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The Many Points of Entry to Oracle OpenWorld

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
Sep 23, 2008 4:00 AM PT

Oracle OpenWorld wasn't a day old before Twitter-like blog posts began peppering the Internet.

The Many Points of Entry to Oracle OpenWorld

Mike Gotta from the Burton Group posted notes encapsulating his essential gleanings from Charles Phillip's keynote:

  • The company is investing around US$3B in research-related activities; it holds 1,200 patents.
  • It has made 50 acquisitions over the last five years; one out of every three employees are non-Oracle (prior to expansion). It went from 40K to 85K employees.
  • It has grown by 25 percent over the last year; the stock is up 18 percent.
  • It is formalizing integration methods, with packaged integration that is similar in concept to packaged applications.

"Standards are not always available for all types of integration so challenge of leading standards effort or moving ahead in a way that remains open (will be especially true for emerging areas related to social networking)," Gotta says.

Going Swimmingly

In his fifth -- and probably still counting -- post of the day, an equally terse Paul Greenberg wrote, "Lots of 2008 innovations -- 10 new Siebel 8.0 products; 366 enhancements; E-Business Suite 12 - 1466 enhancements, 2 products. E-Business 12.1 preview out. -- Adding supply chain, mfg., HR modules which 12.0 enhanced financials. Common dashboards, recruiting, etc. Social CRM is a hosted CRM offering -- Web 2.0 enhancements to allow salespeople to communicate with each other and customers. Siebel 8.1 includes loyalty apps. Now onto middleware strategy which I'm going to let slide because my hands hurt. Ahhhhh. Rest is blissful. ...."

Denis Pombriant got right to the point relating his initial impressions of the event: "Michael Phelps just did a cameo. ..."

Other links to the conference:

Keynotes can be viewed online.

Video highlights from the event are available on YouTube.

Event photos can be found on Flickr.

Oracle Tweets can be read here. Anyone who wants to Twitter and link at this site just has to mark the Tweet with #openworld08 or #oow08.

Valuing a Customer Base

Concerning the never-ending quest to appropriately segment and then value a customer, Mara Stoltz muses, "I wish my CRM system had a field inside of it that tracked every time a customer of ours mentioned Four51 glowingly at a cocktail party or wrote about us on a social networking site. While I don't think it's easy, I do think it's attainable. Somewhere at the intersection of purely quantitative and attitudinal information exists the ability of our data to tell us who our best customer truly is."

In short, whoever pumped the most amount of revenue into the business last year is often not the best customer. "This customer might have cost you in other ways," she writes. "We all know who this customer is: the one who always has a custom order, the one who spends more time on the phone with your support team than they do working, the one who has the same billing question every month."

Unfortunately, Stoltz does not have way to quantify the soft behaviors that she feels best identify a good customer. "In a lot of ways this post was just a rant because there is no good way to do this," she tells CRM Buyer. The closest system is the company's internal referral module. "That gives us a hint of the type of data we are looking for."

Wall Street Woes and the Tech Industry

Silicon Valley remains disconnected from the economic unwinding that is Wall Street today, in large part because the Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynches and their ilk do not spend a great deal on Internet-based advertising, ValleyWag points out.

"Lehman spent just $501,900 on ads, both online and off, in the first half of 2008. Merrill Lynch, which has a much larger consumer business, still only spent $38 million on advertising last year," ValleyWag notes in a recent post.

Still, there will be an impact, even on the seemingly unsinkable Salesforce.com.

"On February 27, 2007, Salesforce.com announced its largest deal ever, signing Merrill Lynch as a client and adding 25,000 new subscribers," the ValleyWag post continues. "How will Salesforce.com fare now Merrill and those 25,000 accounts are moving to Bank of America? At worst, Bank of America will insist Merill's brokers and their assistants use the Soffront CRM software the bank signed up for in March. At best, Salesforce.com will lose several thousand accounts as the new company seeks to reduce redundancies and lays off as many as 20,000."

Cisco, News Corp., Bloomberg and RIM will also be feeling the pain, it says.


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