Oracle CRM Hits 20

Oracle has released version 20 of its Oracle CRM On Demand product. It is a major release with significant upgrades to the industry-specific life sciences vertical as well as horizontal functionality, Anthony Lye, SVP for cloud applications strategy, told CRM Buyer.

“We have made improvements and enhancements in our core functionality, improved security, extensibility, Web services, our workflow, our lifecycle management, usability and mobility,” he said.

In the horizontal area, Oracle focused on improving accounting planning, the customer model, and the application of analytics across the application, noted Lye.

Improvement in account planning, for instance, was done with the view that every sales person not only is selling against corporate strategy but also is responsible for defining the account strategy, Lye said. “We wanted to round out account planning to track additional processes and information.”

Industry-Specific Bona Fides

In the industry-specific vertical area, besides life sciences, Oracle improved financial services, insurance and automotive.

Oracle CRM On Demand, thanks to its Siebel roots, has always had a strong vertical expertise — an expertise on display with this release.

For example, the life sciences market is moving from a “rich high-margin patented pipeline business to a low-margin generic business,” Lye said. “It is also changing the sales model of pounding the pavement into account management.”

These developments “make interesting opportunities for us and for the organizations that have to rethink their processes from top to bottom,” he added.

Oracle has tweaked this vertical to give users better information to make decisions about inventory.

There is also a significant degree of new functionality around the account management feature, enabling users to “close the feedback loop to improve the measure of account influence,” noted Lye.

Other new features in life sciences include call reporting compliance and analytics.

For the financial services and insurance industry vertical, Oracle added more custom object support for financial vertical objects, new subject area coverage in analytics, and enhanced exposure of financial object fields in analytics.

The focus of the new automotive industry capability is on adding the vehicle object to analytics.

Usability Continues to Improve

The application’s usability has also been improved, Lye said. This is an area that Oracle has been working on all along, with each iteration of the application. This time, Oracle took aim at the many applications within Oracle CRM On Demand that list out each of the datasets.

“Now users can collapse those into a single app with multiple tabs,” he noted.

“We also have improved on the number of clicks a user has to make and reduced the amount of mouse movements,” Lye pointed out. “All of that has an immediate impact on the sales person.”

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