Friday Mar 14, 2014

Managed Cloud Services: Governance Grows Up

 written by: Beth Ellyn Rosenthal, Outsourcing Center

Ask 10 people what constitutes a successful long-term managed cloud service relationship and you will get 10 different answers. But everyone will say governance is a key driver in every managed cloud services relationship, no matter the flavor, and will continue to be as long as buyers and their service providers have to work together.

But governance has been undergoing a constant metamorphosis since the days when Ross Perot took over some mainframe functions. “Governance has grown some teeth and the teeth are in the shape of dollar signs,” says Michael Alfonsi, managing director, Financial Transactions Portfolio, Americas for BancTec. “Governance, which started out as a service level agreement (SLA) development and management committee, has now become a true management metrics oversight body that assigns penalties or provides incentives (in more enlightened relationships) as it monitors the performance of the entire relationship.”

We asked a third party to survey a  panel of experts on what forces will change this bedrock function in 2014 and beyond. Here are their sage predictions. Click here to read the full article.

Friday Mar 07, 2014

Oracle’s Day in the Cloud in Melbourne

written by: Rushenka Perrera

Oracle CloudWorld in Melbourne took place on a steamy 32 degree day at the Grand Hyatt. The event kicked off with registration at 8am and the plenary at 8.45am. With 600 attendees, it was even bigger than the event we ran in Sydney almost a year ago.
The event featured six tracks focusing on sales/marketing; finance and operations; customer service; developers; IT innovation and HR. This CloudWorld had large numbers of attendees from all different lines of business as every effort had been made to make sure the agendas for each track were compelling enough to appeal to the specific needs of these busy individuals.
The plenary sessions were packed to the rafters. Tim Ebbeck, Managing Director for ANZ kicked off the proceedings and introduced Jeff Henley, Oracle’s Chairman who had the audience captivated with his presentation on Moving at the Speed of Opportunity. Jeff was followed by Reggie Bradford, SVP, Product Development, Oracle, Former Founder & CEO of Vitrue who presented the power of the Oracle cloud.


The plenary sessions ended with a panel titled ‘Transform Your Business’. The participants came from diverse backgrounds but provided highly engaging banter to challenge the perceptions of the audience and to introduce them to new ways of thinking. The panel lineup included a stellar cast:
Iain Clarke, Chief Technology Officer, Cloud Services, Capgemini Australia
Brandon Byrne, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Curse
Dr David Rock, Author and Director, NeuroLeadership Institute
Matthew Holst, Director of Demand Centre & CRM APAC, Dell
Anthony Micomonaco, Manager Knowledge Management, Product & Markets, National Australia Bank
The different track speakers also included some heavyweights including:
•    Hugh Macfarlane, Founder & CEO of MathMarketing | Author of "The Leaky Funnel" talking about integrated sales and marketing.
•    Dr Catriona Wallace, Customer Experience Futurist and Chief Executive on designing a high performance customer experience organisation for the future.
•    Dr David Rock, Author and Director, NeuroLeadership Institute on the neuroscience of developing leaders.
•    Brandon Byrne, Vice President of Finance and Administration, Curse talking about why Curse chose Oracle Cloud over the competition.
•    Iain Clarke, Director – Chief Technology Officer - Cloud Services, CapGemini and NRMA on how to drive end to end innovation around cloud adoption.
•    Matthew Holst,Director of Demand Centre & CRM APAC, Dell discussing Dell’s marketing journey using Eloqua.
•    Nigel Prior, National Customer Experience Practice Manager, NEC Australia talking about their customer experience strategy.
•    Robert Hillard, Managing Partner Technology Agenda, Deloitte on what the tech trends will be for 2014.


The day ended with Reggie Bradford summing up on customer expectations in the age of the modern customer experience and finally with Lauren Anderson, Chief Knowledge Officer at Collaborative Lab, really challenging the audience and wowing them with stories of new cloud innovation in her presentation on  a new world of consumer behaviours.

Friday Feb 21, 2014

You Are Not Even Wrong About the Cloud - Part 2

In the first part of this blog series, I described the orthogonal nature of costs and benefits with regard to Cloud computing. The mismatch between the forces that incur costs and rack up benefits has led to a general misunderstanding of this technology area. The first area for examination of this mismatch are the different audiences investigating Cloud computing.

The past couple of years have really reminded me of the early 90s, with Cloud taking the place of graphical user interfaces (GUIs). I distinctly remember being at the launch of Window 3.0, the first real GUI from Microsoft, the dominant client operating system. There were a bunch of crotchety old IT guys (who were probably younger than I am now) complaining about how they “weren’t going to buy 286s to run Windows”. And they were probably right. They didn’t buy 286s that year – they bought 486s in two years.

Because the wave of GUIs was an unstoppable tsunami. The client side of the environment went from green-screen/command-line to GUI in just a couple of years, whether IT liked it or not. The reason was simple: it was easier.

[Read More]

Friday Feb 14, 2014

You Are Not Even Wrong About the Cloud - Part 1

Many years ago, I read an article in The New Yorker about a math expert who was working as one of the early quants on Wall Street. One phrase from that article has become a part of my vocabulary – “You are not even wrong”. By this, the mathematician meant that the person was so far off base on a topic as to not even qualify as being wrong – it’s like they had left the universe of correct and incorrect on a certain topic.

I have used it over the years as a sarcastic description of some opinion I felt was on the far side of clueless. But, in reality, the description is not just an ultimate putdown of sorts. This phrase can apply to any ideas which don’t really apply to a particular scenario. The person expressing the opinion is not necessarily unintelligent, or even uninformed. They are just playing on the wrong field.

I’ve been product manager for the Oracle Database Cloud for the past 3 years, and I find that this situation is wildly common when people talk about Cloud computing. Seemingly everyone is excited about the possibilities of the Cloud, but the overwhelming majority of people are looking at this technology area from an inappropriate viewpoint.

Put simply, most believe the Cloud is magic. And we all know there is no magic technology – even a great advance like Exadata is a result of a bunch of good decisions implemented well.

The problem lies in something I refer to as the orthogonal nature of costs and benefits. When two terms are orthogonal, there is no statistical relationship between them. In the same way, there are important facets of Cloud computing where the costs and benefits stem from different places – places which are rarely united in a single world view.

This blog is the first of five parts. In the next three parts (with the first of these three parts here), I will discuss three prominent areas of orthogonal costs and benefits, which will help you to understand how to properly evaluate the what, when and hows of Cloud computing for your particular organization. The final part will be a general prescription on how to move to the Cloud to maximize benefits and minimize both problems and disappointments.

Tuesday Feb 04, 2014

Summary of Twitter chat about Cloud Odyssey, a sci-fi movie by Oracle

We had a twitter based chat with Rex Wang , VP of Product Marketing , Oracle and executive producer of the Cloud Odyssey, a sci-fi movie by Oracle. In this chat, Rex answered questions about the objectives behind the movie, how movie is made, technologies covered in the Cloud Odyssey events etc. Here is the summary of the twitter based chat captured as Storify story :
[Read More]

Friday Jan 24, 2014

4 Core Steps To Support Conversion Along Your Audience’s Journey

How do you facilitate more integrated demand generation campaigns? By delivering more rich information discovery and exchange on the channels where your audiences are interacting. Cultivate a role in the discussion, and optimize your activity mix to understand what’s effective, and how you can influence the engagement process in a meaningful way to your prospects and customers. To help you think outside your traditional marketing box,  here are 4 “building benefits” — or a phased approach — to optimize conversion rates throughout the funnel with marketing technology . [Read More]

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

Cloud Odyssey: A Hero's Quest, a sci-fi movie by Oracle, coming to a city near you

Cloud Odyssey: A Hero's Quest, a sci-fi movie by Oracle is about the journey of a crew of Earth’s top engineers to a mysterious cloud planet,Terranuvem . Learn more about the movie and how the hero's journey has similarities with an enterprise's journey to private cloud by joining a twitter based chat on February 4th at 10AM pacific time with Rex Wang , VP of Product Marketing , Oracle and executive producer of the sci-fi movie. You can participate in the chat using hash tag #CloudOdyssey on Twitter.com or by going to  tweetchat.com/room/CloudOdyssey (Needs Twitter credential for participating). [Read More]

Friday Jan 17, 2014

How Mobile & Social Increase the Value of HR Technology

By Mike Vilimek

wow

A key finding from CedarCrestone’s 2013 – 2014 HR Systems Survey was that improving the user experience is an important way to improve user adoption. It makes sense really. If a system provides an easy, modern, and engaging user experience, chances are more people will use it. Contrary, if a system provides a frustrating, complex and outdated user experience, people will simply avoid using it.


[Read More]

Friday Dec 13, 2013

6 Tips to Fuel Customer-Focused Marketing

written by: Amanda Batista

In the modern marketplace, no longer can customer and prospect engagements be relegated to generic, templated messaging. Because technology has, and continues to, evolve at a rapid pace, consumers are kept connected, informed, and empowered to make smarter decisions to support their goals. The Amazon.com “You Might Also Like Approach” consumers have become accustomed to as consumers has translated to our professional roles, and they expect relevant and compelling offers and communications from the brands they engage with.

Organizations also need to meet more demands for programs, such as digital marketing and social media — with fewer resources — but the lack of access to customer information can make it difficult to create and deliver compelling campaigns. While this has challenged organizations to rethink their engagement strategies to refine the alignment of marketing and sales communications, the digitally fueled ecosystem also presents unique and exciting opportunities for marketers and sales people to interact with consumers across more channels, enhancing the ability to garner important behavioral data to build out detailed profiles.

Moreover, organizations are challenged to take a metrics-based approach to better serve these more informed consumers. To deliver on the promise of relevant and value, marketing and sales teams must be aligned in their strategic measurements and engagement communications.

Cloud technology facilitates greater access to customer information, enabling you to have greater top-line revenue and return on your company's marketing investment. A modern marketing approach — with the right mix of process technology (science) and creative content (art) — can transform your business.

To help you think outside your traditional marketing box here are 3 “building benefits” — or a phased approach — to integrating marketing communications in the cloud:

1. Understand your buyer with a universal customer profile- The proliferation of engagement channels has ushered in a massive outpour of valuable data that organizations can use to expand their prospect and customer profiles. For example, marketers can include activities relevant to digital assets, and track customer activity through earned, owned, and paid media during the engagement process.

2. Align organizational business practices- Organizations that have done the hard work to agree on definitions must collaborate to set shared goals for their sales and marketing teams. To make this process easier and more transparent, they need a shared set of metrics to define the Sales/Marketing pipeline – and form “one view of the truth." This shared sales and marketing dashboard can be a “holy grail” because it allows organizations to understand the velocity and shape of the sales pipeline and make real-time adjustments if they see an opportunity or issue. In addition to optimized efficiency and more seamless execution, a key benefit of alignment is that the end user experience is optimized as a result of that united front.

3. Demonstrate value to your audience- With the buyer in the driver seat, marketers have to find a way to comfortably ride shotgun rather than being left in the backseat, or worse, not have the opportunity to ride along at all. To optimize customer acquisition and retention, marketers must continually demonstrate value and commitment to their customers. With the proper understanding of how today’s digital marketing technology enables you to know your buyer (and appropriately action the right marketing engagement).

4. Improve campaign results by leveraging digital body language and real-time data

Tracking marketing effectiveness helps marketing departments determine whether their campaigns have been successful in compelling prospects to take a desired action. Marketers can then fine-tune their strategies in the midst of a campaign while keeping executive management posted on how Marketing is helping to fill the sales pipeline.

Rethinking how to modernize your marketing technology tactics? Join us at Oracle CloudWorld for best practice insight, Jan. 29 in San Francisco.

Friday Nov 22, 2013

The World’s Gone Mobile. What Does that Mean for HR?

 written by: Stephanie Lepow

Today’s employees are accustomed to a new consumer-driven culture where they have a voice, are connected and can get things done when and where they want. Everywhere you look, people are tapping away on smartphones and tablets. And it’s not just about texting friends or posting Facebook status updates. Consumers today shop in their pajamas, and in the airport terminal and on their way to work. They pay bills while standing in line at the grocery store. They answer emails while waiting for their latte. Mobile technology—both the accessibility and the attention paid to delivering a simple and user-centric experience—has changed the way we communicate. This has spilled over into the workplace. In the 2013 Avanade “Work Redesigned” study of 600 executives, business leaders and IT leaders worldwide, 61% of companies report that most employees use personal computing devices at work. While most are still using phones and tablets for basic tasks such as reading email and managing their calendars, more than a third of companies say employees use the devices for advanced tasks such as customer relationship management (CRM), project management, content creation, and data analysis. The 2013-2014 CedarCrestone HR Systems Survey echoes this trend, noting that mobile-enabled process adoption grew 67% since 2012 with the most use in payroll, recruiting and performance management. CedarCrestone predicts that mobile-enabled processes will almost double by 2014.

Modern HR leaders are tapping into this trend, enabling their employees to access HR applications on their smartphones and tablets for everything from basic self-service tasks that used to require assistance from HR—such as updating personal data or reviewing benefits—to more complex tasks such as analyzing headcount reports and reviewing employee performance data.

As this video from Newfield Exploration shows, mobile applications can also play a huge role in keeping managers and employees aligned on objectives and performance goals, providing staff with real-time access to critical information, and connecting colleagues when they are spread out among offices.

Watch the video:

http://player.vimeo.com/video/74857035

Learn more about the role mobile can play in delivering an engaging and productive employee experience to your modern workforce. Join us at Oracle CloudWorld events happening worldwide, from now through April. At these free, day-long events, you’ll hear insightful keynotes and real-world case studies, have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demos, and get the chance to engage in honest dialogue with your peers. There’s an entire track devoted to modern HR so you won’t want to miss it.

See event locations and register now: http://www.oracle.com/events/global/en/cloudworld/index.html

Friday Nov 15, 2013

Cloud Odyssey and the Value of Shared Experience

When many people have shared an experience like a movie or a book, they have an immediate way of communicating, at the gut level, a difficult concept or a theme. Man’s relationship to nature, Avatar. A child’s ability to see the good in others, E.T. The thin line between good and evil, Batman: The Dark Knight.

This ability for a story to convey concepts is, in part, the driver behind the movie Cloud Odyssey: A Hero’s Quest (trailer).

[Read More]

Friday Nov 08, 2013

Oracle celebrates a successful Oracle CloudWorld in Bogotá

written by: Diana Tamayo Tovar

Oracle CloudWorld Bogotá began with scattered showers, rain and strong winds, inviting Colombians to spend a whole day in the social, mobile and complete world of Oracle Cloud. The event took place on November 6th with 807 attendees, 15 media representatives and 65 partners, who gathered to share the business value of Cloud along with Oracle executives and Colombian market leaders.

Line-of-business leaders in sales and marketing, customer service and support, HR and talent management, and finance and operations, shared their ideas with Colombian customers, giving them a chance to learn, discover and engage with the tools, trends and concepts of Cloud.

The highlights of the event included the presence of keynote speakers such as Bob Evans, Chief Communications Officer, and a customer testimonial session with top business leaders from insurance, finances, retail, communications and health Colombian industries, who shared their innovation experiences and success stories on workforce empowerment, talent management, cloud security, social engagement and productivity, providing best case scenarios on how Oracle has helped them transform their business with technologies like cloud, social collaboration and mobile applications.

The keynote session was preceded by a customer success story from one of the largest virtual network operator in the country, providing an interesting case study of mobile banking innovation and a great customer testimonial of the importance of cross industry strategies and cloud technology.

The event provided five different tracks on the main trends of how companies communicate and engage with different audiences, providing a different perspective on the importance of empowering brands through their customers, trusting and investing in technology for growth, while Oracle University shared their knowledge with “Oracle Cloud Fundamentals” a training lesson regarding Java Cloud, Database Cloud and other Oracle Cloud product technologies and solutions.

The rainy day scenario included sideshows of aerial acrobatics and speed painting performances to recreate the environment of modern and flexible Cloud Solutions in a colorful and creative way.

Oracle CloudWorld Bogotá was a great opportunity to expose invalid cloud Myths and the main concerns of the Colombian customers towards cloud, considering IDC Latin America studies stating that 93% of Colombian business leaders are interested in cloud but only 47% understand its business value.

Spending a day in the cloud with 6 demogrounds stations, conference sessions, interesting case studies and customer testimonials will surely widen the endless market opportunities for Colombian customers, leaving them amazed with how Oracle Cloud works towards integration with other environments, non oracle applications, social media and mobile devices with bulletproof security infrastructure.

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Oracle Cloud Solutions at Cloud Expo West

Oracle is proud to be the Platinum Sponsor at next week's Cloud Expo West in Santa Clara (Nov 4-7).  This is the third consecutive year that Oracle has been sponsoring Cloud Expo and each year our involvement and presence at the conference has grown. This year, we have a great lineup of sessions which I've listed below. If you’re attending Cloud Expo West, we'd love to have you attend our sessions that will show our thought leadership and leading solutions in the cloud. You should also swing by Booth #130 to see some of our latest cloud offerings firsthand.

Date  Time  Session Title  Track  Room
 Monday, Nov 4  3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Ten Myths of Cloud Computing - General Session All Tracks Ballroom A-H
 Monday, Nov 4  5:10 pm - 5:55 pm Driving Recurring Revenue Streams Through Cloud Billing Cloud Computing and Big Data M1
 Monday, Nov 4  5:10 pm - 5:55 pm An Introduction to Oracle's Cloud Application Marketplace Cloud Bootcamp Great America Room J
 Tuesday, Nov 5  6:25 pm - 7:05 pm Delivering Database as a Service with Oracle Database 12c Deploying the Cloud Great America Room 2
 Wednesday, Nov 6  5:35 pm - 6:20 pm Accelerating Your Journey to Self-Service IT Enterprise Cloud Computing B2
 Thursday, Nov 7  1:35 pm - 2:20 pm Oracle's Strategy for Public Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Services Infrastructure Management | Virtualization M2

At Cloud Expo West, you'll get to learn about and experience the latest in Cloud and Big Data. If you're in Silicon Valley or the Bay Area and don't have a pass to Cloud Expo, no problem. Oracle is giving away FREE VIP Gold Passes! We would love to have you be our VIP guest. Just go to Oracle's Cloud Expo 2013 event registration page and follow the instructions to get your complimentary pass.

Stay tuned to this blog and follow us on Twitter (@OracleCloudZone) during and after Cloud Expo for more of our insight and observations about this year's conference.

Friday Oct 25, 2013

State of Texas delivers Private Cloud Services powered by Oracle Technology

State of Texas moved to private cloud infrastructure and delivering Infrastructure as a Service , Database as a Service and other Platform as a Service offerings to their 28 state agencies. Todd Kimbriel, Director of eGovernment Division at State of Texas attended Oracle Open World and talked with Oracle's John Foley about their private cloud services offering.


Later, Todd participated in the keynote panel of Database as a Service Online Forum> along with Carl Olofson,IDC analyst , Juan Loaiza,SVP Oracle and couple of other Oracle customers. He discussed the IT challenges of  government organizations like state of Texas and the benefits of transitioning to Private cloud including database as a service .

Friday Oct 11, 2013

What's So Great About Cloud Social?

wowWell, it’s not like your company owns Facebook or Twitter, so the notion you can control and execute social “on-site” was always a non-starter.  What you can do is embrace and throw your C-suite weight behind Cloud Social…integrating social relationship management, social data, and social collaboration with other enterprise applications in the Cloud for real-time, actionable insight.


To do this effectively enough to revolutionize your customer experience and make them forever, undyingly loyal to your brand, there must be an overall adoption of Cloud computing and social’s place in it. That’s happening. But is it happening in your organization?


Respondents to a TechInsights Report indicated the cloud is maturing in the enterprise, with IT decision makers achieving better results, faster deployments and lower costs than expected. That was true across Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Given that, it’s no surprise we see increases in Cloud spending. Those using Cloud for 4+ years are nearly 6x more likely to report increasing cloud spending by over 30% this year. Cloud spending even amongst small to midsized businesses is projected to rise to $95 billion by 2015.


If you’re reaction to that is, “Goodie for them,” it might be time to run down the primary advantages of shifting to the Cloud.


  • Cost Savings: more power, speed and storage than you might otherwise be able to afford.
  • Ability to Innovate: cited as the top benefit by US respondents. It’s amazing what you can do when time and money are freed up.
  • Security: often cited as a concern, it’s actually a plus as cloud providers are often better equipped to guard data. Is your current on-site security flawless?
  • Disaster Avoidance: data is automatically backed-up daily and can be restored seamlessly.
  • Smarter Resourcing: stats show up to 80% of IT budget are bogged down in routine maintenance. Is that really where you want your money and the time of your CIO/CTO to go?
  • Options Aplenty: go with a private cloud, public cloud or hybrid depending on your needs and comfort level. The Cloud can scale as you grow.
  • Headache Reduction: fewer worries about updates, maintenance, support, and deployment.
  • Mobility: stakeholders can get what they need from the cloud any time, from anywhere, on any device, making collaboration downright modern.
  • Green: Using Cloud for storage uses at least 30% less energy than on-site servers.


Arguments against enjoying these kinds of enterprise efficiencies are getting harder to find. And where social is specifically concerned, the socially enabled enterprise is hardly possible without it. That’s a lot of incredibly valuable, freely offered customer data to be left chugging along in the slow, expensive lane.


@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

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