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Oracle CRM On Demand Review

Company Information:
  • Oracle is of course the enterprise software giant founded by Larry Ellison.
  • While Oracle does not break out the financial details of it's software as a service (SaaS) CRM solution, it is expected that the Oracle CRM on Demand solution accounts for less than one percent of Oracle's revenues. It is further assumed that the Oracle on Demand practice is not profitable.
  • While the future of the Oracle on Demand solution has been vigorously debated by analysts and users, Oracle has committed that this SaaS solution will continue and evolve.
CRM Software Information:
  • The Oracle CRM onDemand solution was delivered as part of the Siebel acquisition which occurred on January 31, 2006. The product was previously named Siebel on Demand. Siebel had previously acquired Upshot (November 2003) for $50M to obtain its web-based and hosted CRM solution and had also acquired Ineto (January 2004) for $5M to obtain its hosted call center management software application.
  • The formal Siebel (enterprise) solution and the Siebel On Demand product are two very different code sets. The products are not similar.
  • Oracle on Demand is strongest in Sales Force Automation (SFA). The customer service module is respectable, however, the marketing module is weak in many regards.
  • Oracle on Demand's most unique features, relative to other SaaS CRM solutions, include its user interface and its business analytics capabilities.
  • Beware of Oracle's proposal of Distance Learning courses and pre-recorded webinars as substitutes for on-site consulting. For anything other than the smallest and simplest of small businesses, these tools should only be considered compliments to on-site consulting assistance.
CRM Software products and modules:
  • Oracle/Siebel CRM onDemand
  • Being owned by Oracle, the company's viability and longevity are not in question. While we acknowledge Oracle's questionable tolerance for a SaaS solution which cannibalizes their on-premise solutions, we take Oracle at their word that they will continue to evolve the SaaS solution.
  • SLA of 99.5 percent Target System Availability measured by calendar quarters.
  • Oracle and only one other SaaS vendor (Aplicor) offer to provide their web-based CRM software solution in either a hosted delivery or on-premise. While this flexibility is appealing, there are some technical difficulties in implementing Oracle on Demand in an on-premise environment due to the product's multi-tenant architecture.
  • The CRM OnDemand Sales Process Coach is a useful tool for providing sales management advice to sales staff.
  • At $70.00 USD per user per month, CRM OnDemand offers the lowest single product price point in the software as a service CRM industry.
  • Oracle clearly has the most aggressive vertical market SaaS CRM offering.
  • Very limited feature set. For example, lack of competitive intelligence, no library of centralized collaterals, no content management, no real workflow, . While appropriate for small business, this product is not ready for the rigors of mid-market and enterprise clients.
  • The offline edition is nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet and is particularly weak (poor security (users set user access permissions via the Excel security properties), poor synchronization flexibility with the online system and questionable data integrity concerns). This weaknesses is magnified as Oracle does not provide a PDA/wireless solution (although a third party solution can be procured from Antenna Software).
  • Lack of real-time information system. CRM OnDemand over-utilizes batch processing for items such as imports (which are queued to an import request queue) and reports (which are updated nightly).
  • Up to weekly scheduled downtime (maintenance) may prove inconvenient for some users.
  • From our experiences, customer support (help desk) is weak. Oracle refuses to acknowledge help desk statistics such as first call resolution rate, median time to resolutions and customer churn.
Oracle CRM Customers:
  • No 1000+ seat client companies identified.
Oracle CRM Competitors:
  • at the lower end.
  • SAP at the higher end.
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Oracle On Demand CRM Software Review

Corporate Strategy
In 2007, Oracle CRM OnDemand achieved 'Leader' status in a periodically delivered analyst evaluation. While we discount the most cited analyst reviews due to their inherit conflict of interests and the exchange of monies between the analysts and the software publishers, we also do recognize the advances made by this SaaS CRM solution.

Company Message
Shortly after announced it surpassed 500,000 subscribers, Oracle issued a press statement indicating it had more than 1.7 million users of Oracle OnDemand services. We’re not quite sure how Oracle calculates the 1.7 million figure, but it seems to include subscriptions, managed applications, and even consulting services. While the overall financial figures are subject to some interpretations, Oracle’s earnings statements indicate that the OnDemand division accounted for approximately $397M for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2006. Although Oracle’s user population claims seem difficult to verify, the financial figures demonstrate a large and growing on-demand customer population.

Vertical Markets
Oracle OnDemand is pushing faster and further than other CRM SaaS solutions with vertical market solutions for life sciences, high tech, insurance, automotive and wealth management industry solutions. While these vertical market products currently show little difference from the company's horizontal CRM product, we expect Oracle to further drive these industry specific solutions to incorporate new industry specific feature sets and functionality.

Company & Product Evolution
Oracle CRM OnDemand Release 10 (delivered in May 2006) delivered improved usability, enhanced customization capabilities (particularly custom objects and custom tabs) and deeper support for vertical markets and was clearly a significant step forward for this SaaS solution. While the company claims that its hosted solution supports midmarket and enterprise organizations, its product capabilities and client population do not back up that claim. However, for small business organizations, Oracle CRM OnDemand can be leading solution for consideration. Oracle seems to be silently backing its small business fit by launching new programs aimed at small businesses and the channel partners that support them. The biggest question to many industry observers is where Oracle CRM OnDemand fits into the overall Oracle organization. It's no secret that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison initially bashed the entire SaaS movement. It's also recognized that on-premise software manufacturers often believe that SaaS solutions cannibalize their primary revenue source. We hope and we expect Oracle to continue their SaaS market share growth, however, with Oracle in particular with Larry Ellison, anything is possible and the future is difficult to predict.

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