Siebel Moves Beyond Messaging

As the growth of wireless technologies becomes more pervasive among mobile professionals, an increasing number of companies are seeking solutions that enable greater connectivity between the field and the back office. This week wireless handheld computing software provider Good Technology announced a partnership with Siebel Systems to give customers wireless access to Siebel's hosted CRM management solution, Siebel CRM OnDemand. Good Technology's offering, called GoodAcccess, enables wireless connectivity with a host of enterprise applications, such as Siebel's CRM OnDemand, by allowing customers to remotely take advantage of a vast amount of enterprise data on their PDAs and smartphones. To make the large interface of Siebel CRM OnDemand useful on miniature screens, users can customize it by selecting the fields that will be most relevant to them on the road. The enterprise pricing for GoodAccess starts at about $30,000. "GoodAccess allows people to move beyond messaging and calendars when it comes to their handheld devices," says Sue Forbes, vice president of marketing for Good Technology. "We were finding that once people had their email and contacts in hand, they realized that by having access to account details and more specific contact information they would be more prepared for interaction with their clients." In addition, by using the GoodAccess Certified Above All Studio, which is bundled with the product, customers can combine their CRM solution with other applications like order management systems, product catalogs, invoicing, and messaging to create a robust composite application. Ken Rudin, vice president of Siebel CRM OnDemand, says: "What Good Technology has built is a really powerful platform that is much more than just a way to surf the Web with your phone. Because it is application-based, you have a full application running on your mobile device and can actually do transactions on your phone. So when you're at the point of contact with a customer you can get access to the entire customer history and background information about the opportunity. You can also find out what's in stock, and if you've got an order entry system you can place the order right there." GoodAccess provides some extra levels of protection. The application uses an end-to-end encryption and password control to protect the information made available to the wireless device. If the device is lost, data can be erased remotely. It also can be restored remotely. "The nice thing is that if the device is found in your briefcase after you report it," Forbes says. "It can also be reprovisioned over the air." "More and more business users are employing handheld devices, and while there may be limits to using a tiny little keyboard and a tiny little screen this is a good partnership," says Chris Selland, CRM industry analyst with Covington Partners. "If you're sitting in an airport lounge and you need some information on a customer because you're going to a meeting, it could be invaluable. You wouldn't use it to replace your laptop, but it could be a pretty nice enhancement." Related articles: 10 Technologies That Are Reinventing the CRM Industry
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