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Siebel OnDemand Release Coincides With Oracle Acquisition

The upgraded offering allows users of the CRM software to integrate with Lotus Notes E-mail.

One of the things Oracle will get from its acquisition of Siebel Systems Inc. is a refreshed on-demand CRM product that includes Notes integration.

The fourth revision of Siebel CRM OnDemand to hit the market this year addresses a key hole in previous versions: Notes users will benefit from the same out-of-the-box integration that Outlook users have enjoyed for months. So one click will export contact information in an E-mail directly into the contact database in Siebel CRM OnDemand.

Users also will be able to quickly link customer records in Siebel CRM OnDemand with related E-mails in Notes, creating a more comprehensive record of contact with customers. "If we had our druthers, people would open up Siebel CRM OnDemand first thing in the morning, but it turns out they open E-mail," says Keith Raffel, group VP of Siebel CRM OnDemand products. "We're going to go with the flow."

The release also lets the 3 million-plus users of Siebel's traditional, on-premise software -- the user base that Oracle is most interested in -- tap into Siebel's Contact OnDemand service to manage their virtual call-center operations based on seasonal fluctuations. The ability to quickly add or remove call-center seats on the fly to meet anticipated spikes in call traffic had been available previously only to CRM OnDemand customers.

To take advantage of that capability, customers must pay $500 per seat for a license to get Siebel's integration connector, a piece of software that provides the link between the various releases of Siebel 7 and the Contact OnDemand application, plus $100 a month per user for a subscription to the Contact OnDemand service.

Raffel says the new capabilities are a nod to the growing demand among large companies for on-demand CRM. Companies like Bank of America, Caterpillar, Kodak, and Nokia have become Siebel OnDemand customers, and Ingersoll-Rand was particularly outspoken about wanting the Notes integration, Raffel says. Now that Siebel has given Ingersoll-Rand its wish, Siebel is anticipating that the maker of industrial and commercial equipment will significantly increase its adoption of Seibel CRM OnDemand.

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