Wednesday Apr 16, 2014

Choice Hotels Reduces Time to Market with Oracle WebCenter

Choice Hotels is a global hotel franchise with 6000+ franchisees. Choice is in the process of completely re-building their distribution platform for the next generation.  They currently process and distribute over $6B worth of reservation activity to the franchisees of Choice Hotels. To continue to grow and support the strategic business initiatives of the company they needed to address the primary vehicle for delivering business to their customers.  Their current platform was an amalgam of 25 years of development on disparate systems that offered limited inter-operability and scalability.  A strategic decision was made to adopt the Oracle technology stack to build out this new platform.



 They introduced more self-service opportunities to their business to create greater empowerment and flexibility, thus reducing the dependency on IT to introduce new features to their production systems. They are using WebCenter Sites as their Web Experience Management platform deployed for their International Websites. Standardizing on WebCenter Sites has allowed them to consolidate four different Content Management System platforms and created a Content Center of Excellence making it easier for any of their business users to take advantage of the WYSIWYG interface.

Perhaps the biggest win at the enterprise level is standardizing on the Oracle platform. They have seen tremendous benefits by being standardized on a focused set of tools and applications.  Their development, testing, administration, and database engineers now have greater flexibility and mobility throughout their enterprise.  Since they all have the same relative skill set, they can flex on certain projects in order to get them to market quicker.  No more Sys Admins having to learn the ins and outs of a particular system and its idiosyncrasies because everything is now a standard Oracle deployment.


On Demand Webcast: Delivering Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise To learn more about delivering the best digital experience today - join us for the Oracle WebCenter Digital Business Thought Leadership Series

This week:

Delivering Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise
Five Steps for Mobilizing Digital Experiences

Geoffrey Bock, Principal, Bock & Company
Michael Snow, Product Marketing Director, Oracle WebCenter



Thursday Apr 03, 2014

Panduit - Leading the Way for Exceptional Digital Experiences

 When we notice great work being done by our Oracle WebCenter customers, we want to strut our stuff like a Peacock and show them off to the world. Last year, we received a nomination for the Oracle Excellence Awards in Fusion Middleware Innovation for our customer, Panduit. The competition was fierce last year for only 2 Award spots and although they ultimately did not win one of the awards, they certainly deserve recognition for their solution.

Panduit is a world-class developer and provider of leading-edge Data centers, Connected buildings and Industrial automation solutions that help customers optimize the physical infrastructure and mitigate risk through simplification, increased agility and operational efficiency. Independent leader since 1955 with a Global presence and local focus - 112 countries of operations, 4,000+ employees

Like many companies, their previous website and portals no longer met modern user expectations:

• They Needed to Foster, Support, Engage and Enable their Growing Global Partner Ecosystem with Self-Service Applications and Content
• They had 300 System Integrators,  1451 Distributor Partners,  5026 Distribution Locations and 1900 Contractors/Installers to communicate with in a consistent regular manner.
• They needed to Modernize, globalize and re-brand the Panduit.com website and Partner Portals to Prevent loss of business due to partner drop-offs
• They needed to Create an integrated High Availability solution for all customers and partners, with a single address (www.panduit.com) with Mobile and Social Media Channels
• They needed to Develop a catalog of self-service functions that can be assigned based on differentiated role-based services by partner & customer segments and/or tiers

Its always better to hear it directly from the happy customer.

The Solution for Panduit was Oracle WebCenter Digital Experience Platform and Oracle Fusion Middleware AppAdvantage including the following:

  • Oracle WebCenter (Sites, Portal, and Content), Oracle SOA, Oracle BPM, OPSS, Weblogic Suite, and ADF
  • Single Platform – Supports portal, website, database based services, application-to-application service integration, EDI, etc.
  • Integration – Adapters were available out-of-the box to integrate with Panduit’s Oracle E-Business Suite with protected support for future releases
  • Reusability – Component and visual template reuse between applications
  • Social Community – Out-of-the-box social media and collaboration
  • Analytics –  Built in analytical capabilities
  • Mobility – Can be extended to mobile devices

Their new integrated website and self-service partner portal was completed in 12 months, starting from ground zero to launch.

Now they are able to:

  • Support a growing global partner ecosystem with secure, multilingual online experience
  • Provide integrated role-based experiences for all customers and partners within a single address (www.panduit.com).
  • Improve number and quality of sales leads through increased web and mobile customer interactions and registrations
  • Experience the benefits with activity up 57% from previous year with portal site @ 42,632 self-serve transactions per month



Watch On-Demand: Delivering Moments of Engagement Across the Enterprise


Thursday Mar 13, 2014

Engage Your Customers in Japanese

Our Japanese team enjoyed the infographic we created so much that they had it translated for their customers. 

Infographic: Engage Your Customers Online or Lose Them Forever

The Importance of Providing the Best Online Multichannel User Experience

PDF version available for download here. 

English version here


Tuesday Mar 11, 2014

Digital = The Center of your Marketing Universe

The brand website is one of the most important and highly trusted channels for engaging with customers.  However, a static one-size-fits-all web presence will fall short when it comes to meeting your customers’ expectations.  In order to drive sales and loyalty using the web today, organizations must deliver a dynamic digital experience – one that is personalized and relevant, social and interactive, easily optimized for a growing variety of mobile devices, and connected with other customer touch points and channels.

So.... How does your digital customer experience measure up?  Find out by answering a few quick questions about your digital strategy.

Determine Your Digital Marketing Strategy Strengths and Weaknesses

How Does Your Digital Marketing Strategy Measure Up?Today’s customers expect an experience that is relevant and interactive. And they want it across multiple online channels. By using Oracle WebCenter’s complimentary tool, you can determine your business’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to delivering an engaging customer experience across web, mobile, and social channels.

The assessment tool will help you:
  • Gain a better understanding of your challenges and objectives with respect to the digital customer experience
  • Identify areas in which a web experience management solution could add value
  • Understand the potential benefits of Oracle WebCenter Sites, such as increased conversions and revenue, greater customer satisfaction, and more


Monday Feb 10, 2014

Future-Proof Mobile SEO with WebCenter Sites

Evernote Export
Guest Blog post by: 

In 2013, Google announced updates to their algorithm that would cause “Changes in Rankings of Smartphone Results”.  This update can be attributed to the explosion of smartphone usage over the last five years.

One of the major questions surrounding this update was Google’s preference on mobile web content delivery.  Web content can be delivered to mobile devices in three ways:

Separate Mobile Site

Future Proof Your Mobile Sites This method of mobile content delivery redirects users to a separate mobile URL using bidirectional annotations such as rel=“alternate” and rel=“canonical”.  The mobile website will consist of completely separate HTML and CSS files and the URL is typically identified by a letter “m” subdomain. (m.yoururl.com)

Dynamic Serving

Similar to the separate mobile site method, dynamic serving renders different HTML and CSS files for users but unlike the first example this is done on one URL using the Vary HTTP Header. (Section 14.44)  

Responsive Web Design

The final method of delivering web content to mobile devices is responsive web design. Unlike the first two methods, responsive web design uses the same HTML files.  These files are then rendered on one URL using CSS media queries to determine how the content is to be rendered on the specific device.  By using this method, users are free from redirects and possible user-agent detection errors will be avoided.

Responsive web design is Google’s official recommendation for delivery of web content to mobile devices. This recommendation was released later on developers.google.com

6% of Fortune 100 companies comply with Google’s Mobile Requirements

Fortune 100 Mobile and Responsive Site Breakdown Pure Oxygen Labs performed a mobile risk assessment of the Fortune 100 companies and found that only 6% of the companies have websites that are compliant with Google’s mobile requirements. Other report findings included:

  • 66% of companies are at risk of their site ranking being downgraded
  • 11% of companies target smartphone users with responsive web design
  • 56% of companies served mobile-formatted content to smartphone searches


As Google looks towards the future of mobile search, so should the rest of us.

What Are My Options?

Mobile Authoring As scary as the findings in the mobile risk assessment are for all companies, deciding what’s next and the impending change is just as scary. Choosing the right web experience management tool and partner to implement the technology are the first and arguably the toughest decisions to be made when a multi-channel web presence becomes a top priority.

Choosing the Right Web Experience Management Tool  

When deciding what web experience management solution to implement, it is important to future-proof the investment by thinking long-term.  Listed below are questions that can assist in determining the right web experience management solution.

  • Does the solution provide multi-channel functionality?
    • Oracle WebCenter Sites’ mobile functionality empowers companies to effortlessly extend their desktop web experience to mobile devices.  Companies can effectively reduce costs by reusing existing web content, wire frames and navigation to eliminate the time and effort associated with the creation and management of mobile sites.
  • Is the software capable of rendering localized content to users?
    • Oracle WebCenter Sites excels at delivering localized content to users by rendering content in their native language through implicit and explicit information gathered by the system.
  • Does the software allow for the integration of social media?
    • Oracle WebCenter Sites allows users to log-in using social authentication enabling them to share, comment, rate, review and moderate content.
  • Will the company offer long-term support?
    • Oracle has been around for more than 35 years, employs 125,000 people and is valued at just over $80B. Oracle offers 24/7 support, employs 18,000 support staff which are located in 145 countries offering 24/7 support. 
  • Is the solution one that the manufacturer will continue to invest in?
    • Oracle employs over 35,000 product development engineers and invests an estimated $5B per year in research and development to advance Oracle products. (Source)

Choosing the Right Implementation Partner

Redstone Content Solutions has recently become the first Oracle WebCenter Sites Specialized Partner  See press release here

We invite you to review our “What to look for in your Oracle WebCenter Partner ” blog which details seven key topics to consider when choosing your WebCenter implementation specialist.

If you would like to learn more about web experience management, Oracle WebCenter Sites or Redstone Content Solutions, please contact us and we will be in touch soon. 

Other WebCenter Sites Blogs:

WebCenter Sites Gets Personal – With Customers

WebCenter Sites Reporting for Duty & Ready for Localization

Are You Struggling To Create Engaging On-line Customer Experiences?



Wednesday Nov 13, 2013

Top Reasons You Need A User Engagement Platform

Guest post by: Amit Sircar, Senior Sales Consultant, Oracle

Deliver complex enterprise functionality through a simple intuitive and unified User Interface (UI)

The modern enterprise contains a wide range of applications that are used to manage the business and drive competitive advantages. Organizations respond by creating a complex structure that results in a functional and management grouping of users. Each of these groups of users requires access to multiple applications and information sources in order to perform their job functions. This leads to the lack of a unified view of enterprise information, inconsistent user interfaces and disjointed security.

To be effective, portals must be designed from the end-user perspective, enabling the user to accomplish as many tasks as possible while visiting the fewest number of portals. This requires rethinking the way that portals are built, moving from a functional business unit perspective to a user-focused, process-oriented point of view.
Oracle WebCenter provides the Common User Experience Architecture that allows organizations to seamlessly present a unified view of enterprise information tailored to a particular user’s role and preferences. This architecture provides the best practices, design patterns and delivery mechanism for myriad services, applications, and data sources.  In order to serve as a primary system of access, Oracle WebCenter also provides access to unstructured content and to other users via integrated search, service-oriented artifacts, content management, and collaboration tools.

Provide a modern and engaging experience without modifying the core business application

Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, forums or social media sites are having a profound impact in the public internet.  These technologies can be leveraged by enterprises to add significant value to the business. Organizations need to integrate these technologies directly into their business applications while continuing to meet their security and governance needs. To deliver richer connections and become a more agile and intelligent business, WebCenter provides an enterprise portal platform that contains pre-integrated, standards-based Enterprise 2.0 services. These Enterprise 2.0 services can be easily accessed, integrated and utilized by users. By giving users the ability to use and integrate Enterprise 2.0 services such as tags, links, wikis, activities, blogs or social networking directly with their portals and applications, they are empowered to make richer connections, optimize their productivity, and ultimately increase the value of their applications.

Foster a collaborative experience

The organizational workplace has undergone a major change in the last decade. With increasing globalization and a distributed workforce, project teams may be physically separated by large distances. Online collaboration technologies are becoming a critical resource to enable virtual teams to share information and work together effectively. Oracle WebCenter delivers dynamic business communities with rich Services to empower teams to quickly and efficiently manage their information, applications, projects, and people without requiring IT assistance. It brings together the latest technology around Enterprise 2.0 and social computing, communities, personal productivity, and ad-hoc team interactions without any development effort. It enables the sharing and collaboration on team content, focusing an organization’s valuable resources on solving business problems, tapping into new ideas, and reducing time-to-market.


Mobile Support

The traditional workplace dynamics that required employees to access their work applications from their desktops have undergone a fundamental shift. Employees were used to primarily working from company offices and utilized an IT-issued computer for performing their job functions. With the introduction of flexible work hours and the growth of remote workers, more and more employees need the ability to remain productive even when they do not have access to a computer via the use of tablets and smartphones. 
In addition, customers and citizens have come to expect 24x7 access to resources and websites from wherever they are located. Tablets and smartphones have empowered everyone to quickly access services they need anytime and from any place. 

WebCenter provides out of the box capabilities to deliver the mobile experience in a seamless manner. Seeded device profiles and toolkits within WebCenter can be used to render the same web pages into multiple target devices such iPads, iPhones and android devices. Web designers can preview the portal using the built in simulator, make necessary updates and then deploy their UI design for the targeted device.


Conclusion

The competitive economy and resource constraints facing organizations today require them to find ways to make their applications, portals and Web sites more agile and intelligent and their knowledge workers more productive no matter where they are located. Organizations need to provide faster access to relevant information and resources, enhance existing applications and business processes with rich Enterprise 2.0 services, and seamlessly deliver content to mobile platforms. Oracle WebCenter successfully meets these challenges by providing the modern user experience platform for the enterprise and the Web.


Friday Nov 01, 2013

Pella Increases Online Appointment Scheduling and Rapidly Personalizes and Updates Marketing Initiatives

Pella

Originally posted on Oracle Customers page.
Oracle Customer: Pella Corporation
Location:  Pella, Iowa
Industry: Industrial Manufacturing
Employees:  7,100

Pella Corporation is an innovative leader in creating a better view for homes and businesses by designing, testing, manufacturing, and installing quality windows and doors for new construction, remodeling, and replacement applications. A family-owned company, Pella has an 88-year history of innovation and, today, is the second-largest manufacturer in the country of windows and doors, including patio, entry, and storm doors. The company has 10 manufacturing facilities in United States and window and door showrooms across the United States and Canada.

In-home consultations are an important part of Pella’s sales process. Several years ago, the company launched an online appointment scheduling tool to improve customer convenience. While the functionality worked well, the company wanted to increase online conversion rates and decrease the number of incomplete, online appointment schedules. It also wanted to give its business analysts and other line-of-business personnel the ability to update the scheduling tool and interface quickly, without needing IT team intervention and recoding, to better capitalize on opportunities and personalize the interface for specific markets. Pella also looked to reduce IT complexity by selecting a system that integrated easily with its Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.1 enterprise applications.

Pella, which has a large Oracle footprint, selected Oracle WebCenter Sites as the foundation for its new, real-time appointment scheduling application. It used the solution to re-engineer the scheduling process and the information required to set up an appointment. Just a few months after launch, it is seeing improvement in the number of appointments booked online and experiencing fewer abandoned appointments during the scheduling process. As important, Pella can now quickly and easily make changes to images, video, and content displayed on the scheduling tool interface, delivering greater business agility. Previously, such changes required a developer and weeks of coding and testing. Today, a member of Pella’s business analyst team can complete the changes in hours. This capability enables Pella to personalize the Web experience for customers. For example, it can display different products or images for clients in different regions.

The solution is also highly scalable. Pella is using Oracle WebCenter Sites for appointment scheduling now and plans to migrate Pella.com, its configurator tool, and dealer microsites onto the platform. Further, Pella plans to leverage the solution to optimize mobile devices.

“Moving ahead, we expect to extensively leverage Oracle WebCenter Sites to gain greater flexibility in updating the Web experience, thanks to the ability to make updates quickly without developer resources. Segmentation and targeting capabilities will allow us to create a more personalized experience across both traditional and mobile platforms,” said Teri Lancaster, IT manager, customer experience applications, Pella Corporation.

A word from Pella Corporation

"Oracle WebCenter Sites―from the start―delivered important benefits. We’ve redesigned the online scheduling process and are seeing more potential customers completing consultation bookings online. More important, the solution opens a world of other possibilities as we plan to migrate Pella.com and our dealer microsites to the platform, and leverage it to optimize the Web experience for our mobile devices.”
– Teri Lancaster, IT Manager, Customer Experience Applications, Pella Corporation


Oracle Product and Services

Why Oracle

Pella has a long-standing relationship with Oracle. “We look to Oracle first for a solution. Our Oracle account team came to us with several solutions, and Oracle WebCenter Sites delivered the scalability, ease-of-use, flexibility, and scalability that we required for the appointment scheduling initiative and other Web projects on the horizon, including migrating Pella.com and optimizing our site for mobile platforms,”
said Teri Lancaster, IT manager, customer experience applications, Pella Corporation.


Implementation Process

The Pella implementation team, working with Oracle partner Element Solutions, LLC, integrated the appointment setting application with Pella.com as well as the company’s Oracle E-Business Suite customer relationship management applications. Using Oracle WebCenter Site’s development tools and subversion capabilities to develop the application, the Element Solutions and Pella teams could work remotely and collaboratively, accelerating deployment. Pella went live with the new scheduling tool in just six months.

Partner

Element Solutions was instrumental at every major stage of the project, including design creation and approval, development, training, and rollout.

“Element Solutions was a vital partner for our Oracle WebCenter Sites initiative. The team provided guidance, and more important, critical knowledge transfer at every stage―which equipped us to get the most out of this powerful and versatile solution. We were definitely collaboration partners,” Lancaster said.



Pella: Oracle AppAdvantage IT Leader Series: Pella Revolutionizes Digital Experience for Customers, Partners and Employees

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern.

Register Today.

Thursday Oct 31, 2013

Web Experience Management: Segmentation & Targeting - Chalk Talk with John

Today's post comes from our WebCenter friend, John Brunswick. 

Having trouble getting your arms around the differences between Web Content Management (WCM) and Web Experience Management (WEM)?  Told through story, the video below outlines the differences in an easy to understand manner.

By following the journey of Mr. and Mrs. Smith on their adventure to find the best amusement park in two neighboring towns, we can clearly see what an impact context and relevancy play in our decision making within online channels.  Just as when we search to connect with the best products and services for our needs, the Smiths have their grandchildren coming to visit next week and finding the best park is essential to guarantee a great family vacation.  One town effectively Segments and Targets visitors to enhance their experience, reducing the effort needed to learn about their park.

Have a look below to join the Smiths in their search.

 

 Learn MORE about how you might measure up:

Deliver Engaging Digital Experiences

Drive Digital Marketing Success
Access Free Assessment Tool


Wednesday Oct 30, 2013

Multichannel Digital Engagement: Find Out How Your Organization Measures Up

This article was originally published in the September 2013 Edition of the
Oracle Information InDepth Newsletter ORACLE WEBCENTER EDITION

Thanks to mobile and social technologies, interactive online experiences are now commonplace. Not only that, they give consumers more choices, influence, and control than ever before. So how can you make your organization stand out?

The key building blocks for delivering exceptional cross-channel digital experiences are outlined below. Also, a new assessment tool is available to help you measure your organization's ability to deliver such experiences.

  • A clearly defined digital strategy. The customer journey is growing increasingly complex, encompassing multiple touchpoints and channels. It used to be easy to map marketing efforts to specific offline channels; for example, a direct mail piece with an offer to visit a store for a discounted purchase. Now it is more difficult to cultivate and track such clear cause-and-effect relationships.

    To deliver an integrated digital experience in this more complex world, organizations need a clearly defined and comprehensive digital marketing strategy that is backed up by an integrated set of software, middleware, and hardware solutions.

  • Strong support for business agility and speed-to-market. As both IT and marketing executives know, speed-to-market and business agility are key to competitive advantage. That means marketers need solutions to support the rapid implementation of online marketing initiatives—plus the flexibility to adapt quickly to a changing marketplace. And IT needs tools with the performance, scalability, and ease of integration to support marketing efforts. Both teams benefit when business users are empowered to implement marketing initiatives on their own, with minimal IT intervention.

  • The ability to deliver relevant, personalized content. Delivering a one-size-fits-all online customer experience is no longer acceptable. Customers expect you to know who they are, including their preferences and past relationship with your brand. That means delivering the most relevant content from the moment a visitor enters your site.

    To make that happen, you need a powerful rules engine so that marketers and business users can easily define site visitor segments and deliver content accordingly. That includes both implicit targeting that is based on the user’s behavior, and explicit targeting that takes a user’s profile information into account. Ideally, the rules engine can also intelligently weight recommendations when multiple segments apply to a specific customer.

  • Support for social interactivity. With the advent of Facebook and LinkedIn, visitors expect to participate in and contribute to your web presence—and share their experience on their own social networks. That requires easy incorporation of user-generated content such as comments, ratings, reviews, polls, and blogs; seamless integration with third-party social networking sites; and support for social login, which helps to remove barriers to social participation.

  • The ability to deliver connected, multichannel experiences that include powerful, flexible mobile capabilities. By 2015, mobile usage is projected to surpass that of PCs and other wired devices. In other words, mobile is an essential element in delivering exceptional online customer experiences. This requires the creation and management of mobile experiences that are optimized for delivery to the thousands of different devices that are in use today. Just as important, organizations must be able to easily extend their traditional web presence to the mobile channel and deliver highly personalized and relevant multichannel marketing initiatives while also managing to minimize the time and effort required to manage mobile sites.

Are you curious to know how your organization measures up when it comes to delivering an engaging, multichannel digital experience? If so, take this brief, 15-question online assessment and see how your organization scores in the areas of digital strategy, digital agility, relevance and personalization, social interactivity, and multichannel experience.


Wednesday Oct 23, 2013

Today's Well Connected Companies

Statoil Fuel & Retail and their partner, L&T Infotech, our recent winner of the Oracle Excellence Award for Fusion Middleware Innovation in the WebCenter category is featured this month in Profit Magazine's November Issues of both print and online versions. The online version has significantly more detail about their "Connect" project

Statoil Fuel & Retail is a leading Scandinavian road transport fuel retailer that operates in 8 different countries and delivers aviation fuel at 85 airports. The company produces and sells 750 different lubricant products for B2B and B2C customers. Statoil won the 2013 Oracle Excellence Award for Oracle Fusion Middleware Innovation: Oracle WebCenter based on a stellar Oracle implementation, created with implementation partner L&T Infotech, which used Oracle’s JD Edwards and Oracle Fusion Middleware to replace and consolidate 10 SAP portals into a single, integrated, personalized enterprise portal for partners, station managers, and support staff. Utilizing Oracle WebCenter Portal, Oracle WebCenter Content, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle SOA Suite, JD Edwards applications, and Oracle CRM On Demand, Statoil is now able to offer a completely redesigned portal for an easy and user-friendly web experience, delivering a fast, secure, robust, and scalable solution that will help the company remain competitive in its industry. The solution has increased Statoil Fuel & Retail’s web footprint and expanded its online business.

Read the complete article for the full story of Statoil Fuel & Retail's implementation of Oracle Fusion Middleware technology.

Monday Jul 29, 2013

What’s Going On in Digital Experience? The Latest in Key Trends

Guest Post by Stephen Schleifer, Senior Principal Product Manager, Strategy, Oracle WebCenter Sites

What’s Going On in Digital Experience? The Latest in Key Trends

As with many consumer-facing markets, digital experience tends to move pretty fast.  Just as organizations begin to get a handle on how, where and when to best engage with their target audiences in the digital world, things begin to shift again as consumers change their online habits.  However, there have been a number of trends that have been more or less constant over the past few years; some have grown steadily over time, others have been slow out of the gate, and then quickly reached a critical mass, but they have always been cornerstones of web experience management.  While the following is far from representative of everything that’s going on in this dynamic market, let’s take a quick look and see what’s going on in a few key areas:

Mobile Gets Practical

webcenter_sites_mobile.jpgMobile is an example of a digital experience trend that went from ‘might do’ to ‘must do’ in the space of a year (hello, iPhone), and has continued to grow in importance ever since.  However, whereas a couple of years ago organizations were still wondering how to best tackle the mobile experience (mobile web, mobile apps, mobile first etc.), we’re now at a place where organizations have a better understanding of each approach, and how to apply them to drive specific business outcomes, whether that be engagement, self-service or commerce.

When it comes to mobile site management, most customers we speak with are now viewing this as an integrated part of managing their overall online experience, while acknowledging that it comes with a distinct set of requirements that may need to be met separately, depending upon specific objectives.  They want to maximize efficiencies by reusing content and integrating site authoring and publishing processes across web and mobile, and by leveraging responsive design to cut down on site development and speed time to market.  However, they also want the flexibility of a web experience management solution that can provide as much support as possible for mobile-specific requirements when needed, from ease of mobile template customization, to device management.

Multi-channel Gets Back the Brand Site

Managing content and experiences across multiple channels has continued to be a tricky problem to solve.  Basically, as more online channels have emerged – from brand sites, to micro and multi-lingual sites, to email campaigns, through to mobile and social– the more complex content management has become for online marketers.  Meanwhile, against this backdrop of channel proliferation, the value and function of the brand site itself began to get called into question (remember the trend of companies dropping their .coms and moving to Facebook?). 

Easy creation and management of multi-channel brand sitesWhat 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, thereby centralizing marketing processes such as lead capture or facilitating deeper brand engagement.

As a part of this effort, web marketers are looking to be able to access the content that is originating from other channels (regardless of where it is stored), from within the web experience management system authoring environment, and incorporate it within brand sites to produce a more unified, cross-channel experience.

Personalization Comes of Age

Personalization comes of AgeThe drive to personalize digital experiences has been an interesting trend to watch; it’s perhaps the one that has experienced the most hype over time, but it has also been the slowest to take hold, as it has taken a number of years for solutions to get up to where the market needs them to be.  Of course, personalization is a broad term, and it can encompass everything from targeting experiences to different customer segments, to making online search more relevant and intuitive through guided navigation, to providing tools that enable site visitors to tailor their own online experience.

One thing that is certain is that 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.  That said, not all organizations want to jump in with both feet, especially when it comes to areas like content targeting.  Some organizations are still choosing to start with smaller-scale experimentation, using specific pages or promotional sites as targeting test grounds.  Others are taking a more committed approach and are implementing content targeting throughout the web and mobile sites.  Meanwhile, a small, but  growing amount are investing in fully automated, predictive solutions.

This latter area is where we expect to see the most interest and growth in the coming year.  Web marketers are beginning to see the power of connecting the native targeting engines in web experience management systems to predictive solutions that can offset the labor associated with managing segmenting and targeting data through automation, while delivering higher success rates for metrics like click-throughs and conversions.


Thursday Jun 06, 2013

An Oracle Technology Solution for Transportation Agencies

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

  • Management of unstructured content

  • Increasing need to collaborate

  • Lack of comprehensive records management

  • Increasing need for accountability






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

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

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


Technology Solution Breakdown

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


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

Oracle Transportation Management:



Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!



Wednesday Jun 05, 2013

WebCenter for Transportation: Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras


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


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

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

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

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

Challenges

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

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

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

Solutions

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

Why Oracle

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

Partner

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


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Travel and Transportation: Doing great things with Oracle Technology

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

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

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

Challenges

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

Schneider's Online Tools Today:

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

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

Customer Capabilities

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

Transportation Service Provider Capabilities

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


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


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


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

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

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

*****

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Watch an On-Demand Webcast to Learn More!


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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