Siebel Shows Off New CEO, New Products At User Conference

Less than a week after the company suddenly replaced CEO Mike Lawrie with longtime board member George Shaheen, the customer-relationship-management vendor has been using its European user conference in Barcelona, Spain, this week as an opportunity to demonstrate it can conduct business as usual under trying circumstances.

Siebel opened the conference, which featured a keynote by Shaheen, by unveiling Siebel 7.8, the latest update to its CRM platform. The release, which features bulked-up order-management and embedded analytics capabilities, promises to give sales and service staffs a single view of customer assets and past transactions, and to provide that information to employees as they're interacting with customers. Among the companies that already have selected or are deploying Siebel 7.8 are British Telecom, EDS, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, and West Marine.

Siebel also said its customer base had passed the 3 million-user mark, a threshold it says exceeds all other CRM vendors combined.

Elsewhere on the product front, Siebel said its public-sector CRM app had been selected by IBM as a key component of the latter's integrated case-management offering, which the two companies will sell jointly to government organizations worldwide. The agreement expands the strategic alliance between the two companies, which includes IBM's role in hosting Siebel's on-demand CRM service. Both companies consider the public sector one of their most important vertical markets.

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Siebel also introduced self-service and E-billing applications for the credit-card and telecommunications markets. The offerings join a lineup of self-service and E-billing apps for industries such as financial services, government, health care, and manufacturing, and is based in part on technology acquired when Siebel bought self-service and E-billing company Edocs last year.