eVerge Group Won Two Oracle Titan Awards

TitanAwardeVerge Group was the proud recipient of two Oracle Titan Awards at the OpenWorld Titan Award Gala at San Francisco City Hall. The awards were presented by chairman of the board Jeff Henley and Ted Bereswill, Senior Vice President North America Alliances and Channels. Click on the photos below for a larger view.

Oracle Titan Award – EducationOracle honored eVerge Group’s Education Industry Solution with an Oracle North America Titan Award for School Performance Analytics implementation at Rochester City School District. This data warehouse and Oracle Business Intelligence (OBIEE) solution is designed to provide school districts with the ability to consolidate data from diverse sources and transform it into actionable information.

From left to right: Ted Bereswill, Senior Vice President North American Alliance and Channels – Oracle, Jeff Henley, Oracle Chairman of the Board, Esteban Neely, President and CEO eVerge Group, Aaron Stutsman, Vice President Business Intelligence eVerge Group, Garrett Carey, Senior BI/EPM Architect

Oracle Titan Award – EnergyOracle recognizes eVerge Group’s Energy and Utilities Industry Solution with an Oracle North America Titan Award for CRM OnDemand implementation at Oceaneering International. This solution enabled Oceaneering to unify the way it sells to and services its customers. The solution has also improved reporting and analysis of information at both the field and management levels.

From left to right: Ted Bereswill, Senior Vice President North American Alliance and Channels – Oracle, Jeff Henley, Oracle Chairman of the Board, Esteban Neely, President and CEO eVerge Group, Joe Stevens, Director Business Development, Shay Sanders, Director, CRM Practice — at San Francisco City Hall.

Visit our website to learn more about our Education and Energy solutions.

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Business Intelligence: Companies Can Buy or Build

Written by Garrett Carey

When it comes to business intelligence strategy, companies can choose to either buy or build a software solution, and the decision is a complex one. There are numerous build or buy criteria that an organization must consider: ROI, total cost of ownership, time to deploy, resources available, skill sets, and most importantly, how do the tools chosen integrate into the current technology environment.

There are industry estimates that a custom BI solution can extend the time-to-value by as much as 60% to 80%. There are many reasons why this is the case but the main reason for that extension is the basic fact that when implementing a prebuilt application, 60%-80% of the work has been completed before the project even begins.

The primary criteria that an organization usually considers when opting for a prebuilt versus a custom BI solution is implementation time and quicker return on investment. Some of the other reasons are to leverage the expertise of the vendor used for other applications within the organization, integration with other systems, application scalability, and higher adoption rates by the users.

Another equally compelling reason to buy is the availability of upgrade paths, especially when purchasing from one of the BI vendors. For example, when a CRM system is upgraded, the BI vendor will provide clients with the new adaptors as part of the support agreement.

All BI solutions, whether custom or prebuilt, will all contain some of the same moving parts; however, prebuilt applications usually go beyond that standard data model and will include delivered ETL code and BI tool metadata, along with prebuilt reporting content.

Business Intelligence Companies

The above figure shows an overview of the major pieces of a BI solution. Looking at the individual sections, in particular the ETL section, one can quickly begin to see some of the complexities involved in developing a data warehouse and BI solution.

In addition to rapid deployment and the lower cost of implementation, there are other supporting arguments to buying a pre-built BI application, including:

  • Enterprise Data Model using best practices and industry standards.
  • Views for the Business Model metadata.
  • Pre-built ETL framework containing mappings/routines to load and refresh the application.
  • ETL routines have built-in Change Data Capture logic.
  • Open Interfaces to other data sources.
  • Industry standard Metadata for Common Business Functions (i.e. AP, AR, GL, Sales Forecasting, Pipeline, etc.).
  • Faster time to value.
  • Smaller deployment team.
  • New features available via upgrades.
  • Savings on requirements gathering and analysis.
  • BI Tool configuration.
  • Pre-built dashboard and report content.
  • Pre-built alerting capability.

Conversely, there are also substantial risks to building a complete custom solution, such as:

  • Increased time to value.
  • Requirements change and are not easily implemented.
  • Developmental efforts may lack reusability and not meet changing requirements.
  • Lack of native integration with CRM and ERP systems
  • 100 % custom ETL’s.
  • 100% development of reports and dashboards.
  • 100% development of metadata.
  • 100% configuration of the BI tool.
  • Increased cost and overall time related to custom build.
  • Smaller ROI

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive business intelligence strategy experience. Contact us to let eVerge be your Oracle implementation guide.

About the author: Garrett Carey is a Senior BI/EPM Solution Architect who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

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Oracle Implementation Partners Exhibit at OpenWorld

Oracle Implementation Partners at OpenWorldIf you have ever attended Oracle OpenWorld, you know what a valuable experience it is for Oracle implementation partners, customers, and technologists. This year, the event will feature the Oracle Develop event as an official  Oracle OpenWorld stream, with a MySQL track added to the database stream. There is no more efficient and cost-effective way to stay on the cutting edge of technology than attending the most important event of the year for Oracle education and networking.

OpenWorld fires up on Sunday, October 2nd, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and the theme is engineered innovation. This is the only conference that goes this far into Oracle technology, and it will feature thousands of sessions and hundreds of demos. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to increase your company’s results with its existing technology, and plan for the technology it will need to maintain a competitive edge in the future.  The new skills, connections and ideas gained at OpenWorld equate to unsurpassed learning that will increase the value of your company’s IT investments exponentially.

The keynote speakers at this year’s OracleWorld are varied and informative, designed to keep you abreast of rapidly changing technology, in order to help your company to reach new levels of productivity and efficiency. From Sunday through Wednesday, there will be presentations on the latest innovations in technology, from Oracle Fusion Applications, to cloud computing, to solutions in areas such as cloud computing, security, mobility, and data management. These keynote addresses will be delivered by such knowledgeable industry leaders as Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, Michael Dell, the Chairman and CEO of Dell, John Chambers, the Chairman and CEO of Cisco, Joseph M. Tucci, the CEO of EMC, and other top executives in different areas of technology and applications development.

The exhibition halls will be packed full of partner exhibits and demos, and eVerge will be right there in the thick of things, as an Oracle Platinum Partner, consistently recognized the company for excellence through Titan Awards and Specializations.  Visit Oracle’s OpenWorld website for a map and exhibitor list, and join the tens of thousands of visitors who will learn how Oracle and their implementation partners can improve their businesses. Be sure to stop by eVerge’s booth- 3324 Moscone West.

As a longtime Oracle Platinum Partner eVerge Group delivers best-in-class  results to customers in commercial, public sector, and not-for-profit industry segments. Armed with solid technical experience, broad functional knowledge and hands-on industry expertise, eVerge consultants are all Oracle-certified, and committed to delivering true business value and ROI. Visit the booth at OpenWorld to see how eVerge Group can improve your business through Oracle implementation.

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Marketing Automation Management: Major Differences Between CRM On Demand Email Marketing and On Demand Marketing

Written by  Shay Sanders and Richelle Shaffer

Oracle offers more than one marketing automation management solution to accommodate the needs of various businesses and industries. When it comes to CRM integration, many customers have asked what the difference is between CRM On Demand’s Email Marketing (EMOD) and On Demand Marketing (ODM).

Both products were developed to extend the marketing automation capabilities of Oracle CRM On Demand (CRMOD) and decrease marketer’s dependency on  IT and third-party vendors.

EMOD enables customers to easily set up and configure personalized email campaigns, along with the ability to track delivery and responses.  ODM is Oracle’s new and improved marketing product that expands on EMOD and provides a full suite of capabilities to automate the complete marketing process, from designing campaigns through lead management and nurturing to measuring marketing ROI.

Below is a quick rundown of the different features and functions of EMOD and ODM:

marketing automation management

It is worth noting, that many of the common features between both apps are significantly richer in ODM.  Examples:

  • Personalized email templates can be stored for reuse in ODM.
  • Segmentation runs within the ODM application vs. through an MS Excel spreadsheet.
  • Segmentation runs dynamically (i.e.: it refreshes each time the campaign is launched, whether dynamically or statically).
  • ODM email delivery responses are much broader than the set in EMOD; examples include forward and click-through destinations.
  • Prebuilt Reports and Analytics for ODM are much more advanced over those in EMOD.

In summary, ODM offers best-in-class marketing automation implementation with both sales and marketing and takes CRM Marketing to the next level, while retaining the integrity of true CRM integration.

About the authors: Shay Sanders, Director, CRM Practice, has been with eVerge since 2000 and Richelle Shaffer, CRM OD Consultant, has been with eVerge since 2011.

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Building a Better Workforce with Employee Performance Evaluation Software

In these challenging economic times, it has become increasingly important for organizations to retain top talent while simultaneously identifying and coaching underperforming employees. It is also crucial that employee objectives and goals tightly align with those of the organization, and that processes and tools are in place to assess progress against those goals and objectives. In short, employee performance evaluation software, such as Oracle ePerformance, has become an integral component of medium and large enterprise success.

Oracle implementation of PeopleSoft ePerformance offers an integrated solution designed to enable talent management best practices, foster employee engagement and provide strategic workforce insight for effective decision-making.

The ePerformance software drives performance planning, monitoring and assessment throughout the entire review period. This ability to span the entire period contrasts sharply with many other performance software applications designed to handle once-a-year performance reviews.

ePerformance provides:

  • A framework to define and link organizational, departmental and individual objectives so they are aligned. These objectives are maintained in a single repository allowing management to drill down to assess progress toward goals.
  • Integration of performance ratings with compensation so salary adjustments are automatically tied to employee performance.
  • Integration with centralized management of job profiles so objectives and performance assessments are calibrated across people with similar jobs.
  • The ability to match employee skill levels with job profiles to determine where training and development are required.

More and more organizations are choosing to add the ePerformance module to their suite of PeopleSoft HCM. eVerge Group has more than 18 years of Oracle implementation including PeopleSoft HCM experience and can show you how your organization can leverage Oracle ePerformance to drive organizational alignment and employee development. Contact us to begin implementing your employee performance evaluation software solution.

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Benefits of MDM and Data Profiling

Understanding the quality of data stored within your enterprise is important for any system implementation, whether it is Customer Resource Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI), or Master Data Management (MDM). It is particularly important in order to reap the benefits of MDM implementation, where you are trying to consolidate redundant data that is stored across multiple systems.

The redundancy could be the result of different divisions employing separate databases or the process of mergers and acquisitions combining the databases of multiple enterprises. Regardless of how they occurred, using multiple databases within a single enterprise degrades customer satisfaction, decreases efficiency, and increases costs. Implementing a solution from an MDM provider could reverse these negatives, but only after a successful process of data profiling to establish and maintain initial data quality.

MDM implementations involve establishing a master data hub – such as a customer master, product master or pricing master – along with a data quality matching engine. In order to effectively match duplicate data across multiple systems, you need to be able to first identify those duplicate records.

One common mistake most companies make during MDM implementation is the assumption they know how to identify those duplicate records. These assumptions are based on hearsay or rumors passed down over time. It is not until the source data is obtained and then matched with the master data hub that the company realizes the true state of its data.

By this point, valuable project time has been lost. Project teams must go back to the source systems to clean up data inconsistencies within each source, such as missing data, incomplete data, or non-standard data. Matching rules within the master data hub must be rewritten or adjusted to handle the true quality of the source data so the redundant and duplicate data entries can be identified and consolidated.

To avoid this re-work and delay, eVerge Group recommends profiling source data at the start of every MDM implementation. Data profiling activities uncover data anomalies at the source, which can be corrected either through the creation of new business policies and procedures that can be followed at time of data capture by the end-user, or through updates to the backend systems after data has been captured. The choice depends on the specific needs of the enterprise.

The process to profile and correct data anomalies requires both business and IT teams to work together to understand the downstream impacts of the current data quality situation.

eVerge incorporates a data assessment work stream into every MDM implementation to make sure customers establish a proactive, repeatable process to continually evaluate, measure and improve the quality of their business data. This process ensures customers will fully reap the benefits of master data management from their selected MDM provider as well as experience cleaner, more accurate data for downstream reporting and upstream sales and marketing capabilities. Contact eVerge to learn more about our PrecisionFit MDM methodology.

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Better ROI Through Marketing Automation Implementation

Written by Brett Harris

Marketing automation software has become an invaluable tool in the marketplace, but the question businesses face is how will marketing automation implementation improve ROI? Oracle’s Siebel Marketing application stands out as the industry leader among MAP (Marketing Automation Platform) suites. The Email Marketing solution empowers customers to fully control and automate all marketing tactics to be delivered via email. What can Oracle implementation of Siebel Marketing do for your business?

  • Relevant email content: Author media-rich email messages containing dynamic content specific to your audience (existing customers or acquired lists). Personalized data can be automatically substituted in email messages from various database sources.
  • Immediate ROI: Real-time tracking of email metrics to help quantity an immediate ROI – bounces, click rates, open rates, response rates.
  • Reduce overhead: Fully automate the end-to-end email campaign process via schedule or trigger based options.
  • Limitless solution: Provides a highly robust and scalable architecture capable of generating millions of emails on a daily basis.
  • Reporting: Built-in integration to the reporting platform, OBIEE.
  • Industry standard: Aligns with the industry best practices to help ensure your organization is considered a reputable email sender, and thereby improve your delivery rate to customers.

If you are looking for a more effective email marketing strategy, eVerge Group has been providing marketing success through Oracle implementation for customers since the earliest versions of Siebel Marketing 6.x, and we invite you to review our showcase of customer references. Whether it is a fresh implementation or an upgrade from a previous version, eVerge Group is equipped with the experience capable of implementing Siebel Email Marketing as a “turn-key” solution for your business needs.

About the author: Brett Harris is a Senior Siebel Consultant and has been with eVerge since 2006.

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Advantages of an OBIEE 11g Upgrade

An OBIEE 11g upgrade offers several advantages to organizations who are updating their Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition software. Integrated analytics, superior scalability, best of breed reliability, improved performance, robust security, and a more powerful user experience are just some of the benefits that result in decreased cost and increased productivity.

eVerge Group is an Oracle Platinum Partner with extensive Oracle implementation experience in OBIEE. For more information about our business solutions, contact us at our website. http://www.evergegroup.com/contact.php

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Strategic CRM vs. Tactical CRM

Most CRM tools available today address the tactical processes involved in effective customer management. They provide frontline sales management tools, but fail to offer  strategic CRM integration. Oracle’s CRM On Demand provides such a solution. Here are some of its advantages.

Answering Key Questions

Oracle’s CRM On Demand answers key questions to provide a complete picture of how your customers interact with you. To increase sales and profits, you need answers about your customers, such as:

  • What do they buy from you?
  • When do they buy from you?
  • How do they buy from you?
  • Why do they buy from you?
  • How do they solve problems with you?

Answers to these and similar questions impact the effectiveness of your sales, marketing and service personnel.

All Facets of a Customer’s Interaction

A strategic CRM solution, such as CRM On Demand, will enable you to address every aspect of your customer’s interaction with your enterprise. Naturally, you will want to track interactions with marketing, sales and service. But you can also identify trends, behavior and motivators. Oracale’s CRM On Demand goes beyond frontline sales management to provide the business intelligence you need.

Going Beyond Sales

An essential feature of any CRM integration is providing best-in-class tools to remedy customer issues on time, every time, which enables you to pursue a CRM strategy rather than tactics. Delivering a marketing solution that enables your sales and channels organizations to effectively segment customers and manage campaigns is another strategic implementation of CRM.

Bottom Line

Oracle’s CRM On Demand offers a strategic CRM solution versus a tactical solution. Tactics can win battles, but strategy wins wars. eVerge Group has been deploying strategic CRM applications for more than 13 years and can provide insights on how your organization can leverage and effectively deploy a CRM solution to grow sales, profits and customer satisfaction.

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7 Fundamentals for Business Intelligence Success

Written by Garrett Carey

Is your Business Intelligence strategy set up for success? After working extensively on Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, here are 7 strategic fundamentals to keep in mind:

1. Identify problem and business process to be improved – What is BI going to solve?  How is success defined? What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?

2. Provide a system designed and capable to support analysis and reporting – Performance, scalability, usability, and data accessibility are key elements to every successful BI project. Deploy a system that is designed for analysis, aggregation, and data consolidation.

3. Establish data definition, data representation, and data integration standards – This includes data definitions, table structures, data model, business rules, and data movement standards.  Consistency reduces users’ confusion and builds trust in results.

4. Establish a plan for ensuring high quality data – Identify areas of concern, collect quality requirements, define quality rules, measure quality, continuously monitor, use tools to improve processes.

5. Provide platform for the delivery and presentation of actionable data – Different audiences have different needs.  Reports and analyses need to be delivered to support all needs.  The BI platform should include reports, dashboards, scorecards, data visualization, ad hoc capabilities and support mobility.

6. Incorporate the right kinds of analytics to address increased appetite for BI – Business and user requirements constantly change as will the desire for more actionable intelligence. Consider advanced analytics and be proactive to find new ways to help the business.

7. Continuously monitor key performance measures – Review KPIs and success measures identified in #1 above to determine whether or not objectives in your Business Intelligence strategy are being achieved.  Focus on areas where improvements are increasing value to the business.

For more information about Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition or eVerge’s other business solutions, contact eVerge Group at our website www.evergegroup.com.

 About the author: Garrett Carey is a Senior BI/EPM Solution Architect who has worked with eVerge Group since 2005.

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