Oracle is investing heavily in repositioning the software vendor by creating new branding experiences for its customers.
For more than four decades, Oracle has built a stellar reputation by selling its database and enterprise applications to hundreds of thousands of global organizations, helping them improve their business processes.
More recently, the database giant has started driving toward a different branding experience by developing a partnership with the San Francisco Giants that includes naming rights for the stadium (Oracle Park in San Francisco), transforming its point-of-sale assets into a new food and beverage business unit that uplifts fan experience and improved restaurant operations, and using a 476-room hotel property that it acquired as a test bed for a new generation of travelers.
That doesn’t even take into account Design Tech High School (d.tech), at its Redwood Shores headquarters, a $43 million investment by Oracle that results in a student body of 550 kids who study a rigorous curriculum while jockeying for internship opportunities to work alongside Oracle’s renowned software engineers. A parent in nearby San Bruno told me that his teenage boy just got accepted into d.tech and his younger sister will be accepted as well because of family admission policy. The parent likens that to winning the lottery twice.
Then there’s SailGP, a challenger to America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta. Oracle CTO and co-founder Larry Ellison is behind the effort to bring stunning sailing races to the masses through social media, apps and Facebook coverage, in addition to a slew of Oracle products that help make the high-performance F50 catamaran the fastest boat on the planet(three times wind speed) as it continuously crunches data from hundreds of sensors collecting 1,200 data points aboard linking the vessel to an Oracle Exadata machine onshore via a 100-mbps wireless LTE network.
Oracle’s sports investments also include the Oracle Challenger Series of tennis tournaments, a passion of Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, not to mention its long-standing association with the Golden Gate Warriors, the winner of three NBA championships over the past four years.
The convergence of lifestyle branding, sports and entertainment, and hospitality experiences was evident at a two-day Oracle media event, interspersed with presentations by executives and customers on how Oracle products are being used to shape lives.
There is Emblem Health, a New York Insurer that has deployed Oracle Cloud Applications for ERP, EPM, HCM and SCM, activating 21 modules in nine months. Whereas business processes were truncated in the past because of use of different legacy systems, Emblem expects the standardization of new Cloud-based applications from Oracle will become an effective retention tool for a new generation of users that demand simplicity and ease of use.
There is MANA Nutrition, a nonprofit that serves up 500,000 meals a day – mostly in the form of easy to digest peanut butter paste, milk powder and vitamins for malnourished children in African countries like Madagascar, Rwanda, and Tanzania. MANA runs Oracle NetSuite to provide its far-flung operations with security features and always-on access to mission-critical business data.
Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley and Chief Architect Edward Screven were on hand to take the security messaging to the next level by detailing the use of a homogenous platform in its data centers capable of running three hypervisors, nine operating systems and hundreds of bespoke programs written specifically to thwart cyberattacks, while guaranteeing zero down time for its Cloud users.
Steven Miranda, executive vice president of Oracle, expects advances in push and recommendation to become pervasive in enterprise applications, entailing significant change to processes like audit, payments, or for that matter the entire finance function. In other words, enterprise software will influence how one performs specific tasks as much as how things can get done by reflecting one’s needs and desires.
The event also featured a number of demos from Oracle Solution Hubs outlining the above possibilities including the use of Internet of Things and machine learning algorithms to help mobility companies to predict and prevent shortages of shared bikes at any given time or neighborhood that it serves. The same applies to the delivery of personalized experience in a hotel resort that can anticipate the needs of a business traveler as opposed to a vacationer when it comes to choice and décor of a room as well as convenience of an alternative payment method as in a recent deployment of near field communication bracelets for Melia Hotel guests in Magaluf, Spain.
Enter Oracle’s $132-million purchase of the 476-room Marriott Hotel in San Mateo, four miles from its Redwood Shores headquarters. Initially the 2016 deal was made to ensure adequate accommodation for employee training in an expensive market like the Bay Area where demand often outstrips supply. Since the purchase, Oracle has been remodeling the hotel with the hope of using it as a template for other hospitality companies to experiment and execute new ways to build brand loyalty.
What Oracle aims to achieve is to personalize the hotel experience that reflects guest’s needs and desires for everything from bedroom design to room-service selection. It’s a work in progress as Oracle’s real-estate and facilities department is half way through the renovation of the 476 rooms.
In 2014, Oracle bought MICROS for $5 billion in its major foray into the hospitality market. While Oracle MICROS remains a major provider of point-of-sale systems and back-office systems for guest accounting, workforce scheduling, catering and food ordering, it’s being transformed into a Food and Beverage global business unit aiming to expand its presence in stadiums, restaurants and other gathering places when optimization of customer experience is a top priority.
Rather than competing in an increasingly commoditized tablet-based POS market with the likes of Square and Stripe, Oracle is leveraging its database expertise to turbo-charge the food and beverage business across different segments of the leisure and hospitality vertical.
Simon de Montfort Walker, who was recently appointed as the new head of Oracle Food and Beverage GBU, said food and beverage operators, especially those inside sports stadiums, are not competing with anybody except time, citing an internal study that shows 58 percent of patrons are willing to spend more if they didn’t have to wait in lines.
Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president of Oracle CX Cloud Development, added that CX for enhancing such fan experience is becoming a data challenge, far more serious and complex for most CRM applications to handle.
As a result, operators that are connected with their patrons, whether that covers mobile ordering or in-seat delivery, will gain the most in winning the CX game. The January 2019 deal between Oracle and San Francisco Giants over the rights to rename the baseball stadium to Oracle Park for 20 years and $200 million will provide the vendor with a new avenue to deliver a plethora of mobile and CX applications for optimizing fan experience and the top lines of food and beverage operators.
The combination of its own hotel property with a major redesign under way and a food and beverage software division that for years has been selling into global hotels, restaurants and franchises from Accor to Yum Brands suggests that Oracle is an embodiment of not just having the patience and the massive resources at its disposal to serve and strengthen ties with a wide range of key stakeholders, but also a real-life laboratory that enables Oracle’s database and applications to touch lives in ways that may be out of reach for its competitors.
List of Oracle Cloud Customers
|AIG (American International Group)||Banking and Financial Services||65000||$64.40B||United Kingdom||Oracle CX Cloud|
|Corporate Synergies (CSG)||Manufacturing||300||$80.0M||USA||Oracle CX Cloud|
|Fanatics, Inc||Professional Services||1800||$200.0M||USA||Oracle CX Cloud|
|Mack Trucks||Manufacturing||2200||$300.0M||USA||Oracle CX Cloud|
|Moleskine||Banking and Financial services||400||$148.0M||Italy||Oracle CX Cloud|
|NRGi||Government||1100||$317.0M||Denmark||Oracle CX Cloud|
|Adventist Health||Healthcare||35000||$3.60B||USA||Oracle ERP Cloud|
|Arcadis||Construction and Real Estate||27000||$3.40B||Netherlands||Oracle ERP Cloud|
|athenahealth||Professional Services||4668||$924.0M||USA||Oracle ERP Cloud|
|Blue Shield of California||Healthcare||6800||$13.40B||USA||Oracle ERP Cloud|
|Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.||Professional Services||5960||$2.35B||USA||Oracle ERP Cloud|
|Caesars Entertainment||Leisure and Hospitality||65000||$4.85B||USA||Oracle ERP Cloud|
|Carillion Plc||Professional Services||40000||$4.00B||United Kingdom||Oracle ERP Cloud|
|Academy Sports & Outdoors||Retail||23000||$4.70B||USA||Oracle HCM Cloud|
|Activision||Media||4000||$7.00B||USA||Oracle HCM Cloud|
|Cohu, Inc.||Manufacturing||1800||$282.0M||USA||Oracle HCM Cloud|
|Compass Minerals International, Inc.||Oil, Gas and Chemicals||3103||$1.14B||USA||Oracle HCM Cloud|
|Datacard Group||Professional Services||2000||$650.0M||USA||Oracle HCM Cloud|
|Elizabeth Arden, Inc.||Retail||2400||$966.0M||USA||Oracle HCM Cloud|
|Engie||Oil, Gas and Chemicals||152900||$83.35B||France||Oracle HCM Cloud|
|Hertz Corporation||Leisure and Hospitality||37000||$8.80B||USA||Oracle EPM Cloud|
|Lorain County Community College||Education||1000||$105.0M||USA||Oracle EPM Cloud|
|Office Depot||Retail||24067||$14.50B||USA||Oracle EPM Cloud|
|UW Health||Healthcare||18000||$2.90B||USA||Oracle EPM Cloud|
|Western Alliance Bancorp||Banking and Financial Services||1464||$1.60B||USA||Oracle EPM Cloud|
|Office Depot||Retail||24067||$14.50B||USA||Oracle SCM Cloud|
|UW Health||Healthcare||18000||$2.90B||USA||Oracle SCM Cloud|
|Zebra Technologies||Professional Services||7000||$3.61B||USA||Oracle SCM Cloud|
Source: Apps Run The World, May 2019