Thursday Jun 27, 2013

Oracle WebCenter in Action: Best Practices from Oracle Consulting

Oracle Corporation
See concrete, real-world examples of deployments throughout the Oracle WebCenter stack

Oracle WebCenter in Action: Best Practices from Oracle Consulting

See concrete, real-world examples of deployments throughout the Oracle WebCenter stack. Oracle Consulting will lead you through a discussion about best practices and key customer use cases, as well as offer practical tips to support web experience management, enterprise content management, and portal deployments.

Watch this webcast as our presenters discuss:

  • Best practices for deployments of large complex architectures with Oracle WebCenter Sites
  • Key deployments and helpful hints for Oracle WebCenter Content
  • Performance tuning takeaways when using Oracle WebCenter Portal

Watch the webcast by registering now.


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Wednesday Jun 26, 2013

5 Best Practices - Laying the Foundation for WebCenter Projects


Today’s guest post comes from Oracle WebCenter expert 
John Brunswick. John specializes in enterprise portal and content management solutions and actively contributes to the enterprise software business community and has authored a series of articles about optimal business involvement in portal, business process management and SOA development, examining ways of helping organizations move away from monolithic application development. We’re happy to have John join us today!


Maximizing success with Oracle WebCenter portal requires a strategic understanding of Oracle WebCenter capabilities.  The following best practices enable the creation of portal solutions with minimal resource overhead, while offering the greatest flexibility for progressive elaboration.

They are inherently project agnostic, enabling a strong foundation for future growth and an expedient return on your investment in the platform.  If you are able to embrace even only a few of these practices, you will materially improve your deployment capability with WebCenter.

1. Segment Duties Around 3Cs - Content, Collaboration and Contextual Data

"Agility" is one of the most common business benefits touted by modern web platforms.  It sounds good - who doesn't want to be Agile, right?  How exactly IT organizations go about supplying agility to their business counterparts often lacks definition - hamstrung by ambiguity.

Ultimately, businesses want to benefit from reduced development time to deliver a solution to a particular constituent, which is augmented by as much self-service as possible to develop and manage the solution directly. All done in the absence of direct IT involvement.

With Oracle WebCenter's depth in the areas of content management, pallet of native collaborative services, enterprise mashup capability and delegated administration, it is very possible to execute on this business vision at a technical level.

To realize the benefits of the platform depth we can think of Oracle WebCenter's segmentation of duties along the lines of the 3 Cs - Content, Collaboration and Contextual Data.  All three of which can have their foundations developed by IT, then provisioned to the business on a per role basis.

  • Content – Oracle WebCenter benefits from an extremely mature content repository.  Work flow, audit, notification, office integration and conversion capabilities for documents (HTML & PDF) make this a haven for business users to take control of content within external and internal portals, custom applications and web sites.  When deploying WebCenter portal take time to think of areas in which IT can provide the "harness" for content to reside, then allow the business to manage any content items within the site, using the content foundation to ensure compliance with business rules and process.  This frees IT to work on more mission critical challenges and allows the business to respond in short order to emerging market needs.
  • Collaboration – Native collaborative services and WebCenter spaces are a perfect match for business users who are looking to enable document sharing, discussions and social networking.  The ability to deploy the services is granular and on the basis of roles scoped to given areas of the system - much like the first C “content”.  This enables business analysts to design the roles required and IT to provision with peace of mind that users leveraging the collaborative services are only able to do so in explicitly designated areas of a site. Bottom line - business will not need to wait for IT, but cannot go outside of the scope that has been defined based on their roles.
  • Contextual Data – Collaborative capabilities are most powerful when included within the context of business data.  The ability to supply business users with decision shaping data that they can include in various parts of a portal or portals, just as they would with content items, is one of the most powerful aspects of Oracle WebCenter.  Imagine a discussion about new store selection for a retail chain that re-purposes existing information from business intelligence services about various potential locations and or custom backend systems - presenting it directly in the context of the discussion.  If there are some data sources that are preexisting in your enterprise take a look at how they can be made into discrete offerings within the portal, then scoped to given business user roles for inclusion within collaborative activities.

2. Think Generically, Execute Specifically

Constructs.  Anyone who has spent much time around me knows that I am obsessed with this word.  Why? Because Constructs offer immense power - more than APIs, Web Services or other technical capability.

Constructs offer organizations the ability to leverage a platform's native characteristics to offer substantial business functionality - without writing code.  This concept becomes more powerful with the additional understanding of the concepts from the platform that an organization learns over time.  Let's take a look at an example of where an Oracle WebCenter construct can substantially reduce the time to get a subscription-based site out the door and into the hands of the end consumer.

Imagine a site that allows members to subscribe to specific disciplines to access information and application data around that various discipline.  A space is a collection of secured pages within Oracle WebCenter.  Spaces are not only secured, but also default content stored within it to be scoped automatically to that space.

Taking this a step further, Oracle WebCenter’s Activity Stream surfaces events, discussions and other activities that are scoped to the given user on the basis of their space affiliations.  In order to have a portal that would allow users to "subscribe" to information around various disciplines - spaces could be used out of the box to achieve this capability and without using any APIs or low level technical work to achieve this.

3. Make Governance Work for You

Imagine driving down the street without the painted lines on the road.  The rules of the road are so ingrained in our minds, we often do not think about the process, but seemingly mundane lane markers are critical enablers.

Lane markers allow us to travel at speeds that would be impossible if not for the agreed upon direction of flow. Additionally and more importantly, it allows people to act autonomously - going where they please at any given time. The return on the investment for mobility is high enough for people to buy into globally agreed up governance processes.

In Oracle WebCenter we can use similar enablers to lane markers.  Our goal should be to enable the flow of information and provide end users with the ability to arrive at business solutions as needed, not on the basis of cumbersome processes that cannot meet the business needs in a timely fashion.

How do we do this?

Just as with "Segmentation of Duties" Oracle WebCenter technologies offer the opportunity to compartmentalize various business initiatives from each other within the system due to constructs and security that are available to use within the platform.

For instance, when a WebCenter space is created, any content added within that space by default will be secured to that particular space and inherits meta data that is associated with a folder created for the space.

Oracle WebCenter content uses meta data to support a broad range of rich ECM functionality and can automatically impart retention, workflow and other policies automatically on the basis of what has been defaulted for that space. Depending on your business needs, this paradigm will also extend to sub sections of a space, offering some interesting possibilities to enable automated management around content.

An example may be press releases within a particular area of an extranet that require a five year retention period and need to the reviewed by marketing and legal before release.  The underlying content system will transparently take care of this process on the basis of the above rules, enabling peace of mind over unstructured data - which could otherwise become overwhelming.

4. Make Your First Project Your Second

Imagine if Michael Phelps was competing in a swimming championship, but told right before his race that he had to use a brand new stroke.  There is no doubt that Michael is an outstanding swimmer, but chances are that he would like to have some time to get acquainted with the new stroke.

New technologies should not be treated any differently.  Before jumping into the deep end it helps to take time to get to know the new approach - even though you may have been swimming thousands of times before.

To quickly get a handle on Oracle WebCenter capabilities it can be helpful to deploy a sandbox for the team to use to share project documents, discussions and announcements in an effort to help the actual deployment get under way, while increasing everyone’s knowledge of the platform and its functionality that may be helpful down the road.

Oracle Technology Network has made a pre-configured virtual machine available for download that can be a great starting point for this exercise.

5. Get to Know the Community

If you are reading this blog post you have most certainly faced a software decision or challenge that was solved on the basis of a small piece of missing critical information - which took substantial research to discover.  Chances were also good that somewhere, someone had already come across this information and would have been excited to share it.

There is no denying the power of passionate, connected users, sharing key tips around technology.  The Oracle WebCenter brand has a rich heritage that includes industry-leading technology and practitioners.  With the new Oracle WebCenter brand, opportunities to connect with these experts has become easier.

Additionally, there are various Oracle WebCenter related blogs by an excellent grouping of services partners.

Monday Jun 24, 2013

Alcatel-Lucent: Enterprise 2.0: The Top 5 Things I would Do Over

Happy Monday! Does anyone else feel as if the weekend went entirely too quickly? At least for those of us in the United States, we have the 4th of July Holiday next week to look forward to :) This week on the blog, we are going to focus on "WebCenter by Example" and highlight best practices from customers and partners. I recently came across this article and I think this is a great example of how we can learn from one another when it comes to social collaboration adoption. Do you agree with Jem? What things or best practices have you learned in your organizations? 

By Jem Janik, Enterprise community manager, Alcatel-Lucent 

Not so long ago, Engage, the Alcatel-Lucent employee social network and collaboration platform, celebrated its third birthday. With more than 25,000 members actively interacting each month, Engage has been a big enough success that it’s been the subject of external articles, and often those of us who helped launch it will go out and speak about what aspects contributed to that success. Hindsight is still 20/20 and what it takes to successfully launch an enterprise 2.0 community is fairly well-known now.  Today I want to tell you what I suspect you really want to know about.  As the enterprise community manager for Engage, after three years in, what are the top 5 things I wish we (and I mostly mean me) could do over?

#5 Define your analytics solution from the start

There is so much to do when you launch a community and initially growing it without complete chaos is quite a task.  It doesn’t take too long to get to a point where you want to focus your continued efforts in growing company collaboration.  Do people truly talk across regional boundaries or have we shifted siloed conversations to a new platform.  Is there one organization that doesn’t interact with another? If you are lucky you’ll have someone in your community team well versed in the world of databases and SQL queries, but it takes time to figure out what backend analytics data actually means. Professional support can be expensive and it may be hard to justify later as it typically has the community manager as the only main customer.  Figure out what you think you’ll want to know and how to get it early on. The sooner the better even if it doesn’t seem that critical at the time.

#4 Lobbies guide you to the right places

One piece of feedback that comes up more and more as we keep growing Engage is it’s hard to find stuff, or new people are not sure where to start. Something we’re doing now is defining some general topic areas of interest to be like “lobbies” into the platform and some common hashtags to go with them. I liken this to walking into a large medical or professional building for the first time.  There are hundreds of offices, and you look to a sign in the lobby to get guided to the right place for you.  We’re building that sign for members now, but again we missed the boat as the majority of the company has had their initial Engage experience.

#3 Clean up, clean up, clean up

Knowledge work and folksonomies are messy! The day we opened the doors to Engage I would have said we should keep everything ever created in Engage with an argument that it was a window into our collective knowledge so nothing should go.  Well, 6000+ groups and 200,000+ pieces of content later, I’ve changed my mind.  As previously mentioned, with too much “stuff” the system can be overwhelming to new members and it makes it harder to get what you’re looking for.   Do we need that help document about a tool we no longer have? NO!  Do we need that group that had 1 document and 2 discussions in the last two years? NO! Should we only have one group about a given topic instead of 4?  YES! Last fall, Engage defined a cleanup process for groups not used for a long time.  We also formed a volunteer cleaning army who are extra eyes on the hunt for “stuff” that should be updated, merged, or deleted.  It’s better late than never, but in line with what’s becoming a theme I wish these efforts had started earlier.

#2 Communications & local community management

One of the most important aspects of my job is to make sure people who should be talking to each other are actually doing it.  Connecting people to the other people they should know, the groups they should join, a piece of content that shouldn’t be missed.   I have worked both inside and outside of communications teams, and they are the best informed people in your company.  They know when something big is coming, how it impacts employees, how it fits with strategy, who else knows more, etc.  Having communications professionals who are power users can help scale up community management because they are already so well connected.  They also need to have the platform skills to pay attention without suffering email overload, how to grab someone’s attention, etc.  I wish I’d had figured this out much earlier.  If I had I would have groomed more communications colleagues into advocates and power members right at the start.

#1 Grooming advocates vs. natural advocates

I’ve just alluded to this above already. The very best advocates are those who naturally embrace your platform and automatically start to see new ways to work within it.  Those advocates seem to come out of the woodwork naturally since some of them are early adopters.  Not surprisingly, our best advocates today are those same people who were willing to come kick the tires when the community was completely empty.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get a global spread of those natural advocates.  I did ask around when we first launched for other people who might be good candidates, but didn’t push too hard as there were so many other things to get ready.  That was a mistake.  If I could get a redo I would have formally asked for people to be assigned where there were gaps and groomed them into an advocate.  Today as we find new advocates to fill the gaps, people are hesitant as the initial set has three years of practice are ahead of the curve power members; it definitely would have been easier earlier on.

As fairly early adopters to corporate scale enterprise collaboration, there hasn’t been a roadmap to follow as we’ve grown Engage, which is part of the fun! It’s clear a lot of issues are more easily tackled the earlier you identify and begin to correct them, and I’ve identified the main five I wish I could redo.  In the spirit of collaboration, I hope someone else learns from my mistakes!

View the original article by Jem here

Friday Jun 21, 2013

Taking a Flying Leap

Yesterday, I went skydiving with three of my children.  It was thrilling, scary, invigorating and exciting. While there is obvious risk involved, the reward and feeling of success was well worth it. You might already be wondering what skydiving would have to with WebCenter, so let me explain.

Implementing a skydiving program and becoming an instructor does not happen overnight.  It does not happen with the purchase of the needed technology. Not one of us would go out, buy a parachute, the harnesses, helmet and all the gear and be able to convince anyone that we are now ready to be a skydiving instructor. The fact is that obtaining the technology is merely a small piece of the overall process and so is the case with managing content in your company. You don't just buy the right software (Oracle WebCenter Content) and go to your boss and declare information management success. There is planning, research and effort that goes into deploying software of any kind and especially when it is as mission-critical to the success of your business as Enterprise Content Management.

To become a certified skydiving instructor takes at least 3 years of commitment and often longer. In the United States, candidates must complete over 500 solo jumps of their own over a minimum of 36 months and then must complete additional rigorous training under observation.  When you consider the amount of time and effort involved, it's not unlike getting a college degree and anyone that has trusted their lives to one of these instructors will no doubt appreciate their dedication to the curriculum.  Implementing an ECM system won't take that long, but it certainly requires commitment, analysis and consideration.

But guess what?  Humans are involved and that means that mistakes can happen and that rules change.  This struck me while reading an excellent post on darkreading.com by Glenn S. Phillips entitled "Mission Impossible: 4 Reasons Compliance is Impossible".  His over-arching point was that with information management and security, environments change and people are involved meaning the work is never done.  He stated that you can never claim your compliance efforts are complete because of the following reasons.

  1. People are involved.  And lets face it, some are more trustworthy than others.
  2. Change is Constant. There is always some new technology coming along that is disruptive. Consumer grade cloud file sharing and sync tools come to mind here.
  3. Compliance is interpreted, not defined.  Laws and the judges that read them are always on the move.
  4. Technology is a tool, not a complete solution. There is no magic pill.

The skydiving analogy holds true here as well.  Ultimately, a single person packs your parachute.  For obvious reasons, you prefer that this person be trustworthy but there are no absolute guarantees of a 100% error-free scenario.  Weather and wind conditions are never a constant and the best-laid plans for a great day of skydiving are easily disrupted by forces outside of your control.  Rules and regulations vary by location and may be updated at any time and as I mentioned early on, even the best technology on its own will only get you started.

The good news is that, like skydiving, with the right technology, the right planning, the right team and a proper understanding of the rules and regulations that govern your industry, your ECM deployment can be a great success.  Failure to plan for any of the 4 factors that Glenn outlined in his article will certainly put your deployment and maybe even your company at risk, so consider them carefully.

As a final aside, for those of you who consider skydiving an incredibly dangerous and risky pastime, consider this comparative statistic.  In 2012, the U.S. Parachute Association recorded 19 fatal skydiving accidents in the U.S. out of roughly 3.1 million jumps.  That’s 0.006 fatalities per 1,000 jumps. By comparison, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 34,080 deaths due to car accidents in 2012.  Based on the percentages, one could argue that it is safer to jump out of a plane than to drive to the airport where the skydiving will take place.

While the way you manage, secure, classify, control, retain and dispose of company files may not carry as much risk as driving or skydiving, it certainly carries risk for the organization when not planned and deployed appropriately.  Consider all the factors involved in your organization as you make your content management plans.  For additional areas of consideration, be sure to download our free whitepaper on the topic entitled "The Top 10 Criteria for Choosing an ECM System" which is available for download here.

Monday Jun 17, 2013

Content. What's it good for?

If you walked down the halls of your office and observed your colleagues, or talked to your friends over lunch about what they are working on, chances are good that they are using a lot of different files, documents and images throughout the course of their day, depending upon what their jobs are.  

This in itself is not surprising. Of course the HR person is dealing with resumes that are DOC or PDF files, the Accounts Payable person is dealing with invoices that were scanned or faxed in as TIFF images and the graphic designer spends most of her day dealing with Illustrator files.  But when you ask these same people where they store and keep this information, you are likely to hear about all sorts of locations, some familiar and some unknown.  The designer might be storing Illustrator files on an external hard drive connected to her Mac or in her own digital asset library.  Those HR docs are going into a SharePoint library that replaced the old network file store they used to use and those invoices are stored in the ERP system used to pay vendors  - an Oracle system, no doubt!  :) .

The problem is that Content is everywhere and for most companies, not well coordinated or managed.  If you asked any one of these people, they would likely say their current system is just fine for them.  Why?  Because they know where it is stored and they have become very familiar with their particular storage system. When they need something, they know where to look, even before they have details of the file name, account or vendor name, etc.

This is great until those people with this knowledge leave the company or are hit by a bus.  Now what?  Where is that valuable content that you are now being urgently asked for?  Are you sure you know?  And what about using that same information across departments or within other business systems? When companies have information stored across locations, repositories or even scattered within the cloud, the opportunity to lose information grows along with the number of locations in use.  

Our mission here on the Oracle WebCenter team is to help companies do more with the information they have and optimize the way users, customers and partners directly engage with that  information.  The next few blog posts will deal with Content @ Work.  We will focus on how to make the most of it, how to optimize the way it is stored to lower costs and how to make it easier to find what is needed - no matter who is looking for it.  

We hope you find it informative and we thank you for subscribing to the WebCenter Blog!

Thursday Jun 13, 2013

On Demand Webcast: The Five Competencies of Customer Experience Companies

Oracle Corporation
Webcast.  The Five Competencies of Customer Experience Companies.  Oracle WebCenter.  The Center of Engagement.

Say Goodbye to Silos and Hello to Meaningful Customer Experiences

Many companies say they’re customer-centric. But they don’t back up those words with changes in their metrics, motivation, and vital collaboration tools. All too often, different groups in companies fail to communicate and act as a team. They create silos instead of quality, meaningful customer experiences.

What will it take to overcome organizational inertia to benefit companies and their customers? Jeanne Bliss, a customer experience expert, has the answers. Join this Webcast as Jeanne talks about her new book, Chief Customer Officer, and her extensive experience driving the customer agenda inside major US corporations.

You’ll learn:

  • What will drive action for customers inside the corporate machine
  • How to avoid delivering mediocrity to customers
  • How to drive accountability across functions
  • If you need a Chief Customer Officer to keep the action moving

Register now.



Register Now
Register now for this Webcast.
Available On Demand
Presented by:

Jeanne Bliss
Jeanne Bliss
President, CustomerBliss
Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together

Wednesday Jun 12, 2013

Do You Need a Chief Customer Officer?

Today's guest post is from Jeanne Bliss. Jeanne is the founder of CustomerBLISS; a consulting and coaching company helping corporations connect their efforts to yield improved customer growth.  She is a world-wide speaker on the subject.  Jeanne spent twenty-five years at Lands’ End, Microsoft, Allstate, Coldwell Banker, and Mazda corporations as the leader for driving customer focus and customer growth.  Her best-selling books are; Chief Customer Officer:  Getting Past Lip Service to Passionate Action, and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions for Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad. Visit the Oracle WebCenter blog tomorrow where we'll be featuring an on demand webcast featuring Jeanne called, The Five Competencies of Customer Experience Companies.

CEO’s no longer need to be convinced of the importance of developing relationships with profitable customers and keeping them around.  What they need now is a way to accomplish this feat.   Some are considering the creation of a C-level position to drive the action. However, beyond the notion that it’s a good idea, not many know how to structure the Chief Customer Officer role and its place in the organization. Here are some thoughts to help you proceed. 

Suggesting a CCO may seem frivolous to leaders who believe they already focus on customers. There’s often a proliferation of tactics and projects underway…the problem is they don’t amount to anything significant for customers.  So first decide:  will leaders be okay with someone (other than themselves) driving consensus on customer strategy and deliverables?  You may be saying, “We have consensus now.”  I’m sure that you’ve had some good meetings, but how much of it stuck?  When they were over, did everyone return to their respective corners and business as usual?  Getting company alignment is tricky.  You may need someone full time to ensure it exists for your direction with customers.

What about sustaining the work?  After the first and second meeting of what I call “the funky task force” on the customer work, people start to lose interest.  You know these meetings.  The kick-off has forty people at the table, some who clamored for an invite.  One month later, six regularly show up.  And the person who got the job to run the task force layered on top of his/her “regular” job?  Well, they’re losing interest fast.  Driving this work needs hard-wired participation.  Do you have headcount and staff time commitments to drive it forward? 

Now to the roadmap and action plan:  let’s discuss the sticky wicket of “how” to move past the hoopla of meetings and empty commitments.  Do you have a central roadmap that everyone follows on how you’ll drive the customer work and measure progress?  I didn’t think so.  How about consistent metrics everyone agrees to?  We have metrics galore in our companies and of course the ‘customer’ is now on our scorecards.  But these are typically neither clear nor connected down to the operational level. 

Roles and responsibilities and holding people accountable are a slippery slope in the customer work.  This is about the hand-offs between the silos.  Most companies need a task list that clearly states what each part of the organization will do and when to get the priorities accomplished.  But most don’t have one.  Do you?

Is funding customer projects like pulling teeth?  This may be due to duplicate spending across the organization.  Everything is pitched as an individual program from inside the silos.  At planning time these investments are often vulnerable in the first round of budget cuts.  Why?  Because each project shows up as a one-off tactic.  There’s rarely an annual plan for understanding and managing customers as a key corporate asset - determining how many were lost and why and pooling resources to keep and grow profitable customers.  Why?  Because it’s no one’s job to do this job.

And finally, does the hoopla have any chance of sustainability as things stand now?  Are leaders committing to customers, but not changing the metrics or the motivation to realign business priorities?  Is the back-up position still about counting sales but not counting customers?  For what actions are the most “Atta-boys” doled out?  The customer work will not emerge as a priority of the organization until people’s success and career paths are tied to their accountability for how their actions impact customers.  How far along are you with this?  Are you heading in the right direction?

Most leaders wouldn’t refute that any of these actions are important.  They want them to happen.  They’ve always wanted them.  Their failure has been in assuming the company could miraculously defy the laws of the silos to make them a reality.  Separate motivation, the metrics and the mechanics have stayed firmly rooted in each silo.   And they will continue to stay there until someone duct-tapes the silos together in a unified and executable customer plan.  Is it time you established a Chief Customer Officer to connect your company for customers?  Here are the questions to help you determine if the time is right, and if you have the support required to make the role a success:

1. There is someone in our company who clarifies what we are to accomplish with customers.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: Agreements need to be established with functional owners across the organization. The CCO or executive leadership must not do this in a vacuum and then try to “throw the brick over the wall” to those leaders to rubber-stamp.

2. There is a clear process to drive alignment for what will be accomplished.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: The best CEOs drive people into discussion and probe for agreement or dissent. They make it okay to disagree and debate until there is commitment and alignment. 

3. We have a roadmap for the customer work and know where progress will be measured.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: Establish a team with at least one person from every operational area. This group needs to get into the ramifications and work involved in getting the priorities done.

4. Clear metrics exist for measuring progress which everyone agrees to use.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip:  Pick a few key metrics that everyone understands, knows their roles in and can follow.  The large score cards we have all created have become almost meaningless because they are filled with so much data. 

5. There is real clarity of everyone’s roles and responsibilities.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: This is about the handoffs between the silos. Make sure that there is a task list that clearly states how the organization must come together to get the priorities accomplished.

6. People really participate and care about the customer work.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip:  This requires a commitment from each functional leader on the headcount and staff time they will contribute. Create a formalized team where 25 to 50 percent of people's time from areas throughout the company is dedicated to the customer work.

7. Appropriate resources are allocated to make a real difference to customers.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: The key here is to have an organized annual planning approach that dedicates time to the customer objectives and customer investment. To achieve success, specific actions with defined parameters of what needs to be accomplished must be identified.

8. There is an understandable process for people to work together.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: This work is as clear as mud. It starts with a high-level frenzy that in the blink of an eye has people going back to business as usual. The process for how the work will be defined, reviewed, executed, and rewarded has got to be laid out clearly.

9. The work is considered attainable.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip:. What I learned is not to abandon strategy but to dole it out in bite-size pieces. You need to know the end game. But then you need to bridge the gap between strategy and execution so people can work it into budgets, priorities, and planning.

10. A process exists for marketing achievements to customers and internally.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: When you don’t tell people internally what’s going on with the customer, it’s all white noise to them. No report equals no action. You must make a point of marketing back to both your customers and internally inside the organization.

11. Recognition and reward is wired to motivate customer work.
__ YES there is
__ NO there is not

Implementation Tip: The customer work is not going to seem important until people start to be publicly commended and rewarded for it. Make every company gathering an opportunity to call out customer achievements and reward people for them. 

Monday Jun 10, 2013

Are You Stuck in Idle When It Comes to Achieving Your Customer Experience Goals?

According to Oracle’s recent Global Customer Experience Impact report, a study of 1,300 senior executives, most organizations seem to be stuck in idle when it comes to achieving their customer experience goals. While the overwhelming majority of executives agreed that customer experience is critical to their businesses’ success, many are still struggling when it comes to delivering the kind of experiences that their customers want.  So what’s standing in the way?

Inflexible technology, internal challenges and a lack of investment are among the primary factors preventing organizations from delivering the best possible customer experience. Survey respondents indicated that the following issues are some of the biggest customer experience related obstacles:

  • Silos within the organization and conflicting key performance indicators and incentives between different channels and business units
  • Limitations of inflexible technology and application infrastructure
  • Difficulty regularly tracking performance measures and customer feedback
  • Don't have a consolidated, accurate, 360- degree customer view across all touch points
  • Siloed systems that prevent them from easily sharing information or supporting continuous processes across touch points
  • Lack of money allocated to customer experience initiatives


These obstacles indicate that a real shift in approach is required for those organizations that really want to push forward on their customer experience initiatives. And this shift in approach needs to come by way of initiatives that span people, processes and technology.

Oracle's Global Customer Experience Impact report surveyed more than 1,300 senior executives across 18 countries on the state of customer experience. This study, one of the largest of its type ever undertaken, yields crucial new insights on the challenges, strategies and lessons learned for succeeding in the customer experience (CX) era. View the survey results, or take the CX assessment survey to see where your organization stands.


Want to learn more about the disruptive innovation happening around customer experience and the impact it can have on a brand?  Check out this insightful video interview with New York University Associate Professor, Clay Shirky:

Friday Jun 07, 2013

WebCenter for Transportation: Standard Forwarding LLC

Today's post highlights an active WebCenter partner with a recent success in the transportation vertical. Read on below to learn more about Redstone Content Solutions along with a great profile of their customer, Standard Forwarding LLC.

WebCenter for Transportation: Standard Forwarding LLC

Oracle Customer: Standard Forwarding LLC

Location: East Moline, Illinois

Industry: Travel and Transportation

Employees: 680

Publications: Case Study & Webinar

Standard Forwarding Transforms Customer Self-Service & Cuts Invoicing Costs by $350,000 annually, with WebCenter

Standard Forwarding LLC is a less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier with 17 terminals throughout the Midwest. Standard Forwarding provides overnight service within and between Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, southern Michigan, and cities in Missouri and Nebraska. It operates a modern fleet with 350 tractors and 800 trailers. In 2012, it was named Great Lakes/Midwest LTL Carrier of the Year for the fifth consecutive year in Mastio & Company’s annual Value and Loyalty Benchmarking Study.

Over the years, technology―including onboard systems and track-and-trace capabilities―have been fundamental to the company’s continued success.

Standard Forwarding, seeking to improve the efficiency of its document-intensive invoicing process and to develop self-service functionality for customers, worked with Redstone Content Solutions to transform its invoicing process and customer-service capabilities. Standard Forwarding deployed Oracle WebCenter Content to automate paper-based invoice creation and delivery, saving $350,000 annually in processing, paper, and personnel costs.

Redstone Content Solutions also helped Standard Forwarding launch a new, easy-to-navigate Website with expanded capabilities enabling customers to conveniently manage every phase of the shipment lifecycle from a single location. Redstone implemented Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF), Oracle WebCenter Capture, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Oracle WebCenter Content to build the powerful new solution.

Standard Forwarding awards received for advancing the transportation industry:

  • Mastio Midwest LTL Carrier of the Year – 5th consecutive time
  • Inbound Logistics Top 100 LTL Carrier

Challenges

  • Extend the company’s leadership role in the transportation industry
  • Reduce the cost of compiling and posting invoices for the company’s LTL transport services
  • Minimize administrative process duplication
  • Expand Web-based, self-service capabilities for customers

Solutions

  • Automated document capture required for invoicing with Oracle WebCenter Capture
  • Created a consolidated, image repository
  • Used Oracle ADF, Oracle WebCenter Content, and Oracle WebLogic Server to create a new Website with expanded self-service capabilities
  • Developed the Website using Oracle’s standards-based integration framework, making it easy to integrate with other systems
  • Created a modular architecture to deploy, update, and conduct maintenance on a single module





Click here to read the full case study and view the WebCenter In Action Webinar

Redstone Content Solutions Overview

Redstone Content Solutions is a Gold-level Systems Integrator & Value Added Reseller focusing exclusively on Oracle WebCenter Content, Portal and Sites technologies. Redstone is Oracle specialized in both WebCenter Content and Oracle ADF and regarded as the premier WebCenter Content training partner based on annual survey results.

  • Redstone was the first North American specialized and pillar partner for WebCenter Content
  • Redstone attends and is often a featured speaker at Industry conferences such as Oracle OpenWorld, IOUG Collaborate and ARMA
  • Redstone holds Board positions at AIIM Midwest and the IOUG WebCenter Special Interest Group
  • Redstone employees possess an average of eight (8) years of Oracle WebCenter experience
  • Redstone employs staff that originally started the Stellent US Channel Program in 1998
  • Redstone has exclusive access to Oracle Executive, Channel, Product Development, Product Management, Product Marketing and Support personnel
  • Redstone is a member of Oracle’s Early Adopter Program which provides access to pre-releases of WebCenter software
  • Redstone’s technical blog (www.corecontentonly.com) is one of the most active in the WebCenter forum community and is consistently referenced by Oracle University trainers and featured on Oracle’s website
  • Redstone offers traditional, advanced, and customized training classes
  • Redstone offers various no-cost WebCenter components such as Alphabetized Menus, Website Menu Filter and many more at: www.redstonecontentsolutions.com/content-downloads

For further information regarding Redstone, please visit the company website at www.redstonecontentsolutions.com or call John Klein at (563) 355.1558 ext. 21.

For further information regarding Standard Forwarding, please visit the company website at www.standardforwarding.com or contact sales@standardforwarding.com


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!

Thursday Jun 06, 2013

WebCenter for Transportation: Directorate General of Civil Aviation Streamlines Key Aviation Applications

Directorate General of Civil Aviation Streamlines Key Aviation Applications Access, Improves Productivity and Reduces Maintenance Costs

A part of the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development, and Urban Planning (MEEDDAT), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), is the state agency guaranteeing air traffic security and safety. As a service provider for airlines, DGAC manages air traffic for more than 3 million flights per year, supporting 125 million passengers across 500 airports. The organization selected Oracle to ensure structured and efficient Web access to information, consolidate business applications on a single platform, and reduce the complexity and cost of managing its existing information system.

Oracle Customer:  Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC)
Location:  Paris, France
Industry:  Travel and Transportation
Employees:  12,500
Annual Revenue:  Under $100 Million


DGAC Cuts Subscription Costs with Oracle WebCenter Portal

Using Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle SOA Suite, and Oracle Exalogic, DGAC reduces the cost of subscriptions to newsletters and provide to its 12,500 employees a collaborative workspace portal.


Challenges

  • Foster collaborative practices, build collective intelligence, improve knowledge sharing, and increase paperless processes to improve air traffic control agents’ productivity
  • Accelerate the integration of DGAC business applications as financial, human resources, technical data management, into the new virtual office infrastructure
  • Consolidate and standardize key aviation applications on a comprehensive and scalable platform, to reduce management costs and ensure high-availability
  • Provide airlines and airports with structured and high performing access to the portal
  • Position the information system department -as a vector of transformation and of modernization for the organization

A word from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC)

– "The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is taking advantage of Oracle Exalogic’s consistent platform to provide a consolidated view of our applications and support our overall modernization strategy. Thanks to Oracle, we have saved roughly one million Euros on maintenance costs for the old applications."- Jean Pierre Desbenoit, Director of Information Systems and Modernization, Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Solutions

Oracle Product and Services

  • Deployed the virtual office infrastructure on Oracle WebCenter Portal, improving communication, collaborative processes and Web applications access for 12,000 employees
  • Reduced the size of attachments in the e-mail system by 30% with a collaborative workspace portal that can offer agents the information they need and enhance security management and storage space
  • Saved US$260,000 on annual newspaper subscription costs by allowing every agent to access rich site summary (RSS) flows on the Oracle Portal
  • Optimized employee reclassifications and retraining, thanks to training processes accessible to the administrative agent and the financial manager in the virtual office infrastructure provided by Oracle Portal
  • Improved technical information traceability and the ability to produce new educational materials and training for agents with Oracle User Productivity Kit
  • Enabled structured extranet access to airline companies and airports, allowing them to access airline traffic resources by deploying Oracle WebCenter Portal on Oracle Exalogic
  • Consolidated key business applications using Oracle SOA Suite and Oracle Exalogic, to save more than 1,000 worker days annually to maintain applications, and approximately US$1 million for technical outsourcing,
  • Gained the ability to improve reliability and availability of the intranet and extranet by implementing two fully redundant Oracle Exalogic platforms to achieve business continuity

Why Oracle

"We selected Oracle because, from a functional point of view, its solutions meet our users’ expectations. On a technical level, its solutions integrate seamlessly with our existing infrastructure. Oracle also meets our cost and strategy needs in the short, medium, and long term—enabling us to overcome existing information system issues as well as prepare to meet future challenges," said Jean Pierre Desbenoit, director of information systems and modernization, Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Implementation Process

With the support of Klee Group, DGAC implemented virtual office architecture on Oracle WebCenter Portal. The platinum partner Easyteam helped the organization to consolidate its key business applications on an Exalogic platform, using Oracle SOA Suite.

Partner

Oracle Platinum Partner Easyteam and Klee Group provided consulting and expertise services to implement a reliable and standardized platform, consistent with the DGAC modernization strategy.


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!



An Oracle Technology Solution for Transportation Agencies

Transportation Agencies face key challenges and market forces that drive the
need for Oracle WebCenter, including:

  • Management of unstructured content

  • Increasing need to collaborate

  • Lack of comprehensive records management

  • Increasing need for accountability






Persistent price wars. Evolving safety, security, and financial regulations. Demand for 24/7 systems availability. To meet all of your business challenges, Oracle's Technology Solutions for Travel and Transportation deliver a powerful combination of technology and business processes. Only Oracle powers the information-driven enterprise by offering a unified data model to integrate information over a wide geographical area and across multiple business units.

What’s Driving the Need for Oracle Technology Solutions at Transportation Agencies?
Transportation agencies face the following key challenges and market forces that are driving the need for Oracle technology solutions:

  • Management of Unstructured Content. Transportation agencies are flooded with content used in the daily processes of running an organization. Content— such as real estate transactions related to right of way, project proposals, design specifications, scope of work documents, and contracts and RFIs from ongoing  projects—is created and, for the most part, stored is disparate systems that are not always interconnected to one another. Multimedia assets such as images and videos require a scalable architecture that will maintain performance as the repository grows.
"Transport for London Optimizes Management of US$59 Billion Project Portfolio While Cutting Overhead
"Consolidating project management data with Oracle’s Primavera Portfolio Management keeps our Investment Programme on track, while delivering maximum value to travelers and tax payers."
– David Hartley, Investment Programme Management Office, Transport for London
  • Collaboration Between Internal Staff and Contractors. To manage and access content across the project lifecycle, agencies require collaboration for archival, redlining, and retrieval of content—such as e-mail, digital video, engineering drawings, proposals, and survey records.
  • Lack of Comprehensive Records Management. To support regulatory compliance (for example, safety or finance) and eDiscovery (electronic discovery under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure), agencies need to be able to efficiently access and compile all historical documents, design plans, and images needed to support litigation.
  • Accountability, Transparency, and Effective Stewardship of Tax Dollars. Agencies can improve their accountability, transparency, and stewardship by providing simplified Web interfaces that offer access to the agency’s public content, activity, and performance measures. For example, an agency can provide access to maps and content demonstrating its sound environmental practices, or how it’s allocating funds in accordance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • 360-degree View of Projects. Agencies benefit from a single solution that can manage projects of any size, adapt to various levels of complexities within a project, and intelligently scale to meet the needs of various roles, functions, or skill levels in an organization and on a project team.
  • Complete Business Intelligence. Oracle’s technology solutions provide relevant insight to everyone in an organization through interactive dashboards, ad hoc queries, notifications and alerts, enterprise and financial reporting, scorecard and strategy management. This results in improved decision-making, better-informed actions, and more efficient business processes.
“Thanks to Oracle technologies and our virtual desk project, we will be able to offer all agents a personalized workspace tailored to their job. In the back office, this architecture will allow us to standardize our suite of applications and cut our maintenance costs by 50%.”
– Jean Pierre Desbenoit, Deputy Head of IT Systems and Modernization, Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile


Technology Solution Breakdown

  • Oracle Database – Back-end repository, spatial
  • Oracle WebCenter – Unstructured content, records management, social and collaboration, Web experience management, next-generation user experience, and portal
  • Oracle Business Intelligence – Includes reporting, dashboards, and drill-downs
  • Oracle’s Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Oracle Autovue – View, redline, and collaborate on various document types, including CAD
Why Our Technology Solution Works
  • Industry standards-based technology allowing for ease of integration with existing technology investments
  • Complete and integrated stack of technologies for collaboration, Web content management, document management, records management, wikis,
  • and blogs
  • Data management platform able to view structured and unstructured data types, including CAD
  • Map integration, interactive map-based content search, and content search results displayed on an interactive map
  • Ability to centrally manage records in disparate locations: file system, SharePoint, content server, physical records


Only Oracle delivers a complete platform of database, middleware, applications, servers, and storage—all based on open standards—to transform transportation agencies.

Oracle Transportation Management:



Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!



Wednesday Jun 05, 2013

WebCenter for Transportation: Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras


Oracle Customer: Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Azul Brazilian Airlines )
Location:  São Paulo, Brazil
Industry: Travel and Transportation
Employees:  4,500


Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras Reduces Time Needed to Update Web Content and Marketing Campaigns and Offers Simplified Ticket Purchasing Process

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Azul Brazilian Airlines) has established itself as the third-largest airline in Brazil, based on a business model that combines low prices with a high level of service. Azul serves 42 destinations with a fleet of 49 aircraft. It operates 350 daily flights with a team of 4,500 crew members. Last year, the company transported 15 million passengers, achieving a 10% share of the Brazilian market, according to the Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC, or the National Civil Aviation Agency). Azul also forecasts a high growth rate for the next few years due to the sporting events that will take place in Brazil in 2014 and 2016—the World Cup and the Olympic Games, respectively.

The company wanted to offer an innovative site with a simple purchasing process for customers to search for and buy tickets and for the company’s marketing team to more effectively conduct its campaigns. To this end, Azul implemented Oracle WebCenter Sites, succeeding in gathering all of the site’s key information onto a single platform. Previously, at least three server and corporate information environments had directed data to the portal. The single Oracle-based platform now facilitates site updates, which are daily and constant. Azul can now complete the Web site content updating process—which used to take approximately 48 hours—in less than five minutes.

A word from Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras (Azul Brazilian Airlines)
 “Oracle WebCenter Sites provides an easy-to-use platform that enables our marketing department to spend less time updating content and more time on innovative activities. Previously, it would take 48 hours to update content on our Web site; now it takes less than five minutes. We have shown the market that we are innovators, enabling customer convenience through an improved flight ticket purchase process.” – Kleber Linhares, Information Technology and E-Commerce Director, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras

Challenges

  • Provide customers with an innovative Web site with a simple process for purchasing flight tickets 

  • Bring dynamism to the Web site’s content updating process to provide autonomy to the airline’s strategic departments, such as marketing and product development

  • Facilitate integration among the site’s different application providers, such as ticket availability and payment process, on which ticket sales depend

Solutions

  • Gained development freedom in all processes—from implementation to content editing—thanks to the tool’s flexibility
  • Gathered all of the Web site’s key information onto a single platform, facilitating its daily and constant updating, whereas the information was previously spread among at least three IT environments and had to go through a complex process to be made available online to customers
  • Launched the new Web site during the busy season of summer time without incurring any loss in sales volume (despite the fact that the company considered it natural to have an 8% drop-off in sales due to the change in technology), enabling it to reinforce its public image as a bold and innovative company
  • Absorbed the increased sales generated at vacation’s time y the social network campaign to announce the re-launch of the Web site on the company’s third anniversary, preparing the airline’s site to accommodate rapid travel flow growth due to the major sporting events that will take place in Brazil in 2014 and 2016—the World Cup and the Olympic Games, respectively
  • Reduced time needed to update banners and other Web site content from an average of 48 hours to less than five minutes
  • Enabled the marketing team to dedicate less time to the Web site’s content updating process and invest more energy in strategic planning, gaining competitiveness in the commercial airline market thanks to the new site’s dynamic real-time updating based on a user-friendly platform
  • Simplified the flight ticket sales process thanks to tool flexibility that enabled the company to daring in design and improve Website usability

Why Oracle

“After evaluating the leading tools on the market through meticulous research, we chose Oracle for the freedom its tool offers in all processes—from implementation to content editing—as well as its excellent campaign and content segmentation method.” – Kleber Linhares, Information Technology and E-Commerce Director, Azul Brazilian Airlines

Partner

Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras worked with Oracle partner TQI to put the new ticket sales Web site online using Oracle WebCenter Sites. With the project’s integration carried out by TQI, it was possible for Azul to make the Web site its main communication channel with consumers.
“We were very impressed with TQI’s work. Even while working under a tight schedule, they managed to meet the deadline. Further, the attention they dedicated to the project and the experience their team demonstrated with different advanced technologies left us very satisfied,” Linhares said.


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!



Travel and Transportation: Doing great things with Oracle Technology

Schneider National Implements Next-Generation IT Infrastructure to Continue Leadership in Transportation and Logistics Industry

Oracle Customer: Schneider National, Inc.
Location:
  Green Bay, Wisconsin
Industry:
Travel and Transportation
Employees:
  18,000
Annual Revenue:
  $1 to $5 Billion

Schneider National, Inc., a leading provider of truckload, logistics, and intermodal services, serves more than two-thirds of the FORTUNE 500 companies. Its customers rely on Schneider National’s transportation and logistics solutions to transport their products reliably, cost-effectively, and safely to markets in 28 countries.

Challenges

  • Create a next-generation IT platform to efficiently and consistently manage the quote-to-cash process across the company’s various business units and support long-term growth objectives
  • Improve ability to provide drivers, customers, and business partners with convenient access to the information and services they need
  • Improve back-office processes to support greater operational efficiency and profitability

Schneider's Online Tools Today:

Schneider's online tools provide customers, transportation service providers and corporate suppliers with a secure environment to conduct their freight management needs. These tools will help access information that will reduce costs and improve  visibility to information to better serve their customers.

Track loads and retrieve documents, all with the click of a mouse. More than 2,000 Schneider Customers use the online tools to manage their transportation.

Customer Capabilities

  • Access to information specific to services and information available to their customers
  • Easy and timely tracking of extensive information regarding their orders
  • Ability to set customized order tracking searches that can be run with the click of a mouse at their convenience
  • Access to view, print, email and fax order related documents
  • Request and receive spot quote pricing

Transportation Service Provider Capabilities

  • Access to information specific to services and information available to service providers
  • Ability to search for freight available to be moved for Schneider
  • Easily provide tracking updates for Schneider freight
  • Quick and easy access to payment information


        • Used Oracle applications, middleware, and development tools to create a next-generation IT platform to drive profitability, reduce costs across all divisions, and position Schneider for continued growth
        • Leveraged Oracle SOA Suite to integrate Oracle E-Business Suite, Siebel CRM, Oracle Transportation Management, third-party, and custom applications
        • Built 400 BPEL processes that generate over 60 million composite instances across five SOA clusters
        • Leveraged Oracle B2B for EDI with over 900 trading partners
        • Leveraged Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle SOA Suite to set up a shipment hub that provides real-time shipment data to enterprise applications handling more than 500,000 updates per day
        • Enabled secure access to enterprise applications
        • Implemented a centralized repository for digital content and documents that drives dynamic enterprise portals
        • Enabled drivers to quickly update their benefits, view online training, and check their pay statements
        • Provides customers and partners with convenient access to the information they need
        • Enables more streamlined monitoring and management of software and hardware
        • Enabled more consistent processes across functional areas, ranging from sales and operations to finance, improving order accuracy, profitability, on-time service, and payables management
        • Reduced days for sales outstanding significantly


 The post below is a repost from January by one of my fellow WebCenter teammates, Christie Flanagan.  I thought it was a great post to highlight yet another customer in the Travel and Transportation vertical doing amazing things with Oracle technologies.


Holland America: Optimizing the Online Customer Experience with Oracle Real-Time Decisions

Prior to the holidays, we spent some time on the WebCenter blog focusing on how to optimize the online customer experience using segmentation and targeting with Oracle's web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.  We also introduced you to Oracle's real time decisioning engine, Oracle Real-Time Decisions, which can be used in combination with Oracle WebCenter Sites to enable automated targeting and segmentation.You can check out those posts using the following links:

Today, we're expanding on this theme and featuring a guest post from Oracle sales consultant, Sumeet Prasad.  Sumeet is part of the Oracle Real-time Decisions strategy team. Sumeet has been with Oracle for six years and has twelve years of experience in the real-time decisioning space. This post will give you a very good sense of the truly powerful capabilities of Oracle Real-Time Decisions for optimizing the online customer experience.

*****

Holland America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corp. It is recognized as a leader in the cruise industry’s premium segment. Holland America Line’s fleet of 15 ships offers nearly 500 cruises to 320 ports of call in more than 100 countries and is expected to have carried over 750,000 cruise passengers in 2012 that visited all seven continents.

Like many in the travel industry, Holland was looking for ways to increase revenue and margin in a poor economy. Maximizing the revenue from their passengers was important to increasing overall revenue. The travel industry is trending towards more online bookings and customers are increasingly more web savvy. Holland’s existing websites for both cruise booking and shore excursion provided a one size fits all approach in regards to customer experience.

Holland America decided to utilize Oracle Real Time Decisions (RTD) to help achieve their goals. They went live with RTD in June of 2012 within their Online Shore Excursion booking process. They had 2 primary business goals for this initiative:

  • Leverage Real-Time Decisions to help increase booking revenue for Shore Excursions, Indulgences, Spa and Dining by optimizing cross-sell and up-sell offers in the web channel through adaptive learning and multi goal arbitration
  • Leverage Real-Time Decisions to improve the overall customer experience by providing personalized and targeted content, and product recommendations throughout the Shore Excursion selection experience.


RTD provides Holland America with a cross channel, centralized decision management service for Customer Experience Optimization. RTD enables real-time intelligence to be instilled into any customer interaction, thus Holland is able to learn and predict which shore excursions, indulgences, and dining options are most appropriate to deliver to a customer. By learning from every single interaction and adjusting their processes in real-time, Holland America always takes the best course of action and optimizes the value of each opportunity.

The RTD Decision Management Framework provides for user-defined business rules, automated segmentation, real-time predictive models, test and control capabilities and user defined performance goals for optimizing decisions. Both rules and models can operate on historical, transactional and contextual real-time information.  This allows Holland America to treat every customer coming to the Shore Excursion site as a “segment of one” and provide for personalized and optimized customer experiences.

There are four optimized decisions that RTD makes as part of the Shore Excursion Booking Process. 90% of visitors have the optimized experience (RTD) and 10% of the visitors have the control experience (status quo):

  • Decision #1: Show/No Show shore excursions landing page:  Determine which flow is best for each customer.
  • Decision #2: Which landing page image is best to display?
  • Decision #3: Rank order the top excursions on the catalog page for each customer?
  • Decision #4: What are the best additional shore excursions, indulgences and spa and dining offers to recommend on the shopping cart page?

Within one month of being live, Holland America saw booking rates increase by 14% for the optimized experience (RTD) vs. the Control Experience (status quo). The success of this first project is helping pave the way for future RTD projects, as well as the adoption of Web Center Sites for building and managing their websites.


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!


Monday Jun 03, 2013

Planes and Trains and Automobiles - WebCenter in Transportation


When Elmo talks about transportation, he’s really only thinking about the planes, trains, and automobiles (and rocket ships of course) kinds of transportation. Here at Oracle, the Travel and Transportation vertical market goes a lot deeper and wider than most furry red creatures would ever imagine. Oracle leads in this vertical with some pretty amazing stats:

Leadership in Travel and Transportation

  • 20 of the top 20 airlines get better results with Oracle
  • 17 of the 20 top hotels get better results with Oracle
  • 20 of the top 20 North American logistics service providers get better results with Oracle
  • 10 of the top 10 North American trucking companies get better results with Oracle
  • 4 of the 5 top ports get better results with Oracle

Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!When I originally started thinking about focusing this week on “WebCenter for Travel and Transportation,” I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical myself about what I would find for showcasing our solution set’s strengths in this area. Deep down, I knew that Oracle WebCenter has an essential role in many implemented solutions within Travel and Transportation, and I was happy to find a wide variety of customers and partners that are all great examples of where WebCenter adds value within this arena.

WebCenter solutions are complementary and supplemental to all of the solutions you’d find listed within this industry encompassing all means of travel and hospitality, shipping, passenger and freight transportation by air, water, road or rail. Trucking, shipping and other logistics organizations can improve their efficiencies and cut invoicing costs, while Airlines improve the web experience for their customers. Organizations are providing collaborative portals for their truckers and other employees to communicate with each other while on the road or with their offices while managing all important assets in a centralized repository for digital content and documents for their dynamic enterprise portals and back-office business processes. Whether you know it or not, one of the WebCenter pillars: WebCenter Content, WebCenter Portal, WebCenter Sites or WebCenter Imaging and Capture are often there behind the scenes keeping business moving while providing an engagement platform for employees, customers, partners and executive management to do their job with a smile on their face instead of a frown of frustration.

Oracle Solutions for Transportation help Airlines like the Emirates keep costs down, efficiencies high and employees happy.


So – welcome to another week of exploration into areas where WebCenter makes a difference. I hope you’ll join us for a few minutes to explore or more to listen to one of the webcasts we’ll be featuring this week. We’ll be featuring some success stories, partner highlights and industry news. If you’ve never even heard of APTA or AASHTO before this week – you’ll gain a new found respect for our transportation infrastructure or how cool it is to see how it’s managed, maintained, improved and sometimes even destroyed to make room for something new (check out the video below boys!)



About

Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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