Siebel Turns Spotlight on BI
Lawrie presides over his first Siebel User Week in Los Angeles next week, and attendees should notice the change. Along with Sheryl Crow replacing 80s leftovers Huey Lewis & the News as the conference entertainment, Siebel is expected to showcase its BI (business intelligence) tools and analytic applications for the enterprise just one year after Tom Siebel promised customers to "double down on CRM."
In tandem with User Week, Siebel will host its first Business Intelligence Forum showcasing large enterprise installations of the companys BI technology that it has done for such customers as Cisco Systems Inc., Union Pacific Corp. and United Parcel Service of America Inc.
Siebel is expected to announce at the show its Enterprise Analytic Applications, a set of prebuilt applications on the Enterprise Analytic Platform the company announced at Siebel User Week last year.
These applications combine analysis of data from CRM applications with data from other enterprise applications, such as financials, human resources and supply chain, to provide a more complete picture of how effective a companys sales, marketing and customer service operations are.
Siebel is also expected to demo the Siebel Usage Accelerator, an analytic tool that tracks internal usage metrics of the CRM system during different phases of the CRM rollout process.
Though much of the news will focus on using analytics to improve the use of CRM applications, the company is also putting a stake in the ground for business intelligence at the event, just a year after Siebel first entered the space.
"Customers arent buying more CRM," said Mark Smith, senior vice president of research and CEO at Ventana Research in Belmont, Calif. "Theyre looking to get more information out of their business, not manage more transactions in their business."
A year after Siebel entered the BI space, the company has a competitive offering with technology for enterprise information integration, an analytic server and front-end tools, Smith said. But he noted that Siebel has yet to add reporting, relying only on integration partnerships with third-party vendors.
"They have to accept that reporting is a required component of business intelligence," he said. "You can have all the dashboards and scorecards and integrated enterprise you want, but at the end of the day, companies still need reporting."
At least one Siebel customer, David Hahmann, vice president of manufacturing company EMI Industries, validated Smiths assessment. Hahmann said he has no plans to add Siebels BI technology in the immediate future.
"We use [Business Objects SAs] Crystal Reports to pull data from our [Siebel applications] and run reports. That works fairly well for our situation," Hahmann said in Tampa, Fla.
Smith said he expects CRM to remain the core part of Siebels business, though the analytics capabilities its adding are fertile ground.
"Companies are just starting to understand that they need this stuff," he said.
"Siebel had to do something. They werent going to be able to keep selling more sales, service and marketing applications. This is their big bet to move the company forward."
Siebel also will demonstrate the previously announced vertical editions of its hosted OnDemand CRM service, providing support for specific business processes for wealth management, high tech, life sciences/medical, and automotive. ´