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For Oracle, ‘Choice’ Is Key Message

Vinnie Mirchandani (@dealarchitect on Twitter) with a nice synopsis of Oracle’s new ‘choice’ messaging.  Given Oracle’s incredibly wide (and premium) stable of offerings, combined with its recent cloud-facing announcements, this is smart, solid positioning:

He emphasized choice in other ways as he discussed Fusion apps – more choice in portfolio of ERP apps versus competitive narrow, CRM, HR and other SaaS category offerings. He talked about choices in co-existence scenarios with current PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel and Oracle EBS products. He threw out names of a choice of SIs which were working with around 50 early adopter Fusion implementations – Price Waterhouse, IBM, Accenture, Deloitte.

Later when I met with Steve I asked him if the SIs were influencing the choices – given they were “traditional” firms, were they nudging customers towards private cloud implementations? He said he did not see it – they were being smart in going along with customer desire/direction.

The truth of the matter is from where Oracle sits, the choices they offer customers is mind-boggling — in a good way.  The challenge of the ‘choice’ message is that its analogous to the ‘open’ message in that it’s very fragile.  (Look at how much heat Google is taking when it announced that it would take tighter control of its Android OS — the cries of ‘But you said it was open!’ were deafening.)  If Oracle is truly offering choice, does that include, say, cloud technologies that lie outside its own product/service portfolio?  Does that include the use of SIs who might have their own technologies and methodologies that are in direct competition, to some extent, with Oracle’s own?

I suspect the ‘choice’ message’s permanence will rest on how Oracle manages its own offerings versus other directions customers may lean.

Nonetheless, Oracle’s doing all the right things when it comes to addressing the market (pay special attention to the progress of Fusion as evidenced by Principal and certain units of Easton and Alcoa).  Hopefully, it continues through the sales cycle and into implementation.  As Mirchandani says, “Time will tell.”

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