Salesforce.com's Benioff: It's the end of Siebel

Salesforce.com's Benioff: It's the end of Siebel

Summary: After hearing that Oracle was acquiring Customer Relationship Management (CRM) titan Siebel Systems this morning, I shot off an email to Marc Benioff, CEO at CRM on-demand darling salesforce.com to see what he had to say.

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TOPICS: Salesforce.com
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After hearing that Oracle was acquiring Customer Relationship Management (CRM) titan Siebel Systems this morning, I shot off an email to Marc Benioff, CEO at CRM on-demand darling salesforce.com to see what he had to say.  Originally, I was going to incorporate his comments into my blog entry on the acquisition.  But they were too precious not to create a separate entry for. Said Benioff:

Even dinosaurs mate a few times before they die.  It's the end of software.  It's the end of Siebel.

Personally, I agree with Siebel group vice president and general manager Rob Reid who told me that, given the way Siebel is adding about 250,000 "seats" to its user base each quarter, the company which is known for its on-premises offering but also has an on-demand offering (by virtue of its acquisition of UpShot) that competes with salesforce.com, has plenty of time to get whatever ducks it must get in a row to slow salesforce.com down.  Just to put that number into perspective, while Siebel is adding 250K seats per quarter, salesforce.com's total number of seats right now stands at 267,000 308,000 [Editor's Note: salesforce apparently added 41,000 subscribers in the last quarter]. 

Finally, given that customer acquisition played such an important role in the Siebel buy, my expectation is that the CRM sweep-up isn't over yet.  Not only will the other CRM on-demand darling RightNow Technologies probably get swept up in the next year, but with a market cap of only $2.6 billion (the same amount of money that eBay just bought Skype for), there are plenty of companies that could acquire salesforce.com for what they consider to be pocket change.

Here's the full text of Marc Benioff's internal memo to salesforce staff on the Oracle/Siebel deal.

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Topic: Salesforce.com

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2 comments
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  • Raining on Sforce's parade

    The timing of the announcement is another Ellison classic: raining on Salesforce.com's parade this week.... just imagine: all the crowd gathered at the salesforce conference talking about ORCL and SEBL :-)
    Zoli Erdos
  • Two out of three ain't good.

    Mr Benioff's comment:

    Even dinosaurs mate a few times before they die. It's the end of software. It's the end of Siebel.

    Only the third makes sense.

    Dinosaurs were long-lived animals. They were dominant for many tens of millions of years. This does not make individual dinosaurs an unusually likely candidate for a quick demise.

    If he means Siebel was marked for demise but mated without affecting its fate, he also chose a bad metaphor. Siebel didn't mate. It was et. The new animal in the neighborhood is different from the old.


    And as far as being the end of software...
    No mattern where it's run, it's software. Would be like saying software was the end of accounting.

    I hope Mr. Benioff is better at business plans than figures of speech. He'll need those skills.
    Anton Philidor