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IT Innovation, Oracle News | April 13, 2016

Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience: Q&A with Doug Kehring, EVP and Chief of Staff

By: Guest Author

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1. What Is the Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience?

The Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience is one initiative on which Oracle is focused as part of an overarching transformation into the leading cloud vendor.

The Accelerated Buying Experience makes purchasing simple and fast. Customers may now effortlessly purchase our cloud services with the click of a button. Through the use of our SaaS applications, including Oracle Sales, Service and Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) clouds, we can now complete orders significantly faster than anyone else in the cloud. The result is less time processing transactions and more time focusing on meeting the needs of our customers. In addition to deploying our own cloud services, other changes that are making the Accelerated Buying Experience possible include:

  • Empowering the field with more contracting flexibility;
  • Reducing and eliminating required approvals;
  • Simplifying and shortening the order documents; and
  • Delivering extensive help throughout the process.

2. What Led Oracle to Revamp the Buying Experience?

The move to the cloud is a generational shift in technology that is the biggest and most important opportunity in Oracle’s history. Oracle embarked on this initiative more than 10 years ago when we began rewriting all of our software as integrated cloud services that are easy to own and use and also provide the agility, reliability, scalability, and security that customers expect. We now have the leading and most complete set of cloud services in the industry, and more than 11,000 (and rapidly growing) of our customers around the world are already using them to help run their businesses.

In order for us to reach our goal of being the best company to do business with in the cloud and further propel our competitive differentiation, we have been deploying our own cloud services internally and revamping how we sell to and care for our customers. Our focus on customer-centricity requires us to create important new organizations, processes, and systems in order to evolve how we do business and remain the trusted technology vendor for enterprises globally. The first phase of our operational transformation for the cloud was the launch of the Accelerated Buying Experience, which occurred earlier this year.

In the past, customers made significantly larger purchases that were done on a more infrequent basis. This required a focused investment of time and energy from both parties that tended to elongate the procurement cycle. The cloud has changed this dramatically. Customers purchase cloud services in smaller amounts on a more frequent basis. They expect to be up and running very quickly, and this required us to match (and exceed) that expectation.

3. What Are the Primary Benefits of the Accelerated Buying Experience for Customers?

The Accelerated Buying Experience was designed with our customers and their needs in mind. Our goal was to make purchasing cloud services fast and simple. Rather than taking weeks to execute a transaction, customers can now complete their purchases in a matter of hours or a few days (depending on what options are selected).

The Accelerated Buying Experience was also designed to be flexible so that negotiating would be friendlier. Now, less haggling is required as we incorporated the terms most important to customers and empowered sales reps with a large number of standard options that cover the vast majority of customer needs.

Additionally, our new ordering documents are short and easy to understand. And, with “click-to-accept” there is no longer a need to chase approvals or signatures to complete an order.

All of these changes mean that customers can experience faster time to value. By streamlining the time it takes to order Oracle cloud services, we are enabling customers to access the benefits of modernization significantly faster than they would experience anywhere else. Customers can also save money on the buying process since less time and energy is spent from both sides.

4. Is the Accelerated Buying Experience Supported by Larry Ellison, Safra Catz, and Mark Hurd?

The hallmark of the Accelerated Buying Experience is the ability for our cloud customers to click-to-accept, and this idea is one that Larry Ellison drove himself. Understanding that customers need to be able to order cloud services quickly and easily, Larry decided that all of our cloud services must be available to customers at the click of a button.

Safra Catz and Mark Hurd are 100% committed to exceeding our customers’ expectations and making purchasing fast and simple. They have embraced the transformation and are focused on matching Oracle systems and processes to the changing customer dynamic.

Through their leadership, Oracle’s cloud agreements have been benchmarked against competitors, language has been revised to be more friendly and less formal, terms have been simplified, unnecessary content has been removed, approvals have been minimized to critical items, assistance has been added along every step of the Accelerated Buying Experience, and manual intervention has been removed from the end-to-end process through the optimization of Oracle CPQ Cloud.

5. What Are the Primary Benefits of the Accelerated Buying Experience for Oracle?

Oracle is now more actively engaged with customers than ever before. Whereas in the past, our customer relationships were precipitated by transactions, in the cloud our relationships are continuous. As a result, our success goes hand-in-hand with the success of our customers.

In automating the end-to-end purchasing process, streamlining approvals, removing the need to spend endless cycles negotiating back and forth, and enabling customers to order cloud services at the click of a button, the Accelerated Buying Experience is designed to accelerate the time to value for customers while simultaneously freeing up Oracle resources to better support customers.

6. How Will the Accelerated Buying Experience Differentiate Oracle from Other Cloud Vendors?

Unlike many of our competitors, Oracle is offering customers both a fast and simple buying experience as well as favorable terms across the broadest set of cloud services. Additionally, Oracle customers only need one agreement for their entire cloud relationship with Oracle.

7. How Will the Accelerated Buying Experience Help Oracle Sales Reps?

The Accelerated Buying Experience has been designed to be fast and flexible so that Oracle customers will be able to complete their purchases in a matter of hours or a few days (depending on what options are selected).

To accomplish this massive acceleration, we used operational data extracted from our transactional systems to identify the ordering options most often requested by customers (such as length of subscription term) and provided sales reps the flexibility to select and execute with minimal to no approvals required.

Additionally, by using Oracle CPQ Cloud we have also removed a large amount of manual intervention that was previously required so that orders are not delayed by manual drafting. Instead, orders are now automatically generated from within the system.

Finally, sales reps may now present customers with a short, friendly, easy-to-understand ordering document along with the ability to simply and quickly click-to-accept rather than go through a time-consuming signature process.

Throughout the buying process, there is now substantially more help available for both customers and internal teams to avoid ordering delays. We have embedded access to expertise right from within Oracle CPQ Cloud. The help starts with simple text explanations on terms and guided assistance on how to use the application. Reps can then access a deep knowledge base for self-help or click-to-chat in order to ask questions from a centralized help desk. As needed, reps can schedule calls to also include the customer if desired in order to discuss any particular ordering topic or term in more detail.

8. Will the Accelerated Buying Experience Apply to Non-Cloud Transactions?

Oracle is in the middle of a fundamental business transformation, and we are committed to applying the Accelerated Buying Experience to non-cloud transactions. We are actively planning the expansion of the Accelerated Buying Experience and will keep all of our customers, partners and employees informed as the improvements are rolled out.

9. What Other Changes Should Customers Expect from Oracle?

As stated previously, in order for us to reach our goal of being the best company to do business with in the cloud and further propel our competitive differentiation, we have been utilizing our own cloud services and transforming how we sell to and care for our customers. The Accelerated Buying Experience is just one of many initiatives that are part of our operational transformation.

We are planning for additional phases of our operational transformation to ensure that as our customers’ behavior and expectations have changed, so too will the engagement model from Oracle. As these additional changes are implemented, and in the spirit of transparency, we will keep all of our customers, partners, and employees informed.

10. How Can Customers, Partners, or Employees Provide Feedback about the Accelerated Buying Experience and Oracle’s Cloud Transformation?

We want to hear from you. If you have any feedback on the changes we are making, please send an email to Doug Kehring at douglas.kehring@oracle.com.

Learn More About Oracle Cloud Here

The preceding is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle Corporation.

Download a PDF version of this Q&A.

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