Oracle Siebel CRM Licensing Guide

How Oracle Siebel CRM Licensing Works:

  • License Complexity: Licensing became more complex post-Oracle acquisition. Users receive license keys to activate purchased functionalities. Oracle provides these keys on its website, allowing downloads without a license upfront​​.
  • Siebel Legacy vs. Oracle Pricing:
    • Component Licensing: Oracle’s a la carte model is cost-effective for a few end-users with one or two products.
    • Custom Application Suite (CAS) Licensing: Bundles multiple Siebel programs for one user.
    • Enterprise Licensing: This is for entire organizations without tracking specific user licenses or servers​​.
  • License Keys Usage: Standard Siebel installations offer all modules; keys unlock applications. Keys often include more functionalities than are licensed for, requiring extra licensing based on authorized users​​.

Introduction to Siebel Licensing

siebel crm licensing

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is essential for businesses looking to improve profitability, revenue, and customer satisfaction.

With several CRM solutions on the market, including Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, Oracle Siebel, and Sugar CRM, it’s challenging to determine which is best for your organization.

In this article, we’ll focus on Oracle Siebel, a large and complex software solution developed by Siebel Systems Inc. and acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2006. W

I’ll examine the product suite, licensing policies, and compliance risks before and after Oracle’s acquisition.

For more information about Siebel licensing works, read our leading guide.

Horizontal, Vertical, and Analytics Applications in the Siebel Product Suite

siebel applications

The Siebel product suite offers three types of applications:

Horizontal applications are industry-independent solutions, such as Siebel CRM Base and Siebel Contracts.

Vertical applications are industry-specific products, such as Siebel Public CRM Base and Siebel CME Contracts. Vertical Applications also include the entire set of modules from horizontal, which is more expensive.

Analytics products, such as Siebel Sales Analytics, were available as standalone editions until version 7.8, after which they were discontinued. Nowadays, the functionality of the Analytics products is bundled into the Oracle Business Intelligence product group.

Siebel applications may also be classified by user type: Employee Applications for employees such as salespeople using Siebel Contracts, Customer Applications for an organization’s customers designed for purchasing online, and Partner Applications for partners of the organization.

Licensing: Breaking Down the Complexity of Siebel License Keys

siebel license keys

Licensing for Siebel products became more complex after Oracle’s acquisition. In the past, end-users entered into a license agreement with Siebel, after which they received unique license keys to enable the functionality purchased.

However, Oracle made Siebel license keys freely available on the external website, so end-users could download them without obtaining a license upfront.

A standard Siebel installation offers all available Siebel modules and functionalities in which license keys unlock applications. Many Siebel customers have installed one or more unlicensed products.

The license keys downloaded often include more functionalities than the organization is licensed for. Extra Siebel modules/functionalities must be licensed to reflect the total number of authorized users.

Siebel Legacy Pricing vs. Oracle Pricing

siebel pricing

Before Oracle’s acquisition, Siebel products were sold as Individual Applications (e.g., Siebel Sales Enterprise) and Application bundles (e.g., eAdvisor & eConfigurator Bundle).

However, the number of Application Bundles offered was small and rarely sold. In December 2006, Oracle started selling Siebel products under the three standard pricing models for Oracle applications: Component licensing, Custom Application Suite (CAS) licensing, and Enterprise licensing.

Component licensing.

Component licensing is Oracle’s traditional a la carte pricing model and a cost-effective option for customers licensing one or two Oracle products with a few end-users. For example, Siebel CRM Base, licensed per Application User, allows one individual to use a single Siebel software program.

CAS licensing.

Under CAS licensing, a customer may purchase different software products in one bundle (e.g., Siebel CRM Base licensed per Custom Suite User). This metric allows one individual to use multiple Siebel software programs as defined in the bundle.

Enterprise licensing.

Enterprise licensing allows customers to license the desired Siebel software programs for their entire organization without keeping track of specific user licenses, servers, or deployment locations. You can read about SPE and Siebel differences here.

Siebel Legacy Metrics vs. Oracle Metrics

siebel license metric

The metric units that Oracle applies today for the Siebel products are not different from the legacy metrics used by the Siebel System. Siebel products were generally sold per user.

One of the most common user-based metrics was Named User, which migrated to the Application User metric used today. Both Named User and Application User licenses focus on the number of individuals authorized to use the software, regardless of whether the user is actively using it.

Other user-based licenses include Registered User, which focuses on the number of business partner individuals authorized to use the software, and Partner Applications, which are typically licensed under this metric.

For other non-user-based licenses such as Processor, Physical Server, Computer, etc, usage counts are based on the (physical) hardware on which the Siebel software programs are installed.

Proper Cleanup and Compliance for Siebel CRM

One of the organizations’ most common mistakes is not properly cleaning up their production environments.

Organizations may deactivate users by changing logins or assume that anyone who left the company or changed roles doesn’t count as having access to the software anymore. However, Oracle requires organizations to license each person formally authorized to use the software, whether they are active users or not.

Organizations must perform a proper and complete deactivation process to remain compliant, updating employee IDs, statuses, responsibilities, and many other changes at the database and application levels. Inactive users who still have access to the software pose a significant compliance risk.

Siebel CRM is a robust solution that can help organizations manage customer information and process orders, service requests, and payments. However, Oracle’s acquisition of Siebel Systems has made licensing and compliance more complex.

Organizations must adequately clean up their production environments to ensure compliance, extend this cleanup to the test/development/acceptance environments, and validate the user responsibility association process.

By following these steps, organizations can avoid non-compliance risks and ensure they have the appropriate licenses for their Siebel products. Proper licensing and compliance protect organizations from legal and financial threats and enable them to realize the full potential of Siebel CRM.

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.

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