In a recent keynote speech, Tom Siebel, founder and CEO of customer relationship management (CRM) software behemoth Siebel Systems, proclaimed that "CRM is dead." This came as quite a shock to the assembled press, analysts, vendors and the more than 5,000 attendees. It seemed that CRM's greatest champion, and the person who arguably had built the largest CRM kingdom and made the most money in the market segment, was declaring the party over, CRM passé, and leaving it all behind to step into new and exciting things such as enterprise performance management (EPM).

The conference buzzed for days about the declaration of death, with many proclaiming that the patient was most decidedly not dead yet and still had many years of healthy life remaining. Others jumped on the bandwagon, citing the miserably low success rate of CRM implementations, the inability to excite business leaders about pumping millions more into technology to solve their customer challenges and the inevitable march of hype-driven progress. Some even cynically suggested that Mr. Siebel was merely trying to take the focus off of the blemishes of CRM and shine the spotlight on a new segment where he hoped to duplicate his success.

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