While I do a lot of Siebel related blogging on the Siebel Hub, the general availability of Siebel 2018 is an event that should not go unnoticed to the eager customer-herding CRM technologist.
This article shall serve its purpose as a more general look behind the scenes of recent developments in the Siebel CRM product.
Oracle Corp. owns the product since the Siebel acquisition which was completed in 2006. In the last twelve years, Oracle has not only maintained the product but also bundled it with its own (or acquired) products (BI Publisher for instance).
In 2012, with IE 8 being the sole supported browser, tension among customers reached a peak and there was much criticism that Oracle is doing too little to keep up with modern browsers and being negligent of the product in general.
It was also in 2012 that Oracle changed gears with Siebel Open UI, allowing Siebel applications to be accessed from any modern browser on any device. In addition, Oracle started shipping new releases much faster as “Innovation Packs” with monthly patch sets.
If you followed along over the years, you will remember IP 2017 being the most disruptive release – often being compared to the equally disruptive 7.0 back in 2001. IP 2017 brings architectural changes including the removal of proprietary building blocks such as the SRF file or the Siebel Web Server Extension.
Fast forward to 2018, we find that Oracle has again shifted gears. This time it’s the way new features and bugfixes will find their way onto the customer’s disks.
Firstly, the versioning scheme changes to Year.Month, so the current version at the time of writing is 18.5.
What’s even more interesting is how you get your Siebel environments updated to 18.5: It’s but a patch on top of Siebel 17.x!
Let that sink in for a moment. It means that once you have upgraded to IP 17, there are no major upgrades any more. We can’t see into the far future but there will be more than mere patches (which Oracle now calls “Updates”) but it is to be expected that the process of upgrading will be a lot less complex. This is good news for customers.
Oracle itself benefits as well from the new scheme. It allows Oracle to deliver features for Siebel 2018 over the remaining 7 monthly updates rather than in one big Innovation Pack.
In summary, Siebel 2018, 2019 etc will allow for a calm but steady stream of innovation rather than the frantic race for one IRM (Incremental Repository Merge) per year.
have a nice day