Oracle CRM On Demand (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 it. However, the reasons are not just personal; the application now in its 26th release with a convincing roadmap up to release 33 has come a long way. CRMOD is a mature application and is as good as (if not better than) most of the other competitive offerings in the market.
Recent events in this space have raised doubts on the application’s life term, continuous product improvement and how long would Oracle support this product. Many would even 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 all need to understand that CRMOD is part of Oracle Sales Cloud offerings and with its existing user base, Oracle would find it extremely difficult to move away from this product.
This is well substantiated by enhancements and fixes I have seen since release 23. What is exciting to see is the product team is not only listening and responding to core product related requests but also extending the capability of the solution by integrating CRMOD with a suite of other cloud applications.
We will get to the extensibility in a while. However, in this article, I would like to focus on the three most intriguing features (as per me) of Oracle CRMOD, their capabilities, highlighting very few of the recent enhancements.
1] ‘Business Process Automation’: From updating a field to building complex business rules, used for automating tasks which were painfully manual, 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. Think of any action below and combine with the trigger to define your process.
|Business Process Required||CRMOD Trigger Event Available|
|Creating or Restricting Processes||When New Record Saved|
|Creating Tasks||When Modified Record Saved|
|Sending Emails||Before Record Is Deleted|
|Updating Values or defaulting fields||Before Modified Record Saved|
|Creating Field Validations or enforcing data entry||After Association With Parent record|
|Lead Conversion Rules||After Dissociation From Parent record|
|Record Assignment Rules||When Record Is Restored|
|Managing Sales Territories or Service Queues||When Records Are Merged|
|Defining Sales Processes and Sales Coach|
|Initiating Integration with external systems|
|Enabling Access Controls|
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 enhancement – 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 has any record as the source or 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. (Also look out for enhancement which allows updating parent object based on changes in child record)
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:
|Setting your theme||Give a personal touch to your everyday login screen, colors, look & feel|
|Embedding Reports, Lists and Message Centre widgets onto homepages||Being able to embed CRMOD content at a frequently visited portal internal or external to the application|
|Setting up your calendar||Manage group views, Add users to view your calendar and Share your calendar|
|Change your Tabs, Homepage Layouts, Action Bar Layouts||See what you need! Greater control on viewing and ordering of widgets and tabs. Promoting Cleaner and to the point usage of the application.|
|Change the record detail page layouts||Remove the unwanted sections of a record detail page. Avoid overload of information by collapsing the less frequently edited sections|
|Managing your own lists||Why do a Global search when you can create and manage lists of records specific to your need and usage|
|Dashboards||Change the ordering of Dashboards and prioritize what you had want to view as your reports|
|Dynamic Layouts||Users can set their own preferred related information as part of dynamic and standard layouts|
R25 enhancement – Font size for tabs and action bar titles has been increased to make the application more tablet-friendly. The tab height has also been increased for easier touch on a tablet device. This is one of many phases to improve the applications usability on a tablet device
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 other applications available in the market. I like to use the phrase ‘Ad-hoc Actionable Analytics’ because with limited training, users 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:
1st Level Dashboard Statistics :: Identify the Area of Concern
2nd Level List of items :: Get More Information
3rd Level Record view :: Take Action
R26 enhancement – Standard and Fiscal Calendars can be defined up to 2040. Managers and executives can now analyse their sales, marketing and service metrics by calendars past 2020 – A small yet important tweak. (An indication of Oracle’s commitment)
A complete list of enhancements can be found in product release notes and the roadmap being presented in Oracle Open World 2014 (OOW’14). But the only reason I picked up the above three features is emphasize the fact that Oracle CRM On Demand is second to none when it comes to product features.
If what is stated above is not convincing, have a look at the matrix of extensibility below:
Apart from this there have been 100+ enhancements in the core areas of product such as configuration, workflows and Webservices. Focused strategy of innovative industry solutions – Life sciences and Financial Services is also commendable.
Oracle CRM OnDemand, is a critical piece in the Oracle Cloud applications suite. With a fantastic roadmap as this, it is clear that Oracle is listening, gathering information and focusing on CRMOD. Hence, it is not going to retire anytime soon. Oracle has CRMOD’s back covered and the application is here to stay and is very much ‘Alive and kicking’!!
About CRMIT Solutions:
CRMIT Solutions has achieved Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized status for Oracle CRM On Demand.
“This Specialization reinforces our capabilities, dedication and commitment to Oracle CRM On Demand. Having completed over 100 customer implementations across numerous verticals using our CRM++ applications for CRM On Demand, we have been able to help bring business value to our customers. Our expertise has helped us become a virtual extension to the Oracle sales and technical teams”says Vinod Reddy, CEO, CRMIT Solutions
Principal Business Consultant – Industry CRM & CX Solutions.
Writing for CRMIT Solutions