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Oracle Customer Experience Applications- The SI dilemma - What should one recommend?

Since Oracle Open World 2014, Oracle has been focusing on its Customer experience suite of applications which span across all customer touchpoints and cover all the pillars of CRM.

Oracle is proposing an integrated Customer experience(CX) on the cloud where all these modules are loosely coupled to allow flow of important information across the various applications. So clients would have an option to deploy specific modules to tackle certain business problems or use an integrated suite.  These applications are hosted on Oracle's extensible cloud platform and are available in the Application-as-a-Service mode.

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Oracle also has a comprehensive CRM suite in the form of Siebel CRM, which is a part of its Customer Experience applications portfolio. The modules and capabilities of Siebel have a lot of overlap with the Oracle Cloud apps. So as a CRM consultant, I am faced with a dilemma as to which solution should one recommend for a customer.

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There are various parameters that one needs to consider while recommending an Oracle cloud based solution in the context where the client already has an on-premise CRM implementation. For this blog, I will use the example of an on-premise Siebel CRM implementation. Some of the important parameters are listed below:

Decision 1: Cloud vs On-premise vs Hybrid
First of all, we will need to identify if the client is open to cloud based solutions. There is a comprehensive list of parameters that help determine the cloud vs on-premise fitment. At a high level if the client does not have to adhere with strict regulatory requirements, has processes that can be supported with OOTB/configured capabilities and is keen on an Opex based service model, the cloud based modules are a good fit. Eg: If the client is using Siebel sales and wants to enable Enterprise Marketing, Oracle Marketing cloud can be considered as an option given its superior digital marketing capabilities.

Decision 2: New cloud modules vs extend existing on-premise implementation
For areas where the existing on-premise CRM can be configured to deliver the requisite capabilities, we would need to determine if there is merit in recommending a brand new cloud module. Eg: If the client is already using Siebel for sales capabilities, and needs to enable the quotation and ordering process,  it would be more appropriate to recommend leveraging Siebel quote management as it would be a seamless extension of the sales process, rather than bring in the Oracle CPQ cloud into picture.

Decision 3: Availability of industry specific capabilities
Most of the Oracle cloud applications are still horizontal and do not have in-depth industry flavor. Eg: Solution for the Communications industry needs asset based ordering, product catalog, complex pricing rules, order configuration and billing management functions to be supported. This capability and tight integrations for Order to Cash and Billing processes do not currently exist in the Oracle cloud applications. Therefore, Siebel as a part of the Oracle RODOD stack continues to remain the more comprehensive solution for CSP's till equivalent capabilities are made available in the cloud suite.  

There is certainly no one-size-fits-all recommendation as far as the Oracle CX cloud applications are concerned. However, by analyzing the fitment of the product capabilities and client landscape, it is possible to recommend the right solution for the customer.





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