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Oracle dubs Siebel Analytics the 'first step toward Fusion'

Oracle has released a suite of BI products that includes elements from Siebel and will help customers move to Oracle's project to combine the best of all its acquisitions.

NEW YORK -- Oracle Corp. has released a new set of business intelligence (BI) packages encompassing the business analytics technology from recently acquired Siebel Systems Inc., dubbing it "the first step toward Fusion."

While the Siebel acquisition brought market-leading CRM to Oracle's portfolio, executives have repeatedly referred to Siebel Analytics, technology that Siebel itself bought with the acquisition of nQuire in 2001, as the "hidden jewel"of the transaction. In fact, Siebel Analytics accounted for roughly 25% of Siebel's license revenue.

"We're starting with something I believe was a generation ahead of what was out there; all it needed was scale," said Charles Phillips, president of the Redwood City, Calif.-based database giant. "And Oracle can bring scale."

In a question-and-answer session after the announcement, Phillips told reporters that Siebel thought of analytics as its future, and CEO George Shaheen went so far as to consider transforming the company into an analytics vendor and changing its name.

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Oracle is releasing three bundles of technology for its new business intelligence suite. The Standard Edition One offering includes Oracle database 10g; Oracle Warehouse Builder; and reporting, querying and analysis tools. It takes aim squarely at Microsoft. It is priced at $25,000 for up to 50 named users and will be available in the next fiscal year.

"We're going after the midmarket and Microsoft," Phillips said. "We think that's a compelling value for people who want to get started quickly."

Oracle is also offering a Standard Edition bundle with BI Beans, Oracle BI Discoverer, Oracle Reports, and Oracle Spreadsheet Add-In at a price of $400 per user. The Enterprise bundle includes online analytical processing query and analysis, enterprise reporting, real-time alerting, mobile analytics, and integration with Microsoft desktop tools. It is priced at $1,500 per named user. The Enterprise and Standard editions are available immediately.

Oracle has pledged to make Siebel CRM the centerpiece of Oracle's CRM application moving forward, but its analytics tools will also round out Oracle's BI platform. The query and analysis engine and mobile analytics in Oracle's BI suites are based on Siebel technology, while the reporting and identity management tools are based on Oracle technology, all integrated through Fusion middleware. So far, Oracle has completed integration with Siebel Analytics and the Oracle database, the enterprise portal, single sign on, identity management, the BPEL process engine, and activity monitoring. This summer, Oracle will integrate Siebel Analytics with its application development framework and BI Beans.

Siebel Analytics' history as a non-application-specific product line allows it to merge with Fusion, Oracle's project to merge the best capabilities of all its recent acquisitions, Phillips said. It will be based on an open architecture, working with other applications and databases but optimized for Oracle products.

"The integrated suite, what we're known for, lowers the cost of ownership," Phillips said. "That shouldn't be translated as locking anyone in. It will be open."

Oracle is establishing a dedicated sales force to handle its new product set and a dedicated consulting team. Phillips also reiterated Oracle's commitment to lifetime support for the product.

"First we're going to continue to invest in the applications that exist today, and second we're going to bring those applications together under this semantic model," said Steven Miranda, senior vice president of application development at Oracle. "As we're building out the next generation application, the first step is BI. This is really the first step toward Fusion. You can leverage BI early."

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