Oracle hit a major milestone today with Release 20 of its cloud-based On Demand CRM platform.
With this latest version, says Anthony Lye, SVP, Cloud Applications Strategy for Oracle, the company continues on a trajectory of constant, customer-driven updates. In October, CRM On Demand Release 19 delivered marketing and call center features.
Now Oracle is flipping the switch on industry-specific features aimed at meeting the needs of users in financial services and insurance companies, automotive firms and the life sciences. And even if Oracle Fusion CRM is the talk of Oracle’s Public Cloud platform, it’s apparently having little effect on the CRM On Demand team’s roadmap.
"We listen to the install base," Lye told Enterprise Apps Today. "We're making the product better for them and customers in every industry."
Oracle's Industry Emphasis
Financial and insurance customers get expanded custom object support for financial vertical objects. Business intelligence and analytics updates include added subject area coverage and increased exposure of financial object fields for real-time decision making.
Automotive customers can now add the vehicle object to analytics. The feature provides comprehensive reporting on a vehicle, including ownership and transactions.
On the life sciences front, Oracle is introducing new samples management features to help labs and clinics accurately record and monitor processes and stay on the right side of industry regulations. New functions include expanded custom object support for allocations and samples and call reporting compliance capabilities.
CRM On Demand's Usability Improvements
Oracle also took the opportunity to revamp addresses, a time-saving feature that enables data to have a "one-to-many relationship without having to re-enter data," says Lye. Now multiple contacts and user accounts can share address data for re-use between accounts.
Even the UI gets some attention. "Now we allow the users to specify if they want long pages or short pages using a tab metaphor," explains Lye. New tab creation options add to the UI customization features.
According to Lye, some behind-the-scenes work also went into improving the mobile experience. In general, this meant optimization to the platform's back-end to improve responsiveness. For example, the sign-on process was trimmed from five Web service requests to two, he says. Another new enhancement keeps CRM On Demand and Microsoft Outlook synchronized. These kinds of features are becoming table stakes, given the growing importance enterprises are placing on mobile apps.
Rounding out the new release are flexible territory realignment features for sales organizations, business plan assessment tools and improved search.