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Updated: 2 days 10 hours ago

OTN Latin America Tour 2014 – Mexico

Wed, 2014-08-13 12:19

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The OTN network is designed to help Oracle users with community generated resources. Every year the OTN team organizes worldwide tours that allow local users to learn from subject matter experts in all things Oracle. For the past few years the UX team has been participating in the OTN Latin America Tour as well as other regions.  This year I was happy to accept their invitation to deliver the opening keynote for the Mexico City tour stop.

The keynote title was “Wearables in the Enterprise: From Internet of Things to Google Glass and Smart Watches.” Given the AppsLab charter and reputation on cutting edge technologies and innovation it was really easy to put a presentation deck on our team’s findings on these topics. The presentation was a combination of the keynote given by our VP, Jeremy Ashley, during MakerCon 2014 at Oracle HQ this past May and our proof-of-concepts using wearable technologies.

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I also had a joint session with my fellow UX team member Rafael Belloni titled “Designing Tablet UIs Using ADF.” Here we had the chance to share how users can leverage two great resources freely available from our team:

  1. Simplified User Experience Design Patterns for the Oracle Applications Cloud Service (register to download e-book here)
  2. A Starter kit with templates used to build a Simplified UI interfaces (download kit here)
    *Look for “Rich UI with Data Visualization Components and JWT UserToken validation extending Oracle Sales Cloud– 1.0.1″

These two resources are the result of extensive research done by our whole UX organization and we are happy to share with the Oracle community. Overall it was a great opportunity to reach out to the Latin American community, especially my fellow Mexican friends.

Here are some pictures of the event and of Mexico City. Enjoy!

 

Photo credits to Pablo Ciccarello, Plinio Arbizu, and me.Possibly Related Posts:

Oracle Voice Debuts on the App Store

Mon, 2014-08-11 16:05

Editor’s note: I meant to blog about this today, but looks like my colleagues over at VoX have beat me to it. So, rather than try to do a better job, read do any work at all, I’ll just repost it. Free content w00t!

Although I no longer carry an iOS device, I’ve seen Voice demoed many times in the past. Projects like Voice and Simplified UI are what drew me to Applications User Experience, and it’s great to see them leak out into the World.

Enjoy.

Oracle Extends Investment in Cloud User Experiences with Oracle Voice for Sales Cloud
By Vinay Dwivedi, and Anna Wichansky, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle Voice for the Oracle Sales Cloud, officially called “Fusion Voice Cloud Service for the Oracle Sales Cloud,” is available now on the Apple App Store. This first release is intended for Oracle customers using the Oracle Sales Cloud, and is specifically designed for sales reps.

Home_With_Frame

The home screen of Fusion Voice Cloud Service for the Oracle Sales Cloud is designed for sales reps.

Unless people record new information they learn, (e.g. write it down, repeat it aloud), they forget a high proportion of it in the first 20 minutes. The Oracle Applications User Experience team has learned through its research that when sales reps leave a customer meeting with insights that can move a deal forward, it’s critical to capture important details before they are forgotten. We designed Oracle Voice so that the app allows sales reps to quickly enter notes and activities on their smartphones right after meetings, no matter where they are.

Instead of relying on slow typing on a mobile device, sales reps can enter information three times faster (pdf) by speaking to the Oracle Sales Cloud through Voice. Voice takes a user through a dialog similar to a natural spoken conversation to accomplish this goal. Since key details are captured precisely and follow-ups are quicker, deals are closed faster and more efficiently.

Oracle Voice is also multi-modal, so sales reps can switch to touch-and-type interactions for situations where speech interaction is less than ideal.

Oracle sales reps tried it first, to see if we were getting it right.

We recruited a large group of sales reps in the Oracle North America organization to test an early version of Oracle Voice in 2012. All had iPhones and spoke American English; their predominant activity was field sales calls to customers. Users had minimal orientation to Oracle Voice and no training. We were able to observe their online conversion and usage patterns through automated testing and analytics at Oracle, through phone interviews, and through speech usage logs from Nuance, which is partnering with Oracle on Oracle Voice.

Users were interviewed after one week in the trial; over 80% said the product exceeded their expectations. Members of the Oracle User Experience team working on this project gained valuable insights into how and where sales reps were using Oracle Voice, which we used as requirements for features and functions.

For example, we learned that Oracle Voice needed to recognize product- and industry-specific vocabulary, such as “Exadata” and “Exalytics,” and we requested a vocabulary enhancement tool from Nuance that has significantly improved the speech recognition accuracy. We also learned that connectivity needed to persist as users traveled between public and private networks, and that users needed easy volume control and alternatives to speech in public environments.

We’ve held subsequent trials, with more features and functions enabled, to support the 10 workflows in the product today. Many sales reps in the trials have said they are anxious to get the full version and start using it every day.

“I was surprised to find that it can understand names like PNC and Alcoa,” said Marco Silva, Regional Manager, Oracle Infrastructure Sales, after participating in the September 2012 trial.

“It understands me better than Siri does,” said Andrew Dunleavy, Sales Representative, Oracle Fusion Middleware, who also participated in the same trial.

This demo shows Oracle Voice in action.

What can a sales rep do with Oracle Voice?

Oracle Voice allows sales reps to efficiently retrieve and capture sales information before and after meetings. With Oracle Voice, sales reps can:

Prepare for meetings

  • View relevant notes to see what happened during previous meetings.
  • See important activities by viewing previous tasks and appointments.
  • Brush up on opportunities and check on revenue, close date and sales stage.

Wrap up meetings

  • Capture notes and activities quickly so they don’t forget any key details.
  • Create contacts easily so they can remember the important new people they meet.
  • Update opportunities so they can make progress.
These screenshots show how to create tasks and appointments using Oracle Voice.

These screenshots show how to create tasks and appointments using Oracle Voice.

Our research showed that sales reps entered more sales information into the CRM system when they enjoyed using Oracle Voice, which makes Oracle Voice even more useful because more information is available to access when the same sales reps are on the go. With increased usage, the entire sales organization benefits from access to more current sales data, improved visibility on sales activities, and better sales decisions. Customers benefit too — from the faster response time sales reps can provide.

Oracle’s ongoing investment in User Experience

Oracle gets the idea that cloud applications must be easy to use. The Oracle Applications User Experience team has developed an approach to user experience that focuses on simplicity, mobility, and extensibility, and these themes drive our investment strategy. The result is key products that refine particular user experiences, like we’ve delivered with Oracle Voice.

Oracle Voice is one of the most recent products to embrace our developer design philosophy for the cloud of “Glance, Scan, & Commit.” Oracle Voice allows sales reps to complete many tasks at what we call glance and scan levels, which means keeping interactions lightweight, or small and quick.

Are you an Oracle Sales Cloud customer?

Oracle Voice is available now on the Apple App Store for Oracle customers using the Oracle Sales Cloud. It’s the smarter sales automation solution that helps you sell more, know more, and grow more.

Will you be at Oracle OpenWorld 2014? So will we! Stay tuned to the VoX blog for when and where you can find us. And don’t forget to drop by and check out Oracle Voice at the Smartphone and Nuance demo stations located at the CX@Sales Central demo area on the second floor of Moscone West.Possibly Related Posts:

We Have Slap Bands

Fri, 2014-08-08 09:34

As part of a secret project Noel (@noelportugal) and Raymond are cooking up, Noel ordered some AppsLab-branded slap bands.

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The bands were produced by Amazing Wristbands (@AMZG_Wristbands), and Noel has nothing but good things to say about them, in case you’re looking for your own slap bands.

Anyway, I’m sure we’ll have some left over after the double-secret project. So, if you want one, let us know.

Find the comments.Possibly Related Posts:

A Smart Holster for Law Enforcement

Thu, 2014-07-24 10:21

So, back in January, Noel (@noelportugal) took a team of developers to the AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon in Las Vegas.

Although they didn’t win, the built some very cool stuff, combining Google Glass, Philips Hue, Internet of Things, and possibly a kitchen sink in there somewhere, into what can only be described as a smart holster. You know, for guns.

You read that right. This project was way out of our usual wheelhouse, which is what made it so much fun, or so I’m told.

Friend of the ‘Lab Martin Taylor was kind enough to produce, direct and edit the following video, in which Noel describes and demonstrates the holster’s capabilities.

Did you catch the bit at 3:06? That’s Raymond behind the mask.

Enjoy.Possibly Related Posts:

So, a Researcher and Six Developers Join a Coding Challenge

Wed, 2014-07-16 14:07

Editor’s Note: Hey, a new author! Colleague and Friend of the ‘Lab, Joyce Ohgi, a principal usability researcher here at Oracle Applications User Experience, joined several of our guys and tall man, all-around good dude and Friend of the ‘Lab, Rafa Belloni (@rafabelloni), to form a super-powered team last week.

This is her story, as told from the inside. Enjoy.

I earned $600 in a coding challenge without writing a single line of code.

Well, strictly speaking, $600/7 = $85.71, 7 being the number of members on our team. The challenge in question? The Oracle Applications User Experience Beacons Developer Challenge, a contest between internal Oracle teams to devise a creative solution using Estimote’s beacons and Oracle Facilities data provided by Oracle Spatial.

We were given: the beacons, some sample data, icons, and images, an example app, a pack of poster gum to stick the beacons on walls, and the freedom to do whatever we could: 1) dream up and 2) execute in 48 hours.

Fast forward: Anthony Lai (@anthonslai) and I are standing in front of a room of developers and five judges about to give a presentation on our app, whose back end I still did not fully grasp. How did I get there?

My journey started two days before the official challenge start date. I ate lunch with Tony, one of the developers, and he suggested I join the team because “Why not? It’ll be fun.”

I had heard of the challenge but thought it wasn’t for someone like me, as my now-rusty coding skills were last used for an Intro to C programming class in college; what could I contribute to a contest whose purpose is literally to generate code? But I like Tony, and he promised me it would be fun. So I decided, well, if the team will have me, I’d like to try it out. So I signed up.

One day before the challenge: the team decides to meet in order to: 1) learn each other’s names and 2) come up with a list of ideas, which would be narrowed down once the contest started.

After we all introduced ourselves, the brainstorming began immediately and organically. But, to my surprise, not a single dev was taking notes. How were we going to remember all the ideas and organize ourselves?

As a researcher, one of the basic rules of my job is to always observe and always take notes.

I could be useful! I whipped out my handy iPad with keyboard case and typed away. But some of the ideas didn’t make sense to me, and for the good of the team, I realized I also should be voicing my questions and opinions, not just act as the scribe.

So, I asked questions. It was scary. I was worried they would tease me for not knowing the back-end stuff they were talking about, or for speaking about ideas in terms of users’ needs, instead of the system constraints or technology features.

But the team listened to me. They even agreed with me. Okay, they also disagreed with me sometimes. But they treated me with the same respect they treated each other.

Day of the challenge – final code check-in: Honestly, the whole coding challenge experience is a blur. As a researcher, I’m trained not just to always take notes, but also to take photos whenever possible to retain key details that could be otherwise forgotten.

I got so wrapped up in our project, that I didn’t take a single photo of our group. I did take several pictures of our competition though.

Luckily Kathy Miedema dropped by to wish us luck and also snapped a picture.

Mail Attachment

Photo by Kathy Miedema, used with permission

As for the experience itself, I can only attempt to describe it by painting a picture in words.

We are all seated in the AUX Team’s little Design Room. Although all the chairs are occupied, silence reigns, interrupted only by the soft clicking of keyboards, and the occasional low conversation.

Usually, the mental image of collaboration is of a group of people talking together in a group. But in this case, even though it looked like we were all doing our own separate thing, it was intensely collaborative.

Each of our parts would need to come together by the deadline, so we did constant, impromptu, little check-ins to make sure the pieces we were building would integrate quickly.

I checked-in constantly as well, seeking confirmation that, of the many research methodologies I could use, the ones I chose gave the team the data they needed, i.e. user interviews to capture wants, needs and task flows of the current processes and feedback sessions with key stakeholders.

By the way, if you are interested in learning more about research methodology, you can find more info at UX Direct.

So, back to Anthony and me, standing in front of a crowd, about to launch into our demo.

It was crazy; we didn’t have time to do a run-through before; we had some weird display lags using the projector and the Samsung Gear Live smartwatch; the script was too long, and we ran out of time.

Believe me, I have a list of things that we can improve upon for the next challenge, but our idea was good.

Technically, it was solid, because of the deep expertise of the team, which aggregated probably comes close to 100 years of total development experience, and it was based on real users’ needs because of my research.

Happily, we won 2nd place, and $600. Next year, we’ll be gunning for 1st and the cool $1000 prize, which would net $142.86 for each of us.

All kidding aside, it’s not about the prize money or the recognition. It’s about people using their unique skill sets to build something better than any of them could have built on their own.

I will close with a text exchange between Anthony and me, post-challenge:

Me: Thx for letting me participate. I enjoyed seeing “your world” aka development.
Anthony: Uh oh. We are a test species to you.
Me: Don’t worry. A good researcher observes to understand, not to pass judgment.

And later, when I was fretting that I cost our team the win by not contributing any code, Anthony wrote to me:

Contributing code does not mean contributing; contributing does not mean contributing code.

Editor again: Joyce thought the post needing a closing. Thanks to Joyce, Rafa and our guys, Anthony, Luis, Osvaldo, Raymond and Tony for all their hard work. Consider the post closed. Oh, and find the comments.Possibly Related Posts: