Samsung to offer mobile access to Oracle, other software

The service is just the beginning of a broad push by Samsung to better serve enterprises

Samsung has developed a mobile CRM (customer relationship management) service, based on Oracle products, that it partially hosts from a data center in New Jersey.

It showed off the new service during CTIA in San Diego, but doesn't plan to officially announce it until Oracle Openworld next week.

While Oracle already offers a very basic version of its CRM system for mobile phones, Samsung's has many more features, said Jae Shin, senior director of mobile services for Samsung.

For instance, Oracle's mobile offering displays connections between customers in a spreadsheet. But Samsung has developed a hub-and-spoke graphic that shows users at a glance which customers know each other.

Sales people who use the software can click on a customer name in their contact list and find a record of historical contact with the customer.

In a demonstration of how a pharmaceutical sales person might use the software, Shin showed how the user can view a graph that plots sales of each product to a specific customer. Clicking on a data point magnifies the point to show specific sales volumes.

While an enterprise would continue to host its own implementation of Oracle software, the service would run through Samsung's cloud. That allows Samsung to optimize the data for display on the phones, Shin said.

The mobile CRM offering is just one part of a much larger new effort at Samsung to target the enterprise market.

"Samsung is open for business from an enterprise perspective," said Peter Denagy, general manager of enterprise mobility enablement in the U.S. for Samsung.

While Samsung figures that it has the number three position in the enterprise market for phones in the U.S., it has until now relied totally on the operators to sell its phones. "What we've done is provided the carriers with devices without the backend support. It's been incumbent on the carriers to deliver the value proposition message about the devices," Denagy said.

Now, Samsung is putting together carrier specific sales teams to help the operator sales teams sell to their business customers, he said. Those workers will make sales calls along with their operator counterparts.

Rather than create a fully independent new sales team to chase enterprise business, Samsung thinks it will be cost effective to leverage the strategic relationships that operators already have with the large enterprises, Denagy said.

Samsung is also developing pre- and post-sales support for enterprise customers. It has already hired engineers who will work with enterprises to help them integrate applications on the phones.

For next year, Samsung will be primarily focused on its Windows Mobile phones as it targets enterprises. It announced this week the Intrepid, running the newest version of Windows Mobile, on Sprint's network.

Samsung also plans to continue work it has started with the Oracle implementation of delivering enterprise applications to its phones. "We understand that devices are cool but it's about the apps," said Ken Daniels, director of strategic alliances in Samsung's enterprise mobility enablement group.

Daniels is working on partnering with the top two to four providers of software in different enterprise software categories like CRM and salesforce automation. It will enable that software on its phones.

Samsung also unveiled at CTIA a new fixed mobile convergence service that will let its Windows Mobile users access corporate PBX functions, like four digit dialing, and also make calls over the corporate wireless LAN. The offering is being made through a partnership with Agito, which provides the router that supports the service.

Samsung has high hopes for results from its enterprise push. It's hoping for 40 percent growth in enterprise penetration over the next 12 months, Denagy said.

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