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About Accounts in Siebel Energy

An account is any external organization with which your company does business. It negotiates agreements, receives service and bills, and raises trouble tickets. An account is usually the central entity of a Siebel CRM implementation.

After adding accounts in Siebel Energy, end users at your company contribute information for tracking customer service, processing requests, viewing agreements, and so on.

Account Hierarchy

A single account per customer will probably meet your company's needs to track the accounts of residential customers. However, for large commercial clients, end users might need to build an account hierarchy. An account hierarchy is a multilevel structure reflecting parent-child relationships within the organization.

Within a complex account hierarchy, an account usually represents one of these:

  • A customer, prospective customer, or household
  • An individual service or billing account
  • An aggregate account for billing or service accounts
  • A division in an organization
  • An entire organization

Hierarchies can accommodate subsidiaries and complex organizations that have, for example, a world headquarters, multiple regional headquarters, and many branch locations, each with its own service and billing requirements.

This multiple-level structure supports a top-down view of the customer. Separate child accounts can be used to designate which information pertains to one subsidiary or another within the organization.

A hierarchy has these further advantages:

  • It allows you to maintain customer information, such as address and contact name at each point in the hierarchy.
  • It aids in specifying usage and billing roll-up relationships.
  • It allows you to create and maintain aggregation points and to support complex discounting methods.

To fully support mergers, demergers and corporate restructuring, Siebel Energy automatically updates the master account or parent account of an account record and its children when the changes are made to the account hierarchy. In particular, it is possible to reparent a child account if that subsidiary is sold to another holding company, or to reparent a whole organization if it is purchased by another entity. These changes take effect by changing the parent account of the account record.

Account Classes

An account class is a method for classifying an account according to its position and role in an account hierarchy. When setting up the hierarchy, end users define parent-child relationships among the accounts. Then they designate which account class applies to each new account, according to your customer's requirements and organizational structure.

For example, with energy companies, it is common for the service to be delivered to one subsidiary while bills get sent to another subsidiary. Separate accounts would be created for each subsidiary, one with the account class service and the other with the account class billing to reflect their different functions. An account given the account class service generally stores service item information and allows end users to analyze the customer's usage or orders. An account given the account class billing generally stores information for the financial transaction or invoice.

Siebel Energy does not restrict parent-child associations based on account class. Any class can be a child of any other class. For example, a customer account can be placed anywhere in the hierarchy, and a billing account can be the parent or the child of a service account. To enforce hierarchy rules based on account class, you need to set them up through state models. For more information about state models, see Siebel Business Process Designer Administration Guide.

Out of the box, Siebel Energy provides these five classes for accounts:

  • Customer Class. An account with this class represents the actual customer, person, or organization that is receiving service. A customer account includes basic customer information, such as the company name and headquarters address. It can receive both service and bills.
  • Service Aggregator Class. An account with this class receives aggregate usage details for all of its subsidiary accounts. It can be anywhere in the account hierarchy. It allows you to generate and view multiple service accounts that share some specifications.

    Implementation example: A manufacturing company has several industrial complexes, and each complex is made up of various manufacturing plants receiving electric and gas services. Each plant can have the electric and gas services set up as separate service accounts. The corporate headquarters can set up a service aggregate account for each type of manufacturing plant to track electric and gas usage per type of manufacturing process.

  • Service Class. An account with this class receives service, but not bills. In the account hierarchy, it is the account level at which the physical delivery of the service or product occurs. It can represent a person or organization with multiple service addresses.
  • Billing Aggregator Class. An account with this class receives aggregate billing details for all of its subsidiary accounts. It can be anywhere in the account hierarchy. It allows you to generate and view multiple billing accounts that have some of the same specifications. It can be set up to bill the customer based on certain requests, such as creating bills for the different services and rolling those separate billing statements into a billing aggregate account. It also allows you to create and maintain billing aggregation points and to support complex discounting methods. It receives and aggregates bills.

    Implementation example: A company has offices in different states, and each office receives services two different services: gas and electricity. Each office can have both services set up as separate billing accounts, and each office can be set up as a billing aggregate account for the services. Then the corporate headquarters can be set up as a billing aggregate for the three offices and a single payment can be made for the services.

  • Billing Class. An account with this class is used to invoice the customer for products and services. In the account hierarchy, it is the account level at which the financial transactions for the service or product occur. It shows the collection of all charges applied to a customer in a given time frame for which the customer must submit payment.

Siebel Energy displays certain information based on the account class:

  • The Service Account and Billing Account Explorers filter on account class.
  • In the Quotes and Order Entry views, only those accounts with the appropriate account class appear in the dialog box for association.

NOTE:  You can set up additional account classes or rename the default classes. However, when renaming, be careful to rename the explorers as well, because they filter accounts on class names. For instructions on modifying account classes, see Applications Administration Guide.

Figure 1 shows an example of an account hierarchy where parent-child relationships are established along service and billing account classes.

Figure 1.  Example of Account Hierarchy
Click for full size image

Account Roles and Responsibilities

Sales administrators and sales managers usually oversee the creation and maintenance of accounts by their teams. All team members (end users) can create an account and update account information.

Table 4 lists the roles and responsibilities related to account procedures.

Table 4.  Account Roles and Responsibilities


Sales Administrator or Sales Manager

  • Determines what information is required for an account
  • Determines what account information is visible to each member of the sales force
  • Reviews and analyzes account activity to measure performance and improve sales effectiveness
  • Reviews account hierarchies developed by the sales staff

End User

Customer Service Representative

  • Performs call center activities, primarily responding to customer inquiries and sales order requests
  • Creates accounts for new customers, including the required key information for an account
  • Updates accounts for existing customers
  • Understands relationship between accounts and associated contacts
  • Creates account hierarchies
  • Understands account hierarchies and relationship of accounts within hierarchy

Sales Representative

  • Focuses on outside sales and customer relationship management
  • Creates accounts for new customers, including the required key information for an account
  • Updates accounts (such as creating a sales opportunity), creates sales orders, and tracks service requests or trouble tickets
  • Creates account hierarchies, designating parent-child relationships among an organization's accounts
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