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RightNow targets Siebel customers

RightNow Technologies offers Siebel users six months of free CRM, banking on uncertainty from Oracle's acquisition of the firm.

RightNow Technologies is offering Siebel Systems customers six months of its customer relationship management system for free, in an effort to profit from any uncertainty arising from Oracle's pending acquisition of Siebel.

RightNow, a hosted applications company, said Wednesday that its offer will reduce the cost of a two-year Siebel contract by 25 percent.

"Siebel users have a lot of serious, nagging questions about product direction, support and their long-term plans for CRM success," Greg Gianforte, chief executive of RightNow, said in a statement.

RightNow's move is part of its effort to grab a larger slice of the market for corporate customers. In August, the company debuted RightNow CRM 7.5, which aims to enhance marketing, sales and service. The company also offers a suite of voice automation software called RightNow Voice.

For Oracle, the tactic is nothing new. Earlier this year, TomorrowNow launched a campaign to lure PeopleSoft support customers, after Oracle closed its acquisition of the enterprise software company. And rival SAP tried to woo Retek customers with a targeted campaign after losing out to Oracle in a bidding war for the retail software company.

Oracle is working on ways to integrate PeopleSoft and Siebel technologies into its newer applications under Project Fusion. Oracle has previously said it will continue to support Siebel and PeopleSoft products indefinitely, though significant upgrades will not be part of the equation.

Oracle, which announced its $5.8 billion Siebel acquisition last September, is moving closer to closing the deal. The company on Tuesday said it received notice that the Department of Justice will not challenge its pending merger, though it still awaits approval from European antitrust regulators.