Siebel was a great product. At least it was when I worked there 10 years ago. But it hasn’t really kept up with the times. What began as an innovative solution to firms’ customer management problems has become outdated. New technology, interaction channels and complex regulatory requirements have changed the way that financial institutions need to operate. What firms need today is modern and flexible technology to keep up with market changes, and CRM specialized for financial services as @kateleggett of Forrester and I discussed in an American Banker webinar last year.
Firms with Siebel deployments are stuck between a rock and hard place. They likely have large investments in a Siebel deployment which are deeply integrated with the back office and critical to their operations. The typical approach is to rip out the old system and put in a new one. But rip and replace can be very disruptive, as all of the data and business processes need to be migrated to the new system in one big bang, which risks customer service disruptions, user dissatisfaction, delays and budget overruns.
There is, however, another option. One that is both safe and affordable: treating Siebel as just another integration point in an integrated CRM deployment. Integrating a Siebel deployment like any another back office system enables firms to migrate data and processes over time in an evolutionary approach.
The evolutionary approach allows for a new, modern, financial services CRM to be delivered to wealth managers and bankers but preserves existing investment in data, integrations and processes. Firms can concentrate on training and user adoption by converting and updating key processes and integrations while leaving important but less strategic ones in place. Overtime, all of the integrations can be updated, replaced, or deprecated.
Obviously, this requires a platform that allows companies to integrate with multiple disparate systems and leave data where it lies. Not only does this help with replacing legacy systems but is useful for integrating customer data with transactional, account, and holdings information. In our experience, large financial services firms benefit most from a platform based on model driven engineering principles that abstract the business model from the physical storage of the information. The UI and processes can use the business model without worrying about where the data lies or even if it is scattered across multiple systems.
The end solution will be an integrated desktop that leverages all of the firm’s information about the customer to expose a comprehensive view of each customer and powerful functionality specific to financial services such as:
- Complex relationship hierarchies for modelling corporate hierarchies and extended households
- Customer loyalty programs to manage pro-active touches increasing customer loyalty
- Deal management that encourages cross-region and cross-line of business collaboration to increase share of wallet
The NexJ team has more than 25 years of experience designing and deploying vertical CRM on a model driven engineering platform. Have you been considering a Siebel migration? We’d love to hear about your challenges and solutions. Leave your comments in the section below or send me an email.