I had the honor to be in Tel Aviv this week for meetings with startups and to speak at the TheMarker and TAU Innovation (TMTI) Summit. And I really mean honor – Israel is the Startup Nation, a country where innovation reigns supreme. I was amazed to learn first-hand all the incredible companies, developments, and the sheer pace of technology coming out of Israel. It is indeed the Startup Nation.
These are the six stories that I shared with the audience at the TMTI Summit. Four are pulled straight from the startups that are innovating on Oracle Cloud through the Oracle for Startups program, and two directly from Oracle founder and CTO, Larry Ellison.
Do Something Different
Living in Silicon Valley, I can’t put my socks on in the morning before hearing a new mention of “innovation.” The term has almost lost all meaning! To win with the enterprise startups must think beyond the buzzwords and actually do something different. Israeli startup BrandTotal provides an excellent example.
Did you know 85% of the sponsored posts on Facebook are “dark posts”? There is a massive gap in marketing visibility across digital platforms called “dark marketing”. BrandTotal shines a light on dark marketing, revealing hidden digital strategies – and it’s giving marketers across the globe a competitive edge. Using cyber-security techniques and machine learning, BrandTotal exposes the competition’s campaigns and delivers insights so marketers can adjust their strategies in real time. This is a game-changer in the world of digital marketing.
By doing something different, BrandTotal got Oracle’s attention. Together, we are helping enterprise marketers level-up their abilities to innovate.
Reinvigorate the Sales Team
Have you ever been on a website and discovered that their chat app literally does not speak your language? BotSupply saw this customer service shortcoming as an opportunity to put some spark into sales, and built the technology to do it.
BotSupply extends the Oracle Digital assistant to 30+ languages using its unique natural language processing (NLP), enabling customers to easily design, build and manage bots.
Their technology both enhanced Oracle’s solution and helped Oracle sales teams across the globe close deals. In fact, BotSupply is currently in 50 to 60 sales cycles with Oracle in addition to existing joint customers, and the pipeline shows no signs of slowing down.
Add “road warrior” to CEO and cofounder Asser Smidt’s resume, as he has partnered with Oracle sales to meet with customers across the globe. The partnership delivers business to BotSupply and innovation for Oracle and our customers. That’s what we call a win-win-win situation.
Drive ROI with Complementary Technology
Startup ingenuity wins when it complements and enhances enterprise tech. Tail-spend management platform Fairmarkit knew this from the start.
While tail spend accounts for only 20% of an enterprise’s annual spend, it makes up 80% of a vendor’s transactions, creating a management nightmare. Fairmarkit’s platform uses machine learning to let companies have better control of their procurement, and provide savings up to 32%.
Fairmarkit COO and cofounder Tarek Alaruri knew the importance of their technology – but more importantly the importance of creating a more complete procurement platform for Oracle customers.
“Our partnership with Oracle has not only played an integral role in our growth as a startup, but it has allowed customers we share with Oracle to seamlessly add tail spend management to their overall ERP ecosystem,” said Alaruri. “Together, we are collaboratively solving big problems for our customers.”
Transparency Advances Relationships
According to Jenny Griffiths, Snap Tech founder and CEO: “Oracle’s startup program has been invaluable for Snap Tech because they understand our needs and have resources to help scale our technology and grow our business. They are a fantastic group of people truly invested in our company’s growth.”
Well thank you, Jenny, but it’s your approach to this relationship that deserves the kudos.
Not only is their technology undeniably cool, but Jenny and her team approached Oracle for Startups with openness, transparency and a collaborative spirit. Jenny and her team have developed relationships across key areas of Oracle – from product developers to marketing and events teams. When working with an enterprise, startups help themselves by being up front and transparent about their goals, and willing to collaborate and work hard together.
Every year during Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison hosts an event for the founders in our Oracle for Startups program. It’s a truly special evening of sharing stories and lessons learned—founder to founder. The best part is we get Larry at his most candid, insightful, practical and entertaining.
“You can’t do everything. I used to think I was good at everything. Turned out not to be true. As founders, you must find people of diverse backgrounds that are good at the things you’re not good at,” he said.
It’s a simple lesson, but an important reminder to embrace diversity (of backgrounds and thought) for long-term success.
You can’t be a successful entrepreneur without a constant need to learn, progress and stay curious. This is an ongoing theme with Larry.
“The old solution to customers’ problems may no longer be the best solution. When you see that, it’s an opportunity—or a threat. It’s our job as founders and developers to constantly change our companies based on technology available today that wasn’t available yesterday…be willing to make a decision on Monday and then change your mind on Thursday,” he says.
Stay curious, ask questions, watch for changes in the industry, in your business, in yourself. Change may be the portal to opportunity.
Startups in Israel and worldwide have embraced the opportunity to collaborate with Oracle through Oracle for Startups, and we’re honored that they have. We’ve learned as much from this diverse group of innovators as they have from us, and we can’t wait to continue to evolve with the entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of the enterprise.
JOIN ORACLE FOR STARTUPS: Sign up to receive free Oracle Cloud credits, plus access to business enablement and marketing resources for your startup.