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Is it Time Yet for Moving Away from Siebel

What should be the roadmap to enable my CRM on the cloud? This is an oft posed question by most of the clients with a Siebel on premise implementation. Every business wants to put across a cloud roadmap since that is the future. But is it really time to do away with Siebel? What happens to the time, money and effort that has gone into making the Siebel CRM a robust and feature rich solution as required by the business? Is it easy to lift and shift all of that to the cloud? Can't we better leverage our investments in Siebel instead?


Let us look at how an Open UI based implementation can transform the traditional Siebel user experience to a sustainable model which can continue earning revenue for business.


Traditional Siebel Implementation

Siebel is a rich and comprehensive CRM which can serve as a one stop solution for multiple business problems. It has provision for having 360 degree customer view as well as strong solutions in GTM, T2R and L2C area.  Siebel has out of the box campaign management solutions for go to market strategy, service request, complaints and activity management for trouble to resolve and a very strong order management journey supporting complex product and pricing model for order to cash. Siebel also provides and supports integration with multiple components of billing, provisioning etc to have the end to end solution for a business use case achieved in a single application.

Now Siebel did have some limitation in the earlier version of being, not so intuitive and restricted to internet explorer as a browser.

Such limitations were not viable for mid-size business where they looked for more nimble footed product where the cloud products score. They are light weight applications with lesser maintenance, quick roll out capability and offers specific services as per need.


For clients with large Siebel implementation, any sort of cloud migration is easier said than done. Instead, they can look at the latest Siebel Open UI roll outs and the roadmap proposed and see if they are being used correctly and effectively by the business.

Most of the clients with Siebel on premise implementation has either migrated to Siebel Open UI or has plans to do so, not just because of the features and roadmap of Oracle but more so because of the roadblock posed with high interactivity client in terms of future support. Once the upgrade to Open UI happens, it definitely offers some of the out of the box capability seamlessly. Browser and device independence, responsive web design, look and feel and theme that has changed definitely add value to the client. But if we really need to utilize Siebel Open UI and build solution to add revenue to business, what comes OOTB is only a small percentage of what it can actually offer.

By adding a new user interface layer in Open UI architecture, Oracle has opened up a plethora of opportunities with which one can redesign or remodel the business use case and save millions with the new approach. Aided with css, html, jquery and javascript technology, Oracle has opened up the web world for Siebel users. Not only can we build innovative solutions with this new layer but also utilize the number of widgets and code base available as open source in the web world.




Implementation using Siebel Open UI

Traditional approach of understanding business requirement and implementing the solution in Siebel will not produce the required results when we use the same approach for Siebel Open UI based solution. A renewed approach need to be used for implementing solutions based on Siebel Open UI.

Understanding Key Business Use Case

                Understanding the pain points experienced by the user is very critical in designing an Open UI based solution. It's very easy to get carried away to beautify and remodel the entire application rather than looking at specific use cases. Some of the questions which can be raised to check the relevance of the use case is as below.

·         Is this used by majority of the users?

·         Is there a good revenue flow using this use case?

·         Is the average handling time high?

·         Is the customer NPS low?

If the answer to all these are 'Yes' then the use case is definitely one worth redesigning based on Open UI.

Gather Information

Once the use case is identified, the next step would be to gather as much information of the use case as possible. Here I'm not talking about the traditional requirement gathering part. But rather understand from the actual users on how the application is being used.

·         Where are users taking most time while talking to customer?

·         Are users having all the right information presented intuitively?

·         Is the user confused on where and what information to capture?

·         Are there a lot of unwanted clicks involved?

Once these information is gathered we can proceed to evaluating options to re-implement using Siebel Open UI.

Evaluate possibilities

With the information gathered and with the knowledge of what Open UI can deliver, relook and evaluate various implementation possibilities.

Wireframe, compare and evaluate the various possibilities by listing down pros and cons. Check if there are additional information, validations or integration touch points to be introduced to enhance the use case. Use Siebel Open UI based approach to design a user intuitive use case which brings and captures relevant information at the right time to the user so as to reduce the agent handling time and improve customer experience.



Build Solution

Open UI can do away with the traditional screens and views and bring in a total web based flavor of the use case. Some of the aspects which can be looked at while building the solution are as below.

·         Build an uncluttered UI which presents relevant information at the right time.

·         Highlight important information as required.

·         Show progress bar which displays the various stages of use case being built.

·         Categorize the use case into stages and put each stage in collapsible accordions which opens or displays information progressively as relevant.

·         Keep user informed with progress bar showing appropriate information when background processing is underway.

·         Use intuitive UI elements which makes capturing information easier. For eg. Text area which shows remaining characters left or revenue that can be captured by dragging a slider rather than typing in information or using a type ahead capability.

·         Build a validation framework which minimizes clicks and deals with correct information capture.

·         Keep users informed on what information is to be captured for each field or stage using various methods like iHelp or text on hover.

These are just few thoughts on how each use case can be relooked at. As I mentioned before Open UI has unlocked the door of a secret garden wherein innumerous widgets and code base is available in the internet for user consumption.



So essentially by re-implementing some of the use cases in Siebel using Open UI we can continue improving business much more than it was possible using the traditional Siebel. Moreover the road map of Siebel Open UI presents very interesting features ahead. Some of the interesting features to look forward to are

·         Siebel Composer which is leading to a non srf based implementation with zero down time for deployment.

·         Rest API based integration which allows Siebel services to be exposed and consumed very easily.

·         Usage Pattern Tracking -- captures end-users patterns of usage of applets and functions.

·         Genesys Chat Integration -- introduces an end-to-end chat solution made available with Gplus adapter integration with Genesys

In addition to that there are easy integration options available with most of the cloud products, in case certain use case needs to be implemented in Cloud to leverage cloud specific features.

So is there a burning need to do cloud migration for clients with large Siebel implementation? Well the article can speak for itself.



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