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Summary

Oracle continues to improve its cloud software suite, focusing on user-friendly design, mobile access, and integrated data. One of the issues it faces in having built its suite from acquisitions is that its applications have different user interfaces and were not designed to work together. However, its introduction of new design principles across all products and launch of a cloud data offering are sure to benefit its growing base of cloud customers.

The new, cloud-focused Oracle puts user experience and data at the forefront of its strategy

Oracle’s customer experience suite now comprises marketing, commerce, sales, CPQ, and service applications that map to each part of the customer journey. One issue for the vendor has been integrating these capabilities and standardizing its product sets, but it is addressing this challenge head on through its Applications User Experience team.

Since 2013 Oracle has been improving the user experience of its cloud applications, having published its application design patterns and principles publicly. In 2015 it has released the next generation of Application Development Framework 11.1.1.7.4 and Mobile Application Development Framework 2.0, making several new components available. Oracle has updated its user interface design patterns across the board, so each of its applications now has a simplified, user-friendly interface. In addition, the Oracle User Experience team is ensuring that its applications can be easily accessed from mobile devices – dashboards and reporting are viewable across tablets and smartphones, with alerts and functionality also tailored to smart watches. This is increasingly important as managers start to use smart devices to oversee operations in real time from different locations. For example, managers in the contact center can view case records and agent performance metrics on their smart devices while providing personalized, face-to-face coaching.

Another useful offering that Oracle recently introduced is Data as a Service (DaaS), the fourth pillar in the vendor’s cloud computing strategy alongside Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a service. The new business unit, Oracle Data Cloud, incorporates technology from the acquisitions of BlueKai and Datalogix. DaaS enables businesses to better understand customer journeys; the Oracle ID Graph connects cross-channel customer identifiers from multiple sources, including mobile, social, email, and postal data, to create a single view of the customer. This will be especially valuable for those of Oracle’s customers that are currently engaged in using professional services to better understand and improve the customer journey.

Oracle is now in the process of implementing these new features: to get the updated user interfaces, businesses will need to upgrade to the latest versions of the applications. In addition, many businesses are still behind in their mobile strategies and it will take time for smart devices to become prevalent throughout organizations. Oracle should ensure that its data services are packaged for different business units or verticals in order to drive demand; businesses are already overwhelmed by the vast quantities of data and the need to know which of the many data and analytics offerings makes sense for them. Nevertheless, these changes are valuable additions to the Oracle cloud application strategy and indicate that the vendor is both future focused and invested in its cloud customers.

Appendix

Further reading

Oracle finds the right balance between industry expertise and horizontal firepower, IT0008-000235 (April 2015)

“Oracle continues to bang the drum on its cloud strategy,” IT0019-003418 (February 2015)

Author

Aphrodite Brinsmead, Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement

aphrodite.brinsmead@ovum.com

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