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Oracle News & Analysis

A Look Back: Still Searching for Optimal Customer Experience

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You couldn't escape talk about awesome, amazing, remarkable customer experience (CX) in 2014 — or, for that matter, related terms like customer satisfaction, customer focus, customer service or customer-centricity. It is, after all, the Age of the Customer — a reality that has caused businesses everywhere to embrace CX as a business goal.

But like the mythical 10 pounds we collectively vow to lose on New Year's Day, the customer centricity of most companies, as evidenced by their delivery of memorable customer experience, rarely evolved from a concept to a practice this year.

And no matter how hard companies tried — with new technologies, new programs and even new names ("customer success," anyone?), the dream of seamless, engaging, excellent cross-channel customer experiences often remained an illusion.

  • Why is it cheaper if I order online for in-store pick-up than if I just buy it off the shelf at the store?
  • Why do so many companies make me wait more than 30 minutes to speak to someone who might have the authority to resolve my problem?
  • Why are call center representatives unable or unwilling to understand when you plead "I cannot hear you – please adjust your headset?"
  • Why can't anyone listen to what I am saying?
  • Why are so many of my interactions with companies simply frustraneous?

Why, indeed?

Who Needs a Ferrari? Oracle Buys Datalogix for Christmas

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Forget Hawaiian Islands, ski houses in Aspen and geeked out yachts, this year Oracle CEO CTO Larry Ellison is buying himself a data-tracking firm for Christmas.

This morning Oracle announced its intent to acquire Datalogix, a “Data-as-a-Service” analytics provider that helps brands glean insights on customer purchasing patterns. Datalogix's unique value proposition to the market is that it can help brands determine if ad clickers actually ever walk into stores to purchase the goods they’ve shown interest in.

Though the amount of the acquisition is unknown, earlier this month AdExchanger reported that Datalogix was shopping itself around for as much as $1 billion. It was rumored, at that time, that Nielsen, Adobe and even Facebook were kicking its tires.

Office 365 Dominance Grows with New Markets

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Microsoft is releasing Office 365 into another nine countries, bringing its total market penetration to 140 of 196 countries worldwide.

The fact that you can now get Office 365 just about anywhere there is a business culture is not surprising. But the pace at which it has developed is startling.

When it launched just over two years ago, it was available in around 40 markets. A year later it was in 88 markets. By the end of 2013, it was up to 127 markets and now ... well, just about everywhere.

Listening Makes Technology (and Stuff) Work

2014-04-November-Listen.jpgMeg Bear, group vice president of Oracle Social Cloud, uses an interesting term when she discusses the role of listening in the customer relationship: humility. That doesn't come up often when discussing enterprise software, but Bear stands behind it as being a catalyst for a customer-centric business.

“Customers are trying to tell you what they want -- they’re giving you breadcrumbs. With humility and listening, you’ll be on to the right thing,” said Bear during a presentation at last month's Pivotcon.

Smaller Firms Nip at the Big Dogs in Gartner's Portal MQ

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Gartner cited six trends in its Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals, including a convergence of portal and Web Content Management (Web CMS) needs across enterprises. In addition, long-time traditional, portal vendors and their bloated, unwieldy architectures are losing ground to smaller, lighter portal vendors.

As evidence of both trends, just look at the companies who made it into this year's MQ: Ektron, Jahia, Sitecore, Squiz and WordPress.

6 Trends Dominate the Portal Space, Gartner Claims

In recent weeks we have spent a lot of time talking about data search and discovery. While there are many ways of finding content, access through portals is still one of the major pathways. This week, Gartner has published what it believes are the top horizontal portal vendors in a market that is changing rapidly.

While there are many trends in play, one of the most notable, Gartner noted, is convergence of Web Content Management (WCM) demands through lean portals that are also incorporating social technologies in the enterprise.

Do You Have to be 'Modern' to be a Great Marketer?

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Do things that are current. You'll win if you do.

A Forrester Research study commissioned by Oracle finds that organizations embracing a modern marketing strategy make more money, are seen as industry leaders and create better workplace environments.

According to the responses from 492 marketing decision-makers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France, companies using "non-modern" marketing strategies are at a loss.

Discussion Point: Who'll Win the Digital Marketing Arms Race?

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Sitecore CEO Michael Seifert caught our attention last month when he claimed the "arms race" among 1,000-plus digital marketing vendors is hurting the industry.

"Frankly, I think it's getting absurd," he told the crowd at his company's annual symposium in Las Vegas. "Marketing technology is starting to fail the marketer."

His argument was that the smaller players only operate on the channel they serve. Seifert believes Sitecore's comprehensive approach puts it among the marketing cloud superpowers -- like Oracle and Adobe -- that will thrive while smaller players fade away.

Will SAP HANA + Birst Blow Salesforce and Oracle Analytics Away?

2014-09-October-jet-Pack.jpgSalesforce boss Mark Benioff better have a pretty remarkable rabbit in his hat next week when he makes a much anticipated announcement about how his company will deliver big data analytics in the cloud. If not, Birst and SAP have just partnered to steal his thunder.

What CX Experts Learned This Week #OOW14

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After 300 sessions revolving around the customer experience at Oracle OpenWorld, a panel of senior practitioners today tried to summarize what they learned about social media, marketing and sales.

There were funny moments during the conference, such as when Oracle's social team learned that #OOW is the hashtag for out-of-wedlock -- not to be confused with #OOW14, the show's official handle.

But there were also serious discoveries, such as how quickly companies are shifting to customer-centric thinking and why B2C companies are adopting B2B tactics.

How Many Layers in Oracle's Cloud? #OOW14

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The tech pundits here are happy to focus on the soap opera of management shifts including new roles for Oracle founder and chairman — former CEO and current CTO — Larry Ellison and Oracle co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz.

But the real story at Oracle OpenWorld here this week is much deeper. Beneath the surface, Oracle has orchestrated a broad and complicated integration of dozens of cloud, web and customer experience technologies.

Ellison Does His Own Demos, Loves His New Job #OOW14

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It was classic Larry Ellison on stage, part brilliant computer scientist, part hammy comedian, always entertaining.

Oracle OpenWorld, his company's mammoth annual convention that virtually shuts down the heart of San Francisco's SoMa district, will continue through tomorrow.

But Ellison's keynote presentation yesterday pretty much solidified the intended message for the capacity crowd: Oracle, which trailed its rivals to the cloud, now wants to be king of the cumulous.

Oracle Seeds BlueKai into its Cloud #OOW14

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Oracle's multibillion-dollar buying spree of marketing technology companies bore new fruit today as it announced the integration of its BlueKai data management platform with Eloqua's marketing automation tools.

The move allows the use of anonymized data from Eloqua with the analytical tools in BlueKai. That, in turn, allows marketers using the Oracle Marketing Cloud to identify additional characteristics about the people who respond to particular campaigns. 

Oracle has Finally Figured Out the Cloud #OOW14

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It was just six years ago that Larry Ellison famously dissed cloud computing at an analyst conference. But this year's Oracle Open World is all about the cloud and Oracle today made sure all 60,000 attendees knew it.

Ellison himself, now executive chairman and CTO of the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company, said last night Oracle reached an "inflection point" in the cloud during 2014. Never mind that others reached that point years ago.

With characteristic bravado, he still mocked competitors and proclaimed Oracle as the only company that now offers platforms, software and infrastructure as services. 

Is Box Too Distracted to Care About Deal with Oracle?

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You’d think that Aaron Levie would find it significant that Oracle has announced the integration of its Marketing Cloud with Box. But we haven’t heard a peep about it from Levie or anyone else at his Los Altos, Calif.-based Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) start-up.

Box didn’t put out a press release about the “expanded” relationship, which it did in the past with other big deals like Samsung and AT&T.

Box responded to our request for comment late today by stressing how excited everyone was about the deal, despite the notable lack of publicity about it.

The company’s communications team added that Niall Wall, senior vice president of business development at Box, had included a supporting quote in Oracle’s press release — which noted that he, too, was "excited to extend our partnership with Oracle.”

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