Oracle is adding automated configuration tools to its supply chain management applications and is upgrading its CRM software to make it easier for users to exchange customer data with other systems.
Oracle executives said the supply chain features will begin to ship by the end of the year. The latest CRM offering is scheduled to follow by mid-2004.
Don Klaiss, senior vice-president of manufacturing and supply chain applications at Oracle, said the configuration tools are being added to reduce the time it takes to install the supply chain software to days, instead of weeks or months.
For example, the new release will include a rules-based feature that poses questions to IT managers about their implementations and then helps set up software configurations, Klaiss said.
Oracle has also started beta-testing warehouse management applications that can handle data generated by radio frequency identification (RFID) tags more effectively.
In addition, the warehouse software will work with the company's Oracle Database 10g technology to provide load-balancing, reporting and data management functions for RFID uses.
Andrew Kass, vice-president of CRM development at Oracle, said the company is tweaking the architecture of that product line to enable more rapid data sharing between different modules in its E-Business Suite 11i product line.
For example, users could automatically mirror information about customer service work that had been completed from the CRM software to Oracle's manufacturing or supply chain applications.
The CRM upgrade will also include features aimed at boosting employee productivity and helping users address potential problems with customers.
One such enhancement will let companies log in any repeated problems customers might have with a given product to help them avoid similar problems.
Marc L Songini writes for Computerworld