Enterprise software provider Siebel Systems announced this week that it has begun an initiative to provide global business intelligence to its enterprise clients. The initiative, which includes an alliance with Microsoft, is embodied in a software suite called the Siebel Enterprise Analytic Applications.
The applications focus on four primary areas: customer analytics, financial analytics, workforce management and supply-chain analytics.
Siebel Systems Inc. is already shipping the new applications, and it says about 400 customers are already committed to using the product. According to Siebel, the applications are designed to extract data from a wide variety of sources, including applications from SAP AP, Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc. and, of course, from Siebel.
According to San Mateo, Calif.-based Siebel, a number of major corporations have committed to its BI (business intelligence) offerings. The companies listed by Siebel include Bayer, British Telecom, DaimlerChrysler, Caterpillar, Raytheon, Union Pacific and others.
Notably absent is AT&T Wireless, once one of Siebels biggest customers until a botched upgrade of Siebels CRM software cost it more than $100 million, leadership in the wireless industry and ultimately its independence, as it agreed earlier this year to be acquired by Cingular at a fire-sale price.
Siebel says its BI applications can be used on their own, but theyre intended to work within a framework of a larger enterprise application such as Siebels CRM system. The company said each of the applications is prewritten for specific industries or industry segments.
The software is intended to give a detailed, real-time picture of the business in which it resides. The picture can include up-to-the-minute looks at sales, marketing and service metrics, financial performance and the state of the supply chain. The information is kept in Siebels data warehouse so that its available when needed. Part of the Microsoft agreement that Siebel is also announcing involves optimizing the interface with SQL Server as a basis for the warehouse.
In addition to providing a real-time look at enterprise performance, the Enterprise Analytic Applications can be used to ensure compliance with applicable standards such as GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles).
The analytic applications are highly modular, Siebel said, with most portions prebuilt, tested and ready for use as needed. This can mean great flexibility in matching the applications to a specific industry and enterprise, and as a result, it could mean less time to get the applications running in a given enterprise, allowing customers to become productive more quickly.
The workforce management applications are designed to close the circle by allowing companies to measure how well their employees are doing and how they measure up to their goals.
The company claims that because of the broad tie-ins and flexibility offered by the Enterprise Analytic Applications, customers should be able to cut costs and improve responsiveness compared with competing applications.