Thursday Feb 28, 2013

The Top 3 Things you Need to Know about Customer Engagement & Experience

WebCenter Product Marketing Team Blog

Managing the entire customer experience and evoking positive feelings requires a disciplined and dedicated approach. As many products and services have been commoditized in the age of the customer, customer experience and how you engage with your customers is how you will differentiate and thrive. Creating great customer experiences includes three key elements:

  • Connect and engage. Ensure that your customers can get to you whenever, however, and wherever they desire. Create simple, consistent, and relevant experiences across all touch points and interactions. Tailor digital interactions based on behavior, intent, and known preferences and optimize experiences for different devices and modes of interaction.
  • Know more. Get as much information as you can about your customers prior to the current interaction. Having the right information at the right time improves your ability to retain customers and have them become repeat buyers. Personalize content, messages, and offers based on real-time decisions and recommendations using analytic insights such as “next likely purchase” and “next best action.”
  • Make it easy and rewarding. Improve efficiency and accuracy with cross-channel order orchestration and fulfillment. Enable “anywhere, anytime” interactions with intelligent self-service and at-the-point-of-need assistance. Proactively engage customers directly in social networks and reward best customers for total lifetime value, including referral value.

Are you following these three key elements? Are you delivering effective and efficient customer engagement? Be sure to check out our special webcast and white paper offer, and be sure to tune into the “Engage Customers with Social, Mobile & Cloud Self-Service” screencast to see how Oracle WebCenter can allow you to deliver superior customer engagement and experiences through social, mobile and cloud self-service.

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Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

Engage Customers with Social, Mobile and Cloud Self-Service

WebCenter Product Marketing Team Blog 

We all know that successfully engaging customers is critical to an organization’s business success. We also know that engaging our customers is more challenging today than ever before. Over the last decade and a half we’ve seen the advent of the internet and watched as the online channel became a primary one for conducting our business and even managing our lives. And during this whole process or evolution, the customer journey has grown increasingly complex. Customers themselves have assumed increasing power and influence over the purchase process and for setting the tone and pace of the relationships they have with brands and you see the evidence of this in the really high expectations that customers have today. They expect brand experiences that are personalized and relevant -- In other words they want experiences that demonstrate that the brand understands their interests, preferences and past interactions with them. They also expect their experience with a brand and the community surrounding it to be social and interactive– it’s no longer acceptable to have a static, one-way dialogue with your customer base or to fail to connect your customers with fellow customers, or with your employees and partners. And on top of all this, customers expect us to deliver this rich and engaging, personalized, interactive and cloud-based experience, in a consistent way cross a variety of channels including web, mobile and social channels, in the cloud or even in offline ones such as in-store or via a call center. And as a result, we see that deliver on these expectations and successfully engaging your customers is a great challenge today.

And while it’s a significant challenge for organization, there are many benefits to successfully engaging your customers: Engaged customers are more likely to:

  • Purchase your products and services.
  • Be loyal to a brand over the long term through the purchase of additional products and services.
  • Become a brand advocate and recommend a business’s products and services -- and will all know how important customer endorsements such as ratings and review have become today.
  • Pay more for a great customer experience. In fact, a whopping 86% of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

Failing to engage customers doesn’t just mean losing a sale; it could have a significant long-term negative side effect. Failing to engage customers and failing to deliver great customer experiences, companies are doing much more than simply leaving additional revenue on the table. Today there can be real consequences for failing to deliver on customer expectations. Today’s demanding customers won’t hesitate to drop your brand in the wake of a poor experience. In fact 89% of consumers say they will do business with your competitor following a poor experience with you. And the consequences are even higher than losing that one customer to your competitor in today’s social and connected world. Your unhappy customers can easily amplify their displeasure and chip away at your brand‘s reputation via their social networks or through the posting of negative reviews on sites like Yelp or Google Places.

So, how do you use social, mobile and cloud self-service to effectively engage your customers and employees? How do you provide them with personalized, integrated, application-oriented and mutli-channel access to improve satisfaction and productivity? Oracle WebCenter is the engagement platform powering exceptional experiences for employees, partners and customers. It brings together people, processes, and information to deliver social, mobile and cloud based self-service solutions. We invite you to view this screencast as part of The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud program to find out how Oracle WebCenter allows you to engage your customers, improve employee satisfaction and increase partner efficiency.

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Friday Feb 22, 2013

#DoMoreWithOracle - It’s a Social World

WebCenter Product Marketing Team Blog

We live in very social times – in 60 seconds in today’s online world, we see 695,000 new searches on Google while 72 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube. We send 11 million instant messages and tweet 98,000 times. There are 1,389 new blog postings and 695,000 new status updates to facebook. Meanwhile, Instagram gets 3,480 new photos uploaded.

Some of these figures may seem large, some may seem small, but they all show a trend for more - More - MORE as the population becomes ever more engaged with our social media world.

We see staggering statistics of social media usage across the globe – in 2011 YouTube had more than 1 TRILLION views or to put this in relative terms that would translate to 140 views for every person on the planet Earth. Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. Facebook has 845 million active users that create 3.2 billion likes and comments every day. Facebook users spend an average of 6 hours, 35 minutes per month on the site. Facebook has reached 100 billion friendships. There are 250 million photos uploaded each day = 173,611/minute. Let’s face the facts – we are all hooked on socially engaging via the latest and greatest tools available.

The challenge?

Are you giving your customers, employees and partners the best online experience they have come to expect from their personal lives?

ARE YOU ENGAGING EVERYONE WITH EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES?

Not to mention that this also usually includes managing huge QUANTITIES of business data, while replicating the QUALITY of the social media experience.

So then, how do you manage the qualities of a business – including data and interaction and replicate the quality of the social media experience?

#DoMoreWithOracle – we can certainly help! Watch our Do More with Oracle WebCenter Series to learn more. If you missed last week's keynote for The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud, go here

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Thursday Feb 21, 2013

Do More with Oracle WebCenter

WebCenter Product Marketing Team Blog

Whether you’ve established a content infrastructure and you’re ready to build solutions on top; or if you have tactical needs to solve specific business problems, Oracle WebCenter provides out of the box applications and a feature-rich foundation to meet your needs.

The more you plug into key applications and use cases, the more value your content infrastructure provides to the enterprise. Extend your reach, your ROI, and your value to your organization. Set the stage for future innovation.

Enable Employees, Partners, and Customers to Do More With Oracle WebCenter

Did you know that, in addition to enterprise content management, Oracle WebCenter also includes comprehensive portal, composite application, collaboration, and Web experience management capabilities? 

Does Oracle power your portal solution for intranets, self-service portals or community websites? If so, did you know that Oracle WebCenter now also includes comprehensive content, web experience management and social computing capabilities?

Are you providing your customers with engaging online experiences using Oracle? If so, you probably realize that there’s more to exceptional customer engagement than just Web experience management. You must also empower your business by engaging and enabling employees and partners to deliver on customers’ expectations.

Now you can do more with WebCenter than ever before by creating advanced customer facing web solutions to improve customer loyalty and sales by delivering contextual and targeted multi-channel experiences to users across mobile, social and web channels. And you can manage the entire content lifecycle of not just the content in your portals but across your entire company as well.

Join us for this On Demand Series of 3 Webcasts and learn how you can provide a new level of engagement. Learn how to Do More with Oracle WebCenter:

  • Do More with Oracle WebCenter – Expand Beyond Content Management
  • Do More with Oracle WebCenter - Expand Beyond Web Experience Management
  • Do More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Portals

 Learn more about how WebCenter:

  • Drives task-specific application data and content to a single screen for executing specific business processes
  • Enables mixed internal and external environments where content can be securely shared and filtered with employees, partners, and customers, based upon role-based security
  • Offers Web experience management, driving contextually relevant, social, and interactive online experiences across multiple channels
  • Provides social features that enable sharing, activity feeds, collaboration, expertise location, and best-practices communities
  • Drives sales and loyalty with an engaging cross-channel online experience
  • Enables self-service extranets, intranets and custom application dashboards
  • Enhances productivity with social collaboration
  • Optimizes information access with content management
  • Enables the social business by coordinating collaboration inside and outside the enterprise
  • Improves the online experience by delivering targeted multi-channel customer experiences
  • Manages the complete content lifecycle across all websites, applications and social tools on a strategic enterprise content management platform

What businesses sometimes forget, is that to truly engage your customers, you must also first enable and engage your partners and employees.

Do More with WebCenter, the user engagement platform for social business.

Watch Now: Do More with Oracle WebCenter Series

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Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

Got a Minute?

WebCenter Product Marketing Team Blog

How much did anyone get done in a minute, an hour or a day in 1953? 1973? 1983? 1993? 2003? For those that have been around a while, we’ve certainly witnessed the increased velocity with which today’s business operates in 2013.

And when we find ourselves catching our breath some days, we can understand that June and Ward Cleaver didn’t have a Smartphone in their pocket allowing Wally and the Beaver a slower lifestyle and larger global unknown world. Maybe the Beaver wouldn’t have gotten into so much trouble if June had been tracking him via his cell phone GPS.

I won’t wane on nostalgically (too much) about the “good ‘ol days” in fictitious suburbia when we actually waited for the US mail to deliver our packages and correspondence or we had to be in an office or find a payphone to make a call outside of the home.  As the world has evolved due to the rapid speed of communications, it has become a much smaller place – or at least our perception of the world has shrunk to fit in our shirt pocket.

Given the right timing, there are no barriers to easily asking a colleague across the world in Australia, Japan, India, or France a quick question to clarify something that would have taken days or even weeks decades ago. We are living in a new technology-based world with “Digital Darwinism” in full force. Those new employees joining your ranks that were born with a computer in their hands, the “Digital Natives” or “Born Digital” as they are known are arriving with new expectations for the integration of their work and personal lives. They are social beings and are arriving having become accustomed to multiple tools for instantaneous communications, intuitive collaboration at all hours; a different perspective on what is public vs. private and the expectation that the digital tools that they will use in their employment will be just as easy to use as those in their personal lives. They also bring to the workplace the growing expectation that everything in life is social, can be done while mobile, and ultimately, come from the cloud…

Today’s customer expects to engage with your brand and the community surrounding it in an interactive and social way. Customers expect a lot for the online customer experience. 

They expect it to be personal:

  • AccessibleRegardless of my device – Mobile or not -  Via my existing online identities 
  • Relevant: Content that interests me 
  • Customized: To be able to tailor my online experience 

They expect is to be engaging: 

  • SocialSo I can share content with my social networks 
  • IntuitiveTo easily find what I need  
  • InteractiveSo I can interact with online communities

And they expect it to be consistent across the online experience

Interestingly enough, the business priorities of decades ago are still at play today. Do you need to Lower Costs? Increase Sales? Raise Productivity? Foster Innovation? Deliver a product or a service faster, better and cheaper?  At least some things haven’t changed, but the tools by which we accomplish these goals are constantly changing and improving, providing the experience to increase engagement of your employees, customers and partners. Got a Minute? Take a look at how much happens in just 60 seconds and how your organization compares.


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Friday Feb 15, 2013

Ready, Set, Go! Learn about “The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud”

And we’re off … over the next 5 months, you will learn about New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud and how you can help transform your enterprise, your industry.

On Tuesday, we had our screencast, “The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile Cloud” (you can catch the replay here).

Did you know?

80% of Fortune 500 executives say enterprise-wide collaboration is the key to success

By 2014, 90% of companies will support their applications on personal mobile devices

56% of surveyed executives believe the cloud will make their organizations more agile and competitive

For the next 5 months, we will be featuring a new topic each week, exploring the key trends that are impacting businesses today, You will gain new insights as to how Oracle Fusion Middleware can help transform your enterprise by taking advantage of today’s business imperatives.

For more information, download the latest white paper, “The Enterprise Imperatives: Social, Mobile, Cloud” (download here).

Join us next week, to learn more about creating a social business culture that engages employees, customers and partners with Oracle WebCenter.

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Thursday Feb 14, 2013

Learn More about Social, Mobile, Cloud in White Paper

Did you enjoy our first feature: “The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud.” If you missed the screencast, you can catch the replay here.

We have written a new white paper, “The Enterprise Imperatives: Social, Mobile, Cloud” to provide valuable insights as to how Oracle Fusion Middleware provides:

  • An engagement platform for their employees, customers, and partners
  • A mobile computing strategy that enables developers to easily and securely extend enterprise applications to mobile devices
  • Unified BPM that delivers faster time-to-value, reduces complexity and risk, and enables strategic advantage while delivering the tactical results enterprises need today.
  • Open, standards-based middleware technologies that let organizations create, modify, maintain and upgrade to next-generation applications easily.

Download the paper now and to learn more about how your enterprise can embrace social, mobile, cloud technologies and transform into the market leaders of tomorrow.

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Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Introducing “The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud”

We are very excited to kick off our new social program called, The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud. For the next 5 months, we will discuss the key trends that are impacting businesses today and how Oracle Fusion Middleware is helping to transform enterprises by taking advantage of them. 

Watch our keynote this week, featuring Howard Beader, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Fusion Middleware, to learn:

  • About the impact of social, mobile, cloud technologies to your organization
  • How companies embracing these technologies are transforming their industries
  • How your organization can not only prepare, but embrace these technologies

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Thursday Feb 07, 2013

Ready to Launch!

Author: Howard Beader, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Technology Business Group

 

One of the coolest parts of my day here at Oracle is being able to watch the various marketing programs launch and run all over the world with you all consuming the content.  This only happens following months of effort designing the program, creating the content and then of course coordinating the various launch and execution activities.  Today’s post as you might imagine is focused on a new type program we are driving called “The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud” and this one is rather different than what you may have seen in the past from us. This program is running only through our social channels, so you won’t get an Evite, email or direct mail asking you to sign up for yet another Oracle Webcast. 

This program is also one that that will run over an almost 5-month period segmented with weekly topics that are highlighted by a video or screencast.  We are making available related additional content and of course there will be lots of social activity and promotions.  All of these videos are short and to the point, no more than 5-8 minutes in length.

So you may now be asking, why are we doing this via social, and not just running a set of webcasts or events or providing content for download from the Oracle website. Well, the answer really lies in the name of the program itself, New Business Imperative Social, Mobile and Cloud. The way we all work, the way we consume content and the way we access enterprise applications has significantly evolved over the past few years.   Think about how often we are now always online, whether it’s via the browser on our laptop or via the smartphone we all have with us at all hours of the day.  People, customers, employees all want to access and consume content the easiest way possible and this is relevant for both consumer and enterprise content.  If you look at some of the newest mobile apps that are making news today, apps like Vine where you can record 6 seconds of video to tell a story are gaining huge momentum and are driving eyeballs to check it out.   It provides a simple way for creative folks to tell a story. I believe that it’s this type of digital marketing that is going to drive significant value moving forward for both awareness and demand generation for organizations.  Now every story can’t be told in 6 seconds, but its the short focused content that is easily accessible and easily consumable that will drive the most viewers and hopefully will translate into the most value for the organization. 

I am hopeful that you all agree with our approach and enjoy the content. I hope the content is educational, relevant and interesting. Feel free to comment and engage with us across our social channels to tell us what you think!    

We will be kicking off the program here on the Fusion Middleware Blog next Tuesday and you can engage with us on Twitter (@OracleMiddle) or Facebook.

Additional Information

Monday Feb 04, 2013

ADF Customer Spotlight: Micros Systems, Inc.

Author: Dana Singleterry, Prinicipal Product Manager, Oracle Development Tools  

"Oracle ADF has allowed us to rapidly develop a rich and compelling  User Interface that is so intuitive to our hotel enterprise employees that very little training was required.” – Boro Petrovic, CTO, Micros Systems Inc.

MICROS Systems, Inc. is the leading provider for enterprise applications for the hospitality and retail industries worldwide. Over 370,000 MICROS systems are currently installed in table and quick service restaurants, hotels, motels, casinos, leisure and entertainment, and retail operations in more than 180 countries, and on all seven continents. In addition, MICROS provides property management systems, central reservation and customer information solutions for more than 30,000 hotels worldwide, as well as point-of-sale, loss prevention, and cross-channel functionality for more than 150,000 retail stores worldwide and 17,000 fuel and convenience stores. 

Beyond being the only full systems solutions provider for all market segments within the hospitality and specialty retail industries, MICROS is also the industry leader in providing cloud services in their data centers throughout the globe.  They have a global distribution and service network in place for major chains, regional chains, local independents, table service, and the quick services market. 

For over 15 years, MICROS,  an OPN Platinum partner has been working closely with Oracle, applying industry best practices in the development of their solutions. Their current application suite for the hospitality industry, OPERA 5, was built on Oracle Forms and the Oracle database running on Microsoft Windows. The next generation of this suite, OPERA 9, is being developed and released in modules that are now based on the newer Oracle Fusion Middleware (FMW) 11g technologies, Oracle Database 11g, and will run on Oracle Linux.

Their primary driver for change was a need for modernization of their legacy systems both from a User Interface (UI) and a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) perspective. MICROS leveraged Oracle Application Development Framework (ADF) for providing a rich UI for their business processes that could be served up either through traditional methods or through mobile devices globally. From a SOA perspective, MICROS saw a need for agility based on dynamic business requirements and so leveraged Oracle’s SOA Suite to provide loosely-coupled services that could evolve without impact to other services.

MICROS had begun evolving their legacy system into a modern solution with a feature-rich, attractive, Oracle ADF-based UI that is loosely-coupled with services, which can be distributed via the cloud.

One of the biggest challenges for Micros was how to leverage their existing Oracle Forms-based solution while at the same time taking on the modernization effort. This was accomplished through the innovative use of Oracle FMW technologies. The MICROS R&D team created an architecture that leveraged the 1000+ man years invested in their Oracle Forms-based solution, which was already in widespread production use. Thus, their legacy system was not a throw-away but instead became an integration effort with the newer technologies provided by Oracle FMW including Oracle’s ADF.

Return on Investment (ROI) in migration of Oracle Forms applications to ADF applications comes from re-engineering business processes using new application features / functionality based on ADF Business Components, ADF Task Flows, and ADF Faces Rich Client Components that are more efficient and provide for rapid adoption by users due to rich experience and ease of use. MICROS is migrating Oracle Forms modules by business processes (i.e. Hotel Reservation Booking process; Guest Check-In / Check-Out process; etc.). Within one business process it is either an all-Forms solution or it is an all-ADF solution. Each process is launched independently from within the Oracle WebCenter Portal dashboard. Forms modules run in a separate window and are launched from a common WebCenter dashboard via menu items that are linked to the servlet.

 

Dashboard style layout with search functionality and customizations enabled. Allows agents to book rooms for their guests. 

One of the many unique characteristics of this solution is the innovative use of Oracle FMW to support an enterprise solution that supports all localizations (such as languages, local legal requirements, etc.) and can be deployed globally in the form of distributed services. Services that can be virtualized allowing customers the choice of different providers. This is accomplished in ADF through the use of resource-bundles for each supported locale. In addition to this, the rich set of ADF Faces components has been utilized to provide a very rich UI that is intuitive to use for the hotel employees and provides ADA compliance, internationalization, translation, mobility, as well as gesture touch on tablets for graph data visualization components and data grid scrolling all out-of-the-box functionality provided by ADF.

In terms of Business value to MICROS, this can be seen as follows:

Short Term:

  • Enhanced multi-channel user interface served up through traditional methods or mobile devices
  • Improved application performance when accessed over networks with higher latency
  • Enhanced business processes and flexibility
  • Reduced training time 

Long Term:

  • Improved agility through SOA
  • Improved development productivity

Additional Information

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