Thursday Oct 04, 2012

Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld

This first-ever Oracle Customer Experience Summit @ OpenWorld kicked off yesterday, bringing together established thought leaders and practitioners in customer experience. The first day saw noted marketing and customer experience thought leader, Seth Godin, take the stage to discuss how rapidly accelerating change and adoption are driving new behaviors and higher expectations in a massively disruptive transformation in which the customer now holds the power. His presentation gave us in-depth insight into this always-connected, always-sharing experience revolution we are witnessing.

If you haven’t yet made it over to the Oracle Customer Experience Summit at The Westin St. Francis and the recently made over Oracle Square (aka Union Square), there’s still time today and tomorrow to network with industry peers and hear best practices from those who have steered their ventures through the disruptive trends of customer experience and have proven, successful strategies to share for driving strategic customer-centric initiatives.

Oracle Square


If you’re interested in learning how Oracle WebCenter helps businesses meet the demands of the customer experience revolution, be sure to check out these sessions at the Oracle Customer Experience Summit later today:

Using the Online Customer Experience to Drive Engagement and Marketing Success

Thursday, Oct 4, 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM - St. Francis - Georgian
Mariam Tariq - Senior Director Product Management, Oracle
Stephen Schleifer - Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle
Richard Backx - Business IT Architect/Consultant, KPN NL Netco CE Channels Online

The online channel is a critical means of reaching and engaging customers. Online marketing efforts today must be targeted, interactive, and consistent to provide customers with a seamless experience. These efforts must include integrated management of Web, mobile, and social channels—supported by cross-channel customer data and campaigns—and integration with commerce to drive an engaging and differentiated online customer experience. Attend this session to learn how you can use the online channel to increase customer loyalty and drive the success of your marketing initiatives.

Empowering Your Frontline Employees: Sales and Service Enterprise Collaboration

Thursday, Oct 4, 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM - St. Francis - Elizabethan AB
Stephen Fioretti - VP, Product Management, Oracle
Peter Doolan - Group Vice President, Sales Engineering, Oracle
Andrew Kershaw - Sr Director Business Development, Oracle
Marty Marcinczyk - VP Customer Experience Engineering, Comcast

A focus on the employee experience is critical, because it can make or break your customers’ experiences, directly or indirectly. Engaged and empowered frontline employees become your best advocates and inspire your brand champions. This session explores proven approaches and tools, including social collaboration tools, that can help you empower and enable your frontline teams to improve customer and employee experiences.

And before you go, you'll also want to explore the Innovation Tents in Oracle Square which feature leading-edge customer experience demonstrations; attend our customer journey mapping workshop; and learn at sessions focused on innovating differentiated experiences that drive cross-functional alignment.

Friday May 11, 2012

Enterprise Social Networks: The Heart of Any Social Business

As we wrap up this week on social collaboration and engagement, today’s guest post comes from David Christopher. David heads up Oracle’s EMEA Social Networking & Business Collaboration (SNBC) programme along with leading one of the executive programmes and Content / Portal Management. This post was originally featured on David’s StopThinkSocial site.


Social Networks in our personal lives have become so embedded in our culture that signs like "Follow me on Twitter" or "Like my Facebook Page" are becoming the norm. I even saw one on the side of a local bus recently requesting to follow the bus company on Twitter.

So if we have embraced social networks in our personal lives so readily to be better connected to our friends, why is it taking so long to do the same inside a company to better connect our employees?

A company that is socially connected is not just going to be more effective and more efficient, but it's going to have a knowledge reach spanning the entire company that any employee can tap into and make use of. This is the Power of the Enterprise Social Network and the heart of any Social Business.

"It's not important for you to know all the answers, but it's key that you know someone in your employee network that does"

Many of the presentations I now give uses this tag line because it's time we put more focus and attention on building employee social relationships. By doing so we build up employee trust and an expansive knowledge network which we can then utilise.

Let's take the following scenario:

Your CEO is tired of the scatter gun like approach to internal communications and wants something done about it. As your companies Head of Communications your CEO assigns you to deal with it quickly.

However, you already have a PR nightmare on your hands which is taking up all of your time...

So what do you do...

  • bluff your CEO and drag out the project with high level strategy stuff that talks a good project but delivers nothing (oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about!) ?
  • put in a lot of over-time?
  • assign someone in your team to take on the project and re-prioritise their priorities?

None of these responses are ideal and are unlikely to deliver a good solution.

However, for a company that has embraced Enterprise Social Networks, there is another way....put a "Shout Out" to your employees asking for active participants (volunteers to be part of the project team) and passive contributors (volunteers to contribute from the sidelines).

This "Shout Out" approach provides some great business benefits:

  • avoids duplication of time, money and effort if someone is already working on something similar in your organisation (in large enterprises duplication is often a common occurrence)
  • delivers a better solution as the volunteers are interested in the subject matter
  • allows you access to a large knowledge network to minimise risks and issues
  • provides a better chance of adoption as the employees themselves have been involved in the delivery of the project

I call this Open Collaboration (yes, I avoided using the term social) and have been trialing it now for a while with some great success.

This is just one example of what you can do once your company's employees are better socially connected which couldn't be possible without first developing your Enterprise Social Network.

Wednesday May 09, 2012

Oracle Social Network: How it Works

As we are talking this week about social collaboration and how to better engage with your constituents, many tools that are available today are very much siloed.  Many can relate to starting a Conversation or an interaction in a collaborative session within IM, and then have to evolve it into email, then point to a document that is in a different system. Then the challenge is while the tools maybe relatively flexible allowing you to move between them,  it is very difficult to understand the context in which are you are trying to work and to understand the decision or the problem you are trying to solve across the various tools. If you asked someone to get involved over email when you started that Conversation in Instant Messaging then pointing to them at a document in a different system, then it is going to be difficult over time to come back and understand how that decision was made or even share that complete decision making process with anybody.

Oracle Social Network solves the “siloed collaboration” problem by providing a tool that evolves the collaboration mechanism, who is involved in the collaboration, when they should be involved, and bringing in the right people at the right time -- not spamming people with unnecessary noise.

 It’s important to be able to understand the context. When someone new comes into a Conversation, they need to understand how the decision made up at the point has evolved or why they are brought in to make a decision. Rather than brining in someone into a subset of information, Oracle Social Network allows them to have all the information and all the information needed to make a decision available.

Want to see how it works? Check out the videos below.

Learn how to use Oracle Social Network through Microsoft Outlook and mobile devices such as the iPad and iPhone to access CRM application data and Conversations.

Easily work with files using Oracle Social Network to share information with your sales team, groups, or everyone in your company; mark collaborative documents together in real-time; view the latest version; and access them anytime.

See how sales interactions with Oracle Social Network are easy, effective and efficient to use across a virtual CRM team, allowing participants to update CRM opportunities, start Conversations, find experts, and keep their social network up to date.

Monday May 07, 2012

3 Principals of Social Collaboration

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.  Trends such as mobile, social, personalization, self-service, consumerization, and multi-channel are not only impacting us as business users and employees and how we conduct business or interact with businesses, but they are affecting how organizations do business as well. This week we want to turn our attention to social business engagement, and how you can use social tools to better engage your customers, employees, and partners.


Today's blog post comes to us from John Bruswick! This post is an abridged version of John’s white paper in which he discusses three principals to optimize social collaboration within an enterprise.  

Effective social collaboration is actionable, deeply contextual and inherently derives its value from business entities outside of itself. 

How does an organization begin the journey from traditional, siloed collaboration to natural, business entity based social collaboration? 

Successful enablement of enterprise social collaboration requires that organizations embrace the following tenets and understand that traditional collaborative functionality has inherent limits - it is innovation and integration in accordance with the following tenets that will provide net-new efficiency benefits. 

Key Tenets of Optimal Social Collaboration

  1. Leverage a Ubiquitous Social Fabric - Collaborative activities should be supported through a ubiquitous social fabric, providing a personalized experience, broadcasting key business events and connecting people and business processes.  This supports education of participants working in and around a specific business entity that will benefit from an implicit capture of tacit knowledge and provide continuity between participants.  In the absence of this ubiquitous platform activities can still occur but are essentially siloed causing frequent duplication of effort across similar tasks, with critical tacit knowledge eluding capture.
  2. Supply Continuous Context to Support Decision Making and Problem Solving - People generally engage in collaborative behavior to obtain a decision or the resolution for a specific issue.  The time to achieve resolution is referred to as "Solve Time".  Users have traditionally been forced to switch or "alt-tab" between business systems and synthesize their own context across disparate systems and processes.  The constant loss of context forces end users to exert a large amount of effort that could be spent on higher value problem solving.
  3. Extend the Collaborative Lifecycle into Back Office - Beyond the solve time from decision making efforts, additional time is expended formalizing the resolution that was generated from collaboration in a system of record.  Extending collaboration to result in the capture of an explicit decision maximizes efficiencies, creating a closed circuit for a particular thread.  This type of structured action may exist today within your organization's customer support system around opening, solving and closing support issues, but generally does not extend to Sales focused collaborative activities.



Excelling in the Unstructured Future
We will always have to deal with unstructured collaborative processes within our organizations.  Regardless of the participants and nature of the collaborate process, two things are certain – the origination and end points are generally known and relate to a business entity, perhaps a customer, opportunity, order, shipping location, product or otherwise.

Imagine the benefits if an organization's key business systems supported a social fabric, provided continuous context and extended the lifecycle around the collaborative decision making to include output into back office systems of record.  

The technical hurdle to embracing optimal social collaboration would fall away, leaving the company with an opportunity to focus on and refine how processes were approached.  Time and resources previously required could then be reallocated to focusing on innovation to support competitive differentiation unique to your business.

How can you achieve optimal social collaboration? Oracle Social Network enables business users to collaborate with each other using a broad range of collaboration styles and integrates data from a variety of sources and business applications -- allowing you to achieve optimal social collaboration.

Looking to learn more? Read John's white paper, where he discusses in further detail the three principals to optimize social collaboration within an enterprise. 

Friday Apr 27, 2012

Collaborate 12: The Week That Was

Today's guest post comes from Jake Kuramoto (@theappslab). Jake is Product Strategy Director on the WebCenter Evangelism Team and spent the week out in Vegas for Collaborate. Thanks for sharing your reflections Jake!

Collaborate 12 (#C12LV) has wrapped, and overall, I really enjoyed the event.

I’ll lead off with a big thanks to all the organizers from OAUG (@oaug1), IOUG (@ioug) and Quest (@questusergroup), with a special mention for the IOUG WebCenter Special Interest Group (SIG) who made sure we found the right sessions and networked with the right folks. This is a definitely a special group, e.g. they rocked togas at the 80s Party on Wednesday night. Legit.

Also, big thanks to our WebCenter Marketing maven, Kellsey Ruppel, who worked so hard to make the conference run smoothly for us.

I got a lot more out of Collaborate 12 than I did Collaborate 08 in Denver, which is entirely my own fault, largely thanks to help of these people, and I’m already planning for a Denver do-over at Collaborate 13.

Day 0

The show got started early for me with the WebCenter Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meeting on Sunday.  This wasn’t technically a Collaborate event, but since many of the CAB members were in Las Vegas for the big show, it made sense to have it before the events really got going.

The CAB is enormously valuable to our PM organization, since these customers provide real use cases and feedback, and I spent the day meeting meeting, greeting and listening to real users of the product.

One of the highlights for all the customers attending the CAB was a chance to touch and feel Oracle Social Network for the first time. The OSN PM team provided an overview of the product, and then collected feedback through the tool. The commentary I heard was overwhelmingly positive, and after spending a week with the product, everyone is excited for release.

Another highlight was Christian (@cfinn) and his flying monkeys. I won’t give away the specifics, but if you find him speaking at an event you’re attending, make an effort to go.

Last but definitely not least, thanks to TekStream for sponsoring the cocktail reception.

I had planned to attend the WebCenter Deep Dive, but unfortunately, the two events conflicted. I did manage to sneak away briefly to catch up with longtime Friend of the ‘Lab, Bex Huff (@bex), whose company Bezzotech sponsored that event.

Day 1

Monday kicked off the event in earnest. I spent most of the day preparing the WebCenter Sites demo booth, but I did manage to sneak away for a meeting with the IOUG Board of Directors and the IOUG WebCenter SIG.

This was a treat for our entire team. As a team of WebCenter evangelists (or advocates, take your pick), we rely on communication and collaboration with organizations like the IOUG. They tell us what their members want, and ideally, we deliver.

So, this type of interaction is invaluable to what we do. Thanks to the Board and SIG for taking time out of their hectic schedules to chat with us.

I ended the day of events with the opening of the Exhibit Hall, and got a chance to watch the WebCenter Sites experts we have from the FatWire acquisition in action showing their product. I’ve spent a lot of time recently working with Sites, the Web Experience Management pillar of the WebCenter Suite of products, and it was great to see the real experts in action.

Although I didn’t get to any sessions on Monday, the day was very productive.

Day 2

Tuesday began for me with Bex’s session, “A Crash Course In WebCenter Sites (FatWire) for Site Studio Customers.” As a longtime Stellent guru, Bex knows a thing or two about Site Studio. His session mapped functions from Site Studio to Sites, and it introduced me to several customers who are interested in learning more about Sites. So, Tuesday began with a win.

I then spent several hours working the Sites demo booth. Booth duty always seems like a chore until I get into it. I enjoy talking to people and listening to what they have to say, and once the traffic starts to flow, the time flies.

We got a nice flow of people to our booth. Most of them had questions about the Content and Portal pillars of WebCenter, but they were impressed when they saw what Sites has to offer.

After a long day of booth duty, I mixed and mingled at the evening reception on the exhibit hall floor, then gave my feet a rest.

This was the day I started to lose my voice though, which always happens to me at conferences, since I talk so much. Note to self, listen more.

Day 3

On Wednesday, I stopped by “Build an iPhone app using WebCenter Portal REST APIs” presented by  Chris Bales (@cbales) and Rodrigo Lima (@rodrigo_lima) before heading back to the demo booth. The session attracted a nice crowd, especially for a morning session. I didn’t get to stay, but I heard good things.

After my final demo booth stint, I caught a couple afternoon sessions, “Surfacing Oracle Social Network into Your Business Applications” given by Andy Kershaw, OSN PM lead and  ”WebCenter User Experience and Interaction – From iPads to Xbox” by Friend of the ‘Lab, John Sim (@jrsim_uix) of Fishbowl Solutions.

Andy’s session was unfortunately timed to overlap with lunch. Had it been a smidge later, I suspect he would have drawn ten times more people, given the content. Andy showed several key features of OSN, including how to connect it to other business applications.

John’s session showcased the exciting possibilities for enhancing enterprise data surfaced through REST APIs with new interface paradigms like touch and natural motion capture, specifically Xbox Kinect. It was great to meet John IRL for the first time after stalking him virtually for a couple years.

By the end of Wednesday, I was sounding like a lifetime smoker.

Day 4

Although Thursday was only yesterday, Vegas seems like a nostalgic memory now. There wasn’t much on the agenda, as the conference wrapped at noon, so Noel (@noelportugal) and I spent some quite time debriefing and comparing notes from the week.

By the end of the conference, I left Vegas feeling like I had put in a good week. I had the pleasure of meeting dozens of new people and reconnecting with people I’ve know for years.

It was a great week, and thanks to everyone for making Collaborate 12 a personal success for me.

Now, to rest my voice.

Thoughts on the conference? Find the comments.

Wednesday Apr 25, 2012

Replay Available: WebCenter Customer Update

WebCenter Customer Update - March 2012
Did you miss the Customer Update webcast we held in March? If you didn't catch it live, you can now watch the replay on-demand! Find out the latest about the WebCenter 11g R1 (11.1.1.6.0) release and learn about Oracle Social Network from the WebCenter Product Management team. We’ll also cover the updated communication channels and online resources we’ve recently launched for all WebCenter pillars (content, portal, sites and social). Register today!

WebCenter Portal -- 11g Patch Set 5 (11.1.1.6) Update
Richard Nessel will discuss what is new in the latest release (11.1.1.6) of WebCenter Portal. He'll cover the key new features and capabilities that have been introduced.

WebCenter Content -- 11g Patch Set 5 (11.1.1.6) Update
Joe Golemba will discuss a number of new capabilities for WebCenter Content in the areas of User Engagement, Content-Enabling Applications, and Infrastructure. 

WebCenter Social – Oracle Social Network
Rachel Hunter will discuss the foundations of Oracle Social Network and its capabilities with Enterprise integration with Fusion CRM. 

Please register here for this on-demand webcast to get an overview of these exciting new capabilities and how they can benefit your organization.

Monday Apr 23, 2012

Oracle Social Network in Action @ Collaborate 12

By Peter Reiser

With more than 70 out of about 800 individual sessions, Oracle WebCenter is a major focus of COLLABORATE 12, this year's Independent Oracle User Group (IOUG) conference, taking place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I had the pleasure to attend the WebCenter Customer Advisory Board meeting yesterday, where Oracle WebCenter customers shared their experiences and best practices of their WebCenter implementations and provided valuable input and feedback to the WebCenter product management team.

Oracle Social Network  was used for real-time Conversations during the various presentations and to capture customer feedback.

It was a fascinating experience. During the presentation, customers were very active and  provided real-time feedback, asked questions and made valuable suggestions. 

One topic surfaced consistently across multiple conversations was the concerns about Security (strong authentication, access control, data retention and archiving policies) when deploying social tools. 

We were happy to address their concerns as all WebCenter products including, Oracle Social Network provide out-of-the-box enterprise level security, which allows you to implement SECURE Social Networks within your organizations. Are any of you attending Collaborate this week? We encourage you to sit in on any of the sessions to hear from WebCenter customers, partners and product management experts. If you are looking to see Oracle Social Network or Oracle WebCenter in action, be sure to stop by the demogrounds for a live demonstration! I'll be back later in the week to report on how the conference is going and share my reflections. Be sure to follow #webcenter and #c12lv on Twitter to be in the know of the latest happenings. Here's to a great Collaborate 12!

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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