Most journalists and bloggers who picked up these lines chimed in on repeating Forrester's lines so it was to my great relief when I read Floyd Teter's article yesterday. If there is a price for the pointiest blog post title, it should go to Floyd for his article titled "Fusion Applications - The Fat Lady Is NOT Singing".
I will come back to Floyd's words in a second but let me just reiterate Forrester's subtitle again. It states that Oracle customers have the choice of staying with Apps (Unlimited, that is their heavily customized Peoplesoft, Siebel, JDE, EBS, etc apps) and miss out on innovation or make a painful switch to Fusion (Applications).
So there are two choices, but - as Floyd states as well - what about co-existence? Has Forrester not seen this slide which has been practically part of all Fusion Apps overview presentations given by Oracle in the past years:
|Fusion Applications Adoption Scenarios. Source: Oracle|
Let's not forget that Oracle has planned for three (not just two) adoption scenarios. Customers doing nothing is part of the plan. Customers deploying Fusion Apps along with their existing enterprise apps is the second option. The third option is to migrate to Fusion Apps by pillar or embrace the entire suite. In this case I agree with Forrester: Ripping and replacing existing software is painful.
And what about the innovation customers are supposedly missing out. Let's just look at Siebel CRM customers who benefit from a browser-independent, standards based user interface (Open UI) since the last "Innovation Pack". Oracle's Applications Unlimited programme is just about that, continuous innovation.
Now back to Floyd's article. Beside mentioning that 139 out of 26,000 customers is not much in the way of statistical significance he is validly arguing that enterprise software customers have never really been in a hurry to adopt new software.
And this is where I completely agree with Floyd. I have been in the enterprise software business long enough to witness slow adoption of software everywhere. If you work in a corporation with thousands of users, what is the version of Microsoft Windows on your business laptop? What is the version of Microsoft Office? What is your Siebel or Peoplesoft version? Using software that is 5 to 10 years old is common and with Fusion Apps (18 months after general availability) it will not be any different.
have a nice day
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed in this article and all other articles of me in this blog are mine and do not necessarily reflect my employer's opinion.
Update: Shortly after I finished the above article, Oracle has published an official response to the Forrester report.