Siebel Boosts Hosted Services with Ineto Buy

 
 
By Dennis Callaghan  |  Posted 2004-01-20
 
 
 
Siebel Systems Inc. added to its growing portfolio of hosted customer relationship management service offerings with the acquisition Tuesday of Ineto Services Inc. in a cash deal worth up to $5 million.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company will offer Inetos hosted contact center service provider services as a part of its Siebel CRM OnDemand offering, giving customers access to call center management capabilities without having to invest in expensive hardware such as an automatic call distributor, interactive voice-response platform and computer-telephony integration, Siebel officials said.

Siebel will begin to offer Inetos hosted services integrated with the rest of its Siebel CRM OnDemand service as well as its on-premises applications immediately, according to Ken Rudin, vice president and general manager of Siebels CRM OnDemand Group.

This initial integration will include screen pops in the Siebel CRM OnDemand applications for voice mail, interactive voice-response and caller ID as well as rules-based call routing, Rudin said.

The second phase of the integration, scheduled to be completed by the second quarter, includes e-mail and chat integration as well as co-browsing.

"Were opening up a whole new world for companies," Rudin said. "Theyll be able to get world-class CRM without having to build a world-class call center."

Other hosted CRM service providers offer call center management capabilities, however, only through integration partnerships.

"Well be offering [call center management] in the platform versus interfaces to another platform," said Rudin.

Siebel plans to add the e-mail marketing technology of another company it recently acquired, Boldfish Inc., to the mix as well. The technology is now called Siebel Email Marketing.

"Youll be able to send out e-mails, make calls and track responses from our dashboard, all from a common platform in a common location," said Rudin.

The Ineto Services acquisition is expected to close by Jan. 30. Ineto currently has about 60 customers. Rudin said pricing for Inetos services will remain the same—at least for the time being: $100 per user per month plus 6 cents per minute per call.

Siebel in November 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.

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