Top 3 Oracle Sales Cloud alternatives
Last updated: October 25, 2011
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Engage customers earlier and accelerate and close more deals using Oracle Sales Cloud's complete, innovative, and proven sales solution. Sales Cloud takes advantage of Oracle’s best-in-class cloud portfolio to offer a complete ecosystem of sales tools
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2011. Ellison conitues bumping Benioff: Oracle buys RightNow CRM
As you probably remember, recently Oracle's boss Larry Ellison decided to give a lesson to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff for his attacks on Oracle. At the recent Oracle OpenWorld conference Ellison not only banned Benioff in the event program but also announced the public cloud platform Oracle Public Cloud, which will provide either PaaS or SaaS services, including CRM (ie, will compete directly with Salesforce CRM / Force.com). However, it was shown only on the presentetion slides and Benioff had every reason to just joke at Ellison in his Twitter and sleep peacefully. But today, the Oracle's threat has become very real: Oracle for $1.5 billion has acquired RightNow, one of the leading SaaS CRM vendors. Although, to be more precise, RightNow prefers to call its solution not CRM (Customer Relationship Management) but CEM (Customer Experience Management). How CEM differs from CRM - read here. RightNow CEM includes the customer web-service system, social tools and the solution for Call-Centers. And except the client system, RightNow has built the CEM-platform that allows to expand and integrate the base system - i.e. very similar to Salesforce. Recall that Oracle's own SaaS CRM system - Oracle CRM OnDemand has been trying to compete with Salesforce for a long time, but it hasn't achieved much success.
2011. Ellison to Benioff: That's your Cloud is False Cloud
A year ago at Oracle's OpenWorld conference the Salesforce CEO, Mark Benioff, took the stage to criticize Oracle's cloud technologies. He said that clouds can't be sold in metalic boxes, and in fact - these are false cloud, and everyone should beware of them. And thought the Oracle's boss, Larry Ellison, joked back then, but the offense remained in his mind. This year, he decided to revenge. First, he unexpectedly canceled the scheduled and paid Benioff's session at the OpenWorld. Of course, this didn't scare Benioff - he immediately organized the alternative session in the restaurant across the street. And, of course, the main topic of his speech was Oracle's false cloud, and near the restaurant people were walking with banners "The Cloud Must Go On". But it was only the first round. The next day, Larry Ellison introduced the Oracle Public Cloud - the cloud service that is a direct competitor to Salesforce. It provides PaaS platform and the suite of SaaS applications (including CRM and social network). Larry began his speech with: “Famous quote — I’m not sure where I’ve heard it – beware of false Clouds. That is such good advice. I couldn’t have put it better myself.” And then he told that unlike Salesforce's false cloud (which uses proprietary programming language APEX and database), in Oracle Public Cloud - everything is standard-based. Any Oracle-database can be moved to this cloud or back to in-house data-center, and any Java application will work in this cloud. And that unlike Salesforce's unsecure multitenant-model (where a single application serves many clients) in Oracle Public Cloud for each client a separate virtual machine with a separate database is created. And unlike the Salesforce's false cloud, Oracle Public Cloud can be really scaled to the changing load. Regarding the SaaS applications - these are the legendary Fusion Applications, which had been under development already for six years. In particular, they include CRM system, HRM system and enterprise social network Oracle Public Cloud (which is very similar to Salesforce Chatter). However, the trick is that the new platform and applications have been shown only on the presentation slides, at the end of the conference (to avoid questions). And it's not clear when they will become available. And of course you want to know how Marc Benioff reacted to all this. He wrote in his Twitter: "Thank you Larry. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
2010. RightNow: CRM is dead
Surprise! Jason Mittelstaedt, CMO at RightNow (the company that for a long time has been among leaders of the CRM industry) says that nobody wants to hear about CRM anymore, because they have heard it all and no longer believe the promises of CRM vendors. According to Jason, last year, the annual CRM Conference, which was held by Gartner and sponsored by RightNow - was the dead event and attracted minimal public interest. Vendors were showing the presentations that they have given seven years ago. Jason argues that CRM is a bit old hat, and it is time for a new generation of software that RightNow calls CX (Customer Experience). RightNow is not a pioneer in Customer Experience theme. Industry players have been talking about CEM (Customer Experience Management) already for a couple of years. So, what's the difference between CEM and CRM? What's the difference between CEM and CRM? Don't look for some hidden sense in how "relationship management" differs from "experience management". Yes, "experience" - sounds better, but it has no influence on the software functionality. It still must include the customer base, customer interactions history, order base, support tools, marketing tools and analytical reports on sales, marketing and service. In any case, customer "experience" depends on how the customer software helps employees in managing customer "relationships". But if companies are no longer happy with CRM brand, than vendors need to invent a new brand, for example CEM. But you can't create the new brand by just replacing one word in the title. Fortunately, recently the significant shift in CRM sphere has taken place and it's a good chance to create a new customer philosophy. And the reason for this shift was one simple fact: Customers use the Internet. Internet = Experience Internet has brought two major things in a customer life. First, it is very convenient channel of communication with companies. Secondly, the Internet has given birth to social networks, where the customer can discuss companies and products with others. Both of these innovations have a strong influence on the customer "experience". Today customer wants to buy in the Internet, get support over the Internet. He would like to have online chat, forum and knowledge base on company's website. And even better - a personal account, where he could see his orders history, support history (so the new customer system should provide access not only for employees but also for customers). The customer would be happy to see the company's residence in the social network, where he uses to hang out. He also wants to get individual approach (so the new customer system should collect personal customer information from social sources). Today customer before buying likes to read reviews about the company and the product, discuss it with his friends in social networks (so the new customer system should monitor the social web for such discussions to enable employees respond to them). Finally, the customer wants the company to listen to his ideas and feedback (so the new customer system should provide tools for collecting and processing customer feedback). If the customer system helps to satisfy all these customer needs - his "experience" will be OK. RightNow CX Cloud Platform As we see, the Internet has created quite a lot of new opportunities (tasks) for customer software. Realizing this, RightNow decided not to implement all these features in their CRM (sorry, CX) system. Instead, they created a cloud platform CX Cloud Platform, that allows companies and independent developers to create their own CX applications. This platform provides tools for creating web-apps, integrating them with social networks and contact centers. Of course, the center of this platform is SaaS solution RightNow CX, i.e. it's supposed that most developers will create add-ons for this system.
2008. New Oracle software targets Salesforce
The new software, Oracle CRM on Demand 15, is a revised version of a product acquired via Oracle's purchase of Siebel Systems in 2005. Oracle's on-demand software, designed to help companies manage customer resources, will include a browser-based interface and can be customized to run on mobile devices such as BlackBerrys, and included in personalized Google and Yahoo pages. Another aspect of the release is the inclusion of what Oracle calls "Social CRM" capabilities, including social networking and collaboration tools. The lead component of Oracle CRM's new social capabilities is a new feature called Sticky Notes. This allows a user to mark any object - for example an account in a given salesperson's portfolio - with a comment and then subscribe to the message stream related to that object. Team members can then follow and participate in the conversation around that object, which is all co-ordinated within new functionality called the Message Center.
2005. RightNow targets Siebel customers
RightNow Technologies is offering Siebel customers six months of its customer relationship management system for free, in an effort to profit from any uncertainty arising from Oracle's pending acquisition of Siebel. RightNow, a hosted applications company, said Wednesday that its offer will reduce the cost of a two-year Siebel contract by 25 percent. RightNow's move is part of its effort to grab a larger slice of the market for corporate customers. In August, the company debuted RightNow CRM 7.5, which aims to enhance marketing, sales and service. The company also offers a suite of voice automation software called RightNow Voice. For Oracle, the tactic is nothing new. Earlier this year, TomorrowNow launched a campaign to lure PeopleSoft support customers, after Oracle closed its acquisition of the enterprise software company. And rival SAP tried to woo Retek customers with a targeted campaign after losing out to Oracle in a bidding war for the retail software company.