Monday Mar 09, 2015

Equity funding for your buyout, startup, spinoff? Executive Insight from Lenley Hensarling Part 3

Lenley Hensarling, past GVP and GM of Oracle JD Edwards, provides due diligence and advisory services to private equity and venture capital firms. He is currently engaged as an independent operating partner for Peak Equity Partners. He has over 30 years experience developing engineering and go-to-market strategies for software companies.

Part 1: What qualities do you look for in potential investment opportunities?

Part 2:  What happens after a company receives a capital infusion?


Part 3

Q: How does Oracle fit into the picture?

Oracle is showing their commitment to investing in cloud solutions. Cloud is driving the disaggregation of software that enables you to decide what specific problems you want to address with subscription based solutions and buy only what you need now knowing that you can buy more later when you need it.

I’ve always been a big fan of encouraging smaller companies to put better systems in place. The cloud and subscription models have made more sophisticated software and more complete solutions available to a much broader set of companies. It used to be that you would say, “You have to be this big before you can put really good financial systems in place”, or “You have to be another step up before you can really start to think about tying sales, marketing, services all together and managing both quality of that and the flow of revenue from the field in that way”.

But now you can decide to be as sophisticated as you need to be to run your business in the right way from the get-go. It’s not a big burdensome thing of putting in a big IT shop. You wind up with companies with a guy who’s running IT part time and the rest of the time providing internal IT support to the development group. These days that development platform might wind up being a Platform as a Service play.

Q: You told me that you moved down valley from Park City to Heber City because, “The fishing season is longer than the ski season”. Tell me a good fish story.

This year I started getting into steelheading. They’re big trout—10 pounds or more—that go out to sea for two years, come back in through northwestern rivers, and swim up river to spawn. My wife loves to fish too so we go on a fishing trip every year for our anniversary. When I told her—I mean suggested—that we were going steelheading this year, she said, “I don’t’ know if I want to do that. It’s a whole new way of casting. I’ll just bring my fly rod.”

The guide convinced her to give it a try and the second morning out she caught a huge fish. That trip, I caught 1 small fish and she caught 2 huge trophy fish. So she has bragging rights for now and she won’t let me forget it. But like the guide told me, “You’ll always be able to go steelheading now. Your wife is hooked.”



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.



Equity funding for your buyout, startup, spinoff? Executive Insight from Lenley Hensarling Part 2

Lenley Hensarling, past GVP and GM of Oracle JD Edwards, provides due diligence and advisory services to private equity and venture capital firms. He is currently engaged as an independent operating partner for Peak Equity Partners. He has over 30 years experience developing engineering and go-to-market strategies for software companies.

Part 1: What qualities do you look for in potential investment opportunities?


Part 2

Q: What typically happens after a company receives a capital infusion?

There is a saying in our business, “There’s smart money and dumb money. Dumb money is just money”. It sounds harsher than it is. Sometimes a company just needs working capital to cash out existing investors who have lost interest.

For example, a company might have been part of a 5 year fund that is closing. And maybe that company needs 8 years not just 5. So money may be all or most of what is required. But sometimes, new connections through new board members, new perspectives on market approaches, and new members to the management team go along with the capital. That is what I call “smart” money – it comes with expertise and understanding of the technology world.

Often times, infused capital will be invested in talent. Good investment firms can bring in a network of people—with deep understanding in their area of expertise—to the board of directors, advisory board, or even to operating roles. Getting some fresh eyes and skills on the problems can have a great effect in moving a company forward.

Because of the Great Recession, it’s pretty common that many companies have under invested in developing their sales and go-to-market strategies. If you bring in the right sales management, marketing, and upgrade the sales force they can once again reach a velocity to grow fast and create incremental value.

Q: How does Modern Best Practice come into play?

A lot of these companies are at the inflection point where they've been running on QuickBooks or maybe one of the Microsoft Dynamics solutions. And they may or may not have a cloud based CRM solution. Quite often we'll find that the marketing side has no systems. Sales have basic CRM that isn't tied back to the financial side.

We start by having conversations about opportunities to put such systems in place. This is where cloud based solutions can add business discipline and modern best practice. If you’re a smaller organization—maybe 5 to 25 people in the field—and trying to keep costs down, you need those people to collaborate without flying everybody back to the home office all the time. And maybe they don’t have a sales operations person in every region or even at the home office. That’s where the social and mobile components built into cloud CRM solutions become must haves.

You don’t want to interfere with what the teams are supposed to be focused on—selling, implementing, and supporting solutions—but you still need them tied into the systems so that you have visibility into the status of all those areas without it being onerous.

Cloud solutions for mobile and social are ideal in areas such as this because they don’t require a big capital outlay. You can buy what you need now and add incrementally as revenue grows and you add sales people. It winds up being a real attractive picture for growing smaller companies.

Part 3: How does Oracle fit into the picture?


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.


Equity funding for your buyout, startup, spinoff? Executive Insight from Lenley Hensarling


Lenley Hensarling, past GVP and GM of Oracle JD Edwards, provides due diligence and advisory services to private equity and venture capital firms. He is currently engaged as an independent operating partner for Peak Equity Partners. He has over 30 years experience developing engineering and go-to-market strategies for software companies.

Q: What is your role at Peak Equity Partners?

Peak Equity Partners concentrates on buyouts and recapitalizations of enterprise software and solutions companies. We’re most interested in companies that are just past the venture capital stage—not ready to go public and not ready to be sold to another company. My role is to provide advisory services to companies within their portfolio, help identify opportunities for investment, and perform due diligence once a decision has been made that a specific company is interesting. At that phase, we work together to determine the real state of the business—verify that what we think is there, is really there.

Q: What qualities do you look for in potential investment opportunities?

A lot of companies that were on a trajectory to hit success were somewhat derailed by the turn down in the economy. That didn’t mean that what they had wasn’t a good idea or that they weren’t necessarily executing well. The good ones held on—kept the cash flow coming. They got stranded as it were, and private equity is a good vehicle to get them back on a trajectory to deliver their value to customers and to investors.

That ability for a company to deliver value to the marketplace is what we are looking for. Is there a revenue stream? Do they have customers? Is their market of substantial size? Are they likely to get back on a good trajectory and go to the next level with an infusion of capital, advice, and expertise?

Q: How do you find companies like this?

Companies in this situation often hire an investment banker to seek out capital opportunities. There also exists a large network within the investment community. For example, a venture capital firm might have initially funded a company, but for whatever reasons that company is no longer a good fit for their portfolio, or the fund has closed out and their attention is better focused on new opportunities. They still think it’s a good company and the company’s board of directors and management engage with an investment bank to find someone to sell it to.

Private equity firms also proactively look for hidden gems, leveraging their networks and those of their operating partners. The call around and have some conversations. Sometimes those conversations go somewhere and sometimes they don’t.

Part 2: What happens after a company receives a capital infusion?

Part 3: How does Oracle fit into the picture?



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.


Thursday Mar 05, 2015

Turn Your Pirouette into a Pivot with Social Tools

Here’s a great article by Reggie Bradford, SVP of Oracle SRM Product Development, How Social Tools Can Help Your Business 'Pivot' Successfully. That’s pivot as in quick, dramatic shift in course, something that many of the best brands do so well today.

Nowadays, it’s easy to assume that every brand you recognize—be it love, hate, or ambivalence—has a carefully orchestrated SRM strategy. Not the case, I learned, while working with Reggie to publish his new eBook, Modern Best Practice for the Social Business (released just this week).

Many of the brands you know are still spinning (i.e. pirouetting) aimlessly with tactical activities in siloed social fiefdoms across the organization. The right click doesn’t always know what the left click is doing.While Oracle provides many resources to social champions across the full spectrum of SRM maturity, Reggie’s new eBook identifies the 7 Steps to Modern Best Practice for Social.


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.

Monday Mar 02, 2015

Getting Started With Your Social Relationship Management Strategy-Reggie Bradford, SVP, Oracle Product Development

Reggie Bradford, SVP, SRM Product Development, Oracle

Reggie Bradford joined Oracle in 2012 via the acquisition of Vitrue, the leading provider of social marketing software for global brands and agencies; a company he started in 2006. Vitrue is now an anchor component of the Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) suite of cloud solutions. Bradford circles the globe espousing thought leadership in such topics as Cloud, Customer Experience and the paradigm shift caused to Brands by the explosive growth of Mobile and Social. Bradford recently authored an Oracle eBook, Modern Best Practice for the Social Business.

Q: What is SRM and why is it so important?

SRM enhances Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with critical social pieces to make it more holistic and answers the question, “How do I build connections and relationships with prospects, co-workers, peers, customers, and influencers to further extend my products and services into the marketplace?” 9 out of 10 people buy products or services based on recommendation from a peer or friend. Since people today are pervasively using social and mobile technology to conduct their personal and business lives, corporations need a comprehensive SRM strategy that provides the full range of customer touch points. Subsequently, they can capture those interactions, learn from them, and build on those relationships.

Q: What is the first step to adopting modern best practice for social?

Develop a plan. Too many companies jump into SRM without a plan and the market tunes them out because they are not engaging with a relevant voice. So first, pull together your key constituents and stakeholders and ask the question, “What is my purpose for doing SRM?” Don’t do it just to be cool and trendy. Do it because you are going to add value by being social. Identify and understand what your unique voice is going to be in order to be relevant to your market.

Q: Should every company have an SRM strategy?

I’m certainly biased but I think social has a role in every product or service because that’s where the customer is. Over 2 billion people are using social networks. It’s not “should you do SRM” but rather “How should you do SRM”. That “how” depends on the product or service you’re offering and what platforms you should engage with and how are you going to connect with your customers and stakeholders. That can certainly include collaborating internally with employees, vendors, and partners.

Q: What are the outcomes of effectively adopting modern best practice for social?

With an effective SRM plan, you’re going to be more in tune and effective in your marketplace. You’ll be doing business the way people are doing business today. You’ll also be able to measure your effectiveness via ROI that might not equal revenue, but actually be “COI”, as David Mingle of GM says—the “Cost of Ignoring”. The COI is that if you’re not engaged across your customer experience you risk becoming irrelevant or obsolete. We see more and more companies that don’t embrace the future fall behind—even Fortune 500 companies.

Q: You’ve started or helped build and sold 3 companies in the last 15 years. What drives you today?

One of the things I’ve strived to be better at is finding balance in life spanning my faith, family, and business. My wife and I have six kids. Chaos reigns in our household. Right now I’m just going through life and loving every minute of it. One of my real passions I have is taking the lessons I’ve learned and sharing them with the next generation of entrepreneurs. I’m very interested in disruption and pivots. That’s why I love working with startups but it’s critical even for established companies to sometimes behave like a startup. Oracle began as a startup and we continue to innovate, especially across our cloud solutions—DaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS. Innovation—like how we’re building out an end-to-end SRM solution—along with new ideas and business models, are what keeps me engaged and keeps me excited. I like to have impact and have fun.

Download the 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.

What's your SaaS IQ? new eBook, SaaS for Dummies

Just published by Oracle, a new e-book, SaaS for Dummies, examines the elements of SaaS in a light-hearted and engaging style.

This eBook will help your line of business managers understand how they can take advantage of cloud solution to solve their business challenges in the digital world.

The e-book consists of 5 chapters and an appendix:

1. Definitions, Buzz Words and Acronyms

2. Your Challenge: ‘The Digital Agenda’

3. New Found Power of the Business Manager

4. The Path to SaaS

5. Ten Things to Know About the Cloud

6. Appendix: Evaluating a Cloud Provider

Download and enjoy. There will NOT be a quiz later. 


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.


Wednesday Feb 25, 2015

Exploit Enabling Technologies to Seize Growth Opportunities, says Steve Fearon, Oracle VP, Midsize Apps in Western Europe-Part 2


Steve Fearon is Oracle’s Vice President of Applications for Midsize Enterprises in Western Europe. His organization helps ambitious midsize enterprises reach their full potential by adopting Modern Best Practice enabled by Oracle applications.


 Part 2: Read Part 1 Here

Q: What price do companies pay by postponing the adoption of Modern Best Practice?

I believe that, in most cases, they ‘ll lose. At the very least, they’ll fall behind competitors who are exploiting SMAC and adopting Modern Best Practice. They’ll miss out on the full potential of those new markets and opportunities.

Really, it’s about failing fast. The faster you fail, the faster you learn, and the more productive you become. And you learn fast by using modern technologies that provide immediate feedback and enable agility. Failing fast and learning from it is optimum.

Q: What has it been like to work for Oracle for over 22 years during this incredible time of change?

When I joined Oracle I didn’t own a house, I wasn’t married, and I didn’t have children. Over that time, I’ve owned several different homes, I met my wife through Oracle, and we now have two children. They’ve always known me as working for Oracle. When my 13 year old daughter wanted a mobile phone she said, “How old were you when you got your first phone?” You should have seen the shock on her face when I said, “26”.

I’ve seen Oracle’s culture change as we’ve grown organically and via acquisition. 60-70% of our employees didn’t start with Oracle but we still have a strong commonality of purpose. We don’t put posters up in our offices about it but everybody comes together and works together even though they come from different backgrounds. It’s always about supporting our customers—whether they’re midsize or large enterprises—in their visions and beliefs.



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.

Exploit Enabling Technologies to Seize Growth Opportunities, says Steve Fearon, Oracle VP, Midsize Apps in Western Europe


Steve Fearon is Oracle’s Vice President of Applications for Midsize Enterprises in Western Europe. His organization helps ambitious midsize enterprises reach their full potential by adopting Modern Best Practice enabled by Oracle applications.


Q: What are your customers’ priorities and how do you help them achieve their goals?

Midsize companies want to grow and achieve operational excellence. The global attraction of European brands presents top line growth opportunities via opening new markets in the BRIC countries as well as the Next 11. Also, Western Europe is a well respected global player in innovative design and engineering so there are opportunities to bring new products to market.

But 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. For example, the workforce here is now moving beyond the knowledge worker stage to the innovation worker phase. That presents both opportunities and challenges. How can a company expect to attract and retain innovation workers with HR tools built in the ‘90’s?

We help midsize organizations understand how Modern Best Practice, which is enabled by Oracle’s applications and exploits SMAC, can create growth opportunities out of challenges.

Q: How are your customers adopting Modern Best Practice?

For example, because of technology, buyers have access to almost endless amounts of information. As a result they’re much more informed and self reliant. But what hasn’t changed, is that people are more likely to take a recommendation from a peer rather than rely on a company’s public relations. Modern Best Practice for sales and service gives a framework for engaging with this more informed buyer in the ways that they prefer.

Similarly, Modern Best Practice can bring agility to the finance organization to dramatically accelerate the period close to reporting process by becoming social enabled and collaborative. A modern finance department becomes partners with the rest of the business rather than being viewed as classic transaction workers just trying to close the books.

Part 2: The Price Customers Pay by Not Adopting Modern Best Practice 


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.

Tuesday Feb 24, 2015

Delaware Life Experiences a Real Time View of Actuals to Budgets

Delaware Life Insurance was formed in 2013 via a divestiture of assets from Sun Life Financials. As Rick Woods, Director of Project Services explains in this short video, they started out with zero IT infrastructure. Nada.

Starting from scratch, they wanted to adopt new systems and Modern Best Practice. With a goal of having a zero footprint for data, they sought to deploy best of breed cloud solutions as much as possible.

"As we were seeking an ERP solution, we really wanted to have an independent view and pick the solution that was perfect for our needs," says Woods, "And that’s really where Oracle ERP Cloud shined through."

Today, the company has what they never had before: a solution (Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service) with excellent usability that provides a real time view of actual to budget numbers, with millions of lines of data rapidly flowing from 26 other systems.



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.


Thursday Feb 19, 2015

Modern Best Practice Show and Tell

When I started out as an Industry and Product Marketing Manager for JD Edwards back in the 90's it was always a challenge to get high resolution screen shots for PowerPoints etc. Back then, we believed that screen shots were the most credible evidence that we knew what we were doing.  I would roam the halls of development looking for a product manager or developer that had both access to the screens I wanted and a tool licensed on their desktop to get the quality I needed. They were gate keepers to knowledge I needed. It seemed sometimes almost like a schoolyard game of keep away.

Buyers in the digital age do a lot of homework on potential technology solutions before they engage with a sales person. They don't want gate keepers standing between them and the knowledge they need to build a short list. It's old fashioned (reminds me of those Comcast Xfinity "Old Fashioned Security" commercials) and frustrating.

That's precisely why we launched our Oracle Modern Best Practice pages last October. It's like Software Show and Tell.  Screen shots still have their place but it's hard to beat graphical representations that walk you through a process end to end. You can also drill down into each step or explore the additional resources we've posted. We're adding more content all the time.

Here's another example. Click on the image to learn more.



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.


Tuesday Feb 17, 2015

Trends 2015: Oracle Experts Weigh In

Yes, I realize it's the middle of February and not the first week of January. But I was leafing through Oracle Profit Online yesterday and found lots of valuable insight from Oracle experts about what to expect this year in this Special Report, Trends to Watch in 2015. The article includes links to insight on just about every technology subject that is (or maybe should be) on your mind this year--cloud, security, innovation, and big data, to name a few.

Of special interest to me is Trends in the Workplace: Gamification in the Enterprise since I am currently co-authoring an eBook on Modern Best Practice for Work Life Solutions (publishing in mid March). Given today's challenges of hiring and retaining top talent, many organizations are seeking ways to keep their employees more engaged and happier. It's a fascinating subject and I expect that Work Life technology solutions will soon become an important component of Modern Best Practice for HR and Talent.  



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.

Monday Feb 16, 2015

What Makes a Top Tech Town?

A local news headline, 2 Colorado cities named among top 10 innovative tech hubs, caught my eye. I know that we have a vibrant startup scene but didn't know it was that vibrant.  When I saw that the two cities were Boulder and Fort Collins, my next thought was that both those small cities had large state universities and very high ratings for quality of life.

Indeed, it turns out that the three key takeaways from this NerdWallet study, Americas Most Innovative Tech Hubs are:

  • Silicon Valley is by far the Leader
  • The West Dominates
  • Universities Are Key

Read the story to learn which other cities made the list and why. 

Last week, I published my three part series, From X's and O's to MQL's and SQL's, based on my interview with Jeremy Bloom, a Colorado born and raised athlete and successful entrepreneur. The posts include insight on Jeremy's experiences founding a startup, how his company helps Oracle customers adopt Modern Best Practice for Marketing, and his motivation behind founding Wish of a Lifetime.

Oracle has an impressive track record in providing solutions and expertise to thousands of innovative companies in the technology industry. Here's a link to a list of a couple hundred Oracle technology customer success stories. 


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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Tuesday Feb 10, 2015

From X's & O's to MQL's & SQL's-Part 3


When Jeremy Bloom was 10 years old, growing up in Loveland, Colorado (population 39,616 at the time), he told his mom and dad he wanted to ski in the Olympics and play in the NFL. Twenty some years later, Jeremy has been-there-done-that and now focuses his energy and creativity on entrepreneurial and humanitarian endeavors. He is the co-founder and CEO of Integrate, a provider of cloud-based solutions that improve the efficiency of Oracle Eloqua customers’ marketing programs, as well as the founder of Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization helping to make the wishes of senior citizens come true. Integrate was the Oracle Applications Cloud partner of the month in October of 2014.

Part 3: Modern Best Practice for Marketing and Jeremy’s Other Startup

Q: As keepers of Modern Best Practice for your marketing automation niche, how does Integrate become indispensable to your customers?

Integrate automates and standardizes manual, low-value tasks and provides real-time data to optimize media investment. Today, many Oracle customers (marketers) are spending tens to hundreds of hours each month on very low-value tasks when they should be focused on creating ideas and content for customer engagement and delight.

The Integrate software weaves together the media and prospect data with the marketing systems being leveraged to nurture, track and analyze. With our solution, our clients are getting cleaner prospect data into their systems faster than they have ever done before. And, every media dollar can be optimized and measured.

Q: Do you approach your enterprise clients the same way you do startups or midsize clients?

The pain points are very similar for both midsize and large enterprises – demand gen is manual and woefully out of sync with the rest of marketing. At Integrate, we lionize customer success by eliminating this problem. Everything we design—our team, processes, GTM strategy, business value alignment, support—is centered on customer success. Perhaps it’s cliché, but as a startup CEO I hear noise from all over. “Hey—what’s the exit strategy of the business? Are you going to sell? Go public?” All those things I see as complete distractions and every second I’m spending time on that I’m losing focus on what’s important. I tell my team often, “If we make our customers successful, everything else will take care of itself. Literally. All the things we question—the question marks—will take care of themselves.” But that’s hard task. It goes back to building a great product that helps marketers become more successful.

Q: Tell me about Wish of a Lifetime

I share a really great relationship with my grandparents. The first 18 years of my life it was my mom, dad, brother, sister, and grandma. I’ve always had an affinity to the oldest generation. And I’ve always felt that, in our country, we don’t always do a great job of supporting and appreciating the oldest generation. We spend so much of our time focused on the youth—which is important—but some of that attention should be spent on the people that paved our roads, that gave us life, that fought for our freedom in WWII, that pulled this country out of the great depression. These people are now in their 80’s, 90’s, and 100’s and a lot of them are living without a lot of means. Many don’t have family members anymore and their friends have passed on. They are confined to four walls. They don’t talk to people for maybe 12-13 days. Some of their wishes are so small and there’s no nonprofit out there to make these things happen. So that’s why I started Wish of a Lifetime. To find these people. To say thank you. Tell them that we care. To grant their wish in hopes of not only making their lives have more meaning fulfillment but also to share their message with other generations—the youngest generation—to say, “These people are important. It is our duty to help them.”

Part 1: The Path to Startup

Part 2: On a Mission With Oracle




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.

From X's & O's to MQL's & SQL's-Part 2


When Jeremy Bloom was 10 years old, growing up in Loveland, Colorado (population 39,616 at the time), he told his mom and dad he wanted to ski in the Olympics and play in the NFL. Twenty some years later, Jeremy has been-there-done-that and now focuses his energy and creativity on entrepreneurial and humanitarian endeavors. He is the co-founder and CEO of Integrate, a provider of cloud-based solutions that improve the efficiency of Oracle Eloqua customers’ marketing programs, as well as the founder of Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization helping to make the wishes of senior citizens come true. Integrate was the Oracle Applications Cloud partner of the month in October of 2014.


Part 2: On a Mission With Oracle

Q: What do you like about partnering with Oracle?

Marketing is the next big area of business to be automated. Oracle has embraced marketing and has a proven track record of data-driven solutions across business functions. I love the energy and focus that Oracle is putting into mastering marketing. From everywhere in the organization they are taking steps in the direction that says “we want to win and delight marketing”. From acquiring great companies with valued technologies to putting together an intelligent stack to the way that they are supporting customers.

We aren’t on a mission to master all of marketing but we’re certainly on a mission to automate an important piece - demand gen. We value partnering with Oracle because we both share the passion of customer centricity, automation and data-driven marketing. There is a lot of mutual value in us working together.

Q: How do Integrate’s solutions help Oracle Eloqua customers?

Marketers are paying big money to generate leads ($30b+ in 2015) with PII—Personally Identifiable Information—coming in from many different sources such as when a potential customer downloads a whitepaper, registers for a webinar, or has their badge scanned at an event. The big challenge is how marketers make sure that the prospect data—email addresses, phone numbers, zip codes—is valid. And how marketers get all those leads from disparate sources into your Eloqua as fast as possible for creating sales pipeline. Usually what happens is that a lot of people across marketing operations have to pull together all the information via spreadsheets, format and validate it one row at a time, and then enter it manually into Eloqua. This can take days, with each day and every passing hour delaying follow-up with prospects.

Integrate’s SaaS solution standardizes and automates the demand gen process. A key step is validating the prospect data generating by third-party providers, assigning a source ID to each lead, and then directly injects all those leads into Eloqua for immediate nurture and follow-up. Integrate becomes the central repository of all known IDs and becomes the analytics platform that provides the CMO and marketing pros with a holistic assessment of lead quality across all channels as leads move from MQL, to SQL, to a sale.

We walk arm in arm with Oracle when we meet with Eloqua customers. The first thing we do is sit down with the customer’s marketers and blueprint their data flow and workflow processes. Once we gain an understanding of what marketers have under the hood, we can recognize roadblocks and ultimately identify solutions to increase efficiency and increase media and marketing system ROI.

Part 1: The Path to Startup

Part 3: Modern Best Practice for Marketing and Jeremy's Other Startup



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.

From X’s & O’s to MQLs & SQls


When Jeremy Bloom was 10 years old, growing up in Loveland, Colorado (population 39,616 at the time), he told his mom and dad that he wanted to ski in the Olympics and play in the NFL. Twenty some years later, Jeremy has been-there-done-that and now focuses his energy and creativity on entrepreneurial and humanitarian endeavors. He is the co-founder and CEO of Integrate, a provider of cloud-based solutions that improve the efficiency of Oracle Eloqua customers’ marketing programs, as well as the founder of Wish of a Lifetime, a nonprofit organization helping to make the wishes of senior citizens come true. Integrate was the Oracle Applications Cloud partner of the month in October of 2014.


Part 1: The Path to Startup

Q: With all the opportunities available to you after your successful athletic career, why did you decide to co-found Integrate?

I dabbled in local real estate—buying places and renting them out—while attending the University of Colorado. When I played for the Philadelphia Eagles, the NFL offered a program for players to take MBA courses at Kellogg, Stanford, Harvard, or Wharton. I started attending classes at Wharton because I knew it would be a great opportunity to learn from some of the best professors in the world. I found myself drawn to one professor, Peter Linneman, who had started a private equity firm investing in unentitled land. He became a mentor to me so I’d come in after practice and watch him raise capital from institutional investors. That got me thinking about internet startups and the next thing you know I got the bug to start an internet company.

I didn’t plunge right in at first because I was well aware that pro athletes have this blind spot. We think we can do anything if we put our mind to it but the X’s and O’s of the startup and investing games are very different than what we’re used to. Often times players lose a lot of money.

So after my athletic career was over, I joined a startup and was running customer acquisition demand generation marketing. I lived the pain because, at the time, there was no software solution to automate demand generation and centralize leads across all these sources. Consequently, I left and started Integrate. We raised venture capital and now have over 85 employees.

Q: What has your personal startup journey been like?

My startup experience has been very similar to my experience in athletics. I’m the type of person that sets a big goal and then I picture climbing a mountain. Sometimes it’s climbing Mt Everest. I get my blinders on. When I climb those mountains, I know it’s going to be two steps forward, one step back. It’s this idea that you’re always dealing with adversity and setbacks and I am motivated by the challenge of overcoming them. The most successful people I’ve ever been around are the people that deal with setbacks, adversity, or failure exceptionally well. They never allow themselves to lose confidence or let that define them. They take in the data. They don’t over-emotionalize it. They allow it to adjust their plan. I’ve constantly experienced setbacks but I would call them more lessons and data to process and learn from.

Part 2: On a Mission With Oracle

Part 3: Modern Best Practice for Marketing and Jeremy's Other Startup



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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