is the first of three articles about Great Plains resulting from TEC analysts
attending the Great Plains partners' meeting, Stampede 2000, in September.
The meeting provided the opportunity for in-depth research on how Siebel
and Great Plains operate. The TEC analysts were able to interview both
Great Plains managers and partners.
Systems, Incorporated, recently announced plans to allow Great Plains
VARs to sell Siebel's eBusiness Applications. Great Plains currently sells
a co-branded version of the Siebel MidMarket Edition 2000 named Great
Plains Siebel Front Office exclusively through VARs. The partnership will
allow Great Plains VARs to offer front office enterprise applications
to upper-midmarket organizations (annual revenue $250M-$500M) that require
functionality beyond what Great Plains Siebel Front Office provides.
to the success of this partnership is acceptance from the approximately
500 Great Plains VARs that currently sell Great Plains Siebel Front Office.
With no direct sales force Great Plains relies heavily on independent
resellers to learn the products, generate leads, and close deals.
During the recent Stampede event, (Great Plains' annual channel partner
conference) a Great Plains representative stated 7 out of 10 VARs felt
positively about Great Plains addition of the Great Plains Siebel Front
Office to the product line. This is a good indication that Siebel eBusiness
Applications will be well received by channel partners.
partnership adds a unique alternative in the CRM market. The bulk of vendors
offering a wide range of CRM applications generally fall into two categories:
ERP vendors that offer CRM modules and pure play CRM vendors. ERP vendors
such as Oracle and SAP have strengths in integrating CRM modules with
the back end, but lack the functionality of full enterprise CRM suites
such as those offered by Siebel, Onyx, or Broadbase. The Siebel - Great
Plains partnership provides an environment within Great Plains and the
VARs to develop tight integration with back end systems while providing
the functionality of an enterprise wide CRM suite. In 9 to 12 months time,
when integration efforts are commercially available, ERP and CRM vendors
competing in the mid- and upper-midmarket may face stiff competition from
solutions available from Great Plains VARs.
Upper-midmarket organizations using Great Plains back office applications
that have a CRM initiative should react positively to this news. Although
neither organization announced formal plans to integrate Great Plains
back office applications with Siebel eBusiness Applications, TEC estimates
with 80% probability that both Great Plains and the VARs will focus a
significant amount of research and development dollars towards linking
Great Plains back office applications with Siebel's front office applications.
organizations using Great Plains in the back office may consider taking
a wait and see stance with their CRM initiative to determine if purchasing
Siebel's eBusiness Applications through a Great Plains VAR will have more
value that purchasing CRM applications (Siebel or other) through different
channels. Include these factors when considering a wait and see stance
with your CRM initiative:
- The urgency
of the CRM initiative
- The organization's
internal IT resource availability to integrate front office applications
with existing back office applications
- The level
of integration required between the existing back office and the new
front office applications
information on Great Plains see the following articles:
Plains ASP - Evolution, Revolution, Innovation
Plains - An SME Leader, But At What Cost?