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Microsoft: Enhancing sales and service through Siebel implementation

Microsoft’s enterprise business turned to Accenture to improve the company’s business processes, sales enhancement service and technical architectures.


Accenture collaborated with Microsoft on a Siebel implementation project that lays the groundwork for future customer relationship management (CRM) projects at Microsoft.

Microsoft’s enterprise business has exceeded its ambitious sales targets. However, the company’s business processes, sales enhancement service and technical architectures had not kept pace with this growth. Microsoft’s global sales teams relied on different systems to record sales opportunities and transactions in completely different ways—and, in many cases, in different languages. This led not only to operational inefficiencies, but also impacted Microsoft’s ability to deliver the highest-quality customer service. 

Because sales are the driving force behind the company’s success, Microsoft recognized it needed to improve its sales management system including the ability to create, track and pursue sales opportunities. The company believed that it could achieve this goal only if it integrated the activities of its 8,000-member enterprise sales force, its 1,000 call center personnel and its 1,000 sales partners dispersed around the world.


Based on a solid, 10-year relationship with Microsoft, Accenture had a deep understanding of Microsoft’s operations, its culture and its global sales strategies. In this time, Accenture had consistently proven our ability to deliver large scale solutions quickly and cost-effectively.

Accenture brought deep Siebel-specific skills to this global project and quickly assembled a technical development team. The team worked closely with Microsoft’s analysis and product management professionals to create a strategy. From this strategy, the team would build and implement Siebel’s Call Center, Sales Enterprise and Partner Relationship Management (PRM) applications.

First, Accenture applied our “Rapid Development Approach” to deploy a pilot application for Microsoft’s sales and support team in Germany. The German pilot site was one of Microsoft’s many worldwide business-to-business call centers for both inbound and outbound sales calls. The pilot was a success. Accenture and Microsoft proceeded to phase a series of Siebel Systems Call Center application releases across other geographies over two years. The solution was based on the Microsoft platform consisting of Windows XP and SQL Server 2000.

Next, the Accenture development team began updating Microsoft’s existing Siebel Sales Enterprise application (to Version 6.0) and integrating it with the new Call Center application. This new version enabled sales representatives to create sales opportunities, manage accounts, and respond to customers quickly across multiple communication channels including telephones, PDAs and the Internet.

Accenture delivered innovation by customizing the application to provide improved customer insight to the global sales team.Customer data could now be defined specifically using “local attributes” designated to regions or customers. For example, certain countries require Microsoft’s sales team to collect information for regulatory compliance purposes. In other instances, Microsoft wanted to collect country-specific information to determine the effectiveness of a sales campaign in a particular region.

In addition, Accenture teamed with Microsoft and Siebel to implement the Siebel PRM application. This Web-based portal helps 1,000 Microsoft partners (e.g. hardware vendors, etc.) create and better manage their sales opportunities because they can communicate more easily with Microsoft sales and support personnel. The application includes three components—Siebel Partner Manager, Siebel Partner Portal and Siebel Partner Analytics—that maximize the revenue-generating capacity of all distribution and partner channels. With its real-time communications feature, Microsoft can alert its partners to pending sales opportunities, and vice versa. In short, Siebel PRM ensures that Microsoft’s partners have critical information and skills to increase win rates on deals, while continuing to provide high-quality, consistent service to their joint enterprise customers.

Finally, Microsoft teamed with Accenture to conduct analysis, development, integration, training and deployment of a new internal communications service. Specifically, the team used Microsoft Service Enterprise to create an advanced corporate tool that enables employees to manage service inquiries and operational tasks across the entire organization.


One of the most innovative aspects of this project was managing complex solutions across multiple geographies for thousands of users. In a project of this size and scope, it is customary to establish three individual teams to manage the development and integration for each of the three Siebel applications. Calling upon our strong project management skills, Accenture was able to combine these teams efficiently and cost-effectively in one development environment. This unique team structure has helped Microsoft integrate its Siebel applications and build the capability to manage, synchronize and coordinate customer interactions across all channels.

With integrated applications that are localized in 10 languages, Microsoft now has a comprehensive view of its global enterprise prospects and customers—from the initial customer inquiry through to the final sale. The Siebel implementation enables Microsoft to:

  • Build an infrastructure that supports global customer relationship management efforts.

  • Create, share and manage sales opportunities in multiple languages.

  • Standardize global business processes for Microsoft sales and support teams, providing countries the flexibility to capture data specific to a certain region.

  • Store all customer data centrally.

  • Quickly launch—and track the effectiveness of—sales campaigns for enterprise customers.

“As a global company serving global customers, Microsoft needs to provide its sales force with the tools to collaborate across geographies 24 hours a day,” said Simon Witts, corporate vice president of the Enterprise and Partner Group at Microsoft. “The Siebel solution is enabling Microsoft to gain a much deeper understanding of our enterprise customers and to work more efficiently to identify and address their needs. It’s a critical part of our drive to continually improve customer and partner satisfaction.”

Today, more than 8,000 Microsoft sales representatives, 1,000 call center staff and 1,000 business partners can easily share and access critical data, globally, enabling improved sales effectiveness, customer support and partner interaction. This Siebel implementation lays the groundwork for future customer relationship management (CRM) projects at Microsoft. Accenture continues to team with the software giant managing more than 12 CRM solutions currently.

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