and Siebel SystemsTuesday expanded their relationship to ensure that Siebel's customer relationship management software works more closely with Big Blue's WebSphere platform.
An IBM spokesperson told internetnews.com the deal is good for three years, to the tune of $300 million, with more than 200 developers working to make it come to fruition.
Armonk, N.Y.'s IBM has been working furiously in recent months to transition many of its core hardware and software products to its on-demand strategy for offering software services, while San Mateo, Calif.'s Siebel has enjoyed its reign as a leading vendor of sales automation applications.
IBM and Siebel feel that they will help businesses improve the quality of their customer transactions while reducing the cost of ownership on their end.
Specifically, the firms have created IBM-Siebel Branch Teller, a co-developed software product that makes it possible for retail banks to transform brick-and-mortar branches into customer-focused financial centers. This should be launched later this year, the firms said.
Siebel eBusiness Applications will now support J2EE and Web Services running on the IBM WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Portal Server. Siebel Tools will be integrated with IBM WebSphere Studio.
Siebel eBusiness Applications will also be better configured to work with Tivoli systems management and security software, IBM operating systems, and IBM eServers, including zSeries, and AIX and IBM DB2 Universal Database software. The firms pledge improved tighter integration between Siebel eBusiness Applications and IBM Lotus.
According to Steve Mills, Senior Vice President & Group Executive, IBM Software Group, the agreement demonstrates Siebel's embrace of open Web standards, such as J2EE and Web Services, and to WebSphere as its software platform of choice.
"As we move to e-business on demand, the further integration of Siebel eBusiness Applications with IBM's industry expertise, hardware, software, and services will provide a powerful business integration solution for customers, dramatically reducing cost and risk, accelerating deployment and time to value, and improving return on investment," Mills said in a statement.
IBM and Siebel agreed to market Siebel CRM Applications and integrate IBM's DB2 UDB database and Siebel applications in 1999. The two now share more than 1,000 customers, including Bank of America, Caterpillar and Telstra. Siebel also announced ties to Microsoft's .NET platfiorm last October.
The firms, whose alliance goes back to 1999, pair flagship software products to lure enterprise customers.