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 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 Dec 16, 2014

Career Paths: No Regrets?

No, this isn't a picture of Jim Lein

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

High School? College? Still pondering that question? Do you have any regrets about your career choices?

Generally I don’t have regrets because a) they serve no purpose and b) every choice has a ripple effect. For example, had I not chose to be a low paid ski bum in my twenties I never would have met my wife.

After reading this piece by Bernard Marr, Career Choices You Will Regret In 20 Years, I took a few minutes to reflect on my own career choices. I had 5 careers before settling in to the enterprise software industry for the last 16 years. Happily, I can say that I have not experienced the example regrets Marr offers but for one. And I’m not gonna tell you which one it is.

Today’s workforce—and future workforce—seems to know what it wants. For example, the 2013 National Society of High School Scholars Millennial Career Survey showed that respondents—primarily primarily female (68%) and current high school students (61%)—know what they want most from their future employers.

The responses reflect a maturity of thought and awareness that certainly didn’t exist amongst most of my generation. When I was in high school, I don’t know that I could have even answered these survey questions. My parents always told me, “You can be anything you want to be?”. And my reply was always, “Great. What do I want to be?”

Granted, the life experiences young people go through after they leave high school that will influence their career decisions. Not everyone can be a high paid doctor or engineer. But I’m hoping they keep those values and aspirations in place as they enter the workforce.

In any case, companies that succeed in hiring the best talent today are those who best understand what today’s workforce wants. If you’re talent sourcing, onboarding, and management processes don’t exploit enabling technologies—social, mobile, analytics, big data, IoT—then chances are you’re fighting an uphill battle when it comes to hiring and retaining the best talent.

Here’s a short video explaining how modern HR in the cloud can help you adopt Modern Best Practice for HR and Talent Management.


Learn more:

Oracle.com: Is Your HRMS Attracting a Modern Workforce?

Oracle.com: Adopt Modern Best Practice for HR & 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.

Thursday Jun 19, 2014

Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2014 Will Blow Your Mind

by Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize Programs

Maybe I shouldn't have read this report first thing on a Monday morning, Mary Meeker's Internet Trends 2014. But I did, and it blew my mind.

We've been publishing a lot of thought leadership content lately on modern best practice. Modern best practice is flexible, supports growth and innovation, and enables new ways of executing to achieve consistently superior performance. It's enabled by Cloud, Social, Analytics, Big Data, Mobile, and The Internet of Things. It's about leveraging these enablers to do things fundamentally different, sometimes without consciously realizing that we're doing so.

In our hectic kinetic connected lives we think nothing of downloading a new app or adopting a new communication channel to get what we want or make our lives easier. It's fascinating to see the collective metrics of our actions in this report.

Meeker's identifies how we are globally adopting and leveraging enabling technologies. A couple of highlights from my perspective:
  • Tablet adoption was up 52% in 2013 and growing faster than PCs ever did
  • Mobile is 25% of web usage vs 14% a year before
  • Mobile advertising revenue is up 47% and now represents 11% of total advertising spend.

Modern best practice can be doing something that you never even dreamed possible prior to adopting an enabling technology. Meeker describes this as re-imaging, like this graph relating to re-imagining communications. 

The effectiveness of any single communication channel for each of our sub groups  depends on wholehearted adoption by all members. One guy in my band doesn't use Facebook. So we all communicate via email. Friends get frustrated with me because I don't return calls or texts promptly but they forget I don't get mobile coverage at my house. .

Maybe some day we'll all have the same devices and a single universal communication channel.But for now, I'll just remind myself to be happy that we're not reliant on land lines and answering machines.


Jim Lein

I evangelize Oracle's enterprise solutions for growing midsize companies. I recently celebrated 15 years with Oracle, having joined JD Edwards in 1999. I'm based in Evergreen, Colorado and love relating stories about creativity and innovation whether they be about software, live music, or the mountains. The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Wednesday Jun 04, 2014

CFOs: Do You Have a Playbook for Growth?

by Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize Programs

In most global markets, CFOs are optimistic about their company's growth opportunities. Deloitte's CFO Signals Report, "Time to Accelerate" found that:

  • In the U.K. business optimism is at its highest level in three-and-a-half years

  • Optimism in North America rose from a strong +42% last quarter (Q2 to Q3 2013) to an even stronger +54%.

  • The inaugural Southeast Asia survey, 44% of CFOs reported a positive outlook despite worries over the Chinese economy and political uncertainty.

Sustainable and profitable business growth doesn't usually happen by accident. Company's need a playbook for growth that's owned by the CFO. And today, that playbook must leverage the six enabling technologies--Social, Big Data, Mobile, Cloud, Analytics, and The Internet of Things (or, as Oracle president Mark Hurd explains, "The Internet of the People").


On Monday June 9 at  2:00 pm Eastern, CFO.com is hosting a webcast,

"The CFO Playbook on Growth: How CFOs Can Boost Efficiency and Performance with Automation".

“Investing in technology begins with a business metric driven business case with clear tangible business results expected," says John Lieblang, Affiliate Partner with Waterstone Management Group. "The progressive CFO has learned how to forge a partnership with the CIO to align everyone in the 'result value chain' to be accountable for the business results not just for functional technology.”

Click HERE to register



 Looking for more news and information about Oracle Solutions for Midsize Companies?


Jim Lein

I evangelize Oracle's enterprise solutions for growing midsize companies. I recently celebrated 15 years with Oracle, having joined JD Edwards in 1999. I'm based in Evergreen, Colorado and love relating stories about creativity and innovation whether they be about software, live music, or the mountains. The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.

Friday Jan 10, 2014

Are You Ascared of Being Disconnected?

by Jim Lein, Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director, Oracle Midsize Programs

I just read an Oracle Magazine interview with Peter Utzschneider, vice president of product management for Java at Oracle, “Navigating the Internet of Things”. It’s a sure thing that we’ve only scratched the surface of how internet connectivity will soon impact our business and personal lives.

It got me thinking…am I "ascared"--fearful--of being disconnected?

Millenials are well documented as the connected generation. I’m not a millennial but I am father to three and often behave like one myself. I walked into the living room the other day and found my sixteen year old son, home for the holidays, sitting on the couch. He had Sponge Bob Square Pants on the TV with the sound off. He was listening to Pandora on the Sol Republic Wireless Headphones Santa brought him. And, reading one of the Harry Potter books (in print, mind you).

That acorn didn’t fall too far from the tree. I call it the Johnny 5 Syndrome”. Like the lovable robot from Short Circuit, my son’s brain, and mine, need “more input”. I was an eager adopter of smartphones because my global, virtual role requires constant connectivity to make sure that none of my projects lag simply because I am “out of the office” or in a different time zone. Oracle provides me with a complete, integrated mobile platform—applications and technology—that goes beyond email to include file sharing, chat, and an internal social network we use heavily for collaboration. That platform makes my job easier which also improves my quality of life. 

The byproduct of being conditioner to connectivity for work is that I have also become highly connected for play. I listen to Car Talk when I’m hiking. I post selfies to Facebook from the chairlift. Most annoyingly, in social conversations I constantly validate or refute Cliff Clavin statements of others.

I tell myself that this connectivity is a good thing. But is it really that I’m just afraid of being disconnected for some reason—some form of autophobia? Something to ponder next time I’m sitting on my favorite rock, streaming contemporary folk music from WUMB into my Braven outdoor Bluetooth speaker with a stunning view of 14,265 ft Mt Evans.


Jim Lein | Sr. Principal Product Marketing Director | Oracle Midsize Programs | @JimLein

The views expressed on this blog are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle

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