Perhaps because they have been around longer, established customer relationship management players PeopleSoft Inc., SalesLogix, SAP AG and Siebel Systems Inc. have more clearly defined integration strategies than their . However, eWEEK Labs analysis shows that each of these vendors takes a fundamentally different integration and midmarket approach with its packaged CRM application.
eWEEK believes that integration capabilities and developer experience should be considered as at least as important as functionality and price when choosing a CRM system. Its therefore important to fully understand the openness of the CRM platform, how well-defined the APIs are, what integration tools are bundled with the system, and how strong a vendors partner relationships are.
We believe that PeopleSoft currently has the strongest integration story, although Siebel is quickly catching up.
Much of PeopleSofts core technology for CRM integration is based on technology it acquired with Vantive in January 2000. That architecture has been branded as the Pure Internet Architecture, which is something of a misnomer because PeopleSoft applications also can be integrated using native drivers over any networking protocol.
PeopleSoft officials stress that the preference in a PeopleSoft integration is to leave data in the application in which it originated. However, many integration projects require data to be migrated into the PeopleSoft system or tied together by a warehouse.
For complex integrations, PeopleSoft officials recommend using the Integration Broker product that ties PeopleSoft applications, third-party applications and other data sources through a routing and brokering mechanism over a messaging gateway. In some cases, warehouses may become necessary; in other cases, direct links can be developed.
In contrast to PeopleSoft—which has a broad product array that includes financial and human resource applications—Siebel has core expertise in CRM and has built depth into its modules, including Sales, Employee Management and vertical solutions that complement the CRM application.