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Edward's Oracle Blog by Edward Dewolf - 13h ago

This is post 2 of 2 in the series “Customer Data Management”

Before going into any details on the different capabilities, let me first discuss the persona involved with CDM.  It is important to understand who contributes and benefits from a customer data management system in order to better understand the value it offers.

Individual Contributors

Individual contributors are those users that take the time to verify the data quality of the information they are adding or changing in their applications.  This verification happens immediately, in real time, as the new information is being entered.

Oracle Sales Cloud CDM supports real time data management in multiple ways e.g. when a salesrep is creating a new account, CDM can upon creation verify addresses or show that similar existing accounts already exist and hence propose a choice to the salesrep to reuse the already existing information rather than creating a possible duplicate.

Data Steward

But not all data can be checked in real time (e.g. upon data import by administrators).  And even with real time verifications,  errors or duplicates might sneak in.  This is where the data stewards come in.  Data stewards are those users that spend their time at work worrying about data quality for everybody else’s data, not just for the data they use or own.  Their job is to make sure nobody using customer data has to worry whether or not the data they use is correct and up to date.  All they have to do, because of data stewards, is to just use the data.

Data stewards therefore do not check data record per record, but in large batches on a regular basis.  They will not handle them in real time as the data changes come in, but rather in the background.  And in order to handle large volumes of data, as many of the data management activities are automated.  Therefore data stewards only intervene where automated decisions cannot be made.

The Unaware

But the largest group of people benefiting from a Customer Data Management system are the unaware.  Those users that no longer need to worry about the quality of their customer data.  Those that can design marketing campaigns, quotes and proposals or try to analyze the total customer value without having to worry whether the data they use is unified correct and up to date.

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This is post 1 of 1 in the series “Customer Data Management”

Deep down in Sales Cloud, when you look past the usual functionality like sales force automation, sales performance management or partner relationship management, you can find the heart of the beast: an enterprise grade customer data management (CDM) system with a wealth of functionality to discover.

Customer Data Management is all about managing customer data not just within one application, but across an entire application infrastructure.  It is all about collecting, cleaning, enriching and sharing customer data with the end goal being: making sure that every application always has correct, complete, up-to-date and consistent customer data at any time.

It has been a part of Sales Cloud for as long as I can remember, but I never have had time to really dive into it  … until now.  Over the next few weeks, I will be documenting here my own experiences while I rediscover the Customer Data Management functionality in Sales Cloud.

The following is a list of the topics I look forward to discuss in more detail:

Party Model aka Trading Community Architecture

The party model is at the core of the Sales Cloud customer data management solution.  It stores any type of entity you might want to interact with in an application landscape.   From the usual suspect like accounts, contacts, consumers, partner and competitors to less expected employees and suppliers.

It is because of this unified look at parties that Sales Cloud can cleanse and enrich them, truly create a single 360° view on any of them and share that information with other applications who would benefit from top-notch quality party information.

Address Verification & Geocoding

Once we have contact and customer data in Sales Cloud, we can start cleaning and enriching the data.  Address verification is off course … all about verifying addresses.  In Sales Cloud, we do this through a partnership with GBG Locate.  I mentioned this already in my earlier post on Oracle Data Cloud for Sales.

Once you have accurate and verified addresses for your parties, a background process can be scheduled to add longitude and latitude coordinated for each address.  This will allow you to pinpoint accounts or contacts, or even leads and opportunities related to each of the accounts and contact using the ‘View in Map’ functionality on the native mobile phone app.

Data Enrichment

Also documented already in my post on Oracle Data Cloud for Sales, was the partnership we have with Dun&Bradstreet to enrich customer and contact information on hundreds of attributes for hundreds of millions of accounts.

Data Deduplication

Keeping the data clean is big responsibility:  If your business-critical data is a mess the rest doesn’t matter.  It is inevitable that double entries will sneak into your applications.  And double entries lead to incomplete and misleading insights.  That is why the ability to deduplicate and merge or link information is of huge value.

Cross Referencing

Another key functionality in a customer data management system is the ability to identify and keep track of information in other applications that consume the cleaned and consolidated customer data.  Sales Cloud CDM does this by building a cross reference table storing unique identifiers in other applications against the customer data available in CDM.  This cross reference table is the essential part that allows an CMD system to play its critical role in receiving and distributing its information in an application landscape.

I hope you’ll enjoy the series!

The post Customer Data Management appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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Edward's Oracle Blog by Edward Dewolf - 1w ago

This is post 7 of 7 in the series “Release 18 New Features”

My favorite 18A new capability you ask?  Adding mashup content to detail pages like adding some opportunity statistics or a chevron like sales process visualization as can be seen in the example below.  Simple, easy but with endless possibilities! Yes we can !

Mashups are other browser pages that can be embedded within a page.  Other browser pages could be anything from other applications, news sites to even Sales Cloud reports!  They can be mashed together to provide a more intuitive user interface than if they would be used independently.

Mashup content can be embedded in Sales Cloud pages from App Composer in 2 ways:

  • By referring to a free format URL’s
  • By embedding a web applications

Web Applications

Web Applications are predefined mashups that also refer to a URL. But allow you to structure the URL and the needed parameters without having to list them in a long text string as you would do when using a free format URL.  Providing a JWT Access token as a parameter to pass along with the URL, allows receiving applications to securely access for a limited amount of time, data from Sales Cloud by call api’s using the token as a security identification carrying the requestor’s identity.

Here we are, for me personally, the most exciting addition to Sales Cloud & Engagement Cloud in R18A!

The post Mashup Content appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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Edward's Oracle Blog by Edward Dewolf - 1M ago

This is post 6 of 6 in the series “Release 18 New Features”

Partner Relationship Management is all about defining and documenting the relationships we can build with partners.  But before that, partners need to be recruited.  In this post I want to not just highlight ‘Partner Assessments’ as new PRM feature, but also share how this otherwise familiar and simple feature can be extremely useful in the partner on-boarding process.

Partner Assessments

Assessments are not new to Sales Cloud or Engagement Cloud.  They have been there as long as I can remember but so far they could not be implemented against partners until now.  As of 18A, assessments can be defined against partners, and reports can be ran against the partners assessments data.  Nothing special right, pretty boring? … but forget about the ‘feature’, think about what we can do with this:

  • Partner needs to be on-boarded and all kinds of specifications or certifications need to be checked
  • Partners need to be evaluated to change tiers
  • Partner relations need to be reevaluated regularly
  • Partners capabilities need to be checked before engaging in new geographies or with new products or services

Partner assessments could be valuable for each of these situations !

Partner On-boarding

I think partner assessments will play a critical role especially in partner on-boarding processes.  Allowing your partners to engage with your customers is not to be taken lightly!  You want to make sure you engage with the right partners and your partners score highly enough against your recruitment criteria, before you let them represent your brand with your customers.  Partner Assessments are a great tool to document these decisions.

Assessment Reporting

Once assessments data is available in Sales Cloud or Engagement Cloud, it can be used for all kinds of reasons:

  • For one partner, compare the progress of assessments outcome when partners over time take are taken through the same assessments multiple times
  • Compare multiple partners against an assessment to find the best partner to engage with for a special partnership, or to progress in tiers

I hope this post inspires you on how to implement partner assessments !

The post Partner On-boarding appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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I participated as a presenter at ModernCX 2018 in Chicago in one of the educational sessions on how to configure the CX mobile app.  I showed how mobile applications can be tailored to be optimized for mobile usage and wanted to share the reports I used during the session on this blog post.

If you are interested in a few techniques on how to optimize reports for mobile usage, do not hesitate checking out a previous blog post dedicated to just that.


Mobile Word Cloud

I showed using the report linked below that narrative reports can be used on the mobile app.

Notice how by clicking on an opportunity name, an overlay with opportunity details shows until you click on the overlay again.

The report can be downloaded here: Mobile Opportunity Cloud


Prompted Table

Reports with prompts can also be used on the mobile app as can be seen in the screenshots for the linked report below

The report can be downloaded here: Mobile Pipeline by Sales Stage


Rotated Table

And in case you really need to, especially for table reports, you can force reports to show in landscape mode, even if the mobile device is held in portrait mode.

The report can be downloaded here: Mobile Top 5 Hot Leads


A video explaining how to import the report catalog file linked above can be found here.

The post ModernCX 2018 – Mobile Reports appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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It was a privilege to present some of the Sales Cloud and Engagement Cloud capabilities at ModernCX 2018 in Chicago.

During one of the sessions, I quickly created a report to show some of the reporting capabilities.  As I promised to share the result, I thought a blog post would be the most appropriate way.

The report can be downloaded here: MCX 2018 – Customer Analysis

Enjoy !

A video explaining how to import the report catalog file linked above can be found here.

The post ModernCX 2018 – Customer Analysis appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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Edward's Oracle Blog by Edward Dewolf - 1M ago

Creating reports for Sales Cloud and Engagement Cloud is a great way to add valuable insights into your organization.

Compared to normal reporting, making reports that work on mobile devices come with 2 extra considerations to make:

  • Device screen size: too many mobile devices with too many different screen size to cater for.
  • Orientation: unlike laptops and desktop screens, unless they fall off a table, you only have to make report work in one orientation.  Mobiles can be turned around which can add another dimension to reports.
Device screen size

Bigger screens are easy to fit reports on, and resolutions are reasonable predictable as they most often are big enough to fit any report.  Mobile devices come in all sizes though, and it is good to know there is a trick to make sure reports are taking full advantage of the entire screen that comes with any device.

All you need to do in your reports is set the width and the height to a relative percentage of the device screen size.  In tech terms: a relative percentage of the browser viewport.  In the example below, you can see that I size the report to

  • width to 85% of the viewport width: 85vw
  • width to 85% of the viewport height: 85vh

Orientation

Another nice trick to know when creating reports, is that you can force a report to show always in landscape mode, even if a user is holding a mobile in portrait mode.  This is especially useful with table reports.  All you need to do is add a static view to your report with with HTML markup enabled and the following code added to it.

<style>
@media screen and (min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 400px) and (orientation: portrait) {
  html {
    transform: rotate(-90deg);
    transform-origin: left top;
    width: 100vh;
    overflow-x: hidden;
    position: absolute;
    top: 100%;
    left: 0;
  }
}
</style>
Force horizontal orientation on mobile

Combined with the sizing trick shown above whereby you set the report width to the viewport height and the report height to the viewport width.  This will force your report always to show in landscape mode.

The post Sizing Mobile Reports appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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This is post 5 of 5 in the series “Release 18 New Features”

Sales Cloud and Engagement Cloud come with some amazing reporting capabilities.  If there is one thing to admit about them though is that they require having taken a training before you can unleash your creativity on them.  Well that is true for all the BI tools except for one.  The BI Composer is there for creating reports in a few clicks only.

The BI Composer has been around since forever in Sales Cloud but I never have gotten to dedicate a blog post to it.  With the new user experience that was given to the BI Composer in release 13A, it just seemed like a perfect moment to give it a proper introduction and share my thoughts on the BI composer.

Getting Started

So the BI Composer is indeed the tool, that allows untrained users, to make reports in a few clicks.

From the navigator, choose ‘Reports and Analytics’ and from there you have 4 options:

  1. Browse the reporting catalog and open a report or a dashboard
  2. Create a new document with BI Publisher
  3. Create a new simple analysis with BI Composer
  4. Open the BI engine and use BI Answers to create sophisticated analysis or use BI Delivers to schedule and deliver them by email.

Going with option 3, the BI Composer will immediately ask you to choose a subject area. Choosing which subject area to use in an important decision as it determines what kinds of data is available to make a report, but as I discussed it in a previous blog post, I will not not go any deeper into the choices here.

This post is all about making reporting easy for untrained users, but there is an additional simplification step to be performed to make choosing the subject areas easier too.
Instead of asking untrained users to use one of the many out-of-the-box sophisticated subject areas, simple, reduced custom subject areas can be created that only make limited amounts of information available to such users.

Once a subject area has been chosen, the actual report creation process can start.  Where BI Answers allows complete freedom in how a report is created, the BI composer forces the untrained end user to follow a rigid report creation process, with only limited options and hence can only lead to simple reports.  But that is exactly what you would want to propose to untrained users, right?

Creating reports in a few clicks

From here on, all that an end user has to do is walk through all the steps to create a report.


Select Columns

First, from the chosen subject area, the data fields required for the report need to be selected.  Columns can be renamed here, and drill down capabilities to transactional records in the app can be enabled.


Select Views

The next step allows you to choose which visualization you would like to use to display your report results.  The choices are very limited from a table, pivot table to a pie and bar cart.


Edit Table

In case you opted to visualize the selected data in a table, a limited number of changes can be made to the table.  Columns can be excluded if you need them for the graph only, a simple prompt can be added or one big table can be split up in multiple smaller tables by defining sections.


Edit Graph

And similar choices can be made in case you chose to use a graph also.


Sort and Filter

Simple filters then can be added and data can be sorted.


Highlight

And a simple version of conditional formatting can be applied to table data.  Just set 2 values to segment metrics in 3 groups and assign them the colors you want the 3 groups to be highlighted with.


Save

And that is it.  Not a lot of capabilities but would you want an untrained user to do more?


And that is all: creating reports in a few clicks, with only a few choices and everybody should be able to make a report in Sales Cloud and Engagement Cloud

The post Creating reports in a few clicks appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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Have you ever created a report in Sales Cloud or Engagement Cloud?  The possibilities seem to be endless!  The first step in the creation process is the most important one for any new analyst to take though.  The first thing to do when creating a new reports is choosing which subject area to use.

A subject area is a collection of applications related data, that is available for reporting.   But the list of subject areas that come with Sales Cloud and Engagement Cloud is long.  And if you start off with the wrong one and realize that too late, you cannot switch to another subject area without having to start your report over again.

So from the list off available ones, which subject area to use when starting a new report is an important decision.

Never too many subject areas

Do you actually know how many subject areas you get access to when you open up the analytics solution behind Sales Cloud and Engagement Cloud?

429 subject areas to choose from indeed, I am not kidding.  That seem like an awful lot, and it is, but it is actually a good thing!  The reason for this madness, Oracle has on the same platform other cloud applications available: ERP Cloud, HCM Cloud, EPM Cloud, SCM Cloud, Loyalty Cloud, …  Having multiple of these applications implemented on the same platform with a unified BI solution is off course super valuable.

But if you only have Sales Cloud or Engagement Cloud, most of the available subject areas are nothing more than unwanted noise.  Luckily there is a way to hide them for your report designers.  You can limit the list of available subject areas according to the cloud applications you are using.  I discussed hot to do that in a previous post already.

Let’s say we hide the all subject areas except those for Sales Cloud and Engagement Cloud.  How may do we have left?

90 subject areas are left, that still does not help understanding which subject areas to use best.  But have you implemented all functionality in Engagement Cloud?  Are you using the Service functionality, or the Partner Relationship Management functionality?  If not, why not use the same technique to hide those subject areas that do not correspond how you have implemented Engagement Cloud or Sales Cloud.

Looking pure at core sales force automation, there are about 45 subject areas that could be off interest

And we could go on, why not hiding the Lead related subject areas if you are not working with leads, or hide the Territory related ones if you use assignment rules instead of territory management?

Which subject area to use

But even from all the ones you are left with after hiding those you do not need, you still do not need to know all of them.  There are only a handful that are use to start any report, all the others subject areas can be combines with the few core ones and just bring additional information into your reports.

Without wanting to claim this is a complete list, most of the reports I make start with one of the following subject areas:

  • Sales – CRM Customer Overview for most of the account focused reports
  • Sales – CRM Opportunities and Products Real Time for most of the opportunity focused reports when you are not interested in understanding how opportunities have evolved over time
  • Sales – CRM Historical Pipeline when creating pipeline reports driven by data gathered using the opportunity snapshotting mechanism
  • Marketing – CRM Leads Real Time for reports mainly about leads
  • Sales – CRM Assets for most asset related reports
  • Sales – CRM Business Plans for business plan focused reports
  • Sales – CRM Sales Activity for activity based reports … obviously
Combining subject areas

But what about all the other subject areas then?  They provide additional information.   Well let me explain what their purpose is using a example.

The ‘Sales – CRM Opportunities and Products Real Time’ subject area, as stated above, provides access to a lot of opportunity data.  Amongst them you can find the opportunity owner, which is the primary opportunity team member.  The rest of the opportunity team is not directly available though, for this we need to add a second subject area to the report: ‘Sales – CRM Opportunity Resource’.  I described how this particular example works in a YouTube video you can find here.

The same technique needs to be used to combine standard subject areas with custom subject areas.  Yes indeed, not only can we reduce the list of available subject areas, most often we have to add some subject areas to allow reporting on implemented custom objects through custom subject areas

Removing additional subject areas from a report if you have added the wrong ones is not a problem, so you can experiment as much as you like.  I just hope this blog post helps you choosing which subject area to use and start your report with.  The initial subject area is the only one that cannot be replaced without starting report over again.

Have fun creating reports !

The post Which subject area to use appeared first on Edward's Oracle Blog.

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