My question concerns Siebel's Universal Application Network (UAN).As I understand it, this would help in process mapping of two applications for the interfacing. This looks to be a powerful tool. But is this all just smoke and mirrors? I would really like to know which part of integration business they are trying to capture. How Siebel UAN complements adapter vendors?
Since I haven't actually SEEN the UAN in action yet, I can't speak to how well it really works, but I can say this. Siebel understands that its primary competitors in the marketplace currently are PeopleSoft, SAP, and Oracle. It also understands that the IT market is slow and that most companies are looking for point solutions rather than broad enterprise level solutions and have been taking a best-fit approach (I hesitate to say best-of-breed here). That best fit approach means that the existing third party applications and even competitive applications are not going to go away. They, in fact, are going to remain an integral part of the corporate IT structure, whether Siebel or any vendor for that matter wants that or not. Therefore, Siebel created the UAN to both compete with their major opposition and to capture pieces of the marketplace that have their competitors and other third party or legacy systems already on the turf.
As far as the complementarities of the UAN with adapters that other vendors have created, I can only speak to what I hear and what Siebel claims. What Siebel did is to recruit IBM, SeeBeyond, Tibco, Vitria and WebMethods to develop the UAN's integration middleware, making it pretty flexible. Beyond that, there haven't been a lot of announcements that I've seen on vendors who are creating adapters for Siebel. I'm not sure complementarities are really the issue; the UAN is a framework that provides the foundation for integration. Adapters can be replaced by the framework.
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This was first published in August 2002