Siebel, IBM ink life sciences alliance

The software and services deal is the latest partnership between two companies that have grown quite close.

IBM and Siebel Systems Inc. said on Friday that they will work together to deliver software to companies in the

pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical products industries.

The deal calls for IBM to host and manage Siebel Pharma, Siebel Medical and Siebel Clinical applications to save businesses hardware, integration and IT expenses. The companies will also package IBM planning and support services with Siebel Analytics.

Much of the partnership is focused on giving firms that are conducting clinical trials a better view of the process. The goal in tying together Siebel Clinical and IBM's Investigator Relationship & Trial Management is to help organizations better manage relationships with physicians involved in testing. The combined offering will feature IBM Clinical Development Workbench portal technology, Lotus collaboration tools and distance learning capabilities, and clinical trial management system software from Siebel.

IBM and Siebel have forged close ties of late. Last fall, IBM signed on to host Siebel CRM OnDemand software, and earlier this month Siebel hired IBM's sales chief, Michael Lawrie, as its new CEO.

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