Getting to the Cloud via New York City

A guest post by Melissa Vito, Senior Director, Outbound Product Management, Oracle Applications

America’s favorite pastime is watching TV, right? But wait! It seems we’re now spending more time monitoring Facebook than network TV, according to Jeff Dachis, a social marketing guru from the Dachis Group. I heard him share trends like this, along with observations and advice, at CloudWorld New York two weeks ago.

Dachis said that having the tools to express ourselves at any time to any audience has created the largest shift of the communications landscape in the history of mankind. (“The revolution is here!”) We’ve moved from “mass communications to a mass of communicators” which has a big impact on the way businesses interact with us as consumers. We’re leery of marketing copy and customer representatives who talk at us. We want to be engaged through social means and with recommendations. Therefore, he advises, for the sandwich shop on the corner (or any business) to be successful, it needs to identify its biggest advocates and mobilize them to get the good word out to us.

CloudWorld is an event where customers see and hear from industry experts, business leaders, partners, Oracle executives, and product experts all in one day! And CloudWorld New York didn’t disappoint. There was a sense of promise and pioneering about the event. Cloud computing is the latest innovation in technology, and according to many scientists, business leaders, and the marketplace, it is a historical game changer. The audience seemed to sense the transformation that was ahead for their businesses and was looking to Oracle for help.

Up for the challenge, Oracle Senior Vice President Joanne Olsen explained that CloudWorld demonstrates the important investment Oracle is making in the cloud. Oracle Executive Vice President Thomas Kurian, explained the developments driving cloud computing, including globalization, data explosion, and the rise of mobility. He talked about the dilemma facing CIOs to keep the legacy systems running while leaning into the new trends.

Then he shared the cloud capabilities Oracle offers and showcased some of our Oracle Cloud customers via video testimonials. The audience heard from Red Robin, Herbalife, Lending Club, Cricket Video, Breg, Key Energy, iRobot, NBC Sports Group, Siemens, Intel, and CRM IT.

Each one spoke of turning to Oracle to modernize its business. Some were replacing aging systems; many wanted a robust and scalable platform to bring together disparate systems. Some were new Oracle customers; others were building on their years of experience with Oracle. They talked about the speed of implementation and how that translated to faster ROI. Their business users liked having more control over the implementations and were impressed with the deep functionality and ease of use of the cloud solutions. The cloud gave them the opportunity to simplify IT and focus on the business. Several mentioned that moving to the cloud reduced their cost, their risk, their downtime — all of which are a reality.

The remainder of the day was full of opportunities to learn, network, and contemplate our cloud futures. One particularly interesting session was Clay Shirkey’s. He’s a best-selling author and leading voice on the effects of the internet on society. He talked about how social media makes impossible problems trivial and illustrated his point with the DARPA Challenge. A few years ago, this annual competition explored how broad-scope, time-critical problems can be tackled using social networking tools. A team from MIT received the $40,000 prize for successfully completing the complex task of finding the fixed locations of 10 moored, 8-foot, red, weather balloons in the continental United States. Historically, it would have taken days or even weeks to complete this competition. The winning team did it in less than nine hours by using social media!

“When people get access to systems that are cheaper and easy to use, they do things in a new ways,” Shirkey quipped. He talked about Foursquare (a social networking tool) allowing people to “see through walls” and to unexpectedly connect with friends in public places. Social tools improve social engagement, both of which are extending into the workplace. Shirkey cited a workforce study that showed that the best ideas come from people who have connections with co-workers in other departments – and in global companies with a growing number of remote workers, those connections have to be made through social networking. A number of Shirkey’s ideas reinforced Kurian’s statement earlier in the day that “social is business.”

For more information about CloudWorld and the remaining events, please visit the Oracle CloudWorld home page.


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