SAN DIEGO—Siebel Systems Inc. introduced here Wednesday its Siebel Enterprise Analytic Platform 7.7 as the company extends its analytical offerings from CRM into enterprise business intelligence.
The company expects to compete head-on with business intelligence platform vendors like Cognos Inc., Business Objects SA and MicroStrategy Inc. It will begin marketing technology it acquired from nQuire Inc. late in 2001 as a stand-alone platform.
Siebel mainly sells the technology as embedded analytics within its operational CRM applications today. It sold nearly $130 million worth of such customer analytic software last year, making it the market leader in that space, according to International Data Corp.
Yet according to Siebel officials, 70 percent of Siebel Analytics customers are using the technology to analyze non-Siebel data. With IDC forecasting the business intelligence/data warehousing space to be worth $10.7 billion by 2006, compared with a $4.8 billion analytic applications market by then, the company, which has endured falling license revenues for the last two years, is looking to expand its enterprise footprint.
“We want a piece of that pie,” said Duane Cologne, a Siebel marketing director for analytics, of the BI and data warehousing market.
The platform includes the Siebel Analytics Server for calculation and integration, logical business model and metadata management, and caching. It also includes front-end applications Intelligent Interaction Management, which includes data mining capabilities; Interactive Dashboard, which provides a portal interface to the data; Siebel Answers, for ad hoc query; and Siebel Delivers, for sending alerts of changes in data.
“We think we can make a very credible argument [as an enterprise BI platform] and be highly differentiated,” said Larry Barbetta, the former CEO of nQuire who now serves as senior vice president and general manager of Siebel Analytics.
Next page: The platforms advantages.
Mark Smith, CEO and senior vice president for research and advisory services at Ventana Research, said the platform, based on technology nQuire had sold as a stand-alone platform before it was acquired by Siebel, does have some advantages with being able to aggregate data from multiple sources without requiring middleware.
He said the front-end tools will be “competitive” with existing offerings from Cognos, Business Objects and MicroStrategy.
“The product will be competitive, and the market opportunity is there,” Smith said.
Companies are looking to consolidate their business intelligence applications as much as possible, he said. “Its not going to happen overnight, but the stars are aligning. If [Siebel] doesnt get into this market now, theyre going to miss out.
“Siebel has a strong business applications focus, they understand business problems,” continued Smith. “The question is whether they can use that leverage they have with business users and convince the CIO that they have the right applications and the right BI platform.”
The Siebel Enterprise Analytic Platform is scheduled to be available this quarter.
Separately, Siebel announced Wednesday another expansion of its alliance with IBM that calls for IBM to dedicate practitioners from its Business Consulting Services unit to Siebel Analytics Applications and the broader enterprise BI marketplace.
Both companies will also collaborate in the development of specific BI solutions and infrastructure optimization across IBM software and hardware products.
Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.