This is a guest post by Fraser Tibbetts, Researcher on the AD&D team covering sales force automation software.
Oracle’s first ever Modern CX Conference in Las Vegas last week, with roughly 3,000 attendees, focused on Oracle’s vision for the CX Cloud suite of products. Instead of the usual focus on technology, executives focused on products that recognize how the customer has more power than ever. This aligns with Forrester's age of the customer research. It is encouraging to hear that same message from Oracle’s CEO, Mark Hurd, and from the Oracle product team leads.
Oracle’s CX strategy focuses on building products capable of delivering a seamless end-to-end CX experience across organizational silos. At the conference, Oracle showcased integrations between the various products and offers more pre-built integration from Sales Cloud to other products than any other CX cloud offering. Today, Oracle offers prebuilt integrations between Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud, CPQ Cloud, Service Cloud, Social Cloud, OSN, Siebel, EBS and JDE. These types of integrations help Oracle strengthen one of its main competitive differentiators in the SFA space, namely that customers can leverage Oracle end-to-end to build a consistent customer experience.
During the Analyst summit, Oracle demonstrated new UI improvements to Sales Cloud aimed at further engaging individual sales reps (as opposed to managers). Features involving context-specific functionality, simpler data input/automation and wearable compatibility seemed impressive. Also worth noting: Oracle continues to offer the “Customer 2 Cloud” program for migration from on-premise products, like Siebel, into the CX Cloud suite. The program allows customers to shift existing on-premise support spend to adopt CX Cloud products, with some financial benefit. However, as CX Cloud gains in popularity it remains to be seen how long Oracle will offer such attractive commercial deals for clients who want to migrate.
For Oracle to be successful in the mission to differentiate by offering a complete suite of products, the integration between those products has to be seamless. This remains a challenge as much of the CX Cloud product line was built on acquisitions; Oracle CPQ Cloud after the BigMachines acquisition (2013), Oracle Marketing Cloud after Eloqua (2012), and Oracle Service Cloud after RightNow Technologies (2011). Oracle will need to continue to invest in building a seamless experience across all six of the CX Cloud offering, especially with the new Data Cloud ("DaaS") offering now in the mix.
We like seeing Oracle become more age-of-the-customer focused and we expect them to continue to invest heavily in building out the necessary components to realize the end-to-end customer experience. But the success stories ultimately come from customers, not vendors. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.