Friday Jan 23, 2015

Do You Know What Your Salespeople Are Selling?

Sales organizations, beware- Today’s customers are more informed than ever and have no patience for salespeople telling them what they likely already know or how great your products are.

Read this article by Jeb Dasteel (Oracle SVP and Chief Customer Officer) and Amir Hartman

Thursday Jan 15, 2015

“Some Non-Predictions for 2015” by IDC’s Mike Fauscette

Mike Fauscette, industry analyst / executive from IDC, tried to resist writing his predictions for 2015, but “the pull is strong,” he says. So his “random thoughts on software, business and digital transformation” are really a state of the industry. He doesn’t mention Oracle in his post, but our strategies and solutions are right in line with what is and what is coming.

For example, he says that customer experience is still a top initiative for most companies. There are big budgets, big struggles, and a big need for CX strategies that “get it right” and lead to big wins.

Another non-prediction of his—consumers want a complete shopping experience and not one that is dictated by segregated channels. Let us shop on or offline, mobile device and physical store, all channels converging into one experience.

And one more—mobile should be a standard. We work from anywhere with whatever device is handy so the technology should follow suit. No more “mobile first” strategies from vendors.

Fauscette’s ten forecasts come with lots of detail and insight. Take a few minutes to see which ones resonate with you. (Kathryn Perry)

How Cloud Computing Is Revolutionizing Business - an article by Mark Hurd, Oracle CEO

Cloud computing is triggering a stunning shift in how businesses operate. Modern SaaS applications for marketing, HR, and ERP are allowing companies to accelerate operations and engage more intimately with their customers thanks to heretofore unseen heroes in their ranks.

In the course of just a few years, this new generation of social/mobile SaaS applications with built-in analytics is redefining mission-critical business priorities while erasing the traditional distinctions between front-office and back-office activities.

These changes are essential for companies striving to remake themselves into smarter and faster-paced organizations that can move in lockstep with customers’ rapidly shifting requirements. And at the center of these dramatic transformations are SaaS applications that are easier to procure and install, that are upgraded more frequently, and that mirror the work styles of today’s businesspeople as well as consumers.

Until just a few years ago, CEOs would tell me that while they were eager to move functions such as marketing and HR to the cloud, they were planning to keep all mission-critical systems on-premises for reasons of security and risk management.

At the time, that was a perfectly rational and well-considered strategy. Marketing, HR, and sometimes ERP were seen as vital but not mission-critical processes that could serve as test cases for the new cloud computing model. If all went well, the business would gain some savings and other benefits. If there was a problem with the new approach, no production systems would be involved.

But since then, many CEOs have dramatically changed their outlook about the cloud and how widely it can and should be deployed within their businesses—and with very few exceptions, those executives are becoming much more bullish on the cloud. So in 2015, I predict we’ll see some profound manifestations of that revised C-suite outlook, particularly in these four areas:

Read the end of this great article by Mark Hurd (Oracle CEO) on LinkedIn here

Tuesday Jan 13, 2015

Total Cloud—What Does Complete Look Like for Oracle?

A new IDC Whitepaper for you to discover:
  • How the cloud provides faster access to new functionality and increased revenue
  • How your competitors and peers are taking advantage of modern cloud deployments
  • What the future will bring for both users and vendors 
Read the IDC white paper

R

Friday Jan 09, 2015

“2015: Year Of The Enterprise Selfie And 9 Other Predictions For Business Technology” by Michael Hickens

Come January 1 every news service leads with a list of predictions for the coming year. Oracle's Michael Hickins was out in front of the reviewers and the predictors and published a great OracleVoice piece for the Forbes audience on December 29. He says, “The annual ritual of predicting the future of technology is as humbling as it is fun.”

You can tell Hickins had fun writing the article. His ten predictions are snappy, smart, and useful.

By .

Friday Dec 05, 2014

How To Transform Customer Service From Okay To Outstanding

By Carol Hildebrand

Companies increasingly recognize excellent customer service as a tool to boost brand recognition and increase revenue. According to a recent survey from Forbes Insights, more than half of respondents said that they were making good progress toward delivering such advanced customer service, while more than a third said that they were making excellent progress.

But what does it really take to get service out of the cost center and onto the front lines of income generation?

“The real question is, what is the excellent group doing better than those in the good category?” said Brenna Sniderman, senior director of research at Forbes Insights.

Sniderman, along with Mark Marshall, executive director of customer care at MetTel, and Oracle's Jeff Lundal, group vice president, service automation, explored modern customer service trends during a recent webinar.

Using insights from the survey of more than 300 customer service executives, the group focused on ways to modernize customer service into a competitive differentiator.

“There’s so much evolving at such a rapid pace in the customer service space that it’s generated a huge sense of excitement,” said Lundal.

So what are the secrets to turning good customer service into something great? The group shared tactics that can tip the scales toward excellence.

Read the entire article here in order to find out the 5 suggestions

Friday Nov 28, 2014

Forbes: Oracle Big Quest To Win Marketing Cloud

Forbes Article by

The cloud trend in technology started fifteen years ago where the early players were moving fast to the cloud and even just four years ago analysts were critical of Oracle that they were late to the game.   Oracle may have missed the big market moves to the cloud in CRM and HR to Salesforce and Workday, but it is top of mind for Oracle as the foundation for their future growth strategy in taking back CRM and HR and winning outright a new cloud game – the “marketing cloud”.

This marketing cloud marketplace is the new lucrative market and battleground for the coveted and growing set of marketing and sales applications.  Oracle is investing heavily to win the battle for the marketing cloud, and the dividends are starting to appear.

In talking to analysts and customers a clear pattern is emerging that telegraph’s Oracle’s long-term play.  They are building an integrated technology and business model that looks like Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Apple.

Read the remaining of this great Forbes article here

Friday Nov 21, 2014

New Ways To Embrace The Power Of The Crowd

By Nikki Goth Itoi

When Apple announced its new smartwatch this fall, it may well have stolen all the headlines. But this deep-pocketed giant was by no means first to market with a device of this kind. Pebble, a start-up that in 2011 raised a then-record $10.26 million on Kickstarter, was first to market in 2013, a year ahead of Apple. In fact, Pebble was on its second smartwatch, Pebble Steel, when Apple rolled out its product. This—a company seeded by a large number of small investors outracing a company with a market cap of more than $650 billion—is the power of the crowd.

New consumer peer-to-peer businesses are using digital technology to turn one industry after another upside down. It’s happening to all sorts of goods—from cars to clothing—as well as food, services, transportation, physical space, and money. And there’s no limit to how far the crowd will go. The astounding growth of Airbnb, Uber, and Bitcoin spells radical disruption for hotels, taxis, finance, and many other industries that have yet to come face-to-face with the sharing economy.

People are exchanging goods. They are making their own stuff—and selling it directly or through pop-up stores. And we are seeing new rental models too,” said Jeremiah Owyang, former industry analyst and founder of Crowd Companies, an association of more than 40 Fortune 500 corporations. “What role do corporations play if people are getting what they need from each other?”

Find answers to this question by reading the entire Forbes article here

Empowering the 21st century sales force

Some top tips for creating a more efficient, effective and successful sales force from Ian Tickle, Vice President, Software as a Service, EMEA, at Oracle. 

It is now old news that the buying habits of your customers have fundamentally changed. We are operating in the era of the empowered customer where, to quote Forrester Research, ‘buyers are more demanding, informed, value sensitive, and have more choices available to them than at any other point in history’.

We all know the infamous ‘57%’ figure – that today’s B2B customers get 57 percent of the way along the buying process before they engage with a sales person and it’s common knowledge that customers are using the internet to research purchases – browsing vendor content, asking peers for advice, and paying close attention to ratings and reviews.

In the light of this, sales teams are now aware that they need to change if they are to continue to be fit for purpose. For Forrester Research the nature of this change is clear: sales organizations must move to a ‘go-to-customer’ model, in which sales teams are capable of understanding real customer needs – and providing valuable advice and insight to help them succeed.

But what, exactly, can sales managers do to ensure that the culture and tactics of their sales teams have adapted to this new paradigm? Here are my top tips for bringing the sales force into the 21st century...

Find out Ian Tickle's recommendations in the continuation of the article here

Saturday Nov 15, 2014

Jackson Hewitt Provides 1 Million Training Courses Annually, Delivers Consistent, Efficient Support with Flexible, Scalable Cloud Solutions

“Oracle’s software-as-a-service platforms—Oracle RightNow Cloud Service and Oracle Taleo Learn Cloud Service—work very well in our highly seasonal and geographically dispersed business. We’ve gained highly scalable, flexible, robust, and available solutions that we can access with an affordable, pay-as-you-go approach.” ‒ Tim Bechtold, Vice President of Customer Service, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Read the entire Jackson Hewitt's Customer Success Story with Oracle Service Cloud here

Thursday Nov 06, 2014

Oracle Cloud Wins Innovation Award - Oracle Sales Cloud Rel 9 honnored!

Oracle’s Cloud portfolio just received a glowing review post-OOW from analyst, Ventana ResearchSales Cloud R9 and SPM were especially highlighted.  And we won their 2014 Technology Innovation Award for Cloud Computing. Read all about it

Thursday Oct 30, 2014

11 Ways to Wreck Your Social Relationships

Social media marketing is all about building authentic relationships. It involves many of the things human relationships live and die by; knowing the person, trust, altruism, patience, etc. So it follows naturally the opposite traits would lead to relationship failure; narcissism, mistrust, selfishness and the like.

When you look at how some brands treat their fans, followers and customers on social, it kind of makes you wonder what their real world human relationships are like. Even as long as social marketing has been around and as much thought leadership has been written on the subject, customers are still NOT getting the experience they want to have with their brands on social.

There are plenty more, but here are 11 ways you can risk having your customers one day tell you, “We need to talk.”

1. And You Are…?

Don’t get or pay attention to any analytics. Don’t try to find out who your fans are, where they are, or what they like. If you accidentally find out what they like, don’t act on it. It’s a great way to prove over and over to them you couldn’t care less.

2. Lie to Them

You silver-tongued smoothie. Just keep putting up those misleading headlines or links to things that violate their expectations. It’s a real trust-builder. And while you’re at it, throw some unrelated trending hashtags into your tweets to trick people into seeing you.

3. Keep Them Guessing

Start a social channel, sweep fans off their feet with content, then suddenly vanish for half a month. Play hard to get. Never let them know where they stand with you or what they’re going to get from you.

4. Bore Them Stupid

Ever been on a date where the other person talked endlessly yet managed to never touch on a single topic you cared anything about? Brands are doing that all the time with their content. People like you to talk about them.

5. Don’t Care How You Look

Let your Timeline go. Don’t give yourself an attractive cover or photo. Make sure your profile picture really bland. Don’t post a lot of videos or photos…just show them lots and lots of text. Oh, and make sure everything you do looks horrible on mobile.

6. Be Obtuse

Leave them thoroughly confused by cramming your tweets with as many tags, links, hashtags, and hieroglyphic symbols as you can. Make them WORK to understand what you’re trying to communicate. Maybe they’ll think it’s fun.

7. Come Across as Desperate and Needy

Who isn’t drawn to that? In every Facebook post and every tweet, make sure you’re pushing your product as hard as you can and trying to get a commitment out of them after the first meeting.

8. Show No Effort

Make posts and tweets like, “Is everybody ready for the weekend?” Nothing makes a fan feel special more than being addressed as part of the masses with a message that sounds like an obligation, created on your phone as you’re heading out the door.

9. Expect Too Much Too Soon

It’s very important that if you aren’t being Liked by thousands and they aren’t commenting and sharing your content like crazy, you start resenting them and abandon your efforts to connect with them. Just be sure to blame it on them and not you.

10. Ignore Them

IF they interact or reach out to you at all, that’s a really big deal. You should be doing flips. Ignoring their gesture or not responding to their interaction until 2 weeks later is a fantastic way to foster hostility.

11. Insist the Relationship Be All About You

What do you need? What do you want to get out of this? That’s why you’re doing this and that’s all that really matters, right? If your customer is happy and fulfilled, that’s nice and all, but it’s hardly the main point. Make sure everything is done your way and happens 100% on your terms.

You want your brand to be as desirable as possible in your social marketing. The people you’re courting want to be appreciated, thought about, cared about, and loyally attended to. If you don’t do it, it’s your brand that pays the price, not the customer. They’ll get over you, move on, and find someone else very quickly.

@mikestiles @oraclesocial

Tuesday Oct 21, 2014

Oracle Sales Cloud Rel 9 research note by Nucleus

Nucleus Research reviews Oracle Sales Cloud Release 9 which was announced at Oracle OpenWorld on September 30, 2014. In addition to industry-specific solutions for communications, high technology, industrial manufacturing, consumer goods, and financial services, Nucleus highlights the following as notable advances:

  • Enhanced sales rep productivity with task-based smart-phone apps that enable sales reps to update their opportunities on the go with minimum data entry.
  • Support for partner relationship management enabling the partner sales staff to qualify leads and register opportunities with a partner portal from mobile devices.
  • New data capabilities. Integrated customer management imports company and contact information from Dun and Bradstreet, while Oracle Sales Cloud’s data quality engine identifies duplicates in real time.
  • Templates to drive standardizations of contracts to accelerate the contract development process while supporting compliance.
  • Oracle Voice, Oracle Call Report, and Oracle Mobilytics for improved forecast accuracy and to drive better capture and visualization of data for decision making and sales management.

Highlights

  • “Nucleus sees the extension of the mobile and data management capabilities as further steps Oracle is taking toward embracing the Dark Cockpit design principles of simplification, focus, automation, and coaching.”
  • “Oracle Sales Cloud R9 sweet spots are companies who have complex territories, multiple product lines, and a diverse workforce…”
  • “Release 9 provides further differentiation for Oracle with industry solutions…”

Read Nucleus full report here

Friday Oct 17, 2014

Kanaracus: “Oracle’s Larry Ellison Throws Down the Cloud Gauntlet”

Chris Kanaracus, U.S. Correspondent of IDG News Service, did a masterful job of condensing Larry Ellison's hour-long OpenWorld keynote into a readable two-minute news story. It was published on September 28 in PCWorld. Kanaracus cleverly included some of Ellison’s competitive barbs, as well as Ellison’s announcement of Oracle’s entry into the PaaS market and Oracle's impressive inventory of cloud applications which is “by far the largest portfolio of cloud applications.” Read More »

Friday Oct 10, 2014

LifeSize: Oracle Marketing Cloud Customer Spotlight

"With the help of the entire Oracle Marketing Cloud, we have been able to achieve significant results by delivering the right content to the customers at the right time," says Marketing VP Megan Lueders from Lifesize. Lifesize is the leading provider of business-class video collaboration technologies. With Oracle Marketing Cloud, the company has improved its conversion rates by 25 percent and generated $100M in pipeline. That's just the beginning of the growth Lifesize hopes to achieve. Watch Video »
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