Siebel releases flood of BI applications

Capitalizing on the current trend within the enterprise to reduce the number of applications to support, Siebel Systems on Monday unveiled a package of business analytics solutions that can be deployed by IT as both extensions to current CRM applications or as stand-alone programs.

As stand-alone solutions, the 20 enterprise analytics applications are targeted at financial, supply-chain, and supplier analytics and workforce/employee performance management applications in addition to Siebel's more familiar turf, customer analytics for CRM.

Duane Cologne, general manager of analytic solutions at Siebel, said all of the applications will use data that can be sourced from current systems within the enterprise. For example, business adapters for Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP financials are packaged with its new BI solutions.

At the same time, the financial-analytics component could be used by marketing in a traditional CRM application to determine customer profitability.

Cologne said there are dozens of cross-enterprise solutions that could benefit from dual-purpose applications.

"For certain industries, it is important that sales management understands the product-backlog information in order to decide whether or not to source materials elsewhere," Cologne said.

According to Cologne, even the largest enterprises don't have the kind of analytics packages Siebel is offering, such as lead-to-cash and requisition-to-check. Siebel's decision to launch the new applications came about because companies were using Siebel's Analytic Platform to custom-build these types of applications in order to take data out of other systems.

"We saw the opportunity to take best practices that were out there and build applications on top," Cologne said.

Siebel also announced partnerships with Teradata and Microsoft to optimize Siebel's BI applications for Microsoft SQL Server and Teradata data warehouse.

Michael Berry, principal analyst at Data Miners, said the deal with Teradata is an indication of Siebel's target audience.

"Teradata has a lock on the high end in data warehousing, and so this is evidence of where these (Siebel) applications are meant to play," Berry said.

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