I've just spent the last week immersed in user conferences and briefings, and at every juncture the question of web services and service architectures came up. And every time the issue moved from theory to reality, this little nagging problem kept coming back to cloud the optimism in the room: what is the business case for a big-bang SOA implementation, and who is ready to step up and show what a real ROI for SOA actually looks like?
Software analyst Josh Greenbaum's opinions on enterprise software have annoyed enough vendors that he now checks under the hood of his PC every morning before he boots up.
Joshua Greenbaum has over 20 years of experience in the industry as a computer programmer, systems analyst, author, and consultant. In addition to his work from various bases in Silicon Valley, he spent three years in Europe tracking the enterprise software market as an analyst and correspondent for leading industry publications. Josh is an award-winning columnist and is widely quoted in the trade and business press. His opinions on enterprise software have annoyed enough vendors that he now checks under the hood of his PC every morning before he boots up. </p>
Yesterday's Internation Herald Tribune has an article that highlights yet another in a continuing series of moves by Microsoft to expand its ecosystem and, in doing so, bring on board companies and technologies that would have seemed anathema to Microsoft not a short while ago.The new Interop Vendor Alliance (oh ye copyright mavens, isn't there a little conference with the same name that might be just a little miffed?
At announcements two continents apart but spiritually joined at the hip, Microsoft unveiled its plans for SaaS versions of its Dynamics ERP suite on the same day that PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield threw his hat in the ring with the announcement of his new Workday SaaS company. Both events, not too coincidentally, highlight a growing reality that SaaS is becoming a viable alternative to the license-and-implement model of traditional ERP software.
Don't be fooled by the sense that Microsoft's deal to cross-license and otherwise support Novell's Suse is a boost for Linux. The better way to look at this deal is to think of it as the first major step in Microsoft's plan to co-opt Linux and let its Windows monopoly live to dominate another day.
Oracle's announcement that it will basically cut the legs out of Red Hat by offering a lower-cost support package sounded familar to anyone who's followed the likes of TomorrowNow, Rimini Street, and NetCustomer. All are companies that underprice Oracle's support costs for PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel, and have been doing a relatively good job of taking customers away from the maintenance and support revenues that are an essential part of Oracle's burgeoning applications revenue picture.
I hadn’t met Jeff Henley, the chairman of Oracle, in person since we shared a podium during the dot-com heyday. The event was an in-house conference, and I was to present my view of the world as an industry analyst in a Q&A session with Henley, then CFO,as the moderator.
Just settling in at 35,000 feet after an exhausting two-day Microsoft Dynamics analyst conference, there’s more than a few highlights to try to distill in one lone blog. But the main theme is easy: Microsoft’s enterprise applications are challenging not just the top of the market – SAP and Oracle – but a slew of lesser competitors like Sage and Epicor.
SAP made a series of announcements from Amsterdam today highlighting the growing strength of its partner ecosystem. They made an investment in a partner – ArisGlobal – pulled together their SMB partner program under a new name – PartnerEdge – and otherwise immortalized existing partners such as Callidus and Visiprise in press releases and presentations.
I just spent an hour catching up with IBM's latest briefing on the completion of its acquisition of MRO Software, and it reminded me how much the future of software is really more of the same. This sanity check comes at the end of a week that showcased two paradigm bending concepts -- software as a service and Office/Web 2.
I ran back to my office from Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference with a mission -- to translate Marc Benioff's pronouncements about the size of his AppExchange marketplace into reality.
One of Oracle's deal makers, Vishal Bhagwati, has confirmed what has been obvious for quite some time: Oracle is going to keep buying software companies. His comments should be taken for what they really are: an affirmation of a strategy that Oracle has been stating loud and clear for some time.
Marc Benioff promises to "destroy Oracle and SAP", according to a recent Business 2.0 article.
There's been a lot of hype in recent months about the future of the Office -- written in caps I imagine to distinguish it from Microsoft Office, which of course also being in caps is no distinction at all. Nick Carr -- he who sees no innovation in IT and other headline-grabbing nonsense -- has even weighed in with his own "stages of life" version of "Office the hyped concept", which puts us roughly in the Office 2.
So Patricia Dunn has fallen on her sword, a victim of her obsession with plugging leaks and the rather ridiculous soap-opera that HP's board has become over the years. But if precedent means anything, it seems that perhaps the HP board over-reacted in letting Dunn step down (and settle for being a mere director of the company, instead of the head zookeeper position she is relinquishing.
When I saw Doug Burgum at the Microsoft World Partners Conference last summer, there was an air of the short-timer about him. Not the kind who mails it in every morning with his feet on his desk, but more the short-timer who's done all he can and is waiting to move on to the next great thing.