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Should we upgrade Siebel, phase it out or migrate to SAP?

It makes sense to use a CRM package that's compatible with the back-end ERP package, says SAP CRM expert Srini Katta. But there are some factors to consider. Read more in this expert tip.

I'm the IT director at a manufacturing company where we use Siebel for CRM and SAP for the rest of our ERP needs. Following Oracle's acquisition of Siebel, I'm a little confused about what we should do about our Siebel system. Should we upgrade it, phase it out, migrate to SAP or pick a third-party product to migrate to? What's your advice?
Good question. There are many reasons why it makes sense to use a CRM package that's compatible with the back-end ERP package. Here are some important benefits:

1) Tight and seamless integration between front-end CRM and back-end ERP systems in the areas of sales, service, logistics, financial, controlling and HR applications.
2) Standard out-of-box data synchronization between CRM and ERP systems.
3) Complete business intelligence (BI) including analysis of data from both CRM and ERP systems.
4) Single sign-on access to all connected systems -- CRM, ERP and BI.

The following key comparison factors should be considered:

1) Do a cost-benefit analysis of upgrading the current Siebel environment vs. installing and upgrading SAP CRM.
2) Consider the ongoing maintenance cost of integrating Siebel applications with the SAP ERP system.
3) Consider the potentional cost savings with implementing SAP CRM, as integration is out-of-box.

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