Friday Oct 02, 2009

September 2009 - Siebel CRM Productivity Tools

As staff come back from summer holidays the news from the EU, US, and Asian economies is that we are emerging from the recession with projections of small growth. At this time many Senior Managers are looking at how they can take advantage of the growth and work their way back to prosperity. While some companies are still cutting costs and laying off people others are looking ahead and restructuring to take advantage of the resources that made their companies grow during the good times. Should the rebound of the economy accelerate companies will either need to be more productive with the staff surviving or hire new employees and continue the viscous cycle of feast then famine.[Read More]

Friday Sep 04, 2009

August 2009 - Social Networking

As an American living in Europe I am still not used to taking advantage of all the holiday time allotted to me each year. After appeals from my manager and a grueling 4th quarter, I decided to take three weeks of vacation in August. We have pets which combined with family commitments condemned us to stay home and work around the house during the holiday. This turned out to be very dangerous. In order to understand the danger, you need to know that I have been going online for business and social communications since 1971. My first experience aside from the rotary dial telephone was communicating via a Remote Job Entry (RJE) terminal to a central mainframe doing the administrative tasks for the city high schools of New York. As none of the school's administrative staff understood the RJE station, the Computer Science students did most of the terminal work. When not running attendance or scheduling jobs we would send messages to the other students running the other jobs in the other high schools. I now wonder if the Analyst in charge of the IT system counted on the students to aid the adults in the deployment of the system. Getting back on track, over my holiday I wound up using my free time by going online and addicting myself to one of the Social Networking sites. [Read More]

Monday Aug 03, 2009

July 2009 - My 100th Birthday - July 2055

Several weeks ago I attended the delivery of an Integrating Siebel Applications 8.0 training in Amsterdam. One of the topics in the class started me thinking about present day problems and what the future may hold in store for us, so this month I thought I would try my hand at a science fiction short story. By the way, the topic that got me thinking was that of "Federated Data". Since the 1970's I have been reading and dealing with the problem of "Island's of Automation", which I define as the construction of dependent automation processes relying on the replication of common data, spread over disparate data structures. Federated Data storage techniques and technologies may finally offer a solution and change the way we design and develop lower cost and more accurate business solutions. The year is 2055, and much to my amazement not only has medical technology extended my life so that I can celebrate my 100'th Birthday, technology and sensible diet ( I did say this was a work of fiction) ensures that I am mobile without pain, clear of mind, and contributing to the world around me. Still living in the Netherlands I have finally learned the Dutch language and happily celebrate the 15'th anniversary of the World Wide Federated Information project. [Read More]

Monday Jun 22, 2009

May 2009 - Internal Selling Techniques

Over the last few months I have presented my idea of using the Oracle Siebel CRM product as a Project Management and Requirements Gathering Tool, to several Oracle Partners and Customers with the following feedback: · A lower cost, read only version of Siebel Tools for Business Analysts would be welcome · A Data Mart tied to the Siebel Repository used for Application Object Management Dependency Analysis would be welcome and save time on current projects · A Requirements Gathering and Tracking Tool will meet strong resistance until a Business Process Diagramming capability is available and it will continue to meet resistance until there is a single application framework in use. The Prototype for the above products done in my spare time has been well received and a good use of my energy. The Prototype has also opened the door to Oracle's Siebel Product Development team who are now contemplating the release of the Client based Repository and Data Mart Views. [Read More]

Tuesday May 12, 2009

April 2009 - Siebel 8.0 vs Siebel 8.1 Training

Spring is upon us and last week I enjoyed taking my class on a walk through Amsterdam on our way out to dinner (Yes, we are now teaching the Siebel Technical courses in Amsterdam again). The city was packed and Dam Square was alive with Pre-Queen's day construction activities. I smiled as my students looked at the latest ride which was undergoing testing, knowing my days of astronaut training have passed. Testing my physical limitations under high G-force has now been replaced by laughing and taking pictures of the victims staggering off the rides. With the new season comes the introduction of the new Oracle Siebel CRM 8.1 Technical courses. The technical differences between the 8.0 and 8.1 releases appear to be minimal with many of the advancements associated to functional aspects of the product. My intention this month is to discuss the new direction in courses, and provide an opinion or two. The changes to the curriculum revolve around the Core Siebel courses that lead to certification. I believe that those of us holding Siebel Consulting Certifications benefit through higher utilization than non-certified resources. I also believe that the true benefit of certification is for the customer receiving a higher quality of work with an appreciation for building sturdy solutions that can last the test of time. [Read More]

March 2009 - Top Down vs Bottom Up Thinking

This month while talking to a student during a break, we agreed that many businesses still have issues communicating information through the management levels of the enterprise. This issue was particularly focused on IT and projects that fail due to this breakdown. As I was teaching a Business Analyst class at the time, my thoughts focused on what has been a decades old problem. Now, I am not an Organizational Psychologist, but it seems to me that a key issue is how we think and process information.[Read More]

Thursday Mar 05, 2009

February 2009 - Embrace the Future - OBUG

On March 31st I am scheduled to present at the Oracle Benelux User Group Conference in Antwerp, Belgium (www.obug.nl/2009/) – the theme is: Embrace The Future. The topic of my presentation is a subject I have written about and spent much of my free time working on, "How to improve the Design Stages of an implementation project". You may remember that I have been working on a prototype application to prove my belief that the Business Analyst would benefit from specialized tools that make them more productive. In the last few weeks I have added the Data mart capability to my prototype Business Analyst Workbench and will be highlighting this during my presentation. [Read More]

Monday Feb 09, 2009

January 2009 - Miracle on 34th Street

As the holiday season comes to a close, I am still recovering from all the good cheer presented on the television as holiday movies filled the December programming schedule. At a very early age I was introduced to what is a classic holiday movie "A Miracle on 34th Street". This movie taking place in New York, my home town, introduced me at an impressionable age to the concept of Customer Relationship Management and Customer Loyalty. Would you believe it, before the age of 10 I became aware of Customer Loyalty. You can decide for yourself if the main character was truly Santa Claus or not, but he did revolutionize the way a major New York Department store treated its customers. Well, at least he did in the movie.[Read More]

Tuesday Nov 18, 2008

November 2008, CRM needs to start at home

From the time I started in the IT profession in 1973 the Business Units in corporations have complained about the unresponsive many times quirky nature of the IT departments. I have seen the name of the IT departments change in each decade from Data Processing, to Management Information Systems, to Information Technology. Each time we have tried to re-invent ourselves to solve the problems of the past and each time the problems seem to re-surface. My experience has shown me that the root cause of the tension between IT and the Business Units is that we speak two or more different languages and have trouble communicating with each other. In the late 1970’s a book called “The Psychology of Computer Programmers” highlighted the fact the IT professionals in many cases are not the most social of creatures on the planet. I remember as a child my father making jokes and calling me Mr. Anti-Social illustrating my own challenges in this area. [Read More]

October 2008, Implementation Project Discovery/Design Stage Requirement Solutions

In this month’s article instead of talking about past projects, I discuss a pet project that I have been working on. For quite a while I have been advocating an approach that I believe will reduce the time and cost associated with the requirements gathering and design stages of an implementation project.[Read More]

Thursday Sep 25, 2008

September 2008 - A Project to remember

Last month I promised I would write about a project where everything went wrong and still managed to be considered a success. The customer was a major bank that had gone through 5 mergers in 6 years. They were looking for a way to consolidate their business and bring together data segmented across many different banking applications. On this project the implementation team did too many customizations, wrote too much code, came in over budget, and delivered the project late. Despite all of these problems our customer had the solution they needed and saw the project as a success. [Read More]

Wednesday Aug 27, 2008

August 2008 - Welcome

  This month I celebrate one decade working with Oracle Siebel CRM applications.  When I contemplated sending my resume (CV) to Siebel Systems, I wondered, why the industry so heavily favored this product and company.  At the time I directed sales related information system initiatives for a global hardware manufacturer.  I regularly evaluated products in the Sales Force Automation market as part of my job.   Many vendors demonstrated applications that looked good but never seemed to get implemented.  I remember a few vendor references that admitted to having bought products but latter found they could not afford the implementation and maintenance costs, and the product just sat in its box.

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A monthly article highlighting topics of interest to the Oracle Siebel CRM community

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