Holding an Anchor Position

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2005-09-16 Print this article Print

The Siebel CRM applications are strong enough in the market that "they will likely hold an anchor position in any Oracle suite going forward," said Denis Pombriant, principal manager of Beagle Research, a CRM industry analysis firm in Stoughton, Mass. Pombriant agreed no that there was no reason why Oracle couldnt keep supporting the current Siebel OnDemand hosted product as well as offer the product on Oracle or other platform for that matter.
This is an important consideration move because hosted applications are part of the utility model of enterprise computing that many organizations are starting to explore, he noted.
"The future of enterprise computing lies in the utility model," he said. How long it takes us to go from the conventional model to the utility model is a big question mark." That means that Oracle has many decisions to make and a lot of work to move its product line in that direction, he said. Does Oracle need to wage a security cleanup campaign similar to Microsofts prolonged effort? Click here to find out. Even if Siebel holds down the CRM position in Oracles Project Fusion product line, Oracle still faces a daunting integration process for all of the sales force automation and CRM products it has acquired in its prolong buyout campaign, Pombriant said. "As a practical matter in the short term, they might be able to service and support all of those packages," he said. "But at some time in the not-too-distant future, they will need to consolidate. The best way to consolidate is take the majority of these CRM systems and sunset them," he said. PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, Siebel and Oracle customers are all going to be intensely interested in which of these products fall by the way side, and that is why Oracle shouldnt keep the market in suspense too long, he said. However, Siebel and PeopleSoft customers shouldnt be concerned that Oracle will act precipitously to downgrade support for the products that it has acquired in the past year said, Wayne Kernochan, president of Infrastructure Associates, a market research firm. "At the very least, customers of Siebel ought to be reassured by what Ive seen so far of the way Oracle has treated PeopleSoft customers," Kernochan said. Oracle has made commitments as to how it will support the PeopleSoft products, and he said he expects Oracle will follow through on the commitments it makes on the Siebel products. There is no indication that Oracle is going to let Siebel OnDemand or the other products just wither on the vine, he said. In fact it is possible Oracle will deal with the products it has acquired in the same way that IBM dealt with the Informix database that it acquired four years ago. IBM just didnt just support Informix in the condition that it acquired it, it continued to develop and extend the code base, he noted. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about customer relationship management solutions.

John Pallatto John Pallatto is eWEEK.com's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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