Siebel, Palm strengthen ties

Siebel Systems and Palm on Wednesday reaffirmed plans to jointly market, sell, and ensure smooth implementation of Siebel handheld applications on the Palm platform, under an arrangement that also will see Siebel employees utilizing Palm devices.

Although the companies previously partnered on marketing and selling of Siebel applications for Palm OS, Palm has been elevated to "Strategic Partner" status in the Siebel alliance program.

A focal point of the Siebel-Palm agreement includes promoting the Siebel Sales Handheld 7 for Palm OS application, which was announced on Oct. 1. The agreement means that Siebel recognizes Palm OS as the de facto standard for mobile sales professionals, said Palm's Laurie Wood, director of enterprise business development at Palm, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Siebel Sales Handheld 7 for Palm OS provides access to information on accounts, activities, calendar, contacts, employees, expenses, price lists, and other data. Also part of the arrangement is promotion of Siebel's wireless access application for Palm OS, according to Wood.

The announcement follows revelations earlier last month that Siebel planned to only support new consumer goods/van sales and pharmaceuticals applications on the rival Microsoft Pocket PC handheld platform, and not on Palm OS. Siebel's Brian Stone, director of product marketing for mobile solutions, cited issues about multithreading, RAM, and processing power in the company's opting for Pocket PC over Palm. The Palm platform is recognized as the industry's volume leader in handhelds.

Siebel could not be reached for comment Wednesday or Thursday.

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