Wednesday Oct 07, 2015

Oracle CPQ Cloud Helps Businesses Leverage Differentiators

In order to compete in the worldwide economy, businesses use unique product innovation, marketing strategies, and sales processes – called differentiators – to win orders. While businesses understand the importance of their differentiators, they often find it challenging to target potential customers with a personalized message. CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) is a technology that incorporates differentiators in product, pricing, and marketing strategy to allow companies to create quotes with personalized messages and targeted value. Through sending personalized messages to its target audiences, CPQ helps businesses win more orders.

Take, for example, a fictional custom machinery manufacturer, TechMech. TechMech fully customizes their products to meet specific and complex requirements that differ from deal to deal. Each custom order is approved by an engineer, who determines if the order is physically feasible. The TechMech product customization process is different from their competitors; some competitors offer standard packages at lower prices, while others have assembled options with limited customization. To showcase their differentiators, TechMech needs a CPQ solution that restricts salespeople from not only creating machinery that is physically impossible to manufacture, but also clearly communicates the product’s differentiators to its target audience through its quotes.

Take another fictional company, Precious Metals, Inc. Precious Metals, Inc. sells large amounts of gold and silver. Precious Metals differentiates itself from competitors by constantly updating prices in order to match trading price levels on the stock market. To accommodate this differentiator, Precious Metals, Inc. not only needs a CPQ system that has a flexible, yet precise, pricing system to accommodate their policies, but one that also provides context for these policies to its target audience through its quotes.

CPQ technology is able to deliver a personalized message to customers because CPQ houses many of these differentiators. The Configuration (the “C” within “CPQ” ) and Pricing (the “P”) components of CPQ help add clarity and context on product and pricing differentiators. Quote packages (the “Q”) then tailor specific marketing messages based on the customer’s solution and needs. Since CPQ automates this process, it allows for administrative oversight and rigor of the delivery mechanism. 

At Oracle, we know that CPQ delivers true value in helping our customers win more orders. With over 400 successful Oracle CPQ Cloud implementations, we have proved to consistently deliver the greatest return on investment in the industry. If you want your marketing messages to reflect what makes your business special, then Oracle CPQ Cloud is for you. 


Wednesday Sep 30, 2015

New Microsite Featuring the Latest Oracle Service Cloud Content

Let's face it. You're busy. You don't have time to visit several different websites to research the latest customer service and support trends. You need one place to go where you can find information on topics like how to:

  • Engage customers online with seamless web and social self-service 
  • Empower contact center agents to deliver personal, omni-channel support
  • Equip field service techs to arrive on schedule and fix it right the first time

You're in luck! For the next week, all that information can be found on this microsite. Everything from how-to guides to customer case studies to side-by-side vendor comparsions. All right here for you -- in one convenient place.

 Visit the microsite today so you can deliver modern customer service to every customer, every time!


Wednesday Sep 23, 2015

Take a Quick Tour of Oracle Service Cloud

What do you know about Oracle Service Cloud? You may have heard it delivers complete, out-of-the-box customer service. Or that it enables lasting, profitable customer relationships by delivering unified web, social and contact center experiences.

But that ‘marketing speak’ only gets you so far… To really understand what Oracle Service Cloud can do for your business, you have to take a test drive. Get behind the steering wheel and try out its capabilities.

Oracle Service Cloud’s Quick Tour Demo puts you in the driver’s seat. Click here to see firsthand how Oracle’s Web Customer Service can help you deliver the very best customer experience (CX)—while lowering costs and increasing conversions.

Choose ‘Show Me’ if you want a chauffeured experience. Or ‘Try It’ to navigate for yourself.

Want to see more? Then Sign up for a live demo customized to your needs.


Tuesday Sep 22, 2015

Learning How to Disrupt and Deliver Stellar Experiences at Gartner Customer 360

By Christine Randle, Analyst Relations, Oracle Service Cloud

Last week Gartner held its annual
Gartner Customer 360 Summit in San Diego. The event is well-worth attending and this year was no exception. The theme: “Delivering Great Customer Experiences at the Speed of Digital Business” had an agenda packed with both strategic and tactical content from leading analysts like Michael Maoz, Olive Huang and Jim Davies (just to name a few) to help attendees build powerful Customer Experience (CX) programs.

Oracle was onsite, and we were thrilled to have two of our marquee customers presenting at the event. BeachBody’s Louis Ross was on hand to share details about how the company has designed an agile customer-centric strategy for its over 16 million customers and 200,000 coaches that delivers seamless and personalized experiences.

And not only did LinkedIn’s Andy Yasutake present at the event, but he and his team of masterful customer operations professionals won a Gartner and 1to1 Media Customer Excellence Award for Innovation in Service!

Now, we’ve all heard of LinkedIn (unless you live under a rock), but what you may not know about is the company’s ‘Members First’ initiative (Hint: this is why they won the Gartner and 1to1 award). This program was developed by some seriously smart people at LinkedIn who are dedicated to delivering stellar member experiences to folks just like you! I mean, you’re a LinkedIn member, right?

So what is ‘Members First’? LinkedIn developed this program after recognizing the need to put more focus on its member community. So the company partnered with Oracle Service Cloud to develop a program built on the well-established trinity of people, process, and technology.  The goal: To boost member engagement and satisfaction across the globe.

The LinkedIn support team had been servicing members using reactive, manual processes, resulting in siloed data that was difficult to analyze and act on. As member growth exploded, Andy and his team realized that this approach was no longer sustainable and sprang into action, standing up its Global Customer Operations (GCO) team and developing four pillars for success: Prevention, deflection, efficiency, and adding value. Importantly, the program established a means for LinkedIn to actively listen to members’ direct and indirect feedback, identifying key trends and service gaps. This proactive approach allows the team to hone in on the most pressing issues both quickly and precisely.

And it’s working! With an 85% decrease in average initial response times and a 68% decrease in average resolution times, LinkedIn has achieved an impressive 23% increase in its CSAT scores, up from 6.6 to 8.1. Not too shabby!

Congratulations LinkedIn! This is a shining example of what happens when an organization lives and breathes customer experience.  For a more in-depth look at this award winning ‘Members First’ initiative, check out LinkedIn’s presentation from Gartner Customer 360. It’s chock full of real-world advice that you can leverage in your own organization. Need more? For added detail on exactly why LinkedIn is a leader in customer excellence, read the 1to1 Media article about the program. Then tell us how you plan to disrupt and deliver your own stellar customer or member experiences!

Monday Sep 21, 2015

CustomerThink Webcast Series: 3 Stages of Evolution to Becoming a Modern Customer Service Organization

Many businesses today are at some stage of their journey to delivering an optimal, differentiated Customer Experience (CX), with the vision of building sustainable growth and profits through stronger customer relationships and reliable business data. Getting a vision around the “what” you want to deliver is not easy. The next question is even harder: “How” to build, deliver and grow to reach your visionary state?

In this 3-part CustomerThink webcast series, CX thought leaders Kate Leggett (Forrester), Ray Wang (Constellation Research) and Bruce Temkin (Temkin Group) will guide you through the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service. They will help you:

  • Benchmark where you are in your industry
  • Identify the issues you need to solve and in what order
  • Invest in technologies that best meet your goals
  • Incrementally measure your success along the way

Register now

First Webcast: Get Going with Modern Customer Service
Thursday, Oct. 15, 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET
Join Kate Leggett and JP Saunders as they discuss the first stage of the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service: Get Going. At this initial stage, organizations focus on moving from limited silo channels, to multiple channels of choice, so customers can engage on any device. They invest in channels and knowledge to improve interaction capabilities and reduce service volume and cost through greater operational efficiency.

Second Webcast: Get Better with Modern Customer Service
Thursday, Nov. 12, 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET
Join Ray Wang and JP Saunders as they discuss the second stage of the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service: Get Better. At this next stage, organizations focus on transitioning from silo systems, to a unified platform that enables agents to deliver consistent, relevant, cross-channel service. Here they invest in contact center staff and processes to improve service quality, customer satisfaction and customer retention—leveraging the savings they’ve gained from the first stage.

Third Webcast: Get Ahead with Modern Customer Service
Thursday, Dec. 10, 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET
Join Bruce Temkin and JP Saunders as they discuss the third stage of the Roadmap to Modern Customer Service: Get Ahead. At this advanced stage, organizations focus on evolving from anonymous service experiences to personalized, segmented engagements in every channel. They invest in data and analytics to create more opportunities for acquiring new customers at lower cost, and for expanding their relationships with brand advocates. This ability to monetize engagements enables companies to achieve sustainable growth and profits.

At the end of this series, you will come away knowing what to focus on, and how to measure your success—so you can start modernizing your customer service capabilities with a self-funding model right away!

Register today!

Speaker Biographies

Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Kate serves Application Development & Delivery Professionals. She is a leading expert on customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service strategies, maturity, benchmarking, governance, and ROI. Kate has extensive industry experience, with more than 10 years of leadership at CRM and customer service software companies, where she held senior product marketing and product management roles.

R “Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder, Constellation Research
R "Ray" Wang is the author of the popular business strategy and technology blog "A Software Insider’s Point of View". With viewership in the 10's of millions of page views a year, his blog provides insight into how disruptive technologies and new business models such as digital transformation impact brands, enterprises, and organizations.

Bruce Temkin, CCXP, Managing Partner & Customer Experience Transformist, Temkin Group
Bruce Temkin is widely viewed as a customer experience visionary. He has worked with hundreds of large organizations on defining and accelerating their customer experience journeys. His company, Temkin Group, is a leading research and consultancy focused on enterprise-wide customer experience transformation. It helps many of the world’s largest brands lead their transformational journeys towards customer-centricity and build loyalty by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners.

JP Saunders, Senior Director, CX Strategists, Oracle (Host)
In his current capacity, JP leads the go-to-market initiatives for the Oracle CX Cloud Service offering. A recognized thought leader, innovator and strategist, JP has over 16 years experience in SaaS, Customer Service, Customer Experience and CRM application development. JP joined Oracle through the RightNow acquisition where he led the Global Product Marketing team. Prior to that, JP lead Product Management for a Social CRM startup that was part of the Oracle Inner Circle partner. 


Friday Sep 11, 2015

Oracle Service Cloud Granted U.S. Department of Defense Authority to Operate

Oracle Service Cloud has received an Authority to Operate (ATO) from the U.S Department of Defense (DoD) under the DoD Cloud Security Model at security impact Level 4.  Oracle Service Cloud is the first cloud offering in Oracle’s U.S. DoD Cloud to receive an ATO. Oracle’s U.S. DoD Cloud is a community cloud available for all DoD agencies. 

The rigorous review of Oracle’s environment was completed by an accredited third-party organization at the Level 4 security impact for a SaaS offering using a community deployment model. Level 4 security impact refers to Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or other critical mission data that requires protection from unauthorized disclosure.

According to David Vap, group vice president, Oracle Service Cloud, “Oracle will be able to support U.S. government agencies by providing a secure platform in the cloud to better serve military men and women.  The Department of Defense can now procure commercial cloud services in order to meet dynamic user needs, improve efficiency and drive greater productivity while at the same time, have assurances that Oracle Service Cloud delivers against process and security control requirements.”

By deploying Oracle Service Cloud on top of Oracle’s FedRAMP authorized Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Oracle provides the DoD with benefits such as:

  • Supporting the DoD Cloud First Policy
  • Providing a secure Cloud environment to support DoD needs
  • Offering a low cost option to the DoD
  • Allowing faster implementations and better service to DoD customers

More information on this certification is available at www.FedRAMP.gov.

To learn more about Oracle Public Sector, follow @Oraclegov on Twitter and join the Oracle Public Sector community on Facebook.

Tuesday Sep 08, 2015

October 7 Webcast: How to Become a Customer-Adaptive Enterprise with Ovum Principal Analyst Jeremy Cox and Oracle VP of Product Management Stephen Fioretti

Business transformation, customer engagement, omnichannel… These strategies sound promising, but how do you actually implement them to stay ‘persistently’ relevant to customers? Ovum Principal Analyst Jeremy Cox will help guide you as he presents the eight core attributes of the Customer-Adaptive Enterprise on this webcast Wednesday, October 7 at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET. 

Ovum’s Jeremy Cox, and Oracle’s Stephen Fioretti, will assist you in determining your current customer engagement maturity level—and what actions you must take to deliver an integrated omnichannel service experience. 

Specific topics include:
  • Introduction to the Customer-Adaptive Enterprise 
  • Maturity Levels of Omnichannel Customer Engagement 
  • Service Organization Transformation: Opportunities, Pitfalls and Success Stories 
  • Leveraging Social, the Internet of Things (IOT) and New Channels

You will come away knowing your next steps for operationalizing your omnichannel strategy! 

Register now


Biographies
Jeremy Cox. Principal Analyst, Ovum
Customer Engagement

As part of Ovum’s Customer Engagement team, Jeremy leads the research and insights into CRM and its potential for spearheading customer-driven business transformation (the customer-adaptive enterprise). With over 20 years’ CRM strategy development and implementation experience, on the inside (IBM) and as a consultant and change agent. He is well placed to support enterprises on their next-generation customer transformation journey.

Jeremy joined Ovum in July 2012, and quickly established the broader customer-adaptive enterprise context, identifying eight core attributes that organizations need if they are to be persistently relevant to their customers: Visionary leadership, an engaged workforce, collaborative, acute sensing capabilities to generate insight and foresight, a superior omnichannel customer experience, continuous innovation, connected, simplified and adaptive processes, and an adaptive enterprise architecture. He has written many papers on transformational CRM, the customer-adaptive enterprise, omnichannel customer engagement, harnessing the voice of the customer to drive continuous improvement in the customer experience, and continuous innovation.

Prior to joining Ovum, Jeremy ran his own transformational CRM consultancy supporting enterprises in both the public and private sectors, with clients such as The Pensions Regulator, The North West Development Agency, HP, Microsoft, Carlson Wagonlit Traveler Services, Pitney Bowes, Honeywell, Eli Lilly, and mid-market firms including Goldsmith Williams Solicitors, Camps Solicitors, and Hurst & Co Accountants. He was also a principal consultant CRM at KPMG Consulting, and held various CRM internal consulting roles at IBM during the transformation years of the mid to late 1990s.
Jeremy co-authored “Mid-Market CRM” with Professor Francis Buttle FCIM and has spoken at various European conferences on CRM as a transformational business strategy enabled by IT, and what it takes to become a customer-adaptive enterprise. He has a master’s degree with distinction from Manchester Business School in strategic market management and CRM.

Stephen Fioretti, Vice President of Product Management, Oracle
Oracle Service Cloud
Stephen Fioretti has Product Management and Strategy responsibility for part of Oracle’s Customer Experience (CX) Strategy as well as Oracle Service Cloud products, where he drives strategy, product roadmap and go-to-market initiatives. Previously at Oracle and Siebel, he served as vice president of Product Management and Strategy for various CRM cloud and on-premise products, specifically in the domains of multi-channel service and support, sales force automation, partner relationship management, and configuration, pricing and quoting.

Before joining Siebel in 2002, Fioretti was Vice President of Business Development at SeeCommerce, a privately-held provider of Supply Chain Performance Management Solutions. Prior to SeeCommerce, Mr. Fioretti spent 5 years at Hyperion Solutions, a leading provider of enterprise business performance management and business intelligence solutions, where he served in executives roles as VP of Marketing and VP of Alliances. Fioretti has spent over 20 years in the information technology industry, including sales, marketing and channel roles at Sybase and Hewlett-Packard. 

Mr. Fioretti holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of California at Davis, as well as a Master's of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Wednesday Aug 05, 2015

Join the Oracle Customer Experience Team at CRM Evolution 2015 by Chaundera Wolfe

It's that exciting time of year again, where we get to connect with like-minded customer experience enthusiasts at one of the industry’s leading events: CRM Evolution. With the New York City Theater District in the background, this event is a great opportunity to talk about the latest trends in customer experience, service, social, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT) and more. Innovative brands such as iRobot, The Golden State Warriors and thought leaders like Michael Krigsman, @mkrigsman (CXO Talk) and @Brian Vellmure (Value Creator) are able to come together and chat about the future customer experience landscape in a live and engaging format.

Please come by and visit the Oracle Customer Experience team at the New York Marriott Marquis August 17-19 during the CRM Evolution 2015 or Customer Service Experience conferences. We always appreciate the opportunity to talk about current customer engagement challenges as well as innovative solutions. And join our discussion Tuesday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m. ET on how to “Accelerate Success with Modern Service” with Stephen Fioretti of Oracle Service Cloud.

If you are not going to be attending this year’s event, or you happen to miss a keynote speaker, don’t worry. The Oracle Social Cloud team is going to be sharing all the latest and greatest insights and speaker nuggets during the event from their Social Intelligence Center, and also across social channels like @OracleSocial, @OracleServCloud. Please do reach out with your favorite CRM Evolution moments, pressing questions, and just plain fun photos of yourself enjoying the conference. Hope to see you all there!

Monday Jun 22, 2015

LinkedIn Wins Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Service Excellence Award by Stephen Fioretti

LinkedIn was named a Gold winner in the Customer Service Excellence category for the 2015 Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards. For over a decade, Gartner and 1to1 Media have used this joint awards program to honor select, customer-centric organizations that have achieved outstanding business performance by implementing enterprise-wide, service-focused strategies. LinkedIn will be presented with this innovation in service excellence award at the Gartner 360 Summit September 9-11 in San Diego.

What helps LinkedIn bring people, processes, and technologies together to provide a superior customer experience? Andy Yasutake, Director of Tech Solutions and Operations, outlines several principles LinkedIn follows to increase business efficiency and member satisfaction.

Focus on ‘Member First’ in all you do.

LinkedIn’s mission is to connect its users and make them more productive and successful. Thus, the company implemented a ‘Members First’ initiative, and started making changes based on the Voice of the Customer. For example, when LinkedIn learned that its members placed high value on rapid response time, it encouraged agents to respond more quickly to inquiries. With the help of Oracle Service Cloud, LinkedIn achieved an 85% decrease in average initial response time, a 68% decrease in resolution time, and a 23% increase in customer satisfaction!

Your customers don’t care about organizational boundaries.
Break them down.

LinkedIn recognized that its members interacted with the brand as a whole, not just exclusively with sales, marketing, or service. As a result, the company broke down information silos between these departments and encouraged employees to step outside their given expertise to resolve issues quickly and/or prevent them from escalating. Leveraging all its assets, rapidly responding to member feedback, and rethinking roles allows the company to maximize the value of every touch and bring added value to the member journey.

Help your customers help themselves.
With over 350 million worldwide users, and more than two new members joining per second, LinkedIn expected to employ around 5,000-10,000 service representatives. However, with Oracle Service Cloud, LinkedIn was able to achieve a 97% self-service rate, thereby reducing the company’s potential need for support staff. The result? Instead of employing 5,000-10,000 reps, LinkedIn has been able to maintain agents at 750-800, easing costs and boosting efficiency, all while growing 40% year-over-year.

On the digital front, LinkedIn noticed that 50% of its web traffic came through mobile devices, and that 21% of users accessing its knowledge center were not there to solve a specific issue, but instead to learn about the product and develop their career. Therefore, the company placed emphasis on creating knowledge base articles and a mobile Help Center, enabling users to enjoy this content easily from any device.

Optimizing its support processes and empowering members to self-serve has allowed LinkedIn to efficiently provide top-tier service.

Congratulations to LinkedIn for your outstanding achievement. Oracle is honored to have partnered with you to deliver your award-winning customer experience! 

Wednesday May 20, 2015

Modern Service Experience Conference Highlights! by Stephen Fioretti

Over 500 customer service professionals joined the Oracle Service Cloud team in Las Vegas recently to kick off the Modern Service Experience Conference! The event featured nearly 40 customer speakers including Kohl’s, LinkedIn, and Nintendo outlining the latest trends in engaging customers, empowering employees and adapting quickly to constantly changing business and customer needs. 

The conference also featured industry thought leaders from Forrester, Constellation Research, Beagle Research, and The 56 Group talking about the future of customer service and trends that are impacting a company's ability to deliver great service. 

Amidst the three days of sessions, Oracle Service Cloud hosted industry roundtables and a 100 “Ask the Experts” meetings between customers and product experts—and in-depth executive, contact center, web customer service, insightful answers, and technical tracks with customers like Virgin America, Panera, Kaiser Permanente, Beachbody, Nikon, T-Mobile and others. These discussions provided a unique opportunity to connect more closely on detailed product topics and the Oracle Service Cloud product roadmap. 

The Oracle Service Cloud team also took time to recognize leading individuals and organizations who continually champion customer service innovation, value, and collaboration to solve the next business problem. Their commitment and passion was contagious! Congratulations again to the 2015 customer award winners, including:

Oracle Service Cloud Customer Champions

  • Louis Ross, Vice President, Coach Relations, Beachbody
  • Nicholas Armstrong, Director, Global Customer, Experience Products, Orbitz
  • Stuart Concannon, Head of Customer Care, Knowledge and Optimisation, ASOS
  • Jim Ferron, Customer Experience Strategist, Nintendo
  • Tetsu Kimura, Director of Customer Service, Gogo
  • Michele Watson, Vice President, Customer Care and Payments & Risk, Walmart.com
  • Troy Carrothers, Senior Vice President, Retail Payment Solutions & Multi-Channel Sales & Service and Becky Ploeger, Vice President, Digital Commerce Customer Care, Kohl’s

Oracle Service Cloud User Group Host of the Year

  • Kyle Snay, Customer Relationship Manager, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Oracle Service Cloud Game Changer Award

  • Redcoon.com

Oracle Service Cloud Innovator Award

  • Ingersoll Rand

Oracle Service Cloud Community All-Stars

  • Kyle Snay, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
  • Anuj Behl, Speridian Technologies
  • Mark Kehoe, LaTrobe University              
  • Bishnu Paudel , Charles Darwin University
  • Andy Rowse, 45 North Solutions
  • Ryan Schofield, CGI Federal
  • Mohana Gopal Selvam, Kenya Airways
  • Suresh Kumar Thirukoti, Network Rail Infrastructure Lmtd.
  • Bastiaan van der Kooij, Bastiaan van der Kooji Consultancy

Oracle Service Cloud Modern Service Experience Award

  • LinkedIn
Again we’d like to thank customers and attendees for joining us in Las Vegas and applaud them for the work they’re doing to get going, get better, and get ahead with modern customer service!

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