Siebel Systems on Monday became one of the last major enterprise software vendors to offer a version of its suite of applications for the Linux operating system. The CRM giant announced it will work with Novell to run Siebel business applications on Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9.
Stacey Schneider, director of technology, product marketing, said that Siebel hopes to have its Linux version ready at or near the same time as the introduction of its next version of business applications suite, Version 8, due out by the middle of 2006.
"The engineering effort is in parallel with the legal agreement," said Schneider, explaining that Siebel cannot introduce a Suse version of its applications until there is a "commercially responsible relationship" with the Linux vendor to support it.
Last April, Siebel announced support for IBM's Linux version of DB2 database management system.
Asked if Siebel will also work with Red Hat or any other Linux vendor for support, Schneider had no comment.
Josh Greenbaum, principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting, said that if Siebel had waited another year, the delay could have been potentially devastating to its business, noting that Linux support, especially in Europe and in government, is growing steadily.
"Now, it [Linux support] is a checklist item, but you wouldn't want to go without it," said Greenbaum.