Oracle Siebel CRM Licensing Guide -What You Need to Know Before and After Oracle’s Acquisition

Oracle Siebel CRM Licensing Guide -What You Need to Know Before and After Oracle’s Acquisition

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an essential tool 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 one is the best fit 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. We’ll examine the product suite, licensing policies, and compliance risks before and after Oracle’s acquisition. Click here if you want to learn how Siebel licensing works.

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

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 means it 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

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 applications are unlocked by license keys. Many Siebel customers have one or more unlicensed products installed. The license keys downloaded often include more functionalities than the organization is licensed for. Extra Siebel modules/functionalities in use will need to be licensed, reflecting the total number of authorized users.

Siebel Legacy Pricing vs. Oracle Pricing

Before Oracle’s acquisition, Siebel products were sold as Individual Application (e.g., Siebel Sales Enterprise) and as Application Bundle (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 having to keep track of specific user licenses, servers, or deployment locations. You can read about SPE and Siebel differences here.

Siebel Legacy Metrics vs. Oracle Metrics

The metric units that Oracle applies today for the Siebel products are not totally different from the legacy metrics used by 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 in use 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 or not.

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 most common mistakes organizations make is not performing a proper cleanup of their production environments. Organizations may deactivate users by changing logins or assume that anyone who left the company or changed roles don’t count as having access to the software anymore. However, Oracle requires organizations to license each person that is formally authorized to use the software, no matter if they are active users or not.

To remain compliant, organizations must perform a proper and complete deactivation process, consisting of updating employee IDs, statuses, responsibilities, and many other changes at both 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, process orders, service requests, and payments. However, Oracle’s acquisition of Siebel Systems has made licensing and compliance more complex. To ensure compliance, organizations must perform a proper cleanup of their production environments, 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 not only protect organizations from legal and financial risks but also enable them to realize the full potential of Siebel CRM.

Our Siebel Licensing Assessment Service

Our Siebel Licensing Assessment service provides a comprehensive analysis and optimization recommendations for your Siebel installations, enabling you to ensure compliance with licensing agreements, reduce unnecessary costs and optimize support resources. Our service includes:

Licensing Deployment Analysis

  • Analysis of your Siebel installation and licensing deployment
  • Identification of any license usage issues or discrepancies
  • Comparison of your licensing deployment with your contractual obligations
  • Review of your licensing inventory, including any historical licensing usage

Contract Review

  • Analysis of your Siebel licensing contracts and agreements
  • Identification of any licensing restrictions or limitations
  • Comparison of your licensing entitlements with your actual usage
  • Review of any potential risks or issues related to licensing compliance

License Remediation

  • Identification of any non-compliance issues or gaps in licensing entitlements
  • Recommendations for remediation of any compliance issues or gaps
  • Assistance with license reallocation and redistribution, if needed
  • Implementation of licensing changes to ensure compliance with contractual obligations

Advisory on Licensing Optimization and Support Reduction

  • Review of your current licensing usage and entitlements
  • Recommendations for optimization of licensing usage to reduce costs
  • Identification of potential opportunities for reducing support costs
  • Guidance on implementing licensing and support optimizations

Our Siebel Licensing Assessment service is designed to provide you with a clear understanding of your licensing obligations and entitlements, identify areas of risk and non-compliance, and offer recommendations for optimization and cost reduction. With our expert guidance, you can ensure compliance with your licensing agreements, optimize your licensing usage, and reduce unnecessary costs.