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

Thursday Sep 27, 2012

What You Can Learn from the NFL Referee Lockout

American football is a lot like religion. The fans are devoted followers that take brand loyalty to a whole new level. These fans that worship their teams each week showed that they are powerful customers whose voice has an impact. Yesterday, these fans proved that their opinion could force the hand of a large and powerful institution.

With a three-month NFL referee lockout that seemed like it was nowhere close to resolution, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks competed last Monday night. For those of you that might have been out of the news cycle the past few days, Green Bay lost the game due to a controversial call that many experts and analysts agree should have resulted in Green Bay winning the game. Outrage ensued.

The NFL had pulled replacement referees from the high school ranks, and these replacements did not have the knowledge and experience to handle high intensity NFL games. Fans protested about their customer experience. Their anger-filled rants were heard in social media, in the headlines of newspapers, on radio, and on national TV. Suddenly, the NFL was moved to reach an agreement with the referees. That agreement was reached late in the night on Wednesday with many believing that the referees had the upper hand forcing the owners into submission. Some might argue that the referees benefited, not the fans. Since the fans wanted qualified and competent referees, I would say the fans did benefit. The referees are scheduled to return to the field this Sunday, so the fans got what they wanted.

What can you learn from this negative customer experience?

  • Customers are in control. NFL owners thought they were controlling this situation with the upper hand over referees. The owners figured out they weren’t in control when their fans reacted negatively. Customers can make or break you more now than ever before, which is why it is more important to connect with them, engage them in a personal manner, and create rewarding relationships.
  • Protect your brand. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, the NFL put their brand and each team’s brand at risk with replacement referees. Think about each business decision you make, and how it may impact your brand at different points in time. A decision that results in a gain today could result in a larger loss down the road.
  • Customer experience matters. The NFL likely foresaw declining revenues in ticket sales, merchandising, advertising, and other areas if the lockout continued. While fans primarily spoke with their minds in the days following the Green Bay debacle, their wallets would be the next things to speak. Customer experience directly affects your success and is one of the few areas where you can differentiate your business.

What would you do if your brand got such negative attention? Would you be prepared to navigate such stormy waters? Would you be able to prevent such a fiasco? If you don’t have a good answer to these questions, consider joining us October 3-5, 2012 at the Oracle Customer Experience Summit in San Francisco.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn even more about customer experience from industry experts such as best-selling author Seth Godin, Paul Hagen and Kerry Bodine from Forrester Research, Inc., George Kembel from the Stanford d.School, Bruce Temkin of The Temkin Group, and Gene Alvarez from Gartner Inc.. There will also be plenty of your peers and customer experience experts available for networking and discussions.

RightNow CX @ OpenWorld: What to Experience

RightNowWe want to welcome our RightNow CX customers to Oracle OpenWorld next week. Get ready for a great week and a whole new experience!

For a high level overview of what is going on during the week, please review these previous posts: Is There a Cloud Over OpenWorld? and What to "CRM" in San Francisco? CRM Highlights for OpenWorld '12. Also, don't forget you can add on the Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld to make your week even more complete and get involved with the Experience Revolution!

Below is a highlight of only some of the RightNow related sessions at OpenWorld. Please use OpenWorld Schedule Builder or check the OpenWorld Content Catalog for all of the session details and any time or location changes. Tip: Pre-enrolled session registrants via Schedule Builder are allowed into the session rooms before anyone else, so Schedule Builder will guarantee you a seat. Many of the sessions below will likely be at capacity.

No better way to start off than hearing where Oracle RightNow is going!

Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service Vision and Roadmap (CON9764) - Oct 1, 10:45 AM. Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service combines Web, social, and contact center experiences for a unified, cross-channel service solution in the cloud, enabling organizations to increase sales and adoption, build trust, strengthen relationships, and reduce costs and effort. Come to this session to hear from David Vap and his team of Oracle experts about where the product is going and how Oracle is committed to accelerating the pace of innovation and value to its customers.

Oracle OpenWorldInterested in the Cloud and want to know why some leading CIOs are moving to the cloud? You can hear first hand from CIOs from Emerson, Intuit and CIOs and Governance in the Cloud (CON9767) - Oct 3, 11:45 AM.  

And of course there are a number of sessions that drill down into more specific areas. Here are just a few:

  • Deliver Outstanding Customer Experiences: Oracle RightNow Dynamic Agent Desktop Cloud Service (CON9771) - Oct 1, 4:45 PM. This session covers how companies have delivered exceptional customer experiences and how the Oracle RightNow Dynamic Agent Desktop Cloud Service roadmap will evolve in the future. The Oracle RightNow Contact Center Experience suite includes incident management, knowledge, guided processes, and other service capabilities to unify the customer experience across channels. Come learn about the powerful tools that enable even your junior agents to consistently provide outstanding service across all customer interaction channels.
  • Self-Service in the Age of Data Intimacy (CON11516) - Oct 1, 3:15. Even though businesses are generating more and more data around their relationships and interactions with customers, very little of the information a business generates ends up available to the contact center and even less is made available to the online service experience. The generic one-size-fits-all approach that typifies most online service experiences ultimately fails to address all user needs, and that failure ultimately leads to the continued use of high-cost agent-assisted channels for low-value interactions. This session introduces Oracle RightNow Web Experience’s Virtual Assistant and discusses how you can deliver rich, engaging, highly personalized experiences with the quality of agent-assisted service at a much lower cost.
  • Improve Chat Experiences: Best Practices for Chat Pilots and Deployments (CON11517) - Oct 1, 4:45 PM. Today’s organizations are challenged to grow revenue and retain customers with fewer resources, and many have turned to chat as an approach to improving the customer experience, increasing sales conversions, and reducing costs at the same time. From setting goals and metrics and training staff to customizing and tuning the solution, this session provides best practices and lessons learned from a broad set of implementations to help you get the most out of your chat solution.
  • Differentiated Experience with Web Service (CON9770) - Oct 2, 1:15 PM. A reputation for excellent customer service can differentiate your brand and drive revenue. In this session, learn how to develop that reputation by transforming your online self-service into a highly interactive, branded customer experience. See live examples of how Oracle RightNow Web Experience has helped customers deliver on their Web service strategies.
  • Unifying the Agent’s Engagement Console (CON11518) - Oct 2, 1:15 PM. Does your customer experience suffer because your agents are toggling between multiple tools? Do your agent productivity and morale suffer as well? Come to this session to learn how Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service seamlessly unifies these disparate systems into a single engagement console. Regardless of channel, powerful adaptive tools consistently guide agents across contextually aware personalized workflows. Great agent experiences drive great customer experiences.
  • Oracle RightNow CX Cloud Service and the Oracle Customer Experience Portfolio (CON9775) - Oct 3, 10:15 AM. This session covers how Oracle’s integrated suite of customer experience (CX) products fits with the Oracle CX portfolio of products (Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management; the Oracle ATG, Oracle Endeca, and Oracle Knowledge product families; and Oracle Business Intelligence) to increase revenues, strengthen customer relationships, and reduce costs across the entire end-to-end customer lifecycle for companies that sell to consumers and those that sell to businesses.
  • Greater Insights from Customer Engagements (CON9773) Oct 4, 12:45 PM. In this session, hear how to leverage service interaction insights, customer feedback, and segmented service engagements to improve the customer experience. Discover how customers, such as J&P Cycles, learn and take action based on business insights gained through their customer engagements.

Again, these are just some of the sessions, so check out the Content Catalog for details on Knowledge Management, Customization, Integration and more in the Oracle Develop stream for Customer Experience. Be sure to visit the Oracle DEMOgrounds in the Moscone West Exhibit Hall.

If this is your first OpenWorld, welcome! If you are returning, hi again and enjoy!

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.

Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld

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 experts at a one-of-a-kind event:  Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld

Preview the Conference Schedule for October 3 – 5, 2012

Registration - Wednesday October 3, 7:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Westin St. Francis, Moscone West, South, Hilton San Francisco, and Hotel Nikko

Sample Sessions:
The Experience Imperative - Wednesday October 3, 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Mark Hurd, President, Oracle
Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President, Oracle Cloud Applications Strategy
David Vap, Global Vice President, Product Development, Oracle
Mike Svatek, Chief Strategy Officer, Bazaarvoice

Leading the Experience Revolution - Wednesday October 3, 3:45 p.m.–4:45 p.m.
Seth Godin, Best-Selling Author, Founder of
David Vap, Global Vice President, Product Development, Oracle

Driving a Customer Experience Strategy - Wednesday October 3, 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
David Vap, Global Vice President, Product Development, Oracle
Matthew Banks, Senior Director, Customer Experience Solutions, Oracle

Register now.

Friday Sep 21, 2012

B2B Commerce Best Practice Round Table

Are you struggling with delivering customers a consistent B2B multi-channel commerce experience?

If yes, then you will want to join us for a panel discussion featuring Oracle customers and B2B commerce experts on Thursday, September 27th to learn how leading B2B companies are succeeding in the new age of commerce.

Topics of discussion will include:

  • Moving B2B data and content online
  • Multiple site management
  • Mobile platforms
  • Merchandising and personalization

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the latest trends, challenges and successes in B2B multi-channel commerce.

Learn more and register!

Wednesday Sep 19, 2012

Customer Experience Metrics That Matter Most

When customers contact your company, they don't ask to be deflected or handled or converted. They want to be satisfied.

To improve the customer experience, you need more than traditional measures such as deflection rates, handling times, and conversion rates. In this new Oracle AppCast podcast, tune in to this conversation with me about customer experience metrics that you can use to grow your business.

Would you like to learn more? Please join us at the one of a kind Customer Experience Summit at the Oracle OpenWorld Conference, October 3-5 in San Francisco.

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 with your name, company, job title, work and mobile phone numbers with country code, and email address.

Oracle Commerce Best Practices for the Communications Industry


In today’s volatile economy, Communications Service Providers are challenged to offer a complete, cross-channel commerce experience. With Oracle Commerce solutions, CSPs can get closer to customers and gain valuable insight to maximize ROI across all commerce activities. Join us for a  live webcast on September 26th with featured speakers Raghavendra Ademane, Omni-Channel Commerce Consultant at Professional Access and Brenna Johnson, Product Manager, Oracle and learn how you can manage and deliver commerce experiences for Communications that engage customers and promote loyalty.

The panelists will guide you through a number of topics including:

  • Current Communications market trends, opportunities and challenges
  • Introduction to the Oracle Commerce solution with case studies
  • Demonstration of the solution for Communications with live Q&A

Register today and learn how Oracle's latest innovations for Communications can help you increase online sales and enhance cross-channel commerce interactions.

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.


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