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Cloud choices matter in business

17 September 2015 02:50 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shawn Price 

I bet you’ve had a very similar experience to the one I’m about to share. The other day I had a question about my car insurance that required me to speak with an agent. 
I was put through an integrated voice response system in an attempt to route my call to the appropriate agent.
As soon as the representative answered, I had to repeat everything I’d just entered before she could help me. Making matters worse, she couldn’t resolve my concern and I had to be transferred, which forced me to repeat my information for a third time.
Not only was this frustrating for me as a customer, but, because the agent didn’t have access to my account history, she wasn’t able to recommend any additional relevant products or services.
This interaction took longer than necessary, increased my insurance company’s customer service costs, potentially left money on the table, and left me unsatisfied. The root of the issue isn’t poor customer service; it’s that my insurance company is clearly using legacy technology that doesn’t fit today’s demands.
Going forward, I believe 85 percent of brand differentiation will be based on customer experience. In today’s world, where every transaction is an audition for the next, it’s imperative that companies make the necessary changes to their systems to ensure customers are not just happy, but overjoyed.
Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, every business is either going to be a digital predator or digital prey. Those unable to evolve their business models and technology implementations risk losing market share, possibly even going out of business due to competitors that harness the power of cloud technology to meet the expectations of today’s mobile, connected customers.



Change already here
The applications we’ve relied on for decades to run our businesses don’t scale to meet the fundamental shift in consumer expectations or the explosion of data. That’s where the cloud comes in, and it’s why Oracle is committed to becoming the #1 cloud company.
This isn’t a change that’s on the horizon; it’s already happening, and quickly. The window of time in which a company can use the cloud to differentiate is shrinking every day. Chief information officers and line of business leaders can’t afford to wait.  If they do, rather than achieving competitive advantage, they’ll be scrambling to keep up.
So how do you decide where to invest in the cloud and whom to partner with?  First, look at your company’s current state and growth plans: What countries are you doing business in?  What are the local regulations around data sovereignty?
Ensure that any vendor you select has a presence in all of the countries you work in today and in those markets you hope to enter.  Investing in a cloud partner should be considered a long-term endeavor; your partners should be able to support your growth trajectory even if it accelerates more rapidly than projected.
Select a cloud partner with a global presence that matches yours to avoid being unable to roll out technology due to localization or availability issues. Your customers and employees deserve a seamless experience no matter where they are located.



Avoid past mistakes 
Next, look for a vendor that can scale with you. Much like when businesses first began embracing the internet, it’s hard to know exactly how far your cloud adoption will go, and precisely how it will help your company innovate.
One of the traps many companies fell into during the ’90s was investing in technology or partners that offered attractive short-term pricing but ultimately couldn’t scale or integrate their data. When they outgrew that vendor, upgrading was often much more expensive and time-consuming than if they’d invested in a long-term solution up front.
Finding a vendor that can scale doesn’t mean you need to transition your entire business to the cloud immediately. In fact, my recommendation is to find a cloud service provider that offers a comprehensive yet modular solution that lets you tailor your adoption plan to your users.
For example, if you’re interested in adopting cloud-based enterprise resource planning, you may choose to start with accounts payable/accounts receivable.
Then, once that’s up and running, perhaps you’ll want to add procurement, ensuring the two modules are consistent and share data to simplify training, improve adoption, and deliver maximum benefit.
Finally, look for partners that are building cloud expertise and steer away from cloud applications that are essentially on-premises applications with a few modifications to force-fit them into the cloud model.  Ultimately these offerings will not deliver the same quality of benefits as true cloud applications.
At Oracle, we’re investing $5.2 billion in cloud R&D to help our customers to not only reap the benefits of our decades of experience working with successful enterprises, but also get the benefits of native cloud applications.
We believe anything less is a disservice that will create more problems than benefits. After all, no matter how rigorous and thoughtful your selection process, your company won’t start to see the business benefits of cloud until you go live and your users begin to consume the services.

(The writer is Senior Vice President, Oracle Cloud and Product Business Groups)
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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

 

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See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.