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Oracle user group creates unified CRM community

A new organization hopes to influence future product development of Oracle CRM applications and help members communicate with Oracle.

Like Oracle itself, the Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) has a lot of CRM applications to integrate.

This week, the Atlanta-based organization formed the Oracle CRM community. Created from the Fusion CRM community, a special interest group (SIG) affiliate of the OAUG made up primarily of PeopleSoft Enterprise customers, the broader group will add Siebel and E-Business Suite CRM User group members to form one consolidated organization.

"With the huge number of disparate user groups and SIGs from around the country, it made it difficult for Oracle to communicate and have a single point of contact with the CRM community," said Audrey Bledsoe, president of the Oracle CRM Community and the manager of CRM technologies at DePaul University. "With that in mind, and with the acquisitions, the CRM user group thought it was best to come together."

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The group currently has 687 members from the Fusion CRM group and expects to ultimately grow to 3,500 to 4,000 members, Bledsoe said. It will offer meetings and networking opportunities at OpenWorld, as well as its own conference, scheduled for March 2008.

And while Oracle has already embarked on its path to Fusion -- its suite of applications featuring the "best of" aspects of all its recent acquisitions -- the Oracle CRM Community hopes to influence ongoing and future development.

"We want to make sure all the pillars across all the product lines have opportunity to give feedback to Oracle on strategy and the components of those product lines," Bledsoe said. "We want to make sure the end result and products become more of a customer-focused and customer-involved type of release."

There has been some confusion among CRM users as the market has undergone rapid consolidation, including the purchase of JD Edwards by PeopleSoft, the purchase of PeopleSoft by Oracle and the purchase of Siebel by Oracle. Oracle has promised to continue to support these products under its  

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