Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Oracle Customers Share Their Strategies for Resiliency

Resiliency. It’s an essential trait for any organization today, but even more so for companies making a huge impact in the war against the novel coronavirus.  On June 17, 2020 we launched Resilient Together, the first in a series of virtual webcasts that examine how companies are using the Oracle Cloud to increase their business resiliency during today’s uncertain times. Our first event looked at what finance and operational resiliency means to three essential businesses going above and beyond in the fight against COVID-19: FedEx, Blue Shield of California, and Western Digital. 

Fortune Senior Editor and bestselling author Geoff Colvin hosted the panel discussion, featuring:

Common threads 

The three Oracle customers featured in the discussion had a few things in common:

  • Their leadership strategies are being stress-tested, while both operating as an essential business and crafting strategic plans for a post-pandemic world.
  • They are augmenting their already robust corporate citizenship plans with efforts specifically addressing global COVID consequences.
  • They are deep into innovation initiatives—powered by Oracle Cloud—that were launched prior to the pandemic lockdown and valued the virtual capabilities and agility of being in the cloud to manage through COVID-19 and prepare for the next normal

Each panelist shared their experiences relating to these topics. Let’s look at an example of each. 

Leading in a crisis

In a so-called “normal” world, business continuity plans are tested in pieces and parts. But, as Western Digital’s Steve Phillpott observed, with the sudden impact of travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders, all continuity plans at all organizations are being simultaneously tested in every conceivable dimension. 

Phillpott stresses the need to lead by being more transparent, and even more so during a crisis. This includes over-communicating with his teams and becoming empathetic listeners to understand what employees and customers are going through. He also expanded on how effective change management is more important than ever during a global crisis, when employees are being uprooted from their desks and supply chains are literally being rerouted. 

Doubling down on corporate citizenship in a crisis

The organizations represented in the webcast all have robust and multi-dimensional corporate citizenship and responsibility strategies that are backed by impactful actions. Case in point, under the banner of, “Health Reimagined”, Blue Shield of California created and invested in altais, a new subsidiary that provides technology, tools, and services that help physicians reduce administrative costs and devote more time to patients. 

But each panelist articulated how their organizations chose to go above and beyond and step up corporate citizenship efforts during the pandemic. Blue Shield of California’s CEO, Paul Markovich, is the co-chair of Governor Newsom’s COVID-19 testing task force. The healthcare plan provider has donated millions of dollars to California communities that are the most vulnerable to financial and health challenges. The organization has waived fees for members to receive virtual care and screening and testing. Additionally, Blue Shield of California is providing up to $200 million in direct support to providers and hospitals as well as restructuring contracts. 

Accelerating innovation during the global crisis

The panelists shared stories for what it’s like to accelerate momentum on major technology projects even while teams are suddenly restricted from travel and forced work from home remotely. Following their 2016 acquisition of TNT, Europe’s largest shipper, FedEx Services made the decision to transition their financial infrastructure directly to cloud, rather than bringing them up on FedEx’s legacy systems for an interim period.  

By the beginning of 2020, they were well into that multi-year endeavor across Europe and Asia. When the pandemic hit, they accelerated the schedule in order to gain greater global financial visibility to better deal with the crisis. Nine sites were brought live in just months, across twenty-five countries to date, with plans to have fifty countries live by the end of 2020. As an example of benefits gained, more than 30,000 employees now use Oracle Analytics Cloud for data-driven decision making, which has proven essential to helping FedEx Services navigate through the current uncertainty.

FedEx’s Chris Wood is also using the crisis as an opportunity to institutionalize the innovation process at FedEx Services, to deliver the same level of world-class service and breakthrough capabilities to the back office that millions of FedEx customers receive daily across the globe. 

But wait... there’s more

At Oracle, our mission is to help people see data in new ways, discover insights, unlock endless possibilities. We’re proud to share the experiences of our valued customers, illuminating their amazing examples of leadership, corporate citizenship, and innovation.

Watch the full webcast to learn more.

Stay tuned for more webcasts in this series, Resilient Together, during which we’ll be sharing more of Oracle’s vision and differentiated capabilities in ways that will help guide and support our customers—and future customers—through this unprecedented time in the global economy.  

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