Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Oracle’s Seismic Shift

Have you felt the world of Enterprise Applications shifting beneath your feet? Are you feeling tremors in ERP-land? Feeling any figurative rumbling and swaying in the middleware market? It’s all due to Oracle’s seismic shift.

Over the past several months, Oracle has grappled with changing from a technology provider to an applications provider. The marketplaces are different, the selling techniques are different, and the customers are different. Dealing with these differences has driven a seismic shift as Oracle reinvents itself.

Oracle’s sales approach is at the heart of the company. The drive to become the top applications provider has compelled Oracle to change that approach. Rather than selling technology to CIOs and technical managers, Oracle is now selling process control as a business tool to CEOs and business managers.

If Oracle is shifting from a technology-oriented sales approach to a process control and business sales message, why all the uproar over Fusion middleware? Because the key to process control is a service-based middleware platform to serve as a foundation for integrating “best of breed” applications with an ERP “backbone”. This is essentially the SOA value proposition put forth by many of the major Enterprise Applications vendors, including Oracle and SAP. So to win in the applications marketplace, Oracle must win in the middleware marketplace – or at least in the apps middleware marketplace.

Is this seismic shift important to Oracle customers? Does anyone really care if Oracle changes their sales approach? The answer to both questions is a resounding “absolutely!” This change presents Oracle customers with the best opportunity on record for resolving “…the issues that cause you to lose sleep at night.” Because Oracle is still in the midst of this seismic shift, they are making significant efforts to match their products and sales approach to customer business needs. I’ve written before on the opportunities to get involved with the direction of Fusion applications, so I won’t repeat myself here. Suffice it to say that Oracle considers their ability to find and incorporate customer feedback on business process needs to be critical to the success of their seismic shift. In other words, Oracle wants their custmers to tell the company what business problems to solve. Just so you don't miss the upshot here, let me say it one more way: Oracle hopes to talk to you soon!

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