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Siebel Goes Wireless with Nokia

Finnish wireless leader Nokia extended its hand to the far west of the U.S. Tuesday when it teamed with Siebel Systems Inc. to offer Wireless Application Protocol solutions to corporate clients.

Financial details were not disclosed.

E-commerce software leader Siebel has enlisted Nokia's WAP Server for use with its own highly-touted e-business applications suite to help Siebel's customers go mobile with respected wireless technology. Applications in the suite that will benefit from the mobile push include sales, field service, eChannel, and industry applications.

The agreement between the two companies encompasses joint development and solutions engineering, worldwide marketing, and field sales training. The companies will jointly package end-to-end mobile solutions for deploying wireless implementations.

Paul Wahl, president and chief operating officer for Siebel Systems, said Nokia's brand, quality and level of security were all factors for picking the Finnish outfit.

Supported by all operating systems, WAP is a secure specification that allows users to access information instantly via handheld wireless devices such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones and communicators.

The Nokia WAP Server is the world's most-recognized WAP-server for the corporate market. The company is the leading mobile phone supplier and a leading supplier of mobile, fixed and IP networks, related services as well as multimedia terminals.

Siebel's play comes perhaps in answer to a wireless deal brokered by major rival SAP in August. SAP, a strong customer relationship management competitor, signed on Abaco PR Inc. to utilize Abaco's Varadero Wireless Framework as a preferred partner platform for providing middle-tier mobile business solutions to customers of SAP and mySAP.com™.

Siebel Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Siebel talked about his firm's head-to-head battle with SAP last week. Siebel said that while SAP is a "great, great company" and the largest provider of enterprise software, their market is only growing at a 4 to 5 percent annual compound rate while Siebel is growing at a 54 percent compound rate.

Siebel said his company's strength is in customer service provisions, which will enable Siebel to overtake SAP in the next four or five quarters as the larger enterprise software firm.

Investors seem to think so, too, as Siebel's stock has soared 15 percent in the past week. UBS Warburg analyst Ken Carey Tuesday labeled Siebel's stock at a "buy" rating of $135 per share. Carey pegged the giant as having "excellent long-term growth potential."