• July 24, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Siebel's Channel: Tuned In and Turned On

Vendors are channeling their efforts into channel relationship-management (ChRM) applications. So much so that yesterday META Group released its first annual METAspectrum vendor analysis for ChRM application suites. Topping the list is Siebel Systems, which was the only vendor listed in the Leader position. META analysts use various sources to generate their vendor ratings, including vendor surveys, customer references, META research data, and the analysts' collective experience in covering the ChRM market. "The results of our ChRM Applications evaluation mirror the criteria we use in helping our clients choose a ChRM solution that meets their unique requirements," said Gene Alvarez, a vice president at META Group in a statement. "In our 2003 evaluations we found that vendor vision and strategy, industry focus, share, and execution are among the most critical factors for customer success and for ChRM market leadership." META defines ChRM applications as B2B e-selling support for indirect channel partners. These solutions improve a company's ability to manage complex, indirect channel-partner relationships, create product catalogues and multiple partner Web store-fronts, as well as direct consumer e-selling programs. Siebel's leadership in this market could bode well for the company, as META expects the market to grow 15 percent to 20 percent annually. The ChRM market, also known as the partner relationship management (PRM) market, could swell from $280 million in 2002 to a market size of more than $550 million by 2006. "As organizations start to realize [the] difference between B2B and B2C, they will take a serious look at these applications. People will realize that B2B is different from B2C," Alvarez says. Alvarez maintains that ChRM serves two core functions for organizations: Enabling e-commerce transactions through partners, where companies can "enable partner self-service or assistance to the buyer with functions such as guided selling, configuration, and negotiation," and marketing a brand out to channel partners. "The distinction of being the only vendor to receive top ratings from META Group for both channel and customer relationship management is an incredible honor," said David Schmaier, executive vice president at Siebel, in a statement. "In a market full of point or incomplete solutions this is particularly significant for our customers, because Siebel is the only, single vendor offering both ChRM and CRM functionality." META Group was not able to comment whether Siebel is a client.
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