As Microsoft prepares to release its own CRM software, Siebel is set to terminate its reseller agreement with Microsoft Great Plains, despite continuing to insist that it does not view the new player as a threat.
Great Plains has sold Siebel Front Office as Microsoft Great Plains Siebel Front Office into the mid-market customer base – the same sector into which Microsoft will now push its own CRM offerings. But the Siebel-Great Plains pairing will no longer be on offer from the end of this year, months after the Microsoft roll-out begins.
Microsoft will be responsible for support for existing joint customers, although users can opt to deal directly with Siebel. Microsoft has also said it will develop and maintain a connector to Siebel from Great Plains back office applications.
Siebel argues that the mid-market sector can be subdivided into upper and lower levels and that its software is aimed squarely at the upper level, while Microsoft will target the low end. Despite having 450 joint customers, Siebel also deems the relationship to have not been the match that it might have been.
It still insists that Microsoft’s own CRM ambitions have played no part in the decision, although analysts and industry commentators have expected the shutting down of the relationship since Microsoft began its CRM push.