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New Siebel chief commits to customers

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With the market still unsure as to the reasons behind last week's resignation of Siebel CEO Mike Lawrie, newly appointed CEO George Shaheen reaffirmed the company's commitment to its clients.

He gave the assurances and outlined Siebel's strategy with relation to customers' front-office operations at the company's User Week event, being held in Barcelona this week.

Shaheen's keynote was aimed at setting customers' minds at ease following Lawrie's resignation after only being with the company for around a year.

Three days into his new role, Shaheen said Siebel's mission today is to be its customers' most valued partner in achieving outstanding customer-driven results, a statement that ties in with the company's remixed tagline, "It's all about the customer".

Qualifying Siebel's new mission, Shaheen said research had shown that CEOs are now more focused on growing their businesses as opposed to 'stripping out' and reducing costs like in the past few years.

"While there is still a focus on the back-office, the major focus today is squarely on the front-office, since this is where the revenue centres are. For this reason, it's clear that the only way organisations can grow is to therefore focus squarely on the customer. And in our case, that means focusing on our customers and assisting them in focusing on their customers," he said.

"But becoming a customer-driven business is difficult and in reality there's a wide range of variables that if ignored, can impact a company's ability to make this transition. If these variables are managed correctly, however, customers can build extraordinary opportunities and growth," he said.

Shaheen then handed over to Eileen Mc Partland, senior VP of global services at Siebel, who spoke about what Siebel has brought to market in order to assist its customers in this process, namely a set of best practices, dubbed the "Customer Experience Blueprint".

Mc Partland explained that while the blueprint is new, the concepts within it are not. "It's the culmination of 11 years' worth of implementation experience, involving the participation of Siebel, the customer and partners."

Mc Partland said the blueprint consists of six domains (dubbed 'Understand'; 'Envision'; 'Define'; 'Build and Deliver'; 'Confirm' and 'Operate and Optimise') and takes into account the people, processes, technology and government aspects involved in each domain.

Essentially, it is a fact-finding, planning, development and measurement tool that is populated with information from the customer, Siebel and the related partner, feeding into the building and implementation of the solution.

Shaheen and Mc Partland said the customer experience blueprint will form the starting point for all customer relationship management (CRM) engagements in the months to come, since it will give the company the ability to not only deliver on its customers' needs, but manage and monitor related risks.

Siebel also used the first day of its event to announce the release of Siebel 7.8, the newest version of its CRM solution. The company also said it recently reached the 3 million live user mark, placing it in the lead in terms of worldwide CRM market share.

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