Siebel adds vertical apps to integration platform

Siebel Systems is releasing this week version 2.0 of its Universal Application Network (UAN), adding 50 new industry-focused applications to the integration system.

Announced one year ago and released in October, UAN offers tailored business process packages that work in conjunction with integration servers from vendors such as IBM, WebMethods and SeeBeyond Technology. The aim is to reduce the cost and complexity of integrating an array of enterprise applications from disparate vendors, according to Siebel.

At launch, UAN featured 50 "horizontal" integration applications covering processes common to many organizations, such as managing orders, partner and employee relationships, and product lifecycles. The week's update adds another 50 applications to UAN, this time customized for industry segments.

"One of the biggest unsolved challenges in the IT business is the challenge of integration," said Nimish Mehta, Siebel's newly appointed UAN group vice president. "What we're doing is leveraging integration technology, adding business process-based code, and constructing end-to-end business process connectivity for our customers. With this release, we're verticalizing all those processes."

Among the industries targeted in the UAN update are the automotive, communication, energy, financial services, insurance, healthcare, high-tech and manufacturing sectors. The new integration applications cover processes such as managing billing, assets, inventory, claims processing and customer service.

Twenty charter customers have signed on for UAN, Mehta said, including one using no other Siebel technology. Most customers are "Fortune 100"-size organizations, with global operations and significant integration challenges, he said.

Pricing for UAN varies widely depending on a customer's needs and the number of modules deployed, Siebel said.

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