Posts Tagged ‘Next Gen Apps’

News Analysis: SAP Business Suite on HANA

Next Stop On The Road To HANA: SAP Business Suite

In a global announcement in Palo Alto, New York and Frankfurt, SAP’s top executives Dr. Vishal Sikka, Rob Enselin, Jim Haggeman Snabe, and legendary founder and chairman Dr. Hasso Plattner announced availability of SAP’s Business Suite powered by SAP HANA.  SAP has rewritten the Business Suite to work on SAP’s HANA platform and believes that customers will benefit for four reasons:

  • Smarter. The embedding of intelligence at the transactional level opens up new business models and process transformation.  SAP’s customer Derek Dyer, Director of Global SAP Services for Deere and Company, emphasized that SAP ERP powered by SAP HANA has “revolutionized” how products and services are introduced to the market, especially in the MRP world.  They see some transformational innovation as a result to faster MRP runs.

    Point of View (POV):
    Embedded intelligence has been a key failure in today’s existing transactional applications.  Customers have sought access to not only real time reporting, but also prediction.  The goal is to get to smarter decisions at all levels of the organization. Customers will benefit from embedded intelligence.  However, this will require people and technology training of the system to identify the patterns and algorithms required to serve up insight on demand.  This will require intelligence at every vertical and micro vertical business process.  Moreover, right-time requirements for in-context computing will turn out to be the surprise benefit as relevancy becomes more important through time, location, role, relationship, sentiment, and intent.  Relevancy and context provide the smartness that is missing in today’s systems.
  • Faster. SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA addresses the need for speed.  The in-memory columnar database reduces the input/output (I/O) time and allows for fast access to information.  The result – faster processing and faster scenario evaluation.  Fast transaction management times lead to faster decision making.

    (POV):
    The analytics and crunching capabilities is what’s driving organizations to seek faster speed.  Speed is the difference between a five day drug recall and a five minute drug recall.  Speed is the difference between a 30 day supply chain plan versus the ability to reroute 2 iPhones to your store in 30 seconds.  The impact is huge for customers if SAP does succeed.  SAP’s not the first to do this as Workday has already done this for HR and Finance.  However, for the entire SAP suite and given SAP’s market share, this is a big deal as this reduces the need for separate business intelligence systems.  The performance difference will create a huge competitive advantage for those who adopt versus those who do not.
  • Simpler. SAP Business Suite on HANA delivers consumer grade user experiences.  The goal is to embed live insight into business processes to drive immediate action.  Today, people expect consumer-grade user experiences and the power to translate their live insight into immediate action. Enzo Bertolini, CIO, Ferrero Group expects to improve the trade promotions and supply chain planning process through both better simulation and mobile access.

    (POV):
    SAP Business Suite on HANA provides SAP an opportunity to rethink how information is created, consumed, and shared.  The push to a design thinking focus within SAP has led to significant improvement of the user experience throughout their portfolio of products.  SAP Business Suite on HANA will be an opportunity to show case this new user experience.
  • Open. SAP plans to support database technology and vendor choice for its customers.  Many database partners have committed to work with SAP support in-memory optimizations and provide the necessary support to ensure that customers will succeed.  SAP is providing rapid deployment solutions, trained implementation consultants, and a comprehensive set of services to help clients make the migration to SAP HANA.

    (POV):
    SAP has the opportunity to drive down database costs and improve performance.  While the pricing model will be based on the percentage of application value, SAP must find a way to drive down overall costs if it is serious about improving adoption.  This licensing requirement must be addressed as it will emerge as the most significant barrier to adoption.

SAP Faces A Challenge of Adoption Not Because of Technology, But Because of Customer Vision

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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 Health.to 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.

    POV:
    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!

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Product Review: Google+, Consumerization of IT, and Crossing The Chasm For Enterprise Social Business

Timing of Google+ Bodes Well For Enterprise Users And Google

Lately, one could say Google’s been a bit absent from the social business party.  The premature launch of Google Wave exposed a canvas looking for a masterpiece painting.  Failing fast and learning from the Google Wave lesson, Google’s latest offering, Google+ shows promise in bringing similar disruptive technology concepts to market, yet packaged in easier to adopt metaphors such as activity streams, walls, hangouts, and circles (see Figure 1).

As part of Google’s aspirations to deliver enterprise offerings, it’s flagship Google Apps continues to gain traction in enterprises despite a market position that places the product between a very strong pro-sumer play and an almost enterprise app.  The good news – a constant stream of incremental changes shows an evolution to an enterprise class offering built from a strong consumer bent.  As of this posting, Google Apps isn’t integrated with G+, but Google’s enterprise ambitions have been strengthened with the new offering.

Figure 1.  Logging Into Google+

Convergence And Shift To A P2P World Enables GooglePlus To Go After Both Consumers And Enterprises

Google+ launch comes at an exciting time of convergence among the mega trends for the decade: social business, mobile enterprise, cloud computing, and unified communications.  The five pillars of Consumerization of IT (CoIT) fall in Google’s favor as consumer users rapidly seek to bring these innovations into their enterprises.  Subsequently, Google+ already takes advantage of Google’s assets to:

  • Unify the communications channels. Enterprises spend millions trying to get their fragmented communications systems to work, let alone integrate.  Google+ takes chats, emails, tweets, voice, mobile, and video and rolls it all up neatly into one offering.  More importantly, it works off of one login and its integrated.  Key video features such as Hangouts allow for impromptu video con calls without the hassle of most other video conferencing systems.
  • Provide an initial alternative to Facebook for the enterprise offerings. Procurement managers and line of business buyers face Cloud/SaaS best of breed hell as a flurry of purpose built solutions attack the enterprise IT landscape.  Should Google stream line convergent offerings for the enterprise, it will be poised to dethrone many incumbents.  Google can only succeed if they can match functional parity over the next 12 to 18 months.  Keep in mind, the long-term goal goes beyond Facebook for the enterprise.
  • Aggregate the user’s social sphere. Facing near term social networking overload, enterprise users can’t possibly fathom another social networking service.  Aggregation by a major player makes sense from a market position and user convenience. Google’s initial list allows users to notate key services in their profiles through connected accounts from Facebook, Yahoo!, Flickr, LinkedIn, Quaora, Twitter, Yelp, Hotmail, and Plaxo (see Figure 2). A quick look into the codes shows that these connection services potentially can support a Microsoft Outlook email, an SAP feed, or Salesforce.com Chatter stream and may potentially support direct integrations in future road maps.

Figure 2.  Google+ Delivers Social Sphere Aggregation With Ease

Adding Connections on GooglePlus

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Monday’s Musings: Real Time Versus Right Time And The Dawn Of Engagement Apps

Different Flavors Of Real-Time Result In Significant Implications.

Many pundits, research insight folks, bloggers, and hand wavers keep talking about the need for real time in social business, analytics, mobile, and other disruptive technologies.  Given the volume of data, bandwidth constraints, and magnitude of business processes to be supported, is the notion of real time even possible?  It’s been the holy grail of many technology suppliers to state they are delivering information or reacting in “real-time”.

While researching the issue, I rediscovered a classic post from event processing researcher Dr. Opher Etzion, from IBM Labs Haifa.  The central thesis from this 2007 classic post is that real-time is quite valuable in the context of “the damage caused when missing a deadline”.  When you look at that from a business value perspective, his approach leads to four types of real-time (see Figure 1):

  1. Soft real-time: there is a sense to react after the deadline, but the utility decreases (maybe fast) and at some point gets to zero – no use to do it at that point, but no damage.
  2. Firm real-time: The utility go immediately to zero when the deadline is missed – no use to do it after the deadline, but no damage.
  3. Hard essential: Missing the deadline – the utility function goes to a constant negative value; there is a constant penalty.
  4. Hard critical: Missing the deadline – the utility function goes immediately to “minus infinity”, means: a catastrophe will happen.

Figure 1. Four Types Of Real-Time And their Implications Of Missing A Deadline

Source: Dr. Opher Etzion

 

The Shift From Real-Time To Right-Time Prioritizes Events By Business Value

A deeper examination of the four types shows that business value can easily be quantified in the hard essential and hard critical types as these result in penalties and disasters when real-time is not achieved.  In the case of firm real-time, the lack of timely response results in a wasted and non-valiant effort.

Consequently, organizations must prioritize business processes for real-time by business value achieved and potentially lost.  Essentially, this prioritization results in the notion of right time delivery of information. Moreover, right time increases in value as a concept when gauged against reactiveness versus proaactiveness.

As we break down business processes by interactions, an emerging class of applications move beyond transactions.  In fact, these applications must quickly determine right time actions at the point of engagement that follow 4 distinct types (see Figure 2):

  1. Proactive value added anticipation: the heart of engagement applications, anticipation allows for proactive response.  Examples include offers, suggestions, actions based on context drivers.  Context drivers could include location, presence, time, proximity, relationships, previous purchase behaviour, etc..
  2. Mission critical reactions: where most “real-time” use cases tend to fit, this type addresses deadlines, commitments, and regulations.  Examples include response times, regulatory requirements, alerts, threshold triggers, and service level agreements.
  3. Nice things to do: reminders with minimal impact but provide proactive engagement.   Examples include status updates, background information suggestions, and non-critical notifications.
  4. Timeless responses: where useless information resides in an abyss.  Examples include log reports, short action items, nice to know information from activity streams.

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Event Report: The Sentiment At Microsoft Convergence 2011

Refresh Cycle Reflects Bullish Outlook By Partners and Customers

Microsoft Convergence kicked off over the weekend in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia World Congress Center.  With an anticipated increase in attendance, many new product announcements, and a technology refresh cycle in play, attendees seemed upbeat.  The event kicked off in true tradition including the must attend Randy and Andy (IBIS, Inc) welcome party.  Anticipated cloud announcements, new features, and industry extensions dominate discussions among partners.  Through a survey of over 60 customers, we found the following observations:

  • Customers expect to upgrade ERP and CRM in 12 to 18 months. Good news for Microsoft partners.  Most ERP and CRM customers plan to upgrade within the next 12 to 18 months (see Figure 2).  Many plan to upgrade ERP (18.0%) and CRM (13.1%) in the next 6 to 12 months.
  • Cloud adoption remains partly cloudy. While there are numerous benefits to cloud adoption for clients,  34.4% of ERP customers showed no interest.  Most CRM customers expected to make the shift to the cloud (see Figure 3).  As for the shift to office in the cloud, 18.0% planned to make the shift 24 months from now.
  • Attendees seek to leverage Microsoft investment. Informal conversations highlighted interest in mobile development, greater sharepoint adoption, and interest in Power Pivot.  Most customers felt Microsoft had turned the corner and began to innovate as of the Windows 7 launch.
  • Large customer prospects explore Two Tier ERP. In speaking with 13 divisions of large enterprises at the event, most attended to explore the option of adding Microsoft Dynamics ERP into their subsidiaries.  Eight of the ten companies ran SAP while three ran Oracle, and another two ran custom legacy systems.  Surveyed prospects believe that Two-tier ERP strategies will dominate future apps strategy.

Figure 1.  Flickr Feeds From Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2011

(Tag your images with #softwareinsider or #rwang0 to include into the feed)

Figure 2. Most Microsoft Dynamics Customers Plan To Upgrade ERP & CRM In 12 to 18 Months

(Right click image to expand)

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Monday’s Musings: The Race For Enterprise Class Consumer Tech

Start Ups Chase Enterprise Dollars As Freemium Model Plays Out

I’ve been spending time with emerging technology start ups over the past 3 months.  The good news – innovation in the valley is alive and well.  Most of these ventures start with solving a consumer problem and hope for massive viral success in the freemium model.  The bad news – the VC’s hope for quick turnarounds that result in exit strategies to the deep pockets of Google, FaceBook, Microsoft, and Zynga.  The sad truth -  you and i know most will never make it.  When that realization hits, the VC’s hurry and move to the obvious next step – find an enterprise angle.

Consumer Tech Must Meet Five Elements To Earn Enterprise Class Status

To make it in the enterprise requires a mindset change.  Business models focus on well… making money!  We’ve spent much time coaching clients on how to move from freemium to premium.  We also have to explain how an enterprise customer (i.e. CIO, CMO, Line of Business exec) may make a decision.   Inevitably, our buy-side clients will ask, “Is this solution fit for the enterprise?”  In a post from October about how consumer tech trends will enter the enterprise, we discussed the 5S’ of for enterprise class software:

  1. Safe. Organizations expect these solutions to not only integrate with ease but also, not harm existing systems or jeopardize how users perform daily work and operations.
  2. Secure. More than just role based security mechanisms, these solutions should pass encryption requirements, prevent data intrusion, and protect key intellectual property assets.
  3. Scalable. Solutions should work in a wide range of environments, meet wide ranges of usage demands, and perform well across the globe.  Users should be able to grow demand and scale down as well as up.  Scaling up should lead to a lower cost per unit.
  4. Sustainable. Consumer technologies must meet requirements for flexibility and adaptability over longer periods of time (e.g. 7 to 10 years).  Training programs, knowledge transfer mechanisms, and support communities should be readily accessible.
  5. Simple. Software vendors should employ design thinking to build solutions based on how people want to use mobile, social, analytics, video, and cloud in an enterprise context. Enterprise software should deliver in an easy to roll out and use manner.

There are probably more criteria to add here and I encourage you to add your thoughts to the 5S of enterprise class. Kudos to Christian Pantel for his addition of the 5th S – Simple!

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Product Review: Inside SAP’s Line-of-Business OnDemand Strategy

SAP’s Sales OnDemand Strategy Reveals A Longer Term Product And Cloud Strategy

In an exclusive briefing on February 24th with SAP’s Executive Vice President of Line Of Business Applications, John Wookey, he provided fresh insight into the new product design and Cloud philosophy at SAP.  This pre-CeBit announcement coincided with the SAP Analyst Day in Boston.  A few take-aways from the briefing reveal:

  • An investment in design thinking behind future Line-of-Business products. With consumer technologies entering the enterprise at a blistering pace, it’s become obvious that today’s enterprise apps only support a small percentage of the work people must accomplish on a daily basis.  SAP’s Line Of Business apps team starts with a design thinking approach.  The initial objectives leverage SAP’s rich history of process excellence, focus on people empowerment, and align with business objectives to achieve a clear purpose.etc.

    Point of View (POV):
    The software industry has taken note in how Design Schools around the world solve problems in user experience and adoption.  SAP’s design thinking process reflects the classical 7 phases of define, research, ideation, prototype, objectives, implement, and learn.  Pairing a design thinking approach and agile development methodologies has led to an understanding of what tasks people need to get done and how to quickly create iterations.   The result – more intuitive user experiences and new product releases every 6 months.  More time is spent on upfront design not engineering.  If successful, Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe will have shown how his focus on agile will pay off across the development organizations.

  • Solutions such as Sales On Demand (Sales OD) that empower people to be effective. From the beginning, the product begins with collaboration through the use of activity streams (i.e. Facebook, Twitter like user experience).  Team collaboration is enhanced with access to key content, analytics, and even competitor information (see Figure 1).  Design points focus on delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time, on the right form factor.  Analytics provide self-service reports (see Figure 2).  Sales effectiveness concepts build around the 4Cs (i.e. the right context, right contacts, right content, and the right contract).

    POV:
    Sales Force Automation (SFA) solutions in the past failed to address the needs of the Sales Professional and the customer.  As with most customer relationship management solutions, they covered the “M” in CRM and ignored the customer (C) and the relationship (R). SAP’s Sales On Demand product is different as it addresses the key issues in helping sales professional receive relevant information and collaborate with their networks in an intuitive manner.  Users will be surprised that this is an SAP application. Despite only delivering 20% of the full SAP CRM suite Sales application capability, the 20% provided delivers 80% of the key capabilities to support sales person effectiveness.

Figure 1.  Activity Streams (Feeds) Deliver A Intuitive And Collaborative User Experience

(Source: SAP)

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Research Report: Constellation’s Research Outlook For 2011

Organizations Seek Measurable Results In Disruptive Tech, Next Gen Business, And Legacy Optimization Projects For 2011

Credits: Hugh MacLeod

Enterprise leaders seek pragmatic, creative, and disruptive solutions that achieve both profitability and market differentiation.  Cutting through the hype and buzz of the latest consumer tech innovations and disruptive technologies, Constellation Research expects business value to reemerge as the common operating principle that resonates among leading marketing, technology, operations, human resource, and finance executives.  As a result, Constellation expects organizations to face three main challenges: (see Figure 1.):

  • Navigating disruptive technologies. Innovative leaders must quickly assess which disruptive technologies show promise for their organizations.  The link back to business strategy will drive what to adopt, when to adopt, why to adopt, and how to adopt.  Expect leading organizations to reinvest in research budgets and internal processes that inform, disseminate, and prepare their organizations for an increasing pace in technology adoption.
  • Designing next generation business models. Disruptive technologies on their own will not provide the market leading advantages required for success. Leaders must identify where these technologies can create differentiation through new business models, grow new profit pools via new experiences, and deliver market efficiencies that save money and time.  Organizations will also have to learn how to fail fast, and move on to the next set of emerging ideas.
  • Funding innovation through legacy optimization. Leaders can expect budgets to remain from flat to incremental growth in 2011. As a result, much of the disruptive technology and next generation business models must be funded through optimizing existing investments. Leaders not only must reduce the cost of existing investments, but also, leverage existing infrastructure to achieve the greatest amount of business value.

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Research Summary: Software Insider’s Top 25 Posts For 2010

Themes In 2010 Reflected The Buy Side Demand For Both Optimization and Innovation

Technology buyers in 2010 focused most of their priorities on finding cost savings through legacy optimization, navigating a flurry of disruptive technologies, and designing/experimenting with new business model innovations.  Consequently, the top 25 posts for 2010 reflected these 3 major themes:

Legacy Optimization

Disruptive Technology

Business Innovation

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Research Report: How The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Influence Enterprise Innovation

Most Enterprise Software Vendors Fail To Deliver Innovation

Despite hundreds of billions wasted on failed research and development projects, most market influencers would agree that enterprise software vendors have produced a dearth of innovation over the past decade.  Vendors often cite UI re-skins, major functionality additions, integration of acquisitions, technology re-platforms, and weak attempts at faking cloud computing as innovations.  In fact, let’s call it what it is.  Only a handful of enterprise software vendors have truly innovated.   Many enterprise software vendors are fast followers.  Most are innovation laggards living off fat maintenance revenue streams.  Ask any product strategist where they gain their inspiration and they will all cite advancements in consumer technology; and not peer enterprise competitors.

Innovative Enterprises Push Forward Mostly On Their Own

During this year’s Information Week 500 event, conversations with over 50 leading business technology leaders highlighted the growing gap in innovation.  These next gen leaders demonstrated how they were turning to consumer tech advancements to influence their custom development efforts; and/or seeking emerging vendors with innovative offerings.

For example, Bill Martin, the CIO of Royal Caribbean showed how design thinking coupled with real-time analytics and on-board mobility could improve the cruise experience on the largest ship ever built.  Shawn Kleim, Director of Development at WetSeal, provided proof points on mobility and social convergence in driving retail sales and eCommerce in the highly competitive teen apparel market.  Dave Bent, Senior VP of eBusiness services and CIO of United Stationers, proved how a company could deliver cloud services to partners and create competitive advantage across a value chain.

A number of CIO’s showcased how they were taking advantage of the cloud with SaaS apps and private clouds. Others discussed their efforts to optimize costs using third party maintenance to pay for innovation.  The common lessons learned – most did not expect to gain market advantage from their existing and legacy vendors.  Innovations came from the consumer tech side and next generation solution providers.  Consumer tech advancements influenced business driven technology advancements.

Software And Tech Vendors Rush To Incorporate The Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech

Ten elements drive key design points for next generation apps.  These design points showcase how advancements in consumer tech now permeate the enterprise.  Design thinking concepts drive dynamic user experiences, business process focus, and community connectedness.  Based on existing research, deep dives into major vendor road maps, and validation with clients, five pillars of consumer tech have emerged as the foundation for future inspiration in the enterprise (see Figure 1):

Figure 1.  Five Pillars Of Consumer Tech Will Influence Enterprise Software Throughout The Next Decade

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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.

    POV:
    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 Salesforce.com.  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 7.9.6.2, 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.

    POV:
    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 7.9.6.2 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.

    POV:
    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, Salesforce.com, 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.)