Siebel Systems and IBM on Tuesday announced the availability in Australia of Siebel CRM OnDemand with 350 active trials already taking place in the Asia-Pacific region.
With this latest release, officials said, Siebel CRM OnDemand offers integration to the Siebel on-premise solution via a hosted integration server, and is being touted as the first CRM service offering embedded analytics capabilities and both stand-alone and hybrid deployments which incorporate hosted and on-premise solutions.
The solution is being delivered to customers by IBM’s e-business hosting services and is priced at $120 per user per month, with a no-charge, 30-day trial available.
Siebel Systems manager Australia and New Zealand, Rob McGregor, said the release is the version localised for the Australian market of the product which was first launched in the US since December 2003.
“The offering is being jointly created, sold and taken to the Australian market by Siebel and IBM and supports elements like our currency and address structures,” McGregor said.
Siebel's first local customer is media and information provider Sensis.
Later this year, Siebel also plans to release specific editions for companies in industries such as insurance, automotive and life sciences to address the sales, service and marketing challenges unique to their industry.
CRM OnDemand product marketing director Rich Reimer claims it is the first and only industry-specific hosted CRM solution, as well as being the first to provide built-in analytics in a CRM solution.
“This function allows managers to make more informed decisions at all levels to proactively address issues and opportunities,” Reimer said. “We’ve been in this market for 10 years and have worked with all industries, so we really understand the best practices.” Competitors were not so excited about the new offering.
Pivotal marketing director Australia and New Zealand Stephen Teh believes that Salesforce.com has shown there is a market for hosted solutions, but said organizations should be careful as these solutions can often have many limitations.
“It’s really important to have a tailored solution. Siebel has always been a big player, but when you look at hosted solutions it’s often more about sales force automation and we don’t really compete on that turf,” Teh said.
NetReturn founder and director Stuart McLean is equally unconcerned, believing Siebel tends to dwell on the enterprise solution.
“I say bring it on, more offerings means it’s great for the market and it’s great for the industry,” McLean said.