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Customer Experience

Gartner Names Oracle a Leader for Third Consecutive Year in the Magic Quadrant for Configure Price and Quote Applications Suites

Gartner has recognized Oracle as a Leader, positioned highest in Execution in the 2019 Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites. Analysts Mark Lewis and Christina Klock analyzed sixteen vendors and placed each in one of four categories: Leader, Challenger, Niche Player, or Visionary. This is the third year in a row that Oracle was placed a Leader. Oracle believes that placement in the leaders’ quadrant in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Applications Suites provides confirmation of Oracle’s CPQ market position that is the result of nearly two decades of continuous development investment against a visionary roadmap and the sophistication of a global Solution Implementation partner network. The real story though is underscored in the Gartner report by the premier placement on the ‘execution’ axis, is the value our customers get out of the Oracle CPQ Cloud solution. You can read the 12 ways Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) provides value in the recently published Oracle CX Blog post series. No. 1: Sell Faster No. 2: Five Ways to Control Margins No. 3: Better Looking Quotes and Proposals No. 4: Error Free Orders No. 5: Guided Selling No. 6: Improve the Deal Approval Process No. 7: Maximize Sales Opportunities No. 8: Asset Based Ordering No. 9: Five Ways to Reduce Administration No. 10: Insights Through Analytics No. 11: Auditability No. 12: Simplify the Complex How does Oracle CPQ stack up in the market? According to us, the position as a Leader in the Gartner CPQ MQ is one indication of the many strengths of Oracle CPQ that include; Oracle CPQ has proven performance at vast enterprise scale with customers who have complex requirements, lots of users, and high volumes of transactions. Oracle offers a Total Commerce suite of CX products that provide the benefit of being architected on a robust platform with capabilities around Adaptive Intelligence, analytics, extensibility, collaboration and seamless integration. CX platform innovations allow CPQ to address challenges faster and more effectively than other vendors. CPQ features such as Deal management, Price Optimization, System Configuration, Subscription Ordering and Subscription Management provide elegant solutions to business challenges that customers may not realize they have. Oracle's resources and robust software development practices ensure that CPQ Cloud invests more in development of the CPQ product than any other vendor, thus rendering the solution more valuable year after year. Oracle CPQ is supported around the world with local presence in almost every continent and country and provides customers with follow-the-sun, product-dedicated support personnel. Oracle's world-wide training and partner network ensure that CPQ Cloud customers have access to skilled, experienced implementation expertise. Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote - The CPQ Solution to Trust     Interested in digging deeper into the advanced functionalities of Oracle’s CPQ that enable successful sales transformation projects for customers around the globe? Contact us. We’ll be happy to show you how you can leverage Oracle CPQ to improve your bottom line. Click here to read the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites Click to read about Oracle Configure Price Quote Read the Executive Paper The Financial Impact of Selecting the Wrong CPQ Solution Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites, Christina Klock, Mark Lewis, 28 October 2019- Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.            

Gartner has recognized Oracle as a Leader, positioned highest in Execution in the 2019 Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites. Analysts Mark Lewis and Christina...

Customer Experience

Oracle Positioned as a MQ Leader for its Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision

Gartner analysts Mark Lewis and Christina Klock have named Oracle a Leader in the 2019 Gartner “Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites.” We believe that the report listing Oracle CPQ as a Leader is based on the following strengths: growth in market share, global market presence and ability to support complexity. According to Gartner’s research, the value customers get out of Oracle CPQ Cloud is underscored by the highest overall placement for its ability to execute. The importance of selecting the correct CPQ solution for your organization is highlighted in this report. Download the Financial Impact of Selecting the Wrong CPQ Solution Oracle CPQ strengths include: Oracle CPQ has proven performance at vast enterprise scale with customers who have complex requirements, lots of users, and high volumes of transactions. Oracle offers a Total Commerce suite of CX products that provide the benefit of being architected on a robust platform with capabilities around Adaptive Intelligence, analytics, extensibility, collaboration and seamless integration. The Oracle CX platform innovations allow CPQ to address challenges faster and more effectively than other vendors. CPQ features such as Deal management, Price Optimization, System Configuration, Subscription Ordering and Subscription Management provide elegant solutions to business challenges that customers may not realize they have. Oracle's resources and robust software development practices ensure that CPQ Cloud invests more in development of the CPQ product than any other vendor, thus rendering the solution more valuable year after year. Oracle CPQ is supported around the world with local presence in almost every continent and country and provides customers with follow-the-sun, product-dedicated support personnel. Oracle's world-wide training and partner network ensure that CPQ Cloud customers have access to skilled, experienced implementation expertise. Oracle Configure, Price, and Quote - The CPQ Solution to Trust     Click here to read the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites Web Site Oracle CPQ Click to read about Oracle Configure Price Quote                  

Gartner analysts Mark Lewis and Christina Klock have named Oracle a Leader in the 2019 Gartner “Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Configure, Price and Quote Application Suites.” We believe that the report...

Customer Experience

Your Journey to Modern Customer Experience 2020 Starts Today

Mark your calendars! Modern Customer Experience 2020 is scheduled for March 23-26, 2020 in Chicago at the McCormick Place. From now through October 21, 2019 register for the event and get one free pass for a colleague. The more the merrier! Every year, attendees congregate at Modern Customer Experience to learn about industry trends, see product roadmaps, network with peers, and get inspired. They return home armed with the tools and insights to deliver legendary experiences and transform their own organizations. Our customers are the heart and soul of the event, and we want to include you in our planning process to make your investment in Modern Customer Experience even more valuable. Join us on this adventure, hosted in the Oracle CX Hero Hub, to shape our annual event in unprecedented ways. Example activities include: Shape meetups: Tell us which meetups you’re interested in participating in, suggest a new topic, or lead a meetup. Vote on training topics: Rank the training topics you’d like included in the agenda.   Tell us your presentation ideas:  Tell us about your presentation idea by submitting to the call for ideas here. Interested in speaking but not sure about the details? If you’re open to speaking but aren’t quite sure about all the details, let us know in the Oracle CX Hero Hub. We’ll share topics our team is planning to include this year, and you can let us know if you’d be interested in sharing your experience. Rank industry influencers you’d like to see: Whether it’s Jay Baer or Shep Hyken, Katie Martell or Bryan Kramer, vote on which industry influencers you’d like to hear from next year. Share your favorite conference experiences: Inspire our team by sharing valuable or cool conference experiences that you’ve had in the past. Share your musical taste and suggest an entertainer: Tell us what musical genre gets you moving and which artists or bands you’d love to see live. Coming soon! This is just the beginning of our journey together. Stay tuned as our expedition expands to cover Markie Award nominations, interviews, networking and more. Join your peers on a journey to influence and connect at Modern Customer Experience 2020. Check out the Oracle CX Hero Hub today for more details, or if you’re like to be invited, talk to your account executive for more details. Lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of our BOGO promotion, running now through October 21st.      

Mark your calendars! Modern Customer Experience 2020 is scheduled for March 23-26, 2020 in Chicago at the McCormick Place. From now through October 21, 2019 register for the event and get one free...

Supply Chain Management

Oracle Scores Highest in Gartner Critical Capabilities for TMS Level 2-5 Complexity Use Cases

The Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems research evaluates 13 TMS solutions across 10 critical capabilities and five different use cases. Oracle ranked highest in critical capabilities across 4 out of 5 use cases. The capabilities analyzed in this research include core domestic capability, extended domestic capability, core international capability, extended international capability, usability/user experience, analytics/visibility, implementation/integration tools, adaptability/agility, carrier networks and simplicity. Download your complimentary copy of the 2019 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems. This report is a companion piece to Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems which evaluates vendors in terms of completeness of vision and ability to execute. Oracle Transportation Management Cloud (OTM) is a comprehensive solution that spans the entire transportation process, across all modes and geographies. A complete and modern solution that supports end-to-end business processes, OTM Cloud has broad capabilities including sourcing and planning, routing, inventory visibility, modeling, fleet management and can easily integrate with IoT, machine learning, and other emerging technologies. Gartner, Inc., "Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems"; Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran; 22 May 2019. Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems” Bart De Muynck, Brock Johns, Oscar Sanchez Duran, March 27, 2019. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Download your complimentary copy of the 2019 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems.    

The Gartner Critical Capabilities for Transportation Management Systems research evaluates 13 TMS solutions across 10 critical capabilities and five different use cases. Oracle ranked highest...

Customer Experience

Commerce and CPQ and Subscriptions Session Highlights for Oracle OpenWorld 2019

Oracle OpenWorld 2019 is just around the corner! I hope to see you September 16-19, Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco. If you are in charge of selling to customer through digital touchpoints – whether with Commerce, CPQ, Subscriptions or Loyalty programs, or some combination thereof -- the effectiveness and efficiency of the selling process can make-or-break the capacity of your business to achieve critical corporate goals, from the moment a customer demonstrates interest to make a purchase, to the moment they ‘click-to-buy or collect’, approve a custom quote, or submit a purchase order. Here are some Open World sessions we think will help you navigate and optimize all the selling opportunities that lie at every customer interaction across the enterprise. Master the New Science of Sales Wednesday, Sept 17, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM | Moscone West - Room 2012      Katrina Haynes-Gosek, Vice President, CX Product Management, Oracle      Catherine You, Vice President, Sales Cloud, Oracle      Martyn Langley, VP, Global Sales Operations, Systems & Enablement, Oracle In this session learn Oracle’s vision, latest product innovations, and roadmap for Oracle’s CX sales solutions. Guided selling and connected CRM intelligence will take the guesswork out of sales. Your current sales processes will become obsolete—and sooner than you think. Sales leaders will use new capabilities to make smarter decisions about sales planning, forecasting, discounting, deal acceleration, and more. Your sales reps will get more customer intelligence and prescriptive advice at every stage to help them close more deals. Learn how tools will enable a new breed of digital sellers to fuel your growth. Digital Commerce: Building Your Path to the Future Wednesday, September 17, 03:45 PM - 05:15 PM | Moscone West - Room 2000            Katrina Haynes-Gosek, Vice President, CX Product Management, Oracle            Ian Davis, VP Commerce Product Management, Oracle            Fazal Gupta, Director CPQ Cloud Product Management, Oracle            Alistair Galbraith, Senior Director, CX Product Strategy, Oracle This session is geared for those selling online. The history of digital commerce and online selling is intertwined with constant innovation in a broad ecosystem of applications. Today selling online is synonymous with customizing complex products and service, picking your own buying model, and building brand loyalty—all while exceeding customer expectations in B2C and B2B businesses. In this session learn from the Oracle product leadership about the latest and forthcoming innovations in commerce, CPQ, loyalty, and subscriptions offerings and see an integrated demo of how they come together and how Oracle CX can help pave your path to the future. PRO5613 Monday September 16 Delivering Superior Digital Experiences with Commerce and CPQ 01:45 PM - 02:30 PM | Moscone West - Room 2024             Gary Kirschner, Oracle             Jeri Kelley, Director, Product Strategy, Oracle Join this session to understand how Oracle is unifying commerce and CPQ capabilities to enable rich digital experiences with innovative features such as complex configurable products, 3D visualization, and asset-based ordering.PRO5614 Oracle’s Business Transformation 02:30 PM - 03:30 PM | Moscone West (Level 2) - Business Transformation Theater,             Doug Kehring, Executive Vice President, Corporate Operations, Oracle In this session hear details on how Oracle has transformed the customer and employee experiences with Oracle Cloud, including benefits achieved and lessons learned.THT6527. CPQ Supercharges Sales Productivity, Accelerates Sales, and Improves Margins 02:45 PM - 03:30 PM | Moscone West - Room 2024B             Chris Shutts, VP, Development, Oracle Fazal Gupta, Oracle CPQ enables your sales team to work smarter and respond faster by offering the right solutions to the right customers at the right price. Oracle’s best-in-class CPQ solution provides AI-powered deal management, win optimization, and price optimization, giving staff essential information at critical decision points to improve margins and increase sales productivity. Staff can accurately create and capture orders for complex products or services, or even use multitiered structures and nested submodels to generate polished, professional quotes within minutes. In this session discover the brilliance of Oracle’s CPQ solution.PRO5687 Tuesday September 17 Anatomy of a Transformation: Transforming the Customer Buying Experience 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM | Moscone West (Level 2) - Business Transformation Theater             Josh Kamenecka, GVP, NAA Solution Engineering, ERP, Oracle             Baki Yasar, Senior Director, OAL ERP Quote to Order, Oracle             Manoj Varadarajan, SVP, Global Finance Operations, Oracle In this session hear a conversation on how Oracle reimagined its customers’ buying experience and the results of transforming the experience with Oracle CPQ Cloud.THT6528 Modern Quoting Experience with Oracle CPQ Cloud 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM | Moscone West (Level 2) - Customer Experience Theater,             Aoife Radburn, VP Sales, Partner & Consulting Support, Global Quoting Practices, Oracle Learn how Oracle transformed the sales rep experience and increased deal velocity via simplified ordering documents, agreements, streamlined approvals and self-service quoting, delivered through CPQ (Configure, Price and Quote) and Sales Cloud. THT6553 The Importance of Connect CX in an Experience Economy 03:15 PM - 04:00 PM | Moscone West - Room 2009C                   Guru Muzumdar, Sr. Director, Product Management, Oracle This session provides an overview of various components in Oracle’s CX platform that help drive connected data, intelligence, and experiences across all channels of interactions. Learn about the end-to-end business process and flows that are delivered using the platform. This session explores how the Oracle CX Cloud provides a platform that enables you to integrate Oracle CX Cloud to other applications (cloud and on-premise) in your organization. Discover exciting machine learning–based automatic recommendations, prebuilt recipes, and robotic process automation to more easily connect your business faster. Also hear customer case studies on how they connected Oracle CX into their business with Oracle Integration Cloud. CON5611 Oracle’s Business Transformation 04:45 PM - 05:45 PM | Moscone West (Level 2) - Business Transformation Theater             Doug Kehring, Executive Vice President, Corporate Operations, Oracle In this session hear details on how Oracle has transformed the customer and employee experiences with Oracle Cloud, including benefits achieved and lessons learned.THT6527. Wednesday September 18 Create and Reward Your Best Customers with Commerce and Loyalty 09:00 AM - 09:45 AM | Moscone West - Room 2009B             Sonia Wadhwa, Senior Director, Product Management, Siebel CRM, Oracle             Narayana Machiraju Venkata, Oracle             Alice Dungey, Senior Manager, Southwest Airlines In the experience economy, it takes more than great products to win customers again and again. Brands and retailers need to capitalize on shopper micromoments of inspiration across web, mobile, voice, and other channels of engagement. In this session learn how commerce, loyalty, and marketing work together to create experiences designed to create and reward your best customers. PRO5615 Monetizing Products and Services with Subscription Billing 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM | Moscone West - Room 2011B             Chris Shutts, VP, Development, Oracle             Tapomoy Dey, Senior Director, Financials Development, Oracle             Vijay Rajkumar, Oracle In this session learn how to monetize your products/services by developing agile billing models that enable you to automate your revenue streams. Oracle Subscription Management Cloud supports thousands of models of pricing, delivery, billing, and multiple customer touchpoints while integrating front- and back-office processes to support recurring revenue- and usage-based services seamlessly across your organization on one highly efficient platform. Learn more about how these solutions enable you to evolve your digital business. PRO5952 Take advantage of the OOW opportunities to attend CX sessions to learn, explore and network with fellow attendees at the conference!      

Oracle OpenWorld 2019 is just around the corner! I hope to see you September 16-19, Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco.If you are in charge of selling to customer through digital touchpoints –...

Emerging Technologies

#OOW19 Can’t Miss Oracle Content and Experience Sessions

Oracle OpenWorld 2019 is right around the corner! With the Intelligent Content Platform on the horizon, it’s a very exciting time for teams looking to maximize the potential of their content. Learn about the next generation of agile content management systems to unlock the power of AI and machine learning. Create personalized user experiences, manage content with more efficiency, and publish omni-channel content from a single source of truth. Whether you are a content marketing manager for a small company, or an enterprise IT developer looking for better ways to manage content across your organization, you are going to want to stop by these sessions!   Unleashing Content: Oracle Content and Experience Roadmap and Vision-[PRO5432]      Date: Tuesday September 17, 11:15AM – 12:00PM      Speakers: Girish Bettadpur, Christopher Stone If there’s one session that you should deem mandatory, this one’s it. Join Christopher Stone, SVP, and Girish Bettadpur, VP of Oracle Content and Experience, as they share how you can unleash the power of your content and deliver exceptional experiences. From content collaboration to consistent omnichannel experiences, your teams can manage content from one centralized hub. Explore this and so much more through this session detailing Oracle Content and Experience’s roadmap and vision.   Content Showcase: The Art of the Possible [PAN5433]      Date: Monday, September 16, 11:15AM – 12:00PM      Speakers: Girish Bettadpur In this panel discussion, hear from some of Oracle Content and Experience's customers and partners on the unique use cases they've developed to solve their organizations issues. See how the React Site Generator has helped businesses transform their workflows and gain insight knowledge to these extended Oracle Content and Experience use cases.   Going Headless: Adventures in Modern Web Development [CON5434]      Date: Tuesday September 17, 1:45PM – 2:30PM      Speakers: Dave Ingram In this engaging session, hear all about the headless development from the Oracle Content and Experience Product Development team. See how companies are using headless experiences to increase employee engagement as well as personalize experiences. The extensibility offered by headless has empowered customers to create truly personalized experiences while efficiently managing all their assets.   Leveraging Content to Be Your Best Seller [CON5439]      Date: Tuesday September 17, 5:15PM – 6:00PM      Speakers: Kamal Kapur Machine learning is not a product; it actually makes your content smarter! In this session, see how you can use a digital assistant to personalize the selling process. Learn to leverage your content to be your best seller.   Bears, Beets, and Battlestar Gallactica: How to personalize your experiences to your unique audiences [PRO5436]      Date: Thursday September 19, 11:00AM - 12:15PM      Speakers: Lee Ribeiro, Kamal Kapur In the Experience Economy, the key to turn Visitors to Customers is creating engaging and relevant experiences. Come find out how Oracle Content and Experience can help by delivering omnichannel content recommendations.   Eager for more? Explore the complete program guide for Oracle Content and Experience here!   We are looking forward to seeing you at #OOW19 Sept. 16-19, at Moscone Center, San Francisco!

Oracle OpenWorld 2019 is right around the corner! With the Intelligent Content Platform on the horizon, it’s a very exciting time for teams looking to maximize the potential of their content. Learn...

Finance

5 Reasons Companies Change or Add ERP Functionality

There are many reasons why small and medium businesses (SMBs) look to change or upgrade their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. But five seem to bubble to the top of the list, according to a recent report published by Aberdeen—ERP Expectations for Small-to-Medium Businesses. Let’s take a few moments to discuss the five top reasons that growing companies look to change or add ERP functionality. 1. Take advantage of new features (55 percent of respondents). As a company enters new markets and pushes new product iterations out the door, ERP systems must handle exponentially increasing transactional volume, provide access to the right information quicker, and support new process requirements. Legacy systems will probably fall short.  The worst thing that could ever happen to a medium-sized business is to own an application that provides bad data to its internal users and customers. For example, if your legacy ERP system provides bad pricing data or inaccurate account balances to customers, it is time to make a change. Today customers can share their unhappiness with the world; therefore, you must have a trusted ERP solution to provide accurate and relevant information. Also, if faulty data is used for planning and forecasting, it is time to make a change. The world moves too fast for mistakes that result in excess inventory, not enough product to meet demand, or a missed a partnership/new market opportunity. 2. Ease of use (29 percent of respondents). Growing midsize companies recognize that their ERP solution must do the job and be easy to use. In 2016, the median age of the labor force was 42 years.  In specific industries, such as high tech, life sciences, advertising and public relations, retail, and internet publishing and video, the median age is much lower. This younger workforce may find newer software more attractive and even familiar, for the simple reason that these more modern technologies follow similar design patterns to consumer applications that most of us use every single day. Providing tools that are easy to use boosts employee engagement, and an engaged workforce directly correlates to employee retention. In addition, today’s consumer wants efficient and straightforward experiences. If your ERP solution cannot support a customer entry point such as mobile ordering or ecommerce site inventory look-ups or the ability to configure (and price) specific products, then those customers will look for a more modern vendor. 3. More flexibility (27 percent of respondents).  Flexibility supports profitable growth. But what is a flexible ERP system? There are three differentiators: Ability to add new functionality as needs change without any disruptive upgrades or enhancements. The result? A lower total cost of ownership (TCO). ERP solution must be able to handle different languages, currencies and accounting standards, manage multiple company sites, be implemented automatically, and run seamlessly. With competitive dynamics and the pace of change so quick in most industries, companies often do not know what their business model will be in the next 2-3 years. It's their ERP and other IT infrastructure that must support their ability to change and adapt. 4. Current performance is inadequate (26 percent of respondents). There are several warning signs that your ERP solution is not meeting performance standards. If users are relying on workarounds to perform their daily functions, then it is time to change. Increased transactional volume may slow some ERP solutions to a crawl. Are your employees submitting tickets for outages or for reports that are taking longer to run than typical or batch jobs that are not completing in the allotted time? If "yes," then it is time to make a change. 5. Incompatibility with emerging technology (20 percent of respondents). Companies in this situation should reconsider their entire IT and systems strategy. A cloud-based approach—one with a provider that can handle growth and integration support— is a viable solution. Emerging technologies may be a buzzword, but they are not a fad. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (used in chatbots) are finding a home in ERP solutions across many different industries. They are game-changers in these industries and are being used (not just talked about) in many ways. So if your ERP solution cannot support AI to ….. it may be time to change. For more insight on the expectations midsize and medium companies should place on modern ERP systems, download our newest Aberdeen report.

There are many reasons why small and medium businesses (SMBs) look to change or upgrade their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. But five seem to bubble to the top of the list, according to...

Customer Experience

CX Sales at Oracle OpenWorld 2019

September 16-19, Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco It’s that time of year again – Oracle OpenWorld 2019 is upon us! But OpenWorld isn’t the only thing that’s here. We’re now living in the Experience Economy, where customers expect interactions to be perfectly timed and personalized specifically to them. That means that whoever gets to the customer first must be empowered to help them, whatever they need. For CX Sales leaders and professionals, a data-driven approach to CX, fully integrated revenue optimization across the organization, account intelligence, AI and integrated planning will take center stage as they transform their business to excel in the Experience Economy. We’ll highlight what you need to not only succeed, but to lead, in this new normal. As always, this year’s event will feature live keynote sessions from Oracle executives like Larry Ellison and Steve Miranda – and once again, the customer appreciate event is sure to wow. CloudFest 19 attendees will get to jam all night with John Mayer and Flo Rida. Rob Tarkoff, EVP CRM/CX Cloud, Oracle will join Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President, Applications Development, Oracle, and several customers in a session that will challenge you to think. Can you feel the tidal wave of change bearing down on everything you do? It’s affecting your business models, technology, and customer expectations—and the speed is only accelerating. What if there were a way to make this constant change work to your advantage? What if there was a solution that lets you embrace change and reinvigorate your business? Take a deep breath and explore how Oracle Cloud apps can help you stay ahead of changing expectations. Solution Keynote: How to Turn Change into Opportunity with Oracle Cloud Apps [SOL5599], Tuesday, September 17th, 11:15am-12:45pm, Moscone North – Hall F Later, Rob will lead the opening CX keynote with a deeper look at how understanding your customers better than your competitors is the key to your organization’s success in the Experience Economy. Data as a Strategic Advantage in the Experience Economy [GEN5929], Tuesday, September 17th, 4:45am-6:15pm, Moscone West – Room 2006/2008 Don’t miss the CX Sales General Session, led by Katrina Haynes-Gosek, Vice President, CX Product Management, Oracle. You’ll hear Oracle’s vision, latest product innovations, and roadmap for Oracle’s CX sales solutions. Guided selling and connected CRM intelligence are taking the guesswork out of sales. Your current sales processes will become obsolete—and sooner than you think. Don’t miss out on an exclusive look at the tools that will enable a new breed of digital sellers to fuel your growth. Master the New Science of Sales [PRO5667], Wednesday, September 18th, 9:00am-10:30am, Moscone West, Room 2012 If you are in Sales, you also won’t want to miss these sessions curated just for you! Completing the Customer Profile: A Multidimensional Data Discussion [PAN6370], Wednesday, September 18th, 4:45pm-5:30pm, Moscone West – Room 3001 CX Sales Success Stories: What No One Told You About Cross-CX Initiatives [PAN5668], Thursday, September 19th, 9:00am-9:45am, Moscone West – Room 2010 Of course, mastering the new science and art of selling is an essential skill to prevailing in the Experience Economy. In the Experience Economy, enterprises no longer drive innovation. Customers do – and they’re raising the bar at a rapid pace. They’re immune to sales pitches, they will shop and transact anywhere at any time, and they expect problems to fix themselves. They have limited attention spans and are very protective of their time. Your only goal should be to design rich and satisfying experiences that respect their time. Join Joe Fuster, Group Vice President, CX Cloud Business Group, Oracle, as shares how to empower marketing, commerce, sales, and service—whoever gets to the customer first. Learn How to Prevail in the Experience Economy [CON4937], Monday, September 16th, 1:45pm-2:30pm, Moscone West, Room 2022B As a company, Oracle knows what it takes to plan and execute sales strategy at scale. Hear from Oracle leaders who have implemented Oracle CX Sales solutions to drive success. Sales Compensation Leveraging Oracle Fusion Incentive Compensation [THT6548], Monday, September 16th, 9:00am-9:45am, Moscone West (Level 2) – Customer Experience Theater Partner Relationship Management [THT6549], Monday, September 16th, 10:00am-10:45am, Moscone West (Level 2) – Customer Experience Theater Transition to a Modern CX Platform [THT6552], Monday, September 16th, 1:00pm-1:45pm, Moscone West (Level 2) – Customer Experience Theater Modern Quoting Experience with Oracle CPQ Cloud [THT6553], Tuesday, September 17th, 11:30am-12:15pm, Moscone West (Level 2) – Customer Experience Theater Sales Intelligence, Our Path to the Cloud [THT6562], Wednesday, September 18th, 3:00pm-3:45pm, Moscone West (Level 2) – Customer Experience Theater Sales Manager Central [THT6563], Wednesday, September 18th, 4:00pm-4:45pm, Moscone West (Level 2) – Customer Experience Theater Through the power of artificial intelligence and smart data, enterprises can amplify their business results to stay ahead of the competition. Smart data and modern, AI-enabled approaches to CRM management have unlocked a new wave of sales productivity, helping businesses across the globe make their data work for them, rather the other way around. Join our account intelligence and AI experts as they dive into how Oracle is making guided selling a reality. The AI-Powered CRM: See Smart Data in Action with Oracle DataFox [THT5524], Tuesday, September 17th, 2:00pm-2:20pm, Moscone West (Level 2) – Cloud Applications Theater The Science of CX: Building an AI and Smart Data Strategy [CON5517], Tuesday, September 17th, 3:15pm-4:00pm, Moscone West – Room 2009B Step into the Future with Adaptive Intelligent Apps and Smart Data [GEN5511], Tuesday, September 17th, 3:15pm-4:00pm, Moscone West – Room 2006/2008 Fireside Chat: AI Success, Fact or Fiction? [PAN5512], Tuesday, September 17th, 4:15pm-5:00pm, Moscone West – Room 2002 Unify Your Customer Intelligence for the AI Era [CON4938], Wednesday, September 18th, 11:15am-12:00pm, Moscone West – Room 2022B Of course, sales teams need to execute well to stay ahead of the competition. The secret to accelerated sales execution is to start before you even begin. Nimble planning and management reporting for crucial processes such as sales forecasting, account segmentation, quota and territory management, and compensation modeling provide an edge. Join these sessions to learn how Oracle’s sales planning and performance management solutions help sales operations optimize their resources from day one. Maximize Productivity with Territory Management [THT6556], Tuesday, September 17th, 2:30pm-3:15pm, Moscone West (Level 2) – Customer Experience Theater Sales and Marketing Planning with Oracle EPM Cloud [PRO5555], Thursday, September 19th, 12:15pm-1:00pm, Moscone West – Room 2007A Each year, Oracle OpenWorld attendees come for the major product announcements, to hear our vision for the future, see cutting edge-technology, plus learn, explore and network with peers. Be sure to stop by Moscone West, Level 2, for a demo of Oracle's Sales solutions.  Don't miss your opportunity - we'll see you in San Francisco!

September 16-19, Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco It’s that time of year again – Oracle OpenWorld 2019 is upon us! But OpenWorld isn’t the only thing that’s here. We’re now living in the...

Finance

Risky Business: An ERP Story

Imagine you’re a VP of Finance and you discover that one of your accountants has made 200 illegal transfers into her personal accounts by using the login credentials of former staff to delete the records or alter them so the transactions appeared legitimate. The company suffered a $30 million net loss and now you have to deal with the repercussions. While this scenario might seem rare, it happens all too often. Many companies rely on enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to run their business-critical processes with access to sensitive data, making them very appealing targets for hackers and disgruntled employees. ERP systems are used by organizations to manage day-to-day business activities, such as accounting, procurement, project management and manufacturing, while enabling data flow between them. This shared data provides data integrity with a "single source of truth". And with cloud, mobile, and digital transformations rapidly expanding ERP’s attack surface, organizations must educate themselves and take appropriate action to make sure that their business operations are not disrupted. The first step is to understand where the cloud service provider’s responsibility ends and the company’s responsibility begins. This division of labor is the shared responsibility model and many companies do not understand their responsibility. According to the Oracle & KPMG Cloud Threat Report, participants shared that “such confusion has led to the introduction of malware (34%)”, “it has exposed them to increased audit risk (32%)”, and it “has also put data at risk, with 30% of organizations reporting that, as a result, data was accessed by unauthorized users.” In order to avoid scenarios like fraud and data theft, companies need to understand their responsibility and take appropriate action. Additionally, manual processes and archaic tools are not enough to deal with this evolving threat landscape. Organizations must leverage tools such as Oracle Identity Cloud Service (IDCS) and Oracle CASB Cloud Service to help protect their ERP from fraud, data loss, and make sure the right people have access to the right information. By using a tool such as Oracle IDCS with a user life cycle management tool, the accountant would have never been able to use the login of former staff because terminated employees would no longer be able to log in. The company could have also leveraged user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) to correlate users with suspicious activity and set policies to remediate. With Oracle CASB Cloud Service they would have been able to monitor and detect fraudulent patterns. With ERP exploitations on the rise, organizations must take the appropriate action so that their sensitive data is not stolen, and that their business critical application is not compromised. Learn more about the rise of cyber threats and how to safely secure your ERP.  

Imagine you’re a VP of Finance and you discover that one of your accountants has made 200 illegal transfers into her personal accounts by using the login credentials of former staff to delete the...

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....