Oracle follows the Salesforce.com lead, announcing the integration of Before the Call's sales intelligence functionality into its Siebel CRM On Demand platform.
Posted Aug 1, 2006
Before the Call was the first sales intelligence company to offer its product through an on-demand enterprise-CRM platform by way of a new integration into Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand platform. Oracle announced its validation of the integration yesterday, a move that Oracle predicts to be a "huge potential driver of user adoption and sales effectiveness." Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand users will soon have access to Before the Call's prospect development and data intelligence capabilities, which the company hopes will enable customers to further boost sales conversion rates and revenues.
Before the Call, a provider of on-demand sales-intelligence solutions, has offered its products through Salesforce.com's AppExchange since September 2006, but the Oracle integration marks a move into the large enterprise market. George Goodall, research analyst for Infotech, sees the Oracle integration as a marker of the on-demand trend in company behavior. "Salesforce.com has really been aggressive in expanding its technology and partner base, and as Salesforce has become more of a platform than a product, Oracle has to follow," Goodall says. "This is just another example of Oracle following innovation that happened somewhere else in the market."
This move follows Oracle's recent integration of complex-purchase configuration engine Big Machines, which Salesforce.com had previously validated. Goodall explains that Oracle's pickup of more independent software vendors helps to make its product more marketable by allowing its software to dig into smaller niche markets and compete directly with Salesforce. The agreement with Before the Call will allow them to drill into a more sales specific space and to sell down to smaller businesses.
Tim Ramos, CEO of Before the Call, describes the benefit of the integration to Siebel CRM On Demand users as the ability to "bring previously standalone data into their CRM On Demand platform with very easy integration." Before the Call's functionality promises to shorten sales cycles and help customers better prioritize and qualify leads to bring them toward the end sale, according to the company. Marshall Leisten, director of Siebel CRM On Demand Alliances at Oracle, said in a prepared statement that an additional advantage of the integration will be that it will give customers access to Before the Call "with the look and feel that truly mirrors Siebel CRM On Demand Solution....Customers appreciate not having to familiarize themselves with another user interface."
Goodall believes that this marks one of many steps toward the incorporation of ISVs into on-demand CRM solutions. Following the flow of integration with enterprise CRM applications, functionality of specialty vendors like Before the Call will become more prevalent in the SaaS space. Mutual benefit will drive this movement forward. "As software-as-a-service matures there is the need for specific type of products, but now an Oracle On Demand can provide a technology base for the delivery of the application, which allows the ISV to focus on their core competencies," he says, while allowing the larger vendors like Oracle to sell into niche markets.
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