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This week marks the 21st Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, and the company wasted no time detailing the updates across its portfolio. It unveiled artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Cloud, its suite of project and applications management tools, and Human Capital Management Cloud (HCM), its full-stack recruiting and talent product family. And it debuted two new services — Subscription Management, an end-to-end payments solution, and CX Unity, a customer data management platform — alongside a small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) Data Cloud tier.

“Oracle is uniquely positioned to help customers connect data and processes across the entire organization to drive better business outcomes,” Rondy Ng, senior vice president at Oracle, said of today’s news. “Our focus on delivering immediate business impact from the latest innovations gives customers a significant competitive advantage.”

Subscription Management

Subscription Management, which incorporates sales, service, fulfillment, invoicing, revenue recognition, renewals, and more in a single platform, was designed to enable hybrid product and service/subscription business models across “all industries,” Ng said.

“Today’s consumers value freedom, choice, convenience, and flexibility over permanence, stability, and certainty. This shifting value set is fundamentally changing buying behavior across industries,” he explained. “To help our customers successfully navigate these changes, we are introducing an end-to-end subscription management solution that builds on our strength in ERP and customer experience management.”


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Among the spotlight features are support for subscriptions across touchpoints (such as specialists, service agents, and sales reps); dashboards with analytics, reporting tools, calculated complex and recurring pricing models, services and physical products orders, and “continuous” growth insights; and integration with ERP solutions including Oracle’s ERP Cloud.

CX Unity

While Subscription Management focuses squarely on subscriptions, CX Unity is a bit broader in scope. It brings together online, offline, and third-party customer data sources in a single view, and leverages machine learning to recommend “optimal experiences” within existing business processes.

It’s integrated with Customer Experience (CX) Cloud, Oracle’s set of marketing, sales, commerce, and service applications.

“For too long the technology industry has focused on the idea of a static and predictable customer journey. That has to change if we are going to truly understand the customer experience,” Rob Tarkoff, EVP and GM of CX Unity at Oracle, said. “Today’s consumers are fickle and nomadic, and as a result, data and insights are constantly in motion. That’s why we are taking a unique, data-first approach that can help brands eliminate their blind spots and make every customer interaction matter.”

HCM Cloud

Oracle’s improved HCM Cloud homes in on the HR and employee experience. It’s easier to use thanks in part to AI, said Chris Leone, senior vice president of development at Oracle, and it ships with new tools and third-party integrations intended to streamline common talent management tasks.

On the machine learning front, there’s an automated concierge that can answer basic questions, and a responsive design that scales across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices and allows HR administrators to restrict users’ access to sensitive information based on location. Configurable, rule-based action lists for policies regarding represented workers (e.g., union workers and collective labor) are in tow, in addition to LinkedIn Recruiter integrations that automate sourcing, candidate search, referral recommendations, and more.

That’s not all that’s new. HCM Cloud’s smart employee sourcing tool considers factors such as likelihood to accept, performance predictions, and expected tenure, and its risk management feature detects access anomalies and recommends ways to strengthen security and data privacy. Also making their debuts are a strategic workforce planning tool that helps to visualize impacts on headcount and talent gaps, and a design suite — HCM Experience Design Studio — that enables businesses to configure, personalize, and simplify HR and employee processes.

Last but not least, new LinkedIn Talent Solutions tie-ins and My Brand tools are intended to make it easier for employees to collaborate, exchange recommendations, and find career development opportunities.

Data Cloud

Data Cloud’s SMB solution, announced this week, extends the data platform’s account-based marketing outreach tools to new customers across 48 industry and sub-industry segments, including retail, automotive, consumer packaged goods, financial services, technology, telecommunications, and manufacturing.

“Most data and tools for digital B2B marketing have focused on large companies while ignoring the millions of smaller companies who make up the vast majority of US businesses,” Niraj Deo, vice president at Data Cloud, said. “This SMB data solution levels the playing field for B2B marketers so they can identify, reach, and manage their sales and marketing programs for both large organizations and the smaller businesses who can drive their growth.”

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers can combine their customer relationship management data with Data Cloud’s syndicated and custom segments, building audiences with criteria ranging from number of employees to financial risk profiles, growth patterns, accepted payments, ecommerce capabilities, and past purchases. Moreover, they get the same access to Oracle’s Data Management Platform (DMP), digital channel, and programmatic marketing capabilities — including ID Graph, Oracle’s unified identity platform — as large companies.

Oracle said that Data Cloud is now used by 199 of the world’s 200 largest advertisers.

“By combining their own CRM data with Oracle’s syndicated and custom segments, B2B marketers can use advanced account-based marketing capabilities for this massive, but underserved, universe of SMBs,” Deo said.

Oracle’s announcements this week follow the open-sourcing of Graphpipe, the company’s cloud-centric machine learning model design and deployment tool, and the acquisitions of open workspace platform and cloud security startup Zenedge.

At Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco last October, the Silicon Valley firm took the wraps off AI Platform Cloud Service, a suite of preconfigured AI libraries and deep learning frameworks, in addition to Mobile Cloud (a conversational AI platform), Autonomous Data Cloud (machine learning utility for industrial workloads), Analytics Cloud (an AI data visualization tool), and Security and Management Cloud (AI-powered cybersecurity threat analysis).

In September, Oracle reported $6.61 billion in revenue from its cloud services and license support segment, up 3.2 percent from the prior year. The company, citing research from Deloitte, expects customers to spend more than $57.6 billion on machine learning by 2021, up from $12 billion in 2017.

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