oracle logo 71012.png Oracle continues to snap at Salesforce’s heels in the CRM space, this time with an upgrade to its CRM on Demand product. Release 20 adds industry-specific functionality for the financial, automotive life sciences and insurance sectors.

If it sounds complicated, Oracle is making light of it. It says the new functionality enables enterprises in these areas to reduce costs and improve the customer experience management capabilities of client enterprises.

But it is also adding all this specific functionality in one package, with the industry-specific functionality activated during the configuration process. This means that v20 comes with functionality for all of the targeted verticals, but only one functionality set gets activated.

CRM On-Demand, Vertical Specific

According to Oracle, the release aims to solve industry-specific pain points, while providing enhanced business value for the life sciences, insurance, financial services and automotive industries.

But it also aims to service Oracle’s existing customer base in the CRM space. As we have seen in Foresters Wave for CRM, the vast majority of customers of On-Demand are those that are already using Oracle technology.

As such, it aims to provide business responsiveness with a combination of industry-specific solutions, business intelligence and pre-built integration with other Oracle products and has a very strong roadmap within the Oracle environment to take this forward.  So what do you get?

Life sciences

Offers enterprises samples management and call reporting compliance along with standard analytics and expanded custom object support for allocations and samples. One of the strong elements is the ability to keep enterprises in this space compliant with industry rules and a very strict regulatory environment.

Financial services

This also covers the insurance industry and provides custom object support for financial vertical objects as well as added subject areas in analytics and enhanced customer exposure of financial object fields. It also offers real-time business intelligence.

Automotive industry

It adds vehicle objects to analytics, which provides for detailed reporting on all aspect of a vehicle including ownership transactions and all other aspects of vehicle maintenance from one place.

Enhanced Cross-Industry Functionality

But it’s not all about industry-specific functionality. It also offers some functionality for a number of elements that work across these verticals. In this respect, Oracle offers addresses as an example.

It points out that for most industries, contact addresses are a key asset and appear across multiple  user accounts. A single address can be created and reused between accounts and contacts, as well as customized, extended, searched, validated and locked for editing.

This version also introduces flexible territory realignment features to maintain business continuity, while new territories can be built and tested with minimal disruption to users.

New with this release are a number of key interface changes, including optionally displayed related information like tabs and easier search for users, that enables administrators to build better search structures and tighter search criteria.

Other functionally includes web service code, better integration events for merge and restored records, as well as enhanced administer functionality to migrate page layouts, web applets and homepages. As well as additional child object support, added sample web services code, more integration events for merge and restored records, and enhanced administrative web services to migrate page layouts, web applets and homepages.

According Oracle, this release will give it an edge over Salesforce, because it carries all this functionality under one hood, even if it is still targeting people that are already using Oracle technology. But it’s also acting as a lure for Fusion CRM . More on this with the release of v21