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Human Resources

5 Lessons for HR Leaders from Modern Business Experience

By Krista Sterner, Event Marketing Director  At Modern Business Experience 2019, HR leaders from organizations around the world gathered to discuss ways they’re navigating shifting employee expectations, emerging business models, new technologies, and so much more. For three days, attendees heard from hundreds of experts, practitioners, and thought leaders about the trends and market realities they must prioritize in order to reimagine the employee experience, support business agility, and foster a culture of innovation. In addition to several inspirational keynotes designed to help all core business functions rally around a common goal, the HR-specific tracks offered tailored insights and takeaways that attendees could easily apply and share with their teams. Some of the top takeaways from this year’s event paint a clear picture for today’s HR leaders: In order to add true value to your organization, you must be equipped with the tools and insights needed to adapt to new disruptive forces. 1. Disruption isn’t just a business issue; it’s a global issue. Disruption was the thread connecting all the sessions at Modern Business Experience, particularly within the powerful keynotes. Willis Sparks of Eurasia Group said it best, referencing the state of global politics and its impact on the business climate: “Disruption is the order of the day.” His overview of major political shifts over the past 10 years illustrated just how quickly even the most established institutions can be turned upside down. While this session painted a broad picture of how organizations and their functional areas can feel the heat from disruption, the HR track content spotlighted how new competitive dynamics, consumer behaviors, and workforce preferences are changing the way companies hire, train, and engage with employees. “#Disruption is the order of the day." Concise and insightful overview into current international #politics. Great way to start the #OracleMBX keynote. Thank you, Willis Sparks! @EurasiaGroup pic.twitter.com/6hKHWWkBrS — Oracle (@Oracle) March 20, 2019   2. The cloud is shaping how businesses respond. As organizations strive to navigate disruptive forces, adapt to consumer needs and preferences, and exceed competitors of all sizes, technology is a rightful weapon of choice. During a talk on the final day of Modern Business Experience, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd explained why organizations are moving to the cloud in droves. Cloud technology reduces costs and labor while improving efficiencies and supports organizations in their broader innovation initiatives, including adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and more. He added that the cloud is not a technology, but rather “a way of thinking of architectures and business models.”  The benefits for HR specifically are significant. The cloud empowers teams to not only embrace cutting-edge technologies to improve efficiencies and collaboration, but to help strengthen data security and compliance. 3. Culture is making transformation a reality. Digital transformation was another common theme at the event. Many speakers offered practical guidance and tactical advice for making transformation a reality, not only in terms of business processes, but also how they manage employee experiences and evolve their corporate culture. Charlene Li, Senior Fellow at Altimeter, emphasized the importance of employing a disruptive mindset and cultivating a culture that supports risk-taking, going as far to note that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” 4. Best-in-class organizations have customers at the center. During her presentation, Li also noted how the constant evolution of the customer is driving competitive dynamics. She stated that to be successful, organizations must not only know who their customer is today, but who they will be tomorrow. Then, they must have strategy and technology in place to meet customer needs, even for employees not in a customer-facing role. In the case of HR, leadership must hire people who not only represent the brand’s values and missions, but also represent the customer’s values. Their skills, behaviors, and viewpoints must align completely with where the company is today and where it will go in the future. To ensure this, HR leaders must implement more sophisticated hiring, onboarding, and engagement methods. “Are you going to be where the future customer will be, or are you trying to be where he is now?” - @charleneli inspires at #OracleMBX pic.twitter.com/l3GiEzR95j — Oracle ERP Cloud (@OracleERPCloud) March 20, 2019   5. HR leaders are helping dictate their businesses’ future. In the HR track, numerous brands across industry segments shared their cloud migration stories. Among them were Caesars Entertainment, Penn National Insurance, and Veterinary Health Group, who realized success by moving to Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud. Although organizations have different reasons for moving to the cloud, their desire to deliver on business promises today and in the future is the same. By moving two functional areas to the cloud in tandem, all companies were able to improve cross-functional collaboration and efficiencies, two critical ingredients for excelling in the digital era.   "Now we can have that #transformation conversation. We have a #modern platform and it's constantly changing and evolving.” Keith Causey of @CaesarsEnt with @StevenRMiranda on why they chose #Oracle. #OracleMBX pic.twitter.com/H7ktpg7R8f — Oracle (@Oracle) March 20, 2019 Get ready for 2020! Modern Business Experience was a whirlwind event that brought together the brightest and most innovative minds in business today. We’re still reveling in the great content and conversations and we’re already preparing for 2020. Want to see what we have up our sleeves? Sign up to receive exclusive updates and see how we’re planning to make the conference even better for HR attendees next year.

By Krista Sterner, Event Marketing Director  At Modern Business Experience 2019, HR leaders from organizations around the world gathered to discuss ways they’re navigating shifting...

Best Practices

SaaS for Dummies: Everything You Need to Know About Cloud Applications

Do you feel cloudy and confused every time the conversation (any conversation) turns to cloud software. Do you feel like technology is moving too fast and you are still trying to figure out how to work on a Mac at work and a PC at home? Were you shocked to find out that “client” is not just some who purchases something? Does SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS feel like a real pain in the (well you know)? If so, then a popular new ebook, SaaS for Dummies, may be something to add to your Christmas (or birthday…whichever comes first) list. Not sure if it would be a worthwhile investment or if it would just confuse you more? Trust us…it is worthwhile.  In fact, let’s take a look together at some of the highlights of his book and see if we can understand the different delivery models for finance software. What is “on-premises” software? To understand software as a service, or “SaaS,” it’s useful to look at what preceded it: the traditional, “on-premises” model of business computing. So, let’s go back to the beginning. Think about the business applications your teams use every day to manage finances, human resources, supply chain, and any other number of business functions. The traditional IT model has involved purchasing this software from a vendor and installing it “on premises”: on a big server kept in a dedicated room somewhere (or maybe in a closet, if your business is really small). In the on-premises model, you (meaning: your IT employees) are responsible for maintaining this server and any software that runs on it. Let’s imagine that your small-to-medium business (SMB) purchased Traditional Finance Software 9.1 back in 1999. Your company’s IT team installed this software on the server. They rolled it out to every desktop and laptop in the finance department, so that your whole finance team could access it. They probably did a good job of this, back in ’99, and maybe you were happy with the results. What you didn’t see was all the work that went on behind the scenes. In the on-premises model, your IT team is responsible for keeping the software up to date and available. If it went down during the middle of the financial close, they had to scramble to get it back up and running. As your finance team grew, they had to set up new user accounts. As new computer viruses were released on an unsuspecting world, they had to apply any patches released by the vendor. (There were also a host of issues around integrating your finance system with other systems, like HR and payroll — but for the sake of simplicity and my sanity, this dummy isn’t going to tackle those problems in this article.) Probably the most painful part of the on-premises model, as most IT people will tell you, were the upgrades. Traditional Finance Software 9.1 might have been top of the line in 1999. It probably had a user interface about as appealing as an electric typewriter, and maybe it only ran about 20 percent of the reports your finance team needed. So the IT team set to work customizing the software to meet your specific requirements. Customizing is a messy business: it involves cracking open the source code and rewriting it — essentially reprogramming the software to make it do what you want. It typically requires hiring a third-party consulting firm, who tend to have much more experience in these types of project than an in-house IT team. And once you reprogram a piece of software, you can’t upgrade it automatically. Why not? Because the new version doesn’t include all those lovely customizations your consultant so painstakingly programmed. Install the new version on your server, and the old version gets wiped out — special code included. This is why upgrades only happened every 5 years or so — sometimes longer, in the case of finance systems. If you wanted to keep your custom capabilities, you had to migrate and/or reprogram them into the new version — a project that takes a long time and costs a lot of money in consulting fees. Plus, it ate up a lot of your IT team’s hours, taking them away from other projects they could have been working on (like researching and purchasing that new supply chain software you desperately need).  Along Came Hosting There was another problem with upgrades: a new piece of software often required new hardware to run it. Back in the days of Windows 95, I wanted to upgrade my old desktop computer to Windows XP. But XP required a faster central processing unit (CPU) and more memory. I couldn’t just upgrade to new software on my old machine; I had to buy a whole new computer. It’s often the same in the world of business software. In 2018, perhaps Traditional Finance Software version 13.1 is available. It looks shiny and easy to use, but it won’t run on your old server. Time to buy a new server, right? Well, not necessarily. Companies began springing up offering to run the software for you, on their servers, and deliver it via the internet. Your finance team logs into the application remotely from their laptops. This model is known as “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS). Instead of buying your own servers (aka “infrastructure”), you rent it from a provider on a monthly basis. Many people refer to this model as “the cloud” — but it’s not SaaS. What’s the difference? Well, in IaaS, you still have to buy a license for your finance application, and your IT team is still responsible for maintaining, patching and upgrading it. The main cost savings are in the hardware. Your company still carries the cost of security and maintenance of the finance software — and an upgrade to the latest version will involve the same amount of time, money and effort as it did in the on-premises model. Upgrading to version 13.1 is still a capital investment, which probably requires approval from the board of directors. You might decide it’s easier to wait for version 14, a few years down the road — meaning it will be several years before you get access to new finance functionality. What is Software as a Service? SaaS is an entirely different operating model. In the world of SaaS, you don’t need to buy the hardware or license the software. Instead, you pay a monthly fee to a cloud provider, and they deliver the software to you over the internet. It runs in their data centers, on their servers, and they are responsible for maintaining it. Patching, security, maintenance, upgrades — all of this is included as part of your monthly subscription. You don’t need to do any of it. The provider does it for you. You log into your finance system via your laptop — or even via your mobile device — and start your day. All you need is a web browser.   And here’s the best part. Those long, painful and expensive upgrades? They become a thing of the past. Instead, the provider updates the software on a regular basis (typically, between 2-4 times a year) — similar to how you periodically receive notices to update the apps on your mobile phone. These updates contain new functionality and capabilities — often because customers like you have requested new features. So you always have the latest, most up-to-date finance software at your fingertips. You’re never stuck reprogramming old software to force it to do what you want, because the software is always new. SaaS applications are highly configurable and continually incorporate best practices, so the need to customize effectively goes away. But if there is some feature that your business needs — that “special sauce” that sets you apart from your competitors — you can build it using Platform as a Service (PaaS). Unlike custom code, PaaS enhancements sit outside the core finance software, so when you upgrade from one version to the next, the capabilities still work. You don’t need to reprogram them. Why Does SaaS Win? To the dummies among us, it might seem like the differences between “hosted cloud” (IaaS) and true cloud (SaaS) are splitting hairs. But the distinctions are important, because IaaS doesn’t offer the same benefits. In the SaaS model, the benefits are well documented: 3.2x higher return on investment (ROI) than on-premises software 52% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) Zero risk of technology obsolescence Upgrades several times per year, vs. once every 5-10 years (or longer) Security and patching managed by the SaaS provider No hardware costs No more capital investments to purchase new software — the monthly fees become an operating expense Continuous innovation It’s not that running Traditional Finance Software version 13.1 in a hosted IaaS environment is necessarily a bad idea, or bad for your business. It’s just that running finance SaaS — such as Oracle ERP Cloud (including Oracle EPM Cloud) — is better. Moving to SaaS is now easier than ever. Your competition is already doing it. So look into your options around finance in the cloud, and don’t get left behind. Nobody wants to be a dummy. Want to get smarter about SaaS? Get the ebook, “SaaS for Dummies.”        

Do you feel cloudy and confused every time the conversation (any conversation) turns to cloud software. Do you feel like technology is moving too fast and you are still trying to figure out how...

Human Resources

Integrating the Human Element in a Merger or Acquisition

Executives considering any type of merger or acquisition do their due diligence. They pore over balance sheets, scrutinize operational procedures, evaluate budgets and forecasts, and conduct numerous other analyses. But how often do they pause to consider the people. Bringing together two companies also brings together two sets of people. And the corporate cultures within which these people operate may be significantly different. What can you do to overcome any differences and smoothly blend corporate cultures? It’s important to plan ahead, because the early days of a merger are so very precarious. It’s the time when employees on both sides are most nervous about the new relationship and how it is going to play out. Here are some tips taken from my book Culture Spark: 5 Steps to Ignite and Sustain Organizational Growth that reveal how you can bring two cultures together to build a joint organization that’s stronger than the two separate entities: Define the culture you want. Jointly establish your core values. If you don’t know what they are, you can’t expect employees to understand and internalize either. Research and identify any significant cultural differences. Interview relevant personnel, hold focus groups, and conduct employee surveys. Talk to customers; they will be impacted too. Communicate with employees, new and old. Keep them informed about progress. Make them feel involved. Foster links between peers at the two companies. Be ready to respond quickly to the inevitable rumors and concerns. As Nielsen’s Chris Augustine told me, “When employees aren’t sure of what to expect next, it can leave everyone on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is especially true during mergers or acquisitions, when facts and plans aren’t being shared freely, leaving the employee base to come up with their own conclusions—whether they are right or wrong.” Plug the brain drain. Often, key managers become disenchanted with the blending of two companies. Go out of your way to keep this influential group on board. Otherwise, the exodus of talent can spread exponentially. Make sure people from both sides of the merger are involved in key projects. Never forget that a company is only as good as its people. Companies often focus on integrating the operational elements (the policies and procedures, rules, and regulations), but don’t give equal time to the human elements (the relationships and informal structures). Conduct talent reviews sooner rather than later and identify the “keepers.” An executive from Coca-Cola once told me, “Identify your top talent and get your arms around them. Show them the love, over and over.” Sage advice, indeed. Understand that size does matter. If you are a small-to-medium business (SMB), you might think that you can’t afford to devote resources to the issue of merging cultures. Don’t short-change culture. The smaller the company, the more intimate the environment. And because of that, the consequences of ignoring the issue of culture or thinking that everything will take care of itself can be extremely damaging. John Hren, business director for a multinational basic minerals and marketing company, has seen corporate mergers from both sides of the fence. In one experience, one of the merging companies was very focused on short-term profits, cash flow, and the marketing program while the other company’s culture was much more focused on the long-term investment and basic research. “It almost turned into a civil war,” he recalled. Figuring out how they were all going to get along consumed the organization. What lessons did he learn? “If you don’t set out a strong harmonious vision early in the merger process, it just degenerates into individual fiefdoms. If you don’t have a vision that both sides believe in and can work towards, then you’re already a step behind.” The vision has to be authentic and effectively communicated if you want employees from both merging companies to truly buy into it, he said. And it’s vital to get quick wins. “Get both sides focused on tasks and sub-tasks that can be achieved quickly. Having common goals to focus on—and completing them side by side—helps to bring the two different cultures together in the early stages.” While that’s certainly true, doing effective “cultural due diligence” avoids the dreaded “culture clash.” Gary W. Craig, Managing Partner and COO for Vector Group, says that in over thirty years of handling M&As across the world, he’s never seen two organizational cultures that could not be successfully integrated. “M&A failure due to culture clash is just a way of describing management negligence, arrogance, ignorance, or some mix of the three. Dysfunctional culture clash need never occur.” And, at the end of the day, it all comes down to how you integrate your people.     Learn 5 Steps that Will Ignite Your Business Culture and Inspire Employees to Drive and Sustain Growth      

Executives considering any type of merger or acquisition do their due diligence. They pore over balance sheets, scrutinize operational procedures, evaluate budgets and forecasts, and conduct numerous...

Success Stories

How to Improve On-Time Shipments with SCM Cloud

By Christiane Soto, Sr. Content Manager at Oracle  Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Charles Chamberlain, Director of IT at Srixon/Cleveland Golf, a golfing equipment manufacturer. Chamberlain has been with this growing small-to-medium business (SMB) for over 32 years and recently led the implementation of a new Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud solution. Srixon/Cleveland Golf’s golf ball has won more than 600 golf tournaments and their current tour players include a plethora of high-ranking golf professionals.  During their search for a new SCM system that could provide accurate delivery data to customers, they initially considered building their own solution. Ultimately, they decided that a move to the cloud was the right choice to make. Read on to learn more about how the right SCM Cloud helped this small-to-medium business exceed their customer experience goals.   What’s the biggest customer experience challenge you face? Before adopting Oracle Global Order Promising (GOP) Cloud, our main challenge was being able to promise accurate dates to our customers. We offer a lot of product variety with our wedges, in terms of number of finishes, number of lofts, number of bounces, etc. We also offer a lot of custom products, custom variations in terms of shafts, grips, and other components that could be low in stock. That was our focus in trying to find a solution: how can we give customers reliable dates? At the time of order entry we want our customers to know when they're going to get their product.  It was difficult for our customer experience department to get a complete picture of our inventory. At a high level, we can see our inventory. We know how many pieces we have. But we didn't know how many pieces were already dedicated to work orders. With Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud, we're able to spin up our orders, run through the processes, and within a reasonable time come back with accurate, reliable customer delivery dates.    What did your old process look like for predicting customer delivery dates? As I said, our biggest challenge has been pulling the large amount of item and component data and making it work together to provide accurate, reliable delivery dates. That cannot be done in spreadsheet; we tried. There’re just too many factors involved. Therefore, our best method was to manually go through and try to figure out when a product would be available based upon item availability, which was based upon purchase order data. But that still doesn't give our customer experience person any good information, because they don't know what's already been allocated to other products by the planning department. It was an ordeal, because our customer experience reps never had accurate information.      What different solutions did you consider? Issues around promised dates is not a new problem for us. In the 32 years that I have been with Srixon/Cleveland Golf, we’ve gone through cycles of trying to see what we can do. We didn't know Oracle Global Order Promising existed. But we knew what we wanted, so we tried to develop that software ourselves.  We brought in a developer, which was a great opportunity for our teams to get together and document the process and document what we wanted. It was a great exercise, but we ended up with a process proposal that was unproven and hard to maintain. So we were back to the drawing board.    How did you decide to go with Oracle? One day, I get a cold call from an Oracle representative. We started to talk about the very things that we were interested in: on-time deliveries, pegging orders to work orders, and being able to provide accurate promise dates to our customers. It led to easily being able to gain buy-in from our Vice President of Operations that we needed to investigate the Oracle Cloud suite of products. Once we did, that was it. We were on our way to acquiring Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud.  It was definitely reassuring knowing that the label on the brand was Oracle. We're already an Oracle customer. We've been involved with Oracle for over 20 years. Having the name Oracle behind the product gave us confidence that we were going with a product that we knew we could put our trust in.    Are there any benefits that you can share with us? Well, straight off the bat, within two and a half months of our go-live, we've seen an 81.5 percent increase in our on-time shipments compared to the year before. Our promise dates are accurate, and that’s a comfort to us that we haven’t had.  Just last month, we achieved a 89.5% completion rate! One thing that did surprise us is that, once we did go live, there was not a huge shift (or change) in our processes. The word is “disruptive” nowadays. With the migration to Oracle Global Promising Cloud, nothing was disruptive-- not disruptive at all. There was not a situation where everyone had to learn new processes and procedures. Now of course we had to learn the modules, but the core business did not suffer because we added functionality. As the IT director, that was great because it removed from my team the tasks around change management, training, and fielding questions and/or complaints.    Other than promise dates, how has the technology supported your custom products business? One of the things we do well, and it is about 20 percent of our business, is custom products. We have a wide spectrum of product offerings, which can be built to meet any golfer's needs for various reasons. To facilitate those customizations, we have a configurator, where every item ends up with its own part number, because every club could be different. I might need a club that's bent two degrees flat, while the next one may need to be two degrees upright.  Every custom product has its own unique bill of materials. In the past, every time you would do a manual look-up on that bill of material, you'd have to manually go into the work order, manually go in the parts list, look those parts up, and then do your inquiries. Now that is all that sorting is done for us, providing us with the promise dates that we were after in the first place.This frees up the employees who were manually processing those records and doing manual inquiries to do other things, like providing top-notch customer experiences.    Did you encounter any resistance or challenges in moving to the cloud? That was our first toe in the water in the cloud, but we have experience with hosting our ERP system in a private cloud, so Oracle Cloud ended being an easy choice. We chose to move to the cloud and kept our internal resources focused on other areas. Ultimately, we won’t have to bring in other employees to fulfill complicated tasks that we are not even experts in, since we were moving to new technology. For us, it was an easy step into the cloud.    So Oracle is known for working large corporations. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience with Oracle Cloud as a smaller company (a small-to-medium business, if you will).  We found that in the Oracle world, Srixon/Cleveland Golf is a small company-- probably one of the smallest companies that we see when we go to conferences. But what we've seen is that even though we're a small company that is into these big software products, we still get the same benefits that the large companies get, because we're running the same processes they're running.  We now have the expandability and the ability to go forward to hit our secondary goals of order allocation and total order fulfillment. Something that we want to do is deliver a customer's order in one shipment. Ultimately, that's the goal.    Finally, why don’t you tell us a little bit about the impact your company makes. Why is golf important to customers? That's a great question. Golf is another avenue for somebody to get out, get some exercise and create some camaraderie. But a lot of times when we go golfing, we're not going golfing. We're going talking, and golf kind of just gets in the way. That’s why we look forward to it so much. It's a bonus when we play well, and our clubs help players play well. Golf is an event that we look forward to so we can be with our friends and have a great time.   We offer quality golf equipment for all people in golf: senior players, professional players, beginning players, men, women, and people with slower swing speeds. Versatility is one of the things that we do well.   Oracle Global Order Promising Cloud helps us do it even better. 

By Christiane Soto, Sr. Content Manager at Oracle  Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Charles Chamberlain, Director of IT at Srixon/Cleveland Golf, a golfing equipment manufacturer....

Customer Experience

Keeping Score with Sportable Scoreboards

Thirty three years ago, Mike Cowen was sitting in the bleachers watching his son’s baseball game, when he noticed the diamond didn’t have a scoreboard. In fact, many of the places where his kids played sports lacked score-keeping devices. As a self-professed data geek, Cowen decided to invent a battery-powered, portable contraption that he could bring along to games. And with that, Sportable Scoreboards was born. From its start in a California garage to today’s 40,000 square foot facility in Murray, Kentucky, Sportable Scoreboards is home to 60 dedicated employees who are eager to see exciting numbers on the board. Their commitment to the company’s success has propelled Sportable to become one of the major players in the youth and high school market over the last three decades. To continue this momentum, Cowen, now chairman of the board, recently challenged his team to double its growth over the next five years. Sportable manufactures 6,000 made-to-order scoreboards each year for every indoor and outdoor sport imaginable. By doubling its production, Sportable hopes to positively impact twice as many communities across America. “There are hundreds of thousands of young people that are able to compete on an athletic field with a scoreboard that validates their experience and says ‘what you’re doing matters,’” Mike Daniel, Sportable’s president explained. “And quite frankly, that tells us that what we’re doing matters as well.” Sportable’s customers are our country’s communities. They are high school athletic directors and coaches with limited or non-existent budgets. They are parks and recreation departments who rely on government funding for their sports programs. They are parents and Little League officials who put on bake sales and car washes to raise money for a scoreboard. So how does a business plan to double in size in a market that may not be able to afford the product it sells? Sportable takes pride in meeting its customers on their own playing fields. To do so, the company created a Score Rewards program that helps schools sell advertising space on their scoreboard to offset costs. They also implemented a long-term finance program for more expensive models. But in order to double down on growth, Sportable realized it had to transform the way it operated, in hopes of finding efficiencies and cost savings that it could pass on to its customers. “We had to make radical change and radical improvements to get from where we are currently to where we want to be,” Daniel said. “We don’t want incremental change, we want to transform the way we address our business very fundamentally. There are inefficiencies, there are opportunities, and there are ways for us to reach our customers that we’ve never focused on before.” Sportable Scoreboards Grows and Transforms with Oracle SaaS Sportable recognized the need to up its game. Its front and back office software was outdated. The company was maintaining a dozen disparate, legacy systems that didn’t talk to each other. Costly to manage, the customized integrations between each weren’t sustainable for future growth. Each line of business was operating with duplicate records, process inefficiencies, and manual data entry. Cowen’s challenge to take Sportable to the next level led the company to retire its on-premises systems and overhaul its entire business – from marketing, sales, quoting, and customer service to finance, accounting, procurement, and order management – in a move to Oracle Cloud. “Our owner and leadership team decided that it was time for us to make a bid toward growth, and what we were seeking was a single source of truth,” recalled Micah Sugg, director of IT. This data transparency and accuracy has had an immediate impact at Sportable. By integrating Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Engagement Cloud, website traffic increased and sales reps are pursuing higher quality leads. Order precision improved with Oracle CPQ Cloud and Oracle ERP Cloud, reducing waste and required man power. Oracle Order Management Cloud, Oracle Manufacturing Cloud, and Oracle Supply Chain Cloud help ease order fulfillment, shipping the right product to the right customer, quickly. For the first time ever, accounting and financial teams can access the same data as their colleagues in sales and service with Oracle Financials Cloud, eliminating confusion caused by thousands of duplicate records. Sugg’s IT department is also reducing costs, no longer relying on a third party for server maintenance and set-up. Freed from the day-to-day business system maintenance, Sugg’s team is increasingly focusing on product development, exploring IoT-enabled scoreboards among other emerging technologies. Additionally, this single source of truth enables Sportable’s management team to quickly generate reports for strategic planning. “We’ve really freed up time to be more intentional about where we’re going and what we’re going to do, because that intentionality takes time,” Sugg explained. Sportable has also transformed its customer experience, removing the barriers and complexity of finding a product that meets its customers’ unique needs at an affordable price point. The company can now guide each school or parks director through a simple quoting and order process, shipping a scoreboard–configured for lights, horns, and team colors–to the field or arena in just 10 days. (Its competitors take twice as long to deliver a product.) Should the customer encounter any issues with set-up or maintenance, Sportable’s service department is on hand 24/7 so the inquiring coach or parent can get back to what’s really important–game day. At the end of the day, there’s no higher priority than Friday’s hockey game or Saturday’s soccer tournament. A scoreboard is just one part of that experience, but it’s a profound one. “There's nothing better than going past a football game on a Friday night and seeing our scoreboard in front of thousands of people,” Cowen said. “We’re united by the fact that we all love kids, we love sports, and we want the best programs that we can offer. Sportable is a part of that. We feel very proud about that.” Learn more about Sportable Scoreboard’s business transformation amidst a growing youth sports market on Forbes.    

Thirty three years ago, Mike Cowen was sitting in the bleachers watching his son’s baseball game, when he noticed the diamond didn’t have a scoreboard. In fact, many of the places where his kids...

Supply Chain Management

Top Takeaways: What the Analysts are Saying After Modern Business Experience

Now that the smoke has cleared after Modern Business Experience, Oracle SCM, PLM, ERP and HCM’s new flagship event, many research and analyst firms have been keen to divulge their assessments. Their outside perspective not only shows an in depth analysis of Oracle’s commitment to their customers success across the organization, but also how Oracle is delivering new industry fit technology and solutions that match tomorrow’s business needs. Tom Comstock, a principal analyst from LNS Research, wrote, “Oracle has rewritten its supply chain, ERP, and HR applications from the ground up to maximize performance in the Cloud.  Oracle quietly became the first company to have a comprehensive Supply Chain solution in the Cloud”. He went on to mention that “The fundamental advantage of moving to the Cloud was innovation and the speed of innovation” and “several Oracle presenters noted that cost savings were not the primary driver for a Cloud deployment but instead it was innovation”. Furthermore, Comstock ended by stating, “the real story is its Quality 4.0 tech. Oracle has launched a Global Traceability and Track solution, IoT Production App, Connected Innovation App, Connected Experience App, and Adaptive Digital Manufacturing solution. These Apps provide scalable approaches to deliver many Quality 4.0 use cases, include predictive quality in manufacturing, and digital voice of the customer connected back to product requirements and product definition…Oracle’s robust approaches in this area will ease the transition to Quality 4.0 for the next generation of adopters. All in all, LNS views Oracle as a solid partner for companies on their Industrial Transformation journey well beyond their apparent capabilities in the Cloud.” In addition to LNS Research, CIMdata, a leading PLM research and analyst consulting company, released their post-event commentary which highlights the key capabilities of Oracle PLM and SCM Cloud solutions and emphasizes the importance of having a digitally connected innovation platform. CIMdata writes, Oracle’s “vision of Digitally Connected PLM is coming to fruition” and “They have some good customer stories to date, with big names putting their businesses in Oracle’s hands and on their cloud.” The importance of the digital thread and having a completely connected digital supply chain are clear takeaways from CIMdata’s piece. They explain that Oracle’s “digital thread extends from the fuzzy frontend of innovation, supported by Oracle Innovation Management Cloud, all the way to fielded connected products/assets and back. In developing their Oracle Quality Management Cloud offering, Oracle brought together the development teams from Oracle Agile PLM, Oracle E-Business Suite, and other Oracle enterprise applications to ensure that the new cloud-native offering could meet or exceed the capabilities of their existing on-premise solutions.” They go on to note that Oracle "also extended Oracle Quality Management Cloud to span product development, change management, IoT, AI/ML, inspection processes, manufacturing, supplier management, and monitoring the voice of the customer using Oracle Social Cloud for sentiment monitoring. This will help Oracle connect the digital thread from idea through life and provide feedback that can enhance continuous improvement activities.” It’s quite apparent that Modern Business Experience showcased how industry fit technology and solutions are allowing companies of all sizes to adapt and thrive in the digital age.  If you missed the chance to attend the event, don’t worry! You can catch a recap of some of the great content here. If you’re looking for more information on Oracle PLM and SCM solutions, visit oracle.com/SCM and oracle.com/PLM. Check out these other Supply Chain blogs you may find interesting: Your Innovation Platform for the Digital Thread The Oracle PLM to Cloud Strategy Combine IoT and PLM to tie the Digital Thread What is SCM and Why is it Important?

Now that the smoke has cleared after Modern Business Experience, Oracle SCM, PLM, ERP and HCM’s new flagship event, many research and analyst firms have been keen to divulge their assessments. Their...