Oracle Planning Major Customer Outreach Effort

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Oracle is set to launch a high-profile customer-feedback effort titled "Oracle Listens" that will see the landing page transformed into a "simple UI that has one purpose: to gather ideas from the user community, about any aspect of Oracle," wrote Justin Kestelyn, editor of the Oracle Technology Network, in a blog post on Sept. 8.

Oracle executives will be answering questions from visitors directly during the run-up to the vendor's annual OpenWorld conference, which starts Sept. 21, Kestelyn said.

Site visitors can skip through to the normal homepage if they wish. The campaign, which will also employ Oracle's Mix social-networking platform, is set to officially start sometime this week.

"To me, this is the most audacious part of the program -- that they are hijacking ALL traffic to the and diverting them to Oracle Listens," said analyst Charlene Li, who covers social media technologies, in a blog post. "It's a bold move that highlights how serious Oracle is about listening to and embracing their customers and partners."

"But I think the biggest risk is that Oracle as an organization does not sustain the effort over the long term," Li added. "Once Oracle's customers/partners get a taste of this 'new' Oracle, they are going to want more, and the risk is that Oracle executives and employees will go back to their daily routines. But I suspect that some executives and employees -- not all, but some -- will also get hooked and will stay engaged."

After the promotion ends on Sept. 21, Oracle plans to "transform this experience into a permanent fixture of Oracle's brand-to-community-to-brand conversation," Kestelyn said.

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