Oracle targets faster CRM rollouts

Oracle Corp. Tuesday announced a set of nine customer relationship management (CRM) software bundles that it said can be up and running within 90 days at a fixed price -- provided that users don't customize the software to fit their individual needs.

The CRM packages are the first built around a new FastForward Flows application implementation methodology that the company also detailed Tuesday. The methodology is aimed at shortening installation times by starting with standardized software and avoiding any upfront customization work, Oracle said.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison previewed the announcement yesterday during a briefing, saying the "CRM in 90 Days" initiative would ensure that users get a system in place within that time frame. If that doesn't happen, he added, Oracle will pay any additional costs itself.

"Software is the only industry in which we ask you to buy our products and then take them home to finish yourself, spending millions in the process," Ellison said. The CRM bundles will minimize the amount of systems integration work that needs to be done and hopefully spur more sales of the software in the under-US$200,000 price range, he said.

Pricing for the nine bundles will start at $150,000 and go up to about $395,000, according to Tuesday's announcement. Oracle officials said during a teleconference that the vendor will host the development of CRM systems for users and then transfer the software to their computers after testing has been completed.

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