By Margaret Lindquist
With 12 years at Siebel and, prior to that, 7 years at Oracle, Ed Abbo knows both companies intimately and understands how to succeed in either environment. "Over the past three or four years, I've been running the technology office and development for Siebel," Abbo explains. "I started off in the engineering organization, ran Siebel's technical field organization for a number of years, and then started up and ran the industry applications organization, when we launched CRM [customer relationship management] applications specific to industries such as financial services, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, high technology, automotive, energy, public sector, and communications." Abbo's familiarity with the business applications ecosystem is so complete that the thought of the approximately 16,000 customers and more than 4 million deployed end users—making the combined companies by far the largest front-office packaged application provider—doesn't faze him.
Oracle's strategy—called protect, extend, and evolve—allows customers to protect the investments that they have made in Oracle applications, extend them with new Oracle Fusion-based capabilities, and finally evolve to the next-generation applications when it makes business sense for them to do so. "The key message is that the product strategy is sound, and it takes into account what customers are doing today—what their plans are in the medium term as well as the long term. The timing is also excellent, since both Siebel and Oracle are in the process of building next-generation applications," Abbo emphasizes.
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