Oracle Rolls Out Agile Customer Needs Management

DN Staff

June 21, 2010

2 Min Read
Oracle Rolls Out Agile Customer Needs Management

Oracle is rounding outits PLM platform with a new Customer Needs Management module that will helpdevelopment teams better manage the front-end innovation process.

Oracle's Agile Customer Needs Management, the newest memberof Oracle'sPLM offering that came by way of its prior acquisition of Agile Software,is designed to help customers easily capture and prioritize product ideas,customer feedback and product requirements from internal sources, includingproduct managers, engineers, sales managers and executives, as well as fromexternal players like customers, design partners and suppliers.

The collaborative environment, designed as a social networkingapplication and employing Web 2.0 user interface capabilities such as tagging,commenting and reviewing, is intended to serve as an open innovation platformto ensure product teams capitalize on new product opportunities. While there havelong been stand-alone entries in this category, Oracle officials say the marketis now poised to adopt front-end innovation platforms because companies arestarting to prioritize innovation, and the new Web 2.0 technologies provide amore natural user interface to make these tools more accessible to a wideraudience.

"The market is primed for getting more control over innovationbecause this is where (companies) are getting the biggest bang for their buck,investing in the right products," says Hardeep Gulati, Oracle's vice presidentPLM and PIM Product Strategy. "That makes them much more ready to formallytrack the ideation process."

The social networking capabilities also differentiateOracle's customer needs management tool from others on the market, Gulati says,and open these capabilities up to those on the front lines working withcustomers. "People who are interacting with customers are not used to heavyapplications, but rather are used to solutions like LinkedIn or Facebook," heexplains. "Our whole design pattern makes it easy to log into the system, logideas using quick fields and descriptions and put it out there to people whowill comment on the idea. This kind of more open, social collaboration processis best for the user groups who are going to use this tool."

Agile Customer Needs Management leverages Oracles UniversalContent Management and AutoVue Enterprise Visualization functionality to allowcustomers to collaborate, view and digitally annotate any product informationand engineering drawings to facilitate multi-disciplinary documentcollaboration. The software also integrates into the PLM process and Oracle'slarger Value Chain solution, to ensure traceability and an integratedidea-to-design-to-launch development process.

"The integration with PLM has been missing with the socialnetworking-based, pure ideation applications," Gulati says. "Our approach takesthe best of both ideas."

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