Ingersoll-Rand Unit Tabs Corio To Host Siebel CRM Suite

ASP will run call-center, sales-force, and dealer-portal apps to facilitate Vehicle launch
Developing a new product and entering a new market takes a lot of work. That's why Ingersoll-Rand Co. decided it didn't want the additional challenge of building, deploying, and managing a customer-relationship-management system to support new sales, marketing, and distribution channels as it prepares to unveil Pioneer, a vehicle for construction sites.

Club Car Inc., a division of the $9 billion industrial and commercial equipment manufacturer that until now has mostly built golf carts, last week revealed that it hired application service provider Corio Inc. to host and manage Siebel Systems Inc.'s suite of CRM applications to speed the launch of Pioneer, which is slated for this fall. Corio will use the CRM software to run Club Car's call center, sales-force automation, and dealer-portal applications.

Entering a new market means Club Car must extend its marketing and sales efforts into different channels. Pioneer will be sold through about 2,000 dealers and distributors, and the division needed a CRM infrastructure to support the new product and dealers, says Robert Orshaw, Ingersoll-Rand's VP of E-business.

Club Car used an ASP because it needed to quickly implement an application that could handle the addition of new distributors and customers. Using an ASP will save Club Car 27% over three years compared with the cost of integrating, hosting, and maintaining the CRM package in-house, Orshaw says.

If the outsourced application works well, the company may expand its use. "Reusing the hosted Siebel infrastructure for other Ingersoll-Rand divisions will also provide additional savings on implementation, hosting, and delivery," Orshaw says.

The deal shows that Corio can win contracts by promoting rapid implementation and an application architecture that can be reused by several divisions, says Andrew Kraft, CEO of Basex, an IT analyst firm. Says Kraft, "The IT departments of major companies are coming around to the idea that they don't have to make large capital investments in infrastructure."

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