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Chuck Schaeffer Oracle CRM—CRM on Demand, Fusion CRM & What's Next From Oracle

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 By Chuck Schaeffer

CRM Thought Leader Podcast Series

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Senior VP of Oracle CRM, Anthony Lye
Anthony Lye Anthony is responsible for Oracle CRM On Premise and Oracle CRM On Demand, CRM on Demand operations and Oracle's own deployment of CRM. He's a veteran of the CRM software industry and is equal parts strategist and spokesman. Here he explains Oracle's new strategies—including the Oracle Public Cloud, Oracle Social Network and relationship among CRM on Demand and Fusion CRM.

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43 minutes, 40 seconds [43:40]


Key take away points in the discussion with Senior Vice President of Oracle CRM, Anthony Lye:

  • The Oracle Engineered Systems initiative is a relatively new push to deliver single-vendor direct control over an integrated hardware and software stack in an effort to optimize hardware and software joint operation, eliminate traditional IT management tasks such as multi-vendor and multiple product compatibility issues, versioning differences and upgrade challenges, and lower total cost of ownership. While new to the current era of cloud and thin-client technologies, the effort is somewhat analogous to the 1980's IBM AS/400 era which delivered an integrated engineered stack of hardware (AS/400), operating systems (OS/400) and development tools (RPG)—and gained a reputation and market share based in large part on its reliability and stability.

  • The newly announced Oracle Public Cloud has seemingly culminated Oracle's cloud strategy. Oracle Public Cloud is a ubiquitous cloud approach which supports SaaS, PaaS (Platform as a Service) and (IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service); gives customers choice in deployment by permitting on-premises installations, private clouds or public cloud deployments; supports interoperability with the customer's choice of public cloud providers including either Oracle's cloud or third parties, such as Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure; and allows customers portability to change their deployment to or from on premises or the cloud. Key to making the Oracle Public Cloud portable is its standards-based architecture, including standards such as Java, SQL, XML, Web Services, SOA and support for popular browsers. Not surprising though, no databases other than the Oracle database are supported.

  • CRM on Demand is based on a proprietary middleware technology, so will not evolve to operate on the Oracle Public Cloud. Nonetheless, CRM on Demand already offers choice in deployment and will integrate or take advantage of both Fusion CRM or other Fusion apps and Oracle Public Cloud services.

  • The Oracle Social Network was also just announced at OpenWorld and is fully integrated with Oracle Fusion apps – such as CRM, ERP, HCM and others – includes an internal social network, integration feeds with external social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter) and features such as document sharing along with collaboration and communication tools which use forums, presence, chat and web conferencing. Like the Oracle Public Cloud, the Oracle Social Network is available for on-premises or cloud deployment.

  • Fusion applications now number more than 100, including complete suites such as Customer Relationship Management. With over 380,000 customers across all Oracle products, and more than 30,000 application customers, Oracle expects that existing customers will adopt Fusion apps both as part of an incremental and complimentary strategy as well as a tier 2 approach. This coexistence strategy is likely to be prevalent with legacy systems such as E-Business Suite, Siebel, JD Edwards and PeopleSoft. For example, incentive compensation is a Fusion application that may be complimentary for Siebel or other legacy customers.
  • Continued CRM trends coming from Oracle will include the shift from multi-channel CRM to cross-channel CRM, increased social capabilities, a redefinition of customer lifetime value and mobility. Customers increasingly cross channels while communicating with their vendors, and they expect their vendors to keep up with them. Those vendors that can deliver multi-channel customer engagement will outpace those vendors who cannot. The redefinition of customer lifetime value—from a basis of just dollars and sense—to also include customer referral value, has the implication of altering CRM strategies. Going beyond customer value calculation based on transaction value (purchase history and propensity for continued purchases), to also include referral value, will require organizations to measure, record and reward influencers as part of their CRM strategy.

  • Despite the fact that Fusion CRM is available as a multi-tenant, cloud solution—as is CRM on Demand—the later CRM software will continue forward as part of the Applications Unlimited program which pledges continued investment and advancement. CRM on Demand has been the fastest growing application within Oracle for the last four years, maintains a near semi-annual release cycle, and has shown differentiation among a crowded SaaS CRM market with its vertical market solutions. These industry editions, in life sciences, automotive, insurance services and wealth management will likely separate CRM on Demand from industry competitors as well as Fusion CRM. Interestingly, Anthony notes that customers can migrate back and forth between CRM on Demand and Fusion CRM and pricing is identical.

  • Despite a CRM software vendor industry that overwhelming caters to the B2B (business to business) market, the B2C (business to consumer) market may actually be larger, but less served. Oracle is somewhat uniquely bucking the market favoritism, and has acquired significant B2C market share in industries such as consumer goods, financial services, healthcare, professional services, retail, telecommunications and travel. Oracle's Siebel has become a market share leader for consumer telecommunications billing, airline loyalty programs, coffee purchases with redemption cards or your mobile phone and more. Market differences between B2B and B2C require different CRM approaches and CRM software solutions. B2C enterprises sell to and support significantly higher numbers of customers, and therefore, cannot communicate with them all directly. They are dependent upon CRM solutions which can automate all customer facing business processes with great efficiency. B2B companies cater to smaller numbers of customers and sell more complex solutions. To maximize their success they apply more people-oriented strategies, and therefore, need CRM systems which empower complex selling strategies and deliver greater decision support to simplify complex solutions, large buyer teams and long period sales cycles.

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Comments (6) — Comments for this page are closed —

Guest Craig Tulley
  Oracle has announced some good stuff, albeit a bit late. You referring to Oracle as a fast follower is on the money. Choice in deployment, portability, social network -- all capabilities announced by countless mid-tier CRM vendors (Microsoft CRM, Sage CRM, SugarCRM, etc.) years ago. Since Oracle’s innovation seems to be idle, I think it will have to make these products seriously competitive just to keep pace. Simply putting out mediocre me-too products will invite much more innovative CRM suppliers to continue to acquire market share and erode Oracle's relevance.

Guest Richard Napier
  Enjoyable discussion, not sure that for many of our own customers, Social CRM and Social Media have entered a more mature phase. Service yes, Sales with social media not well defined at all. I agree with Craig below, to the extent that being a fast follower may not be sufficent especially as the pace of innovation has really accelerated. Agree wth Sherman that SAP may have definitively missed the boat.

Guest Lenny Chapman
  I got the cursory review of Oracle Fusion CRM at OpenWorld, and I think Oracle is well on its way to achieving its vision of bringing the best features, business processes and capabilities of the legacy business applications (eBusiness Suite, Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Retek, and a few other lesser names) to a current era architecture. Combined with the Oracle Public Cloud, Oracle is the only enterprise vendor bringing tier 1 apps to the cloud, and offering platform as a service (PAAS) for more extensibility and portability. I feel SAP is probably 3 to 4 years behind Oracle in these regards, and suspect they may never catch up. They’ve chosen to keep their heads in the SAAS sand for too long, and even with the Business ByDesign release, the product is a defensive play, limited to the SMB market and failing to gain market traction. I do question Larry Ellison’s stance against multi-tenant SaaS applications for public clouds. The Oracle Cloud is based on server virtualization, not on multi-tenancy, which probably does permit greater portability for customers, but fails to achieve some of the more significant benefits and cost savings of the SaaS delivery model.

Guest Joe Weithman
  He makes an excellent point that’s cloud is closed. You can leave, and get most of your data in a flat CSV file, but any and all custom firmware, software cutomization or similar capabilities created with stay behind. There’s no option to take any firmware or IP you may have created with you. is effectively locking in customers which is unfortunate and frankly in contrast to how they present themselves. I think has a great app and is a great cloud provider, but as an IT professional who’s been through multiple IT cycles, and will hopefully be in a few more, portability and protecting my investments are key considerations.

Guest Blake Vincent
  Good interview. I picked up two good points that I missed at OpenWorld. Anthony is a top notch executive, however, if he believes this last Oracle OpenWorld spent even close to as much time and attention on software as it did hardware, he must have attended a different OpenWorld than I did. I know, he’s just toting the company line. Nonetheless, good discussion.

Guest Winston Gray
  Both speakers bring up a good point regarding CRM in B2C. For reasons I really don’t get, CRM vendor interest and fit in the B2C market pales in comparison to their drive in the B2B market. I suspect most vendors products, although not Oracle, don’t fare as well with B2C requirements which tend to demand much higher levels of process control. As B2C companies have much higher volumes of customers, lower dollar transactions, and generally much smaller numbers of sales people, they are far more reliant upon flexible but consistent processes to interact with customers. B2B companies have the luxury, or the curse depending upon your position, of relying far more on people to deal with prospects and customers, and thereby don’t insist upon automated processes for virtually every customer interaction.


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Whether the economy is in good shape or not, CRM is increasingly making the difference to our customer base. As products commoditize, companies must continue to differentiate themselves against one another. Companies must differentiate themselves based on the relationship, and that's what CRM provides."

~ Anthony Lye, SVP of Oracle CRM


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I still believe that integration is the Achilles heel of IT. Integration costs too much. Integration is brittle, is fragile, and companies are spending too much time piecing together applications."

~ Anthony Lye, SVP of Oracle CRM

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