| In my last post, I provided an overview of Oracle's Joint Business
Review process and how it's helping us to build more strategic business
relationships with our customers. In this installment, I'll focus on a
few tools and best practices that are essential to the Joint Business
Review and how they are driving value for our customers.
Account Satisfaction Dashboard
At Oracle, we are committed to putting our innovative technology and solutions to work within our own organization. The Account Satisfaction Dashboard, built on our business intelligence platform, is one such example. We've created a dashboard for each of our largest 2,000 customers, providing real-time visibility into the overall health of the relationship. It evaluates customer satisfaction with their Oracle relationship across four core pillars - account team effectiveness, product quality, services and overall lifecycle performance - which contain 50 distinct metrics.
The dashboard leverages the red/yellow/green buttons similar to many of our customers and enables us to aggregate across customers, as well as drill down into the specifics for greater insight. The dashboard is foundational to our ability to conduct a complete health assessment as part of the Joint Business Review. It is equally important for day-to-day relationship management, allowing us to rapidly address emerging issues, target areas for improvement, and monitor progress - all from a single location.
In addition, related dashboards help strategic account program managers to focus on extending relationship reach with our customers. For example, they can visually map where we currently have strong relationships within a specific account, and which additional relationships we should pursue.
Strategic Account Plan -- Outside-In Process
The creation of the three-year strategic account plan is a significant undertaking. It is well worth the effort, however, as it enables us to collaborate more closely with customers, focus more intently on their key initiatives and business priorities, and ultimately provide greater value to our customers.
Specifically, the plans are designed to answer several strategic questions during discussions with customer executives:
- What are the customer's most pressing business issues?
- What initiatives are in place or are being planned to address those issues?
- How can Oracle technology help the customer progress the initiatives and resulting business outcomes?
- What are the next steps?
- How do we jointly measure success?
To help jumpstart the process, we've developed an outside-in perspective in which we've chronicled, by industry, key initiatives that similar organizations have pursued. This helps account teams to begin thinking creatively in a way that provides new value to the customer.
Customer perspective is foundational to the strategic review process. We convene ongoing focus groups, seek input from participants in our advisory boards, and incorporate these discussions into our quarterly business reviews. We also conduct detailed discussions with each customer as part of the strategic account plan process, focusing on their specific business, issues, and trends, as well as emerging requirements.
Oracle has standardized the Strategic Account Plan development process around the globe so that we can deliver a consistent experience and optimize the value of the process for our customers. When we first began, we had some process variations across regions, as is often the case with new initiatives. We later assembled best practices to create a globally standardized account strategy playbook. For example, we found that our EMEA organization had a great way of mapping customer initiatives to our product roadmaps. Another region had a very strong relationship planning template. As you might imagine, standardizing these things globally has a particularly positive effect on our customers who operate and engage with Oracle on a global scale.
The Value Book
Recently, we launched a Value Book as part of our Joint Business Reviews. This document functions as a "yearbook" of sorts for the account. It chronicles the relationship and initiatives over the years - and highlights the outcomes and impact of each. It creates a powerful narrative for the success that customers and Oracle have achieved together. It is also a beneficial tool for our customers in documenting and promoting the impact of their IT initiatives internally within their organizations. Further, the book is helpful when meeting with a new contact within an existing customer to bring them up to speed quickly on the history and value of the relationship.
Our quest to strengthen customer relationships and focus on building true strategic partnerships is a top priority for Oracle. I'm interested in what others are doing as well. If you've got ideas and opinions or can share your best practices, please post a comment.