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Resources and guidance for supporting employees, customers, and partners during this unprecedented health crisis.

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The Cloud, our best ally to navigate through uncertainty

Over the last 12 months, COVID-19 has accelerated digitalisation for Switzerland. The rapid digitalisation of many countries due to COVID came with the requirement to consider security first as everybody shifted to remote working. The exponential growth in cyber-attacks we witnessed in 2020 put increased pressures on Swiss CIOs to secure their business and customers. The cost of poor security has also not gone unnoticed. Cybersecurity at the core of Swiss business operations "Companies should integrate the transformation of their security structures more closely with that of their business." Urs Küderli Partner and Leader Cybersecurity and Privacy, PwC Switzerland* As highlighted in the 2021 CEO survey by PwC, the level of general concern on the part of Swiss CEOs about cyber-threats is extremely high. Of the respondents in Switzerland, 92% will step up their investments in digital transformation in the next three years as a consequence of COVID-19. Worldwide, the figure is 83%. Swiss CEOs place cyber-risks second (43%) on the list of potential threats to their companies’ growth prospects. This contrasts with only 26% (third place) in last year’s survey.  One of the reasons, according to the survey is that Swiss companies have plainly underestimated cyber-threats. Digitalization affects almost all the value creation chain, carrying opportunities and risks. The Swiss Cyber Security Days just took place earlier in March and as Nick Mayencourt, the programme director of the event and CEO of Dreamlab, suggests, it emerged that Switzerland is on track with some catching up to do in various areas like engineering training and innovation: “Switzerland underestimated the topic which is why we are somewhat behind concerning digitalisation and cyber security.”  Nick Mayencourt also emphasizes that this made Switzerland vulnerable for potential attacks. However, the country is aware of the urgency and recently identified it as one of its key issues: “Last year, a lot of damages were reported, particularly in the banking sector, but at the same time the efforts in this area are high. “Education and Research are focused on finding solutions rapidly now and the government developed a strategy for cyber security.” He is confident that Switzerland will catch up soon. How is the public sector preparing for the future? As new challenges arise every day, governments need to ask themselves a central question: how to prepare for the unexpected and what decisions should they take today to better prepare for tomorrow? To answer this and other questions, Deloitte’s survey “Digital Government, Public Acceptance on the rise” looked at key drivers of digital transformation to understand the perceptions of and expectations from the citizens in Switzerland about the current state of digitalisation in the Government and Public Sector. According to the survey findings, the time has come to think about long-term, innovative and far-reaching reforms to power up Switzerland. The pandemic highlighted some of its weaknesses, for example, one administrative service in Switzerland came under particular scrutiny: 1.9 million workers tried to register to receive compensation for short-time work. When this service came into use it soon emerged that it was not sufficiently digitised with breaks in its registration process and the impossibility to submit forms electronically having to be print out on paper and post them to the authorities. The future of Public Sector will be driven by community cloud. This shift is evident in Oracle’s engagements globally through greater citizen centric services coupled with digital services. The last 3 years has seen a rapid change in the cloud market that provides options to government for data sovereignty and cloud sovereignty that meets national requirements in a hybrid and data centric world. There are growing national pressures on budget, thereby seeking a shift to consolidate and redefine national ICT platforms through new operating models. We see an evolution whereby cloud will be the platform foundation to enable government execution for automating digital processes, while removing complexity in legacy systems that redefine workforce optimisation and enhancing security. A start for Digital Administration Switzerland The new organisation Digital Administration Switzerland is to be launched in January 2022 to advance the digital transformation in a coordinated manner across all levels of Government. There is often scepticism and reservations about collaborating with multinational foreign cloud providers. But, as Nathan Cook CTO National Security & Defence,  recently shared with NZZ this fear is related to data privacy and the fact that data could be accessed by third parties. As he assures, our industry has neither the appetite nor the interest to do so. Rather, it provides for data security and reliability as data is our DNA and its protection is paramount. Additionally, second generation cloud affords greater protections around data where CSP don’t have the ability to access customer data. Oracle has recently launched pre-built tools to automate threat response quickly and efficiently reducing customers’ cloud security risk at no additional cost. Our Oracle Cloud Guard continuously monitors configurations and activities to identify threats and automatically remediates them across all Oracle Cloud global regions. We have been in Switzerland for a long time, and since August 2019 we have our own data centre which offers public and hybrid cloud solutions to our customers. Our major European neighbours have also begun this digital transformation in their administrations. The latest example to date, the UK Ministry of Defence announced on 23 September 2020 that Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) had been selected to support the migration of its confidential data to the cloud. Why was it selected? Simply because it does not want to be subject to the changes in the world around it - but to anticipate and drive this change itself. By integrating OCI into its hybrid suite of services, the UK Ministry of Defence can flexibly manage its cloud solutions and take advantage of the various innovations brought to the market. The multi-cloud approach allows it to make the most of its data, an administration's most critical asset, all in a highly secure environment that meets its specifications. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning directly integrated into cloud solutions also provide real-time access to essential information - sometimes even before the operational need arises - and ensure a high level of resilience to the unexpected. It is for all these reasons that many customers around the world decide to migrate their data to the cloud. The last few months have led countless organisations to re-evaluate their IT needs. Every day we talk to companies or public institutions in Switzerland which need to upgrade their infrastructures without increasing their expenses or sacrificing the security of their data. None of us can predict what lies ahead in the coming months, but what is absolutely imperative for governments and businesses is to have technology that can help them meet these new requirements. At Oracle, we've been focusing on this for decades and ensuring our customers have resilient, high-performance, highly secure infrastructures. *quote in PwC CEO survey 2021

Over the last 12 months, COVID-19 has accelerated digitalisation for Switzerland. The rapid digitalisation of many countries due to COVID came with the requirement to consider security first...

Oracle’s Innovation in a New Generation of Cloud Applications

Digital transformation is nothing new, and the most forward-looking companies have been doing it for years. Yet in 2020, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of transformation to unheard-of speeds. Almost overnight, entire countries and industries had to change the way they operated. The businesses that were already on a software as a service (SaaS) and cloud journey prior to the pandemic had a head start—and in many cases, they fared better than those that put off transformation until the pandemic forced them to make the move. Businesses today have learned that a new generation of modern enterprise applications is key to helping them build a resilient organization—one that can respond and adapt to sudden shocks faster and more easily.   The importance of modern cloud applications Research firm IDC took a closer look at modern cloud applications in a recent report, Oracle Innovation Manifests in a New Generation of Cloud Applications. Author Frank Della Rosa, Research Director for SaaS and Cloud Software at IDC, writes: “Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications characterize this new generation of business applications and cloud services that are imperative for dealing with disruption from a position of strength.” The strength that IDC refers to comes from the common data model of Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications, supporting native integration across our Fusion Cloud line of business apps covering: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Supply Chain Management and Manufacturing (SCM), Customer Experience (CX), and Human Capital Management (HCM). According to IDC, “A new generation of cloud applications is intelligent, easy to use, and better positioned to meet the rapidly changing needs of today's IT and business buyer that expects a frictionless purchase and onboarding experience; a consumer-like, responsive interface that encourages user adoption; and faster time to value.” They are “smarter, are fully integrated, deliver faster time to value, and are easy to onboard and use.” With these capabilities, our customers are fast-tracking digital innovation in disruptive times. Reliable data is critical for decision-making In 2020, the world discovered that reliable data and processes are vital for survival—literal survival, in the case of vaccines and virus-tracking, but also economic survival, as we started to navigate the world of remote work and omnichannel fulfillment. Old business processes that didn't support rapid shifts were replaced with new digital processes, helping employees get access to the right data, at the right time, to make informed decisions and respond to their customers. Along with integration and reliable data, what are some other benefits of a complete, interoperable suite of SaaS applications? For one thing, you don’t have to uptake the whole suite at once; you can onboard new capabilities in weeks and migrate your line of business applications at your own pace. A complete, interoperable suite We often see scenarios where our customers have legacy systems from competitors and want to modernize and digitize key processes immediately. For example, SAP ERP customers often adopt Oracle Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) to improve their financial planning, reporting, and close process. Or they enhance their supply chain capabilities with Oracle Cloud Transportation Management, part of our SCM solution. This approach to transformation helps you meet the business's most immediate needs while migrating your creaking, legacy core systems at a slower pace to minimize disruption. (Learn more about our offerings to SAP ERP customers here.) Ultimately, as you transition more of your business onto the suite, you start to “eliminate the cost and complexity associated with a myriad of point solutions by investing in a platform that simplifies integration, features a common data architecture, and supports multiple deployment options.” That is a very compelling argument to adopt the next generation of application software—and be ready for whatever comes next. Read the full IDC report and learn more about Oracle's new generation of cloud applications. Watch highlights of our Oracle Live broadcast: Hear about innovations across our cloud applications suite from Steve Miranda, Oracle Executive Vice President, Applications Product Development, and his development leaders. Hear how our customers responded to the last 12 months of uncertainty by partnering with Oracle as their innovator of choice.                  

Digital transformation is nothing new, and the most forward-looking companies have been doing it for years. Yet in 2020, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of transformation to...

Three ways true cloud solutions can unlock a successful post-pandemic future

By Erik Ramström, Finance Transformation Advisor “The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” said Sid Nag, Gartner’s Research Vice President, in November last year. “The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organizations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the ‘new normal,’ now more than ever.” The statistics back this up. Gartner and Forrester forecast strong cloud adoption in 2021. Almost every business has come to recognise that without cloud technologies, there is no way so many people could have worked remotely and kept businesses running through various lockdowns. In short, the cloud has saved businesses and economies. Now, these organisations are realising the importance of maintaining and fine tuning that transformation journey. But what does this really mean to businesses? What are the benefits of a true cloud-based approach,  as opposed to running old technology on hosted servers? And how can true cloud solutions enable organisations to navigate a post-pandemic future? Here we have outlined three advantages. Agility, scalability and alignment for resilience and cohesion The only certainty of 2021 is that there will be more uncertainty. Faced with the prospect of continued disruption and uncertain economic conditions, businesses need to find operational efficiencies and build resilience. This means integrating disparate systems and removing siloes to improve the flow of information across an organisation. Through continued investment in cloud-based infrastructures and tools, businesses can drive process improvements and scale solutions across departments, improving efficiencies and boosting resiliency. “As businesses start to think more strategically about how to lay the foundations to support a return to growth, it is clear that the move to digital and associated services will play a big role for organizations in the future,” added Gartner’s Nag. “Cloud adoption therefore becomes a significant means to stay ahead in a post-COVID-19 world focused on agility and digital touchpoints.” Enhanced visibility enabling proactive, informed decision making and security According to a recent McKinsey report, “organizational speed is an essential ingredient for outperformance in times of unprecedented change.” As we have seen through the pandemic, fast decision making has been extremely important but it was forced by necessity. And yet, it is one of the most interesting organisational shifts of the past 10 months. So, how do businesses maintain speed and proactivity when there is less pressure to do so? What no organisation wants is to fall back into bad habits. Speed will continue to be crucial to success, especially as more firms have the capacity to use data analytics to inform decisions. The visibility, transparency and cohesiveness of a cloud-based infrastructure strategy will be fundamental to decision making in 2021 and beyond, as organisations unify data from all departments to ensure decisions are based on accurate intelligence. And this doesn’t mean security is compromised either. As a survey recently found, according to 63% of respondents, the cloud has improved cybersecurity protection.  Future proofing for automation, productivity and efficiency To really drive productivity and efficiencies, organisations will need to adopt increased automation. In many process-heavy functions, such as finance, this will become increasingly essential to reduce errors, ensure accuracy but also free-up valuable skills for more strategic financial roles. As a PwC report found, “30-40% of the processing time for several key finance processes could be eliminated with automation and behavior change.” With true cloud-based infrastructures and platforms, organisations have the ability to integrate solutions and build for the future, to embrace automation and use improved surveillance to pinpoint and resolve issues faster. Given the uncertainty of the coming months, this can only be a good thing.  

By Erik Ramström, Finance Transformation Advisor “The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” said Sid Nag, Gartner’s Research Vice President, in November last year. “The ability to use...

Flipping the odds in favour of your digital transformation

The ongoing COVID-19 socio-economic crisis has highlighted one more time that business agility is a critical success factor. During the pandemic, consumers have moved dramatically toward online channels, and companies and industries have responded in turn. Business leaders worldwide had to take quick actions to respond to the pandemic and its effects on customers, employees and their businesses overall. Thousands of companies had to craft crisis management plans, while many of them transitioned a significant part of their employees to virtual workspaces and increased their investments into new digital offerings for their customers by the same token. Change is constant so organisations need the leadership and an infrastructure that can adapt, scale, analyse, automate transactions, respond and alert in real-time. What is new during these times, is that many of us are forced to work from home. Obviously, this applies to customers, employees, suppliers, and partners alike. We are connecting through the public cloud, rearranging ourselves with our families at home, and many of us miss social interactions with our colleagues and families. At work, the pressure on supply chain management as increased drastically, business forecasting and scenario planning have generally become more difficult and less reliable as models race to catch-up. Business leaders are increasingly embracing new technologies that support modern ways of working. The new normal is about strategically combining effective data storage and the right software to collect, process, and act on it which we call applications. This is all about cloud-native platforms to orchestrate their supply chains as well as role-specific dashboards empowering employees in their home offices and allowing for instant glimpses into the state of the enterprise. After all, as employees we now expect the same seamless experience which comes with an increased level of automation, well-orchestrated business processes, actionable information at our fingertips. Digital adoption has taken a quantum leap The disruption of COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies. Many businesses had to at least find temporary solutions to meet the new demands and whilst the transformation is ongoing, these changes transformed businesses forever. Recent studies suggest, remote working and collaboration has accelerated by a factor of 43, this was also disclosed in a recent report by McKinsey. However, if a digital transformation remains a complicated and risky endeavour, when done correctly, it can lead to amazing, future-proof results. According to a new study by Nucleus Research in the past two years, cloud technology deployments delivered 4.01X the return-on-investment (ROI) compared to on-premises deployments, up from 3.2X during the previous two-year period and 2.5X faster recovery of initial investments, an increase expected to continue to grow rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates cloud adoption. One of the secret ingredients behind successful digital transformations is effective communication as well as support and understanding from leadership. Here we have seen how technology can help finance executives with forecasting activity and translating strategic information in a digestible way, as explained by University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland HES-SO’s financial director, Arnaud Rey, in a recent video interview. Indeed, real-time access to financial reports increases the visibility of live financial data. The next important ingredient for success, a coordinated and strategic approach for an integrated platform across all applications. Indeed, to fully benefit from the potential of AI and machine learning, the processes and data in place need to be secured first. Western Digital is a great example of how to set new standards with Oracle Cloud.  The storage company needed to make decisions fast, but with three legacy finance systems, it was hard to get a consistent, accurate view so It consolidated onto Oracle ERP Cloud to get a clear picture. A number of drivers, like executive buy in, clear communication, effective collaboration, support from C-suite along with the right integrated platforms are essential contributors to the successful adoption of emerging technologies. For it is only then that AI and advanced analytics can make the most of your data and play an essential role in improving efficiency and effectiveness of decision making.

The ongoing COVID-19 socio-economic crisis has highlighted one more time that business agility is a critical success factor. During the pandemic, consumers have moved dramatically toward online...

AI & Machine Learning – What’s really in it for your business?

Businesses today are realizing only a fraction of their artificial intelligence (AI) potential. But when, leaders leverage the potential of AI systems to transform not just how businesses do work, but also what they actually do, AI is becomes an agent of change. Consumer-focused businesses use artificial intelligence to help increase sales. Technology can more successfully suggest products that online shoppers end up buying and AI has also been successfully deployed to handle increased numbers of service calls. Chatbots based on AI handle 60 percent or more of incoming calls autonomously. Intelligent advisors also help service agents to be more efficient – all to the satisfaction of the customers. Let’s take a look at what AI enabled technology can do for the HR and finance functions. In HR AI can support talent acquisition by considerably reducing time to hire whilst improving the candidate experience. Another area which is being impacted is learning & development where companies are piloting Virtual Reality (VR) to train employees. And the most interesting use cases are about the use of virtual reality for compliance training. Chatbots gave a significant impact on the HR function. A great example is FedEx who is renowned for how it uses tech-fuelled innovation to constantly improve the delivery of packages and the information customers have about their package. In addition to focusing on excellence for customers, they also want enterprise functions like finance and HR to feel as innovative as the experiences it delivers to its customers, so the company drove a transformation using Oracle Cloud. They completely virtualized their model for deploying software and training people on new systems, enabling the team to stand up nine new local instances of Oracle Cloud ERP during the COVID-19 crisis with no interruptions to timelines. In the past, the company would send teams to a country deploying a major new system, staying there for weeks to set it up and train employees. The crisis eliminated travel to those countries, inspiring the successful shift to virtual deployments. There is consensus about the benefits of AI in the financial field. It enables transformational automation, freeing employees from mundane and repetitive tasks. Virtual agents, for example, can help increase the productivity a department carrying out tasks such as account reconciliation and compliance. Secondly, AI not only allows the extraction of new information but also provides so-called predictive elements. Third, AI can help CFOs improve their performance in areas such as cash surplus operations for early payment discounts, or supplier selection. More specifically, with AI, the company’s technology applications can be equipped with new functionalities that systematically and automatically check invoices for offers of early payment discounts and signalling these opportunities, so that the financial teams can better prioritize payment operations. Hearst Communications, one of the largest media and information services companies, needed to consolidate onto a state-of-the-art cloud financial, HR, and inventory management application platform to support the iconic media company’s strategy and growth ambitions. Their implementation of Oracle Cloud applications allowed it to improve financial reporting and gain insights in near real time while reducing IT support costs. Meantime, it reduced more than 15 unique charts of accounts down to a single one, enabling delivery of reports to senior leaders in a matter of minutes, improving decision-making. AI hasn’t always fully lived up to its expectations and even when it comes to improving less advanced algorithms, researchers can struggle with limited datasets and a lack of saleable computing power. But the pandemic accelerated the need for AI, and we have demonstrated how useful AI can be in fighting Covid-19, for example. In Switzerland companies are preparing to embrace AI across functions. During several dedicated sessions moderated by journalists from Finanz und Wirtschaft, we will be deep diving into what this means for executives and for financial institutions with WiseKey, one of Oracle’s first external trusted identity providers, allowing clients to securely add data onto the Oracle Blockchain Platform. This session will be about using emerging technology to meet trust, data and AI and how mathematics can support the financial system. As we enter 2021, the global workforce is still adapting to the new workplace. HR leaders see challenges in remote work, younger employees are seeking support, and countries are feeling the impact in different ways. But one thing is universal: people need more support and they're turning to their employers for help. Oracle expert Joachim Skura will decipher facts from fiction when it comes to turning technology into real productivity. With heritage hotels, luxury holiday resorts, business, and spa hotels around the world, Kempinski hotels are designed for guests who value five-star holidays and luxury getaways. Thanks to the Cloud, the group has embarked on a journey to empower its HR managers to attract and recruit talent, and all of its people to tap into global opportunities, increasing internal mobility to develop and grow within the group. This can only be made possible by setting a strong foundation through a state-of-the-art global HR information system. Diego Trupiano, Director of HR Information Systems, will share his insights on how our HR technology is helping Kempinski Hotels to empower and connect people whilst offering a continuous journey towards efficiency and excellence. To find out more about how companies in Switzerland make the most of AI, register here.    

Businesses today are realizing only a fraction of their artificial intelligence (AI) potential. But when, leaders leverage the potential of AI systems to transform not just how businesses do work, but...

2021 will be the year of the cloud startup

No one can predict what the weather holds for 2021, but the forecast for businesses is almost certainly "cloudy."  Forrester predicts CIOs will spend less overall as the pandemic keeps budgets under close scrutiny, but will embrace cloud-first platform strategies in a bid to streak ahead of competitors in the ‘new normal.’ This means startups using Oracle Cloud infrastructure (OCI) are well-placed for the uncertain year ahead, thanks to OCI’s high-performance computing power and real-time elasticity for enterprise applications. What’s more, members of Oracle for Startups can access OCI at a 70% discount, and enjoy free credits and other perks of the startup program. The forecast calls for clouds   The impact of Covid-19 in the workplace reinforced the value and necessity of cloud computing to the world’s economy and workforce, according to Forrester. The research firm noted that without cloud, businesses could not have maintained supply chains, pivoted business models, or let employees work from home. Its trend report says the pandemic has exposed ‘stark contrasts’ between companies that embrace cloud technologies and those that have yet to invest and are now lagging behind.  It predicts the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021, with three in ten firms accelerating their spend on cloud in 2021. This includes companies that are struggling to survive, as well as others “looking to leapfrog less wily competitors and gain advantage coming out of the pandemic.” “Leading CIOs will embrace cloud-first and platform strategies for speed and adaptiveness, eschewing stovepipes for end-to-end solutions,” the report says. How startups are using OCI Members of Oracle’s startup program are already enjoying the benefits of OCI at a 70% discount. For example, Oracle Cloud has helped Televindu financially. Øystein Hansen, cofounder of the Norwegian video platform, says, “The alternative would be to buy expensive computers right away so we would have had to set aside capital for that. With the virtual machine, it’s more pay-as-you-go, which brings flexibility in terms of scaling.” BotSupply cofounder Francesco Stasi praises OCI’s solidity. “We can be certain our customer’s data is always safe and private—that’s all taken care of,” he says, while Amro Shihadah, founder and COO, IDenTV likes that it’s low maintenance. “How everything seamlessly all integrates with the Oracle Analytics Cloud and capabilities is hugely beneficial for us and requires very low engineering on our part,” he says. Can OCI help your business, too? Embracing Oracle Cloud could help startups get ahead during turbulent times, by lowering costs, giving companies the power and security they need, and by helping startups to scale up. Compared to AWS and Microsoft Azure, OCI offers a lower cost in most products, particularly storage and networking, making it ideal for companies that want to save money. (Isn't that everyone?) Furthermore, Oracle for Startups gives growing businesses  a 70% discount plus free credits to get started.  Startups are discovering that OCI is also simpler to use and set up than alternatives, with hands-on migration assistance and consistent pricing worldwide, plus a flexible monthly credit model. See how OCI compares to AWS and Microsoft Azure. OCI is built to handle workloads from DevOps to high-performance compute including AI, machine learning, analytics, and data modeling. With per-second billing for bare metal and VMs, it offers enterprise power at a startup price tag.  While any company will be focused on surviving, adapting, and thriving in difficult times, using OCI means there is no need to worry about cloud security and performance. Startups that switched to OCI have experienced huge savings for outbound bandwidth, 2x better compute price and performance, plus 44% lower compute costs for HPC. Startups that are pivoting or taking advantage of new opportunities will also appreciate OCI’s enterprise-ready technology that’s built for scale. It means cloud resources that scale to meet demand, integrate with enterprise suites, and solve pain points for the big brands, making startups more likely to snag a dream enterprise customer that wants to take a chance on a smaller firm with major potential.  In short, Oracle Cloud helps startups move towards a bright future. Get started today.  

No one can predict what the weather holds for 2021, but the forecast for businesses is almost certainly "cloudy."  Forrester predicts CIOs will spend less overall as the pandemic keeps budgets under...

Optimizing Online Experiences to Address Accelerating Change: Lessons Learned from Motorola Solutions and Hyster-Yale

There’s a lot that can be said about COVID-19 and how it’s upended our lives, especially for those of us accustomed to regular business travel. However, without it, we likely wouldn’t have gotten the CX Virtual Summit, which brought us hours of educational content on the importance of leveraging data to maximize every customer interaction, and what role new technologies can play in supporting that effort. What made this latest summit on Responsive Selling in the Experience Economy so unique is that it opened with Larry Ellison’s predictions on what the future of CX holds. Following this headliner performance, was a Women in Leadership Panel featuring two Oracle CX customers, Susan Fisher, Senior Manager of Global CRM & CPQ Platform Development at Hyster-Yale Group,  and Susan Andreeff, Senior Manager and Agile Product Manager of Digital Commerce at Motorola Solutions, Inc. Both are reimagining how customers engage and purchase in complex B2B environments.  As Hyster-Yale and Motorola Solutions continue on their path of transforming the digital customer journey, they learned a few lessons, particularly during this time of business upheaval caused by COVID. While these lessons are relevant in today’s current climate, they really should be applied to the way we work every day, pandemic or not. Think about the customer, not just the technology As the impact of COVID-19 took hold, Hyster-Yale, a global manufacturer of fork-lift trucks with over 900 made-to-order models, experienced a shift in customers, both in who was buying, and what they were buying. This shift pushed digital plans to the forefront. Luckily, Hyster-Yale already had a configuration and quoting solution in place and was in the process of connecting it to a digital storefront for customers. Hyster-Yale sales reps too have turned to digital selling solutions as an alternative to their traditional face-to-face selling methods, and these tools are now working shoulder-to-shoulder with the reps, selling right alongside them.  Plan ahead, even if you don’t know what the future holds Putting the right solutions in place ahead of time will help prepare you for the unknown. In the case of Motorola Solutions, a leader in mission critical communications and services, this meant having a flexible digital solution. Oracle Commerce, in combination with Oracle Configure, Price, Quote, allowed them to pivot and react quickly as they witnessed rapidly changing market conditions. With their integrated solution, Motorola Solutions was able to shift business priorities and open a completely new route to market for business radios in just six weeks! Disruption happens, embrace it As COVID has shown, disruption happens, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Instead, embrace it and reevaluate your plans to prioritize the digital imperative today. But, don’t proceed with these new plans too hastily. Market leaders will be those who minimize interruptions to the day-to-day business while achieving their digital transformation objectives.   Susan Fisher and Susan Andreeff serve as great examples of what it means to be proponents of change. We will continue to monitor progress in their digital transformation journeys, and I expect to see more from them in the future.  That’s a wrap on the Women in Leadership Panel. Be sure to catch VP of Product Strategy Katrina Gosek and VP of Product Management Ian Davis’s session on Buying Signals and the Future of Sales and Commerce followed by a session with Director of Product Strategy Jeri Kelley and Senior Product Marketing Manager Shad Stalians where you will learn to Visualize Your Path to Digital Commerce Excellence.

There’s a lot that can be said about COVID-19 and how it’s upended our lives, especially for those of us accustomed to regular business travel. However, without it, we likely wouldn’t have gotten the C...

The Rising Importance of Visual Engagement During COVID-19

As the world continues to grapple with the global pandemic and social distancing guidelines, companies of all sizes are identifying innovative ways to keep their employees, customer service representatives, and end users seamlessly connected to ensure business continuity and growth.  Business leaders across industries have rapidly shifted their mindset as a result, emphasizing the need to expand remote collaboration, ensure contactless delivery of services, and reduce physical presence at local banks, offices, and stores. A vast majority of companies are looking to adopt visual engagement solutions that not only enable modern real-time digital and visual engagement with high efficiency at low cost, but also retain that seamless omnichannel customer experience. What is Visual Engagement? Visual Engagement is a powerful real-time collaboration concept that combines video, co-browsing, screen sharing, and/or screen annotations experiences. By adopting visual chat, agents can drive personalized, precise, and rapid problem resolution with end users. Let’s explore various industry use cases that are driving the need for remote collaboration using Visual Engagement tools and how Oracle Cloud CX addresses this market demand. Industry drivers for visual engagement initiatives In the financial services sector, many banking firms are now keen to transition to processes that let them verify their customers through facial ID verification software. Once verified, banks can provide invaluable services and complete transactions for customers using video, screen sharing, and e-signature. Banks see this as an important measure to prevent health risks for both employees and customers. This enables the banks to remotely and visually assist with account registration, loan applications, wealth management, portfolio guidance, retirement plan rollovers, home or group lending plans, and funds transfers while ensuring security and compliance for all shared content.  In the retail industry, stores and online retailers are striving to maximize remote support to prospective buyers, and remote support to customers for the assessment of damaged goods or for the return of merchandise. Thankfully, these online services can be executed effectively through the combination of video and screen sharing too, enabling visual assistance and quicker inventory walk-through. The end goal? To ultimately limit the need to physically visit the stores and encourage in-home delivery or curbside pickup. In the high-tech and manufacturing industries, customers often need remote support for electronics repairs. Additionally, field technicians are frequently required to visit sites to perform complex diagnostics and repairs for high-tech machinery and large equipment. For field technicians, particularly, reducing service time at the remote site is imperative during COVID-19. The good news is that remote support for customers and field technicians can efficiently be handled by in-house agents through video. Using powerful tools like visual annotations to pinpoint problems over video and drive faster diagnostics limits exposure and reduces overall service time and cost. In the healthcare industry, demand for telehealth soared during the pandemic. Patients now frequently exercise the option to schedule video appointments with healthcare service providers and doctors, using visual engagement methods to discuss questions on prescriptions or medical reports. In the public sector, state and local agencies now actively provide residents of local municipalities with online mental health services during the pandemic to manage stress and anxiety, provide social security services, resolve home or office space concerns, and process online applications for funds from unemployment claims. Visual engagement can play a vital role in providing remote support for these critical needs. And finally, as is already widely reported in response to COVID-19, most companies are facilitating virtual employee communication and collaboration through online meetings, video, and chat without the need to aggregate at the physical workplace, and serving as an effective replacement to the physical conference room. Oracle Cloud CX empowers digital and visual engagement Oracle CX’s modern real-time digital and visual engagement solutions not only enable powerful remote collaboration with consumers but also quicker agent-to-agent and agent-to-supervisor communication. As part of Oracle CX’s omnichannel suite, these solutions help sales and service agents provide a seamless and personalized experience as companies adapt to the new normal. Want to learn more about the fundamentals of visual engagement and how it can bring value to your business? Check out our guide on "Making Sense of Visual Engagement for Customer Service."

As the world continues to grapple with the global pandemic and social distancing guidelines, companies of all sizes are identifying innovative ways to keep their employees, customer service...

New York State Builds Rapid Contact Center Solution in Four Days

When the coronavirus hit New York hard in March 2020, the state realized citizen services would quickly be swamped and critical constituent needs would not be met. State leaders needed a way to quickly add new call center agents, and also needed to divert a significant percentage of calls to self-service. With information changing day to day, it was critical that the call center agents and self-service channels offer accurate real-time information. This included COVID-19 related information from the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the CDC, and financial and social services information from the NY Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services. And the state needed to execute all of this with a remote workforce spanning multiple departments and agencies in mere days. To create a scalable, reliable platform that would support its goals, the state’s Department of Taxation and Finance leveraged their existing instance of  Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) to serve as the foundation for the Consolidated Contact Center Department which would enable 4,000 workers to act as call-center agents, even though doing so was not their core job responsibility. Given the rapidly expanding crisis, New York State needed all hands on deck.  An intuitive elegant interface activates thousands of new call center agents Within hours, Oracle partner Speridian, who was already engaged with the Department of Taxation, helped  the Coronavirus Hotline team created 4,000 new accounts for the new workers who would be joining the front line response team. Designing an interface that was elegant and intuitive was essential, as the state did not have much time to train its employees on the system. Agents and self-service channels needed to field inquiries spanning a range of areas: COVID-19, other healthcare concerns, unemployment, financial assistance programs, mental health services, and even driver’s license renewals, trash removal, and more. Lastly, to be complete, the portal needed to enable online application support so that programs with eligibility requirements, such as supplemental nutrition assistance (SNAP), temporary assistance for families in need, unemployment -  could be run and managed online from start to finish. To get started, call center agents just needed an internet connection and a web browser. From there, they could securely access the Agent Interface and begin assisting with constituent inquiries.  From concept to completion: Four Days On March 15, New York State launched the New York Coronavirus Hotline. With Oracle CX Service as the foundation of the new hotline, the state was able to offer citizens and employees with access to key services via the communication channel of choice:  mobile phones, land lines, text, chat, email and the web portal. Robotic Processing Automation and Bots were deployed to constantly scan for new information from the CDC, World Health Organization, National Institutes of Health, Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services. Learn more about how three levels of government responded to COVID-19.

When the coronavirus hit New York hard in March 2020, the state realized citizen services would quickly be swamped and critical constituent needs would not be met. State leaders needed a way to...

The Rising Importance of Visual Engagement During COVID-19

As the world continues to grapple with the global pandemic and social distancing guidelines, companies of all sizes are identifying innovative ways to keep their employees, customer service representatives, and end users seamlessly connected to ensure business continuity and growth.  Business leaders across industries have rapidly shifted their mindset as a result, emphasizing the need to expand remote collaboration, ensure contactless delivery of services, and reduce physical presence at local banks, offices, and stores. A vast majority of companies are looking to adopt visual engagement solutions that not only enable modern real-time digital and visual engagement with high efficiency at low cost, but also retain that seamless omnichannel customer experience. What is Visual Engagement? Visual Engagement is a powerful real-time collaboration concept that combines video, co-browsing, screen sharing, and/or screen annotations experiences. By adopting visual chat, agents can drive personalized, precise, and rapid problem resolution with end users. Let’s explore various industry use cases that are driving the need for remote collaboration using Visual Engagement tools and how Oracle Cloud CX addresses this market demand. Industry drivers for visual engagement initiatives In the financial services sector, many banking firms are now keen to transition to processes that let them verify their customers through facial ID verification software. Once verified, banks can provide invaluable services and complete transactions for customers using video, screen sharing, and e-signature. Banks see this as an important measure to prevent health risks for both employees and customers. This enables the banks to remotely and visually assist with account registration, loan applications, wealth management, portfolio guidance, retirement plan rollovers, home or group lending plans, and funds transfers while ensuring security and compliance for all shared content.  In the retail industry, stores and online retailers are striving to maximize remote support to prospective buyers, and remote support to customers for the assessment of damaged goods or for the return of merchandise. Thankfully, these online services can be executed effectively through the combination of video and screen sharing too, enabling visual assistance and quicker inventory walk-through. The end goal? To ultimately limit the need to physically visit the stores and encourage in-home delivery or curbside pickup. In the high-tech and manufacturing industries, customers often need remote support for electronics repairs. Additionally, field technicians are frequently required to visit sites to perform complex diagnostics and repairs for high-tech machinery and large equipment. For field technicians, particularly, reducing service time at the remote site is imperative during COVID-19. The good news is that remote support for customers and field technicians can efficiently be handled by in-house agents through video. Using powerful tools like visual annotations to pinpoint problems over video and drive faster diagnostics limits exposure and reduces overall service time and cost. In the healthcare industry, demand for telehealth soared during the pandemic. Patients now frequently exercise the option to schedule video appointments with healthcare service providers and doctors, using visual engagement methods to discuss questions on prescriptions or medical reports. In the public sector, state and local agencies now actively provide residents of local municipalities with online mental health services during the pandemic to manage stress and anxiety, provide social security services, resolve home or office space concerns, and process online applications for funds from unemployment claims. Visual engagement can play a vital role in providing remote support for these critical needs. And finally, as is already widely reported in response to COVID-19, most companies are facilitating virtual employee communication and collaboration through online meetings, video, and chat without the need to aggregate at the physical workplace, and serving as an effective replacement to the physical conference room. Oracle Cloud CX empowers digital and visual engagement Oracle CX’s modern real-time digital and visual engagement solutions not only enable powerful remote collaboration with consumers but also quicker agent-to-agent and agent-to-supervisor communication. As part of Oracle CX’s omnichannel suite, these solutions help sales and service agents provide a seamless and personalized experience as companies adapt to the new normal. Want to learn more about the fundamentals of visual engagement and how it can bring value to your business? Check out our guide on "Making Sense of Visual Engagement for Customer Service."

As the world continues to grapple with the global pandemic and social distancing guidelines, companies of all sizes are identifying innovative ways to keep their employees, customer service...