Right Now! CRM In the Cloud…

I’m not endorsing this product nor paid to write about it – I’m simply blogging my own views.

Today we had a demonstration of a new product implemented in our organisation and I was impressed.

We were told that it was an Oracle product and having had experience with Oracle in the past (namely their Learning Management System), I found it surprising that here was a technology that could be deployed across various platforms, link to social mediaj (such as Facebook and Twitter) and was customisable to users needs without being charged for an arm and a leg for changing something. That didn’t sound like the Oracle I knew!

After doing some research, Oracle acquired the product Right Now late last year for $1.5 billion. What I found surprising was that Right Now only had 2000 customers but Oracle must have seen something attractive to buy them – it was their cloud capability and the software-as-a-service (SaaS). I’m sure that the acquisition was a win-win for both – Right Now for being associated with a global brand and getting reach across the world and of course, Oracle which now has this extra functionality.

What’s the bet that Oracle can now go back to their current customers and sell this additional product to them?

What I particularly liked about the product demonstration was the ease in which information was uploaded, changed, views customised – all within a few taps of the keyboard. Customers can easily search for information and find it instantly, they could rate and review the feedback. Similarly, internal staff had information at their fingertips. I can describe it as an “Inside the Organisation Google”.

One part of the cultural change program I’m contracted on is a team of technical writers busily writing up business processes with an army of subject matter experts who know business processes inside out. These processes are uploaded into Right Now and over time, will be populated and rolled out across the organisation. All of a sudden, information will be streamlined and easy to find. This was wonderful news!

In the past, the organisation could have had multiple ways of doing one process, but with this software it’s a ‘one way, same way’ approach. With that principle in mind, you could instantly see the reduction of wasted time and effort in locating information; a decrease in duplication and wastage and a great way to manage knowledge across the organisation.

You could see that this product was going to make life so much easier for our staff at the front line who would have instant information at their fingertips – and smart information – the right information, at the right time for the right product and service. It was truly an eye-opener because I could see the potential of how team leaders could use the reporting functionality to get a true snapshot of gaps in products sold and to customise future learning programs centred around individual needs.

A couple of times through the demonstration, the presenter incorrectly called this system, ‘training’ which piqued my curiosity because it wouldn’t be the first time that a business would have misunderstood a performance support system for training. To me, it’s a tool – a performance support tool that allows our employees to work smarter but it’s not training. Instead, I can see the potential for new skills to be developed in this space which will go towards one step towards making our organisation open, transparent, and more collaborative.

So today I was excited to see this product and saw its immediate benefits.

The only dark cloud (pardon the pun) that played around in my head was that the software was now replacing yet another entire job group of customer service people who may have been at the end of a phone. It got me thinking that we are rapidly moving to a ‘Self Service’ world – and what does this mean for our future work possibilities? How does this change how we consider work? What does work look like in the near future?

I think that’s a blog post for another day.

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About Activate Learning Solutions

Helen Blunden is the founder of Activate Learning Solutions and Third Place. She has over 20 years of experience within learning and development across private, public and not-for-profit organisations. With a specialty in performance consulting and networked learning, Helen believes that workplace learning is integral to business success. She has a passion for enabling people to learn beyond the classroom and believes in the power of networks and communities to drive collaboration and meaning within the organisation. From facilitator-led instruction, online and blended, Helen deploys social and informal learning such as enterprise social networking, collaboration tools and emerging technologies that have been proven successful and embedded workplace change.
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