So who’s winning the ERP war?
SAP has stronger market momentum, better articulated value for next-generation apps, and a better partnership strategy than Oracle. But Oracle’s strong middleware platform and greater support of standards make it a better choice than SAP for customers who will rely on custom development as well as packaged apps. ((John R. Rymer, Paul Hamerman, R “Ray” Wang, March 31, 2006. “Oracle Versus SAP In Enterprise Applications: Let The Battle Of Architectures Begin!” Forrester Research. Retrieved from http://www.forrester.com on April 5, 2006.))
In some SAP news:
SAP Mendocino promises to allow integration of some SAP products and processes into the Mircorsoft Office suite. This product would allow SAP time management users to enter and approve time without leaving Mircorsoft outlook. Rollout is scheduled for June.
In perhaps more interesting Oracle news:
Computerworld interviewed John Wookey, senior vice president of applications development at Oracle. Here’s what he had to say about the progress of Fusion:
Customers have reiterated that the most troubling thing about the mergers is the Fusion road map. Can you give them some words of comfort? We have a pretty good set of design-pattern flows for the applications, and we’ve started to take the customer groups through them. It gives them a sense of how the user interface will work and how we’re mapping the job functions. In going through the assessments, we’ve been dealing with advisory boards, and we saw gaps between various products. A lot came down to the approach — the same business problems were attacked differently [by the vendors]. We’d work with the J.D. Edwards users on a process, and we’d talk to the E-Business Suite users and see how they looked at it. If something was better managed on the Oracle side, we’d go back to talk to the J.D. Edwards users about it. The nice thing is, now there are a lot of specific plans and you can see exactly what is going on and we can get feedback on it.
And the deadline for Fusion remains the same? The year 2008 is when the Fusion Suite hits the streets. But, there are a lot of things happening later this year. We’re releasing libraries of Fusion reports. Using XML, customers can see how they can extract and manipulate information for reporting. We’re building libraries for reports on top of PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards and the E-Business Suite that customers can use today. This will be the basis of Fusion reporting. And Fusion has much better tools for doing reports. ((Songini, Mark. March 23, 2006. “Q&A: Oracle apps development head outlines Fusion,” Computerworld. Retrieved from www.computerworld.com on April 1, 2006. ))