Siebel Applications and Microsoft Office Integration
The last mile problem is dominant in CRM applications today - a complex enterprise system is built to enable management to get better insight into the transactions that their employees are having with customers. However employees and users want the flexibility to capture customer interactions in their choice of applications - whether that application is a desktop application or a CRM system. There is a weatlh of rich customer interaction related information in desktop applications like Microsoft Office - Email, Word, Excel. These applications serve as digital dashboards for most employees.
Siebel has started to address this dichotomoy of needs with two products available in Siebel 7.7/7.8. The first of these is Siebel Synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Server (S3E). A product demo an more information about S3E can be obtained @www.microsoft-oracle.com
Siebel Collaboration is another product shipping in Siebel 7.8. Built on Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server 2003, Siebel Collaboration extends Siebel beyond the traditional user - employees can form virtual teams to collaborate on an opportunity, marketing campaign, service request with the help of SharePoint. Presence, Discussion Threads, Instant Messaging, Document and Knowledge Management are key features of Siebel Collaboration. A demo can be on this product also on the website above..
At Siebel Customer World in Boston last week, Bruce Cleveland, SVP of Siebel Products said that Office Integration will become even more important in the next generation of Siebel Applications - Siebel Component Assembly. "Over time, all of our solutions sets will be offered on all platforms," Cleveland said. In describing the company's user-interface plans, he commented, "We're going to integrate the user interface so tightly with Microsoft Office that Microsoft Office can actually serve as the primary interface for any user".