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Five Minutes with Steve Miranda

December 13, 2017

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