Siebel Systems is once again the sole vendor in the leader quadrant in Gartner's "Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service and Support (CSS) Applications, 2006." Gartner states that Siebel's Version 7.7 continues to demonstrate the highest complexity and broadest functionality in the industry, and is the only system in the market to demonstrate the ability to support large-scale implementations. Michael Maoz, vice president and research fellow at Gartner, says that if Siebel wants to remain the leader of this market, it must focus on delivering more intelligence to the desktop by "delivering decision support for the interaction with that customer."
Siebel's strongest competition, according to the report, comes from a pack of other vendors, all of which reside in the niche player's quadrant. These include Amdocs and SAP AG, both of which offer strong product functionality, but are more vertically focused in telecommunications and manufacturing, respectively, than Siebel. Amdocs and SAP are followed by a group that includes Onyx Software, Pegasystems, RightNow Technologies, and Salesforce.com.
Maoz also addressed the acquisition of Siebel by Oracle. Customers shouldn't expect significant product functionality improvements through 2007 due to Project Fusion, but Maoz says Siebel's products are best suited to large-scale B2C contact centers (more than 200 agents), which will fit well in most Oracle environments.
Overall, continued market demand for customer service apps that enable contact center agents to handle complex interactions will "change the vendor landscape and make the emergence of a full customer service suite impossible during the next 24 months," Maoz says. "A highly fragmented CSS market for contact center solutions will persist during the next 24 months."
Customers are asking for technologies to enable them to accomplish four things: quickly understand a customer's intentions in contacting the contact center; locate the information that pertains to the service request; analyze the best "next step" to take with the customer; and capture an opportunity or lead where appropriate. To this end, analytics and business rule engines will play a more significant role in this process, and collaboration technologies will be essential to connect employees and customers as part of the service experience. "Few of these new [collaboration] technologies will come from CRM application providers other than Microsoft," Maoz says.
As for the always-popular on-demand space, Maoz says CSS capabilities delivered in the SaaS model will be most prominent in the B2B, low-volume contact center.
Siebel Enchants Gartner's CRM CSS Magic Quadrant Again
Gartner Announces CRM CSS Magic Quadrant