Siebel's support department wouldn't even take Sally Dahl's call.
That's because Dahl, vice president of seller solutions center at Chicago-based Enable Holdings, wasn't Siebel certified, and Siebel support would talk only to Siebel-certified IT pros.
Instead, Dahl was forced to have a certified member of Enable Holdings' IT department make support requests for the company's Oracle Siebel customer relationship management (CRM) system, causing untold delays. By 2006, Dahl, fed up with Siebel's less-than-stellar service, was ready for a change.
"They weren't very helpful, and most of the time the support was left to our own in-house support person," she said. "On a scale of one to 10, I'd give Siebel [support] a one, 10 being the highest."
Dahl gave Siebel support its walking papers in December of that year and, after evaluating several third-party support vendors, signed on with Rimini Street for CRM support. Since then, she said, the company, which helps retailers sell excess inventory through its online auction site uBid.com, has significantly reduced its support costs and received more personalized support services than it did with Siebel.
"One, they were committed to understanding our business and understanding our systems," Dahl said. "They absolutely know what's key in my business" – like Enable Holdings' call center monitoring tool -- "and what's a nice-to-have." Rimini even helped Enable Holdings configure its CRM system for a new site, RedTag.com.
A second, related factor was price, she said. Though she declined to say what Enable Holdings pays Rimini, she did say it is 50% less than what Siebel charged.
Further, Rimini is committed to supporting Enable Holdings' current Siebel CRM for the indefinite future, meaning that Dahl doesn't have to upgrade to the latest – and costly – Siebel CRM version. With Siebel support, Dahl said, she was pressured to make the upgrade and was never sure when Siebel might stop supporting her older version of its CRM system.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Rimini offered Enable Holdings personal customer service that Dahl could only dream of with Siebel support, she said.
Rimini assigns dedicated support staff to each of its accounts so they can get to know their customers' needs intimately, she said. "They respond quickly, and I feel that they have a personal ownership with whether my system is up and running and working the way I want it to. I've even had calls from them on the weekend."
Best of all, with Rimini, Dahl no longer has to go through Enable Holdings' IT department for support requests, and her calls are always answered.
"My guy's name is John and one of them is Kien... and I can call them directly and know who I need to talk to," Dahl said. "I can talk directly to the person and explain the problem I'm having or the enhancements we need."