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Oracle News & Analysis

Did SAP Just Change the Game for Enterprise IT?

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Let’s face it. Most of the line of business applications that managers use to run today’s enterprises are pretty clunky.

Kind of like your grandfather’s rusted out, gas-guzzling Cadillac that was his pride and joy more than 20 years ago. Sure, it will still get you from here to there as it putters along, but try to get somewhere quick, to drive in the snow, on ice or off-road, and forget about it.

It can’t compete with today’s automobiles that automatically adjust for weather conditions and the terrain, help you hug curves like a racecar driver, and warn you before you back into something.

It’s prime time for something to change where line of business applications are concerned. And that’s precisely the vision that SAP unveiled for the world of business yesterday before a crowd at the New York Stock Exchange.

“It’s maybe the biggest innovation in enterprise IT in history, not only for SAP, but for the industry,” said Steve Lucas, president of SAP global solutions, during an interview following the presentation. “We’re ushering in a new wave of productivity unlike anything the world has seen before.”

Salesforce Arms Apttus with $41M

When it comes to venture investments, Salesforce backs its allies. Case in point: The San Francisco-based cloud software company today led a $41 million investment round for Apttus, which makes Quote-to-Cash software on the Salesforce1 platform.

The latest investment followed first-round funding of $37 million in September 2013 that Salesforce led. K1 Capital and Iconiq Capital also invested in both rounds.

News Bites: Celum, Xerox, Google, Oracle, More

The latest in processing, collaborating, sharing, restoring, understanding, integrating, expanding and joining from the Spinach Capital, the West's Most Western Town, Oyster Town, The Land of Milk and Honey, the Birthplace of Aviation, Powder City and the City in a Garden.

Retail Leads in Customer-Focused 'Modern' Marketing

Retail is leading the way when it comes to more customer-focused modern marketing practices, according to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Oracle.

Andrea Ward, vice president of marketing, Oracle Marketing Cloud, said the retail industry has a long tradition of being customer-centric. "By embracing new data technologies and taking an integrated marketing approach, retailers are able to create a digital dialogue with their customers and deliver the right messages at the right time," she noted.

Forrester surveyed 523 marketing decision-makers across a range of industries in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia to evaluate marketing’s maturity in targeting, engagement, conversion, analysis and technology.

The first part of the study, released last October, found that organizations embracing a modern marketing strategy make more money, are seen as industry leaders and create better workplace environments.

Further analysis of the data, released this month, found modern marketing adoption rates vary from industry to industry, with some industries embracing marketing technologies and associated best practices faster than others.

Put the Tech Back into Tech Shows

CMSWire Op-Ed

It was sometime after Neil Young, Ariana Huffington and Al Gore had finished their bits on the Dreamforce stage. The speaker now was Eckhart Tolle, the most spiritually influential person in the world. But I wasn't feeling it.

I surfaced from the windowless basement of the Moscone Convention Center and found a cool gray October morning had turned into a warm, sunny afternoon. Hundreds of conference attendees lounged around an artificial-turf park on top of San Francisco's Howard Street. I watched two techies play ping-pong as Tolle's voice boomed from a nearby jumbotron.

That's when it hit me: In the world of big tech shows, the "show" now overshadows the "tech."

8 Companies Leading ECM Into 2015

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The enterprise content management (ECM) market looks set to change again. According to new research form Boston-based Nucleus Research, enterprises are taking to the idea of storing content on external servers.

ECM vendors have moved into agile mode and are now focusing on the development and simplification of their systems as well as automation and integration of new capabilities to generate value propositions for customers.

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.

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