Siebel, IBM Take CRM On Demand

Clint Boulton

Updated · Oct 02, 2003

In a sign that on-demand computing is starting to vault from theory into the applications realm, IBM said it has teamed with Siebel Systems
on a new hosted customer relationship management (CRM) software service that customers can deploy at the click of a button.

IBM and Siebel will sell the Siebel CRM OnDemand service for $70 per month to small-and
medium-sized business customers who require a CRM service without a
middleman. The Armonk, N.Y.-based systems vendor and San Mateo, Calif.-based
applications concern will develop, market, sell and deliver the offering

Financial terms of this deal were not disclosed by the long-time partners,
who together serve more than 1,000 customers.

CRM is the process of managing customer care to increase sales.
Siebel CRM OnDemand makes it possible for businesses to tap a CRM
application via the Web to help businesses craft a small CRM project that may be
expanded as a business grows.

Siebel CRM OnDemand can be used to help companies get more sales leads and
follow them up, as well as to improve sales forecasting and shorten sales
The service features the amenities of a CRM application, including built-in
analytics. With this feature, sales and marketing workers can quickly take
action on closing sales.

Elaine Lennox, director of marketing for IBM Global Small and Medium Businesses, said the offering is unique in that it is available in increments as small as one individual user to hundreds of users in the SMB space.

“This gets us into the business applications space,” Lennox told “But it also gives small and medium businesses who couldn’t afford to expand their CRM offering to expand it cost-effectively.”

Lennox said the news is also a reminder to the public of IBM’s place in the SMB market, which she said accounts for 20 percent of the company’s revenues. It also shows IBM’s interest in bringing ISVs into IBM’s broad on-demand embrace.

The partnership between the two vendors is deep to the extent that Siebel
and IBM have entered a multiyear deal that is chaired by a board of
directors. This board includes: Mike Lawrie, IBM Senior Vice President and
Group Executive, IBM Global Sales and Distribution; Thomas M. Siebel, CEO of
Siebel Systems; David Schmaier, Executive Vice President, Siebel Systems;
and Doug Elix, Senior Vice President and Group Executive of IBM Global

Considered together, the deal is just the latest fruit of a partnership in
which a leading applications provider and leading infrastructure provider
team to reach more customers, as neither makes what the other specializes
in. IBM and Siebel have been offering out-of-the-box integration between
IBM’s DB2 UDB database and Siebel applications since 1999.

For IBM, the deal will bolster its on-demand endeavors, taking them out of
the realm of offering such utilities via its servers and infrastructure
software to reach applications customers. For Siebel, the service will help
its push to reach more customers in a competitive environment thrust into
uncertainty in the wake of the Oracle/PeopleSoft hostile takeover brouhaha.

Siebel CRM OnDemand will be sold by IBM’s sales force dedicated to the small
and medium-sized market and by Siebel’s global field sales organization. The
companies plan to launch a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign to reach
their customers.

IBM and Siebel will offer a 30-day free trial of Siebel CRM OnDemand,
available this calendar quarter.

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton

Clint Boulton, a senior writer at CIO, covers IT leadership, digital transformation, and the CIO role. He was a content marketer for Dell APEX. Inspire IT leaders with tales about the advantages of multi-cloud infrastructures. Dunning-Kruger bias is something that keeps IT leaders sceptical, but curious nonetheless.

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