Oracle Fusion CRM Software Review
Oracle CRM Review
Announced in 2005 and delivered (beginning) in 2011, Oracle Fusion is a suite of seven business applications, sold modularly, and including Fusion CRM. The Fusion applications support a coexistence strategy with other Oracle applications, thereby permitting some degree of mixing and matching new technology solutions (i.e. Fusion) with legacy technology (i.e. PeopleSoft and the E-Business Suite).
As Oracle offers multiple CRM software products — including Oracle Fusion CRM, Oracle Siebel, Oracle CRM on Demand and PeopleSoft CRM among others — the company aims to make Fusion CRM its flagship CRM solution, and the upgrade destination for other legacy systems to migrate.
As of this CRM software review date (written one week after the Oracle 2012 OpenWorld conference), the company disclosed it has acquired about 400 Fusion customers one year in, and near evenly distributed among Fusion CRM, Fusion HCM and Fusion ERP, with about two thirds being deployed in the cloud.
Oracle Fusion CRM in the cloud may very well disrupt the enterprise software market. Despite Oracle's initial delay and near schizophrenic position regarding the validity of SaaS in the business software marketplace, the company has quickly become the second largest SaaS business in the world - behind only Salesforce.com - and may quite possibly surpass Salesforce.com in SaaS revenues in the next 24 months.
The most direct Oracle Fusion CRM competitor is SAP, but SAP lacks cloud suite solutions (except for Business ByDesign which has a troubled history and is failing to acquire market share) which leaves them to compete with Oracle only in the on-premise software market. Other direct enterprise competitors include Salesforce.com, Amdocs, Pegasystems and Kana.
Top Oracle Fusion strengths include modern technology, a user interface (UI) that leverages consumer technologies and delivers a rewarding user experience, virtually limitless scalability, robust Platform as a Service (PaaS) tools and customer choice with software delivery that includes on-premises installation or SaaS from either Oracle or an Oracle partner.
Another change we’re seeing from CRM buyers is the increased desire for cloud CRM portability—a factor that has risen from #12 in 2011 to #6 in 2012. Buyers are reluctant to be locked into a single CRM vendor’s cloud, or be denied the ability to switch to a public cloud (i.e. Amazon, Azure, Rackspace, etc.), and certainly don’t want to invest in custom developed extensions, add-ons and integrations with their vendors' platform as a service (PaaS) tools that then don’t work on any other cloud network. Several CRM vendors including Oracle are responding to these requests for portability by permitting customer choice in delivery (cloud, on-premise or a hybrid combination of both) and/or permitting cloud portability with the option to move the vendors CRM software to the customers public cloud of choice. This gives the customer control to select not only the best CRM software for their needs, but also the best cloud delivery option based on their preferences for performance, uptime, information security, Service Level Agreement (SLA), geo location or other company specific factors.
Oracle Fusion CRM weaknesses include a not yet mature product (i.e. stability concerns), a single tenant database architecture, a lack of vertical market solutions, missing CRM software functionality, high subscription fees, complex and expensive CRM deployments and high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Oracle CRM evaluation areas which are literally at the tipping point include the business process automation capabilities, mobile CRM, social tools and business intelligence suite. I'll be re-evaluating these components to solidify a more definitive opinion in my next CRM review, likely to occur just after the next seasonal release.
When evaluating Oracle Fusion CRM or identifying and recommending the most relevant and direct Oracle CRM competitors for comparison, we typically consider the customer's existing IT platform and investments, then align specific company objectives to Oracle CRM software functionality and finally consider company size, user count, user types/roles, vertical market, geo-locations, internal resources, constraints such as cost and technical considerations such as integration and customization.
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Oracle Fusion is a suite of seven integrated business software applications, including Fusion Customer Relationship Management (CRM), HCM (Human Capital Management), Financial Management, Supply Chain Management, Procurement, Project Portfolio Management and Governance/Risk/Compliance.
Oracle Fusion CRM is the next generation flagship product that Oracle will use in their attempt to regain the top CRM leader board position.
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