Five Minutes with Thomas Kurian

To wrap up our series for 2017, I was privileged to spend Five Minutes with Thomas Kurian, President, Product Development, Oracle Corporation. He shares his thoughts on digital customer/customer transformation, finance transformation and infrastructure transformation. You can listen to the podcast on YouTube.

Blog Thomas Kurian

1. What is top of mind for you in terms of innovation and business transformation?

Digital customer and transforming the customer facing function to a digital channel, is one big thing. Financial transformation in the back office, and migrating data centers, people really don’t want to be in the business of running data centers – infrastructure transformation. So, customer transformation – digital customer, finance transformation and infrastructure transformation.

2. What do you see as the key technology enablers to achieve ongoing innovation/transformation over the next 12-24 months?

The enabling technologies for customer - it would be using data, using AI to mine the data and using an integrated customer experience SaaS offering to change how you deliver multi-channel customer enablement and engagement.

Finance transformation is really changing your finance function from being just a ledger-based system to being an analytic driven system, so the use of our EPM, ERP cloud, along with our data and analytics suite.

Infrastructure, frankly there is an enormous amount of interest in our Infrastructure and Platform as a Service products to replace legacy infrastructure in data centers.

3. Can you share your current favorite transformation or innovation example?

I’ll talk about an example that customers find interesting - a Coffee Company. They have a loyalty program with us as well as using CRM from us – they are able to now look at what you buy on a regular basis, monitor your behavior and make you an offer. So, for instance, imagine you have a cappuccino every morning at 8am and today, you didn’t buy a cappuccino as you are driving to work - they will SMS you the closest coffee store, they will place the order on your behalf, they will pay for it, you just drive and pick it up. They re-imagined what loyalty is about - from being about just collecting points and rewards to changing the customer experience - simplifying the whole process of buying coffee for someone.

4. What guidance would you give to customers as they navigate or start this transformation journey?

Biggest piece of advice for people – make sure the business and IT are aligned in what you are trying to accomplish. Define an objective, set a time window of 6-9 months to accomplish it, not multiple years. Execute the phase 1, measure the results and success, and incrementally iterate, rather than doing a big bang.

5. What is your favorite place to eat in the Bay Area at the moment?

The Flea Street Café in Menlo Park – everything on their menu is fantastic!

You can listen to the podcast on YouTube | FiveMinutesWith Playlist.

You can see the rest of the blog series here.


Jules @ Rubicon Red
Manager, Marketing and Events

Five Minutes with Steve Miranda

Next in our series, I was very lucky to spend Five Minutes with Steve Miranda, Executive Vice President, Oracle Applications Product Development at Oracle OpenWorld 2017. He shares his thoughts on innovation and using data and machine learning to transform your business. You can listen to the podcast on YouTube.

Blog Steve Miranda

1. What is top of mind for you in terms of innovation and business transformation?

One thing that is undervalued and underestimated, people are always looking for the next great thing, put simply, moving your infrastructure to SaaS or SaaS and PaaS, setting yourself up with the ability to be nimble is critical, and executing to that. But, too often people are still stuck with you know, “xxx” system, that has something – and the perfect can end up being the enemy of the good. Getting started with SaaS is Part 1. And Part 2, from an on-going perspective, using data to transform your business once you are at that point with SaaS - is the next big thing.

2. What do you see as the key technology enablers to achieve ongoing innovation/transformation over the next 12-24 months?

People use the term artificial intelligence but I don’t really like that term as it implies a lot more than is really there – I prefer the term machine learning. Taking data and applying reasonably common techniques and algorithms against the data and improving the way you do business based on that, we tried for a while to do BI and reports and Managed-by-Facts, but you can really start to do it now. In our Marketing Cloud with Data-as-a-Service, you see it as a consumer everyday day – you log on to buy something you are shopping, you see adverts for that all the time. When you were planning your trip to SFO I’m sure you started to see adverts for hotels, rental cars, bikes, etc. That is much more precise, targeted marketing than used to happen 5 years ago or frankly even today. Look at television – television is completely random, based on who they think might be watching these shows, we advertise to those people, irrespective of whether they are in the market for those goods or services, or not.

So, it is very common in marketing, unfortunately and ironically, it is less common using data and machine learning for manufacturing, which is where IoT apps come in to play, Financials, next best discount, next best offer – so taking that mindset that uses marketing and making it pervasive – that’s what we think is going to be exciting from an innovation perspective, going forward.

3. Can you share your current favorite transformation or innovation example?

I like this example as it is really easy to understand – it is the HR example. If you went looking for a job for any company in the world, they have http://acmeinc.com/jobs - if you went to look for it or I went to look for it, we would see the exact same page and there would probably be a dropdown for location – you would pick Australia and I would pick California – there’s probably a drop down for sales jobs, engineering jobs, marketing jobs, and we may/may not pick different things there, but you and I, we would have the exact same web page on every company we see around the world.

But, if you and I went shopping on a consumer website anywhere around the world, I guarantee we would see different things, because it is tailored, towards what we expect. And that’s an example of a “back-office” capability like HR/recruiting where the techniques that are already in place in marketing like data/personalization/machine learning are just going to have to catch-up. And its pretty pervasive, everyone can relate, everyone has either applied for a job or looked for a job and seen that experience – everyone has shopped for things and it is a dramatically different experience, for no particular reason.

4. What guidance would you give to customers as they navigate or start this transformation journey?

Speed over accuracy. Too often, especially in enterprise apps, people spend a lot of time debating decisions, configurations - by the time you finish the debate the business has changed – there is no right answer. Get something going fast, and adjust, I don’t really like fail fast, but rather, “succeed fast”.

5. What is your favorite place to eat in San Francisco at the moment?

I do have a favorite place, but unfortunately it has a month out reservation or so and it is quite expensive but it is SOOO good. If you ever have a chance, go to Gary Danko in Ghirardelli Square - and if you ever get a chance - have the lobster risotto – I don’t think I can give you any other restaurant name and a meal that even comes to mind! It’s hard to get a reservation – but it’s worth it!

You can listen to the podcast on YouTube | FiveMinutesWith Playlist.

You can see the rest of the blog series here.


Jules @ Rubicon Red
Manager, Marketing and Events

Five Minutes with John Deeb

In our next installment in the series, I spend Five Minutes with John Deeb, CEO, Rubicon Red. He shares his thinking around AI and Machine Learning and what it means for the next generation of applications and customer experiences. You can listen to the podcast on YouTube. Blog John Deeb

1. What is top of mind for you in terms of innovation and business transformation?

For the last 20 years we've been talking about 'speed to market' and delivering business value quickly. This has been improving gradually until now ... we are on the cusp of an order of magnitude shift for delivering innovation through technology. We are already seeing the impact if customers don't factor these innovations into their business.

2. What do you see as the key technology enablers to achieve ongoing innovation/transformation over the next 12-24 months?

New technologies are changing the way we interact with application functionality and data. For so long, we've been limited by traditional input methods - we've had to provide finite sets of input in order to get what we want out of applications. Think menu options, drop downs, our applications struggled to manage context. With AI and Machine learning we've broken that barrier - now context can be derived and learnt. This will be a game changer for how applications and customer experiences are built.

3. Can you share your current favorite transformation or innovation example?

In our business we are constantly working with our consultants and devops engineers to ensure time sheets are completed by start of business Monday and are accurate. This is difficult when you have a global team but critical to the business when time sheets drive accounts receivable. Using Oracle Intelligent Bots Cloud Service we now remind our team daily but check if they completed their time sheets the day before, if they haven't we analyse their past time sheet data including the forecasted time and predict their time sheet. Now they simply respond 'yes' and the time sheet system is updated automatically. We are already seeing completion rates consistently at 100%.

4. What guidance would you give to customers as they navigate or start this transformation journey?

Having been in technology for so long, I'm a big believer in learning from others. We've always tried to help customers along their transformation journey, by taking the experience we've had in emerging technologies and building on the success and learning from the failures of the past. So, we would always recommend customers find a partner to help them through this journey. It really does pay off to have the support at the beginning.

5. What is your favorite place to eat in San Francisco at the moment?

There are so many places to choose from, but for the last few years I've been sure to go to Tropisueno Mexican Kitchen, it is literally right next to Moscone. Amazing food and a great atmosphere.

You can listen to the podcast on YouTube | FiveMinutesWith Playlist.

You can see the rest of the blog series here.


Jules @ Rubicon Red
Manager, Marketing and Events

Rubicon Red Proud Sponsors of AiDisrupt

Rubicon Red, a recognized global leader in Oracle Cloud Platform and a Platinum level member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), today announced it is delighted to be a sponsor of the upcoming AiDisrupt event in Sydney, later this week.

Digital publication techexec.com.au, written for the ANZ C-suite executive, have brought together an outstanding agenda via the next instalment of their 'Disrupt Conference Series' - AiDisrupt. The agenda is set to explore all things disruptive, showcasing innovative thought-leadership that explores the role artificial intelligence is having on industry transformation. The event will showcase critical themes such as: harnessing the advantage across your business, accelerating your AI strategy, the impact this is having on customer engagement as well as preparing your business for this change.

Rubicon Red are excited to join over 150 of Sydney’s cross-industry leaders at this ‘by-invitation-only’ event in exploring the best in artificial intelligence, machine learning, chatbots, and quantitative computing. The stellar line up of guest speakers includes Adrian Letchford, Senior Data Scientist, Airtasker; Kshira Saagar, Head of Analytics and Data Science, The ICONIC; Markoss Martina, General Manager Process Automation [Robotics & Cognitive Automation] NAB; Siamak Tafavogh, Senior Data Scientist, Coca-Cola Amatil; Alice Almeida, Head of Digital Strategy & Innovation, News Corp; Rami Mukhtar, Executive General, Manager of Analytics, IAG; William Judge, Head of Social Robotics, CBA.

Rubicon Red recognizes the transformational role artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and big data will play as the potential is explored in diverse use-cases across all industries including financial services, retail, manufacturing, and health sciences over the next two to five years.

“Emerging technologies are changing the way we interact with application functionality and data. The traditional methods required finite sets of inputs like menu options, drop downs, and pick lists. Put simply traditional applications struggled to understand context”, said John Deeb, CEO, Rubicon Red. "With AI and machine learning we've broken that barrier - now context can be derived and learnt. This will be a game changer for how applications and customer experiences are built moving forward.”

As announced at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco earlier this year, Oracle’s pervasive approach to artificial intelligence enables customers to rapidly employ advanced machine learning to transform business processes. The recently announced Oracle AI Platform Cloud Service includes cognitive AI, analytics, data services that can be easily embedded across Oracle’s SaaS, PaaS, and IOT services.

“Oracle is in a unique position to deliver AI across all layers of the cloud, empowering customers to uncover and unlock critical business patterns in their enterprise data to transform organizational productivity, efficiency, and insight.” said Amit Zavery, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Oracle Cloud Platform. "We are very pleased to see our Oracle Platinum partner, Rubicon Red, supporting some of our Australian customers including National Pharmacies and a local higher education institution, as they take their initial steps to leverage our AI platform, in the first instance with Intelligent Bots. AI has the power to be more transformative for the enterprise than any other technology in recent history and these early learnings will pave the way for future success for our customers.”

"Chatbots are benefiting from a confluence of technology advances: better natural language processing, machine learning, and strong integration to enterprise data. That means they can understand customer purchase history from a CRM system or product availability from a supply chain system”, said Ryan Klose, General Manager, Corporate, National Pharmacies. “Right now, Rubicon Red are helping us with our early bot implementations and we are going through an initial learning process with the bot technology but I foresee this will become a critical member of our communication channel. The most exciting thing about our chatbot pilots, is where it's going to take us.”

About Rubicon Red

Rubicon Red is a globally recognized and awarded thought leader in Oracle Cloud Platform. An Oracle Platinum Partner, Rubicon Red offers a set of innovative and market leading Professional Services and Managed Services for Oracle Cloud Platform.

Rubicon Red provides expert services across Oracle Cloud Platform including Application Development, Integration, Security and IaaS, spanning the broad set of Oracle Cloud Services in each of these domains. Dedicated to Oracle Cloud, Rubicon Red is the partner of choice for Oracle Cloud Platform.

Since it’s founding in 2009, by two former senior executives from Oracle product management, Rubicon Red’s mission has been to lead customers to success on their Oracle middleware journey. This is the origin of our name; helping customers cross the “Rubicon” in their successful adoption of the Oracle Cloud Platform “Red” stack.

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Additional Information

Oracle Magazine: Let Us Take You into the Future

Press Release: Only Oracle Can Deliver Pervasive Artificial Intelligence Across All Layers of the cloud

Creative Ways National Pharmacies Keeps Customers At The Center Of Innovation

Video: The Value of Artificial Intelligence

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