Friday Feb 27, 2015

This Time What Happens in Vegas Won't Just Stay in Vegas: Join Us at the Modern Service Experience Mar 31–Apr 2 By Stephen Fioretti

With fast moving technologies in mobile and social, ever changing, blending and new interaction channels and rapidly change customer expectations, it’s more difficult than ever to deliver great customer service. It’s cliché to say that “service is the new marketing” but any interaction with a service organization through any channel creates an impression of your company. Great service often leads to customers recommending you to their peers.

To win new customers and retain your existing ones, you have to deliver a modern service experience. We are hosting an event on March 31 - April 2 at the Venetian in Las Vegas to help you learn how Oracle Service Cloud can help your company become a modern service organization. You’ll learn best practices from your peers, industry visionaries and Oracle experts. You’ll hear from industry analysts and influencers like Kate Leggett and Ian Jacobs from Forrester, Aphrodite Brinsmead from Ovum and more.  Customers from ASOS, BassPro, Comcast, Kohl’s, LinkedIn, Nintendo, Pella, Virgin America, Rockwell Automation and more will share where they are on their road to delivering Modern Customer Service.

You’ll hear about recent developments within the Oracle Service Cloud portfolio as well as new capabilities from two of our recent acquisitions: Oracle Co-browse (LiveLOOK) and Oracle Field Service Cloud (TOA Technologies). At our Ask the Experts sessions, you’ll have an opportunity to get one-on-one time with Oracle Service Cloud product experts in web self-service, contact center and knowledge management. We have put together a diverse agenda full of information and perspectives that will help you take your customer service strategy to the next level.

In addition to the great keynotes, roundtables and breakout sessions we've planned, we will also have plenty of opportunities for networking and fun! At an awards event on Wednesday morning, the Oracle Service Cloud team will present awards to some of our leading and innovative customers. And we hope you will join us that evening for the Service Cloud customer appreciation event at Tao Nightclub where we’ll dance, mingle and enjoy some great food and drinks. Later on that night, all of the Modern CX event attendees are invited to see One Republic perform.

It’s sure to be a productive trip, with opportunities to explore new technologies, trends and strategies, and to let loose a little with your peers and colleagues. As the saying goes; what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Well, except for all the great things you’ll learn and the connections you’ll make while you are there.  See you at the event!

To get more information and register for the Modern Service Experience event, click here.  

Are Your Sales Interactions on the Road to Nowhere?

How many innovative or disruptive products do you encounter regularly? Probably more than you think. An interesting article in BusinessWeek a few months ago shared the 85 most disruptive ideas of the past 85 years. When reviewing the list, number 16 seemed a bit out of place: a relatively obvious invention from 1956 – the first container ship followed by standard dimensions for shipping containers. While this idea may be obvious in hindsight, the impact has been astounding.[Read More]

Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Modern Sales Experience

Sales organizations are under continuous pressure to meet targets and deliver results, but the environment has changed – customers are more informed, they have more choices, and their expectations are higher than ever.  This is why we’ve compiled the best and brightest for our Modern Sales Experience Conference taking place March 31 – April 2, 2015, and we couldn’t be more excited! The Modern Sales Experience brings together a prestigious group of thought leaders and innovative companies who are leading the industry and making impactful changes in the areas of Sales and Customer Experience.

You won’t want to miss this event – but in case you’re on the fence and need a few more reasons to attend, we’ve compiled our top 10 reasons.

[Read More]

Friday Feb 20, 2015

Look Beyond Marketing When Considering Customer Experience by Gib Bassett

Most people think Customer Experience is about marketing, or the activities associated with the last mile of the shopping journey. However this misses the bigger picture of many factors that support a successful customer experience.

A great example of a company doing it right is 7-Eleven. As shown in this video, 7-Eleven leverages a common foundation for what it calls the “digital guest experience,” as well as its merchandising and accounting systems. In this way, 7-Eleven serves its customers personalized and mobile in-store offers. Where it goes beyond is in applying purchasing and behavioral insights to its merchandising and assortment strategies.

Less forward-thinking retailers could take a lesson from 7-Eleven’s approach. Consider the case of specialty retailer Wet Seal. I have followed Wet Seal for a few years – the company has been very progressive in its use of in-store mobile and social shopper engagement.

So I was surprised by recent news that the company was closing two-thirds of its stores. Reportedly, Wet Seal struggled to keep pace with fashion trends (style and price) – and experienced reduced foot traffic in the malls where it invested. Given their progressive shopper engagement practices, and the data and insights these efforts generate, I would have thought Wet Seal was in a better position to foresee changes in its customersand make different decisions regarding merchandise and assortments.

Wet Seal is not alone. Without an analytics-first approach to consumer engagement that encapsulates all facets of customer experience, retailers run the risk of focusing too heavily on the marketing aspect of the shopping journey.

For example, with deep analytics, Wet Seal would have noticed changes in customer behavior, such as greater price sensitivity, and merchandise indicators such as social chatter about preferences for competitor assortments. With such predictors of change in hand, Wet Seal could have altered pricing, promotion and assortments to stay ahead of customer preferences.

We should first accept that all shoppers are demonstrating connected behaviors, which make it essential and easy to understand what’s happening with them digitally. That’s certainly the case with 7-Eleven’s customers. Mobile and social channels can help shoppers navigate deals, alternatives and new customer experiences. Retailers can use this information to stay a step ahead.

In summary, retail customer experience should be based on an integrated view of the various business operations that support the customer’s experience. Marketing, store operations, online sales, merchandising, inventory, and service should operate off the same view of the customer providing agility and deep business intelligence.

Gib Bassett

CPG and Retail Industry Principal

Twitter @gibbassett

Friday Feb 13, 2015

ICMI Webcast: Forbes Reveals How Financial and Retail Companies Modernize Customer Service by Cedric Turner

Customers have lots of options. 
If you don’t deliver the right answers fast,
they’ll go somewhere else.

That’s one of the reasons knowledge is the top customer service investment, according to a recent Forbes survey of 400+ executives. Financial services and retail companies use knowledge to provide fast, accurate answers across channels—and better train agents—while ensuring 100% regulatory compliance.

Join this ICMI webcast on March 5 at 1 pm EST / 10 am PST to hear ICMI and Oracle discuss how companies are getting ahead on the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service.

You will learn:

Register Now


Joshua Dodge

Senior Client Success Manager, Oracle

Joshua Dodge, Senior Client Success Manager at Oracle, helps companies modernize their customer service organizations to drive more efficiencies and deliver a better experience. He helps clients accelerate their progress by partnering with them to develop a clear roadmap for modern customer service. Prior to joining Oracle, Josh worked in a variety of customer service and project management leadership roles, including at Sony where he managed call center operations globally, both in-house and outsourced. Josh earned his Master’s certification in Project Management and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Kris Friday

Principal Solutions Consultant, Oracle

Kris Friday, Principal Solutions Consultant at Oracle, works with global financial services organizations to help them grow client relationships through implementing customer experience and engagement tools. Currently, Kris is working with a number of Fortune 500 companies on developing knowledge management strategies for delivering highly personalized service at less cost. Prior to joining Oracle, Kris worked with contact centers in a variety of industries, advising them on technologies to enhance the customer experience and improve overall efficiency.


Erica Strother

Community Specialist, ICMI

Erica Strother is the Community Specialist at ICMI. With a background in marketing, public relations, and social media, she brings more than six years of community management experience to ICMI. Erica manages ICMI’s robust network of community contributors – 500 strong! She also hosts ICMI’s weekly tweet chats that feature dynamic, interactive discussions with thought leaders and innovators in our community. Erica produces our webinars and many other content initiatives like Contact Center Insider, our weekly newsletter. 

Wednesday Feb 11, 2015

Oracle Co-browse Recognized by Frost & Sullivan for Innovation and Product Leadership by Michelle Brusyo

On January 14, 2015, Frost & Sullivan presented the Oracle Co-browse team with the 2014 North American Co-browsing Applications Product Leadership Award at an awards gala closing out the Innovate the Way You Innovate event in San Diego, CA.

Accepting the award on behalf of Oracle, Igor Khalatian remarked that 2014 was an exciting year for co-browse technology. LiveLOOK, the company he founded in 2008, was acquired by Oracle with co-browse becoming an important feature of the Oracle Service Cloud solution. The product itself was re-imagined, completely changing the way that businesses can provide live help to online and mobile customers. Oracle Co-browse was designed to be fast and easy-to-use, while addressing the privacy and security concerns of enterprise organizations and supporting the wide range of evolving use cases for screen sharing during a service interaction. The ability to securely co-browse any combination of web, mobile and desktop content is unique to Oracle Co-browse, as is its ability to handle any type of rich web media, including responsive design. This feature, called TrueView, is one of the main reasons Frost & Sullivan recognized Oracle as the leader in co-browsing technology.  

Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ben Gresham noted in a February 11 announcement that, “Oracle Co-browse addressed the challenge of exactly replicating views with the TrueView feature. This solution presents agents with the actual views of the customers’ screens as they have it configured at their end. This is a huge improvement over screen-sharing and regular HTML-based co-browsing solutions because if the customers change display settings, the alterations are transferred to the agents in real time.” 

It is exciting to receive this award from Frost & Sullivan, validating that Oracle’s Co-browse solution is meeting an important business need to provide efficient, personalized service to online and mobile customers.  

If you’re looking for more information about how Oracle Co-browse compares to screen sharing and HTML-based co-browsing solutions, this outline goes through the differences in detail. Also check out the full report from Frost & Sullivan outlining the industry challenges that the Oracle Service Cloud addresses with its leading Co-browse solution here.  

Scott Seebauer, Michelle Brusyo and Igor Khalatian of Oracle accept the Frost & Sullivan award for innovation in co-browse technology January 14, 2015.

Thursday Jan 29, 2015

2015: A New Perspective on Millennials in Consumer Goods and Retail by Cassie Moren

Consumer goods (CG) companies and retailers are asking how they can better engage with millennials to buy their brands and get them in the store. Given the attractiveness and size of the millennial market (80 million), Interbrand and Oracle recently conducted a study to understand millennials from a behavioral perspective.

The research findings determined that five segment breaks exist within the millennial generation, based upon the clustering of their various attitudes and behaviors, each representing a cluster or “tribe” that behaves similarly: 1. The Up & Comers, 2. The Mavens, 3. The Eclectics, 4. The Skeptics and 5. The Trendsetters.

This is just a glimpse into the subsets within the millennial generation. What quickly becomes clear is that targeting millenials as a whole is ineffective as they range from financially-dependent teens to married homeowners with kids. By considering these unique segments and determining which have the most potential for your brand, there’s an opportunity to build a deeper connection and deliver an experience that will appeal to the next generation of customers. Here are five themes and technologies that brands need to consider in order to win millennials:

  1. Drive consumer acquisition, activation and advocacy anywhere, anytime through encouraging cross-channel consumer engagement
  2. Provide a personalized, rich and consistent commerce experience across channels through cross-channel commerce
  3. Create consumer-focused category, assortment, pricing and demand plans through consumer-centric planning and optimization
  4. Develop rich insights on consumers through retail and consumer insights
  5. Acquire and manage a single and accurate view of the consumer through consumer data management and activation

Read Report now

Friday Dec 05, 2014

Field Service Management Top Ten: Talking the Talk by Tori Ballantine

As with any industry, there is a lot of lingo involved when talking about field service management. Don’t worry if you don’t know all of the terms: we’re here to help. Here is a glossary of the top ten words and phrases that are frequently used in field service management.

1. Field Service Management

Field service management is the practice of organizing, scheduling, and routing mobile employees. This sort of management is critical to the success of businesses in a wide variety of industries and typically includes a dispatch or call center as well as a field workforce. Field service management is used by companies of all sizes, from smaller organizations with ten mobile employees to large companies with tens of thousands of staff providing services all across the globe every day.

2. Field Technician / Mobile Employee 

A mobile employee, referred to as a technician in some industries, is a member of an organization’s mobile workforce. These staffers perform services in the field – at customers’ homes, places of business, or in isolated areas far from population centers. These services are wide-ranging, and can include:

  • Delivery
  • Service and repairs
  • Safety and security
  • Installation
  • Maintenance

3. Mobile Workforce 

The mobile workforce collectively refers to an organization’s mobile employees. Mobile workforce sizes and types vary greatly between industries and specific companies. For example, some businesses employ only their own field staff while others rely completely on subcontractors. Many rely on a hybrid model, comprised of both direct and third-party mobile employees. One common theme that impacts all mobile workforces is the need to effectively schedule appointments and plan routes so that customers receive the best service possible.

4. Cloud Computing 

Cloud computing refers to a method of storing information on remote servers that are accessed through the Internet. When data is stored and processed in the cloud, it can be accessed by any authorized user who has an internet connection. This makes the information globally accessible. The opposite of cloud computing is storing data locally on a personal machine or an in-house server.

5. Software as a Service (SaaS) 

Software as a Service, or SaaS, is a model of accessing software via the cloud. All of the data and capabilities of the software are stored in the cloud. Users access the programs and information through the Internet. Simply, SaaS is cloud-based software. It provides an alternative to storing information on individual machines or local servers.

6. Web-Based Application 

A web-based application, or app, is accessed through the Internet. The opposite of a web-based application is a locally installed application: one that is downloaded onto a phone, tablet or other device. A good example of this is Gmail, which is Google’s email application. If you visit mail.google.com to access your email, you are using a web-based application. If you download the Gmail app to your iPhone via the iTunes store and then access your mail through the app, you are using a locally installed application.

7. HTML5 

HTML5 is a coding language used by developers when they create websites. HTML5 is the newest version of HTML, which is the primary programming language of the Internet. One of the most important elements of HTML5 is the connection it provides to the hardware, enabling access to the camera, GPS chip, storage and other functionality. Another significant feature is its ability to present multimedia content. This content can be successfully accessed and viewed by people who use different browsers and different devices to access the Internet. HTML5 helps preserve formatting and other important aspects on web pages – and helps provide the same experience to diverse users. Many modern web-based applications are built using HTML5.

8. Device Agnostic 

Programs and applications are considered to be device agnostic when they function equally well across all devices. This includes iOS, Android, and Windows phones; different tablet brands; and desktop / laptop computers. Web-based applications that support HTML5’s rich feature set–which provide enterprise-level security–are also device agnostic. This is the fundamental foundation of a device agnostic application.

9. Predictive Capabilities 

In software, predictive capabilities refer to the program’s ability to “learn” from data that is put into the system. Some field service management solutions, for example, are able to predict how long a job might take, based on factors like the how long each unique individual requires to perform a certain task and what inventory is available in each technician’s vehicle.

10. Context Aware 

When a program is context aware, it means that it provides users with precisely the right information they need – right when they need it. For example, on an iPhone, when a user has the option to input a URL or an email address, the phone offers a ‘.com’ button. This button is available when a URL or email address is requested; it isn’t there when a URL or email address isn’t in use. This capability shows an awareness of context.

For more information, please visit our website.

Tuesday Nov 25, 2014

The Increasing Role of ERP in Customer Experience and B2B E-Commerce

When most people in e-commerce talk about B2B they often talk about the consumerization of B2B and things they can relate from their experience in Retail (B2C).  I always want to tackle the bigger issues that are very specific to the B2B e-commerce community and the challenges that you face.  One of our greatest challenges is the role that our ERP systems play.

The increasing role of the ERP system

The complexity of our ERP systems is one of the key differences between B2B and B2C.  The reality is that we have to focus a tremendous amount of resources on integrating the ERP as it is the lifeblood of our company.  Think about this:
  • Integrating to the ERP system(s) will most likely be one of your biggest initial and ongoing cost in your B2B e-commerce project.
  • Most B2B companies have more than one ERP system because of multiple acquisitions and the time and cost involved in consolidating into a single ERP.
  • Many of the B2B features that exist on websites today are really just about making ERP functions customer facing.

You may now be asking "With all of that complexity, you see the role of the ERP system increasing?"

I do.

ERP the Foundation of a Great Customer Experience

In an  article by Manufacturing Business Technology magazine, their survey describes the increasing role of the ERP system in the Customer Experience.

The ERP has a significant role in streamlining interactions with suppliers and customers:

  • Nearly 40% of all IME manufacturers surveyed believe the ERP is vital as the platform that connects the back office and front office
  • Nearly 85% of large IME organizations with 5,000 employees or more indicated that their ERP is a vital platform for delivering a good customer experience
  • IME manufacturers have come to realize that providing superior customer experience has to be one of their top initiative

To improve our Front Office, we have to consider our Back Office.

When you think about it, most B2B e-commerce sites are simply about exposing specific functions of their ERP system to customers.

Take for example the shopping cart.  By providing an online shopping cart you move the transaction from your inside sales team entering orders into the ERP,  to your customer.  By giving them their pricing based on their terms and conditions and contract online moves that function from the back office to your customer.

Customer Facing ERP

Order status, inventory availability by location, ATP (available to promise), taking payments, and even providing the catalog itself is about giving your customers transparency into your back office.  Product content used to be housed only in marketing catalogs and cryptic codes in the ERP, now we have customer facing product content.

This transparency started very basic, but take a look at your backlog of customer requests.  Do you pick up any patterns related to your ERP?  I do not see that stopping.  If I am correct in stating the secret of B2B e-commerce is about helping your customers do their job easier on your site then that means giving them more and more access to complete self service.   ie More transparency into the ERP.  The new Customer Facing ERP.

Thursday Nov 13, 2014

Ray Wang keynoting at Oracle CloudWorld in Boston on Tuesday, December 9th

Are you ready for the Cloud? Are you ready to capitalize on fundamental technological, behaviorial, and market shifts?

Then join us at Oracle CloudWorld Boston on Tuesday, December 9 and find out how to modernize your customer service. Featured keynote speakers Ray Wang, CEO, Constellation Research, Jeffrey O. Henley, Vice Chairman, Oracle, and Shawn Price SVP, Global Cloud Go-to-Market, Oracle as well as industry-leading companies will show you how to:

  • Engage customers
  • Empower employees
  • Adapt quickly

Choose from interactive sessions and hands-on demos focused on marketing,
sales, customer service, human resources, finance and operations, information technology, and software development. You'll also have ample opportunities to network with your fellow customer service professionals. 

If you're tasked with changing as fast as your customers do, you should be here. 

Register now

"This event has my whole team really fired up!" 

Oracle CloudWorld Chicago 2014 Attendee 


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