Following the acquisition of PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems, software giant Oracle became the proud owner of four ERP and three CRM product lines, all originally developed on different platforms and having different tooling to manage configuration and implementation. Against this background, customers have understandably been asking what happens next, and specifically what Oracle will be doing to ensure that past investments are protected and incremental value continues to be delivered. Oracle’s answer is its Fusion Applications strategy, but are customers convinced?
Customers have a range of concerns about the way forward
Anecdotal comments from an online research exercise conducted in November 2006 and involving 321 Oracle application users highlight the following concerns:
• Lack of clarity and consistency from Oracle
• Scepticism over Oracle’s ability to deliver
• Fears about costs, disruption and protection of investments
Yet there is a very positive underlying story emerging
While the above concerns mean that only 15% of customers overall are completely convinced that the Oracle Fusion Application strategy will lead to their investment being protected, there is a clear correlation between the level of confidence and the depth of Fusion knowledge. 78% of those telling us that the Fusion story is understood very well within their organisation, for example, say they are confident in their investment being protected. There is also a general belief within Fusion savvy customers that Oracle’s strategy will deliver future benefits in terms of application flexibility.
The immediate challenge is closing the knowledge and awareness gap
The problem right now is that only a quarter have a reasonable or better understanding of the Oracle Fusion Applications strategy within their organisation. There is a call to action here for Oracle to drive user education harder, preferably without too much marketing spin along the way. Customers, meanwhile, are advised to familiarise themselves with Oracle’s plans sooner rather than later. Fusion is almost certain to become part of their lives in the future and preparation is important.
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