Siebel looks to custom-built apps to boost bottom line

CRM software maker Siebel Systems is moving to reinvent itself in a bid to revive its flagging fortunes and drive new growth.

CRM software maker Siebel Systems is moving to reinvent itself in a bid to revive its flagging fortunes and drive new growth. 

During its 10-year history, the company focused primarily on making and selling prebuilt and prepackaged software, newly installed CEO Mike Lawrie said during a keynote address at the company's annual Siebel User Week event in Los Angeles.

However, that sort of business model is inadequate to penetrate the largest segments of the CRM market. 

To expand Siebel's opportunities, Lawrie unveiled a number of initiatives, under which the company plans to create customised software packages designed to reach the 75% of the CRM market now unavailable to it. 

During the speech, he talked about CRM and the thinking behind Siebel's initiative. "It's not a product or an event, but a strategy," Lawrie said, adding that it's also about processes and people, not just technology.

So in addition to offering its existing packaged applications and its hosted OnDemand offerings, Siebel plans to craft custom-built software for customers whose requirements remain unmet. 

Lawrie said the initiative was made possible by the fact that enterprise applications are increasingly being broken down into smaller components. 

Siebel's own service organisation plans to work closely with key partners to implement the changes, he said, and the company will focus more on selling to specific industries rather than to geographical entities. 

As for the future development of Siebel applications, the company intends to continue to enhance its technology, but "it will be balanced with the end-to-end capabilities to drive results," he said. 

Siebel also announced that it would continue to build and acquire front-office software, in particular to beef up its order management and incentive management capabilities. Moreover, it is adding 20 new analytical applications to its business intelligence portfolio.

Those offerings will include a customer analytics application that will deliver prebuilt industry-specific functions that span call centre, sales and marketing analytics operations. There will also be a financial analytics application to manage and optimise corporate assets, a supply chain tool to help evaluate suppliers, and another tool to help companies measure employee performance. 

Marc Songini writes for Computerworld

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