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But a proprietary open architecture?

Good question.

Siebel's architecture is theirs and theirs alone. Competitors can't use it. They have to develop their own architecture. Thus, Sibel's software (as well as its competitors') is highly proprietary.

Siebel publishes the specs for free about how to "connect" other software to it, whether it's software that allows it to "talk" to ERP software, other front office software modules marketed by competitors, or any kind of relational database. Thus, it's open and helps the value chain get stronger and stronger, as if the 400 or so partners isn't enough.

Hope this helps clarify that very, very important issue. You're right that there are gorillas of various strength, but a big, hairy beast ain't a gorilla without the proprietary, open architecture. That's a must.

--Mike Buckley

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