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August 2014

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Q&A: Oracle’s Steve Cox Reveals Smart Path for Growing Companies to Adopt Modern Best Practice

Steve Cox, Oracle vice president, midsize, has decades of experience helping midsize businesses determine best practices for their organizations and then guiding these businesses in adopting tools and technologies that make those best practices a reality.

At a moment when both technology and the global competitive landscape are evolving at breakneck speed, Cox gives us his thoughts on modern best practice plus tips on efficient steps that growing companies can take to begin adopting what he calls the “best-practice mindset.”

Q. “Best practice” can mean many things to many people. How do you define it?
A. At its simplest, it is a way of executing that consistently produces results superior to those produced by other means. Usually, we think of best practices as a business process, or a visual way of expressing a transaction. But it can also be a dashboard with analytics and key performance indicators, or a methodology, or an approach.

It’s also a mindset. It’s a commitment to excellence, whether that means earning maximum return on investments, improving profit margins, delighting customers, or creating an engaged, inspired, and empowered workforce.

But best practices shouldn’t be a constraint, which is why I advocate the need for modern best practice.

Q. What is modern best practice?
A. Modern best practice is flexible. It supports both growth and innovation and enables new ways of executing to achieve consistently superior performance. It exploits new capabilities made possible by cloud computing, mobile technology, analytics, social technology, the Internet of Things, and big data. Modern best practice enables organizations of all sizes to achieve more—faster and with fewer resources.

Q. Can you give a specific example of modern best practice?
A. Closing accounting periods every month is a routine but critically important business process for any organization. Consider the impact of a modern best practice for period close that is mobile- and social-enabled and incorporates analytics.

First, analytics alert you to an issue in real time. Because your modern best practice is enabled by mobile technology, follow-up can be done anywhere, anytime—previously, you had to wait to get to your desktop to take action.

After further analysis you decide a journal adjustment is needed to close the books. Modern best practice gives you a socially enabled process so now, instead of using e-mail, you start a secure conversation related to the issue that has not only all the accounting information in one place, but also all the related human interactions.

That’s a big win for efficiency and for your employees’ ability to quickly take informed action.

Q. Where should a midsize organization begin its search for solutions that incorporate modern best practice?
A. Reach out to an Oracle representative by calling 1.800.ORACLE1 or visit the global contacts page and select your country to find Oracle contact information.

If you are attending Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco in September, come meet us at our session, Understanding and Adopting Modern Best Practice for Fast Time to Value.

If you can’t make it to Oracle OpenWorld, we have several assets specifically designed for midsize organizations seeking to modernize best practices.

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