Oracle Social Network (OSN) is an enterprise collaboration and social networking tool for businesses within the Oracle Cloud applications, and hence also Oracle Sales Cloud.
Collaboration in OSN is organized in conversations. These conversations can be focused around different types of subjects:
- Sales Cloud related conversations e.g. a conversation where the account team of a particular account shares the latest info they have learned whilst visiting a contact at the account, or a conversation around an opportunity, where the progress and the development of an opportunity is shared using OSN.
- Conversations on unrelated activities, from the organization of a training to sharing documentation used in a sales management meeting.
- Conversations can also be centered on a document or even an annotation inside a document where in collaboration with the involved people, a newer better version can be created using an online OSN conversation. E.g. the image below shows how a presentation, where Lisa Jones starts a conversation with her manager by making an annotation in the document.
In more traditional environments, such conversations would have been held in email. Unstructured, untraceable threads with multiple versions of the same document circulating and if a key participant in the discussion would resign, all that valuable information locked into his email would get lost.
One advantage easily overlooked of using a collaboration tool like the Oracle Social Network is that information comes to you, you do not necessarily have to go looking for it anymore.
Check out the example of a conversation in the image below. Lisa Jones has updated an opportunity and her changes were made available to OSN so the entire sales team would be made aware of the change without them having to check the opportunity in Sales Cloud. On top of that, every morning, every OSN user receives an email listing the updated form the previous day. Every morning, I can go through my OSN changes and see what has changed, I do not have to open every individual opportunity in order to find out if something has changed on them!
Extend Oracle Social Network
Not every change in Sales Cloud has to be published to the Oracle Social Network. One of the setup tasks in Sales Cloud allows you to specify for each object which fields need to be published to OSN. This is also true for custom objects added during the implementation as can be seen in the image below where you can see my custom object called ‘Custom Object’.
More on how to implement this can be found here
The collaboration through OSN reaches beyond just the users of just the Oracle Cloud applications. Off course Sales Cloud users like sales reps and sales managers can collaborate, as the Oracle Social Network is completely integrated with Oracle Sales Cloud.
But also employees not using Sales Cloud are allowed to collaborate using Oracle Social Network, as their contribution can be valuable for the sales department. Imagine the input field service engineers could provide by mentioning in an account related conversation that he has seen a competitor on site having a discussion with your main contact on the replacement of an asset!
Also the partner network that is using the Partner Relationship Management functionality in Sales Cloud can off course use the Oracle Social Network, expanding even further the tentacles of a collaboration platform. Bringing in partners to the Social Network needs to be implemented with caution, as you might not want to share sensitive information with just anyone, especially with external contributors like partners.
That is why every conversation that is shared with external contributors is is branded with a purple warning message Partner users themselves marked with a visitors badge instead of image with which internal contributors are displayed.
Off course there is a smartphone and tablet application to stay up to date of what is happening in the Oracle Social Network. There is even a plugin for Outlook so that you can stay up to date with what is happening in OSN whilst you go through your email or check your calendar.