Sunday Sep 30, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld Kicks Off Today Delivering A Full Week of Insight, Education, and Unique Experiences

San Francisco has been transformed into a sea of red and more than 50,000 attendees from 140 countries will converge in the Bay Area for a week of education and insight into Oracle's strategy and roadmap on today’s leading technology initiatives, including engineered systems, cloud computing, business analytics and big data, and customer experience. 

Tonight kicked off with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison discussing how Oracle is taking a fundamentally different approach to delivering technology that is engineered to work together to give customers extreme performance, simplicity, and cost savings.  The jam-packed week continues with:

  • More than 2,500 educational sessions
  • Nearly 3,500 customer and partner speakers from marquee brands sharing how they are using Oracle technology to power their businesses
  • Over 400 Oracle product demonstrations in the DEMOgrounds – make sure to stop by to see the latest demonstrations for our Customer Experience solutions including Oracle Commerce, Oracle RightNow, Oracle WebCenter, Oracle Fusion CRM, Oracle Social Relationship Management, and more.

With more educational content than ever before, OpenWorld also expands to include six sub-conferences within the main OpenWorld umbrella including the Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld which runs October 3rd-5th. 

All of this education and insight comes with some fun as well.  OpenWorld has become an exciting destination with new experiences unveiled each year including the debut of the first annual Oracle OpenWorld Music Festival, featuring some of today’s hottest acts, emerging bands and DJs over five nights playing at locations throughout San Francisco.

Our Customer Experience team will be blogging and tweeting all week to keep you up-to-date so be sure to subscribe to our Customer Experience blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook:

If you are at OpenWorld, we hope you have a great week and get the knowledge you need to take your Oracle applications to the next level.  And, if you were not able to make it this year, be sure to tune into the sessions that are broadcast live online

Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

The Customer Experience Imperative: A Game Changer for Brands

By Anthony Lye, SVP, Cloud Applications Strategy, Oracle

We know that customer experience has emerged as a primary differentiator for businesses today.  I’ve talked a lot about the new age of the empowered consumer. At Oracle we’ve spent a lot of time developing technologies and practices that our customers can implement to greatly improve their customer experience strategies.

Of course I’m biased, but I think that we have created a portfolio of the best solutions on the planet to help organizations deal with the challenges of providing great customer experiences. We’ve done this because we started to witness some trends over the last few years. As the average person began to utilize social and mobile technologies more frequently and products commoditized, customer experience truly remained the only sustainable differentiator for businesses.

In fact, we have seen that customer experience is often driving the success or the failure of a product or a brand. And as end customers have become more vocal about their experiences with companies on social and mobile channels, they now have the power to decide which brands will win and which brands will lose.

To address this customer experience imperative, I believe that business today must do three things really well:

Connect with your customers. You have to connect with customers whenever, wherever and however they want. Organizations must provide a great experience on their existing channels— the call center, the brick and mortar store, the field sales organizations, the websites and social properties. Businesses must also be great at managing and delivering journeys on these channels, while quickly adapting to embrace the new channels that emerge.

You have to understand mobile. You have to understand social. You have to understand kiosks. These are all new routes to market, new channels where your customers may or may not show up. You have to interact with them where they are. You have to present information in a way that's meaningful to them. As well as providing what we would call a multichannel experience. We have to recognize that customers may start their experience on one channel, but end it on a different channel. It’s important that an organization’s technology solutions enable, not just a multichannel strategy, but a strategy that can power new channels and create customer journeys that cross these channels.

Get to know your customers. Next, companies need to get to know the customer as intimately as the customer will allow. Today most customer interactions are anonymous, but it’s important for brands to know which customers drive value. Customers want to provide feedback. They want to share their opinions, but they want to know that those opinions are being heard and acted upon. For this to occur, we need to know much more about the customer and then reward them for their loyalty and for their advocacy.

Enable connections. The last thing is to enable people to connect or transact with your brand. We've got to make it really, really simple for customers to do business with us. We can't make them repeat the steps; we can't make them tell us their identity for the fifth time as they move between organizations. These silos can no longer sustain or deliver a good customer experience. It's extremely important that companies be where customers want them to be—that we create profitable journeys for us and for them.

Organizations have to make sure that there is a single source of truth that defines the customer. We have to make sure that the technology applications that we rely on understand not just the dimensions of multichannel, but of cross-channel too. We have to enable social at the very core of the overall architecture. We have to use historical analytics, real-time decisioning as well as predictive analytics to help personalize and drive an experience. And these are all technologies that IT needs, that IT is familiar with, but needs to enable for the line of business that in turn can enable for the end customer.  This means that we've got to make our solutions available to the customers in the cloud.

In this new age of the empowered consumer, businesses have to focus on delivery mechanisms that reduce the overall TCO, while driving a rapid rate of innovation and a more rapid rate of deployment.

At the Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld, I’ll discuss these issues and more. I hope that you can join us for what promises to be an unforgettable experience.

Tuesday Sep 18, 2012

Calling Knowledge Workers: Make a Difference in the User Experience

Do you consider yourself a knowledge worker? Do you have ideas of how to make CRM software work smarter so you don't have to work harder? The Oracle Middleware User Experience team will be conducting customer feedback focus groups at Oracle OpenWorld, October 1-3. All it takes is a couple of hours or less for us to learn from you. Customer participation helps Oracle develop outstanding products and solutions. Knowledge workers of all types are invited to participate: Finance, Sales, Human Resources, Marketing, Recruiters, Budget Managers, Project & Product Managers and more. To participate in these sessions you do not have to be registered for Oracle OpenWorld. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please email muxtesting_us at oracle.com with your name, company, job title, work and mobile phone numbers with country code, and email address.

Monday Sep 17, 2012

How Are Businesses Advancing with the Experience Revolution?

Businesses worldwide are operating in a new era. Customers are taking charge of their relationships with brands, and the customer experience has become the most important differentiator and driver of business value. Where is the experience heading? And how can businesses take advantage of the customer experience revolution? Find out from the experts at a one-of-a-kind event: the Oracle Customer Experience Summit at Oracle OpenWorld, San Francisco, October 3-5.

Our featured speakers are global visionaries including Seth Godin, George Kembel from the Stanford d:School, Bruce Temkin, Kerry Bodine and Paul Hagen from Forrester, and Gene Alvarez from Gartner. Featured industry leaders will include speakers from Athene Group, Bazaarvoice, Comcast, Consortium of Service Innovation, Haworth, Intuit, KPN, Marriott, Nikon, Quicksilver, Royal Caribbean, SapientNitro, Southwest, Stryker, Stuart Concannon, and Twilio. Featured speakers from Oracle will include Oracle President Mark Hurd, Anthony Lye, David Vap, Brian Curran, John Kembel, and Matthew Banks. So, please join us at the Customer Experience Summit at the Oracle OpenWorld Conference.

Thursday Sep 13, 2012

Why Deliver Customer Service in the Cloud?

In volatile, competitive markets, delivering exceptional service across channels is essential. But delivering world-class service on tight budgets, and deliving improvements quickly, is a tough challenge. That's why so many of the world's most successful organizations choose to deliver customer service in the cloud.

Example: Michele Watson, VP of Global Customer Care at Match.com, says Oracle's service in the cloud "helps our customer receive the support they need in real time, our contact center agents be more productive and helpful, and our executive and product development teams receive detailed feedback to continue our improve our customers' experience." Learn more here about why you should consider delivering customer service in the cloud

Tuesday Sep 11, 2012

Who is Jeremiah Owyang?

Jeremiah Owyang

Q: What’s your current role and what career path brought you here?

J.O.: I'm currently a partner and one of the founding team members at Altimeter Group.  I'm currently the Research Director, as well as wear the hat of Industry Analyst. Prior to joining Altimeter, I was an Industry Analyst at Forrester covering Social Computing, and before that, deployed and managed the social media program at Hitachi Data Systems in Santa Clara.  Around that time, I started a career blog called Web Strategy which focused on how companies were using the web to connect with customers --and never looked back.

Q: As an industry analyst, what are you focused on these days?

J.O.: There are three trends that I'm focused my research on at this time:  1) The Dynamic Customer Journey:  Individuals (both b2c and b2b) are given so many options in their sources of data, channels to choose from and screens to consume them on that we've found that at each given touchpoint there are 75 potential permutations.  Companies that can map this, then deliver information to individuals when they need it will have a competitive advantage and we want to find out who's doing this.  2) One of the sub themes that supports this trend is Social Performance.  Yesterday's social web was disparate engagement of humans, but the next phase will be data driven, and soon new technologies will emerge to help all those that are consuming, publishing, and engaging on the social web to be more efficient with their time through forms of automation.  As you might expect, this comes with upsides and downsides.  3) The Sentient World is our research theme that looks out the furthest as the world around us (even inanimate objects) become 'self aware' and are able to talk back to us via digital devices and beyond.  Big data, internet of things, mobile devices will all be this next set.

Q: People cite that the line between work and life is getting more and more blurred. Do you see your personal life influencing your professional work?

J.O.: The lines between our work and personal lives are dissolving, and this leads to a greater upside of being always connected and have deeper relationships with those that are not.  It also means a downside of society expectations that we're always around and available for colleagues, customers, and beyond.  In the future, a balance will be sought as we seek to achieve the goals of family, friends, work, and our own personal desires.  All of this is being ironically written at 430 am on a Sunday am. 

Q: How can people keep up with what you’re working on?

J.O.: A great question, thanks.  There are a few sources of information to find out, I'll lead with the first which is my blog at web-strategist.com.  A few times a week I'll publish my industry insights (hires, trends, forces, funding, M&A, business needs) as well as on twitter where I'll point to all the news that's fit to print @jowyang.  As my research reports go live (we publish them for all to read --called Open Research-- at no cost) they'll emerge on my blog, or checkout the research tab to find out more now.  http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/research/

Q: Recently, you’ve been working with us here at Oracle on something exciting coming up later this week. What’s on the horizon?

 J.O.: Absolutely! This coming Thursday, September 13th, I’m doing a webcast with Oracle on “Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise”. This is going to be a great discussion with Reggie Bradford, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Oracle and Christian Finn, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle WebCenter. I’m looking forward to a great discussion around all those issues that so many companies are struggling with these days as they realize how much social media is impacting their business. It’s changing the way your customers and employees interact with your brand. Today it’s no longer a matter of when to become a social-enabled enterprise, but how to become a successful one.

Register NOW! Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise

Q: You’ve been very actively pursued for media interviews and conference and company speaking engagements – anything you’d like to share to give us a sneak peak of what to expect on Thursday’s webcast?

 J.O.: Below is a 15 minute video which encapsulates Altimeter’s themes on the Dynamic Customer Journey and the Sentient World.

I’m really proud to have taken an active role in the first ever LeWeb outside of Paris. This one, which was featured in downtown London across the street from Westminster Abbey was sold out. If you’ve not heard of LeWeb, this is a global Internet conference hosted by Loic and Geraldine Le Meur, a power couple that stem from Paris but are also living in Silicon Valley, this is one of my favorite conferences to connect with brands, technology innovators, investors and friends.

Altimeter was able to play a minor role in suggesting the theme for the event “Faster Than Real Time” which stems off previous LeWebs that focused on the “Real time web”. In this radical state, companies are able to anticipate the needs of their customers by using data, technology, and devices and deliver meaningful experiences before customers even know they need it. I explore two of three of Altimeter’s research themes, the Dynamic Customer Journey, and the Sentient World in my speech, but due to time, did not focus on Adaptive Organization.



Monday Sep 10, 2012

Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise – Part 1

Reggie Bradford

By Reggie Bradford, Senior Vice President, Oracle 

Today, Mark Hurd, President of Oracle, Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President of Oracle and I discussed the strategic importance of how social media is impacting the enterprise and how it is changing the way customers, prospects employees and investors interact with brands worldwide. 

Oracle understands that the consumer is in control and as such, brands must evolve and change to meet growing needs. In addition, according to social media thought leader and Analyst from Altimeter Group, Jeremiah Owyang, companies now average 178 corporate-owned social media accounts. When Oracle added leading social marketing, listening analytics and development tools from Vitrue, Collective Intellect and Involver to its Oracle’s Cloud Services Suite we went beyond providing a single set of tools. We developed an entire framework to include a comprehensive social relationship management suite to help companies move beyond the social enterprise and achieve the social-enabled enterprise. 

The fundamental shift from transaction to engagement means that enterprises need not only a social strategy, but should also ensure that the information and data received from social initiatives flow back to marketing, sales, support and service. Doing so enables companies to deliver a proactive and compelling experience and provides analytics to turn engagement into opportunity – and ultimately that opportunity into revenue. 

On September 13, 2012, I am delighted to sit down with Jeremiah to further the discussion about how enterprises are addressing social media strategies and managing content. 

In addition, we will be taking your questions after the webinar via Twitter (@Oracle, @ReggieBradford, @cfinn, @jowyang). Use #oracle and #socbiz to submit questions and follow the conversation. I look forward to speaking with you and answering your questions online. 

For more information about becoming a social-enabled enterprise, visit www.oracle.com/social. And don’t miss the insights of other social business thought leaders at www.oracle.com/goto/socialbusiness.

Thursday Sep 06, 2012

Webcast: Oracle's Vision For The Socially-Enabled Enterprise

Smart companies are developing social media strategies to engage customers, gain brand insights, and transform employee collaboration and recruitment. Oracle is powering this transformation with the most comprehensive enterprise social platform that lets you:

  •     Monitor and engage in social conversations
  •     Collect and analyze social data
  •     Build and grow brands through social media
  •     Integrate enterprise-wide social functionality into a single system
  •     Create rich social applications

Join Oracle President Mark Hurd and senior Oracle executives to learn more about Oracle’s vision for the social-enabled enterprise.

 Click here to register.

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