Renaissance - a situation or period of time when there is a new interest in something that has not been popular in a long time.
Running down Siebel technology has been popular for a long time. Everyone does it. Competitors, investors, even parts of Oracle itself. There are a number of reasons this has happened:
- the product has not always been implemented right,
- user acceptance has sometimes been slow,
- the technology is complex and is designed to solve complex problems.
Finally Siebel technology, which is superb for office workers, has not always supported the field as well. In response to the product’s position in the market sales automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools have been developed in the cloud. For many businesses, and especially small businesses, cloud solutions offer better value than on premise applications. So is there really no role for Siebel in the future?
We contend there is an important role for Siebel in the decades to come, especially in large organizations. For them, some of the disadvantages of the cloud outweigh the advantages. They include:
Cost – as with any buy/lease decision owning an application and running it yourself is going to be more cost effective in the long run; although any exact analysis must be done on a case-by-case basis the breakeven point is often only a couple of hundred seats.
Risk – outsourcing applications eliminates some risks while increasing others. For example; an organization must be concerned with the financial health of a cloud provider in a way it does not need to worry about an internal IT organization. By the same token building applications in the cloud is also placing responsibility for maintaining security on a provider which may or may not be a good idea.
Data transfers – moving very large amounts of information across the internet can be difficult.
Integration – although inclusion theory layer products hold some promise for new ways to integrate cloud based applications, most system integrators agree it is more difficult to connect products that are not owned by your company.
The bigger and more established the organization, the added number of systems that need to work together, the more data that needs to be transfer, the greater the risk, and the higher the cost.
Advantages of Siebel
In addition, Siebel has evolved as a product. New versions have come out every year since Oracle acquired Siebel in 2006 and more releases are planned until at least 2028. Two releases, a maintenance release in the spring and an enhancement release in the fall, are planned for 2014. The enhancement release in fall 2012 included some significant new functionality, most notably the Siebel Open User Interface (UI), which changes the top layer of the three-tiered architecture and allows the application to run on more devices and browsers, and for the look and feel of the application to be customized. The new Open UI product has the potential to extend the useful life of many Siebel implementations and also generate new sales. Not only does the new interface open up new form factors (e.g. iPads, iPhones, Android, etc.), but it also creates the possibility of completely changing the user experience.
Over the years, Oracle has added specific functionality for many industries, including pharmaceuticals, finance, telecommunications, insurance, utilities and the public sector.
Oracle Siebel has a strong analytics tool, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE), integrated into the product.
Many different levels and flavors of support are available both from Oracle and from third parties. Under its Applications Unlimited strategy, Oracle plans to provide ongoing enhancements and support to all of its application product lines beyond the delivery of Oracle Fusion Applications. Support is also available from third parties like Rimini Street, Eagle Creek Services, and Spinnaker Solutions.
Training for Siebel applications continues to be offered both by Oracle as well as by third parties such as Quilogy Services from Aspect.
Third-party products from vendors such as aMinds, Buzzient, CRMantra, Customer Systems, earthIntegrate, invisibleCRM, KNOA and Selectica are integrated or being integrated both into the most current version of Siebel as well as older versions.
Many of the world’s largest system integrators have very active Siebel practices, including Accenture, Deloitte, Cap Gemini, Tata Consultancy Services, HCL and Wipro.
Finally, Oracle Siebel itself can be run in the cloud either by Oracle or by third parties.
Therefore we are predicting that 2014 might be the year of a Siebel Renaissance, when the advantages of the product and its place in the architecture of many large enterprises is recognized as being permanent.