Siebel CRM Systems Inc. and Its Software Products

Introduction to the Company

Siebel CRM Systems, Inc. was a company dealing in software and principally indulged in development, design, marketing and supporting customer relationship management applications. Siebel Corporation was initially known for its sale power automation merchandise but it later on expanded to join CRM market. By the end of 1990s, the company became the leading CRM vendor with a total market share of 45%. Siebel Systems, Inc. initially began selling software that was power automated before expanding to customer service and marketing applications such as CRM. The company managed to grow first after it was founded in the year 1993. In the late 1990s, the company benefited greatly from its CRM market explosive growth. In 1999, the Fortune magazine in the United States named Siebel Systems, Inc., among businesses with faster growth (Pennington 2007, p. 122). Siebel Corporations later on created strategic alliances after successful growth in electronic commerce. The company later made numerous purchases to grant a solution to e-business for CRM. The company managed to grow fast due to its ability to form alliances with different companies across the world. In the year 2000, the company had formed 700 alliances with different partners. The total revenue for the company in 2005 was $ 1.799, with net income of $ 2.886 and 5,036 employees.

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Current State Analysis of the Company

In the year 2005, Siebel Systems was bought by Oracle Corporation with a total of $ 5.8 billion. The major competitors of Siebel Systems were Oracle Corporation which is now the owner of the company, Vantive Corporation, SAS Institute Inc, Microsoft Dynamics, Clarify Corporation, Salesforce.com, Broadbase Software Inc, and SalesLogix Corporation. After acquiring Siebel Systems, Oracle Corporations gradually developed software suites of Siebel Systems, which gave the company a high chance to compete in the market place. The software suites were developed to HR, ERP packages and financial packages (Pitts & Kerr 2009, p. 110). Specialists were not required to deploy the integrations since they were readily available. However, this gradual development eroded Siebel’s market share.

Some of the things that hinder Siebel Systems from being productive and hindering the company’s goals are complexity, poor usability and fragmentation. Siebel CRM Systems, Inc. is a large business which must be affected by workflow and tool complexity. Initially, the company had a simple task of focusing more on recording and monitoring communications and interactions in the company. However, with the introduction of software solutions, the company expanded to be able to deal with tracking, opportunities, sales pipelines and territories. Currently, the IT systems and infrastructure, including their database are in silo architecture which the company was not used to creating more complexity (Schultz, Hatch & Larsen 2004, p. 108).

With a complex interface to navigate, the users can find it hard to implement some of the new technologies involved in customer relationship management systems. People expect usability to be intuitive to effectively develop the layout and content of CRM system. Complexities and growth have, however, hindered usability in CRM systems. The system will not work as intended if it has a different interface, it may become sluggish, or the user may find it overwhelming keeping its maximum usage. Financial benefits can be negated by a fragmented implementation which is brought by the complexity associated with CRM systems. However, this problem can be solved by improving the current generation of CRM systems (Zingale & Arndt, 2001, p. 122).

CRM program/project objectives

The current state of things in Siebel CRM Systems, Inc., in internal analysis, can reveal the revenue gap available in the company. If the organisation was operating at its peak efficiency and obtaining optimum information, then it will be in a position to identify whether Customer Facing Department in the company was working well with the difference in revenue (Shaw 2000, p. 118). The most competitive advantage for every company is based on what they know concerning their customers and the manner in which they use their data. This is also applicable to Siebel Systems. What the company needs to do is to develop systems and methods that will enable them to capture centric information from the customers and leverage it into making more profits and revenues. Once they capture this information, the company will be able to use it to strengthen their relationship with the customers and be able to differentiate offering and decreases which is a necessity in engaging in costly price wars (Buttle 2008, p. 102). Siebel System’s ability to get hold of this information and leverage it to their customers will become their measuring stick for future success in the company.

The main objectives of CRM program include the following: increased customer satisfaction, improved lead quality and conversion, increased customer retention rates, improved partner loyalty, reduce costs of sales, increase customer loyalty, reduce the cost of marketing, increase profit margins and increase customer acquisition rates. These objectives are jeered towards meeting and solving CRM problems (Schmitt & Rogers 2008, p. 173). The objectives for the project, however, include distribution of pricing information and collateral/inventory materials for marketing automation and SFA, make easy access to catalogues for marketing automation and SFA, eliminate data duplication entry for Customer Service applications, SFA and marketing automation, distribute and create electronic reports such for marketing automation and SFA, cut down on required time needed to generate reports for forecasting, facilitate group scheduling and activity calendaring for SFA and lastly reduce the time required to disseminate leads to the sales team for Sales force Automation (Nielsen 1993, p. 180).

CRM Vendor Product Suite and its Analytical capabilities and advantages

Today, there are more than 400 front-office solutions for automation in the market. However, your success will depend greatly on the company’s ability to and the vendor selected to successfully incorporate the new CRM solutions into the existing ecology. The process of evaluating solution varies from informal discussion among project managers to formal rating of procedures that is used in the entire project team. The complexity of Siebel Corporation, the amount and detail of project requirement and the number of solution to be evaluated determine the line of CRM vendor product suite to be used by the company (Payne, Christopher, Clark & Peck 1995, p. 218). The company requirements also determine the reason why the Siebel Corporations has chosen Microsoft as its CRM vendor product suite. This was conducted after crucial information was gathered to formulate business requirements such as marketing automation, customer service and sales force automation. A solution was then defined and the plan for the project is to be implemented, tracked, tested and competed (Schmitt & Rogers 2008, p. 182).

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It is, however, important to note that Siebel Corporation business processes mainly dictates the needed configuration to be made to CRM Microsoft that has been adopted as its vendor suite. Oracle will be delivered of shelf and will begin operating out of the box based on the fact that these software solutions will provide the best practice for the industry. The software solutions offered by Microsoft will have to tweak to accommodate business process in Siebel Corporation. However, only in exceptional circumstances, the business processes of the company will be fundamentally changed to reflect business processes provided by Microsoft (Reichheld & Schefter 2000, p. 152). In most circumstances, Microsoft will be tasked to map out the blueprint process for various processes in Siebel Corporation such as providing quotation and order handling. Siebel Corporations chose Microsoft as its vendor suite after carefully establishing its strategy and automation potential.

Below is an example of order handling
Fig.1: Below is an example of order handling

Analytical Capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Siebel Corporation

Microsoft Dynamics CRM was developed by Microsoft as a software package for management of customer relationship. The main products sold by Microsoft Dynamics include: marketing, sales and service sectors. Microsoft Dynamics will enable Siebel Corporations to build on leading platform when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM). It will leverage cost-saving benefits of premises or cloud-based deployment models. Microsoft Dynamics will generate customers in the marketplace to offer selling solutions. Microsoft Dynamics CRM will also generate revenue for Siebel Corporations. Microsoft Accelerator Kit Capitalize consumer interests in the company since it have an accelerator for sales (Joachim 2002, p. 186).

Microsoft dynamics will Siebel with increased revenue drive which will sustain the business for a long-term. It will also offer Siebel with mobile consumers. Microsoft dynamics mobile is a cross-platform and new cloud based platform. Microsoft dynamics will also increase customer efficiencies and create revenue potential for Siebel systems. It does this by offering applications for productivity that can transform customers who do business. They offer flexible designed options to effectively meet the customer’s needs. They offer cloud-based solution, on-premises solution and flexible blend of customers to the company. Microsoft business systems are also geared towards improving performances for sales. The company can help Siebel customers to improve, manage and measure business performance. Microsoft dynamics technologies are always available and ready to be used providing a solution that will help Siebel systems to gain competitive advantage in repeatable and cost-effective manner (Baran, Galka & Strunk 2008, p. 210)

Microsoft has potential to move with confidence in the cloud. Its platform gives the company the chance to choose which position it wants to acquire whether it is private cloud, on-premise scenarios or public cloud. Microsoft will also give Siebel the opportunity to optimise their services and solutions while extending its own intellectual property to aim at functional or vertical scenarios (Reichheld & Sasser 1990, p. 139).

Siebel will also be able to leverage its CRM competency by addressing its area of expertise to its customers and partners in different market segments. It also gives the company different capabilities to develop solutions regarding business management. This will give confidence to potential consumers; they will be able to realise/identify the company’s skills, resources and expertise which matches their own needs.

Microsoft dynamics also provides solutions to crucial business priorities which will enable the organisation to establish their value as their trusted advisor (Coates 1999, p. 129). It also builds deeper relation between the two organisations creating long term foundation. Siebel can take advantage of the relation to maximise its potential and increase its overall revenue while developing opportunities to deliver extra capabilities as a solution provider for Microsoft based technologies such as Microsoft SQL Server used for managing software data, Microsoft Office and finally Microsoft SharePoint Server. As a partner to Microsoft CRM competency, Siebel will be able to gain and receive several core benefits adapted to competency.

Determine Infrastructure Requirements

Before Siebel Systems decide to determine the infrastructure required for its new CRM system, it should consider how its current database architecture is presented whether they are in silos or not and what they must do to be able to integrate the databases in order to obtain 360-degree views from the customers.

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Database professionals do nowadays have many options to choose from putting into consideration architectures they address several issues regarding customers and their employees. One can differentiate database architectures through examining how logic is applied and distributed in the entire system (Morrison et al 2003). Presentation logic, storage logic and processing logic are the major components of application logics (Payne, Christopher, Clark & Peck 1995, p. 128). Presentation logic is responsible for data presentation and formatting on the user screen and process logic is responsible for processing logic data, data management logic and business rules logic (Payne, Christopher, Clark & Peck 1995, p. 128). Lastly, storage logic is responsible for retrieving and storing data from devices such as RAM or hard drive (Payne, Christopher, Clark & Peck 1995, p. 128).

Determine Infrastructure Requirements
Fig. 2: Determine Infrastructure Requirements

The current database architecture is in silos. The silos are reinforced concrete or steel cylindrical structures created on mat foundations. The silos can be supported and elevated by frames or columns that are concrete and have been reinforced (Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry 1988, p. 104). The silos design will take the properties and type of material stored inside it. Hence, this is the reason why the silos are evaluated and designed as special structures used in database architecture.

Training

Once a solution has been implemented for CRM, this is when the real work begins. The customised system will be operating in an efficient manner saving on time and making more money/profits. This is why it is crucial to train the employees without which they will not be able to use the new system to the maximum and to their advantage. The CRM project for Siebel Systems should set aside about 20% of their overall budget to offer 1-2day training for their system users. Training has the potential to either break or make an automation implementation (Kostelnick 1998, p. 146). Lack of use is the leading predictor of system failure. It is often a direct reflection of the efforts directed towards training to enable the users to maximise their customised system.

Training will enable employees to change the way they think and get consumed to organisational culture. Training will also change the way in which the employees conduct their work in the organisation while trying to implement CRM system. Training will enable them to work efficiently with their various departments and other divisions across the world especially where multinational organisation is involved. Training will enable the employees to be able to use the web to operate various functions conducted by the organisation which require change of attitude and procedure. Ignorant workers cannot operate the World Wide Web hence will miss several opportunities of making more profits/money to the company (Mei 2010, p. 114).

Establish a Timeline

Siebel CRM System, Inc. should set a timeline which will guide their operations. The length of their planning process can range from weeks to months depending on the complexity of the processes conducted by the company (Desbarats 1995, p. 111) Siebel Systems have created less time approximately two weeks for their low-end contact management applications which are implemented out of the business. On the other hand, they had set approximately 4 months for complex customisation. Siebel Systems also have high level of internal IS department participation, many users to automate, and large amount of data to convert with their systems (Roger, Baran & Galka 2007 p. 102). These are some of the reasons why the company has set more time to handle these issues well to meet the customers’ needs.

Establish a Budget

The cost of products sold in Siebel Corporation varies depending on architectural elegance, scalability and functionality. Siebel Corporation have greater functional requirements hence it is expected that their budget will be high. Both their cost of implementation and annual costs will be high. Implementation costs are associated mainly with initial system implementation such as user and administrator training, costs spend on consultation, software, system implementation and for supporting both user and technical members of the company (Lior 2005, p. 119). On the other hand, annual costs are mainly associated with long term support and maintenance of the system such as ongoing company software maintenance costs. Siebel CRM System, Inc. implementation costs can be approximated to be $ 6000 per user.

List of References

Baran, R., Galka, R & Strunk, D 2008, Principles of Customer Relationship Management, New York: Cengage Learning.

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Buttle, F, 2008, Customer Relationship Management, Heinemann Publishers: Butterworth

Coates, J 1999, Issues identification and management: The state of the art of methods and techniques, Electric Power Research Group: Palo Alto, CA.

Desbarats, G 1995, Usability: form that says function, Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Joachim, D 2002, CRM tools improve access, usability, West Publishing Company: New York.

Kostelnick, C 1998, Conflicting Standards for Designing Data Displays: Following, Flouting, and Reconciling Them, Massachusetts: Blackwel.

Lior, A 2005, Understanding the Fatal Mistakes: Passionate and Profitable. John Wiley & Sons, Inc: New York.

Mei, L 2010, You can learn from Dell Hell, Sage: Neubury Park, CA.

Morrison, J., Renfro, W & Boucher, W 2003, Futures research and the strategic planning process: Implications for higher education, Association for the Study of Higher Education: Washington, D.C.

Nielsen, J 1993, Usability Engineering, Academic Press: San Francisco.

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V & Berry, L 1988, servqual: A multiple-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of service quality, Association for the Study of Business Studies: Washington, D.C.

Payne, M., Christopher, M., Clark, M. & Peck, H 1995, Relationship Marketing for Competitive Advantage, Butterworth-Hienemann: Harlow.

Pennington, L 2007, Surviving the Design and Implementation of a Content-Management System, Beacon Press: Boston.

Pitts, C. & Kerr, R 2009, Corporate Social Responsibility: A Legal Analysis. LexisNexis, Toronto.

Reichheld, F & Sasser, W 1990, Zero Defections: Quality Comes to Services, Harvard Press: Harvard.

Reichheld, F& Schefter, P 2000, E-Loyalty: Your Secret Weapon on the Web, Harvard University Press: Harvard.

Roger, J., Baran, R., & Galka, D, 2007, Principles of Customer Relationship Management, Cengage Publisher: New York.

Schmitt, B & Rogers, D, 2008, Handbook on Brand and Experience Management, Edward Elgar Publishing: New York

Schultz, M., Hatch, J. & Larsen, H, 2004, The Expressive Organization: Linking Identity, Reputation and the Corporate Brand. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Shaw, R 2000, Measuring and Valuing Customer Relationships Business Intelligence, FT Prentice Hall: Harlow

Zingale, A. & Arndt, M, 2001, New Economy Emotion: Engaging Customer Passion with e-CRM, John Wiley Publishers: New York.

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