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Updated: 16 hours 4 min ago

Three Steps to Get Big Data Ready for HR

Wed, 2015-07-29 13:02

A Guest Post by Melanie Hache-Barrois, Oracle HCM Strategy Director, Southern Europe

Big data will revolutionize HR practices―here is how to hit the ground running with your implementation.

Big data analytics promises to deliver new insights into the workforce; these insights can help HR better predict trends and policy outcomes, and thereby, make the right decisions. It has the power to help HR to predict and plan organizational performance, to minimize the cost, time, and risk of taking on new HR initiatives, and to understand, develop, and maintain a productive workforce over a single technology platform, and much more.

Big data analytics has a huge role to play in the future of HR, but it is important that HR teams get prepared in the right way. Here are our tips to make sure that your data is ready for the big data revolution.

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1.  Remove data ‘islands’

The first step is to identify what kind of data you need for a truly successful HR strategy. Too often, HR teams experience data organized in silos, cut off from the rest of the organization. The migration to big data provides the perfect opportunity to identify data islands within your HR systems and define a strategy to integrate and reorganize them.

2.  Use a single interface

Understanding how data is collected within your organization is fundamental to a successful big data strategy. You have to avoid ‘copy and paste’ practices, and instead, make sure that data is collected automatically, and seamlessly integrated in one interface. The less you have to manually record information and integrate it into your HR systems, the better. It is therefore crucial to choose a single simple interface that will collect all your data and make it easily accessible to your team.

3.  Start simple

Once you have chosen the type of data you need and the way and where you will collect it, you can decide the kind of analytics you need. To be efficient and keep it simple, you can start with simple correlations to understand how big data analytics works and what kind of results you can get. You can then slowly increase the analytical complexity, heading to predictive analytics.

These three steps will ensure that Oracle big data solution will help you deliver an enhanced HR strategy that meets your corporate goals.

August 12: Atradius Collections Oracle Sales Cloud Customer Forum

Wed, 2015-07-29 11:06

Join us for another Oracle Customer Reference Forum on August 12th, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. PT / 11:00 a.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. CEST.

Sonja van Haasteren, Global Customer Experience Manager of Atradius Collections, will talk about the company’s journey with Oracle CX products focused on Oracle Sales Cloud with Oracle Marketing Cloud and its path to expand with Oracle Data Cloud.

Atradius Collections is a global leader in trade-invoice-collection services. It provides solutions to recover domestic and international trade invoices. Atradius Collections handles more than 100,000 cases a year for more than 14,500 customers, covering over 200 countries.

Register now to confirm your attendance for this informative event on August 12.

MORE Readiness Content for Oracle Applications Cloud Release 10

Wed, 2015-07-22 13:08

A Guest Post by Senior Director Louvaine Thomson, (pictured left), Product Management, Oracle Cloud Applications

Last month we announced these Release 10 preview materials:

Spotlight Videos: Hosted by senior development staff, these webcast-delivered presentations highlight top level messages and product themes, and are reinforced with a product demo
Release Content Documents (RCDs): This content includes a summary level description of each new feature and product

We are now pleased to announce the next significant wave of readiness content. Specifically, the following content types are now available on the Release 10 Readiness page:

  • What's New: Learn about what's new in the upcoming release by reviewing expanded discussions of each new feature and product, including capability overviews, business benefits, setup considerations, usage tips, and more
  • Release Training: Created by product management, these self-paced, interactive training sessions are deep dives into key new enhancements and products. Also referred to as Transfers of Information (TOIs)
  • Product Documentation: Oracle's online documentation includes detailed product guides and training tutorials to ensure your successful implementation and use of the Oracle Applications Cloud


 Access is simple: From the Cloud Site: Click on Resources > Release Readiness to access the Release Readiness page.


Access is simple:
1. From the Cloud Site: Click on Resources > Release Readiness to access the Release Readiness page, or

Why Oracle ERP Cloud? by Terrance Wampler

Mon, 2015-07-20 11:00

In this video, Terrance Wampler (pictured left), VP of Oracle ERP Cloud Strategy and Product Development, talks candidly and fluently about Oracle ERP Cloud.

He hits on three topics.

1) The Changing Role of the CFO: CFO’s need to know how to create value in the organization, not just know how to control the organization. Theirs is an expanded role where they’re being asked to provide guidance to other LOB business leaders and those involved with customer engagement. Ideally, back office technology and processes are integrated with the front office—bringing analytics to the forefront, improving the customer experience and the bottom line.

2) Modernizing ERP: The cloud is very appealing from a cost savings perspective, but other key drivers of cloud adoption include the digital transformation technologies (mobile, social, embedded analytics, collaboration) and a modern user experience. Also the ability to take on two-three releases a year injects innovation into the business.

3) Social Brings Speed and Accountability: Social networking tools are very powerful inside a business operation. Nothing needs more collaboration than a business process to solve exceptions. Specific social conversations with those who need to take action move faster. In a secure environment, users can share documents, get approvals, produce an audit trail, and drive accountability.

Take a look at the video and share it freely with your colleagues.

July 8th: Overhead Door Corporation HCM Cloud Customer Forum

Tue, 2015-06-30 09:38

Join us for an Oracle HCM Cloud Customer Forum on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, to hear Larry Freed, Chief Information Officer at Overhead Door Corporation. He will explain the company's desire for a massive HR transformation to include changing its benefits, payroll, core HR, employee self-service, and manager self-service. The transformation would provide the employees with a single source solution so the HR field staff could become more strategic.

During this Customer Forum call, Freed will talk about Overhead Door's selection process for new HR software, its implementation experience with Oracle HCM Cloud, and the expectations and benefits of its new modern HR system.

Register now to attend the live Forum on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and learn more directly from the CIO of Overhead Door Corporation.

LinkedIn, Oracle Service Cloud Customer, Wins Gartner & 1to1 Media Award

Tue, 2015-06-23 15:50

A Guest Post by Vice President Stephen Fioretti, (pictured left) Oracle Service Cloud

We want to share some exciting Oracle Service Cloud customer award news with you that was just announced this week!

The number one research analyst firm, Gartner, and 1to1 Media named Oracle Service Cloud customer LinkedIn a GOLD winner in the 2015 Gartner & 1to1 Media Customer Experience Excellence Awards. For over a decade, Gartner and 1to1 Media have used this joint awards program to honor select, customer-centric organizations; specifically, those that have achieved outstanding business performance by implementing enterprise-wide, service-focused strategies.

The Oracle product management, Analyst Relations, and sales/CSM teams successfully partnered with Andy Yasutake, Director of Tech Solutions and Operations, at LinkedIn on this submission. As a result, LinkedIn has been featured in the June issue of 1to1 Magazine and on the 1to1 Media website.  The feature article showcases the results LinkedIn has seen with Oracle Service Cloud, including:

  • An 85 percent decrease in average initial response time
  • A 68 percent decrease in average final resolution time
  • A 23 percent increase in overall customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), up from 6.6 to 8.1
  • With enhanced self-service, deflection rates jumped to 97 percent, thereby minimizing the company's potential need for service agents. Instead of employing the expected 5,000-10,000 representatives, LinkedIn has been able to keep staff limited to the minimal 750-800 agents, easing costs and boosting efficiency.

In addition, LinkedIn will be honored and speaking at the Gartner Customer 360 Summit, September 9-11 in San Diego. Please check out and share the exciting LinkedIn 1to1 feature article.

Preview Release 10 Oracle Applications Cloud Readiness Content!

Tue, 2015-06-16 15:57
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A Guest Post by Katrine Haugerud (pictured left), Senior Director, Oracle Product Management

To help you prepare for upcoming Release 10, we are pleased to offer a preview of its new, modern business-empowering features.

On the Release Readiness page, we have added content for HCM, Sales, ERP, and SCM, as well as Common Technologies for each.

Specifically, we have just introduced:

Spotlights: Delivered by senior development staff, these webcast-delivered presentations highlight top level messages and product themes, and are reinforced with a product demo.

Release Content Documents (RCDs): The content includes a summary level description of each new feature and product.

Next month we will add (and announce) more Release 10 readiness content including:

  • What's New: Learn about what's new in the upcoming release by reviewing expanded discussions of each new feature and product, including capability overviews, business benefits, setup considerations, usage tips, and more.
  • Release Training: Created by product management, these self-paced, interactive training sessions are deep dives into key new enhancements and products. Also referred to as Transfers of Information (TOIs).
  • Product Documentation: Oracle’s online documentation includes detailed product guides and training tutorials to ensure your successful implementation and use of the Oracle Applications Cloud.

Access is Simple

From the cloud.oracle.com: Click on Menu > Discover > What's New



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The Pendulum Swings Back

Tue, 2015-06-16 15:56

A Guest Post by Andy Campbell (pictured left), Oracle HCM Cloud Sales Evangelist

I am currently working on a white paper specifically on the topic of ‘Living with the HR Cloud’ with a number of fascinating case studies.Therefore, I was delighted to come across the latest piece of research from Harvard Business Review entitled Cloud Computing Comes of Age.

This report assesses the maturity (and thereby the experience) of customers who have deployed cloud applications. The results are quite significant. Those organizations classified as ‘cloud leaders’ also achieved higher levels of business success. It reports a correlation between an organization’s cloud maturity and the health of its growth initiatives such as business expansion.

The benefits they realized included improved business agility, enhanced organisational flexibility, and faster speed of deployment. They also reported improved decision making through an increased ability to analyze and act upon data and information. For HR leaders, the natural consequence of this is the ability to offer a more proactive value-added service to the business, something that I think we all aspire to.

Anyway, perhaps of most interest to me was the fact that the cloud leaders took a more managed and enterprise-wide approach to their cloud applications, something that embodied a range of good practices. For example, cloud leaders are more likely to define the business value that they expect to get from their cloud initiatives, 69 percent in fact, compared to only 40 percent of novices. Similarly, only 53 percent of the survey had established policies for cloud security, a figure that rises to 79 percent amongst cloud leaders. Also, cloud leaders are more likely to have a strong partnership between IT and other parts of the business. Cloud technologies including social, mobile, etc. have had a democratizing impact on IT, and enhanced collaboration with business users is, quite rightly, becoming the norm.

However, to me, one thing stands out. Evidently cloud leaders are more than twice as likely to have a CIO who leads the transformation agenda!! Sure IT and business must work together, but somebody needs to be in charge, and that is the CIO.

Now if you had said such a thing a few years ago, you would probably have been strung up by a lynch mob to chants of ‘the business user is king’! The perceived wisdom at the time was that ultimate power was vested with the business and the user community.

However, things have changed and the pendulum has swung back again. As the adoption of cloud technology has become more mainstream, the experience of users is that to be truly successful both parties, IT and the business, need to truly work well with each other.

June 23rd: Boxfusion Consulting Sales Cloud Reference Forum

Thu, 2015-06-11 17:14

Join us for another Oracle Customer Reference Forum on June 23, 2015, to hear Andy Stevens, Delivery Director of Boxfusion Consulting talk about why they have chosen to implement Oracle Sales Cloud.

Andy will share Boxfusion’s selection process for Oracle Sales Cloud, its implementation approach, and benefits derived from the application. He will also talk about Boxfusion’s experiences helping customers implement Oracle Sales Cloud.

Register now to attend the live Forum on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, at 8:00 A.M. Pacific Time/11:00 A.M. Eastern Time and learn more from Boxfusion Consulting directly. 

Listen to all Customer Forum replays available on demand here, including Acorn Paper, APEX IT, Batesville, Hardware.com, iBasis, and more!

Cloud Security: Eight-Point Checklist for Peace of Mind

Tue, 2015-06-09 14:56

A Guest Post by Vice President Dennis Jolluck (pictured left), Applications Development & Product Management for LAD

As Product Manager for Oracle’s Cloud Applications in Latin America, I have the opportunity to meet with many customers who are very interested in understanding how they can migrate to the cloud. At the same time, I can almost anticipate their next question and visualize a “partially cloudy” bubble above their head: “How does Oracle address security in the cloud?”

All you have to mention is Sony Pictures and we all feel vulnerable. According to Richard Bejtlich, the Chief Security Strategist for FireEye, Inc., “the amount of time a ‘bad guy’ (e.g. hacker) spends in your enterprise before somebody notices – is a median of 209 days. And two/thirds of the time, somebody else notifies you of the breach … which is usually the FBI!” One analyst estimates that more than 50 percent of Fortune 1000 firms experience an annual breach of 1,000 to 100,0000 confidential records, including records of their employees.

Did you know that during 2014, a third of the new hacking tools discovered by security researchers at Hewlett-Packard Co. relied on exploiting a flaw in MS Windows that was discovered in 2010. Many organizations do not update their software as quickly as needed to protect themselves. There are many internal technology services today that lack resources, rigor, or efficiencies to monitor their security on a 24/7 basis.

Over the years, personally I have never invested a lot of time in the aspect of security. I just took it for granted. But that has changed, both personally (my credit cards have been hacked, which changed the way I manage my passwords) and professionally with the move to the cloud. Now I am seeing that every CIO and every CEO has to have a certain level of knowledge about security and how it affects their business. This is no longer a function for IT to worry about. This topic has moved to the Board Room level. Enterprises must have a plan. And that includes alignment of all departments―the Board, Senior Management, the Security staff, IT, Legal, Public Relations and Communications―operating from the same agenda.

Please keep in mind that not all cloud providers are equal in the security services they provide. As a first step, an enterprise needs to know its requirements and map them to a provider’s capabilities to minimize the risk, as well as address any regulatory needs. In some cases, business will take into account 24/7 global support, data jurisdiction, cross-border data transfer, data location, and the privacy regulations where they are doing business. Privacy and security are absolutely linked!

So when evaluating cloud providers in your move to the cloud, there are a number of criteria to consider.

1. Transparency of the Cloud Provider

The customer must have a clear understanding of the provider’s commitment to security, as well as what responsibilities the customer retains. The vendor must be clear about what controls are in place, where the data resides, and who is managing the underlying technologies. Also, are there any third parties involved? Is the provider outsourcing any responsibilities? Some other important questions are:

  • Does the provider have an accountable security officer? Can you directly engage this individual?
  • Are independent audits done of the provider’s security controls?
  • Does the provider offer service options in addressing regulated data?

These questions will measure the maturity and experience of the cloud provider.

2. Data Center Operations

A global cloud vendor should have state-of-the-art physical data center protection. That should include logical data security and data privacy protection policies in place. Also, look for proactive security engagement and monitoring, as well as leading-edge disaster recovery plans.

Check if your cloud provider operates embassy-grade (i.e. exceeds the most stringent international embassy and military grade security and force protection requirement) cloud data centers with highly redundant infrastructures and at least 99.5 percent availability.

3. Risk Mitigation/Unified Access Controls

The enterprise must understand what steps the cloud provider is taking to mitigate risk surrounding its service offerings. A key risk to consider is managing end-user access. Typically this is user provisioning permissions to view and change data. However, complexity arises when an employee leaves the company and access must be revoked. This is easily done in an on-premises environment through the company’s internal directory server. However, if this directory is not integrated with your cloud services, the employee may still have access, which could be detrimental to your organization. Single sign-on (SSO) is one solution to this problem so that you can revoke access from a centralized database. But there is a downside here. Some companies prefer not to pass their credentials to third parties in leveraging SSO.

Check if your cloud provider can solve this problem through Federated Identity Technology, which provides all of the benefits with no downside. This is just one example when reducing risk―the cloud may offer a more robust solution that could be built in-house.

Role-based access control (RBAC) is another control to prevent unauthorized access to confidential requirements. Users see only data that’s related to their specific job-specific duties. Note: RBAC is an approach to restricting system access to authorized users. It is used by the majority of enterprises with more than 500 employees, and can implement either mandatory access control (MAC) or discretionary access control (DAC) to prevent unauthorized access to confidential requirements.

4. Compliance

For some enterprises, compliance is difficult to achieve on its own. So it becomes even more critical to choose a cloud provider that can demonstrate and deliver the service. Security certifications are one way to do this―it’s an easy and objective way to compare providers.

A few customers have asked me about industry certifications, such as the SSAE16 where the compliance details should be made transparent and available. Another critical certification is ISO 27001/2 framework (Best Practices for Information Security Management). Why? This demonstrates that the cloud provider continually vets its solution by conducting network detection intrusion tests and other penetration tests to ensure it is always providing a secure solution to customers. (Note: Audit reports should also be available for customers.)

5. Data Privacy/Local Data Residency

Because of the increasing number of countries that specify where data can and cannot be stored, cloud providers must be in compliance with both industry and country data standards. This is especially true for the government and the financial services industries, where data must be stored within its border for backup and recovery purposes.

Cloud providers can address data privacy twofold: (1) Establishing data centers in targeted countries so data is processed and stored within the given country. And to take it one step further, (2) a handful of providers have the capability to offer a hybrid solution to address customer data privacy. For example, the most sensitive customer data would reside in an on-premises environment inside the customer data center (or the provider’s local data center) and the non-sensitive customer data can be stored on a cloud solution. As a result, the sensitive data would always reside within a country’s borders. At the same time, a sales cloud or service cloud solution would process the data in one of the global data centers offered by the vendor.

6. Secure Data Isolation

It’s obvious when you move to the cloud, you want to leverage shared resources across all of your cloud assets at the lowest possible cost, but security is still a critical element. With the Oracle Cloud, you share the hardware, you share the middleware, and you share the application. BUT YOU DO NOT SHARE YOUR DATABASE WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS.

Oracle’s secure data isolation ensures privacy and performance. More importantly, by having your own private database, the customer chooses the right time for upgrading and ensuring the “noisy neighbors’ syndrome” (refers to a rogue virtual machine that periodically monopolizes storage I/O resources to the performance detriment of all the other VM “tenants” in the environment) can’t affect performance. With Oracle Cloud, you are not forced to upgrade over a single designated weekend!

7. Data Loss Prevention (Advanced Data Security)

Does your cloud provider also offer advanced security services, such as full data encryption whether the data is at rest, on the wire, at work, or in processing mode. A virtual private network (VPN) is also an option for remote access. You may also want to consider stronger controls over data and administration access to prevent unauthorized viewing or sharing of customer information. For example, inquire about database vaults, VPN capabilities, and federated SSO.

8. Breadth of Experience & Viability

Is the cloud provider viable? How long is the vendor’s track record with security in the cloud? What does its balance sheet look like? Can it demonstrate experience supporting very demanding industries, such as: retail, government, healthcare and financial services?

To summarize, when choosing a cloud provider, security capabilities are more than likely going to be your key criteria. For comparison purposes, Oracle has more than 35 years of experience securing and managing data and more than 15 years running enterprise cloud services. Today, we process billions of transactions each day. We have demonstrated secure data management and engineered security at every level in the technology stack from hardware and database to middleware and applications. Oracle has complete control of the entire cloud service, which is a unique offering among the many cloud providers.

So when it’s time to make that transition to the cloud, do your due diligence of your cloud providers and make sure your security concerns are addressed for today’s fast-paced digital world.

Robo Silicon Joins Ranks of Live and Successful Oracle Sales Cloud Customers

Tue, 2015-06-09 14:53
Robo Silicon is a leader in the manufacture of engineering and construction materials. It’s also one in the latest wave of Oracle Sales Cloud customers to go live and tell its modern sales transformation story.

In this new video, Balaji Jayashankar (pictured left), Robo Silicon’s Head of Sales and Marketing, describes how Oracle Sales Cloud, integrated with SAP on the back end, is helping reps and management gain and sustain higher levels of sales performance.The themes covered by this business leader help reinforce the benefits of mobility, pipeline visibility (“This visibility has really improved our performance and has helped us in sustaining it.”), flexibility and integration, and territory management.

Nominations Due June 30 for Leadership in Finance Awards

Tue, 2015-06-02 16:20

A Guest Post by Oracle Senior Director Anne Ozzimo (pictured left), Oracle ERP Applications Product Marketing

Now in its fourth year, Oracle’s Leadership in Finance Award―part of the Oracle Excellence Awards―has become the award of choice for visionary finance executives who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in leveraging Oracle solutions to transform their businesses.

Last year, Oracle Executive Vice Chairman of the Board Jeff Henley honored these winners at the 2014 CFO Summit @ Leaders Circle:

  • Former Hyatt Hotels CFO Gebhard Rainer (North America)
  • SITA CFO Colm O’Higgins (EMEA)
  • University of Melbourne CFO Allan Tait (JAPAC)
  • Nufarm Financial Controller Fabio De Felippis (LAD)

Customers, partners, and Oracle employees are urged to submit their nominations now for the 2015 Leadership in Finance Awards. CFOs, controllers, chief accounting officers, and VPs of finance from North America, EMEA, LAD, and JAPAC are all eligible for consideration, as long as they were directly involved in the success of the Oracle solution deployed. Full details and submission guidelines are available on the Oracle Excellence Awards website.

Award winners will be announced at a new event―the Modern Finance Experience―hosted by Oracle CEO Safra Catz in San Francisco. The dates are September 21-23, 2015. Katz and Henley will honor the award winners in an exclusive ceremony. Nominate your favorite finance executive now before nominations close on June 30, 2015.

Please email comments about this story to me at anne.ozzimo@oracle.com.

Embrace Diversity and Congruence in the Workplace

Tue, 2015-06-02 16:16

A Guest Post by Andy Campbell, Oracle HCM Cloud Sales Evangelist (pictured left)

What makes a healthy workforce? Ask a roomful of recruiters and someone will very quickly mention diversity. After all, businesses need employees from a wide variety of backgrounds who can inspire and challenge their colleagues and create a workforce that better resembles the outside world.

But if diversity is important, so too is inclusion. If recruiters can find people from diverse backgrounds, with diverse skills, but who share many of a company’s perspectives and values it’s more likely they’ll fit in and contribute towards a cohesive, productive team.

And let’s not forget just how important it is to get that right fit: the most expensive part of the hiring process is when the wrong hire is made and the whole thing has to start again.

For HR departments and recruiters looking for congruence, it seems to me that social sourcing has a whole lot to offer. This is because social media doesn’t just allow recruiters to advertise on a broader scale, but it can even enable them to channel campaigns through employees’ networks.

Why is this important? Because most people’s networks are networks of like-minded people. Recruiting through your number one sales rep’s LinkedIn network is likely to increase your chances of hiring a new employee of similar calibre. Moreover, it will save money on recruitment fees. There is of course a caveat here: social media is only part of the answer. Let’s face it, most people’s social networks are made up of people of a similar demographic to them and this can be limiting. Yes, companies want like-minded people, but they do not want clones.

For this reason, transparency is hugely important. A potential employee must to be able to easily find out about a company and determine whether the company shares his or her values and is a good fit.

Social media not only makes it easier for a prospect to find out this information, it makes it absolutely inevitable. All that remains is for employers to ensure that when the right recruit looks at their business through the lens of social media they like what they see.

The real power of social media in the recruitment space is that it works both ways. Not only can employers find out more about potential recruits and access talent that may otherwise have been unavailable to them, but prospects can learn more about the inner workings of a business than ever before. The end result should be more right fits more of the time.

We Couldn't Have Said It Any Better

Tue, 2015-05-26 09:54

We can tell Oracle’s cloud story, but it’s even more credible when customers do it for us.

Six of them did just that at the Oracle Cloud Analyst Summit in Half Moon Bay last month. In fact, the international SaaS customer panel was a bellwether on the day’s agenda.

Moderator Shawn Price (pictured left), senior vice president of Oracle’s Global Cloud Business Unit, said, “I firmly believe the most important voice in this market as we transition to the cloud is our customers’ voice and the role it plays in advocacy.”

The six individuals on the panel represented a broad section of companies who use Oracle Cloud applications. They talked about their journeys to the cloud, the benefits, Oracle’s innovation, cross-cloud integration, and the future.

You can view a webcast replay of the SaaS panel and hear from these six customers:

  • Panasonic, Rhiannon Ainge, Marketing Manager
  • SePro, Stephen Barkley, Manager – Information and Data Services
  • Ovation Brands, Patrick Benson, CIO
  • Solairus Aviation, Mark Dennen, CFO
  • CorePower Yoga, Kathryn Palin, HR and Payroll Administrator
  • Hardware.com, Paul Wignall, Group Head of Business Development

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS – 2015 Oracle Excellence Award: Sustainability Innovation

Wed, 2015-05-20 10:40

Is your organization using an Oracle product to help with a sustainability initiative while reducing costs? Saving energy? Saving gas? Saving paper?

For example, you may use Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management to design more eco-friendly products, Oracle Cloud Solutions to help drive down power consumption, Oracle Transportation Management to reduce fleet emissions, Oracle Exadata Database Machine to decrease power and cooling needs while increasing database performance, Oracle Environmental Accounting and Reporting to measure environmental impacts, or one of many other Oracle products.

Your organization may be eligible for the 2015 Oracle Excellence Award: Sustainability Innovation.

Submit a nomination form located here by Friday June 19 if your company is using any Oracle product to take an environmental lead as well as to reduce costs and improve business efficiencies using green business practices. These awards will be presented during Oracle OpenWorld 2015 (October 25-29) in San Francisco.

About the Award

  • Winners will be selected from the customer and/or partner nominations. Either a customer, their partner, or Oracle representative can submit the nomination form on behalf of the customer.
  • Winners will be selected based on the extent of the environmental impact they have had as well as the business efficiencies they have achieved through their combined use of Oracle products.

Nomination Eligibility

  • Your company uses at least one component of Oracle products, whether it's the Oracle database, business applications, Fusion Middleware, or Oracle Sun servers/storage.  
  • This solution should be in production or in active development.
  • Nomination deadline:  Friday June 19, 2015.

Benefits to Award Winners

  • Award presented to winners during Oracle OpenWorld by Jeff Henley, Oracle Executive Vice Chairman of the Board  
  • 2015 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award logo for inclusion on your own website and/or other marketing materials
  • Possible placement in Oracle Profit Magazine and/or Oracle Magazine

See last year's winners here.

Questions? Send an email to: green-awards_us@oracle.com

Follow Oracle’s Sustainability Solutions on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and the Sustainability Matters blog.

Overcome User Adoption to Drive Sales

Wed, 2015-05-06 09:36

A Guest Post by Neil Pridham (pictured left), Senior Director, CX Sales Applications, Global Sales Support, Oracle

Driving Sales Systems

The use of technology to drive sales organizations has been a focus for many sales leaders over the past twenty years. In that time, software vendors have struggled to balance business complexity with speed of implementation and change. Sales leaders have struggled to balance user adoption with the burden of data entry. We have seen, as a result, large numbers of CRM projects fail to deliver the promise. What many companies have ended up with is a glorified address book, diary, and list of opportunities.

So what can we do to address this?

A key inhibitor to successful technology use is user adoption. Most companies have spent time improving sales processes, driving sales performance, and increasing efficiency, but they have not really tackled the issue of user adoption. Without good user adoption of sales systems the real value from them is merely a dream. Good user adoption drives the data upon which the remainder (marketing, analytics, workflow, decision making, forecasting, win/loss, quoting, ordering etc) rely.

So is user adoption really that difficult?

You could argue that in the early days of Sales Force Automation (SFA) it probably was. In the early days of SFA there were no mobile devices, analytics was crude, and at that stage, having a single address book and diary was probably a major step forward for many sales organizations that still used paper-based call reporting. In those early days, many sales reps were simply not used to using technology to sell.

But we have moved on, and today, recording those things is simply commodity SFA. It is the nice bed in your hotel room. It is the three-year paint warranty on your car. We just take those things for granted. Solutions that allow you to simply record basic information are not delivering what a modern sales organization needs.

What drives user adoption?

Well, I would suggest that the following elements drive user adoption in the SFA world:

  • Simplicity
  • Mobility
  • Compliance and Gamification
  • Good Sales Management

Simplicity: In order to compel a sales team to use technology, it has to be simple, fast, and easy to use. We all know that reps want to be out selling and not keying in information. Let’s give them the software to help them do this. Let’s ensure they have access to all the information they need, when they need it, and ensure they feel that others are feeding the solution to make their life easier, not the other way around.

Mobility: Today there is no reason to stop reps from being almost entirely field based. From core SFA to quoting, pricing, contracting, forecasting, and communications; empower your reps to operate remotely, at speed, and successfully.

Compliance and Gamification: Increasingly sales organizations are under pressure, both internally and externally, to comply with procedure and/or legislation. Compliance can be mandated through software solutions using workflow, procedure, and gamification. Ensuring that a rep complies with lagging measures such as quota attainment, revenue, and invoices paid is key to hitting your sales numbers. Do this using Sales Performance (SPM) tools. Ensuring your reps comply with softer leading measures such as forecasts, quote quality, and discount management are key to your profitability and growth. Do this using Configure, Price and Quote (CPQ) tools.

Good Sales Management: This is the hard part. Good sales management is key to the success of sales solutions. A manager that can explain, motivate and continually drive the use and benefits of the solution will ensure success. Back away from this and the sales reps will happily return to their ways of working.

If you are looking to improve your sales organization, then look for a software vendor that can help you drive the user adoption of your systems. A vendor that can deliver the basic requirements (SFA1.0), but also the other key areas of Simplicity, Mobility, Compliance and Gamification. This will ensure your teams exhibit the behaviors you need to get the most from your SFA investment and hit your targets. Those elements, aligned with your Good Sales Management, will be the drivers to your sales success.

Oracle Commerce Cloud Partner Strategy: Helping Customers Reimagine Commerce

Mon, 2015-04-27 15:14

A Guest Post by Katrina Gosek (pictured left), Director, Oracle Product Management, Commerce Cloud

In recent blog posts you heard from Ken Volpe and Ian Davis about our vision and strategy for Oracle Commerce Cloud.  At the center of making that vision a reality is our partner community.

Last week we hosted more than 20 partner organizations onsite in Cambridge, MA, at the inaugural Partner Bootcamp and Hackathon. We plan to host similar events in different locations throughout the world from June through September this year. We are supplementing this in-person partner training with global and best-practice webinar and video training series. Our intention is to fully ramp up our indispensable global partner community.

We will depend on our partners to on board customers and manage deployments. They also are crucial to the development of Commerce Cloud extensions, widgets and accelerators for the Oracle Marketplace. The product team is working hard to provide out-of-the-box templates and widgets to get Commerce Cloud customers up and running quickly and reduce development and ongoing maintenance costs, However, we can’t do it alone. Having a diverse partner base up to date on the latest product advancements ensures that our customers have many options to choose from as they launch, innovate, and continue to differentiate their sites.

Who are We Working with?

Oracle is investing heavily to recruit and enable new and existing partners for Commerce Cloud. We started by offering the opportunity to assist with early implementations to existing Oracle Commerce on-premises partners—OPN members such as system integrators (SI).

We have been actively recruiting new mid-market technology partners who work with competitors in the Saas commerce base and who know the target market extremely well.

We’re also talking to new design agencies—both global and boutique—who specialize in digital experiences. Commerce Cloud is a great fit for agencies to create showcase sites leveraging the client-side customization model of the platform.

Finally, we’re engaging CX partners from Sales, Marketing, Service and Social Clouds who do not have a commerce practice today, but want to expand their SaaS business. Plugging in to the rest of the CX Apps portfolio will create stellar online customer experiences for shoppers—and are a critical point of differentiation against competitors.

What’s In It For Partners?

There’s a lot in it for partners! Existing Oracle Commerce partners will be able to extend their practices to offer a full suite of solutions—on-premises and hosted on demand, plus SaaS. This full suite of options gives them a competitive edge in the market and an opportunity to reach new market segments. It also offers flexibility to their customers.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements as the Oracle Commerce Cloud partner enablement and onboarding efforts kick into high gear over the coming weeks.

Cloud is the Must-Have / Best Choice Option at Solairus Aviation

Mon, 2015-04-27 14:33

For many organizations, moving to a public cloud is an “unavoidable reality of doing business in the 21st century” rather than a choice says Tony Kontzer in an article in Search Financial Applications. He states that companies want to stay focused on their core business activities (rather than on IT concerns) and the cloud is making that possible.

That notion is interesting in and of itself. But what we want to draw your attention to is the customer story that Kontzer uses to prove his point.

Solairus Aviation manages aircraft for corporations and high-net-worth individuals. It uses both Oracle ERP and HCM Clouds. The company saw an opportunity to gain a competitive edge by expertly managing information for its clients. QuickBooks wasn’t cutting it, so Oracle’s SaaS services got the nod.

SaaS made it economically possible for Solairus to divert huge up-front costs of on-premises applications. Even more importantly, SaaS gave the company the ability to take care of its customers in a way no one else could.

You can read the Solairus story in "Public cloud services a must-have for many companies" by Tony Kontzer and listen to Solairus Aviation's CIO in this customer video.

“Digital Disruption: It’s Not What You Think” by Oracle’s Rob Preston

Tue, 2015-04-21 12:21

A Guest Post by Oracle’s Rob Preston, Editorial Director, Content Central (pictured left)

TechTarget’s Tom Goodwin uses Uber, Facebook, Alibaba, and Airbnb as examples of players with new tech-savvy business models that are disrupting their industries. Goodwin believes that our economic future lies in controlling the software interfaces that connect goods and services with the customer. In his mind, it’s all about the digital customer interface and things such as costly brick and mortar, physical goods, and intangible services are old school and irrelevant.

But Oracle’s Rob Preston contends (in a recent Forbes OracleVoice article) that digital disruption is much more than the customer interface. “It’s also about modernizing manufacturing and financial processes, overhauling entire supply chains, bringing more intelligence to marketing and sales strategies, making it easier for people and teams to collaborate, and rethinking talent recruitment and management,” he says. contends that digital disruption  runs much deeper than the customer interface.

Preston states that this disruption caused by cloud, mobile, data analytics, and social might not be as exciting as that caused by the likes of Uber and Airbnb, but it’s just as profound. Preston does a nice job of weaving in examples, industries, and insights into the article to make his case.

Productivity—A Priority for Every Business Leader

Tue, 2015-04-21 12:12

A Guest Post by Caesar Peter (pictured left), Senior Director, CX Sales Applications Group

Oracle CloudWorld was held on the first week of April in India. Interestingly, the summit coincided with the new financial year in India, and hence, performance strategy was top of mind for almost every business leader with whom I met.

Generally, the most popular discussions during these events are about setting a higher sales budget, IT applications, project status, economy, etc. In contrast to this popular approach, it was wonderful to note that most of the business leaders spoke about improving the employees' productivity, spearheading the change right from their sales folks.

In fact, the head of sales of a leading consumer goods organization even took the time and described what he meant by productivity:

  1. Complete more activities in the limited (stipulated) time
  2. Ensure increased outcome in the activities

After hearing this, a senior person in the banking industry not only agreed, but also shared that their bank is in the process of evaluating a new set of modern, customer-facing tools that could facilitate their employees’ productivity. He shared that their criteria of evaluation are 1) availability (100 percent mobile, access from anywhere, everywhere), 2) agility (simple and easy to use), and 3) intelligent insights (alerts, reminders, notifications, and infolets).

As we all know, improving sales productivity can bring incredible value to the organization. For example, a 15 percent increase in the productivity of employees could add up to 10 percent to 15 percent improvement in the bottom line of the overall business performance. It is indeed wonderful to watch these leaders and organizations move from knowing how important sales productivity is to knowing how to make these improvements happen.

Find an Oracle CloudWorld event near you.