Revealed: Oracle Fusion CRM Future


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New details from Oracle about the future of its cloud and on-premise CRM software.

What’s next for Oracle on the CRM front?

To help answer that question, I’ve been spending time with our friends at Oracle recently, making sure we here at Innoveer have a full picture of the company’s future CRM strategy, not least to ensure we provide top-notch support and advice to our bevy of devoted Oracle CRM On Demand customers.

For background, we often help our customers evaluate which CRM platform will best meet their business requirements, and regularly interface with Oracle–the company is very responsive–during these evaluations. Then again, we’ve worked with Siebel, and then Oracle, for many years, continuing most recently with its cloud-based Oracle CRM On Demand application.

The Innoveer View

Now add Oracle Fusion CRM to the discussion. Of course, we’ve been hearing about the Fusion stack–a full enterprise suite which offers much more than just CRM, and which can run on-premise or in the cloud–for some time, and Oracle has been acquiring numerous companies and technologies to make it happen.

Without a doubt, delivering the Fusion vision has been a lengthy, complicated project, and we’ve been encouraged to not just see Fusion CRM get released, but also rapidly move forward. Oracle tells me they’re already on their third point release. To be sure, not every company will need the full suite of capabilities–including ERP, sales, finance, and everything in between–but it’s important to know what’s on offer.

Already, the Fusion customer relationship management capabilities look pretty complete. The CRM module might not have all of the depth that you would see in, but it covers all of the bases–including our five must-have CRM sales capabilities, as well as mobility. On the social business front, however, while Fusion does offer related capabilities–which is great–it’s still early days. Likewise while the application offers some marketing automation capabilities, it’s not yet to the level of a Marketo or Eloqua.

Is Fusion CRM Your Next Step?

Should Oracle’s CRM Fusion be included in any evaluation of a next-generation CRM system, regardless of whether you’re coming from Siebel? Definitely. But we’d also recommend that you evaluate Microsoft CRM Dynamics, Oracle CRM On Demand, as well as

Since we have a lot of Siebel CRM customers, we also spent a lot of time talking with Oracle about how Siebel users should move forward. Oracle was very adamant that it will continue to support Siebel users. That said, being on an outdated platform remains difficult; and we think Siebel continues its slow march to extinction. Economically speaking, consider that you’ll spend about the same amount of money to upgrade Siebel as you would to move to a modern CRM application that includes a state-of-the-art interface and features. In other words, the mandate is clear: forget Siebel.

Oracle’s Upgrade Advice

For existing Siebel–as well as Oracle CRM On Demand–customers, how should you approach Fusion CRM? According to Oracle, current customers of those two products will have three upgrade options:

  • Upgrade: Existing Siebel and Oracle CRM On Demand customers can continue upgrading to the latest version of each of those products.
  • Co-exist: Tap selected parts of the cloud-based CRM Fusion stack–for example, a sales performance management module–to enhance your existing Siebel or Oracle CRM On Demand application.
  • Replace: Existing Siebel and Oracle CRM On Demand users can replace their CRM application entirely with Fusion CRM.

For Siebel users, a word of warning: Don’t try to simply recreate your current Siebel capabilities in Fusion CRM or any other CRM application. The CRM state of the art has advanced considerably since the Siebel days, and CRM-supported business processes that formerly required 10 steps may now be accomplished–with modern systems–in just five steps, if you let them.

Detail CRM Strategy Before Selecting Technology

As that warning suggests, whenever people begin discussing CRM technology from Oracle–or Microsoft, or Salesforce–tool talk too often trumps the real matter to hand, which is finding the best software to support your business goals.

To keep the discussion focused on the right level–and guide not just technology selection but also expectations for the business challenges it will solve, as well as how it will be “sold” to users–we always recommend that any business that wants to replace its current CRM system first undertake a CRM strategy engagement.

On a related note, we also offer a cloud technology selection service, to help businesses choose the best CRM application for the job. Technology isn’t everything, but the application you choose today will be important–not least because you’ll be using it well into the future.

Learn More

How is Oracle CRM On Demand helping serve businesses’ sales, marketing, and customer service needs? See our case studies with building materials provider Aggregate Industries, Suffolk Construction Company, as well as a major brick manufacturer, for real-world examples of Oracle CRM On Demand in action.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Håkan Dahlström.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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