Oracle bridges CRM/SCM gap

Tomorrow I’m leading a round of Innovation Tours at the 11th Annual Conference of our sister assocation, Electronics Supply Chain Association (ESCA), and I spent time this weekend finalizing the tour sheet of participating partners.  All the big names in SCM (supply chain management) are there, including i2, IBM, Oracle and SAP, as well as a cool new offering from FreeFlow and eBay Private Marketplaces.  Luckily I know enough about supply chain to be conversant, thanks to editing lots of SCM reports during my Forrester days by talented analysts like Noha Tohamy, now at AMR.

But this blog is focused on service, and I was thrilled when reading the solution details provided by ESCA partners participating in the conference expo that when it comes to discussing SCM innovation, I’m not the only one who sees the obvious link to CRM:  Oracle includes ties from the front office to the back office in their exhibitor announcements.

To me, the supply chain is a big part of the whole customer loyalty cycle.  Before the service team gets a chance to support the customer, the customer first has to buy the product.  And having the right product, at the right time, at the right price, in the right location, is pure supply chain. 

At the ESCA conference, Oracle is highlighting 3 areas of their product suite, and 2 of them have ties to CRM.  The first is the opportunity to quote process, showcasing the integration of Siebel CRM On Demand to Oracle E-Business Suite.  Second is Algile PLM (product lifecycle management), and the third showcases an integration between 2 major Oracle acquisitions:  Demantra (for demand management) and Siebel (for trade promotion management). 

Dean Strausl, executive director for ESCA, and I have had several conversations about where ESCA and SSPA converge, and I maintain (and I think Dean agrees, or at least he humors me) that the intersection is the customer.  At the end of the day, you can optimize your supply chain, and resource materials from emerging markets to cut costs, but if you don’t deliver the products customers want, it was all in vain.

It is fantastic to see Oracle not just create a well integrated suite of technology across the front and back office, but also to articulate the value of SCM by making references to the customer.  Clearly they are tackling the real-world business problems of how SCM meets CRM in an actionable way.

If you are in the Bay Area, consider stopping by the ESCA Conference, day passes are available.  It kicks off tomorrow at 8:30am at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, CA.

Add a comment or shoot me an email with your thoughts, and as always, thanks for reading! 

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