CRM On Demand 15 from Oracle, Sage Global CRM Strategy, Zoho People, TenDigits' MobileAccess v4.0

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CRM On Demand 15 from Oracle, Sage Global CRM Strategy, Zoho People, TenDigits' MobileAccess v4.0

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the guiltiest of guilty pleasures, right down there with Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell, AC/DC's Back In Black and all the rest of the stuff you listen to but don't admit -- ABC's The Lexicon Of Love:

Oracle has announced Oracle CRM On Demand Release 15, the latest release of Oracle's on demand CRM service. Company officials say it has "new Social CRM capabilities, including social networking and collaboration capabilities."

Social CRM gives users collaborative apps that become "e-smarter" by "using the collective intelligence of social networks, both within and outside the company."

The product includes enhanced collaboration, "driven by the combination of Sticky Notes and a Message Center, allowing back-and-forth commentary," company officials say. For example, pertinent team members can subscribe to sticky notes, creating a social network where all members of the network are kept up to date simultaneously.

Customers can take Oracle CRM On Demand objects, such as top accounts or contacts. and include them within their Web portal applications, such as iGoogle or MyYahoo!, and incorporate content from other Web applications and RSS feeds. "This lets users continuously access updated CRM information without having to leave their preferred portal," according to the Oraclians.

The new product also offers customizable dashboards that can be tailored for specific business needs and metrics of individual organizations, as well as the Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant, a new product for mobile CRM access.

Sage CRM Solutions, part of the Sage Group, has announced its global CRM strategy.

"Sage CRM Solutions 2010" is described by the Sagins as "a comprehensive product and technology vision to guide development of the Sage CRM Solutions product family that includes ACT! by Sage, SageCRM, and Sage SalesLogix."

The strategy addresses distinct business requirements, and "applies open Web standards to enable a connected front and back-office and incorporates Web 2.0 technologies."

Joe Bergera, executive vice president and global general manager, Sage CRM Solutions, said in his opinion CRM has "reached a critical turning point. Customers tell us their requirements have moved beyond the on-premise versus hosted debate. They want a pragmatic approach that delivers a fully functional 'anywhere user experience' supported by a connected front-office and back-office environment, and interoperability between our contact management products and CRM suites."

The strategy, "developed through research among the Sage customer base," company officials say, identifies opportunities that "small and mid-sized businesses and divisions of enterprises can take advantage of this year, with additional capabilities being delivered incrementally through 2010."

While "some businesses work one-to-one with their customers, others have more distributed organizations that need to manage one-to-many or many-to-many relationships," Sage officials say, adding that Sage's CRM strategy "accounts for each organization's customer interaction model, as well as its performance enhancement strategy, and CRM buyer type."

Sage's "holistic technology approach" for supporting its global CRM strategy, according to company officials, includes common components for a consistent user experience, services-based integration to help organizations manage end-to-end business processes and "interoperability to enable organizations to migrate from one CRM application to another," as well as a SaaS business platform and "context aware services," to incorporate Internet and Web 2.0 services, "allowing customers to add on-demand business functionality to their CRM products."

"The wealth of transactional data in the back-office must be presented in a meaningful way to CRM users," said Sheryl Kingstone, Yankee Group director of enterprise research.

Zoho has announced Zoho People, what the Zohoians describe as a human resource management application for companies that want to run their businesses online.

The Zoho People video tour gives a quick overview of the key functionalities in the application and is available at or

People joins Zoho's suite of business applications, including Zoho CRM, Zoho Meeting, Zoho Projects, and Zoho DB. The new offering is aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs) with 50+ employees.

"Zoho People is one of our first department-specific offerings," said Raju Vegesna, who lists his job title as "Zoho evangelist." Unlike other SaaS players, he says, "Zoho delivers online productivity apps, business apps, and now department-specific apps under a single umbrella. As we often say, we want to be the IT department for SMBs."

Purchasing and deploying most HR applications can cost anywhere from $10,000 to over $100,000. Zoho officials want organizations to "avoid that expense" with an online, self-service HR application that is "both enterprise grade and cost effective."

Currently available in beta release, the application will be revamped after receiving customer feedback. Available modules include the Organization Definition Module, which lets users define the structure of the organization, including departments, roles, and employee details, by dragging and dropping nodes on a tree-style organization chart.

The "Recruitment Module" automates the steps from searching for candidates in the resume database to recruiting new employees. It lets managers raise job requirements for posting on the Web site by administrators. Features include posting positions currently open within the organization, position requirements, candidate consideration and qualification, and job offers made. Resumes can be added to the module's resume database, searched during openings and re-categorized.

The Forms Module contains various pre-created, commonly-used forms for tasks in any organization, like a leave form, a travel request form and an expense report form. This module includes 28 forms by default.

Zoho plans to integrate Zoho People with Zoho Business. For example, modules such as the Self-Service Module, which can be used by departments other than Human Resources, will be available to Zoho Business users.

TenDigits Software, a vendor of mobility products for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, has announced the release of MobileAccess v4.0. It lets users access and use MobileAccess for Dynamics CRM 4.0 via Research in Motion and Windows Mobile supported devices, making it a mobility product for Microsoft Dynamics.

"The fact of the matter is that MobileAccess is the only commercial product on the market to provide a product for Dynamics CRM on BlackBerry devices," comments Derek Warburton, VP of Sales, at TenDigits.

MobileAccess lets organizations that have deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM access their CRM while online or offline. Its use within sales and service organizations benefit them by increasing sales effectiveness, field staff productivity and CRM user adoption.

Further, MobileAccess v4.0 is being billed by company officials as bringing enhancements in support of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, such as multi-tenancy, multilingual user interface, and integrated Web-based management console.

The new version also introduces advanced management capabilities for greater configuration and deployment flexibility. Customers can now choose a product tailored to their specific needs: Standard, Professional and Enterprise Editions that serve the unique requirements for companies of different sizes.

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