Linda Fishman Hoyle
How We Interact with Our Environments and Our Devices Has a Fascinating Effect on Enterprise Applications
If that isn’t enough to make you want to click to the interview, here’s the elevator pitch. Ashley level sets where we are with FUSE, which is the new look and feel of Oracle applications. His team is looking closely at changes in technology, as well as how society is changing in regard to its reaction to technology. In recent years, cell phones, smaller display screens, and the iPad required his team to design even more efficient user experiences.
Now we are in another major transition phase. Products come out very quickly. Technology has become more personal. The challenge is to discover how users can integrate with their environment. He says, “It’s not really about mobile meaning a mobile device. It’s more about us being on the go and how the environment can assist and react accordingly.”
Ashley’s team is pushing the envelope, collaborating, and bringing colleagues and customers along with them. They provide common guidelines for standards. They also create usable, consistent components and flows (meta-components called design patterns) so internal developers and customers can build good usable experiences for their products.
The interview is entitled User Experience and How it Makes Applications Easier to Use. It appeared in Oracle Scene published by the Oracle User Group in the United Kingdom.
Unprecedented Speed and Business Agility: Introducing Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Applications
A Guest Post by Lyle Ekdahl, Group Vice President General Manager, Oracle’s JD Edwards
Imagine that you could, in a moment’s notice, access your entire portfolio of projects or products in one view, including cost and profitability. Now imagine that your customer service representatives had real-time access to your customers’ historical order information and profitability while taking orders. That kind of speed and agility changes the game. Imagine new growth opportunities, smarter decisions, reduced costs, and all the benefits that come with being able to outsmart and outmaneuver your competition.
But this isn’t about imagining. We’ve made it a reality with the new
Oracle In-Memory Applications for Oracle Engineered Systems.
As announced at COLLABORATE 13 last month, our new in-memory
applications make older computing approaches obsolete and can take
runtime out of the equation. Now you can have instant access to scads of
information and perform complex data analysis in near real time on live
data sets. The result is better context and insights to solve your
critical business problems.
Here’s the really good news! We have released Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Applications – specifically, Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Project Portfolio Management and Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Sales Advisor.
Oracle’s Engineered Systems make it possible for us to provide
functionality in these applications that we couldn’t deliver before. For
example, in the past, a team of data analysts would use the Extract,
Transfer and Load (ETL) methodology, plus spreadsheets, to pull data.
The information you would receive was stale, the manual process was
error prone, and the conclusions could be questionable. Today, with JD
Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Applications, you get immediate access
to massive sets of near real-time transactional information that is
broad and deep. Your data is fresher, richer, and more accurate. Which
would you rather use to base your business decisions on?
We are very excited about what these In-Memory Applications mean for our JD Edwards customers. We’ve seen the increased speed and improved visibility translate directly to increased revenue and profitability.
And just so you know, we are in the process of making In-Memory Apps available for the other Oracle Applications business lines. As we roll these high-performance solutions out and as the technology continues to evolve, you can trust that Oracle will be a leader to meet your performance and agility needs – even those you can’t imagine today. In the meantime, let’s focus on the exciting possibilities that these In-Memory Applications bring to us and the dawn of a new era in enterprise applications.
A guest post by Natalia Rachelson, Senior Director, Outbound Product Management, Oracle Applications
It was with a mixture of excitement and anxiety that I boarded a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare bound for San Francisco last week — excitement because it had been a while since I’d been to Oracle Headquarters and I was craving to see familiar faces and places, and anxiety because this wasn’t just any business trip. I was traveling to attend and assist with Oracle Analyst World (OAW).
OAW is an annual gathering of leading industry analysts and influencers from firms such as Gartner, Forrester, and IDC, who arguably help shape the future of our industry. Analysts and influencers can be somewhat fickle and tend to favor the “flavour du jour” rather than a well-established incumbent in any given space. In fact, when it comes to convincing the influencers and creating buzz, I would venture to say that incumbents in the enterprise space have to work twice or even three times as hard compared to new entrants. Think Helen Mirren vs. Jennifer Lawrence.
Hence, my uneasiness about OAW running smoothly and hitting all the right notes with our challenging audience. But, who doesn’t love a good challenge?
Let The Conference (And The Tweeting) Begin
Oracle’s Chief Communications Officer Bob Evans kicked off Day 1 by talking about simplifying IT, the power of innovation, and our strategic initiatives. The 100+ analysts and influencers tweeted conscientiously and consistently throughout the conference. Here are some sample tweets: Darren Bibby from IDC, Alan Lepofsky from Constellation Research, Michael Krisgsman from Asuret, and me.
Next up, Executive Vice President John Fowler discussed Oracle’s Engineered Systems. And Thomas Kurian gave our influencers an update on Oracle’s software strategy. Bob Evans, an IDC analyst, and I tweeted the news.
Then Oracle President Mark Hurd took the stage for an open Q & A session. He talked about how Oracle is focused on customer outcomes and how we do not, as a company, set out to be hard to work with. (Smile) Oracle’s Chief Customer Officer Jeb Dasteel discussed Oracle’s customer satisfaction programs.
Tracks and Takeaways
After lunch, the analysts chose one of six tracks to go deeper in their area of focus: 1) Cloud Computing, 2) Next-Generation Business Processes, 3) Business Analytics, 4) Information Management, 5) Business Applications, and 6) Data Center Modernization. Here are my takeaways from the Cloud and Apps sessions I attended.
- Oracle clearly sees that Cloud Computing will be propelling our industry forward for the foreseeable future. It is a shift in the industry and Cloud Computing is here to stay.
- Oracle, unlike anybody else, is poised to be a winner across all Cloud components, including PaaS, IaaS, and SaaS
- When it comes to business applications, we are taking a customer-centric approach and supporting our customers on whatever Oracle platform they happen to be. At the same time, we are also actively educating our customer base about our complete suite of Applications Cloud Services and having conversations with our customers about why they should start looking at introducing Cloud solutions from Oracle within their organizations.
- Both Steve Miranda and Thomas Kurian explained how Oracle amassed the most comprehensive set of Applications Cloud Services in the industry. We started in the Cloud with our 100+ modules of organically grown Fusion applications and enhanced our organic suite through acquisitions with the following industry leading solutions:
- Eloqua for Oracle Marketing Cloud
- RightNow and Inquira for Oracle Service Cloud
- ATG and Endeca for Oracle Commerce Cloud
- Taleo for Oracle Talent Management Cloud
- Vitrue, Involver, and Collective Intellect for Oracle Social Relationship Management Cloud
Customers Help Tell Our Story
The customer panel on Day 2 was one of the most anticipated parts of the conference. Customers representing our entire technology stack spoke to analysts about their experiences with Oracle. The most memorable quote of the day came from Segar Annamalai, CEO at American Career College, whose company is running our HCM Cloud service powered by Fusion.
Segar said that today he is dealing with a different Oracle than he did in the past. He stated that he used to hear from Oracle once a year when his support contract was up for renewal, and maybe one other time when sales reps came knocking on the door for an obligatory cross-sell/up-sell conversation. Things have changed dramatically since then. Segar now has a relationship with Oracle. He talks to Development on a frequent basis, and overall, feels that he is getting the right level of service. According to Segar, Oracle has become a service-oriented company and not just a seller of widgets — and that is what is required of a cloud service provider.
After the panel concluded, analysts got a chance to speak with our customers and executives in a one-on-one setting for deeper insight. Then Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven talked to the audience about Oracle infrastructure, and Oracle’s Corporate Development and Strategic Planning SVP Doug Kehring talked about our merger and acquisition strategy. Here are a couple of the tweets flying out of the Conference Center from Kehring’s session.
Note: To see a compilation of the tweets from OAW, blogger Holger Mueller published a play-by-play Twitter feed for #Oracle_AR.
Up Close and Personal: The Influencer Roundtable
We ended the three-day conference with a handful of leading influencers meeting with Steve Miranda in a more intimate, friendly setting. The select few included (below from left to right): Vinnie Mirchandani from Deal Architect. Brent Leary from CRM Essentials, Denis Pombriant from Beagle Research Group, and Brian Vellmure from Initium LLC / Innovantage
Miranda confidently spoke to them about Oracle’s most comprehensive Cloud offering for applications, including Oracle Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Social Cloud, ERP Cloud, HCM Cloud, and Talent Management Cloud. He talked about our progress with Fusion stating that we added 150 more customers since the last publicly disclosed figure of 400 from Oracle OpenWorld 2012.
More facts from Steve that he discussed with the group: About 85 percent of our Fusion customers are going with a SaaS deployment option. We’re switching to a three-times-a-year release schedule for Fusion as a best practice. Customers have about 60 days to take an upgrade, including some weekends for convenience.
When the influencers asked about a “mobile first” design philosophy, Steve explained that we take a triad approach to mobile: ADF for Mobile, task-specific apps, and Oracle Tap for the Cloud, which is now available for Fusion, RightNow, and Taleo apps. Oracle will only invest in those task-specific apps that take advantage of the mobile form factor and features. He used Fusion Expenses as an example. It takes advantage of phone calendar, voice, camera, and contact information. Another example is a time entry app, which takes advantage of a phone’s alarm clock.
Future investments in the Cloud? Steve articulated that Oracle is focused on:
- Vertical capabilities in CRM
- More manufacturing capabilities and SaaS in SCM
- More localizations, third party integrations, and public sector capabilities in ERP
Only time will tell if we met the challenge of hitting all the right notes with the analysts and influencers. However, we are confident that we impressed this tough audience with substance, vision, and candor. Every one of the attendees had an opportunity to gain an appreciation of the breadth and depth of our business and better understand why customers put their trust in Oracle to help them with their most critical business challenges. They also couldn’t miss the fact that Oracle is playing to win.
And speaking of winning, Brian Sommer of ZDNet wrote in his blog post following the conference, ”Oracle is definitely innovating.” He enthusiastically declared, ”Cloud applications are going to be the future. Oracle’s got a lot going for it here.” We do have a lot going for us – and even more for our customers as they move to the cloud.
A guest post by Joe Gum, Senior Director, Financials Product Strategy, Oracle Applications
A quick YouTube search will bring up hundreds of videos of thought
leaders and happy customers talking about adopting the cloud. We’re
seeing anecdotal evidence at every CloudWorld event that business owners
and users are steadily moving in that direction. And we’re seeing the
same progression in our cloud conversations (and signed deals) with our
The cloud delivers business agility, increased storage, and cost savings -- all good reasons to embrace this new service. But at some point the question arises: will the new solutions integrate with my existing enterprise applications? And more specifically, will the new Oracle Financials Cloud Service integrate with my older enterprise applications?
I’m here to answer that question for you. Read on to learn how Oracle Financials Cloud Service can meet your integration requirements using Oracle Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF Services), ADF Desktop Integration, File-Based Data Import, and reporting tools.
ADF Services (commonly referred to as Web Services), provide a standardized way of integrating two Web-based applications through XML data exchange. A real-life example might be a banking Web service that has functions for checking an account, printing a statement, and depositing and withdrawing funds. These functions are described in a Web service description (WSDL) file that any consumer can invoke to access the banking Web service. The Web service consumer (using a desktop application) invokes the Web service by submitting a request in the form of an XML document to the Web service provider.
Oracle Financials Cloud Service uses Oracle’s ADF Business Components (ADF Service) to create its Web services, and all the available Web services are documented in detail in the Oracle Enterprise Repository.
Let’s move on to ADF Desktop Integration (ADFdi). It also is part of the ADF framework and offers Excel spreadsheet templates to provide validated entry of large volumes of data into Oracle Financials Cloud Service. The integration provided with ADFdi includes pick lists to search for valid values, validation during data entry, error messages, and immediate submission of transactions directly from Excel.
Next up is the File Based Data Import (FBDI) process. It is another option for getting information into Oracle Financials applications. External data can be extracted and formatted into a .csv source file and uploaded to the server for transfer into interface tables and import into Oracle Financials applications. All of the data is validated during import to insure its integrity.
Finally, reporting tools can be used to extract data and import into external systems via XML, Excel, or other file types. Oracle Financials Cloud Service has four reporting tools which can be used to extract data from Oracle Financials and import into your external systems.
- BI Publisher delivers high-volume transactional reports, such as Invoice Registers or Trial Balance reports, that can be configured to extract the data in Rich Text Format or XML
- Oracle Transactional Business Intelligence for Financials provides the ability to build custom queries on transactional data, and the output can be downloaded to Excel
- Financial Reporting Center enables real-time reporting based on multi-dimensional general ledger balances. Reports can be produced in multiple output formats, such as HTML, PDF, Excel, and other MS Office products
- Smart View is an Microsoft Office plug-in for financial users to perform ad hoc, real-time, multi-dimensional analysis on general ledger balances in Excel
Don’t let integration issues cause gridlock in your decision-making process to adopt the cloud for your financial operations. Any concerns you have about integrating to other systems can be met using the tools available in Oracle Financials Cloud Service. Please take advantage of this Oracle white paper on the same topic that offers a bit more detail and helpful diagrams.
A guest post by Amrita Mehrok, Senior Director, Financials Product Strategy, Oracle Applications
Denver, the mile-high city nestled in the slopes of the easternmost
Colorado Rockies, was the host for about 5000 attendees at COLLABORATE
13 (April 7-11). COLLABORATE is the annual Oracle Technology and
Applications conference hosted by three user groups – OAUG (Oracle
Applications User Group), IOUG (Independent Oracle Users Group) and
Quest (International Users Group). The conference features industry
experts, business leaders, partners, Oracle executives, and product
experts all under one roof over a period of five days.
Attendees braved a spring snowstorm to hear the latest in technology and applications updates from Oracle executives, experts from Strategy and Development, as well as partners and customers. With 24x7 connectivity options, coupled with the proliferation of social media at the conference, networking was the theme. Attendees utilized the various forums – ‘Meet Oracle Executives, ’‘Meet the Experts’ type of Oracle-hosted sessions, user group-hosted Special Interest Groups, and social events – to get their questions answered and share their opinions.
Oracle President Mark Hurd’s keynote presentation was moderated by Ray Wang of Constellation Research and featured Oracle’s Sean D. Tucker who inspired attendees with his tales of aviation and overcoming challenges. Hurd announced new Oracle In-Memory Applications for Oracle Engineered Systems. These applications leverage DRAM, flash memories, and the near-zero latency InfiniBand network fabric to run 10-20 times faster than commodity hardware by transforming batch processing to real-time and shortening response time with improved UI rendering. Hurd also announced Oracle Big Data Appliance X3-2 Starter Rack, Big Data Appliance X3-2 In-Rack Expansion, and Big Data Appliance Infrastructure as a Service. Mark fielded numerous interesting questions from the audience, and reinforced Oracle's devotion to working more closely with the Oracle user groups in the coming months. (Want more details? Here's a blog post by Dan Power from Hub Designs summarizing Mark’s speech and his Q&A.)
The conference featured several tracks covering technology, middleware, and applications. Chris Leone kicked off the applications track by talking about the functional capabilities of each of the pillars and advised the attendees to start thinking about how the applications can help streamline their businesses. The demo grounds saw a steady flow of traffic with interest in applications and technology products being very high.
In addition to the usual product and technology sessions, the conference also hosted a luncheon and a panel session on ‘Women in Technology’ where accomplished women in the technology field shared their personal experiences and strategies for success.
Despite the bad weather the conference was high energy and the feedback from my fellow attendees was positive. Watch the video of people's impressions of the conference.
Steve Woods is the author of The X Factor: The Convergence of Customer Experience and Web Experience Management, an article that appeared in CMSWire just last week. Steve Woods is also one of ours. He reports to Steve Miranda as a group vice president after having been Eloqua’s CTO since its founding.
Woods presents three excellent points for improving marketing automation which creates better Web experiences: 1) understand buyers (and their digital body language), 2) keep it simple, but holistic (don’t over-engineer the experience), and 3) get personal, but be real (stay authentic). But this article isn’t just about how to treat customers online. It’s about mining the information you have about customers so you can keep the cross-channel experiences consistent. Woods says, “offline interactions, such as those that sales professionals have, should be guided by an understanding of a buyers’ online behavior. Similarly, online experiences should reflect what we know about the buyer from their offline interactions.”
Woods points out that customers can bypass the vendor completely by going to the Web for the information they need. At that point, the vendor has no control. “The only way to regain control is to have the best experience so that they can, and will, come to you,” he states.
A guest post by Jim Milton, Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle Applications
There are a billion consumers connected to one another via social
networks. One billion of us! That’s a lot of eyeballs and a lot of
opportunity for marketers to reach us online. They can choose to
interrupt our conversations with low-performing display ads, or become
the topic of conversation so that we spread the word more naturally
through trusted recommendations and referrals. Marketers are
increasingly choosing the latter because of its effectiveness. And
employers have caught on to the concept with an eye toward driving
talent referrals and job sharing.
It makes intuitive sense. We pay close attention to what our peers, family members and colleagues are telling us, while we tune out banner ads and telemarketers. On the flip side, when we’re happy with a product or service, we often refer our friends to brands without realizing we’re doing it – by passively sharing, “tweeting,” and “liking” brand-content into the newsfeed. The impact of our new recommendation habit is enormous, given that the Facebook newsfeed, for example, has become the most trafficked page on the most trafficked Website in the world. We call these endorsements “Referrals 2.0.” and harnessing them is now central to brand and product marketing strategy. Case in point: Groupon’s entire business is built on this concept.
So, Where’s The Connection to HCM and Jobs?
Until just a few years ago, HR decision makers were not ready to do what today seems almost obvious. Now they see the benefits of connecting their high-performing Employee Referral Programs to the world of online recommendations and social sharing. Since every employee is connected to their friends on social networks, it is relatively easy to make every employee a “social recruiter,” given the right technology.
The truth is that at first, most HR departments adapted to the rise of social networks by treating them as just another place to advertise – missing the concept of Referrals 2.0. As job seekers, we began to see HR’s old-school, post-and-advertise approach in action. Most of us became accustomed to seeing jobs advertised on LinkedIn, or to being contacted directly by strangers (i.e., recruiters), inviting us to consider opportunities that we may or may not have been interested in. Like telemarketing, this experience felt disruptive at its worst. Then, something happened.
A few innovative employers began promoting jobs through their employees, tapping employees’ social networks. Employees were systematically prompted to share jobs in a targeted way, and job seekers from China to Canada to Brazil started receiving relevant recommendations from their friends: “McGraw-Hill is a great place to work – you should check out this IT Manager position.”
Happily employed workers – looking to help their friends get jobs and to earn a referral bonus – routed hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands of e-mails, LinkedIn messages, tweets, and Facebook posts (similar to the one above) to their passive and active job-seeking friends online. Hundreds of thousands of job seekers began “bumping” into and applying to job opportunities that they might not have discovered had it not been for a friend sharing a job with them. And unlike the case of a stranger reaching out via LinkedIn, the recipients of these job posts viewed the employer endorsements from their trusted friends with open eyes and open ears.
Many hundreds of hires and happy talent acquisition leaders later, the concept of Referrals 2.0 was validated as a force-multiplying, transformative approach to sourcing quality talent. Yours truly, along with my team members from SelectMinds, were brought into the Oracle family to become a strategic piece of talent sourcing machinery for Oracle’s existing and future clients. If you haven’t heard about it, our product module is called Oracle Taleo Social Sourcing.
After talking with dozens of Oracle sales people, clients, and prospects, I can report that the excitement for our product and the Referrals 2.0 approach is palpable. For me personally, the real proof of concept came just the other day. A friend of mine shared a link to a product manager job using Oracle Taleo Social Sourcing – just after sharing a Groupon deal for a new, local restaurant and liking a new healthy fruit juice drink that I’m in love with. There, in my Facebook feed, the world of social brand marketing had crossed paths with recruitment — proof that times have changed for HCM indeed.
A guest post by Melissa Vito, Senior Director, Outbound Product Management, Oracle Applications
America’s favorite pastime is watching TV, right? But wait! It seems
we’re now spending more time monitoring Facebook than network TV,
according to Jeff Dachis, a social marketing guru from the Dachis Group.
I heard him share trends like this, along with observations and advice,
at CloudWorld New York two weeks ago.
Dachis said that having the tools to express ourselves at any time to any audience has created the largest shift of the communications landscape in the history of mankind. (“The revolution is here!”) We’ve moved from “mass communications to a mass of communicators” which has a big impact on the way businesses interact with us as consumers. We’re leery of marketing copy and customer representatives who talk at us. We want to be engaged through social means and with recommendations. Therefore, he advises, for the sandwich shop on the corner (or any business) to be successful, it needs to identify its biggest advocates and mobilize them to get the good word out to us.
CloudWorld is an event where customers see and hear from industry experts, business leaders, partners, Oracle executives, and product experts all in one day! And CloudWorld New York didn’t disappoint. There was a sense of promise and pioneering about the event. Cloud computing is the latest innovation in technology, and according to many scientists, business leaders, and the marketplace, it is a historical game changer. The audience seemed to sense the transformation that was ahead for their businesses and was looking to Oracle for help.
Up for the challenge, Oracle Senior Vice President Joanne Olsen explained that CloudWorld demonstrates the important investment Oracle is making in the cloud. Oracle Executive Vice President Thomas Kurian, explained the developments driving cloud computing, including globalization, data explosion, and the rise of mobility. He talked about the dilemma facing CIOs to keep the legacy systems running while leaning into the new trends.
Then he shared the cloud capabilities Oracle offers and showcased some of our Oracle Cloud customers via video testimonials. The audience heard from Red Robin, Herbalife, Lending Club, Cricket Video, Breg, Key Energy, iRobot, NBC Sports Group, Siemens, Intel, and CRM IT.
Each one spoke of turning to Oracle to modernize its business. Some were replacing aging systems; many wanted a robust and scalable platform to bring together disparate systems. Some were new Oracle customers; others were building on their years of experience with Oracle. They talked about the speed of implementation and how that translated to faster ROI. Their business users liked having more control over the implementations and were impressed with the deep functionality and ease of use of the cloud solutions. The cloud gave them the opportunity to simplify IT and focus on the business. Several mentioned that moving to the cloud reduced their cost, their risk, their downtime — all of which are a reality.
The remainder of the day was full of opportunities to learn, network, and contemplate our cloud futures. One particularly interesting session was Clay Shirkey’s. He’s a best-selling author and leading voice on the effects of the internet on society. He talked about how social media makes impossible problems trivial and illustrated his point with the DARPA Challenge. A few years ago, this annual competition explored how broad-scope, time-critical problems can be tackled using social networking tools. A team from MIT received the $40,000 prize for successfully completing the complex task of finding the fixed locations of 10 moored, 8-foot, red, weather balloons in the continental United States. Historically, it would have taken days or even weeks to complete this competition. The winning team did it in less than nine hours by using social media!
“When people get access to systems that are cheaper and easy to use, they do things in a new ways,” Shirkey quipped. He talked about Foursquare (a social networking tool) allowing people to “see through walls” and to unexpectedly connect with friends in public places. Social tools improve social engagement, both of which are extending into the workplace. Shirkey cited a workforce study that showed that the best ideas come from people who have connections with co-workers in other departments – and in global companies with a growing number of remote workers, those connections have to be made through social networking. A number of Shirkey’s ideas reinforced Kurian’s statement earlier in the day that “social is business.”
For more information about CloudWorld and the remaining events, please visit the Oracle CloudWorld home page.
Dubai is a prime tourist destination and rated as one of the best places
to live in the Middle East. The city is known for its wonderfully,
multi-cultural environment and beautiful buildings. A lesser known fact
is that 100,000 of the business community members in this thriving city
are represented and supported by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. And on
an even more unrecognized note, this Dubai Chamber of Commerce is
Dubai Chamber purchased Fusion products for its ERP and HCM systems in mid-2012. Since then, it has been working very closely with Oracle and partner Infosys on the implementation (upgrading from E-Business Suite). The Chamber has been extremely happy with the way the implementation is going — enough so that Senior Director, Atiq Juma Faraj Nasib, from the Chamber’s Commercial Services Sector shared the positive experience in this video.
Nasib says, “We exist today for our members — and having
data about them will help us help them.” The organization is
enthusiastic about how complete and modern Fusion is and believe that
Fusion will help it become a real international chamber of commerce.
The Chamber plans to go live in May 2013, so we’ll be back later this year to report its progress.
A guest post by Kirsten Hanson, Senior Director, HR's Global Organization and Talent Development
We went live with Oracle Fusion Talent Review in late 2012. During the
implementation, I blogged about Oracle’s business drivers for a new
talent management process, Oracle President Mark Hurd’s position on
talent management, and the benefits we were anticipating from Oracle
Fusion Talent Review. (Post 1 and Post 2.) Now I’m back to report on the progress of the
rollout—and to let you know how excited we are that the new talent
review process and technology are already making a difference in our
Three Successful Pilots Lead the Way
Oracle Fusion was a logical choice for us. We needed a talent review system that facilitated discussions between HR and business leaders about their business units. Those rich conversations and fact-based conclusions would then lead to better talent and organizational decisions, and in turn, help deliver higher profitability per employee.
So far, we have completed three pilots in the business, which have given us great feedback. Just as we anticipated, the application shows individual and aggregate data in a way that allows for more strategic discussions and decisions.
The best way to understand the real impact is to hear from an Oracle business leader who has used Oracle Fusion Talent Review. David Tweddle, head of UK Alliance and Channel, stated, “The UK Alliance and Channel team is built on an ethos of ‘people first.’ FY13 has been a year of transition with a new structure and a team new to its roles. As a result, we decided to undertake two talent reviews this year—the most recent using Oracle Fusion Talent Review.”
He reports that the software has “proved invaluable, providing us with the ability to quickly and simply review the capability and potential of the team. It has enabled the management team to spot talent, head off issues, and better manage the team as a result.”
Benefits for Employees Too
While Oracle Fusion Talent Review is showing so much promise for the management teams, we are equally excited about what the technology means for our employees. Now employees across the company can play a more active role in their own career development. With the introduction of Oracle Fusion Talent Review, employees create and manage their own online employee portraits. By design, this active involvement promotes open dialogue with their managers. It also encourages employees to take responsibility for their professional growth and development. The process creates the opportunity to match employees’ positions with their aspirations and interests while fulfilling organizational needs.
This approach also aligns with Oracle’s desire to increase transparency around our talent management processes. We believe employee development should be a collaborative activity between employees and managers. To support these activities, we have updated our related talent management resources, which include the upcoming introduction of our new Talent Management Portal. This portal will offer a comprehensive understanding of our talent management processes and provide a variety of tools and training resources.
Incremental Rollouts and Fundamental Changes
For the next quarter, we will concentrate on refining our processes and conducting small to medium-sized talent initiatives. Then, starting in mid-2013, we will incrementally roll out Oracle Fusion Talent Review to a number of businesses that are ready, enabling us to fundamentally change the way we manage our talent and shape our organizations.
That change starts with being able to consistently execute our talent management practices and programs across Oracle, which equips us to make the right decisions about our people and our business. We will have global data that provides a more comprehensive view of our talent. With such a view, we can more easily track and monitor the success of our development initiatives, quickly identify critical gaps in our capabilities, and plan how to best engage our resources. By aligning our talent process with our business strategy, Oracle leaders and employees will be able to achieve their organizational and individual goals more effectively.
Watch for more information on the roll out of Oracle Fusion Talent Review as we continue to make progress.
Dr. Kirsten Hanson
Senior Director, HR’s Global Organization and Talent Development
On Monday, Steve Miranda was settling in to his seat for his 15-hour flight to Sydney, Australia, for Oracle CloudWorld. And then he tweeted, “Right behind me on flight to Sydney CloudWorld — BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN!!! Rarely star struck. Am now. Need to get a photo w/o being rude.”
Camera phone: replaceable. Picture: priceless.
And priceless could also describe the experience for the customers at Oracle CloudWorld in Sydney (and other cities around the world). These worldwide events are attracting a less technical group than Oracle has hosted in the past. That’s because the cloud model has shifted much of the decision making and responsibility to the business users. This has changed the role of IT and empowered people with less technical depth or skill.
That scenario led to governance challenges at the New Zealand Post when it implemented Oracle RightNow in 2009, according to head of customer channels Russell Stephens, who spoke at the conference. Managing director Robert McGregor said the same thing happened at CRMNow, “Now we have a governance process that looks across what functionality we have in the cloud. It’s run at a management team level; there’s no independent CIO role.”
No matter where the customer attendees were in their cloud adoption, Steve Miranda helped them put their journeys in perspective. Since cloud doesn’t require a ‘big bang’ rollout, he said that people can migrate gradually as they see opportunities for innovation and savings. Others, who want to do something with social, mobile or big data, can move to the cloud immediately, “while still hooking in to all the other goodness they buy from Oracle.” Whether it’s a hybrid approach or an immediate jump, Miranda predicts that in two to five years, “it will not be unusual for all of an organization’s major systems to be in the cloud.”
This short summary just scratches the surface of the Oracle CloudWorld event in Sydney. Four different publications covered the event, all reporting positively on the event and our solutions: ZDNet, ITWire, ITNews, The Register.
And just for clarification, Bruce Springsteen did not attend Oracle CloudWorld.
A guest post by Misha Vaughan, User Experience Architect, Oracle Fusion Applications
The Apps UX team continuously seeks out feedback from customers and partners on our applications products. We also find it extremely valuable to know what our colleagues at Oracle think, especially when we get feedback like this from a recent training event.
“The insight into what the UX team does, how the team "navigates" and
persuades the larger Oracle organization, the "fresh" perspective --
that changed my mind from a skeptic to a loyal supporter to a front-line
evangelist,” said Oracle Fusion Apps Leader Anand Subramanian from
India (pictured at right). He attended one of our recent internal user
experience trainings and sales updates held in Amsterdam and Dubai.
We hosted the in-person events for Subramanian and other Apps UX Sales Ambassadors (SAMBA) in EMEA so they could become regional experts on our applications user experiences. We wanted them to see and give feedback on what's new, what's coming, and what is "wow." Their counterparts in North America had been updated in Oct 2012 and it was time to ‘train up’ the rest of the world.
What Say the SAMBAS?
The SAMBA program is a team of senior-level application solution consultants and applications technologists who provide front-line feedback to us about the applications user experience strategy and roadmap. These team members also have the responsibility of passing along what they learn to their colleagues. Julian Peters, Master Principal Solution Consultant in the UK, said it well (pictured below).
“I am always inspired by these events – the key thing is to ensure that the enthusiasm is then replicated and instilled across the wider Sales Consulting community. At a recent UK HCM SC team meeting, I replayed some of the messaging and content from the Amsterdam event, and it was gratefully received.”
Peters is enthusiastic, as well as appreciative. He goes on to say, “Like any sales consultant, I am always keen to see and understand new stuff coming down the line – all too often the visibility of this is limited and controlled within organizations. It was great to understand in more detail the roadmap ahead. I always get skeptical when future ideas and concepts are not shared – this was NOT the case at this event!”
Subramanian also was up for the task of passing on what he had learned to his Middle East colleagues -- and beyond. He said, “Having been with Oracle for more than 16 years, the event (and the preceding discussions) was an eye-opener. It makes me confident and also creates enthusiasm to take this message to a wider audience (customers, partners and colleagues).”
By way of recognition, these team members stepped out of a crushing Q3 to attend these events in Dubai and Amsterdam. We know they learned a great deal, but they also taught us about what they need in the products to compete. A big public thank you to all of them.
Visit the Usable Apps website to learn more about Fusion Applications User Experience.
A guest post by Joe Gum, Senior Director, Oracle Financials Product Strategist
Imagine trying to purchase a new phone, pay your bills, or book a cruise
online if the software isn’t in a language you speak. As sophisticated
users of the internet, we see a distinct increase in the number of
multilingual users, as well as in the amount of Web content. E-commerce
is growing in importance for the international market that lies at our
Business owners can decide to ignore these issues and keep their businesses small and regional. Global companies don’t have that luxury, nor would they want to. These companies need enterprise-grade software that can be used around the world. The software needs to accommodate different languages, various local business practices, and local regulations compliance.
We designed Oracle Fusion Applications from the ground up with the global customer in mind. The suite includes essential internationalization functionality, translation and multi-lingual support, and localization features. For example, Oracle Fusion Applications support multiple date formats, number formats, names, addresses, phone numbers, and currency symbols. It also supports unlimited accounting representations and statutory reporting needs—all on a single global instance using standard preferences and setup. This allows global customers to adapt their software for a specific region or language without requiring multiple installations of the product and without engineering changes or customizations.
At this point, no customer should have to settle for less. Why select a cloud service vendor who is halfway there when you can select one who can meet all your global and multi-national needs? And, with the ongoing addition of new language support with every release, Oracle Fusion Applications soon will support the world’s 22 most popular languages.
The new language additions include and are not limited to: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French (European), French (Canadian), German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. With multiple language capabilities, customers can run Oracle Fusion Applications in any combination of these languages to support their global enterprises.
We also provide localizations in Oracle Fusion Applications. These are country-specific extensions to meet local business requirements. China, for example, is a country with many different local and legal requirements. The Oracle Fusion Applications payroll solution has extensions for China, as well as for Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States. For Financials, localizations also exist for China, plus United States, Singapore, France, and the European Union.
Even without country-specific features, Oracle Fusion Applications can be configured to support many local requirements, such as payroll and transaction taxes.
In the ERP space alone, customers in 20 countries enjoy the robustness of Oracle Fusion Applications. These customers include companies located in United Arab Emirates, France, United States, Netherlands, Argentina, Singapore, South Africa, China, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Korea, India, Germany, Russia, Sweden, and Cyprus. Many of these implementations are multi-national customers implementing in multiple countries.
You can depend on Oracle Fusion Applications to be easy and straightforward to operate in multiple countries. We designed it to help global companies like yours be successful in expanding to new markets and locales. These localization efforts support general business functionality across all areas of the business process, such as financial management, supply chain management, human resources, and the like with country-specific tax and statutory updates.
A guest post by JP Saunders, Senior Director, Oracle Product Strategist
Like in the SiFi movie “In Time”, my time has become even more precious
lately, especially since the birth of my third child. I find myself more
like Justin T (sadly not in looks) in this movie, always running out of
time. It can be a real challenge to get the time to do things I enjoy,
like going for a ride, let alone finding time for things I must get done
like running errands, or fixing things around the house.
Now more than ever, I am constantly monitoring time and standing guard over it like a child holding the last candy bar on the playground. The time bandits are everywhere, waiting to take what little you have through exasperated delays.
Today, like me, people are willing to pay more to have time back in their lives everyday. So while the movie reference may take the concept to a whole other level, I know I am not alone with the feeling that time should be valued like currency, and not frivolously or needlessly squandered.
Knowledge of this customer attitude and behavior is vital to the success of a business. And, in a world where time is money, helping customers to do something in-time is just as important as helping them to have more-time in their day.
All too often customer engagements start with “customer friendly” practices, which are not so “time friendly”. For example, a smile and the simple words “can I help you?” are polite, but how much of what the business already knows about you is being applied, or will be applied when this question is asked? What this question actually represents is an assumed blank slate, a ground zero for the engagement, requiring an investment and risk of the customer’s time to find out if you can actually help them. Similar to that of an empty search box on a Website, just punch in what you are looking for … do you feel lucky?
In these data rich times where information, insights and analytics are
in abundance, a simple question such as “can I help you?” that is void
of any applied understanding, should provoke an equally simple
response, ”no it doesn’t appear that you can … but thank you for
asking.” To get the right answer to the right question at the right time
there must be relevance, context and awareness – without that, it’s
just a smile on an empty box.
You see to “Help me” requires an understanding of who I am, where I am, what I am doing, what I am trying to do, and when/where I need it done. You might not know everything needed, and may need to verify or gather information along the engagement, but when you apply what you do know at each step, it turns “friendly” engagements into “helpful” ones – and customers into advocates.
At Oracle we continue our commitment to help businesses reduce their time-footprint on their customers’ lives. Our automated technologies that empower knowledge administrators to efficiently manage complex business policies ensure that the right answers (accurate, up-to-date, in context) get delivered at the right time (real-time, no waiting), at the point of need (across devices).
Whether your customers are searching for content solutions or they need answers based on complex business policies, Oracle’s service and support solutions empower administrators to efficiently ensure that the right answers (accurate, up-to-date, in context) get delivered at the right time (real-time, no waiting), at the point of need (across channels and devices). To learn more about our knowledge solutions, click here. To learn more about our decision automation solutions, click here.
A guest post by Mike Mallin, Oracle Product Strategist by way of SelectMinds
There has been a lot of well-justified hype around social recruiting these past few years, as evidenced by LinkedIn’s revenue model, Facebook’s recent launch of a social job board, and numerous venture capital financings. And recently, Oracle acquired SelectMinds (and my colleagues and me) because it recognizes the huge potential for social recruiting and the meaningful disruption it’s creating in the talent acquisition technology space.
The powerful force that’s driving this disruption is the significant change in the behavior of consumers. In short, people are doing what they’ve always wanted to do but which is only now possible, thanks to social and mobile technology.
1) For today’s consumers, life is a stage. People share opinions and facts about their lives with dizzying frequency from wherever they are, including where they work, how happy or unhappy they are there, etc.
2) There are many more job seekers. The expected tenure of the average worker is 4.4 years, but for millennials, people born between 1977 and 1997, it is half that. This means that there are more active job seekers at any given time, and more significantly, there are more of the highly covetedpassive job seekers, because more people are potentially willing to leave their current jobs.
3) People turn to friends and even loose contacts because job boards have proven ineffective for both job seekers and companies. And, thanks to social networks, one’s contacts are there to be tapped for help. In 2012, 52 percent of job seekers used Facebook to help find work (up from 48 percent in 2011), 38 percent (up from 30 percent) used LinkedIn, and 34 percent (up from 26 percent) used Twitter.
4) People have become more demanding about their quality of life and have come to expectmore “human” experiences when developing relationships with companies.
What Are Companies Doing About It?
Companies are faced with numerous, new challenges and are hungry for solutions to meet them. A number of large enterprises are spending a good amount of money and time in an attempt to tackle these problems.
Many are paying LinkedIn more and more money to have their internal recruiters search the LinkedIn database and cold call/email potential talent. A lot of companies are trying to build a fan base on Facebook and Twitter. They are establishing official company pages and accounts and posting job openings to them, either manually or with some degree of automation, through in-house or third-party technology. And, of course, enterprises are still paying third-party recruiters and agencies large amounts of money.
However, in the aggregate, the money has not yet moved in step with the hype. While the above activities have created some measure of value for recruiting departments, companies know that these activities do nottruly tackle the problems they’re facing.
Oracle is the market leader in the enterprise recruiting technology space. Its acquisition of SelectMinds bolsters its Taleo talent acquisition offering with sophisticated social talent sourcing capabilities. Apart from HCM,Oracle’s acquisitions of Vitrue, Collective Intellect, and Involver have created a powerful set of enterprise social technology tools.
Our solution takes aim at the fundamental and massive opportunity offered by all of this disruption: companies should stop relying exclusively on their recruiters and truly tap social networks to crowd source their talent.
Consider a company with just 2,000 employees; if each employee has an average of 100 friends and each friend has 100 of his/her own, there are 20 million connections a company can, in theory, tap into. Imagine a handful of internal recruiters reaching an audience of anywhere near that size through their own networks!
Candidate referrals from trusted sources – most notably, employee referrals – are much more likely to be hired, which translates to less time and lower cost of hire. Furthermore, according to Dr. John Sullivan who has studied employee referrals extensively, they represent the highest quality applicants, the best retention metrics, and the top performing hires of any source.
Social networks create natural referral networks. However, alone they are simply not enough. For example, according to a recent post by ERE, 60 percent of employees say they’d refer someone to their company, but only 23 percent participate in company employee referral programs. Companies need first-class enterprise technology to meaningfully leverage social networks at scale.
Our solution generates massive increases in the number of high-quality hires a company makes through employee referrals and creates a powerful and extremely cost-efficient social recruitment marketing channel. Additionally, our product drives employee satisfaction. People can engage in a rewarding way using technology that provides the same high level of user experience as their favorite consumer internet applications.
The proof is in our results, as detailed in this recent article from Talent Magazine. It covers a SelectMinds/Oracle client and one of the world’s most well-known companies, eBay. The company estimates that they would have needed four full-time recruiters to hire as many employees as they did using our product.
I look forward to delving into the topics introduced here in future posts to this blog.
Oracle brought people and supply chains together at the first annual Oracle Value Chain Summit in San Francisco February 4-6, 2013.The Summit is a unique event that gives all professionals in fields related to products and supply chains an opportunity to learn, network, share ideas, and get inspired. Almost 2,000 people attended the event that united six disciplines spanning the supply chain: Product Lifecycle Management, Maintenance, Manufacturing, Value Chain Execution, Value Chain Planning, and Procurement.
Please take a moment to browse the presentations, join the virtual community, or contact your Oracle sales representative if you have any questions or feedback about the Summit. The Value Chain teams at Oracle are so pleased with how many of our customers’ were eager to share their resounding success stories with their peers. Thank you to all who joined us at the first annual Oracle Value Chain Summit!
A combined post from Joe Payne, CEO, Eloqua and Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President Application Development, Oracle
As of last Friday, February 8, 2013, Oracle completed the acquisition of
Eloqua, and Eloqua’s products will become a core component of the Oracle
Marketing Cloud. The combination of our companies will accelerate the pace of
the Modern Marketing revolution and enable Oracle and Eloqua customers to offer
exceptional customer experiences. Read the whole press release announcing the
This is an exciting milestone not just for our companies and employees, but
more importantly, we’ll be able to deliver a variety of key benefits to our
customers. By adding Eloqua’s best-in-class Modern Marketing platform to
Oracle’s Customer Experience suite, marketers will be able to play a critical
role in delivering an integrated and highly personalized customer
Eloqua’s management and employees will join Oracle to help ensure continuity
of Eloqua’s product development and customer relationships, and as we move
forward, we plan to stay true to our conviction of driving successful revenue
strategies for today’s leading businesses. Additionally, the open Eloqua
platform will continue to support multiple CRM systems. Users will be able to
maintain existing integrations without disruption, and keep business running as
Oracle’s commitment to advancing its leadership in sales and marketing
automation is expected to accelerate product development and an expanded Eloqua
product suite. Oracle’s Big Data and Business Intelligence technology assets
will deliver enhanced value to Eloqua’s product line. And by leveraging Oracle’s
global footprint, this combination extends Eloqua’s reach to nearly every
country in the world, all major vertical markets, and each of the Fortune 100
Oracle’s customers will benefit from having Eloqua’s leading marketing cloud
solution as a part of the Oracle Cloud. By adding key modern marketing
capabilities that will automate complex marketing processes across multiple
channels, we expect Oracle customers will improve their business processes by
more effectively targeting and nurturing prospects, yielding highly qualified
sales leads at a lower cost.
The combination of Eloqua with Oracle is the beginning of a great new opportunity for modern businesses.
In a recent article, Greenberg questioned how it is that so many vendors could now be focused on customer experience when not so long ago their primary focus was something else. “What are the things that … changed them from a CRM caterpillar to customer experience butterfly? What was it, besides jumping on a trend that made them transform themselves?” He invited a handful of companies to “get their stories straight and their portfolios aligned and present their new features and functions that make them more than what they were months ago.”
Interestingly, Oracle started this exercise with a leg up. Greenberg wrote this as he issued the challenge, “At the moment, what I do see is Oracle has a product portfolio they have aligned around customer experience that includes their CRM products (though I have different concerns about that not part of this) among other things. SAP has a book on the subject. Beyond that, I just don’t know or perhaps am missing something.”
So how did David Vap respond? As you can imagine, he makes a very compelling case for Oracle being focused on customer experience. He acknowledges that social, mobile, and cloud have greatly impacted the way businesses must serve their empowered customers. But serving up a great customer experience is about far more than implementing new software. It requires “a cultural shift and leadership commitment inside a company.” He says that CX requires a holistic approach to understanding how a customer interacts with a company so that the people, processes, and technology can support the entire lifecycle.
Once the customer journey is defined and a strategy is set, then a company can explore software solutions. “At Oracle we have been busy building a comprehensive portfolio of applications to meet this challenge. In fact, RightNow, which is one of Oracle’s more recent acquisitions, has been a leading proponent of software driving excellent customer experience. Oracle is well known for leadership in the CRM category, which we view as a subset of the CX portfolio. We continue to broaden our portfolio of CX applications to meet market needs across marketing, sales, commerce, and service.”
Vap ends the article with confidence. He says, “Oracle is meeting the customer experience challenge every day, by giving our customers the knowledge, resources, and tools to identify their unique customer experience challenges and by helping to develop strategies to address those pain points. The real challenge for us is, and will remain, in helping our customers to achieve success with theirs.”
Here’s David Vap’s entire article on behalf of Oracle.
A guest post by Mike Stiles, Senior Content Manager, Oracle
In a previous blog, we touched on the importance of listening and responding when social users reach out to the brand. Today, let’s go a bit deeper into just how much customers want to use social for this purpose, and bigger picture – how the right social customer service execution gets you significantly down the road toward the dream CX.
The days of “you’ll take what we give you” are over. Not only are customers empowered by social to amplify experiences both positive and negative to peers, they’re also empowered to set their own customer experience expectations.
No, you didn’t set those expectations, but it’s your task to address them. Failing to do so makes your dream CX more of a nightmare. When expectations are violated, the result is frustration, anger, resentment, and ill will. Also, friends are told the sad story of how the customer was “done wrong.”
Entire books have been written on CX. Thick ones. But as a loyal Social Spotlight reader, I’ll boil CX success down for you in two phrases.
EASY TO USE
DELIVERS THE DESIRED RESULT
That’s it. Nail those two things and you’ve built a dream CX. Unfortunately, as obvious as that sounds, organizations are quite tangled up and bogged down in their efforts to deliver it.
A recent infographic outlined how customers are connecting with brands and how they increasingly want to. The top 3 ways they’re connecting are quite traditional; phone (84%), email (80%) and company site (72%).
Though they’re traditional and have been around forever, the CX in these areas is often still a nightmare. Multi-level phone trees designed to keep you away from humans and that never seem to offer the option you need, automated form-response emails followed by radio silence, and site navigation resembling cluttered mazes even the most skilled lab rat couldn’t negotiate their way through in under a day.
Increasingly, customers are trying to get satisfaction through social and mobile. Why? Partly because the social networks instantly solve the “easy to use” dream. Customers are using platforms they already know, so on the customer-facing side, the social networks are doing half the brand’s CX job for them.
That leaves the other half, “delivers the desired result.” And that’s where bad traditional CX threatens to extend itself to bad social/mobile CX if not addressed.
The infographic tells us 56% of customers who connect with social feel a stronger connection to the brand, and 50% are more likely to buy from a brand they can contact with via social. There’s the opportunity customers are offering.
- 79% of smartphone users say they always or sometimes know more about the product/issue than the brand’s customer service rep (!)
- 80% of smartphone users still haven’t been marketed to by their favorite brands via mobile (!!)
The socially enabled enterprise can pull social/mobile customer touch points into an overall CRM system so that integration with traditional customer service vehicles benefits and informs both, in every customer interaction. Inquiries can be easy for customers to make, and the answers they get back can be fast and usable.
They’ll think they’re living in a CX dream.