Whether you are planning an initial CRM integration with Oracle Eloqua or enhancing the functionality of an existing one, it is important to have a baseline understanding of what is available within platform. Once you have this understanding, you can determine what, if any, enhancements are needed.
Start with the basics:
- What integration options are native to Eloqua?
- What are your organization’s integration requirements?
- What is the solution: all within Eloqua, all third-party app(s), a hybrid, or custom?
- What are the budget and timeline constraints?
Native CRM Integrations
Eloqua natively integrates with several CRM systems including Oracle CX Sales (formerly Oracle Sales Cloud), Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce. (For more information on the native integrations and versions supported, view the Eloqua CRM Integration Documentation). This means that you have no additional subscription costs to integrate with these systems, beyond your Eloqua license.
Salesforce and Oracle CX Sales are now app-based integrations. Among the improvements are a faster speed-to-lead and a simpler user interface.
While a native integration will likely handle your core needs, it is common to extend that functionality through applications, either Oracle-provided or third-party. There are innumerable apps available. Some apps are free and others are subscription-based. For example, you can configure campaign response rules for a CRM integration in Eloqua, but you might also need an app such as the Relationship One External Activity Generator which lets you leverage Custom Object data to generate external campaign responses.
Data Import and Export – SFTP
If your CRM is not natively supported in Eloqua, you may consider setting up an SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) server to automate the exchange of data. Within Eloqua you can schedule the import of data from, and export to, an SFTP server. While it does not have the breadth of functionality of a CRM integration, it has several benefits including ease of configuration, versatility across systems, and inexpensiveness (it’s free). The challenges typically faced with this method is the procurement of an SFTP site and automating the data exchange between CRM to the SFTP server.
Data import/export does not have to be the complete solution. You may need a hybrid of processes. For example, the export is limited to once daily which is a showstopper for most clients. This is when it’s helpful to look for additional applications that may provide enhanced functionality. For example, Relationship One has two SFTP apps that solve for the lead creation delay:
- SFTP Exporter. Export Eloqua records to a secure file server hourly, intra-day, daily, or weekly. (Free)
- SFTP Tools. Export Eloqua records to a secure file server in real-time. (Subscription Fee)
The right solutions can integrate seamlessly to create a single efficient process.
Enhancing with Apps and the API
If you are not able to integrate your CRM using Eloqua core functionality, there are many solutions available. For example, Relationship One offers the Netsuite CRM Connector app. It is simple to install and configure.
If you are looking to create a bi-directional sync using the API or a third-party app, do your homework. What are your requirements? What are your specific use cases? Will the app your investigating provide a complete solution? What is the cost of the app (to build and to maintain)? Who is the vendor?
Ultimately, your best option may be to have a custom API solution built by your organization or a partner. Of course, then you are looking at a longer-term project and potentially larger budget.
Eloqua has always been a robust platform. As the market has exploded with apps, there are a multitude of options to enhance functionality and streamline integrations. Of course, the reality can be limited by timelines and budgets. However, with clear requirements, solid research and a bit of creativity, you may just find exactly what you need. If you have questions regarding your integration, we at Relationship One are always here to help.
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