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Mike:

In your first post, I understood you to say that you felt SAP's product was as fully functional as Siebel's. Now I understand you to say that SAP is who says their functionality is up to Siebel's. Could you please clarify (no pun intended :) that?


I have not installed Siebel, but have been to a few demo's. I have also been involved in a functionality comparison exercise for 2 potential clients. I am not 100% sure that all the functionality that exists in Siebel exists in SAP's CRM. However, the basic functionality that was requested by the two potential clients that were must-haves were existant in both. Basically, they went through a functionality checklist that they would like to see in a CRM package and SAP provided all that Siebel did. Now, a Siebel spokesman would probably be able to say 'yeah, but we can do X which SAP cannot'. However, I have often found that alot of customers reply to this is 'So what, I don't need X' or 'X is a nice to have be we can get by without it' in exchange for the integration benefit.

Now, from an SAP point of view, I believe their claims about comparable functionality is similar. They made a point of saying things like 'We can create a mass mailing list in Mobile Sales based on customer hierarchy, or destination or product line in a similar manner to other products like Siebel.' However, the next point to this is the integration factor 'Unlike other packages, however, our customer hierarchy is set up in R3 and is passed into the CRM without any additional setup such as interfaces because our product is integrated with your existing R3 installation.'

You also wrote Have you personally seen all of Siebel's CRM suite to get an opinion about its functionality vs the competition? If SAP's product is now as robust as Siebel's product, this is the first time I've seen that opinion.

Again, I am not an Siebel expert, but the biggest advantage I can see right now is ease of use. Siebel's offering is MUCH easier to use than SAP's. There might be some better developed reporting capabilities in their application. There might be some industry specific functionality that is better. Overall the functionality is EASIER to use. However, the core functionality seems to be similar. SAP will definetely need to improve the product to overtake Siebel. But, I predict that existing and future R3 clients will buy the CRM and the Supply Chain Management software from SAP because of the integration. I believe that for many companies, Siebel's and I2's offerings will have to be head and shoulders above SAP before they select it because of the integration. I don't believe that either I2's or Siebel's offering is that.

If you want an example, take a look at Hewlett Packard's Business Store website. It uses SAP's internet sales offering and the configurable product and pricing engine (all sub components of their total CRM offering). The functionality there matches any site I have seen on the web (sub-components dependencies, characteristics etc...). Does it meet all the functionality of any other package, I am not sure but I does what it is supposed to do. Plus it is seemlessly integrated into their R3 installation. (I had nothing to do with this install - read into that what you want!!! :) )

I guess this is the interesting part of the Gorilla Game, when two (or more) Gorilla's face off!!!!

Thanks,

Darren


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