Oracle Open World 2013: Focus On Oracle's Customer Service Portfolio

Kate Leggett

This is my fourth time attending Oracle OpenWorld in as many years. The show drew a large crowd this year, topping 60,000 attendees. I focused on customer service sessions highlighting the Oracle RightNow, Oracle Siebel, and Oracle Knowledge (InQuira) products. I went to high-level vision sessions, road map sessions, and customer testimonials. I also spent a lot of time talking to systems integrators that have recently deployed these solutions. This year was by far the most enjoyable conference experience. Here is why — and keep in mind that all of my comments are about its customer service portfolio:

  1. Oracle has matured its customer experience messaging. The vendor explains the importance on being focused on customer experiences that are in line with customer expectations through the entire customer engagement journey, from researching to buying to using, and how few companies are doing a good job at delivering on expectations — a point that Forrester backs with a tremendous amount of research and data.
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7-Part Series On Customer Service Technology, Part 6: What Does This All Mean?

Kate Leggett

Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management. This seven-post series focuses on customer service technology and explains the what, why, how, and when technology questions.

Part 1 reviewed the customer service technology ecosystem.

Part 2 reviewed the challenges caused by the complexity of this technology ecosystem.

Part 3 reviewed the tactical outcomes of poor customer service.

Part 4 focused on the ways that the customer service technology ecosystem is changing.

Part 5 categorized technologies based on their ecosystem maturity.

So what does this all mean?

Many companies are focusing on delivering differentiated customer service experiences to their customers. But enhancing the quality of service delivery is a really difficult proposition given the complexity of the contact center technology ecosystem. Here are five recommendations to help you out:

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TechnoPolitics Podcast: If The Future Of Advertising Is Mobile, Then Why Is It So Lame Now?

Mike Gualtieri

The future of online advertising is absolutely mobile, says Forrester Principal Analyst and Research Director Melissa Parrish. The problem is that mobile advertising today is just a compact, less complex version of traditional web advertising. That’s why many advertsiers say that it’s not as effective. Something has to change to make mobile advertising more effective. That something, says Melissa, is that mobile advertising must be driven by the user’s in-the-moment context. In this episode of Forrester TechnoPolitics, Melissa analyzes the mobile mindshift and the current state of mobile advertising.

About Forrester TechnoPolitics

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Mobile Platform Priorities Show Divided Developer Loyalties

Jeffrey Hammond

Ok, confession time: Those who know me well know my upbringing holds a deep dark secret. Yes, I was born in West Virginia, and grew up in Kentucky. Yes, my dad worked in the coal mines (OK, he was an electrical engineer, and only went down below once every couple of weeks . . .). On finding out my origin story, my college roommates took to calling me “hick” (I think they still do when I go back for reunions). I gotta say, it still amazes me how quickly y’all zips right back into my patois when I’m around like-minded individuals. But I gotta tell ya, there’s a lot to like about where I grew up: horses, bourbon, and basketball come to mind. And then there are the feuds and rivalries: UK versus IU (we don’t acknowledge Louisville); Maker’s Mark versus Jack Daniel’s; Hatfields versus McCoys. Where I grew up, we don’t mind a good brawl every now and then . . .

And that’s exactly what I’m seeing in our 2013 Forrsights Developer Survey when it comes to how developers prioritize the mobile platforms they develop for. In the survey, we asked all developers about the types of application development technologies they’ve worked with in the past 24 months. Of the 1,611 North American and European developers we surveyed, 478 (just under 30%) indicated that they had worked with mobile apps or mobile web sites. We then asked those developers a variety of questions about how they are using mobile technologies. One question we asked them was how they prioritized their development efforts across different form factors and operating systems (see Figure 1). The overall data is interesting, but so is the data inside the top-line stats:

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Application Developers: Ignore Big Data At Your Own Peril

Mike Gualtieri

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that big data is only about analytics for business intelligence. Big data is the fuel, and predictive analytics the engine, that will power the next generation of predictive applications, as I wrote in a prior post (Predictive Apps Are The Next Big Thing In App Development). Sure, there are absolutely many exciting use cases in traditional business intelligence. But the same knowledge, insight, and predictive models gained from big data analytics can transform boring business and consumer apps with the ability to design and develop predictive apps. What are predictive apps?

Predictive apps anticipate user intent and provide the right functionality and content on the right device, at the right time, for the right person by continuously learning about them.

A Home Depot Example Of A Predictive App

Let’s say your toilet is leaking. You go to Home Depot and buy a tank repair kit. You get it home and realize that you need a special screwdriver, so you make a second trip to Home Depot. You go home and find that the screws you tried to reuse were stripped after years of decay. You make a third trip to get the screws. Finally, you can fix the toilet successfully — but it took you three trips to Home Depot. Multiple trips to Home Depot stores is pain point for many customers.

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7-Part Series On Customer Service Technology, Part 5: Technology Maturity

Kate Leggett

Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management. This seven-post series focuses on customer service technology and explains the what, why, how, and when technology questions.

Part 1 reviewed the customer service technology ecosystem.

Part 2 reviewed the challenges caused by the complexity of this technology ecosystem.

Part 3 reviewed the tactical outcomes of poor customer service.

Part 4 focused on the ways that the customer service technology ecosystem is changing.

Let’s now focus on the how we categorize customer service technologies by their maturity and business value delivered.

 

Technology ecosystem phase

Technologies for customer service

Why technologies are categorized in  this way

Survival

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CA Makes A Case For Renewed Growth in Asia Pacific

Michael Barnes

Since joining CA Technologies as president of Asia Pacific (AP) in August 2010, Lionel Lim (formerly president of Sun’s AP business) has consistently stressed the need to re-establish CA as a leading enterprise IT provider across the region. Along with a mix of regional and global executives, Lim used the recent CA Expo 2013 in Melbourne as an opportunity to update analysts on the company’s progress.

Key messages at the event all centered on CA’s value in helping CIOs drive, manage, and optimize IT/business transformation. The company plans to achieve this goal by supporting open, heterogeneous management capabilities across all internal and cloud-based systems, from mainframes to mobile devices.

This is a major leap for CA, a company whose strength has always been IT performance management, particularly for mainframe platforms. The broader focus now involves providing key capabilities and solutions to help CIOs on the journey to private cloud enablement and “as-a-service” delivery of applications or application capabilities. CA has not been shy in making the case. As one executive stated, “CIOs not viewing themselves as service providers to their organizations are not adequately addressing the needs of the business.”

While I applaud the position, it also carries risk. CA is aligning itself with CIOs as change agents. In many parts of AP, CIOs are still more interested in maintaining the status quo, which typically means traditional on-premises data center-related investments and minimal disruption. By preaching so forcefully for change enablement, CA is positioning itself well for future strategic growth, but could be risking near-term opportunities in its more traditional, but still stronger, mainframe-centric IT performance management market.

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Organizing To Deliver Great Digital Experiences

Anjali Yakkundi

Many have interpreted the customer experience imperative to mean that IT is dead and marketers are the future. We reject this. IT is far from dead. After all, what’s the point of great design and marketing strategy if you can’t deliver the right experience to the right customer based on factors such as location, device of choice, and place in the customer journey? Now more than ever, application development and delivery (AD&D) is vital to actually deliver experiences to customers, and the majority of organizations we interviewed agreed with this.

This means that AD&D pros need to sit at the forefront of business strategies around customer engagement by, among other things, empowering business and marketing professionals with the right applications and mastering analytics for better insights and experiences. Most firms we speak with aren’t organized to support this imperative. In preparation for our forum on Driving Customer Experience With Smart Technology Solutions, my colleague John Rymer and I are updating our digital organization research. So far, some of the things we’ve learned are:

  • New organizational models abound. Some organizations have their digital group within IT, while others have it under marketing. Others are paving new path, and have a singular group that combines customer experience, marketing, and business folks with technologists.
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TechnoPolitics Podcast: Next Microsoft CEO Must Divest

Mike Gualtieri

Steve Ballmer is quitting Microsoft. His reign as Microsoft CEO will come to an end in the next 12 months. As he put it in his resignation letter, “This is an emotional and difficult thing for me to do. I take this step in the best interests of the company I love.” Fair enough. We love your passion and stewardship of Microsoft through these changing post-PC times. However, perhaps the times they are a-changing too fast. Internet giant Google has needled Microsoft’s core business and completely eclipsed it in mobile. And Apple has become expert at winning hearts. That leaves us with the big question: How does the next Microsoft CEO need to think to prove Ballmer’s assertion that “Microsoft has all its best days ahead”?

In this episode, TechnoPolitics asks Forrester Senior Analyst TJ Keitt to offer advice to Microsoft’s next CEO to avoid looming extinction and thrive in the post-PC era. Might an IBM-style divestiture strategy might be in the cards? Listen to find out.

 

Click here to listen on iTunes.

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7-Part Series On Customer Service Technology, Part 4: How Is The Customer Service Technology Ecosystem Changing?

Kate Leggett

Good customer service is the result of the right attention to strategy, business processes, technology, and people management. This series of seven blog posts focuses on customer service technology and explains the what, why, how, and when technology questions.

Part 1 reviewed the customer service technology ecosystem.

Part 2 reviewed the challenges caused by the complexity of this technology ecosystem.

Part 3  reviewed the tactical outcomes of poor customer service.

Let’s now focus on how the customer service ecosystem is changing.

  • The customer service vendor landscape is consolidating. Nice Systems, Oracle, salesforce.com, and SAP are just a few examples of leading customer service solution vendors that have aggressively acquired other vendors in order to support consistent, effortless multichannel customer service experiences. For example, in 2011, Oracle acquired InQuira, a leading knowledge management solution. In 2012, it acquired RightNow Technologies, a cloud CRM vendor that emphasizes customer experience and contact center technology. RightNow had gone through its own series of acquisitions prior to this, acquiring Q-Go, a natural-language search vendor, and HiveLive, a social media monitoring vendor. These acquisitions are happening because customer service leaders want a simpler, single-vendor technology solution to manage, instead of having to buy, integrate, and manage disparate systems from a number of vendors.
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