Siebel to host industry-specific CRM

Plunging deeper into the hosted applications market, Siebel Systems Inc. is launching a set of vertically focused customer relationship management offerings to be delivered via subscription — a move designed to help companies avoid the aggravation of installation and management.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company Monday announced the Siebel CRM OnDemand-Industry Editions package, which will offer out-of-the-box marketing, sales and service capabilities for eight industries. Siebel recently made a foray into the hosted market, following in the footsteps of rivals such as Inc., which is based in San Francisco.

“With this announcement, organizations of all sizes can now rapidly solve industry-specific business problems in a cost-effective manner,” Mike Betzer, general manager of Siebel’s OnDemand division, said in a statement.

The first products, slated to be released this summer, will cater to the insurance, high-tech, automotive, and communications and media industries. This fall, Siebel will offer packages geared to the financial services, life sciences, manufacturing and consumer goods markets.

To do this, Siebel will port over vertical technology it has developed for its in-house CRM applications, which have been enhanced to service 23 different industries. The hosted applications can be run in stand-alone mode or integrated with on-site Siebel CRM software.

That will allow channel partners and field sales or service organizations to tie into existing Siebel software installations to support, for instance, processes such as policy quoting and renewal management for the insurance industry.

Analyst Sheryl Kingstone at The Yankee Group consultancy in Boston said the hosted offerings have been tweaked on all levels, from user interfaces to templates to custom fields and tabs, to service each industry. In addition, Siebel will deliver industry-specific data models and objects that aid in business performance analysis.

As an example of the new offering, the hosted Siebel automotive package will allow users to more efficiently keep and manage car owner data. Manufacturers will be able to implement it in independent dealerships to share marketing campaign, sales and other customer information, the company said.

Siebel also said the Insurance Edition will do things such as allow independent brokers to access a common CRM system and boost service efficiency.

Siebel CRM OnDemand-Industry Edition costs US$100 per user per month.

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