Select Comfort CIO

Yet another Oracle Corp. customer is giving the vendor’s buyout of CRM software maker Siebel Systems Inc. a thumbs up.

Minneapolis-based mattress retailer Select Comfort Corp., an Oracle ERP shop, is rolling out business intelligence software from Siebel that’s designed to deliver alerts and dashboard capabilities that allow employees to see how well the company’s 400 stores are performing. And Select Comfort CIO Mike Thyken said he was looking forward to the potential integration of the two companies’ products after the US$5.8 billion merger between Oracle and one-time rival Siebel takes place at the end of this month.It (Oracle-Siebel merger) is a perfect fit from our standpoint.Mike Thyken>Text

Although Select Comfort purchased the Siebel software before the merger was announced, Thyken praised the move by Oracle. “It’s a perfect fit from our standpoint,” he said. That comment echoes similar statements from Oracle customers after the merger was announced in September.

The mattress company has been an Oracle customer since 1998, and uses the software vendor’s E-Business Suite 11i financials, human resources and manufacturing applications. Now, Select Comfort is looking to deploy Siebel Business Analytics to some 2,500 users companywide following beta testing of the software.

The initial rollout, slated to begin in the next two weeks, will deliver a Siebel-based data warehouse that can offer up sales and ordering information so that employees can see “what’s coming in the door,” said Thyken. The full implementation won’t be completed until 2008.

The Siebel application will take multichannel customer information feeds from with the company as well as partners via XML, flat file and Electronic Data Interchange formats, he said. Once the data is consolidated, it can be used to study trends involving customer activity. Moreover, the application will let nontechnical users analyze data by store or geographical region. Some 1,300 store-based users will go live this year with the software.

Currently, Select Comfort is using a Cognos-based customer data warehousing system, which will be phased out in favor of Siebel. Thyken explained that Siebel Business Analytics is more intuitive than Cognos Inc.’s software, which can be particularly complex when manipulating data.

Eventually, the company will have a complete view of customer activity, and will be able to aggregate the data with other related information, such as human resources and plant operations data. Thyken did not have information about the cost of the installation.

Although Thyken said he’s hoping for tight out-of-the-box integration of Siebel with the E-Business Suite down the road, Select Comfort will rely on Informatica Corp.’s extract, transform and load technology for data sharing between the applications.

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