Siebel competitor offers free licences

A Scottish company is offering to replace unused Siebel desk licences for free in a bid to promote what it claims to be a superior 'toolkit' approach to CRM

Scottish customer relationship management company Graham Technology has announced an aggressive marketing campaign to target Siebel's customers and convert them to using its own GT-X 'toolkit' approach to CRM. Graham's outspoken director of sales and marketing, Mark Camilleri, is scathing of the packaged software approach to CRM, characterised by market leader Siebel. "It's like putting lipstick on the pig," he said, adding that he has Siebel's customer list and that the GT-X offer will be available globally -- though initially through Graham's offices in Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Indonesia and the US. The offer is limited to the first 100 companies that apply, and customers will be required to pay for the installation work, said Graham, "for which we'll provide a detailed quotation up front." According to Graham there are thousands of unused software licences that are yet to show any return on the investment that was made to purchase them. CRM has become "tainted" by lack of return on investment, it says. The root cause of this lack of return, said Mark Camilleri, is the spiralling costs of installing packaged software solutions: "It can cost five times as much to install a so-called packaged solution than it does a well-thought-out toolkit approach." Mark Camilleri, a former managing director of Siebel Australia, completed his attack on packaged CRM by accusing it of bloatware -- citing Gartner research that found many features and much of the functionality is never used. "There is a lack of integrity in the industry," he said. "When you see the demo it looks fantastic, but we all know there is a world of difference between the demo and what happens when you throw this over the fence and the guys have to start trying to make it work." Graham claims to be the only company in the world that guarantees to bring CRM projects in on time and within budget. "We will guarantee the ROI, or don't pay us," says Camilleri. Siebel was not immediately available to comment.

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