Siebel CEO Pushes Hybrid CRM Model

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2003-11-18 Print this article Print

The chairman and CEO of Siebel Systems Tuesday said his company is focused on providing both traditional CRM software and hosted options that can be integrated together and meet the needs of different types of enterprises.

LAS VEGAS—The delivery of CRM is moving toward a combination of traditional server software and hosted services to meet the needs of different types of enterprises, said Thomas Siebel, chairman and CEO of Siebel Systems Inc., during his keynote here at Comdex Las Vegas 2003. Siebel, of San Mateo, Calif., earlier this month completed its acquisition of hosted CRM company UpShot Corp. and in October announced the new Siebel CRM OnDemand hosted service, a joint offering with IBM.
"Our strategy going forward is to deliver seamless and superior customer experiences by extending CRM products to everyone in organizations and everyone in the partner ecosystem," Siebel said.
Siebel outlined scenarios where many large companies might want to deploy a combination of the traditional Siebel CRM software along with the CRM OnDemand service in order to connect partners or smaller groups with CRM functionality. National Australia Bank is one prime example, he said. While the bank uses Siebels on-premise software internally, it also wants to connect independent mortgage brokers worldwide that work with the bank into its CRM system, Siebel said. "The best solution for that will be a hosted solution on the Internet, a Siebel meets Google kind of idea," Siebel said. The traditional software and the hosted solution can be integrated together, and those starting with CRM OnDemand can migrate to on-premise software, Siebel said. Siebel is offering its CRM OnDemand service, which has been running for about six weeks in beta. The company expects next month to offer the service on a monthly subscription of $70. Siebel also reaffirmed that current UpShot customers can continue to run on the current version of UpShot as long as they wish but also will be offered a free upgrade once the service is updated. The company has said that it plans to merge the UpShot service with its own Siebel CRM OnDemand hosted service by the second quarter of next year. For more information on the merger of the UpShot service and Siebels CRM OnDemand hosted offerings, click here. The UpShot acquisition gave Siebel 1,000 hosted service customers as well as 100 employees. Siebel faces tough competition in the hosted CRM space against companies such as Inc. and Salesnet that specialize in services as well as hosting options from traditional enterprise application vendors such as PeopleSoft Inc., which announced on Monday an expansion of its hosted offerings. Beyond the companys emerging hosted offerings, Siebel discussed some of the emerging trends in the technology sector. Chief among them is the push toward Web services. He said that just as the client-server software model became a must have for vendors in the 1990s, Web services is becoming a requirement as enterprises see the value of being able to better connect their systems. "The next major shift that we see is being able to utilize Web services," Siebel said. "This is a complete replacement market (and) is driving a lot of needs."
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel