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Siebel, IBM expand alliance

The two companies announce that Siebel will create applications specifically designed to run on IBM's WebSphere application server.

Siebel Systems will create software specifically designed to run on IBM's WebSphere application server, the companies announced Tuesday.

The deal, an expansion of a 3-year-old partnership between the two companies, signals Siebel's willingness to work with IBM's Java-based application server software. Siebel in the past had developed proprietary server software on which to run its customer relationship management applications.

According to Bernie Spang, director of WebSphere Studio marketing at IBM, the deal "provides an open standard for connecting and integrating applications through the network, whether they're packaged applications or components of applications."

The first application, a customized product made for bank tellers, will be available later this year, Spang said.

SAP, a Siebel rival, recently announced a new product, NetWeaver, that allows SAP customers to use software development and middleware tools from IBM, such as the Java-based WebSphere, as well as Microsoft .Net products.

Siebel, meanwhile, covered its bases by signing a deal in October to tie its customer relationship management software to Microsoft's .Net architecture.

IBM and Siebel did not give specific financial terms of the deal, only saying that there was a commitment to put "hundreds of millions" toward the development over the term of the relationship.

To tout the venture, the companies took out a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal, sending potential customers to an announced joint site.