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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Siebel, square off in hosted CRM's Marc Benioff wants to put rival Siebel Systems out of business. No surprise there. But have you heard about Siebel's plans in the software-as-a-service area?

Bruce Cleveland, a Siebel executive who once worked with Benioff at Oracle, tells ZDNet's Dan Farber that the company intends to make every product in its lineup deliverable as a service.

That's one way to catch up with rivals. "We would be dead if we had not responded, but we decided to put millions into [on demand applications] and dedicated a division to build and deliver our products in this way. The drama around it is: did Siebel respond early enough? And the coming quarter will tell," Cleveland says.

As for Siebel's chances, Farber writes: "Siebel's...vertical applications deliver a good value proposition to customers, but without a focus on becoming a platform and empowering a developer community to augment and supplement what it delivers to the customers, Siebel could end up as the next Netscape. "