Friday Dec 14, 2012

OK - What now? How do we become a Social Business?

Now available On-Demand!We hope that those of you that attended yesterday's Webcast with Brian Solis enjoyed Brian's discussion with Christian Finn for our last Webcast of the season for the Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Series

For those of you that may have missed the webcast or were stuck at a company holiday party - you'll be glad to hear that the webcast will be available On-Demand starting later today (12/14/12). And any of you who'd like to listen to a quick but informative podcast with Brian - can listen to that here.

Some of you may still be left with questions about how to get from point A to point B and even more confused than when you started thinking about this new world of Digital Darwinism. The post below, grabbed from an abundance of great thought leadership prose on Brian's blog may help you frame the path you need to start walking sooner versus later to stay off of the endangered species list. 

As you explore your path forward, please keep Oracle in mind - we do offer a wide range of solutions to help your organization optimize the engagement for your customers, employees and partners.



The Path from a Social Brand to a Social Business

Brian Solis

Originally posted May 2, 2012

I’ve been a long-time supporter of MediaTemple’s (MT)Residence program along with Gary Vaynerchuk, Neil Patel, and many others whom I respect. I wanted to share my “7 questions to answer to become a social business” with you here..

Social Media is pervasive and is becoming the new normal in corporate marketing. Brands who get this right are starting to build their own media networks rich with customer connections numbering in the millions. Right now, Coca-Cola has over 34 million fans on Facebook, but they’re hardly alone. Disney follows just behind with 29 million fans, Starbucks boasts 25 million, and Oreo, Red Bull, and Converse play host to over 20 million fans. If we were to look at other networks such as Twitter and Youtube, we would see a recurring theme. People are connecting en masse with the businesses they support and new media represents the ability to cultivate consumer relationships in ways not possible with traditional earned or paid media.

Sounds great right? This might sound abrupt, but the truth is that we’re hardly realizing the potential of what lies before us. Everything begins with understanding not just how other brands are marketing themselves in social media, but also seeing what they’re not doing and envisioning what’s possible.

We’re already approaching the first of many crossroads that new media will present. Do we take the path of a social brand or that of a social business? What’s the difference? A social brand is just that, a business that is remodeling or retrofitting its existing marketing practices to new media. A social business is something altogether different as it embraces introspection and extrospection to reevaluate internal and external processes, systems, and opportunities to transform into a living, breathing entity that adapts to market conditions and opportunities.

It’s a tough decision to make right now especially at a time when all we read about is how much success many businesses are finding without having to answer this very question. With all of the newfound success in social networks, the truth is that we’re only just beginning to learn what’s possible and that’s where you come in. When compared to the investment in time and resources across the board, social media represents only a small part of the mix. But with your help, that’s all about to change.

The CMO Survey, an organization that disseminates the opinions of top marketers in order to predict the future of markets, recently published a report that gave credence to the fact that social media is taking off. One of the most profound takeaways from the report was this gem; “The “like button” [in Facebook] packs more customer-acquisition punch than other demand-generating activities.” With insights like this, it’s easy to see why the race to social is becoming heated.

The report also highlighted exactly where social fits in the marketing mix today and as you can see, despite all of the hype, it’s not a dominant focus yet. As of August 2011, the percentage of overall marketing budgets dedicated to social media hovered at around 7%. However, in 2012 the investment in social media will climb to 10%. And, in five years, social media is expected to represent almost 18% of the total marketing budget. Think about that for a moment. In 2016, social media will only represent 18%?

Queue the sound of a record scratching here. With businesses finding success in social networks, why are businesses failing to realize the true opportunity brought forth by the ability to listen to, connect with, and engage with customers? While there’s value in earning views, driving traffic, and building connections through the 3F’s (friends, fans and followers), success isn’t just defined simply by what really amounts to low-hanging fruit.

The truth is that businesses cannot measure what it is they don’t know to value. As a result, innovation in new engagement initiatives is stifled because we’re applying dated or inflexible frameworks to new paradigms. Social media isn’t owned by marketing, but instead the entire organization. This changes everything and makes your role so much more important. It’s up to you to learn how to think outside of the proverbial social media box to see what others don’t, the ability to improve customers experiences through the evolution of a social brand into a social business. Doing so will translate customer insights from what they do and don’t share in social networks into better products, services, and processes.

See, customers want something more from their favorite businesses than creative campaigns, viral content, and everyday dialogue in social networks. Customers want to be heard and they want to know that you’re listening. How businesses use social media must remind them that they’re more than just an audience, consumer, or a conduit to “trigger” a desired social effect.

Herein lies both the challenge and opportunity of social media. It’s bigger than marketing. It’s also bigger than customer service. It’s about building relationships with customers that improve experiences and more importantly, teaches businesses how to re-imagine products and internal processes to better adapt to potential crises and seize new opportunities.

When it comes down to it, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Foursquare, are all channels for listening, learning, and engaging. It’s what you do within each channel that builds a community around your brand. And, at the end of the day, the value of the community you build counts for everything. It’s important to understand that we cannot assume that these networks simply exist for people to lineup for our marketing messages or promotional campaigns. Nor can we assume that they’re reeling in anticipation for simple dialogue. They want value. They want recognition. They want access to exclusive information and offers. They need direction, answers and resolution.

What we’re talking about here is the multidimensional makeup of consumers and how a one-sided approach to social media forces the needs for social media to expand beyond traditional marketing to socialize the various departments, lines of business, and functions to engage based on the nature of the situation or opportunity.

In the same CMO study, it was revealed that marketers believe that social media has a long way to go toward integrating into the overall company strategy. On a scale of 1-7, with one being “not integrated at all” and seven being “very integrated,” 22% chose “one.” Critical functions such as service, HR, sales, R&D, product marketing and development, IR, CSR, etc. are either not engaged or are operating social media within a silo disconnected from other efforts or possibilities. The problem is that customers don’t view a company by silo, instead they see one company, one brand, and their experience in social media forms an impression that eventually contributes to their view of your brand.

The first step here is to understand business priorities and objectives to assess how social media can be additive in achieving these goals. Additionally, surveying the landscape to determine other areas of interest as its specifically related to your business.

• Are customers seeking help or direction?

• Who are your most valuable customers and what are they sharing?

• How can you use social media to acquire and retain customers?

- What ideas are circulating and how can you harness user generated activity and content to innovate or adapt to better meet the needs of customers?

- How can you broaden a single customer view to recognize the varying needs of customers and how your organization can organize around each circumstance?

- What insights exist based on how consumers are interacting with one another? How can this intelligence inform marketing, service, products and other important business initiatives?

- How can your business extend their current efforts to deliver better customer experiences and in turn more effectively unit internal collaboration and communication?

Customer demands far exceed the capabilities of the marketing department. While creating a social brand is a necessary endeavor, building a social business is an investment in customer relevance now and over time. Beyond relevance, a social business fosters a culture of change that unites employees and customers and sets a foundation for meaningful and beneficial relationships. Innovation, communication, and creativity are the natural byproducts of engagement and transformation. As a social brand, we are competing for the moment. As a social business, we are competing the future in all that we do today.

Thursday Apr 26, 2012

Watch Today's Webcast on Mobility & Win a Signed Copy of Empowered

Don't miss today's webcast, Mobile is the New Face of Engagement, at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET, when Christian Finn (@cfinn) interviews Ted Schadler (@tedschadler), Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, and co-author of the book, Empowered.

If you haven't read the book, we've got a great opportunity for you today! Watch the webcast and tweet your questions to @oraclewebcenter. Questions will be answered on the blog later on and some lucky people who ask great questions will win a signed copy of Ted's book!

Oracle Corporation
Webcast: Is Social Business an Evolution or Revolution?

Mobile is the New Face of Engagement

Mobile devices are no longer just portable phones that fit in your pocket. They can run applications accessing business systems, thus enabling workers access to content and information they need anytime and anywhere. These mobile applications are the flash point for a much more holistic, far-reaching change to new systems of engagement that empower people in their decision-making moments. Imagine that your application is in your customer's or employee's pocket. Now what are you going to do?

Join us for a conversation with Ted Schadler, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, as he discusses how to:

  • Avoid the unintended consequences of runaway mobile success
  • Create successful infrastructures that can scale
  • Build mobile centers of excellence

Register now for the Webcast, "Mobile is the New Face of Engagement."

Oracle Fusino Middleware Webcenter

Register Now

Register now for Mobile is the New Face of Engagement, the second Webcast in the series.


Thur., April 26, 2012
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET


Presented by:

Christian Finn
Christian Finn
Senior Director, Product Management
Oracle

Ted Schadler
Ted Schadler
Vice President, Principal Analyst,
Forrester
Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together
Copyright © 2012, Oracle and/or its affiliates.
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Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

Mobility: The New Face of Engagement


By Christian Finn 

This week I have the privilege to host a webcast in our Social Business Thought Leaders series with Forrester Research Inc. Vice President and Principal Analyst Ted Schadler. Always an animated and incisive thinker, Ted will be sharing his thesis that mobile technology fundamentally changes everything we know about customer interaction. Ted postulates that we are transitioning from the Web era to the Mobile era, where mobile devices and apps are not simply companions to the Web but a central place of activity and innovation, with far reaching implications for customer strategies and application development. For example, Ted advocates that organizations develop mobile apps first and then build the corresponding web applications, which is a reversal of the way most organizations build apps and deliver content today.

There is a lot to draw on for discussion in the webcast because in addition to his current mobility research, Ted has long been an analyst of the content and collaboration markets and he is the co-author (with Josh Bernoff) of Empowered, which explores how employees are using social, mobile, and cloud technology to better serve customers. Empowered is sort of the enterprise sequel to Groundswell, which examined the phenomenon of social media use among consumers and how to formulate an effective social media strategy for organizations.

As always, we’ll answer the questions we receive during the webcast here on the WebCenter blog. We will also be giving away some signed copies of Empowered to some lucky people who tweet questions during the webcast to @OracleWebCenter, so be sure to tweet to have a chance to win this great read. Of course, in addition to watching our webcast, we encourage you to keep up with Ted’s advice, thinking, and research on Twitter by following @TedSchadler.

So please join us Thursday at 10 am PT  for a lively and stimulating discussion of how mobility is changing business and what you can do to take advantage of new Mobile Era, and stay tuned for more great discussions with industry though leaders to come! Register for this webcast now!

Monday Feb 27, 2012

Oracle/AIIM Social Business Seminars: Wrap Up

John ManciniKellsey Ruppel

Last week we wrapped up the Social Business Seminar series with AIIM. I had the opportunity to host the event in Minneapolis and of course it hasn't snowed at all this winter, and we happened to get a nice “snowstorm” the night before -- perfect for driving in from Wisconsin. Good thing my Jeep has 4 wheel drive, as I wasn't going to let a little snow get in the way of what shaped out to be a day filled with interesting discussions and conversations around social business. John Mancini, president of AIIM, kicked off the day with a talk on Social Business and Innovation – focusing on how we are moving from systems of record to systems of engagement to innovation. John is going to be guest posting later in the week with his thoughts, so be sure to check back!

After John set the stage, I gave a presentation on how you can solve the innovation challenge with WebCenter. I talked in depth of the key trends today that we see impacting us as consumers, our expectations and how we do business. It was really interesting to see some “ah ha” moments and head nods as we tied this whole idea of social business together – and how important it is to have the proper technology to do so.

Jim Freeland of Medtronic and Jason Lamon of Fishbowl Solutions rounded out the day with an overview of how Medtronic is using WebCenter to enable their sales teams to access information on the iPad. Back in 2010, Medtronic was the largest commercial user of the iPad, and it was neat to see how WebCenter provides the technology that is ultimately helping in Medtronic’s mission of alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life. If you want to get more details on what Medtronic is doing, you can hear directly from Jim in the video below!

I would highly encourage you to attend an event like this or others that Oracle puts on. You can’t beat the interaction and discussions and the chance to network with your peers. We are hoping you’ll join us in the Conversations!

Friday Feb 24, 2012

Is Social Business an Evolution or Revolution?: Webcast Q&A

Christian Finn

Thank you to those of you who attended the first webcast in our Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders series yesterday.

Christian Finn and Andy Mulholland shared their thoughts on whether social business is an evolution or revoltion. Andy hit home on the fact that technology is at a crossroads today. It has always played a key role in spearheading business success and continues to be a driving force for impacting innovation and change. He went on to explain that the key to enabling business innovation is recognizing the shift from the computer being at the core of technology development to people becoming the central focus. 

We had some great questions that came up, and here is a recap of them below.

What requirements are needed for organizations to become "social businesses"?

Mulholland: In common with many others who have experienced using social networking in their day to day activities I believe the change is as much cultural as organizational, telling people to use a social network seldom works, as for most people the first question will be ‘does this help me in my daily work’. Asking them to spend extra time monitoring a social network in addition to email wont encourage them, instead look for knowledge workers in a part of the enterprise that is sufficiently large that the target group of knowledge workers won’t know all the members of the social network. These environments gain most from Social networks as the questions and events are ‘unstructured’ and require the experience and tacit knowledge inherent in the members and the ability to interact and exchange information between people who are unknown to each other around the topics represents a clear difference from e mail. In such a community email usage can be expected to drop by up to 40% thus encouraging more and more people who are knowledge workers to see this as their principle means of communication. This effect then tends to draw in non knowledge workers who find this is a better medium to get their periodic questions answered.

Is there a difference between Social Business being a revolution socially vs economically? Will this change total economic output or just distribute it differently?

Finn: It will definitely distribute things differently.  It is probably too early to tell whether it will raise overall economic output. But certainly, businesses that are more effective in the social dimension will reap greater rewards.

Do you think social media tools will replace email at work?

Mulholland: No I don’t in the foreseeable future is the simple answer any more than the use of paper based intercompany communication has been superseded by email. There is a place where each adds value and in one to one communication as an example email works well and that tends to mean that senior management is happy to continue to use it in their ‘structured’ work around the key business managers activities which is well known to them. The question is longer term if that will continue to be a separate tool or will, as is happening in social communities, the ability to operate a person to person private communication do away with the need.

Does Social Business imply that a firm’s thought-leaders and experts become tangible or at least monetized assets? (i.e. does the fact that I have an expert visible to the consumer relate to a dollar value?)

Finn: That’s a good question. They definitely have economic value, however quantifying the value is hard. And that value is increased because social media extends the reach of your influentials. Interestingly there’s been at least one case of a person leaving a company causing a legal debate about who ”owns” his followers and their goodwill-- the spokesperson or the firm.

In your opinion, what do managers fear most about social media use in organizations?

Mulholland: Loss of control!!!  And inability to use the technology showing up their own limitations as a secondary ‘quiet’ challenge. Btw both these challenges also occurred when email was being adopted in the mid 90s around the changing business model that ERP under Business Process Re-Engineering introduced and drive the adoption of email to communicate outside departmental structures and along the process threads. Today an event driven front office responding to the diversity of market and customers activities using social tools for answers seems just as dangerously outside the established management communication structure. In practice the whole goal is to answer the questions and responses in a manner that can align this unstructured environment with the established structure and working practices of the enterprise and its processes and knowledge Management.

How do we get a more accurate social representation of feedback as it tends to be more to the extremes of very good or very poor. In the middle, folks do not seem terribly interested in participating?

Finn: It depends on where the feedback is being given. In general, contexts that have strong reciprocity will tend to have solid feedback. Such as within a community of interest or practice, whether that’s formal or not. On the other hand, anonymous Internet comments are the Wild Wild West. Within organizations, requiring people to give feedback under their real names does improve quality, but it tends to skew toward positive only, with few low scores.

In organizations, what business functions get the most value from social media tools? (Marketing & Sales, Communications, KM, Product Development, IT)

Mulholland: The broad answer is front office where the work is unstructured and the number of people is sufficiently high that nobody will know all of their colleagues by name or role, in these environments the ability to ask a question that will be automatically be directed to the community with the relevant expertise and avoid wasting the time of everyone who is not involved is a double win. I.e. on one hand the people whose knowledge you are seeking will be able to respond and on the other the remainder will not have their time wasted. Email reductions of 40% seem to be common and leave people with the time to do their real job!! But there is a further win, analysis of the social networking conversations and flow reveals new insights into what is really happening in this complex area, as an example the oracle Utilities Service engineers suite allows field engineers to share knowledge and experience but also to analysis this to gain new insights into what is happening in terms of types of faults, ways to solve problems, who has which knowledge and experience etc. all very real and important new insights into vitally important human centric activities that was not previously possible.

Do you feel the younger generation has different expectations/opinions on bringing social media tools into the business?

Mulholland: There is little doubt the sub 30 or may be 35 years old people grew up on line with the internet, web and increasingly with a different view to how they communicate, share and learn. To them it is natural to work in real time, to find information from others, to place views into social networks, and frankly to expect to be in a social networked online environment. Indeed their expectation of this is so developed that if a company doesn’t provide this environment they will find ways to create it on public social networks. This will rob any enterprise of the all important ability to gain information and insights to offer very real levels of improvement to their levels of interaction with customers, markets etc. I liken it to the service engineers or the sales people going into a locked room to discuss all important aspects of their work and how to improve it whilst keeping the management out of the room, crazy but quite literally what happens in enterprises that don’t wake up to the value social tools bring.

If you missed the webcast, you can catch the replay here and the slides available as well! Be sure to keep up with Andy and Christian as they continue on in the conversations about social business! 

Wednesday Feb 22, 2012

Social Business: Evolution or Revolution?


Christian Finn

By Christian Finn (@cfinn)

At the Enterprise 2.0 show in Boston three years ago, I made a splash during the keynote panel by arguing that social business was evolutionary, not revolutionary. This wasn’t the most popular stance at the time, and it was back when I was with Microsoft, which wasn’t the most popular vendor at a conference dominated by startups. I sure did get a lot of attention though and whether people saw social business as an evolution or revolution became an informal theme of that conference and led to some very interesting and fun debates with social thought leaders such as Ross Mayfield, Thomas Vander Wal, Dion Hinchcliffe, and many others.

Fast forward three years later, and the evidence suggests that I was wrong. Social business really is a revolution, one that is causing rapidly accelerating change in how companies and customers engage with one another and how employees work together. The perception and rate of change is, however, being experienced differently between line of business units on the one hand and organizational IT on the other.

The business side is eager to seize on innovations that can help improve marketing, sales, customer service, and brand reputation. iPads, for example, are becoming a necessity for sales and field service personnel in many organizations, and if these aren’t being supplied by the company, the sales people are bringing their own tablets to work—and demanding that the applications they need from the back office run on those iPads. Bloomberg recently cited an IDG Connect survey which found that 51% of managers say they always use the iPad at work, 40% say they sometimes do, and 79% said they use the iPad for work outside of business hours. Business users are at the gates of IT with torches—on their iPads.

IT, however, is more reticent to adopt social tools, at least outside of IT itself. Enterprise 2.0 as a term, after all, was coined by Andy McAfee after studying a bank’s IT department’s use of social tools in this seminal paper that started it all. But the consumerist convergence of social, mobile, local, and cloud technologies challenges long held IT paradigms of command and control, locked down systems, systematic rollouts, and long cycle application development. These approaches have served well in the era of client/server and with large application deployments such as ERP. But they don’t fit with the emergent, chaotic, rapidly changing consumerization era in which we now find ourselves, so different from even just three years ago. It is a huge shift, for example, to think of your intranet as a large set of individual apps served up to mobile devices based on user need and interest—the way people consume apps today in their personal lives—and not as a monolithic portal that’s PC centric and is one size fits all, with most of the content touched by a minority of users.

A telling illustration of the conflict for IT comes from a conversation I had with a CIO of a major outsourcer at a tradeshow when the iPad had first come out. We were talking technology and he ticked off the list of all the reasons why he would not write iOS devices into outsourcing his contracts. They weren’t secure enough, the CIO said; he couldn’t get a confirmed wipe of application data, and without that his firm was exposed to liability for data loss in the event of lost devices. And so, if you were a client of his firm, your employees would not be able to use iPads. After we wound up that discussion, I offered to find a time at the show to demo a new device we were working on privately. The CIO said, “sure, let me see what times I have available”, and promptly proceeded to open up his iPad to schedule our meeting!

Anyway, you don’t have to take my word on the subject of whether social business is an evolution or a revolution in how we work today. This week we have invited Capgemini’s Global CTO, Andy Mulholland of Capgemini, to share his perspectives in our first Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series webcast tomorrow at 10:00am PT. Andy has given a lot of thought to the implications of social disruption for both business and IT, and this week in our webcast he’ll discuss these in detail and offer frameworks for business and IT to come to the same mental model and work together in this new era of computing.

If you are not familiar with Andy’s work , he was rated one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the world in 2009 by InfoWorld and his Capgemini CTO Blog has been voted as the best Blog for Business Managers and CIOs each year for the last three years by the readers of Computing Weekly. Andy’s role at one of the world’s largest global technology consultancies gives him a unique vantage point to see changes across many industries around world. Our webcast will cover plenty of thought-provoking ideas, and I hope you’ll join us.

Meanwhile, vive la révolution sociale!

Monday Feb 20, 2012

Introducing the Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series

Christian Finn

By Christian Finn  (@cfinn)


A few months ago when I joined Oracle, I introduced myself as an evangelist for Oracle WebCenter and promised that you’d be hearing more from us in the future.  I am pleased to announce today that the future has arrived with this week’s launch of the Oracle Social Business Thought Leaders Webcast Series. Featuring thought leaders and opinion shapers drawn from the social, web experience, portal, content management, collaboration, and mobile markets that WebCenter serves, this brand new webcast series is intended to bring the best thinking on the subject of social business to you, free of charge, on demand, and absent any sales pitch.

Sure, we hope that the series generates goodwill and consideration of Oracle in your technology buying decisions.  We are making major investments in product development and by acquisition to offer WebCenter as the best-of-breed user engagement platform for social business in a crowded marketplace.  Yet we firmly believe that customers don’t buy products as much as they buy a long term strategy with a trusted partner; and fundamental to buying into a strategy is having a deep and current understanding of the issues, challenges, and potential of a world rapidly being reinvented by technology.  So offering you the unbiased thoughts and opinions of wise people who can help you, as an IT or business leader, navigate the swift currents of change we all face today—seems to us like a great place to start.

And so in that spirit, we are very pleased to kick off the series this week with Andy Mulholland, the Global CTO of Capgemini.   If you are not familiar with Andy, he was rated one of the top 25 most influential CTOs in the world in 2009 by InfoWorld and his Capgemini CTO Blog has been voted as the best Blog for Business Managers and CIOs each year for the last three years by the readers of Computing Weekly. Andy’s role at one of the world’s largest global technology consultancies—Capgemini has over 115,000 employees doing technology projects in more than 50 countries around the world—gives him a unique vantage point to see changes across many industries around world.

I hope you will join us for our inaugural webcast this Thursday, February 23 at 10:00am PT and keep coming back every month for a new speaker and topic.  And we’d especially love it if you would use the comments here on the blog to suggest speakers and topics you’d like to hear from.  We’ll also take questions in the webcasts and answer them here on the WebCenter blog, so please join us in the conversation! 

Join us for our Social Business Thought Leaders webcast series featuring industry experts with leading perspectives about how social tools, technology and the changing workplace are affecting businesses today. 



Tuesday Jan 24, 2012

AIIM and Oracle Extend Social Business Seminar Series

Oracle and AIIM are announcing the next five events in the Social Business Seminar series. The first of these events took place in New York and Los Angeles. The results were great – the session evaluations rated the sessions as 5 out of 5. And folks hung around after to chat and network.

What we are finding is that the sessions are sparking lots of conversation. Folks are asking what it means to be a social business, what the benefits are, and how it is achieved. A recent analyst number said that 41% of companies have already implemented an enterprise social software solution. So people are comparing approaches, technologies, policies – and evaluating their approach for their next phase.

Dan O'Leary and Atle Skjekkeland at the AIIM/Oracle Social Business Seminar in Los Angeles.

Much of what is presented is based upon AIIM research and the experiences of Oracle customers. This combined approach gives a nice mix of empirical and anecdotal data, theory and reality. And by bringing them together we can hone in on where they are converging to see the full picture.

This examination of social business addresses many departments (Sales, Marketing, HR, Supply Chain) as well as many requirements (innovation in product development, responsiveness, access to knowledge), helping to optimize not only information access but to identify new ways to create information, make decisions, and publish results.

The AIIM/Oracle Social Business Seminar is coming to five more cities:

Location

Date

Speakers

To Register

Toronto

Feb 9

John Mancini, President of AIIM; Howard Beader, Sr. Director of WebCenter Product Marketing; Brian "Bex" Huff of Bezzotech

Click here or call 1.800.820.5592 ext. 10177

Washington DC

Feb 15

John Mancini, President of AIIM, Christian Finn, Sr. Director Product Management at Oracle, and Troy Sanchez of Mythics

Click here or call 1.800.820.5592 ext. 10181

Atlanta

Feb 16

John Mancini, President of AIIM; Christian Finn, Sr. Director Product Management at Oracle; Troy Allen of TekStream

Click here or call 1.800.820.5592 ext. 10186

Minneapolis

Feb 21

John Mancini, President of AIIM; Kellsey Ruppel, WebCenter Product Marketing at Oracle; Jim Freeland of Medtronic (courtesy of Fishbowl Solutions)

Click here or call 1.800.820.5592 ext. 10176

Friday Nov 18, 2011

Oracle WebCenter at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference

We had a great week at the E20 Conference, presenting in four sessions – Andy MacMillan gave a session titled Today’s Successful Enterprises are Social Enterprises and was on a panel that Tony Byrne moderated; Christian Finn spoke on a panel on Unified Communications Unified Communications + Social Computing = Best of Both Worlds?, Mark Bennett spoke on a panel on The Evolution of Talent Management.

The key areas of focus this year were sentiment analysis, adoption and community building, the benefits of failure, and social’s role in process applications. Sentiment analysis. This was focused not on external audiences but more on employee sentiment. Tim Young showed his internal "NikoNiko" project, where employees use smilies to report their current mood. The result was a dashboard that showed the company mood by department. Since the goal is to improve productivity, people can see which departments are running into issues and try and address them. A company might otherwise wait until the end of the quarter financials to find out that there was a problem and product didn’t ship. This is a way to identify issues immediately. Tim is great – he had the crowd laughing as soon as he hit the stage, with his proposed hastag for his session: by making it 138 characters long, people couldn’t say much behind his back. And as I tweeted during his session, I loved his comment that complexity diffuses energy - it sounds like something Sun Tzu would say.

Another example of employee sentiment analysis was CubeVibe. Founder and CEO Aaron Aycock, in his 3 minute pitch or die session talked about how engaged employees perform better. It was too bad he got gonged, he was just picking up speed, but CubeVibe did win the vote – congratulations to them.

Internal adoption, community building, and involvement. On this topic I spoke to Terri Griffith, and she said there is some good work going on at University of Indiana regarding this, and hinted that she might be blogging about it in the near future. This area holds lots of interest for me. Amongst our customers, - CPAC stands out as an organization that has successfully built a community. So, I wonder - what are the building blocks? A strong leader? A common or unifying purpose? A certain level of engagement? I imagine someone has created an equation that says “for a community to grow at 30% per month, there must be an engagement level x to the square root of y, where x equals current community size, and y equals the expected growth rate, and the result is how many engagements the average user must contribute to maintain that growth.” Does anyone have a framework like that?

The net result of everyone’s experience is that there is nothing to do but start early and fail often. Kevin Jones made this the focus of his keynote. He talked about the types of failure and what they mean. And he showed his famous kids at work video:

Kevin’s blog also has this post: Social Business Failure #8: Workflow Integration. This is something that we’ve been working on at Oracle. Since so much of business is based in enterprise applications such as ERP and CRM (and since Oracle offers e-Business Suite, Siebel, PeopleSoft, and JD Edwards, as well as Fusion Applications), it makes sense that the social capabilities of Oracle WebCenter is built right into these applications.

There are two types of social collaboration – ad-hoc, and exception handling. When you are in a business process and encounter an exception, you immediately look for 1) the document that tells you how to handle it, or 2) the person who can tell you how to handle it. With WebCenter built into these processes, people either search their content management system, or engage in expertise location and conversation. The great thing is, THEY DON’T HAVE TO LEAVE THE APPLICATION TO DO IT. Oracle has built the social capabilities right into the applications and business processes. I don’t think enough folks were able to see that at the event, but I expect that over the next six months folks will become very aware of it.

WebCenter also provides the ability to have ad-hoc collaboration, search, and expertise location that folks need when they are innovating or collaborating. We demonstrated Oracle Social Network. It’s built on our Oracle WebCenter product to provide social collaboration inside and outside of your company. When we showed it to people, there were a number of areas that they commented on that were different from the other products being shown at the conference:

  • Screenshots from within the product
  • Many authors working on documents simultaneously
  • Flagging people for follow up
  • Direct ability to call out to people
  • Ability to see presence not just if someone is online, but which conversation they are actively in

Great stuff, the conference was full of smart people that that we enjoy spending time with. We’ll keep up in the meantime, but we look forward to seeing you in Boston.

Wednesday Nov 09, 2011

Attend the AIIM/Oracle Executive Social Business Seminar in Los Angeles

Attend an Exclusive Seminar on Social Business

AIIM/Oracle Executive Social Business Seminar

Learn How Social Business Can Improve Operational Performance and Drive Innovation

Act Now

Request your complimentary invitation by contacting Oracle at +1.800.820.5592 ext. 9949

The seminar will be held at:

Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles
Weds., November 30, 2011
10 a.m.–2 p.m. (includes lunch)

Business executives worldwide are using social collaboration technologies with employees, customers, and partners to dramatically improve operational flexibility and responsiveness, driving business growth and innovation.

For the last three years, AIIM and Oracle have analyzed how 65,000 community members are using social technologies. At this seminar, you’ll hear the latest research findings conducted with MIT Professor Andrew McAfee and 18 industry thought leaders.

Get valuable information that you can apply to your business, including:

  • Use cases for social technologies in sales and marketing, innovation and product development, and organizational responsiveness and knowledge
  • How companies such as Alcatel Lucent, Land O’Lakes, Balfour Beatty, and Canadian Partnership Against Cancer have implemented systems that are driving collaboration with employees, customers, and partners
  • The advantages of Oracle’s social business platform, Oracle WebCenter

You’ll also have the opportunity to network with early adopters and thought leaders regarding best practices and strategies.

Agenda

10:00 a.m. How Social Business Is Driving Innovation
Presented by Atle Skjekkeland

11:00 a.m. Solving the Innovation Challenge with Oracle WebCenter
Presented by Brian Dirking

12:00 noon Lunch and Networking
Table Discussions on Case Study Challenges

1:00 p.m. Strategies for Success Case Study—Alcatel Lucent
Presented by Keste

1:45 p.m. Final Remarks

Register Now

Contact Oracle at +1.800.820.5592 ext. 9949

Presented by:


Atle Skjekkeland

COO, AIIM

Brian Dirking
Principal Product Director, Oracle

In association with our partner


Wednesday Oct 19, 2011

Moving Off Documentum to Oracle WebCenter Drives User Engagement

As the Documentum technology gets older, and product release cycles slip, customers are finding it harder and harder to address their requirements. We’ll go through these in more detail in our webinar on October 26th, Stop Maintaining Documentum and Start Innovating With Oracle WebCenter. But for new here are some examples.

Enterprise Search – Documentum currently uses the Microsoft Fast search engine. But that agreement will expire in 2012, meaning the next release of Documentum will require customers to move to a new search engine. This will have an impact on the upgrade migration in terms of reindexing for sure, but also it will require user training. Each new search engine has different ways of searching, and provides different results. And users will need to adjust to the new system. With Oracle WebCenter, search is included. Furthermore, additional adapters can be purchased to enable Oracle WebCenter to search other systems. Oracle provides out-of-the-box adapters for systems such as Siebel, Exchange, and SharePoint. There is also an adapter to search Documentum, so while you are migrating content, or if you chose to only migrate some of your content, your users can search both Oracle WebCenter and Documentum simultaneously, and have hit results presented together.

Web Experience Management – Documentum formerly used FatWire to deliver content to the web. FatWire is now included in Oracle WebCenter, providing those customers a way to leverage their investment in training and templates they have created in FatWire. With Oracle WebCenter, this functionality will be used to deliver web experience management – the ability for websites to deliver targeted and optimized content and offers to website visitors. This will be a huge asset for marketing departments, enabling them to target customers and prospects with just the information they need. You can read more about Oracle WebCenter and web experience management in this blog post: Engaging Customers Online with WebCenter.

Social Business and Collaboration – As employees continue to be enthralled by new consumer technologies such as mobile devices and social networking, they are demanding the same capabilities to get their work done. Oracle WebCenter provides mobile and social collaboration capabilities to address these need. Users can search, view and approve content from their mobile devices. They can locate experts and initiate activity streams around projects. But WebCenter also enables capabilities externally so your organization can create a customer community. These capabilities are in more and more demand, and they just can’t be addressed by the Documentum platform.

What this means is that organizations are not able to maximize their productivity due to the fact that their information tools cannot address their user needs. Companies are limited in the ways they can maximize their content and deliver it where it is needed in business processes. This ability to maximize the use of content - for internal and external use, from improving productivity and innovation to engaging your customers - is the reason Oracle WebCenter is being recognized as the new front runner in the industry, driving user engagement. Join us on our webinar on October 26th where we will cover the reasons organizations need to make the switch, and how Oracle WebCenter drives user engagement.

See Oracle's special offer - Trade In Your Documentum for 100% Credit on Oracle WebCenter

Thursday Sep 08, 2011

Don't Miss Today's AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference!

Oracle is a proud sponsor of today's AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference. What is a Social Business Virtual Conference? It's an opportunity to hear from thought leaders on the state of social business, and how they see organizations taking advantage of this new way of working.

  • What types of business processes can benefit from using social technologies?
  • Are records and information managers able to achieve meaningful governance in a social world, or are they just getting in the way?
  • Will conventional content and process management applications be able to adapt to a new generation of always on, always connected information workers?
  • How can you develop an effective social business strategy?


One of the things we are most excited about here at Oracle is how many of our customers have embraced social business and how they are seeing results. In Andy MacMillan's session at 12:30 PM EDT, Today's Successful Businesses are Social Businesses, you will see how companies are actually transforming into social businesses. Some examples are internal changes, some are externalizing their social business model and creating communities with their customers and partners. The results are spectacular. Better engagement, more innovation, and better loyalty among both customers and employees. 


Here is a video of one customer we will not profile in the event, but you can see how they are working together better using Oracle WebCenter.

With our customers, we see organizations where collaboration is taking place in the context of business processes. With Oracle WebCenter, you have access to your business processes and your enterprise applications integrated with your tools to engage. Often when folks are in the midst of a business process, they turn for expertise on making a decision. This might be to look up more information in a content repository, or to find an expert for input. With Oracle WebCenter, searching, expertise location, instant messaging and other tools are right there so you can decide and take action quickly. It's the only product that has integrated social business with enterprise applications and business processes. 

Monday Aug 29, 2011

Oracle WebCenter: The AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference

Oracle is a proud sponsor of next week's AIIM Social Business Virtual Conference. What is a Social Business Virtual Conference? It's an opportunity to hear from thought leaders on the state of social business, and how they see organizations taking advantage of this new way of working.

One of the things we are most excited about here at Oracle is how many of our customers have embraced social business and how they are seeing results. In Andy MacMillan's session at 12:30 PM EDT, Today's Successful Businesses are Social Businesses, you will see how companies are actually transforming into social businesses. Some examples are internal changes, some are externalizing their social business model and creating communities with their customers and partners. The results are spectacular. Better engagement, more innovation, and better loyalty among both customers and employees. 


Here is a video of one customer we will not profile in the event, but you can see how they are working together better using Oracle WebCenter.


With our customers, we see organizations where collaboration is taking place in the context of business processes. With Oracle WebCenter, you have access to your business processes and your enterprise applications integrated with your tools to engage. Often when folks are in the midst of a business process, they turn for expertise on making a decision. This might be to look up more information in a content repository, or to find an expert for input. With Oracle WebCenter, searching, expertise location, instant messaging and other tools are right there so you can decide and take action quickly. It's the only product that has integrated social business with enterprise applications and business processes. 

Monday Aug 15, 2011

OTN Developer Day-Rich Enterprise Applications

Get Hands-on with Oracle JDeveloper, Oracle Application Developer Framework, Oracle WebCenter, and Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g

You won’t want to miss this Oracle Technology Network (OTN) Developer Day, a free, hands-on workshop that will give you insight into how to create Rich Enterprise Applications – server side, and rich web applications that are pre-integrated to enterprise technology. You’ll learn how to develop Rich Internet Applications that connect to Portals, Collaboration Services, Business Processes and Workflows.

Not sure if you should attend? This workshop is designed for developers, project managers, and architects. Whether you are currently using Java, traditional 4GL tools like Oracle Forms, PeopleTools, and Visual Basic, or just looking for a better development platform – this session is for you. Get explanation from Oracle experts and try your hands at actual development.

Come see how Oracle can help you deliver cutting edge UIs and standards-based applications faster with the Oracle Fusion Development software stack. At this event you will:

  • Get to know the Oracle Fusion development architecture and strategy from Oracle experts.
  • Learn the easy way to extend your existing development skill sets to incorporate new technologies and architectures that include Service-Oriented Architecture, Java EE, Collaboration and Portal Services, and Web 2.0.
  • Participate in hands-on labs and experience new technologies in a familiar and productive development environment with Oracle experts guidance.
Register now for this FREE event. Don't miss your exclusive opportunity to network with your peers and discuss today's most vital application development topics with Oracle experts.

Monday Jul 25, 2011

Oracle WebCenter Connect: Engage the Social Enterprise

We recently announced the new Oracle WebCenter, the user engagement platform for social business, connecting people and information. With this announcement the WebCenter brand covers portal, web experience management, content, and social and collaboration technologies into a single product suite that can be easily integrated with enterprise applications.  You can see the announcement webcast now on-demand. Last week we talked about the content pillar of WebCenter, and this week will we focus on the connect pillar.

I had the opportunity to speak with Andy Kershaw, Senior Director of business development for Oracle WebCenter connect. Here is a recap of our conversation.

Q: What is Oracle WebCenter connect?
A: Oracle WebCenter connect is a collaboration solution designed specifically for knowledge workers—including sales and service professionals—to work more effectively together. Oracle WebCenter connect includes stream-based Conversations that consolidate IM, e-mail, applications, content, editing tools, and telephony into a single context, so users can quickly and easily get up-to-speed and collaborate more effectively, as well as speed decision-making. Users can upload, share, and annotate snapshots and documents, all within the context of a Conversation.

Figure 1: Oracle WebCenter connect is based on stream-based Conversations that tie together a range of disparate applications and business activities that enable richer interactive participation with employees and/or external participants.

Q: How is Oracle WebCenter connect different from other collaboration tools out there?
A: Some collaboration tools are built around a team site, which can be limiting in scope and flexibility. Others operate more like a social networking stream to broadcast updates, generating a lot of noise that is difficult to filter and to focus on the right information. It’s very difficult to understand the context of these updates and track the streams for review at a later point in time.

Oracle WebCenter connect, on the other hand, has a much more purposeful approach to the way users collaborate. Interactions are based on Conversations that are context-based and tied to a CRM record, such as an opportunity, account, or service request. 

 Figure 2: Users can collaborate in context of a CRM record to bring more purpose to collaboration.

Rather than broadcasting updates to a wide audience or limiting communications to users on a site, Oracle WebCenter connect can intelligently add users associated with a CRM object, (such as team members engaged in an opportunity,) extend participation to nontypical CRM users (such as the legal team,) or subset user groups, (such as sales representatives and sales consultants.) And because Conversations are tracked in context, users can gain insight into what and how decisions were actually made.

Q: How does Oracle WebCenter connect work?
A: A Conversation may start as an instant message or e-mail. Suddenly you realize that to make a decision, you need to go the next step—escalate—by talking live by phone, or perhaps by reaching out to new participants who have key insights. Oracle WebCenter connect allows you to integrate channels to add new members into a Conversation without leaving the current context—and also without losing a record of this new transaction. It is all there for review in a single place.

We have actually embedded the solution within applications such as Oracle CRM On Demand and Oracle’s Siebel CRM, so you can initiate a Conversation right where you're working. This enables instant action, and also drives adoption of Oracle WebCenter connect Conversations, since participants can access them from whatever context they are working, whether in e-mail or within an application, at their desk, or on their smart phone or iPad.


Figure 3: WebCenter connect mobile clients provide access to enrich purposeful collaboration through form factors specific to each client and device such as the Apple iPad.

Learn more about Oracle WebCenter connect.

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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