According to the press release on both companies' web sites, Navision
Software a/s, a Danish provider of enterprise business solutions for mid-sized
companies, and Siebel Systems Inc., the leading supplier of CRM software,
announced on June 21 a worldwide agreement to deliver "customer-focused
eBusiness solutions to meet the needs of mid-sized companies".
Software will market, sell and implement Siebel MidMarket Edition, which
includes Siebel Sales, Siebel Service, Siebel Call Center and Siebel .COM
applications. Under the agreement, Navision Software and Siebel Systems
will work jointly to integrate these applications with Navision Software's
products for financial management, manufacturing, distribution and e-commerce.
Siebel MidMarket Edition will be sold through Navision Software's growing
network of close to 1000 Navision Solution Centers (NSCs) worldwide.
Software is excited to provide the opportunity to further enhance both
our companies applications with a fully integrated, customer-focused eBusiness
solution," says Jesper Balser, President and CEO, Navision Software a/s.
"Our customers around the world continue to crave customer-focused systems
that integrate with their current enterprise-wide systems. With this partnership,
we are pleased to meet this need instantly."
Siebel eBusiness Applications/Navision Solution will be available to customers
and prospects through Navision Software and will be sold only as a fully
integrated Siebel eBusiness Applications/Navision Solution. The first
joint partners and customers have already been identified and implementation
of pilot installations will begin at the end of August 2000. General Availability
of the integrated Siebel eBusiness Application/Navision Solution is expected
have very high expectations for the mid-market," says Brian Sweeney, Vice
President of Global Channels at Siebel Systems. "We are seeing rapidly
growing demand from this sector, and we consider Navision Software as
a major partner in satisfying the needs of mid-market customers worldwide."
eBusiness solutions create strategic competitive advantages for mid-market
companies," said Ole Wamsler, Managing Director of Merkantildata Applications,
a major Scandinavian Navision Solution Center. "Even before the relationship
between Siebel Systems and Navision Software was finalized, Merkantildata
was marketing and developing these applications for our customers. The
timing of the Siebel Systems/Navision Software relationship is perfect.
The products from Siebel Systems and Navision Software are absolutely
the best available. It's reassuring that Navision Software will be taking
advantage of this opportunity on a global basis."
The partnership between Siebel and Navision should be mutually beneficial,
as both have exciting products and a mind share in their respective strongholds.
This alliance will expand both companies' reach in the mid-market. Siebel
will gain access to Navision's large customer base within the lower end
of the market and in geographic areas where it has not established a strong
penetration like its competitors SalesLogix and Pivotal. Navision Software
has established strong branding and penetration within the Small-to-Medium
Enterprises (SME) segment of the European and recently the U.S. ERP market,
with a well-developed partner channel within the industry.
on the other hand, is betting on the notion that one cannot go wrong in
selling Siebel's products. Siebel MidMarket Edition provides Navision
Software customers with a tool with which to create a value from all their
customer relationships through a variety of marketing channels. This agreement
marks Navision's departure from traditionally developing its entire solution
in-house. This idea of 'one-stop shop' is important to SMEs, as many of
them do not have the in-house resources necessary to cope with integrating
and managing multiple components from different vendors. Therefore, Navision
will have to make sure that it provides a seamlessly integrated Siebel
leads to the 'Catch 22' - one should never expect a flawless and quick
integration effort; Great Plains' and J.D. Edwards' painstaking efforts
to integrate Siebel products and/or to train their service & support staff
are perfect examples. One issue will also be the user interface mix of
a future product suite - the 'same look-and-feel', as well as the support
for 23 localized, country-specific Navision product versions. Another
thing to bear in mind is the fact that Navision has long depended on its
proprietary development (the Navision Server database and 4GL). While
it has recently released a MS SQL Server version of the product, it is
likely to exhibit problems related to its product immaturity.
Navision does not exhibit much of a vertical focus. Its distributors (NSCs)
offer vertical solutions on an opportunity-by-opportunity basis only,
which we consider insufficient in the light of the latest market trends.
Integration of the Siebel product will certainly emphasize the need to
resolve the above-mentioned challenges.
a somewhat different note, it will be interesting to watch how long Siebel
can continue to partner unimpeded with a wealth of respectable market
players, many of whom are direct competitors like Great Plains and Navision
Software. The plot thickens, since Solomon Software, now a division of
Great Plains, on the other hand, has a partnership with Siebel's competitor
SalesLogix. Is the applications software market turning into a kind of
a soap opera scene?
Navision customers should certainly consider the new offering, but avoid
selecting it without looking at what the other vendors have to offer.
We recommend identifying your unique needs and comparison shopping, at
least for the negotiation leverage sake.
for potential customers, we generally recommend including Navision Software
in a long list enterprise application selection for lower-end mid-market
companies (with $5M-$250M in revenue) and divisions of larger enterprises,
that have a limited IT budget and smaller community of users (less than
75), and have significant financial accounting, distribution, and discrete
centrally managed organizations that need a single-code product for all
their international business units, enterprises in service-related industries,
and companies looking for a broader functionality and a particular industry
focus from a single vendor may benefit from evaluating other products
at this stage.
for the new added functionality through partnerships, users are advised
to ask for firm assurances on the availability and future upgrades timeframes,
and more detailed scope of combined product functionality. Also, make
sure that Navision Software and/or its local NSC offers a single contract
and help desk for all disparate components of its product offerings.