Illustrating the growing momentum behind Web services technology, Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, WA) and San Mateo, CA-based Siebel Systems Inc. announced a multi-year global strategic alliance to deliver enterprise solutions that leverage the benefits of Web services to meet business demands. The alliance is an expansion of an existing relationship between the two companies.
The alliance includes collaborative development, demand creation, global sales and integrated support for enterprise customers through the combination of Siebel Systems' sales, marketing, and service applications and business processes, and the Web services technology of Microsoft .NET. The joint solution will be developed in both Siebel's and Microsoft's laboratories and Microsoft's engineering teams will benchmark test and cross-certify Siebel applications with Microsoft platform software for performance, scalability, reliability and security. Siebel Systems will use Visual Studio .NET as its primary development toolset.
For financial services customers, the benefits of the alliance have not yet been quantified by Siebel and Microsoft, because the new alliance is so new, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.
Generally, the agreement will provide benefits for insurance carriers that are looking to develop Web services, says Josh Lee, senior technical strategist, financial services, at Microsoft. "Insurance companies are moving quickly to adopt Web services," Lee says. "Microsoft is involved in pilots and scoping activity in, and out of, connection with our ACORD relationship for delivering Web services to insurance. In collaboration with our partners, we are working with insurance carriers to deliver real Web services that add value to business. Insurance companies are very receptive to the idea and reality of Web service."
Microsoft selected Siebel Systems as its partner because Siebel has expertise in sales, marketing and service best practices and business processes; and the combination of Siebel eBusiness Applications and Microsoft .NET promises to help enterprise customers be more agile in reacting to business change and get greater value out of their technology investments, according to the vendors.
And Siebel chose Microsoft because it believes Microsoft .NET delivers the technology platform that will enable enterprise applications such as Siebel eBusiness Applications to realize the promise of being intuitive and easy-to-use. By leveraging the functionality of Siebel eBusiness Applications and the capabilities of Microsoft .NET, the joint Siebel-Microsoft solution is intended to enable organizations to deploy business solutions at the lowest total cost of ownership.
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio