Friday Jun 12, 2015

Take the Creepy Out of Recruiting


I admit it. Sometimes I creep. Anyone who prides themselves on being a top notch web researcher will from time to time. For instance, my son just received his roommate assignment for his freshman year at college and I knew everything the web could tell me about that kid within half an hour.

In fairness, most LinkedIn users are probably more flattered than insulted by recruiters looking at their profiles. But if your recruiting strategy relies too heavily on trolling LinkedIn, you’re not on the path to adopting Modern Best Practice for Recruiting.

This guide, Social Networking With a Purpose: Acquire More Talent by Combining Referrals with Social Media, identifies that your existing employees likely hold the key to hiring the best talent.

2014 research by Recruiting Trends:

  • 73.6% of recruiters say that employee referrals yield the highest quality candidates
  • 54% identify employee referrals as one of their top candidate sources
  • A referred candidate is three to four times more likely to be hired.

Voluntary employee referrals are just the tip of the iceberg, as the guide states, because, “neither employees nor alumni can refer friends and colleagues to job openings they don’t know about.” Voluntary referrals miss out on the full potential of the reality that 45% of LinkedIn users have 500+ connections.

Read the guide to learn how to build a proactive referral strategy that makes it easy to tap into the full potential of your employees’ and alumni’s social networks.

Learn more about Modern Best Practice for HR and Talent:


Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

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 Jun 05, 2015

Oracle Publishes 5 New Modern Best Practices for Innovation


Oracle launched Modern Best Practice last fall. We're adding focus on additional business areas, most recently Modern Best Practice for Innovation. These resources-process flows, ebooks, how to advice, customer experiences-help organizations of all sizes who are seeking to exploit the enabling technologies of cloud, social, mobile, IoT, analytics, and Big Data to digitally transform and/or digitally disrupt.

These new pages cover Modern Best Practice for:

  • Idea Capture
  • Requirement Definition 
  • Concept to Design
  • Portfolio Review
  • Proposal to Market

Explore Modern Best Practice for Innovation:




Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

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 May 13, 2015

6 Must-Have Enablers for Modern Best Practices

The quarterly Midsize Edition of the Oracle Information InDepth newsletter is out, featuring Steve Cox, VP, Oracle Cloud GTM midsize in an article, '6 Must-have Enablers for Modern Best Practice'.

From the article:

Traditionally, best practices have been templates for action that consist of a fixed number of clearly defined steps. But as the pace of business change accelerates, the very concept of best practices is changing.

"Modern best practices must have flexibility built into their DNA," says Oracle Vice President, Cloud GTM Midsize, Steve Cox. "It's not just about defining prescribed steps, but incorporating performance monitoring—and the tools and processes to foster ongoing innovation and improvement."

Cox identifies six key technologies that enable midsize organizations to take this kind of iterative approach to best practices.

Read the full article.

Learn more about Oracle Modern Best Practice:




Jim Lein

Oracle Cloud GTM Strategies | Modern Best Practice | Solutions for Growing Companies 

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 May 06, 2015

It’s May: Is Your Customer Service Beachbody Ready?

If you’re trying to shape up your customer service practices, here’s a short and pithy video featuring Louis Ross, Beachbody’s VP of Coach Relations. Beachbody’s the creator of the nation's most popular fitness and weight loss solutions. The company’s mission, as Ross relates, is, “to end the trend of obesity in America and, eventually, around the world”.

Beachbody’s founders built a hyper growth company via their knack for developing brands that resonate with people—including P90X®, INSANITY®, and Hip Hop Abs®. Beachbody first became an Oracle ERP customer in 2008 when they were a much smaller company, with revenues generated by their 16 million customers and 200,000 coaches projected to exceed $1B in 2015. 

Beachbody is constantly refining their customer service processes to meet the needs of customers and coaches, with the cornerstone of offering multi-channel support.

“We see service at Beachbody as a way to extend the brand and be that word of mouth marketer that’s always so attractive and helps companies grow," says Ross. "It’s important that you have the right tools to meet your customers and coaches where they are and that might be on line, on a mobile device, via the telephone, online chat or social media."

Ross shares some facts and figures related to the incident management challenges Beachbody is  now addressing with Oracle Service Cloud:

  • 220k/day—contacts with customers and coaches
  • 33,500 FAQs—via online self service
  • 7.2m answer views—in 2014, up from 300,000 three years ago

Ross also points out that Oracle Service Cloud provides them with the ability to measure all the key performance metrics critical to maintaining their high levels of customer service.

“Quite frankly I can’t imagine how e could have handled the business we’ve seen in the last 12-18 months without Oracle Service Cloud,” concludes Ross.

If you're ready to stop procrastinating and whip your customer service into tip top shape, explore these free resources offered by Oracle to help you adopt Modern Best Practice for Service.


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 May 01, 2015

Playing Catch Up With Cloud?

KPMG’s 2014 Cloud Survey Report, Elevating Business in the Cloud, tells us something that most of us already know: Cloud is now positioned as the key IT delivery model supporting innovation.

I’m not trying to be Captain Obvious by sharing this. But the reality I see in my daily life is that so many businesses that have not embraced cloud are falling behind their competitors. Whether you’re interacting with customer service, or purchasing a product, or managing an account, it’s frustrating to plod through outdated mechanisms when you know there’s a faster-better-easier way. It makes you behave like you do when you have slow internet.

It’s not about cloud for the sake of cloud. But cloud is most often the catalyst employed by organizations to exploit the enabling technologies of social, mobile, and analytics.

From the survey, “It’s clear now that while organizations may have come to the cloud to reduce costs, it’s not why they stay. The true potential of cloud lies in an organization’s ability to leverage this agile delivery model to transform the business.”—Rick Wright, Principal and Global Cloud Enablement Leader at KPMG

If your organization is playing catch up with cloud, explore the free resources Oracle now offers to help craft your strategy for adopting Modern Best Practice powered by cloud.


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 30, 2015

False Summits: There is No Finish Line

As an avid mountain hiker, I’ve learned the heartbreak of false summits.(Pictured: the true summit of Colorado's Redcloud Peak, elevation 14,035 ft).  The trick is to push back the inclination to get discouraged and adjust your pace as if there is no summit. You’ll never stop hiking. Atop each summit, you're rewarded with views of other summits-some higher-waiting to be conquered. 

In an article by Mark Leslie, The Arc of Company Life - and How to Prolong It, published by First Round Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage startups. Leslie is a retired entrepreneur and lecturer at the Stanford School of Business.

It’s easy to forget that Oracle, now a $30 billion industry leader, was once a startup, founded by Larry Ellison and friends in a garage. Using Oracle and Amazon as case studies, Leslie provides color commentary to the growth curves of these companies and identifies how they had to figuratively, and literally, knock down barriers to growth (he recounts how Ellison hammered a hole in the wall of an early Oracle office to connect terminals to a mainframe computer).


I’ve seen Oracle transform many times since I came to the company via the PeopleSoft acquisition. Every morning, I read something to put myself in the right frame of mind, reminding myself that we are truly a company of entrepreneurial spirit. It’s never business as usual at Oracle.

As Leslie concludes, “It is sad but true that there is no place to rest,” observes Leslie. “There is No Finish Line."

Plot your growth curve by leveraging Oracle's free resources for adopting 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.

Tuesday Apr 28, 2015

Cloud: All Grown Up

Our son graduates high school next month. It's tempting to fall back on all the cliches and shower him with praise. He's all grown up. But while acknowledging how much he's achieved, we know that he's still very much a work in progress. 

Cloud computing has been growing up at the same time as our son, who has never known life without the internet. A new Harvard Business Review survey (sponsored by Oracle), "Cloud Computing Comes of Age" recognizes how far cloud has come:

...while also acknowledging that there is much room for improvement (or, as we say when referring to my son, "the best is yet to come").

The results of this survey show how organizations are under pressure to identify new business opportunities and innovate faster as cloud computing evolves while also identifying ways they can benefit from the next wave of cloud innovation.

Cloud computing is the cornerstone to any organization's digital transformation, with goals that include lowering costs, enabling innovation, empowering people, and increasing insight.

Oracle now provides extensive free resources to help  your organization adopt Modern Best Practice which is anchored by cloud computing and exploits enabling technologies that make possible new ways of doing business to achieve consistently superior results.

Explore these free 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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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