Mar 17, 2018 - Open Source Automation Tools For Siebel Software. All know Siebel used to be the talk of the town, the cock of the walk, the top dog in CRM.
. Today's small and midsized businesses (SMBs) have more CRM software options than ever before. Enterprise vendors like Siebel and SAP have moved down market, while Microsoft and other players are working hard to migrate SMBs in their customer base to CRM. But which vendor can you trust? Which CRM product is really the best for SMBs? Is Siebel's reputation as a CRM market leader enough to win over SMBs?
Or do SMBs want CRM software from a vendor that specifically caters to the small business and midmarket sector? Two SearchCRM.com editors decided to duke it out over this hot topic. Below are two columns - one expert makes the case for Oracle's Siebel CRM Professional Edition, while the other touts Microsoft Dynamics CRM for the midmarket. You be the judge. We invite you to.
Did the authors miss something? Do you have something to add? If you chose Siebel CRM software for your SMB, we want to know why. On the other hand, if you chose Microsoft CRM software, we also want to hear about it. The case for Siebel By Lauren Hoyt Why chance it with Microsoft when you can trust Siebel? There's a reason Siebel was the undisputed leader in the CRM software market for years.
Actually, there are many reasons. Siebel built its reputation on functionally rich CRM applications that are technically sound and boast a top-notch interface. It also set the standard with CRM products tailored for vertical industries. Perhaps most importantly, Siebel pays attention to what customers have to say - going so far as to survey every customer before creating some new versions.
Siebel's market leadership outranks recent competition Not long ago, - it peaked at close to 45% of the CRM market share in 2002 - with some of the biggest companies on the planet in its customer and partner base. Yet Siebel continued to roll out new functionality on a consistent basis, instead of resting on its laurels and waiting for the competition to catch up. Eventually, the competition did start to catch up, and some analysts today question Siebel's leadership status. It's no secret that saturation of the enterprise market is what led Siebel (as well as enterprise competitor SAP) down market, where they regularly face Microsoft, a company that has traditionally been focused on SMBs.
But Siebel brought its top game to the midmarket, and while Microsoft may have a hold on SMBs who are familiar with the Office suite of products, Oracle's Siebel CRM Professional Edition is now a leader in the midmarket space. Looking for proof? In a Forrester research report from February 2007 that reviewed (1,000 employees or fewer), Siebel was deemed one of the most complete applications (again, along with SAP). Siebel's products were noted for broad functionality, vast industry-specific capabilities and deep global support organizations. Furthermore, Siebel's midmarket product was the most outstanding application Forrester surveyed, earning a score of 3.96 out of 5. The product edged out competitors - including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, RightNow, NetSuite and Salesforce.com - with top scores in sales, marketing, analytics, field service, product strategy, internationalization, partner channel management, customer data management, architecture, and platform and industry business process support. Siebel can scale with your business Oracle's Siebel CRM Professional Edition provides flexibility for organizations at both ends of the SMB market.
With the Professional Edition, Siebel offers small businesses the choice of six modules from the enterprise product, so they get the functionality they need in a less complicated application. Midmarket organizations with more complex needs will benefit from the Professional Edition's deep customization potential and capable integration tools befitting an enterprise product. Forrester also notes that the Professional Edition has a similar look and feel to Siebel's enterprise on-premise product, meaning companies that outgrow the midmarket offering can easily transition to the enterprise level. This is something Microsoft has overlooked.
The Microsoft product line offers nothing for a midsized business that may outgrow the limited functionality of Office and Dynamics. While these applications may be the right choice for 500 employees, what happens once your company grows to thousands? Why limit your organization with Microsoft Dynamics when you can rely on the Siebel product line to scale with your business? Unparalleled functionality Perhaps Siebel's biggest strength is the sheer depth and breadth of its functionality.
Siebel products are continually rated at the top in sales, marketing and customer service, as well as peripheral CRM areas. Forrester is not the only analyst firm touting Siebel. Released in July 2006 named Siebel the sole vendor in the leader position. Industry-specific CRM is another area where Siebel shines.
Financial services, pharmaceuticals, telecom and high-tech manufacturing are just a few industries where Siebel's vertical solutions have a strong and established presence. Siebel's not going anywhere Some may argue that, completed in January 2006, means the beginning of the end for the Siebel product line. This couldn't be farther from the truth.
Since the acquisition, there's no sign Siebel customers should be concerned about support for their product of choice. Oracle has promised to make Siebel the basis of its CRM product moving forward, while bringing together the functionality of all its acquisitions under Fusion. Oracle's recent is one indicator they intend to keep their promise.
Sure, Microsoft has demonstrated strong performance in the CRM market since it stepped into the realm in 2004, but it has yet to prove itself as a CRM leader. Microsoft hasn't had the time in market to mature its functionality, either. If I have to choose between a newcomer on a hot streak or a stable, demonstrated veteran with no signs of slowing down, the choice is clear. Lauren joined SearchCRM.com in May 2006. As Associate Editor, her top priority is to work with the rest of the editorial team to uphold a high editorial standard for the site and all of the site products and newsletters.
She is responsible for keeping up-to-date with the market and developing new site products based on reader interest. She also works closely with the site experts who are a critical component of the site's information vault.
Lauren brings to this position knowledge of the enterprise applications market from her 15-month role as Assistant Editor for our sister site, SearchSAP.com. She also brings editorial skills from her Journalism and English degree from Lehigh University. The case for Microsoft By Christine Cignoli Microsoft's CRM a natural fit Yes, it's really as easy as it seems. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the natural choice for SMBs. Microsoft is a relative newcomer to the CRM market, but its simple implementation and ease of use is causing worry for old-school stalwart Siebel. A majority of SMBs are already using Microsoft Office - which includes the all-important Outlook email tool - and is obviously organic.
Forget the claims of other vendors that they've mastered Outlook integration - Microsoft invented Outlook. Who better to offer a CRM product that easily meshes with it?
Straightforward integration extends to other Office applications as well. Dynamics CRM lets users pull customer data into Word and Excel, utilizing proven Office functionality for many tasks. Office integration also saves time, since the CRM system and its familiar interface require less training.
New users of Siebel CRM will find a totally unfamiliar product and won't be able to depend on an intuitive interface to guide them. Simplifying CRM Microsoft CRM makes life easier for everyone who's involved: call center agents, sales reps, marketers, managers, IT administrators and ultimately customers. Microsoft CRM's out-of-the-box functionality and installation ease is unparalleled in the market.
Richard Smith, a Microsoft expert with Green Beacon Solutions, said, 'Microsoft is easier to install and manage than others, and there is not a lot an administrator has to do with it' to get it up and running. Plenty of new and improved functions enhance simplicity: Users have expanded privileges and can filter customer data by relevant category. And all CRM functions are available through Outlook, whether users are logged into the CRM system or not. Microsoft CRM synchronizes data automatically at the next login. Plenty to please sales teams Sales teams will love their newfound independence with Microsoft CRM.
Any user can without needing an IT administrator. Sales reps can also create customer Quick Campaigns on their own.
Convenient individualized Excel reports allow managers and reps to see different sets of data, so a manager can view an entire team's statistics while the salesperson sees only the necessary subset of information. A manager can pull a quick report to find key values and set up recurring reminder emails or reports. Can rely on automatic synchronization with Dynamics CRM. Mobile devices load data back into CRM and collect new information each time the rep synchronizes. The rep on the road has the most up-to-date information - without depending on a laptop.
Tools that drive a business New SQL Reporting Services now drive Microsoft CRM's reports. These powerful services now enable businesses to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and trend analysis. According to Smith, 'mere mortals' are now able to build reports,' and for advanced needs, SQL reporting allows administrators to build complex reports.
Call center agent efficiency skyrockets with Microsoft's service scheduling capabilities and reporting. Agents will also find customer data quickly and see complete customer history, demographics and preferences. Companies are also able to collect Web site data and integrate into Dynamics. Further perks for SMBs are the professional (on-premise) and small business (hosted) editions, and the 14 non-English language editions that are available. Microsoft Dynamics CRM includes pre-made sales reports and step-by-step wizards. 'You get a lot out of the box with Microsoft CRM,' said Smith.
Microsoft in it for the long haul Product and company stability and support certainly aren't concerns for Microsoft CRM customers. As recent announcements have shown. They're devoting plenty of further time and resources to Dynamics CRM (after spending years consulting with customers and developing the software), and they can provide SMBs with both stability and ongoing product development. And news mean more platform flexibility ahead and continued expansion of Microsoft's enterprise planning capabilities. Behemoth Oracle Corp., Siebel's parent company, has been on an acquisition tear.
This doesn't bode well for Siebel users, who can expect upheaval as Oracle tries to sort out its new holdings, and can't count on the new parent company to devote much energy to them. Microsoft customers can be satisfied knowing that the company has a clear focus and plan for the future, both short- and long-term. After migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 3.0 last year, Travis Haines of Next Step Systems Inc. Says, 'By far, the flexibility and customization were the best aspects of the product. The integration with other Microsoft products was an added benefit we found unique.' Haines's experience is shared by others. Microsoft CRM makes the most sense for a growing.
I'd take Microsoft's user-friendly software built on a stable, unified platform over Siebel's complicated product in flux any day. Overwhelmed Siebel users may well end up as casualties in Oracle's battle for supremacy, losing support from Oracle or being forced to migrate to Fusion, a mishmash of products that certainly isn't market-proven. Microsoft CRM businesses - and their customers - can be sure of a seamless transition into customer service run by Microsoft Dynamics. Christine joined SearchCRM.com in July 2006. As Assistant Editor, she assists with day-to-day site operations, including assembling newsletters, updating content and keeping up with readers and market trends. Before joining TechTarget, Christine gained experience in marketing, sales and editorial positions in Boulder, Colorado.
She recently earned a master's degree in publishing and writing from Emerson College in Boston. Have comments, anecdotes or personal experiences to share?
And let us know!
Before we can start installing the Siebel Application software we have a few more steps to complete. Just to recap the steps we have completed so far, we have:. Set up a 3-server instance using Amazon AWS. We have downloaded all the installation software.
We have extracted the software for the Database Server and the Siebel application. We have created the network image for Siebel CRM. The first of the activities which needs to be completed before we start the application is to create a Siebel Filesystem share.
Creation of the Siebel Filesystem Share The Siebel filesystem is a fileshare containing a set of folders which store any object which does not need to be, or is too big to be, stored in the database. For example, web templates and attachments for activities are stored in the file system. It is imperative that this share is accessible for read/write from all Siebel servers by all users. In the D: Drive of our server which we named the “Siebel Database Server”, create a folder called SiebelFS: Right Click on the folder and choose Properties.
Click on Sharing. Click on Share. As shown in the image above, type “Everyone” and click Add. Once added, change the permissions to Read/Write. Specifically on the Amazon instance, we need to turn on discovery and file sharing for all public networks. This is required since servers on Amazon frequently end up in different subnets and hence different networks.
This completes the creation of the fileshare. Installation of the IIS Webserver Amazon instances do not come preinstalled with IIS, which is required for the Siebel webserver to function. While Siebel supports most major webservers, as we’re on a Windows platform in our scenario, it just makes sense to use IIS.
The installation of IIS is pretty straightforward as described below: Log on to the server which we labelled “Siebel WebGatewayServer” in the first article and bring up the server manager. Click on Roles and choose Add Roles. Click on Next on the welcome screen. In the “Select Server Roles” screen, select “ Web Server (IIS)“. Click on Next. Click on Next on the Welcome Screen.
Choose all of the options with the exception of the FTP Server as shown in the next three images. Please keep in mind that the following options are required for Siebel ActiveX to work:. Server Side Includes. IIS 6 Management Compatibility.
Click on Next once the options are selected. Click on Install. Once done, click on Close. The server manager can be closed after this.
This completes the IIS Server installation. Installation of the Oracle Database Server and Client Log on to the Amazon Server we named “Siebel Database Server”. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to “ D: Software OracleDatabaseServer Database” and execute the setup file. In the welcome screen, choose the options which suit you and click Bext. The step can also be ignored if you choose not to receive any security alerts.
Choose “Create and Configure a database” and click on Next. Being a sandbox, this is a Single Instance Database Installation. Click on Next. While a typical install can be chosen, the Advanced Install gives more flexibility. Choose this option and click on Next. English is already chosen in the product languages screen. Unless some other language needs to be chosen, click Next.
Click Next after choosing the Enterprise Edition option. A new Windows user can be created for starting the Oracle DB server services, however, for the sake of simplicity we can just choose the Windows Built-in Account (Localsystem). Choose Yes on the warning message.
For the Installation Path, choose D: OracleDBServer. The installer will set the Software location on its own. We need an OLTP database for the Siebel application, hence we choose General Purpose/Transaction Processing and click Next. Put in the Global Database Name and the SID and click Next. For the purpose of our sandbox, we will set these both as SiebelDB. Keep the defaults for memory management. Select Character Sets and choose Unicode.
Click on Next. For the filesystem, we can keep the default or choose an alternate location. Click Next once done.
Keep the defaults and click on Next. We can keep the default for the recovery option, primarily for 2 reasons:. In the event that this instance is used as a sandbox, we can always recreate the database. In the event that we copy over the existing Development database, we can always copy it again. Click Next once done. In the schema passwords, put in the passwords for system accounts as desired. Download lagu epica.
You may get a warning about the passwords not matching the Oracle standards, this can be ignored. Click Install on the Summary Screen. Click OK to confirm the EM URL.
Click Close on the Finish screen. To check our newly-created database, open a command prompt and type TNSPING SiebelDB. Fender highway one strat.
This should give a response back. If we get a proper response, the database is ready and working. This completes the Oracle DB server installation. Database Client Installation In the, we mentioned that we do not need to download the Oracle Database Client. This is because the Oracle Client is a part of the Siebel network image. While the client, which is a part of the network image, is version 11 G, it makes sense to use this for 2 reasons:. The LDAP security adapter for the Siebel web authentication is only certified against this version.
Irrespective of which Oracle client you use, if you want to enable LDAP authentication, this specific version will need to be downloaded. Since it is Oracle bundling this with the network image, we do not need to worry about the production certification with the relevant Siebel version. To install the database client on the Amazon Server named the Siebel Database Server, navigate to: D: Software SiebelInstallImage 188.8.131.52 Windows Server SiebelEnterpriseServer Disk1 stage ORACLELDAPClient enu client Execute the setup file. Choose Administrator and Click on Next. You can choose the option which suits you, or Skip the software updates and click on Next. Choose any additional languages which are required for the installation (English will be set as default), and click on Next.
Enter D: OracleClient as the install location and click on Next. Click on Install after reviewing the summary. This will complete the Oracle Client installation. Copy the folder “D: Software SiebelInstallImage ” to all servers in the Amazon instance. The Oracle Client needs to be installed on all the servers as described above. This concludes the installation of the Ancillary software for the Siebel Application installation.
The next article in the series describes the configuration of the Oracle database server to make it ready for the Siebel installation.