Siebel CRM Goes Pro

By SmallBusinessComputing.com Staff | Posted March 03, 2004

There are two ways to deliver customer relationship management (define) systems. The applications can be hosted by a third-party service outside of an organization, or deployed and managed by in-house IT staff. Of course, with Siebel's newest version of CRM solutions, small businesses have a third option — they can do one or the other, or both.

This week Siebel debuted a mid-market business edition of its customer relationship management software. Siebel CRM Professional Edition features multi-channel sales, service, and marketing applications developed specifically for small- and medium-sized businesses.

Siebel CRM Professional Edition is a right-sized version of the company's MidMarket application. It is tailored for smaller businesses in very specific industries, such as financial services, communications, and life sciences.

Small businesses also have the opportunity to leverage new fixed-price implementation packages and financing options for their CRM deployments. Customers may choose to purchase the software in a single perpetual license installment of $995 per user, or finance the software over time through one of Siebel's pre-negotiated agreements with leading financing companies.

To further spur new CRM deployments in the SMB market, Siebel is working in close partnership with premier systems integrators, like Tier1 Innovation to make new deployments more cost-effective for smaller businesses.

Mark Johnston, Tier1 Innovation president, is one of the integrators on board with Siebel to deliver these new services for a fixed fee.

"Tier1 Innovation has successfully leveraged best practices in deploying Siebel CRM applications to develop an all-inclusive, 'turnkey' solution that helps small- to medium-sized businesses realize the lowest total cost of ownership," Johnston said.

Siebel is also banking on the fact that SMB demand for CRM systems is on the upswing. Gartner research recently found that fewer than 20 percent of midsize businesses have implemented CRM solutions. Siebel CRM Professional Edition is specifically designed to meet the needs of this market segment, offering enterprise-class CRM solutions for smaller business environments.

Kevin Nix, Siebel Systems group vice president of industry applications, said the release the Professional Edition demonstrates the company's commitment to delivering CRM systems for any size company in any industry.

"Small- and medium-sized businesses can possess complex CRM requirements. As a result, they demand solutions with deep functionality to support their unique business processes and multiple points of integration," Nix said. "However, these companies also seek ease of use and overall affordability. Siebel CRM Professional Edition meets these organizations' sophisticated CRM needs, while also providing the flexibility to change and grow with their business."

Siebel CRM Professional Edition is highly configurable and integration-ready application. It supports company-specific processes unique to industry-specific SMBs seeking to enhance their interaction with their customers — be it via a sales, services or marketing applications — the three modules Siebel released this week.

One of the key benefits of deploying a CRM system, whether it's a hosted application or server-based system, is the ability to add different sets of different modules, ranging from e-mail marketing to support for wireless access and handheld applications, with no incremental costs for deployment. In this way, Siebel CRM Professional Edition can provide very different small businesses the flexibility to create unique bundles of CRM functions tailored to its individual business requirements.

Siebel CRM Professional Edition is currently available for purchase through authorized resellers and Siebel telesales. The product is available to new users as well as existing Siebel MidMarket Edition customers migrating to the new product.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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