Oracle, for as long as anyone in IT can remember, has always trailed Salesforce when it comes to providing the best CRM software, even after Oracle acquired Siebel, the pioneer of the category, in 2005. But in the last two years, Oracle has closed the gap considerably, not so much by focusing on specific CRM application features as much as application integration.
All Oracle applications now share a common database and application development framework. In the case of the CRM application that Oracle delivers via the cloud, that means customer records created in the CRM can also manifest themselves in, for example, the Oracle supply chain management application. Oracle contends that this approach allows organizations to better manage a customer experience on an end-to-end basis because users of its CRM applications can avail themselves of visibility into the supply chain to better inform customers of where and when any order might be fulfilled.
Salesforce is pursuing the same goal by making its customer records more accessible to third-party ERP applications. At the same time, Salesforce in 2018 acquired MuleSoft, a provider of an application integration framework. But the level of integration between the MuleSoft platform and third-party applications is not as deep yet as the Oracle suite of applications that all run on the same cloud platform. Salesforce, to create the same level of customer experience management capabilities, also requires IT organization to engage additional ERP application vendors.
But as far as the core CRM application is concerned, Salesforce still has several advantages, including investments in artificial intelligence in form of an Einstein platform that employs machine learning algorithms to make Salesforce easier to master. Overall, the decision as to which CRM to employ may very well come down to how deep the reliance on the rest of the Oracle application portfolio is within the organization.
What are the Similarities & Differences between Salesforce and Oracle?
Salesforce starts at a cost of $25/user/month. That can easily rise as more capabilities are invoked. Small Business Essentials is $25/user/month (billed annually), Lightning Professional is $75/user/month, and Lightning Enterprise is $150/user/month. Salesforce has also built a reputation for not being willing to negotiate on pricing.
Oracle pricing, on other hand, starts at $65/user/month. But the Standard edition of the company’s cloud application starts at $100/user/month, Enterprise Edition is $200/user/month, and the Industry Edition is $300/user/month.
Both companies require annual subscription commitments, but Oracle is much more likely to negotiate terms based on both the total number of users per month and how deeply organizations make use of the rest of the company’s cloud application portfolio.
Ease of Use
Salesforce has spent years optimizing the user experience across multiple platforms. Oracle, on the other hand, has come a long way in a short period of time. But with the addition of the Einstein AI, Salesforce is now further ahead in terms of pioneering an entirely new application user experience.
While both Salesforce and Oracle are technically SaaS applications, Salesforce makes it simple to sign up without requiring an organization to engage with an Oracle sales representative. If customers want to avail themselves of higher levels of customer experience management capabilities, both Oracle and Salesforce provide options. But the Oracle approach shares a common code base that many organizations will be able to reuse across multiple application integration projects.
Salesforce provides a richer set of options for customizing its CRM application, most notably in a series of low-code Lightning application development tools that are simple enough for end users who have some knowledge of how to construct an application to employ on their own.
Oracle’s applications all tie into a common set of integration and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments managed by Oracle on behalf of the end customer.
Both Oracle and Salesforce provide access to deep benches when it comes to customer support.
Features & Add-ons
Salesforce has a significant edge in terms of the size and scope of the app store it makes available to discover a wide range of add-ons and additional modules, such as marketing automation tools, developed by both Salesforce and its third-party partners.
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How to decide which is Best for Your Situation
Ultimately, the decision as to whether to go with Oracle versus Salesforce will often come down to two factors. There are a lot more sales people out there that already know how to navigate Salesforce CRM features. At the same time, however, Oracle is making a convincing case for thinking of CRM as just one element of a set of business processes spanning multiple applications that it wants to deliver as part of a managed service. While that approach has a lot of inherent advantages, the cost of entry for that level of application experience is considerably higher.e3