Enterprise CRM Providers Enjoy Different Fortunes

In a busy day on Wall Street, some of the biggest names in enterprise CRM opened their books. However, Siebel, Amdocs, and SAP presented anything but a unified story.

Siebel revealed quarterly revenues of $301.1 million, a drop of 10 percent compared to both a year ago and the previous quarter. Profits of more than $8 million are also down from the year-ago quarter returns of $9.8 million.

During its earnings report, Siebel also announced the hiring of Ariba veteran Eileen McPartland as senior vice president of global services.

Although the company is not projecting lavish revenue growth in coming quarters, Liz Roche, Meta Group vice president of technology research services, says that two strategic changes may be in the makings for Siebel. "Traditionally [software vendors] have tried to keep a 70/30 mix of services and licenses [revenue], but if they have hired a new senior vice president of services, I imagine that goal is going to be to drive up service revenues."

She also focused on Siebel CEO Michael Lawrie's announcement that the firm would dramatically increase investment in its pursuit of smaller companies. "They're trying to institutionalize demand for Siebel OnDemand, so they created this [SMB] group, with its own profit-and-loss," Roche says. She feels it will be an important part of Siebel's turnaround. "You have to look at the trend in aggregate, and for Siebel we have seen some exciting quarters...they have a new president and are trying to get in new product mixes."

Amdocs reported that revenue grew 1.7 percent in the completed quarter to $450 million, with a $60 million quarterly profit and projected similar revenue growth in the coming quarter to $452 million. Notable CRM milestones for Amdocs's Clarify division include a completed rollout at Mobilkom Austria, an existing Amdocs customer, and a significant Amdocs Clarify upgrade deal with a Latin American telecommunications firm.

The company's stock traded as much as 10 percent lower after the earnings announcement as some financial analysts expressed concern about recent flat growth and their feeling that Amdocs relies too heavily on services revenue--for the nine-month period ended June 30, 2004, just $51 million of the company's $1.072 billion intake came from licenses.

The most eye-catching results of the day came from SAP. While overall corporate revenues continued to climb, the enterprise software giant revealed approximately $221 million in CRM software revenues for the past 6 months-- about $134 million in the last quarter alone. "They released [a new version] that had better functionality, making it easier for more organizations to buy," Roche says.

SAP is downplaying the raw numbers. "SAP is not a company that is focused on individual quarterly performance," says Darc Rasmussen, vice president of global CRM initiatives. "But our customers have adopted the solution, and they're becoming our best sales and marketing tool, and we're winning progressively more market share as a result of that."

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