A little more than a week after Siebel Systems Inc. said it would lay off nearly 500 employees, the company delivered some good news. Hewlett-Packard Co. has selected Siebel eBusiness Applications as its core CRM technology.
The initiative amounts to 16,000 to 20,000 CRM seats to be deployed in the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer maker's sales, marketing, contact center, and customer knowledge management departments, HP officials said. HP's move to consolidate the company's CRM software follows its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. last year.
"It really came to a head when HP and Compaq went through the merger process 12 months ago," said Mike Overly, vice president of customer operations for HP's global operations unit. "We identified different areas where we thought we were in a leadership position. For CRM, we felt we were further along with Siebel. We took all efforts and resources and decided to get everybody up on that technology."
Before the merger, HP and Compaq had different CRM initiatives, with Compaq using technology from Siebel and HP relying on applications from a variety of vendors, Overly said.
HP shut down its last non-Siebel CRM app in May and is now focusing on reducing the number of instances.
Overly estimated that consolidating under Siebel would save HP tens of millions of dollars. The consolidation reduces operational costs by eliminating the expense of maintaining and supporting multiple systems and saving on software licensed but not enabled, Overly said.
In fact, the technology consolidation was the easy part, he said. Adapting and implementing the strategy has proved more difficult.
"What I'm finding [challenging] in this part of our business has nothing to do with technology," Overly said. "First is to get people to behave differently and think differently. There's lots of work to be done."
HP has completed the rollout of Siebel Sales to its direct sales force and now plans to integrate its contact center representatives with the direct sales force using Siebel software.
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