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Siebel reaches 9 with hosted upgrade

Lotus Notes integration, CTI, IVR and connections between hosted and on-premise call center systems highlight the latest version of Siebel OnDemand.

Siebel Systems Inc. continues to plow forward with development of its hosted application.

Today the San Mateo, Calif.-based company is launching OnDemand 9, adding integrations with Lotus Notes and enhanced integration with its Contact OnDemand call center application.

"When hosted CRM started out, it was an SMB [small and midsized business] play," said Keith Raffel, group vice president for OnDemand and the SMB business. "Now enterprises are picking this up and we're answering what they want. Lotus Notes is clearly important to larger companies."

With pre-built Lotus Notes integration and existing integration with Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, Siebel now supports roughly 95% of the world's messaging and calendaring applications, Raffel said.

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Additionally, Siebel is offering a computer telephony integration (CTI) connector that brings Contact OnDemand together with on-premise Siebel 7 systems. For example, existing Siebel customers can quickly make use of a virtual call center for seasonal upticks in business, new products or remote locations launches, Raffel said.

A new interactive voice response (IVR) integration built on service-oriented architecture facilitates connections with back-end systems. For example, airline customers could enter their frequent flyer account into the phone, which would then contact a back-end system like SAP and determine if they're a high-value customer, and direct them immediately to a live agent.

Finally, new analytics capabilities bring insight into agent performance and customer views.

The enhancements are live today.

Siebel also revealed today that it has recruited 56 channel and 35 technology alliance partners worldwide to serve the SMB market.

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