Cisco Ties E-Biz Tool to Siebel

Networking company integrates its customer contact center software with Siebel 7 CRM app.

Cisco Systems Inc. is just one of myriad vendors this week heralding their products integration with the forthcoming upgrade to Siebel Systems Inc.s customer relationship management platform.

Cisco is integrating its customer contact center software—including Intelligent Contact Management and Collaboration Server—with Siebel 7 to help companies handle customer calls more efficiently. The integration allows enterprises to link customer information from their systems to an Internet protocol-based contact center platform.

Siebel 7 allows businesses to coordinate customer contact points across the Web, call centers, field sales agents and partner channels. It gives enterprises the ability to connect customers to the most knowledgeable agent wherever the agent is located. It also provides enhanced customer data and reporting in a single view of all customer interactions.

The latest integration effort between Cisco and Siebel works much like previous efforts: When a customer dials a call center, the San Jose, Calif., vendors software takes the information dialed and compares it with the Siebel database to route the call to the most appropriate agent.

At the same time, the Cisco infrastructure feeds the customer data to the agent, so the agent does not have to key in any information. With the latest Siebel system, however, the agents job will be made even easier.

Certive Corp., a developer of business intelligence systems in Redwood City, Calif., uses the Cisco-Siebel system to get the most out of its small center. "We needed a way to track all interactions between our personnel and the customers," said Scott Wiener, chief technology officer for Certive."They have very real-time demands, and there had to be a way to hand off information between multiple members of our team. We needed a very contextual, very detailed system."

"The agent is going to see a very different desktop, and the desktop will be much easier to display and maintain," said Ed Cepulis, strategic partner manager for Cisco, in Herndon, Va. "Were able to simplify communications and reduce the time it takes an agent to resolve a customer problem."

In collaborating with the release of Siebel 7, Cisco took the opportunity to improve the performance of its contact center software, Cepulis said. While the enhanced performance may not be noticeable to the end user, it will reduce the load on the network, he said. In addition, the two vendors shared customers can migrate from legacy to Internet protocol-based infrastructures to better manage voice to Web-originated calls.

Dozens of other vendors piled on their support for Siebel 7 this week in conjunction with the San Mateo, Calif., companys user conference in Chicago. Agilera Inc., an application service provider in Englewood, Colo., will provide application management and managed services for joint customers to improve the time-to-benefit of Siebel 7.