Proceeding with broad integration capabilities of Oracle Siebel CRM, today I would like to bring up an example of implementing these capabilities in practice in a telecommunication company.
As a rule IT infrastructure of any company is made of a number of various poorly coordinated information systems whose work is automation of different assignments. However company is not usually ready to give up such systems as has invested in them lots of money.
Quite often this factor becomes an obstacle to the introduction of industrial CRM system. It is assumed that automation will affect even those processes that satisfy user and can be found in existing applications.
Our experience proves that the right approach can not only preserve investments in existing IT-infrastructure but also greatly enhance the quality and transparency of cross sales.
Example of Oracle Siebel CRM interaction with systems of telecommunication company:
We should admit that this model can apply to nearly any telecommunication company that cares for quality of customer support.
Let’s speak of each integration point separately.
1. Integration of Oracle Siebel CRM with Trouble Ticket processing system
In this case integration of Siebel CRM is implemented at application level using SOAP protocol that lets transfer from system to system not the whole volume of information but only attributes.
Trouble Ticket processing system (assignments/problems that require attention of technical specialist) often has standard WEB-service that creates/updates service requests. Here integration customization of information transfer from Oracle Siebel CRM is done in 3 steps:
- Import of WSDL file that is produced by Trouble Ticket processing system (done by standard Siebel CRM tools using Wizard)
- Create map interface to convert data between existing fields of CRM-system and imported WSDL description
- Create a simple Workflow-process via Siebel Workflow
To create a service request in Oracle Siebel CRM one can use a preconfigured WEB-service, description and WSDL-file that could be found in documentation or at official Oracle website. In this case data processing for Siebel CRM will be done by Trouble Ticket processing system.
Another way - create an even simpler Workflow using data processing return card and publish it as a WEB service.
2. Import of customer lists for marketing impact
Here one can use a standard mechanism of Oracle Siebel CRM - Lists Marketing Import that accepts delimited text file. It is reasonable to apply this way of integration if formation of target audience for marketing campaign is done not in Oracle BI but via other tools. For example algorithm for picking up customers that are prone to outflow can be quite complex and therefore it would be unreasonable to transfer its calculation to CRM-system.
Before you import TXT-file there is an option to correspond file columns to lines in CRM-system. Thus Siebel CRM will have a separate list of clients that could be included in marketing campaign, updated, processed etc.
3. Integration of Siebel CRM with call-center
Here integration is done by a driver between call-center and a specialized programmed interface of Oracle Siebel CRM - Siebel Communication Layer - that is used in telephony integration. As a rule this driver is provided by telecommunication equipment provider but practice proves that not every vendor has a proper connector. Besides it usually requires an additional license per each call-center agent.
Our company has successful practical experience of development and customization of connectors for call-centers based on solutions from Cisco, Avaya, Nortel and Asterisk platform.
With the right approach to integration a call center agent will perform all operations on call management directly in CRM-system without downloading additional applications like Agent Desktop. For example Oracle Siebel CRM supports ‘login-logout’ of a call-center agent, their status management and outbound campaigns in Preview and Predictive modes.
Siebel CRM enables you to handle events in call-center depending on process. For example inbound identifies client and opens his/her profile in CRM-system. Customer’s call will automatically create a service request that will be attached to the current client profile. The end of the call will automatically assign status Closed and call duration. Besides when an agent transfers a call to other agent in Oracle Siebel CRM he can transfer information on display to other agent as well.
4. Integration with SMS gateway
This scheme describes SMS outbound by activating a stored procedure, but is only one of possible ways. Siebel CRM can use various methods up to text file transmission. Besides standard Oracle Siebel CRM functionality enables you to send a single SMS as well to hold SMS outbound within the frames of a marketing campaign of Wireless Message type via Email server that has SMS gateway.
As for today Areon Consulting has experience of SMS outbound via nearly every interface using a standard functionality of Siebel CRM.
5. Email inbound
To receive an email from shared email boxes (info, support etc.) we use Siebel Email Response module. This module can be customized to receive emails from multiple servers, under different protocols, via different authorization methods and with support of secure connection. Besides there are connectors for server integration with Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes.
After loading them in Oracle Siebel CRM the latter runs a preconfigured process for each Email implemented via Workflow. For example it sends auto-replies, classifies messages according to given rules, attaches them to customer profile etc.
6. Email outbound
To send single emails and replies to incoming emails Oracle Siebel CRM configures SMTP connection profiles with an option of authorization and support of secure connection. These messages can be sent either from Siebel CRM or integrated forms Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook.
For email outbound and response collection for Email campaign one can use Siebel Email Marketing Server module. Capabilities of this module have been thoroughly discussed when describing implementation of multilayered marketing programs in Oracle Siebel CRM.
7. Integration of Siebel CRM with GIS
Today it is not uncommon for telecommunication companies to have geographic information systems - specialized electronic maps that show coverage, signal strength of base stations in these areas etc. Our experience says that in this case it would be most reasonable to use integration at user interface level i.e. build GIS directly in CRM-system. Such approach will enable you to get attached to business object Service Message and help users to work in Oracle Siebel CRM with customers’ service requests. Thus having coordinates or identifier of customer’s device in Siebel CRM, his/her location will be positioned on the map screen that allows you to identify problems with the base station without any further questions.
Integration is done by a standard tool Siebel Symbolic URL that allows you to pass parameters with coordinates in URL when downloading maps.
8. Download and update of customer profile from billing
To download and update complete customer module we use Enterprise Integration Manager (EIM) which is a standard tool of Oracle Siebel CRM for data integration level. This module has a list of preconfigured applets for all main business objects of Siebel CRM. EIM supports import and export, object deletion in batch mode and can be started on command or schedule. Each preconfigured applet can be modified by new attributes, whole sub-objects and relations between them. EIM independently checks correctness of data formats, reference books and estimates accuracy of links between business-objects of CRM-system. Besides there is a detailed bookshelf for Enterprise Integration Manager that excludes code writing for data download at database manager level on behalf of Oracle Siebel CRM.
Despite a large number of integration points, our company has done such project for three moths only. It was possible due to proper use of preconfigured methods of integration of Siebel CRM with standard branch business-processes.