Siebel Banks On Enterprise Application Integration - InformationWeek

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10/8/2003
05:26 PM
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Siebel Banks On Enterprise Application Integration

The vendor hopes its Universal Application Network platform, which offers a much larger market opportunity than its flagship CRM offering, will be a growth engine.

With a market opportunity four to five times larger than its core customer-relationship-management software, enterprise application integration with its Universal Application Network platform could well be the future growth engine for Siebel Systems Inc.

Universal Application Network "is gold. This is almost unbelievable," Siebel founder, chairman, and CEO Tom Siebel told customers at the Siebel User Week conference in San Diego. "This will be one of the most significant software initiatives in history."

Siebel this week introduced Business Integration Applications 3.0, its latest version of integration processes in the areas of sales, service, and employee-relationship management, as well as enhanced integration processes for customer life-cycle and order management.

In addition, several Siebel partners unveiled expanded product and services offerings, including IBM and Siebel providing Universal Application Network for the WebSphere Business Integration Platform, Microsoft and Siebel providing UAN for Microsoft BizTalk, Harte-Hanks Trillium Software providing UAN validation, and Sierra Atlantic formalizing the launch of a UAN Center of Excellence.

Siebel Business Integration Applications supports BEA Systems, SeeBeyond, Tibco Software, and webMethods integration servers, and in the fourth quarter, Siebel will add support for J2EE-based IBM WebSphere and .Net-based Microsoft BizTalk platforms, bringing the number of Siebel's available industry-specific integration processes to 120 on six integration server platforms, the company says.

Universal Application Network is a standards-based architecture developed by Siebel for business applications integration. It includes packaged integration applications, called Business Integration Applications, that run on third-party integration servers, reducing the cost and complexity associated with traditional integration methods, the company says. The Business Integration Applications are prebuilt, industry-specific integration processes, common objects, and transformations that are built onto the UAN architecture.

Siebel and Microsoft revealed new deployment options for UAN utilizing BizTalk Server 2004 as a run-time engine and toolset for customization. The companies also previewed new .Net-based Smart Client technology, which provides integration with Microsoft Office System and Exchange Server 2003. Microsoft has developed an importer that loads prebuilt UAN transformation and validation maps into BizTalk Server transformation tools and enables integration to back-office applications from vendors such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP. UAN business-integration processes for communications, media, and energy industries implemented on BizTalk Server are available in the early-adopters program.

Siebel Smart Client is designed to take advantage of the .Net Framework and integration with Microsoft Office System. In addition, Siebel 7.7 includes enhanced integration with both Office 2003 and Exchange for mobile workers. Siebel 7.7 will let users link Microsoft Outlook records to data in the Siebel database, and the Siebel Exchange Connector lets users synchronize calendar information, contacts, and to-do lists with Exchange.

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