Linda Fishman Hoyle
A Guest Post by VP Chris Shutts, Oracle Cloud Development (pictured left)
Just like Oracle, Salesforce from time to time snaps up hot start ups and large established players to round out its enterprise applications portfolio. These acquisitions normally do not involve SFDC’s Force.com partners. So, in December 2015 when Salesforce announced its intent to acquire SteelBrick (a CPQ vendor on the Force.com platform), a ripple went through the rest of the Force.com ecosystem.
This acquisition was not good news for other Force.com based CPQ solutions such as Apttus. SteelBrick is a relatively simple solution, mostly focused toward small and mid-market companies requiring configuration capability in their sales process. Cash-hungry Apttus, who now may need to make some staffing and R&D decisions that would make them less competitive, has also tried to serve this market in recent years, making both these companies direct and common competitors in the ecosystem.
In any case, our own CPQ Cloud, based on the BigMachines’ acquisition, is rock solid and has been enjoying very strong market momentum. The solution is frequently sold and/or added to existing Sales Cloud, Commerce, and SCM Cloud instances.
Upsides for Oracle
Trefis Team published Here’s The Reason Behind Salesforce.com’s Acquisition of SteelBrick in Forbes.com and said, “The purchase doubtlessly adds additional firepower to Salesforce’s industry-leading Sales Cloud…” However, I see real upsides for Oracle. The SteelBrick acquisition unquestionably helps validate the importance of configuration, pricing, and quoting in the overall sales process.
Also SteelBrick’s solution and Oracle’s CPQ Cloud are not in the same league. Oracle CPQ Cloud is a CPQ application delivered in the cloud that can handle complex products, high transaction volumes, and large user populations. CPQ applications help solve complicated business problems, and therefore require lots of technology investment and time to perfect. Our product has matured for 16 years and delivers innovation and value to great companies, such as HP, ADP, Vodafone, Schneider-Electric, and Siemens.
Join us for an Oracle HCM Cloud Customer Forum call on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 9:00 am PDT.
Paula Peacher, Senior Director, Global Payroll and HRIS at MoneyGram International will discuss MoneyGram's decision to streamline its payroll, core HR and recruitment process so employee’s could have better access to data, align employee execution with corporate strategy, and improve HR regulatory compliance.
Paula also will explain MoneyGram's move from Ceridian to Oracle HCM Cloud to provide its employees a better user experience and to increase employee reporting capabilities, productivity, and participation in company results.
MoneyGram selected Oracle HCM Cloud with the following modules: Core HR, US Payroll, Workforce Compensation, Performance and Goal Management, Talent Review and Succession, Recruiting and Onboarding.
MoneyGram now offers services at approximately 350,000 agent locations in more than 200 countries.
Register now to attend the live Forum and learn more about MoneyGram International’s experience with Oracle HCM Cloud.
Join us for another Oracle Customer Reference Forum on June 28, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. PDT.
Del Clark, Chief Financial Officer at Inspirage, will talk about Inspirage’s business drivers to implement Oracle ERP Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud. Get details of the content and a registration link for this live Forum.
It used to be that being first to adopt, innovate, or change was too dicey for many companies. Being a follower reduced one's risk while others worked out the bugs; however, today, according to Sonny Singh, SVP and general manager of Oracle’s financial services global business unit, that strategy is “incomprehensible” because of all the disruption going on around us.
No Need to Boil the Ocean
Preston says being a first mover is not about being the very first to innovate. It's about investing in the “tools, infrastructure, processes, and talent" to create a steady flow of innovation. There’s still plenty of room (and advantages) to be a first mover in areas such as mobile and data analytics. Otherwise, Singh contends you could miss “an entire generation of technology, an entire customer base, or an entire trend."
Takeaway: Being a fast follower isn’t really an option in today’s fast-paced digital world.
Read the article: Why 'Fast Follower' Is Yesterday's Tech And Business Strategy
Join us for an Oracle Sales Cloud Customer Reference Forum on Thursday, June 23, 2016, at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET.
Noah Kotch, SVP of IT of Credit Acceptance Corporation will talk about the company's desire to transform its sales organization to leverage a standardized approach and marketing organization to procure high-value leads. Register now to attend the live Forum and learn more about Credit Acceptance Corporation’s experience with Oracle Sales Cloud.
A Guest Post by Andy Campbell, HCM strategic director (pictured left)
Winning over and retaining the best talent has never been easy, but employers today are finding it harder than ever to find people with the right skills to fill key vacancies. If businesses are to keep growing and evolving they need new ways to attract and engage the talented employees that will take them on that journey.
Interestingly, recent research from Mercer suggests that some businesses may be overestimating their ability to fill critical roles. Nine out ten organisations anticipate the competition for talent will increase in 2016, and 70% are confident that they can fill critical roles with internal candidates. The kicker is that nearly one-third (28%) of employees who responded to the survey plan to leave their current job in the next 12 months.
Unless businesses take action, the people they have pegged to ensure their future success may not be around when the time comes.
Many Companies Aren’t in a Position to Compete
Part of the issue is that many companies aren’t currently in a position to compete for talent successfully. Mercer’s research also reveals that 85% of businesses admit their talent management programs and policies need an overhaul, but instigating and managing these changes requires support from leadership. In addition, delivering modern HR requires modern HR systems that are more in keeping with the demands of a technology-savvy workforce.
Mercer is clear in its findings: Companies looking to retain the best workers should update and expand their employee development programs and other processes. And yet only 4% of HR professionals said the HR function is viewed as a strategic partner within their organisation.
Oracle Research: What Employees Really Want
It’s a conclusion that we at Oracle agree with completely. Our own Simply Talent: A Western European Perspective uncovered similar trends in Western Europe. We found that most employees desire more proactive, regular interactions with their managers, improvements that are underpinned by better employee engagement initiatives, but that once again very few (3%) workers see the HR department as having an important role in driving employee engagement.
Clearly there remains a gap between the engagement programs being run by the business and HR, and what employees now expect from their employers.
Turn Talk Into Action
So how can companies create a culture that attracts the best people and keeps them on board? The first step is to invest in understanding what motivates and engages their employees. With HR at the helm, managers should be mapping out the employee journey from on-boarding to retirement to see where points of friction may arise so they can do whatever is possible to mitigate them. This approach is similar to the way retailers and customer service teams map out the customer journey to make it more satisfying and convenient.
Regular dialogue with employees is also essential. The days of annual reviews are long gone; today’s employees need to feel they are both appreciated and that their needs are understood, and this can only happen if line managers and senior team members have more frequent, focused discussions with employees about their career path and progress.
Most importantly, these discussions must be followed by action. If employees feel nothing comes from their talks with managers they will be more inclined to seek a company that delivers on its promises. Our research found that less than one-third of employees believe their company is proactive about engaging with them. The time has come for a sea-change in how businesses communicate with their people.
Employees are every company’s most precious resource—in deed, as well as in word. HR must take the lead in fostering an employee-focused work culture where development, training, education, and support are treated as a priority and a true dialogue exists between employees and their managers. Those companies that adapt to this new reality will be in the best possible position to ensure they have the right talent to achieve their future ambitions.
It’s great when we get to showcase our customers. It is amazing when great customers showcase us!
And that’s exactly what happens in this new video from Vanderbilt University.
The video was created by Vanderbilt, not Oracle, to help launch the university’s SkyVU initiative. SkyVU is an Oracle ERP, HCM, and EPM cloud-based solution that replaces approximately 15 current e-business services and provides a modern and synchronized environment “to allow university faculty and staff to spend less time on paperwork and more time on efforts that contribute to the university’s mission.” The video, a launch event, and website (under construction) are part of the rollout to key stakeholders and users.
The SkyVU video is perfectly aligned with Oracle’s message under the tagline “Modern Demands Need Modern Systems.” It presents thoughts from senior executives from across Vanderbilt’s HR, Finance, IT, and academic leadership team that will resonate across industries.
You might not be in Higher Ed, but don't let that stop you from watching the video. Vanderbilt is the second largest private employer in the state of Tennessee.
Is Oracle helping you save energy, gas, or paper?
For example, are you using Oracle Cloud solutions to help drive down power consumption?
Or Oracle Transportation Management to reduce fleet emissions?
Or Oracle Asset Lifecycle Management to reduce energy costs and extend the life of assets by managing them more efficiently?
Or Oracle Procurement to ensure the use of sustainable suppliers? And the list goes on.
If so, you might be a good nominee for the 2016 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award. Jeff Henley and Jon Chorley will present these awards at Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco 2016. Winning customers will receive a complimentary registration pass to OpenWorld.
Submit nomination forms by June 7. We’re looking for companies that are using any Oracle product to take an environmental lead, as well as to reduce costs and improve business efficiencies using green business practices. Either a customer, its partner, or an Oracle representative can submit the nomination form on behalf of a customer.
Questions? Contact Evelyn Neumayr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oracle issued an announcement last week trumpeting its latest Field Service Cloud release. This release delivers comprehensive enhancements from mobility to ease of use. It gives companies the ability to more easily connect field service technicians to the back-office tools and resources they need to complete their work in the field. Organizations can now power more connected customer service experiences, faster response times, and reduced service delivery costs.
If you have questions, contact Christine Friscic, Oracle product manager (pictured left), at email@example.com.
This week is the ICMI Contact Center Expo 2016 in Long Beach, CA. It is a leading customer service industry event. Will you be there?
If you're on the fence, here's a good reason to attend. Mazda's Yvonnne Burkhouse, IT director applications development (pictured left), is speaking. Mazda, a Japanese automaker, is an Oracle Service Cloud customer. Burkhouse will present "Driving Beyond Loyalty and Exceptional Customer Engagement Center Experiences at Mazda." The company is live on Oracle Service Cloud and has a winning contact center solution story with convincing results.
The vibe was felt all over the MGM compound, but even more so in the demo and exhibit area. This is where video mavens Ruth Kale-Fok, Maureen Boctor, Brian Mock, David Hope-Ross, Martin Taylor, and Kathryn Perry were working their camera and interview magic.
You know, some people freeze when they are asked to speak on camera.
Generally, analysts and influencers don't fall into that camp.
True to form, the analysts and influencers at the conference were more than happy to share their viewpoints on the importance of customer experience and the role Oracle is playing with its end-to-end solution.
Watch this short video starring Dr. Natalie Petouhoff from Constellation Research, Keith Dawson and Aphrodite Brinsmead from Ovum, Rebecca Wetterman from Nucleus Research, and Mark Smith from Ventana Research.
They also captured some great quotes from conference attendees in these video clips:
- What is the most important thing about CX by Aman Bedi, CTO, TAIStech
- Why are customer experiences important to business by Layne Nelson, Oracle CX Cloud CoE, N.A., IBM
- How security of data in the cloud enhances the customer experience by David Canellos, Sr. VP, Advanced Technology Group, Blue Coat Systems
- How has the importance of the customer changed in the last decade by Sydnée Reese, Marketing Manager, Diverse: Issues In Higher Education
- Primary motivation for coming to the Modern CX conference by Cathy Ellico, Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications, NADA
- How have customer expectations changed in the last decade by Shawn McKenna, President, ProLink Solutions
- What every service executive should be thinking about by Andy Bashkin, VP of Sales, OpenMethods
A Guest Post by Vice President Terrance Wampler, Oracle Financials Product Strategy (pictured left)
Is your finance team spending its time collecting data, updating spreadsheets, and developing reports? If so, it's probably just keeping score for you rather than changing the game. To change the game, your team needs modern technology so it can do value-added work. Wampler presents us with five reasons why nearly two thousand companies around the world have chosen Oracle ERP Cloud―and why you should too. This is a summary of the post and here's a link to the full article.
“I’m not going to talk much about IT,” said Mark Hurd at the beginning of his keynote at Oracle HCM World in Chicago last week. That statement set the tone for the more than 1,400 attendees because HCM World is not a technology conference. Rather it is one where the art and science of HR come together to deliver thought-provoking discussions and revelations, which linger long after the event is over.
Oracle HCM World is a conference where one can get a new professional headshot for LinkedIn, Oracle Talent Profile, or any other tool of choice done with the help of great photographers and MAC makeup artists. It is a conference where a young female entrepreneur, Debbie Sterling of GoldieBlox, can inspire participants with her passion for raising a generation of girls who will later enter STEM professions and deliver the next breakthrough discoveries in science and engineering. It is a conference where Oracle HCM Cloud gets to shine not because it is built on Fusion technology, but because of all the amazing business benefits it delivers.
Back to Mark’s Keynote
Even though a typical corporate mentality is to cut expenses, Hurd said engaged employees are the key to success. That’s what drives productivity.
Rick Bell, Editor, Workforce, wrote this in his article entitled Oracle HCM World: What I Heard From Mark Hurd: “If the baseline of employee engagement is 70 percent and that improves by just a few percentage points, then Hurd explained he has turned higher productivity into millions of dollars.”
And more from Hurd: “Instead of cutting expenses, I drove productivity. It’s sound business. A higher engaged employee will do more work, better work, care more about the business and more about your customers. Engagement is the key to productivity. The higher engagement I have, the better.”
Mark also provided practical tips for what companies can do to increase employee engagement stating that Oracle HCM Cloud is Oracle’s own tool of choice for helping achieve our engagement goals and much more.
Why Did Attendance Increase 22% over 2015?\
For starters, the uptick can be tied to Oracle's growing customer and prospect base. Another reason for the increase is the thought leadership approach we have taken with this conference. Huge kudos go out to Cara Capretta, VP of HCM Transformation Practice and her team; Gretchen Alarcon, GVP of HCM Product Strategy and her team; and our fabulous Marketing team.\
Together they organized a standout event where industry luminaries took center stage. Along with Oracle’s Hurd, Capretta, and Alarcon, other speakers included Peter Cappelli, the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources; Adam Grant, Professor of Management, The Wharton School; and Debbie Sterling, Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox.
Reaction to Oracle Learning Cloud
The HCM World buzz went through the roof as attendees got a look at our new Oracle Learning Cloud and a glimpse of what is to come in Work Life Solutions. Oracle HCM Cloud is on a roll.
- Michael Lewis, Journalist and Best-Selling Author of The Big Short, Flash Boys, Moneyball, and The Blind Side
- Geoff Colvin, Senior Editor-at-Large, Fortune Magazine
- Safra Catz, Oracle CEO
- James Richards, CIO of GE Healthcare
- John Hill, CFO, City of Detroit
Join us for an Oracle HCM Cloud Customer Forum call on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Terri Brown, VP Business Processes and Solutions at Macy’s, will talk about how the company is in the process of changing the way it manages its people. Macy's is executing on a transformational campaign internally called “HR Reinvent.” A huge part of this transformation has to do with all things human resources.
To attract and retain the right talent with help from Oracle, Macy’s plans to go live on Oracle HCM Cloud, including Core HR, Benefits, Payroll, Recruiting, Onboarding, Social Sourcing, Goals, Performance, Talent Review and Succession, Compensation, and Learn by 2017 for all of its 185,000 employees.
Register now to attend the live Forum on Wednesday, May 04, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. PT and learn more about Macy’s experience and plans with Oracle HCM Cloud.
A Guest Post by Christine Skalkotos, Oracle Program Management (pictured left)
Oracle’s Modern Service Experience 2016 is again lighting up fabulous Las Vegas April 26-28, and we’re betting this will be our best event yet. From the speaker lineup and session catalog to the networking experiences and Customer Appreciation Event, we’re going “all in,” and we hope you’ll join us. Here are five reasons you should head to Las Vegas this April for the Modern Service Experience:
1. In-Depth Service Content
The Modern Service Experience features more than 40 sessions led by customer service experts, analysts, and top brands. Through the keynotes, general sessions and breakouts, you’ll hear about current and future trends in customer service and will walk away inspired and ready to turn your insights into actions. Take a look at the just-launched conference program to see the impressive speaker lineup.
The conference program features content for everyone regardless of your role. Attend sessions in the following tracks:
- Cross-Channel Contact Center
- Field Service Management
- Oracle Policy Management
- Web Customer Service
- Customer Experience
In addition, you’ll hear about Oracle Service Cloud’s vision and product roadmap. Within the breakouts, you’ll learn about new product functionality and how to get the most out of your implementation. In the expo hall, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in interactive demos.
2. One-of-a-Kind Networking
In addition to hearing best practices and soaking up insights from session and keynote speakers, some of the best information you’ll gather at the Modern Service Experience will come from your peers. Customer service leaders from some of the world’s top brands are attending the Modern Service Experience. The conference provides many opportunities to network with peers, as well as with Oracle product experts, sales, executives, and partners.
Before you head to Las Vegas, see who else is attending and start broadening your network through social media. Use the hashtag #ServiceX16, and join the conversation.
3. Thought Leaders & Inspiring Speakers
Attend the Modern Service Experience to hear from some of the leading minds in modern customer service. The featured speaker lineup includes:
- Mark Hurd, CEO, Oracle
- Jean-Claude Porretti, Customer Care Worldwide Manager, Peugeot Citroën
- Scott McBain, Manager, Application Development, Overhead Door Corporation
- Sara Knetzger, Applications Administrator, Corporate Applications, WageWorks
- Ian Jacobs, Senior Analyst Serving Application Development & Delivery Professionals, Forrester Research
- Kate Leggett, VP, Principal Analyst Serving Application Development & Delivery Professionals, Forrester Research
- Ray Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman, Constellation Research, Inc.
- Denis Pombriant, founder, managing principal, Beagle Research
4. More Opportunities for Increasing Your Knowledge
First, take advantage of our pre-conference workshops. You’ll probably have to roll the dice to decide which of the three you’ll attend: Get Prepared for the Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) Practices v5 Certification, Head off to the Races with Agent Desktop Automation, and Step off the Beaten Path with Oracle Service Cloud Reporting.
Next, schedule time with an Oracle Service Cloud mastermind and get answers to your burning questions as part of the Ask the Experts program (sponsored by Oracle Gold Partner Helix).
Last, connect with your peers during lunch and participate in our birds of a feather program around popular topics.
5. Celebrate with Your Fellow Customers
To show our appreciation for our customers, we’re hosting a night of food, drinks, and amazing entertainment. Goo Goo Dolls will play a private concert for attendees at the MGM Grand Arena on Wednesday evening. The Oracle Customer Appreciation Event rarely disappoints—don’t miss it.
Finally, at 1 p.m. on Thursday April 26, during our annual awards ceremony, we’ll recognize leading organizations and individuals in the customer service space, highlighting their impressive stories about innovation and differentiation. Guaranteed, you’ll leave motivated and energized.
What did last year’s customers have to say?
"Oracle Modern Service Experience 2015 was a top-notch event that provided me with the opportunity to learn about new Oracle Service Cloud capabilities and connected me with federal and private sector peers who have since influenced my direction as the Air Force Reserve's Chief Digital Officer, enabling me to drive the organization to a new level of innovation and efficiency this past year." – Lt Col Michael Ortiz, HQ Air Reserve Personnel Center
"The Modern Service Experience is a must for customers looking to maximize their effectiveness with Oracle Service Cloud." – Michael Morris, Match.com
See you in Las Vegas!
An all-star cast will be speaking at the in Modern Finance Experience in Chicago this week (April 6-7), including journalist and best-selling author Michael Lewis and Oracle CEOs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd. The theme of the conference is Creating Value in the Digital Age.
In this OracleVoice article leading up to the event, Oracle VP Karen dela Torre explains why 10- or 20-year-old systems are ill suited for the digital economy. She then lists 15 reasons why now is the time for finance to move to the cloud. Here are just a few:
- New business models require new capabilities (i.e. KPIs, data models, sentiment analysis)
- Subscription billing and revenue recognition standards require new functionality
- Rapid growth requires systems that can quickly scale
- Consolidation, standardization, and rationalization is easier on the cloud
Even to risk-averse finance executives, the call for change will be hard to ignore.
Oracle writer Margaret Harrist also writes about the digital age in a Forbes article that focuses on the not-so-well-known role of finance in the customer experience. Matt Stirrup, Oracle VP of Finance, states that leading finance organizations are looking at the business from the customer’s perspective and recommending changes to the business model or performance measures. Finance may just be the secret sauce to winning in the digital economy.
A Guest Post by SVP Rick Jewell, Oracle Applications Development (pictured left)
Cloud is the solution of choice in CRM, HCM, and most recently, ERP. But what about supply chain? We know that more than 80 percent of all companies either are using, or plan to use, cloud applications for SCM―that percentage is even higher for supply chain leaders. And those percentage shares increase with every market survey.
We also know that innumerable positive cloud experiences have primed the pump for a broad-based transition of SCM to cloud. Those experiences have come from other functional areas, as well as from SCM cloud-leading areas such as Transportation Management.
But what has been missing is the lack of new, enterprise-class solutions for SCM, built for the cloud. Now all that has changed with Release 11―and our timing could not be better.
Broader, Better, Faster
Yet is it sufficient to take the same SCM solutions that were designed and developed decades ago, for a world that no longer exists, and just deploy them in the cloud? A lot of our competitors seem to think so, but we did not. Here’s why.
Modern supply chains have transformed dramatically, and continue to transform as the nature of markets, of products and services, and of trading party interactions constantly evolves. The rigidity, complexities, and integration challenges of a typical legacy SCM deployment make them a business inhibitor, not a business enabler.
To address these challenges we chose the hard road. That road included an all-new set of SCM capabilities, built from the ground up with architectural flexibility, a rich yet easy to use user experience, multi-enterprise support, and broad, cross-functional business flows. We built supply chain solutions for 21st century supply chains―all designed for and delivered in the cloud. And that value proposition only gets better when you consider all of the other leading cloud solutions from Oracle.
Transition to SCM Cloud
We also offer flexible paths to Oracle SCM Cloud. Every business has its own combination of business pressures and ability to adopt change; therefore, we designed the Oracle SCM Cloud to provide multiple ways to transition to the cloud. We encourage all of our customers and prospects to engage with Oracle to develop their own roadmaps―whether it’s innovation at the edge, shared-service deployment of a business function, wholesale replacement of a division, or incremental enterprise deployment. The options are there, supported by integrations and by implementation expertise.
For more information, go to cloud.oracle.com/scm.