Siebel vs Salesforce: Navigating the CRM Landscape

Siebel vs Salesforce

  • Siebel:
    • Ideal for large enterprises with complex, industry-specific needs.
    • Offers robust customization and on-premises deployment.
    • Part of Oracle, providing comprehensive support.
  • Salesforce:
    • Suitable for a wide range of businesses, including small to medium-sized.
    • Cloud-based, user-friendly, and highly scalable.
    • Extensive ecosystem with frequent updates and a vast app marketplace.

Introduction to Siebel vs Salesforce

siebel vs salesforce

Choosing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can be pivotal in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

This comprehensive article delves into the comparison between two major players in the CRM domain: Siebel and Salesforce.

As we navigate this detailed analysis, we aim to equip you with essential insights, aiding in an informed decision-making process.

  • Addressing the Main Question: When choosing between Siebel and Salesforce, what are the critical factors businesses must consider?
  • Objective Analysis: Our approach is neutral, focusing solely on providing factual comparisons between Siebel and Salesforce.
  • Critical Comparison Areas: We will explore various aspects, including features, costs, support, innovation trends, and market positioning.

Overview of CRM Importance in Business

In the digital era, CRM systems have transcended their traditional roles.

They are no longer just tools for managing customer interactions but have evolved into comprehensive platforms that influence every aspect of business strategy and customer engagement.

Here’s why CRM is crucial:

  • Centralized Customer Data: CRMs offer a unified database for all customer information, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions.
  • Enhanced Customer Engagement: Effective CRM systems facilitate personalized communication, significantly improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Operational Efficiency: CRM systems automate routine tasks, allowing teams to focus on strategic activities and boost productivity.

Brief Introduction to Siebel and Salesforce

Brief Introduction to Siebel and Salesforce

Now owned by Oracle and Salesforce, Siebel has long been at the forefront of the CRM industry. Each offers a unique value proposition.

  • Siebel: Known for its robust and flexible solutions, Siebel caters to a wide range of industries with its deep vertical functionalities.
  • Salesforce: Pioneering the cloud-based CRM model, Salesforce is celebrated for its ease of use, scalability, and extensive ecosystem.

History and Ownership

Origin and Development of Siebel (Owned by Oracle)

Siebel Systems, founded in 1993 by Thomas Siebel and Patricia House, quickly became a dominant force in the CRM market. Here’s a glimpse into its journey:

  • Early Innovations: Siebel introduced some of the first CRM applications, focusing on sales force automation and customer service.
  • Expansion and Growth: Siebel expanded its offerings to include various industries and functionalities.
  • Acquisition by Oracle: In 2005, Oracle Corporation acquired Siebel, further strengthening its CRM market position with its robust technology.

Foundation and Evolution of Salesforce

Foundation and Evolution of Salesforcee

Salesforce, founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, revolutionized the CRM with its cloud-based approach. Let’s look at its trajectory:

  • Cloud CRM Pioneer: Salesforce was one of the first companies to offer CRM solutions through a cloud-based model, making it accessible and scalable.
  • Continuous Innovation: Salesforce’s commitment to innovation is evident in its regular updates and expansion into new areas like AI and IoT.
  • Global Impact: Today, Salesforce is recognized for its expansive ecosystem, including a wide range of integrated applications and partner solutions.

Feature Comparison

Business Process Engine and Workflow Comparison

Siebel and Salesforce offer distinct approaches to managing business processes and workflows:

  • Siebel: Known for its Robust Business Process Engine, Siebel allows for intricate customization and deep integration with enterprise systems. It’s particularly favored in scenarios requiring complex, industry-specific workflows.
  • Salesforce: Utilizes a Process-Oriented Workflow Engine, focusing on streamlined and user-friendly processes. Salesforce excels in agility and ease of modification, making it ideal for businesses seeking quick deployment and adaptability.

Supported Devices and Platforms

The compatibility of CRM systems with various devices and platforms is crucial for modern businesses:

  • Siebel: Supports a range of operating systems, including Windows, Android, iPhone, and Mac, and offers both web-based and on-premises solutions. Its flexibility makes it a good fit for organizations with diverse IT infrastructures.
  • Salesforce: As a cloud-based platform, Salesforce is inherently web-based and supports Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone, and Mac. This universal accessibility ensures that Salesforce is available anytime, anywhere, fostering a mobile and remote working culture.

Specialized Features like PRM, E-Commerce, and Salesforce Automation

Specialized Features like PRM

Both Siebel and Salesforce bring unique, specialized features to the table:

  • Siebel:
    • Partner Relationship Management (PRM): Offers comprehensive tools for managing partner networks and enhancing collaboration.
    • E-Commerce and E-Support: Facilitates online transactions and customer support, integrating seamlessly with the overall CRM functionality.
    • Loyalty Programs: Tailors loyalty solutions to different industry needs, enhancing customer retention.
  • Salesforce:
    • Salesforce Automation: Renowned for its sales automation capabilities, Salesforce streamlines the sales process, improving efficiency and data accuracy.
    • AppExchange Ecosystem: A vast marketplace of third-party applications allows for extensive customization and functionality expansion.
    • Integrated E-Commerce Solutions: Salesforce offers robust e-commerce capabilities through acquisitions and integrations, particularly in the B2B and B2C segments.

Cost Analysis

Initial Costs and Long-Term Financial Implications

Understanding the financial aspect of Siebel and Salesforce is key for businesses:

  • Siebel: Involves upfront costs for licenses and servers. While initially higher, these costs can stabilize over time, making Siebel a potentially more cost-effective solution in the long run for businesses willing to invest upfront.
  • Salesforce is typically perceived as more affordable initially due to its subscription model. However, the long-term costs can accumulate, especially when additional features and integrations are factored in.

Ownership vs. Subscription Models

The choice between ownership and subscription models impacts long-term financial planning:

  • Siebel: This represents the traditional ownership model, where businesses purchase the software outright. This leads to a significant initial investment but potentially lower costs over time.
  • Salesforce: Embodies the subscription model, offering lower initial costs but ongoing expenses. This model provides flexibility and continuous updates but can lead to higher prices in the long run.

Cost-Effectiveness for Different Business Sizes

Cost-Effectiveness for Different Business Sizes

The size and nature of a business play a crucial role in determining the cost-effectiveness of these CRM solutions:

  • Small to Medium Businesses May find Salesforce’s subscription model more appealing due to lower initial costs and scalability.
  • Large Enterprises often prefer Siebel for its robust features and the financial viability of a one-time investment, especially when considering the software’s long-term ownership.

Support and Maintenance

Comparison of Support Services from Oracle and Salesforce

The level and quality of support services are critical in choosing a CRM system:

  • Oracle (Siebel):
    • Offers comprehensive support through Oracle’s established infrastructure.
    • Centralized support for various issues- sales, marketing, or technical glitches.
    • Long-term support for multiple versions of Siebel, providing stability and reliability.
  • Salesforce:
    • It is known for its responsive and diverse support options, including community support, online resources, and dedicated service teams.
    • Offers a tiered support system, allowing businesses to choose a level that best fits their needs and budget.

Update Frequency and Flexibility

How frequently and flexibly CRM systems can be updated is a key consideration:

  • Siebel:
    • Updates are less frequent but are comprehensive, ensuring stability and minimizing disruption.
    • Allows testing in non-production environments, offering businesses control over when to implement updates.
  • Salesforce:
    • Regular updates, with three major releases annually, ensure users can access the latest features and improvements.
    • As a cloud-based platform, updates are rolled out automatically, ensuring all users are on the latest version.

Infrastructure and Technical Support Aspects

The underlying infrastructure and technical support of these platforms affect their performance and user experience:

  • Siebel:
    • Requires a robust IT infrastructure, as it can be hosted on-premises or in a hybrid model.
    • Offers more significant control over the technical environment, which benefits businesses with specific compliance or integration needs.
  • Salesforce:
    • Being cloud-based reduces the need for extensive IT infrastructure.
    • Offers a multi-tenant environment, which is efficient but can limit customization and control.

Current Trends and Innovations in CRM

Current Trends and Innovations in CRM

Integration of IoT and AI in CRM

The integration of cutting-edge technologies like IoT and AI is reshaping CRM capabilities:

  • Siebel and Salesforce are both embracing AI to enhance customer insights and predictive analytics.
  • Siebel is leveraging Oracle’s AI capabilities to enhance data analysis and automation.
  • With its Einstein AI, Salesforce offers advanced analytics, intelligent automation, and improved customer engagement.

Trends like Hyper-Individualization and Mobile CRM Usage

Adapting to current trends is crucial for CRM platforms:

  • Hyper-Individualization:
    • Siebel and Salesforce are utilizing data analytics to create personalized customer experiences.
    • Salesforce, in particular, leverages its vast data capabilities to offer highly individualized customer interactions.
  • Mobile CRM Usage:
    • Salesforce excels with its mobile-first approach, offering a seamless experience across devices.
    • While offering mobile solutions, Siebel focuses more on comprehensive functionality than mobile optimization.

How Siebel and Salesforce are Adapting to These Trends

Both platforms are continuously evolving to meet modern business needs:

  • Siebel is incorporating more web-based and mobile-friendly features to stay relevant in the changing market landscape.
  • Salesforce is consistently at the forefront of innovation, rapidly integrating new technologies and trends into its platform.

In conclusion, both Siebel and Salesforce are adapting to the changing CRM landscape, each with its unique approach and strengths.

Understanding these aspects will guide businesses in selecting the CRM system that aligns best with their strategic objectives and operational needs.

Strategic Acquisitions and Market Position

Strategic Acquisitions and Market Position

Oracle’s Acquisition of Siebel

The acquisition of Siebel by Oracle in 2005 marked a significant shift in the CRM landscape:

  • Strategic Move: This acquisition allowed Oracle to consolidate its position in the CRM market, integrating Siebel’s robust functionalities into its offerings.
  • Impact on Siebel’s Offerings: Post-acquisition, Siebel benefited from Oracle’s vast resources, enhancing its capabilities, particularly in analytics and cloud-based services.
  • Market Positioning: The move positioned Oracle (and, by extension, Siebel) as a formidable competitor against emerging CRM providers, especially in enterprise-level solutions.

Salesforce’s Acquisitions and Market Expansion Strategies

Salesforce has made strategic acquisitions to expand its market presence and capabilities:

  • Diverse Acquisitions: Companies like MuleSoft and Tableau were acquired to enhance Salesforce’s data integration and analytics capabilities.
  • Innovative Expansion: Through these acquisitions, Salesforce has significantly broadened its product offerings, stepping into areas like AI, e-commerce, and deeper analytics.
  • Market Positioning: These strategic moves have solidified Salesforce’s position as an innovator and a leader in cloud-based CRM solutions, appealing to various industries.

Siebel and Salesforce in Practice

Case Studies or Examples of Businesses Using Each CRM

Real-world applications provide insights into the effectiveness of these CRM platforms:

  • Siebel Case Studies:
    • Large Enterprises: Siebel is often preferred by large-scale industries for its robust and customizable nature. Automotive and pharmaceutical companies have utilized it to manage complex customer relationships and sales cycles.
    • Government Entities: Siebel has been effectively used in public sector organizations, where its on-premises model offers the required security and control.
  • Salesforce Case Studies:
    • Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs): Salesforce’s scalable cloud-based model has empowered SMBs. Retail and tech startups have particularly benefited from Salesforce’s ability to adapt rapidly to changing business needs.
    • Global Corporations: Companies like Amazon Web Services and T-Mobile have leveraged Salesforce to streamline global customer interactions and sales processes.

Industry-Specific Applications and Flexibility

The flexibility and industry-specific applications of Siebel and Salesforce have been key to their success:

  • Siebel:
    • It offers tailored solutions for various industries through deep vertical integrations.
    • Its hybrid model (on-premises/cloud) offers flexibility for organizations with specific infrastructure needs.
  • Salesforce:
    • Known for its high degree of flexibility and customization through the Salesforce AppExchange.
    • Industries from healthcare to financial services have utilized Salesforce to create customer-centric solutions.

Both Siebel and Salesforce have proven their mettle across various industries, demonstrating flexibility, robustness, and the ability to innovate and adapt to industry-specific requirements.

These examples highlight each CRM system’s diverse applications and effectiveness, offering valuable insights for businesses considering these solutions.

Top 5 Recommendations for CRM Selection

Top 5 Recommendations for CRM Selection

Identifying Business Needs and CRM Compatibility

  1. Understand Your Business Requirements: Analyze your business processes, customer engagement strategies, and specific industry needs.
  2. Match Features with Needs: Ensure the CRM’s features align with your business goals, whether it’s sales automation, customer service, or marketing.

Assessing Scalability and Future Growth

  1. Evaluate Growth Plans: Consider how the CRM will scale as your business grows. Can it accommodate increasing users, more complex processes, or expanding market demands?
  2. Flexibility for Future Needs: Choose a CRM adaptable to future technological advancements and evolving business strategies.

Evaluating Cost vs. Benefit for Your Business Model

  1. Analyze Total Cost of Ownership: Consider not just the initial investment but also long-term costs, including upgrades, maintenance, and additional features.
  2. Return on Investment (ROI): Evaluate the potential ROI based on improved efficiency, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth.


What is Siebel, and who is it ideal for?

Siebel is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that is best suited for large enterprises requiring complex, industry-specific solutions. It offers robust customization options and is typically deployed on-premises.

How does Siebel support customization and deployment?

Siebel allows for deep customization to meet the specific needs of industries and enterprises. It supports on-premises deployment, giving organizations control over their infrastructure and data.

Is Siebel a part of a larger organization?

Yes, Siebel is part of Oracle, which means it benefits from Oracle’s comprehensive support and integration capabilities with other Oracle products.

What type of businesses is Salesforce suitable for?

Salesforce is designed to cater to a broad spectrum of businesses, from small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large corporations, with its cloud-based, user-friendly, and highly scalable solutions.With its cloud-based, user-friendly, and highly scalable solutions, Salesforce is designed to cater to a broad spectrum of businesses, from small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to large corporations

How does Salesforce’s platform operate?

Salesforce operates entirely in the cloud, making it accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Its design focuses on user-friendliness and scalability, allowing businesses to adjust their usage based on growth and changing needs.

What makes Salesforce’s ecosystem stand out?

Salesforce boasts an extensive ecosystem that includes frequent updates, ensuring businesses can access the latest features and security enhancements. Its vast app marketplace offers a wide range of applications for extended functionality.

Can small businesses use Siebel?

While Siebel is primarily designed for large enterprises with complex needs, technically, small businesses could use it. However, its complexity and cost might not be justifiable or feasible for smaller operations.

Is Salesforce only for customer relationship management?

While Salesforce started as a CRM platform, it has expanded to offer a wide array of cloud-based applications for sales, service, marketing, and more, making it a comprehensive platform for managing various aspects of a business.

How do the support and integration capabilities of Siebel and Salesforce compare?

Siebel benefits from Oracle’s extensive support network and seamless integration with other products. On the other hand, Salesforce offers a vast ecosystem with numerous integration options through its app marketplace, providing flexibility and choices for businesses.

Are there any industries that prefer Siebel over Salesforce, or vice versa?

Industries with highly specific and complex requirements like finance and healthcare may prefer Siebel for its customization capabilities. Industries looking for flexibility, scalability, and ease of use, such as tech startups and retail, might lean towards Salesforce. Industries with highly specific and complex requirements, like finance and healthcare, may prefer Siebel for its customization capabilities.

How do updates in Siebel and Salesforce differ?

Siebel updates are typically part of the broader Oracle ecosystem update strategy, which might require planned downtime and internal resources. Salesforce updates are cloud-based and rolled out automatically to all users with minimal downtime. Salesforce updates are cloud-based and rolled out automatically to all users with minimal downtime.

What are the main differences in deployment between Siebel and Salesforce?

Siebel is primarily deployed on-premises, giving organizations control over their infrastructure but requiring significant IT resources. Salesforce is cloud-based, eliminating the need for on-premises infrastructure and simplifying IT demands.

Can Salesforce integrate with other Oracle products?

Yes, Salesforce can integrate with Oracle products and other third-party applications through its extensive app marketplace and APIs, although the integration might require additional configuration or third-party tools.

What is the initial cost and total cost of ownership like for Siebel vs. Salesforce?

Siebel often requires a higher initial investment due to its on-premises deployment and customization. The total cost of ownership can also be higher because of maintenance and infrastructure costs. Salesforce, being cloud-based, usually has a lower initial cost with a subscription model, but costs can increase based on the level of customization and the number of users.Due to its on-premises deployment and customization, Siebel often requires a higher initial investment

How do the training and user adoption rates compare between Siebel and Salesforce?

Salesforce is generally considered more user-friendly and easier to adopt, with extensive online resources, communities, and training programs available. Siebel, given its complexity and customization capabilities, might require more intensive training, potentially leading to slower user adoption rates.Given its complexity and customization capabilities, Siebel


  • 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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