Oracle ERP Software Review
Oracle Software Independent System Review
By Paula Zielensky, May 2008
With the $5.85 billion acquisition of Siebel Systems in 2005, Oracle acquired its way into a top CRM software vendor position. Combined with the PeopleSoft acquisition and its CRM solution, Oracle's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is the global leader and supports over 20 industries with industry specific CRM software solutions.
While analyst CRM software rankings and market share statistics are not all completely in alignment, several recognized authorities put Oracle Siebel as the number one CRM software market share leader.
- Analyst firm IDC reports that Oracle Siebel CRM is the CRM market share leader in the Customer Relationship Management software categories of sales force automation (SFA), marketing and customer service. Within the transactional CRM applications market, Oracle was ranked the number 1 vendor with a 15.6% market share. IDC states that Oracle's stronghold is in Sales Force Automation where the vendor holds the number one position with $587M revenues and 17.9% market share.
- Research firm Datamonitor also names Oracle CRM the decisive leader in the CRM software market. According to the Datamonitor, Decision Matrix, "Oracle's CRM products, and particularly Oracle Siebel CRM, are among the leading solutions in almost every aspect of CRM technology, comprehensively outpacing all other competitors."
- In Gartner's 2007 CRM vendor rankings, the analyst firm places Oracle Siebel CRM in the Magic Quadrant's for Multichannel Campaign Management, CRM Customer Service Contact Centers, Customer Data Integration Hubs, Field Service Management and Sales Force Automation (SFA).
- Oracle's Siebel CRM is a software leader in the Forrester Enterprise CRM Wave and the company is rated as a leader in 11 Forrester Wave reports. Particular emphasis seems to be given to the Siebel financial services edition, where Oracle's Siebel is rated as having the strongest current offering in the March 2007 Forrester Wave Evaluation: Enterprise CRM Suites for Financial Services. Forrester reviewed strengths and weaknesses of several CRM software systems across 464 criteria in the three areas of current offering, strategy and market presence. According to the vendor summary cited in the report, "Through years of experience, the Siebel CRM product has developed in such a way that it routinely provides critical but undervalued functionality. It is one of the few products in this evaluation to offer strong field campaign management to accommodate bank branches, insurance agent offices and investment broker offices."
While a clear customer relationship management software market leader, Oracle CRM is not without its risks nor above market competition. Beginning with Siebel 7.7 and continuing to Siebel 7.8, 8.0, Siebel 8.1 and beyond, Oracle is integrating and certifying components of Oracle Fusion Middleware in order to integrate the acquired Siebel product (and other acquired products) into a more structured and long term Oracle framework. The inherit risks of this project are significant and may impact the maintenance and upgrade path for any current or potential customer. Similarly, and quite comparable to primary competitor SAP CRM, the CRM software solutions offer a broad range of functionality, feature sets, administrative tools and industry-specific capabilities which provide the basis for complete business applications as well as the inherit issues of lengthy time-to-value, a lack of flexibility in modifying business processes, implementation project failure risk, and higher implementation and ongoing costs.
|Jerry Vanderkooi will be publishing a more complete Oracle Siebel CRM software system review in the next release.|
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Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO
in 1977, Ellison and two of his former colleagues from company Ampex, founded Software Development Labs. From the start, Ellison served as CEO and shortly after the start Ellison came across a research paper called "A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks" by Edgar ("Ted") Codd, describing a concept Codd had created at IBM. Codd and his team saw no commercial potential for the concept of a Structured Query Language (SQL), however, Ellison did.
Ellison and his team won a two-year contract with the US government to build a relational database management system (RDBMS) for the CIA. The project was code named 'Oracle'. The project finished a year ahead of schedule and the development team used the surplus time to further expand the system for commercial purposes. They later named their commercial RDBMS Oracle as well. In 1980, Ellison's company had only eight staff and revenues were less than $1 million, but the following year, IBM adopted Oracle for its mainframe systems, and Oracle's sales doubled every year for the next seven years. Ellison later renamed the company Oracle Corporation, for its best-selling and flagship product.
Oracle launched an IPO in 1986 and raised $31.5 million, however, the company's young and over-zealous staff habitually overstated revenues and in 1990 the company posted its first financial losses. Oracle's market capitalization fell by 80 percent and the company appeared to be on the brink of bankruptcy. Accepting the need for drastic change, Ellison replaced much of the original senior staff with more experienced managers. For the first time, he delegated the management side of the business to professionals, and channeled his own talents into product development. The next database version, Oracle 7, was released in 1992 and swept the field to make Oracle the industry leader in database management systems. In only two years the company's stock had regained much of its prior value.
Ellison has served as Oracle's President from 1978 to 1996, and served two stints as Chairman of the Board, from 1990 to 1992, and again from 1995 to 2004. Since the company's founding, Ellison has been Oracle's only CEO.