Salesforce.com needn't worry
As a potential customer of an online SFA system I recently visited both Salesforce.com and Siebel to find out more about their products.
At Salesforce.com I was able to immediately sign up for and start using a free version of their product. A Salesforce.com salesperson called me that day to ask if I had any questions or problems and what the size of my ultimate implementation would be (should he spend any more time trying to sell me... which I respect).
At Siebel the experience was VERY different. After being promised a free trial with registration (not free use as at Salesforce, just a free trial for 30 days) I filled out the form and then was greeted with a message -- "thanks, a Siebel salesperson will call you to set up your free trial." It has been two days and I have received no call.
Big Software and small business don't mix
Sure, Siebel and SAP and IBM would all like to sell to the small and medium sized business market. After all, SMBs employ over 50% of all workers in the US. But their techniques simply don't work. A big company will dedicate a team to evaluating SFA offerings, spend months coming up with a recommendation, and spend millions implementing a product. I on the other hand want to make a decision tomorrow and start using the product the minute after I make that decision. Salesforce.com has the right stuff for small business. Siebel isn't even in the game.
Will I ever trust analysts again?
Before I believe anything more that the Aberdeen Group has to say I want them to fully disclose their sources of financing. How much are Siebel and IBM paying for this hit piece on Salesforce.com? Why is it that journalists still believe such people?