Users can create a social network
Team members can subscribe to Sticky Notes to create a social network that is associated with, for example, opportunities, Oracle officials said. The idea is that affiliated team members are kept up to date simultaneously through the influx of tagged data. Users can also customize CRM On Demand objects using widgets, gadgets and personal portals. Objects-accounts or contacts, for example-can be included within other Web portal applications like iGoogle or MyYahoo to incorporate content or RSS feeds, officials said. The idea is to keep updated on specific information without having to leave the CRM application. The updates are among the first major pushes from Oracle since Siebel was acquired two years ago-the first upgrade was Release 14, announced last summer. The inattention didn't go unnoticed. In June 2007, analyst firm Gartner reported that it had seen a 75 percent reduction in inquiries for competitive evaluations for Siebel CRM On Demand (now renamed Oracle CRM On Demand). The reason, according to Gartner analyst Robert Desisto: Oracle's negligence of the product as it focused on other high-priority projects.But with the 2008 deadline for Fusion Applications looming, and an increasingly frenzied on-demand CRM competitive landscape-in addition to Salesforce.com's unprecedented success, SAP and Microsoft have entered the fray with multi-tenant, on demand offers-Oracle is feeling the pressure to produce. The company also has taken a decidedly different approach with this latest release of CRM On Demand, one that Oracle is banking on to differentiate it from the growing crowd of vendors looking to capitalize on the success in the burgeoning software-as-a-service sector.
"Prior to the acquisition of Siebel by Oracle, Oracle CRM On Demand was developing market momentum and becoming a formidable competitive threat to Salesforce.com," Desisto wrote in reference to Release 14. "However, since the acquisition, interest in Oracle CRM On Demand had diminished significantly in the market. ... Having acquired multiple large installed bases (such as Siebel On Premise, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards), Oracle's focus has been on such programs as Applications Unlimited and Oracle Fusion, rather than growing Oracle CRM On Demand."