Oracle CRM OnDemand (CRMOD) Release 16 was my first encounter with a ready to use, complete End-to-End CRM application in a SaaS model, and its needless to say that I am biased towards this application. However, the reasons are not just personal; the application now in its 23rd release (with a roadmap to R24) has come a long way. It is a mature application and is as good as (if not better) most of the other offerings in the market.
But recent events in this space have raised doubts of the application’s life term. Many would argue that Oracle’s focus has shifted to the development and enhancement of fusion applications and Oracle CRMOD is on its way to retirement. While this is not entirely false, we still need to understand that the application is part of Oracle Sales Cloud and with its existing customer base, Oracle would find it difficult to move away from this product.
This is well substantiated by the recent enhancements and the fixes I have seen in the release 23. Oracle has delivered more than 35 enhancements with major themes being – Customer experience, Industry Innovation and Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). While the below screenshot shows the focus areas of Release 23, the roadmap for Release 24 is equally convincing.
R23 talks about integration with Oracle Social Relationship Management for Social engagement and monitoring and concentrated effort to build up the Life Sciences industry vertical for CRMOD. However, in this article, I would focus on the three most intriguing features (as per me) of Oracle CRMOD, their functionalities and recent enhancements.
1] ‘Business Process Automation’: From updating a field to building complex validation rules, used for automating tasks which were painfully manual or for defining rules that control the application’s usage, Business Process automation module of CRMOD is probably the single biggest component in terms of impact towards the application adoption. A well defined and well configured Business process can ensure that your application is controlled and structured.
Oracle CRMOD provides a robust framework to establish these business processes. As a systems analyst, you can create innumerable combinations of Actions based on the triggers available. Think of any action below and combine with the trigger to define your process.
The predefined functions in Oracle CRMOD boasts of a comprehensive list, which when stitched together with the operators offered can help you define and configure the most complex of rules and processes.
R23 enhancements – With R23, one of the key features in business process management is that the function ‘JoinFieldValue’ (function to extract field value from another object) could potentially have any record as the source and any record as the destination. The source records were previously restricted to OOB objects and Custom Object 1, 2 & 3. This meant that while designing the system, we had to take into consideration this limitation. However, now you could map your business entities without thinking of this constraint.
2] ‘Personalizing your Application’: Driven by its theme of ‘Customer Experience’ this section has seen a number of enhancements in the last few releases. The application though designed/configured globally in a certain way, provides the user the ability to control:
a) What they want see in the system &
b) How they want to see it
The list below (not limited to) highlights what users can control in the system, apart from being able to modify one’s personal information:
R23 enhancements – Dynamic layout capability is one of the most sought after features in Oracle CRMOD. A feature not yet available in recently developed applications. Prior to R23, users could only add/remove related information sections for a layout and this did not impact the dynamic layouts. But R23, takes this a step further by giving users the option to personalize the layout with individual sets of related information, each set mapping to a driving value in the pick-list.
3] ‘Ad-hoc Actionable Analytics’: Oracle CRMOD is powered with a light weight yet robust analytics engine. Having worked with multiple applications, I can confidently say that the reporting capability of CRMOD is more powerful than most of the competitive software available in the market. I like to use the phrase ‘Ad-hoc Actionable Analytics’ because with limited training, users with the right privileges could create meaningful reports and dashboards on the fly.
Business scenario* – “Head of a wholesale banking business unit wants to know the overdue opportunities by industry but at the same time wants to find out why the opportunities has not been closed” *- Screens shown below are for demonstrative purposes only and may not relate to real time scenarios
Oracle CRMOD provides a 3 step solution to this requirement:
A) 1st Level Dashboard Statistics :: Identify the Area of Concern
B) 2nd Level List of items :: Get More Information
C) 3rd Level Record view :: Take Action
R23 enhancements – Apart from support from multiple languages in analytics and introduction of some important subject areas, Release 23 brings in a personalization of Dashboards for user roles. Administrators could previously remove pre-built dashboards, but now you can customize and sort the display of dashboards.
Oracle CRM OnDemand, is a critical piece in the Oracle Cloud applications suite. It may not be the Primary Focus and preference but it is not going to retire anytime soon. As per me, Oracle has every reason to continue its enhancements and support for the next two years at least, which is quite a long time in any application’s life. Oracle CRMOD is here to stay and is very much ‘Alive and kicking’!!
Principal Business Consultant – CRM & CX.