How to Get a First Class Ticket Out of Siebel

When LaGuardia Airport opened in 1939, it was beautiful and modern. For decades, LaGuardia was an economic and civic success for New York City. This history may be a surprise to anyone who has flown through LaGuardia in the last 15 years, as it has devolved into a congested, uncomfortable mess. When reading about the renovations planned for LaGuardia, it brought back memories of the companies I have been to that run Siebel CRM.

Siebel dominated the CRM world for several years. It was the first “grown up” CRM system for many growing companies. The results were greater productivity for Siebel customers and financial success for Siebel. But since Siebel’s innovation peaked, many companies have found themselves hamstrung with outdated and inflexible systems that are costly to keep running.

Wind River’s journey

Wind River, a global leader in delivering software for intelligent connected systems, was one of these companies. Wind River found that their on-premise Siebel system had not kept pace with the type of support and features other market contenders were offering. After evaluating the market, Wind River chose Salesforce for their CRM platform, and Appirio as their implementation partner.

After an implementation that rolled out in phases over the course of 6 to 12 months, the benefits of a more flexible, modern CRM began to show. In a case study by Nucleus Research’s Fernando Cruz, Wind River achieved:

  • Increased productivity for sales personnel of more than 10 percent.  

  • Reduced ongoing technology costs.  

  • Accelerated employee onboarding through faster training.

Technology that shifts salespeople’s time from data entry to actual selling is the result of a better Worker Experience. With Siebel, Wind River’ sales team spent 3 to 4 hours after meetings entering data onsite. With the Salesforce1 Mobile App they could do this anytime, anywhere.

3 principles for planning a departure from Siebel

Ripping out a CRM system that’s been in place for years can seem like a daunting task. Use the following 3 principles to shape your planning:

1. Companies don’t change their core CRM systems that often. Let a move to Salesforce be a catalyst for rethinking your entire Customer Experience program. Asking questions like, “How can we connect to our customers in new ways?” can yield surprising answers. Things like building a customer community or a loyalty app can transform your sales and service offerings.

2. Look at the pain points in your Worker Experience. Is your CRM system a burden to employees, or does it help them do their job? How long does it take to ramp up new employees? How do your employees find the information they need to be successful?

3. Keep in mind that you don’t have to boil the ocean. Some companies choose to replace their entire Siebel system, while others choose to coexist. For Wind River, it made sense to keep their Oracle EBS system and use Salesforce for their front-end CRM. Regardless of strategy, a smart early step is to evaluate the systems used in each step in the Customer and Worker Experience and weigh the costs and benefits of replacing them.

Finally, if you are going to Dreamforce, it is the perfect time and place to start thinking about upgrading your system from Siebel. Salesforce has designed a specific Siebel Track to help attendees get educated on why and how to move out of Siebel.

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