Yvette Cameron
SVP, Cloud HCM Product Strategy Oracle

As the SVP of product strategy. Yvette is a known HCM product leader having grown her career over the past 25+ years with technology vendors including SAP, Saba, PeopleSoft, Gartner, and Constellation Research. She spent the first 10 years of her career as an HR practitioner, informing her later roles with a practical HR user and buyer point of view. Yvette brings a unique perspective, understanding both customer needs and evolving industry trends, that will help propel us to the next level in the market.

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Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 207. Today we have Yvette from Oracle about the use case or business case about their new product, Oracle ME, and why their customers choose Oracle.

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Show length: 28 minutes

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Music: Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens or should happen when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better. As we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment and HR tech, that’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.

William Tincup: Ladies and gentleman, this is William Tincup and you’re listening to The Use Case podcast. Today, we have Yvette on from Oracle and we’re talking about the product that they just launched called Oracle ME, and we talked about the use case or the business case, or why they launched it and all about the product. So can’t wait to talk to Yvette again and talk about this new release. Yvette, do us a favor and introduce both yourself and… Oh yes, we can just focus on Oracle ME.

Yvette Cameron: Absolutely. William, thanks for having me on the session today. I’m Yvette Cameron. I’m the senior vice president of Oracle’s Cloud HCM products strategy. And I am super excited to be talking to you today about our new Oracle ME Employee Experience platform. How about I give you just a quick overview of that-

William Tincup: Let’s do that. Let’s do that. That’s perfect.

Yvette Cameron: Yeah. And to set the stage, I think we have to recognize that the way that we’re working today is so drastically different than it was just a few years ago. Employees have been facing burnout, challenges with support from their organizations, not feeling heard and listened to, not seeing a lot of concern necessarily for their careers. And quite honestly, many of them have come back, the vast majority, and they’ve said as a result of the last several years, our priorities have changed. We’re more focused now on work-life balance, mental health and flexibility in our work.

Yvette Cameron: So just as work has drastically changed, the employee experience needs to reflect that. And so this is why we’re so excited to be introducing or Oracle ME. It’s part of the Oracle Cloud HCM suite. And it’s a complete end-to-end employee experience platform that enables organizations to deliver personalized experiences to every employee based upon their unique individual character traits and attributes in the database, and on their particular situation. So a highly personalized approach to helping individuals connect, grow, and thrive in their organization.

William Tincup: Well, I love it. I love it already. And you all did some great work most recently in skills and really helping people with understanding skills and upskilling, et cetera. I love that this product actually focused on the experience and creating highly personalized experiences. Give us some examples of what the kind of plays out like for managers, employees, et cetera.

Yvette Cameron: Yeah. So first I want to clarify that Oracle ME, which actually stands for My Experience, is not a product. It’s a comprehensive platform where we have brought together a series of capabilities and new products that help really transform that experience. It helps organizations reimagine their workforce experiences.

Yvette Cameron: And so, as a couple of examples, one of the attributes, one of the new features within our Oracle ME platform is our new HCM Communicate tool. This is a bespoke marketing tool designed just for the HR administrators to really transform the way that they are communicating with their workforce. They’re challenged today with things like having to send emails and using distribution lists and working with their IT organization to try to get to that right target audience to get those right messages out, or they go to their HR or their corporate communications team to get that support.

Yvette Cameron: Now, for the first time ever, a major HCM vendor, Oracle, is providing a marketing communication tool designed for HR, but built on our HR platform. And this allows those HR administrators to design their audience using a very powerful audience builder tool, leveraging all of those attributes within the HCM suite so that we can fine-tune messages to those individuals. But it doesn’t stop there. That’s where communications usually stop. You send out an email and you hope people open.

Yvette Cameron: Because this is a marketing tool, HR can now track and follow who’s opening these things, who’s interacting with the content that’s embedded, send follow-up notes to those who aren’t interacting or haven’t responded, and do this all through the power of a bespoke marketing tool for HR. That’s one change in the experience. What it means for me as the individual is that I’m receiving emails and messages that are pertinent for me. I don’t have to keep looking through my inbox filled with all kinds of messages that I just delete. I know that when messages come to me, they’re targeted for me.

Yvette Cameron: Another example, super excited about our new Touchpoints capability. At its heart, Touchpoints is designed to focus on building stronger relationships between employees and managers, because we know that individuals… We’ve said for years, they leave organizations not because of the organization, but because of their manager relationships. But I would argue that it’s that and the culture of the organization overall.

Yvette Cameron: And that’s what Touchpoints is intended to do. It’s an interaction tool, an active employee listening tool, where managers are able to surface Pulse surveys and questionnaires out to their teams, receive feedback, actively monitor visually and with data trends on Sentiment, follow-ups on those conversations, and have an active engagement dashboard to work with their individuals and their teams overall.

Yvette Cameron: But it’s transparent because individuals, I, as the employee, having these touchpoints with my manager can also see when was my last conversation, what was my sentiment at that time? What were those major topics? And if we’re not interacting on a frequent basis, machine learning is driving nudges to connect us more. All of this is about building a better relationship, building the trust between an employee and a manager, and ultimately helping drive that collaboration and trusted engagement between individuals and their managers, and hopefully supporting the culture of the organization overall.

William Tincup: There’s so many things that I love about this. And I’m glad that you helped the audience understand this isn’t a product. This is something that goes across the platform. It goes across everything that we do. How do you envision the implementation playing out for folks especially with just the two features that you just mentioned? Just getting them to understand and rethink, because Oracle has purchased through the years some wonderful marketing automation technology. It’s been there. Now you’ve brought it over to HR and given them the things that they need to do to. Campaigns or persona-based marketing, or all the things that should be done. How do you envision getting them, I don’t know about mentally, but just be getting them over to the place of understanding what they have access to?

Yvette Cameron: So I think that’s really one of our largest differentiators here in our approach, is that everything that we’re doing in this employee experience platform is natively developed within our core HCM platform itself. And so the tools that we’ve had for years to personalize and tailor our transactions to individuals are now being elevated and leveraged in all of these experience capabilities. Specifically, you’ve asked about the communication tool. As an organization, Oracle has made investments, as you’ve mentioned, across the suite for marketing automation, but we have actually built from the ground up directly into our platform this marketing capability-

William Tincup: Oh, cool-

Yvette Cameron: And so it’s tailored to their needs. This isn’t a redeployment of some large consumer-based marketing. We’ve certainly talked and understood the lessons learned [crosstalk 00:08:35]

William Tincup: Oh yeah. Yeah, of course.

Yvette Cameron: And we’ve used our experiences in campaign management in our recruiting application. And how do you target messages to candidates? And we brought all that learning into this now bespoke tool for HR. As far as implementation, very natural. Again, the tools, the experiences, the way that you can use our audience builder engine to get to the various attributes are all surfaced very naturally. And we’ve designed, I think as one of our differentiators, we’ve largely designed these capabilities within the platform to be managed by HR.

Yvette Cameron: You shouldn’t have to use IT for making changes on the fly. We’ve seen this in Journeys, right? Journeys is another of the elements of the Experience platform, now significantly enhanced. But one of the joys has been seeing HR on a dime, create a new journey, distribute it out to certain individuals in the organization, make changes very quickly if they needed to. So all of our solutions are intended to be managed directly by HR. Now, that’s not to say that working with your IT or even our SI partners can help with some of this. Our partners especially have experience in certain industries and regions, and can bring their expertise to bear as well.

William Tincup: So as we educate the market to employee experience and getting them to understand the nuances and the important parts of it, how do we know we’re getting employee experience right? What’s the gauge?

Yvette Cameron: I think that’s a great question. There is no one single answer to it. Of course, I think that we all look to some standard metrics such as ability to hire, ability to retain, what is our turnover rate, but we need to get down to the personal level, right? Am I, as an individual, happy? Have you met my experience expectations? And so the Sentiment and the Pulse survey trending that we’re able to surface both to individuals and to managers in our Touchpoints capability, for example, is one way. If we’re seeing trends that are above average and on the incline versus a decline, it’s a signal for us as managers and for the organization that we’re on the right track. The feedback that’s captured and being able to act on it right away is a critical piece.

Yvette Cameron: The engagement of individuals with content, are they actively engaged? Are they disregarding it? That’s another signal, that either things are good in a particular area, or there’s a challenge. I also think about connections. How connected am I across the organization? Am I being an endorsed for my skills, or is the fact that I’ve offered myself up as a career mentor being leveraged in the organizations? Are people accepting the artificial-intelligence-driven recommendations from our skills and other attributes of, “Hey, Yvette is on her connections profile. She’s surfaced herself up as a mentor. Connect with her.” Are they using that?

Yvette Cameron: So there’s so many different ways we have to start thinking about how are we getting the experience? And feedback on culture and various things are all part of that. But well, we have to take this down to the individual level, right? We have to listen to individuals. That’s been one of the challenges coming out of the pandemic. People want their employers to listen to them, to support them, and encourage them. And that’s what these kind of tools are all about, in providing insights all along the way, progress through journeys, how you feel about the journey. Are you satisfied with the support you received? These are all incredibly important signals.

William Tincup: As you mentioned insights, what are some of the things that you see as important for, on an analytical perspective, especially for leaders and managers to understand what’s going well, what’s not going well, what needs to be changed. All of those types of things.

Yvette Cameron: I think that the direct asking of course is important and hence we have the Touchpoint solution. But I think that as individual leaders, we need to understand if the efforts that we’re making are hitting the mark. So for example, I’ve mentioned Journeys and upon the completion of a workflow which could include information, and connections, and analytics or micro-learning that help me along the way, those can be created by HR, by leaders, to guide people through their everyday processes.

Yvette Cameron: And I don’t mean just through HR, just across the enterprise. But at the end of that journey, was this satisfying? Did this help you? Do you feel more connected? Do you feel supported? So again, asking those questions, understanding that is key. We always have to focus on, “Does the individual feel understood? Are we displaying empathy? And are they feeling that? And are they feeling that support?” I think more than ever, we’ve been so focused on productivity measures in the past. And while those are still critically important, the only way to drive high productivity is to ensure that first we’re meeting the needs of individuals, whatever those needs are.

Yvette Cameron: And we know that no two people are the same. No two experiences should be the same either. And the way that we’re looking at the impact of our efforts with our workforce should not be the same either. So we have many different levers that we need to pull and questions we need to ask on, “Are we meeting your needs?”

William Tincup: What’s wonderful about that is everyone needs something different as you mentioned out of the experience, and we’ve had a problem with this in HR. In the past, we were treating everyone the same, like having a more or less a cookie-cutter approach to things. There’s a reason we’ve called it best practices. What I love about this is if someone needs something different, even if it changed from last week, like it’s something that they need that’s just different and they need it differently, they can communicate and we can respond. So I love that.

Yvette Cameron: Exactly. Exactly. I’m going to say that employee experience has been a hot topic in the market for years, and there are so many different efforts to address it through different technologies. And I think the challenge is, is that a lot of those efforts are siloed, but they’re also one-size-fits-all. And as you just said, that’s not the answer. I think it’s common sense when you think about… Experiences are best when they’re focused on me, right? Not on people like me and people in my department. They’re best when they’re focused on me.

Yvette Cameron: And that’s how the Oracle ME application, the platform, is different from every other attempted solution out there in the market. We can put the ‘ME’ behind every process, every interaction. Because of that native development within the HCM suite, we know the whole individual. And so we can deliver on those highly-tailored, personalized, and contextual experiences that are going to best meet their needs as they change every single day. And as a result, best meet the needs of the organization.

William Tincup: And the individual as well. What I love about this is if we’re really talking about inclusion without talking about inclusion, because now we can meet individuals, not groups, not swathes or departments or whatever, geographies. We can meet individuals where they are at that particular moment. And again, things can change and often do change. And so as they do change, we can adapt with them if we have a finger on the pulse, so-

Yvette Cameron: Exactly.

William Tincup: If we’re really thinking about inclusion on a certain level, then it has to be personalized.

Yvette Cameron: This is such an important topic. You say we’re were talking about it without, but we actually very directly talk about the need to ensure explicit support for inclusion and belonging and diversity and equity. So our investments recently, over the last year… In our connections capability, which is a part of this platform, but has been a part of the Oracle HCM suite now for a couple of years, we’ve enhanced it with the ability for individuals to even more visibly present who they are.

Yvette Cameron: My skills, my interests, if I want to be a career mentor, we can have badging associated with that, indicate my interests in personal things like groups, volunteer work, et cetera. And a big part of that investment, because we’re very focused on putting individuals at the center of our investment, is so that I as a person can better put those feelers out there, “Hey, connect with me if you’re interested in similar things as me, or through searches and through artificial intelligence, making recommendations to connect me with others.”

Yvette Cameron: All of that is about building community, helping people feel more included in the company or in certain topics or areas, and really giving me that sense of belonging. It’s a very targeted part of our strategy. Even the HCM Communicate piece, right? I actually can be quite offended if I’m receiving messages about things that don’t relate to me, especially if they’re for certain types of individuals in the organization who are entitled to benefits or programs that I’m not. I don’t want to see that. It actually disenfranchises me.

Yvette Cameron: I want to make sure that if you’re going to ask me to read or interact with some content, that you should know all about me. I’ve been working for you for years. Show me that you know me and show me that you understand me by communicating very targeted just to me. And that’s all about belonging in the culture of the organization.

William Tincup: Well, and the reason we don’t know the individual, me, is because that data is siloed off. It’s all pocketed off in performance and HRS. It’s all in different places, so of course the organization doesn’t know the individual, me in particular, which gets me to ask you about the connective tissue that you see. Me and the employee experience… How do you see it playing out, as it relates to mobility and promotion, learning and mentoring, and performance and all of those things that are historically important, but also kind of siloed off into different areas? So how do you see me driving more adoption and just a better experience, and those other experiences?

Yvette Cameron: These silos that you speak about exist all over the place, they’ve proliferated as individual technology solutions have surfaced to say, “Hey, I can solve your well-being problem,” or “I can solve your continuous performance conversation problem.” And these different tools have come in and organizations say, “Hey, I want to try this new thing.” And with those silos comes exactly what you said. There’s no connective tissue. What’s happening over on one part of the employee’s experience with you as an employee is disconnected from others. And again, this is why we are so different.

Yvette Cameron: We are the only solution in the market that can drive a truly relevant and personalized experience because those are not siloed. We are the only major technology vendor who’s complete end-to-end suite is natively developed in a unified platform. It’s not compiled of different applications that we’ve acquired, et cetera. It’s all native. And now the Experience platform sits across all of that, leveraging all of that. That information is in the same tools, the same unified platform. And so very naturally, is leveraging that connective tissue that the unified platform provides.

Yvette Cameron: So what happens over in performance doesn’t stay in performance. That information, those data values, or the understanding, the last time you connected with your manager through Touchpoints and what your sentiment was, or the last communication from HR that you interacted with, all of that is there to help drive the right experiences. And so I think about, for example, our Journeys workflows with contextual guidance. These are not just standard workflows.

Yvette Cameron: So many companies are investing in a third party workforce workflow technology that they pop on top of their HR and they say, “Hey, we’re going to unify everything together,” but they can’t get to that deep level of data access, of the understanding of the relations of the data, the relations that individuals have with their employer, and all these different areas, and even outside of HR, right? Because ours is a suite that goes across the enterprise. Those third party tools that sit on top miss that connective tissue, but we can.

Yvette Cameron: And so in our Journeys, as you’re creating a process flow and experience to help guide somebody, whether it’s through onboarding, whether it’s through managing their work… I work in finance and I need to close the book, and what are all the things that I should know and do? That’s not an HR process. Managing, adding new suppliers into my partner ecosystem. That’s not a work. That’s not an HR process.

Yvette Cameron: But these are all experiences and day-to-day actions of individuals that we can help orchestrate, and leveraging all that connective tissue so that as you are presented in the context of each step and each transaction that you need to do, we’ll give you just-in-time learning. We’ll give you analytics that are tailored just to you because we can surface them on the fly, just for you in recognizing all of your security and access and your needs, and what you’re doing. This is unparalleled to anything else that’s out there in the market. It’s all about the connective tissue, William.

William Tincup: And I love that you explain native and unified because are important. And I don’t think a lot of the buyers, the practitioners, really understand. I think the IT folks sometimes understand that, but I’m not sure that the HR practitioners understand the importance of those two things.

Yvette Cameron: I would tend to agree with you. It comes to light once you’ve started using some of these additional third party tools that sit on top and you realize, gosh, every time there’s a change in their software, we need to upgrade these connections. Or something’s been broken. I’ve heard so many comments like that. And also, you can get to a certain level of personalization, but not at that deep, deep area.

Yvette Cameron: Like I said, on the communications, you can create messages out to audiences that are as granular as not just all women who are sitting in Colorado and have this particular organization they work with, but you can also say, “And I want this message to go to those who haven’t connected with their manager in the last two weeks.” And if their sentiment is on the decline and they’re not responding to HCM communications, that’s who I want to send a message to, right? Because they’re all part of the unified suite.

Yvette Cameron: So as you start thinking about the effectiveness of the tools and the approaches you’re using today, I would challenge any HR leader to really ask themselves, are they hitting the mark? Are they getting the impact that they need? And I can almost guarantee that there’s a whole bunch of myriad, different situations. There’s significant room for improvement. That’s why we put this end-to-end platform out there, natively delivered on our platform.

William Tincup: A hundred percent. Last question. We have this discussion a year from now. What does success look like for the Oracle ME?

Yvette Cameron: I would say success looks like organizations saying to us that their employees are excited about working with an organization who demonstrates such empathy and understanding for them, that their experiences feel truly personal, that they have an emotional response, a positive, emotional response to their experiences with their employer. So I think we’ll see new metrics and measures that aren’t just focused on productivity and turnover, but metrics about how are employees on a daily basis feeling? And how are they improving their support for one another? And how is the culture of the organization, and how is it perceived? We’re going to have new measures than we do today, but ultimately the impact and the feedback from individuals will be the measure of success. And that in turn, if people are successful, if they’re feeling supported and they’re thriving, their businesses will thrive too.

William Tincup: Drops mic. Walks off stage. Yvette, thank you so much. And I know it wasn’t easy to build. Can’t even imagine what went on to actually build it, but thank you for building it and thanks for coming on the podcast.

Yvette Cameron: Thank you.

William Tincup: Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to The Use Case podcast. Until next time.

The Use Case Podcast

Authors
William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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