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The Digital Experience Platform blog covers the latest in innovative technologies to help you transform your business.

Engaging Customers Online with WebCenter

Guest Author

The face of your company on the web is your website. So how
do you engage with them? Is the content fresh? Is the content engaging? Is the
content relevant to the customer? Is there a way to deliver a targeted and
interactive experience as opposed to showing everyone the same static website?

To helpMichael Snow us answer this, we interviewed industry veteran,
Loren Weinberg, VP Product Management for Oracle WebCenter. Loren was a pioneer
in the web experience management (WEM) space as a part of FatWire, a company
that was an early leader in defining the evolution of the market from web
content management to web experience management.

Michael: Loren, it’s so interesting this week during our
discussions of SharePoint that Web Experience Management isn’t something that
SharePoint really does very well at all. Is that why we never really run into
them with customers that are looking for complete WEM solutions? Loren Weinberg

Loren:  – Yes, Michael, you are right. Web Experience Management
is really all about customer engagement online – creating an interactive,
relevant and rich online experience (across web, mobile and social channels),
and using the web to achieve marketing and customer loyalty goals. SharePoint
in its essence is focused on the problem of document management and
collaboration – internal productivity is the goal, not customer experience. In
order to really provide a comprehensive Web Experience Management solution, you
need to have some essential functionality that SharePoint doesn’t offer, as
well as an orientation around marketing and customer experience.

Michael:  Let’s dig into this a little more. Aren’t we just
talking about basic WCM functionality?

Loren: – No, this goes well beyond WCM –WCM functionality is the
foundation. And it is an important
foundation for reasons of scale and flexibility of the system. However, WEM is much more than that. On top of the WCM foundation, WEM includes technologies
for targeting, optimization, user-generated content, end-user personalization,
mobile web, and much more. In today’s
socially enabled, multichannel online world, individuals increasingly expect
their online experiences to be rich, engaging, and tailored specifically to
their interests. It comes down to getting to know your customers and delivering
the most appropriate content and offers for their needs and interests across
all of the different channels of interaction.

Michael: So – are you just talking about personalizing your
experience? When I login to a corporate SharePoint site, it has the content
that I selected and the layout I wanted. Is there more than that?

Loren: – It is much more than that. Keep in mind that we’re
talking about externally facing websites that marketers are using to grow their
business and brand loyalty. Oracle WebCenter Web Experience Management platform
has a powerful rules engine with an intuitive interface that enables marketers
to define customer segments and create rules for what content will be targeted
and delivered to each customer segment online. This solution empowers a
marketer - a non-technical user - to manage both segmentation and content
recommendations. When visitors come to the Website, they are automatically
placed in a customer segment based on known or profile-based information about
them, their behavior on the site, or a combination of the two. Then the
appropriate content is delivered to them in real time. And we offer built-in
analytics for optimization of the site experience as well, so marketers can
continually tweak the website to maximize its effectiveness.

But creating a highly engaging web experience requires even
more. We also offer user-generated
content with enterprise moderation for creating an interactive online
experience, plus integration with third party social networking sites. We also offer end-user personalization and
site customization using gadgets. And
finally a mobility solution that makes it easy for business users to manage the
traditional website along with the mobile website from a single interface with
visual tools and previews, for seamless management of the online channel.

Michael:  Wow – no wonder we never see SharePoint. Tell me more about
personalization from the user’s perspective? I know that SharePoint allows
users to personalize their user preferences. How does our WEM solution deal
with that?

Loren: – Well, we go beyond that as well with our gadget
functionality. Oracle WebCenter gadgets provide website visitors with the
ability to customize their own online experience. We enable organizations to
create customizable dashboards made up of gadgets – which are basically small
applications that can then be personalized by site visitors. These can consist
of lists of articles, image slideshows, calculators or analyzers of data, blog
entries, videos, or any other content type. When visitors come to the site, they
can select which gadgets they would like to see on the site and customize the
settings of the gadgets to meet their informational needs and interests. This
enables organizations to offer a “MySite” page, where visitors have their own
area that they can personalize. Visitor preferences are saved, and their
selected preferences remain each time they return. The organizations own
gadgets and any third-party gadgets supporting the OpenSocial/Google Gadget
standards can be added to the list of available gadgets by Web content
managers. By allowing site visitors to create their own customized gadget
dashboards, organizations can provide a personalized and highly interactive Web
experience that engages users on a one-to-one level and keeps visitors coming
back.

Michael:  What about the social networks aspect of doing business
today? You mentioned social capabilities – what exactly does your WEM solution
offer here?

Loren: – Yes, Oracle WebCenter also provides multiple kinds of
social computing enablement. First of
all, we offer user-generated content tools with enterprise tools for moderation
and management. It makes it easy for companies to add social features—such as
comments, ratings, reviews, and corporate blogs—throughout their existing Web
presence and manage them as a seamless part of their Web platform. By offering
site visitors the opportunity to share ideas and feedback with one another,
companies forge a stronger bond with customers—a bond that drives loyalty,
sales, and business growth.

And IT doesn’t need to get involved with the daily
management of social content. Business users can review and moderate comments
through the same interface used for managing Website content, making user
generated content management a seamless part of managing the Web experience. The
functionality is natively integrated with the rest of the Web experience
management capabilities so that WCM tasks are streamlined across internally
generated and user­generated content.

We also enable seamless integration with third-party social
networking sites. Site visitors can be automatically authenticated on an
organization’s Website based on their credentials from social sites such as
Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. They can see content on the site recommended by
friends in their networks, and they can automatically disseminate content from
the site that is interesting to them to their friends on social networking sites.
Thus site visitors’ existing social identity is recognized immediately when
they come to the site, and the onsite experience is seamlessly integrated with
the rest of their online interactions and networks, driving relevance,
engagement, and ultimately customer loyalty.

Michael:  We’ve talked
about the important functionality like targeting and segmentation, personalization
and gadgets, and social computing integrations, but aren’t our users all over
the world accessing sites from laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other
channels?

Loren: Absolutely! Being able to interact in a multi-channel
world is essential for any successful WEM solution. You have to be able to meet
your customer via their preferred channel of interaction. We offer a
streamlined way to manage the mobile web as an integral part of a customer’s
online experience. Oracle WebCenter Mobility Server makes it easy to centrally
manage mobile sites directly from the Oracle WebCenter interface. Users can
edit content using rich text editor tools and then preview that content
directly in the context of the mobile Website and the traditional Website —all
from the same business user interface. Mobile preview is offered by device
family, so business users can navigate the site, in preview mode and manage the
site for each major device family – be it touch, smart-phone, tablet, or basic
phone. And fine-grained optimization is done at run-time for the thousands of
device types in each family. That’s a huge time-saver for marketers. You can
even make use of device GPS data to deliver location­-based content and
services. Organizations can provide mobile site visitors with
location­-sensitive search results, offers, and recommendations as well as
integration of maps or directions into site content, and much more.

Michael:  Thanks Loren –
that’s a lot of information – is there a presentation that people could watch
to hear more about WEM?

Loren: Yes – they could come to Oracle Open World next
week in San Francisco, where we have multiple sessions on WebCenter and Web
Experience Management. We also did a
webcast that highlights the integration strategy of FatWire and Oracle
technologies coming together as Oracle WebCenter that has a lot more detail
about our approach. People can view the webcast
here
. There’s also a lot more information
at this site: http://www.oracle.com/moveoff/sharepoint

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