Modern Business UK
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Modern cloud solutions for every size of business
Editor's Letter Amanda Jobbins
“Fast moving businesses are vital contributors to the economy – in the UK, for example, they account for 99.9% of all private sector businesses, employ 60% of the workforce and generate 47% of all private sector turnover.”
“Welcome to issue 2 of Oracle Modern Business, in which we reflect on how the success of growing businesses is increasingly tied to technology: not just as a support mechanism for their operations, but as a primary way to achieve business objectives.
The most progressive firms are applying technology to streamline workflows, slash time spent on repetitive and inefficient back-office processes, gain better insights into opportunities and threats, and create brand new business models – all of which enables them to outmanoeuvre and often outpace their larger rivals.
In response, vendors are increasingly crafting solutions specifically designed and priced for growing businesses, delivered via the cloud, bringing sophisticated capabilities within reach, with no up-front investment required – crucial for businesses that don’t have access to lines of credit and need to optimise cash flow.
Independent businesses face many of the same challenges as corporate enterprises, but without the luxury of all their resources. However, they do have access to a virtual CIO – by partnering with the right vendor that understands their core mission and opens up access to technology and expertise.
In this edition, you’ll find insightful case studies from customers around the world that illustrate how firms like yours are disrupting traditional markets, punching above their weight and transforming their fortunes, inspired and enabled by services such as Oracle Database Cloud, Oracle BI Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle CRM On Demand. We also reveal the top 10 technology trends that are set to influence growing businesses over the coming months.”
VP Demand Generation & Marketing EMEA/APAC
How can your business best be described?
- Considering digital technologies
- Partially digital and mobile
- Digital native
Top 5 technology trends for growing businesses
We’re constantly hearing about technology mega-trends, but what should be top of mind for growing businesses that don’t have mega-budgets?
1. The business-technology performance connection
Companies that view technology as critical to improving business outcomes are outpacing their peers in terms of business growth.
2. The battle for self-employed workers is heating up
4 out of 10 US workers are ‘contingent’ (self-employed, temporary workers, contractors, on-call workers and part-time employees) – up 10% on 2006.
3. Businesses tune into IoT possibilities
The Internet of Things presents tremendous potential for disruption, with businesses in retail, distribution and discrete manufacturing set to lead the charge.
4. Public cloud is a done deal
Cloud is poised to overtake on-premises deployment in the next year in areas such as collaboration, file- sharing and marketing automation, with businesses opting for the public cloud in most instances.
5. Security is still the elephant in the room
As businesses increasingly rely on technology to run their businesses, the need to secure and protect data and access are becoming more critical and complex.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Oracle Modern Business. Let us know what you are most interested in:
- Customer success stories
- Industry trends
- Best practices
deals compute capacity by the pound
YellowDog gains compute power with Cloud
Creative firms such as architects or animation studios often need a massive amount of processing power to produce complex 3D renderings or high-resolution stills. But few can afford the compute resources in-house to meet these peaks in demand.
All that has changed with the advent of YellowDog, a UK start-up founded in 2014 and incubated by Oracle. The innovative company is tapping public cloud infrastructure and idle capacity in corporate data centres to “crowdsource” processing power, which is distributed to around 350 paying customers including architectural firms, motion picture visual effects studios, freelancers and technical directors.
What IT solutions are you most interested in?
- Sales and Marketing automation
- Business Analytics
- Public and Private Cloud
YellowDog’s infrastructure-as-a-service partners include Oracle, Rackspace and Amazon Web Services, as well as managed service providers. Instead of buying capacity directly, YellowDog customers can spin up thousands of compute cores in minutes for a simple price which includes all the necessary license fees, server costs, data transfer fees and storage. This model is a far quicker and more cost-effective alternative to going direct, and for 3D renderings can be ten times more effective than using virtual machines in other public clouds.
The start-up has further ambitions to pool spare capacity from thousands of individuals, who are paid a monthly fee in exchange for allowing YellowDog to tap their processor and memory resources when their machines aren’t in use.
Liven uses data
to improve sales decisions, efficiency and results
Liven uses data to improve sales decisions, efficiency and results
Barcelona-based manufacturer, Liven, has a workforce of 200, yet successfully competes against far larger rivals to supply popcorn and corn-based snacks to major food companies, exporting to over 80 countries worldwide. The €50million business relies heavily on technology in all its processes for the agility and efficiency that allows it to outmanoeuvre its heavyweight competitors.
The company was looking to boost its sales team’s effectiveness in pitching its snack products to customers, enable management to make data-driven decisions, and standardise sales efforts by making documents and processes accessible to its national sales force. Liven chose Oracle Sales Cloud to meet its requirement for a user-friendly, cloud sales tool to track results and deliver actionable insights.
The solution gives managers a clear picture of their sales pipeline at any moment, allowing them to make informed, results-based decisions and improve the accuracy of their forecasts. Individual and team reports can be generated with a few clicks, leaving sales professionals to get on with cultivating and converting leads rather than organising data. Conversion rates are up since the team has been able to track key performance indicators, allowing them to better understand customers, products and sales results, and adapt the strategy accordingly.
With unified access to sales collateral and workflows, Liven’s sales people across Spain are now working to standardised processes, improving speed and consistency. Because data is held in the cloud, the flow of information has been vastly improved across the organisation, enabling leads to be handed over more smoothly as they progress through the sales funnel.
funding model helps small businesses improve cash flow
Innovative PeerPay funding model helps businesses improve cash flow
One of the most pressing challenges for Britain’s 5.2 million small businesses is cash flow optimisation, but many will struggle to secure lending without a substantial credit history. That’s why micro-enterprise, PeerPay, has launched FloFunder – a new cloud financial technology collaboration tool that enables accountants to help vetted businesses seeking funding to participate in cash flow asset-based financing.
PeerPay recognised the limitations of invoice factoring – the practice of selling accounts receivables to banks at a sizeable discount – resorted to by businesses to meet their short-term cash needs. FloFunder enables businesses to submit invoices created in their accounting system for matching against pre-defined investment profiles of funders. A fully-automated algorithm matches funders and businesses within a secure, closed environment, spreading the risk across tens or hundreds of members of the funding community.
The innovative model enables syndicated funders to choose risk profiles as well as the duration and value of investment, while businesses benefit from a low-cost financing alternative when they need it most.
The ambitious start-up chose Oracle Database Cloud Service to underpin its cash flow funding platform, giving them the benefit of a secure, scalable, enterprise-class production environment. The ability to provision in minutes and deploy in a matter of hours enabled PeerPay to substantially reduce its time to market and prepare for the all-important product launch.
GDP grows revenues
by 31% within a year thanks to Oracle Sales Cloud
GDP grows revenues by 31% within a year thanks to Oracle Sales Cloud
GDP Global Drinks Partnership, a micro-enterprise, is a specialist distributor of premium beers, mixers and spirits, including popular brands such as San Miguel, Fever Tree and Aspall’s Cyder, to retail and hospitality venues across Germany.
The company was looking to transform its manual, spreadsheet-based sales management processes, gain a single, trusted view of its business, and accelerate growth by improving the performance of its sales representatives. It chose Oracle Sales Cloud for its inherent flexibility and low monthly subscription cost – highly appealing to growing businesses.
Since deployment, the platform has enabled GDP to standardise its customer master data and sales processes. Its 20 internal and 15 external sales representatives are now equipped with up-to-the-minute information so they are better prepared for customer meetings and can generate sales and visit reports in a few clicks.
Capabilities such as being able to transcribe a sales call directly into the Oracle Sales Cloud app, or access sales and product information during a customer meeting, have liberated sales people from labour-intensive administrative tasks, enabling them to refocus time and effort on productive selling. By being able to close deals faster, the company increased revenue by 31% within a year of deploying Oracle Sales Cloud.
"There are many reasons why we would choose Oracle Sales Cloud again, such as its enormous flexibility, or the ability to rapidly produce a customer analysis. This has enabled us to identify cross-selling opportunities and achieve a very strong increase in sales revenue."
– Sylvia Beider, sales & marketing analyst, GDP Global Drinks Partnership
The sales teams also benefit from sophisticated new methodologies such as white space analysis, which allows them to quickly identify cross-sell opportunities. This thirst for knowledge resulted in a threefold increase in Fever Tree products per customer. Teams can now easily track sales of the company’s brands and beverages by customer, gain real-time visibility into sales performance and, for the first time, use dashboards for opportunity lifecycle management to monitor progress through the funnel.
Oracle Sales Cloud has halved administration, trebled the power of cross-selling and enabled more accurate sales forecasting. GDP is exploiting the full potential of the Oracle Sales Cloud to drive its ambitious vision for growth.
Tivùsat uses cloud CRM to manage
2.5 million users
Tivùsat uses cloud CRM to manage 2.5 million users
Headquartered in Rome, Tivùsat is Italy’s first free platform for digital satellite television, bringing programmes from leading broadcasters to viewers who are unable to receive a digital terrestrial signal.
The media company was looking to provide seamless customer support during subscription activation, with the help of a CRM system. It needed a flexible, secure, scalable solution to handle service volume according to market demand, and customer service analytics to evaluate its contact centre performance, monitor user numbers in each area, and support rapid business decisions.
Because Tivùsat had limited resources and a small team, it required solutions that would be quick to deploy and easy to integrate, and offer an excellent price-performance ratio without requiring capital investment in infrastructure, software licensing or maintenance.
Oracle was the natural choice to streamline Tivùsat’s customer-facing operations. It implemented Oracle CRM On Demand, to guarantee quality and scalability of service, with a web channel for online assistance. This was subsequently migrated to the Oracle Service Cloud to enhance the user experience with web self-services to provide support outside working hours, enable instant contact via chat, and increase agent productivity with a common knowledge base updated in real-time.
It also introduced the Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service to optimise customer data management, run online analytical processing applications, and gain access to personalised dashboards with interactive visuals. It also uses My Oracle Support to access tools and resources such as catalogues, best practice methodologies and patches, and to log service requests from Oracle experts.
Tivùsat achieved high operational efficiency from day one, with high availability of customer services which contributed to the company’s success in the competitive Italian television landscape.
“Our experience with Oracle cloud solutions is extremely satisfactory in terms of reliability, security, operational efficiency, and price-performance ratio. Oracle Service Cloud is a highly efficient, functional, and streamlined system for providing assistance to 2.5 million users of our free satellite television platform.”
– Gilda Serafini, Head of Customer Relationship Management Tivùsat, tivù s.r.l.
Interested in Customer Service? Why not check out how Oracle Social Relationship Management can add to your customer service solutions?
Any size business can think big
Any Size Business Can Think Big
Damien Dunne - Senior Director Sales Programmes and Dublin Site Leader
Damien Dunne leads a team whose job it is to get inside the heads of our customers and really understand you and your business. Not simply who you are and what you do, but your aspirations, your frustrations, your values, your day-to-day issues and your challenges. So, we thought Damien was the perfect person to talk to, to discover the issues on the minds of business managers, right now. Here’s what he told us.
In your conversations with growing businesses, what are the recurring topics?
There are four recurrent themes: customers, employees, efficiency and security
Over and above everything else, managers are focussing on how they can grow their businesses by attracting new customers and developing existing ones. More and more, particularly in the light of growing and fast-paced competition, companies are appreciating the importance of understanding the needs and the pain points of their customers and prospects. They see it as a way to develop the most relevant messaging and offer the most appropriate solution.
The challenge here is twofold: how to attract and engage with smart, bright people, and how to develop and retain them within the organisation. Business leaders are realising that the success of their organisation depends on having people within it who will help it not only achieve its short-term goals, but who will perform well and stick around to contribute to its long-term growth.
3. Operational efficiency
Simply put, companies are looking for ways to run their businesses more effectively, at a lower cost.
4. Security and reputation
Security and reputation are intrinsically linked. With the ubiquity of social media in particular, word of security breaches can start trending fast, and quickly become big news.
What would you say are the top 3 business or technology priorities for growing businesses over the next 12 months?
Right now the biggest priority is to discover and run the best applications for the business – whether for sales, customer support, recruitment, business intelligence and more. Linked to this is how to bring all data and information into one place and make best use of it to benefit the business. There is a huge demand both for off-the-shelf apps and for the tools that enable businesses to develop their own – although companies do need to be careful that the quick, short-term fix of developing their own apps could lead to some longer term challenges ahead.
With an explosion of applications, organisations need to ensure they have an infrastructure in place that will properly support them. And with the huge cost that this could imply, many are looking towards buying Infrastructure as a Service.
Security is a perennial concern, but there has been a noticeable shift in perception. For example, moving large amounts of sensitive data to the Cloud has been perceived in the past as a security risk. Now however, businesses are realising that, because the risk now lies with the service provider, the security they get is likely to be tighter and much stronger. The threat has changed to an opportunity.
How do you think Oracle can support business ambitions in ways other software vendors cannot?
1. Breadth of portfolio
It’s actually breadth of portfolio and depth of support. Oracle has built a reputation for providing excellence in its solutions right across the business – whether for sales, marketing, finance, HR or IT. Clients know that every solution has been built using Oracle’s knowledge and experience of how great companies run their businesses. Which means we can leverage that expertise to the benefit of others – and scale it as necessary.
As in my answer to the previous question, businesses need the strongest, best and most secure infrastructure in which their solutions can reside.
With the resources to continually develop and grow our solutions, clients can be certain that
their software is running in a fantastically secure environment.
All of this is incredibly important for a growing business. You need to know you’re doing business with a company you can trust and who has the ability to continually improve its products and services in a changing world. Oracle’s experience means we know businesses and we know technology really, really well. Smaller businesses who want to be a success don’t think of themselves as small. They’re ambitious, they’re thinking big, and they’re looking for new ways to grow all the time. That’s why they need to do business with an organisation that already knows how to think big. And that’s not arrogance. It’s just good business sense.
Choose an Oracle partner to ease
your journey to the cloud
Moving to the Cloud?
It’s easy with an
With the seismic changes in technology, not to mention the effect it’s had on customer expectations, choosing the right tech to take your business forward can be a pretty daunting prospect. How does moving to the Cloud work in practice? Does it mean throwing out all your old tech and starting again? Can you move some elements to the Cloud and keep others as they are? Can you change your mind if there’s a shift in your business needs?
Well that depends on who you work with. At Oracle it’s our mission to make moving to the Cloud as easy as possible for you, with as much flexibility as you need, and with the right solution for your business. And the first step is finding a partner who will understand your challenges and deliver exactly that.
The Oracle Partner Network (OPN) is a community of thousands of Oracle partners who not only have unrivalled Oracle product knowledge but also specialist expertise in their field. That means when you want to work with a partner who has a deep-rooted understanding of your market, your region, your business specialism, or any
combination of the above, you can find them with a few clicks on our partner page.
We want to help you grow and develop your business, so our aim was to create the simplest, most flexible and knowledgeable approach of any cloud company in the market. It also had to be reliable, so all OPN members are tried and tested against stringent criteria, from the depth of their Oracle product knowledge, to the skills to develop, architect, and implement the right solution, to a convincing track record of helping their customers succeed. Only then can they call themselves Oracle accredited.
How do you start?
Start by visiting our partner page, where you can find and select partners by location, distribution rights or specialisation. You have a unique business with its own unique set of needs. Now take your business forward with a unique and successful partnership.
Starting your Cloud journey really is that easy.
“They’re doing a lot of the heavylifting for us, helping us define our business process requirements and bringing the solution to the front line.”
– Alex Calicchia, Executive VP & CMO, Midsouth Bank
“Allows us to be able to tailor our needs around the different challenges that we have”
– Patrick Kys, Regional VP & CIO, Lafarge Americas
Article by David Callagham, Senior VP Alliances & Channel, Oracle EMEA