I had a flying visit to Oracle this week. Well, not quite. I did turn on my GPS as we flew over Oracle HQ and captured the coordinates.
I had boarded the flight after meeting with Seth
Ravin and David Rowe of
They are excited about a new relationship with AT&T –
through its USi sub (AT&T acquired it a few weeks ago). As AT&T expands
its application hosting services, it believes customers who sign up with them be
even more willing to consider cheaper third party maintenance options, as they
are now already a step removed from their Oracle interface.
While a lot of attention is going to SaaS, as I wrote here SaCS is an even bigger opportunity in existing SAP, Oracle and other application vendor customer bases. The opportunity is screaming to help companies significantly lower their application operational and support costs.
I asked how Oracle views them. Seth was complimentary – he
says they have been professional, “mature” about it. Oracle has so many revenue
streams and product offerings to focus on that losing a few hundred customers
is not about to distract them Losing a few thousand probably would.
They were a little less generous about SAP, which through
its TomorrowNow unit offers similar services They complained about the FUD the
TomorrowNow folks spread about
Back to the GPS – the pilot of this flight announced our cruising altitude would be 29,000 feet, but my GPS showed us around 30,000 for a while. As I left the plane I asked her if the FAA had allowed to cruise higher than planned. She looked puzzled but then said “Ah, you forgot the 29.92 factor we have to adjust to at 18,000 feet”. It is disconcerting when it sinks in that pilots do not know their exact altiiude, but because everyone is consistently misinformed the system works.
And I am just as disoriented about the software market. Oracle offering cut rate maintenance to Red Hat customers, but not its own. SAP offering cut rate to Oracle customers, but not its own. SaaS vendors ignoring that SaCS will keep many Oracle and SAP customers on those platforms for a long time, even if they are not supported by the OEM. Everyone seems consistently misinformed with their own 29.92 adjustment. Meanwhile on terra firma, customers seek out reality based options like Rimini to extend their investments, but at much more affordable outlays.
Update: CFO Europe picks up on the theme