OpenWorld Update - Siebel CRM Roadmap

A packed Moscone West Conference theatre today was given an update on the Siebel CRM strategy and roadmap moving forward. We thought we would share with you our highlights!

A packed Moscone West Conference theatre today was given an update on the Siebel CRM strategy and roadmap moving forward. We thought we would share with you our highlights!

Release Schedule

As previously indicated by Oracle, they are moving to plans for fix packs to be delivered in the first part of each year, followed by an annual Innovation pack delivered in the second half of the year. The Innovation pack for 2014 was signposted to be 8.3.x, while releases before then will be 8.1.x/8.2.x - Oracle will continue to keep those two tracks whilst making updates available in both so that there should be no need for customers on 8.1.x to upgrade to 8.2.x.

The big question on many lips was a timeframe for the 2012 Innovation Pack (8.1.1.9) and the update was that this release is in a code freeze with final testing on-going, but the delivery date was now set to be December 7th. So a little longer to wait for Open UI!

Siebel Investment Strategy

Moving forward the strategy will focus on three main areas:

- Customer Experience (Usability, Mobility and Social)

Siebel Open UI will be the key factor here, with a rich new feature set in the 2012 Innovation Pack and then further significant enhancements planned in future. The Demonstrations today at Open World were impressive with the redesigns of the user experience with MVGs, Calendar objects, Product Configurator and SmartScript all very striking - we believe these combined will speak powerfully to customers' concerns about usability in Siebel. In the mobile space, the 2012 IP will also include iPad and Android apps for Field Sales users - all configured in Siebel Tools. In future, integration with Oracle Social Applications, Webcenter sites and Self Service are planned and (significantly) the investment in Social Intelligence (Social Media monitoring, collection and analysis of social streams and response and service to this intelligence) within Siebel, all point to a bright future for customer experience.

- Lower TCO

Here Oracle's focus is on Deployment and Monitoring & Diagnostics. For example, the 2012 Innovation Pack will come with solutions for cloning Siebel servers and quick identification of individual pieces of slow running SQL in your application. There are plans for the Innovation packs of the future to be delivered entirely through Siebel Tools with the idea being to vastly reduce the test effort associated with taking a Siebel patch. And there were also further pointers in the Monitoring & Diagnostics area for future aggregated system dashboards and better collection of crash data for forwarding to Oracle Support, as well as clear indication that customers with EXADATA in their stack are likely to see significant opportunities for increased tuning in their applications.

- Industry Innovations

There were many indicators that further development of specific, rich, user interfaces for the Industry applications was going to be a continual theme through IP 2012 and beyond with the fix packs and innovation packs in future years. This will include industry specific disconnected mobile solutions and industry self-service and knowledge management integration.

Summary

Siebel remains very much part of Oracle's plans for Enterprise CRM and there is significant on-going investment to continue to integrate the product with Oracle's newly acquired and developed products. While some customers will certainly look to introduce Fusion CRM as part of a co-existence strategy, the choice very much remains one for each customer to make on their own terms - for those maintaining an on premise Siebel application (on v8.1.x or higher), the future promises a richer user experience, both with the core application as well as the social and mobile channels. Oracle is keen to demonstrate how aspects of developments elsewhere in their stack can benefit Siebel customers in future (e.g. the signposting of EXADATA optimisation for Siebel) and we believe this is hugely positive news for Siebel customers.

As the week progresses here in San Francisco, there are sure to be further directions and details to help inform customers and partners alike - watch this space!