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Siebel's New Integration Plan

Integrating its CRM apps with ERP systems is the focus of a pair of initiatives from Siebel.
Siebel Systems Inc. is building integration software to link its CRM apps with back-office ERP systems. Monday, Siebel will unveil that project along with a deal to use Tibco Software Inc.'s BusinessWorks technology to build the new integration products, which are expected to ship sometime next month.

Although Siebel competes with Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP in CRM, the vendor also has to co-exist with ERP apps from those companies because customers want to link Siebel's CRM apps with the back-office software, says Raj Mashruwala, Tibco's chief operating officer. A telco using Siebel's call-center and customer-support software, for example, needs to integrate those systems with financial, billing, and provisioning apps for such business processes as activating customers' phone service.

Although Siebel will use BusinessWorks to build the new software, Siebel customers can run the software on integration platforms from Tibco, IBM, or any other that supports Java 2 Enterprise Edition and Web-services industry standards. Meta Group analyst Joanne Friedman says Siebel's move is a first step toward the development of "agnostic" business processes.