Wednesday Apr 22, 2015

Strategic HCM—Creating Value Through Your People


Rush hour traffic. Tuesday morning. The Mission District of San Francisco.

I’m riding shotgun in a Lincoln Town car, on my way to meet Ron Storn, VP of People for Lyft, for breakfast. Ron would be presenting in our customer experiences session at Oracle OpenWorld ’14 later that week.

Aaron, my driver, takes the advice of his navigation app and leaves the clogged freeway to follow a series of detours that lead us to the front door of Boogaloos, a local neighborhood mainstay. Ten minutes early, I get out of the Lincoln, wish Aaron a good rest of his day, and tap the screen in my Lyft iPhone app a couple of times. We’re done. My first rideshare experience is a success.

I've been following the progress of Lyft ever since that September morning. Six months later, Oracle just released a video providing an update on Lyft’s experience with Oracle HCM Cloud.

As Ron states, he joined the company when they had about 85 employees. Now they have 400+. As VP of People at a hot Bay Area startup in a hypergrowth industry, he has a challenging job. His target workforce wants three things:

  1. Great talent around them
  2. Have an impact 
  3. Feel passionate about their company

“I’m using Oracle for us to win the war for talent,” Ron says. “If we don’t win that war in keeping, growing, and retaining talent than we’ll never win as a product.”

To meet HR challenges, Lyft’s strategy is to deploy Oracle HCM Cloud in a modular approach starting with core HR, succession planning, and compensation. The idea is to set a new tone for strategic HR.

“In past HR has been known to be a very administrative paper pushing type function,” Ron explains. “We’re trying to change that in order be a very fast moving enabler of growth. Instead of being bureaucratic we want to be a change agent that can be a partner to all of our clients.”

Lyft’s circumstances are very similar to that of many growing midsize organizations looking to Oracle for not just products but also expertise and advice.

“Being a start up that is growing so fast, we didn’t know what they didn’t know,” Ron says. “So working with the Oracle team as well as the implementation partner helped us generate and create a tool that would work for us today but also help us scale into the future.”

Explore Modern Best Practice for HR and Talent: 



Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Tuesday Apr 21, 2015

Deadline April 29: Partners-Showcase Your Modern Best Practice Success at Oracle OpenWorld ‘15


We launched Modern Best Practice at Oracle OpenWorld last September. The response has been overwhelming. The pages are getting more traffic than I-25 through Denver at rush hour.

Shaped by the latest technology—cloud, social, mobile, analytics, Big Data, IoT—Modern Best Practice articulates how you execute to achieve consistently superior results.

Deadline for Submitting Proposals for Oracle OpenWorld ’15 Sessions is Wednesday April 29!

This year at Oracle OpenWorld ’15 we look forward to seeing sessions that illustrate Modern Best Practice. Adopting Modern Best Practice allows our customers to do business in ways that their old systems could not support; do business in ways they might not even imagined to be possible.

Here are a few examples:

Solairus Aviation—Seamless Finance, Projects, & HR Cloud enables competitive advantage, “ When our CEO goes into new business pitches he’s going to be able to demonstrate this transparency that Oracle ERP Cloud is able to give us and it’s going to set us apart from the marketplace.”—Mark Dennen, CFO

Dell—“Within the first four months of launching this tool, we had over 7900 job shares through the Oracle social sourcing tool so what could have taken several months to do we can now do in a matter of days.”—Diane Paquet, Director of HR Technology

Lifesize, USA—“The Oracle Marketing Cloud is at the forefront of driving our customer growth. We’e generated over $100 of pipeline generated just from the marketing programs we ran.” Megan Lueders, VP of Marketing

Feel free to contact me if you have ideas you’d like to discuss (jim.lein@oracle.com).

Go to Oracle Call for Proposals to learn how to submit your proposal.


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Friday Apr 17, 2015

Humming On All Rotors: Oracle Cloud


Per our last earnings release, Oracle customers are adopting ERP cloud at the fastest rate ever. Today, I was reading this Forbes OracleVoice article, Yes, Larry Ellison's Oracle Is Now A Cloud Company in which the author states, “cloud is the fuel that is making the company’s motor hum…the more closely you look at the numbers, the more it becomes apparent that Oracle is firing on all cylinders in the cloud.”

Personally, I would have used the drive train of an electric car (think Tesla) for the metaphor. Electric cars =) cloud; internal combustion car =) on premise. Get it? Metaphor aside, in case you missed the numbers, Oracle reported last month that our cloud software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) grew 30% to $375 million (33% in constant currency). Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) revenue was $155 million, up 32%.

Oracle ERP Cloud is particularly on a hot streak right now. More companies are ready for cloud ERP and understanding the benefits of it than ever before. Programs such as Oracle’s Customer 2 Cloud are speeding adoption.

Also, we’re now offering an extensive library of resources—process flows, thought leadership, whitepapers, customer experiences—to help plan your move to Modern Best Practice which exploits enabling technologies such as cloud, analytics, and mobile. Recognizing that ½ to ¾ of the modern buying process is completed before buyers contact a solution provider, we want to make sure you have everything you need during your discovery process to learn about Oracle and realize that we get cloud.

Explore Oracle Modern Best Practice:


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Apr 15, 2015

Attending Collaborate '15? 6 Reasons To Adopt Modern Best Practice


Collaborate15, the technology and applications forum for the Oracle community, has evolved into the premier event for users of just about every Oracle solution to gather and share knowledge. Many attendees represent organizations that are currently operating with some combination of cloud and on premise solutions, both Oracle and third party products, and share a common goal of wanting to help their organizations become modern businesses.

At Oracle OpenWorld ’15 we announced free access to an extensive library of resources that help our customers adopt Modern Best Practice. Today, you can explore in depth content providing practical advice, executive thought leadership, and customer experiences across dozens of processes spanning finance, HR and talent, sales, service, marketing, and procurement.

“How is Modern Best Practice different from Old Fashioned Best Practice?”, you might ask. Simply put, the difference is that Modern Best Practice exploits the enabling technologies of cloud, social, mobile, analytics, Big Data, and IoT. Adoption of Modern Best Practice enables organizations of all sizes to achieve consistently superior results faster and with fewer resources.

The best way to explain the 6 Best Reasons to Adopt Modern Best Practice is to show you examples of the resources Oracle provides across all areas of your organization:


The hundreds of content assets we provide can help you from start to finish when adopting Modern Best Practice. Over the coming months we'll be adding more processes and resources as well as expanding coverage to other areas of your business.


Design and implement Modern Best Practice for Social Relationship Management with this new eBook authored by Reggie Bradford, Oracle SVP of Social Relationship Management Product Development

Explore and enjoy.


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.


Tuesday Apr 14, 2015

Suffering From Bloated SaaS?


When it comes to SaaS can there be too much of a good thing? Many SaaS-adopting organizations now find themselves with dozens of precariously connected solutions, primarily because line of business buyers bypass the offices of finance and IT. 

Matt Blumber, CEO and founder of Return Path, recently penned this fun post Honey, Does this Make My SaaS Look Big?. Blumber inventories his company’s SaaS stockpile off the top of his head (50+ solutions; 50+ vendors) and acknowledges that there may be overlap because, “it’s easy for people to put small charges on credit cards and not realize other pockets of the organization are using different or even the same tools”.

I understand how this happens. And I’m not one to talk. I have over a dozen personal social media accounts, including five Facebook pages. But no harm no foul. My strategy may be chubby but it’s not hurting me.

In contrast, a bloated SaaS strategy can cost your company time and money as well as create misinformation nightmares associated with integration challenges.

Oracle strives to be our customers’ one stop shop for efficient SaaS. In addition to an extensive portfolio of applications, we offer solutions that allow you to :

  • Connect all your line of business applications—whether on premise or cloud—to the rest of your business,
  • Connect any person with all your applications anytime, anywhere
  • Connect any intelligent device
Learn more:

Video: How to Avoid Cloud Connection Headaches

Video: Choosing the Right SaaS With SaaS Facts 


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Friday Apr 10, 2015

Preparing For Your Journey to ERP Cloud

Karen dela Torre, VP of the ERP applications business group at Oracle, offers practical ERP Cloud deployment advice in her recent Forbes OracleVoice post, Safe Passage to the Cloud: 5 Best Practices for Cloud Implementation.

"Much has been written recently about the benefits of moving ERP to the cloud, and CFOs are embracing the cloud in growing numbers," writes dela Torre. "Yet the move also presents challenges, and there are only a small number of vendors and system integrators with experience in this area."

#3 on her list is Embrace Standard Best Practices Already in the Application. Based on her extensive experience working with ERP Cloud adopters, dela Torre advises,

"If all you want is to migrate your old, on-premises processes to the cloud, then you’re not really getting all the benefits of a modern ERP cloud. Of course every company will have some unique processes, and you should look for a vendor that can provide the tools you need to personalize your cloud."

Oracle provides extensive free resources-including thought leadership, how to advice, customer experiences-to help your organization adopt Modern Best Practice.

Get started by exploring Modern Best Practice for Finance:


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Thursday Apr 09, 2015

Life at Oracle Rocks: Supporting a Diverse and Talented Workforce

I stumbled across this video Life at Oracle: Jane Glasgow - Loves to Rock in which Jane talks about her experiences as an Oracle employee and as lead singer in her band, Scope Creep, the all-Oracle employee unofficial house band. I had to chuckle because, thanks to Oracle (albeit indirectly), I’m in a band too.

After commuting to Denver for 20 years—an hour each way best case scenario—I became a home based Feral Worker in 2007. The flexibility and freedom associated with this transition directly lead to my being able to hang out at the local open mic on Thursday evenings, something I could only have dreamed of back when I was commuting. Hanging out at open mic almost always leads to being in band. Just ask Head and the Heart.

Oracle’s business processes leverage enabling technologies to support a diverse, mobile, and talented workforce. My team is spread across about a dozen global time zones but we are connected 24/7/365 with our collaborative social network, live chat, video conferencing, and even old fashioned email.  All on our smartphones, tablets, and laptops. We work hard and play hard and sometimes those lives overlap.

If you’re ever in Evergreen, stop by the legendary Little Bear Saloon. There’s a good chance the Mumblin’ Cousins will be playing there.

Learn more about Life at Oracle

Explore our free resources to help your organization adopt Modern Best Practice 


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Apr 08, 2015

Cloud, Mobility, Analytics in EMEA Update: Spring Edition Oracle One Magazine


I learned a few new things before 8 a.m. today. That's because I read the Spring 2015 edition of Oracle One Magazine, our EMEA-focused quarterly publication that covers topics of interest to midsize organizations.

  • Adoption of cloud solutions in EMEA lags behind adoption in the US
  • The primary driver of cloud adoption in EMEA is different than the primary driver in the US
  • Globally, enterprises expect to boost mobile-related IT expenses by more than 50 % in the next two years 

As Steve Fearon, Oracle's VP of applications for midsize enterprises in western Europe, stated in my interview with him in February, that " to seize those growth opportunities, companies need to exploit SMAC—social, mobile, analytics, cloud—because it has radically changed how technology is applied to business processes."

Oracle Modern Best Practice helps companies of all sizes do just that. Shaped by the latest technology, Modern Best Practice articulates how you execute to achieve consistently superior results.

Learn more here: 



Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Thursday Apr 02, 2015

The Best Marketing Video I've Ever Seen: Marketing Automation

OK, to be fair, I guess it's really the best marketing video I've seen for an Oracle product.

I've been scoping a new video to promote the free resources Oracle provides to help companies adopt Modern Best Practice. As part of that exercise, I've been reviewing videos. Lots of videos.

Here' s the video I'm talking about, a promotion for Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation. It's longer than most videos these days but it held my attention because it is interactive, funny, and informative. Sounds like my wife's idea of a perfect date before she met me.

The only things I didn't like:

  1. I couldn't pause the video

  2. Darrel looks 63, not 43

  3. The dig about Darrel deciding to become an alpaca rancher instead of a chicken farmer ("You're better than that, Darrel"). As an aspiring llama rancher, I took umbrage to that (admittedly, not too much). 

Watch the video and let me know what you think.

I briefly considered sharing examples of the worst marketing videos I'd ever seen but decided that idea was fraught with peril.

There's a link at the bottom of the page during the video to skip to additional resources. I might also suggest you explore our Modern Best Practice for Marketing resources.



Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Apr 01, 2015

Seamless Finance, Projects, & HR Cloud: Solairus Aviation


I admit it…I have a hankering to fly on a private jet. The cushy leather seats, internet TV tuned to a Warren Miller ski flick, and a personal flight attendant serving me a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a side of Colorado’s Beau Jo’s pizza.

I’ve often pondered such a scenario from the balcony of the room we reserve at the Marriott McDowell Mountain Ranch every Thanksgiving. It’s right on the flight path for the Scottsdale Airport so I get to watch all sorts of small aircraft land and takeoff.

Watch the videoI’ve also pondered the business side of private jets ever since I chatted with a couple of corporate pilots in the lobby of the Hyatt Boston Harbor. They set me straight about the challenges of keeping owners happy.

That’s why this Oracle customer video for caught my eye. Solairus Aviation’s CFO Mark Dennen articulates clearly what Modern Best Practice means for his growing midsize business.



Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Monday Mar 30, 2015

Bad Vision Can be Devasting: Sales Strategies

Have you ever made a bad decision because you could only see outdated or incomplete information? What were the consequences of that(those) bad decision(s)?

  • Fewer than 50% of firms currently provide mobile access to critical sales and customer information
  • An estimated 27% of customer data will change this year.
Those are just two amazing facts presented in this Oracle infographic.

Most likely, sales is one of the last places you want decisions being made based on bad information. You can have the best sales force on the planet and still not be as efficient as competitors who exploit enabling technologies to make it possible for sales reps, managers, and executives to see accurate information in real time on any device. 

Explore the free resources Oracle offers to help you craft the most effective practices for Sales.


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Friday Mar 27, 2015

Is Your Digital Transformation Stalled?


Digital Transformation is more popular than Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper movies are right now and that's saying something. Organizations that exploit the enabling technologies of cloud, analytics, social, mobile, Big Data, and IoT are running circles around their competition in their self-driving cars.

But not every organization is rocketing down the digital highway and I believe the culprit is the lack of a good navigation system.

Read the rest of my guest post in the Oracle Cloud Solutions blog.  


Jim Lein

Oracle for Midsize Businesses

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and IoT, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.


Wednesday Mar 25, 2015

Is Your Social Strategy Light On Its Feet?


Strategists at social media platform providers are adjusting their tactics in real time. Are you doing the same with your Social Relationship Management (SRM) strategy? More importantly, do you even have an SRM strategy?

Listening to what your extended community—customers, prospects, partners, employees, analysts, media—is saying about your brand on social media isn’t a once a year task.And reviewing your social media content strategy on a quarterly basis is soooo 1990’s.Personally, I learn something every day whether I’m trying to or not.

Even if you have a mature SRM strategy, it might be a good time to do a gut check and consider why you’re in social media in the first place.

Consider how Reggie Bradford, Oracle’s SVP of SRM development, answered this question when I interviewed him for my blog awhile back:


To learn more on getting started with SRM or fine tuning your current strategy, download Reggie’s new eBook, Modern Best Practice for the Social Business.




Jim Lein

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and the internet of things, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Friday Mar 20, 2015

Is Your IT IPO Ready?


Oracle just published Preparing to Go Public: IPO Readiness Best Practice Guide featuring insight and advice from Oracle customer executives and Steve Hobbs, Managing Director at Protiviti. Protiviti is a global business consulting and internal audit firm composed of experts specializing in risk, advisory, and transaction services. 

This brief focuses on the role IT plays in IPO readiness. As Hobbs states,

"First and foremost, you must have the ability to scale the business, and that means making certain that you have the information systems in place that allow you to scale. Companies also need to consider the process side of the business. Among other things, you need to have mature governance, internal controls, and processes around critical areas such as security and privacy.”

Here are the 4 Best Practices for Modern Finance IPO Readiness discussed in the brief: 

  1. Establish IT Governance and Processes that Enable Growth
  2. Plan for Future Growth
  3. Establish a Systematic and Disciplined Financial Close Process
  4. Replace Spreadsheets with Modern Planning, Budgeting, and Forecasting Applications

For more on this subject, read my interview with Lenley Hensarling, former GVP of Oracle JD Edwards and now an independent operating partner with Peak Equity Partners, entitled Equity funding for your buyout, startup, spinoff?


Jim Lein

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and the internet of things, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.


Friday Mar 13, 2015

Personalize Your Cloud

It’s OK to get excited about moving your applications to the cloud and the promise of having newfound abilities to personalize everything. But its not OK to let that enthusiasm gloss over platform challenges.

Cost conscious midsize companies need to drill down past the pretty demo and consider the big picture when choosing SaaS solutions, including the availability and cost of resources to build extensions or integrations.

Oracle is unique in our ability to support cloud strategies from the bottom up with standards-based solutions for IaaS, PaaS, DaaS, and SaaS.

Here's a short (2 min) video that will give you some food for thought.


Jim Lein

Modern Best Practice exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud, mobile, social, analytics, big data, and the internet of things, making it possible for your organization to achieve more, faster and with fewer resources.  It is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways to achieve consistently superior performance.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.


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