Broadcast November 9, 2020

We attended this virtual session – fronted by Oracle founder and chairman, Larry Ellison and hosted by Rob Tarkoff, EVP and GM Oracle CX and Data Cloud – and would like to share our thoughts.

Sales Automation – Generation 2

Larry spoke in detail about how Sales Automation is evolving. Generation 1 systems focused on forecasting and keeping the management tier up-to-date. Many vendors of all sizes now provide a solution. But, Larry asks, does it allow the sales team to sell more? 

Generation 2 is now available, and Oracle considers themselves at the forefront. And, crucially, it’s now built around empowering salespeople to sell more. How is this achieved? Firstly there’s the Recommendation Engine which tells the salesperson which company to contact next. Also, it automatically spins up a system to start targeted advertising to the company, its decision-makers, and employees. It will also generate a proposal automatically.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the heart of the solution and makes use of data available about the targeted company and what solutions might be suitable for it. Larry makes it clear that, “No one else does this”, and that it’s only possible through an integrated suite of products which led to the next topic. 

From best-of-breed to an integrated solution

The debate continues to rage about best-of-breed versus a single vendor approach. We’re all familiar with the pros and cons of each. Larry, for obvious reasons, is an advocate of the latter. He gives a clear example of why the best-of-breed approach can become a significant headache. Imagine your enterprise consists of software and data solutions from 4 or 5 different cloud vendors. Each will have its upgrade cadence, and each upgrade will result in thorough testing of the integrations between the solutions. It may also, of course, lead to development efforts to fix problems. You’ll find that your calendar is packed with upgrades, test and fix cycles. With effort and resources directed towards this, is your enterprise distracted from its core offering?

Larry reminds us that Oracle’s software upgrades four times a year and that, because the underlying platform is unified, the integrations will simply work. Problem solved.

He also made the point that Oracle offers front end Sales and Service that are integrated seamlessly with back-office ERP and HCM, and that this can incorporate manufacturing and inventory, thus giving a complete end-to-end integration solution, on a single platform. 

Industry-Specific Solutions

Rob and Larry then discussed industry-specific solutions. The emphasis is very much on close collaboration with customers to understand the issues and then to design and architect a solution which builds functionality over time. One example was how Oracle ran sessions with the Ricoh Inside Sales team to understand what doesn’t work today and design a solution that gives the salesperson the data they need in one place – thereby increasing productivity and data accuracy. User feedback is a continual process with customers able to influence the product roadmap, enabling all users to benefit from the ideas. First out of the gate for industry-specific solutions is for Communications, with Pharma, Financial Services, and Clinical Trials to follow.   

This collaborative approach is a concept that we take very seriously at Magia. We aim to really understand the issues faced by our Customers through discovery sessions, and then play these back with our suggestions – covering everything from strategy to implementation services. Throughout our projects, we work in blended teams all focused on an outcome of shared success. 

Home Working

Lastly, Larry spoke about the shift to home working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. He predicts that working hours will flex to suit individuals and that the location of work is of much less importance. Why should a salesperson with customers in New York not live in a coastal community in Maine?

At Magia, we have always emphasised remote working as default, with a flexible approach to meetings and customer-based project work. We ensure we always use the right tools available, in order to succeed in providing the best service possible for our customers. This year we had a new experience that may become the norm: to engage with a new customer, go through the entire sales cycle, and deliver a successful project without physically meeting any of the customer team!   

Conclusion

In summary, it was terrific to hear Larry talking about CX. Oracle’s CX applications development focus is on next-generation solutions for Sales and Service, with industry-specific end-to-end solutions that are built on an integrated platform, underpinned by Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud Infrastructure and the world’s first Autonomous Database. It is a playbook that has worked before. The bet is that the modernised version will win Oracle’s existing customers over at the very least and that is a sizable market. Oracle hopes it will also attract customers who are not seeing the benefits of their existing investments in best-of-breed solutions as well. Indeed, the customer case studies presented as part of the summit were very pertinent in showing the value of Oracle’s CX solutions. 

To watch the summit, click on the link here:

https://www.oracle.com/events/virtual-summits/cloud-cx/?cmid=WWMK200612P00177C0004&source=:em:lw:pety:cpo::Serreplayty&elq_mid=173188#on-demand