Oracle has unveiled its CRM On Demand Release 15 that features social networking and collaboration capabilities.
It wants sales team members to work more closely with each other using functions that resemble Web 2.0 software like Facebook and improving productivity. For example, team members can subscribe to sticky notes, creating a social network that is associated with an opportunity where all members of the network are kept up to date simultaneously.
Users can take CRM On Demand objects, such as top accounts or contacts and include them within their web portal applications, such as iGoogle or MyYahoo!, and easily incorporate content from other web applications and RSS feeds. This enables users to continuously access updated key CRM information without having to leave their preferred portal.
"This heralds a radically new Web 2.0 approach to end-user collaboration and productivity that drives further ease-of-use, while providing management with real-time pipeline visibility and security for the underlying corporate data," said Oracle senior vice president of CRM, Anthony Lye.
The application is suitable for companies in industries such as engineering, construction, real estate and professional services, said Lye.
Also announced is the Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant that offer CRM On Demand users access on their BlackBerry devices.
The application enables automated prompts to remind users to follow-up or enter notes at the end of a conversation, ensuring vital information is stored locally on their smartphone or saved to CRM On Demand in real-time.
Users can view account team information and customer contact information; communicate with the team through a call, email, or text message; and get driving directions. For instance, "If your customer cancels an appointment when you are on your way there, you can call up the system to list other customers or leads that are in the vicinity and visit them instead," says Lye.
Earlier this year, vendors like EMC pushed out their SaaS-based backup and recovery service and SAP launched its hosted ERP system BusinessByDesign. Research agency Gartner has identified enterprise SaaS solutions as one of the top 10 strategic technologies to look out for in 2008.