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Oracle just can't seem to get enough. Following its recent acquisitions of PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards, Oracle has taken another major step into the customer relationship management (CRM) space with plans to take over Siebel Systems Inc.
According to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Oracle will aggressively market the Siebel portfolio (and keep its sales force on staff) rather than push its own CRM products or those from PeopleSoft.
IDC Research says that CRM is the largest and fastest growing area in the enterprise segment. Worth about $8bn last year, IDC predicts that CRM sales could hit $10bn by 2009.
The deal, if successful, will close early next year, and could mean a homecoming of sorts for Ellison and Tom Siebel, the takeover target's chairman. Siebel had been a high-ranking cog in the Oracle machine until 1989 when he left to form his own company.
For his part, Siebel says the deal is great for customers. "The combination of Siebel applications with the development capacity of Oracle to enhance our CRM product set assures our customers continuing success," says Siebel. "This is a very beneficial business combination that will allow us to be even more effective in delivering high quality, leading edge solutions into the hands of satisfied customers."
What the purchase means for competitor Microsoft is another question. Microsoft is expected to launch a new version of its Microsoft CRM 3.0 product this fall.
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