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Siebel Systems Enhances Software Suite For e-Commerce

By Doug Bartholomew Siebel Systems, which practically created the market for customer-relationship-management software, is looking and sounding more like a full-fledged enterprise software provider such as SAP AG, Oracle Corp., J.D. Edwards & Co., and PeopleSoft Inc. What's more, the San Mateo, Calif.-based software firm has the muscle to back it up, with sales running at a current annualized rate of $2 billion. "Over the last 18 months, the single biggest trend we've seen among our clients is that the level of discussion about e-commerce is now with the CEO or the board of directors, who are trying to buy a strategic solution to effect an increase in revenues and customer satisfaction," said Pat House, executive vice president and co-founder of Siebel, speaking at the company's annual customer conference Oct. 24 in San Jose. "All of sales, marketing, and customer service are coming together under the e-business phenomenon." To take advantage of the shift, Siebel released its new family of e-commerce-enabled software applications, designed to help companies manage just about every aspect of dealing with customers: sales force automation, call center management, field service automation, marketing automation, e-service, and product configuration. Siebel, which hired an outside firm to poll its customers, found that, on average, they attributed to Siebel a 16% jump in revenues, a 21% gain in customer satisfaction, and a 21% hike in employee productivity, House reported. Furthermore, she said, Siebel customers reported that it took, on average, 10 months for the software to pay for itself.

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