Des Cahill, VP and Head CX Evangelist for Oracle, shares the highlights of the CX Showcase at Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle’s CX product capabilities, and his own memorable experiences as a customer.
In this recorded Facebook Live, Des is interviewed by Mia McPherson, Editor-in-Chief of SmarterCX.com, at Oracle OpenWorld.
Des Cahill: I’m doing great, Mia, how are you?
Mia McPherson: I’m doing great, thank you. Des, can you tell us a little bit about the CX Showcase here at OpenWorld?
Des Cahill: Yeah, I’d love to. The CX Showcase at OpenWorld is a chance for Oracle CX to really tell our story to the world. And we’re really focusing our story around innovation, and we’re having exciting customers like Yamaha bring their YZ450 motorcycle here. It’s IoT connected. It’s connected to Service Cloud. We’re doing really cool things with it.
We’ve got lots of great cloud applications that are connected together to solve customer problems. We’ve got the CX Innovation Showcase, and there’s so many great sessions featured there. So if anyone is at OpenWorld, or thinking of coming to OpenWorld, this is the place to come.
Mia McPherson: Des, what do you think that CX professionals can expect to learn this week?
Des Cahill: I’ve been reflecting a lot around customer experience and where we are as an industry. And I think the last 10 years we’ve spent focused on, “Wow, the customer is changing.” And Facebook is 13 years old, the iPhone is 10 years old. We’re about to enter the 5th season of Silicon Valley. So we’ve been at this change thing for a while, right? And the world has changed.
So I think the message and the examples we’re sharing with CX professionals are around, not that the world is changing, but the rather the world has changed, and the question we’re asking them is, “How are you changing your organization to meet this new customer-centric world?” One of the answers that we want to provide is Oracle as a strategic partner to help them make that change, and that’s the combination of exciting products and solutions, and our expertise and industry solutions, and our general end-to-end connected CX platform.
Mia McPherson: In regards to those customer expectations, you’re going to be participating in a session called “Exceeding Skyrocketing Customer Expectations with Oracle CX“. Can you give us a little teaser about that session?
Des Cahill: That is our CX general session. And my boss, Rondy Ng, who heads up development for CX Cloud and ERP Cloud, will be leading that. And Laura Ipsen who heads up our Marketing Cloud will be on there. We’re going have some great customers; Tim Dickson from Motorola Solutions will be talking about innovation for first responders because Motorola Solutions – it’s not the cell phone company – they provide radios and cameras, two-way radios, to first responders like police and firemen. So they’ve been very involved in keeping communications going during Katrina, and Harvey, and the Mexican earthquakes. Tim is going to share his perspective on their mission of empowering first responders and how they’re doing that with innovation. Marc Rosen who’s the VP of Ecommerce from Levi’s is going to be a guest as well, and he’s going to talk about everything that Levi’s is doing around innovation in wearables, and IoT, and connected clothing, and all that sort of exciting stuff that’s going on.
And then we as Oracle will be talking about a number of exciting product areas around Connected IoT, around Adaptive Intelligence, our investments in Commerce Cloud, and Content and Experience Cloud, and continued investment in industry solutions. So there’s a lot of exciting product news to share as well.
Mia McPherson: Oracle was recently named the sole leader in the Forrester Wave for Digital Experience Platforms. Can you explain to me the significance of that?
Des Cahill: It’s significant because the Forrester DXP or Digital Experience Platform Wave was really looking at which vendors could provide an end-to-end digital solution, all the way from marketing to commerce, to service, to CPQ (configure, price, and quote), and all of the technology services around that. We emerged as the only leader in that Wave.
We’re very excited about that, and we think that it’s very validating that we’ve been saying for the last two years, or at least the last two years that I’ve been in this role, we’ve been really saying to the world that customer experience is a critical strategic area of investment for businesses because consumers and customers have skyrocketing expectations. So we think our strategy has been to be the vendor of choice for these global organizations, these enterprises, that want to do this business transformation. And one of the ways that we’re able to do that is by having this breadth and depth of applications in the CX Cloud Suite. Being the sole leader against all the other vendors in the space in that Forrester DXP Platform Wave or DXP Wave was really validating, I think, of our strategy and our approach to the market. We’re very excited.
Mia McPherson: Speaking of breadth and depth, can you tell me a little bit about new Oracle product capabilities in the CX space?
Des Cahill: Yes, I can. One that I’m personally very excited about is we’re announcing a new product called IoT Connected Assets. I refer to that as Connected IoT. Let me explain what I mean by Connected IoT. The product that we’re announcing combines Oracle’s IoT Cloud with our Service Cloud and our Engagement Cloud. And those are products for providing sales and service capabilities to our customers.
I’ll give you an example. Behind us is the Yamaha 2018 YZ450F motocross bike. And it is a very special motocross bike because it’s the world’s most technology advanced. Yamaha put an onboard computer on it. They put in IoT sensors, and they put in a little WiFi network. And if you’re a motocross rider, which I am not, but if I was, I’d very excited about this – you can get a mobile app. And you can tune the engine yourself. So if you’re going on different race courses, you can actually tune the bike on the fly. So that’s a big deal in the motocross industry.
But this kind of goes back to a general trend I call Connected IoT where more and more consumer-level devices are becoming smart and are connecting to IoT, to big data, and then Oracle is using AI and ML to analyze the data to generate insights into how consumers are using the product that inform sales, service, and marketing.
We’ve just done a proof of concept with Yamaha with our Oracle Service Cloud where we have enabled a dealer who, let’s say you own that bike and you go into a dealer, and you say to the dealer, “I want you to do service on it.” Well, that dealer has never seen that bike before because it’s brand new. But with the Oracle technology, they can take an iPad, they can point it at the bike, and the iPad recognizes the bike, connects to the WiFi network, pulls the model number and the VIN number of the bike, and it automatically figures out what parts are wearing out and what might need replacement. It automatically pulls down any service bulletins. If a technician has to do a fix, it guides through a fix with virtual reality.
I had the opportunity to interview Glenn Coles, the CIO of Yamaha Motors North America, about this. What Glenn said is that has the potential to revolutionize their dealer model and their service model. It’s very exciting for Yamaha and very exciting for Oracle, and we’re bringing this sort of Connected IoT capability to many of our customers.
Mia McPherson: That sounds awesome. It is one of those things that I had never thought of before, but now that I’ve heard about, and maybe if I see it once, I’m going to expect that to be what everybody delivers.
Des Cahill: Another example is iRobot which makes Roomba. And I love my Roomba. I call him Gary. I’ve had him for five years. I fix him myself and upgrade him, and he’s wonderful. We have a yellow lab that dumps hair all over the house, so Gary is essential. But Roomba, for their newer models, have built IoT into the Roomba, and you’re able to connect to the Roomba with the mobile app and configure it, and then send your warranty and your registration information remotely back to Oracle Service Cloud.
And again, this is another example of device usage information, warranty information, configure information. You’re making it easier for the consumer, but then you’re also giving Roomba information about how you’re using the device, where you’re using it, when is it wearing out, when does it need maintenance. So you’re just creating a better experience for them, informing their R&D, their marketing, their sales, and you’re creating a better experience for the customer. I think more and more consumer-level devices will be connected to the internet through IoT technology, through Connected IoT.
Mia McPherson: I did not know that Roomba could get any cooler, but–
Des Cahill: It can get cooler, yes.
Mia McPherson: To that point, it must be very tough for companies to keep up with what consumers are expecting, and what we don’t even know that we want. How do they do that, technology and otherwise?
Des Cahill: Well, Mia, one of the reasons that we’ve invested so heavily in both the breadth and the depth of the Oracle CX Cloud Suite is we believe that organizations today are undergoing this business transformation to try and become a more customer-centric organization. Historically, IT’s job in the last 10 years of the cloud has been to sort of glue together these cloud apps that the marketing person said, “I want that vendor,” the sales leader said, “I want that vendor,” and the service leader said, “I want that vendor.” And so IT has been in this difficult position of trying to wire all these different applications together and make the data flow between them.
Before I came to Oracle, I was a CMO, and I felt that pain myself. I could never get good sales or service data into my marketing system. So, we really believe in this concept of Connected Data. That’s really fundamental to the CX Cloud Suite, that whether it’s your operational data, your customer data, whether it’s IoT data, if you’re a device company, it’s behavior data from people coming to your website, or it’s third party and second party data, all that data needs to come together. And Oracle, fundamentally, is a data company. That’s our heritage. So we’re really good at bringing this data together, and helping our customers manage it.
And then the next question is, “You have lots of data, but how do you get insights out of that data?” We call that Connected Intelligence, and that’s Connected IoT, our behavioral data platform, and I’m sure we’ll talk about this in a moment, our Adaptive Intelligent apps.
And then finally, how do you take these innovations that are available on our platform and this connected data, and then how do you connect that ultimately to experiences so that you can have a good experience, and I can have a good experience dealing with the same company even though I may want to deal on the phone, and you may want to deal on the chatbot, right? So we have the breadth and depth of applications.
We’re trying to make it easier by having a deep, rich platform, and having the domain expertise across industries, and how to deliver better customer experience. And we really view ourselves as an extension of our customers’ IT departments, but we’re the guys focused on connecting the data and then bringing innovation into the next.
Mia McPherson: You mentioned Adaptive Intelligent apps, and it’s been, well, on everybody’s mind here this week. I hear lots of people talking about Adaptive Intelligence, and announcements that have been made, what they expect to hear about at OpenWorld. Can you tell me a little bit about the buzz around Adaptive Intelligence?
Des Cahill: Sure, yeah. And I should add that Jack Berkowitz who heads up our Adaptive Intelligent app development and data science team will also be at the Rondy and Laura CX General Session. So, that’s going to be a chance to hear directly from Jack who knows so much about this topic.
But the excitement about adaptive intelligence is two-fold. Number one, we’ve announced that we are, to date, we’ve concentrated on building Adaptive Intelligent apps for within CX, within our CX Cloud Suite. At OpenWorld, we announce that we are expanding that, and we are going to be offering Adaptive Intelligent apps for our HCM Cloud – our human resources cloud – for our supply chain cloud, SCM Cloud, and for our ERP Cloud – enterprise resource planning cloud. So we’re expanding the scope across all of the Oracle SaaS applications.
That’s exciting, number one, and then within CX, we announced two products at ModernCX in April, and now we’ve announced significant enhancements to the capabilities of those CX applications. We’ve got new capabilities for service professionals, sales professionals, commerce professionals, and marketing professionals, and we’re talking about all the details here at OpenWorld. We’re showing those applications and those capabilities here at the CX Showcase, so once again, it’s the place to be.
Mia McPherson: Can you tell me about a memorable experience that you’ve had as a customer?
Des Cahill: As a matter of fact I can, and I’m thinking about two things that involved my hotel experience. I’m staying up here in San Francisco for OpenWorld. And the first experience was that I had to change my hotel reservation from a Saturday arrival to a Sunday arrival. And on Saturday, I was out to dinner with my family. And before the food came, I went outside, and I called the 800 number of the hotel that I won’t name, and I went through a very long phone tree. It took about two or three minutes. It seemed longer. Finally the phone rings, and I’m excited because I’m about to talk to a person and get my mission done.
Instead, I get a recording saying, “Hi, we’re sorry, our servers are down, and we can’t take any reservations.” So then I’m wondering, “Why didn’t you have that message upfront?” So anyway, that’s a small one. And then the second one is that I got to my room last night, and I worked late. And at nine o’clock I got hungry, and I wanted to order in-room dining. So I did what I usually do. I go and I look around the hotel room for the printed menu, and I couldn’t find a physical menu. And then I see a tablet, and it was not an iPad. I pick it up and I go, “Oh, I guess this is the new cool digital way for me to order food.”
So I pick up the tablet and I can’t figure out the interface. There are question marks, and X’s, and gears. I’m like, “This is not my iPad, I don’t know.” So finally I called an operator and I say, “Who do I order food from?” And they give me a hint, “This is the restaurant.” I go back, I find the icon, and I click on it to look at the menu, and then the resolution on the screen on the tablet was so low that I couldn’t read the menu. So, I’m like, “Maybe some things weren’t meant to be digital. Maybe some things are meant to be analog.” I mean, I hate to be old school. I like digital and I like self-service.
But anyway, I thought that was a pretty interesting twist on the move to digital. It’s kind of like, yes, you took it to a digital customer experience, and you empowered me as a customer, but you didn’t really empower me.
Mia McPherson: Oh no, that’s terrible. Well, it sounds like your hotel has a lot to learn, Des.
Des Cahill: Well, I have to say I got a great room. I’m willing to overlook it. And the experience I had at the front desk checking in with the clerk, was so … he was so warm and so personable that I think sometimes we can lose sight of the idea that not everything necessarily needs to be digital, and the people factor can be really, really, important in terms of customer experience, and lets us forget about some imperfections along the way.
Mia McPherson: What else do you think that we should not miss this week at the CX Showcase?
Des Cahill: Well, let’s see. We talked about Adaptive Intelligent apps, we talked about Connected IoT. We’re also talking about the Infinity platform, and that is a streaming behavioral data platform. We acquired some IP from Webtrends, and we announced that in March of 2017. And Rondy is going be talking about that a bit during the CX General Session. And that’s very exciting news because, again, it’s that notion of Connected Data and how can we understand consumer intent based on their interactions in digital channels, and how can we infer where they want go next and anticipate their needs.
Within the CX Showcase here, where we’re coming to you from live, we also have a CX Innovation Theater, which has fantastic programming. We’ve got partners in there talking about new innovative solutions they’re bringing to the CX Cloud Suite platform. We’ve got customers in there talking about what they’re doing to transform their businesses. We’ve got Oracle people in there talking about their areas of expertise. I don’t think people can go wrong coming to CX Showcase, and checking out what we’ve got in the Innovation Theater.
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This transcript may be edited for readability.