RightNow tries to seduce Siebel users

The gloves are off in the fight between CRM vendors to secure uncertain Siebel users in the wake of its acquisition by database giant Oracle

RightNow has kicked off the scramble to win disenchanted Siebel customers from Oracle.

The CRM supplier started its attempts to secure Siebel customers on Thursday by offering users six months of RightNow CRM for free if they buy a two-year contract. RightNow's on-demand CRM solution includes sales, marketing and service functionalities, plus built-in reporting functions.

Global communications provider Intelsat has already taken the vendor up on its offer by replacing its existing Siebel SA Enterprise system with RightNow CRM.

"RightNow's native functionality is a much closer fit than other proposed solutions and won't require extensive, slow and costly software deployment cycles as we respond to our rapidly changing markets," said Paul Haines, Instelsat's information architect, in a statement.

Oracle's takeover of Siebel, announced on 12 September sparked fears within the UK Siebel user community that support would be dropped, maintenance costs will increase and they would be forced to adopt Oracle's CRM products.

As a result, rival CRM vendors seized the opportunity to size up the Siebel market.

Siebel is the latest in a line of acquisitions by Oracle, following the capture of JD Edwards and PeopleSoft, and should enhance Oracle's existing collection of middleware applications.

Even before the Siebel takeover, Oracle had embarked on a major overhaul of its product lines. Dubbed Project Fusion, the effort is meant to combine the best of functionality from the Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise and JDE Enterprise One suites.