• November 26, 2002
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

USi Becomes A Siebel Premier Partner

In a milestone announcement Siebel Systems Inc. has appointed USinternetworking as a Premier Platform Partner in the Siebel Partner Alliance, making USi the first hosting company to achieve such status. After a four-year relationship, USi Inc. has hosted more than 30 Siebel enterprise clients (most of which generate between $500 million to $1 billion in revenue), making USi the largest provider of Siebel eBusiness Application managed hosting services. USi provides Siebel Managed Services, including application management, monitoring and ongoing maintenance, and user support. Siebel provides organizations with eBusiness applications software and business processes. Bret Hunter, general manager of ERP and CRM business units at USi, claims that USi can reduce the total cost of ownership by 20 percent or more by supporting Siebel applications, as well as customizing those applications to their individual clients' needs. The announcement shows Siebel's confidence in the hosted model as a viable option for enterprise clients. Increasingly large enterprises are seeing the value of the ASP model, which Hunter says is to deliver rapid deployments and low total cost-of-ownership. "The downturn in the economy has hurt Siebel license sales, but the total cost-of-ownership [for the hosted model] continues to be strong for our customers," Hunter says. "In many cases we can show customers a savings of 20 percent over a three-year period using a hosted model versus the software purchasing model." However, analysts remain skeptical about ASPs' penetration into the enterprise market. "Traditionally, big enterprises like customization and flexibility. It's really not clear to me that that's what ASPs are for. The whole value proposition of an ASP is that I can get up and running faster and cheaper than if I did it myself," says Erin Kinikin, vice president of CRM at Giga Information Group, based in Cambridge, MA. For those companies that wish to keep their data and Siebel eBusiness Applications infrastructure on site, USi also provides remote management services for in-house Siebel eBusiness Applications implementations.
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