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Siebel users: sit tight

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Siebel users concerned about the possible takeover of the CRM company by Oracle should sit tight and relax. So says a panel of JD Edwards and PeopleSoft users at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

Oracle presented four cherry-picked users to the press, who supplied a rosy view of the convergent roads towards Fusion, the paths that will blend all of the company’s CRM products into one. All agreed that their experience is good so fa,r but concerns for the future still exist.

Mitch Myers, vice president of operations at F W Murphy, admitted that his initial concerns were that the PeopleSoft and JD Edwards acquisition would require a massive migration to Oracle. This has not been the case and the gentle migration to Fusion that Oracle now offers is an attractive proposition, he said.

Some fears still exist because of Siebel’s leading role in the CRM market. Users are worried that this will influence the shape that Fusion will take.

“The ability to customise the product is probably one of the biggest areas of concern. We chose JD Edwards over Siebel because it seemed more flexible. Our worry is whether Oracle will keep this flexibility in the toolset – and I know others share this concern,” Myers said.

Phil Walton, group director of information technology at Spirent Communications, a user of both JD Edwards and Siebel, agreed with him, but added that he does not feel rushed to move from JD Edwards now that Oracle has announced a long-term support option for all of its CRM offerings. Lifelong support is a new licensing scheme but Oracle has yet to say what the premium will be.

Walton advises other Siebel users to sit tight, ignore the flood of calls from competitors and to judge Oracle on its actions. “A year on from the merger, we are just beginning to see the benefits of the acquisition,” he said.

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