Siebel unveils ‘Homeland Security’ software

By : |November 8, 2001 0



SAN MATEO, California: Siebel Systems Inc., the world largest seller of
software to manage sales and customer service, on Wednesday became the latest
Silicon Valley heavyweight to offer technology to help improve security in the
United States.

With the announcement, Tom Siebel, the software maker’s founder and chief
executive, joins top executives such as Larry Ellison, of Oracle Corp., and Sun
Microsystems Inc.’s Scott McNealy who already are backing a national identity
system. Ellison has even gone so far as to offer the government free copies of
Oracle database software.

Siebel takes a different approach, said Frank Bishop, vice president and
general manager of Siebel Public Sector.

"They’re trying to track the citizens on their side. This system … is
more tracking the bad guy side of it," Bishop said in contrasting the two
security strategies.

Siebel — offering its own solution — also has no plans to give away its
software, named Siebel Solutions for Homeland Security, which was built from
existing technology, and aims to help law enforcement and other government
agencies manage tips, share suspect information and dispatch emergency
personnel.

Government back on radar
The move by San Mateo, California-based Siebel Systems comes as Silicon Valley
companies are looking to government spending to pick up some of the slack from
dried-up corporate spending.

To that end, government — which employs about one-fifth of all US workers —
suddenly is back, in a big way, on technology companies’ radar screens. But
targeting government may not be a quick cure for Silicon Valley’s sagging tech
sector.

Government deals are slow-moving and ruled by a formalized bidding process.
What’s more, serious competitors often must engage in intense and expensive
lobbying efforts just to stay in the game.

Siebel, which beefed up its government division before the deadly Sept. 11
attacks, already is in the mix. Board Member Marc Racicot, Montana’s former
governor and attorney general, has talked with new Homeland Security Director
Tom Ridge about Siebel’s new product, Bishop said.

The company also is making its pitch to state and local governments and think
tanks.

(C) Reuters Limited.

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