Oracle tears Siebel away from IBM

All over the news first thing in the morning today was the big Siebel / IBM / Oracle brouhaha; of course, with names like this involved, who’s surprised at the prominence of this particular news bite? As is being reported everywhere, the Big Blue back-end powering Siebel’s CRM OnDemand hosted software service is “being ripped out” and replaced with Oracle’s own hosting infrastructure.

The announcement (and earnest near-violent imagery) came from Oracle president Charles Phillips yesterday in a conference call with press. Launched in October 2003, Siebel CRM OnDemand represented a joint offering with IBM, which acted as host to Siebel infrastructure and database software. Siebel was a nice big name SaaS client for IBM and likewise did the IBM name benefit Siebel. It was profit lust at first sight. As late as October 2004, Siebel and IBM were said to be connected together until 2009 via the building of a new service center.

Enter Oracle, exit previous Siebel alliances with IBM. Once he and his company were acquired in September 2005, Siebel product chief Bruce Cleveland was able to backpedal enough to state that the Siebel OnDemand system had no technical reliance on IBM infrastructure. Cleveland ultimately left Oracle last week and got on with InterWest Partners. Meanwhile, Siebel has migrated. And the Oracle beast still hungers. New Siebel CRM on-demand customers are already running on the Oracle technology stack, with others to be transitioned this summer. The move will be seamless and beneficial for users, pledge Oracle executives.

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