Oracle OpenWorld #OOW14 Customer Experience Wrap-Up

Oracle OpenWorld OOW14 Customer Experience Wrap-Up

Why is CX or Customer Experience So Important Today?

Attending OpenWorld 2014 brought to mind the importance of making sure your customer-facing organizations are really focused on the customer.  While this may seem like a very obvious thing to say, most studies show a large gap between what customers think about the experiences they have with their customers and what the company thinks about the experiences they provide.

7  Tips for CX customers and Prospects

The craze of CX or Customer Experience is rampant, with many definitions and many different meanings to customers, companies and vendors. It’s time to get some things straight. You must first decide is CX means Marketing, Sales and Customer Service or does CX mean to your company, just Customer Service? In the new world of modern Customer Experiences, it means any customer-facing interaction. Here’s some things to think about:

1. The customer doesn’t think about interacting or engaging with a company per department or silo – i.e., Marketing, Sales, Customer Service….

2. The company must begin to understand what they have in each department – Marketing, Sales and Customer Service before then can even begin to dream of being “of service” to a customer.

3. Understanding what each department has means that each department needs to understand what software they have, what it does, does is experience when internal people use it create the experience their customers want and see and will those customers return because the experience is so good?

4. Each department needs to understand what processes, policies, people, skill sets, resources, etc… it has to  create the experience their customers want and which ones are most important to make sure they will return because the experience is so amazing.

5. Once a company has a good handle on what they have, they then need to understand where the gaps are — not only within each department, but how each department interacts with each other to make the overall customer-facing experience great.

6. Once those gaps are defined, they must be quickly closed before competitors do so, otherwise customers will walk away- either with their feet or their mouse.

7. The last piece of advice? Pivot, shift and change or get out of the way so your competitors can take care of your customers.

The take-a-ways from the CX part of OpenWorld were essentially to:

  • Discover how to deliver a seamless customer experience regardless of where or how customers connect with you
  • Learn how to differentiate your brand by creating a unified web, social, and contact-center experience
  • Gain insight into how to deliver proactive, highly personalized customer communications using closed-loop marketing and integrated analytics.

Oracle provided examples of companies that are currently in progress or have accomplished some of these goals from brands like General Motors to Insperity. (Those sessions were held in Moscone West otherwise known as CX Central)

A report by Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era, Oracle, 2013, showed that there is a 20% annual loss in revenue for business who don’t deliver great customer experiences. And that makes sense, because if the experience is not positive – customer will either return products or not even return to buy products and worse they will tell their friends and family. And not just in the small circles they can reach in person.

What social and digital media has basically done is to create a large megaphone for customers to share how good or bad their experiences are, in a nanosecond online and that content or those postings are permanent. As permanent as cave paintings that last thousands of years. And that’s why using a technology partner like Oracle is very important. What I learned at the conference is that they realize that it’s a lot to take in and to understand how to take existing systems and integrate all the new things. And they want to be the company you come to to get help with this. So hold them to this promise.

What has changed in CX for Oracle Customers and What Oracle has Done to invest in CX?
The acquisition of all the new technologies has helped Oracle become a more CX-focused vendor. In particular, their acquisitions in Marketing, Social / Digital and Service have been especially key. With Oracle’s Marketing Cloud and Services Cloud, customers now have a suite of Internet-hosted software along with some sales and customer service capabilities:
  • Eloqua (a marketing automation platform as the base for marketing automation)
  • BlueKai (cloud-based big data platform that enables companies to personalize online, offline and mobile marketing campaigns with richer and more actionable information about targeted audiences)
  • Responsys (e-mail marketing, web-hosted marketing technology for reaching consumers on mobile devices and social networks, display advertising and other online channels)
  • Compendium (content marketing)
  • ReadyTalk (audio and web conferencing as well as webcast hosting)
  • Vitrue (a cloud-based social marketing and engagement platform that enables marketers to centrally create, publish, moderate, manage, measure and report on their social marketing campaigns)
  • RightNow (Oracle Service Cloud including Web Customer Service, Cross Channel Contact Center, Knowledge Management, Policy Automation and Field Service) combine modern web self service, knowledge management, call center and field support software technology with social media collaboration for a consistent, superior customer experience)…

Here’s More Details on each of these acquisitions:

  • Eloqua: builds upon Oracle’s previous acquisitions of RightNow and Vitrue. The point of Eloqua is so that brands using Eloqua’s technology are better able to track, capture and analyze a potential buyer’s digital body language, including their preferences, behavior and decision-making processes, to more accurately score and qualify leads and identify high quality prospects.
  • BlueKai: includes its Data Management Platform, which centrally organizes a company’s customer and audience data in the cloud to help implement personalized marketing campaigns across all channels and deliver better results and higher marketing ROI. BlueKai also runs the world’s largest third party data marketplace to augment a company’s proprietary customer data with actionable information on more than 700 million profiles.

 And BlueKai will be /is integrated with both Responsys for B2C marketing automation and Eloqua for B2B marketing automation in order to deliver orchestrated and personalized customer interactions across all marketing activities and channels. BlueKai combined with Oracle’s Marketing and Social solutions provide customers with the ability to build the richest user profiles combining information from first party and third party sources including media, advertising, social, and mobile sources. The combination will also allow both B2B and B2C organizations to build unmatched personalized cross-channel campaigns and customer interactions across e-mail, web, social, mobile, advertising and syndicated content channels.

  • Responsys: The addition of Responsys extends Oracle’s Customer Experience Cloud, which includes Commerce, Sales, Service, Social and the Oracle Marketing Cloud. By bringing together Responsys and Oracle Eloqua in the Marketing Cloud, for the first time CMOs that support industries with B2C or B2B business models will be equipped to drive exceptional customer experiences across marketing interactions and throughout the customer lifecycle from a single platform.
  • Compendium: The addition of Compendium extends Oracle’s Customer Experience Cloud, with a cloud-based content marketing provider that helps companies plan, produce and deliver engaging content across multiple channels throughout their customers’ lifecycle. Compendium’s data-driven approach aligns relevant content with customer data and profiles to help companies more effectively attract prospects, engage buyers, accelerate conversion of prospects to opportunities, increase adoption, and drive revenue growth.

The combination of Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud with Compendium is expected to enable modern marketers to align persona-based content to customers’ digital body language to increase “top-of-funnel” customer engagement, improve the quality of sales leads, realize the highest return on their marketing investment, and increase customer loyalty.

  • ReadyTalk: As organizations of all sizes look at new ways to collaborate and engage audiences, the audio and web conferencing market has become increasingly competitive. To stand out in a market dominated by larger providers and successfully execute sophisticated marketing programs that fit with its customer-centric culture, ReadyTalk, a provider of audio and web conferencing services, selected Oracle Eloqua, a component of the Oracle Marketing Cloud. With Oracle Eloqua, ReadyTalk has been able to deliver highly personalized, targeted messages to nurture leads and convert customers into brand advocates, improving marketing effectiveness and ROI.
  • Vitrue:  The proliferation of social media has changed the way that organizations and consumers interact. Vitrue’s social marketing platform helps organizations enhance their social marketing efforts to the next level of social engagement by giving brands the ability to scale across multiple social networks, target messages from global to local, create unique and consistent brand experiences, and publish content that engages fans and drives leads.

Together, Oracle and Vitrue plan to enable a unified social experience across customer interactions, resulting in meaningful customer engagements with consistent brand experiences across all channels and media; improved return on investment for social sales and marketing campaigns across paid, owned and social media; and enhanced customer service through real-time responsiveness and high touch engagement.

  • RightNow: Oracle Service Cloud including Web Customer Service, Cross-Channel Contact Center, Knowledge Management, Policy Automation and Field Service provides a rich online customer experience solution so consumers can research, purchase, or resolve issues from any device and channel. Set a standard for best-in-class service by allowing your customers to interact on their own terms while you increase conversions and lower service costs. // Social-self service and social contact center enables brands to manage social interactions as a fully integrated part of the customer experience.
  • The Oracle Service Cloud social experience is designed to extend the customer experience to the places where consumers are learning, sharing, and buying across the social web. // The Cross-Channel Contact Center delivers end-to-end management of the customer journey through unified records, interfaces, and knowledge. Even your junior agents are able to deliver exceptional experiences consistently across every channel for operational efficiency and service excellence.
  • Oracle Commerce: Sitting apart, but in concert with The Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud, is the e-commerce piece of the puzzle, Oracle Commerce. Built on a foundation of business user control, the platform delivers and omni-channel support for selling online, in the store, or wherever a customer is. It Increases agility and empower marketers and merchants with the tools to manage omni-channel experiences, personalization, search and navigation, promotions, content, and more Rapidly launch sites for new brands, markets, and single-purpose campaigns. It allows for international expansion and target new geographies and segments more effectively, and includes B2B and B2C modules to better support different business and selling models
What Oracle Can Do to Improve CX for Customers
While Oracle has invested very heavily in the Marketing area, they should still look to continue to develop their offerings in Sales and Customer Service.
Sales is currently a group of solutions like Lead and Opportunity Management – which provides access anytime, anywhere with Microsoft Outlook™, and mobile capabilities for Android™, iOS™ and BlackBerry.™ And a Territory and Quota Management solution along with a Partner Relationship Management solution and Social Collaboration.
Customer Service is a combination of solutions like Knowledge Management, Semantic Search, Guided Knowledge, Knowledge Analytics, Integrated Apps to Deliver knowledge at the point of need using modern Web Self Service, Contact Center and Field Service Apps and knowledge APIs used to leverage customer context and data from external systems for step by step guidance.
In addition Customer Service includes Cross-Channel Contact Center, with case management to manage timely resolution of incidents across all your channels. It also includes guided resolution, that dynamically captures critical information through guided dialogues, as well as Customer Engagement which personalizes proactive communications with your customers from deep service profiles. The solution also includes the Social Contact Center, where one can infuse social listening and engagement into the contact center along with agent mobility to enable agents to resolve issues even when away from their desktop, along with a Unified Agent Desktop that integrate other systems into one unified experience for your agents.
Other customers continue to have customer service agents on Siebel. Siebel is used by customers in need of tailored industry solutions. While Siebel might have been a good database interface, it was not always the favorite pick of customer service agents for ease of use and functionality. Some of that capability has been greatly improved with the new Simplified User Interface. But Oracle needs to keep their eyes on their competitors who are also very customer service agent focused, making their job easier means happier, more profitable customers.
While Oracle has invested very heavily into many aspects of what it takes to deliver great customer experiences across all customer-facing aspects of the company, the need to integrate all the systems so they work as a unified solution is always the tricky part.
As analysts, we will be watching to see how easy it is for customers to take the various solutions and implement them and the amount of time it takes to integrate them. Certainly the days of old, where systems integrators made large sums of money by creating connectors or connecting systems, has been replaced by simplified API’s, etc…. But as always, the more things change, the more they say the same. The devil is in the details. And we will be watching for case studies on how all the moving parts work together.
VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Create Great Customer Experiences
Constellation Research





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