Siebel Hopes To Fly High With Update Of CRM OnDemand

“There are two main thrusts to this release. We&ve been focused on small and medium-size businesses all along, and we&re now slowly but surely getting more enterprise customers interested in this,” said Keith Raffel, group vice president of CRM OnDemand products. “Second, we are giving channel partners a chance to customize the solution with their own logo and branding.”

To address the needs of enterprises, Release 9 features integration with Lotus Notes. It also is integrating its own hosted Contact OnDemand software for the call center with its on-premise CRM solution. The new branding option lets partners stamp customers& identities on PRM solutions built on CRM OnDemand Release 9. Raffel said Siebel has grown its channel network from seven resellers and ISVs last December to 42. Those resellers—which only recently received permission to sell the hosted solution—say Siebel has shown marked improvement in its ability to work with the channel.

“We&re putting together joint marketing plans, share prospect information and pair up with Siebel field-sales members in our territory to go after the opportunities that are out there,” said Chris Heineken, vice president of sales and marketing at Bay Street Solutions, San Francisco. “I&m happy with the dedication I&ve seen from them toward the channel.”

Rich Woll agrees. Executive vice president of eVerge Group, Plano, Texas, Woll has witnessed San Mateo, Calif.-based Siebel&s channel efforts for nearly a year. “It&s a more coordinated effort now,” he said. “They brought in seasoned channel people, and in the past six months I&ve really seen the channel effort pick up in terms of the message to the marketplace and the way they work with partners.”

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Woll said he expects the new OnDemand business to account for 20 percent of his revenue this year, growing to 50 percent in the next 24 to 36 months.