Upfront to the OOW event I was asked several times about the Oracle product strategy towards products having (partly) the same functionality. One example is CRM. There are three possibilities to choose: Oracle Siebel CRM, Oracle CRM on Demand or Oracle Fusion CRM. Or take another example: eCommerce. Oracle has many products positioned in this area. To name a couple of them: Oracle WebCenter, ATG, Oracle Siebel CRM, UCM and FatWire.
Having this in my mind I scheduled my daily program. With a focus on ‘Product Strategy and Roadmap’ sessions. And paying less attention to client cases and demos. Most of the strategy sessions are headed by Oracle product owners (with title likes Global VP or Product Director). These strategy sessions are in general higher quality meetings compared to the other ones.
What did I learn about products having overlapping functionality? Basically two things put down in two words: coexistence and choice. Coexistence in the way that each Oracle product will have its own roadmap with its own extension of functionality. Oracle puts in a lot of investments in both the Fusion and non Fusion products. It seems that they are run as ‘mini businesses’ in the whole Oracle company.
Each product has its own focus and its own strengths. E.g. ATG is the preferred ecommerce platform with extended ecommerce and merchandising functionality. But it is not its aim to be the preferred Oracle CRM system.
And then choice: each customer has its own landscape. With its own modern and legacy applications. Depending on this landscape Oracle allows customers to make choice for products which fit best into their strategy and landscape. So two different banks with different strategies choose for different CRM solutions (Oracle Siebel CRM and Oracle On Demand). Or a company which already has a CRM and content management system decides only for ATG.
Is Oracle then a product silo-ed company? Definitely not. It runs all on the same technology; making use of the same modern, technical standards. And there is a lot of prebuilt process and IT integration between many Oracle products. E.g. to share customer data between Oracle Siebel CRM and ATG. Or having customer interactions between Oracle CRM on Demand and OPA.
After four days attending OOW it is my firm believe that Oracle has a great footprint to be successful in the global IT market.
Peter Harlaar – Oracle Solution Architect