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August 1, 2005
Siebel Systems CEO George Shaheen outlined his plans for growth to a group of demanding investors during the company's 2005 annual stockholder meeting in June. He also announced the company would begin paying stockholders a quarterly dividend of 2.5 cents per share. During the meeting some investors relayed their frustrations at declining stocks and even went so far as to ask whether the company is for sale, because it has retained Goldman Sachs as an advisor. Shaheen insisted Goldman Sachs was retained "to help us work through some complex issues around our capital restructuring and our operational performance."
Nortel Networks President and COO Gary Daichendt resigned from the company in June with just three months on the job after butting heads with Bill Owens, vice chairman and CEO. Gary Kunis, CTO at Nortel, who joined Nortel just a few weeks after Daichendt's appointment, also departed. The announcement came three days after the company completed the acquisition of all outstanding shares of common stock of PEC Solutions, and after introducing its Applications Center platform for IP-based contact centers.
A security breach forced CitiFinancial (part of Citigroup) to notify 3.9 million U.S. customers in June that computer tapes holding personal information including names, Social Security numbers, account numbers, and payment history are missing. The tapes contained information about CitiFinancial branch network customers in the United States, and customers with closed accounts from CitiFinancial Retail Services. In times of crisis when the amount of incoming inquiries is going to increase, analysts urge organizations to immediately notify all customer-facing employees and to arm them with detailed, scripted answers to questions so they don't have to be creative with their answers.
IBM announced two new resources to help ISVs develop and adapt business solutions like accounting, human resources, and ERP in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Industry watchers say IBM's involvement may help springboard the on-demand market, which is expected to jump from $4.2 billion last year to $10.7 billion in 2009. IBM is providing its Software as a Service Transformation Workshop to educate ISVs about how to deliver SaaS applications, determine the right technical model, and how to build an SaaS solution.
Salesforce.com pushed farther into the enterprise market in May when it announced strategic partnerships with Accenture and Merrill Lynch, and the release of Customforce 2.0, at a users and partners conference in New York. Taken as a whole, along with positive financial results for the first quarter of FY 2006, these announcements may validate Salesforce's ability to compete with Siebel and SAP in large vertical industries. The new version of Customforce, available as part of the Salesforce Summer '05 release package, includes real-time analytics and detailed forecasting; customized dependent lists; spreadsheet-style formulas; and more than 100 ready-to-use business processes.
Organizations are realizing that the processes they are outsourcing are outside their core competencies, according to the Outsourcing Center (OC), an online information source. Another trend is that full-service human resources outsourcing--when three or more processes are outsourced--is becoming more significant for organizations. Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of Everest Group, OC's parent company, maintains that the offshore element of outsourcing is "here to stay," but commands only a minute presence. He notes that 50 percent of the outsourced relationships that OC examined this year contained an offshore factor, an increase from last year, but it was just a small piece of the overall relationship.
(For the full stories and more news, visit destinationCRM.com)
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