CRM On Demand Technical Tips and Tricks: Performance

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Performance: per·for·mancenoun \pə(r)-ˈfȯr-mən(t)s\ : an activity (such as singing a song or acting in a play) that a person or group does to entertain an audience : the way an actor performs a part in a play, movie, etc. : the act of doing a job, an activity, etc. Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Although some may refer to their CRM as a complicated performance, what they are really driving at is its performance. Confusing?

Some users complain that their experience with the CRM is hindered by poor performance; what they mean is that page load times are slower than expected.

We live in an instant gratification world, no doubt about it. We click and we expect. We don’t wait. We give up when page load times are longer than a couple of seconds. It is no wonder the CRM Admin constantly gets emails, texts, and calls that there must be something wrong with the CRM system because pages take too long to load!

ActivePrime took the time to test out page load times on a CRM system with millions of records in Chrome and Firefox browsers. We used a standard out-of-the-box configuration of Oracle CRM On Demand without loading any additional applications. We found that load times were incredibly quick. The average load time was between 1.5 and 2.6 seconds, while the majority of pages loaded in under 1.5 seconds. Pages that took the longest to load included pages with charts or reports that needed to query the CRM to produce results.

If your users are experiencing page load times greater than this, you can check a number of items before blaming the CRM:

  • Your Browser: Performance times vary drastically between browser vendors and even amongst browser versions for the same vendor, for instance, Internet Explorer 8 vs Internet Explorer 9. And let’s not even consider Internet Explorer 7, which is much slower! The browser itself has a very large impact on the user experience, so try updating your browser as a first step to improving performance.
  • Internet Connection: Internet connection also impacts performance. The US FCC has released documentation and open source tools for measuring network performance on fixed broadband and mobile broadband. Also, easy to use network speed tests are available online, such as the Ookla speed test, which can quickly help you identify whether your network speed is adversely affecting performance.
  • Interfering Programs: Browser plugins can drastically impact user experience. Plugins can make queries out to various servers to provide the plugin functionality, and the performance of those servers can often be very slow. There are two quick ways to test. The simplest is to disable any browser plugins and then qualitatively judge the performance. Or, you can use the browser’s debugging tools to introspect the network traffic, such as Firefox’s Firebug tools or Chrome’s built-in debugging tools. Here’s a list of tools across the most popular browsers.

To recap. If your CRM performance seems substandard, a little legwork from the Admin could resolve the issue. First, ensure your company is using a browser recommended by the CRM. Next, perform a speed test to confirm the network connection. Then, install a debugging program and use it to monitor the actual page load times. Finally, you may want to check out web services. Are there any requests going through that are unrecognized? Rule out any unwanted intrusions from viruses and eliminate any unused programs to free up web services.

Did these steps speed up page load times for your CRM users? Is there still a problem? If you need further help with identifying where delays in page loads are coming from, you can contact your Customer Success Advisor.

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