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Siebel targets custom CRM market

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Siebel is planning a thrust into the untapped $20 billion custom-built customer relationship management (CRM) market.

At his keynote discussion on day two of Siebel's User Week conference in Barcelona yesterday, Siebel executive VP David Schmaier announced the company's intention to move into the custom-built CRM market, providing solutions that take the proverbial 'middle-road' between packaged solutions and custom-built solutions.

Siebel is the market leader in the packaged CRM space, but this market only represents $3 billion of a total $23 billion CRM industry, with the other $20 billion attributed to custom-built CRM solutions initiated by customers.

Schmaier would not elaborate on the price point the offering will come in at, the time frame for release, or the solution's brand name. For now, the concept has been called the Siebel Component Assembly.

Schmaier said it will offer similar functionality to that available in the packaged version of the company's CRM offering, but will be presented in a 'componentised' format so that customers will have the ability to mix and match their required functionality as they see fit.

The main difference for customers will be the elimination of the need to custom-build components and functionality from the ground up. The idea is that this new approach will allow customers the flexibility required to custom-develop their own solutions, yet make use of pre-built components, to gain access to faster deployment times.

Schmaier also said component assembly would be both .Net and J2EE compatible, easing any integration pains.

He concluded his keynote with a commitment to customers, saying Siebel's on-demand offerings will be expanded with all of its traditional solutions.

This, he said, will once again bring a best of both worlds approach to CRM, allowing customers to go either in- or outsourced in terms of their CRM functionality, or mix and match between in- and outsourced, depending on where it makes sense to run a packaged or hosted solution.

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