After implementing and upgrading Siebel applications for the past 15 years, I can see how customers in the past several years have begun to dislike the user interface/look and feel of the Siebel application.
The blue color has not changed forever (although shades of blue have changed), concepts has not changed (list, form, tree, MVG, popup etc), user interaction has not changed – multiple clicks to perform a function (although few enhancements were made over the past years like implicit save of a record, shuttle applets, task-based UI etc).
Of course, there have been a lot of enhancements behind the scenes with respect to performance, database design, architecture, integrations etc. But from the front-end user perspective, no drastic changes were seen. This would lead one to believe that being so consistent is favorable to the user community. But alas!
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A typical Siebel organization would have many applications in their stack to support the organization – one being the Siebel application (either as an internal application, or external customer-facing application). Most of the other applications would probably be home-grown systems or open-source systems. These would be purely java/HTML/Web based systems. Such applications change based on technology change. As new versions of Java and HTML come out, these applications are quickly upgraded to support the latest technology and security – thereby inadvertently also upgrading the user interface.
So when users of Siebel use one of these upgraded applications, they can see the big difference. They question as to why Siebel looks like it is still in the stone age.
Siebel has one of the best data models I have seen. Over the years, the Siebel infrastructure was improved to meet almost all medium-to-large market applications. And it is only getting better. But the user interface?
Then comes Siebel Open UI. The initial versions of Siebel Open UI were not promising – with all the shortcomings and bugs. But today with Siebel version 16 almost around the corner, the user interface has changed in leaps and bounds. And organizations are noticing it. Siebel can now use the latest web technologies to render screens that no one can tell it is a Siebel application. Organizations are now implementing upgrade projects to change the user interface totally and there by getting a “Anything But Siebel” application. This seems to make the users very happy, and at the same time, it keeps the IT division happy because the back end is still the same old robust Siebel infrastructure – of course, with tons of enhancements.
With Siebel 15 having themes that mimic Oracles cloud applications and Siebel 16 having much more to offer, I don’t thing Siebel is going anywhere in the foreseeable future. I am on my third upgrade project in the span of two years, and I know Perficient has many more coming.
The Perficient CRM team has the expertise to provide a “Anything but Siebel” Siebel implementation to its customers.