Oracle Siebel CRM Roadshow, Utrecht 2016: Day one

Oracle's Siebel CRM Roadshow 2016 revealed key insight from Oracle and its customers, including Siebel IP 2017 additional features and Cloud integration. Siebel Consultant, Pedro Malheiro, summarises the outputs in this two-part blog series.

Boxfusion recently participated in Oracle’s two day Siebel CRM Roadshow, which took place on 5th and 6th September 2016 in Utrecht, Holland. The event involved a number of Siebel partners and customers, all eager to hear about the future of Siebel. For anyone working in the CRM world, this is of great interest. Why? People are itching to know what new functionalities Oracle is planning to include in next year’s major Siebel release version, Innovation Pack 2017 (IP 2017).

Fig. 1: Oracle's Utrecht office

Aside from speculation on the future of Siebel dominating many conversations, day one and day two had fairly contrasting tones. The first day focussed on function, and included a number of presentations regarding various technologies. The second was targeted at Siebel experts, with live demonstrations of the application.

This blog summarises the first day of the roadshow, forming the first half of a two-part series. Look out for the day two summary coming shortly.

Siebel CRM Roadmap

John Bedford (Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle) and Johan Rook (Solution Consulting Lead for CX for the Benelux, Oracle) moderated the sessions on the first day, which included an overview of the current major Siebel version (IP 2016) and an updated Siebel roadmap. It shows Oracle’s commitment to Siebel, with yearly releases until IP 2022 and further additional work up until 2030+.

Fig. 2: The Siebel CRM roadmap 2016

With a quick poll to the audience, it was clear that not everyone was familiar with IP 2016 and John quickly ran through the main innovations listed below:

  • Responsive fields: label positioning can be defined
  • Improved global search
  • Desktop Integration Siebel Agent (DISA): inline attachment editing, outlook, Computer Telephone Integration (CTI) hoteling and batch fulfilment printing
  • Siebel Outlook Drag and Drop (SODD): drag and drop from Outlook to new Siebel calendar
  • New calendar design
  • Caldav integration
  • CTI browser notifications (reviving the blinking function that existed in High Interactivity, or HI)
  • Genesys chat
    • Gplus adapter 8.0.2
  • New Field Service Mobile theme revamp
    • More task-focused with task flows;
    • New ‘Get route’ map introduced
    • New image and video attachment option
    • New invoice generation functionality
  • New eCustomer portals, including those for eMarketing, eSales and Self Service (all of which are mobile friendly)
  • eSales for mobile has been revamped
  • New partner Commerce Portal
  • New User Pattern Tracking
  • Workspaces are in Siebel tools (it seems like Siebel tools will still exist in 2017).

Integration Cloud Services (ICS)

The presentation that followed the roadmap focussed on ICS. ICS was described as a very user-friendly version of Oracle SOA Cloud, so much so that two bold statements about its advantages were made:

  1. Integration with ICS can be done directly by business users
  2. There are no development costs if both applications have the respective ICS connectors. (ICS is now shipped with a large number of Cloud and non-Cloud application connectors, including Siebel.)

A common case also discussed was the large number of clients working with Salesforce.com implementations that are very difficult to integrate with other tools, including Siebel. It was also outlined that Oracle’s ICS Salesforce connector can make Siebel-Salesforce integration very easy.

Finally, Oracle encouraged anyone interested to take a free trial of the product (this is available on their website).

ID Graph

Michel van Woudenberg (Vice President CRM APAC on CX, Oracle) gave a more improvised presentation addressing a number of questions raised by the audience. One topic that caught the interest of many was an Oracle offering named ID Graph (or, as Michel called it, ‘Customer 720’). The concept revolves around Oracle collecting data from any device connected to the internet, analysing it and matching it with the person to whom the device belongs. Oracle’s clients (including Siebel clients) can submit a customer record ID and the Oracle service is able to match the customer ID (for Siebel, for example) to Oracle’s Internet of Things (IoT) analysis, returning 720-degree information about the customer. If one sees the use of social network data as a step to retrieving more information about customers, the use of this Oracle service would be an even bigger step to widen the knowledge using information external to CRM.

You can read more about ID Graph by clicking here.

Oracle Policy Automation (OPA)

There were three consecutive sessions about OPA and, in particular, how Oracle’s clients are using it in parallel to Siebel. For those who are not yet aware of OPA, it is a solution to define business rules that can be used in any (by any) system, including Siebel. The two key concepts of it are as follows:

  • The rules are written in English, making it easy for most business users to read and write rules
  • OPA works as a centralised repository for all rules and can be consumed by any application.

Matthew Bickham (CX Consulting Practice Manager, Oracle) started by giving a brief introduction to OPA with a live demonstration and highlighted some interesting points:

  • OPA comes prebuilt into Sales Cloud (no integration required)
  • OPA comes integrated with Business Intelligence Publisher (BIP)
  • Permissions are all controllable, including permissions over who can run, view and edit
  • OPA is currently dependent on Microsoft Word, but a browser based version is in development.

Mathew was followed by two Dutch Siebel clients (Rabobank and ANWB), both of whom had implemented OPA. They shared their experiences with the Siebel-OPA project and explained the benefits and difficulties they had encountered.

In summary, OPA is a very powerful tool and should be considered when defining a strategy for centralising business rules. However, taking the decision to implement it in Siebel is not straightforward. A number of factors need to be considered, especially for Siebel customers who already use Data Validation Manager (DVM). Furthermore, OPA would come at an extra cost.

(For your information, Boxfusion Consulting offer certified OPA specialist consulting. If you want advice or assistance with OPA, get in touch today.)

Siebel IP 2017

John Bedford (Senior Principal Product Manager, Oracle) closed the day’s sessions with a look into Siebel IP 2017.