Industry Update

By Geoffrey James

Significant Announcements for the Month of December

Commence Corporation announced a release date for Version 3.0 of the company’s CRM application suite. Version 3.0 of the product offers increased scalability, enhancements for reporting and data analysis, and the ability to tailor applications to better meet unique business requirements. Functional enhancements include integration with Excel for improved graphical data representation and trend analysis, and a sales history management view that shows orders related to an account and orders by time period.

Netsuite announced NetSuite Advanced Forecasting designed to provide multiple methods of forecasting in a single view to deliver visibility into sales outcomes. The new features extend NetSuite’s forecasting functionality by allowing businesses to triangulate their forecast using multiple metrics. NetSuite also added a number of dashboard features. Comment: Forecasting technology is hot and getting hotter. There’s a wealth of scientific research that’s just beginning to filter down to commercial software.

PeopleSoft announced a definitive merger agreement under which a subsidiary of Oracle Corporation will acquire all PeopleSoft shares. Yes, it’s finally over. As had been predicted for months, PeopleSoft caved and Oracle bought the company. They will now stop suing each other and hopefully get back to making improvements to their CRM software capabilities. Note to PeopleSoft CRM customers: Be sure to have a migration plan!

Siebel Systems announced a three-pronged strategy focused on SMBs, but neglected in its press release to provide details that would mean anything to anybody. Instead, for some unknown reason the company decided to characterize the strategy with a series of buzzwords: “Through a combination of a customer-centric go-to-market model, value-added partner ecosystem and proven CRM offerings, Siebel Systems’ SMB strategy addresses the specific sales, marketing and service needs of SMBs.” One suspects Siebel has something new to offer, but so far they haven’t told us what it is.

ISM announced its benchmark Top 15 CRM Software Awards. Winning companies in the enterprise segment are Amdocs, E.piphany, Onyx, Optima Technologies, PeopleSoft, Pivotal, S1 Corporation, SalesPage Technologies, SAP, Saratoga Systems, Siebel Systems, Software Innovation and Staffware. Winning companies in the SMB segment are ACCPAC, Ardexus, Axonom, Best Software, Firstwave Technologies, FrontRange Solutions, iETSolutions, Interchange Solutions, Maximizer Software, NetSuite,, Siebel Systems, StayinFront and update Software