Synopsis: Oracle Commerce Vision & Product Strategy for Commerce
During a recent Oracle webinar, Oracle Senior Director of Product Strategy Katrina Gosek and Senior Director of Product Management Ian Davis presented a roadmap of what’s next for both on-premise and cloud solutions of Oracle Commerce. This blog is a quick overview of the session.
E-commerce is entering a new era. One facet of this sea change is that businesses will need to offer customers an enhanced interactive experience. “Customers expect every touchpoint, every interaction, every engagement with your brand to adapt to them and surround them,” Gosek said. “They expect things to happen organically.”
Business professionals fill multiple roles. Marketing, design, analytics and merchandising all falling under the category of e-commerce, and Oracle wants to provide solutions so people can run their companies without growing dependent on traditional IT. New client-side technologies are requiring a different skill set from developers than in the past, Gosek said, and developers only want to work with versatile, modern front-end frameworks.
To facilitate this broad transition, Davis said Oracle has built in applications for marketing, sales, customer service, social and marketplace into its Customer Experience Suite.
Davis said Oracle’s commerce strategy is a two-pronged approach: First, to provide market-leading commerce solutions for businesses who are serious about digital, and allowing them to adopt technology through a SaaS model, which is easier to update. Second, simplify ownership of commerce and surrounding solutions by leveraging cloud technologies and the SaaS model. Customers can augment and integrate on-premise tools with cloud solutions.
This strategy calls for continued investment in on-premise solutions through a modernized services layer that will integrate Microservices layers, and allowing customers to build out new architectures. Internalization and configuration of guided search will improve. On-premise customers can participate in the cloud ecosystem, and Commerce Cloud will evolve to support necessary features for B2B and B2C clients.
Davis explains features that were included in last fall’s release of On-Premise Commerce Solution 11.2: commerce core enhancements, a new tool to inspect page elements in Experience Manager, site-specific pages and site-specific keyword redirects, content administration improvements, an assisted selling application and Commerce-Store Accelerator.
The roadmap for on-premise includes the use of a RESTful service layer, allowing enterprises to participate in modern web architectures and integrations and support for customers who want to move to a Microservices architecture, as well as continued tools unification and flexibility. Davis said on-premise users will be able to leverage cloud applications for service, marketing and engagement.
Davis outlined three models for the coexistence between and transition from on-premise to cloud: Migration allows customers to transition their on-premise commerce applications to Commerce Cloud. Side-by-side augments existing on-premise commerce applications with Cloud Commerce for use by independent teams. The third model, Hybrid, allows Commerce Cloud to take over front-end presentation, and access existing discreet services.
Oracle’s goal is to make Commerce Cloud an enterprise-class application for the largest retailers. This goal means bringing all commerce capability to the cloud, thereby eliminating IT management and simplifying the upgradeability. It means leveraging the evolution of Oracle’s cloud applications and platform, supporting larger business that have more sophisticated needs with equally sophisticated out-of-the-box features, and supporting customers who want to move to Commerce Cloud or add it to their toolkit.
Moving forward with Commerce Cloud will mean greater personalization and segmentation capabilities. Oracle will introduce “audiences,” which enables merchants to classify customers so they can personalize each buyer’s experience, as well as personalization slots in the design studio that varies displayed widgets by audience. Promotions management will allow businesses to deploy the full power of the underlying promotions engine.
Also on the horizon is better search configuration and management of languages, facet prioritization, redirects and thesaurus management. “We’re trying to do this in a way where it doesn’t feel like you’re managing separate tools,” Davis said, “where the transition for the merchandiser between managing catalogs, the pages, and search experience is simple and seamless.”
For B2B operations, look for capabilities for accounts and contacts, contract pricing and sub-catalogs, invoice at checkout, purchase levels and approvals as well as admin delegation functionality. Extensibility and customization will continue as Oracle reveals APIs for bulk operations and WebHooks for key commerce functions, as well as server-side extensibility and integration cloud service.