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Five Minutes with Thomas Kurian

December 14, 2017

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