We knew Oracle was working on a customer experience management (CXM) strategy, the last few acquisitions were clear evidence of that. Now, the enterprise solutions giant is speaking out, announcing its plans.
There's a big event happening in New York tonight. Oracle President Mark Hurd is introducing Oracle's customer experience strategy -- Oracle Customer Experience (aptly named) -- at the Experience Revolution event. The event features a town hall discussion with Oracle executives, leading enterprises and industry thought leaders -- all focused on how important CX is and how organizations can make it work.
It's going to be a pretty big event, something you should expect from a company like Oracle, so pay attention across your favorite social networks.
But enough about the event -- let's talk about:
Oracle Customer Experience
Oracle Senior VP for Oracle CRM, Anthony Lye, talked to us about Oracle's CX Strategy. He told us that the CX strategy is a combination of two years of work -- both organic development and through acquisitions to put together a solution footprint that you won't see any where else.
Lye sees customer experience as the single biggest transformation that is affecting business -- the experience is the only substantial differentiator that companies have. It's the first time in twenty years that we are beyond CRM.
Today experiences are built, maintained and managed outside of CRM and organizations need a vendor who can bring all these things together into a cohesive strategy, while supporting the CRM investments they have. Lye said this includes things such as:
- Abstracting the data away from the CRM system and master data
- Experienced based apps that are multi-channel and cross channel
- Social Apps
- A range of platform services, notably Business Intelligence BI)
Lye believes that CRM has not focused on these things over time and Oracle has recognized this. Now, it has brought together the right tools and technology to offer this support to customers.
The Oracle CXM Suite
So what does Oracle bring to the table for Customer Experience Management? There's an entire suite of solutions, including:
- Base Assets: CRM systems (like Siebel) and brand new Fusion Apps (Oracle Siebel CRM and Oracle Fusion CRM)
- MDM strategy: Customer Hub, Product Hub
- On Top: FatWire acquisition which is now Web Center Sites for Marketing Experiences
- ATG acquisition for selling experiences (Oracle ATG Web Commerce)
- InQuira acquisition brings support experiences (Oracle Knowledge Management)
- Endeca acquisition for search experiences (Oracle Endeca)
- RightNow acquisition for service experiences (RightNow CX Cloud Service)
- Vitrue & Collective Intellect acquisitions (in progress) for social experiences (Oracle Social Network)
The plan is to standardize all the solutions on Oracle's industry standard middle ware providing organizations a lower TCO by leveraging a single stack.
Oracle is also ensuring that object models are consistent between applications, that web services are optimized and in a number of cases will provide reference code to enable organizations to integrate with some applications.
The Oracle CXM Suite will also be available as part of the Oracle Cloud in addition to the on premises delivery model. Yes, you heard that right, over time they will migrate all solutions so that they are available in the cloud (something Hurd discussed recently).
Lye also indicate that along with its current implementation partners (IBM, Accenture,Deloitte), Oracle has also partnered with a number of digital agencies, like LBI and Sapient, to work on the design and implementation of these experiences.
Is the Oracle Suite Too Big?
Some may question if Oracle's Customer Experience Management Suite is too big and too complex to implement. Oracle's strategy is built around best of breed products. Lye says companies typically build their strategies around a process or a function and Oracle can offer the best product to support that function/process. Also, he indicated Oracle can prove its approach is the best because it can demonstrate via lower TCO and easy integration between products.
And of course, you don't have to go with the entire Oracle CX Suite at once, you can easily start with one or more and add as you need to. Oracle's integration strategy allows you to snap together the pieces are you need them.
In an area like customer experience, Lye says average isn't good enough. You have to go for best of breed or best in class to show you are different. That is what Oracle believes it offers.
You can compare Oracle's Suite to that offered by others in the industry, including Microsoft, IBM and Salesforce. How do they compare against what Oracle offers. Well if you believe Lye, then only IBM is in the ballpark (but Lye believes IBM is missing some key functions).
What do you think? Is Oracle on the right track? Or are there too many moving parts to keep track of. Maybe it depends on the size of the organization and the current technology investments already made.