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RightNow To Help Oracle Create Raving Fans

Oracle plans to integrate RightNow's customer experience software into its existing software portfolio to improve customer satisfaction and to turn consumers into advocates for a company's brand. In an hour-long webcast on Tuesday, Oracle executives explained how RightNow tools used by approximately 2,000 companies on their websites, in contact centers and through social media will supplement existing Oracle platforms for marketing, e-commerce, business intelligence, supply chain management and business use of social media.

Oracle also singled out software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendor as a competitor whose sales force automation and other business tools come up short compared to the breadth of the Oracle/RightNow tools. Oracle has dissed Salesforce in other venues, particularly at Oracle Open World in 2011.

The presentation followed the official closing of Oracle's $1.5 billion acquisition of RightNow on Jan. 25. In brief remarks at the beginning of the webcast, Oracle President Mark Hurd directly addressed RightNow's business customers: "I want you to know you're in good hands; I'd say great hands."

The strategy behind the Oracle/RightNow product line is to manage the customer experience from the moment a customer first starts shopping for a product or service, through its purchase and if the buyer contacts customer service with any questions or problems. If there is a problem, the goal is to resolve the problem satisfactorily so that the customer is happy, buys more and praises the company to others.

Today, many products have become commoditized, and traditional marketing methods such as TV advertising and direct mail are less effective, says Greg Gianforte, founder and CEO of RightNow, who's now on board at Oracle. Social media, however, is on the rise as a way to reach customers and get them to share positive experiences online.

"We've got to create raving fans who love our products and talk about them, and the only way to do that is to deliver great experiences," says Gianforte. Oracle and RightNow tools enable companies to use their own Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to share customer endorsements.

A survey commissioned by RightNow revealed that 86% of customers said they have stopped doing business with a company because of a bad experience, 26% posted negative comments about a bad experience on a social network, and 79% of those negative comments were ignored by the company that was the subject of the complaint, Gianforte says.

Oracle tools already available include Oracle Fatwire for using Web-based marketing to influence customers, the Oracle Social Network tool for doing online customer research, Oracle Endeca for business intelligence, EnterpriseOne Sales Force Automation software, Oracle ATG Commerce for managing e-commerce sites, and Oracle Fusion software for financials, procurement and supply chain management.

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