Oracle pans Forrester Fusion report, launches rebuttal

Oracle pans Forrester Fusion report, launches rebuttal

Summary: Oracle says that Forrester's sample size was small and questions were skewed to the negative when asking customers about the company's Fusion application strategy.

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Oracle fired back at a report from Forrester Research indicating that customers were confused by the enterprise software giant's strategy for its Fusion applications.

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Forrester Research issued a report indicating that the majority of customers didn't have plans to upgrade to Oracle's Fusion applications. Forrester also noted that Oracle's application license growth was slow and its policy to not force upgrades was becoming an issue.

The other side: Oracle's customers a bit baffled by Fusion strategy, says report

In a three page statement, Oracle made the following points.

  • Forrester's note was speculative and "based on misconceptions."
  • The research firm is "misrepresenting Oracle’s business application strategy, implying that customers have a choice to make between Oracle Applications Unlimited and Oracle Fusion Applications. This is a wrong hypothesis from the start that conditions the rest of the note."
  • "Forrester does not acknowledge the investments that Oracle has made in Applications Unlimited stating that existing customers are “missing out on innovation," said Oracle.
  • The sample size for the report was done eight months ago and "doesn’t necessarily represent current market conditions."
  • Forrester's sample didn't include other markets beyond U.S. and Europe and was skewed to government, manufacturing, education and healthcare sectors.
  • Questions in the survey were phrased in a negative way.

Overall, Oracle had a beef with a lot of Forrester's report. Here's the rebuttal in full so you can decide which side has the best points.

Page 1 of 3
Oracle Observations on Forrester Research Note Titled “Oracle’s Dilemma: Applications
Unlimited Versus Oracle Fusion Applications”1
Oracle welcomes the opportunity to make the following four factual observations related to this
research note authored by Forrester on Oracle’s application strategy:
1. This is a speculative note based on misconceptions and wrong hypotheses. Readers will notice the repetitive use of “we believe,” “our theory,” “we think,” and “we don’t know for sure.”
2. Forrester is misrepresenting Oracle’s business application strategy, implying that customers have a choice to make between Oracle Applications Unlimited and Oracle Fusion Applications. This is a wrong hypothesis from the start that conditions the rest of the note.
Facts: Oracle has a co-existence strategy between Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle Applications Unlimited, where Oracle Applications Unlimited customers can adopt modules of Oracle Fusion Applications incrementally and at their own pace to co-exist with their existing
deployments. Never have we forced existing customers to move/migrate out of Oracle Applications Unlimited to adopt Oracle Fusion Applications. See for instance this white paper:
http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/fusion/fusion-apps-new-standard-bus-wp-
505097.pdf
Customers may not know what to do in the context of their specific implementation as each deployment is more or less specific, but Oracle’s strategy is very clear. We do not have a dilemma.
3. Forrester does not acknowledge the investments that Oracle has made in Applications Unlimited stating that existing customers are “missing out on innovation.” In contrast, IDC reported after Oracle OpenWorld 2012 that “The Oracle product teams conducted many sessions at Oracle OpenWorld that focused on plans for future releases (e.g., Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2, PeopleSoft 9.2) and long lists of enhancements. Road maps were detailed for the overall product families and later expanded for specific areas such as financials, HCM, projects, and more. Plus, the enhancements are not just the minimum required to meet legislative regulations but are features (including mobile and social) requested by customers and that continue to drive the product capabilities forward. This speaks well of the coexistence strategy that Oracle promotes for its applications as many customers use a variety of products (e.g., Oracle EBusiness Suite Financials, PeopleSoft HCM, and Oracle Fusion Talent Management) to run their businesses and are not ready to move off these products.” 2 Fact: Oracle has been investing in bringing innovation to Oracle Applications Unlimited, for instance with the iPad certification in PeopleSoft or with the new mobile capabilities and enhanced user interface in Siebel.

4. As a basis for this speculative research note (or as Forrester puts it to “test our theory”), Forrester did a survey of “139 clients who self-identified as users of Oracle applications.” According to Forrester, this survey shows that “of the clients we surveyed, 65% had no plans to implement Oracle Fusion Applications, and another 24% did not know if they would.”
• This survey was done eight months ago in June 2012, so it doesn’t necessarily represent current market conditions.
1 Forrester, Oracle Dilemma: Applications Unlimited Versus Oracle Fusion Applications – William Band, Andrew Bartels, Paul D.
Hamerman, and China Martens – February 11, 2013
2 IDC, Oracle OpenWorld 2012: Oracle Applications Update – Christine Dover, Michael Fauscette, Vanessa Thompson, Mary
Wardley, Robert P. Mahowald, Amy Konary – November 2012
Page 2 of 3
• Forrester didn’t specify the number of unique companies being surveyed – only the total number of respondents.
• 45% of the respondents are using Oracle Hyperion. Hyperion doesn’t really have anything to do with the context.
• The survey was limited to the US (60% of respondents) and to Europe (40% of respondents). There is no representation from Asia Pacific, Japan, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa or Middle East.
• The survey was heavily targeted to manufacturing companies (27%); and government, education, and healthcare (17%), so not representative of the entire industry spectrum. Moreover as IDC highlighted it in a research note published in November 2012, “the coexistence strategy is important as Oracle Fusion Applications do not yet have all of the
capabilities of some of the more established Oracle applications, particularly in manufacturing. This is not a knock on Oracle Fusion Applications as they are a relatively new suite of products that are focused more on non-manufacturing industry verticals and need time to mature.”3
• We also question the ability for an Oracle Applications user in Manufacturing (for instance) to address questions such as “Why doesn’t your firm plan to use Oracle Fusion Applications?” with options to respond such as “Oracle’s applications strategy is unclear”, “not mature enough”, or “high licensing costs”. How would a manufacturing worker know? And actually 26% responded “Other”, suggesting that some respondents didn’t really know how to respond.
• And of course, there is no need to elaborate more but many questions were phrased in a negative way – see for instance “What do you dislike most about your firm’s most important Oracle applications?” or “Why doesn’t your firm plan to use Oracle Fusion Applications?”.
Fact: In December 2012, Oracle publicly stated that “Oracle Fusion Applications is doing very well”4 and publicly reported over 400 customers for Oracle Fusion Applications – that is any module of Oracle Fusion Applications excluding RightNow, Taleo, or any other recent
acquisitions. “This is more than when Salesforce started.” 5 Resources
The following resources are available to provide a fact-based perspective on our applications strategy and business:
• Constellation Research, Market Maker 1:1, Steve Miranda, Oracle Fusion Applications
Update - The Inside Story
http://www.constellationrg.com/blog/2012/12/market-maker-11-steve-miranda-oracle-fusionapplications-update-inside-story
• IDC, Oracle OpenWorld 2012: Oracle Applications Update
http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/idc-apps-openworld-2012-1877446.pdf
• Nucleus Research, Technology Value Matrix Second Half 2012
http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/enterprise-application/nucleus-crm-value-
3 Source: IDC, Oracle OpenWorld 2012: Oracle Applications Update – Christine Dover, Michael Fauscette, Vanessa Thompson,
Mary Wardley, Robert P. Mahowald, Amy Konary – November 2012 - http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/idc-appsopenworld-
2012-1877446.pdf
4 Source: Constellation Research, Market Maker 1:1: Steve Miranda, Oracle Fusion Applications Update – the Inside Story –
December 31, 2012 - http://www.constellationrg.com/blog/2012/12/market-maker-11-steve-miranda-oracle-fusion-applicationsupdate-
inside-story
5 Source: Constellation Research, Market Maker 1:1: Steve Miranda, Oracle Fusion Applications Update – the Inside Story –
December 31, 2012 - http://www.constellationrg.com/blog/2012/12/market-maker-11-steve-miranda-oracle-fusion-applicationsupdate-
inside-storymatrix-1873753.pdf
• Ovum, Oracle closes a solid fiscal year 2012 with strong Q4 earnings
http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/corporate/ovum-q4fy12-1702759.pdf
• Ovum, Cloud leads the agenda at Oracle OpenWorld 2012
http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/ovum-oracle-cloud-1878211.pdf
• Ovum, Oracle: Supporting CX through the customer-adaptive lens
http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/ovum-cx-customer-adaptive-1885445.pdf

Topics: Tech Industry, Enterprise Software, Oracle

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4 comments
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  • Forrester probably appreciates the publicity

    Here is a case in which Oracle would have been better off just to leave things alone. Now, they've given that report a great deal of publicity and made sure that it is unlikely to just fade away over time. I'm sure the folks at Forrester are very thankful to Oracle.
    dkusnetzky
  • should be called CON-fusion

    Locking in maintenance stream with customers pulled into the acquisition whirlpool with promises of an integrated Oracle product suite, while back of the shed it's a convoluted, confusing, complex and costly mess of tools, technology and vaporware.

    But if Larry gets to sell you an EXA-CON-Fusion life will be good on the island.
    hubivedder
  • Things not as they seem

    Not sure i completely agree with dkusnetzky above; I think that Oracle was over a barrel on this - not respond and damage is done, respond and damage is done.

    For what its worth, I work very closely with Oracle Fusion and whilst its been an interesting 2012, this year we will continue to see great strides forward. Its very easy to jump on the anti-Oracle bandwagon (Forrester I'm looking at you) but this application is greatly under-rated.
    Don Juanito
  • Too Early

    It's a bit early in the ERP Application lifecycle for Forrester to make this call. Most ERP apps, especially those from Oracle, don't get much tracking in the first three to four years. In addition, the Forrester article failed to address the Fusion Apps concept of Co-Existence.

    My expectations of Forrester, based on their past performance, is pretty high. This particular article did not meet the bar. #Fail
    Floyd Teter