Oracle, Lucent team up to integrate CRM, billing

US database and applications vendor Oracle and networking company Lucent Technologies are teaming up to integrate their CRM (customer relationship management) and billing applications, the pair said Tuesday.

Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding, Oracle and Lucent will jointly develop and market CRM and billing software for users in the worldwide electronic commerce, Internet, telecommunications and energy service provider markets, the companies said in a joint statement.

CRM software aims to help companies better manage their dealings with their customers, especially in terms of having readily accessible data about individual customers so that their needs can be best served in order to retain their business.

The software product groups of both vendors intend to integrate Oracle's E-Business 11i application suite with Lucent's Kenan Arbor/BP billing software to create a single product offering.

Oracle's E-Business Suite 11i pulls together the company's front-office CRM applications with its back-end ERP (enterprise resource planning) software. Adding Lucent's billing product into the mix will help Oracle particularly in targeting the telecom and utilities markets, according to Larry Ellison, Oracle chairman and chief executive officer, quoted in Tuesday's release.

Telecom carriers will be the first group of customers Lucent and Oracle will approach with a special version of the integrated product due out by the fourth quarter of this year. Next on the list will be versions of the software for Net and e-commerce providers as well as energy and utility providers, the companies said.

In other Lucent news Tuesday, the company provided more details on the spin-off of its enterprise networks group which will now be called Avaya Communication. Avaya announced its first major deal, a global strategic relationship with CRM software vendor Siebel Systems.

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