Archive for the ‘Oracle Fusion Apps’ Category

Event Report: Day 1 At Oracle Open World 2013: The Quest For Innovation #oow13

Past Oracle Open Worlds Have Disappointed Customers and Partners

Let’s be frank.  The past five years at Oracle Open World have disappointed even the faithful.   The over emphasis on hardware marketing and revisionist history on cloud adoption bored audiences.  The $1M paid advertorial keynotes had people walking out on the presenters 15 minutes into the speech.  Larry Ellison’s insistence on re-educating the crowd on his points subsumed the announcements on Fusion apps.   Even the cab drivers found the audience tired, the show even more tiring.

Oracle went from hot innovative must attend event to has been while most industry watchers, analysts, and media identified shows such as Box’s BoxWorks,’s DreamForce, and Exact Target’s Connections as the innovation conferences in the enterprise.  These events such as Constellation’s Connected Enterprise, capture not only the spirit of innovation but also provide customers a vision to work towards.  Hence, most believe Open World could use much needed rejuvenation and a shot of innovation juju (see Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Oracle Open World Lights Up San Francisco From September 22nd to September 27th

“Next Slide Please”: Oracle Enters A Period Of Reinvention At #OOW13

Walking through the event on Saturday (Day 0) and today (Day 1), one will notice a slight change in the spirit of the event. While half the base is die hard Oracle Red Stack customers (i.e. those who grew up from database to middleware to apps), the good news is the other half of the Oracle customers who came in through acquisition (i.e. or some say by accident) are present in larger numbers.  These customers by acquisition sought best of breed, took more risks, and fought in some cases not to be on the Oracle Red Stack.

For Oracle to win the innovation battle, the company must win over the mind share of the Oracle customers by acquisition.  In fact, these customers represent the early adopters representing market leaders and fast followers while the core Oracle Red Stack is more cautious adopters and laggards (see Figure 2).  Market leaders and fast followers have key components required for successful building blocks of corporate IT and often have line of business leaders that push the envelope.  Oracle must tap into that spirit in order to move its base forward towards innovation.

Figure 2. Organizational DNA Determines Pace And Appetite For Disruptive Tech Adoption

Open World 2013 Attempts To Change The Tenor Of Oracle’s Outward Conversation

In the spirit of innovation, attendees can expect six distinct mega themes to emerge from this uber event catering to 60,000 physical attendees and potentially 100,000 online.

  1. More…

Market Maker 1:1: Steve Miranda, Oracle Fusion Applications Update – The Inside Story

The Inside Story On Oracle Fusion Apps At The End of 2012

Constellation sat down with Steve Miranda, Oracle’s Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development to discuss the state of Oracle Fusion Apps in a no-holds barred honest conversation about what’s working, what’s not, and what to look forward to in 2013.

R “Ray” Wang (RW): Steve Miranda is Executive Vice President of Oracle Applications Product Development. He is responsible for leading all aspects of product strategy, product development, and product delivery for Oracle’s applications and related cloud services. This includes Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle’s newest products for customer service and support, commerce, and talent management.

Mr. Miranda joined Oracle in 1992 and has held a variety of leadership positions within the development organization. In 2007 he was asked to lead the engineering of Oracle’s next-generation suite of software applications, Oracle Fusion Applications. Under Mr. Miranda’s leadership, Oracle has continually delivered on its promise to help its applications customers innovate and remain competitive while leveraging their existing IT investments and increasing the value of those investments with new Oracle products and services.

Prior to Oracle, Mr. Miranda worked at GE Aerospace. He holds degrees in mathematics and computational sciences from Stanford University.



(RW): As 2012 is coming to an end it is a good time to reflect on how Oracle Fusion Applications has been doing this year. It would seem that Oracle’s been quite quiet about Oracle Fusion Applications throughout the year. Is the product selling? What’s the state of the Oracle Fusion Applications product lines?

Steve Miranda(SM): Oracle Fusion Applications is doing very well. We’re actively selling the product. In fact, we already have over 400 customers on Oracle Fusion Applications. We’re doing better than when they started. Keep in mind, we have a rich customer base looking for innovation.

RW: When you say “Oracle Fusion Applications is selling well”, is that the whole suite or components of Oracle Fusion Applications?

SM: We are actively selling the product. More than 400 customers are on Oracle Fusion Applications, that’s any part of Oracle Fusion Applications, not including RightNow, Taleo, Oracle Business Analytics, or Oracle Fusion Middleware. Two thirds of the customers have chosen to deploy in a SaaS model. Then the second largest deployment model but far below are on-premise and the rest are hosted in our managed services.

RW: Does “managed services” means they own their own license, right?

SM: That’s correct. What’s powerful about these deployments patterns is that customers are accessing innovation faster than before. We are at over 100 live customers and are averaging one go-live a day right now.

RW: I understand that Oracle deployed Oracle Fusion Applications internally? How was that experience in “drinking your own champagne”?

SM: Ray, that’s correct. We did drink our own champagne and we are now using Oracle Fusion CRM internally instead of Siebel.. We have a global single instance for the business. When we deployed, we started out with 2 instances to show case a co-existence approach and an end-to-end Oracle Fusion Applications approach. As of June 1, 2012, Oracle Fusion CRM was up around the world. All the territories, forecasting, quotas, sales force automation, and contacts are in Oracle Fusion CRM globally.

RW: Is it one instance now?

SM: Yes. We also went live w/ Oracle Fusion Financials Accounting Hub on the back end. We replaced Hyperion and Oracle E-Business Suite GL and also went live June 1, 2012. We’ve already done several month-end closes and we also have Oracle Fusion Talent Performance Management up live. Employees and managers are now doing goal setting and appraisals.

RW: To be honest with you Steve, we aren’t seeing Oracle much in head to head competitive new deals. We don’t see big press releases about new wins. Where are the customers? Who’s buying what and why?

SM: Well, first of all, many of our existing customers are coming to us about Oracle Fusion Applications. Second of all, and you may not believe this, we’re not focused on publicity, but rather we want to ensure customer success.. Each go-live is very important to us. In our first set of go-lives, we have 10,000 customers who want to talk to the first 10 go lives. We also don’t want to overwhelm our initial customers.

Let me give you some details and examples so you understand the breadth and depth of what the Fusion Apps base looks like and so there’s no confusion. Here’s a selected slice:


News Analysis: The Implications Of Oracle’s Acquisition Of Taleo

Catch my colleague Yvette Cameron’s point of view here. She covers Future of Work for Constellation Research, Inc.

Oracle Plays Catch Up With Public Cloud Ambitions

On February 9th, Oracle announced its intention to acquire Dublin, CA based Taleo for $1.9B.  Taleo is a cloud based talent management software provider with 5000 customers and 1400 employees.   Key take aways to consider:

  • Moves by SAP and Oracle intend to compete with next generation cloud HCM companies. Taleo provides recruiting and on boarding, performance management and goal setting, compensation, succession, and learning and development.  This complete suite tied to reporting and analytics is designed to streamline human resource operations and employee career management across retail and hospitality, travel, healthcare, media and entertainment, financial services, technology, and energy and mining.  Marquee customers include Starbucks, Starwood, Hyatt, JP Morgan Chase, HP, Dell, Conde’Nast, United, American Airlines, Tesora, Blue Cross blue Shield, and Sutter customers.

    Point of View (POV):
    Oracle sees advantages in acquiring a leading player in the talent management space .  For years, both Taleo and SuccessFactors ate into Oracle’s existing customer base for talent management.  Consequently, other cloud based HCM and HR Tech vendors such as Ceridian, CornerStone OnDemand, FairSail, Kinexa, UltimateSoftware, and Workday continue to attract line of business customers looking for innovations not being delivered by their core HCM providers (i.e. Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP).  More importantly, cloud computing if properly designed can improve the pace of innovation delivered to customers.
  • Oracle continues to buy its way into a public cloud. Oracle continues to react to buyer sentiment and preference for cloud based solutions with this second major acquisition in what they term the “public cloud” space.  Oracle purchased RightNow for $1.43B on October 24th to address its gaps in customer service solutions.  The Taleo purchase addresses a gap in Talent Management solutions that rival SAP plugged with its recent acquisition of Success Factors for $3.4B .

    Point of View (POV):
    These defensive plays indicate a realization that Cloud delivery emerges as the predominant option for applications. Based on Oracle’s current road map, one can expects Oracle to acquire its way into many other edge applications not listed on its Public Cloud road map (see Figure 1).  Some other applications could include social business solutions, expense management, learning solutions, pricing management, identity management, and mobile device management.   However,  Oracle’s public cloud acquisition strategy so far lacks a key requirement – a choice for multi-tenant architected solutions.  While both RightNow and Taleo have some modules that are multi-tenant, in most instances, these applications have been delivered in single tenancy or in multi-instance. Multi-tenant solutions will provide clients with the most efficient upgrade path and lowest long-term cost structure.  The lack of a public strategy to address this issue remains a significant concern for customers and industry observers.

Figure 1. Oracle’s Vision For A Public Cloud

Source: Oracle Corporation


  • Seats matter most in a world of CoIT. Oracle hopes to gain massive cloud scale through Taleo’s 74 million transactions per day and 240 million candidates on Taleo Talent Exchange.  The sheer number of users is massive.

    Unlike CRM or ERP, the play for HR is all about acquiring the biggest base of users – employees.  With consumerization of IT (CoIT) in full swing, the goal is to grab as many users upfront and then over time cross-sell them into other edge applications which converge between enterprise and consumer.  Why?  The new strategy among the enterprise apps vendors is land and expand. The largest active user bases will win the war of attrition.

The Bottom Line for Customers: Goodbye On-Premises, Hello Cloud World!


News Analysis: Oracle Buys RightNow For $1.43B

The Acquisition Machine Heads To The Public Cloud

Users gathered at the Customer Summit 2011 at the Broadmoor Hotel woke up to the shocking announcement that Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) announced a $1.43B acquisition of leading SMB CRM vendor RightNow Technologies (NASDAQ: RNOW) today.  According to Thomas Kurian, “Oracle is moving aggressively to offer customers a full range of Cloud Solutions including sales force automation, human resources, talent management, social networking, databases and Java as part of the Oracle Public Cloud,” said Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President, Oracle Development. “RightNow’s leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle’s Public Cloud.”

A quick analysis of the acquisition reveals:

  • Oracle sees RightNow as an anchor in its public cloud strategy. RightNow signals the first of many acquisitions foundational to a market place strategy.  CRM plays a pivotal role.  Bozeman, Montana based RightNow brings over 2000 customers, and 10 billion transactions per year in volume.  In fact, Kurian’s press statement hints at other areas that include anything from infrastructure to apps.

    Point of View (POV):
    Oracle’s success in the public cloud will require more than just a multi-instance virtualized cloud offering.  The lack of true multi-tenancy will prove to be a detriment to both customers and Oracle.  Oracle will need to deliver a multi-tenant version of Fusion Middleware to provide customers with the full range of deployment option choices from on-premise, hosted, multi-instance, and multi-tenant.  However, investors and customers should view the public cloud as more than an offering or technology play. In fact, this is Oracle’s new merger and acquisition vehicle.
  • Oracle pokes at on the customer service side. While would most likely not acquire RightNow, Oracle brings on a key customer service competitor to and aligns it with the Oracle sales and marketing machine. Meanwhile, Oracle gains an emerging web experience and social experience product line to complement a robust contact center and solid customer experience suite.

    Point of View (POV):
    With most of RightNow’s customers coming from the customer support side of the house, will feel the heat in the market place.  Despite the Assistly acquisition, still has a lot of work to move the Service Cloud offering to par with competitors.  Quite frankly, this is a direct attack by Larry Ellison to Marc Benioff in this space.
  • Oracle plans a long term customer experience play. Oracle’s previous acquisitions of FatWire, Endecca, ATG, and Sigma Dynamics signal a potential play to get serious about customer experience management.  Oracle will need to re-purpose assets to the core CRM team to share in the innovation.

    Point of View (POV):
    Social business, online experience optimization, and gamification represent huge holes in Oracle’s product portfolio.  RightNow brings tremendous amounts of thought leadership to the table should Oracle retain the product teams.  More importantly, the SMB focus will help Oracle bring in a new customer base.

The Bottom Line For Buyers:  Proceed With Caution

RightNow customers should shore up existing contracts and extend maintenance and subscription pricing as far out as possible.  As with most acquisitions, expect Oracle to raise rates to fund the acquisition.  Customers and prospects should seek additional guarantees in product road map commitments and service level commitments.

The Bottom Line For Vendors: This Acquisition Makes Little Sense At First.

Vendors and competitors will most likely wonder why Oracle started this process with RightNow.  As with the PeopleSoft and Siebel acquisitions in the past, competitors were caught off guard.  Expect companies such as eGain, Moxie, Mzinga, Taleo, SuccessFactors, Zuora, Xactly, and others to be targets on the buy list.  Had Oracle or another vendor rolled-up the SaaS vendors during the 2008 downturn, they would have only expended less than $1B for all the players smaller than  Instead, cloud has now emerged as threat to legacy vendors such as Oracle.  After waiting on the side lines for the right moment, Oracle now enters the ring and will do what it does best – acquire and assimilate innovation.  In the long-term, Oracle will directly compete with Dell,, and VMWare for the SMB market place via cloud.

Your POV.

Does this announcement surprise you?  Are you a RightNow customer?  Will you be ready to make the leap with Oracle?  What has your experience with Oracle been post acquisition?  Add your comments to the blog or reach me via email: R (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com or R (at) SoftwareInsider (dot) com.

How can we assist?

Buyers, do you need help with your apps strategy and vendor management strategy?  Trying to figure out how to infuse innovation into your tech strategy? Ready to put the expertise of over 1000 software contract negotiations to work?  Give us a call!

Please let us know if you need help with your next gen apps strategy efforts. Here’s how we can help:

  • Providing contract negotiations and software licensing support
  • Evaluating SaaS/Cloud options
  • Assessing apps strategies (e.g. single instance, two-tier ERP, upgrade, custom dev, packaged deployments”
  • Designing innovation into end to end processes and systems
  • Comparing SaaS/Cloud integration strategies
  • Assisting with legacy ERP migration
  • Engaging in an SCRM strategy
  • Planning upgrades and migration
  • Performing vendor selection

Related Resources

20111024 IDG News Service – Chris Kanaracus “Oracle buys RighNow for about US $1.5B”

20111024 Wall Street Journal – Matt Jarzemsky “Oracle Buy Cloud-Based Right Now”

20111024 GigaOm – Barb Darrow “Why Oracle paid $1.5B for Right Now”

Related Research


Reprints can be purchased through Constellation Research, Inc. To request official reprints in PDF format, please contact sales (at) ConstellationRG (dot) com.


Although we work closely with many mega software vendors, we want you to trust us. For the full disclosure policy, stay tuned for the full client list on the Constellation Research website.

Copyright © 2011 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC All rights reserved.

Press Release: Oracle User Advocate Debra Lilley Joins Constellation Research’s Board of Advisors

Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK – February 7, 2011
8:30 AM (GMT 0:00) Greenwich Time

Constellation Research Inc, a next generation research analyst firm helping clients navigate emerging and disruptive technologies, announced today the addition of end user advocate Debra Lilley to the Board of Advisors.

Constellation Research’s Board of Advisors play a key role in shaping the research agenda and providing advice and guidance to its members.  Board members bring significant industry experience, represent the leaders in their field, and serve in 6 to 12 month terms.  These esteemed individuals:

  • Guide research direction
  • Advise on business strategy
  • Maintain an outside-in perspective
  • Deliver mentorship from seasoned professionals
  • Garner input from clients and prospects
  • Grow the constellation of experts
  • Identify new talent
  • Maintain and exude the Constellation values in public

Board members do not have a commercial relationship with Constellation nor are they represented by Constellation.  Board members do not have fiduciary responsibility.


Event Report: Oracle Open World 2010 – The Wrap Up

Oracle Continues To Demonstrate Benefits From An Effective M&A Strategy

A quick poll of 61 attendees at Oracle Open World 2010, revealed that 57.4% (35/61) of Oracle customers were positive, 29.2% (19/61) were neutral, and 10.8% (7/61) were negative about Oracle’s application strategy to date.  A continued stream of product enhancements and releases may be one cause for the positive sentiment.  Delivery of Fusion Apps by Q1 2011 may also have lifted any previous negative sentiment from last year’s poll.  Additional feature and product release highlights from Oracle Open World 2010 include:

  • CRM On Demand Release 18 gains integrated sales and marketing. The latest release focuses on features that bridge marketing processes to sales. For example, key data integration tools for customer data improve the quality of common profiles for both customers and prospects. Campaign automation tools allow marketers to launch 1:1 marketing and lights-out campaigns across multi-channel and multi-stage campaigns using visual business process flows (see Figure 1). Analytics take advantage of the Hyperion multi-dimensional warehouse to integrate business intelligence between sales and marketing. Response management capabilities create personalized landing pages, web forms, and microsites.   Meanwhile, Partner Relationship Management (PRM) enhancements include improved deal registration and capabilities to capture partner enablement. The improved Insurance Edition adds a Producer Success Model and expands the broker demographic profiles. Adaptive planning streamlines business planning and delivers trend analysis across multiple time periods for simulation and comparison.

    The new release plugs a significant hole in covering prospecting to lead management to closed revenue business processes. However, buyers comparing best of breed marketing automation solutions such as Eloqua, Market2Lead, Marketo, Silvepop/Vtrenz, and Unica will find that major functionality gaps still exists. Despite the gap, those customers seeking an On Demand integrated sales and marketing suite will find that Release 18 sets the stage for a level of integration often lacking in best of breed suites and  Business benefits include a unified revenue pipeline that will improve close rates and reduces sales and marketing costs. More importantly, those customers on Release 18 gain an easier migration path to the Fusion CRM applications arriving in January 2011. Customers seeking Social CRM features will have to wait for future releases or go to competitor products.

  • JD Edwards Enterprise One customers gain key adapter to Supply Chain and Order Management Analytics. With Oracle BI Applications Release, Enterprise One customers can integrate to Oracle’s Supply Chain and Order Management Analytics.  Key features include the ability to assess inventory levels, predict backlogs, identify potential product fulfillment needs, improve accounts receivable (A/R) and daily sales outstanding (DSO) issues.

    Improved insight into order and inventory data will allow organizations to improve inventory management, order fulfillment, and reduce collection times.  This new adapter continues Oracle’s strategy to embed Oracle Business Intelligence Apps into the core JD Edwards product.  Financial analytics have already been delivered.  Buyers can expect Manufacturing Analytics, Procurement and Spend Analytics, and Projects Analytics to arrive in future releases.  In general, customers will find the analytical capabilities a significant improvement over existing JD Edwards offerings.
  • Apps Unlimited announcements show continued investment in R&D. PeopleSoft customers gain a visual company directory through PeopleSoft Enterprise Company Directory 9.1 and an upgraded PeopleSoft PeopleTools 8.51 with a new PeopleSoft Test Framework that provides contextual menus and menu inclusion of user search results.  Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management 8 release delivers full web enablement, OBIEE integration, and a new governance platform.  Oracle BI Applications Release adds full localization and translation to 28 supported languages, integration with Informatica PowerCenter 8.6.1 HF11 for ET and support for IBM DB2 9.1, 9.5 and 9.7; Microsoft SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008; and Teradata v12 and 13.

    Despite the big shift in R&D resources towards the Fusion Apps teams, Oracle keeps up its promise to deliver customer requested features.  Larry’s strategy appears to provide a greater synergy and return on R&D investments when compared to other competitors.  However, customers must continue to hold Oracle accountable to investments in the short-term and long-term Apps Unlimited product road maps.  In fact, objective analysis on Oracle’s R&D investments by many influencers including Martijn Linssen show Oracle with the least relative investment in R&D when compared to competitors such as IBM and SAP.  Oracle could be the most efficient, but over the long haul, Oracle will have to invest more or explain why the organization is more efficient.  At the end of the day, customers want to know how much of their maintenance dollars go back to their product.

Event Report: Oracle Open World 2010 – Beyond The Day 1 Hype

(Photo: Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.)

Oracle Day 1 Focused On Showcasing Both Software And Hardware Prowess

The Day 1 keynote kick-off from Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, touched on the wide spectrum of Oracle’s broad software and hardware portfolio.  Despite an over-emphasis on hardware and appliances, Oracle also pre-announced the launch of Fusion Applications.  A closer analysis of the announcements show:

  • Fusion Apps unveiled and announced for GA in Q1 2011. Joking about the length of time its taken since the halfway to fusion event on January 19, 2006, Larry Ellison finally announced the availability of Fusion Apps.  The seven products include Financial Management, Procurement and Sourcing, Human Capital Management (HCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), and Project and Portfolio Management (PPM).  Oracle’s engineering team built 20,000 objects, 10,000 business processes, and 100 modules from scratch (see Figure 1).  Fusion Applications meet 8 of the 10 criteria for next generation social enterprise applications. Oracle intends to target the best of breed SaaS products such as Concur,, Success Factors, Taleo, and Workday.  At this point, no pricing information has been provided but Oracle has promised like to like upgrade parity for existing customers.

    Point of View (POV):
    Fusion Apps highlight a new level of design.  The apps infuse Web 2.0 paradigms with enterprise class sensibilities.  Role based screens present relevant tasks, alerts, and analytics.  Adoption will depend on the customer’s existing landscape.  Oracle customers generally fall into 3 categories: Die Hard Red Stack Believers, Best of Breed Customers By Accident, and Net New Greenfield.  Expect Net New Greenfields to consider the full Fusion App suites as they compare existing Apps Unlimited products and SAP.  Best of Breed Customers By Accident will most likely be drawn to the 100 modules to be delivered on demand and on premises.  Die Hard Red Stackers most likely have upgraded to the latest Fusion Middleware and will consider product replacements and module adoption.  Fusion Apps remains fairly horizontal and those customers with rich and stable vertical capabilities will most likely hold off for future releases.  Customers should keep an eye on the middleware pricing associated with Fusion Apps.

Figure 1.  Scenes From Oracle Open World And Screen Shots Of Fusion Apps

(Photo: Copyright © 2010 R Wang and Insider Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.)

News Analysis: Oracle Formally Announces Fusion Apps

Oracle’s Fusion Apps Addresses A Broad Set Of Horizontal Modules

Oracle’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Larry Ellison announced the code completion of Fusion Apps in today’s late afternoon keynote.  Though Ellison did not give precise guidance on general availability (GA), he did hint that the product would be available, “sometime in 2010″.  The product currently undergoes extensive testing and will comprise of  key modules including:

  • Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management
  • Oracle Fusion Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Oracle Fusion Governance, Risk, And Compliance
  • Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management
  • Oracle Fusion Financial Management
  • Oracle Fusion Procurement
  • Oracle Fusion Supply Chain Management

Some key hallmarks of Oracle’s Fusion Applications V 1. (see Figure 1) include:

  • Role based design
  • Extensive provision for proactive reporting and alerts
  • Web 2.0 like usability
  • SOA architecture for integration of legacy applications
  • Multiple deployment options including on-premise, hosting, and multi-tenant SaaS

The V1 product will not deliver out of the box capabilities to support:

  • Discrete Manufacturing
  • Process Manufacturing
  • Public Sector

Figure 1. Fusion Apps Move Towards A Social Enterprise/Social Business Apps User Experience

(Source: Oracle Corporation )

The Bottom Line – Oracle Takes A Two Prong Strategy And Seeks Domination Of The Apps Market

Oracle’s continues to prove success in its business model.  By acquiring the leading companies with significant recurring revenue streams, it can drive economies of scale to make above average R&D investments.  The result – enough innovation in existing product lines to compel customers to pay maintenance and upgrade; and the time and resources to build a next generation product.  Should Oracle successfully deliver on Fusion Apps to customers in 2010, SAP will have to play catch up in mind share as many sources state that there are no plans for a new product until 2013/2014.  Other vendors will have to leverage or partner for middleware and PaaS options in order to sustain key Web 2.0 innovations in the enterprise.

Your POV.

Is seeing believing? As an Oracle customer will this compel you to stay on Apps Unlimited or make a move to Fusion Apps?  If you aren’t a customer, will you now consider Oracle in your short lists?  Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

Event Report: Oracle Open World Day 1- The Word On The Street Report

Day 1 Brings 40,000 Oracle Faithful Into San Francisco For Red Stack Indoctrination

Oracle Open World Moscone WestRegistration at Moscone WestOracle BMW Racing Yacht Keynote hall at MosconeExadata display

(Source: R Wang & Software Insider POV, Copyright © 2009  All rights reserved.)

Interesting tidbits from Day 1 include:

  • Oracle tells SaaS providers they can use a new SaaS/Cloud computing model to purchase a limited number of Oracle products in a “pay as you grow” manner.
  • Attendees propagating rumors about Fusion Apps being announced on Wednesday in Larry’s keynote.
  • Customers discussing how Oracle now leads CRM sales with CRM OnDemand before any other on-premise product.
  • Dell confirmed to be selling products in the SMB channel.
  • EBS customers who have upgraded to 12.1 still having a tough time getting the new account and multi-org structures down right.  Many system integrators suggest that its best to do a reimplementation.
  • PeopleSoft customers buzzing about the new 9.1 release.
  • Oracle waiting for Sun deal to close to make next set of acquisition.  Charles Phillips tells partners, there’s more to buy.
  • The roving Rimini Street billboard is back!


Your POV.

We’ll be roving around asking some questions during Open World.  If you get a chance, let us know:

  • Which Oracle products do you use?
  • What release of Oracle DB are you on? When will you migrate?
  • Are you using Oracle BI Tools with non-Oracle data? or vice versa?
  • Do you use RAC? Do you use RAC? Do you know about Exadata and would you consider it?
  • When will you consider Fusion Apps?
  • Is the delay in Fusion Apps, affecting your timing for software upgrades?
  • Are recent maintenance price hikes having an impact?
  • When do you plan to adopt Fusion Middleware?
  • How much will Fusion cost you in reimplementations?

Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.

Monday’s Musings: Why On-Premise Vendors and SI’s Should Go on the Offense with SaaS

On-premise vendors still see SaaS as a loss leader due to huge ramp up and punishing revenue recognition rules

When it comes to the topic of SaaS, many on-premise vendors appear to be living in denial, hoping that SaaS fails, and/or creating confusion in the market place.  These tactics have merit as a shift to SaaS requires plenty of work with minimal return and a destruction – disruption of the current business model.  In conversations with 61 vendors and building off of SaaS evangelist Jeffrey Kaplan’s post (July 2, 2009, Seeking Alpha – “From the Vendor’s Point of View: Why SaaS Sucks”), vendors who have made this transition or have started the investment put in heavy lifting in these activities must:

  • Re-architect apps
  • Find balance between configuration and optimization of SaaS platform
  • Design product road map and rollout strategy
  • Determine SLA’s
  • Identify a hosting strategy
  • Craft pricing and licensing policies
  • Harmonize SaaS pricing with On-premise and other models
  • Create go to market strategy
  • Alleviate channel conflict with partners, resellers, distributors

After all this work to be ready for SaaS deployments, vendors also discover that FASB SOP 97-2 software revenue recognition rules prohibit them from immediately recognizing multi-year contracts. Even worse, subscription revenue can only be recognized on a month-to-month basis – leading to a long road to profitability.  In fact, vendors such as Lawson, estimated a 7 to 10 year break even period for a full SaaS model.  No wonder Harry Debes was fired up on how SaaS could be a fad in his interview with Victoria Ho at ZD Net last year.  In private, most software executives also echo such sentiments and wholeheartedly agree with his comments about the business model challenges.

Yet, SaaS adoption moves beyond the Tipping Point in 2009

However, the confluence of recessionary forces, stalled innovation from many on-premise software vendors, and success of early SaaS pioneers such as and NetSuite has put Software-as-a-Service into the mainstream.  Vendors can no longer resist the move to SaaS without negatively impacting their license sales and customer mind share.   Additional facts highlight the shift:

  • Forrester State of Enterprise Software 2009 survey results confirm significant adoption rates from 2008 to 2009. Of 1000 IT executives and decision-makers, 24% were interested/considering, 11% implemented or planning to expand, and 5% piloting SaaS solutions (see Figure 1).
  • Clients continue to vote with their budgets despite marketing FUD by many on-premise vendors on the perils of SaaS. Success Factors‘ win at Siemens for 420,000 employees, Workday‘s win at Flextronics for 240,000 employees, and Ultimate Software’s win at P.F. Chiang’s for 30,000 employees reinforces how SaaS is more than CRM and SMB.
  • Concerns over SaaS have dropped significantly over the past year. Successful deployments mitigate concerns and highlight the attitudinal shift towards acceptance.  Major decreases include integration issues (43%), total cost (31%), lack of customization (31%), complicated pricing models (30%), performance (23%), can’t find the specific application (20%), security (17%), and lock in with existing vendor (17%) (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Users expect to increase SaaS adoption in 2009


Source: Forrester

Figure 2.  Concerns over SaaS have dropped significantly over the past year

2009 Enteprise and SMB Survey - SaaS Concerns Declinet

Source: Forrester

Defensive SaaS strategies by vendors miss the opportunity to take market share.

As customer’s continue to demand SaaS solutions for rapid deployment, pay-as-you-go pricing models, and timely innovation, traditional on-premise vendors without a SaaS offering must now explain, defend, or develop their own SaaS story.  Concerns about the impact of SaaS have many vendors in defensive mode.  Defensive strategies have included:

  • Creating counter marketing about SaaS and the viability of the market
  • Responding with hosting options and financing options
  • Building SaaS options for a limited set of popular SaaS solutions such as sales force automation (29%), strategic HCM (29%), and customer service and support (27%) (See Figure 3.)

At first glance, mega vendors such as SAP and Oracle have started with the first two points and are evolving to the third.  They aim to counter the success of Ariba,, Success Factors, Taleo, Workday, and Ultimate Software with their own offerings.  SAP’s OnDemand for LE release and John Wookey’s ComputerWorld UK interview by Mike Simons, confirms that the strategy will include “CRM on-demand and e-sourcing, with expense management set for a 2010 release.”  Wookey’s approach appears to first shore up areas where SAP customers have been defecting and then worrying about what’s next (see Note 1).  Meanwhile, discussions with Oracle product teams also hint that a release of 5 to 9 SaaS offerings to complement Oracle Siebel CRM OnDemand offerings could be announced soon.  This defensive strategy shores up competitive SaaS solutions such as incentive comp, procurement, and strategic HCM.

Figure 3.  Rate of adoption of key SaaS solutions show significant interest in CRM and other areas

2009 Enterprise and SMB Survey SaaS Interest Areas

Source: Forrester

The bottom line -SaaS gives software vendors and system integrators an opportunity to take market share.

Instead of playing defense, vendors should look at the opportunity to take market share through SaaS.  SaaS vendors and their investors have realized they can target any install base and win by providing compelling functionality.  Why shouldn’t on-premise vendors bite the bullet and go on the offense?  To make this work software vendors would want to take advantage of their partner ecosystems and customers to extend capabilities beyond what’s being delivered in on-premise.  Vendors must make an initial investment in a SaaS/PaaS platform, agile development methodologies, and integration technologies to support hybrid deployment options.  From there, white spaces in the product road map will provide direction into the future opportunities such as vertical and other pivot points that have not been well served.  SAP’s acquisition of Clear Standards for carbon compliance, NetSuite’s acquisition of OpenAir for project based solutions, and Intuit’s acquistion of Entellium for CRM highlights examples of going on the offensive with SaaS.  Of equal importance, system integrators can shift the balance of power and deliver new IP via SaaS solutions while reducing their dependency on the mega vendors.

Recommendations: 7 best practices for crafting a SaaS strategy at an on-premise vendor

Imagine you could start from scratch and build a new software company.  That’s the question I posed to 61 software executives this year.  Most stated they would start with a SaaS deployment option for the scale and the business model.  Now what to do if you are an on-premise vendor?  Answer – build a separate SaaS software division within an on-premise software company.  This could be the next trend among the on-premise vendors for both investment and revenue recognition reasons.  What would be a good strategy:

  1. Reuse similar business process parts as the on-premise product
  2. Harmonize the data model and common objects
  3. Build a brand new RIA based UI and UX
  4. Assume that all data sources will be heterogenous
  5. Design the product to run stand alone
  6. Attack white spaces of new growth in a competitor’s install base
  7. Keep a PaaS platform in mind to attract partners and customers to extend the solution

Your POV.

Totally turned off by SaaS? In the midst of a SaaS strategy? Ready to embark on a SaaS strategy?  If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out?  Please post your point of view here or send me a private email to rwang0 at gmail dot com.

Note 1: The large enterprise (LE) SaaS platform will not come from NetWeaver or SAP’s SME Business by Design (ByD) technology, but come from the acquired Frictionless platform.  While this may leave some SAP customers concerned, Wookey and product super stars Kevin Nix and Peter Lim (of Siebel fame) counter by highlighting where SAP components will be reused and highlighting the home base integration advantage.

As also seen in the July 14th, 2009”Moving to a SaaS Offensive”

Copyright © 2009 R Wang. All rights reserved.