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February 2013

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Q&A: Oracle's Aaron Shidler on Latest Innovations for Oracle’s Siebel CRM

Oracle’s Siebel CRM continues to deliver innovative new solutions to customers—including six major releases and a newly published product roadmap highlighting planned annual innovation packs through 2015.

We asked Oracle's Aaron Shidler, vice president of CRM product strategy and management, to provide insight into Oracle's ongoing commitment to Oracle's Siebel CRM solutions—including the latest round of product innovations.

Q. Please give us a big-picture look into Oracle's commitment to its Siebel solutions.
A. The track record speaks for itself. Since the acquisition, Oracle's Siebel team has delivered six major releases, containing 39 new products and more than 525 enhancements across 21 industry-specific solutions. Such a commitment makes sense when you have thousands of customers and millions of users—including many very large companies relying on Oracle’s Siebel products for their CRM needs.

Q. What does Oracle's Siebel team have planned for 2013 and beyond?
A. We've made a clear commitment to Oracle's Siebel customers via our product roadmap and statement of direction to deliver new and innovative solutions on a regular basis. We are currently planning to introduce these solutions in our annual innovation packs and fix packs. And we expect these innovations to be shaped by our regular customer advisory board meetings, where customers are partnering with Oracle to deliver mobile, social, and customer experience solutions that are easy for their customers, partners, and employees to use.

Q. Everyone is talking about customer experience (CX) these days. How is Oracle's Siebel team addressing the CX imperative?
A. Oracle's Siebel is innovating in several areas to drive excellent customer experiences: usability, cross-channel enablement, and mobile.

The main driver for creating a great customer experience is usability—enabling simplicity and productivity for all types of users. To support this in a modern way, we needed to deliver a solution that could be accessed by any browser, via any device, and that leveraged the latest, greatest UI controls. With our latest release, Siebel delivers on all this with a user interface that is

  • Contemporary. Siebel runs in all browsers and all browser-capable devices using the latest Web technology standards, such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML 5, while providing a native application user experience.
  • Productive. Siebel is designed for a user experience that reduces clutter and user keystrokes.
  • User-sensitive. The user experience enables Siebel to adapt to the needs of users—their preferences, their devices, and their desire to complete processes efficiently and effectively.

In terms of cross-channel enablement, Siebel supports a complete set of buy-and-own processes that span multiple channels and leverage multiple Oracle assets. Siebel has lowered the total cost of ownership for customers by providing more than a dozen integrations, including

Finally, Siebel’s open UI delivers support for mobile platforms across a full range of browsers and devices, including support for device integration, location services, and phone, URL, and contact integration. The same solution customers enjoy in a variety of channels today can be delivered on mobile devices by leveraging out-of-the-box templates or creating your own look and feel. We plan to add disconnected mobile operations in 2013.

Q. Oracle recently acquired several social relationship management (SRM) solutions, including Vitrue and Collective Intellect. How can these acquisitions benefit Oracle's Siebel customers?
A. We have several plans to leverage our new social capabilities in 2013.

First, we are in the process of delivering an extended schema to support the collection of social attributes that augment customer profiles. This will enable customers to not only know and segment their customers by their transactions, but also create new segments of customers based on social attributes.

In addition to social listening, we are enabling the creation of service requests and leads from our social listening solutions. This will enable our customers to respond to unhappy customers using the power of Siebel Service to resolve the issue and notify the customer directly or through the origin of the complaint. Additionally, companies can listen for customer issues with their competitors’ solutions and create a lead to track to gain market share.

Finally, integration of Oracle's Siebel marketing solutions with Oracle social relationship management solutions will enable marketers to combine traditional and social channels to maximize reach, relevance, and revenue—plus deliver a rich cross-channel customer experience.

Q. Besides CX and SRM, what other strategic areas is the Oracle Siebel team focused on?
A. The Oracle Siebel team is also delivering value for customers in industry innovations and improved total cost of ownership (TCO). For example, key innovations in our December 2012 release include the following.

Industry Innovations

  • Next-generation connected mobile solutions for consumer goods and life sciences will enable key industry processes such as retail merchandising and rep sample drops with a fresh and intuitive user interface that leverages the capabilities of modern mobility to simplify and enhance the day of the sales representative.
  • For the public sector, we continue to enhance support for complex citizen self-service. We are streamlining the user experience and accessibility for employees, as well as updating eligibility determination for multiple benefit plans and the latest version of Oracle Policy Automation.
  • Order-to-bill customer and product integration for utilities companies will enable a productized and supported software integration approach, facilitating a robust integration between Siebel CRM and Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing.

TCO Innovations

  • Standardization on high-performance Oracle technology for Web services deployment, business analytics reports, and secure enterprise search, including Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata servers.
  • Oracle Enterprise Data Quality enables organizations to measure, improve, and manage the quality of data from any domain, including customer data. Oracle Enterprise Data Quality is now integrated with Siebel CRM and Oracle Customer Hub to provide reliable customer data within CRM or across the enterprise. New abilities include matching customer information based on any attribute or child entity, address validation, and standardization, along with better performance.
  • Optimized marketing campaign performance created by generating and assigning source code—wave IDs—in dynamic batches greatly reduces time to launch for large multiwave outbound campaigns, and helps organizations improve marketing effectiveness.

Find out more about Oracle's Siebel CRM.

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

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