Category: Technical

Customizing Oracle Fusion CRM

We have prepared a short video, which talks in detail about “Extending Oracle Fusion CRM”. It covers information about the MDS Repository, Engine, Various layers where customizations can be done, how these are stored in the repository and how they are retrieved at the runtime to provide different experience to different users.

Customizing Oracle Fusion CRM

We will be coming up with more advanced videos on Oracle Fusion CRM in the coming days. For more details and to answer any of your queries, feel free to reach us at st@crmit.com

Customer Management In Oracle Fusion CRM

Oracle Fusion CRM offers various advanced functionalities for business users, however all these can only be utilized if you have a strong Customer database. This article shows you step by step how this is done.

Step 1 : Login to Fusion CRM

 

Step 2 : From the home page, Click on “Navigate > Sales > Customers”

Step 3 : From the left navigation, select “Create Customer” (Or use the “Quick Create” option available just below)

Step 4 : Enter the form to create the customer (and one contact too)

Step 5 : Click on “Customers” link in the left navigation. You will be taken to the landing page, where you can see your newly created customer, On click of the customer name, you can also view the contacts, Tasks and Calendar data associated with this customer

Step 6 : Click on the Orange Dot before the name of your newly created Customer, you will see a nice business card view, where you can see more details about this customer in a single view

Step 7 : From this window, you can do various things. For example, Select primary contact for the customer, Select Primary Address, View / Add Notes, View / Add Interactions, Research about the customer on web, Download the customer details to your Microsoft Outlook etc.,

To Start with, let us look into the Notes option, Click on the “Notes” link and you will get a screen similar to below:

Step 8 : You can click on “Create” Icon and start entering a note using simple text, or rich / formatted text:

Step 9 : You can go back to Step 6 above, and click on “Interactions”. You will find a screen where various types of interactions with this customer can be captured. For example, Email, Phone call, Web Conference, Fax, Meeting, Chat etc.,

Step 10 : Click on “Create” icon and you can capture details about the interaction(s) you had with this customer:

Step 11 : Next, go back to Step 6 view and Click on “Find On Web”, it opens a new browser tab with Google Search results about this customer

Step 12 : Finally, Click on “Add to my address book”, you can download your current customer as a .vcf entry, which can be added to your Email Client such as Microsoft Outlook:

That’s it. These are the basic things you can do with Oracle Fusion CRM Customer Management. We will discuss lot of advanced topics in our next article(s). Stay tuned, Happy CRMing!

User Experience Of Oracle Fusion CRM

One of the major attractions (and useful features) of Oracle Fusion CRM is, its User Experience. The entire user pages are split into multiple areas such as:

  • Global Area (Common Tools and Services)
  • Regional Area (Specific Tools)
  • Local Area (Transactions, Information, Actions)
  • Contextual Area (Additional Information on what we are doing)

For example, let us say you are in Opportunities page and drilling down into a particular opportunity you are working on. As expectged, These details are displayed in Local Area. But look at what happens around this area.

Observe that Regional Area displays tasks linked to opportunities, that can be triggered in one click. You don’t have to leave the opportunity focus area to perform a task and this is possible via the unique user experience of Oracle Fusion Apps.

A related feature is Navigation. There is a dedicated Navigation option available on the Global Area (Similar to Menus in any desktop application) and on click of which you can look at all commonly accessed page, again with a single click.

Oracle Fusion CRM is not only fast, but also smart!

Oracle Fusion CRM : Territory Management

Oracle Fusion CRM provides an easy to use Territory Management module, for sales teams to organize their sales regions into multiple territories, based on various criteria / Dimensions (Example : Geography, Product, Industry, Account etc.,)

Once these are decided and the territories are defined, we can attach metrics to them. These are used by the sales team members to track how well their territories are doing. (Example: Potential Market, Revenue etc.,)

For example, Let us say a particular vertical allows the market potential of 100 Million Dollars. You can create child territories under this market (based on one or more dimensions), assign a “Total Market Potential” and Owner to each one of them. Once this is done, the actual revenue billing can be assigned to these child territories for a comparison, how much of the potential these territories are meeting. Fusion CRM provides detailed graphical analytic tools for this purpose.

In addition to simple territory definition, you can also Validate your territories. This will present a detailed report in terms of

* Invalid Dimension Members
* Overlaps and
* Gaps

In case you find any issues with this result, you can always go back and correct your territory definitions. After that, don’t forget to revalidate and confirm everything is in place.

Once this is completed, the sales manager can assign quotas to each Territory defined. This can be done as an amount (Dollar value) or Percentage. You can even adjust the quota by manually defining it.

In addition to manual Quota assignment, you can also use an automated “Quota Distribution tool”, based on various factors (Past performance over ‘n’ years, custom mathematical formula, if required). This makes the assignment faster, and realistic.

Next, you need to apply Seasonality, which splits the quota into Q1, Q2, Q3 & Q4.

Finally, we publish the quota for the corresponding owners to see and act on. Fusion CRM Automatically informs the territory owners that a quota is set for them.

As you can see in the above steps, Oracle Fusion CRM makes territory definition and assignment very easy and straightforward, so that the sales team can spend time on what they do best, selling!

Oracle Fusion CRM : New Features

Already being delivered as a comprehensive suite of modular applications, Oracle Fusion apps are enriched with the potential of coexisting with existing Oracle apps. This pioneered advancement not only matches the current business needs and improves efficacy of the existing system, but also ensures a new level of performance. Here are some new features of Fusion CRM that are worth sharing…

Customizable Dashboards: Are you facing problems in finding specific insight to data that you need? If yes Fusion CRM has a solution for you. It allows you to simply customize your sales dashboards with smarter reports. Know more about this feature by just following this You tube video link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCotrQ8H6gM&feature=related

Contact Data Quality: Can you keep bad data from bugging down your CRM system? With fusion CRM it is possible. From automatically validating the record to checking records for duplicate data, Fusion CRM does it all. To find how Fusion CRM built in data management dashboard helps with ongoing data cleansing and taking immediate corrective action , click here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp0NEpJZT4Y&feature=related

Native Outlook Client: Is your sales team double entering customer interactions or not entering them at all? Fusion CRM has a true outlook plug-in that avoids manually entering information from outlook to CRM. All you need to do is create your mail in outlook and share it with fusion CRM automatically. Know more about how to make better communication and coordination with the team, by just clicking here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkyN6Pcyntg&feature=related

Native Mobile App: Do you need to work with your customer data away from your laptop. Fusion CRM lets you sell smarter wherever you are. You can simply use fusion mobile to access contacts, accounts and opportunities. To know how, view this You Tube video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKy4xn62wyk&feature=related

Customizations Made Simple: Do you need IT help for customizations? With Fusion CRM you can tailor the system without waiting for IT. Follow this link and know how this new feature can assist you all the way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE4Ys-qMJZU&feature=related

Territory Management: Assigning territory offline always creates gaps and overlaps, thus preventing you from maximizing your revenue. But with Fusion CRM you can model your territories right within the system. Know more about deploying your territories with confidence by clicking this video link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXCg21ttosw&feature=related

Sales Coach: How do you make every sales performer a top performer? Well, Fusion CRM coaches every representative with your best practices. Click here to know how reps can continue getting best practice sales that can coach all the way through to close
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBdB8ME5e2E&feature=related

Opportunity Landscape: Are you spending too much on prospecting? Fusion CRM allows you to keep a check on lead quality and aging. So, to learn how this new feature facilitates with less prospecting and more selling, just follow the link here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZ4RiIEejR0&feature=related

Integrated Sales Contracts: Is completing your contract harder than selling? Fusion CRM allows your sales people to create contract faster. It makes it simple to preview contracts and generate printable version for the customers. Follow the link to know how you can also be freed from delays, thus leaving you more time to sell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwXtZHCYNtY&feature=related

Chitti babu & Charu Mehta,

CRM Consultants, CRMIT

Using CRM Desktop With Oracle CRM On Demand #CRMOD R19

CRM Desktop is an offline tool provided by Oracle, for accessing its CRM On Demand R19 data from Microsoft Outlook, We have been using it for quite some time and prepared a short guide on how to install / configure / use CRM Desktop for Oracle CRM On Demand, so that you can start accessing CRM On Demand data from your familiar Microsoft Outlook interface.

To view the slides : http://www.slideshare.net/nchokkan/using-crm-desktop-with-oracle-crm-on-demand

How Oracle Fusion CRM Handles Multilingual Implementations

Oracle Fusion CRM comes with an interesting architecture for handling multi language implementations. This means, during the initial deployment phase itself, number of languages can be configured so that the user can choose their preference during login.

In fact, Fusion CRM Provides two language choices when any user logs in:

  1. Default Application Language
  2. Current Session Language

Once these two are setup, whenever the same user logs in again, they would only see the Oracle Fusion CRM interfaces in “Default Application Language”, They can change it to a different language in “Current Session Language” temporarily, But it is not a permanent change, until “Default Application Language” is changed.

As far as the support for multiple languages go, Oracle Fusion CRM Provides a user friendly interface for translating labels and other text from one language to another. This goes through an approval cycle before it is shown to the end users. Any corrections / rework can be done at this stage.

Technically speaking, all these language specific texts are stored in a Strings Repository. It has three tables:

  1. Base Table (English)
  2. Translation Table (All installed languages)
  3. Languages Table

If you have 100 labels in your Fusion CRM application, and 5 languages installed (Including English), “Base Table” will have 100 labels and “Translation Table” will have 400.

Similar to this, Fusion CRM also supports multiple currencies, number / date / time formats, Territory preferences and many more. Truly a global CRM application!

Visual Navigation Of Customer Support Calls

Today I noticed an interesting question in Quora (http://www.quora.com/How-long-will-it-be-until-I-can-navigate-automated-customer-service-calls-visually) about Visual Navigation of Customer Support Calls

How long will it be until I can navigate automated customer service calls visually?
My phone has a screen on it. I don’t want to listen carefully to your menu options, even if they have recently changed.

Very interesting scenario. I responded with an answer like this. What are your thoughts?

Ah, super practical question, Why not?

But technically, I think there are HUGE challenges, Even with sophisticated Computer Telephony Integrations in place, Voice based calls and kept separate from data transfer, hence using a smart phone to handle both voice and data (choices for you to choose from) is difficult, at least as of today.

So, the immediate options seem to be:

1. Pure voice (Current system which you described)
2. Pure data (Use a Website / PC to log your tickets)
3. Voice and data (iPhone / Android / Blackberry app where calls can be made and menu options can be ‘download’ed on the fly so that you can choose from there, instead of listening, use Voice only for talking, not for hearing / choosing)

Future option:

Make a voice call : get the menu options as a data back to your phone : Dynamic display : Choose : Speak / Act

On second thoughts, there are few phone apps which do this already, isn’t it? For example, the app used to query for balance in a prepaid account? If Phone companies can extend it to call centers too, it will be a good start!

Once the telephony system is there to support this, CRM systems can provide a much better navigation for phone users, depending on which device they are using

Naga Chokkanathan, Director (Innovation), CRMIT

Top Ten Open Source CRM Solutions

Open source CRM projects are flourishing stupendously; just do a quick search in SourceForge Inc. and you will find more than 350 active open CRM projects listed there. How do we pick the good apples from this huge database?

Fortunately, focus.com has done the hard work and identified top ten open source CRM solutions. Here’s an overview.

  • Sugar CRM Inc. is a major player in the open source CRM category that was founded by John Roberts, Clint Oram and Jacob Taylor in 2004. Being downloaded for more than three million times, company received almost $26 million in venture financing
  • Splendid CRM Software Inc., founded in 2005, runs an application that is specifically designed for system integrators and is built on the Microsoft platform.
  • Centric CRM with its seven years of experience in the field has been aimed to serve small business market. The application is written in Java that is compatible with MySQL databases and the administrative console in this app allow for a great deal of customization
  • Hipergrate rated as “the most complete open-source Java CRM and groupware” actually has everything in its application. Being written in Java, this app is operating system independent and includes an assortment of functional modules
  • Compiere Inc. provides a complete ERP and CRM application collaborated with a fantastic support for marketing and sales, human resources, inventory control and much more
  • Vtiger CRM built upon the LAMP/WAMP architecture offers features like inventory-management, security-management, multiple database support, product-customization and calendaring along with some add-ons like Outlook Plug-in, Office Plug-in, Thunderbird Extension, Customer Self-service Portal and Web Forms
  • Centra View Inc’s first version that supported Linux and Windows 2000/XP platforms was released in November 2004. But, today the software is offered in both hosted and downloadable forms
  • XRMS CRM is an on-premise solution for companies of different sizes. This web based application is completely operating system independent and comes upgraded with human-resources management, SFA and CRM
  • Cream CRM is a multilingual application written in Java and Java script that tracks services, sales orders, shipments, payments, online and print subscriptions. So, it is basically designed for media organizations
  • Tustena CRM is a Microsoft-centric application designed for enterprise-class organizations and comes in three solutions; On Demand, Business and Open Source. The application compatible with Microsoft SQL Server has been written in C#, ASP.NET and JavaScript.
– Charu Mehta

For more details on these CRM solutions, just follow the link http://www.focus.com/briefs/top-10-open-source-crm-solutions/

Evernote Hello : A Personal CRM

I’m sure many of us encounter memory loss incidents either at a social gathering, shopping where we see a familiar person. It takes us time to recollect who they are and where we have met them. In this process we either do not step forward to communicate with that person or even if we dare to confront, spur of moment we tend to forget their name or other personal details about them. This could either be a good one or land up being unpleasant if the person doesn’t remember you or vice versa.

In view of this, Evernote Corporation developed an application that allows smart phone users to capture and record information on their devices. How it works is very simple, May be the developers based the ever note after watching the movie ‘memento’, where in the main character has a short term memory loss and starts clicking pictures of people on his Polaroid to know whom he has to associate with and pens down how he is associated with the person.

This app (called “Evernote Hello” : http://www.evernote.com/hello/ ) is almost on similar lines, the only difference being that it is digitally saved and note could be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten ink note. Notes can also have file attachments. Notes can then be sorted into folders, tagged, annotated, edited, given comments, searched and exported as part of a notebook. The whole application as such enables one to maintain a very cordial relationship with another person that they encounter during a short period of time.

From a business perspective this application serves as a wonderful app to remember clients/customers/suppliers/vendors etc. It actually more or less brings out the professional side by even sending a mail after the initial encounter with the customer. It is like a business card confirmation that is sent across. When encountering your customer or client during non business hours there are chances of building an excellent rapport with the customer by recollecting their past encounter etc. This over a period of time acts as a catalyst for arriving at business proposals or even sharing information across organizations. This more or less like a personal CRM app for business users who can keep a record of people they meet on the move.

However there are certain limitations to the application, how many us actually make it a point to keep doing this over a period of time and keep asking people whom we meet to enter their information. What if the person is not so sociable and doesn’t like being photographed?

The other drawback is the automated mail that is sent when adding the person. It could actually disturb the person and could change his impression as it could sound too pushy and obnoxious. Additionally it has a limitation for the free version which is advertising supported, has limited storage of only 60 MB and has a usage meter and cannot be used offline.

But going with the numbers there are over 11 million users as of July 2011, this goes to show how useful the app is and also shows how well the app developers have researched their way to develop such an app realizing that most of us do tend to forget people that we meet in a short duration.

– Deepalakshmi Subramanian

You can download this Free App for your iPhone here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/evernote-hello/id484359282?mt=8