A new CX approach for the voice-activated world

Oracle Australia

By Margaret Harrist
Tuesday, 03 September, 2019

A new CX approach for the voice-activated world

In a world of voice-activated, ‘pageless’ services, your 20-year-old apps can’t keep up.

Many companies are chugging along on back-office software systems that were implemented 15 or even 20 years ago, with business processes hardwired in through extensive customisations that no longer fit with our mobile and increasingly voice-activated digital world.

Juergen Lindner was among those who spent a lot of his career implementing those heavily customised systems. Now Senior Vice President of Product Marketing for Cloud Applications at Oracle, Lindner spent almost 20 years at SAP.

“I am guilty as charged — I bastardised the heck out of those systems,” he told a room of reporters during Oracle Media Days, held at the company’s headquarters in Redwood Shores, California. “But business processes have evolved. Whatever you put in a decade ago may not be cutting it in this new world, and I encourage executives to look at their business processes anew.”

Here’s an example: Your customers and employees will increasingly see it as old-fashioned if they have to use a webpage, a PC screen or even a smartphone touchscreen to engage with an application.

“We live in a pageless world,” said Rob Tarkoff, Oracle Executive Vice President of Oracle Customer Experience Cloud. “My watch tells me to stand up or I interact with a voice interface on one of my other devices.”

The US city of Albuquerque has taken this to heart. For the last year, Tarkoff said, residents have been able to contact the city’s ‘311’ non-emergency municipal services contact system using their Alexa-enabled device to report abandoned vehicles, graffiti, missed rubbish pickup or a range of other non-emergency issues, as well as get answers to frequently asked questions. The 311 service is powered by Oracle Service Cloud, which can generate service tickets for the right city departments.

But high expectations for ease of use aren’t limited to how people engage with organisations on their devices; people are also becoming accustomed to the convenience of applications powered by machine learning — and they’ll expect those kinds of intelligent interactions with the applications they use on the job.

Organisations need systems capable of seeing what a customer or employee is doing and understanding their intent — is a customer almost ready to transact, an employee considering changing jobs or a warehouse manager about to order too much inventory?

“How do you collect the right kind of signals from those interactions, combine it with third-party and first-party data and then understand the right next action?” Tarkoff said. And, the big challenge is to do it in real time and at scale.

That’s why one of the key focus areas of Oracle’s cloud applications development teams is to incorporate machine learning into both back-office and front-office systems.

“We’re not looking at emerging technologies as side gigs to the actual business problems,” Lindner said. “It’s built right into the applications, layered with the data and the intelligence to gain insight from that data throughout the organisation and all the way through the technology stack. All of this together provides maximal outcomes.”

Knocking down silos

Key to getting the best outcomes is being able to connect the dots across the organisation. But the technical, data and business process silos that many organisations built over time to meet certain functional needs are now becoming baggage that leaves employees inventing workarounds, keying data into spreadsheets and duplicating effort. Further, all that work is in support of an outdated operations model.

“From a business perspective, it’s gone beyond the need for a point solution; it’s about complete business process flows and transforming the entire enterprise,” said Steve Miranda, Oracle Executive Vice President of Applications Development, who spoke on a panel with Lindner. “That’s why we built a much broader suite of cloud solutions, offering a complete way to run your business.”

And because Oracle Cloud applications are updated quarterly, new features can be added quickly. Easy access to a steady cadence of new, digital capabilities is critical for organisations — especially as companies look to use machine learning to glean more insights from data.

“Data has become the number-one conversation I have,” Tarkoff said. “And while it’s easy to talk about data in the CX world, it’s hard to engineer solutions around data that create a great customer experience, leveraging machine learning and intelligence to help you optimise your time and delivering it in a way that organisations can consume easily.”

For example, using machine learning so your staff know their next best action is good, he said, but organisations that can orchestrate data, insight and business process across a range of functions will be able to deliver a far better customer experience.

“We’re working with our customers on the harder CX problems,” Tarkoff said. “It’s not good enough to build the technology; you need to think about how it is delivered and what the total end experience is like.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Kaspars Grinvalds

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Originally published here.

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