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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...

Customer Experience

5 Fascinating Cross-CX Sessions at Oracle Modern Customer Experience

By Corie McHugh Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2019 will take place March 19-21 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, with 200+ planned sessions focusing on the hottest topics in customer experience. Over 25 of these sessions will focus specifically on cross-CX trends and technologies. **Ready to register for Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2019? Visit the registration page and use discount code “CXINSIDER” to get a rate of $1,295 on a full conference pass now through March 1, 2019.** Here are 5 of the upcoming, fascinating cross-CX sessions. You can also view the full cross-CX session catalog here. Bring Intelligent Chatbots and Digital Assistants to Your Business Breakout session featuring Joe Huang, Product Management, Oracle Digital Assistant and Mobile Cloud, Oracle and Suhas Uliyar, Vice President, Product Management, Oracle AI Bots and Mobile, Oracle Over the past few years, AI technologies have transformed the way we interact with systems and devices across multiple channels. Chatbots in customer service, ecommerce, and sales have become widely accepted and adopted. Oracle’s Sales Digital Assistant and Service Digital Assistant leverage AI and can do many things: initiate conversations, make recommendations, detect/process sentiments, and handle advanced conversations. Attend to this session to learn how your enterprise can benefit. Deliver Personalized Experiences with Oracle Content and Experience Breakout session featuring Kiran Bellare, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle Content teams spend millions on manual authoring, curating, and targeting content, and yet fall short on driving engagement. Smart content is an initiative from Oracle Content and Experience that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve content management efficiencies by automating the authoring, curation, and classification of content. Attend this session and learn more. How Master Lock Adopted Oracle CX Analytics for Better Business Intelligence Breakout session featuring Alex Dye, Director Business Applications, Master Lock Company, Shantanu Goswami, Senior Business Analyst – CRM, Master Lock Company and Naren Chawla, Senior Director, Product Management, CX Analytics, Oracle Which Oracle tools can you leverage to solve your descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics CX use cases to supercharge your business? What are the next-generation CX analytical business applications that you can adopt to deliver immediate value to business users? Attend this session to hear from Master Lock Company as they share their OTBI for Sales story. The session will also walk through real CX customer use cases and highlight ways to adopt your own business value through CX analytics. How to Be a Storytelling Marketer General session featuring Ellen Green, Director, Marketing Communications, GHA Storytelling is a powerful way to connect with customers. In this session, learn how to use marketing to tell a story to your customers that enhances your relationship. Understand how to leverage Oracle Responsys to tell that story through the tools and functionality in the platform, and find ways to create a conversation with customers to build upon the story. Oracle Customer Experience Unity: Connecting Tomorrow’s Customer Experience, Today Breakout session featuring Steve Earl, Senior Director Product Marketing, Oracle and Abbas Makhdum, Director Product Marketing, Oracle As the data fabric of Oracle’s market-leading customer experience cloud, Oracle Customer Experience Unity delivers timely intelligence about known customers in order to optimize their complete brand experience across marketing, sales, and service. Attend this session to learn more. **Ready to register for Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2019? Visit the registration page and use discount code “CXINSIDER” to get a rate of $1,295 on a full conference pass now through March 1, 2019.** Note that event details are subject to change. *Originally published on smartercx.com    

By Corie McHugh Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2019 will take place March 19-21 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, with 200+ planned sessions focusing on the hottest topics in...

Customer Experience

Sales Professionals Tune In!

Sales Professionals Tune In! Here’s your opportunity to embrace change in the New Year by registering for Modern Customer Experience in Las Vegas, March 18-21, 2019! Attend MCX and interact with transformation leaders in the CX Exchange. Better yet, absorb everything about new trends or drill down in the conference breakout sessions. Hear from industry leaders including special guest Jacob Hayden at Parker Hannifin in the CX Sales general session as they share how they are optimizing sales strategies and explain how they’ve integrated sales with marketing and service to improve their bottom line. Experience cutting-edge features including visual Configure, Price and Quote integration from development partners, predictive sales planning tools, AI for Sales and Oracle’s new Digital Sales Assistant. Come away refreshed, re-energized, and ready to conquer the world after a week of making new friends, learning, and well, of course, partying in America’s hottest entertainment city!  Hear about global marketing dynamics and trends and then roll up your sleeves and get into the weeds to understand efficiencies for sales operations with a diverse array of CX Sales breakout sessions. What will our world of artificial intelligence and machine learning bring? How will you determine the proper balance of high-touch human interactions with the inevitable automation that surrounds us? We’re also bringing you some unique Collective Learning-style sessions. These are audience-led and interactive facilitated group activities that apply the science of learning with an appreciation for the collective intelligence of multiple people. Hear from Gerry Murray about the interaction between sales and marketing. Or, participate in “Make Your Case”, “Brain Snacks”, or “Flipped” sessions. We all bring knowledge and expertise to every interaction and Collective Learning harnesses the power of a group. Come a day early and take advantage of all that Las Vegas has to offer such as the Shark Reef at the host hotel, the Mandalay Bay. Experience one of its famous restaurants like the award-winning Aureole or the Rivera Las Vegas at the Delano by famous chef Alain Ducasse.  But before you dine, start the week with a Pre-Conference Education course to warm up your intellectual abilities and set the stage for a week of learning and professional networking. At these Pre-Conference courses, in smaller more intimate groups, you can get learn how to configure a report using powerful Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence (OTBI), or tailor your applications to your specific needs with the Oracle Application Composer, or maybe you just want to learn the basics of Engagement Cloud and see how sales and service are synergizing customer experience for reps and agents. There’s no substitute for being there in person, so register now for Modern Customer Experience with the code CXINSIDER for a discounted rate of $1295 through March 1, 2019. Claim your place at this premier conference in Las Vegas, without a doubt the entertainment capital of the world!

Sales Professionals Tune In! Here’s your opportunity to embrace change in the New Year by registering for Modern Customer Experience in Las Vegas, March 18-21, 2019! Attend MCX and interact with...

Emerging Technologies

6 Ways AI Can Help a CEO

In the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about AI innovating and improving our lifestyles. Remember when Waze first came out and it shortened your commute? Siri is pretty cool too. As AI becomes more developed, it’s becoming less about “cool” new innovations and more about business impact.   I recently attended the AI Summit in San Francisco where Melissa Boxer, Oracle’s VP of Adaptive Intelligent Applications, gave her keynote on Practical AI. In her session, Melissa tapped into the perspective of the CEO by addressing 6 challenges of running her business and how “Pragmatic AI” can help. Are you in full control of your data? Customer trust is everything in today’s digital world.Hacking remains a major threat. As a CEO, the data you manage contains powerful customer insights but also carries a great deal of responsibility to ensure data privacy and security. Autonomous Cloud is an example where AI and machine learning automate processes that address security concerns and increase productivity so the IT department can focus on more important and bigger business decisions. Are you relevant to customers? It’s no secret how important customers are to any business owner. What we didn’t realize was how difficult it is to personalize engagements with customers across every interaction with us, in real-time. Oracle AI Apps provide convenient capabilities that help you deliver intelligent recommendations and interactions to Marketing, Sales, Commerce and Service teams to personalize each engagement with customers at the right time. Are your employees engaged? “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs. As a CEO, leading an organization means leading people. However, hiring and retaining the best match remains difficult. With Oracle AI Apps for HCM, the goal is to help recruiters identify and rank candidates based on their likelihood to satisfy the requirements of the role, fit-in with company culture and ultimately thrive at the company over a long tenure. How effective is your salesforce? In a Harvard Business Review study, it was found that “Two thirds of sales people are average or worse.” Being a top seller is extremely difficult. When revenue growth is a top priority for a CEO, how can sellers, sell more? Today, Oracle AI apps for CX can minimize pipeline risk and drive deals toward closure with intelligent ranking of opportunities through AI-powered win probabilities, and recommended next best actions. Are you optimizing cash flow? Is your supply chain risky? Traditionally, supply chain was considered a connected, linear system that involved everything from planning to delivering a finished product. But in the digital age, supply chain has morphed into an” interconnected web, with the customer in the center”. As a CEO, you need to strategically look at your entire business at all times necessary. Oracle AI Apps for ERP uses AI to classify your supply base across a number of factors including strategic importance and financial stability as well as identifying organizations most suited to initiatives such as discount programs that offer early payment in exchange for discounts which in turn increases working capital. Are my teams efficiently developing AI innovations for my business? As the world continues to innovate and AI becomes a part of our realities, it’s important to remain competitive with leveraging technologies that will allow you to accelerate your business. As a business leader, investing in the right tools, frameworks and infrastructure can be the backbone to leverage machine learning quickly to drive positive business outcomes before your competition. As Melissa asked the audience these 6 questions, I realized how valuable AI can be to an entire business strategy. AI is not just “cool.” It is practical and touches the entire business. If you want to learn more about Adaptive Intelligent Apps, I would encourage anyone who’s interested to attend the AI Summit in New York on December 5-6. Further Reading Autonomous and Secure – Oracle magazine article discusses how Oracle technology protects your most valuable investment—your data.

In the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about AI innovating and improving our lifestyles. Remember when Waze first came out and it shortened your commute? Siri is pretty cool too. As AI...