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10/7/2003
06:51 PM
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New Era For CRM

Siebel Systems founder Tom Siebel told attendees at the vendor's User Week that the company is moving to deploy products and services to address a changing business climate.

As Siebel Systems Inc. celebrates its 10th anniversary at its User Week in San Diego, founder, chairman, and CEO Tom Siebel says the company is moving rapidly to deploy new products and services that will address a very different business climate than when the company was launched in 1993.

"This is a new era for CRM," Siebel told attendees during his keynote address Tuesday. "We must provide the hybrid solutions that meet the requirements of a distributed business model. CRM today means very different things to people in different industries."

While CRM once could be summed up primarily as sales and customer-service application advancement, it now spans a wide variety of industries and applications and touches upon expanded opportunities and capabilities such as analytics and application integration, he said.

Those relatively new offerings, combined with Siebel's launch last week of its hosted Siebel CRM OnDemand offering, are aimed at meeting individual user requirements as part of the company's "CRM for Everyone" initiative.

"We're doubling down in CRM," Siebel said. "We can allow you to mix and match as your business needs require with a whole range of licensing models and product for any type of users in any industry."

The pending release of the Siebel 7.7 enterprise CRM suite will provide hundreds of new industry-specific capabilities, usability enhancements, total cost of ownership improvements, and capabilities such as a financial-services customer-relationship console for branch banking and a new customer-loyalty application, Siebel said.

The customer-relationship console is designed to run as a standalone dashboard on a user's desktop or in conjunction with other applications that provide access to customer profile data facilitating branch transformation within the retail bank.

The loyalty-management application lets companies optimize the delivery of services and promotions based on the expected value that customers will generate for the company. The application includes the ability to segment customers, generate points and rewards based on key transactions, and provide customers with rewards and special offers.

A two-way store-and-forward functionality in Siebel 7.7 will let mobile users of Siebel Handheld applications wirelessly receive, send, and query for customer data. Siebel 7.7 also will introduce a role-based user interface with guided navigation designed to improve user interaction and productivity.

Although version 7.7 won't meet his original goal of a 50% reduction in TCO compared with Siebel 7.0, Siebel said, the new platform delivers improvements in installation, configuration, operations, upgrade, performance, usability, testing, and integration that result in a 39% reduction over 7.0 and a 17% reduction over 7.5.3.

Siebel also announced the availability in the fourth quarter of Siebel Analytics 7.7, designed to meet enterprise business-intelligence capabilities and expand the potential users base of analytics programs. New features and enhancements include integrated data mining and predictive analytics, mobile support, full support for Web services, simplified administration, and improved workflow integration.

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