Siebel Roadmap @ Oracle OpenWorld 2013

One of the key items on the agenda for our visit to San Francisco and the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference was to get the lowdown on the upcoming state-of-the-art for Siebel. Almost written off by some sections of the IT press in the mid-late noughties, Siebel has undergone significant investment by Oracle in recent years, most recently with its ground-breaking new user interface, Siebel Open UI

One of the key items on the agenda for our visit to San Francisco and the annual Oracle OpenWorld conference was to get the lowdown on the upcoming state-of-the-art for Siebel. Almost written off by some sections of the IT press in the mid-late noughties, Siebel has undergone significant investment by Oracle in recent years, most recently with its ground-breaking new user interface, Siebel Open UI.

The Siebel Release Roadmap

The session was chaired by Aaron Schidler, VP of CRM Product Development, who was quick to address what he described as the misconceptions around Siebel: "We're going to continue to develop Siebel for a very long time".

This was backed up by a roadmap slide outlining Innovation Packs through to 2020 and beyond (extending the slide shown in our post earlier this year), which can only give Siebel customers increased confidence.

Siebel Roadmap to 2020 and beyond The Siebel Roadmap to 2020 – and beyond (note the deliberate + symbol)

There was also a reminder that Siebel On Premise still offers more features and functions than any other offering on the market today – a fact that is easy to forget when Cloud Applications are the belle du jour.

The Role of Siebel in Oracle’s CX Strategy

A major theme in the IT world at the moment is Customer Experience, or CX. Oracle has been following this strategy, and indeed setting the pace for others to follow. Its acquisitions over the last few years are testament to its efforts here:

  • Eloqua, for online marketing;
  • ATG, for web commerce;
  • Endeca, for “searchandising”(!);
  • RightNow, for Web Self Service;
  • Inquira, for centralised Knowledge Management; and
  • the triumvirate of Vitrue, Involver and Collective Intellect, for Social Media monitoring and marketing.

These acquisitions have to some extent added fuel to the rumours that Siebel’s future was in danger, but Aaron was clear in stating that Siebel was central to Oracle’s CX strategy, with the products above augmenting Siebel in the stack:

Siebel at the heart of Oracle's CX offering Siebel at the heart of the Oracle CX Offer

While we’ve been aware for some time that this is Oracle's strategy, it is fair to say that those Siebel customers we’ve talked to out in the field have historically been significantly less clear on Oracle’s intentions here.

Thus for existing Siebel customers, these points really are the big-ticket items, addressing the central question of whether Oracle is continuing to invest, and what all of these other acquisitions mean. The key message coming out of OpenWorld is a resounding "Yes": investment is continuing and will continue for a long time, and Siebel remains as a centrepiece of a more-complete product set that better supports today’s Customer Experience requirements.

Talking of Cloud…Siebel In The Cloud?

Of course, no IT conference session is ever complete without Cloud being mentioned somewhere. In the case of the Siebel Roadmap session, there was a reference to the move by some customers towards Private Clouds - in this case, where a third party organisation provides the hosting infrastructure upon which Siebel is installed - and subsequently maintained - by the third party.

Oracle suggested that this model is becoming more and more popular with their customers, and indeed this is something we have seen: this model has been adopted by one of our largest clients. In this case, infrastructure provider Computacenter provide the hardware and hosting upon which Siebel (and OBIEE) are installed, and Boxfusion delivers the specialised Application Support and Development Services around these two mission-critical products.

Stay Tuned...

Of course, these weren’t the only items of interest from the Siebel Roadmap session. Stay tuned for Part 2 over the next few days – we’ll be outlining more announcements from the session, some of which we found very interesting indeed...

Siebel Specialised Platinum Partner - Boxfusion