Siebel's New CEO Focuses On Customers

Vendor will build custom applications using standards such as XML

Tony Kontzer, Contributor

October 8, 2004

2 Min Read

New to the job, Siebel Systems Inc. CEO Mike Lawrie is recasting the struggling customer-relationship-management software vendor as more of a partner in its customers' success, a strategy customers applauded during its user conference last week.

Siebel CEO Mike Lawrie puts focus on CRM as a business strategy.

Siebel will begin building custom apps by using standards such as XML to reassemble software components taken from existing Siebel products. By more effectively mapping CRM deployments to companies' specific business processes, the vendor hopes to address the 41% of customers who say they haven't gotten the desired results from their Siebel deployments, Lawrie said in an interview. "CRM is not a product," Lawrie told an audience of 3,000 in Los Angeles. "It's a business strategy to drive companies closer to their customers."

Smoother, cheaper Siebel implementations should result under Lawrie's model, says Ken Casey, senior VP of retail banking delivery for Canadian bank ATB Financial, which invested $6 million in a 200-seat deployment of Siebel call-center technology. "The change is huge for us," Casey says. ATB bought retail banking software from Eontec Ltd. in April, and Siebel is integrating that technology with the latest version of its call-center product. Once done, ATB will upgrade its call-center software so service reps and branch personnel can access the same customer information.

General Motors' Saab Cars USA unit expects Siebel to bring its expertise and deeper knowledge of the software to Saab when its CRM deployment is upgraded next year to comply with a GM initiative, says Patrik Riese, director of CRM. "No matter how much Siebel trained their integrators," Riese says, "the integrators didn't design the software."

Q&A: Siebel Systems' New CEO Discusses Shift To Customer Service

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