Nancy Estell-Zoder
Vice President of Product Strategy Oracle Cloud HCM

With over 24 years of experience in the Human Capital Management industry, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. As a seasoned HCM professional, I have a proven track record of successful implementation, design, development, and strategy definition for enterprise software applications. I have deep insights into global HR processes, talent management, analytics, and security, as well as a broad understanding of industries and countries.


Organizations have had to redefine what their workplace experience means. With these recent changes, adoption accelerators seem to be one of the ways that companies can help their employees adapt to their new way of work.

Adoption accelerators are tools and support techniques that help facilitate change enablement programs to drive employee adoption in organizations.

Company needs often change, and your workforce needs will also change in turn. But, with certain adoption styles and support programs you can make these transitions more seamless for your workers.

Nancy Estell-Zoder on Adoption Accelerators:

“We’ve seen great opportunity with our adoption accelerators. The intent is to simplify that process. Recognize that there are easy ways to gain value, and focus on the critical problem that you’re trying to solve.”

Ripplematch Gen Z Impact


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Oracle Cloud HCM – New Adoption Accelerators With Nancy Estell Zoder

William Tincup: [00:00:00] This is William Tincup and you are listening to Recruiting Daily Podcasts. Today we have Nancy on from Oracle, and our discussion today is Oracle, uh, cloud hcm, the new adoption accelerators. . So they’ve come out with a new announcement and uh, Nancy and I were just reminiscing about, uh, some time we had that we had at HR Tech last year.

And, uh, and this is gonna be fun. I’ve read the announcement. This is gonna be [00:01:00] cool. Everyone get ready? Oracle’s always doing really cool, innovative things. This has yet another one. So let’s just jump into it. Nancy, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself? And if anyone’s been under a rock for 50 years, Oracle and Oracle Cloud HCM.

Nancy Estell Zoder: Absolutely. Thank you and it’s good to be here. Um, yeah, my name is Nancy Estelle Zodder, VP of Product Strategy. Um, responsible for a number of key areas within our cloud HCM suite, and really excited for, um, some of the key opportunities that we’ve seen within our cloud community and, and our ability to support our customers as not only as they move to the cloud, but as.

They evolve in the cloud, evolve their works workforce, um, and how we can better support them. You know, we’ve been in this space for quite some time now. Um, we’ve got some of the largest organizations around the world as customers. Um, and you know, with this latest announcement [00:02:00] with our adoption accelerators, we’re really excited to.

How our customers can really take advantage of some of the key investments in our product and kind of our innovation almost every day now. Um, because we see that that’s necessary, especially to support the changing needs of today’s workforce.

William Tincup: You know, as a, as a, as a side, I, I studied, uh, user adoption for about five years, and, uh, basically went around the world, talked to a different lot, a lot of vendors, talked to a lot of practitioners, you know, great software’s out there.

Fantastic. We buy it. . Um, and then we fail. And, and again, when I say we, it’s, it’s practitioners, consultants, uh, vendors, everybody that we all have kind of our hands kind of are a little bit bloody here in, in getting the change management done, getting communication done, getting training done, and just getting people to use software.

Cuz by and large, they have great software. They’ve bought, they’ve made great purchases, [00:03:00] uh, especially in the case of Oracle Cloud hcm, they’ve made great purchase. , but if they’re not using the software, the features, if they’re not using, you know, the, the new things that are out, they’re not getting the most out of it.

And that’s what I really kind of learned over that pi, that period of life, is that a lot of this kind of comes down to those things that pillars of change management. Like, okay, we went from something to something else. Okay, whatever that was, whether or not it was post-it notes to, uh, to Oracle or whatever we went, or proprietary software or something else.

We went from something to something else. Let’s change. We need to train people. and, okay, so training is, uh, you know, there’s training differences, training styles, you know, it’s not as easy as like, okay, oh, we have a bunch of webinars. Go train yourself, you know, good luck . So, and, and communication. I think this was one that I, I found that a lot of folks got wrong in this, in the sense of they didn’t let folks know [00:04:00] why.

They just like, okay, we, here we, we have this new thing, , right? Good luck.

Nancy Estell Zoder: And, and that’s what I think the challenge is, right? Because as you’ve just described it, it’s a huge endeavor. Oh yeah. It’s a huge project. It’s, you know, there’s a lot of thought that needs to go into it, and there are so many different components to consider that A lot of times what we’ve found is that organizations have.

Deemed it to be too large in some cases, right? Yeah. And so this is where we’ve really seen the opportunity with our adoption accelerators, cuz the intent is to simplify that process. Recognize that there are easy ways to gain value, and by focusing on. The critical problem that you’re trying to solve. So, you know, one of the key things that we’ve actually identified and demonstrated success with is specifically around some of the accelerators that we have for our employee experience platform.

[00:05:00] Primarily because, yeah, for the last year, right? We’ve seen. that organizations have had to redefine what employee experience means and how they can give that better personalized direction in order to support, you know, the different workplaces. You know, is it, is it hybrid, is it not? Is it evolving? What are the different options they wanna present to their workers?

And so using something like our adoption accelerators enables our customers to gain value quickly on this, the, on the. on that single value, either. Either value proposition or problem they’re trying to solve so that they can continue to evolve and expand, um, and essentially just enabling them to take that first step.

William Tincup: What it sounds like, and, and please correct me if I got this wrong, but it’s one of the, one of the fails of, of taking on something so large is you try to swallow like a python’s, you know, swallowing a cow, right? Right. You try to swallow the whole thing at once, and it sounds like one of the things you’re thinking about is, [00:06:00] okay, let’s.

you know, let’s not, let’s not try to do all of it at once. Let’s figure out where the biggest problem is and let’s solve, like in this case, employee experience. Let’s solve that first, right? Let’s actually get that adopted. Let’s get people trained on that. Let’s get, you know, the employees and, and, and managers and everybody to understand why it’s important, et cetera.

And then once that’s fully adopted and we feel really comfortable, then move on to the next thing and do it. Do I have that

Nancy Estell Zoder: about. You, uh, spot on, actually. Um, and that’s where we’ve seen not just HR, but um, organizational leaders, business leaders, right, really needing to, to, to deliver on, in order to effectively manage the, the changing needs of their business and the workforce that needs to support those changing needs.

So really addressing those critical issues that they have today. Um, not, you know, what are the, their massive transformation plans over the. You know, two to five years. But [00:07:00] what are some of the key challenges they have today and how can they resolve them, um, as well? I mean, and when we’re thinking about that, it’s not just around, um, the, the nice to have items.

Right, right. Um, it’s really can focus in on compliance items as well. Um, you know, we, we see changes in compliance pretty frequently these days. Right, right, right. and adjusting to those changing needs requires immediate action. Right. You don’t have the luxury of time. That’s right. Um, and a big transformation project to meet those needs.

And that’s exactly what the adoption accelerators

William Tincup: are for. So if, if I’m, if I’m new to, uh, Oracle, What, what do, how do I pick which accelerator or how do I kind of go about my, like being able to prioritize, take us into that without, you know, revealing any secret sauce. Of course. No,

Nancy Estell Zoder: that, that’s a great question.

Um, and actually we’ve simplified that process for, for, for our customers. So within [00:08:00] our H C M resource center, we have, um, tagging of our. And so depending on the market for which you’re in an industry geography as well as the, the problem that you’re trying to solve is in fact tagged on those assets. Now, those assets include, you know, documents that provide the direction, um, around optimized processes that, but they also include development.

Development assets as well, though, things that you can download and upload into your environment to accelerate adoption. Um, so yeah, customers can easily find, um, what it is that they require based on, you know, the, the searching on the tags of the market for which they’re in. To, to get ideas of what other customers require, but also really focusing in their search on the problem that they’re trying to solve.

So as an example, we, um, posted a travel nurse journey. So if you’re a healthcare customer, um, specifically here in the United. States. Um, we know that there’s been a significant increase in [00:09:00] travel nurses, um, and their experience, their, their worker experience is critical for their success to focus in on patient care.

Um, and so we provided a journey for that. Um, and you can easily search, you know, on travel nurse, um, and or healthcare, um, in order to find that.

William Tincup: Oh, I love this. So what do, do they have insight to the leaders, especially like the super admins of, of, of, of the software? Do they have an idea of what’s being adopted versus what’s maybe not being as adopted as much?

Nancy Estell Zoder: Absolutely. And so, you know, we definitely, um, keep track of, you know, adoption of specific capabilities, right? And what some of the opportunities are within our solution. Um, and that’s ex and because of the flexibility of our solution, we, we also have the opportunity to recognize, you know, where there are value opportunities for our customers.

And that’s really what we’ve been focusing on. Oh, that’s great. [00:10:00] Yeah, which is also why we started with the employee experience platform for which we delivered last year, and providing adoption accelerators in key areas, um, as over the last 12 months, um, in order to best support our customers. And,

William Tincup: and you see the adoption accelerators then growing for, to everything that you’ve built for the whole.

Nancy Estell Zoder: So, you know, we started with employee experience, right? Right. Um, there are other areas for which we have in fact delivered adoption accelerators, especially around some of the geographies. Right. And localizations, you know, when you think of things like absence rules, as an example, , um, you know, and we’re continuing to expand upon, um, the adoption accelerators we have there.

Um, so, you know, market specific. Have been a focus for

William Tincup: us. I can see that. I can see that, and I can see it grow. I mean, this is, it’s never done, right. So you, you’ve started at a place, it’s a great place to start, especially with something new to then say, Hey, it’s not [00:11:00] just new and it’s awesome, it’s new, it’s awesome, and we’re gonna help you get it actually implemented and get it adopted in your organization.

And here’s how, like we’re not just gonna talk about it. Exactly. Here’s how, and you can work backwards or. , you know, uh, as, as your clients say, Hey, you did skills the year before, or, or whatever, could you help us with that too? Or are we building things around that? Like, that’s, that’s just gonna kind of come, uh, over time.

Nancy Estell Zoder: That’s exactly right. So, and we’re providing direction through the adoption accelerators for those customers that wanna do it on their own. But we’ve also partnered with our partners, um, you know, we’ve got a number of adoption accelerators that have been delivered and posted by Deloitte, pwc, um, I B m, as well as others in O app.

Oh, that’s cool. and where it takes it a step further. Right? Because we also recognize that there are gonna be unique requirements Yeah. At certain organizations. And that’s where our partners can really support those unique needs. Um, [00:12:00] and so we’ve worked with our partners to deliver, uh, adoption accelerators that are really specific and targeted as


William Tincup: Does, does, uh, does Oracle call those sis the system integrators, or do y’all, I mean, you used the word partners. I just can’t. I,

Nancy Estell Zoder: I think we’ve used that interchangeably. ,

William Tincup: yeah. Yeah. I, I was wondering that too is like, is there any synonyms because Yeah, I know they want us to view themselves as partners and I know we sometimes wanna view them as partners.

True. I get that. But sometimes the si word or the si comes up and so I’m like, okay, well is that different? Is that more technical? Okay.

Nancy Estell Zoder: Yeah, I, I definitely look at them as partners. Um, hundred percent. You know, we work together, um, on these, not just these adoption accelerators, but the opportunities that we see and, and how we want to prioritize them for the markets for which we address.

So definitely look at them as partners and work with them as partners.

William Tincup: Well, the, what’s great about this is, is again, it’s, it’s towards the goal of giving more value to the customer. They’ve bought software. [00:13:00] You don’t have their licensing software. Okay, fantastic. But if their folks aren’t using it, they’re not getting the, the, the maximum amount of value outta the software.

So, okay, what can we do? Your partners are part of that, how can they help? And so it becomes kind of a knowledge base. and, and something that’s actually really helpful for them to be able to go in there by, like I said, region, they can go in by position, they can look at very specific things and in some cases download things to actually help them, uh, start right away, which is, I mean, I can, I can tell you from just my own experience is super helpful to practitioners.

To not be able to start with a blank screen. Like, okay, I know I have a problem. I know that this isn’t being adopted. Now what, like now how do I get started? This is a way to just go into something and go, okay, I, how do I get started? Like, it’s, it’s a wonderful, a wonderful, go ahead. I interrupted you. .

Nancy Estell Zoder: No, it, it’s that time to value to your point.

Ah, [00:14:00] yes. And so, you know, we already deliver solutions on a quarterly basis, right, right. In order to adapt to the changing needs of HR and operations and organizations in general. Um, but what these adoption accelerators really enables us to do is provide. Potentially every day. Not to suggest that we’re posting every single day.

We, there are days that we post a couple, I, you know, assets. There are some days that we don’t, but, you know, we provide those, um, adoption accelerators as they’re needed. Potentially, you know, as frequently as it’s required, we are not, um, constrained to a product update, um, in order to deliver this innovation.

Do they? So it’s.

William Tincup: Oh, I’m sorry Nancy, I apologize. Do, do they get to upload best practices? Like, so if you’re working with, I won’t say client’s names, client X and they’ve built out something really, really cool. Um, do they get to upload that to, uh, [00:15:00] the adoption accelerator?

Nancy Estell Zoder: That is a fantastic question. And the, the, the short answer is no, but there’s a reason for that, right?

privacy. . Yeah. Yeah. Fair enough. It’s a combination of a couple of things. Um, we want these assets to be development approved. We want the development approved and development optimized. So even the assets that are developed by our partners, we work with our partners to optimize the recommendation, um, prior to them getting posted.

Um, the intent is to ensure that they are all reviewed by and recommendations that we stand behind as, as Oracle development. .

William Tincup: So how are we communicating this to, uh, our customers? So now you have this new thing you’ve bought, you know, again, you we’re just gonna talk about the employee experience platform.

You’ve built something really cool. They’ve got it, they’ve bought it. Fantastic. How do we communicate to them what they, the resources that they have available, and then how [00:16:00] to take advantage.

Nancy Estell Zoder: So, um, we do obviously communicate it, um, with our customers as we engage with them. Um, but we also have our cloud customer community for which our customers can regularly engage.

And we have, not only do we have, you know, sessions around all of these adoption accelerators, as a matter of fact, What we’ve committed to, especially for our partner adoption accelerators, is that we d we post the asset as well as have a q and a for our customers so they can ask the questions if there are any, um, around those adoption accelerators and what’s the opportunities are.

Um, but we also have a forum for which we have those discussions and we push that information to our customer communities. So yeah, there’s a variety of ways for which our customers get this information. Um, but the primary, um, Primary mode of communication is through our cloud customer community.

William Tincup: I don’t, I know you’re not on the sales side of things.

Uh uh. What, but, but [00:17:00] have you heard anything from prospects, uh, as you’ve, as, as obviously your sales team has kinda carried this out, this message about not only just the platform, but the adoption accelerators. Have you heard anything back from them? From like, what, what they’re hearing from

Nancy Estell Zoder: prospect?

Absolutely. This has been a key differentiator for us, primarily because it’s really evolved our partnership. And I have to admit, you know, the, the, the timing of our, um, our launch of our adoption accelerators was truly so timely because there was a interview that Safra Cats. Um, was a part of, um, literally about a week prior to our launch where she talked about our evolving customer relationships.

Um, and as we’ve looked, especially over the past couple of years, um, the customer relationships have, have significantly changed with. Software vendors. Right, right. Solution providers. Right. Um, I’m sure you’ve seen it, you know, in terms of, you know, I, I, I’m gonna date myself, but you know, I remember [00:18:00] on premise days where we had, you know, two to three years, sometimes four year release cycles.

Oh yeah. And very different type of an engagement model with our customers. And even once we’re in the cloud, we’ve seen an evolution. Since the results of what’s happened in the world around us over the past couple of years has also resulted in a massive change in our relationship with our customers.

And Saffron made a cus comment that, you know, we basically move in with you. Um, now that’s an interesting analogy. No, that’s kinda how it, our relationships

William Tincup: have become. As a practicing Catholic, there’s no such thing as half. You know, just, it’s, it’s just one of those deals like, yep, you, you really are. I mean, that it’s, I’ve, I’ve said this for years.

It’s like, this is a really intimate relationship. They’re going to know you better than, in some cases, better than you know yourself. So pick wisely. Okay. But also pick people that you want to be around that you trust [00:19:00] because they can then give you candid feedback. Cause the, the beauty of that partnership between a, a, a great, you know, software vendor and a practitioner, is that you can tap them as a practitioner.

They’re sitting on. Hundreds and thousands of, of implementations and, and experiences that you can leverage. Like, like, it, it doesn’t have to be. What we used to have is, you know, 1, 1, 1 person’s sitting on one side of the table on another, and kind of an adversarial relationships. Like that’s just counterproductive, uh, on all, on all accounts.

And that’s, that’s also true of the Deloitte’s, PWCs, KPMGs and, and, uh, our partners. That’s, it’s also true of those folks as. .

Nancy Estell Zoder: Well, and the other thing that we found is it’s, it, you know, if you remember of years back, um, you know, where we would get requirements from customers and then we would deliver solutions.

The, we don’t have that luxury of time again where, you know, we don’t know what’s gonna happen or what’s needed in the next three to six months. So we’re [00:20:00] in a, a true partnership, collaboration to make a determination together. Um, around what’s gonna be required in order to support the future of work, because again, we don’t have that, you know, years, um, to help develop, um, and time to develop.

Capabilities, right? Um, and to a strategy from two years ago, right? We don’t want, we, we don’t have that option anymore in this current work environment. And so we really need to have that partnership and, you know, our customers have demonstrated the value of that partnership. Well, I

William Tincup: think you nailed it earlier when you said time to value.

I think the idea, the construct we both grew up in the world of on-prem of that idea of time to value is, you know, seconds, minutes, and. I didn’t Exactly. It’s just changed and there’s a lot of reasons for that, but I, I think you nailed it earlier. It’s like, well, where our expectations have changed in the sense of Oracle practitioners, their sense has changed.

And so is partners. So [00:21:00] like all of our senses have changed around this construct around time to value. We’ve, we’ve just gotta get there quicker and at a higher quality level. Well, now that we know , we can all put our heads to it and, and get there. Um, two things. One is, uh, you might have covered it at the very beginning, but I wanna make sure that the audience gets it.

Where did the idea come from? Like, I know that y’all probably had this, bounced around this idea for a, a while, but like, where did it, where did it come from?

Nancy Estell Zoder: So it’s interesting because, you know, my experience, um, I I, I was in consulting for many years where I implemented H C M solutions for well over 10 years.

Um, and especially outside of the US where there were some unique requirements. Um, especially when you get into localizations. And so, you know about a, I wanna say it was about a year and a half, almost two years ago, we started with the concept of our resource center as a place to gain some of those assets, um, where we’re giving.

[00:22:00] Recommendations, kind of Oracle backed recommendations, um, around the configuration of our solution. Um, but then, you know, as we continue to develop those recommendations, and we started with some of the, the key opportunities with our reports and our journeys, um, as assets that we could post out into this resource center, we found that there was truly an opportunity to go that step further, not just around.

The complex requirements in how we would propose configuration, um, to meet some of those more complex requirements, but even some of the simple, where they can easily and quickly gain value on their own. Um, and that’s really where this came from. Um, so yes, you’re absolutely right. This is a couple of years in the works, um, but really excited where we’re at right now because it really does ensure that our customers are getting what they need really when they need.

William Tincup: Dumb question alert. Do do the, do the customers get this as a part of buying, [00:23:00] uh, like in this case the employee experience platform? Or is it something separate?

Nancy Estell Zoder: Oh, I’m so glad you asked that question. Um, it is, it

William Tincup: was terrified about asking the question. I’m glad you’re glad walking, walking the fine line here.


Nancy Estell Zoder: this is part of the partnership with Oracle. This is the benefit of, you know, joining our Oracle ecosystem, being our customer. Um, and it is in fact included with the relationship. Um, and I think that’s also one of the unique opportunities that we see with our adoption accelerators because we really do see our customer success as our success.

And the way we can do that is by ensuring that they have the guidance that they need to enable that success. And those adoption accelerators do precisely.

William Tincup: Drops, Mike walks off stage. Yep. That’s it. Ladies and gentlemen. Nancy, thank you so much. I know you’re crazy busy, but I, I really appreciate you coming on and talking about adoption.

People know this about me. User adoption is a passion of mine, so I’m [00:24:00] just so glad that y’all have created this, uh, for your customers. Fantastic.

Nancy Estell Zoder: Thank you so much. It was great to be here. A hundred

William Tincup: percent. And thanks for everyone listening. Until next time.

Outro: You’ve been listening to the Recruiting Live Podcast by recruiting daily. Check out the latest industry podcast, webinars, articles, and [email protected]

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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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