex IT gained just that―a 724% return on investment (ROI) when it implemented these Oracle

Congratulations Apex IT!

Apex IT was just announced as a winner of the Nucleus Research 11th annual Technology ROI Awards. The award, given by the analyst firm, highlights organizations that have successfully leveraged IT deployments to maximize value per dollar spent.

Fast Facts:

  • Return on Investment – 724%
  • Payback – 2 months
  • Average annual benefit – $91,534
  • Cost : Benefit Ratio – 1:48

Business Benefits

In addition to the ROI and cost metrics the award calls out improvements in Apex IT’s business operations—across both Sales and Marketing teams:

  • Improved ability to identify new opportunities and focus sales resources on higher-probability deals
  • Reduced administration and manual lead tracking—resulting in more time selling and a net new client increase of 46%
  • Increased campaign productivity for both Marketing and Sales, including Oracle Marketing Cloud’s automation of campaign tracking and nurture programs
  • Improved margins with more structured and disciplined sales processes—resulting in more effective deal negotiations

Please join us in congratulating Apex IT on this award and the business improvements it made.

Want More Details?

Don’t take our word for it. Read the full Apex IT ROI Case Study. You also can learn more about Apex IT’s business, including the company’s work with Oracle Sales and Marketing Cloud on behalf of its clients.

Be Prepared: Technology Trends Converge and Disrupt

Fri, 2014-07-25 10:23

Cloud. Big data. Mobile. Social media.

These mega trends in technology have had a profound impact on our lives.

And now according to SVP Ravi Puri from North America Oracle Consulting Services, these trends are starting to converge and will affect us even more. His article, “Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, And Social: Convergence Will Bring Even More Disruption” appeared in Forbes on June 6.

For example, mobile and social are causing huge changes in the business world. Big data and cloud are coming together to help us with deep analytical insights. And much more.

These convergences are causing another wave of disruption, which can drive all kinds of improvements in such things as customer satisfaction, competitive advantage, and growth.

But, according to Puri, companies need to be prepared.

In this article, Puri urges companies to get out in front of the new innovations. H3 gives good directions on how to do so to accelerate time to value and minimize risk.

The post is a good thought leadership piece to pass on to your customers.

The Oracle Cloud User Experience Continues to Evolve

Fri, 2014-07-25 10:17

A Guest Post by Kathy Miedema, Oracle Market Research Analyst

Vice President Jeremy Ashley and his Oracle Applications UX team are continually asking: “What’s the best way to deliver simplicity, mobility, and extensibility so users can be even more productive?”

But didn’t we just release the simplified UI for Release 8? Isn’t that UI all about productivity?

Of course it is, but Ashley’s team is making regular, incremental improvements to the user experience.

“Our mobile devices and a need for simplicity are behind this continued evolution of the Oracle user experience design philosophy,” he explains. Ashley describes the newest approach to design as “glance, scan, commit.” And at the heart of that philosophy is the infolet.

In this post, Kathy Miedema, Oracle market research analyst, pulls back the curtain to reveal what’s going on in the Oracle UX research lab. It’s new and exciting. It also reflects the deep knowledge and investment we’re making in our user experience, which will keep us ahead of the competition.

Strategic design philosophy pushes Oracle cloud user experience to lofty new heights.


“It Isn’t Easy At All; Otherwise, Everyone Would Be Doing It”

Wed, 2014-05-28 10:31

A few months ago, JP Saunders (pictured left), who leads the go-to-market initiatives for the Oracle CX Service offering, kicked off a series of articles about modern customer service. He contends that to take care of customers―and the people that support those customers―companies need to make it easy to deliver consistently great experiences. But it’s not easy; it’s an art.

The six posts in The Art of Easy series will help you better understand some of the customer service challenges you face and how to avoid common pitfalls. We pulled them all together here in one post for continuity and easy access.

Saunders introduces the series with The Art of Easy: Make It Easy To Deliver Great Customer Service Experiences (Part 1).

The Art of Easy: Offer Self Service With the Emphasis on Service (Part 2) by David Fulton (pictured left): David Fulton, Director of Product Management, Oracle Service Cloud, shares five tenets of customer self service that move an organization closer to becoming a modern customer service business.




Easy Decisions For Complex Problems (Part 3) by Heike Lorenz (pictured right): Heike Lorenz, Director of Global Product Marketing, Policy Automation, writes about automating service policies to ensure that the correct decisions are being applied to the right people. The goal is to nurture the trusted relationships with customers during complex decision-making processes.



Moving at the Speed of Easy (Part 4) by Chris Ulmand (pictured left): Chris Omland, Director of Product Management, Oracle Service Cloud, addresses the need for speed to keep up with customers’ expectations. His advice—start with a platform that enables agile innovation, respects a company’s unique needs, and has proven reliability to protect customer relationships.




Knowledge Makes It Easy For Everyone (Part 5) by Nav Chakravarti (pictured rig: Vice President Nav Chakravarti, Oracle Service Cloud, talks about managing the knowledge that customers need and want. He coaches readers on delivering answers to customers’ questions easily, in context, with relevance, reliably, and accurately.



Making Easy, Both Effective and Efficient (Part 6) by Melinda Uhland (pictured left): Melinda Uhland, Oracle CX Product Management teaches us that happy agents produce happy customers. A Modern Customer Service organization is one that invests in its agents and empowers them with tools to make them efficient and effective, which, in turn, improves customer results.

The Art of Easy―Making Easy, both Effective and Efficient (Part 6 of 6)

Wed, 2014-05-21 08:56

A Guest Post by Melinda Uhland, Oracle Service Cloud

In the case of “What makes the experience,” it’s the age old question “which came first?” The chicken? or the egg? There is a strong vote for the chicken (being the customer), as they squawk the loudest (especially on Social), but within the contact center, there is strong evidence that it was the egg (being the agent).

A Modern Customer Service organization is one that understands the importance of the agent experience as it relates to your customer’s experience. A modern organization knows that its support agents must be more than a pretty smile on an empty box, or a handshake at an open door, or a hallmark welcome greeting. Modern Customer Service agents curate engagements that result in lasting and profitable relationships with their customers.

A customer’s experience is frequently defined by how engaged he or she feels an agent is during an interaction―not just whether they were polite, but also whether they were trying to help. And there is a direct correlation between how engaged agents are and how empowered they feel in their jobs. A Modern Customer Service organization is one that improves its customer results by investing in the needs of its agents’ experiences. It empowers its agents with the tools that make it easy for them to be efficient and effective.

To know how well you are doing on delivering a great agent experience, don’t just look at CSAT reports (although they can be a good indicator).

Start by asking your agents:

  • Are you being connected with customers that you can serve effectively?
  • How effective is that connection so the customer isn’t frustrated by the time they engage?
  • Once engaged do the agents have access to the information needed to solve the issue?
  • How many systems do they have to log into, search, and reconcile conflicting information?
  • How many process scripts, cheat sheets, and memos do they have to manage and memorize to navigate the engagement?
  • If they see an issue with the system/process during the interaction, can they apply/request a change?
  • How long does it usually take to have the change applied?
  • And, how many engagements will they have to handle without that change?

The list goes on, as does the time and frustration to your agents, if the engagement process isn’t easy. Let’s face it―you cannot afford to lose any of your agents. You have invested in them and your business needs to deliver. So, if you are still running your contact center as a legacy cost center, then chances are, you are driving up costs by not understanding your agents’ needs:

  • Your most seasoned agents: are your most valuable assets as they are the sherpas of your processes, saviors of your customers, and the spirit of your brand. They must be empowered for greatness. Honor their time to save your brand.
  • Your average agents: are your building blocks for change, whose systematic rhythm can deliver the highest return on efficiencies. They must be empowered for consistency. Listen to their pains to save money.
  • Your most junior agents are your future, with an untarnished view of how you can improve to get ahead. They must be empowered for success. Leverage their passion and their fresh perspective for change.
By exploring the needs of each agent segment, you can understand how to apply technology to improve their experience:

The Experienced Agent: “Don’t waste my time!”

Your most experienced agents should be strictly focused on your most serious/complicated issues and/or on your highest value customers. Having your most valuable agents handle questions that could be addressed through an FAQ or a newer agent wastes money and time. By setting up the correct routing rules, you can ensure that your experienced agents handle only exceptions for overflow assistance when required. With the right solution, it is possible to automate the configuration and management of routing rules to match the right customers with the right agents, based on many factors beyond customer problem and agent skill. Configure rules based on availability, learned experience, language, time zone, county, wait times, customer value, etc.

The Average Agent: “It’s not my fault!”

How many times have your agents picked up a call, provided their most friendly greeting, only to have been immediately yelled at by a customer? Your agent has to spend time calming the customer down, rather than assisting them with the real issue. Call Center agents go through this many times a day, and it can be a demotivating and costly occurrence to your efficiency and effectiveness metrics. Do these sound all too familiar?
  • “I have been transferred three times and you keep asking the same questions!”
  • “I don’t have time to call you! Why can’t I just do this online?”
  • “I just spent an hour trying to navigate your Web site, only to get no answer, and now you want to CHAT?!
  • “Do you know who I am on Social? You will regret keeping me waiting for my email response!”
  • “I have been a great customer of yours for many years―doesn’t that count for something?!”
Multi-channel / cross-channel customer service platforms can help you avoid this circle of frustration. Capabilities such as proactive chat, email automation, virtual assistance, click-to-call, click-to-call back, experience routing rules, mobile templates, and social response allow your customers to reach out to you on the channel/device that works best for them right when they need help. Or they can seamlessly switch channels and devices when they need to. And when your customers do reach out to you, you can keep track of all their interactions, regardless of channel, providing you with deeper insights on channel, device and interaction behavior for optimizing their contact flows to avoid FCF (first contact frustration) and improve FCR (first contact resolution).

The New Agent: “There’s gotta be a better way!”


Your new agent just started and is excited to do well in his/her new role. S/he had some hands-on training with an experienced agent, got a memorized script to follow, a notebook with system log ins to use, an earmarked manual with policies to follow, and is set to start handling low-level support incidents in those already flooded channels. As you finish the agent’s training, the song “Will they stay, or will they go?” plays in your head because you know the experience the agent is about to go through will either make them or break them. But, you did all you could, so if something goes wrong the customers become a necessary casualty. The complaints? Teething pains. The ideas for change? A no go. Given time, they agents learn the old ways are best!

This is another scenario that can be easily remedied with a Modern Contact Center, which is capable of unifying all the systems to a single log in to a centralized agent desktop. The desktop can be pre-configured with views and guides that simplify the learning curve and that walk agents through step-by-step processes, which are traceable down to each interaction and engagement across every channel.

A centralized knowledge base gives agents access to all public and internal knowledge at their fingertips, placing scripts inside of tools that can be applied easily. These tools, combined with a unified customer record drawn from any source master system of record (or external social site), equip your new agent to have relevant engagements, which help them improve customer experience from Day One.

By understanding the needs of your agents—and empowering them with the right tools, knowledge, and insights to better serve customers—you can easily make their jobs more engaging, their performance more effective, and their time more efficient. The Oracle Service Cloud empowers agents to meet today’s customer expectations and become a valued part of the Modern Customer Service organization.