Friday Feb 22, 2013

Engage Your Customers. Empower Your Business. Do More with Your Minutes.

#DoMoreWithOracle ~  It’s a Social World

We live in very social times – in 60 seconds in today’s online world, we see 695,000 new searches on Google while 72 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube. We send 11 million instant messages and tweet 98,000 times. There are 1389 new blog postings and 695,000 new status updates to facebook. Meanwhile, Instagram gets 3480 new photos uploaded. 

Some of these figures may seem large, some may seem small, but they all show a trend for more - More - MORE as the population becomes ever more engaged with our social media world.

We see staggering statistics of social media usage across the globe – in 2011 YouTube had more than 1 TRILLION views or to put this in relative terms that would translate to 140 views for every person on the planet Earth. Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube.  Facebook has 845 million active users that create 3.2 billion likes and comments every day. Facebook users spend an average of 6 hours, 35 minutes per month on the site. Facebook has reached 100 billion friendships. There are 250 million photos uploaded each day = 173,611/minute.  Let’s face the facts – we are all hooked on socially engaging via the latest and greatest tools available.

The challenge?

Are you giving your customers, employees and partners the best online experience they have come to expect from their personal lives?

ARE YOU ENGAGING EVERYONE WITH EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCES?

Not to mention that this also usually includes managing huge QUANTITIES of business data, while replicating the QUALITY of the social media experience.

So then, how do you manage the qualities of a business – including data and interaction and replicate the quality of the social media experience?

#DoMoreWithOracle – we can certainly help! Check out the full week of Fusion Middleware Screencasts


Sources:

http://www.youtube.com/t/press_statistics/

http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/infographic-instagram-stats/

http://thesocialskinny.com/100-more-social-media-statistics-for-2012/

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/social-media-stats-2012_b30651

Friday Jun 29, 2012

The Customer Experience Revolution is Now

To conclude this week’s focus on customer experience, I’ll end by recapping how my week began in New York City at The Experience RevolutionWe all know that customers increasingly call the shots, and that winning or losing depends on how well we manage to meet their expectations. Today’s customers have a multitude of choices and are quick to jump ship following a poor experience. As a result, delivering an experience that is relevant, interactive, engaging, and consistent across channels and fostering rewarding relationships are increasingly important to business success.  It is only through exceptional customer experiences that companies can expect to acquire new customers and maintain their loyalty. 

Over 400 of us gathered at Gotham Hall on Monday night to hear Oracle President Mark Hurd introduce Oracle Customer Experience, a cross-stack suite of customer experience products that include Oracle RightNow CX Cloud ServiceOracle EndecaOracle ATG Web CommerceOracle WebCenter,Oracle Siebel CRMOracle Fusion CRMOracle Social Network, and Oracle Knowledge Management. I'd encourage you check out this video to hear Mark explain why having a good product isn't good enough in the wake of the customer experience revolution.

The Experience Revolution event itself was designed to deliver the kind of rich experience that sticks with you, using an interactive gallery of customer experience to deliver an individualized experience to each attendee through a combination of touch screens and near field communication technology.  Over the coming weeks we’ll share some of these customer experience vignettes with you. In the interim, you can learn more about Oracle Customer Experience solutions here.


Tuesday Jun 26, 2012

Catch Oracle Today and Tomorrow at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2012 East

Continuing our coverage of the customer experience revolution this week, don’t miss a chance to catch up with Oracle at Forrester’s Customer Experience Forum 2012 East today and tomorrow in New York City. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Outside In: The Power Of Putting Customers At The Center Of Your Business” and will take a look at important questions surrounding how to transform your company in order to take best advantage of the customer experience revolution:

  • Why is customer experience the greatest untapped source of cost savings and increased revenue today?
  • What is the key to understanding and taking control of your customer experience ecosystem?
  • What are the six essential customer experience disciplines?
  • Which companies have adopted best-in-class customer experience practices?
  • How do customer experience strategies drive differentiating activities and processes at top companies?
  • Which organizations appoint a chief customer officer to lead their customer experience efforts?
  • What is the future of customer experience?
  • How can you design an enterprise wide customer experience?
  • How can you measure the results of your customer experience efforts?


As a gold sponsor of the event, there will be a numbers of ways to interact with Oracle while you’re attending the Forum.  Here are some of the highlights:

Oracle Speaking Session
Tuesday, June 26, 2:10pm – 2:40pm
The Customer And YOU — Today’s Winners Are Defined By Customer Experience
Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President of Customer Relationship Management, Oracle

Come hear Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President of Customer Relationship Management at Oracle, explain how leading companies are investing in customer experience solutions to enrich all interactions between a customer and their company. He will discuss Oracle's vision for transforming your customer engagement, insight, and execution into a connected, personalized, and rewarding experience across all touchpoints and interactions. He will demonstrate how great customer experiences generate real business results by attracting more customers, retaining more customers, and generating more sales while improving operational efficiency.

Solution Showcase
Tuesday, June 26th
9:45am - 10:30am - Morning Networking Break in the Solutions Showcase
11:45am – 1:15pm - Networking Lunch an Dessert in the Solutions Showcase
2:40pm – 3:25pm - Afternoon Break in the Solutions Showcase
5:30pm – 7:00pm - Networking Reception in the Solutions Showcase

Wednesday, June 27th
9:45am - 10:30am - Morning Networking Break in the Solutions Showcase
12:20pm -1:20pm - Networking Lunch and Dessert in the Solutions Showcase

We hope to see you there!


Webcast: Learn How Ancestry.com Delivers Exceptional Online Customer Experience with Oracle WebCenter
Date: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM PDT/ 1:00 PM EDT

Ancestry.com is the world’s largest online family history resource, providing an engaging customer experience to more than 1.7 million members. With a wealth of learning resources and a worldwide community of family history enthusiasts, Ancestry.com helps people discover their roots and tell their family stories. Key to Ancestry.com’s success has been the delivery of an online customer experience that converts site visitors into paying subscribers and keeps them coming back. Register now to learn how Ancestry.com delivers an exception customer experience using Oracle WebCenter Sites.



Friday Jun 22, 2012

Learn How Ancestry.com Helps Families Uncover Their History with Oracle WebCenter

Oracle Corporation
Delivering Exceptional Online Customer Experiences
Delivering Exceptional Online Customer Experiences

Ancestry.com is the world’s largest online family history resource, providing an engaging and interactive customer experience to more than 1.7 million members. With smart search technology, a wealth of learning resources, and a worldwide community of family history enthusiasts, Ancestry.com helps people discover their roots and tell their unique family stories. Key to Ancestry.com’s success has been the delivery of an online customer experience that converts site visitors into paying subscribers and keeps them coming back. To help achieve this goal, Ancestry.com turned to Oracle’s Web experience management solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Join us as executives from Ancestry.com and Oracle discuss how Oracle’s Web experience management solution is helping them deliver engaging online experiences. Learn how:
  • Ancestry.com selected Oracle WebCenter Sites to meet their demanding Web experience management requirements
  • The company was able to get up and running quickly despite a complex technology stack and challenging integration requirements with legacy systems
  • Ancestry.com empowered business users to manage the online experience and significantly reduce time to market for their online campaigns and initiatives
Register now for the Webcast.
Oracle Fusino Middleware Webcenter
REGISTER NOW
Thursday,
June 28, 2012
10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
Presented by:

Blane Nelson
Chief Architect–Applications,
Ancestry.com

Christie Flanagan
Director of Product Marketing, Oracle WebCenter Sites,
Oracle

Monday Apr 09, 2012

Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals and Websites

As more and more business is being conducted via online channels, engaging users and making them more productive and efficient though these online channels is becoming critical. These users could be customers, partners or employees and while the respective channels through which they interact might be different, these users do increasingly interact with your business through the Web, or mobile devices or now through various social mediums.  Businesses need a user engagement strategy and solution that allows them to deliver targeted and personalized content and applications to users through the various online mediums and touch points. 

The customer experience today is made up of an ongoing set of interactions with organizations across many channels, online and offline.  The Direct channel (including sales reps, email and mail) is an important point of contact, as is the Contact Center.  Contact Centers rely on the phone as a means of interacting with customers, and also more now than ever, the Web as well.  However, the online organization is often managed separately from the Contact Center organization within a business. In-store is an important channel for retailers, offering Point-of-Service for human interactions, and Kiosks which enable self-service. Kiosks are a Web-enabled touch point but in-store kiosks are often managed by the head of retail operations, rather than the online organization.  And of course, the online channel, including customer interactions with an organization via digital means -- on the website, mobile websites, and social networking sites, has risen to paramount importance in recent years in the customer experience. Historically all of these channels have been managed separately.

The result of all of this fragmentation is that the customer touch points with an organization are siloed.  Their interactions online are not known and respected in their dealings in-store.  Their calls to the contact center are not taken as input into what the website offers them when they arrive. Think of how many times you’ve fallen victim to this. Your experience with the company call center is different than the experience in-store. Your experience with the company website on your desktop computer is different than your experience on your iPad. I think you get the point.

But the customer isn’t the only one we need to look at here, as employees and the IT organization have challenges as well when it comes to online engagement. There are many common tools and technologies that organizations have been using to try and engage users, whether it’s customers, employees or partners. Some have adopted different blog and wiki technologies (some hosted, some open source, sometimes embedded in platforms), to things like tagging, file sharing and content management, or composite applications for self-service applications and activity streams.

Basically, there are so many different tools & technologies that each address different aspects of user engagement.

Now, one of the challenges with this, is that if we look at each individual tool, typically just implementing for example a file sharing and basic collaboration solution, may meet the needs of the business user for one aspect of user engagement, but it may not be the best solution to engage with customers and partners, or it may not fit with IT standards such as integrating with their single sign on tools or their corporate website. Often, the scenario is that businesses are having to acquire multiple pieces and parts as well as build custom applications to meet their needs. Leaving customers and partners with a more fragmented way of interacting with the company.

Every organization has some sort of enterprise balancing act between the needs of the business user and the needs and restrictions enforced by enterprise IT groups. As we’ve been discussing, we all know that the expectations for online engagement have changed since the days of the static, one-size fits all website. With these changes have come some very difficult organizational challenges as well.

Today, as a business user, you want to engage with your customers, and your customers expect you to know who they are. They expect you to recall the details they’ve provided to you on your website, to your CSRs and to your sales people. They expect you to remember their purchases, their preferences and their problems. And they expect you to know who they are, equally well, across channels, including your web presence.

This creates a host of challenges for today’s business users. Delivering targeted, relevant content online is now essential for converting prospects into customers and for engendering long term loyalty. Business users need the ability to leverage customer data from different sources to fuel their segmentation and targeting strategies and to easily set-up, manage and optimize online campaigns. Also critical, they need the ability to accomplish these things on-the-fly, at the speed of the marketplace, while making iterative improvements. 

These changing expectations put a host of demands on the IT organization as well. The web presence must be able to scale to support the delivery of personalized and targeted content to thousands of site visitors without sacrificing performance. And integration between systems becomes more important as well, as organizations strive to obtain one view of the customer culled from WCM data, CRM data and more.

So then, how do you solve these challenges and meet the growing demands of your users?

 You need a solution that:

  1. Unifies every customer interaction across all channels
  2. Personalizes the products and content that interest the customer and to the device
  3. Delivers targeted promotions to the right customer
  4. Engages and improve employee productivity
  5. Provides self-service access to applications
  6. Includes embedded in-context social  

So how then do you achieve this level of online engagement, complete customer experience and engage your employees? The answer: Oracle WebCenter. If you want to learn how to get there, we encourage you to attend this webcast on Thursday Drive Online Engagement with Intuitive Portals and Websites, where we'll talk about how you are able to transform your portal experience and optimize online engagement -- making your portals more interactive and more engaging across multiple channels. Register today!

Thursday Apr 05, 2012

Webcast: The Power to Translate is Now Inside Oracle WebCenter Sites


The Power to Translate is

Now Inside Oracle

WebCenter Sites

You are invited to a special preview of the Lingotek Inside Oracle WebCenter Sites solution which will be showcased at Collaborate in Las Vegas later in April.

Now it's easy to quickly translate your content directly from Oracle WebCenter Sites using the new Lingotek - Inside for Oracle WebCenter Sites integration.

Your users will be able to access translated content, nominate content for translation, and even offer to translate content themselves.

Oracle Integration Solution

Lingotek - Inside Integration:
  1. Content identified and seamlessly viewable within Lingotek Workbench.
  2. Translation Completed by:
    • Machine and Translation Memory
    • Community Volunteers, Crowdsourcing
    • Professional Translators
  3. Translated Content Automatically Saved.
  4. Content within Oracle WebCenter Sites:
    • Related
    • Secured
    • Routed Through Workflows
    • Publish to Intranets, Web Sites, Applications
Oracle WebCenter Sites

Web Experience Management

Enables marketers and business users to easily create and manage contextually relevant, social, and interactive online experiences across multiple channels on a global scale.

  1. Drive customer acquisition, brand loyalty, and business success
  2. Optimize customer engagement across Web, mobile, and social channels
  3. Manage large-scale, multichannel global online presence with integration to enterprise applications

You'll hear from the experts how this can be done.




Free 30 Minute Webinar

Date: Tues, Apr 17th
Time: 8:00am MST, 3pm GMT and 4pm CET

Win a Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire

Register before April 6th for a chance to win a Amazon Kindle Fire!

Presenter:

Rob Vandenberg, President and CEO

Rob Vandenberg, President and CEO of Lingotek, drives the vision while leading the charge to change the future of translation. Rob is a well-known technology industry veteran, and his expertise and knowledge surrounding translation, localization, and internationalization materials, software products, and web content serves as an immeasurable asset to customers needs and requirements. Rob is a frequent industry speaker and panelist .

Presenter:

Andrew Palmer, EMEA Alliances Director WebCenter Sites

Andrew Palmer
Oracle
EMEA Alliances Director
WebCenter Sites

Oracle Gold Partner
Oracle Validated Integration
Oracle Web Logic Ready

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Tuesday Mar 27, 2012

Oracle at The Forrester Customer Intelligence and Marketing Leadership Forums

Forrester Research

The Forrester Customer Intelligence Forum and the Forrester Marketing Leadership Forums will soon be here.  This year’s events will be co-located on April 18-19 at the J.W. Marriott at the L.A. Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles.  Last year’s Marketing Forum was quite memorable for me.  You see, while Forrester analysts and business marketers were busy mingling over at the Marriott, another marketing powerhouse was taking up residence a few feet away at The Staples Center.  That’s right folks. Lada Gaga was coming to town.  And, as I came to learn, it made perfect sense for Lady Gaga and her legions of fans to be sharing a small patch of downtown L.A. with marketing leaders from all over the world.  After all, whether you like Lady Gaga or not, what pop star in recent memory has done more to build herself into a brand and to create an engaging, social and interactive customer experience for her Little Monsters?  While Lady Gaga won’t be back in town for this year’s Forrester events, there are still plenty of compelling reasons to make the trip out to Los Angeles.  

The theme for The Forrester Customer Intelligence and Marketing Leadership Forums this year is “From Cool To Critical: Creating Engagement In The Age Of The Customer” and will tackle the important questions about how marketers can survive and thrive in the age of the empowered customer:

Forrester Research


•    How can you assess consumer uptake of new innovations?
•    How do you build deep customer knowledge to drive competitive advantage?
•    How do you drive deep, personalized customer engagement?
•    What is more valuable — eyeballs or engagement?
•    How do business customers engage in new media types?
•    How can you tie social data to corporate data?
•    Who should lead the movement to customer obsession?
•    How should you shift your planning and measurement approaches to accommodate more data and a higher signal-to-noise ratio?
•    What role does technology play in customizing and synchronizing marketing efforts across channels?

As a platinum sponsor of the event, there will be a numbers of ways to interact with Oracle while you’re attending the Forums.  Here are some of the highlights:

Oracle Speaking Session
Thursday, April 19, 9:15am – 9:55am
Maximize Customer Engagement and Retention with Integrated Marketing & Loyalty
Melissa Boxer, Vice President, Oracle CRM Marketing & Loyalty

Customers expect to interact with your company, brand and products in more ways than ever before.   New devices and channels, such as mobile, social and web, are creating radical shifts in the customer buying process and the ways your company can reach and communicate with existing and potential customers. While Marketing's objectives (attract, convert, retain) remain fundamentally the same, your approach and tools must adapt quickly to succeed in this more complex, cross-channel world. Hear how leading brands are using Oracle's integrated marketing and loyalty solutions to maximize customer engagement and retention through better planning, execution, and measurement of synchronized cross-channel marketing initiatives.

Solution Showcase
Wednesday, April 18
10:20am – 11:50am
12:30pm – 1:30pm
2:55pm – 3:40pm

Thursday, April 19
9:55am – 10:40am
12:00pm – 1:00pm

Solution Showcase & Networking Reception
Wednesday, April 18
5:10pm – 6:20pm

Be sure to follow the #webcenter hashtag for updates on these events.  And for a more considered perspective on what Lady Gaga can teach businesses about branding and customer experience, check out Denise Lee Yohn’s post, Lessons from Lady Gaga from the Brand as Business Bites blog.

Monday Mar 26, 2012

The Numbers of Customer Experience

This week, we’ll be continuing our conversations about Customer Experience (CX) on the Oracle WebCenter blog.  While we all know that customer experience is critically important for acquiring new customers and engendering long term brand loyalty, I thought we could kick this week off by taking a look at the numbers of customer experience.   I’m sure you’ll agree that nothing quite puts things into perspective like numbers and figures.


86%
A whopping 86% of consumers say that they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.  But many companies are failing to step up to the challenge.  And when companies fail deliver on customer experience expectations, they leave money on the table.


89%
A huge percentage of customers, 89%, begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Breaking up isn’t hard to do and today’s empowered customers have no qualms about taking their business elsewhere when their expectations for customer experience are not met.



26%
Over a quarter of consumers, 26%, posted a negative comment on a social networking site like Facebook or Twitter following a poor customer experience. Today, individual customer service failures have the ability to easily snowball.  An unsatisfied customer has the ability to easily share their rancor with their entire social network and chip away at your brand’s reputation.



79%
A large number of consumers, 79%,  who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored.  Companies ignore customer complaints at their own peril.  And unsatisfied customers, when handled effectively, have the potential to become advocates for your brand.  Of the 21% of consumers who did get responses to complaints, more than half had positive reactions to the same company about which they were previously complaining.



50%
Half of consumers will give a brand only a week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them.  The clock is ticking when customers have questions about your brand and a week is an eternity in the realm of customer experience.  

The source for these stats is the 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, which explores the relationship between consumers and brands.  The report is based on a survey commissioned by RightNow (acquired by Oracle in 2012) and conducted by Harris Interactive. If you’re interested in seeing more facts and figures about customer experience, download the full report.

Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Engage Your Customers or Lose Them!

A couple of weeks ago I was urging those of you in chilly climates to head south for fairer skies while taking in the latest thinking on customer engagement at Gartner’s conferences in Orlando this week.  How was I to know that the Gartner Portals, Content and Collaboration Summit and Garner Customer 360 Summit would both coincide with a week of unseasonably warm and spring-like weather across the northeastern United States?

At any rate, those of you who made it down to Florida for Gartner’s event this week, may have had the opportunity to catch Oracle WebCenter’s Vice President of Product Management and Strategy, Loren Weinberg, present on the topic of customer engagement in her session, "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Engage Your Customers Or Lose Them."  For those of you who were unable to attend the session yesterday, I’ll highlight some of the salient points.

Engagement

Engaging Customers Isn’t As Simple As It Used to Be
Engaging your customers is a lot more complicated now that everyone is connected through the online channel. The number of mobile device types and the number of people using them have increased exponentially.  Information is now readily accessible to most anyone, at any time, on any device, in increasingly varied digital formats. At the same time, social computing has made the online channel a hub for participation, sharing, interaction and community. As a result, providing an engaging experience across the customer journey is an increasingly complex endeavor.

Today’s Customers Have High Expectations
Today’s customers expect you to know who they are.  They expect you to recall the details they’ve provided to you on your website, on your Facebook page and to your sales people or CSR’s.  They expect every interaction with an organization to be personalized and highly relevant.  They expect anywhere anytime access to information and transactions, and they expect to be able to interact socially in all that they do.

Unmet Customer Expectations Can Have High Consequences
When customer expectations are not met, brands get dumped for their competition. And with only a small percentage of customers feeling that their expectations for a good customer experience are always met, it is easy to see why the relationship between brands and customers often flame out. And today, individual customer service failures have the ability to snowball.  An unsatisfied customer has the ability to easily share their rancor with their entire social network and chip away at your brand’s reputation. 
 
Engagement is the Key to Gaining and Retaining Today’s Customers
Engagement has really become the key to gaining and retaining customers. Today’s empowered customer is in the driver’s seat.  And the only way to attract their attention and keep it, the only way to cultivate and maintain relationships with them, is to engage them in meaningful ways along the customer journey.

Delivering contextually relevant, interactive and multichannel online experiences is now essential for converting prospects into customers and for engendering long term loyalty.  A one-size-fits-all online customer experience is the way of the past.  Companies today must deliver personalized and contextual experiences to their customers, with information that is specifically tailored to their needs and interests, anytime and anywhere, whether on the desktop at the office, the laptop at home, or on any of the thousands of different mobile device types customers carry when they are on the go. Additionally, companies must foster a social and interactive online experience by enabling customers to contribute, participate and share their experiences.

Optimization is Essential to Successful Customer Experience Initiatives
And finally, optimizing engagement across this increasingly complex environment is critical to effective marketing and customer experience management initiatives. However, successfully using the web to drive these initiatives is more challenging than ever before. In order to succeed in optimizing online engagement, organizations require the help of technologies that can offer a means to manage a multi-channel online presence with ease, including targeting, multiple geographies, social elements and much more, and this must be integrated with their systems for managing customer data.  Then a layer of analytics and optimization must be applied to understand the customers’ journey and what will help them successfully accomplish their goals and be delighted by the service they receive.

While the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit draws to a close today, there is still the opportunity hear more about customer experience from Oracle at Gartner Customer 360 over the following days. Be sure to follow the #gartnercrm and #webcenter hashtags to learn more.

Friday Mar 02, 2012

Oracle at The Gartner Customer 360 Summit

The Gartner Customer 360 Summit

If you live in the Northeast, like I do, about this time of year you may be weary of the short, cold days and searching for an excuse to escape to sunny Florida.  If your professional objectives also include understanding, engaging and managing customer experiences, then I may just have the perfect justification for you – The Gartner Customer 360 Summit.  Taking place at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Florida, March 14-16, this year’s Summit will focus on driving customer relationship success in a world of empowered customers. Sessions will focus on customer experience management, integrating marketing and sales, data quality and business analytics, and mobile and social strategies. You’ll even get to hear from keynote speaker, Seth Godin, marketing guru and best-selling author of Purple Cow and All Marketers Are Liars.

But before you run off to explore The Magic Kingdom or swim with the dolphins at SeaWorld, be sure to visit with Oracle’s customer experience experts who can’t wait to speak with you about your business growth objectives and the latest strategies and technologies for delivering a stellar customer experience.  As a premier sponsor of the event, there are a number of ways to interact with Oracle at The Gartner Customer 360 Summit.  Here are some of the highlights:

Oracle Solution Showcase
Wednesday, March 14, 12:15pm – 2:15pm
Thursday, March 15, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Oracle Solution Showcase Reception
Wednesday, March 14, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Oracle Speaking Sessions
Thursday, March 15, 10:45am – 11:45am
The Customer and YOU – Today’s Winners are Defined by Customer Experience
Anthony Lye, Senior Vice President, Oracle CRM

Thursday, March 15, 4:15pm – 5:15pm
Driving Business Value with Customer Experience – Increasing Acquisition, Retention, and Efficiency
Brian J. Curran, Vice President, Product Marketing and Customer Experience Strategy, RightNow

Oracle | RightNow Hospitality Suite
Thursday, March 15, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Be sure to follow the #gartnercrm and #webcenter hashtags for updates. We hope to see you in Florida.  And if you can’t make it, don’t worry; warmer weather is just around the corner.

Tuesday Feb 07, 2012

WebCenter is Essential Piece of the Customer Experience

Last Tuesday, there was an exciting and interesting webcast announcing the newest addition to the Oracle family, RightNow. The webcast: Oracle and RightNow, Powering Great Customer Experiences outlined the multiple synergies within Oracle's solutions and a peek at what lies ahead. The webcast highlights some of the key roles that WebCenter plays for management of the Marketing and Loyalty components within the Customer Experience ecosystem that includes Oracle's Fusion Middleware, Applications and CRM, Commerce & Technology Solutions.

Oracle WebCenter enables marketers and business users to easily create and manage contextually relevant, social and interactive online experiences across multiple channels on a global scale to drive customer acquisition, brand loyalty and business success.

Andy Mulholland posted an interesting commentary on Monday, "Oracle introduces game-changing integration..." with his impressions of the webcast and positive opinion of Oracle's direction, where he wrote:  

"It’s worth taking some time to look at the materials from this webcast to see their process flow charts for the front office as it’s one of the first maps I have seen of all the major processes.”

Oracle CX ecosystem

(* Pending Regulatory Approval and Close)

Andy also references a PCWorld review of the webcast with some additional detailed highlights. Note for the record that when "Oracle FatWire" is referenced - they are referring to Oracle WebCenter Sites. FatWire was acquired by Oracle in 2011 and integrated into the WebCenter offering for Web Experience Management. More details available here for those interested.

Thursday Feb 02, 2012

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Today's guest post is from Alakh Verma, Director of Platform Technology Solutions at Oracle.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alakh Verma

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions, Oracle

In my recent blog posts, I shared insights on personalization andpersonalized care that plays significant role in offering pleasant user experience (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement) and then on importance of Portal and Content (If Content is the King, then Portal is the Queen). In this post, my efforts are to identify and summarize some of the best practices of Web Experience Management(WEM) to create delightful customer experience based on the recent research report by CITO Research.

This report is available here:
Create a Successful and Meaningful Customer Experience on the Web


7

The immense success and proliferation of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and mobile/smart devices such as iPhones, Blackberry and Tablet PC among consumers has created consumerization of IT and new paradigm shift seeking pleasant web experience. Now, consumers have become more powerful than before with access of information and social media to communicate to the world at the fingertip.

1) Social Computing and Use of Social Mediais changing the way people interact with each other and with companies online. A recent report from Comscore showed that two-thirds of shoppers begin their process online, and the most frequent starting point is the retail site itself. These consumers are engaging, connecting and collaborating. They want to understand what their friends liked, what other options are available, and what people like them ultimately bought. Most of these consumers consider Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing.
Jeff Bullas in his recent blog writes about Best Buy successful implementation of social media that energized its employees and customers (
How Best Buy energized employees and customers with social media)

2) Consistent Experience Across Multiple Channels and Devices have offered Customers many choices of accessing the Web in new, engaging and collaborative ways than before and they want that ease and diversity to be reflected in their dealings with businesses as well. Consumers change channels and switch devices whenever they need to. They can keep tabs on friends and family on Facebook and follow the Twitter regularly. They can find a nearby restaurant with foursquare geolocation on their phone and then look up reviews of that restaurant on Yelp.
With changing consumer patterns and behavior, it is extremely important to offer targeted, personalized, relevant and consistent experiences across these channels and devices.

3) Mobility-Smart Devices and Tablets We have witnessed a smart revolution of the mobile space. As per the recent statistics report, the number of mobile devices has increased fivefold from 1 billion to 5 billion, with a resulting escalation in the number of connected people from 400 million to over 2 billion. This unprecedented growth of connectivity is creating an overwhelming range of new possibilities, and tapping, swiping, locating, pinging and socializing are quickly becoming part of normal human behavior. Technology is starting to change people and these people, whether consumers or employees, will change businesses. As per recent report by research firm IDC, mobile usage will surpass that of PCs and other wired devices by 2015. Mobile data traffic is expected to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015. In this rapid shift, mobility has to be the integral part of the solutions and the framework.

4) Real Time Decisions and Social Analytics The recent technology such as big data analytics helps and supports us with right information, real-time event messaging provides at right time, mobility at right place anywhere and social media in the right context to make right decisions. I have shared my insights on my earlier post on how critical are Real Time decisions in business today? http://t.co/H6Yf0J9k

5) Personalized Experiences In the connected business environment, consumers expect companies to know about them and their likes and dislikes. For a compelling and relevant experience across channels, companies need to target, analyze, and optimize the customer experience. I had discussed and shared insights on this personalized experience in my earlier post (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement)

6) Multiple Stakeholders Need Control Expectations for system usability and manageability have changed manifold. Marketers and line of-business executives require that managing websites be extremely easy to manage their campaign and relevant content to meet the timely execution Nontechnical users need to be empowered to build websites, design the layout, make content changes, set up targeting rules, control user-generated-content, and enable the mobile web, all from an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. (Oracle WebCenter Sites based on FatWire acquisition enables this seamlessly.)

7) Integrated Campaign to Drive Customers In order to create a compelling web experience for customers, we need the ability to organize and access their enterprise data and leverage it in web interactions. We need a technology platform that helps create an integrated campaign to encourage repeat business suiting consumer lifestyle either at work or on the road on an iPhone or visiting a physical store or calling customer service.

Oracle WebCenter is one of the leading technology platforms that offers comprehensive web experience management capabilities such as targeting and optimizing content, social computing, and multichannel engagement—all of which help improve customer loyalty, drive web traffic, and target new customer segments. In one integrated suite, it combines an array of complementary capabilities: web experience management (Oracle WebCenter Sites), composite applications and mashups (Oracle WebCenter Portal), social networking and collaboration (Oracle WebCenter Social), and enterprise content management (Oracle WebCenter Content).

Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

Web Experience Management and Used Cars

Michael SnowThis week, we’re going to dig into some best practices in Web Experience Management (WEM) to help encourage and evolve the ongoing discussions in this area. Over the past couple of years, we’ve all been increasingly saturated with an ever growing list of acronyms that make up components of the Customer Experience Management ecosystem. Whether it is labeled CXM, CEM, CRM, CCM, WEM, OEO, WXM, WCM, CSM, ABC, or XYZ – these terms are constantly evolving in inclusion and exclusion of strengths in various aspects of the basics. We are all concerned with keeping our customers happy; getting more customers and keeping them (acquisition and retention) to grow our businesses, and of course – providing the best possible customer service regardless of the channel or context that service is delivered – be it research for new purchases or service of existing products or services.

Why is this “experience” management becoming so important lately? We can blame global expanding competition, growing commodification, heightened customer expectations and challenges to conventional marketing as pervasive root causes. Controlling the experience becomes one of the few remaining differentiators for companies trying to acquire and retain customers in an ever growing market climate filled with short attention spans, finicky consumers and exponentially more choices.

guaranteed!How many positive customer experiences have you had this past week? Past month? Past year? Have they been web-based experiences, phone, in-person or by email or a combination? Should it really matter? Shouldn’t your level of customer experience be of equal quality regardless of the channel that you are interacting through? Are there too many moving pieces and people to ever hope for some alignment of experience quality? Are companies ready to think about this consistency in delivery yet or is it an unreachable nirvana somewhere off in the distant future?

Indulge me while I tell a tale of a recent car purchase experience that my wife and I have gone through over the past couple of months. It has been an interesting case study in customer experience. It is ironic in many ways that it highlights not only a great customer experience but also a complete breakdown example within an industry that is dependent on the repeat business of loyal buyers.

Typical familyAs a fairly typical family, we have two teenagers and a large dog. We travel with lots of our stuff – we can’t pack lightly no matter how hard we try. Like many parents, we spend a significant amount of time as a taxi service shuttling kids to and from school, sports and social events. We joined the minivan generation 10 yrs ago and needed to replace our aging van with yet another one – just to last until the kids are out of college and long enough while we are still paying tuition bills and eating rice and beans. We are long time loyal Toyota fans and after rationalizing to myself that minivans were the new middle-age sexy for men of my age in the suburbs – we didn’t hesitate in our search to replace our Sienna with another one.Number One Dog!

So… back to my story – knowing that we wanted to save some money and purchase a “certified pre-owned” vehicle with low-mileage – we commenced endless hours of internet researching with a variety of web experiences running the gamut from amazing to horrible.  We had ongoing email communications with the many dealers in our area until we finally found the perfect vehicle. The benefit and problem with buying a car today is parsing through so much available information during the research phase that you end up with information overload.

We decided that the dealer being located an hour away would only be a mild inconvenience during the purchase process since we would have the car serviced locally at a dealer only 5 minutes from our house. We did the test drive, looked over the car, checked the CarFax history and negotiated a great deal with our trade-in. In our final look at the car, we noticed that the cargo area carpet was damp and the salesperson explained that the rugs had all been shampooed and they probably hadn’t let it dry completely. They would take care of making sure that the carpets were cleaned and dried and the car would be ready for pickup on the following Tuesday (we purchased on a Sunday). We were very happy when we left the dealership – this car buying process that we all really hate doing wasn’t so bad after all.

unhappy!Fast forward – we’ve had our new van for a week of torrential rains and I opened the rear cargo area door to find that the carpets and pads are completely drenched. I’m leaving town on business for the week to CA on Tuesday. I call the dealership on Saturday and speak to the sales manager – I’m not happy. We’re in a holding pattern waiting for communication from the dealer. I start researching known water problems in this model year and protection nuances of the “Lemon Law”. I leave town and they send someone to pick up the van on Wed. I fly back on Friday night and a new 2012 Sienna is sitting in my driveway when I return home. They had delivered it that afternoon for a loaner after I had spoken to them from the airport in San Francisco that morning. Our van was at the body shop where they were trying to figure out the source of the water leak.

Meanwhile – the dealership’s customer experience management machine has kicked into gear completely in the dark regarding the experience we were having. We were getting email and phone follow-up surveys from Toyota as well as the dealership regarding our purchase and service experience. The internet sales associate was following up to thank us for the business. None of these people had any idea what was currently happening. Every additional email or call was a thorn in our side while we remained in limbo over this screwed up major purchase.

On the next Tuesday, we received a call from the General Manager of the Dealership telling us that they had figured out the problem, but they weren’t going to fix it. Long pause on the phone line. It turns out that the roof had been replaced at some point in the past year and the seals weren’t done properly. None of this repair history had shown up on CarFax or reported on the VIN to an insurance company or Toyota. False illusion alert for relying on those reports! They had purchased the vehicle at an auto auction where they purchase thousands of cars. The General Manager told us that he wouldn't ever feel secure about this type of repair and didn’t want us to have to worry about this in the future. They would write us a check for a complete refund of the entire purchase price and all related expenses OR they would like to keep us as a happy client and find a better upgraded vehicle from their own loaner fleet with completely known history and essentially swap it with no additional funds. We were shocked at this offer from the mouth of a “used car salesman” – having essentially expected to somehow get screwed in the deal. It wasn’t hard to make our decision. This dealer had the motivation to make us happy versus starting the whole multiple week search process all over again. Meanwhile, we also had a great new van as a loaner to use.

Happy!In the midst of the holidays, we evaluated and selected another van from their offerings – the next model up - they would take the loss versus releasing an unhappy customer into the local area. We made one trip there to do the test drives, make our selection and they then delivered the new van to us with all the paperwork and new registration. We had a potentially horrible experience turn around into a positive experience that we have repeated to many in our travels.

Now… back to the discussion around experience. Was this the work of one person – the General Manager of the dealership? Or was this because the overall organizational culture is highly focused on longer-term quality of experience? Are reputation-related decisions made to help their business grow in a time when there are lots of options for finding cars online? Was it short-term gain or long-term survival? Or were they fearful of my invocation of the Lemon Law? Water = mold/mildew = health hazard! All of my stereotypes about used car dealers were challenged (just a little bit) by this experience.

From my perspective – we can’t have a discussion in this area without talking about the components of this experience that are relevant to web experience management: Channel, Content, Interaction and Relevance. The auto industry is a perfect example of where alignment of the experience becomes crucial to a positive experience. How many different channels did I interact with during my purchase journey? I discovered the dealership via an internet search; researched the vehicles on their website and via my mobile phone; communicated with their internet sales associate via email and phone and visited their online and offline showroom. When I signed up for notification of availability of a specific model year, features and mileage range, I didn’t want to see emails that didn’t meet my criteria and waste my time. There were countless instances where what was listed on a dealer web site wasn’t available and the site hadn’t been updated to reflect the changes. Each time that happened – it wasted the precious time of a potential buyer and jeopardized the reputation of the dealership. The content I experienced along the way had a variety of value in decision making – ranging from images of the vehicles, 3D interactive video tours of the vehicles, reviews of the models, CarFax on the specific vehicles I was considering, current pricing, trade-in and blue-book values, loan-rates, promotional marketing material, social network and forum commentaries, as well as my personal social community following the saga and offering advice along the way.

Yet – our experience with the additional interactions and inquiries from Toyota, the dealer’s service dept, and their customer service survey follow-up all seemed to be disconnected from our specific experience that was happening concurrently. There was no complete 360 degree view of our experience. Yes – they had a very active customer relationship management follow-up program – but no connections to the full picture of what we were experiencing. What we were seeking during this process were interactions in context and relevance to what we were experiencing. Although the dealership saved face in making our purchase experience right in the end, in order to succeed competitively and win the loyalty of customers, they need to connect the dots and provide an experience that makes every online or offline interaction consistent, contextualized, meaningful and relevant.

Oracle WebCenterThe challenge of delivering and optimizing all of these factors is great and I don’t mean to minimize the effort required whatsoever. Just trying to get multiple groups within an organization to agree on what their unified cross-channel customer experience should be is an incredible challenge that really necessitates executive sponsorship for any of these initiatives to succeed. Oracle WebCenter is the Web experience management solution that enables organizations to use the online channel to drive customer acquisition and brand loyalty. Oracle can provide the tools and expertise to help drive your success in these initiatives, but without executive sponsorship and a culture that fosters good customer experiences across all channels – technology won’t solve all the problems.

Some of the issues that keep companies from attempting to provide a large-scale, multi-channel experience are eliminated with Oracle WebCenter. Oracle WebCenter enables business users to easily manage a multi-channel global online presence, requiring minimal IT support for daily tasks. Oracle WebCenter provides a highly scalable WEM platform with built-in content targeting and optimization, user-generated content, integration with social networking sites, end-user personalization with gadgets, mobile web deployment and integrations with CRM, commerce, ECM, and business intelligence.

The culture of an organization that promotes successful customer engagement using the online channel can enable organizations to attract and retain the loyalty of customers in an extremely competitive business environment. Doing so, however, requires addressing significant new challenges and additional dimensions of complexity in managing the online channel. We’ll hear more about best practices in this area throughout the week with a few guest bloggers from our team here at Oracle. So - stay tuned for more to come.

Thanks & we hope you enjoy the week!

-Michael

Thursday Jan 26, 2012

If Content is the King, then Portal is the Queen


By Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions

The World Wide Web (WWW) was conceived as a tool by Tim Berners-Lee, which created and gathered knowledge through human interaction and collaboration. Web 1.0 came as merely a presentation web with static HTML pages of information. Web 2.0 then gradually advanced towards online participation in content creation and social interaction like e-commerce, e-service, and content strategy, which is all aspects of the “Transactional Web” using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, etc. We are now transitioning into Web 3.0 that was first defined by Dakota Reese Brown as “The Contextual Web.” Content and Context will now be extremely significant in determining what content we need and with whom we need to collaborate in social business.

It is estimated that by 2020, there would be 4 billion people online; 31 billion connected devices, 25 million applications, 1.3 trillion sensors/tags and 50 trillion gigabytes of content created in networked society. So, we are moving in the world where content is going to be the king and help determine the success or failure of any business. Web content has changed and so is web content management. During the last decade, we focused on making it easier and more powerful for non-technical people to move content from their desktop to their Web site and helped the enterprises with powerful workflows, approval processes and the ability to integrate with other enterprise tools and applications. The next decade will be more focused on providing Web experience or customer experience management on the Web. And Content and Portal would remain at the center stage as we evolve into a new era of computing.

The explosive growth of content and more specifically unstructured content such as videos on YouTube, photos and chat messages on Facebook and emails have given birth to yet another evolutionary paradigm of big data management as we enter the year 2012. As Content remains the king, it is paramount to store, manage, archive and retrieve from the unified repository and Oracle WebCenter Content and Oracle WebCenter Sites does it all seamlessly. Customers have started seeking pleasant Web experience with their transactions and businesses need to offer a robust Customer engagement platform to meet that. 

Content is the King

As content is the king, Web portal or public portal (defined by webopedia) that refers to a Web site or service that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as e-mail, forums, search engines, and online shopping malls seems to be the queen to render the context based content from the unified repository from any source to complement each other. Without a sound portal framework, users would not be able to get the right content in the context of their business in real-time to execute their transactions.

Portal is the Queen

For example, if any customer visits BestBuy on their Web portal for getting any product information leading them to subsequent sales transaction, the first thing they would look for is a context based search interface that would help the visitor to provide the relevant content. The portal interface should also provide the similar other products or recommended products based on other user feedbacks and ratings. Also, quick references and recommendations with an option to verify via chat/email become almost convincing to the prospective buyer to make decision. 

Interestingly, technologies such as Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle WebCenter Sites offer these capabilities and help portal to be the queen in our Web based business transactions and compliment Web Content management in the overall customer experience management.

Thursday Jan 12, 2012

Do More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Portals

Oracle has just announced a new web seminar: Do More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Portals. This event will take place on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM PST (register here). You can hear Christian Finn of Oracle discuss how Oracle WebCenter includes comprehensive content, Web experience management, and social computing capabilities.

You will find you can do more with Oracle WebCenter by creating advanced customer-facing Web solutions to enhance customer loyalty and sales. And you can manage the entire content lifecycle of not just the content in your portals but also across your entire enterprise. Join us for this Webcast and learn how Oracle WebCenter:

  • Enables social business by coordinating collaboration inside and outside the enterprise
  • Improves the online experience by delivering targeted multichannel customer experiences
  • Manages the complete content lifecycle across all Websites, applications, and social tools on a strategic enterprise content management platform
Be sure to join us on the 19th!

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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