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Siebel CEO: No Slowing Down

By Colin C. Haley     Feedback

Despite the pending merger with Oracle, George Shaheen says the CRM company continues to innovate.

BOSTON -- Siebel Systems' days as a standalone company may be numbered, but its days as a customer relationship management innovator are not.

That was the message CEO George T. Shaheen delivered to 4,000 attendees of Siebel CustomerWorld, the first major user meeting since Oracle's $5.85 billion takeover offer last month.

"Both Siebel and Oracle have been pioneers in innovating on behalf of customers," Shaheen said. "We have a common gene pool set and the combined company will create more technology leadership."

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who has been on an acquisition tear in the CRM and analytics space, echoed Shaheen's remarks in a videotaped message.

"[Siebel's] applications will be the foundation for Oracle CRM going forward," Ellison said. "We're very excited about what they have done with SOA , which dovetails with Oracle's Fusion."

Siebel customers will see some new things today, such as the release of the Siebel Component Assembly for Microsoft's .NET platform.

The offering provides integration with Microsoft Office and uses Visual Studio 2005 Windows Forms to speed CRM application development and deployment, the companies said.

Also, San Mateo, Calif.-based Siebel introduced Real-Time Decisions (RTD), an addition to its Business Analytics Business family. RTD products help identify customer needs in real-time and respond with the most relevant offers and messages.

Bruce Cleveland, a Siebel senior vice president, also unfolded a roadmap. Coming enhancements include: greater interoperability between CRM and on-demand; a more unified user interface among product lines; and the increased use of embedded analytics.

As Siebel executives were trying to inspire customers with confidence about the Oracle merger, its CRM competitors were looking to sew doubt.

SAP today said it is extending a program for Siebel customers to switch to its platform. The "safe passage" program helps Siebel customers who are "grappling with the uncertainties arising from Siebel's pending acquisition by Oracle."

Salesforce.com has also been trying to entice Siebel customers to switch before the Oracle merger.

This article was originally published on October 17, 2005
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