Social Startups Integrate Within Oracle
By Mike Stiles on Mar 08, 2013
Guest Blog today from Oracle Sr. Director Product Management John Nolt
Tuesday, Reggie Bradford outlined in this space the essentials of a social-enabled enterprise foundation. This week we’re proudly announcing the integrated Oracle Social Relationship Management suite. It’s the culmination of often maddening, but extremely rewarding work combining forces with our former startup brethren to bring you a new interface with the best of what we offer, plus a platform for further innovation in our toolset and your social aspirations.
Social success depends on well-laid plans and nimble reactions. Our suite lets you accomplish both with aplomb.
Social Ain't Peanuts
Social’s no longer a niche, and no longer limited to marketing. Social is the way people are, not just a new way of communicating. Over a billion people interact on a daily basis via the many social networks. It's in the digital air we breathe.
Who Is This Guy?
It's my privilege to lead a team of product managers working on Oracle's social solutions. Last summer I was working my tail off as part of a small company called Vitrue, building cutting-edge and industry-leading social solutions for major brands.
We were a rag-tag group, ~35 when I joined, and ~185 as of last summer when we learned our company was to be acquired by Oracle. "Oracle?" we said. "The database company?"
Turns out, Oracle has what some may call "a robust portfolio" of products, including solutions that lead the pack in CRM. Customer Relationship Management is a close cousin to what we've been doing for the last couple of years - social relationship management. Joining forces started to make a lot of sense.
The three social companies Oracle acquired last summer: Collective Intellect, Involver, and Vitrue, had similarities but also significant differences. Regionally, CI is from Boulder, CO while Involver grew up in San Francisco and Vitrue sprang like a panther from the dirty south - Atlanta, GA.
Involver and Vitrue were direct competitors. Imagine what that's like, suddenly being on a team with people you were at odds with a week ago. And imagine what it's like to finally peek behind the curtain into the other team's operation. We were shocked at how many similarities we had and how many similar decisions we’d made in the pursuit of solving the business needs of our customers.
The Long, Often-Aggravating Trip
Working inside Oracle is a far cry from a startup. It's bigger than any organization I've ever been a part of. It has more employees than my hometown of Harrisburg PA has citizens. So it took some getting used to.
Our job is to manage the change our group is undergoing and make progress. I believe we’re doing that, and this week's launch is exemplary of it.
It takes the best of Collective Intellect, Involver, and Vitrue, blends them together into one experience, and paves the way into the future with clever (if I do say so myself) positioning of elements and sections within the interface to indicate not only what's there now, but what's coming.
Look Out World
I thought we worked hard when we were a startup. We’re working twice as hard now, but the stakes are greater and the potential so much larger. With my former competitors (now colleagues), we’ve taken a big step, but only the first step, toward reaching the potential of our combined team and products. The launch of Oracle's Social Relationship Management suite is a cannon shot indicating the start of our next Great Campaign.