Oracle and Siebel are merging to become the biggest front-office packaged application provider with a steady focus on meeting customer needs. The huge effort to address the requirements of 16,000 customers and over four million deployed end users doesn't faze Ed Abbo, formerly Siebel's vice president of development and now in charge of Oracle's Customer Relations Management (CRM) development team. One reason is that Oracle has a sound product strategy called protect, extend and evolve. This strategy enables customers to protect the investments they have in existing Oracle applications, extend them with innovative Oracle Fusion-based features, and ultimately evolve to the next-generation applications. Abbo is very excited about the doubling of the CRM-application capacity with the combination of Oracle and Siebel CRM development teams. More developers translate to more people dedicated to listening to customers and creating the best CRM applications in the marketplace. Future plans in the next six months call for development teams to deliver integrations of Oracle and Siebel products. Teams are also integrating Siebel CRM OnDemand with JD Edwards, Oracle, and PeopleSoft products.
With 12 years at Siebel and, prior to that, 7 years at Oracle, Ed Abbo knows both companies intimately and understands how to succeed in either environment. "Over the past three or four years, I've been running the technology office and development for Siebel," Abbo explains. "I started off in the engineering organization, ran Siebel's technical field organization for a number of years, and then started up and ran the industry applications organization, when we launched CRM [customer relationship management] applications specific to industries such as financial services, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, high technology, automotive, energy, public sector, and communications." Abbo's familiarity with the business applications ecosystem is so complete that the thought of the approximately 16,000 customers and more than 4 million deployed end users—making the combined companies by far the largest front-office packaged application provider—doesn't faze him.
Oracle's strategy—called protect, extend, and evolve—allows customers to protect the investments that they have made in Oracle applications, extend them with new Oracle Fusion-based capabilities, and finally evolve to the next-generation applications when it makes business sense for them to do so. "The key message is that the product strategy is sound, and it takes into account what customers are doing today—what their plans are in the medium term as well as the long term. The timing is also excellent, since both Siebel and Oracle are in the process of building next-generation applications," Abbo emphasizes.