Siebel Plans More Aggressive Foray Into Russian Market - InformationWeek

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12/2/2004
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Siebel Plans More Aggressive Foray Into Russian Market

Economic conditions in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States have changed in recent years to simulate greater demand for customer-facing systems, Siebel says.

Customer relationship management software company Siebel Systems on Tuesday laid out new plans for selling its technology in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States as it tries to stretch its European market reach eastward.

Economic conditions in Russia and the CIS -- which includes Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine -- have changed in recent years to simulate demand for customer-facing systems, Siebel said. The nascent Russian market for CRM software more than doubled to $14.8 million in 2003, according to a September report from Gartner.

"Only two years ago, it was almost impossible for Russian consumers to get a credit card," Siebel president of EMEA sales Neil Weston said in a statement. "There was no concept of organizations competing for customers -- the supply of products and services was still scarce. But this is changing fast."

Financial services companies, telecommunications firms and pharmaceutical and consumer goods companies lead the way in embracing customer-focused systems, Siebel said. The company, which has limited operations in Russia already, serves customers including Kazkommertsbank and InvestSberbank.

A company spokesman said Siebel plans to market its full product line in Russia. Known primarily as a CRM software company, Siebel has ramped up its business intelligence offerings in recent months. The firm makes marketing automation and call center products as well.

Siebel hopes to educate and certify 50 consultants on its technology in Russia next year through a company-run training program. The vendor plans to leverage the 2,900 certified Siebel consultants already in Europe and combine their experience with local certified partners in the new markets.

Siebel also plans to translate its Siebel 7.7, Siebel Professional Edition and Siebel CRM OnDemand software packages into Cyrillic character sets before the end of 2005.

Siebel recently opened an office in Moscow. Pavel Cherkashin, a CRM speaker and author, will head Siebel's operations in Russia.

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