Wednesday Aug 28, 2013

How the New Release of Oracle WebCenter Sites Keeps Marketers in Step with Digital Experience Trends

Today's guest post was contributed by Joshua Duhl, Senior Principal Product Manager for Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Over the past few years, Digital Experience has tended to be a fast moving market. Driven by changing online consumer behavior, and fueled by key trends which include the demand for engaging mobile experiences that maximize efficiencies, simplification of multi-channel content management that support the reemergence of the brand site, and the personalization of individual digital experiences, it presents a challenge to marketers attempting to keep pace.

Web Experience Management or WEM, the product category focused on the creation and management of digital experiences, is rapidly changing as well. WEM has grown out of simple web site management or web content management, to include personalization, social engagement, mobile engagement and support for multi-channel marketing experiences. Now more than ever before, marketers are increasingly and actively seeking WEM solutions that enable them to keep pace with the rapid evolution of digital marketing, and the relentless demand for engaging, and cross-channel digital experiences.

Oracle’s WebCenter Sites has long been a market leading WEM solution. With the release of WebCenter Sites 11.1.1.8, Oracle continues to expand the power and impact of WEM solutions, and keeps marketers in step with these key trends. Let’s take a look at how WebCenter Sites addresses them.

The ability to manage and deliver engaging mobile experiences is currently the most pressing need we hear from our customers. Mobile site management is now seen as an integral part of managing their overall online experience, yet it comes with a distinct set of requirements that may need to be met separately, depending upon specific objectives.

WebCenter Sites 11.1.1.8 new mobile site management option offers marketers the ability to manage their mobile sites with the same ease as managing their traditional online experience, while providing flexibility to deliver device-optimized sites as needed. By allowing content reuse, the utilization of the same tools and experience for site authoring and publishing processes across web and mobile, and by leveraging responsive design to reduce site development and speed time to market, marketing can maximize efficiencies for mobile site development, and deliver a consistent cross-device brand experience. In addition WebCenter Sites allows marketers to meet mobile-specific requirements when needed, providing mobile template and site plan customization, device management, and in-context preview and editing of mobile sites. It also enables full mobile content targeting, to drive personalized mobile experiences across any mobile device.

Mobile sites can be edited using drag-and-drop tools and previewed within the same business user interface as the traditional web presence. 

Over the past few years, consumers have turned the tables on brands, dictating how, when and where they want to experience the brand. As more online channels have emerged to meet this demand – from brand sites, to micro and multilingual sites, to email campaigns, through to mobile and social – the more complex content management has become for online marketers. What we’re seeing now is the reassertion of the importance of the brand site; the idea of the corporate .com as a center point of digital experience. The content that drives activity on other online touch points (email offers, social promotions, microsite landing pages) ultimately points back to the brand site, where all of these channels converge.

In response to this trend, WebCenter Sites now enables marketers to search and access content originating from other channels such as YouTube, Brightcove and other cloud-based stores, or from enterprise content management systems, like WebCenter Content – in other words regardless of where it is stored – from within the WebCenter Sites authoring environment, and incorporate it within brand sites to produce a more unified, cross-channel experience.

The Oracle WebCenter Sites visual contributor interface provides web marketers with an easy-to-use site authoring experience, aggregating content that can originate from a wide variety of sources .

The trend to drive personalized digital experiences has finally reached the tipping point, where every organization we engage with has some sort of personalization initiative on their short list of digital experience priorities. In this new release, WebCenter Sites addresses a broad range of personalization capabilities including:

  • Targeting content and experiences to different customer segments
  • Making online search more relevant and intuitive through incorporation of Endeca guided navigation
  • Providing tools that enable site visitors to tailor their own online experience
  • Targeting specific content to mobile sites and devices
  • Integration with a fully automated predictive system
  • Advanced vanity URL management to enable better SEO targeting and campaign landing page management

Of these, the latter two are of greatest interest to our customers. The ability to deliver engaging mobile experiences is in part dependent on delivering personalized, targeted content to specific mobile site visitors. Lastly, our customers are beginning to see the power of connecting WebCenter Sites native targeting engine to a predictive solution. It can offset the labor associated with managing segmenting and targeting through automation, while delivering higher success rates for metrics like click-throughs and conversions, or driving bottom line results like recommending higher margin items. We expect to see the most interest and growth in fully automated predictive system integrations in the coming year.

Lastly, this release also supports the broader trend of social interaction. Building on the prior 11gR1 release, WebCenter sites provides expanded social capabilities for faster and easier development of social pages, and customer login from social sites. These features include:

  • Drag and drop of social components (polls, ratings, rankings, comments) directly into pages, with no coding required
  • Expanded social login support enabling login to WebCenter Sites using credentials from over 30+ social sites
  • Support for Oracle Access Management (OAM) platform for web single sign-on and access management
  • Publishing directly to Google+ from WebCenter Sites

The demands of digital experience continue to deepen and expand. Marketers need WEM solutions, like Oracle WebCenter Sites, that enable them to address the changing needs of their visitors, keep up with the rapid evolution of digital marketing, and meet the relentless demand for engaging, and cross-channel digital experiences.

Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

Oracle Unveils New Release of Oracle WebCenter

There’s exciting news in the world of Oracle WebCenter today with the unveiling of our latest product release. We realize that in today’s economy, organizations are increasingly looking for ways to lower their costs, improve operational efficiencies and increase revenue. To address these challenges, we’ve made updates across our complete portfolio of portal, enterprise content management, Web experience management, and collaboration technologies. By providing enhanced multi-channel user experience capabilities and delivering a comprehensive set of tools that reduces the traditional business line reliance on IT, the new release helps businesses lower their costs, improve operational efficiency, and increase their bottom line revenue.

Webcast: The New Oracle WebCenter - Register Now

The new Oracle WebCenter release introduces a new Java-based cross-platform Enterprise Capture product to expand our imaging and enterprise content management solutions and a new Mobile Option to provide richer, optimized multi-channel user experiences out of the box. The new release also includes updates across the entire Oracle WebCenter portfolio to empower the mobile workforce with new mobile apps, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) support, and enhanced development tools for rapid deployment of mobile portals and websites. Also included are a range of tools designed to empower business users and remove the traditional line of business dependency on IT to shorten the time to market and reduce costs. Here’s a closer look at some of the enhancements to each product:

Oracle WebCenter Portal

The new release of Oracle WebCenter Portal makes it easier and faster for business users to create intuitive portals with integrated application content by:

  • Streamlining development with an integrated set of tools for web & mobile
  • Providing out of the box templates for common use cases
  • Expediting the portal creation experience with a WYSIWYG editing experience

Oracle WebCenter Content

The new release of Oracle WebCenter Content makes it easier to share information efficiently by:

  • Enabling users to access business documents “on the go” using their device of choice
  • Putting content to work in process-centric business application environments
  • Simplifying the management of the entire content lifecycle in the most scalable and comprehensive enterprise content management system

Oracle WebCenter Sites

In addition, by enhancing Oracle WebCenter Sites, the latest release helps marketers engage, guide, and convert customers online by:

  • Managing mobile sites with ease and marketing to mobile customers more effectively
  • Creating a media rich online customer experience using video and other digital marketing content from within the enterprise or from the cloud
  • Providing more relevant search results to guide and influence customers on their websites

"To make the best possible decisions for your business, it is important that everyone in an organization has access to the right information, in the right context, and within the right business process, no matter where they are," said Balaji Yelamanchili, senior vice president, Oracle Product Development. "The latest release of Oracle WebCenter supports this level of engagement at your desk, or on the road, by delivering enhancements across portal, Web experience management, content, and collaboration technologies. By intuitively connecting people, process and information across any device, the new release of Oracle WebCenter helps organizations improve decision making and enhance engagement with customers, partners and employees across every channel."

Stay tuned to the Oracle WebCenter blog over the next few days as we take a closer look at some of the new features in Oracle WebCenter’s new release and register for our in-depth webcast on the new Oracle WebCenter taking place on September 12.

Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

Four Drivers of Digital Customer Engagement

The web is a primary channel for conducting our businesses and even managing our own lives. More information is available to people online than ever before, and in an increasing variety of digital formats. The web has also evolved to include important new channels like mobile and social, and interactive and on-the-go online experiences are now part of our everyday lives.

These factors have come together to create customers who have more choices than ever before, more influence than ever before, and greater control over their relationships with brands than ever before. And while this so called customer experience revolution has been great for consumers, this new environment poses many challenges for businesses when it comes to engaging and connecting with their customers. To be successful in this dynamic market, it’s essential for businesses to focus on delivering engaging customer experiences that drive sales and long term loyalty.

So, what are the characteristics of a truly engaging digital customer experience?

An engaging digital experience is one that is contextually relevant. Delivering a one-size-fits-all digital customer experience is no longer acceptable or particularly effective. Instead, your customers expect you to know who they are and to understand their preferences, behavior and past relationship with your brand. And they expect you to demonstrate this by delivering an online experience that is relevant and personalized to their needs.

Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have also changed customers’ expectations in favor of more interactive online experiences. Visitors to your site expect to participate and contribute on your web presence and to also share aspects of that experience with their social networks. Whether through user-generated content like comments, reviews or ratings, the engaging digital customer experience now requires plenty of opportunities for social interaction.

The ubiquity of mobile devices means that an engaging digital customer experience is also an increasingly mobile experience. This requires mobile enablement of the web presence, ideally reusing existing web content and sites, reformatted and optimized for delivery to thousands of different mobile phones and tablets for anytime, anywhere engagement.  

And finally, the engaging digital customer experience is a connected and consistent experience.  Over the course of their relationship with your brand, your customers may go online to browse, search, make purchases, or service their accounts and a number of different technologies may be involved in supporting these different types of interaction. Your goal should be to create a connected, seamless and consistent customer journey, by integrating the different technologies involved in delivering the customer experience.


Wednesday Jul 10, 2013

Localization in Oracle WebCenter Sites

Web site visitors have high expectations for the sites they visit.  Increasingly, they expect to access your website and your content in their preferred language.  Whether you serve a diverse local community or you compete in markets around the globe, the ability to engage your customers in their preferred language can mean the difference between business success and failure.

Engaging customers in their preferred language often means translating content from one language to another.  Translation can be a complex and expensive process if not managed properly, so success implies having the tools to manage and deliver not only the various finished translated content, but also to manage the process of content translation.

With Oracle WebCenter Sites, organizations are empowered to translate and deliver their web presence into appropriate languages – as much or as little as needed.  Granular control enables marketing to manage translation costs: translate a single article, a page or an entire site, as well as control of when to translate, and who or what service to use for each translation.  The same business interface provided for content creation and contribution allows you to easily manage multilingual content as well as the translation processes.  Simple click-to-translate and seamless integration with third party automated, crowd-sourced, and expert translation services provide an easy-to-use but deep integration of the translation process into site management.  

Localization

You can now easily extend your web presence to new geographies, locales or demographics, and effectively deliver multilingual marketing and customer experience initiatives in customers’ preferred languages, while saving significant time, effort and cost in managing multilingual sites.  Furthermore, you can provide multichannel, multilingual online campaigns as the translated content works with WebCenter Sites full multichannel and multiple device delivery capabilities for multilingual experiences across thousands of devices – including smart phones and tablets. WebCenter Sites capabilities include:

  • Granular control: Provide articles, pages and sites in multiple languages
  • Manage multiple translations from the same business user interface
  • Easily select and manage what to translate, when and by who
  • Preview pages in any translated language
  • Deep, seamless integration with third-party automated, crowd-sourced, and expert translation services
  • Utilize Oracle WebCenter Sites’s multichannel and mobile capabilities to deliver multilingual experiences across thousands of devices – including smartphones & tablets

With Oracle WebCenter Sites, you can deliver a unified multichannel and multilingual brand experience at a lower cost.

Friday May 24, 2013

Empowering Marketers and Other Business Users with Oracle WebCenter Sites

In order to compete successfully in today’s market, you need to get to market faster, differentiate yourself from the competition, and deliver on your customers’ expectations for an engaging and consistent experiences across multiple online channels.  But you’ll never get there if your existing web experience management tools and processes keep marketers, editors and other non-technical business users from getting their jobs done effectively. That’s why it’s so important to select a web experience management platform that empowers marketers and other business users with intuitive site authoring tools that give them greater control over the digital customer experience. Learn how some of our customers have empowered their marketing and business teams using WebCenter Sites:

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

Read the full success story.

News Limited
“The flexibility of Oracle WebCenter Sites puts additional tools in the hands of our nontechnical editorial staff, enabling them to quickly create content and manage the look and feel of our Websites and the day-to-day production …. We can now meet internal service level agreements to publish content in less than 90 seconds and have increased the productivity of editorial staff by 200%.” – Jason Brock, Technology Manager

Read the full success story.

Textron Inc.
"Oracle WebCenter Sites enables our IT staff to get out of the way and allow marketing and communications professionals to leverage their knowledge of customer needs to independently update Website content. In addition, the solution provides a foundation that enables us to integrate our marketing campaigns with emerging communications channels, such as social media and mobile platforms." – Brad Hof, Manager, Advanced Business Solutions and Web Communications

Read the full success story.

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Calling all Oracle WebCenter Innovators
Submit your Nominations for the 2013 Oracle Excellence Awards: Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation 

Is your organization using Oracle WebCenter to deliver unique business value? If so, let the world know and submit a nomination today for the 2013 Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation. These highly coveted awards honor customers for their cutting-edge solutions using Oracle Fusion Middleware such as Oracle WebCenter. Winners are selected based on the uniqueness of their business case, business benefits, level of impact relative to the size of the organization, complexity and magnitude of implementation, and the originality of architecture. Winners receive a free pass to Oracle OpenWorld 2013 in San Francisco (September 22-26) and will be honored during a special event at OpenWorld.

To be considered for this award, complete the Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation nomination form for the Oracle WebCenter category and send to Innovation-Middleware_us@oracle.com.  NOTE: The deadline to submit all nominations is 5pm Pacific on June 18, 2013.

Thursday May 23, 2013

So Much UGC, So Little Time: Options for Moderating User-Generated Content

We all know the value of incorporating social computing features such as comments, ratings, reviews, polls and blogs into the web presence. These kinds of interactive capabilities are essential for driving customer engagement and fostering community around your brand. Ratings and reviews can also play an important role in influencing the buying behavior of other site visitors. Checking out online ratings and reviews is something many of us commonly due before selecting a particular product or service. These social capabilities certainly help cultivate loyal and satisfied customers who in turn recommend your brand to others. But before enabling these kinds of features on your web presence, there are some things you need to consider.

Whether you want to enable product reviews or commenting on articles, you’ll want to assure that the dialogue on your website remains focused and relevant.  To accomplish this, you’ll need to consider how best to approach the moderation of the user-contributed content your site visitors will be generating.  



With an open community approach, there really is no moderation.  All can contribute to the conversation and all contributions are published on your website automatically.  While this approach eliminates barriers to participation, encourages a very free dialogue and requires little oversight, there are some serious drawbacks. Open communities can invite spam, trolling or other inappropriate behavior that can be damaging to your brand. For many enterprises, an open community is simply an inappropriate choice.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is a controlled community approach.  In this type of approach, all user-generated content is subject to moderation prior to publishing.  All contributed content needs to be reviewed and approved by a community manager prior to publication.  While this approach encourages contributors to be on their best behavior and provides the community manager with the most control, this approach can result in a considerable delay in the publishing of user-generated content and can discourage social interaction on your web presence.

Enterprises that wish to encourage social interactivity while safeguarding brand integrity may want to consider striking a balance between these two approaches.  If your web experience management platform permits it, this can be done by introducing some level of automated or community member triggered moderation. For example, you might employ user white-lists and blacklists to help determine which site visitors require moderation for their comments.  You could also use customizable keyword filters that will trigger the moderation of comments that contain specific key words such as profanity. Another option is to enlist members of the community in the moderation process, by enabling site visitors to flag content that they think is inappropriate.  When a comment is flagged for moderation by an automated filter or by site visitors, it can automatically be assigned to the appropriate community manager for review, editing, approval or deletion. In this way, low risk user-generated content can be published to your site quickly, while content that may be a cause for concern enters a moderation queue for further review.

See how simple is it to deploy user-generated content features and moderation using Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Monday May 20, 2013

Empowering Marketers with Web Experience Management

Unable to get new digital marketing initiatives to market as fast as you would like?  Tired of dealing with IT bottlenecks that prevent you from making routine site updates or launching new digital marketing campaigns quickly?  Your customers have little patience for a brand that fails to meet their expectations for a contextually relevant and interactive digital experience that supports their journey as a customer.  As a result, speed-to-market and business agility are more important than ever before when it comes to gaining and sustaining a competitive advantage.  Are your existing web experience management tools and processes up to the challenge?

If you are a marketer that has to secure a developer resource whenever you want to create a new landing page or make an important update to your website, get ready for your competitors to eat your lunch.  Today’s market moves much too swiftly and companies with marketing teams that are forced to rely on IT for the execution of their digital marketing efforts are at a steep disadvantage.  That’s why it’s so important to have a web experience management platform that empowers marketers and other non-technical business users to manage many aspects of the digital customer experience themselves.

See how simple site authoring and editing are in WebCenter Sites in this brief video tutorial.

Oracle WebCenter Sites makes it easy for marketers to contribute and manage websites with visual and intuitive content authoring and layout capabilities designed for the non-technical user. Oracle WebCenter Sites enables marketers to simply drag ­and­ drop content right into the context of a web page using a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) authoring interface. Rich search functionality and visual search results make the process of locating images and other content for use within pages, streamlined and efficient.

Because of WebCenter Sites’ intuitive and easy-to-use tools for managing online experiences, our customers have gained the ability to get to market faster with their digital marketing initiatives.  As marketers and other line of business users take greater control of managing the web experience, our customers have seen the lead time for new online campaigns shrink from months or weeks down to a matter of days, and routine site updates can be made in a matter of minutes without having to secure a developer resource to execute them.

Friday May 17, 2013

TEAM Informatics: Successful WebCenter Solutions from Minnesota to the World

Hello again everyone.

Well it's Friday and we would like to wrap up this week by showcasing another one of our great partners, Team Informatics.  For those of you that caught the webcast yesterday featuring Mortenson Construction, you might remember that Team Informatics is the partner that assisted Mortenson in their very successful roll out of WebCenter Content and Portal.  If you have not taken the time to check out the webcast, you can do so at anytime by registering here and viewing it on-demand at your leisure.  And once you register for the webcast, you can also freely access the latest whitepaper entitled  "The Top 10 Criteria for Choosing an Enterprise Content Management System" as well as a previous webcast on the "Seven Ways Content Can Improve the Health of Your Business".  It's fun for the whole family!  :)

Here is a brief overview of Team Informatics that we hope you will find useful and informative. 

Team Informatics

TEAM Informatics, Inc. (www.teaminformatics.com) is an employee-owned, Minnesota-based software products and systems integration firm with a global customer base. TEAM was formed over 10 years ago and has experienced a sustained aggressive growth rate with over 200 global customers.

TEAM is an Oracle Software Reseller and a global member of the Oracle Partner Network, specializing in areas such as WebCenter Content, WebCenter Portal and WebCenter Sites (formerly FatWire). Offerings include professional services, managed services, enterprise and development support, and an expanding set of products. In addition, TEAM is a Google Enterprise Partner and Reseller for the Google Search technologies. TEAM's suite of business applications include TEAM Cloud for managed delivery of WebCenter products on an Oracle engineered system, TEAM GSA Connector for enterprise search, TEAM Sites Connector for enabling web experience management, TEAM Email Manager for email and communication compliance and management, and ContentWorx for complex document process management and assembly. Get more information on these and all of TEAM's offerings at www.teaminformatics.com.












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With TEAM’s growing customer base, they have been able to showcase and announce key customer successes, as well as nurture partnerships to provide best-in-class solutions. Some of their most recent announcements include:

TEAM Informatics Provides Strategic Roadmap for City of Las Vegas Oracle WebCenter Deployment

Engineered to Work Together – TEAM Informatics WebCenter Sites Connector v. 1.1 for WebCenter Content

TEAM Informatics Announces Full Life-Cycle, Paper to Paperless Solution, with Gill Digital

TEAM Informatics Announces Growth in North American Public Sector with Continuing Success in Oracle WebCenter

TEAM Informatics Announces Award Winning Project with Mortenson Construction

These announcements reflect TEAM’s on-going strategy of providing solutions that get the most out of software, providing all-in-one solution packages, and growing in each vertical with each successful project. Their commitment to their customers is only strengthened by their commitment to Oracle technology.

For more information, a demo, or to have a conversation with TEAM, please contact them via this link.


And in other news.... Are you a WebCenter Innovator?

Oracle Excellence Awards: Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation

Striving for success is what drives Oracle and its customers and partners to continually discover innovative uses for Oracle technology and to deploy successful and groundbreaking solutions and best practices. The Oracle Excellence Awards for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation recognizes customers and partners that have excelled in driving business value together with Oracle in eight award categories including Oracle WebCenter. Nominations for 2013 Awards are now open. Details and nomination forms can be found here.
Deadline for submission is June 18th, 2013!



Friday Apr 26, 2013

Why WCM Should Be at the Heart of Your Multichannel Strategy

Today’s guest blog post was written by Stephen Schleifer. Stephen is Senior Principal Product Manager for Oracle’s Web Content Management (WCM) solution, Oracle WebCenter Sites.

It’s no secret that the WCM market has gone through a series of rapid changes over the past five years or so, in part because the business objectives driving the use of these systems evolved (from content publishing to online experience), and in part due to the changing nature and role of corporate websites, or brand sites. We are now living in a multichannel world -- with the rise of social networks, increased use of campaign marketing (including social media, email marketing and promotional microsites), and of course, the fact that more people are accessing the web via mobile devices than ever before. All of this has amounted to added complexity for web marketers to manage their brand and message across all these channels, but it has also changed the perception of what role a brand site, and by way of it, a WCM system, is supposed to play in online marketing.

While most still agree that a brand site is an important place for customers to acquire information about a company’s products and services, others propose that as more traffic and leads are generated through alternate channels that they should become the main focus of online marketing and customer engagement efforts.

I would argue that it’s not an either/or proposition, but instead what’s needed more often than not is a more blended approach, and in fact, your brand site should serve as the centralized point of your online marketing strategy. Why? Because it’s the one place where all these channels tend to converge -- it’s the glue that holds your brand and message together across all these diverse customer touch points. Linking these channels back to your brand site is also important because it’s the place where you control the message, and it’s ultimately where you can engage customers in more dynamic ways, as the experience you create there is entirely of your own making.

WCM systems are the technology set that provides the tools for marketers to manage corporate web sites, and they are unique in their ability to support a wide variety of cross-channel online marketing value propositions; these include:

Extending the reach of / re-purposing content between brand sites and social media: For example, by enabling site visitors to engage in interactions around site content and then extend the reach of that content by sharing it to their walls. Or by repurposing content on your site such as articles, blog posts or promotional offers for publishing on social media pages. Conversely, many organizations are choosing to host promotional or educational video on social video sites such as YouTube, but then integrate those videos within the context of brand site pages as streaming content. All this can be facilitated by a WCM system.

Seamlessly adapting brand site content for delivery though the mobile channel: Mobile has been a difficult channel for marketers to master, but we’re at the point where technologies like HTML-5 and approaches like responsive design where effective mobile web experience has become a reality, as you can now design once for your branding site, and have those templates instantly adapted and optimized for mobile delivery. While this is not the only effective approach to mobile web (depending on your business objectives, you may indeed want to develop mobile templates or mobile-specific sites), most WCM systems are now flexible enough to support multiple approaches.

Integrating websites with email marketing for cross-channel marketing automation: Bringing together WCM and email marketing makes a lot of sense, because the better the two work together, the more consistent, targeted and effective your online campaigns will be. Both systems leverage content such as text and images that will need to be duplicated or adapted across channels for web landing pages, email blasts, etc. -- the more you can centralize the management of that content for more effective cross-channel publishing, the more you can be sure that your branding and message will be consistent and clear to your customer. Both systems also require some level of personalization to ensure that the various customer segments in a campaign are spoken to with a relevant message – and whether it’s being featured in an email or somewhere on your site, that message must remain the same. Integrating the customer segment data that is being captured in your WCM system with that in your marketing campaign system (not to mention CRM) is key to be able to provide a unified profile across these customer-facing touch points, and in turn can help to ensure more effective targeting.

Whatever role you decide is best for your corporate website to play in your online marketing mix, there is no escaping that it continues to be as relevant as ever in today’s multi-channel world. Think of it as a kind of digital hub for online experience, and your WCM system is the backbone for creating and managing engaging, cross-channel experiences. 

Thursday Apr 25, 2013

Putting the CX Puzzle Together: Connect Customer Touch Points by Combining Oracle WebCenter Sites with Other Oracle CX Solutions

On its own, Oracle WebCenter Sites provides organizations with powerful capabilities for engaging sites visitors with personalized, interactive, multichannel experiences on their marketing websites. But for companies that are ready to embrace the power of predictive decisionsing or who are ready to start integrating different online touch points into a seamless and connected experience, Oracle's customer experience solutions can offer even more. Let's take a look at how a few of these customer experience solutions combine with Oracle WebCenter Sites.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle Real-Time Decisions

Oracle’s web experience management solution, WebCenter Sites, already includes robust capabilities for marketer managed segmentation and targeting, however, a whole new level of optimization can be achieved by combining WebCenter Sites with Oracle’s decision management solution, Real-Time Decisions. Using the power of statistical data models and historical and real-time analytics, Real-Time Decisions automates what would otherwise be the manual task of sifting through volumes of customer data, determining likely and potential customer segments, and determining the best content to present to a given site visitor. As customer interactions take place, Real-Time Decisions continuously refines its data models, automatically adjusting and learning over time to achieve the optimal content selection for each site visitor. Marketers have multiple levels of control when using Real-Time Decisions. They can opt for full automation and let Real-Time Decisions handle all decision making. In this case, Real-Time Decisions infers segmentation and uses automation to make decisions about what content to display to the site visitor. Or, marketers can opt for a more controlled approach and specify performance goals that will help steer the Real-Time Decisions model in the direction of desired business objectives such as maximizing revenue or maximizing conversions. Together, Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle Real-Time Decisions provide marketers with the ability to determine the best approach for realizing their segmentation and targeting objectives, whether that means managing the process manually or by instituting some level of automation

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle Endeca

If you’re a business that has a large product catalog, integrating faceted search into the web experience can be an effective way for potential customers to dynamically explore your site and find relevant and desired items more quickly and easily. During the product selection process, site visitors want the ability to navigate based on their own unique preferences and to view content and search results that are most relevant to them. Often, the search experience on a website frustrates potential buyers or provides them with too many irrelevant results to wade through. A solution such as Oracle Endeca Guided Search can be integrated with your WebCenter Sites deployment to optimize the search capabilities on your web presence, so you can deliver more precise, more relevant, and more complete results that help guide and influence product selection, leading to increased conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle ATG Web Commerce

If your business model includes an eCommerce component, speeding and simplifying the purchase process is critical. A streamlined and efficient online purchase process is vital to preventing shopping cart abandonment. The purchase process can even become another opportunity for engaging customers and influencing them to purchase more or related products; it can also be structured to incentivize customers to take action now through the offer of various promotions. Oracle’s ATG Web Commerce is a top ranked commerce solution that enables you to deliver an engaging and efficient online buying experience. When combined with Oracle WebCenter Sites, these solutions bring together best-in-class web experience management and ecommerce capabilities, assuring that your site visitors have a personalized, interactive, and multichannel experience as make their way through the customer journey.

Oracle WebCenter Sites + Oracle WebCenter Portal

For some business models, online self-service is the primary channel through which business is conducted. In others, online self-service represents an opportunity to lower the cost to serve by migrating customers from high cost customer service channels to the more cost-effective online channel. Oftentimes, in industries like financial services, healthcare, or even government, you’ll want to provide your customers, patients, or constituents with both a public online presence where they can find information and engage with your organization early in the customer journey, and also an online self-service presence that enables your customers to access secure services where they can conduct financial transactions, look up personal health information or take advantage of government services. In cases like this, the combination of Oracle WebCenter Sites and Oracle WebCenter Portal is ideally suited to helping you meet both of these objectives and ultimately deliver an online experience that is unified, consistent and seamless as those visiting your web presence evolve from prospects into active customers.

 *****

On Demand Webcast: How to Connect the Online Customer Experience by Combining Oracle WebCenter Sites with Other Oracle CX Solutions

Are you providing your customers with the best possible browsing, shopping and search experiences across all your marketing and commerce websites? Successful organizations must deliver an engaging online experience that is personalized, interactive and consistent across all phases of the customer journey from research to selection to support and follow on purchases. Attend this Webcast to learn how WebCenter Sites can help you:

  • Unify the online customer experience by bringing together best-in-class web experience management, eCommerce, and faceted search capabilities
  • Encourage social interaction by incorporating ratings, comments, reviews and social sharing capabilities into your web presence
  • More easily ingest content feeds from your suppliers and simplify the management of high volumes of detailed product information

View the webcast.

Tuesday Apr 23, 2013

Engage Your Customers and Empower Your Business with Oracle WebCenter Sites

In today’s socially enabled, multichannel online world, individuals increasingly expect their online experiences to be targeted specifically to their interests, to be as social and interactive as their social networking experiences and to be optimized for whatever device type they choose whether a PC, tablet or mobile phone. For Web marketers, this new imperative presents a unique set of challenges when it comes to engaging with their customers online.
Oracle WebCenter Sites helps organizations meet the new Web experience management (WEM) imperative:

Oracle WebCenter Sites enables organizations to deliver a highly relevant and personalized online experience to their customers using intuitive segmentation and targeting capabilities. This allows organizations to deliver the right content to the right site visitor at the right time, maximizing up-sell and cross-selling opportunities while creating an experience that fosters loyalty.

With Oracle WebCenter Sites, organizations can make the experience on the corporate web presence as interactive and community oriented as the experience on social networks. They can also tap into the power of social networks for extending the visibility of their brand and leverage social endorsements to influence purchasing decisions.  User-generated content such as ratings, reviews, comments and polls can be easily incorporated into the web presence.  Social login and social sharing capabilities make it easy for site visitors to contribute user-generated content using their familiar social network ID’s. Content that site visitors like can be easily shared with their social networks in just a few clicks.

Oracle WebCenter Sites also helps organizations solve some of the challenges of multichannel delivery so they can successfully engage site visitors across online channels.  Oracle WebCenter Sites enables centralized management of traditional web and mobile sites.  The online experience can be easily optimized for delivery to thousands of mobile phone and tablets so organizations can engage mobile users more effectively.

Check out the video to see what it's like to experience WebCenter Sites as a site visitor:

Another important focus area of WebCenter Sites is empowering businesses to create and manage engaging online customer experiences on an enterprise scale.

In order to compete effectively and to get online initiatives to market as quickly as possible, marketers and other non-technical business users need the ability to take greater control of the creation and management of the online customer experience. To enable this, WebCenter Sites has transformed the marketing user experience so that site authoring is visual, intuitive and designed for the way that marketers want to work today. When it comes to web authoring in WebCenter Sites, what marketers see is what marketers get.

Capabilities such as comments, reviews, ratings and blogs are integral to engaging site visitors today. Additionally this kind of user-generated content enables visitors to recommend and endorse an organization to others – an invaluable marketing tool in today’s world.  But user-generated content requires some level of moderation and control to safeguard the integrity of the brand.  Oracle WebCenter Sites provides deep, yet simple to use moderation capabilities so that organizations can assure that the dialogue around their brand is a constructive one.

Assuring optimal performance across enterprise web deployments is a critical component of the online customer experience. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, organizations can deliver a highly scalable multisite, multilingual, and multimedia online customer experience. They can execute on a global scale without sacrificing performance. Oracle WebCenter Sites assures rapid, dynamic delivery of high-volume sites, streamlines the management of hundreds of sites, makes it possible to manage vast and complex product catalogs with ease, and seamlessly incorporates digital assets into the online experience through rich media management.

See what it's like to be a marketer using WebCenter Sites to create engaging online customer experiences:

Monday Apr 22, 2013

Mind the Gaps in Your Customer Experience

We all have certain pet peeves about what we experience as customers.  One of mine is the all too common experience of calling a customer service line, waiting an interminable amount of time for an actual human to get on the phone, providing the agent with my account information, describing my problem to that agent, and then being transferred to yet another agent because the first one can’t address my problem. Invariably, this next agent asks me to once again provide my account information and once again describe my problem.  Why isn’t this information communicated to the next rep in the chain so I don’t have to waste my time and repeat myself?  Or better yet, why isn’t that first line rep empowered to help me in the first place.

Many of you may be familiar with “Mind the Gap,” the omnipresent signage in the London Underground that advises subway passengers to take extra care as they cross the gap between the train and the platform.  “Mind the Gap” has even become such a part of London’s iconography that you’ll often find it plastered on t-shirts or other souvenirs. The idea behind “Mind the Gap” is to raise risk awareness among passengers so accidents can be prevented, the Tube can run smoothly and riders can go safely about their business. The call center experience I describe above is riddled with what I consider “customer experience gaps” – little landmines that exist between various touch points and channels of interaction where the risk of customer dissatisfaction is high if care is not taken to make these engagements connected, consistent and meaningful. All too often, businesses fail to “mind the gaps” in their customer experience and allow them to become a source of customer pain, frustration or flight.

Mind the Gap

In recent years, customer experience gaps have only become more plentiful. When I need to make a purchase, my customer journey can take me many places: to a search engine, to a corporate website, to Facebook, or to a store. I may interact with sales people, customer service reps, and other people in my community or in my social network.  Sometimes I gather information on my desktop in my office, or on my iPad from the comfort of my sofa, or from my fantastic new smart phone which is with me pretty much everywhere.   And as I go about my customer journey with a particular brand, I often observe the lack of connection between the various touch points and that’s because many organizations are failing to “mind the gaps” in their customer experience.

In my opinion, these failures aren’t necessarily intentional. If fact, I think organizations are under more and more pressure to “mind the gaps” and get the customer experience right.  Maybe that’s why 22% of respondents in Oracle’s recent Global Customer Experience Survey said that improving the cross-channel experience is the top priority of their organizations’ customer experience program over the next twelve months. One of the problems, however, is that most companies have created systems to address most of these channels and touch points, but they’ve often created them independently, making it difficult to maintain consistent and meaningful interactions with a customer. What companies need to do is examine the infrastructure supporting the customer experience and move away from having these disjointed silos that create customer experience gaps. Oracle can help get you there.  How well are you minding the gaps in your customer experience?


Thursday Mar 07, 2013

Web Experience Management: The Key to Exceptional Online Customer Experience

Today’s customers expect an experience that is both relevant and interactive across web, mobile and social channels. By focusing on creating experiences that demonstrate how well you know your customers, that promote social interactivity, and that allow for anytime, anywhere access across web, mobile and social channels, you can successfully drive customer engagement, and unlock the door to greater sales and loyalty for your business.

The key to delivering the kind of exceptional online customer experiences that can help drive the success of your business is web experience management. A web experience management solution such as Oracle WebCenter Sites, can empower your business to better engage your customers online. With Oracle WebCenter Sites you can:

Create relevant and personalized online experiences

Today, it’s no longer acceptable to deliver a one-size-fits-all online customer experience. Instead, you must demonstrate that you know your customers by providing them with a relevant and personalized online experience that takes their preferences, behavior and past history with your brand into account. Oracle WebCenter Sites provides you with easy to use segmentation and targeting capabilities that will enable you to deliver a more personalized online experience.

Enable social and interactive online experiences

Customers expect their online experience with your brand to be as social and interactive as their experiences on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. To fulfill these expectations, you must provide your customers with plenty of opportunities to interact socially with your brand. This means incorporating user-generated content capabilities such as ratings, reviews, or comments into your web presence and integrating with social networks by enabling social login and social sharing of information on your site. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, you can easily incorporate social computing features into your online experience to drive engagement and foster community.

Deliver optimized experiences for mobile phones and tablets

The online experience is an increasingly mobile experience due to the ubiquity of phones and tablets. To meet the needs of mobile customers, organizations must optimize their web presence for anytime, anywhere delivery to the thousands of different mobile device types that are available. Oracle WebCenter Sites simplifies mobile delivery be enabling you to centrally manage both traditional sites and mobile sites using the same content, navigation and authoring interface.

Empower marketers to manage the online experience

Empowering marketers and other business users to take greater control of the creation, management and moderation of the online customer experience is a prerequisite for delivering the kind of engaging customer experiences that drive sales and loyalty. Oracle WebCenter Sites puts power into the hands of marketers with intuitive and visual site authoring tools that help you get your online initiatives to market faster.

Enable high performance, global online experiences

Assuring optimal performance across enterprise web deployments is a critical component of the online customer experience. With Oracle WebCenter Sites, you can deliver a highly scalable, multisite, multilingual, and multimedia online customer experience. With WebCenter Sites you can assure rapid, dynamic delivery of high-volume sites, streamline the management of hundreds of sites, manage vast and complex product catalogs with ease, and seamlessly incorporate digital assets into the online experience through rich media management.

Connect the online experience with other customer touch points

Customers expect to have a relevant, consistent and engaging experience across all of their touch points with a brand. Oracle WebCenter Sites can be integrated with commerce, faceted search, portal, CRM, BI and other customer experience applications from the Oracle portfolio to deliver a connected and engaging experience across the entire customer journey.

We hope you enjoyed learning more this week about enabling exceptional online customer experiences with Oracle WebCenter Sites. To learn more about Fusion Middleware, please check out other features in the The New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud series.

Wednesday Mar 06, 2013

Are You Providing Your Customers with an Engaging Online Experience?

As we saw in Tuesday’s screencast about delivering exceptional online experiences, today's customers expect an online experience with your brand that is personalized, interactive and social. In order to drive sales and loyalty, you need a web experience management solution that empowers your business to easily create and manage contextually relevant, targeted and interactive experiences that are optimized for web, mobile and social channels. Oracle WebCenter Sites can provide you with the capabilities you need to manage large-scale, global online presences that engage and captivate your customers.

Ready to engage?
Learn more today:

  • See a demonstration of the exciting new and enhanced web experience management capabilities in Oracle WebCenter Sites 11g
  • Learn how Ancestry.com uses Oracle WebCenter Sites to deliver an online experience that converts site visitors into paying customers
  • Hear what leading industry analysts have to say about the powerful capabilities of Oracle WebCenter Sites

Monday Mar 04, 2013

The Online Customer Experience Challenge

Web, mobile and social channels have ushered in what Altimeter analyst, Brian Solis, referred to in a recent Oracle WebCenter Social Business Thought Leaders webcast as connected consumers. These connected consumers have more choices, influence and access to online information than ever before. Engaging these customers and earning their sales and loyalty can be a great challenge.

Customers decide how, when, and where they want to engage with your brand--whether it's in the store, over the phone or on the web. They expect you to know who they are and what they need, and to seamlessly recognize them at every touch-point.

Newer channels like social and mobile have significant implications on how customers engage with organizations online and what businesses need to do manage the online channel more efficiently and effectively. Social networking has amplified the customer's voice and peers now have greater influence over buying decisions than traditional marketing. The pervasiveness of cell phones and tablets has also turned the online customer experience into an increasingly mobile experience, bringing with it new challenges for engaging always connected customers who are accessing the online channel with an ever increasing variety of mobile devices. As a result the power has shifted from brands to customers, and the delivery of an engaging online customer experience has become a great challenge for businesses today.

We invite you to learn how you can start engaging these connected customers through exceptional online experiences by viewing this screencast from the New Business Imperative: Social, Mobile, Cloud Series.


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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