Oracle’s Siebel CRM Enhances Mobility

Oracle is enhancing the mobile options it offers to Siebel CRM On Demand customers through partnerships with best-of-breed application vendors and device manufacturers. Earlier this year, for example, it announced a partnership with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. More recently, it struck a deal to integrate Siebel CRM On Demand withVettro’s portfolio of mobile on-demand sales applications.

The combo allows mobile users to create and manage business information from standard wireless smartphones or PDAs (personal digital assistants). Users have real-time access to information in customer histories, accounts receivable, and support and knowledge bases, for example. Conversely, data that is captured in the field is updated in Siebel CRM On Demand in real time.

Vettro 360, the company’s integration platform, enables GPS (Global Positioning System), Bluetooth peripherals, RFID (radio frequency identification), point-of-service transactions and printing. It integrates with Oracle via a prebuilt, standard integration adapter that facilitates end-to-end service-oriented architecture across both mobile and desktop portfolios.

“Vettro supports our preference for [a] standards-based technology approach, which paves the way for opportunities with our entire Oracle product portfolio,” stated Tom Herrmann, vice president of global ISV strategy and programs at Oracle.

Multiple Devices

One of the ways Vettro differentiates itself from other mobile offerings in the marketplace is that it is compatible with multiple devices, Matt Finkelstein, vice president of product management for Vettro, told CRM Buyer.

“We have created a product that allows a user to write the application once and then run it on any Vettro-enabled device, whether it is a RIM or J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition)-based phone,” he said.

There is great demand for this portability, especially given the larger industry trends, he continued. SOA, for instance, is in broad use today, and one of its hallmarks is its operability.

“What many people are doing on mobile devices now is combining the way the application functions with how the device works,” Finkelstein said. “To really achieve portability, you need to separate those functions.”

The need to provide support for multiple devices in a heterogeneous environment, he added, is the reality of the current mobile ecosystem.

Other Initiatives

This is not Oracle’s only initiative to roll out its Siebel application in the mobile format. In April, for example, it announced support for BlackBerry smartphones for its Siebel CRM product.

Siebel, of course, offered mobile applications for many years when it was an independent firm. It developed some very advanced laptop and handheld applications when few other firms were doing so, concentrating primarily in such verticals as consumer product goods and pharma.

While those earlier applications were tailored to specific functions for end users, the newer initiative makes a broader set of customer data available to mobile professionals, according to Ed Abbo, senior vice president of applications development at Oracle.

“We are providing access to sales and service professionals,” he told CRM Buyer when the RIM announcement was made earlier this year, “and the type of data they are looking for is very broad.”

Oracle would be announcing a string of enhancements for mobile devices in the coming year, Abbo said.

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