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Sony Ericsson selects Oracle Siebel software for marketing operations

Oracle's Fusion Applications were eclipsed for a moment when Sony Ericsson picked Oracle’s Siebel CRM marketing software for a global rollout.

Oracle Corp.’s spotlight may be on Fusion Applications, but its Siebel line brought in a high-profile win earlier this week when Sony Ericsson, maker of mobile phones, said it plans a global installation of the Oracle Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite.

“This implies that Sony believes there will be continued investment in the Siebel product line,’’ said Bill Band, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass.

Sony Ericsson said the Siebel software suite would be used to help the company create “competitive loyalty and retention programs.” Also, the phone maker said it will use the Oracle Marketing Analytics tool for planning marketing campaigns and then tracking and assessing campaign performance in real time.

The software will be installed in phases, beginning with a rollout in Europe, Sony said.

“Oracle Siebel is far from a dead product,” noted Denis Pombriant, founder and CEO of Beagle Research Group LLC in Stoughton, Mass., and a CRM market consultant.

The Oracle Siebel CRM product line came out of Oracle’s acquisition of Siebel Systems in 2005. At the time, Oracle said that the Siebel software would be front and center when it came to the CRM market, even though it had additional Oracle CRM offerings of its own as well as those picked up when it acquired PeopleSoft in 2004.

More recently, however, Oracle has appeared focused on launching its Fusion line of applications. This product line, in development for years, was intended to bring together the best functionality from its many applications. The company had a large group of Fusion early adopters on hand earlier this month at the Collaborate user conference in Orlando, Fla., to showcase this application line.

Analysts said the day of an Oracle Fusion-only CRM customer base is years away.

 “Oracle is going to continue to sell Siebel and PeopleSoft and whatever else until Fusion replaces it. There is no reason not to,” said Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group LLC in Washington, D.C., and author of CRM at the Speed of Light.

“They understand the bottom line,” Greenberg added about the software giant. “They are going to keep moving products that are making money for them.”


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