January 24, 2014

Siebel Twitter Integration - Overview

What is Siebel?

Siebel is Oracle's CRM(Customer Relationship Management) product suite, which offer to manage customer relationships through various touchpoints. Siebel suite is designed mostly for all industry verticals and horizontals, and help business to manage customer data, order information, partner information, sales force automation, customer self service and many more customer interactions.

With its powerful integration capabilities Siebel can interact with other enterprise systems (like billing, back office systesms) on many protocols(like MQ Series, JMS, HTTP, Webservices, database connections, COM, Java, DLL and more..).

What is Twitter?

Does anybody need introduction? Twitter is first and biggest microblogging platform having billions of users accross the world. Some features like verified accounts, hash tagging and trending has made it one of the biggest social network platform.

User can vent their spleen out to the world lietrally about any topic and can follow any user or topic accross the world. From couple of years people have started venting about the poor customer service and problems on twitter. Business are forced to act on the complaints and provide response to keep the brand image. Recently angry customer's tweet about his lost baggage forced British airways to conduct a massive search operation, and helped passenger to get his lost baggage.

Does Siebel Provides Out of the box way to integrate with twitter? No!
Siebel recommends a third party product Buzzinet to handle the twiiter interaction and provide processed information back to Siebel. Which is a very tacttical solution and provides some benefits too. Thus it comes with premium licensing cost and service agreement.

Siebel Twitter Integration

In this series we will discuss a solution which can be implemented to integrate Siebel with twitter without the need of any another enterprise application or middleware.
Twitter only support REST API 1.1 for integration with other applications, current Twiiter API only accepts and provide response in JSON strings. That does not mean Siebel can not integrate Twitter. By using Java based EAI JSON Converter Siebel can create JSON strings and convert back string to data. Follow these links to understand more about EAI JSON Converter..

Twitter REST API v1.1 (@twitterapi) have three major ways of pulling and posting tweets into the cloud.

1. O-Auth User authentication

This method is used by mobile application and third party websites to allows users to acccess twiter features without leaving their environment.

2. Applicaton Only authentication

This type of authentication allows application to execute search queries on twitter and follow topics. With this type of authentication Twitter provides little more generous rate limits for querying twitter, and are best suited for CRM applications.

3. Streaming API

This is firehose of twitter tweets, and it streams live tweets to the applcation using long lived open HTTP connections. This feature should only be implemented if some serious research of user analytics need to be performed.

For the purpose of this series we will demonstrate a solutions which will help organizations having, to follow topics on twitter and post replies to the tweets all by using Siebel on premise application.

Later in this series:
 Stay tuned for coming up posts.

January 09, 2014

What does Google says about Siebel?

In recent weeks we have been reading many new articles across the web talking about Siebel's future. Initially it started with a community poll, and then couple of guest posts flared the discussion over blog-sphere, there were surveys  and conclusions done by well known authors: @lex and BruceDaley

 After some months Adam Honig warned consultants that Siebel is dead end there are many cloud services which are proving an alternative to enterprise installed Siebel application and recommended to switchover to other technologies. Bruce Daley however opposed the viewpoint, he was supported by Richard which pointed out few good things about Siebel. Both however could not completely ruled out the facts regarding the continuing loss of oracle business due to the cloud CRM systems. I recommend to read the discussion on this link.and link
Earlier during the year on other extreme @lex technical trainer from oracle recommended to learn Siebel technology even if it is the last day, It felt a bit of an emotional post. Everyone in Siebel developer community had same feelings.

Nothing actually changed my mind except the post from sugar crm sales team, they published and article showcasing selection of sugar crm as replacement of biggest Siebel call center implementation in IBM. Collectively all these forced me to do my own research.

I am not a veteran Siebel researcher like Bruce and don't have any data from the customers world wide. So I started with Google. Found couple of videos and interviews from Siebel product management found that everyone is defending Siebel(links to come).

Then I turned over to Google trends, and found a very interesting facts, In this post I am just sharing my understanding over these graphs. The first comparison I performed was of Siebel & Salesforce in which you can easily see that Salesforce is gaining the momentum and Siebel losing it.

Next Graph shows comparisons of all the leading customer relationship management applications.

They show easily that interest in Siebel is declining and Saleforce is becoming popular, this is also displayed in siebel/salesforce job search and interviews.

Next graphs shows the similarity of Siebel graph with the downfall of s60 over iOS and Android

Next I turned on to another Google tool : Google Adwords which tells how much other advertisers are bidding to rank their ads on google search terms.

One could easily see Siebel search terms have lower cost, and Salesforce is significantly higher than Siebel!

I appreciate the efforts of everyone who is promoting year 2014 as great year for Siebel, but stats doesn't seems to agree. I am strong believer of keeping the spirit and momentum high, but this had to be shared.