In Larry Ellison’s keynote at Cloud World, he laid out an ambitious plan for building a national – if not global – electronic health records database so that patients and providers can go to one place to -access all their health records. Oracle’s ability to successfully execute the plan as part of its overall industry applications strategy could be a harbinger of Oracle’s future in the competitive Customer Experience (CX) space.
Over the years, Oracle has grown its footprint across sales, marketing, and service automation technologies both organically and through acquisition, but has struggled to maintain its market share against Salesforce and others. yet despite continued investment in areas such as Unity, Oracle’s Customer Data Platform (CDP). ), the Redwood user interface (UI), Artificial Intelligence, (AI) and automation.
All major Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendors have moved to industry solutions as a way to reduce cost and risk to deploy and accelerate value for customers. Oracle has announced CX for the communications, financial services, healthcare, high tech, manufacturing, automotive, retail, government, and utilities sectors over the past few years and announced new Unity AI models designed for specific industries in Cloud World.
Oracle’s big bet on healthcare is doubling down on an industry strategy focused on data privacy and security thanks to the Autonomous Database, end-to-end automation of processes that exceeds its competitors’ CX footprint, and the ability to understand and interact with individual customers in real-time using Unity.
In Ellison’s keynote, he talked about the ideal world of patient engagement, where patients feel comfortable sharing information, providers interact with them based on real-time events and triggers in a personalized way through any channel the patient prefers, and security and privacy are built in. in applications that use data for intelligent patient management. What he didn’t mention is how Oracle’s existing CX investment in IP and strategy is part of Oracle’s healthcare ambitions.
Oracle’s healthcare venture began before Cerner. Oracle closed its $28.3 billion acquisition of Cerner in June, but began developing its healthcare applications before the acquisition. Oracle developers created the “V-safe” after-vaccination health checker for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using Oracle APEX low-code development tools, Oracle Analytics, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Patients can register with v-safe to report vaccine side effects, and the CDC’s ability to quickly gather data has allowed for a better understanding of how different populations will respond to vaccines .
This is important because of the speed with which it is developed, the scale of its use, and the patient trust it requires (according to Oracle, more than 150 million vaccine records in the US have been voluntarily shared by patients). Extrapolating this model to a global, or even national, electronic health records system would show that Oracle has cracked the code for the reliability and security – and patient trust – needed for in healthcare as well as barriers to adoption of any new customer records system. If Oracle can do this with the most sensitive customer information – healthcare records – it sets up a model that can be adapted for personalized customer interactions in other less sensitive industries and i- highlight the potential for solutions like Unity to come true to the promise of a complete customer 360.
A big part of Oracle’s CX strategy is its position as part of the overall Oracle Cloud footprint, which allows Oracle to more easily automate end-to-end processes beyond sales, marketing, and service. Oracle is betting on healthcare – among other verticals – on this strategy, as seen in several of its Cloud World announcements including:
- Industry-specific planning solutions for Oracle Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) designed to enable healthcare organizations to optimize planning and forecasting to reduce costs and improve patient care.
- Specialized solutions for Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) to reduce supply chain costs for healthcare organizations.
- Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions for healthcare, with industry-specific capabilities to attract and develop talent and optimize staffing and scheduling.
- A new artificial intelligence (AI) model for Oracle Unity, to enable healthcare companies to use capabilities like Next Best Promotion to better price and promote solutions to customers.
The relative success of V-safe does not guarantee Oracle’s global, or even national, patient database will materialize. A national system of health care records has been attempted before. Google shut down its initial Google Health platform, launched in 2008, in 2012; Microsoft shut down its HealthVault system in 2019. Apple announced a growing number of hospitals in the US, UK, and Canada supporting its Health Records iPhone application.
The timing may be right for wider adoption of a national or global system. The pandemic has raised recognition of the need for global warning networks for diseases, and there is now greater appetite for a connected global health record and related vaccine and other surveillance systems. Cerner’s current position in many large healthcare operations also gives Oracle a stronger entry point than before.
However, selling a national system of health records is less about selling to providers than it is about getting individual users to trust Oracle with their data. On the positive side, Oracle’s Autonomous Database means fewer opportunities for human-error to introduce vulnerabilities – but that’s a technical argument that many may find difficult to understand. Oracle’s detractors will point to its Oracle Data Marketplace to argue that Oracle is in the data brokering, not data privacy, business. As consumer concerns about data privacy continue to grow, it is Oracle’s role as a database leader to take a leadership position in the ethical use of data and demonstrate how its technology helps customers ensure legal and ethical use.
On the CX front, Oracle can do more to prove the value of its approach to the marketplace, including highlighting the role and value of Oracle Unity in Oracle’s health records and healthcare efforts, showing how its AI models can be applied to the service. situations (not just marketing), and showing with concrete examples how an end-to-end automation approach reduces costs and increases efficiency for customers. Oracle’s e-commerce announcement linking financial institutions and shippers is an example of the latter, but Oracle needs broader customer examples to show how its suite approach delivers training value. There is untapped potential, for example, in the links between Oracle’s HCM and Employee Experience (EX) solutions and CX, from applying marketing journey concepts and personas to EX to training and coaching agents in service scenarios.
Beyond the technology, Oracle will need to bring the ecosystem on board. While Salesforce, ServiceNow, and others are pushing big initiatives to build communities of learners to train and implement their products, Oracle will need skilled champions with deep industry and understanding of CX driving Oracle products.
I take it
Recent changes at Oracle have led some to question Oracle’s commitment to CX. (See Jon Reed’s assessment here for his perspective on this topic.) But Oracle’s healthcare ambitions sound like an industry-focused model for data-driven customer engagement when customers are patient.
Communicating how Unity and other CX developments are part of the overall value proposition for Oracle’s healthcare push, and highlighting related areas in which Oracle is investing under of CX covers, would be a good step to quell those concerns.
Starting to talk – now – about how Oracle’s healthcare investments and learnings can easily translate into CX solutions in less regulated industries, and how quickly Oracle can bring them to market, will put Oracle back on the competitive CX map.