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Oracle CRM and Business Intelligence in Two Real-World Environments: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Zurich Financial and Oracle CRM

Zurich Financial/Farmers Insurance is another large Oracle customer, gravitating toward Oracle Siebel CRM, Oracle CRM On Demand and the Oracle SOA suite.

It was using BEA for SOA before, and Siebel CRM before the Oracle acquisition. Salesforce.com was also in use as well as in-house CRM.

Back in 2007, an evaluation of sales and marketing led to testing of many CRM tools such as SugarCRM, SAP, Microsoft, Salesforce.com and Oracle/Siebel. Partha Srinivasa, CIO of global shared services at Zurich Financial, had already been using Siebel extensively in call centers, so Srinivasa felt it made the most sense to standardize on Oracle as a single CRM system for sales, service, marketing and call centers.

At that point, the company's Farmer's Insurance unit moved over gradually to Oracle CRM tools.

"That evolution has now begun at Zurich Financial, too," said Srinivasa.

He prefers a phased approach, commencing with core CRM functionality and adding other modules gradually. At Farmers, that means establishing that CRM core across the boards, phasing out other non-Oracle modules and then adding the needed Oracle modules for CRM.

Srinivasa ran into a cultural problem – a perception of "big brother is watching you." This necessitated the use of change management processes. For example, instead of pushing CRM as a technology initiative, the whole emphasis was in making it a way to improve field actions and sales. For most people affected by it, the words Oracle, Siebel and CRM were not uttered. Those insurance brokers using the system properly are posting 20% more growth, said Srinivasa.

He brought up one last point – when he deploys Oracle Siebel CRM and when he prefers Oracle On Demand.

"Oracle On Demand is a very good vanilla CRM product where speed to market is important – it tends to have good TCO cost of ownership for new territories and geographies," he said. "But for in-house uses where heavy traction volumes, huge SLAs, high risk, and/or heavy integration to the back end is required, Siebel is best."

Srinivasa is planning to do a proof of concept on the Oracle Exadata and Exalogic appliances, too.

This article was originally published on November 11, 2011
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