Oracle announces more updates to its customer experience applications

May 26, 2021

A major part of the recent success at Oracle is related to its SaaS model and ability to evolve its technology and offerings to new customers in the cloud. Its recent updates to the advertising and customer experience applications represent another example of innovation and meeting the demands of its customers.

Oracle advertising and CX are application that is capable of delivering a comprehensive view of every customer and their interactions. Risk management leader Aon is a good example of this in action. Aon began using several CRM tools but quickly realised that it required a single system representing the business to its customers. Back in 2017, Aon started the transition to combine all of its users into a single system and chose Oracle as the preferred platform for its customer experience. The instant benefit of the new system was that members from any location could open an account and view all other team members worldwide.

Teams could collaborate and deliver their information as one voice to the customer, instead of many as before. The other benefit was the value of data collected, which provided information on who was working with a customer, what purchases were made etc. opening up several new opportunities and targeted dialogue with customers. With data being collected and stored in one place, the entire reporting process became easier and clearer.

One of the main challenges associated with a subscription model is understanding why customers may not be renewing. Customer churn, the volume of customers cancelling can be related to many factors. Oracle applies artificial intelligence (AI) and historical trends to determine the main drivers influencing customer churn. The system also generates reports to understand ‘at-risk customers and keep loyal customers informed about their accounts. 

Oracle continues to improve its advertising and customer experience applications with additional updates. Oracle appreciates the importance of collecting relevant data within the customer journey and utilising artificial intelligence to enhance the overall business process. No employee in a business must approach a customer without having a detailed understanding, context and supporting recommendations. Knowing whether a customer is a loyal repeat user or has experienced service issues is vital and boils down to collecting and measuring the right data sets. Capturing the right data enables the opportunity to provide the necessary support and guidance at the right time to each customer. The result is ensuring that every customer interaction is positive, whether it be for marketing, selling or servicing.

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Exploring core business strategies at Oracle

November 26, 2019

Valued at over $26 billion and ranked as one of the most valuable global brands, Oracle has established itself as one of the largest businesses in the world. Oracle is dedicated to ensuring people view and use data in different ways, discover insights and create new opportunities. The business creates, manufacturers and sell innovative hardware and software products to multiple sectors. Acquisitions have played a major part in developing the Oracle brand and delivering new technological solutions.

Business Progressions with Acquisitions

During 2018 Oracle completed a number of acquisitions, ensuring the business remained at the forefront of technological progression in the industry. Earlier this year, Oracle acquired Zenedge to integrated a market-leading cloud application and network security services, providing an added protective service for its users. In April, Oracle acquired SparklineData to combine its PaaS services to support customers moving to big data solutions. Oracle also signed a deal to take over, supporting the management of data science tools, projects and infrastructure in the workspace. 

Most recently Oracle acquired DataFox and goBalto in October, in a move which Oracle believes will enhance their cloud applications, enabling customers to generate better decisions and business outcomes. 

Improving Services with stronger partnerships

During 2018, Oracle created a strong partnership with FireEye, creating the first Oracle cloud solution for FireEye. The collaboration supports customers in moving to the cloud environment, offering a flexible, cost-effective, secure and simplistic offering. At the beginning of 2019, the US-based technology company confirmed another partnership with the VANTA network, focusing on expanding its reach to both consumers and enterprise customers. 

A strategy for introducing new technology

Oracle is continuously looking to introduce the latest technology with a goal of enhancing business operations. Oracle is exploring methods to support the migration of infrastructure to the latest cloud platform services. This will involve all corporate applications being hosted on the oracle next-gen cloud. A move like this will reduce overall infrastructure costs and reduce both space and power consumption worldwide. Cloud migration, or data centre consolidation is moving ahead and will support the reduced requirement for physical data centres and the increased demand for flexible infrastructure services.

Introducing emerging and disruptive technologies

To ensure businesses are equipped with the tools to utilise innovation, Oracle has confirmed a continued focus on emerging technologies in Oracle Cloud, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain, IoT and other human systems. Oracle is dedicated to ensuring emerging technologies are available and readily accessible across its cloud services. To support its customers and ensure they can utilise new technologies, Oracle has implemented a number of innovative technologies into its services and generate new products into its platform to allow customers to take advantage of each service.

Oracle has integrated machine learning and AI into its cloud services. The Oracle CX application includes embedded AI tools that improve better predictions for selected services, automating answers and providing a more personal service. Oracle also integrated machine learning into its security services to support the detection of potential security threats. 

Research and Development Focus

Oracle continues to make a significant investment in research and development to ensure the business delivers innovative solutions. Net investment for 2019 is believed to be just over $6 billion USD. The company in-house R&D facilities are constantly exploring a range of new products that are applied to global business operations. The technology combined with other applications creates a competitive advantage for its product offerings.

Supporting Industry Transformation

The market is experiencing significant transformation, supported by a considerable rise in new technology services. Oracle is investing heavily in new technology, delivering insights and solutions for digital customers. Oracle’s dedication to innovation is a driving force that ensures it remains an industry leader. Their continued investment plans in research and development and focuses on providing the highest quality service has enabled Oracle to support customers in meeting their goals. Their new products and services are supporting industry transformation, utilising the potential of disruptive services and successfully meet rising regulatory demands.

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Oracle launches a new solution to accelerate digital sales

November 19, 2019

Digital professionals today are becoming more innovative and technologically capable than ever before. Digital teams are moving away from traditional sales techniques and instead are expecting new, personalised and more engaging presentations. On a similar level, sales professionals are taking advantage of all modern channels and understand the new types of engagement that today’s buyers expect.
Whilst it may sound like both sides are working together, many sales professionals lack the right tools to measure, engage, qualify and convert leads and many presentations and pitches fail to meet the expected quality of engagement. To combat this area, Oracle is creating a new digital sales solution catering for high-volume sellers, business development and account managers, providing an efficient and rapid service.

The system includes:

-High Speed – A new UI support sales professionals with qualifying opportunities quicker and move on from other ‘weak’ opportunities.
-Efficient Service – An automated, efficient service with shortcuts and support from a digital assistant decreasing the time spent on data entry and other time-consuming tasks.
-Prescriptive Technology – The new solution offers constant reminders, real-time support and artificial intelligence (AI) recommendations that enable sales representatives too important to not act upon.

Oracle Digital Sales combines an intuitive and guided selling service with AI, data, automation and integrated voice and sales services that are primarily created to support how digital sales professionals work. Oracle believes the new systems will help sales reps focus more of their efforts on leads and potential deals and reducing time spent on data entry and updating CRM systems. For example, a sales professional using a conventional CRM system would be required to make in excess of 15 data entries and clicks to find a lead or make a call.

With Oracle Digital Sales solution, all of these activities have been integrated into a singular system that only requires several data entries and clicks. Sales professionals can ask Oracle to search key information such as when new leads have been assigned, but also add particular products or updates to a lead or opportunity without having to search for the transaction. The home screen is continuously updated with notifications that require attention or links to access specific records. With a consolidated interface, sales reps can be ready to develop relevant and informed conversations each time they engage. AI is implemented within the system to offer additional support on which leads to focus on and details in terms of prioritising tasks.

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Oracle launches Cloud Native Modern Monetization

November 13, 2019

The introduction of Cloud Native enables industry leaders the flexibility to incorporate 5G, IoT and deliver innovative digital business systems. Digital companies today are radically transforming their monetization systems in order to manage rising demands for 5G and other new digital services.

The new cloud-native system from Oracle Communications for Billing and Revenue Management (BRM) Cloud-native deployment option gives market leaders the agility to embrace 5G, IoT and future digital business models, enabling businesses to meet requirements by integrating the features of an established charging network with the performance and agility of cloud systems.
The Cloud Native option offers a new monetization solution to utilise the opportunities available in digital services. The option supports any industry, providing a platform for 5G networking.

Industry analysts have highlighted that the latest version of Oracle’s Billing and Revenue Management solution is well placed to enhance the business’s ability to support new 5G focused cases. Cloud-native offers internal IT teams to integrate DevOps procedures to enable and launch new services efficiently. Businesses can improve their operations by effectively managing business development with improved scaling and simpler updates. Billing and Revenue Management improves technology agility even further when implementing Oracle’s next-gen Cloud infrastructure, offering autonomous services, adaptive intelligence, and machine learning security options.

Jason Rutherford, the senior VP and general manager at Oracle Communications believes service providers and businesses are actively looking for agile solutions to take advantage of 5G and IoT services. Rutherford highlights that Cloud Native BRM launched on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure enables customers to operate efficiently, respond to competitors and introduce new pricing and business models that take advantage of digital innovation.

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VMware and Oracle confirm partnership to enhance system management

November 5, 2019

Despite years of competition, VMware and Oracle have confirmed they are partnering to allow users to operate VMware workloads on Oracle cloud infrastructures and applications. Historically, both businesses have had a rather hostile relationship but the two rival companies have sealed an agreement that both businesses believe will improve application management and allow for further cloud development. Oracle has shown its support towards VMware and its position in the data centre. On the other side, VMware has supported customers in transferring workloads to Oracle Generation 2 Cloud Infrastructure. Larger businesses that implement Oracle and VMware systems are likely to benefit from the confirmed relationship between the two rival businesses. 

A historical insight of Oracle and VMware For years, both businesses have had conflicting opinions. Oracle created virtualisation software to effectively compete with VMware, but this gained little support. Research analysts state that for years Oracle resisted cooperation with VMware, refusing to acknowledge VMware’s position and provide customers operating the software on VMware VMs. As a result, many companies experienced difficulties in managing Oracle or VMware errors. 

Fast forward to today, both businesses support their joint clients. Many companies are likely to benefit from this partnership, providing the necessary foundations for many company’s systems; including VMware’s virtualisation line and database management systems provided by Oracle. 

A transition from legacy systems 

Businesses are continuously transferring from conventional on-premise centres and towards the public cloud. IDC has suggested global investment in public cloud systems will increase from $210 billion in 2019 to $370 billion in 2022. Many companies now use a combination of private, hybrid and public cloud systems. These businesses commonly experience challenges in shifting and managing applications due to a contrasting mix of on-premise and cloud-based designs. Companies like these tend to manage a number of autonomous groups, covering legacy and cloud service systems individually. ANalysts believes that this process is becoming inefficient as cloud management consumes more workload. 

Instead of launching a number of management tools, all requiring separate support, many companies are now looking for one set of tools that meets all requirements. 

Impact of VMware-Oracle partnership 

The resulting partnership will provide VMware and Oracle customers with added flexibility, meaning businesses will no longer need to retest systems when moving to the cloud. Both vendors will equally benefit from the agreement where Oracle required more load for OCI and VMware is actively looking to get their software in the cloud. VMware has been attempting to position itself as a leader in the multi-cloud management industry. According to studies by IDC, over 90% of businesses operate at least one cloud application system. In order to provide multi-cloud management systems, VMware partnered with a number of public cloud organisations such as AWS, Microsoft and Google, and most recently Oracle. For now, the agreement will support larger companies, simplifying the challenges that develop when certain system errors occur. The long term implications are a little more uncertain regarding Oracle and its position in delivering public cloud services. Research by Gartner highlighted that Gen 1 of Oracle Cloud Solutions did not perform as expected. Oracle created a new architecture and is promoting it but industry members say it is too soon to say what impact it will have. Some industry members have said pricing might prove to be problematic. Legacy software tends to cost more than cloud systems and in the case of the recent agreement, Oracle and VMware both have high licensing fees, which could detract interest in their joint cloud services.

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Industry Analyst report discuss possibility of a merger between Amazon and Oracle

October 30, 2019

US-based data forecasting and analysis company Trefis have been exploring the possibility of a potential market merger between Amazon and Oracle.

While a deal sounds very ambitious, Trefis believe it would represent one of the best acquisitions Amazon make, solidifying their position at the top of the cloud technology market. According to Trefis, their bold claims are based on two key rationales.

The study by Trefis highlights a theory that customers will benefit from the security of the Oracle-based Gen 2 architecture, supported by the expansive customer service offered by Amazon Web Services, resulting in a superior product to other competitors. Trefis believes the earlier advantage of AWS may be declining due to rising competition from Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM strengthened by the recent acquisition of Red Hat.

Looking at the services in more detail, Trefis stated that data breaches affecting AWS customers could drive further action from Amazon. In the annual analyst meeting by Oracle, Larry Ellison actively spoke about Gen 2 architecture and its important role in managing data breaches.

The second key factor Trefis discuss is that AWS has not developed a credible database alternative to Oracle, with the capacity of managing the requirements of enterprise and start-up businesses. Whilst Oracle is moving its databases to the Oracle cloud, the software growth has not been capable of offsetting declines in other businesses. In contrast, AWS has maintained a partnership with VMware to bring AWS to on-premise systems, an area where Oracle and Microsoft have a strong lead. Trefis suggest that Oracle and AWS are a good match, based on Oracle wanting customers to move to the cloud and AWS wanting on-premise customers to expand further.

The report does raise several challenges to any potential merger involving years of rivalry, technology combination considerations, concerns of anti-competition and the overall scale of the deal.

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Visa and Oracle confirm partnership to generate faster payments

October 23, 2019

Earlier this year developers from Visa and Oracle teamed up to discuss a strategy to tackle an existing challenge for both businesses.

During the meeting, developers researched and constructed a payment prototype enabling businesses to handle transactions and to pay both suppliers and contractors far quicker.

Fast forward several months and this original prototype has evolved and is expected to be shortly available through Oracle ERP software. Oracle ERP customers will be capable of making Visa direct payments directly from their accounts-payable system with participating banks, reducing the overall time and investment associated with businesses having to implement new card payment technology.

The main question raised by all businesses is exactly how are they getting paid. Bill Sheley, the senior VP and global head of push payments at Visa explains that Visa Direct utilises an expansive network, supporting 54 million merchant locations worldwide, offering a network that enables payments anywhere.

For the recipients of this payment system, the benefits are related directly to faster payments and for businesses, this improved payment efficiency means reduced costs. A survey by the Association of Financial Professionals stated that nearly 90% of businesses highlighted increased efficiency as the main reason for switching to digital payments.

The efficient payment process results in a better experience, improving customer retention and eliminates the lag time associated between the payer and payee when money is being transferred.

Sheley believes that this program will expand further particularly with the rise of people working as contractors or freelancers. Sheley points out that this market has generally found it more difficult to get paid and states it has been more difficult to connect these people to a conventional banking system. Offering a transparent payment service, that is quick and secure is an appealing option for this market, according to Sheley.

Sheley believes that over the years payment innovation will focus on enhancing the payment experience, building upon the current services. Sheley states that there will also likely be an expansion of digital payment services into areas that lack access to traditional banking services. Furthermore, Sheley believes there will be continued development in new transactions excluding traditional plastic cards. Ultimately Visa is focused on simplifying the process and overall speed to market. Sheley highlights that they want smaller businesses to have the opportunity to the same services on offer to the leading companies, providing a simpler and accessible payment service for the future.

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Oracle believe the future of cloud is autonomous

September 24, 2019

Safra Catz, the CEO of Oracle has stated that she believes that the future of cloud for enterprises lies with autonomous systems and Oracle is planning to integrate all of its products on one cloud infrastructure system.

Autonomous systems provide the benefit of eliminating human errors and ensuring data is kept safe.

At the Oracle OpenWorld 2019 conference, the CEO stated that Oracle Cloud had created a new phase of integration for customers worldwide. Catz explained that Oracle is predominantly focused on users and believes the future for enterprises involves autonomous systems and that they are working together with their customers to provide the highest level of value. Catz reinforced the statement made by Oracle co-founder and CTO Larry Ellison in that autonomous systems remove potential human errors and keep data safe.

Highlighting its strong position and vision within the cloud ERP market, Oracle also confirmed a series of updates to the Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud. The latest updates will allow businesses of any size to boost their productivity, decrease costs and enhance controls by delivering product innovations and sector solutions.

Rondy Ng, the Senior Vice President of Oracle Applications Development recently stated that Oracle continues to reinforce its leading position within the Cloud ERP market with a series of innovative developments, supporting the continued changing demands within finance and operations teams. Ng believes that by combining intelligent systems and machine learning tools with Oracle ERP Cloud will allow customers to minimise the number of standard tasks performed by employees.

In order to ensure businesses and customer interaction is data-driven, Oracle released a number of data-focused updates within the Oracle Customer Experience (CX) Cloud. Oracle CX offers a range of applications within marketing, sales, services, and commerce. Rob Tarkoff, the executive vice president at Oracle CX Cloud and Oracle Data Cloud explains that the latest updates are driven by data and machine learning and are focused on ensuring customers can take advantage of data insights in order to meet customer requirements, creating the best customer experience.

Oracle also launched new updates to the enterprise-level customer data management platform (CDP). The new updates to Oracle CX Unity will allow businesses to offer personalised and detailed experiences within all customer interactions, including website visits through to in-store purchases.

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Oracle’s focus on blockchain and innovation with start-ups

August 13, 2019

The development of blockchain created a string of new and innovative start-up businesses seeking ways to expand into the wider market. Recently, the world of blockchain has transformed rapidly and rather than a wave of young, innovative founders creating new blockchain solutions, it is the likes of major technology companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Oracle who have now joined in the blockchain market.

This development has triggered a mix of opinions, with some viewing it as a major move in actually standardizing and implementing the technology, whilst others perceive it as major technology taking over a modern tool for startup development. Nevertheless, both technology majors and new businesses are collaborating through blockchain development, which can only be a positive change.

Oracle, one of the leading software companies offers a detailed enterprise blockchain service and is continuing to provide support to emerging businesses in this market. Oracle is also driving this section of the business with further support from blockchain and a recent collaboration with Chainlink.

At the start of the summer, Chainlink confirmed they would be partnering with Oracle and its Oracle for Startups program. The start-up project works with new start-ups and innovative professionals worldwide. The program provides cloud credits, discounts, mentoring and access to customer and marketing services at Oracle. This new initiative with Chainlink is just one of several projects Oracle are working on, but it is one that targets start-up companies, supporting them selling their data to generate additional revenue. The decentralized oracle technology used by Chainlink will be utilized to generate revenue via smart contracts on the Oracle Blockchain Platform.

Supporting Start-ups

Some analysts are asking the question of why is Oracle diverting their attention from new technology to support start-ups. The answer really comes down to the essence of a start-up, which is creativity and innovation. Fernando Ribeiro, the senior manager for Oracle for Start-ups explains that the program is focused on enabling new businesses to develop their products via the Oracle cloud solutions and other resources, generating a string of innovative systems that benefit not only the start-up but Oracle and their customers.

Ribeiro refers to it as a win-win cycle of innovation for start-ups and Oracle. The program is allowing new businesses to partner, develop and scale their ideas on enterprise solutions such as Oracle’s cloud infrastructure and blockchain-as-a-service. For a business the size of Oracle, the ability to innovate and be flexible is more complex compared to a start-up. Consequently, the program enables Oracle to keep its finger on the pulse and ensure they are working closely and supporting innovative plans within the industry.


Why is Oracle so active in Blockchain technology?

Ribiero explains that Oracle believes that the simpler you make it for blockchain services to leverage off-chain data sources in a secure manner, the greater value they could provide for blockchain customers. Ribiero refers to the recent partnership with Chainlink as a vital way to test, understand and validate this process. In short, if easier access and secure connections with a range of external data sources make blockchain more applicable, then it will generate more customers to the Oracle Blockchain Platform.

The partnership and service offering from Oracle for start-ups and its latest partnership with Chainlink are positive developments for the market. For many innovators, the cost is a significant factor and barrier to progression. Creating a system with Oracle to increase revenue and at the same time enable new ideas to continue developing is an appealing offering for many start-ups. Ribiero highlights that they intend to work with pioneering companies across multiple industries, to ensure they remain competitive and continue driving innovation. As the Oracle Blockchain Platform continues to develop, the business intends to partner on new initiatives similar to Chainlink and expand these opportunities further.

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Case Study: How Hindalco improved financial processes with Oracle EPM Cloud

July 24, 2019

Hindalco recently automated its financial systems by implementing cloud software, saving time and effort with manual tasks and at the same time, improving both results and security.

Emerging regulatory controls and a progressively competitive business landscape are placing further pressures on financial leaders. Added into the mix is the growth of innovative digital technologies, greatly influencing the rate of development within the market. Being capable of reducing time spend on financial closing with compliance and regulations being met is a significant challenge and a factor that can influence the reputation of a business.

Manufacturing business Hindalco Industries is a fine example of how a business has utilized Oracle cloud to meet these rising challenges. Handling multiple streams of data, combined with completing financial reports in real-time proved very challenging for the business. Integrating multiple reports into a singular version under relatively tight deadlines became a difficult process to manage for Hindalco and is a common issue for other businesses within multiple industries. For Hindalco, many tasks were depending on specific employees, required manual intervention to eliminate any potential errors and required further monitoring and checks from other members of the business.
Hindalco was looking for a solution that would streamline their financial management process and regulatory reports, explains Sunita Menon, Head of Solution Delivery at the business. Financial reporting continues to be one of the most complex and expensive processes. End-to-end reporting involves a number of complicated stages which all have the potential to disrupt the overall flow of the process. Menon explains that Hindalco was looking for a solution that demonstrated a proven case for the business. Oracle EPM Cloud solution was selected as it offered the services that enabled Hindalco to combine finance and IT services together.

The introduction of the new solution began with identifying the underlying problem, selecting the right technology and determining an implementation partner and delivering the solution to meet business expectations. Menon explains that this process involved a combination of design thinking, stakeholder management, training, validation checks, user acceptance testing and the final delivery of the tested product. Data was collected from over 20 locations and was inputted into Hyperion Financial Management (HFM) and later combined with the cloud solution.

The benefits of the move to Oracle

The new solution enables simultaneous updates from a select number of points at any time. Users are able to share report segments with the option of implementing review and responsibility settings. The system also includes a number of validation to monitor financial data and any potential errors.

Menon explains that the business now has the ability to assess and deliver multiple versions within a single link to source data. Menon highlights the improvements through greater accuracy, explaining that any opportunity to free up the time of professionals will result in higher levels of accuracy. The business has improved its use of resources and additional time can be spent specifically on analysis, rather than the time-consuming process of collecting data

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