Larry Ellison joked at Oracle OpenWorld he was told Fusion applications would be developed in 4 years. They have taken over a decade.
Snicker all you want. The flip side of that is Oracle started developing cloud apps years before most others. While IaaS and Amazon got a lot of attention during OOW, the winner for me was the breadth and depth of cloud apps and related talent. It will take competing vendors just as long to build something this big and wide. Oracle now has a multi-year lead over them.
Steve Miranda showcased a customer panel which today no other cloud vendor could match in the range of ERP, HR, CX and SCM functionality – and in industry coverage. There were several other customers in other sessions and in the halls.
The analysts got a rapid fire update from each of those functional apps areas. Not just the apps. you got the sense for the executive depth in each domain at Oracle.
Not just transactional systems, Oracle has started to innovate, first with a series of Work/Life apps in the HCM space for years now, and at OOW with its Adaptive Intelligent Apps.
Having said that, I would like to see Oracle make some adjustments. It has been sending mixed messages for a while.
- It has lulled its legacy customers to stay on-prem with the continued promise of Apps Unlimited. There is little urgency for them to move to the cloud
- As more SIs start to work with Oracle, it needs to push them to showcase more automation in their projects – especially since the cost of migration from on-prem to cloud is a gating factor for many customers
- Oracle comes across still coveting the on-prem maintenance revenue stream. Keeping the Rimini court battle going may please some hawks but sends wrong signals to customers.
- Oracle’s vertical practices need to show similar moves to cloud apps. For many customers, the horizontal cloud apps – HCM, Financials – are just not enough
While Oracle take many of these steps? Not sure. It is a large, complex organization - but to me it should. Now is the time to push the pedal on its cloud apps lead.