Siebel Set To Unveil Relationship-Management Suite



Siebel Systems Inc. is getting ready to take the wraps off Siebel 99, a software suite the company says will make official its transformation from a sales-force automation vendor to a supplier of customer-relationship management products.

Siebel 99, to debut next week, will include the company's new Marketing Enterprise package, the "third leg" of a suite that includes Siebel's mainstay sales and service applications. The marketing application will let organizations connect marketing functions to sales and service. That way, marketing campaigns will be informed by sales and service patterns, and sales departments can judge the effect of marketing campaigns on the sales cycle. Siebel Marketing Enterprise will have a data mart, along with prebuilt data analyses, so companies can customize marketing offers and target individuals.

Some customers say that while Siebel 99 is a nod in the right direction, it doesn't fully answer their needs for enterprise-relationship management. "Are they thinking in the right way? Definitely. Are they delivering on it? Not completely," says Mary Kelley, VP of database and relationship marketing for Schwab Inc. in San Francisco, which is using Siebel for sales and support. Kelley, who leads Schwab's database marketing efforts, says Siebel's Marketing Enterprise software only analyzes data gathered from sales and service interactions, and doesn't help her organization reach out to customers.

Siebel is also updating the rest of its suite, adding to Siebel Sales Enterprise features such as a sales presentation generator, a sales methodology coaching tool, and an automatic expense reporting tool for sales expenses. Siebel Service Enterprise is bolstered by SmartScript, a user interface that coaches representatives though customer interactions, and a field-service application for service representatives working on mobile machines. All the applications will support access from Windows CE handheld devices.

The products will ship in December, starting at $1,300 per user for a base system. Individual modules will also be available separately.

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