As Published In
Oracle Magazine
January/February 2010

FEATURE


Know Who. Know How.

By Marta Bright

Oracle CRM On Demand turns customer knowledge into business success.

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Finding them—and then keeping them—is critical. And to do that, companies must know who their customers are, what they want, and what will keep them satisfied. Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps companies understand their customers’ needs, buying patterns, and even complaints. Oracle CRM On Demand goes one step further—offering companies a portfolio of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and managed applications that reduces risk and lowers the total cost of ownership for the companies that use them.

“On-demand software provides a tremendous amount of value to an organization that doesn’t have all of the resources required to deploy an on-premises application, or the organizational requirements don’t justify the need for an on-premises solution,” says Anthony Lye, senior vice president of CRM at Oracle.

From banking and finance to education and government agencies, hundreds of Oracle customers around the world have examined their requirements for CRM and found that Oracle CRM On Demand provides the functionality and ease of use they need.

A Lifetime of Learning

Established more than 150 years ago and spread across 16 campuses in New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin, Bryant & Stratton College is a private career college that helps students develop professional skills in specialties ranging from graphic design and nursing to information technology and hotel and restaurant management. A 22-year veteran at Bryant & Stratton, IT Director John Grieco led a project to implement Oracle CRM On Demand to manage marketing and career placement services for close to 1 million potential and existing students.

“The true value of IT is not in keeping machines up and running,” says Grieco. “It’s in what you can gain from an IT department’s knowledge of the business. To maximize and use that knowledge to its greatest capacity, I think we are well served to let Oracle worry about managing IT, so we can worry about running the college’s business.”

Grieco completed the integration of Oracle CRM On Demand with a third-party collegiate administrative suite of student, financial aid, finance, human resources, and advancement systems running on Oracle Database. The integrated Oracle CRM On Demand environment is especially useful for marketing to Bryant & Stratton’s different student populations—recent high school grads, who are usually more tech-savvy, and nontraditional older students, who may not have as much experience in using Web-based technologies, Grieco says.

“Oracle CRM On Demand has given us a far better understanding of our prospective students and existing students,” he says. Oracle CRM On Demand enables the college to track advertising to prospective students and determine accurate costs for each lead; application; and registered, attending student.

“Being able to figure out how much all of these marketing programs truly cost has led us to look at what we did in the past and say, ‘We always thought that campaign was very successful, but in reality it’s not compared to this campaign. Maybe next semester we’ll allocate more resources to this campaign and not worry about what we did last year,’” Grieco says.

Creating an environment that supports independent, as-needed use by the marketing staff is a great fit for a business like Bryant & Stratton, says Amy Konary, a research director with IDC. “If your salespeople are widely distributed and they need to contribute to one system, standardizing them on one system of record is valuable, and having a single database for that is especially valuable,” she says. 

Snapshots


 Bryant & Stratton College

www.bryantstratton.edu
Location: Buffalo, New York
Industry: Education and research
Revenue: US$80 million
Employees: 1,800
Oracle products: Oracle CRM On Demand, Oracle Financials, Oracle Database
 

 VicUrban

www.vicurban.com
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Industry: Public sector
Revenue: US$186 million
Employees: 250
Oracle products: Oracle CRM On Demand; Oracle E-Business Suite, including Oracle Financials, Oracle Project Management, and fixed assets and project accounting applications; Oracle Business Intelligence Suite, Enterprise Edition Plus; Oracle Discoverer; Oracle Database; Oracle BPEL Process Manager; Oracle Application Server

Green Miles to Sustainability

VicUrban, located in Melbourne, Australia, demonstrates how an Oracle CRM On Demand solution can improve the customer experience. As well, it can unite and simplify IT for a diverse sales team that had been using multiple software solutions.

VicUrban is the state government’s sustainable urban development agency; it works with the public and private sectors to build sustainable communities and create opportunities for industry development. Created in 2003 after a merger between Victoria’s Urban Regional Land Corporation and the Docklands Authority, VicUrban has focused its projects primarily on developing communities that address the challenges posed by population growth and climate change.

Because one agency had been based on a Microsoft system and the other had been based on Oracle technologies, the merger required some retooling of the IT infrastructure. “Some of the primary considerations involved were cost, unifying on a single platform, and robust industry standards,” says David Morton, information and communications technology (ICT) service delivery manager at VicUrban.

The new organization decided to implement an all-Oracle solution based on Oracle Database, Oracle Application Server, and Oracle E-Business Suite to ensure system longevity, compatibility, and integration. The agency also adopted Oracle CRM On Demand to make it easier for staff first to access and capture customer information and then to use that information to market to prospective buyers more precisely.

Indeed, Morton and others at the agency are enthusiastic about the benefits that SaaS provides. “It’s much easier for Oracle [rather than VicUrban] to make sure the availability is appropriate for these applications,” says Morton. 

Next Steps


 READ more about Oracle CRM On Demand

 VISIT the Oracle Application Integration Architecture Best Practice Center

 TRY Oracle CRM On Demand

As VicUrban’s business application needs grow and change, Morton has found that turning to Oracle for answers is always a great option. “We always look to Oracle first to see what it can offer,” Morton says.

Morton is very happy to have the SaaS model to serve the agency’s business computing needs and as a role model for sustainable practices. VicUrban has embraced sustainability as a credo, a concept that was reinforced when the agency moved into its new “green” offices in Victoria’s first heritage-listed building during the intense heat of Australia’s summer season and achieved the Green Building Council Australia’s 5 Star Green Star Certified Rating for office design.

“We want to take a leadership role in the area of sustainability, so one of the things we’re trying to do with ICT is to ‘green’ it,” Morton says. “One way I’m doing that is by implementing services like SaaS, including Oracle CRM On Demand, which will reduce power consumption even during heat waves.”

VicUrban is trying to push the green initiative by implementing services such as Oracle CRM On Demand that will both reduce the power consumption at the VicUrban offices and demonstrate that people can follow a similar path with their own lives and business initiatives. “Sustainability,” says Morton, “is not only about the carbon; it’s also about improving lifestyles.” 

Oracle On Demand: Delivering Customer Choice


Oracle On Demand provides a broad portfolio of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and hosted and managed applications as an alternative to the traditional software license and onsite deployment model in which companies license, deploy, and manage applications in their own data centers. Oracle On Demand offers a variety of deployment models and extended services to help customers accelerate business value, lower risk, and reduce total cost of ownership.
 

For customer relationship management (CRM), Oracle On Demand offers a remote management option in which Oracle manages the Oracle CRM On Demand application that is deployed in the customer’s data center. In the Oracle On Demand managed service option, Oracle hosts and manages Oracle CRM On Demand at Oracle’s data centers.
 

Oracle On Demand also offers CRM using a SaaS model on a subscription basis, in either a single- or multitenant model. With the single-tenant model, the company gets a dedicated, optimizable system over which the customer has some control (such as specifying when maintenance gets done). In a multitenant model, the customer shares resources with a group of other customers.
 

Providing customers with choices has enabled Oracle CRM On Demand to grow rapidly. Oracle CRM On Demand supports more than 22 specific industries and offers infrastructure options for flexibility and control. In addition, every instance of Oracle CRM On Demand includes a full data warehouse and analytical engine. The interactive analytic capabilities allow users at all levels of the company to gain deep insight into their business, from historical and comparative trend analyses to graphical real-time alerts.
 

Integration is also key to the growth of Oracle CRM On Demand. “Oracle has prepackaged integrations through its Oracle Application Integration Architecture,” says Anthony Lye, senior vice president of CRM at Oracle. “These connect Oracle CRM On Demand to Oracle E-Business Suite, or Oracle CRM On Demand to Oracle’s JD Edwards, for example. Our customers tell us that the integrations that we’ve built can be done in about one-tenth of the time and cost about one-tenth of the overall cost of ownership compared to them building it themselves. Of course, the nice thing about a prepackaged integration is Oracle supports it, Oracle maintains it, and Oracle enhances it.” snapshot

 


Marta Bright is a senior editor with Oracle Publishing.

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