Monday, January 19, 2009

I hate SIEBEL ?!

An interesting development going on that relates in two ways to the CRM 2.0 topic – Firstly it is about a CRM Software Vendor and secondly it happens in the Web 2.0


Recently I noticed a new group on Facebook called “I hate SIEBEL” which turns out to be a gathering of people that are frustrated with the Siebel CRM Platform. My understanding is that the group was created as a platform to shout out the frustration at Telstra when they moved to the new CRM Front-(and Back-)End but has now evolved to a group of 1,556 (Jan 19th, 4:40pm) members posting 320 comments on the wall and seriously affecting the brand image of Siebel Systems and Oracle.

As I was involved in the efforts at Telstra to re-vamp their complete IT, I have a rough understanding how things work there – or supposed to work I must say. And although I was competing against Siebel and Oracle in my previous job at Amdocs and do not know what exactly is causing the trouble at Telstra, I doubt that Siebel and the CRM Frontend is the only root-cause for this.

Interesting enough how thing have evolved, though. Siebel gets hammered (being the visible part to the agents) for all the issues with Telstras NextGen BSS/OSS System. This seems to be a very good example of the dynamics in the Web 2.0 and the possible harm that users can do to a brand. It shows the importance of a CRM 2.0 strategy and the (currently) missing awareness in some companies.


  1. Hi Guido - funny - I tweeted on this a few days back: . Although an ISV has some degree of responsibility in ensuring customer project success, a large part of the issue is the program management around these large scale business transformation projects. Typically, it isn't a clear cut ISV issue. It's a combination of customer scope discipline, Systems Integrator tight program management and understanding of scope realization and product limitations, and ISV support to make sure that the solution being implemented keeps the customer on the roadmap, and within the confines of what the application is capable of doing (especially when a large amount of customization is being sought by the implementation team).

    In Telstra's case, Siebel should have made sure that the SI was implementing a realistic solution. Why this did not happen is between the SI and the ISV.

  2. This is very true... many reasons why this project is going wrong but Siebel is really suffering from the publicity now.
    So I guess Oracle did a bad job ensuring success and I am pretty sure problems like this (I don't want to call it a failure - yet) happened before but did not create such waves. With the Web 2.0, a single project (and customer) like Telstra can create a huge amount of public awareness.

    A proper CRM 2.0 strategy can influence if this awareness is positive or negative...

    Wouldn't it have been a simple task to (frequently) speak with the users, i.e. agents, and involve them in the development of the new system? Would users that are involved and have an understanding of the difficulties that such a transformation brings, be this much frustrated and make their frustration public in a Facebook group? ...maybe not...

    Couple of years ago, Siebel would just have ignored the bad feedback and avoided talking about this to prospects... these days are gone :)

  3. As a new Siebel user, I absolutely hate it as well. The user interface is one of the worst I've ever come across.

    It's clunky, and completely unintuitive. Only a certain type of thinker can warm to it. I think it's disgraceful.

    It takes me two to three times as long to log a customer issue. Disgracefully bad. I can't believe they still exist.

  4. Siebel is slow, clunky, next to useless system. It should be called IMPOS-Siebel.

    Trust Telstra to find the most broken system to implement, then force everyone to use it and then outsource the system suport to offshore $4 an hour phone monkeys who can't think out of the scope of their A4 laminated script.

    Telstra - always making it harder and more expensive for the customer.

  5. i have a question for those of you who understand Siebel Loyalty module. My company is installing Siebel Loyalty soon. We already are using Siebel Marketing and Events module. Do you know if siebel loyalty CM data is compatible with Siebel Marketing module data. It looks to me that the loyalty module generates and stores CM data as a series of promotions but the Marketing module stores CM data as marketing programs, campaigns and events with promotions set-up within each topic. I would like to be able to combine campaign results from both modules in OBIEE dashboards. Does anyone know if this is possible or has insight?

    Much appreciated,
    frustrated Siebel user

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  7. No system experiences more downtime than Siebel. I get more rare, obscure flakey bugs on that system than any other I have ever used. When you have no say in what system you use, it flames the anger even higher.