Pooping on Oracle's party

Pooping on Oracle's party

Summary: Updated 9/26/05 9:40 AM: While all eyes were on Oracle this week, we were busy pulling together our proprietary data that shows how the burgeoning software maker has fared over the year in our directory of IT resources and where it stood among competing vendors in our IT Priorities survey.

TOPICS: Oracle

Updated 9/26/05 9:40 AM: While all eyes were on Oracle this week, we were busy pulling together our proprietary data that shows how the burgeoning software maker has fared over the year in our directory of IT resources and where it stood among competing vendors in our IT Priorities survey. The news, unfortunately, isn't as good as, say, some of the promises I heard Oracle CEO Larry Ellison make about the company’s upcoming Fusion applications at the company's OpenWorld conference--at least as far as the limited universe of our IT directory is concerned.

Oracle's share of attention in the ZDNet vendor resources directory peaked in February, recording 17% of all downloaded assets (white papers, case studies, and Webcasts) in the application integration, CRM, database, and ERP categories combined (see chart). But by August it slipped 5 points to 12%, bringing Oracle down to an average 13% of category consideration in 2005. Not necessarily a cause for alarm yet, given that Oracle draws more attention than SAP, IBM, and newly acquired Siebel. But, compared to Microsoft, Oracle has some stiff competition, with Microsoft capturing 1/3 of downloads in the category in March and averaging fully 1/5 of category consideration this year. Update: Microsoft's domination in each individual technology category varies greatly so it is not possible to make an apples to apples comparison, but it is still the 800 lb. gorilla in the directory.

On the low-end, Oracle's new competitor, Salesforce.com, came from nowhere last spring and now has marginal share (2%). Siebel gained considerable traction from its CRM content offerings in Q2, especially with its strategy paper, Business Strategies for Accelerating Growth: The Value of Making Better Decisions through CRM, but the interest was transitory, falling to background levels in recent months.

We also found that preference for Oracle solutions has been falling over the past 4 quarters. In Q3, the proportion of those technology decision makers who participate in our IT Priorities study who prefer rather than avoid Oracle solutions was about 1:1, which is a big downshift from the first quarter of 2005 where the ratio of preference-to-avoidance was nearly 3:1. These data suggest that the IT managers in our study are less satisfied with Oracle solutions and are currently steering their IT plans away from Oracle solutions. 


With its purchase of Siebel, Oracle will undoubtedly increase the share of vendor consideration IT decision makers give Oracle's content in our resource directory, and if Ellison keeps his promises the company may get on track to reversing its slipping attention in our directory and IT priorities preference in the next couple of quarters (Update: Suggesting a measurable causal relationship between Oracle's actions and download activity may be wishful thinking). Oracle and competitors will soon move up the stack to the business intelligence and analytics battleground, so we will add those topics into future analyses.

Topic: Oracle

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  • Pooping?

    I realize blogs are slightly informal, but using the verb 'pooping' in a blog title is stretching that informality a little too much.

    And it doesn't fit with the context of the rest of title. You 'crash' a party, not poop on it. Maybe even 'rain' on it or their 'parade'.

    Excrement and news titles don't mix well, except for on dailyrottennews.com.
    • A brief lesson on the "party pooper" idiom

      par?ty poop?er also par?ty-poop?er (p?rt-ppr)
      n. Slang
      One who declines to participate with enthusiasm, especially in the recreational activities of a group.

      [Download Now or Buy the Book]
      Source: The American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
      Copyright ? 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
      Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

      party pooper

      n : someone who spoils the pleasure of others [syn: spoilsport, killjoy, wet blanket]

      Source: WordNet ? 2.0, ? 2003 Princeton University

      chris jablonski
      • All I know

        Forgot about the slang 'party pooper'.

        This is the first time I've seen a 'profesional' news organization use the term "Pooping on" in an article title.

        Sorry to $hit on your party.
        • sorry if it offends you, but....

          I have seen it used: http://news.google.com/news?
          chris jablonski
          • Not to stir the crap up further, but....

            Jablonski - you're all wet with your metaphor. No where in your title do you use the term you're referring to - "party pooper". Instead, you're using the same phrasing as Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog - "poop on". And in that sense, he means it literally, as in "to take a crap on", which makes sense, because Triumph IS a DOG, after all. A funny one at that.

            However, the context here seems to be out of place. Kind of like the "booth bimbos" that the vendors used to roll out when they had nothing of substance to draw guys to their wares at conventions.

            Bottom line: your use of this metaphor is good... good for me to poop on!
          • nothing wrong with booth bimbos...

            but the more I think of it the more I'm not liking the title either...
            that's blogging for you.
            chris jablonski
          • Totally inappropriate AND poor quality!

            I'm not sure which is more disturbing, the poor choice of the title, the lack of substance in the blog, or your editor's changes and notes appearing in the blog for all to see... I expect more from TechRepublic!
          • Let me help you decide

            msu11, I vote for the poor title. BT Trax and IT Priorities data are
            not short on substance, just ask our marketers. Editor changes are
            my changes and apparently you dont read enough blogs to
            understand that is the common protocol for corrections and
            chris jablonski
  • Not so fast

    I think ZDNet readers should resist Chris Jabberwocky's hurt-my-arm-patting-my-ZDNet-back rant on Oracle's fortunes, which incidentally I think he has misread completely.

    Chris seems to operate under the delusion that
    drinking ZDNet's koolaid is THE barometer of any firm's success in the area of enterprise software.

    In any case, the dataset Chris refers to is statistically unsound for such a sweeping (over) generalization of Oracle's success or failure this year - self-selection bias with respect to data on surveys and downloads being only one of the problems.
    • Actually, it is statistically sound

      Thanks for your message sandeepdath.

      The findings we publish are based on strictly objective research methodology and it is compiled from data gathered across our B2B sites.

      For part of this analysis, we looked at avoid and prefer responses across all IT categories over the last four quarters and coded 7318 total counts for ?Prefer? and 4348 for ?avoid?. Those listing Oracle accounted for 360 of those, which I think is a robust enough sample size contrary to your view.

      About the IT Prioriites survey

      Every 30 days, the ZDNet Research team selects a representative sample of 500 IT managers who work in organizations of more than 500 employees. The online survey asks the following questions:

      1. Currently, what information technology project or implementation has the most resources dedicated to it?

      Project/implementation [open text]

      Which vendor(s) if any, did you choose for this project/implementation? [open text]

      Which other vendor(s) had also been considered for the project/implementation? [open text]

      2. What is the most important technology initiative your IT organization plans to implement over the next 12 months?

      Technology initiative [open text]

      Which IT vendor(s) do you believe has the winning solution in this area? [open text]

      Which IT vendor(s) would you prefer to avoid for this solution? [open text]

      3. What technology trend do you believe will most affect your IT environment in the next 18-24 months?

      Technology trend [open text]

      Is there a major vendor(s) in this area you would most likely work with for your solution? [open text]

      Is there a major vendor(s) in this area you would least likely work with for your solution? [open text]

      The free-form answers are then hand-coded independently by research analysts and mapped to our comprehensive taxonomy of enterprise IT categories. From there, the data are analyzed for statistical differences among items in the responses and across months. Several inferential statistics are calculated to confirm the robustness of the underlying trends. These data are then coded against the ZDNet taxonomy, which contains 80 technology subcategories ranging from application interface tools to wireless security.

      send me an email and i'd love to tell you every detail about our methodology: christopher.jablonski@cnet.com
      chris jablonski
      • That's not what I'm talking about

        I am not talking about your survey. If you selected a random enough sample to meet the confidence intervals you required for your conclusions, then your survey may be fine.

        I'm referring to your use of activity figures (ZDNet downloads) as an indicator of vendor preference.

        Besides enterprise software does not work that way - fewer IT employees may actually encounter an Oracle/Siebel/SAP moment vs a Java/Microsoft moment. Comparing the two is not appropriate.

        If you compared interest in Oracle database to MS SQL Server, or interest in Oracle applications to Microsoft Business Solutions, or Oracle 9iAS to Microsoft .Net, then maybe you'd start to have a basis for comparison. But your entire paragraph about using downloads as a metric is completely silly, and sounds arrogant at best.

        Oh, and I don't work for Oracle.

      • Not criticizing the results, but...

        ... note your terminology:

        1. ... the most resources ...

        2. ... most important technology initiative ...

        3. ... technology trend ... will most affect ...

        There are a large number of subjective factors in each of these answers. (There are also, by the way, a surprisingly large number of details required for some of the follow-on questions.)

        This is definitely an analysis of perception, an observation I expect will not surprise you at all.
        But my concern is that those perceptions can involve the responder's organization as much as the vendors associated with the areas of concern.

        So can you be certain whether you're analyzing the perception primarily of the vendor itself or of the vendor in context of the responding organization?
        Anton Philidor
      • Please...

        ZDNet is an MS shareholder and beholden to MS for 65% of their total revenue...Of Course ZDNet 'directories' show MS competitors losing ground to MS...what else can you expect from ZDNet?
        • Interesting

          Do you have a cite for the fact that ZDNet (by which I presume you mean their parent, CNET) is a Microsoft shareholder and derives 65% of their total revenue from that company? I'm not doubting you; just interested in your source.
        • Complete and utter crap

          ZDNet (or its parent company, CNET Networks) is not a Microsoft shareholder. We do not derive 65% -- or even as much as 10% -- of our revenue from Microsoft. You have no idea what you are talking about.

          Stephen Howard-Sarin
          VP, Business Technology Portfolio
          Stephen Howard-Sarin
  • well there is a poop deck

    Could not say what part of ship it is
  • nothing would please me more

    Than to see Oracle go down in flames. A bloated ship run by a massive a-whole. I should know I worked there. Having worked for PeopleSoft for 5 years and then to have worked for Oracle I can tell you what they are telling the public, and what they actually are going to do are two different things. For those who think oracle is just so wonderful because they support the linux community (here me chuckle), and microsoft is big bad -- let me tell you oracle and ms are cut from the same cloth and they are both worthless tyrants who've gotten waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too big for their britches. They both should be broken up, neither should ever be allowed to make acquisitions. All they are managing to do is squeeze out innovation. Final words: competition is good, people need choices form many vendors. Competition is the only check and balance of any real consequence on corporate goonery.
  • Speaking of crap...

    How about these stats that are cited? The problem with them is they lack any sort of meaning. There's simply no context, which is desperately needed to be of use the way ZDNet tries to use them. There's no way to differentiate between interest in a subject for negative or positive reasons. So hits generated because of a bankruptcy or security flaw are going to count just the same as hits generated from the debut of an ingenious new application.

    Look at Microsoft items on here. Easily half the traffic reading the story is MS-haters looking to post flames. Should that traffic contribute to a statistic that is then used to measure Microsoft's popularity? Hardly.

    The decline in Oracle interest is VERY easy to explain. People were interested in seeing what happened during the post-PeopleSoft merger timeframe. Now that the dust has settled, and there were no major train wrecks to witness, the crowd has moved on. Big deal.