Monday Jul 01, 2013

What’s New for Oracle Commerce? Executive QA with John Andrews, VP Product Management, Oracle Commerce

Oracle Commerce was for the fifth time positioned as a leader by Gartner in the Magic Quadrant for E-Commerce. This inspired me to sit down with Oracle Commerce VP of Product Management, John Andrews to get his perspective on what continues to make Oracle a leader in the industry and what’s new for Oracle Commerce in 2013.

Q: Why do you believe Oracle Commerce continues to be a leader in the industry?

John: Oracle has a great acquisition strategy – it brings best-of-breed technologies into the product fold and then continues to grow and innovate them. This is particularly true with products unified into the Oracle Commerce brand. Oracle acquired ATG in late 2010 – and then Endeca in late 2011. This means that under the hood of Oracle Commerce you have market-leading technologies for cross-channel commerce and customer experience, both designed and developed in direct response to the unique challenges online businesses face. And we continue to innovate on capabilities core to what our customers need to be successful – contextual and personalized experience delivery, merchant-inspired tools, and architecture for performance and scalability.

[Read More]

Friday May 31, 2013

Improving Customer Experience for Segment of One Using Big Data

By Irem Radzik, Senior Principal Product Marketing Director -- Fusion Middleware

Customer experience has been one of the top focus areas for CIOs in the recent years. A key requirement for improving customer experience is understanding the customer: their past and current interactions with the company, their preferences, demographic information etc. This capability helps the organization tailor their service or products for different customer segments to maximize their satisfaction. This is not a new concept. However, there have been two parallel changes in how we approach and execute on this strategy.

First one is the big data phenomenon that brought the ability to obtain a much deeper understanding of customers, especially bringing in social data. As this Forbes article "Six Tips for Turning Big Data into Great Customer Experiences" mentions big data especially has transformed online marketing. With the volume and different types of data we have now available companies can run more sophisticated analysis, in a more granular way. This leads to the second change: the size of customer segments. It is shrinking down to one, where each individual customer is offered a personalized experience based on their individual needs and preferences. This notion brings more relevance into the day-to-day interactions with customers, and basically takes customers satisfaction and loyalty to a new level that was not possible before.

One of the key technology requirements to improve customer experience at such a granular level is to obtaining a complete and up-to-date view of the customer. And that requires integrating data across disparate systems and in a timely manner. Data integration solution should move and transform large data volumes stored in heterogeneous systems in geographically dispersed locations. Moving data with very low latency to the customer data repository or a data warehouse, enables companies to have a relevant and actionable insight for each customer. Instead of relying on yesterday's data, which may not be pertinent anymore, the solution should analyze latest information and turn them into a deeper understanding of that customer. With that knowledge the company can formulate real opportunities to drive higher customer satisfaction.

Real-time data integration is key enabling technology for real-time analytics. Oracle GoldenGate's real-time data integration technology has been used by many leading organizations to get the most out of their big data and build a closer relationship with customers.  One good example in the telecommunications industry is MegaFon. MegaFon is Russia's top provider of mobile internet solutions. The company deployed Oracle GoldenGate 11g to capture billions of monthly transactions from eight regional billing systems. The data was integrated and centralized onto Oracle Database 11g and distributed to business-critical subsystems. The unified and up-to-date view into customers enabled more sophisticated analysis of mobile usage information and facilitated more targeted customer marketing. As a result of  the company increased revenue generated from the current customer base. Many other telecommunications industry leaders, including DIRECTV, BT, TataSky, SK Telecom, Ufone, have improved customer experience by leveraging real-time data integration.

Telecommunications is not the only industry where single view of the customer drives more personalized interaction with customers. Woori Bank  implemented Oracle Exadata and Oracle GoldenGate.  In the past, it had been difficult for them to revise and incorporate changes to marketing campaigns in real time because they were working with the previous day’s data. Now, users can immediately access and analyze transactions for specific trends in the data mart access layer and adjust campaigns and strategies accordingly. Woori Bank can also send tailored offers to customers.

This is just one example of how real-time data integration can transform business operations and the way a company interacts with its customers. I would like to invite you to learn more about data integration facilitating improved customer experience by  reviewing our free resources here and following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Linkedin.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday Jan 09, 2013

Webcast: Connect Your Online Customer Experience with Oracle Commerce and Oracle WebCenter

January 17, 2013 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET

Are you providing your customers with the best possible browsing, shopping and search experiences across all your marketing and commerce websites? Successful organizations must deliver an engaging online experience that is personalized, interactive and consistent across all phases of the customer journey from research to selection to support and follow on purchases. This requires a new approach that connects and optimizes all customer touch points.

Attend this webcast to learn how you can enable a more engaging online customer experience by combining Oracle WebCenter Sites with Oracle ATG Commerce and Oracle Endeca. With Oracle WebCenter Sites you can:

  • Unify the online customer experience by bringing together best-in-class web experience management, Commerce, and faceted search capabilities
  • Encourage social interaction by incorporating ratings, comments, reviews and social sharing capabilities into your web presence
  • More easily ingest content feeds from your suppliers and simplify the management of high volumes of detailed product information

Click here to register for this exciting webcast.

Thursday Dec 13, 2012

Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Solutions Make Retailers Merry

Tis the season to be jolly. If you’re a retailer, your level of jolliness depends on sales. So you watch trends like U.S. store traffic increasing 3.5% to 308 million on Black Friday but sales actually falling 1.8% to $11.2 billion.

Fortunately, by the end of November, retail sales were up 3.7% over the previous year, thanks to life recovering after Hurricane Sandy. And online sales topped $1 billion for the first time ever!

Who are the companies improving their sales online? They are big names like Walgreen’s Drugstore.com, Nordstrom’s HauteLook, and Intuit. More importantly, how are they doing it? They use cutting-edge business practices enabled by Oracle’s CX Cloud Service & Support solutions to:

  1. Increase conversions rates and order sizes (Customer Acquisition)
  2. Enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty (Customer Retention)
  3. Reduce contact center costs and improve agent productivity (Operational Efficiency).

Acquisition + Retention + Operational Efficiency = Sustainable Growth and Profits. That’s the magic formula for retail customer service success. Don’t take our word for it. Look at the results of these Oracle customers:

  • Walgreen’s Drugstore—30% sales conversion rate on chat sessions with 20% increase in shopping cart size
  • Nordstrom’s HauteLook—40,000+ interactions per month—20% growth over last year— efficiently managed by 40 agents, with no increase in IT costs
  • Intuit—50% increase in customer satisfaction and 70% decrease in cost per interaction

Using Oracle’s CX Cloud & Service solutions, these retailers deliver consistent, relevant, and personalized experiences across all touchpoints, including social, mobile, and web. Their ability to connect with customers anytime, anywhere—providing the right answer at the right time—helps them create a defensible advantage in the marketplace.

Want to learn more? Please visit http://www.oracle.com/goto/cloudlaunchpad for free resources on delivering exceptional customer service in the Cloud. Also, watch our YouTube channel to learn more about seamless multichannel retail and Winston Furnishings’ exceptional customer experience.

Thursday Dec 06, 2012

BYOD-The Tablet Difference

By Allison Kutz, Lindsay Richardson, and Jennifer Rossbach, Sales Consultants

Less than three years ago, Apple introduced a new concept to the world: The Tablet. It’s hard to believe that in only 32 months, the iPad induced an entire new way to do business. Because of their mobility and ease-of-use, tablets have grown in popularity to keep up with the increasing “on the go” lifestyle, and their popularity isn’t expected to decrease any time soon. In fact, global tablet sales are expected to increase drastically within the next five years, from 56 million tablets to 375 million by 2016.

Tablets have been utilized for every function imaginable in today’s world. With over 730,000 active applications available for the iPad, these tablets are educational devices, portable book collections, gateways into social media, entertainment for children when Mom and Dad need a minute on their own, and so much more. It’s no wonder that 74% of those who own a tablet use it daily, 60% use it several times a day, and an average of 13.9 hours per week are spent tapping away.

Tablets have become a critical part of a user’s personal life; but why stop there? Businesses today are taking major strides in implementing these devices, with the hopes of benefiting from efficiency and productivity gains. Limo and taxi drivers use tablets as payment devices instead of traditional cash transactions. Retail outlets use tablets to find the exact merchandise customers are looking for. Professors use tablets to teach their classes, and business professionals demonstrate solutions and review reports from tablets.

Since an overwhelming majority of tablet users have started to use their personal iPads, PlayBooks, Galaxys, etc. in the workforce, organizations have had to make a change. In many cases, companies are willing to make that change. In fact, 79% of companies are making new investments in mobility this year. Gartner reported that 90% of organizations are expected to support corporate applications on personal devices by 2014.

It’s not just companies that are changing. Business professionals have become accustomed to tablets making their personal lives easier, and want that same effect in the workplace. Professionals no longer want to waste time manually entering data in their computer, or worse yet in a notebook, especially when the data has to be later transcribed to an online system.

The response: the Bring Your Own Device phenomenon. According to Gartner, BYOD is “an alternative strategy allowing employees, business partners and other users to utilize a personally selected and purchased client device to execute enterprise applications and access data.” Employees whose companies embrace this trend are more efficient because they get to use devices they are already accustomed to.

Tablets change the game when it comes to how sales professionals perform their jobs. Sales reps can easily store and access customer information and analytics using tablet applications, such as Oracle Fusion Tap. This method is much more enticing for sales reps than spending time logging interactions on their (what seem to be outdated) computers. Forrester & IDC reported that on average sales reps spend 65% of their time on activities other than selling, so having a tablet application to use on the go is extremely powerful. In February, Information Week released a list of “9 Powerful Business Uses for Tablet Computers,” ranging from “enhancing the customer experience” to “improving data accuracy” to “eco-friendly motivations”. Tablets compliment the lifestyle of professionals who strive to be effective and efficient, both in the office and on the road.

Three Things Businesses Need to do to Embrace BYOD

  • Make customer-facing websites tablet-friendly for consistent user experiences
  • Develop tablet applications to continue to enhance the customer experience
  • Embrace and use the technology that comes with tablets

Almost 55 million people in the U.S. own tablets because they are convenient, easy, and powerful. These are qualities that companies strive to achieve with any piece of technology. The inherent power of the devices coupled with the growing number of business applications ensures that tablets will transform the way that companies and employees perform.

Friday Oct 05, 2012

Mapping Your Customer Experience Journey

For those who attended today’s Oracle Customer Experience Summit keynote you heard from Brian Curran talk about the strategies and best practices to implement customer experience (CX) in your organization.  He spoke about how this evolving journey begins by understanding six steps to transform your business and put your customers front and center.  Here are those key six steps:

  1. What are the strategic business objectives in your company?
  2. What are your operational objectives and KPIs necessary to measure a CX project? Build an income statement and create “what if” scenarios and see how changes impact your business’ bottom line.  Explore what keeps you from getting to your own goals for your business.
  3. Define the business objectives and opportunities you want to meet?
  4. Understand the trends and accelerators in the market?  What factors are going on in the market affect that impact your business?  Social?  Mobile?  Cloud?  Just to name a few.  Many of these trends may signal a change in the way people think about your business.
  5. What approach will you take to solve these issues?  Understand who your customer is.  How do you need to adapt your business to build relevant, personalized customer experiences?
  6. What technologies can you implement to address CX?  Does technology help you solve your problem?

A great way to begin your customer experience journey is a concept called journey mapping, one of the most powerful and deceptively simple tools for unlocking CX innovation at your organization. Here is where you can learn more about how you can bring this concept into your business to drive great customer experiences.

Monday Oct 01, 2012

Mark Hurd on Oracle's Strategy to Be the Best

Mark Hurd, President of Oracle, energized a packed audience this Monday morning at OpenWorld with his keynote outlining Oracle’s four-pillar strategy:

  • Be the leader at every level of the technology stack—applications, middleware, database, operating system, virtual machine, servers, and storage
  • Vertically integrate these levels into differentiated solutions
  • Offer Fusion, the next generation of applications, which are modular and can run in the cloud, on-premise, or both (hybrid)
  • Deliver this technology portfolio through industry lenses to help Oracle customers solve their problems while innovating and becoming more efficient.

Hurd’s message resonated throughout Monday’s Customer Experience (CX) sessions as we learned about Oracle’s investment in integrating its best-of-breed CX solutions to deliver an end-to-end suite that addresses every part of the customer lifecycle. For example, in the area of customer service, Oracle is developing enhancements to help contact center agents:

  • Better understand customer needs through social listening tools that are integrated with knowledge management
  • Empower themselves with internal collaboration and mobility tools
  • Adapt to customer needs by engaging them through chat during a service or commerce interaction so they can deliver a great customer experience while transforming from a cost- into a profit center.

Tuesday Jul 10, 2012

Communications: Customer Experience

Imagine, what would a totally new customer experience look like in Communications?

Could a customer research comments from social networks, buy online and be geo directed to a nearby store to pick up the device?  Could the customer be contacted proactively that he is approaching a data threshold for a smart phone and be offered value added options to manage usage? Could the customer upgrade video features interactively and leverage loyalty points for payment? Watch this short Communications Customer Experience story to see how these these challenges are met and exceeded.  

Learn about the Oracle Customer Experience and Oracle Communications.

Thursday Jun 21, 2012

Experience the Revolution

Bold shifts in consumer power and influence have created an Experience Revolution! Is your business ready? Join Oracle President Mark Hurd in New York City on 6/25 to find out! 

Monday Jun 18, 2012

The “Customer” Experience Revolution is Here

A guest post by Anthony Lye, SVP, CRM, Oracle

The Experience Revolution is here, and we are going to explore and celebrate our new customer experience (CX) ventures and strategy in an extraordinary way. In true Oracle fashion, we are hosting an exceptional event, bringing together customer experience advocates, visionaries and practitioners to discover and define Oracle’s Customer Experience vision.

At The Experience Revolution, Oracle President Mark Hurd will detail the vision of where customer experience is going and how Oracle will help you get there. He will introduce for the first time Oracle Customer Experience, a cross stack suite of customer experience products that enable organizations to:

  • Engage customers with a consistent, connected and personalized brand experience across all channels and devices
  • Deliver exceptional cross-channel order fulfillment and customer service through web, call centers and social networks
  • Connect and analyze data from all interactions to better personalize experiences and identify hidden opportunities

The Experience Revolution will also include an interactive gallery of customer experience interactions, featuring videos, touch screens and near field communication technology that will guide each attendee through an individualized event experience.

We hope you will join us for an incredible evening on June 25, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Gotham Hall in New York City.  You can register for The Experience Revolution here.

And if you haven’t already joined the conversation on Twitter, please do:  #OracleCX, #ExperienceRevolution

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