Oracle Offers Web 2.0 'Gadgets' For Siebel, On Demand CRM - InformationWeek

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Oracle Offers Web 2.0 'Gadgets' For Siebel, On Demand CRM

Oracle also said Siebel 8.1.1 will be the second major upgrade to Siebel's flagship CRM software since it was acquired more than two years ago.

Oracle is adding more Web 2.0 elements to its CRM offerings in the form of "gadgets."

These are mini-applications that users, such as salespeople, could run on their laptops to get information pertinent to their jobs via the Web or from their own companies' CRM systems, without having to launch, log into, and navigate those applications.

A Top Accounts Gadget, announced Wednesday, provides a mashup of information on top accounts from the Siebel or Oracle CRM On Demand systems together with information on those accounts from the Internet. Users can get news about their accounts, such as quarterly financial earnings reports, via an RSS feed into an account mashup.

The My Contacts Gadget will let users e-mail or call contacts contained within their companies' Siebel CRM or Oracle CRM On Demand systems with a click of a mouse, according to Oracle. It will also search for information on contacts on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, as well as other Internet sites.

Oracle has been working to bring more Web 2.0 elements into its CRM offerings. This past summer it rolled out Oracle Sales Prospector, designed to help salespeople identify prospects from their own source data, such as lists provided by colleagues and companies, and external sources, such as Jigsaw.com and other sales-lead databases. Users can apply the service's analytic tools against those prospects to make basic predictions, such as the likelihood a deal will close and how long it will take.

Another gadget announced Wednesday, the Search Gadget, lets users search for information in Siebel CRM using a customized Google search engine. The Oracle Sales Quota Gadget pulls up current pipeline data, quarterly targets, and quotas achieved to date from Siebel CRM.

All of these gadgets take up a small section of a user's laptop screen and were designed to have users get information they need about contacts without having to launch and navigate various applications or conduct Internet searches -- or at least reduce the launches and searches they typically do. The downloadable gadgets are free to those with Oracle CRM contracts.

Oracle also announced Wednesday Siebel 8.1.1, what it's calling the second major upgrade to Siebel's flagship CRM software since acquiring the company more than two years ago. It includes more features in the area of customer self-service based on industry and customer-loyalty programs.

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