UpShot Users Wooed by Rivals

Siebel Systems may have acquired online CRM provider UpShot, but there are many suitors attempting to woo UpShot's customers. UpShot has approximately 1,000 customers that under the terms of the acquisition will be supported by Siebel or migrated to Siebel's recently announced CRM OnDemand online solution. "Siebel's commitment to UpShot customers is indefinite and no migration of data will be necessary if UpShot customers stay with Siebel," says Siebel spokesperson Burghardt Tenderich. A couple of veterans of the hosted CRM space are attempting to take advantage of the fact that UpShot's product will no longer be enhanced and that Siebel's online solution is not due out for several months. Many say this handcuffs UpShot users by dictating migration terms, time frames, product architecture, and features that may not be convenient or mature. Kelly Spang-Ferguson, senior analyst with Current Analysis, says these moves are pretty much the standard response to a rival's acquisition. "This is more of a FUD [fear, uncertainty, and doubt] factor thing than to get customers," Spang says. "I'm sure there will be UpShot customers that are concerned about going with Siebel and might be considering alternatives, but I think this is more of a marketing pitch." One such suitor is Salesforce.com, which is launching its SureShot Migration Program to Siebel UpShot customers through November 30, 2003. The SureShot migration tool automatically extracts UpShot data and imports it into Salesforce.com. After migrating, customers will be able to take advantage of Salesforce.com's CRM service at no cost for three months, after which Salesforce.com will honor the terms of their existing contract with UpShot over the ensuing nine months. Salesforce.com will provide free training to all customers that sign up for the program, and will offer free admission to Dreamforce, the Salesforce.com user conference to be held in San Francisco in November. By offering the SureShot program Salesforce.com aims to remove "the uncertainty of the UpShot deal for customers," says Jim Steele, president of worldwide operations for Salesforce.com. Hosted CRM-applications provider Salesnet is also announcing a migration program for UpShot users. Salesnet's Trade-Up Choice Program for UpShot users, available until December 15, 2003, offers free migration and product discounts for UpShot customers who wish to move to Salesnet's online sales CRM solution. Salesnet officials say this is not the first time the company has reached out to potentially disenfranchised customers. In 2001, when Siebel closed down its first online CRM attempt, Sales.com, Salesnet offered a migration path. The new program offers Salesnet's online CRM solution for 10 percent less than UpShot customers are currently paying and provides free quick-start migration services. The migration services are intended to get UpShot customers up and running on Salesnet quickly and include data migration, custom report creation, user training, and the implementation of Salesnet's workflow for guiding selling effectiveness. "Salesnet wants to provide a choice and incentive for UpShot customers to move on their own terms to an online CRM solution that is tried, tested, and true to provide significant ROI," says Mike Doyle, chairman and CEO of Salesnet.
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