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CX Tech

Live with Jack Berkowitz on Adaptive Intelligence, IoT, and the Human Element of CX

SmarterCX Team
December 13, 2017

6 minute read

Jack Berkowitz, Vice President of Products and Data Science for Oracle’s Adaptive Intelligence Program, talks about the expansion of Adaptive Intelligence, upcoming trends in IoT, and the importance of connecting with customers on a personal level.

In this recorded Facebook Live, Jack is interviewed by Mia McPherson, Editor-in-Chief of, at Oracle OpenWorld.

Mia McPherson: Hi everybody. My name is Mia McPherson, and I’m here at the CX Showcase at Oracle OpenWorld, and joining me today is Jack Berkowitz. Jack is the Vice President of Products and Data Science for Oracle’s Adaptive Intelligence Program. Thank you so much for joining me, Jack.

Jack Berkowitz: Thank you.

Mia McPherson: Jack, you presented a number of sessions this week at OpenWorld. Can you give us a little bit of a recap of what you talked about and the new announcements?

Jack Berkowitz: What we announced this week was an expansion of the program that we’ve been working on for quite a while. At ModernCX, we announced the beginnings of Adaptive Intelligence for CX with an offers capability that worked in commerce, worked in marketing.

This week we were talking about, really, a broad expansion of that. So not just the offers capability, but also now adding things about Service, adding things in Sales Cloud, adding a lot of new capabilities to just offers and it was pretty exciting. We also announced sort of spreading out to HCM and ERP and supply chain as well, so a lot of things coming together.

Mia McPherson: For those of us who may not be totally familiar with Adaptive Intelligence, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Jack Berkowitz: Yeah, sure. So, Adaptive Intelligence is Oracle’s take on this entire world of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The way we look at it, though, is it’s got some fundamental building blocks. The first one of those is data. Oracle has the largest collection of consumer data in the world in the Oracle Data Cloud. We also have tons of other business data that we collect or we have partners that provide it to us.

The second big aspect to it is having all that domain knowledge so that we can build applications. And so, we have the domain knowledge, we reflect them in these applications, we reflect them in the apps.

The third component is really about the decision science. We’re using all of the most cutting-edge neuro-network technology, machine learning technology. All the buzzwords in the industry. We’re bringing that together.

And the last bit is all about deploying it on the Oracle Cloud. So, it’s all taking advantage of the infrastructure. All of that comes together into this idea of Adaptive Intelligence. The reason why it’s adaptive is it’s not fixed in time. It’s constantly learning, so everything you do with the system, it’s constantly changing, and it’s trying to give you the best advice – whether you’re a salesperson, a marketing person, whatever it happens to be. It’s always learning, always improving, always adapting. That’s the whole idea.

Mia McPherson: Interesting. So, obviously business has been changing so fast nowadays. How do you see the pace of business changing over, say, the next five years, and how can Adaptive Intelligence help businesses keep up with that change?

Jack Berkowitz: Yeah, another great question. We kind of showed this on the keynote yesterday. You know, everything changes so fast in the consumer industry, in the business industry, that you can’t continue to try to write a rules-based system. So, Adaptive Intelligence is our solution to try to keep up with all these changes. And that could be changes about – what’s the hot product? Something goes on Snapchat and then within a few minutes, everybody’s gotta buy it. I saw a thing the other day: Prince George’s shoes sold out his first day of school within 30 minutes. And so, all of these changes, and how do you market and get after that, is what we’re trying to do with Adaptive Intelligence.

And then sometimes you have the bad things happen, right? Like for example, the hurricanes. You know, maybe you need to move product, or maybe not advertise certain products in reaction to that. The pace of the world – whether it’s from social, whether it’s from the constant internet around us – the pace of the world is demanding that businesses have to stay in touch with that, or consumers do as well. So that’s what we’re trying to achieve with all of this, and that’s why these technologies are popping up so fast. It’s because the pace of the world’s advancing.

Mia McPherson: Speaking of those other technologies, what trends, either technology or otherwise, do you see making a big impact this year on business?

Jack Berkowitz: For this year, this artificial intelligence, machine learning, it’s going to continue to explode. We’re working with early customers. We’re seeing the benefits right away. You’re just going to see this ripple right across our ecosystem. The other area is IoT. This year you’re going to see massive improvements, not in IoT technology, because we know how to do that, but on applications exploiting them. And people taking advantage of it, whether it’s for service, other things like that. So those are the two big ones right now.

Mia McPherson: What did you personally learn this week at OpenWorld that you didn’t necessarily know before?

Jack Berkowitz: Yeah, it’s interesting. It’s not about technology, right? I sit in all the meetings. I listen to all the technology. I think what I learned was that people a year ago that were afraid of venturing forward with their technology are now saying to us, “You’re not bringing it fast enough.” And that was weird, right? Because I’m sitting here meeting with the customers, the same person I talked to a year ago, saying, “I’m not interested in this,” saying, “How come I don’t have this now?” There’s a transition that’s happened. And I think what it is, is everybody’s in the cloud now. And so, they’re able to start to think about new ideas.

Mia McPherson: Oh wow, it’s really exciting that so many things can change in one year.

Jack Berkowitz: Yeah, exactly.

Mia McPherson: So, Jack, how would you define customer experience?

Jack Berkowitz: So, to me, customer experience is that end-to-end. It’s all the way from, sort of, understanding the beginnings to maintaining that over time. It’s hard to define. You just know when you have a good one. You know when you have a really bad one. To me it’s just having that satisfaction that I had a good experience. And it could be checking into a hotel. Here’s a great one: I once checked into a hotel, and they were smart enough at the hotel to read the name tag on the luggage, so when I walked into the door, they greeted me by my first name as I walked in. A little bit different, right? That’s a great customer experience.

Mia McPherson: Speaking of smart, how would you define Smarter CX?

Jack Berkowitz: Smarter CX is, and Des and I talk about this all the time, it’s really about that idea of exactly what I said – having that history with you, having that ability to understand you. You’re not just caller number 27 to the service desk. They know you. They can personalize to you. They take the signals in real time and react to you. So it’s not a batch mode. Smarter CX is really having that relationship that if we were able to have this type of relationship every day, people would know.

Mia McPherson: That’s so true, because we really don’t accept caller number 27 anymore. We can easily move on to the next.

Jack Berkowitz: Yeah, it’s easy, right? Just, okay great, you know, I’m going to flip to something else and move on. So you have to be integrated. And that’s for our customers, that’s even for Oracle.

Mia McPherson: Jack, I think that you have a really cool job here at Oracle, and I’m sure a lot of other people do, too. What advice would you have for somebody who’s looking to become a CX professional, or take on a role like yours?

Jack Berkowitz: I think the biggest thing is spending time with customers. There’s nothing more important. You can talk about technology all day, you can do all the PowerPoints. It doesn’t matter. Stay focused on the customers. Go out, talk to as many as possible. Listen to what they have to say, not just present. So that idea of listening and being able to incorporate it, that’s the most important thing anybody can do, whether it’s here, whether it’s a CX professional, whether it’s in life in general. Listening to people is more important than talking.

Mia McPherson: Yeah, I totally agree. So, other than the sessions that you presented, which were exciting in themselves, what else have you found to be exciting at OpenWorld this year?

Jack Berkowitz: I love the IoT stuff. I love it. They have this iOS 11 capability on the phone where you have augmented reality and you can turn it around, you can see all the machines, everything else. I’ve been to two or three sessions on that. I’ve gone and played with it several times around the corner. I love that stuff.


Copyright © 2017 Oracle Corporation. All rights reserved.

This transcript may be edited for readability.

SmarterCX Team
The SmarterCX team is comprised of subject matter experts, writers, artists, designers, and CX professionals who are dedicated to building a smarter customer experience. by Oracle is the destination for professionals who are building the next generation of customer experience. Here, you can find breaking news, in-depth analyses, expert insights, and useful tools that will empower you to think and work progressively.