IBM (NYSE: IBM) is in the cloud news again this week. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, IBM has chosen SugarCRM over Oracle's (NASDAQ: ORCL) Siebel for its lucrative CRM contract. IBM also launched a new suite of business integration software to help organizations adopt social business, cloud and mobile technologies.

The WSJ blog noted that IBM has decided to end its longstanding CRM partnership with Oracle Siebel and offered it to SugarCRM, a relative startup -- only 8 years old -- that uses open source code to build its CRM offerings. In February 2012, Talkin’ Cloud reported that Blytheco similarly chose to end its 30-year relationship with Sage in favor of SugarCRM.

The blog quoted Pat Walravens of JMP Securities: “IBM was the world’s largest deployment of Siebel applications, and we view this replacement as yet another indication of the pressure on Oracle’s application business.” Oracle purchased Siebel in 2005.

The good news for SugarCRM builds on CEO Larry Augustin’s statement a month ago that company revenues have grown 67 percent in 2012 vs. 2011. SugarCRM also had a funding round totaling $33 million in April 2012. Channel partners, take note: SugarCRM sells its software through roughly 400 resellers around the world.

At IBM Impact in April 30-May 2, 2012, Las Vegas Big Blue announced new business integration software designed to help enterprises utilize the benefits of social media, mobile computing and cloud computing in their IT applications. The foundation for the integration software is the new 8.5 version of IBM’s WebSphere Application Server, which Armonk claims is the fastest application server on the market and is cloud-ready with built-in virtualization.

According to the press release, IBM’s new integration software offerings include:


  • IBM Business Process Manager:Combines new capabilities around social, collaboration, governance and mobile to dramatically improve the way work is done. This allows organizations to gain visibility in the ways they change, manage measure and improve the processes that run their business.

  • IBM Operational Decision Management: Speeds and simplifies the way organizations manage the business rules that control a wide range of decisions across business processes and applications. The new "social media" style user interface provides an intuitive environment for collaboration and simplifies searching, viewing and making rule changes.

  • IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Live Web API Services: Allows companies to extend their services to support the emerging community of developers who are building new social, mobile and cloud applications. This new purpose-built offering provides a comprehensive solution to deliver, socialize and manage business API assets.