On February 10th, Rob Tarkoff, EVP and GM, Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience, gave industry analysts an innovation update on Oracle Cloud CX from a B2B angle. For those unfamiliar with Oracle Cloud CX, it’s the vendor’s customer engagement platform (CEP), or if you are old school, a CRM system providing an integrated suite of applications, data management, and AI. It covers pretty much everything you’d expect for the enterprise front office. It is optimized for B2B, B2C, and G2C sectors and takes full advantage of Oracle’s rich data management heritage with a unified customer data platform, aptly called Unity, at its center.
Having evaluated 10 CEPs last year as my Omdia swansong, I can certainly vouch for it as a class-leading CEP. It’s an impressive, well-engineered platform, where all the moving parts, imbued with AI work together to enable employees to deliver a joined-up customer experience. Oracle engineers work on a 90-day release cycle, which is great for continuous innovation and keeps the analyst community on its toes, including me.
It just works
Like the launch of an updated Mercedes, nothing earth-shatteringly new was visible – on the surface. It is what the engineers have been busy with under the hood, that impressed me. All of which makes it easier to deliver customer relevance throughout all interactions.
Adaptive B2B marketing automation
Oracle Eloqua, uses its adaptive AI to trigger relevant and timely campaigns based on interaction and intention signals. Prospect behaviors, such as watching a YouTube video or responding to a LinkedIn post can trigger a more relevant campaign path. As Oracle Cloud CX is fully integrated, access to shared customer data held in Unity is ideal for ABM (account-based marketing). The more advanced ABE (account-based engagement) programs can be easily supported, bringing service into the loop alongside marketing and sales. This massively simplifies collaboration and planning and accelerates the entire lead to cash process. Improving revenue generation while enhancing the customer experience.
The Sales angle – making it easier to sell
Tarkoff is a CX luminary. He gets CX and articulates it well. As he did during this briefing. He started with how the platform supports the vital sales function within a B2B company. A good place to begin, as salespeople are notoriously resistant to sales force automation systems. What’s different about Oracle’s proposition, is that its aim is not just to improve sales forecasting, a challenge that blights many businesses. Yes, it will do that, but the goal is to help salespeople succeed, by eliminating manual tasks and feeding them with timely and accurate data in the context of their job and the sales task at hand. Raising their performance by helping them succeed. A win-win for the business. Rather than a management stick with which to beat them.
Tarkoff showed us several elements that contribute to sales success. These are the highlights:
- Workspace – enables salespeople to tailor tools such as smart lists of pre-qualified leads to focus their attention on the most promising opportunities without the need to navigate multiple systems. Using Smart Search and ingested AI and human-verified intention signals from Oracle DataFox Data Management, new business sales can identify high potential prospects. Key account salespeople can receive alerts on any notable firmographic movements that might impact the relationship or create new opportunities to add value. If the enterprise is also using Oracle’s broad portfolio of back-office and HR applications, it is easy to monitor the status of any orders or issues relating to them.
- Unified Redwood user experience – All Oracle’s Cloud CX applications take advantage of its Redwood device-agnostic user experience. This means mobile workers like sales or field service engineers have a consistent and intuitive experience no matter where they are. Voice and touch interfaces enhance the mobile experience. Using voice, sales can easily access smart lists, to surface relevant account information, recommended actions and references, before meeting a client, or in today’s environment, via Zoom.
Enhancing the B2B Service experience
The shortfall in most ABM programs is that the service experience is often overlooked. Oracle Cloud CX provides a unified environment supporting ABE, thus closing the loop.
- Digital Self Service Portal – presents valuable information to help customers resolve their queries. Helpful in-context articles are provided, but if the customer cannot resolve their own issue, they can be routed automatically to the best-placed agent to help them. Digital assistants have been around for several years in the Oracle Service Cloud application. What’s new is that rules based on different attributes can be established to ensure that a customer is automatically routed to a human in sensitive situations. The Intelligent Advisor provides in-context relevant guidance to the customer and the agent, reducing the time to issue resolution.
From transactional to behavioural loyalty
The CrowdTwist acquisition in October 2019, is now fully embedded in Oracle Loyalty Cloud. This enables enterprises to trigger loyalty rewards based on more than just transactional thresholds. it offers the opportunity to generate more personalized offers based on the customer’s interaction behaviors as well as their history with the company.
A coherent and unified approach
Oracle has been on the same coherent path for several years now. Creating a unified environment that makes it much easier for enterprises to deliver a relevant and fluid customer experience. In our blog: New value disciplines must be mastered for the digital age, I said that operational excellence, customer experience, and continuous innovation must all be mastered, if businesses are to be persistently relevant to their customers. Oracle’s advanced data management capabilities, end-to-end portfolio of industry-specific enterprise applications, and 90-day development cycles offer a credible route to underpin mastery of the three value disciplines. While enterprises can subscribe to Oracle applications one at a time, the real value comes from Oracle Cloud CX as a platform. Eliminating departmental silos, making it easier to get work done, and creating a fluid, intelligently adaptive environment for customers.