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Siebel buddies up with HP, BEA

Looking to step up joint marketing and technology development, the business software maker expands partnerships with the two companies.

Business software maker Siebel Systems said Monday that it has expanded partnerships with Hewlett-Packard and BEA Systems in an effort to step up joint marketing and technology development.

In a more expansive partnership with

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HP, Siebel said the companies together will fine-tune the performance of Siebel's business applications on HP Unix operating system, HP storage devices and printers as well as Compaq laptops and handheld computers. The companies will also coordinate on marketing and sales activities.

The latest release of the Siebel application suite, designed to help companies track customer data and plan sales and marketing activities, is now available on the HP-UX 11i operating system. Siebel and HP agreed in February to configure Siebel's applications to work with HP's version of the Unix operating system, which runs on servers from low-end dual-processor machines to the top-end 64-processor Superdome.

HP's Unix servers used to be top in market share, but the company for years has held second place to Sun Microsystems. To try to regain its top rank, HP has embarked on a concerted effort to woo strong support from software companies such as Oracle, BEA Systems and Siebel--all strong Sun business partners.

Siebel has similar so-called Global Strategic Partners relationships with HP rivals IBM and Sun.

The new HP-Siebel agreement builds upon a partnership between Siebel and Compaq begun before its merger with HP that dates back to 1997. Nearly 1,500 Siebel customers run Siebel's applications on HP Proliant servers, according to Siebel.

In a separate announcement, Siebel has expanded a partnership with BEA Systems. Under the new arrangement, BEA Systems has agreed to support a new set of application integration protocols, called the Universal Application Network, which Siebel is developing to make its software suite more interoperable with other applications.

Siebel has also partnerships with IBM, Tibco, WebMethods, SeeBeyond and Vitria for the support and development of its Universal Application Network technology.

BEA is a leading seller of application-server software, technology that runs e-business and Web site transactions.

CNET's Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.