Oracle launches something cool for CRM

Remember CRM?

That stuff we used to do before Social CRM?  The stuff that most people still do and need to continue to improve?

Oracle does.  Today they announced three CRM things: Siebel OnDemand release 17 with some clever life sciences complements, additions to the Oracle eBusiness Suite, and the Social Services Suite for Governments (part of a Siebel 8.2 release).

I used to cover CRM and Government in a past life and I know that Social Services delivery is very complicated.  As the incomparable Anthony Lye said in our briefing, the legislature writes the law in legal English, and the computers need to figure out how to draw rules for processing out of that legalese; quite complicated (Michael Maoz, a former colleague at Gartner and an extraordinary analyst, wrote about this complexity before) text with many, many subtleties, interdependencies and special cases to consider.  More often than not, these programs are run by hand so the “humans” can make sense of the laws (I don’t think this is the best way, and said so here).

Oracle, by an earlier acquisition, came into an engine that translates legal-speak into computer rules.  Kid you not.  And they have incorporated it into this release.  Thus, all levels of government can now automate the processing of the rules (yeah, I am certain it is not quite so black-and-white, but the idea is there) and provide better experiences, faster processing, and even self-service interfaces for citizens and constituents to get information and access to services.

I have not see it running, nor do I know the complications or implications of running it.  I am certain that there are certain things that would be more complicated than expected, and others not so complete as described.

However, from living in that world for a while — anything that helps with the biggest issues that governments face (and Social Services are right up there) is worth exploring.

2 thoughts on “Oracle launches something cool for CRM”

  1. The technology you’re talking about is called OPA (Oracle Policy Automation) and it was acquired from Australia through Rule Burst’s Haley software.

    In essence it’s a gigantic database (read: hundreds of thousands to millions of records) of rules (aka. conditions). Works by creating context. If a word is preceded by this word or that word (or phrase) then Rule Y applies for current user. It’s most easily deployed by having the engine pull input from a constrained data set, generally from customer input via a web-form that has options to chose from.

    It’s powerful, and yes it has been running for a decade or more. These days it’s being piloted in the US as an “Eligibility Determination Engine” for the macro process covering public aid.

    You’ve got good stuff here, so keep up the important reporting & analysis. Really enjoy your attitude and forward thinking!

    Cheers, AB

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