The Oracle Live Applications event is this week, and yesterday, I discussed in this article how Oracle has quietly become an essential cloud applications company. Oracle utilizes a SaaS model to rapidly evolve the software suite in both breadth and depth of offerings with hundreds of new features delivered quarterly to thousands of customers in the cloud. Oracle says 7,300+ organizations use its Cloud ERP applications for example, and connects that with its treasure trove of data in its RDBMS and at the point of transaction.
Yesterday, Oracle announced integration between Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) and Zoom to help sales, marketing, and customer service teams incorporate video into existing processes and workflows. It appears to be another chapter in the synergistic relationship between the two companies as it builds on Zoom’s recent move to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to support its millions of meeting participants and increasing demand for its services.
Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX)
Oracle Fusion Cloud is a suite of cloud-based business applications, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Supply Chain and Manufacturing (SCM), Human Capital Management (HCM), and Customer Experience (CX).
The Customer Experience (CX) suite is a holistic, cloud-enabled solution that is used by some of the world’s largest brands to meet rapidly changing customer expectations and deliver an end-to-end customer experience. It includes tools for CRM and sales, marketing, customer service, e-commerce, and other tools such as configurators and price quotes, architected such that customers can adopt in a full or modular fashion to meet its needs.
This may sound familiar to what is offered by Adobe and Salesforce and on face level it is, but there are a couple of very clear distinctions that come down to approach that have evolved from my analyst research and talking to end customers.
Oracle is a data company and has built its Cloud CX suite based on its knowledge and expertise in managing data. In contrast, I believe Adobe has built its CX suite on its marketing background and expertise in all things creative, while Salesforce has built its CX suite on its obvious strength in sales automation. The different origins are important to keep in mind as they reflect the strengths of the big three players and are an important differentiator for Oracle as the industry takes more and more of a data centric approach to customer experience management.
The other distinction is less obvious, but equally important. It’s easy to think of managing the customer experience as a job for sales, marketing and customer service teams. The reality though, I believe, is very different. Organizations need to be able to take a customer first approach across every single touchpoint. It’s no use if the sales person or marketing campaign is perfect, if the item you ordered is late (supply chain and logistics team) or you get charged the wrong amount (finance team).
Looking at CX through this lens really does separate Oracle CX from the pack as I believe it’s the only vendor that can connect everything – sales, marketing, service, commerce with finance, supply chain, HR, etc. – through one integrated suite of applications. That’s a big deal.
Now for specifics on the Oracle and Zoom integration. This is what is promises:
Marketers will have the ability to deliver richer digital events and improve webinars’ performance by quickly and easily collecting and analyzing data surrounding engagement and registration. The integration with Oracle CX Marketing will also help marketers deliver a consistent experience and improve customer engagement by leveraging branded assets (i.e., emails, landing pages, forms) across channels.
Service teams with Oracle CX Service improve customer satisfaction byoffering seamless service on the customers’ preferred channel, including video. Service agents will build relationships better.
Sales teams can now use video to engage with customers and prospects Oracle CX Sales. Sales teams will be able to schedule or start a Zoom meeting in the context of a sale against an account, contact, lead, opportunity, or proposal. Also, sales teams will view the Zoom interaction as part of a feed, record and save a meeting for later, and even run a transcription to capture insights from the meeting.
Now more than ever, video has become a critical tool to engage with customers. One could argue that this is no longer a nice to have, but table stakes to be competitive.
Oracle is incorporating Zoom video as another dimension into its sales, marketing, and customer service applications. Besides video, organizations can use this integration to support real-time behavioral data collection that in turn helps the further personalize the customer experience.
The bigger picture here is that Oracle continues to double down on its strength in data and the breadth and depth of capabilities it can offer – as the only CX vendor with a full suite of true cloud applications – while also expanding the ecosystem of partners it works with. For example, Oracle also announced this week a new integration with social media management platform Sprinklr and new partner integrations to support its customer data management platform.
I also believe this is another testament to the benefit of Oracle’s continuous investment through a real SaaS model. I have to think the experience will be good as OCI is hosting Zoom, and the latency should be lower versus API approaches hosted elsewhere. Finally, as Oracle ultimately owns the experience, I feel better about Zoom’s security and privacy.
The pace of business accelerating and the pandemic has just accelerated that even more, but Oracle seems more than up to the task of rolling out essential functionality its customers need to be successful.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.