Siebel Launches Its Latest Application

The front office will continue to be the "new frontier" for generating revenue, said Siebel Systems' new CEO, George Shaheen today during his keynote at the fifth annual Siebel User Week, in Barcelona. Shaheen also introduced Siebel 7.8, the latest version of its CRM applications suite. Siebel 7.8 includes new and enhanced features, such as advanced order management and embedded analytics capabilities, which is a recognition of the increasing demand for BI. The product extends the Siebel 7.x product family to help organizations better align and use their people, processes, and technology around their customers to deliver customer-driven business results. "The major challenge we have is how do we bring it all together? [Companies] used to rely on the power of technology alone. [Now] it's the integration of technology with people, business processes, methodologies, and practices," Shaheen said. "We have a new way to look at ourselves," Shaheen told the roughly 2,000-member audience. The speech was also Web cast. "We're evolving as a company as how we market ourselves and how we present ourselves to you. Our new tagline is 'It's all about the customer,' a commitment to the customer." CEOs have shifted their focus from cost-saving activities to revenue growth, Shaheen said. "Growth is back on the agenda and in that agenda the customer is seen as the key driver for revenue growth," he said. "The relationships we have with customers [are] key to unleashing [opportunities]. We are looking at a huge opportunity centered around the customer to create value--regardless of how you define it. The customer and your relationship with that customer will be key to that success." To help companies move toward their goals, Siebel created a customer experience blueprint with six steps to achieve business results. "The blueprint itself is new, but the concepts are not," said Eileen McPartland, senior vice president of global services. The blueprint's steps are:
  • First, understand your business and your current metrics.
  • Second, envision your goals, determine how your customers want to work with you and make sure you have similar expectations across executive levels regarding expenses and expectations.
  • Third, define a detailed plan.
  • Fourth, build and deliver.
  • Fifth, confirm. "Ask, what does the customer think? Do your executives perceive your work as acceptable? What actions do we need to take to adjust the plan?"
  • Last, operate and optimize. Ask how you can take it to the next level and continue to roll out additional programs. "Doing this stuff is hard," Shaheen said. "Building a customer-driven company is a challenge. But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. To ignore [customers], to put them aside, you almost guarantee yourself a disappointment." Shaheen was challenged not only with presenting this new branding and business model to Siebel's users, partners, and industry analysts, but with introducing himself to many of them for the first time. He took the reins on April 13 when Michael Lawrie resigned after less than one year on the job following disappointing first quarter financial results. "There's a lot to do, there's a lot to learn," Shaheen said. "Our mission as a company...is to be your most valued partner in helping drive outstanding, customer-driven business results." Related articles: Siebel's CEO Resigns Following Poor First Quarter Earnings Siebel Gets the Contact Center Knack
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