Enterprise Apps

Oracle Reinvents How Generative AI Makes CRM Work Better

Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison at CloudWorld 2023
Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison explains the company's generative AI strategy at Oracle CloudWorld 2023.

Oracle announced three significant artificial intelligence (AI) overtures with a heightened focus on CRM and service this week at Oracle CloudWorld in Las Vegas.

On Tuesday, Oracle released details of its addition of AI in critical spots like Intelligent Sales Orchestration, Guided Campaigns, and AI-Powered Account Linking. The new offerings will help sellers do “the right things, with the right customers, at the right time.”

In addition to upgrading its service and support, Oracle highlighted software enhancements that accelerate the delivery of accurate information or service. AI assists in summarizing an account across multiple interactions, enabling quicker and more effective assistance.

Much of the current technology focus today revolves around use cases for generative AI. This advanced form of AI is gaining popularity, as evidenced by ChatGPT’s ability to gather information, according to Rob Pinkerton, senior vice president for marketing at Oracle.

“Generative AI is very good at summarizing and writing. And a lot of our announcements are in support of that type of AI,” he told CRM Buyer.

Oracle’s endeavors make it possible for CRM to responsibly use AI without going to a public link, large language model (LLM) to take advantage of generative AI, he offered.

New Gen AI Capabilities

Adding generative AI-powered capabilities within Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) significantly enhances the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) gen AI service. These new capabilities are embedded in existing Oracle Fusion Service processes to optimize customer service delivery, improve productivity, and help organizations enhance the customer experience.

According to Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president and general manager for Oracle Cloud CX, this enhanced technology will improve customer experiences for both CX professionals and their customers by providing quicker access to accurate information.

This added functionality is designed to streamline the resolution of customer service issues by boosting the productivity of service agents and field technicians. In addition, it aims to simplify self-service options and automate traditionally manual, time-consuming tasks.

“With the ability to summarize, author, and recommend content, generative AI has the potential to significantly enhance customer service engagements,” said Tarkoff.

The embedded generative AI capabilities within Oracle Cloud CX host prebuilt and custom models designed to respect customers’ enterprise data, privacy, and security. No customer data is shared with large language model (LLM) providers or seen by other customers or third parties.

In addition, an individual customer is the only entity allowed to use custom models trained on its data. Role-based security embedded directly into Oracle Fusion Service workflows helps to protect sensitive information about customers and only recommends content that service agents are entitled to view.

6 Key Components

Oracle’s newly embedded generative AI capabilities bolster existing embedded AI performance and will help to transform customer service agent and service stakeholder productivity by streamlining processes and automating content generation within a single integrated solution. The new capabilities include:

1. Assisted Agent Responses to improve service agent productivity by helping author responses to service requests. The new generative AI capabilities use the history of the service interaction to draft an initial response that can be reviewed and edited before sending.

2. Assisted Knowledge Articles to improve service teams’ productivity by reducing the time spent creating new knowledge base content. These assist in developing articles for emerging service issues so service agents can quickly gain the knowledge needed to help customers.

3. Search Augmentation enables service agents and end-customers to gain quick access to answers by integrating short-form responses to questions in search and chat. The process involves augmenting search bar results and drafting responses to questions in Oracle Digital Assistant.

4. Customer Engagement Summaries will help improve service agent and administrator productivity by generating summaries of the key information in service requests. These will incorporate the history of communications with the customer and internal staff to summarize the problem, the steps undertaken so far, and help determine the following action.

5. Assisted Guidance Authoring helps product and service experts create and update questions that guide service agents through defined triaging and troubleshooting steps. They use the relevant subject matter within a guide to help an administrator quickly determine a consistent process for agents to follow when attempting to solve customer issues.

For example, assisted authoring can help a manufacturing or high-tech company’s service administrator capture a standard set of steps that tier-one support representatives must work through with a customer before they escalate to an expert resource.

6. Field Service Recommendations help improve field service technician success by providing quick access to instructional content in the field. This approach will suggest contextually relevant content from trusted troubleshooting source material to enhance the efficiency of technicians.

Guided Campaigns for Oracle Fusion Marketing

Oracle also announced initiatives to assist marketing and sales teams accelerate revenue with Guided Campaigns using improved gen AI features. As part of Oracle Fusion Cloud Service, the new generative AI capabilities include assisted agent responses, knowledge articles, administrator guidance, search augmentation, customer engagement summaries, and field service recommendations.

“Pre-trained LLMs are changing the way we interact with people, content, and critical knowledge in our enterprises. We can now unlock insights and communicate with clarity like never before,” said Tarkoff.

New Oracle Cloud CX capabilities also include:

  • AI-Powered Account Linking: Gives sellers complete visibility into accounts to reduce renewal time, expand upsell opportunities, and accelerate deal closing.
  • B2B Customer Data Platform (CDP) Enhancements: Scores and identifies sales opportunities based on past engagement to uncover the next best contact for hyper-personalization among sophisticated enterprise buying groups.
  • Intelligent Sales Orchestration: Helps sellers to be more focused, efficient, and effective by automating processes and providing AI-generated insights and recommendations.
  • Advanced Field Asset Monitoring: Increases field service productivity by improving access to relevant information of all managed assets.

Well Designed Innovations

Oracle’s Fusion Cloud CX is considered a formidable contender in the realm of customer experience platforms, boasting a comprehensive suite of tools for sales, marketing, and service automation, offered Mark N. Vena, CEO and principal analyst at SmartTech Research.

“Oracle’s Fusion Cloud CX stands out for its deep integration with Oracle’s broader cloud ecosystem, providing a seamless end-to-end solution,” he told CRM Buyer. “Its robust AI and machine learning capabilities enhance personalization and predictive analytics, while its comprehensive suite covers sales, marketing, and service automation.”

He added that this integration and versatility give it a competitive edge among CX platform options. The demand for efficiency and personalization drives the need for gen AI-style applications in CRM-related processes.

“AI can analyze vast customer data for insights, automate repetitive tasks, and offer predictive analytics. Safety measures include data encryption and ethical AI practices to protect sensitive customer information, ensuring a secure and beneficial CRM experience,” said Vena.

Gen AI Now a Critical CRM Element

The power of Oracle is that they are a highly integrated vendor regarding their solutions. Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, noted that integration reduces customer options and increases cost but can also lead to higher reliability, serviceability, and uptime.

“Given customer relationships drive revenue, assuring them has a very high priority, and this solution in an Oracle shop is likely a godsend,” he told CRM Buyer.

CRM is one of the areas where generative AI is initially shining. The use of this technology, assuming it is trained and implemented properly — which is not a given — will improve customer satisfaction and reduce labor costs, he offered.

Oracle’s product announcements stand out because they offer a step up from other platform options. These products also integrate seamlessly with the rest of Oracle’s solution set.

“Oracle does not interoperate well. So generally, Oracle applications always work better in an Oracle shop than any third-party applications. For an Oracle shop, this might be the only solution that will not result in a lot of avoidable headaches,” Enderle said.

A Class of Its Own

Pinkerton offered another view of what separates Oracle’s CRM approach from what everybody else offers. But it is less sexy than what everybody else is saying.

“We are an engineering company. So, where Oracle is going to stand out is on our engineering systems for the present and the future of AI in a responsible way,” he said.

This approach means a couple of things.

First, companies using the Oracle platform can build their business process leveraging AI the right way for their customers and employees in a public land or language model or private one, or for things that have nothing to do with language models.

“They are going to have those options natively at every point, in the application, business process,” Pinkerton explained.

From Oracle’s perspective, it is the only company that provides a vertically integrated stack of software and hardware from top to bottom, primed to respond to the computing complexity of artificial intelligence — from bare metal to the database infrastructure to back office and front office applications to industry-oriented process development.

Jack M. Germain

Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open-source technologies. He is an esteemed reviewer of Linux distros and other open-source software. In addition, Jack extensively covers business technology and privacy issues, as well as developments in e-commerce and consumer electronics. Email Jack.

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