This chapter covers the following topics:
A proposal is a document that is presented to a customer to position a product or service as a solution to the customer's business needs. Oracle Proposals allows you to generate dynamic proposals using templates.
With Oracle Proposals, you can:
Shorten the sales cycle by reducing from days to hours the time needed to generate a proposal
Project a consistent and high quality professional image of your organization
Free yourself to work with customers by automating the proposal process
Oracle Proposals streamlines and centralizes proposal creation by automating proposal creation tasks. You can generate proposals from templates that package recurring proposal elements such as cover letters, executive summaries, and product descriptions. Central template administration guarantees standard and professional corporate proposals.
Oracle Proposals has three types of users:
Sales Representatives: who create proposals and send them to customers
Sales Managers: who review the proposals created by their subordinates
Administrators: who create and maintain proposal templates
Oracle Proposals is integrated with leads in Oracle Sales. This integration allows the user to create a proposal from a lead in Oracle Sales, where information from the lead is pulled into the proposal during the proposal creation process. If the lead is associated with a campaign activity, the proposal template associated with the campaign activity is automatically used.
Oracle Proposals is integrated with opportunities in Oracle Telesales and Oracle Sales. This integration allows Oracle Proposals users to create a proposal from an opportunity, where information from the opportunity is pulled into the proposal during the proposal creation process. If the opportunity is related to a campaign activity, the proposal template associated with the campaign activity is automatically used.
Users can create a proposal from a quote, opportunity, lead, or for a customer. Users can also create a standalone proposal in which the user provides the customer name and, optionally a contact name. Users select a proposal template which is made up of component documents in RTF format. From the opportunity, lead, and customer, the customer name is carried over along with a contact if one is available. A contact is available only in the case of Business-to-Business (B2B) customers.
Users can create a proposal based on a quote in Oracle Quoting. When a proposal is created from a quote, relevant quote information is automatically pulled into the proposal.
Oracle Proposals is now integrated with Oracle Content Manager (OCM). This integration allows users to store and reuse content when constructing proposals. Users can access files stored in either the OCM Folders or the OCM Library and add it to their proposal. Users can also store files from desktop to a proposal in an OCM folder. Administrators can store and reuse files in OCM.
Oracle Proposals is also integrated with campaign activities in Oracle Marketing. This integration allows association of a proposal template to a campaign activity in Oracle Marketing.
Oracle Proposals is integrated with customer in Oracle Telesales and Oracle Sales. This integration allows Oracle Proposals users to create a proposal from a customer, where information from the customer and contact is pulled into the proposal during the proposal creation process.
Oracle Proposals enables users to track their progress while building a proposal, so they can see at a glance whether proposal components are complete. Users can determine the order of proposal components, and include or exclude optional components. Dynamic fields in the components capture values that are provided in the application or that you enter. The values of the dynamic fields are populated when you generate the proposal.
Administrators have the ability to specify if a proposal file created for a template can have files added to it. Users can then add external files from their desktop, Oracle Content Manager Library or Oracle Content Manager Folders.
The Proposals page lists existing proposals and enables users to initiate proposal creation. Proposals are displayed across languages.
Proposal Update Page
The Proposal Update page enables users to update an existing proposal and displays tabs that contain overall proposal information, generated documents, correspondence related to the proposal, notes and tasks, and sales team members who can work on the proposal. Notes and tasks functionality is available through integration with the Oracle Common Application Calendar.
After users have built the proposal content, they can generate a proposal document in RTF or PDF format. This document is the physical file that is shared with the customer. Users can regenerate documents as often as needed. Each generated document exists as a new version and is stored in the database. PDF document conversion is available through integration with Oracle XML Publisher.
Supporting Documents for Proposals
Users can add supporting documents to their proposals. These documents are optional, and can be of any file format. These optional documents can be added from the desktop, from the Oracle Content Manager library or folder, or from suggested content based on the proposal components.
Using Oracle Proposals, users can send proposals by e-mail, including their supporting documents, to customers and other recipients. The user selects the appropriate proposal document version, specifies customer contacts, and then e-mails them to the contacts and other recipients. The application saves a record of the e-mail delivery, under the customer name, in Interaction History, if the recipient is in the customer’s contact list.
When you e-mail the proposal to someone outside the customer’s contact list, then the application will not save the e-mail interaction. All e-mail history, however, is captured and displayed in the Correspondence tab for a given proposal.
Oracle Proposals enables you to save searches for future use. These saved searches, called views, control the display of data on the Proposals . You can use the views provided with Oracle Proposals or you can create your own views.
Users can perform searches on criteria such as proposal name, customer data, creation or due date and can save searches.
Oracle Proposals is integrated with Oracle Trading Community Architecture (TCA). The Data Quality Management (DQM) functionality in TCA allows for expanded customer and contact search capabilities and minimizes the creation of duplicate parties. When DQM is enabled, the fields that you see in the Simple and Advanced Search: Person or Organization pages, are dynamically generated based on system settings.
Oracle Proposals uses proposal templates, which are predefined, standard documents from which proposals are created. Templates outline a proposal's structure. A template is made up of components such as cover letters, product descriptions, and collateral.
Administrators define template categories, create templates and components, and determine component order. The template category and name help users select the most appropriate template for each proposal.
When an administrator uploads an updated proposal template component, users are notified that the component has been updated when they access the proposal using the updated component.
Proposal components are pieces of standard content that are included in templates, such as cover letters and executive summaries. Administrators can define components and create multiple documents for each component, since the style and content required might vary from one proposal to another. For example, the component Cover Letter can include the documents Simple Cover Letter and Professional Cover Letter.
The documents are Rich Text Format (RTF) files that store content such as standard text, graphs, tables or, dynamic fields. Users can create these RTF files using Microsoft Word, use them in proposal components, and store them in Oracle Content Manager for reuse.
Oracle Proposals enables users to add suggested content. The suggested content choices are based on the components associated with the proposal, or the associated quote, opportunity, or lead. For example, if a proposal contains a component pertaining to a server, suggested content might be a data sheet for that server.
Administrators can include dynamic fields in the component documents to reference information from various sources. For example, a cover letter, where the customer name and address changes, can have dynamic fields inserted into the locations where the customer name and address would be. The user can then personalize the cover letter for a particular customer.
Specifically, values for dynamic fields can come from the user (such as proposal title), database objects (such as items and pricing), or custom Java programs, retrieving data from various objects and object sources, including images. Images can be of the types JPG, JPE, PNG, JPEG, or JFIF. Images can be uploaded from the desktop, Oracle Content Manager folder, or Oracle Content Manager library.
Dynamic fields for values from Oracle E-Business Suite Quote and Proposal objects are seeded with the application. Administrators can create user-defined and custom dynamic fields.
Sales Team Collaboration on Proposals
Several team members may be required to work on an opportunity or a lead. The Sales team tab on the Proposal Update page enables users to manage this team effort, containing a table listing the sales representatives and sales managers who are collaborating on a proposal. Sales team members can have full or read only access to the proposal.
Interface Navigation Features
Link trail: As you navigate through Oracle Proposals, the links to the pages you have visited are shown at the top of your current page. For example: Proposals > Proposal Update. Use these links to navigate back through the product.
Sortable table columns: Many table columns are sortable in Oracle Proposals. Clicking the column heading sorts the data in ascending or descending order.
Tabs: Access the various features from the tabs in the interface.
< Previous and Next >: Links that enable you to view the next available group of items in a table, or to navigate back to the previously listed group of items.
Show/Hide: Click Show to expand a region and display further information. Click Hide to compress the information.
Asterisks (*): Fields with asterisks denote required information.
Partial page refresh: This feature displays the changed portion of a page without waiting for the entire page to refresh. For example, if you are viewing a table of proposals, you can select a radio button next to a proposal and details about that proposal are displayed below the table. When you select a different proposal, the information shown below the table is refreshed with details on the newly-selected proposal.
Oracle Trading Community Architecture: Trading Community Architecture (TCA) is a model for maintaining complex information about customers who belong to an entity's commercial community. It is the single source of customer information that all Oracle E-Business Suite applications use. Proposals uses TCA customer and contact search pages, so that information pulled comes from TCA. In Proposals, the user can search for a customer, by Person or by Organization, and a contact from TCA. See the Oracle Trading Community Architecture Administration Guide.
Oracle Customer Interaction History: Customer Interaction History is a repository that holds an audit trail of all interactions that a business performs with a customer or a potential customer. See the Oracle Customer Interaction History Implementation Guide.
Oracle Content Manager: Content Manager is a central repository for all content that is used for storing and reusing RTF files for Oracle Proposals. The repository is accessed either through folders or library categories. See the Oracle Content Manager Implementation and Administration Guide.
Oracle Quoting: If Oracle Proposals is implemented with Oracle Quoting, you can create proposals from a quote, add quotes to proposals, and use quote information as part of their proposal. Oracle Proposals retrieves the latest quote information when a proposal is generated.
For more information, see the Oracle Proposals Implementation Guide and the Oracle Quoting User Guide.
Oracle Marketing: If Oracle Proposals is implemented with Oracle Marketing, you can associate proposal templates to campaign activities in Oracle Marketing. When these activities are executed and opportunities created, proposals created from these opportunities automatically pick up the associated templates.
For more information, see the Oracle Proposals Implementation Guide and the Oracle Marketing User Guide.
Oracle TeleSales: If Oracle Proposals is implemented with Oracle Telesales, you can create proposals from an opportunity or customer in Oracle Telesales.
For more information, see the Oracle Proposals Implementation Guide and the Oracle Telesales User Guide.
Oracle Sales: If Oracle Proposals is implemented with Oracle Sales, you can create proposals from an opportunity, lead, or customer.
For more information, see the Oracle Sales User Guide.
Oracle Proposals generates proposal documents in RTF (Rich Text Format) format viewable in any third party word processor. Proposals, in integration with Oracle XML Publisher, generates proposals in the Portable Document Format (PDF) format viewable from Adobe Reader. Integration with word processing and XML publishing programs is necessary to:
Store standard component content, including dynamic fields and formatting style.
Generating proposal documents.
Previewing proposal documents.
A data compression application might be required to decompress generated proposal documents.
Also, a standard PDF reader should be installed to enable you to preview documents in PDF format.