Siebel to tout eBusiness 2001 platform at conference

CRM (customer relationship management) and e-business applications vendor Siebel Systems Inc., at its Worldwide User Week conference in Chicago in early October, plans to detail its upcoming Siebel eBusiness 2001 applications platform, which will feature enhanced forecasting and integration of various phases of customer interactions.

According to conference sessions data culled from the Siebel Web site, the platform will include applications for a multitude of e-business and CRM segments, including sales, call center and service, interactive selling, partner relationship management, employee relationship management, and integration solutions.

Siebel eBusiness 2001, which also has been referred to as Siebel 2001, has had an anticipated release date of late summer or early fall. Company officials declined to comment on Siebel eBusiness 2001 for this story.

According to the company's Web site, Siebel eBusiness 2001 will feature enhanced forecasting, strategic analysis, and decision-making as part of the Siebel Sales component.

An industry analyst said Siebel needs to add decision support-related capabilities to boost functionality.

"Siebel, without the ability to do analytics, is [just] an extensive repository," said Joe Butt, senior analyst at Forrester Research, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Siebel rivals such as PeopleSoft and other ERP software vendors also are sprucing up their offerings with analytics, Butt said.

The Siebel eBusiness 2001 architecture will support an object model, a new Web client, the Siebel Web Engine, personalization, authentication, access control, as well as high availability, according to Siebel's site.

Siebel with its eBusiness 2001 platform is pledging to automate the upgrading process for clients, including clients on Windows, Java, and HTML.

Additionally, Siebel will detail deployment of its eBusiness 2001 platform in a number of vertical market sectors: automotive, communications, media, energy, consumer, financial services, life sciences, and the public sector.

Database extensibility features are included in Siebel eBusiness 2001 such as the Siebel Extensions Designer. Siebel plans to satisfy multilingual requirements in Siebel eBusiness 2001 across IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle database platforms, including IBM mainframe databases. This will allow organizations to deploy one logical database and character set, according to Siebel.

Siebel's Interactive Selling Suite 2001 also is to be detailed at the show, with the package focused on providing solution advice, configuration, pricing, and order entry across all touch points for seamless customer interactions, according to the company's site. Applications in the suite will include eAdvisor, eConfigurator, ePrice, eAuction, and eSales.

ISS 2001 can be used for business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions in any industry, according to Siebel.

One session will cover Siebel Employee Relationship Management, which is intended to assist users in attracting, managing, and retaining "informed" employees. Siebel ERM will provide a collaborative workspace for targeted news, training, performance management, and internal and external information.

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