The best CRM suite

The best CRM suite

Summary: We look at seven CRM solutions, compare them and give some recommendations for where each would have the best fit.


Oracle CRM On Demand


While Oracle and SAP can be grouped together as huge software companies that produce enterprise-scale packages, their approach to CRM differs quite a lot. Unlike SAP Business ByDesign, Oracle CRM on Demand is a hosted CRM package that is similar to the other hosted solutions tested in this review.


The user interface is clean and well organised. The left-hand menu is the same for every module and provides shortcuts to allow quick creation of Opportunities, Contacts, Leads and Appointments, and so forth. There's also a search feature, recently viewed items and a list of Favourites that each user populates. The whole menu is reminiscent of Microsoft Outlook and takes very little time to get used to. The top of the screen has tabs for Calendar, Leads and Accounts. We liked the 30-day "recycle bin" feature in case you have to recover items you have deleted. The help and training section is comprehensive and easy to use. It integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Office, as well as IBM Lotus Notes.

Oracle CRM On Demand's home page.
(Screenshot by CBSi)

We found Oracle CRM On Demand similar to in usage. There's not a large repository of AppExchange add-ons, but Oracle does have some partners that offer extensions. Not surprisingly, the real strength of Oracle CRM On Demand is the deep integration with other Oracle back-end software products, such as Oracle ERP.


The standard product is hosted in a multi-tenant database configuration, so your data will be stored alongside other companies' information on the same servers and will share the same network. Larger customers with specific regulatory requirements can look into the isolated tenancy offering.

Email marketing support is strong, but there are limited campaign and analysis features. The email template tools are easy to use: we managed to create a personalised marketing email in just a few minutes.

There's a call centre module as well as a customer support tool, and these can be merged for efficient customer support. It can even integrate with common phone systems to display caller information before the call is taken. We didn't test this functionality and it might work less well outside of the US due to latency. Basic workflows are easy to create but more complex processes require programming. The built-in reports are comprehensive, but building custom reports isn't straightforward and may require programming skills.

The broad list of built-in reports.
(Screenshot by CBSi)

Too late to be included in this review, Oracle launched its new line of Fusion applications (not to be confused with the Oracle Fusion Middleware application), which covers CRM as well as a range of other business processes — similar to SAP Business ByDesign.


Earlier versions had some limitations on customisation; the recent R19 lets you customise at the UI level and the business process level as well as the data level. Users can personalise their experience, hiding tabs that don't pertain to them as well as creating dynamic layouts that adapt to different types of records. Custom fields and data can also be created, and their relationships defined; there's also a comprehensive workflow engine.


There's no offline editing (except through an Excel spreadsheet), and no mobile support included, although third-party plug-ins are available to provide this functionality.

Social CRM

There are social media connections in Oracle CRM On Demand with links to LinkedIn and Facebook.


Rooted in the many years of experience from both Siebel and Oracle, this is a very capable CRM solution, suitable for medium to large businesses. It's also clear that Oracle CRM On Demand was created by a company that understands ERP and other back-end systems — in particular, sales order processing.

SAP and Oracle are the largest players in ERP software for large corporations, and a CRM solution is often just a small part of the deal at this level. Oracle CRM On Demand is a competent product that reaches far smaller businesses than traditional Oracle clients; it'll be interesting to see if it achieves this in the market.

Product Oracle CRM On Demand
Price Available on request
Vendor Oracle
Phone 1300 366 386
Web (trial available)

Interoperability 3/5 Can easily be integrated with other Oracle software.
Future-proofing 4.5/5 Oracle CRM On Demand has a strong heritage from Oracle's Siebel acquisition and is frequently updated. As long as the Oracle way of approaching business processes and the integration with other systems works for your business it's a good choice for most medium to large businesses.
ROI 3/5 A good fit if your business is already using other Oracle products.

Topics: Microsoft, Enterprise Software, Oracle, Reviews, SAP

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Large CRM soft like Dynamics and Salesforces are taking a while to implement. For exemple, you need at lease 1 ou 2 years to setup the entire workflow. They sell you small pieces of soft and one by one you need to puzzle. For exemple. If you want to subcribe to Salesforce, you need to purchase a liscence of 125/user per month for the crm imagine if you have an entire channel to provide with that solution. After this if you want a website you need to pay 1500/per site per month + an other fee for write. In the case that you have dealers... you will have to pay : 18000 per year * nb of sites + the Crm. I prefer a PRM solution including a CRM like
    • Agreed

      We actually created a savings tool to show what it would take to build your own crm. If you have a company with 25 employees you would save $8500 in the first year. You can check out the blog at
  • Engagedots CRM

    CRM system enhances the better customer relationship, the best thing is that it can easily integrate with the existing system. Providing a better flexibility for the business.
    Engagedots CRM
  • In my opinion

    and with the area of my experience of internet marketing, many top level marketers are using infusion ->
  • The CRM tools mentioned in this article are not applicable for small teams

    None of the products mentioned in this article are designed for small businesses. Instead, consider RelateIQ, Nimble CRM or Base CRM--each of which make relationships management easy and pleasant--instead of a time-consuming chore in data-entry. There is certainly not a one-size fits all solution, but you are often better off using the new generation of CRM applications that focus on mobile, usability, automated data gathering, and relationship intelligence. If you are trying to find the best CRM for your business, check out Software Report ( to learn more.
  • A new software you should try

    great article paul! You should definitely try PayPanther.
  • Top CRM's Based On Price And Quality -- Start Here

    The only actual contender mentioned below is Salesforce, when it comes to quality software that is. If you are concerned about price a few well priced good quality CRM software providers include:

    Snapforce CRM - CRM Software, Cloud Computing, Customer Relationship Management
    Zoho CRM - 10 Million users Work Online with Zoho

    Both zoho and snapforce offer a free edition of their CRM software product, and also offer paid editions, bottom line is you will not be disappointed with the software quality.
    • Get their links

      For convenience here are the links to them:

      Snapforce CRM -
      Zoho CRM -