Ribbit Hops onto Oracle On Demand

Sales professionals are increasingly being tasked with pounding the pavement and drumming up more sales. This means, in many cases, they must be more productive and be able to enter and access information literally at their fingertips. Looking to bring productivity to another large CRM user base, communications services vendor Ribbit, a British Telecom company, unveils Ribbit for Oracle CRM On Demand a little more than one year after developing a Salesforce.com-specific application.

According to Greg Goldfarb, vice president and general manager of enterprise applications at Ribbit, the connection with Oracle On Demand shows continued progress. "This is just the start of our increased presence in the CRM space beyond our market entry with Salesforce.com last year," he says, noting that Ribbit was selected as a member of the Oracle Inner Circle Program in 2008.

The functionality in this specific solution is similar to the one for Salesforce.com. Essentially, Ribbit's calling card is connecting the mobile phone, Oracle CRM On Demand, and email with integrated voice for text conversion. Calls, voicemail, and voice memos automatically flow into the CRM system with integrated text transcriptions, enabling sales pros to call in notes instead of typing them. The information is automatically organized into a user's CRM application -- like email -- which saves time.

In a statement, Anthony Lye, senior vice president of CRM at Oracle, says Ribbit's strengths play into key market needs for his company's user base. "Mobile productivity is vitally important to our customers, which is one of the reasons why we chose Ribbit to be part of the Inner Circle Partner initiative," Lye said. "By incorporating Ribbit's award-winning communications capabilities into Oracle CRM On Demand, we believe mobile workers will see instant productivity gains and positive returns on their CRM deployments."

While Goldfarb believes this is a good start, he can see possibilities extend beyond Oracle's on-demand user base and simply mobile productivity. "In terms of integration, interfaces, and workflows, we have a strong application to desktop-based scenarios," he says. "So that's one angle ... that we're poised to expand in terms of addressable market from mobile to desktop. Another is within the Oracle ecosystem ... the Siebel user base is an interesting potential opportunity for us."

To Joe McGarvey, principal analyst at Current Analysis, this also adds to the growing fervor over telephony services -- Ribbit still deems itself "Silicon Valley's first phone company" -- in the cloud. "Ribbit is doing something that service providers and telecom operators -- interestingly enough BT which owns Ribbit, has been trying to do this for years -- all want to do, which is open up their networks for third-party independent software vendors," he says. "Ribbit is coming at this from the cloud, and operators are really anxious to become something other than a dumb pipe. This speaks to the heart of that ... the value that Ribbit brings is expressed most clearly in an application like the Oracle one."

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