Siebel customer events have always had unexpected drama and this year's Siebel CustomerWeek in Boston was no exception. Outside Boston's new convention center the leaves blew in a brisk autumn wind that had more than a touch of impending winter. You could sense a change of season in the wind. Inside the convention center the atmosphere was much the same.
My personal feelings, which seem to be shared at least in part by some our readers here, is the sort of bittersweet disappointment that comes from following a good team that does not win the championship - like this year's the Boston Red Sox. All though the regular season we followed Siebel's fortunes as though they were our own. Now in the playoffs, our team has lost to a stronger competitor.
Except for a comment about Larry Ellison's choice of clothes for his one brief television appearance no one has made a single negative comment about Oracle in my hearing. This is 180 degrees away from PeopleSoft's employees, customer, and partners reaction to similar news.
If anything I think this bodes well for Oracle's eventual integration of Siebel Systems. Although the deal is not done yet, most customers I have spoken to are hopeful that the transaction will be a net gain. Its hard to imagine what will happen if Siebel Systems does not get acquired by Oracle, but I doubt at this point that Siebel would be able to remain independent for long.
Some employees are already beginning to jockey for position in the new company, but most seem to be content sticking to familiar roles in a new situation. Like soldiers who know the war is going to end soon but continue to shoot at each other until the Armistice becomes official, Siebel seems poised to compete with Oracle (and compete hard) until midnight on the day the merger.
Its sad for me to meet people who I have worked with over the years and may not now have much interaction going forward, but everyone I have met here has been unfailingly helpful and professional. I wish them all luck!