The Power of Fusion CRM BI Composers

Today we've had the opportunity to spend time with Oracle Product Development and a small number of Partners, getting "hands on" again with Oracle Fusion CRM. It's been an exciting two days and the focus of this post is Fusion CRM's embedded BI and the BI Composer.

Today we've had the opportunity to spend time with Oracle Product Development and a small number of Partners, getting "hands on" again with Oracle Fusion CRM. It's been an exciting two days and the focus of this post is Fusion CRM's embedded BI and the BI Composer.

Aim of embedded BI

One of the recurring themes in the CRM space over the last few years and one we hear regularly when talking with CRM users, is the problem Companies have encouraging their sales users to enter data into the Enterprise CRM. Where is the benefit to them, particularly where the process is time-consuming, when they'd much rather be out selling? The operational forecasting and reporting problems resulting from the lack of visibility of a sales team's pipeline, hampers Organisations striving to maximise sales growth.

Within Oracle's CRM stable there are many initiatives looking to address this issue. One example came when Fusion CRM added CRM Desktop, in order to integrate Fusion CRM with Microsoft Outlook and this tool has been extended to integrate with Siebel CRM. And then there is the continual focus on User Experience across the CRM tools (you also see things like Siebel CRM's OpenUI seeking to bring a hugely enhanced UI tool to businesses). But allied with this, Oracle have recognised that real-time, highly visible, embedded Analytics will be extremely powerful in the hands of Sales users, providing immediate knowledge of their pipeline and which Leads or Opportunities should be receiving the major focus of their attention.

BI in Fusion CRM

As soon as you login to Fusion CRM you find graphical reports almost jumping off the screen. And once you start building your own reports using the new BI Composer you find that you can customise your Fusion CRM UI to show your own reports in preference to those the Administrator has provided.

The ability to have insightful, graphical representation of your pipeline immediately available and updated in real-time seems to provide a fantastic incentive to manage your Leads and Opportunities in Fusion CRM. And then as you focus in on your Opportunities, visual graphic representation of the component revenue items provides immediate analytical insight and value add to the Sales team.

BI/Report Composer

In Fusion CRM (SaaS model) there is just one database, against which everything is performed - including your Analytics. So there is no embedded BI against a Data Warehouse. As a result, user updates to their data in Fusion CRM, will be reflected in reports and dashboards in real-time to sales staff and their managers.

And building your own reports and dashboards could not be easier for end users with the new wizard-style Report Composer, borrowed from the latest versions of OBIEE 11g. With Fusion CRM having OBIEE providing the BI engine, it is no surprise to find the look and feel is very much like Answers/Analyses. The UI wizard follows a process train, stepping through selection of the Subject Area, selection of columns, selection of views, editing the table layout, editing the graph layout, adding sorts and filters and finally adding conditional formatting.

What then came as a surprise, was finding the ability to add a new Subject Area in Fusion CRM without the use of the BI Admin Tool. It is handed over as a simple GUI Administrator task performed through the Application Composer - all created, deployed and available in real time!

In Conclusion

At the end of a fascinating two days using Fusion CRM, we can certainly see the power of the "baked in" Analytics the application provides. There are questions - and we are particularly interested in the performance aspects around tuning your transactional database for use as a traditional Sales and Marketing and Sales Force Automation enabler, as well as real-time reporting engine - but the signs are very postive.

Empowering CRM users with the BI Composer to quickly and simply build their own reports giving them real-time analytics, should help create a virtuous circle where more quality data is entered promptly, providing greater insight and analytical capability, in turn showing greater value in enterprise CRM and then providing further incentive to enter data promptly as the results will speak for themselves.