Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Five Wishes For 2009

Well, it’s a couple of days into 2009. However, I’m just now starting to admit to myself that we’re into a new year…mostly because I’m headed back to the office in the morning. As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t been much for New Year’s resolutions other than resolving to enjoy the next trip around the sun a little more than the last one. My enthusiasm for New Year’s resolutions waned once I realized that the events that usually require my resolve don’t all pop up on New Year’s day…I adapted once I got over the inconvenience.

Even with my sour-puss attitude toward New Year resolutions, there is still excitement of anticipation in wondering and wishing what the new year will bring. In that, I’m no different from most. Here are a few of the things I’m wishing for in 2009 (other than a huge raise and the instance resurrection of hair on my head):

1) A clear value proposition to the enterprise for social networking. There’s plenty of buzz about social networking from the apps on the ‘tubes (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Social networking has also delivered or ramped up some neat functionality (meshes in HR apps, widgets, etc.). In addition, most of us harbor the belief that, at least most of the time, better results come from a group of minds than from a single thinker. But I still can’t explain to my CFO how implementing social networking apps behind the corporate firewall will help us increase sales, maximize profits, reduce costs or provide any other tangible, measurable benefits. Maybe 2009 is the year I’ll be able to answer that question.

2) A compelling business reason to upgrade to E-Business Suite R12 other than regulatory compliance features and the impending end of Premier Support for 11i. The combination of SarOx features, the approaching end of life for 11i, and even the middleware upgrade to a better configuration of Fusion Middleware have yet to build up a critical mass or an urgency among EBS customers. From my perspective, my business can run just as well (measured by sales, profits, efficiency, etc.) on 11i as on R12. Let’s hope that changes with the upcoming 12.1 release.

3) A realization by customers that Open Source does not equal “free” or even “cheap”. What you don’t pay for in licensing costs is spent in training, research, and consulting fees while you get up to speed on the product. It’s simply a matter of “pay me now or pay me later”.

4) The first release of an integrated Fusion Applications Suite, at least to a carefully select set of “pilot test” customers. I’ve written plenty about this recently…’nuff said.

5) The arrival of the “Next Big Thing”. Be it a rush for supply chain applications, a dot.com bubble, green IT, tulip bulb mania, or whatever…just bring it on quickly. And make it easily recognizable for me early on, so I can make a bundle. Then I can retire to cook BBQ, take great pictures, and take on the occasional consulting gig for big bucks. Sounds like a great way to close out 2009, doesn’t it?

OK, my vacation daydreaming is now over…back to the salt mine!

1 comment:

Nara said...

Floyd, have enjoyed reading your blog over the past years. On social networking, I think it's a trap to think of it in terms of behind the firewall vs. outside the firewall. Companies that have tried to create their own versions of Facebook and LinkedIn have most often failed.

The power of social networks lies in what employees have already defined as their social graphs in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So, the challenge is figuring out how to leverage those for business benefit.

There are some early applications that start to leverage employees social networks for job referrals and in sales/pre-sales situations but it's early days yet. The majority of this type of innovation is likely to come in the cloud world though, given the close relationships of Salesforce, Facebook and Google. We think this is going to be a big trend for 2009 (http://www.appirio.com/blog/2008/12/2009-prediction-enterprises-will-figure.php)

Another interesting example is Cisco, who seem to have committed whole-heartedly to E2.0 and are seeing big productivity improvements (http://www.fastforwardblog.com/2008/12/16/cisco-as-an-emerging-enterprise-20-case-example/)