Monday Jul 27, 2015

Cloud Has Transformed the Way We Work at Oracle


I expected culture shock when Oracle acquired PeopleSoft in 2004 but soon learned that Oracle’s entrepreneurial spirit would be a welcome change. Likewise, I expected a bit of turmoil as we transitioned to all of Oracle’s employee support systems. It was painless. We hit the ground running.

Oracle has long supported a mobile, distributed workforce

As I soon learned, Oracle was and is really, really good at supporting a global, diverse workforce that works anyplace, anywhere, anytime. Within a year, I was no longer commuting in rush hour traffic to the Denver Tech Center. I’m on a global team. 2-3 hours on the road didn’t make sense. My productivity surged. At least half the team is now home based.

Oracle’s CIO Mark Sunday shares how Oracle’s move to the cloud enables us to lead.

In this article, An Insider’s Take on Oracle’s Cloud Transformation, Sunday shares insight learned from running Oracle’s IT community which supports nearly 150,000 users. As Oracle moves to cloud solutions internally, we expect and realize the same benefits as our customers would. As examples, Sunday points out how adopting our own solutions for marketing, sales, HR, and talent have transformed the way we do business and engage with our customers.



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 Jul 24, 2015

Hard to Handle: Do You Welcome Disruptive Talent?

Your Diverse Employees Need to Feel at Home When They’re At Work


Disrupting the norms within your industry requires a diverse talent set including those who aren’t comfortable with business as usual. If that's what you're aiming for, you need to provide a culture and workplace environment that welcomes and supports diversity, not just ‘race, creed, color’, but also creative and unorthodox personalities.

Sir Richard Branson says that the positives of maverick talent “far outweigh” the negatives.

In this BBC article, Are you a 'disruptive talent' like Sir Richard Branson?, Branson acknowledges that he might be hard to handle as an employee. But he also points out that employees that are “independently minded, rule-breaking, stubborn people like himself” may be difficult to manage but bring tremendous benefits to organizations.

Modern Best Practice for HR & Talent Leverages Technology to Embrace Diversity

Each of your employees needs to feel like they are understood and appreciated-whether they gravitate toward hard-to-handle or go-with-the flow. It’s difficult to imagine how this can be accomplished without the right tools that support a global, social, mobile workforce.

Oracle Can Help You Develop Your HR & Talent Strategies

Modern Best Practice enables organizations of all sizes accomplish more, faster. Oracle shares our expertise, insight, experience, and thought leadership across a wide range of business processes and areas of focus-ebooks, customer case studies, articles, and blog posts.  And...analyst reports, such such as Globalization, HR and Business Model Success


PS: Yes, I wanted to link to The Black Crowes classic Hard to Handle video but this is a PG-13 rated blog.


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 Jul 01, 2015

Q&A with Oracle's Rod Johnson: Building a Go-To-Market Strategy That Resonates

Rod Johnson is group vice president of Oracle's Application Business Group. He is responsible for defining Oracle's go-to-market strategy and driving business value into all customer interactions.

Q: How did your tenure at AMR Research influence the way you and your team develop go-to-market strategies?

RJ: As an analyst, you spend half your day talking with vendors of all different shapes and sizes about their product, strategies, and go-to-market plans. And you spend the other half of the day talking with end users and buyers, learning what resonates with them and what does not. You sit at the intersection of both worlds with a bird’s eye view. It’s probably the best learning experience you can have when it comes to understanding the drivers of success across all software sectors. Consequently, at Oracle I’m thinking less about how Oracle has traditionally gone to market and more about how to leverage what I’ve learned about those keys to success.

Q: Buyers today are inundated with content and promotions touting the benefits of cloud applications. What Oracle differentiators enable you and your team to break through all that noise?

RJ: Our ultimate vision is to deliver value to our customers now while not saddling them with applications that will slow them down later. Every vendor is out there with the promise, “Just put everything in the cloud and miracles will happen.” In reality, all my customer interactions have taught me that they’ve become much more sophisticated. Oracle breaks through the noise by helping customers realize that—with our solutions—they can address near term business challenges quickly with our easily adoptable, best in class applications while not sacrificing on the power of standardization, a common data model, unified business intelligence, integration, and a single security model.

Q. How do large enterprises adopt cloud differently than growing midsize companies?

RJ: Universally, everyone is frustrated that they can’t get functional, usable, and helpful technology and software in their business lives similar to what they get in their personal lives. We’ve all been spoiled by apps stores via which we can easily and immediately download useful apps to our smartphones. However, large enterprises tend to have larger IT organizations and more business complexity because they tend to operate on a global scale in lots of different markets. And they’re large because they’ve learned how to get economies of scale. So they have the added set of criteria for evaluating cloud offerings to assess if any give solution can be deployed to thousands of users globally and not just a few users within a single geography.

Next up... Part 2 of my interview with Rod Johnson


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.

Tuesday Jun 23, 2015

Bad News for eCommerce: $4T/year lost in abandoned shopping carts. Good News: 63% is recoverable


Currently, 3 items languish in my Amazon Prime cart:

It’s not that I no longer want them. For one reason or another, I simply abandoned them.

That's just my small contribution to the $4T (as in 4 Trillion USD) eCommerce purveyors lose each year to abandoned shopping cart items...

...according to a BI Intelligence report. Amazon, its retailers, and the eCommerce community as a whole might be able to recover that fraction of my business, and maybe some of yours too (up to 63% of the $4T), by simply enticing us to return via email reminders, incentives, and helpful shopping advice.

Recovering that abandoned revenue within the B2C Interest to Purchase process is one of the topic covered in the new Oracle Modern Best Practice for Commerce resources we’ve launched:

Explore Modern Best Practice for Commerce:



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.

Monday Jun 22, 2015

Cloud is Good for Oracle and Its Customers

It’s not news to say that the enterprise software industry is being disrupted by cloud. But unless you’re in that business, it may be easy to lose track of who’s being disrupted and who’s doing the disrupting. When I joined JD Edwards in 1999, client/server architecture was the big disrupter. Many mainframe and minicomputer application providers didn’t’ survive that transition.

This article, Oracle's Larry Ellison Calls Cloud A 'Much Better Business’, provides key insights from Oracle’s top three executives as to why both Oracle and our customers are thriving amidst cloud's disruption. Long ago, under Ellison’s guidance, Oracle’s strategy was to be one of the disruptors in the burgeoning cloud business. From the article…


This increased value to customers was validated last week in Oracle’s earning release as evidenced by a 28% increase in SaaS and PaaS revenue. Yes, the disruption of cloud has put some short term pressure on sales and profits, but Oracle is in it for the long run. As Brian White, a 5 Star Analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald puts it, “Oracle's transition to the cloud appears to be occurring much faster than the company anticipated.”

Organizations are exploiting enabling technologies—including cloud—to digitally disrupt and transform. Oracle provides a unique portfolio of SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and DaaS solutions to help our customers achieve greater results, faster and with fewer resources.

Learn more about how Oracle’s cloud success can help your organization adopt 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.

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 May 15, 2015

"Reports of My Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated," said the CIO

As you know, that headline paraphrases an infamous Mark Twain misquote.

I’ve read countless accounts of how CIO’s are being bypassed in IT business solution decision-making. It conjures up an image of a CIO bursting into the CFO’s office and tattling on some line of business manager who allegedly has purchased and deployed a one off solution without IT’s blessing.

My reaction to these reports has typically been that of skepticism. While I have no doubt that such situations occur, I’ve never talked with a Oracle customer executive who has found this to be a significant problem within their organization. Why? Because successful, growth oriented companies can’t afford to have the left hand not know what the right hand is doing. I believe that maverick IT decision making happens when an immediate challenge needs to be addressed yet that challenge has not grown to a level to be considered strategic. When it does, IT is going to be involved in the discussion on how to face it.

In a recent Forbes OracleVoice article, The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2015, Bob Evans, SVP of Corporate Communications at Oracle, acknowledges that the extreme change and disruption experienced in the business world during 2014 spawned rumors of the premature demise of the CIO.

He even offers some “crackpot theories” surrounding this whodunit gossip—theories for who may have allegedly killed the CIO:

  • The CMO
  • Mobile Technology
  • Cloud Computing
  • Big data and its data scientist masters

Evans goes on to refute the rumors by saying, “The best CIOs are not only alive and well and far from endangered, but are indeed creating more business value than ever before by collaborating eagerly and openly with those supposed forces of opposition.”

So, ignore those ugly rumors. Long live the CIO!

Learn more about The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2015:


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.

Friday May 08, 2015

Responding to Disruption: PWC CEO Survey

The CEO’s job is to see the big picture and determine priorities across all aspects of the organization: people, systems, processes, growth, finance.

PWC’s 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, ‘The Marketplace Without Boundaries: Responding to Disruption’, tallies CEOs’ insights across five themes:

  1. Growth: Optimism mixed with wariness
  2. Competition: seeking opportunities via digital transformation
  3. Partnering: unconventional collaborations
  4. Diversity: valuing the right mix of talent

When it comes to the fifth theme, Technology, the survey identified mobile, data mining/analytics, and security as strategically most important:


Oracle is uniquely positioned to provide solutions that help CEO's address these priorities (although (Robotics, 3-D Printing and Battery and Power Technologies aren't exactly in our wheelhouse). Organizations planning their digital transformation strategies can now access Oracle's free resources for adopting Modern Best Practice, founded in our experiences helping thousands of customers deploy modern technology solutions. Modern Best Practice exploits enabling technologies, including social, mobile, analytics, and Big Data, to help organizations of all sizes achieve more, faster, and with fewer resources.

Explore 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.


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.

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.

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.


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