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Siebel Bashing

September 13, 2004

Today’s NYT takes a reasonably penetrating look at Siebel Systems, the once-highflying enterprise software company. Schadenfreude fans everywhere will savor this one. Siebel is a company a:c loves to hate – and we’re not alone.
Tom Siebel, a product of Oracle’s vaunted culture of swinging dicks, created a late-90’s cash machine in his eponymous company. He ran the place like a Parris Island barracks, deploying his batallions of gung-ho salesmen and crushing the competition.
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Tom Siebel…
How The Mighty Have Fallen

However, as the NYT article notes, Siebel’s “stock is down 93 percent from its peak in September 2000, and its revenue is barely half what it was in 2001.” The article goes on to detail Siebel’s strategic missteps in the last several years, including its failure to move more quickly to easier-to-install Web-based versions of its clunky and overpriced software.
In fact, one mole tells us that when the company created the first Web-based version of its core products to allow it to compete with the likes of Salesforce.com, internal factions stalled the effort on the grounds that Siebel would be cannibalizing its enterprise business. The greedy salesmen clearly didn’t want to see their commissions dwindle.
Tom Siebel has now been kicked upstairs in favor of J. Michael Lawrie, a suit from IBM. As a first step, we recommend that Mr. Lawrie change the company’s name.
Read: The Customer Relationship Expert Takes a Dose of Its Own Medicine – [NYT – reg. req.]

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