Microsoft Corp. and Siebel Systems Inc. announced a multiyear global strategic alliance to deliver the first enterprise solutions that fully exploit Web services to meet the demands of today's enterprises. The alliance includes collaborative development, demand creation, global sales and integrated support for enterprise customers. Through the combination of Siebel Systems' sales, marketing and service applications and business processes based on industry-specific best practices and the Web services technology of Microsoft .NET, the alliance will deliver an efficient and cost-effective application integration as well as raise user productivity and decision-making to new levels.

The alliance is a major expansion of the long-standing relationship between the two companies that today helps hundreds of the world's largest organizations manage their customer relationships. Siebel Systems' enterprise sales, marketing and service applications will be fully optimized for Microsoft .NET, and integrated product road maps will help ensure compatible and harmonized product releases. Working together in joint development laboratories in both Redmond, Washington, and San Mateo, California, Siebel Systems' and Microsoft's engineering teams will fully benchmark test, preoptimize and cross-certify Siebel applications with Microsoft platform software to maximize performance, scalability, reliability and security. Further, Siebel Systems will use Visual Studio .NET as its primary development toolset.

For the first time, the two companies are providing a single point of interaction for joint customers across sales, marketing and customer support. With a multimillion-dollar marketing investment by both companies, the far- reaching go-to-market strategy includes worldwide collaborative selling and a comprehensive set of integrated services and resources to provide expert assistance throughout the entire customer life cycle, from product evaluation and selection to installation, deployment and ongoing maintenance.

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