Modern Business UK 3
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MODERN\ BUSINESS\ MAGAZINE
Growing businesses that
prove anything is possible.
Editor's Letter Amanda Jobbins
Growing businesses need to achieve more, faster, with fewer resources than their larger counterparts. The cloud continues to be a huge enabler of growth, so perhaps it’s not surprising that over 300,000 midsize customers not only run on Oracle – they run on the same best-in-class products as our biggest enterprise customers.
Business leaders are drawn to the cloud by modern, personalised applications that are fast, simple and give them more control, whether to provide a frictionless customer experience or to build a talent-centric human capital management strategy.
IT leaders see enormous value in the cloud application and platform services that allow their teams to move away from technology administration and concentrate on business innovation.
And for developers, the ability to move dev and test environments to cloud platforms slashes significant time from the development cycle by eliminating management tasks and cutting complexity.
Whatever route your organisation’s unique cloud journey may take, it makes sense to choose a provider with solutions that are pre-integrated and tested to work across the entire stack, whether in your data centre or in the cloud.
In this edition of Modern Business, we look at how organisations are propelling their growth with the cloud in various ways: putting analytical horsepower to work, developing on cloud infrastructure, managing their finances, transforming the supply chain, redefining the customer experience, and enabling a growing workforce.
I’m also delighted to announce the launch of our brand new website dedicated to the needs and ambitions of businesses like yours. This bespoke corner of the internet is part of our ongoing effort to be accessible to organisations of all sizes, with a special focus on the growing businesses that are consuming technology in an ever-expanding variety of ways, and taking full advantage of innovation at the lowest possible entry point.
VP Demand Generation & Marketing EMEA/APAC
freely apply\*business\insight*\to your own\operations
Freely apply business insight to your own operations
Putting Big Data to work is as important to growing businesses as their larger counterparts when it comes to fostering a deeper understanding of customers, operations and markets. Organisations that democratise access to fast, high-volume data analysis give their people the freedom to ask the kind of thought-provoking questions that spark business transformation or bring just-in-time efficiency to their operations.
Take mStart, for example. The Croatian business and IT solutions provider was looking to reduce the environmental impact of the operations of its parent company, Agrokor Group, decreasing costs in the process. They needed deep insight into the shopping behaviors and needs of more 1.2 million daily retail customers, to allow them to optimise their supply chain processes and inventory management across more than 2,000 stores.
With the Oracle Big Data Appliance at the heart of their initiative, they’ve been able to gain near-instant visibility into their retail operations, as well as discovering unanticipated correlations in shopping behaviours which traditional data analysis models wouldn’t have unearthed. Individual outlets
Watch the video to see how you can seamlessly integrate new ideas into every aspect of your business.
have the freedom to make same-day amendments to prices and promotions based on analytical signals, and enrich their loyalty program to enable contextual cross-selling via mobile. Their newfound ability to keep stock in line with demand on a day-to-day basis reduces waste and transportation costs, helping to make their supply chain processes more sustainable.
mStart have been able to take advantage the kind of analytical muscle and sophistication that you might assume would only be within the reach of larger organisations. That’s because at Oracle, we simplify Big Data initiatives with highly accessible cloud infrastructure, platforms and services that free up growing businesses to focus on the insights, not the plumbing. You can find out more about how we make Big Data simple, integrated, secure and engineered for predictable performance here.
We invite you to preview the advanced analytical capabilities of Oracle Management Cloud, to see what happens when you apply machine learning and Big Data techniques to your own operational dataset.
DEVELOP\*in the* CLOUD
FOR FAST, SCALABLE
Develop in the cloud for fast, scalable innovation
Software development traditionally relied on IT to set up development environments, including servers, storage, networks, and platform software whenever a new project got under way. In many organisations, the process can
Watch the video to explore the absolute genius of mobile, from idea to pocket.
take weeks or months, often slowed by approvals, equipment delays, and the time constraints of the IT staff.
But digital transformation and innovation at speed demands a whole new set of software development competencies, new architectures and new infrastructure. Microservices architectures, lightweight and script-based applications, and cloud-native application development have joined the ranks of Agile development methodology in furthering businesses’ endeavors to build better software faster.
To help our customers advance their own innovation agenda, the Oracle Developer Cloud Service is designed for building modern applications based on continuous delivery workflows. It provides an open-source, standards-based turnkey solution to develop, collaborate on and deploy applications within Oracle Cloud. It’s DevOps-ready, microservices-friendly, and includes polyglot development support, comprehensive data management and flexible container solutions. No longer consumed with operational tasks, developers can focus on coding great apps and release products flexibly yet securely, quickly but confidently, and at a lower cost because the latest tools and infrastructure are all there in the cloud.
Among those customers to benefit is Interactive Scientific, a Bristol-based start-up that creates stimulating and fun tools like Nano Simbox, an immersive digital learning platform that brings science to life. As part of Oracle’s Cloud Accelerator Programme, they are making the most of Oracle’s cloud-based technology to test, experiment and create a new type of ecosystem for the global science and learning community. It also gives Interactive Scientific the means to scale in a truly ambitious way that entrepreneurs of yesteryear could only dream of, taking innovation to new heights.
But it’s not just fledgling businesses that are in a hurry to start building products: established companies with diverse development teams can equally benefit from a software development environment that is automatically provisioned with the latest tools and infrastructure, to get innovations to market faster.
Watch the video to explore what business problems can be solved with cool new tech.
IN A LEAGUE
OF ITS OWN
Financial management in a league of its own
There’s no doubt that ERP systems deliver significant horsepower for running a business, but not every organisation has the resources or appetite for a monolithic, multi-year on-premises project. That said, growing businesses inevitably reach the point at which they need to simplify their landscape to eradicate the bottlenecks and profit-damaging blind-spots caused by working across a patchwork of accounting software, spreadsheets and systems.
The cloud, however, has broken down the barriers to accessing the proven, industrial-strength ERP capabilities that larger enterprises have been relying on for years. “ERP 2.0”, delivered as a service, is designed to be implemented quickly, with no capital outlay, and provide the flexibility to meet changing business needs and increasing user numbers at speed. This makes it suited not just to growing businesses but also established enterprises looking to modernise their ERP foundation with a clean-sheet strategy based on the latest best practices.
Now, ERP is simply for everyone. Take Real Club Deportivo Espanyol, a Barcelona-based football club in La Liga. Under ambitious Chinese ownership that is propelling the club forwards on the global stage, RCD Espanyol needed to enable its back-office staff and foreign investors to track operations and financials.
Watch the video to learn how a La Liga football club benefits from the best integrated ERP Cloud solution.
The Club’s implementation of ERP 2.0 in the form of Oracle Financials Cloud took just four months, including design, preparation and execution. Now, all its financial data is unified and accessible in real-time, from anywhere. Automated reports and analytics have halved reporting time, and allow staff to dig into the financials at the most granular, transactional level as well as see the bigger corporate picture. By automating and digitising redundant, manual processes, the club has reduced invoice payment processing times by 80%, reduced errors by more than 25% and improved billing cycle time by 100%. By moving to Oracle Financials Cloud, the club also eliminated the need to manage its old accounting software, freeing up resources to focus on more strategic concerns.
It just goes to show that ERP 2.0 really can enable any organisation to meet the requirements of the digital economy and compete in the first division. Find out for yourself how to simplify modern finance with Oracle Financials Cloud, or indeed any of the Oracle Cloud ERP suite, with a free trial.
Cementing\ competitive advantage
with an agile supply chain
Cementing competitive advantage with an agile supply chain
Customer expectations are rising. Products are being introduced and updated faster than ever. The modern supply chain is global. If you’re an established business with a traditional supply chain, it may not allow you the flexibility to respond to a changing business landscape, which can stifle growth. A lack of integration between multiple processes, applications, technologies and organisational components will hinder you from the gaining the visibility you need to manage risk, maintain quality and compliance, and reduce costs.
Meanwhile, new market entrants – unencumbered by rigid legacy systems – are out of the starting blocks with a scalable, agile supply chain. Born in the cloud, these upstarts benefit from end-to-end visibility and organisational alignment, which allows them to select and invest in the products and services with the most potential for profit.
But you can teach an old supply chain new tricks, as Mauritian supplier to the construction industry, Kolos Cement, demonstrates. The company was looking to replace its end-of-life ERP system with a modern platform to improve efficiency, visibility and control over its operations. The solution would need to integrate with its weighbridge system to streamline all its processes from cement production to delivery, to enable the business to meet ambitious KPIs for truck dispatch and on-time delivery.
Watch the video to learn how to meet new challenges head on with modern supply chain management in the cloud.
Kolos deployed the unified Oracle Cloud Platform for its flexibility and rich functionality. By integrating the Oracle Order Management Cloud Service with its cement weighbridge system, the business dramatically reduced manual tasks and associated human errors in the cement distribution process, meeting its KPI for 15-minute truck dispatch without the need for staff overtime.
The business has also optimized inventory management, with real-time visibility into cement stock levels against sales orders replacing historical month-end reports which required considerable manual consolidation. This enables Kolos to make immediate changes to production to ensure it always has sufficient stock to meet its target for on-time deliveries.
As a result, the company has considerably increased its agility, enabling it to compete successfully against its main rival, a large, international firm.
Doesn't have to be a gamble
Redefining CX doesn’t have to be a gamble
Customers are savvy enough to recognise when you have invested to meet their needs, and return the favour through repeat spending and invaluable word-of-mouth. And yet when it comes to getting a CX implementation off the ground, departments often struggle to find the budget, have a hard time proving ROI, or can’t get the necessary buy-in from leaders.
Getting more business from existing customers is smart business, but price and product are no longer enough to win. That’s why, according to Gartner, 37% of CEOs believe customer experience (CX) is the top technology investment needed to beat the competition.
If this sounds familiar, you’ll be reassured to know that CX transformation doesn’t have to involve a dramatic and disruptive rip-and-replace of your legacy systems. Oracle CX cloud apps are available as individual modules, so you can adopt an integrated platform in full or, as many firms are now doing, start with one or two pillars to demonstrate measurable wins, and gain the momentum and support to expand their Oracle CX footprint gradually.
Watch the video to see why understanding behavioural economics is the key to successfully delivering on customer expectations.
Take for example London-based Gamesys, the award-winning online gaming company behind popular sites and apps such as Jackpotjoy Slots, Sun Bingo and Caesar’s Casino. They were looking to enable customers to self-serve via their channel of choice to get queries answered without overwhelming their contact centre.
Gamesys implemented the Oracle Service Cloud to transform agent efficiency and increase first contact resolution rates, while offering self-service options for customers including proactive chat. The firm developed a substantial knowledge base for both agent and customer use, with thousands of FAQs that can be updated at the touch of a button.
Now, with the addition of proactive chat to the customer journey, Gamesys has halved the number of customers contacting them by email or telephone, and quadrupled monthly FAQ views. The move has improved agent efficiency and all-important first contact resolution while giving customers the round-the-clock support they need to get answers on demand.
The initiative has enabled Gamesys to respond faster to new opportunities and changes in online gaming regulations, and get new online gaming sites to market faster. Daily reports can be run in just a few minutes, to categorise queries and identify any gaps in FAQs, helping to continuously improve the customer experience.
Simplifying\ and Securing
cloud adoption with Oracle partners
Simplifying and securing cloud adoption with Oracle partners
One of the main barriers to adoption of public cloud models has been the fog that enshrouds data: its privacy, protection, availability and location. Security concerns linger, from threats, data loss and malicious attacks to service disruption and multi-tenancy issues, particularly for those organisations in highly regulated industries.
The forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation will inevitably throw up further challenges for organisations worldwide that do business in the EU, as the definition of personal data is broadened, bringing more data into the regulated perimeter. A further, significant development is that current EU data protection laws put the burden of legal compliance on “controllers”, i.e. organisations themselves, GDPR will expand the scope of application for the first time to data “processors”, such as cloud services providers, who will no longer be able to push responsibility back onto the customer if an infringement occurs.
GDPR in plain English: The GDPR is a new set of rules, due to come into force in May 2018, governing the privacy and security of EU citizens’ personal data. It aims to give power back to citizens over how their data is processed and used, such as the “right to be forgotten”. Even if your business is based overseas but holds data belonging to anyone living in Europe, you will need to prepare for GDPR.
Growing organisations’ appetite for the cloud is often based on simplicity and the desire to focus on business imperatives rather than underlying infrastructure. So how can you navigate the minefield that is cloud security and data privacy – particularly if you don’t have an entire team of in-house security and availability experts at your disposal?
At Oracle, physical and virtual security has always been critical to our business and to that of our customers: we have long been a driving force in the development of secure platform and infrastructure services, and our preventative strategy is based on defense-in-depth.
That’s why Oracle Cloud at Customer has been designed to offer organisations all the benefits of Oracle’s public cloud services, in their own data centre or hosting location of choice. This gives you full control over your data to meet data sovereignty and data residency requirements, and comply with security and privacy regulations such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA and other industry- and country-specific regulations. As a fully managed Oracle offering, you get the same experience and the latest innovations using it in your data centre as in the Oracle Cloud, behind your own firewall, with workload portability between on-premises and cloud so you can run your applications seamlessly wherever you want.
Of course, every business is unique, so there is no single route to the cloud. That’s why Oracle’s specialist partners can guide your journey to the cloud – from strategy, planning and scoping to provisioning, implementation, go-live and beyond.
Wherever you are on the journey to cloud, there’s a partner to help.