Siebel: Say "Bell," Sell Bell

Speech-enabled software lets sales reps access Siebel CRM applications

San Mateo, CA  August 1, 2001  Let's face it: sales people talk. That's what they do best. And therein lies a disconnect between what salespeople do best and the information technology tools available to them, which typically call for lots of typing at a computer sitting on a desktop.

Now customer-relationship management überprovider Siebel Systems is attempting to bridge that chasm with software that the company says will allow sales, marketing and service professionals to access vital customer and employee data from other Siebel e-business applications using naturally spoken commands over any phone.

Siebel is calling the new offering, Siebel Voice, "the first speech-enabled multichannel e-business application." Voice uses natural speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies, and the software integrates with an organization's existing sales and call center applications from Siebel.

Jeff Southern, vice president of applications development at Zurich Scudder Investments, said the new application could benefit his company's client representatives by providing easier access to customer information. "In the highly competitive financial services sector, Siebel e-business applications give us the ability to better understand, anticipate and act on our clients' needs," Southern said. "Siebel Voice promises to extend that advantage with easy and immediate access to key client information from any mobile phone."

Siebel says the software will allow sales professionals to manage sales opportunities using voice commands over the phone. For example, a voice-controlled "hands-free" feature allows sales reps on the road to return or places calls using by saying "call her" or "call him" without initiating a new call. Reps can also review appointment and activity details directly over the telephone.

Siebel Voice is available immediately.