Oracle's new world of packaged software

Oracle's new world of packaged software

Summary: In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Oracle helmsman Larry Ellison said that he wanted to sell a complete software stack (with an operating system and applications), just like Microsoft. It's the new notion of packaged software--one stop shopping for enterprises.

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TOPICS: Software
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ellison217.jpgIn a recent interview with the Financial Times, Oracle helmsman Larry Ellison said that he wanted to sell a complete software stack (with an operating system and applications), just like Microsoft. It's the new notion of packaged software--one stop shopping for enterprises. This kind of thinking is an extension of Ellison's notion that enterprises want simplification (such as a single database of record), even in a more loosely coupled services-oriented world, and that 'best of breed' isn't good enough to trump a packaged, pre-certified all-in-one solutions.

This kind of thinking is also behind Oracle's consolidation strategy--buying competitors with market share, tweaking little MySQL, SAP, IBM and Microsoft--and is morphing into a comprehensive Oracle operating system/middleware/database/applications stack, even if it means acquiring Novell or even Red Hat/JBoss.  Of course, there isn't any reason Oracle couldn't continue to bundle Red Hat or SUSE Linux, but that would leave competitors standing, and Oracle's stategy has been to annex competitors in spaces it wants to 'commoditize.'

When Oracle Fusion ships, maybe in 2008, you can expect to get an appliance that has everything from the bottom to the top of the software stack, certified, sealed and delivered on premises or as a hosted service. As Oracle and its various competitors know (IBM, Sun, SAP, Microsoft, etc.), the real profits are in maintenance (services/support).  Most companies don't want to be locked into a single vendor--no matter is the software is open sourced--but if you are already running Oracle's database and applications it's not much of a step to throw in middleware and a Linux OS. 

If Ellision is correct in how the enterprise software industry will mature, look for business models that focus on delivering services, not software licenses, and for IBM to turn WebSphere into a more complete stack by acquiring SAP and one of the Linux distros, unless they are content fueling Red Hat's growth and betting the Oracle's Fusion will flop...

Topic: Software

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  • Making it simpler still

    As you can put all of your business logic in the database you can save money by not buying all that complicated middleware. Just put HTMLDB or Forms directly on top of the DBMS.

    Why is it that the word "system stack" always conjures up in my mind the picture of a large pile of dirty washing up, about to topple over?

    Keep it flat and avoid nasty accidents and unnecessary overheads.
    jorwell
    • Just moving the mess?

      But then aren't you just complicating your DB? It would seem to me that you're just moving the complications from one area to the other.
      ejhonda
  • Will Oracle be any more successful than the others?

    IBM has tried this, and had middling success. Same with Microsoft, but perhaps a bit more successful than IBM. Why should we believe that Oracle will have any better chance at success than the other giants that have attempted this in the past? The same problems are still there that have tripped up the others - too many fronts to fight wars on and not enough resources to do them all justice.
    ejhonda
    • I agree...

      There are too many companies making to much money doing too many little things.

      Software stack...OK.. Where is my integrated presence data and messaging with my phone, my cell phone, my network. Where is the integrated management of not only users and their environment, but my "managed" applications that they are going to host.

      I'm living with a Cisco phone system that shines on hardware and stinks on features. Guess what... they're a hardware company trying to sell software and they STINK at it.

      What makes you think Oracle isn't going to still nickel and dime you for real CRM functions, EBP for my online customers, telco messaging gateways.. etc. They have to turn around and buy them for you. (with a license for each)

      There will never be one stop shopping. We might all just quit shopping, but never will buy single vendor.
      john.gruber9