CRM applications provider Oracle Corporation has announced that it will buy Siebel Systems, Inc., making Oracle the í¯¿½number one CRM applications company in the worldí¯¿½ according to CEO Larry Ellison. He notes that Siebelí¯¿½s 4,000 applications customers and 3.4 million CRM users will strengthen the companyí¯¿½s operations in both North America and globally.

Earlier this year Oracle took over PeopleSoft after a prolonged battle. The Siebel acquisition, however, is expected to be finalised early in 2006. Once completed, the new Oracle will be on a par with applications giant SAP í¯¿½ both companies are likely to enjoy a similar slice of the CRM pie, but SAP has only recently introduced its NetWeaver product in an effort to penetrate the middleware market. This could give Oracle the edge, as it has a larger share of the database market.

According to Oracle, CRM applications capture and streamline all customer interactions, so CRM users can better understand, service and anticipate their customersí¯¿½ needs. Of all major segments of the enterprise applications business, CRM is the largest and fastest growing, estimated to be more than $8 billion in 2004 and expected to grow to $10 billion by 2009, according to IDC. Siebelí¯¿½s CRM and Oracleí¯¿½s enterprise applications and middleware share an architecture that embraces industry standards, and a significant majority of Siebelí¯¿½s implementations run on the Oracle database.

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