14 May 2002 Siebel 7 for customer service has been received well by analysts at Forrester Research who have just published a review of the product. However, they highlight some concerns about the ease of upgrade and the proprietary nature of the product.
According to analysts Eric Schmitt, Ted Schadler and Joseph Volpe, Siebel has retained and improved upon the capabilities in which it is traditionally strong. These include its range of integration adapters, call auditing and workforce management software and its email processing engine.
Siebel 7 components can be formatted as enterprise java beans, to run in the popular open standard Java Two Enterprise Edition (J2EE) environment. However, the analysts point out that the core application still must be run from a proprietary application server and can not yet be run on standard J2EE servers.
The analysts also warn that upgrading to the new product may be difficult. Siebel 7 for customer services puts workflow and telephony integration code on the server instead of on the client software as in previous iterations. This change “could mean significant work for buyers upgrading from older versions of Siebel, particularly if the product has been heavily customised.” warns Forrester.
Overall, Forrester has praised the product as being best in its class. However, the analysts also mention that a significant number of corporate IT buyers have told them that they may forego the best-of-breed features in Siebel 7 in favour of deep enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration provided by similar customer relationship management (CRM) packages from vendors such as PeopleSoft and SAP.