Oracle-owned Siebel Systems has continued its dominance in Gartner's assessment of the service and support market; the outfit has yet again maintained its footing as the only player included in the leaders quadrant in Gartner's "Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers, 2007." The quadrant was previously named the "Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service and Support (CSS) Applications."
One of Siebel's strengths noted in the report by Michael Maoz, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, is Siebel 7.8 and Siebel 8.0's high product viability, deep industry knowledge, demonstrated scalability, and support by strong Web services. Built-in customer service analytics with dashboard or real-time contact center metrics, combination of deployment options, and Oracle's decision to base the majority of Oracle Fusion B2C customer service functionality on it, are other strong suits, according to the report. However, Maoz writes that unlike lower-end solutions, product complexity places high demands on IT or requires consulting partners, adding that "organizations preferring a subscription model with SaaS will find that the multitenant version of the customer service application, Siebel CRM OnDemand, is not yet highly referencable as an enterprise (large call volume, complex process support, large agent pool) solution." Additionally, "prospects wishing to build a solution in an IBM WebSphere/DB2 will need to drill into the implications on TCO in choosing an Oracle software solution," Maoz writes in the report.
No vendors secured a spot in the challengers quadrant, but the niche players quadrant is loaded with contenders. These include Amdocs, Graham Technology, Jacada, Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle's PeopleSoft, Pegasystems, Portrait Software, RightNow Technologies, and SAP, along with new additions Astute Solutions, Chordiant, Infor Global Solutions, and Lagan. It should be noted, however, that Amdocs and SAP outpace those vendors in terms of ability to execute and completeness of vision.
The visionaries quadrant isn't nearly as crowded, featuring just Microsoft Business Solutions, another new entry, and Salesforce.com. However, ATG, InStranet, and Onyx Software have been removed from the Magic Quadrant altogether.
Market consolidation, business demand for support of end-to-end customer processes, and real-time insight, have altered vendor selection weightings, according to the report. "Changes in consumer and business needs in the area of collaboration, support of user communities and partners, and customer data integration will help launch entirely new niche providers not covered in the Magic Quadrant," the report states. "Advances in software architectures, particularly advances in service-oriented architectures (SOAs), Web 2.0 requirements and software as a service (SaaS, or on demand) delivery models, will further complicate user choice. We continue to see a great need for advanced decision support and complex knowledge-management capabilities, customer feedback management, an interest in creating composite applications through a combination of in-house development, and best-of-breed customer support system (CSS) vendors."
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