#OracleCloud Summit 2016 Trends, Updates & News

I’m here with my colleagues, Holger Mueller and Doug Henschen @DHenschen, covering the #OracleCloud Summit 2016 in NYC at the Waldorf Astoria @WaldorfNYC. (BTW the Waldorf Astoria has great customer service!!!)

MY POV: My overall take away is that Oracle has built / are building the most comprehensive cloud offering – Data as a Service (DaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas).

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.55.56 AM

B2B Customer Experience: How does an application consume all this data – from service, sales, marketing, mobile… to result in a business outcome? That’s my focus- not as much on all the data or infrastructure – but rather what is the customer / business outcome that all this provides? Here’s an example…

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 10.57.27 AMThe person is coming close to the company and gets a notification to look to see more about how well the account is doing (Account Health.) I (as this sales person) sign-in and I find out that from service cloud, that this is not a “healthy” customer, so I can’t talk to them about adding services or products. I’m walking into a situation where there is an issue that has not been resolved. If I did log on and see there weren’t any issues, I might be able to start the conversation about what they might buy. Instead, I’d start by solving the unresolved issue. I can also see the opportunity for what they might buy if I can solve their issue.

Customer Service Is Mission Critical: This makes so much sense and why customer service needs to be a mission critical part of the overall business strategy. It is the canary in the coal mine. Everything you need to know about what your customers think and feel about your products and services can be found in customer service. It always has been. It’s only recently, by connecting marketing, sales, service, that we can actually use that information to make better business decisions. I like this a lot. It’s something I’ve been on a soapbox for years. I thank the cloud for bringing all these applications together so that we can have this integrated view of our companies.

Customer Success Management: What some of the conversation today reminds me of customer success management. I have written about this in separate reports for vendors that specialize in looking at how well an application has been deployed, used, by whom and for what. It seems this idea has been translated into the Platform as a Service by Oracle, to be able to know more about my customers and determine if they are happy and if not, and what I, as for example a salesperson, can do. It only makes sense. If you have the data, why not use it to know if your customer is happy? No customers, no business. It’s really that simple. This capability may not be as developed as the customer success management vendors, but it’s definitely in the right direction.

Customer Experience: Certainly it’s gotten more difficult to manage devices and channels and predict customer behavior. One of the TRENDS at  is to have all data in one place, analyzed to help brands to deliver the right message, at the right & real time, which results in much better customer experiences #cx for the customer and better business results for the brand.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.13.30 AM

The message is that Oracle ID Graph can be used to connect customer behavior to get right message, to the right channel via modeling the data to discover the best decisions.Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.27.59 AM

From analyzing all this data, Oracle has found the best predictor of future purchases is past purchases. This shows that one of the real values of data is customer’s behavior. If businesses can understand “Say, Do, Buy” they will be able to target, personalize and measure the success of the customer experience across devices and channels via this Identity Graph.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.24.53 AM

Oracle CX Cloud Differentiators: The CX Cloud Product Highlights include, because of the PaaS, DaaS, IaaS and SaaS, a unique customer experience cloud – including the ability to integrate the sales, marketing, service, commerce, social, mobile….to provide brands the ability to make the right business decisions, quickly.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.29.05 AM

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.44.45 AMFuture of B2C and B2B: If could measure TV ads, it could put end to guessing how much money and where to spend money on TV ads. This is a huge challenge that needs to be solved. That would be a service that would put an end to the huge amounts of money that lead to the famous quote – “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” by John Wannamaker.

Mark Hurd @MarkVHurd: He’s speaking to us about their need to shift to persona selling, which they are and have done. It used to be that the buyer was the CIO. But the cloud has brought new buyers to the table – CMO’s, Customer Experience Professionals, Customer Service… Smart. The line of business doesn’t have to wait in line for IT’s list of to do’s. Maybe IT still needs to stay focused on their list. Certainly much of what they do is needed. And maybe it was never realistic to think they could do all that is required in IT and to service the lines of business. Perhaps that is part of the beauty of the cloud. It puts the line of business in charge of their needs in software / hardware.

mark hurd

Mark is also talking to us about the idea that the focus of software as a service is interested in the business outcome, rather than what software companies used to focus on, which was the product. This is something that is so important. Software / Hardware for the sake of software / hardware is not enough, at least in my opinion. Until the cloud, the multiple customer personas didn’t have as much buying power and they didn’t have the weight they do now. Yes, hardware / software all needs to work, be secure, be fast, etc.. but at the end of the day, it has to provide a business owner capabilities that make their business run better. Period.

Great information. Great Summit.

@Dr Natalie Petouhoff, Constellation Research, VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Customer-facing Applications




Capgemini Expands Its Digital Growth Strategy With The Acquisition of oinio, a Leading European Salesforce Partner

Capgemini and onio: Capgemini announced the acquisition of oinio, one of Europe’s leading Salesforce partners. This acquisition will expand Capgemini’s Digital Strategy Group growth by augmenting Capgemini’s capabilities in providing digital transformation services around the Salesforce solutions and platform across Europe and Asia. Oinio, based in Munich, has become one of the major European players in the consulting and deployment of Salesforce cloud-based CRM and digital marketing solutions. Oonia has more than 600 projects for a portfolio of international clients in life sciences, manufacturing, financial services, high tech and utilities.

Statements from the Executives on The Acquisition: Maic Stohr, CEO of oinio commented, “As part of Capgemini, a global leader in digital business transformation, we’ll be able to offer Salesforce based agile innovation to enterprise customers at scale, to drive quicker business outcomes. It’s a commitment to our customers, our team and to the digital era.”

Dennis Flüchter, COO and CFO of oinio, said, “Joining Capgemini with its worldwide reach is an opportunity to accelerate our growth in Germany and on a global basis too. We’re proud to become part of the Capgemini family.”

And Jean Lassignardie, Corporate Vice President and Group Head of Salesforce Expert and Transformation Services at Capgemini stated, “The recognized expertise of oinio will allow us to reinforce our position in the European and Asian markets, while strengthening our partnership with Salesforce globally. Together, we will be able to quickly deploy the most innovative solutions to support our customers in their business transformation and growth acceleration.”

What Does This Mean? What I find interesting about this acquisition is the pace at which the foreign markets are understanding the value of digital transformation. This type of acquisition clearly shows that both Capgemini and oinio are seeing the desire and need for consulting services in the digital transformation area. System integrators of yesteryear were known for implementing large, on-premise solutions, taking years to implement, many of which were given up on.

Today, system integrators have had to reinvent themselves as the advent of SaaS / cloud solutions replacing the on-premise projects. But smart systems integrators have become trusted advisors in the role of aiding digital transformation. Because there is so much about a business that has to be transformed, in reality there is a huge market for systems integrators that realize that the transition from the old way of doing business, to truly being digital requires a transformation of people, process, leadership and technology. And there is no shortage of actual work that has to get done to make that all happen.

The future? Look to see which systems integrators are understanding what digital transformation means and who is leading companies to transform their culture, the mindset, their leadership, their workforce, their processes (how work gets done and how customers are interacted with and engaged) and what technologies are chosen to make this a reality in the short term. The longer companies wait to take on this type of endeavor, the more danger they put themselves in becoming extinct, i.e., irrelevant to their customers and unfortunately, for some really great brands, the certainty of going out of business.

@DrNatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Customer-facing Marketing, Sales and Customer Service Strategies and Technologies and System Integrators


Bluenose: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy(Part 2)

Welcome back to part two of my vendor profile on Bluenose. Bluenose Analytics offers a customer success platform that allows SaaS businesses to manage customers with complete visibility, a robust early warning system, and built-in playbooks.

Product/Solution Footprint

Competitive Positioning

Bluenose specializes in providing SaaS businesses a customer success platform to manage their customers with all-encompassing visibility through a comprehensive early warning system, intelligent marketing campaigns built to instill loyalty, and integrated playbooks (see Figure 2). Bluenose helps companies spot opportunities to deepen engagement with customers and maximize revenue through renewals and upsells. The CSM software offers a customizable and comprehensive customer health analytics system that can:

  • Highlight users that need more product training
  • Identify the most engaged users
  • Get warnings when an account is a churn risk
  • Determine which customers are falling behind in onboarding
  • Know if executive champions are no longer engaging with others
  • Suggest accounts that are ready for an upgrade

Figure 2. Overview of Bluenose’s Customer Success Management System


Source: Bluenose

The core of Bluenose is the analytics engine. Data on customer engagement, purchases, system usage, customer demographics, and customer sentiment in the form of Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and surveys all feed into the Bluenose engine. The result of the analysis is the ability to proactively manage accounts and end user campaigns. The key capabilities of Bluenose’s account management system include:

  • 360-degree view of the customer account
  • Early warning system
  • Playbooks
  • Account-based reports

The key capabilities of Bluenose’s end user campaigns system include:

  • Marketing campaigns
  • User-based reports
  • 360-degree user view
  • Actionable queries

The 360-degree view provides Bluenose’s customers with access to every touch point across their business. The early warning system allows Bluenose’s customers to go from being reactive to proactive in detecting issues and heading them off before they become problems. Bluenose’s playbooks allow customers to establish consistent and structured customer success processes to make sure all customers are receiving top-tier customer success management. Bluenose has a customer success community where clients (members) can share and connect with other customer success professionals.

  • Constellation’s Analysis of the Competitive Positioning: Early adopters of customer success management didn’t have a cloud platform that provided instant data like the CSM systems that are available today. CSM platforms now provide the capabilities and graphical representation of data in such a useful way that it is imperative that serious businesses adopt customer success management as a top priority. Bluenose’s analytics engine brings customer relationship management (CRM), service desk, marketing, usage data and financial systems into a single centralized view, providing a company with a data stream on its customers. With this data, Bluenose provides its clients with an accurate measurement of the stability of each customer and whether the customer is in jeopardy of churn or is ready to expand its capabilities. Customer scoring is accurate since it draws from structured data sources like CRM and billing systems and unstructured insights, like the intelligence of account managers. This technology system has many of the attributes a company would need to do great customer success management. However, Bluenose would benefit from developing relationships with integration partners and resellers.

Bluenose: Customer Success Management for a Post-Sale, On-Demand, Attention Economy

In the next part of my series, I’d like to feature Bluenose. Bluenose Analytics offers a customer success platform that allows SaaS businesses to manage customers with complete visibility, a robust early warning system, and built-in playbooks.

Bluenose’s co-founders were both born in Halifax, Canada. They named the company for something they had in common. The Bluenose is a well-known racing sailboat from Halifax, a schooner with three masts that competed around 1900. The Bluenose was virtually undefeated in competition.

Before the opt-in economy, many businesses focused on the initial sale. Organizations spent a significant amount of money on advertising and marketing to potential prospects. The goal – enticing them to convert from a lead to a sale. Despite decades of research showing that after-sales service directly affects the financial stability of a company, organizations paid little attention the after-sale experience and financial longevity of the client. Consequently, organizations never should have spent millions, or in some cases, billions of dollars in advertising, marketing and sales to then drive the customer to a competitor when the after-sales service experience was horrible. Yet, poor after-sales service occurs every single day in many, many companies.

Customer Success Management (CSM) is based on the ability to deliver a consistent customer experience process – before, during, and in particular, after the sale – which results in maximized customer lifetime value and enhanced revenue that leads to increased margins and profits. A shift to CSM happened because we live in a continuous, opt-in economy, where the value of customers is determined by how long they stay customers and if they continue to increase their purchase amounts over time. Because of our opt-in economy, companies must prepare themselves to deliver great, continuous and consistent customer experiences.

This seismic shift to a post-sale, on demand, attention economy transforms the value exchange among customers, partners, suppliers, and brands. And as organizations move to digital business models, CSM plays a critical role in enabling brands and organizations to keep and deliver their brand promise as well as enhance their bottom line.

When choosing the best option for CSM software for your organization, the choice will depend on the business goals of CSM initiatives, the degree to which CSM has been integrated into your culture and how well employees have adopted this mindset. It may be that some organizations will be further along the adoption cycle, while others will need internal champions to encourage and enforce the use of customer success software, processes and best practices.

Data to Decisions Drives the Democratization of Insight

The CSM field has been spurred on by the need to provide after-sales service intelligence that can be turned into actionable insights and decisions. Holistic, data-driven decisions require a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates performance monitoring with traditional business intelligence technologies.

A multitude of data sources can be transformed into information streams guided by business process. As context is applied to information streams, patterns emerge that provide nuggets of insight. That insight then drives the ability to take action and make better decisions. This shift to using insight not only can serve high-margin, “luxury” brands, but also should be considered for all businesses through an investment in CSM. By transforming business models to include processes that immediately turn data into decisions, brands and organizations gain the ability to provide great, loyalty inspiring experiences that reduce churn and increase revenue.

Customer Success Management Field Sees Tremendous Growth

Through conversations with clients, prospective buyers, system integrators, partners, and vendors, Constellation sees five big themes in customer success management (see Figure 1)[1]:5 Areas for Customer Success Management

  1. Delivering a brand promise instead of a product or service requires new approaches. The onus of delivering on the brand promise – providing great experiences with a company no matter when the customer interacts with it – is putting new pressures on brands and software vendors. This means the business model of both must shift. A company’s business model must move post-sales care to a more mature level. This evolution requires a different mindset and approach to customer lifetime value.

Figure 1. Five Areas Needed to Master Customer Success Management

  1. Companies who believe in customer experience build CSM organizations. Not all CSM organizations are created equally. In an opt-in economy, the economic value of a customer is realized over time, instead of in the upfront sale. This means that organizations that want to become CSM-oriented are looking at three main areas:
  • Hiring, training and rewards for employees
  • Becoming a center of excellence for CSM
  • Strategy combined with data
  1. CSM cultivates more customers, lowers churn, and improves margins. The reason many companies have adopted the opt-in business model is that they realize, when they consistently deliver great experiences, they have loyal customers who advocate for the brand and often will make referrals. Advocating for the brand can be in the form of a post in a social network or offline in telling friends or family of their experiences.
  2. Predictive analytics identify known attributes and reveal previously unknown attributes that drive customer success. The only way to preserve a company’s revenue stream is to keep customers opting in. To become a CSM organization, a company has to actively manage customer relationships to ensure the customer is getting value. This critical step requires data in the form of real-time and predictive analytics.
  3. Integration of the Internet of Things and predictive analytics improves precision of decisions. The amount of data and analytics that CSM platforms provide is important, especially when data from sensors and other sources (that make up the Internet of Things) is integrated into the solution to provide a company with predictive analytics and actionable insights that drive better and more precise decision making throughout an organization.

[1] See “The State of Customer Success Management 2015” by Natalie Petouhoff, Constellation Research, December 22, 2014.


ThinkBig and Teradata Partner for Data Consulting

With all the data and all the opportunity, it’s really necessary to have someone focus on getting most out of that data. Otherwise, as other’s have coined, you end up with a data lake – a bunch of data but not in context and not useable in providing great, continuos customer experiences. And at the end of the day, what companies need is to have the data actually to help them run their business better. So the announcement today solves some of these issues, i.e.,  Think Big, a Teradata (NYSE: TDC) company, announced the immediate expansion of its big data consulting business.

They have announced a dashboard engine to be able to have drill down capability and get to the insights using ingestion patterns and infrastructure. Think Big embraces a range of vendor-neutral, open source options and recommends the best combination to complement existing, proven technologies based on each customer’s unique business needs.

Think Big assists clients, across industries, to gain measurable business value from big data through implementation and integration of open-source technologies such as Apache™ Hadoop®, Apache Spark™, and NoSQL databases (i.e. Apache HBase™, Apache Cassandra™, and MongoDB).

Hadoop and its fast growing ecosystem of open source projects have quickly become first-class technology assets, regardless of the organization’s size or geography,” said Rick Farnell, co-founder and senior vice president International, Think Big, a Teradata company. “Think Big’s international expansion will allow us to effectively share our expertise and support our customers. To support its growth, Think Big is aggressively recruiting talented individuals to fill a variety of positions in sales, data engineering, data science and project management.”

Will be very interesting to see how the partnership evolves and the case studies that result. Remember – send your clients to the enter into the Super Nova Awards to be considered. It’s a great honor and Constellation Research is looking for innovators who are disrupting business models and using data to do that. Especially in click-stream data.


VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Provide Great Customer Experiences


KeyNote: Who Will Lead the Big Data & Social Media Revolution? IT or the Line of Business?

This keynote at TWDI in NYC we explored Who will Lead the Social Media and Big Data Revolution — IT or The Lines of Business (Marketing, Sales, Customer Service…)

Whether its social media monitoring with software applications like Crimson-Hexagon or Fan Engagement and social media ROI platforms like Manumatix, there is tremendous value in these new applications. Perhaps the role of the CIO or CTO is to become the interpreter of software applications that analyze and use big data and social so that the line of business can reach their business goals? Many people would argue that that’s the role CIO and CTO’s have had all along…

Behind the scenes of the business potential of social media, another revolution is happening in IT departments. Social Media and other Big Data applications are provoking a tidal wave of new platforms, new development, and radical innovations in the creation of data, as well as the management and delivery of data. These trends are overwhelming the traditional approaches to data management and warehousing.

I presented the view that perhaps IT could help the lines of business by helping them understand how to apply these new types of software to their business. This means that IT would need to work very closely with the lines of business in understanding their business goals – like increase in awareness, leads, lead conversion rates, sales, customer loyalty, referrals, advocacy and loyalty.

Along with myself, Dr. Edouard Servan-Schreiber –Director for Solution Architecture at MongoDB, presented the his point of view on this topic.

In my presentation, I’ve included not only my 7 Steps for Executive Success for Big Data and Social Media, but I have also included some of the vendors that IT could be helping the lines of business choose to help them reach their goals.

The issue is that CEOs are pushing the decisions down into the lines of business. Never before have they had to really understand software to this extent. IT used to be in charge of software platforms and choices. With SaaS the line of businesses are making their own choices. Perhaps though, this additional responsibility of sifting through all the various types of software and choosing the best ones to reach the business goals could be a shared responsibility for IT and the lines of business.

What’s your thought’s on who should lead the Social Media and IT Big Data Revolution?

Here’s the link to the slides: http://slidesha.re/1h1wFuB

Enhanced by Zemanta