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 Contrary, if a system provides a frustrating, complex and outdated user experience, people will simply avoid using it.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 Sep 06, 2013

The Social Cloud Primer

The foundation for the socially-enabled enterprise is cloud-based platforms and software. It has increasingly become the accepted foundation for facilitating integrated processes and data across the organization. And there’s a lot of good news about that. After all, who thinks better efficiencies, more actionable data, improved customer experiences and lower costs sounds like a bad idea?

First, a refresher on what it means to be a socially-enabled enterprise.

Social has become essential for every consumer-facing department and business application. As silos crumble, an integrated approach to data is no longer an innovation or luxury…it’s what is required to remain relevant and competitive.

The socially-enabled enterprise is key for modern customer experiences. Social users are perpetually connected, mobile, and vocal. And because they expect gratifying, real-time responses, corporate workflows are getting spun like a top. Altimeter Group says companies manage an average 178 corporate-owned social media accounts, meaning that for social, systems are needed for publishing, analytics, listening, moderation, engagement, paid social, content management, social app development, marketing automation and admin…none of which can be islands unto themselves.

And that’s just social data. Enterprise data growth is expected to continue at 40% through 2020. The ideal scenario is for the value of all that social data you’re now pulling in to be amplified via integration with other core business applications. Now you’re discovering insights you didn’t know existed, you’re developing dynamic, real-time dashboards, reports and alerts for rapid decision-making, and you’re maxing out your Customer Service, Sales, and Support applications.

About now, you’re getting an idea of the speed, flexibility and processing power this ideal scenario calls for, and that’s where the cloud floats to the rescue. Only a cloud-based, enterprise infrastructure, platform and applications suite that extends social’s power across all consumer-facing touch points can give you the social insight + enterprise data combo that make actionable, real-time views of the customer work.

A 2012 Gartner Data Center Conference poll showed almost 9 out of 10 organizations were planning, piloting, or already using a private cloud. Others are deploying public/private hybrid clouds. But increasingly, businesses are seeing a) the need to process and utilize the vast amounts of Big Data now available and b) the need to rapidly, confidently deploy technologies that become available faster and faster.

With that kind of workload becoming the norm, on-site, traditional IT infrastructures are quickly becoming the most expensive, most inefficient proposition available. Data analysis is faster in the cloud, resources can be added and deployed as needed, and stakeholders can tap into the same data pool to satisfy their varied goals.

However…despite the benefits of systems being integrated in the cloud, many businesses are choosing the quagmire of using multiple cloud vendors for multiple processes. Recently, polled business managers reported staff downtime, missed business deadlines, and stunted innovation initiatives thanks to poor/no integration of cloud applications from multiple vendors. The 2013 InformationWeek State of Cloud Computing Survey showed 66% are using 2-5 providers, and 33% don’t integrate cloud services. It’s a one shop, legitimately integrated enterprise cloud that delivers the kinds of user experiences that make competitors sweat.

Adoption is happening. In 2012, spending on cloud tech was expected to increase by about 25%. IT departments inside the enterprise are standing toe to toe with the future, and must decide whether or not to up their strategic importance by embracing its changing role. Because with the enormity of intelligence that social offers, data collection, processing and analysis is the only hope of bringing order to metrics chaos so brands can fully reap the monetary benefits of intimately knowing their customer.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

Thursday Jun 13, 2013

Social Data Part 2: Socially Enabled Big Data Analytics and CX Management

This is the second in a series of posts on the value of leveraging social data across your enterprise, from Oracle Social VP Product Development Don Springer

In this post, I will cover more advanced “next” steps in how to leverage social data within your enterprise’s Big Data Analytics, Business Intelligence and Customer Experience Management deployed applications and systems. This is a follow-up to a post I wrote in April around the first step in implementing a Social CRM approach and the value for your enterprise specific social data.

[Read More]

Wednesday Apr 24, 2013

The Value of Enterprise Specific “Social Data” - Social Data within Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM)

This is the first in a series of guest posts from Don Springer, VP Product Development for Oracle Social and Pat Ma, Principal Product Marketing Director for CX and CRM on the value of leveraging social data across your enterprise.

Lately, we have been meeting with marketing, sales, services and IT executives at very large Financial Services, Consumer Products, Retail and Technology companies. They have all made significant progress in deploying social customer relationship management (Social CRM) capabilities, but are looking for more automated and powerful ways to socially enable their external customer facing functions. In essence, they want to do more with their Social Data. With enterprise data growth expected to continue at 40% through 2020, driven by consumer generated content, getting value from this data is becoming increasingly and strategically important.

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of first implementing a Social CRM approach, and the value your enterprise specific social data. In a future blog post, we will cover more advanced “next” steps in how to leverage social data within your enterprise’s Big Data Analytics, Business Intelligence and Customer Experience Management deployed applications and systems.

Below is a diagram that highlights a general process for leveraging Social Data as part of an overall Social CRM approach. Think of this as a process that tracks your social efforts across your customers’ life-cycles, starting with listening and point-to-point engagement to more broadcast communications efforts in a repeatable and flexible fashion.

Social CRM Process

chart

1. Listen.  The enterprise wants to listen to what people (customers, prospects, and influencers) are saying about their brand on social media channels.

  • Your customers are talking about your brand on social media channels. They are posting, tweeting, commenting, sharing, complaining and liking your brand.
  • Through Social Listening, the enterprise should figure out what their constituents are saying en mass, analyze sentiment, hear what they like and don’t like about your product, and know if they intend to purchase your product or not.
  • Your social listening approach needs to be accurate and filter out the irrelevant “noise”, to get to pure customer signal for analytics and engagement.

2. Engagement (1-on-1) The enterprise wants to engage with relevant social signals to interact with their customers, and determine how those 1-on-1 engagements perform. 

  • This can be done by asking your customers various questions, responding to their posts and comments, and creating engagement applications like contests and polls. 
  • Your social engagement should be used to listen and respond to social posts. Social posts should be automatically categorized by your Listen engine and flow from multiple social networks into one “inbox” designed to make managing your community easy and efficient, within your appropriate business function (sales, marketing and support).

3. Content and Apps (within your Enterprise’s Social Assets) The enterprise should leverage the lessons learned from your 1:1 engagements to scale what works within relevant content and apps you create, whether it’s user-generated contests, polls, videos, or other interactive content.

4. Publish (message through your social channels’ communities) The enterprise should continue to build on its learning on all your interactions with your fans and followers to publish and amplify relevant content to multiple social media channels.

  • Create great looking landing pages and publish to multiple social networks or embed on any website. 
  • This should be done specifically within your various channels focused on marketing, sales, service, and commerce.

5. Managed Workflows The enterprise should develop and deploy specific workflows so your assigned business functions (Sales, Marketing, Service and Commerce) are communicating the right message to the right customer at the right place and the right time.  

  • Social media teams are growing and becoming more global. Why take the risk of someone in your organization publishing off-brand information?
  • By using your listening engine to auto-tag customer signals, managed by function appropriate workflows, you can better control your points of communication (1:1, through content, apps and publishing) to improve ROI.

6. Analytics. The enterprise should create a culture that always analyzes your results and metrics to quickly capture lessons learned to establish a continuous improvement process.

  • This will enable you to show ROI on all your social media investments, pre, during & post-campaign across your owned & earned media to improve social performance.
  • This helps you optimize your efforts over time to get more lift and value from your resource and communications spend.

Makes Sense?

Once your enterprise has this Social CRM approach in place and functioning, you can take the broader “next” step to amplify your social value through integration into your other core applications, which we’ll cover in a future post.

To whet your appetite, you can socially enable your enterprise by creating a 360o view of your enterprise customers (both content and profile) to support:

  • Business analytics across all forms of structured (customer transactional and behavioral data), semi-structured (enterprise text sources that capture your internal customer conversations via chat, email, call center, etc.), and Social CRM unstructured data for:
  • Big Data insight discovery – finding insights you did not know existed
  • Business Intelligence - developing dynamic, real-time dashboards, reports and alerts for rapid decision-making.
  • Customer Experience Management applications already deployed and in use by your enterprise’s Customer Service, Sales and Service/Support functions for near real-time action (customer experience management).

Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

Talking Cloud in the Big Apple

Oracle held CloudWorld yesterday in New York City. You didn’t have to look far to see how important the cloud is to everyday life. It’s Spring Break for many schools across the U.S., and teens and tweens flocked to the Big Apple with their parents. It was hard to not to run into one of these young tourists, as they all seemed to be walking and using a smartphone at the same time.[Read More]

Monday Mar 11, 2013

Engage Customers and Get Customer Insight with New SRM Product

Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) is a product that helps you manage and scale your relationship with customers on social media channels. We have recently integrated four best-in-class social relationship management components - social listening, social analytics, social engagement and social publishing - into one unified interface to give you the most complete social relationship management solution on the market.

You can listen to what people are saying about your brand, engage with fans and followers, create content and apps, publish to multiple social channels, manage workflows, and analyze results and get social campaign metrics.

Only Oracle can connect every interaction your customer has with your brand. Our goal is to help you deliver the best customer experience wherever your customer touches your brand – whether it’s on the web, mobile, in-store, contact center, direct sales, and nowadays, this includes social.

See a demo of the new Oracle Social Relationship Management product here.

Read about the new Oracle Social Relationship Management product here:

• ZDNet – Oracle Pools Acquisitions for Cloud-based Social Management Suite

• MediaPost - Oracle, Adobe Separately Build Out Collaborative Social Suites

• Destination CRM - Oracle Launches Social Relationship Manager

• CIO Australia – Oracle goes after Salesforce.com with Social Relationship Management

• CMS Wire – Oracle Announces Unified Social Relationship Management Product for Cloud

 For more information or to get a personalized demo of Oracle SRM, please visit oracle.com/social.

Wednesday Jan 30, 2013

Social, Customer Experience, and the Cloud

Oracle held its second CloudWorld event in Los Angeles yesterday. Social permeated throughout sessions the entire day touching on customer experience (CX), sales performance, and service and support optimization.[Read More]

Friday Jan 18, 2013

Oracle's CloudWorld Kicks off in Dubai

January 15th 2013 saw the first stage of Oracle’s global CloudWorld tour kick off in Jumereiah, Dubai, with the first event attracting more than 1,500 IT and business decision makers from across the Eastern Europe, Middle East and African regions to learn about and discuss the latest developments and trends in cloud computing technology.

In addition to the huge number of attendees, the event also played home to 27 tier one journalists from 13 of the regions countries and a further 23 top industry analysts.

From a press perspective things kicked off on the Monday night prior to event where Alfonso di Ianni, Oracle’s SVP for the region held a well-attended media briefing and networking evening, where the excitement for the following day’s content and news was clearly evident.

When it came to the day itself, the weather was as ever Dubai beautiful and despite the unusually strong wind, the excited streams of delegates did not mind when doors opened and they bustled in to take their seats for Oracle President, Mark Hurd’s, keynote.

Unlike a typical technology keynote, CloudWorld, Dubai saw Hurd walking around the tables, talking directly to attendees and even asking them questions as part of his interactive kick off.

The packed keynote hall was then taken trough the latest developments in Oracle’s Cloud technology and its benefits to business and public and private sector industries, as well as demystifying many of the industry jargon and trends that have been driving the Cloud industry transformation.

The hall then welcomed Hemant Julka, MITand Hussain Shaikh, Vice President of Human Resources, Emirates Group to the stage, where people saw the power of the Oracle Cloud in full swing and how Emirates has transformed its business across the region.

A change of pace and subject matter followed as Charlene Li, Founder, Altimeter Group and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Open Leadership, (for slides mail) took the mike to discuss the importance of social in today’s hyper-connected world and the event hashtag #cloudworld went into over drive.

In fact during the day we saw almost 800 tweets from key Oracle feeds and more importantly from between the presenters and attendees.

As the morning agenda progressed, the attending press were whisked away for a 45 minute exclusive briefing with Mark Hurd, where they got to put their own regions specific questions to him as well as being granted a embargoed, but sneak peak of Oracle’s Infrastructure as a Service with Capacity on Demand (Oracle IaaS) that launched later that day.

Whilst Mark was face to face with the press, Steve Miranda, senior vice president of Fusion application development, Oracle, took to the main stage to showcase Oracle Fusion Applications and showcase some of the highlight’s Oracle 25 million users who rely on Oracle Cloud every day are having.

It was then time to take all that information and ideas from the morning and hit the network area with colleagues and newly made contacts over the break with some fine food and drinks before the host of targeted track sessions kicked off in the afternoon giving a deep dive into Apps development, Finance, HR, Sales and Customer Experience.

The day draw to a close with an elegant evening of networking over cocktails and light entertainment in the form of a Latino Band people had the chance to review and debate how the cloud will change their business and judging from the many comments on #cloudworld and the discussions that were taking place, people left feeling more ready than every transforming their business in the age of ‘collaboration and advocacy’

Thursday Jan 10, 2013

NBC Sports Chooses Oracle Cloud for Social Relationship Management

NBC Sports wanted to engage fans, grow their audience, and give their advertising customers more value. They wanted to use social media to accomplish this.

NBC Sports recognized that sports in inherently social. When you watch a game at the stadium or at home, you’re chatting with the people around you, commenting on plays, and celebrating together after each score. NBC Sports wanted to deliver this same social experience via social media channels.

NBC Sports used Oracle Cloud's Social Relationship Management (SRM) to create an online sporting community on Facebook. Fans can watch sporting events live on NBC television while participating in fan commentary about the event on Facebook. The online fan community is extremely engaged – much like fans in a sporting stadium would be during a game. NBC Sports also pose sporting questions, provide sporting news, and tie-in special promotions with their advertisers to their fans via Facebook.

Since implementing their social strategy, NBC Sports has seen their fans become more engaged, their television audience grow, and their advertisers happier with new social offerings.

To see how Oracle Social Relationship Management can help create better customer experiences for your company, contact Oracle here.


Watch NBC Sports Video: Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, describes how Oracle Cloud’s SRM tools helped the broadcaster engage with their fans on social media channels.

Watch Thomas Kurian Keynote: Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President of Product Development, Oracle, describes Oracle’s Cloud platform and application strategy, how it is transforming business management, and delivering great customer experiences here.

Friday Jan 04, 2013

Larry Ellison Doesn't Get the Cloud: The Dumbest Idea of 2013 by Bob Evans, Senior Vice-President, Communications

Excerpts Reprinted from Forbes OracleVoice Channel

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the talk among the chattering classes is that neither Oracle, nor company founder and CEO Larry Ellison, gets the cloud.Oracle CEO Larry Ellison (Wikipedia)

Yes, I know, that seems preposterous—regardless of how fervently some competitors want to believe it and no matter how many ways the cognoscenti try to spin it.

Their bizarre theory goes something like this: Oracle’s cloud products aren’t all available yet, most of Oracle’s current revenue comes from non-cloud products, Ellison has criticized the term “cloud computing” in the past, and–here’s their killer argument–all of Oracle’s competitors (and especially the most vulnerable ones) insist that Oracle doesn’t get the cloud.

“Larry Ellison doesn’t get the cloud”: will it become the great lie of 2012 in the tech business? Will it be the foolish and permanent legacy of those who repeat it? Or will history–not to mention marketplace realities–somehow reveal that Ellison “doesn’t get” an industry segment he helped to create and in which he’s been immersed for 14 years?

Here’s an example. Let me share with you a few excerpts from a recent Mercurynews.com column under a headline that begins, “With Oracle Vulnerable,….” The columnist never comes close to proving that Oracle is indeed “vulnerable,” but like the atheist in the foxhole he covers all his bets at the end with this line: “Oracle as underdog? Probably not.” You see, the game is not to prove that Oracle is “vulnerable” or that Ellison truly doesn’t understand cloud computing; rather, the game is to generate a lot of traffic and scuttlebutt with a provocative–and by his own admission, dubious–headline.

That’s just something you might want to chew on as you ponder whether Larry Ellison really gets the cloud.

So let’s consider what we know, not only because that’s the right approach but also because I would contend that most of the previous attempts at answering the question, “Does Larry Ellison get the cloud?” were entirely devoid of even a token gesture at mulling over some basic facts, including these:

  1. Oracle’s annual SaaS revenue is approaching $1 billion. That figure doesn’t include any cloud-related revenue other than SaaS. Seems like a pretty big number for a company that doesn’t get the cloud.
  2. Oracle began developing its Fusion applications for use on-premise or in the cloud almost 8 years ago. Now, granted, the term “cloud computing” didn’t exist back in 2004, but in spite of that Oracle was writing Fusion apps that could be used on-premise or over the Internet via software as a service more than 7 years ago. Maybe that was just dumb luck. Or, maybe Larry Ellison was seeing the big cloud picture 7 years ago.
  3. Oracle began developing its forthcoming database product, which will be optimized for the cloud, 5 years ago. It can be used on public clouds, private clouds, and hybrids. It has taken 5 years to complete because no other database in the world has such capabilities and Oracle wanted to get it completely right before its release. Maybe more dumb luck. Or, maybe Larry Ellison knows a thing or two about how cloud computing will benefit immeasurably from a cloud-optimized database.
  4. Oracle is the only tech company on Earth that has a full product line at all levels of the cloud: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service. Oracle’s new Platform as a Service suite is completely integrated with its SaaS suite for optimal security, performance, time to value, and ease of use. And for Infrastructure as a Service, Oracle’s Exalogic Cloud Machine can run any manner of cloud configurations the customer wants: an Oracle Cloud owned, managed, and operated by Oracle within Oracle’s data centers; a private cloud that Oracle owns, manages, and operates within the customer’s data center; or some combination. “Some of the biggest and best-known companies in the world are turning to the Oracle Cloud, and many are picking us for all levels of the cloud stack,” Oracle senior vice-president Abhay Parasnis told a room full of financial analysts, industry analysts, and media. “All levels of the cloud stack”—is any other tech company playing across those spaces? The answer is no.
  5. Oracle is the only provider of SaaS-based enterprise applications with social capabilities fully integrated into every app at the platform level. Oracle’s Social Relationship Management capabilities “bring social into everything” and can “light up our core LOB applications with social capabilities,” Parasnis said. No other cloud or SaaS company has attempted to do that—is that unique strategy a sign that Larry Ellison doesn’t get the cloud, or an indication that Oracle’s going to force all cloud vendors to try to deliver the huge customer value that social-everywhere represents?
  6. Oracle’s long-term commitment to the cloud has allowed it to incorporate modern features, such as social, plus new and essential capabilities, such as BI tools that LOB heads are demanding as they gain greater control over IT budgets and decision-making. Oracle executive vice-president Thomas Kurian told the analysts, “Ten years ago, the new E-commerce function necessitated a transformation of core IT systems, and today, social is exactly the same” in how it triggers sweeping changes in business processes, information flows, and IT architecture. “We’ve seen this movement to SaaS/cloud over a very long time, and have adapted accordingly,” Kurian said. Once again, is that a sign that Oracle’s clueless about the cloud? Or that it’s in a very enviable position with regard to the hottest trend in enterprise computing today?

For more details about Oracle’s approach, please check out the full story about “Oracle Cloud: Social. Mobile. Complete.”

On top of those facts mentioned above, here are some comments from Ellison himself, and perhaps they’ll help you judge whether he has a clue about the cloud.

In response to a question that began with the contention that until recently Oracle didn’t get the cloud, Ellison interrupted and said,Oracle CloudWorld “I founded the first cloud company—NetSuite—but I didn’t call it ‘cloud’ because nobody was using that term back then. I founded NetSuite, I own it—I’m not just an investor,” Ellison said, later adding that “I haven’t sold any of my [NetSuite] stock.”

“Then six months later Marc Benioff came to me and said, ‘If you’re gonna do accounting on the internet, I’d like to do salesforce-automation on the internet, and I supported him, and we did that—we just didn’t know at that time that it was going to be called ‘the cloud,’ ” Ellison said.

“What I objected to was when the recent and very charismatic term ‘cloud’ was retroactively applied to NetSuite and others—and what I ridiculed was this silly notion that everything is cloud.”

Ellison also mentioned his idea of the Network Computer and his launch of a company by that name many years ago to tap into the nascent world of interconnected devices: “we just didn’t know it was the cloud,” he said.

“So this idea that I didn’t get or don’t get cloud computing is . . . interesting.”

As for “interesting,” there’s an old proverb that says, “May you live in interesting times.” And I think that for cloud-computing companies competing with Larry Ellison and Oracle, life is about to get much more interesting than they would have liked.

Oracle is hosting CloudWorld events around the globe in 2013. To register for a CloudWorld event near you, please visit our website.

Wednesday Nov 28, 2012

Get Ready...Oracle CloudWorld is Coming to a City Near You in 2013

Is your organization considering the cloud for deploying enterprise applications? Are mobile and social part of your cloud strategy? If you answered YES to either question, then you should plan to join us at an Oracle CloudWorld event, coming to a city near you in 2013. If you attend, you'll get an opportunity to learn firsthand about Oracle Cloud, talk to product experts, see live demos, and network with other industry professionals. By the way, did I mention that Oracle CloudWorld is a FREE event?

Whether you're a C-level executive, line of business manager, or hardcore application developer, Oracle CloudWorld will have valuable information for you with keynotes, breakout sessions, demos, and dedicated tracks for:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer Service and Support
  • Finance and Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Application Developers
  • Applications IT
Click here to learn more about Oracle CloudWorld, including cities and dates. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday Nov 13, 2012

Spotlight on Oracle Social Relationship Management. Social Enable Your Enterprise with Oracle SRM.

Facebook is now the most popular site on the Internet. People are tweeting more than they send email. Because there are so many people on social media, companies and brands want to be there too. They want to be able to listen to social chatter, engage with customers on social, create great-looking Facebook pages, and roll out social-collaborative work environments within their organization. This is where Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) comes in. Oracle SRM is a product that allows companies to manage their presence with prospects and customers on social channels.

Let's talk about two popular use cases with Oracle SRM.

  • Easy Publishing - Companies now have an average of 178 social media accounts - with every product or geography or employee group creating their own social media channel. For example, if you work at an international hotel chain with every single hotel creating their own Facebook page for their location, that chain can have well over 1,000 social media accounts. Managing these channels is a mess - with logging in and out of every account, making sure that all accounts are on brand, and preventing rogue posts from destroying the brand. This is where Oracle SRM comes in. With Oracle Social Relationship Management, you can log into one window and post messages to all 1,000+ social channels at once. You can set up approval flows and have each account generate their own content but that content must be approved before publishing. The benefits of this are easy social media publishing, brand consistency across all channels, and protection of your brand from inappropriate posts.
  • Monitoring and Listening - People are writing and talking about your company right now on social media. 75% of social media users have written a negative post about a brand after a poor customer service experience. Think about all the negative posts you see in your Facebook news feed about delayed flights or being on hold for 45 minutes. There is so much social chatter going on around your brand that it's almost impossible to keep up or comprehend what's going on. That's where Oracle SRM comes in. With Social Relationship Management, a company can monitor and listen to what people are saying about them on social channels. They can drill down into individual posts or get a high level view of trends and mentions. The benefits of this are comprehending what's being said about your brand and its competitors, understanding customers and their intent, and responding to negative posts before they become a PR crisis.

Oracle SRM is part of Oracle Cloud. The benefits of cloud deployment for customers are faster deployments, less maintenance, and lower cost of ownership versus on-premise deployments.

Oracle SRM also fits into Oracle's vision to social enable your enterprise. With Oracle SRM, social media is not just a marketing channel. Social media is also mechanism for sales, customer support, recruiting, and employee collaboration.

For more information about how Oracle SRM can social enable your enterprise, please visit oracle.com/social. For more information about Oracle Cloud, please visit cloud.oracle.com.
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