Microsoft shares tools for unlocking customer data

by admin January 10, 2006 at 6:28 am

Microsoft has released free software code that lets its workers pull sales data into Outlook from customer information systems made by Siebel Systems, an internal project it hopes will inspire other businesses to build similar programs.

The software giant first discussed Project Elixir last January, in an effort to demonstrate how companies can use Web-based tools in Office 2003 to tie Outlook to other business systems from Siebel, SAP, Oracle and others. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates talked it up again a few weeks later.

Now, nearly a year later, Microsoft has released Project Elixir sample code and technical documentation to the public via its Microsoft Developer Network Web site.

A key component of the project is Customer Explorer, a program the company spent nine months and $500,000 to develop, according to a posting on a Microsoft Web site. The posting said the total was “a small price” to pay to maximize the return on its multimillion-dollar investment in Siebel. The desktop application lets 8,000 salespeople at Microsoft tap into the company’s Siebel database via Outlook, the site said.

Full article: C|net