This is frequently a troubling aspect of CRM implementations. Often, the only way IT departments can achieve a full view of the customer is by integrating front-end, customer facing applications with back-office systems, such as billing applications and enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites. For example, US car manufacturer General Motors is attempting to integrate Siebel applications with more than 5,000 other software systems.
The new products focus heavily on business process management concepts. They will contain an electronic reference guide that instructs customers on standard ways of configuring Siebel to support certain business functions, such as acquiring new customers. Siebel’s business process library will contain instructions for 200 potential scenarios.
For the actual exchange of data between disparate systems, Siebel has formed alliances with several application integration software companies, including IBM, SeeBeyond, Tibco, Vitria and WebMethods. Siebel also plans to adopt IBM’s Web Services Flow Language, or WSFL, as a standard way of exchanging data with other applications.