Oracle cements its CRM position

Aphrodite Brinsmead/Ovum
29 Aug 2011

With the influx of new social tools and smartphone applications, customers have more information readily available to them than ever before.

They are using mobile devices to search for answers to queries from different physical locations and carrying out interactions via web chat and social media. While phone and email are still important customer service channels, enterprises need to address this behavioral change.

They must pull and pool information from online communities, linking it to internal product, service, and customer data. In order to do so, they need centralized knowledge systems that link information across platforms and departments. Oracle’s pending acquisition of InQuira will allow it to tap into this growing market and at the same time validate the need for combined knowledge management and CRM solutions.

The announcement is unsurprising given the consolidation between CRM, knowledge management, and social media players during the last couple of years. It was only a matter of time before one of the larger CRM or contact center communications providers snapped up InQuira, one of the most comprehensive standalone knowledge management providers on the market.

The move makes sense for Oracle since it already had a partnership and integrations with InQuira and it needs to improve its knowledge and web capabilities. The vendor should use its existing process management and business intelligence expertise alongside InQuira’s information expertise to help drive process change within enterprises.

Knowledge should become a central focus for the enterprise

Customers need more intelligent search; they want to find accurate information with minimal effort wherever they are. The search engines of the world have certainly helped this become a reality for customers purchasing products and services, but online customer service is still the Wild West when customers require relevant support information quickly.

Customers using social media, FAQ pages, and web chat to search for information face numerous challenges: information is difficult to trawl through, answers are not consistent across channels, and they often have to make a follow-up call to the contact center, repeating information.

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