What Oracle’s Acquisition of Maxymiser Means

What Oracle’s Acquisition of Maxymiser Means

Yesterday, Oracle announced that it had signed an agreement to acquire Maxymiser, a leading provider of cloud-based, website optimization software. I asked Aberdeen’s Omer Minkara, the Research Director focused on contact center and customer experience management, what he saw as the most interesting thing about this news. “I think what we see here,” Omer said, “is that both end users and vendors are still trying to get marketing data right. Only 4% of companies out there are satisfied with their ability to use customer data. It’s not about needing more data. It’s about being able to turn that data into actionable insight and executable strategies. This acquisition speaks to this need and shows that Oracle is listening to what the market is asking for.” In Oracle’s presentation about the acquisition, they emphasized Maxymiser’s ability to “optimize the customer experience” and, to demonstrate why that’s important, cited the following statistics: 89% of marketers believe that customer experience is key to long-term differentiation, but only 20% believe that their company delivers an experience that is “industry-leading.” What is that 20% doing differently? Omer’s research has demonstrated that these Best-in-Class firms are doing the following. 1. Managing the Customer Journey “Companies that are Best-in-Class when it comes to customer experience,” Omer explains, “realize that the customer is on a journey and that you can’t just deliver messages ad hoc across channels. Instead, you have to make sure that those messages are consistent and relevant to the specific channel the customer is using.” Adopting this customer journey mindset and managing it accordingly yields real results. According to Omer’s research, companies who excel at customer experience...
2014 in Review: It’s Apple’s World, We Just Live in It

2014 in Review: It’s Apple’s World, We Just Live in It

Lots of big tech news crossed the (virtual) pages of Tech Pro Essentials this past year. But the most notable trend of the year was the return to prominence of perennial tech giant Apple, who stole many of the top headlines of 2014. Of course, when you have major product announcements throughout the year, that’s what happens. Apple started their news roll in the spring at their World Wide Developers Conference, where they debuted the new and improved iOS 8 (along with, to much less fanfare, the new Mac OSX Yosemite). But this was just a small appetizer to the big late summer releases of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. These bigger and better iPhones brought back some of the excitement that had waned in previous Apple releases, and saw Apple bring to market a phablet-sized phone (something they had ridiculed previously). Probably most interesting was the release of the Apple Watch, a very nice debut for Apple in wearable computing. With the iPhone and Watch releases, Apple also debuted a new technology called Apple Pay,  a secure mobile payment system that is one of the best we’ve seen so far. Along with other competitors in the market, and the prospect that newly liberated PayPal will join in, 2015 could be the year we see mobile payments really take off. Of course, when talking about mobile payments and devices, you can’t ignore the real giant in the market, namely Google and their Android operating system. The end of the year saw the release of the newest version of Android, version 5.0 Lollipop. There’s a lot to like...
Oracle Acquires Datalogix: Change in the Air for Marketers

Oracle Acquires Datalogix: Change in the Air for Marketers

As the world of marketing has been making the steady shift towards cloud technology, Oracle pushes that shift much further with their announcement today regarding the acquisition Datalogix. This is a reoccurring trend with today’s businesses, the trend of organizations moving to technology solutions and services that are cloud based. This is not limited to just the marketing space. Aberdeen research shows that organizations with cloud solutions reported at 16% improvement in time-to-decision over the past year (The Next Generation of Cloud FP&A: Simple, Collaborative, and Real-Time, October 2014). In addition, contact centers that are deployed in the cloud are 4.4% increase in customer retention, compared to 2.3% decrease year over year in the same metric by on-premises contact centers (Optimizing the Customer Experience Through Cloud Contact Centers, July 2014). And take Adobe, with the launch of the Creative Cloud a few years ago, steering away completely from a hard-copy software. Oracle has made a conscious effort to create a holistic experience for marketers. Having access to all the software and technology to facilitate an omni-channel and personal experience, that is affordable to businesses to achieve. As the press release states, the acquisition of Datalogix “Oracle data cloud will provide data-driven marketers the most valuable targeting and measurement solution available.” In addition, Oracle will now “deliver comprehensive consumer profiles based on connected identities that will power personalization” supporting the transitions we’ve seen across multiple industries. According to Omer Minkara, Research Director – Aberdeen Group, Contact Center & Customer Experience Management, believe that this  shows that the acquisition is aimed to strengthen Oracle’s ability to generate consumer insights – by connecting offline and digital interactions....
Larry Ellison, One of the Last Tech Titans, Steps Down from Oracle (sort of)

Larry Ellison, One of the Last Tech Titans, Steps Down from Oracle (sort of)

Larry Ellison recently announced that he was stepping down as CEO of Oracle, the company he founded and turned into a dominant power in the enterprise technology world. What this means for the company is unclear right now, especially as Ellison may not be giving up much, if any, of his power over Oracle’s strategies and future. But for someone like me, who started his career covering the technology giants who came to power in the 1970’s and 80’s and dominated the tech world of the 1990’s, Ellison’s move signals the end of that era, when technology not only dominated the news but also when the major companies of that time were intrinsically tied to their leaders. Gates and Microsoft, McNealy and Sun, Ellison and Oracle, you couldn’t talk about the company without thinking of its leader, something that isn’t always (or usually) true today. With Ellison stepping down as CEO, Michael Dell is one of the last of that group of founder/CEO’s from that era that is still officially in-charge of his company. With these changes, the question that pops to mind is why, why is it that so many of this group have stepped down from leadership of the companies they helped to start? The obvious answer is age, though Ellison at 70 is one of the oldest of the group and most are still in their fifties. Also, hey when you’re as rich as most of these guys are, why deal with the frustration of running a company. To me, one other factor is how the nature of many of these businesses has changed radically since...
With TOA Technologies Acquisition, Oracle Integrates Field Service and the Back Office

With TOA Technologies Acquisition, Oracle Integrates Field Service and the Back Office

Last week, Oracle Corporation announced it will complete the acquisition of TOA Technologies, a cloud-based field service workforce management solution. With this acquisition, Oracle is looking to further expand its SaaS offerings and integration between customer-facing capabilities and the back office. This move by Oracle is a further indication of the importance field service delivery plays in the market. Service can no longer be an afterthought. Service, and specifically field service, is a strategic differentiator for many industries. As seen in Aberdeen’s report State of Service Management: Outlook for 2013, on average service annually drives 10.7% higher margins than products. This trend isn’t changing, and organizations must find ways to tap into this revenue and help service run efficiently. But if service is so important, why do so many organizations struggle? Historically, many service and manufacturing firms have tried to bolt on solutions to manage their field service and parts operations. This strategy has been costly and inefficient for many. Service is a complicated collection of interconnected activities (i.e., field service, service parts, contact center) which, if not working in unison, can cause a great deal of pain for the organization, customer, and the bottom line. The combined capabilities of Oracle and TOA have the opportunity to provide service and manufacturing organizations with the ability to link previously siloed functions (i.e., contact center, field service).  When insight is stored in silos not accessible to the broader organization, it is wasted. ERP vendors must continue to work with service to ensure that solutions can be customized for the needs in the field. The value that service brings to the bottom...