Siebel Moves Forward With ERM Strategy

Company announces new partnerships that are designed to speed market acceptance of its employee relationship management applications.

Siebel Systems Inc. today announced a host of new partnerships designed to speed market acceptance of its employee relationship management applications.

The second generation of Siebel ERM is a key part of Siebels recently announced Siebel 7 suite, which is expected to be available next month.

Siebel ERM essentially extends the companys CRM (customer relationship management) applications to corporate departments focused on internal operations, such as human resources and finance. Customer-facing departments like sales, marketing and customer service typically would use Siebels software. Thus, ERM should allow Siebel to sell more seats for its software to its existing customers.

The newly announced partnerships span a variety of companies that will integrate Siebel –ERM 7 with their own applications.

Participating vendors include Authoria Inc. and ProAct Technologies Corp. for human resources and benefits plan management; Atomica Corp. for knowledge management; Alerts Inc. for enterprise alerts; Documentum Inc. and Interwoven Inc. for content management; the LexisNexis division of Reed Elsevier Inc. for information services; Oblix Inc. for identity management and single sign-on capabilities; Primedia Workplace Learning for e-learning; Seurat Co. for "employee capital" services; and Inc. for problem resolution.

Alcatels e-Business Networking division is using Siebel ERM now for training purposes, both for employees as well as customers and partners, according to Jim Laina, senior data architect at the Alcatel division. The divisions educational services department uses the software to handle class registrations and track participation in those classes.

Laina, in Calabasas, Calif., said Alcatel plans to extend the technology to internal help desk management and asset management in the future. It also will upgrade to Siebel 7 to take advantage of the thin-client architecture, which will make the software easier to deploy and manage, he said.

Laina described Siebel ERM as a "very useful product."

"Previously we were using internally developed software for e-training, but we had a very short project development time cycle for this, about three weeks," Laina said. "One of the selling points [of Siebel ERM] was the ability to integrate it with the rest of our systems. We could take a holistic approach to our IT infrastructure and maintain commonality across business functions."

The Alcatel division also uses Siebel CRM for call center and sales force automation. Having Siebel on the CRM side made the decision to go with Siebel ERM easy, said Laina.

"We were already invested in Siebel, we figured we might as well go with it."

In these difficult economic times, when new customer deals are harder and harder to close, executives at Siebel, in San Mateo, Calif., hope that more of the companys existing CRM customers end up feeling the same way.